Apologies in advance for any mistakes made due to the fact that I am not British and have never been to England. Don't take it too seriously.
In a universe slightly parallel to our own, but with the same 2003 Wimbledon draw....
The Mysterious Affair at Wimbledon
Watson: "Why, Holmes, you've had the housekeeper set three places for breakfast. Are we expecting company?"
Holmes (looking out the window): "Most assuredly, my dear Watson. In fact, I gather it's the gentleman on the street below. He's on his way here to discuss the strange occurrences that have been taking place at this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament."
Watson: "Holmes, you never cease to amaze me! Did you deduce that from the cut of his clothes, the grass stains on his shoes and countless other subtle clues to which the rest of us are blind?"
Holmes: "No, Watson, don't be daft! He sent me a telegram with his photo attached. He told me he was coming here."
Watson (grumbling): "You know they're called e-mails nowadays, Holmes. Why do you insist on still calling them telegrams?"
Holmes: "Don't get all 21st-Century with me, Watson. I prefer my own methods."
<The housekeeper shows in the new visitor. He is obviously very nervous.>
Housekeeper: "Mr. Brian Sanders to see you, Mr. Holmes."
Holmes: "Thank you. I am Sherlock Holmes, this is my good friend Dr. John Watson. Mr. Sanders, please have a seat and tell us what seems to be the problem. You may share in our breakfast if you wish."
Sanders: "No thank you, sir."
<The housekeeper leaves. Mr. Sanders sits down but glances at Watson for just a moment.>
Holmes: "Watson is my trusted advisor and a doctor of physic. Whatever you have to tell me can be said in front of him in full confidence. All that will happen is that he will write up every full detail for the public to read and then it will be made into a cheap television drama in which you are played by someone ugly to make me look handsome. But pray do not let that trouble you. You are here because you suspect foul play, correct?"
Sanders: "Yes, Mr. Holmes. The director of Roland Garros recommended I come see you. I understand you helped him out of a spot of trouble last year. He said that your discretion could be counted on, and that it was marvelous the way you deduced who was destroying the courtside flowers in Paris every May."
Holmes (waving a hand airily): "A trifling matter. I was happy to bring Mr. Hewitt to justice."
Sanders: "Well, Mr. Holmes, I'm hoping you can be of equal service to us. We have experienced mysterious incidents this year at Wimbledon."
Holmes: "How many?"
Sanders: "Three so far, sir."
Holmes: "Tell me about them."
Sanders: "First, someone in the press of the crowd accidentally spilled some sort of highly concentrated orange juice onto Justine Henin's hand as she was on her way to practice. Normally this wouldn't be any cause for concern, but strangely, it soaked into her skin and further aggravated the muscles that had been sprained recently, forcing her to withdraw. No one got a good look at who had done it, as the person ran off.
"Next, Samantha Stevenson -- mother of Alexandra -- was somehow recorded making comments about how the English are stuck-up snobs and should all be shot. This recording was released to the press anonymously. Fearing for their lives, Alexandra also withdrew from the tournament and the Stevensons left the country.
"Third, someone placed a long-lasting, industrial-strength purple dye in the hair shampoo and bath soap of Elena Bovina. She took a shower this morning, and when she discovered that her hair and skin had turned purple and that nothing could be done about it for at least six weeks, she was mortified and left the tournament in tears, saying she could not possibly appear in front of a crowd looking like that."
Holmes: "Fascinating. Is there a connection among the three incidents."
Sanders: "None that we can see."
Watson: "But you suspect one?"
Sanders: "Well...yes. But we daren't say anything, because we have no proof. Each incident could be isolated, a case of different people being mischievous or mean, with no real motive. The spilling of the drink could even have been a true accident."
Holmes: "Or it could be a concerted attempt by a single individual to gain an unfair advantage. I take it all three women were seeded into the tournament?"
Sanders: "Yes, sir."
Holmes: "Have you a draw sheet with you?"
Sanders: "No. I didn't think it would be necessary."
Holmes: "Hmmm. We'll have to ask your office to send us a copy as soon as possible. I'll have the housekeeper ring a cab to collect it."
Watson: "Why not just use the web?"
Holmes (sighing): "Yes, of course...we could just use the web."
<Holmes, Watson and Sanders all gather around the PC, which is already on with its screen off. Sanders coughs and looks away as Holmes turns the screen on to reveal that the web browser is still showing the Smack-that-elderly-ass web site which Watson always visits. Holmes glares at Watson, who merely clasps his hands behind his back and looks at the ceiling. Within moments, however, they are viewing the Wimbledon web site.>
Holmes: "Aha! You see, gentlemen? All three women who have been stricken by misfortune were in the same section of the draw."
<Holmes prints the draw and hands it to Watson.>
Watson: "Amazing! So someone is using underhanded methods to ensure that she wins more tennis games than she otherwise would!"
Holmes: "Matches, Watson. An entire tennis conflict is called a match. Do get your terminology right."
Sanders: "Yes, it certainly does look suspicious. But we can't make accusations or involve the police over something which may be simply a coincidence. We need someone who can get results discreetly. And time is of the utmost essence. The first round starts tomorrow! We can't think of anyone else who could help us."
Holmes: "Very well, Mr. Sanders, I accept the case. Watson and I shall get to the bottom of these capers, and if indeed there is something afoot, we'll sniff it out."
