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BBC - Cult Presents_ Sherlock Holmes - The Deer Stalker

BBC - Cult Presents_ Sherlock Holmes - The Deer Stalker

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Published by: piochmi on Dec 22, 2012
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12/4/12BBC - Cult Presents: Sherlock Holmes - The Deer Stalke1/11www.bbc.co.uk/cult/sherlock/deerstalker_printpage.html
Cult Presents: Sherlock Holmes- Printer Friendly Version
The Deer Stalker by Paul Cornell
 From the Journal of Dr. John H. Watson:
I write as best I can, in this darkness, illuminated only by a grating to the street. Holmes has disappeared, lostof his own accord. I have done my best to follow his example, if not his person. I could not leave London, butI feel sure that he has. I think I know where he has gone. It is best, at this point, if we are not together.I sit alone in a wine cellar, the second level of a coal cellar beneath a building which has been sold but intowhich a tenant has not yet moved. It is the kind of abode found by beggars. But it is a situation that I havementioned nowhere in my writings, and which therefore I hope may remain unknown to those that seek me.I hear some of the noises of London life continuing above me and outside. Things are perhaps more quiet thanthey should be. The inhabitants are wary, hungry for news, aware of the attacks on myself and on my friend,and anticipating another outrage, while understanding the nature of the raids. I am gambling the lives of allthose folk that no assault will find me here. None of these buildings could hope to withstand the weaponsthese bandits have at their command.Holmes will surprise the pirates. They will not find him, he will find them, as he has done so many times before, and this time he will not fall into their trap. I know his methods. I have faith in them and in him.I must embark upon my account, fragmentary as it is, for the sake of history. Let others... I pray, let Holmes,
12/4/12BBC - Cult Presents: Sherlock Holmes - The Deer Stalke2/11www.bbc.co.uk/cult/sherlock/deerstalker_printpage.html
if you are reading this, dear friend... make sense of it.I do not know where it began. But I shall begin it with Mrs. Hudson having her fit.I had entered 221B to no greeting from Billy or from Holmes' housekeeper, the door being surprisingly open,and had made my way to the kitchen upon hearing a noise.Holmes had his fingers in Mrs. Hudson's mouth as she thrashed to and fro. His form was pressed up againsthers in the corner of the room. She made noises like an animal, and was spitting blood, both his and her own.I quickly took her from him, and assured him there was no possibility of her swallowing her tongue. I placedher in a more secure posture on the floor in order to check her vital signs."It is intolerable," Holmes muttered, absently holding his white, bitten hand. "When she entered this state I hadno knowledge of what to do, I could only guess. What good could I have been to her? Tell me, have I eveninjured her?"I was about to reply in the negative when a thin sound escaped the lips of the pathetic woman. "They'rethrough," she said. "They are here."I paid her no heed, taking her words to be the meaningless spasms of the organ of thought in crisis. "I shallsend a message to St. Luke's, and I will make sure there is a bed for her at once.""'They are here.' What can she mean?" asked Holmes, rhetorically, his face still a portrait of compassion."Nothing for us, but perhaps everything for her."That, I am sure, was the point. The point where Holmes, and the world, started to be wrong.***The next few days were busy for me, both looking after my own practice, going home to my... no, to one of the poor women that I have, in the course of these narratives, referred to as "my wife" but who the worldwould doubtless refer to as... I shall use the word and rely on your tact, old friend, as I slowly realised duringour acquaintance I must always have relied on it in this matter... 'a dollymop'. Yes, there, it is out. I shall notdrag her name into print. I do not wish to make a character out of her. Let them make of that not what theywill but what I make of it, which is that I loved her... But I must not divert myself. I also spent time seeing thatMrs. Hudson got the best treatment available to her.Holmes I saw little of. I assumed, by the cries of the newspaper sellers, that his thoughts would be taken withthe latest outrage they described, a new series of murders committed in a style quite similar to those that had baffled the police in the latter months of 1888. At that time, Holmes had kept his distance, thinking in a brownstudy but never leaping to his feet with the quarry in his sights. I, and others of my profession andacquaintance, convinced the killer was a medical man, or a man of science, awaited such a move mosthopefully, but it had never come.Perhaps it was that these squalid, meaningless murders,were unworthy of Holmes, the creations of pathologyrather than the superior intellects he was used to matching wits with. Indeed, this time the killer was being bolder than ever: seen running from the scenes of his crimes, heard laughing, noted by many observers as being dressed like a gentleman. It was as if he had decided to live up to the inflated accounts of himself thatwere the lifeblood of the penny dreadfuls. And such arrogance in the face of the law would, all thought now,surely sooner or later lead to arrest. It was astonishing that the police had not caught him already, leading me
BBC - Cult Presents: Sherlock Holmes - The Deer Stalker 3/11www.bbc.co.uk/cult/sherlock/deerstalker_printpage.html
to think that there was perhaps another dimension to this man and his deeds, a dimension that would be amatter for my friend's intellect.It was with this in mind, eager to discover Holmes' thoughts on this matter, that I returned to his rooms a week or so after Mrs. Hudson's visitation.My finger was on the bell when something made me turn.Perhaps there had been a sound. If there was, I cannot recall hearing it.There was only darkness against darkness in the building overlooking my friend's rooms, on the other side of Baker Street. But by one particular window, the shape of that darkness had changed.I give myself credit for my actions now. I looked back to the door and pressed the bell, for all the world as if Ihad only been breathing deep of the late November air. I waited, my senses stirred to a pitch of battle, as Billyopened the door and bade me enter, and even waited a moment as he closed the door behind me.Then without shedding my coat and hat I ran up the stairs to my friend's room that faced onto the street, ranlike the devil was on my heels!The light of the lamp was on. I could hear Billy crying out behind me.I burst into the room. "Holmes!" I shouted.The shot came through the open window. It blew the stuffing out of the pillow that stood atop the hatstand.I threw myself to the floor and bellowed as Billy opened the door. "Stay there, boy!"But the boy entered the room, breathing not only from his run but from the emotional faith that my friendinspires in all those who know his methods. "Mr. Holmes' complements, sir," he said. "And could you be joining him on the top floor of the house opposite. The door is open."***I was later to discover that the round that had passed through the window had flattened itself against thehardwood of one of Holmes' bookshelves barely an inch from my ear. And the intuition of that fact followedme down the stairs and into the street. I took a moment to catch my breath before venturing into the secondrate townhouse opposite.I found Holmes standing at the window of what looked like it had once been a library, or a study similar to hisown. Beside him lay a rifle of extraordinary construction: it was a slim beast, with sights the memory of whicheven now confounds me."Good Lord, Holmes," I said. "What has happened here? Was I the target, or -?""No, Watson. It was I. I had become aware of certain trends within the underworld, a movement of Cubansthrough the docks, Italians, Bolsheviks... So I contrived a trap, as I did once before. However... somehowour assassin has contrived to elude me. And I am at a loss to explain how."He listened with interest to my account of being shot at."A second assassin, in one of the other houses, while the promise of a first lured me here. The aim from this

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