May 31st, 2006

  • roybot

The case of the missing hat

It was an exceptionally fine Tuesday morning, and I was relaxing in my favorite armchair by the window, enjoying the crisp autumn breeze and a handful of roasted filberts. Although my body appeared relaxed, my brain, which housed the brilliant mind of the world's greatest living detective, was hard at work. I was trying to remember if I had scheduled a 9:30 appointment.

Just as I was really getting going on the problem, however, my ruminations were interrupted by a lively knock on the parlor door. A small figure burst in, clothed from head to foot in herringbone. "My dear Sleuthe!" he cried around the pipestem clenched firmly between his teeth, and his small eyes beamed excitedly behind his round wire-rimmed spectacles.

It was my upstairs neighbor, sometime assistant, and ardent admirer Watley. He was a decent enough chap, but he could be a bit dense at times. "'Morning, Watley," I said, with feigned joviality. I was only too well aware that my chances of sneaking a morning nap had just gone up in smoke. To be quite honest, Watley was often downright annoying, but on the other hand he was affianced to the daughter of the man who owned the largest filbert-packaging plant in all of Wales. Sure enough, I noted that in his right hand he carried a sealed glass jar which was practically chock full of the tasty round nuggets.

"Set those down on the endtable, my good man," I told him, and waved him over to the small high-backed chair on my left. "You're just in time for my 9:30 appointment. Stay and observe, Watley. You may yet learn a thing or two." Watley's eyes lit with excitement as he settled his frame into the chair. "Is it a case, Sleuthe?" he inquired eagerly. "Yes," I replied gravely. "I expect so. I call it ... The Case of the 9:30 Appointment".

"Quite so, quite so," mumbled Watley, taking a few rapid puffs on his pipe. At that very moment a tall, slightly handsome young man strode confidently into the room through the open doorway, set his cane by the door, then doffed his greatcoat and hung it upon the coatrack which I had cleverly provided for that very purpose. "Mr. Sleuthe," he said by way of greeting, bowing slightly toward me, and then settled himself in the chair opposite from mine. Instantly my renowned powers of observation and deduction were at the ready.

"Allow me to introduce myself," my guest said. "I am ..."

I interrupted him. "You," I intoned, "are Lord Peter Whipfish". An audible gasp of admiration was heard, and with some embarrassment I realized it had emanated from myself. I went on. "You reside at 27 Hampton Court. You are a collector of fine Egyptian tableware and I dare say a connoisseur of Welsh wines. You appear to be unmarried and have no pets larger than a goldfish. And," I paused, for dramatic affect, "you are here because someone has stolen your hat!"

Posted by Reverend Tedward Q. Porktanker