Sanders: "You're going to sniff feet?"
Holmes: "No, I said...never mind."
<Holmes whips a folded piece of paper out of his breast pocket and hands it to Sanders.>
Holmes: "My fee."
Sanders (squinting at the paper): "25 cents a day, plus expenses?"
<Holmes hurriedly rips the paper out of Sanders' grasp, wads it up and throws it away.>
Holmes: "Sorry. That was Encyclopedia Brown's fee. We were consulting together recently and our paperwork got mixed up."
<Holmes whips a second folded piece of paper out of his breast pocket and hands it to Sanders.>
Holmes: "My fee. I hope."
Sanders (his eyes growing huge): "I liked the first sheet better."
Holmes: "No problem, Mr. Sanders. If you can afford to pay someone almost a million pounds for hitting a stupid little fuzzy ball, you can afford my fee. Ah, this is exhilarating! Another case! Come, Watson - the game is afoot!"
Watson: "The match is afoot. This is tennis, Holmes. Do get your terminology right."
<Grumbling under his breath, Holmes leads the other two men out the door.>
<Edited merely to correct a spelling error. No clues were omitted.>
Jun 24th, 2003, 06:32 PM
The Mysterious Affair at Wimbledon
<Holmes and Watson are driving to Wimbledon. Sanders is no longer with them as he has taken his own car back. Holmes is wearing his customary checked cape and deerstalker, even though the cape and deerstalker were completely an invention of the films and never once mentioned as a costume by the character's literary creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And such an outfit would be roasting in June. But we digress.>
Holmes (driving): "Tell me, Watson. Have you any thoughts on the case so far?"
Watson: "Well, it seems to me as though our culprit, if there is one, could be any one of 29 young ladies."
Holmes: "And how do you draw that conclusion?"
Watson: "I draw that conclusion by looking at the draw!"
<Watson holds up the draw sheet to make sure Holmes gets the joke and cackles insanely.>
Holmes: "Don't make me turn this automobile around, Watson."
Watson: <Ahem!> "No, of course not. Silly of me. Anyway, I believe that if there is anything underhanded in these incidents, the perpetrator would be one of the remaining 29 women in this quarter of the draw."
Holmes: "Capital, Watson! Keep going."
Watson: "Furthermore, I would suspect that the perpetrator is one of the unseeded young women. A seeded player would already have a legitimate chance of winning the tournament, and would therefore be taking an enormously silly risk to engage in foul play, as it could ruin her career. An unseeded player, on the other hand, especially perhaps an older woman near the end of her career and desperate for one last hurrah, would have less to lose and more to gain."
Holmes: "Excellent reasoning, Watson, so far as it goes. There are a number of far-fetched alternatives we must keep in mind, of course. For example, one of the three women could have been the target of someone engaged in a personal vendetta, and the other two incidents were merely instigated as red herrings, to make it look as if the motive involved the tournament."
Watson: "A bluff!"
Holmes: "Yes, but as I said, far-fetched. Still, we must take everything into account. It's also possible that this could be a male player threatened by the rise in popularity in the women's game, as the women have been making demands for equal prize money -- notice that one of the incidents involved the most recent woman to win a Major."
Watson: "Indeed, Holmes. I had read that in the paper, but had forgotten."
Holmes: "Yes. But my instinct tells me that your assessment is probably the correct one, and that is where we shall begin. In fact, I rather suspect that proving foul play will be much harder than actually figuring out which one did it. However, I would like to point out one possible flaw in your reasoning: the culprit may be a seeded player who has been under high expectations to succeed or who has been frustrated by a downturn in her career. In the same way that wealthy people are filled with shame to admit to their neighbors a loss in their fortune and status, sometimes the pressure to live up to one's ranking or expectations can lead people to make foolish and dangerous choices."
Watson: "Indeed, Holmes. And I just thought of another possibility."
Holmes: "What's that, Watson?"
Watson: "Well, when players are forced to withdraw from a tennis tournament, others must take their places."
Holmes: "Excellent, Watson! I was hoping you would think of that on your own. Yes, three lucky losers were indeed granted admittance into the draw based upon these mysterious incidents. Our culprit may well be among them. And if a lucky loser were to gain the slot previously accorded a seeded player, she would be guaranteed not to face a seeded player herself for the first two rounds -- as good a situation as a lucky loser could hope for."
Watson: "So many possibilities, Holmes."
Holmes (eyes sparkling): "Yes. We'll just have to keep our wits about us!"
<They drive on to Wimbledon.>
To be continued (hopefully, time permitting, etc. etc.)....
Jun 24th, 2003, 07:10 PM
thank you !!
I am sure the good doctor approves of your literary efforts as he sips his champagne and nibbles on the strawberries and cream;)
Jun 24th, 2003, 07:34 PM
Great read! :D
Jun 24th, 2003, 08:01 PM
Ahh! Now i want to know what happens!!
Jun 24th, 2003, 08:07 PM
Great stuff!! If I knew how to give you rep points I would!!
Jun 24th, 2003, 08:45 PM
:) :) I'm a big fan of Holmes and tennis. Thanks for combining them in such an entertaining way. I look forward to the other portions of your story. :) :)
Jun 24th, 2003, 10:24 PM
wow, if you wrote books, you'd have an instant customer base!
