Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another True Tale For Halloween, In Fictional Dress

Homes and Watson

"It reminds me of our adventure with the infernal Hound," I commented upon our return to our lodgings at 221B Bakers St.

"Indeed Watson, there are salient features reminiscent of the Baskeville case," replied Holmes, settling into his favoured chair. "Our dear friend the Explorer and his wife have once again provided us with some amusement."

"Good Lord, Holmes, you cannot consider their frightening ordeal a form of amusement?"

"If you say so Watson," Holmes gave me a most peculiar look. "But consider. The Explorers were staying in a Bed and Breakfast located five miles from the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye, whilst the Explorer conducted some research into his family history."

"Quite so," I agreed.

"Mrs. Explorer had had a most disturbing meal. The two were seated at a favoured table by a large picture window overlooking the majestic hills of Skye. The large sheep population of the Island dotted the hillside.

"Both the Explorers had ordered the fresh lamb for their repast, wanting to savour the local cuisine. But as they commenced eating, Mrs. Explorer was horrified to notice the sheep beginning to gather at the fence outside their window. Staring at her as she ate."

"To that poor woman's mind it seemed the animals were gazing on her in judgment as she consumed one of their fellows."

"Quite put her off her meal," I commented.

"Were it not for the Explorer gallantly exchanging places with her, she would not have been able to continue.

"However, with Mrs. Explorer safe from the judgment of the local domesticated flock, they were both able to enjoy their dinner."

"Ah, but then we get to the meat of the matter, so to speak," I picked up the tale, "For the couple then decided to go for a walk in the night air before repairing for the evening.

"As I recall, they scaled the large hill overlooking the bed and breakfast to gain a view of the valley from this height. The large herd of sheep were everywhere to be seen, but the handsome couple were the only people abroad in the night."

Holmes verily squirmed in his comfortable chair, "And that, Watson, is when the fog rolled in. Unaccustomed to the suddenness and impenetrability of a Skye fog, the couple were caught unawares on the hillside, the bleating of the sheep, the only comfort in the gathering dark.

"They began their descent of the steep pathway, their vision limited to a mere yard before them. And that is when they heard the terrifying sound of footsteps in the night. Another soul was abroad in the gloaming, yet due to the fog, this mysterious companion could not be seen.

"The couple hurried to the bottom of the hill, the twisting and narrow path, limiting their speed. Being courteous, they then waited to greet the stranger who was also abroad in the foggy evening. But the footfalls of the other simply ceased. Not a soul emerged from the fog. They were quite alone."

"Puzzled, they retired to the warmth of the peat fire in the lounge, where the dear hostess of the establishment brought them some tea to warm them from the chilly night air."

"Whilst leafing through a tour book kindly left on the side table, Mrs. Explorer chanced upon a article that returned the chill of the night to her bones. She drew Explorer's attention to the article with trembling hand.

"The very area in which their bed and breakfast resided was notorious for the appearance on foggy evenings of a headless man whose appearance had frightened several locals to their death.

"'You don't think, those footsteps could have been the headless man?', the dear woman questioned our friend.

"But for once, the Explorer was at a loss for words, the footsteps in the fog, a haunting memory reverberating in his troubled mind."