The Mysterious Affair at Wimbledon
Watson: "I don't understand, this, Holmes. Mr. Sanders told us that time is of the essence, yet all we're doing is taking a nice walk. Surely, there is work to be done!"
Holmes: "Indeed there is, Watson. And don't call me 'Shirley.'"
Holmes: "But I'm very unhappy about the police's involvement, and I'm afraid all I can do is work around them. I want very much to interview Miss Dokic, but not with the police there. I have no choice but to let them speak with her first, and question her myself later today. It means she will probably be irritable by the time we see her, because she will have to answer the same questions several times, but there's nothing else for it. In the meantime, we can do a little work of our own."
Watson: "Such as?"
Holmes: "Speak with the players. Mingle with them, find out if any of them have any grudges against each other. I especially want to talk to the lucky losers who benefitted from others' misfortunes."
<Holmes and Watson stroll into the players' lounge and quickly locate the three lucky losers. Each one has a great alibi for at least two of the mysterious incidents. The two long-time companions speak again when they are finished.>
Watson: "Well, Holmes, what do you think?"
Holmes: "They're innocent. Not only can they account for their whereabouts quite easily, their body language was not that of the guilty."
Watson: "Are you sure about that, Holmes?"
Holmes: "Quite sure. People give off subtle clues when they are lying, and only professionally trained assassins and spies with many years of practice can prevent it. I have read papers about the body language and facial movements of people telling a lie, and I have tested this knowledge and found it to be amazingly accurate. Besides, I don't think the 13-year-old was capable."
Watson: "I couldn't understand most of what she said, with that gum in her mouth."
Holmes: "It wasn't worth repeating, I assure you."
Watson: "Still, your judgment about whether or not someone is lying doesn't strike me as proof of innocence. Not technically, that is."
<Holmes suddenly looks a little stressed.>
Holmes: "You're right, Watson, it's not. Normally, I would ruthlessly pursue every clue until the solution was proven. But as Mr. Sanders said, we must move quickly. Time is short. When faced with a hurried deadline, I find myself forced to fall back on instinct. I don't like it, but I see no way around it under the present circumstances."
Watson: "What's wrong with going on your instinct?"
Holmes: "People consider me to be the finest detective in the world. I have a reputation, Watson. The higher it gets, the further it will fall if I make a mistake. I can't afford one. Not now."
Watson: "I'm sure you'll do just fine, Holmes. So now we speak to Miss Dokic?"
Holmes: "Yes. The police should be finished by now. Lestrade won't ask her any pertinent questions, anyway."
<A blonde woman with a pleasant voice and an accent approaches them.>
Woman: "Excuse me. I couldn't help but notice that you were questioning people about the strange way players have been dropping out of the draw, recently. I thought there was something you ought to know."
Holmes: "Certainly! After all, I am in the business of knowing things, Miss...?"
Woman: "Clijsters. Kim Clijsters."
Holmes: "Delighted. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson."
Watson: "It's a pleasure."
Holmes: "What is your information?"
Kim (looking around quickly and lowering her voice): "You know how someone spilled something weird on Justine's hand? Well, privately, Serena Williams is furious at Justine for holding up that same hand at Roland Garros a couple weeks ago while receiving serve and then not owning up to it. When Justine sprained it, it's possible that Serena saw her chance for revenge -- and took it!"
Serena: "That's a lie!"
<Kim jumps, startled. Holmes and Watson turn around to face an angry Serena Williams. Chris Evert, who has just entered the room, rushes over to see what the disturbance is.>
Serena: "This is just another attempt to make me look bad. Everyone hates me! Everyone!"
Venus (coming to join her sister): "I don't hate you, Ree."
Serena: "Well...almost everyone hates me! Alomost everyone!
Kim: "That's because you are so arrogant!"
Serena: "I'm not arrogant, I'm just the best!"
Kim: "You see? There you go!"
Chrissie: "Ladies, ladies, calm down!"
Serena: "You want to know who forced Justine to withdraw from Wimbledon? Talk to little miss perfect right there!"
<Serena points dramatically at Kim.>
Kim: "What? Me? Why would I do anything to Justine? I know she was offended at the racy gift I bought her for her wedding, but we cleared that up! Justine is my friend! My fellow countrywoman! My Fed Cup teammate!"