I just hope it isn't the butler this time ;)
Jun 24th, 2003, 11:00 PM
Wow - you got me thinking! Just as I thought it could be one person, it could now be several! :o
Hope that there is another part later!
Jun 26th, 2003, 07:27 PM
The Mysterious Affair at Wimbledon
<Holmes and Watson arrive at Wimbledon, whereupon they rejoin Mr. Sanders in the director's offices. Holmes places his pipe in his mouth, assuming a dignified and dramatic stance, but Sanders speaks before he can.>
Sanders: "Mr. Holmes, thank goodness you're here! There's been another incident!"
Holmes (holding up his hand): "Don't tell me -- Ms. Jelena Dokic?"
Sanders (looking stunned): "My word! How could you possibly have known that? It's only just happened!"
Holmes: "Elementary. I memorized that quarter of the draw, and I noticed that Ms. Dokic was the highest seed remaining, and the only one of any great status. I not only expected her to be next, but I had hoped to keep a watch on her, in order to apprehend anyone attempting anything suspicious in her vicinity. But we are too late, it seems. I shall have to form another plan."
Watson: "Is the young lady unharmed?"
Sanders: "Mostly, although she is a bit shaken."
Holmes: "What happened?"
Sanders: "Someone in a car attempted to run her down. Her boyfriend pushed her out of the way just in time, but he was injured. I don't know how badly."
Holmes (his eyes growing wide): "Really? Are you sure?"
Sanders: "The police are interviewing a couple of witnesses, because the driver sped from the scene. Ms. Dokic has accompanied her boyfriend to the hospital."
Holmes: "Hmmm. I'm not sure this has anything to do with our case."
Watson: "You can't be serious, Holmes!"
Holmes: "I am. The first three incidents were malicious pranks, with a low possibility of any physical harm coming to their victims. This is completely different; people could have been killed. Although it should definitely be investigated on its own, I believe this is merely a coincidence."
Sanders: "I'm afraid not, Mr. Holmes. I myself arrived just a few moments before you did, having driven up from London, also. When I entered my office, I found this."
<Sanders holds out a piece of paper. Holmes takes a pair of gloves out of his pocket, puts them on and takes it. It reads:>
Justin Alex Elena & Jelena: Now they now not to enter turnaments they shudnt be in! You shudnt of counted me out!
Holmes: "No signature. Carefully written to seem as if it were written by a child, but obviously by a right-handed, well-educated adult who learned English as a second language later in life. This changes things considerably. Where was this?"
Sanders: "It had been slipped under the door of this office while I was away visiting you. I've already asked my secretary about it, but she saw no one unusual come into the offices."
Watson: "How many people come into this building?"
Sanders: "The day before the Championships? Dozens of people, everyone with a reason. Plus, my secretary is usually helping someone or is on the phone, so anyone could have slipped in and delivered the note without her noticing. Er, Mr. Holmes, your pipe is unlit. Here."
<Sanders holds out a lighter. Holmes waves it away absently, still looking at the note.>
Holmes: "No, thank you. I prefer it unlit."
<Sanders and Watson exchange baffled looks.>
Holmes: "Have the police seen this?"
Sanders: "My lighter? No, I don't believe so."
Holmes (sighing): "This note."
Sanders: "Oh! No, they haven't. I was just on my way to see them when you arrived. They're only a little ways away; the incident with the car took place very nearby."
Holmes: "I believe we should go talk to them immediately and see what they've uncovered."
A new voice from the doorway: "No need, Mr. Holmes. I'm here."
Holmes: "Inspector Lestrade! So good to see you again."
<Lestrade walks into the office.>
Watson: "Investigating sports shenanigans? This is a bit inconsequential for the attention of Scotland Yard, isn't it?"
Lestrade: "And what does that say about your erstwhile companion's involvement, Dr. Watson?"
Holmes: "Merely that I am good enough to give my full attention to a client. I am here because I was asked to be so."
Lestrade: "The same goes for me...by no less than Her Highness herself, Our Majesty, the Queen."
Holmes (his eyes growing large again): "Surely you jest, Lestrade!"
Lestrade (smugly): "Not at all. The Championships is one of the greatest sporting events in the world. Hardly a soul on Earth doesn't know the name Wimbledon. During this fortnight, the eyes of the world are on our small country. If any scandal were to ruin that, England's honor would be at stake. Even ESPN would cease coverage of their American players to broadcast the news. When word reached our security services that something was the matter here, the Queen ordered Scotland Yard to the case."
Holmes: "Well, congratulations, old fellow. They must think very highly of you."
Lestrade: "They do indeed. By the way, Mr. Holmes, did know that your pipe is not lit?"
Holmes: "Very astute of you. Try your observational skills on something a little more complex -- a note from the culprit! Take a look at this."
<Holmes lays the paper on Sanders' desk. Without touching it, Lestrade bends over to read it. The circumstances of its finding are related to him.>
Lestrade: "Hmmm. Interesting. Unless it's a prank, which seems unlikely, this rules out coincidence."
Watson (heavily): "You don't say."
<Lestrade gives Watson a brief scowl.>
Lestrade: "Be that as it may, I'm awfully sorry to be the one to inform you of a wasted trip, Mr. Holmes. Scotland Yard is on the case, now, by royal decree. Because of your services rendered in the past, you are, by all means, welcome to stay and watch the professionals at work."
