|The Unexpected Snake
Author: Be3 PM
In the spring of 1892, Mycroft Holmes reads The Adventure of the Speckled Band. He has only one question. For aragonite, with thanks; x-posted to watson's woes.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Friendship - Mycroft H & Dr. Watson - Chapters: 7 - Words: 5,684 - Reviews: 5 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-19-13 - Published: 01-25-13 - id: 8943406
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Diogenes Club had changed little since last I came there.
The same butler ushered me in, closing the door against the chill, though it still wafted through. We passed a few silent gentlemen engrossed in reading or playing chess. The club was a world inside the world.
At last, with vague unease caused by the short summons I'd received not an hour ago pawing at my chest, I was brought before the heavy door behind which voices could be sometimes heard in this tomb of a place. The butler stepped back and disappeared.
My steps hardly made any sound due to the thick matting on the floor, but the enormous man waiting for me with a sleepy air behind a laden tray immediately sat up straighter. His eyes scanned me, and I knew I was laid open to his scrutiny.
'Ah, Dr. Watson,' he rumbled, pleased by my punctuality. 'Come, sit before the fire; you look half-frozen.'
Sitting down, I asked about his welfare. Privately, I wondered if he called me for a medical consultation, improbable as it seemed.
'Not at all,' he said drily, answering the unspoken and making it clear that despite the warm greeting, he would prefer my visit be short. I had no objections.
We took our tea. In the years that passed since Sherlock Holmes, my friend and this man's brother, perished in a waterfall, Mycroft had never called upon me or demanded my presence – though I had tried to deliver the news in person, he hadn't let me in. In vain I tried to decipher his ponderous silence; whatever was the reason that he went against his own custom?
'I received The Strand only this morning,' he said abruptly. 'Otherwise, I would have invited you earlier.'
I nodded, berating myself for not expecting him to be a subscriber. However, the explanation was not explaining anything, merely prodding me in a direction of another question; a distinctly Holmes habit.
I stalled for time.
'I decided to publish some cases – of no national importance, remembering your request - '
'National importance!' he harrumphed, letting anger colour his voice for a first time. 'Let me put it to you directly, sir: Who bought your pen?'