Monday, November 24, 2008

The Strange Case Of The Naked Woman In The Night

My dear friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, had retired from the avocation of private investigator that had brought him world renown, to raise bees in Kent; but had not retired from the mournful playing of melancholy tunes upon his infernal violin.

"But I fail to understand, Holmes, why you would wish to call it 'The Case of the Second Tent?", I sought to distract him from his labours upon that wretched instrument.

Holmes finished the musical phrase.

"My dear Watson," he replied, reluctantly setting the instrument aside, and reaching for the persian slipper in which he kept his pipe tobacco, "It is elementary. You have just heard the tale told to us by our friend, the Explorer. You know my methods. What would you choose to call it, 'The Strange Case Of The Naked Woman In The Night', no doubt."

"Well, as I recall the story, Holmes, that is its most salient feature. The Explorer and his wife were camping on the shores of Lake Huron close to the town of Goderich. They were fast asleep in their tent, when the Explorer was awakened by the sound of a young woman chattering excitedly about her evening spent with some young men she had met at a party. And while she recounted these adventures, she was proceeding to remove her clothes."

Sherlock Holmes at Rest Pictures, Images and Photos

"Indeed, Watson. As a gentleman, and not wishing to frighten the young lady, the Explorer permitted her to continue with her undressing, unchallenged."

"Most admirable, I agree. However, Mrs. Explorer was not so gracious, and, having been awakened by the same chattering, demanded, in a loud voice, to know what the woman thought she was doing.

"This occasioned an even louder shriek from the nearly naked maiden, who quickly gathered up her discarded garments and fled the tent, kindly remembering to fasten the zipper up behind her."

Holmes was thoughtfully stuffing tobacco into his Meerschaum, "Those indeed are the facts of the case, Watson. However, if you recall, what happened next was most singular."

"Indeed, Holmes, after some discussion of the intrusion, the Explorer and his dear lady managed to return to sleep. Some hours later, the light of day just beginning to brighten the interior of the tent, the Explorer had the curious sensation of being watched. The peculiar notion was strong enough to rouse him from his sleep, certain that if he opened his eyes, he would find the face of another mere inches from his own.

"He then heard the sound of something sniffing and rummaging about in the tent. This event took place before Lindsay, that noble dog, had come to the Explorer household, so it wasn't she that the Explorer heard.

"Sensing the creature was now in the most further remove of the confined enclosure, he risked opening his eyes. And found himself staring at the nether end of a skunk. The creature's identity made obvious by the white stripe down its back."

"And from this, Watson, we can deduce that when the inebriated nymph had fled their tent, she had failed to pull the zipper fully closed and had certainly not engaged the clasps that would have prevented such an entry." said Holmes, lighting his pipe with evident satisfaction.

"As usual Holmes, your skills at deduction astound me." I replied. "Of course, recalling Mrs. Explorer's reaction to the night's previous visitor, our dear friend held his breath and uttered the most fervent prayer, that Mrs. Explorer would not awaken and challenge this second visitor.

"In time his prayers were answered, for she remained quiet and the fragrant beast, having satisfied itself that no food was to be found within the tent, eventually left through the opening that had admitted it in the first place."

"Quite so, Watson" Homes was already disappearing in a haze of equally fragrant tobacco smoke, "And the Explorer then leaped to his feet and rushed to properly fasten the entry way to their temporary abode."

"And that is the story Holmes. It ends there, but why would you choose to call it "The Case of the Second Tent?"

"Elementary, my dear Watson, for what can we deduce would occasion even an inebriated young woman to enter a strange tent and remove her garments in the middle of the night. Do not forget she could not have known so fine a gentleman as the Explorer was the occupant. She could have been placing herself in the gravest of danger."

"Why Holmes, you are quite correct. Whatever could be the answer to this odd riddle?"

"Why, a second tent, Watson! A second tent! In the camp ground where Mr and Mrs Explorer chose to spend the night, there had to have been a second tent of the same style and manufacture as the Explorer's own. It is the only explanation that meets the facts of the case."

"Indeed, Holmes, once again you astound me. However, calling it "The Strange Case of the Naked Woman in the Night", will attract more readers to this blog, than the title you propose."

"Surely not, Watson, the readers of these missives are finer folk indeed. If they choose to read your account it will be despite your lurid title not because of it."

And with that, he reached once more for his fiddle.