Holmes (smiling politely): "Very generous. But I can't leave unless my client wishes it to be so."
Sanders: "Absolutely not! Why, with two of England's finest minds on the case, the culprit should be caught in no time!"
Holmes: "Very well! I'm afraid Watson and I must continue with our investigations, Mr. Lestrade."
Lestrade: "Don't you mean, just you, Mr. Holmes? After all, what does Watson really do?"
<Watson looks deeply offended.>
Holmes (glancing sideways at Watson): "Well...ermmmm...I..."
Watson: "I ask pertinent questions, sometimes!"
Lestrade: "Impertinent, more like."
<Lestrade chuckles at his own joke, even though it makes no sense whatsoever.>
Holmes (sternly): "Watson is a good and faithful companion."
<Watson glows with the praise.>
Holmes: "He knows much about medicine, he has seen action in Her Majesty's armed forces, he carries a service revolver for use in emergencies, and he makes me look brilliant by asking the obvious questions."
<The huge smile on Watson's face crashes at this last remark.>
Lestrade: "Very well, Mr. Holmes. Have it your own way. Just remember who's in charge of this investigation."
Holmes: "I wouldn't dream of forgetting it. I assume you're off to the hospital to speak with Ms. Dokic and her young beau?"
Lestrade: "Of course, the most logical course of action. And we'll turn this note over to the forensics section. I'll instruct the local constable's men to interview the office staff. What will you be doing, Mr. Holmes?"
Holmes (smiling): "Taking a nice, leisurely stroll round the grounds. I've never been to Wimbledon, before. I'm quite looking forward to it."
Lestrade (shaking his head with amazement): "Don't strain yourself. By all means, try the strawberries and cream, you have to tell all your friends that you did. Good-bye for now."
Watson: "Holmes, as much as I like a nice walk on a sunny day, is this really the time?"
Holmes: "Nothing I'd like to do better. Come, Watson, we're wasting time."
<Holmes turns to Sanders.>
Holmes: "When we find out anything, we'll let you know."
Sanders: "Thank you, Mr. Holmes. I've already had my secretary draw up identification badges for you. You have access to all areas of the tournament, and my security force has received orders to assist you in whatever way possible."
Holmes: "Thank you."
<Holmes and Watson collect their ID badges and stroll outside. When they are out of earshot of everyone else, Watson speaks.>
Watson: "Actually, Mr. Holmes, that's something I've always wondered about myself."
Holmes: "What's that, Watson?"
Watson: "Why does no smoke ever come out of your pipe?"
Holmes (looking startled): "That's a...rather personal question, Watson."
Watson: "Ah. Yes, of course."
<They stroll on into the grounds.>
Jun 26th, 2003, 08:27 PM
Great reading! Can't wait for the next installment.
Jun 26th, 2003, 08:46 PM
Spirit, I like part 3! The story line is very intriguing and the subtle quips of humor are excellent. The plot thickens! :)
Jun 30th, 2003, 10:48 PM
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: "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!"
Jun 30th, 2003, 11:39 PM
getting better - how many parts will there be - I really want to find out who the culprit or culprits are!
Jul 1st, 2003, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by Spirit
Holmes: "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've noticed the same thing. I can hardly ever tell when professionally trained assassins and spies lie to me! :lol:
Part 4 was very entertaining. I liked the exchange between the players. The Bond cameo was a pleasant surprise. He da man!! :kiss:
I hope Ms. Dokic can shed some light on this baffling conundrum.
Jul 1st, 2003, 04:48 AM
Thank you for the compliments, everyone. :)
getting better - how many parts will there be - I really want to find out who the culprit or culprits are!
I think there will only be two more parts.
Jul 1st, 2003, 09:02 PM
:clap2: :clap2: You have excellent writing skills, Spirit. I can't wait to read the rest!!
Jul 1st, 2003, 09:10 PM
I think Martina Hingis did it.
Jul 1st, 2003, 09:28 PM
I think Martina Hingis did it.
:lol: LOL yeah - after all she has been at Wimbledon this year (watching Henin on monday)
Jul 1st, 2003, 09:28 PM
I think Martina Hingis did it.
Well, she could be bitter about the fact that others get to continue their careers when she does not. And Justine won the only Slam she never did, so there could be some jealousy in Martina. And we know that Martina is at Wimbledon this year......
Jul 1st, 2003, 11:02 PM
And so the plot thickens...
Jul 4th, 2003, 06:11 AM
The Mysterious Affair at Wimbledon
<Holmes and Watson arrive at the hospital. They meet Lestrade on the way out.>
Lestrade: "Don't waste your time, Holmes. She didn't have any information of any use."
Holmes: "As you say. I believe I shall speak with her anyway."
Lestrade: "Of course. I understand you must justify your exorbitant fee to your client."
Lestrade: "Still charging 25 cents a day plus expenses?"
Holmes (looking awkward): "Sanders tell you about that, did he?"
Lestrade: "He found it quite amusing."
Holmes: "I'm sure. Why aren't there any members of the press here?"
<Lestrade doesn't let the sudden change in topic bother him a bit.>
Lestrade: "Gag order. In today's climate of terrorism fears, the government declared that these incidents fell under the auspices of national security."
