Disclaimer: I own nothing expect the idea... and Sherlene. This has been made purly for entertainment.
This is my written verison of the first episode of season seven Granada Television's Sherlock Holmes, which aired on 3/7/1994. It is a favorite episode of mine and the idea of "what if Sherlock Holmes was a woman" was always an interesting one to me. So here it is and I hope you enjoy reading it. Reviews are welcome.
3/20/11-Did some editing to fix some mistakes on the page
Sherlene Holmes and the Adventure of the Three Gables
John Watson did not quite know what to expect when he quickly opened the door to the sitting room. He had just returned to Baker Street from some early morning business and was greeted by an anxious Mrs. Hudson, who had been hearing a fierce commotion coming from the room above for the past ten minutes. The commotion, she said, sounded like there was a mad bull running above her head. It had started not long after she admitted a black man into the house and sent him upstairs when he said he needed to see Sherlene Holmes. Watson wasted no time hurrying up the seventeen steps to get to the sitting room with the housekeeper fallowing closely behind. If Sherlene was in jeopardy, he wanted to be there to defend her, even though she could protect herself well enough on her own.
It was more then a bit of a horror when he saw Sherlene in the grip of the black man Mrs. Hudson mentioned. He was a lot taller and muscular then Watson expected. He stood about half a head taller then the doctor. His strong figure was well concealed by his very loud gray check suit. His large muscular hands were curled just under the collar of Sherlene's dressing gown. He was holding her above his head, against the large window closest to the fireplace, looking as though he would threaten to push her through it and onto the street below. However, the only thing keeping him from doing carrying out the threat was Sherlene's unyielding hold on both a curtain and the bookshelf with her feet braced against the sides of the window frame. She did not appear hurt but her long obsidian hair was in dismay. Her wide grey eyes and raised eyebrows betrayed the fear she was experiencing at being close to being thrown out the window.
However, upon looking up and seeing Watson in the doorway, the sparks of fear disappeared from her face as though they were never there at all.
"Ah! Watson! Well timed!" she called, her voice tight with both relief and alarm
The black man stopped trying to shove her and looked over his shoulder, revealing his broad face. He had a black bushy mustache under his flattened nose and sullen dark eyes that held a smoldering gleam of malice in them. He did not yet however release his hold on Sherlene. Watson looked in disbelief over his shoulder, where Mrs. Hudson stood, her eyes wide as she took in the scene of Miss Holmes and the stranger.
Now that she was no longer being shoved, though keeping a tight hold on the shelf and curtain, Sherlene's voice started to even out as she introduced the man despite their position "Shake hands with Steve Dixie, the pugilist…"
Now that he had an audience the stranger, Steve Dixie, released a hand from Sherlene but kept the other in place, shaking the woman slightly as she continued in an irritated tone, "…who might have a future in his profession if he didn't mix with bad company!"
"What on earth's happening here?" Watson demanded sternly to Steve Dixie, walking into the room, carefully avoiding the mess he just now noticed. From the looks of skewed and tipped over chairs and tables, broken glass and thrown knick-knacks, Sherlene must have been trying to defend herself against the man, using the furniture and items in the room as barriers and weapons against him until he trapped her against the window. That would account for the "mad bull" commotion Mrs. Hudson had been hearing from the floor below.
"Her!" answered the thug, giving the thin woman another harsh shake "Meddling in affairs that don't concern her!" Then he finally released her from his grip and walked away from her. At last free, Sherlene let go of the bookshelf and loosened her grip on the curtain to which she had very nearly torn.
The thug continued as Sherlene stepped down from the window frame, carefully avoiding stepping on anything, unlike Dixie, who strode through the mess uncaringly. "And I warned her and she got cocky!"
Though Watson knew overconfidence was one of his closest friend's weaknesses, she was hardly foolish with her confidence. Despite her self-taught training at bare-knuckle boxing, she would not go against an opponent she knew she could not handle alone without the doctor's help, and Steve Dixie was just the right size of being too much for her to handle alone. If Sherlene resorted to having to use the room against her opponent, then it was obvious enough for Watson to see she used it as a last resort of defending herself until help arrived.
