(Sorry this took so long, my friends. Had other things to do. Just enjoy!)
The Wide Window
The world is a very scary place, my dear
It's hurled and it's twirled through outer space, I fear
So many ways to lose your skin in it
The number of ways to die is infinite
The world is a very scary thing, I find
It's curled all my toes and it's curling my mind
When I was young my study and candies
But they attract tarantulas and bees
(A/N: when the Baudelaires are thinking about how unfair their lives have been since their parents died)
Not everything in the Baudelaires' lives since their parents' deaths had been unfair. Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective with powers of observation and deduction, was defiantly not unfair. He might have been cold and dispassionate, but he and his best friend Doctor John Watson had each helped the children overcome Count Olaf's treacherous schemes. Sherlock Holmes himself had said the three children had the makings of great detectives because of their great skills. Since this incident, the three orphans had called him and John good friends, but they often wondered whether Sherlock had meant what he'd said because of his frosty behaviour.
(When Klaus is explaining the case of Aunt Josephine's letter to Violet and Sunny)
Just then, the children heard the front door open and a voice called: "Hello? Anyone here?"
Klaus looked terrified. "Captain Sham's arrived," he whispered, "Err… no one's home."
"If there's no one home," said the voice, "then how come I can hear you, Klaus?"
"Wait, that's not Captain Sham's voice," said Violet, "That voice isn't scratchy and cruel; it's calm and cool. It's familiar. Err, we're in the library," she called.
The children heard footsteps and a moment later, the library door opened and the taxi driver who had taken the Baudelaires to the house the first time entered.
"Ah, Baudelaires," he said, "Good to see you again!"
Just then, there was a thump from the front room, followed by an 'ow!'
"John's fallen over that silly doorstep again, no doubt," the taxi driver said, with a sigh, "I hope he hasn't broken his neck." As he spoke, he took off his hat. His brown messy hair came off with it! It was a wig. Underneath was black, smooth and neatly cut hair. He also had a long nose and cold grey eyes.
"Sherlock Holmes!" Violet cried, running to hug the detective.
"Whoa, easy Violet," Sherlock said, startled as he gingerly patted her on the head.
"We didn't recognise you when you drove us here," said Klaus, amazed that they hadn't recognised the detective like they had always recognised Olaf.
"Ah, I'm a master of disguise," said Sherlock, gently prising Violet off him. Just then, another man entered the room, massaging – a word which here means 'rubbing' – his nose and chest where he'd hit the floor from tripping up on the doormat. It was Sherlock's best friend and associate, Doctor John Watson. He didn't look as though he had been in a disguise, like Sherlock had been.
"Stupid doorstep," he muttered, "Could have broken my neck."
"Aunt Josephine was always afraid that someone would trip and break their necks on the doormat, John," said Klaus.
"You could have helped me up, you know, Sherlock," said John to his best friend.
"Sorry," said Sherlock, shrugging, "At least, you didn't break anything. By the way, that letter you have, Klaus, may I see it please?"
"Sure." Klaus passed Sherlock the letter he had been examining and Sherlock and John both observed it.
"Ah, yes," said the detective, "I know this code; I taught it to Josie myself."
"You knew Aunt Josephine?" Violet asked. Sherlock nodded.
"Just like we knew Monty," said John, "This code is called the Sebald Code, named after Monty's deceased assistant, Gustav. He helped Sherlock invent it. It was a way of secretly communicating with each other when fighting crime. By the way, this house's applicants look unused. The oven looks like it hasn't cooked things for a long time."
"Aunt Josephine was afraid it would burst into flames," Klaus said, "She was also afraid that if doorknobs were touched, they'd shatter and the pieces would get in the eyes and that the sofa might fall and crush someone."
"Whoa!" said Sherlock in astonishment, "I think Josie's gone a little senile."
"She's been like that since her husband Ike drowned in the lake," Violet said.
"Well, when we find Josie, I'm going to have a word with her," Sherlock said, "She has to learn there's nothing to be scared of in this house."
"She's even afraid of realtors," said Violet, "and that's so irrational."
"Really!" said John, "Well, some realtors are actually nasty, but most aren't bad at all."