Watson: "A gag order won't work very well. All the players back at the tournament know what's going on."
Lestrade: "We've already spoken with them. All of them. This is a non-issue until we get to the bottom of it. Either way, I can assure you that there has been no media announcment of these incidents."
Holmes: "What about when Miss Alexandra Stevenson and her mother reach America? Or when Miss Dementieva returns to Russia? Is the government going to issue gag orders to their nations' media, as well?"
Lestrade (sighing): "No. I know it's a useless exercise, but they did it anyway."
Holmes: "I understand. Bureaucratic mentality. By the way, James Bond hasn't been here to speak with Miss Dokic, has he?"
Lestrade (looking baffled): "Bond? The double-oh, secret agent killer fellow?"
<Lestrade makes awkward karate-like "chop-chop" motions with his hands to emphasize the point.>
Holmes: "Yes, the double-oh..."
<Holmes copies Lestrade's "chop-chop" motions in mockery.>
Holmes: "...secret agent killer fellow."
Lestrade (looking peeved): "No. Why, is he here?"
Holmes (smiling gleefully): "Somewhere around here. And he said he was taking over the investigation because Scotland Yard wasn't moving fast enough. Good day!"
<Holmes and Watson walk into the hospital, leaving Lestrade looking very worried and fidgety.>
Watson: "That was decidedly mean, Mr. Holmes."
Holmes: "Indeed it was, Dr. Watson. And immensely enjoyable."
<They get directions to the hospital room of Enrique Bernoldi, Jelena Dokic's boyfriend. Holmes knocks gently on the door and hears a woman's voice telling him to come in. They walk in to find two people in the room. Enrique is lying in a hospital bed with his right leg in traction and a bandage over his right shoulder; Jelena Dokic, a beautiful blonde, is sitting by his side. The two visitors sit down, introduce themselves and explain why they are there.>
Jelena: "I don't know what I can tell you, Mr. Holmes. We told the police all we know, but it wasn't much."
Holmes: "I'd like to hear it all, anyway. I know it must be very tiring to have to repeat yourself, but believe me, any detail you can tell me will help."
Jelena: "Okay. I had just finished practice and Enrique met me in the players' lounge. We walked out of the building to catch a ride back to the hotel. A few seconds later, this car roars up the street and onto the walk, coming right at us! Enrique pushed me out of the way! The car struck him and took off again! I screamed and someone called an ambulance. That's it, really."
Holmes: "What did the car look like."
Jelena: "It was scary."
<Holmes closes his eyes for a moment, mustering his patience.>
Holmes: "I mean, what did it look like, physically?"
Enrique: "Black Jaguar. Very expensive."
Holmes: "You didn't see the license plate, by any chance?"
Jelena: "No! I was getting run over at the time-"
<Holmes holds up his hand.>
Holmes: "Yes. I had to ask, please bear with me. Did you happen to see the driver?"
Enrique (shaking his head): "Tinted windows."
<A nurse brings in a bowl of soup on a tray, places it in front of Enrique, and leaves. Enrique looks at it in puzzlement, using the spoon to poke at various objects in the broth he doesn't recognize.>
Enrique: "Is this real food?"
Holmes: "It's hospital food, a different species altogether. Tell me, do either of you have any enemies?"
<Jelena and Enrique look thoughtful, but both shrug their shoulders.>
Jelena: "No. No one who would try to kill me, certainly."
Enrique: "Besides the cook who made this soup and the nurse who brought it to me? Well, a few of my rival car racers hate me, but like Jelena said, I couldn't imagine them trying to kill me."
<Holmes leans back and steeples his fingers in front of his face.>
Holmes: "Could it be that they weren't trying to kill you, but simply trying to scare you or injure you?"
<Enrique and Jelena both look surprised at this suggestion.>
Enrique: "I have no idea. It would be a difficult thing to do, scare us with a car without hurting us badly."
Holmes: "But not impossible."
Enrique: "No, not impossible. But it would take a really professional driver to be that exact at such a high speed."
Holmes: "Well, you're a professional driver, and work with many others. Some of whom hate you, you said."
Enrique (awkwardly): "Well...yeah. But like I said, not enough to kill me."
Holmes: "But enough to harm you temporarily?"
Enrique: "No, I wouldn't think so."
Holmes (looking at Enrique very closely): "But you have doubts, don't you? I see it in your face, and again just now. There's something about the attack, and about what I've just said, that has caused you to doubt. What is it?"
Enrique (shrugging his shoulders): "I have no idea."
Holmes: "I'm going to ask you to do something, Senor Bernoldi. I want you to trust me completely. I know what I'm doing and it is for a good reason. All right?"
Holmes: "Lie back and close your eyes."
<Enrique does as he is asked.>
Holmes: "I want you to relive the attack, each moment, in slow motion. It won't be pleasant, but it is necessary. Feel the fear, and give voice to what you're thinking and feeling. What are you feeling?"
Enrique (his eyes still closed): "Terror. I'm afraid for Jelena."
<Jelena grips his hand.>
Holmes: "What else?"
Enrique: "Anger. I feel like it's an accident, that someone has lost control of his car. I didn't know it was a deliberate attack at the time, so I thought someone with that much driving skill should know a lot better than to be that careless."