Sherlene lowered herself into her chair, one of the few untouched and undisturbed furniture left in the room. "Oh, keep talking! Keep talking! It's fine," she said loudly and sarcastically to the thug, who turned back to her.
"It's fine is it? Well…" he growled her. A large knotted fist swung and harshly nudged the side of her jaw a couple of time, though Sherlene seemed indifferent towards it, no longer holding the image of a frightened woman worried for her life. "…it won't be so damn fine if I have to thump you around a bit."
Though Sherlene appeared unconcerned, Watson was not. Ever since he saw Sherlene in one of her rare terrified moments, his protective instincts soared up rapidly. He did not care if Steve Dixie was younger, taller, stronger and probably a better fighter then he was. He had obviously threatened Sherlene like that before, when the doctor was not around and he was doing so again, despite the fact people were watching. The good doctor rushed forward and grabbed hold of Dixie's other arm. "Alright! Enough!"
As he somewhat expected, Dixie wrenched his arm away and made to swing at Watson but Sherlene's voice stopped the fight before it began.
"STOP IT, WATSON! STOP IT!"
Both men paused, both of them had their fists up, ready to brawl each other but since a lady had demanded them (despite Sherlene only saying Watson's name) to stop, it was only out of good manners that they do so. However, they did not move from their positions, their fists still raised and bodies tense, not wanting to be the first one to stand down as it would be a sign of weakness. Nonetheless, it was Sherlene who made the decision for them.
"Let us hear who has sent him on this belligerent errand," Sherlene said. From her seat she grabbed Watson's desk chair, which had been thrown next to her chair, and righted up in front of her. She held out her hand invitingly toward the chair for Dixie. "Do sit down, Dixie and talk to me."
It was only out of the politeness of Sherlene's tone of voice that Dixie even moved at all. It seemed that despite his harsh thug actions and attitude toward her and Watson, Dixie still had some degree of manners towards the fairer sex. It was something of a shock to Watson that, despite that minutes earlier Dixie had threatened to not only push her out of the window but also beat her, Sherlene still treated him politely as though he were a visiting guest. But then again, Sherlene always did have the habit of surprising him. Watson lowered his fists, but stayed where he was, standing watch; ready to do whatever he felt was necessary if Dixie made another threat toward her again.
"Ah, thank you," Sherlene said as Dixie obediently sat down in the offered chair. "Now tell me what this is all about."
Dixie paused for a moment as though he too was taken aback by Sherlene's behavior. How she could go from being so scared and frightened to so clam and courteous in such a small space of time was beyond him. However, his features were quickly schooled back into his thuggish toughness. "I ain't tellin' you nothing…Miss Holmes. Expect for you to keep 'way from 'arrow!"
"I haven't been to Harrow in months."
"You know what I'm talkin' about! I'm warning you. Keep. Away."
"On the matter of the killing of Perkins outside the Holborn Bar?" Sherlene asked the question but it was clear in her grey eyes that she knew the answer.
Dixie's mask of toughness slipped away for a moment. "I had nothin' to do with that. I was trainin'." But the more Dixie looked into Sherlene's eyes, his outward toughness slipped away more and more. It seemed he was trying to convince himself of his words more then he was trying to convince the woman with the grey omniscient eyes sitting across from him. "Yeah. At the Bull Ring in Birmingham when this boy got done."
Sherlene gave her head a slight shake, her gaze still locked on Dixie, unnerving him even more. "You'll tell that to the magistrate. Mrs. Hudson!"
The old woman had never left just outside the doorway to the sitting room. Though, at some point, she had closed the door just enough to allow a sufficient crack for her to silently watch what was going on. Sherlene knew the good housekeeper was there because she could see her from where she was sitting. But the old woman was waiting a minute so the men would not think she had been eavesdropping.
Dixie gave Sherlene an uneasy grin. "Look, uh…no hard feelings, aye, Miss Holmes?"