"Anyway," said Sherlock, "I see you formed the words 'Curdled Cave', Klaus, from Josie's grammatical mistakes. Well done, Klaus; once again, an excellent display of forensics."
"Forgen?" Sunny asked, which meant something like 'what are forensics?"
"Forensics," said Sherlock "is when science is used for investigations, like CSI, crime scene investigation. I'm an expert in forensic science; it's a great benefit to my cases. Anyways, Curled Cave is one of the many caves on this lake. It's near the Lavender Lighthouse."
"How do you know?" Klaus asked him.
Sherlock chuckled. "My dear children, I know this lake like the back of my hand," he said, using a phrase which here means 'I know the lake as easily as one would find the back of his hand'. "Let's head down to Damocles Dock right away and-"
Sherlock was interrupted by a great gust of wind, blowing through the shattered window, shaking the house like maracas, which are percussion instruments used in South American music. Everything rattled around the library as the wind flew through it. Chairs and footstools were flipped over, falling to the floor with their legs in the air. Books were shaken off their shelves, landing in puddles of water. The Baudelaires orphans and their two friends were shaken off their feet as lightning flashed across the sky.
"Come on, let's move!" Sherlock shouted over the literally thunderous roar and grabbing the Baudelaires and John by the hand, he pulled them towards the door. The wind was blowing so fiercely that it was like climbing a steep hill instead of walking through a library. But Sherlock pressed on until all five was standing in the hallway, shivering.
"Poor Aunt Josephine," Violet said, "Her library is ruined."
"And those grammar books were once very valuable," Sherlock said, "Especially when it came to the Sebald code."
"Why do you use the Sebald code?" Klaus asked him.
"Well, if we were sending messages and information about criminals," Sherlock said, "we had to hide messages or criminals would slip through our fingers because they know our every move. Anyway, the point is that Josie is still alive and hiding in Curdled Cave. We must head down there at once."
"Won't we need an atlas?" Violet asked.
"We won't need an atlas when you have me," Sherlock said, rather smugly, "No storm can affect my precision and sense of direction. Like I said, I know this lake like the back of my hand." The house shook again.
"Good grief!" John said, "We need to get out of here, fast!"
"Agreed," Sherlock said, "No doubt the supports holding this house are beginning to crack. Listen!"
They all listened and, sure enough, there was a cracking noise, as well as a creaking. Just then, the wind reached a feverish pitch, meaning that it began very high and strong, shaking the house like maracas. Sherlock managed to stay upright, while John and the Baudelaires were shaken to the floor.
"Let's get out of here!" Violet screamed, grabbing Sunny.
"Let's go!" Sherlock yelled in agreement. The five of them scurried down to the hallway, towards the front door. Part of the ceiling had been torn off and rainwater was pouring in, splattering the group as they ran through it. The house lurched again, causing them to stumble. It was starting to slip down the hill. "Hurry!" Sherlock cried and grabbing John and the children, he hauled them up the tilted hallway to the front door, slipping in puddles. The house lurched yet again and then there was a horrible crunching noise, as John reached the door first and yanked it again.
"Let's go!" he cried and the five of them made it through the door and onto the hill, the children huddling in the freezing rain. They were cold. They were frightened. But they had escaped, thanks again to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Just then, there was a crackling noise right behind them.
I have seen many amazing things in my long and troubled life. I've seen corridors built entirely out of human skulls. I've watched a volcano erupt during a hike with my old friend Sherlock, sending a wall of lava towards a small village. I've seen a woman I loved picked up by a giant eagle and flown to its high mountain nest. But only Sherlock Holmes can imagine what it was like to watch Aunt Josephine's house topple to its doom, a phrase meaning 'to its destruction'. My own research tells me that the children and my old two friends watched in mute amazement as the peeling front door slammed shut and crumpled like a piece of paper. I've informed that the children hugged each other very tightly at the rough, ear-splitting noise of their home breaking loose from the edge of the cliff while Sherlock and John merely starred. But I can't tell you how it felt to watch the whole building fall down, down, down and hit the dark and stormy waters of the lake below with a boom.
That's the first part of 'The Wide Window', my friends. Will continue as soon as I can. Until then, God Bless