Holmes (gently): "Why did you say, 'someone with that much driving skill?'"
Enrique: "Because the driver was a professional."
<Enrique's eyes open slowly, and he looks at Holmes.>
Holmes: "You knew that before I made that suggestion, didn't you?"
Enrique: "Car language."
Watson: "Car language?"
Enrique: "It's like body language, but completely different. Everyone has it. When people drive, they usually telegraph their movements. Professional drivers can pick up on it a lot more easily, and the car language of another professional driver is easy to identify. It's very precise, yet fluid. I noticed it when we were attacked, but I didn't realize it until just now."
Holmes: "You feel that the driver was a professional?"
Enrique: "Without question. It's something I can just tell. What does it mean, Mr. Holmes?"
Holmes: "It means that this case is more complicated than I had previously thought. This may not be about tennis at all."
Watson: "Hmmm. The plot sickens."
Enrique (pushing his hospital food away from him): "So does this soup."
<There is silence in the room for a moment, interrupted by a commotion of raised voices outside and further down the corridor. Jelena's eyes suddenly grow wide.>
Jelena: "No! He can't be here! Not now!"
<Jelena runs outside, followed quickly by Holmes and Watson. A few moments later, there is the sound of a bowl of soup shattering on the floor and Enrique comes hobbling after them. At the far end of the corridor, Inspector Lestrade and two policemen are attempting to restrain a man who is yelling and fighting them desperately.>
Man: "Dammit, I have a right to see my daughter! You can't keep me from her, you bastards! I just flew in all the way from Yugoslavia, and I'm not gonna put up with this crap any more!"
<Jelena runs up to one of the policemen and jumps on his back.>
Jelena: "Let him go! Let my father go!"
<The commotion comes to a sudden halt. Jelena's father stands perfectly still, allowing the policemen to hold him. He is looking -- half with hatred, half with fear -- at the service revolver Watson is pointing straight at him. Jelena slides back to the ground and steps away silently, looking at Watson. Enrique comes hobbling up behind Watson and Holmes.>
Watson: "Now that I have your attention, perhaps we can all calm down and discuss this like gentlemen."
Holmes: "Well done, Watson. See, Lestrade, he is good for something."
<Watson does a double-take at Holmes, then slowly puts his gun away.>
Holmes: "I take it that you, sir, are Mr. Damir Dokic?"
Damir: "That's right. And these animals wanted to keep me from seeing my own daughter!"
Lestrade: "That's not true, sir, and you know it. You simply barged into the hospital screaming and yelling. We didn't even know who you were. You frightened everyone with your tirade, so we attempted to apprehend you."
Damir: "Yeah? Well, apprehend this!"
<Damir gives him the one-fingered salute. Lestrade hardly moves.>
Damir: "A man has the right to see his own daughter, and you can't keep me from it!"
Lestrade: "Not listening today, are we? As I said, -"
Holmes: "Don't bother, Lestrade. He didn't hear you the first time, I doubt he's prepared to listen, now. Mr. Dokic, what made you think you weren't permitted to see your daughter?"
Damir: "She's filed a restraining order against me! She's made it so that no one in tennis talks to me, any more! Not one single goddamned person! No phone calls, no e-mails, no nothing, from nobody! She's turned everyone against me! She even turned the Yugoslavian Tennis Federation against me!"
Enrique: "That's a lie! You did it to yourself, you sad bastard!"
Holmes: "The restraining order you mentioned was enacted in another country. Such a thing is not valid in England. No one here is interested in preventing you from seeing Jelena, unless it is Jelena herself."
<Damir ignores him and turns to Jelena.>
Damir: "Are you hurt? Have these English people hurt you any?"
Jelena: "No, papa. What are you doing here? We haven't spoken for six months, and this is how you come back into my life? Why are you causing a scene again?"
Enrique: "Yeah. Isn't there some traffic you need to go lie in front of?"
Damir (ignoring Enrique): "I came here for you, munchkin, as soon as I heard what had happened! All I could think about was you!"
Jelena: "I'm fine, daddy. But Enrique was hurt!"
<Damir snorts contemptuously and glares at Enrique.>
Damir: "Good! Damn fool turned you against me!"
Jelena (her voice hard, teeth clenched): "Actually, papa, he got hurt saving my life!"
Damir (looking embarassed): "Well...perhaps...I've been too hard on the boy. Listen, can we talk further in the hospital room? In privacy?"
<Damir glares at all the people standing and watching, as if they'd all done something horrible. Lestrade sighs and nods.>
Lestrade: "The police won't file charges for resisting detainment...this time."
Holmes: "One moment, Mr. Dokic. Very quickly, do you have any idea who could be behind all these mysterious attacks here at Wimbledon?"
Damir: "No, I don't. But I hate whoever did this! I hate them! I'd rather die than see anything bad happen to my daughter! And she's not gonna drop out of this tournament! No one frightens away a Dokic!"
Lestrade (murmuring): "Why do I find that easy to believe?"
Enrique: "But if she stays here, she could be killed! Is Jelena's life worth that?"
Holmes: "Strong words, Mr. Dokic, but don't let your anger be your downfall. Someone did attack your daughter today. They may try again."
Damir (quietly) "Anyone tries to harm my little girl, they gotta go through me, first."