Mrs. Hudson finally opened the door when she saw Dixie begin to rise from his chair. "Mrs. Hudson, there has been a slight disturbance." Sherlene said in a polite tone of voice. The tone was covering the amusement Watson could faintly see growing in her posture.
"Uh yeah," Dixie said, suddenly self-conscious now that there was an older lady in the room, much to Watson's disbelief. Gone was the tough tug Steve Dixie had embodied so well. Now he looked like an embarrassed little boy who had caught stealing dessert before supper. He turned back to Sherlene, growing even more discomfited "I've just done what I was told."
"My regards to Barney Stockdale," Sherlene said as a goodbye
Mrs. Hudson took that as her cue that she could now freely reprove the man responsible for causing Miss Holmes to mess up the rooms she tried to hard to keep tidy. Despite Miss Holmes' admittedly unpleasant untidy habits, Miss Holmes had enough common curtsey to keep the furniture from tipping over and flung to the side.
"You're the one responsible for this mess?" Mrs. Hudson asked Dixie with a scolding tone, causing Dixie to visible sweat
Much more to Watson's shock, Dixie allowed himself to be pulled out of room, taking numerous slaps on the head and shoulders from the housekeeper and not raising one finger against her or letting out a breath of protest.
Sherlene could no longer hold back an amused chuckle, bringing Watson's confused attention toward her. "Oh! He's a harmless enough fellow," Sherlene explained "But easily cowed as you see. One of the Spencer John gang...assaults, intimidation, and the like."
Now Watson understood what Dixie was doing here at 221B Baker Street. The black thug had come on the task of intimidating the woman detective away from doing something. If intimidation did not work, then assaulting would be the next thing to do. The state of room proved the intimidation attempt had failed. But he had no idea as to why they wanted her to keep away.
So he asked, "Why do they want to intimidate you?"
Sherlene pulled out a piece of folded, slightly wrinkled paper from one of the pockets of her dressing gown. She unfolded it and handed it to Watson for him to read. His curiosity on the name she said to Dixie, however, kept him from reading it immediately. "Who's Barney Stockdale?"
"He's a meager principle," was Sherlene's answer. "Who is paying Barney Stockdale I wonder."
As she asked the question to the air, she rose and picked up an apple from somewhere unseen. Watson then noticed a potentially flammable chemical on Sherlene's chemical table had been tipped over and was slowly spilling onto the counter, due to it's cork laying a little further down. He quickly righted the bottle and replaced the cork. He turned back to the paper and began reading it.
"The Three Gables, Harrow Weald?"
Sherlene was about to take a bite out of her apple when she felt a chilling breeze against her arm. She turned her head slightly to look at the window she had been so roughly held in front of and realized at the window sash was without glass, causing the sounds of a typical busy late morning on Baker Street to float into the room. She had not noticed it before since her attention was kept on keeping Dixie from hurting her too badly until Watson arrived to disrupt the assault attempt.
"He's broken our window!" she said as if incredulous at the discovery. The tone was enough for Watson to look up just in time to see her toss the apple through the window as if to prove that there was indeed no glass. But despite that, Watson turned his attention back to the paper.
Dear Ms. Sherlene Holmes
I have had a succession of strange incidents occur to me
in connection with my house, and I should much value your
advice. You would find me at home any time tomorrow.
I believe that my late husband, Mortimer Maberley, was
one of your early clients.
After finishing reading the note on the paper, Watson began to pick the mess in front of the fireplace. Sherlene, however, stayed where she was. Watson looked back up to see that her expression was in that concentrated look that showed she was suspecting something more in a case then what the client may suspect.
"This comic interlude with Steve Dixie convinces me there must be something in it," Sherlene reported austerely.
Many years of friendship and cases with Sherlene had taught Watson to never doubt the suspicions the woman detective had. All to often, they have proven true, no matter how circumstantial the events that her suspicions fell upon.
"Let us wire her and go there at once."
What do you think?
Good? Bad? Needs work? Love it? Hate it?