Serena (leaning forward with her hands on her hips): "She's also the one who kicked your big Belgian bohonkey in the French Open final!"
Holmes: "And, as I understand it, Ms. Henin-Hardenne also received a massive parade, with a turnout of tens of thousands of Belgians in her honor. But for winning the doubles title, Miss Clijsters, you simply received a couple of handshakes, and the newspaper coverage was buried on page five. Could it be that you were, perhaps, jealous of Ms. Henin-Hardenne? Jealous of the notoriety and adulation she received back in Belgium? Jealous enough to want to hurt her?"
<Serena folds her arms and looks at Kim pointedly.>
Kim: "No! I would never hurt Justine! Everyone knows that!"
Venus (calmly, almost bored): "Kim's right. She's mostly pretty nice. Although the WTA tour pool is still open on what she's doing with Lleyton -- someone's gonna win a lot of money when the reason for that little mystery finally becomes clear."
<Another blonde girl joins them.>
Girl: "I CAN VOUCH FOR KIM, ALSO. SHE'S A SWEETIE."
<Everyone winces and puts their hands up to their ears.>
Holmes: "Thank you for your opinion, but there's no need to shout, Miss...?"
Girl: "MY NAME'S MARIA SHARAPOVA. AND WHO'S SHOUTING?"
Watson: "You are!"
Maria: "FUNNY. EVERYONE SAYS THAT. I'M ACTUALLY WHISPERING. BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO CAN REALLY BENEFIT FROM THE ODD THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN HAPPENING AROUND HERE, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THE MEDIA!"
<Maria points a hand dramatically at Chris Evert.>
Chrissie: "Me? Why would I want to hurt anyone?"
Maria: "CONTROVERSY AND CORRUPTION SELL. REMEMBER THE JUDGING SCANDAL AT THE 2002 OLYMPICS? EVERYONE TUNED IN. RATINGS SOARED. IF SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENED HERE AT WIMBLEDON, NBC AND ESPN WOULD RAKE IN THE CASH. WITH THE WORLD'S ECONOMY IN THE SLUMPS, A GOOD CONTROVERSY WOULD BE THE ANSWER TO EVERYONE'S PRAYERS."
Serena: "That's right! And Chrissie, you came back to NBC after trying to retire because you suddenly realized that you still needed the money, isn't that right?"
Chrissie (flustered): "No, not at all! It's just that...well...um...I like broadcasting. And I missed seeing what Bud Collins would wear every day. And anyway, if you want to know who hurt Justine, why don't you go talk to Patty Schnyder?"
Holmes: "Why should I?"
Chrissie: "Wasn't it some kind of orange juice or something that was spilled on Justine's hand?"
Holmes: "Some kind of substance which aggravated her sprained muscles. There was no chance to analyze it, for Ms. Henin-Hardenne washed it off as soon as she could. But she thought it resembled orange juice, yes."
Chrissie: "Well, if you want to learn about strange orange juice, Patty's the one to see."
Holmes: "I am aware of Miss Schnyder's unfortunate problems. I see no connection of them to this case, especially as they were some time ago."
Chrissie: "But that guru of hers had her drinking some kind of special orange juice!"
Holmes: "No, it was normal orange juice. I happen to know that because her parents retained me, briefly, to track her down. It was an unpleasant experience, but I assure you, there was nothing poisonous in what she drank -- only in what she was told by the man who seduced her."
Watson: "Oh, very poetic, Holmes!"
Holmes: "Thank you, Watson."
<Chrissie just folds her arms. Everyone except Venus glares suspiciously at each other. Venus just stares sadly off at nothing in particular.>
Holmes: "And what are you thinking, Miss Williams? Venus, that is."
Venus: "I'm just thinking about how much I miss Martina Hingis."
<The others exchange baffled looks, not really knowing what to make of that.>
Holmes: "You don't speak much, do you?"
Holmes: "Why not?"
Venus: "For a whole host of philosophical reasons. It would take a long time to explain, but that would require speaking, and as I just said, I don't speak much."