<Holmes meets his gaze, sees the rage and utter resolution in Damir's eyes.>
Holmes: "I don't doubt it a bit. Good day, Mr. Dokic. Thank you, Miss Dokic, Senor Bernoldi, for speaking with us. Please get well soon."
<Jelena, Enrique and Damir walk back to the hospital room, arguing softly. Holmes stares at the floor, deep in thought.>
Lestrade (dryly): "I hope they make a happy little family."
Holmes: "Mr. Dokic has his faults, this much we all know. But whatever they are, he was speaking the absolute truth. He hates the culprit behind all this, and he wants nothing but the best for Jelena. It's just a shame he has to act so horribly to convey those feelings."
<Holmes appears to forget about the unpleasant episode and turns to Lestrade.>
Holmes: "What are you doing here, anyway? Don't you have more investigations to carry out?"
Lestrade: "Yes. Do you think I actually wanted to come back here to dysfunction junction? No, I came here to summon you. I have been ordered to formally retain your services, and to work with you on this case."
<Lestrade scowls as he says this, obviously displeased.>
<Holmes smiles politely, but his mind appears to be elsewhere.>
Holmes: "Very well. It shall be a pleasure."
Lestrade: "And by the way...you lied to me about Mr. Bond being assigned to the case!"
Holmes (shrugging): "I did no such thing. I said that Mr. Bond was around somewhere, which he presumably still was, preparing to leave. And he did indeed tell us what I repeated to you: that he had been assigned to the case. Every word I said was true."
Lestrade: "You simply omitted the fact that Mr. Bond had been called away moments later."
Holmes: "Why, yes...now that you mention it, that did slip my mind."
Lestrade: "Very droll, Mr. Holmes. Shall we return to the All England and pool our resources?"
Holmes: "Yes. Once there, I need to tell you what I've just realized. It's something I hit upon once already, but then foolishly dismissed. Something I've been overlooking all this time, and which, after talking to all the people we've seen today, now seems to make sense."
Lestrade: "What are you saying, Mr. Holmes?"
Holmes: "I'm saying we need to call everyone together. I believe I now know who is behind all these attacks."
Jul 4th, 2003, 07:42 AM
awsome stuff...lets get jennifer capriati into the thick of things...she has a ferrari you know...
Jul 4th, 2003, 08:48 AM
Jul 4th, 2003, 11:08 AM
:lol: The next installment should be the final and I can't wait!
Jul 4th, 2003, 12:39 PM
Part 5 was juicy! Poor Lestrade. :sad: It was interesting that (1) you introduced Damir into the frey and (2) you made him gruff, but, sympathetic for loving his daughter so much. Will he figure into the finale? The car language of a professional driver, huh? What does that clue reveal? So many questions! So much suspense! Holmes, please save the day! ;)
You're doing a great job, Spirit. I look forward to the next part. :)
Jul 8th, 2003, 09:57 PM
Apologies for not finishing this before Wimbledon itself finished. Life (and the odd speeding ticket, for which one must take a defensive driving course) gets in the way.
The Mysterious Affair at Wimbledon
<Chris Evert, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Enrique Bernoldi, Jelena Dokic, Damir Dokic, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis, Mr. Sanders, Inspector Lestrade, Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes are all sitting around a table in the offices of the All England.>
Lestrade: "Well, here we all are, Mr. Holmes, although you've not told us why."
Holmes: "How would one perform if one did not assemble an audience first? Besides, telling you all once will save me the trouble of having to explain it multiple times."
Watson: "That's what the newspapers are for, Holmes."
Holmes: "Don't interrupt a good speech with irrelevant facts, Watson, there's a good fellow. Now -- "
Serena: "Wait a minute. What are they doing here?"
<Serena points to Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, who look at each other in surprise.>
Anna: "We must be here because we're us."
Martina: "Yes. We are always everywhere.
Anna: "Um...what is all this about, anyway?"
Lindsay: "You don't know?"
Martina: "No. We just saw everyone coming in here, and we thought it was important, or that there was free food, or some pictures were being taken, so we just followed everyone in."
Anna: "Or we thought that maybe someone was in trouble, and we wanted to be there to see it happen."
Martina: "We are bored. Please entertain us."
Venus: "Lindsay, let go of the table top and don't clench your teeth like that. You'll re-injure your knee."
Chrissie: "We're not going to fill you in, girls. Just try to keep up."
Holmes: <ahem> "As I was saying...Now -- someone is responsible for the recent incidents here at Wimbledon...and the perpetrator is in this very room!"
Kim: "You mean...it's one of us?"
Holmes: "Yes! One of you is the...the...well, whatever you call someone who does these sorts of silly things. But whatever that person is...one of you is that type of person!"
<Everyone looks at Holmes in confusion.>
Holmes: "Oh, indulge me. At least pretend to be shocked. Let's try this again: one of you is the perpetrator!"
<Everyone gasps and looks at each other with shocked faces. Holmes breathes a sigh of relief and looks at Watson, who just looks up from his crossword puzzle and shrugs.>
Maria (wearing a special device over her mouth to dampen the volume of her voice): "But how do you know who did it?"
Jennifer: "And how come you never questioned me?"
Holmes (blinking at Jennifer in surprise): "Because you were never a suspect."
Jennifer: "But I don't want to be left out! I don't like it when other people get to do things I don't get to do."