Holmes: "Er...yes. I can't fault the logic of that."
Maria: "WAIT A MINUTE, YOU GUYS! I'VE GOT IT! I'VE FIGURED IT OUT!"
<Everyone looks at her in amazement.>
Maria: "IT WAS PROFESSOR PLUM, IN THE LIBRARY, WITH THE CANDLESTICK!"
<Venus slaps her hand to her forehead.>
Kim: "We'll forgive you only because you're young. But please don't do that again."
Chrissie: "Well, I, for one, am glad that you're on the case, Mr. Holmes. If you weren't here, I don't know who would solve this problem."
<The cultured voice of a suave and debonair man joins the conversation.>
Man: "I would."
<Soft, intense music suddenly strikes up from no discernable source, and a man who looks a lot like Pierce Brosnan in a tuxedo walks into the players' lounge. Every woman in the room -- even the lesbians -- immediately begin to swoon.>
Watson: "By jove, it's...it's..."
Man: "The name is Bond. James Bond. Step aside, Mr. Holmes. I'm taking over this investigation."
Holmes: "Since when?"
Bond: "Our Majesty, the Queen, asked the Secret Service to get involved when Scotland Yard didn't produce any results in the first half hour of their investigation. I had just come off an assignment in Bulgaria, so they sent me. They wanted to send Austin Powers, but he was busy."
Watson (mumbling): "I suppose we should be thankful for small favors."
Kim (to Bond): "Forget Lleyton! I want to have your children!"
Venus: "I want to practice having children with you before we have children!"
Serena: "So do I!"
Maria: "SO DO I!"
Everyone (to Maria): "You're too young!"
Maria: "I DON'T CARE!"
Bond: "Now, now, ladies -- work before pleasure. Let's get down to business."
<Bond grabs Chris Evert, pulls her onto her back in his arms and plants one on her.
Holmes and Watson, their eyes growing wide, slowly lean forward to get a better view, as does every single person in the players' lounge. Holmes and Watson then look at each other and motion to themselves and point to Bond, as if to ask, What does he have that we don't?
The moment is interrupted when Bond's pager goes off. He stands Chrissie back up and leaves her gasping and woozy.>
Bond: "An emergency! I have to go!"
Watson: "Ah...er...hard luck, old chap."
Holmes: "Yes, it's a...real shame. We'll miss your expertise. What's happening?"
Bond: "Someone's trying to take over the world. One Mr. B. Gates, head of an organization known only as MS. M's calling me back because MI5's having trouble, but I need to get with Q, first."
Holmes: "Well, you're such a VIP, you'd better mind your P's and Q's and get back to M and Q ASAP or they'll consider you AWOL."
Bond (narrowing his eyes): "Don't mess with me, Mr. Holmes."
Holmes: "I wouldn't dream of it."
<Bond leaves. All the women stand and watch him go with dreamy eyes, waving after him sadly. As Bond walks out the door, the intense, exciting music disappears, as mysteriously as it arrived.
Holmes turns awkwardly to Chris Evert.>
Holmes: "Well, Ms. Evert...after all this ghastly business is over, could I take you out for a drink?"
Chrissie (looking at him blankly): "Get lost, creep."
<Chrissie stalks off, leaving Holmes and Watson standing alone. The other women all wander off, still looking dreamily after James Bond -- all except Serena Williams. She approaches Holmes.>
Serena: "Excuse me, Mr. Holmes?"
Serena: "I couldn't help but overhearing..."
Holmes: "Oh, pay that no mind! I'm sure it's simply that I am not her type."
Serena: "No, I don't care about that slick pass you just made at Chrissie. I'm talking about earlier, when you said you had a reputation to uphold. I just wanted to tell you that...well...that I understood what you were talking about, because I've been there...and that I believe in you. I know how it feels to be the best. When you're Number One, everyone wants to knock you down, even if you didn't do anything to deserve the aggravation. You just have to take things as they come and do the best you can. You know...just keep doing the thing that made you the best in the first place."
<Holmes stares at her for a moment, then puts a hand on her shoulder.>
Holmes: "Thank you, Miss Williams. You're very kind. Come along, Watson -- let's go speak with Miss Dokic. To the hospital!"