Holmes (slowly): "You're saying that you would like to have been questioned?"
Holmes: "Oh, very well. Jennifer Capriati, did you have anything to do with the recent mysterious incients here at Wimbledon?"
Jennifer: "Go to hell, you piece of shit! What kind of woman do you think I am? Why does everyone have to keep dragging my past up and shoving it in my face? Why can't you just -"
<Maria Sharapova takes off her volume-dampening device and puts it over Jennifer's face. Jennifer takes the hint and shuts up. Maria removes the device again.>
Holmes: "Feel better?"
Jennifer (sighing with contentment): "Yeah, thanks. My doctor tells me I need one good rant a day."
Watson: "A rant a day keeps everyone away."
Holmes: "Very well. Now -- "
Anna: "Wait a minute...are you guys trying to figure out a mystery? Can I join in?"
<Chrissie groans. Lindsay breaks off a piece of the table with her hands and her face turns a new and interesting color no one has ever seen before.>
Kim (softly petting Anna's head): "Go back to sleep. We'll wake you if something important happens."
Holmes (sternly): "If I may continue....thank you. Now...Mr. Enrique Bernoldi."
Enrique: "I DIDN'T DO IT!"
Holmes: "Yes, I know you didn't. I was just going to ask you a question."
Enrique: "Oh, okay. Shoot."
<Watson takes out his revolver. Holmes puts a hand on his wrist.>
Holmes: "It's an expression."
Watson: "Ah, yes, of course."
<Watson puts the revolver away.>
Holmes: "You say you have rival car racers who are your enemies, correct?"
Enrique: "That's right. You think this has something to do with me?"
Holmes: "Yes, I do. You see, I actually noticed a pertinent fact, but then, uncharacteristically, I completely overlooked it when the note was delivered to Mr. Sanders' office. I noticed that of the four incidents, the first three were malicious but harmless, while the fourth was life-threatening. That fourth incident singled out you and Jelena, Senor Bernoldi."
Damir: "That's because everyone is jealous of the name Dokic!"
Anna: "Wow. Not even I'm that clueless."
Holmes (sitting back in his chair): "Let me ask everyone a question. If someone eliminated opponents by foul means, and did so blatantly -- even going to the lengths of leaving a note -- who would be under the most suspicion when the tournament ended?
Venus: "The winner."
<Holmes stands up and begins walking around the table.>
Holmes: "Anyone with any intelligence would know that if she were to win Wimbledon after taking out her opponents unfairly, it would be a self-defeating exercise. She would then become the prime suspect, and the truth would eventually emerge."
Maria: "So we're looking for someone stupid?"
<Maria eyes Anna suspiciously.>
Holmes: "Quite the contrary. We're looking for someone who anticipated this problem and devised a way around it. Someone who was attacked along with the others, to make it appear as if she was a victim, as well.
Serena: "But that doesn't make sense! Everyone who was a target dropped out of the tournament!"
Holmes: "No. One of the four young women did not."
<Holmes stands directly opposite Jelena Dokic and looks at her.>
Jelena: "Me? You can't be serious!"
Damir: "What are you saying?"
Holmes: "I'm saying that Jelena's life was never in danger. I'm saying that she was intended to be the beneficiary of these incidents all along."
Jelena: "I would never do any such thing! Why would I hurt the man I love? Have you noticed the cast on his leg, Mr. Super-Observant Detective?"
Holmes: "Ah, now we come to it. You see, Miss Dokic, I believe you. Completely."
<Everyone looks at each other, baffled.>
Holmes: "I did not accuse you of doing anything wrong. I said that you were intended to be the beneficiary of these incidents, and that is true enough. But I did not say that you were the perpetrator."
Jennifer (her head in her hands): "Explain, please."
Holmes: "The perpetrator is someone who loves Jelena very much, perhaps more than life itself, yet cares about others not at all, especially her boyfriend. Someone unscrupulous enough to stoop to underhanded methods to show his love to his daughter. Someone trying to win back her affection, perhaps."
Damir: "If you accuse me of a crime, get ready for one hell of a lawsuit, 'cause I'll take you down!"
Holmes: "Oh, no need for that, Mr. Dokic. You sealed your own fate. I understand you believe your daughter has turned the entire tennis community against you, so much so that no one ever contacts you."
Damir: "That's right! I'm treated as a pariah now!"
Holmes: "So how did you know Jelena was in the hospital?"
Holmes: "I didn't stutter."
Damir: "What a stupid question."
Lestrade: "Yet the rest of us would like you to answer it, sir. Now."
Damir (looking uncomfortable): "I heard it on the radio."
Holmes: "No you didn't. You would have had to have heard the news almost the instant it happened to have flown to England from Yugoslavia in such a short time. Jelena was only attacked this morning."
Damir: "I was already in England! I've been here for a few days already."
Holmes: "I don't doubt it. But in the hospital, you said you'd flown in straight from Yugoslavia."
Damir: "A white lie. I didn't want Jelena to know I'd been hanging around London."
Watson: "Following her, you mean."
Damir: "I got a right to go where I want!"
Holmes: "Which brings us back to the question, how did you know Jelena was in the hospital?"
Damir: "You deaf or something? I told you -- I heard it on the radio!"
Holmes: "Our majesty's government issued a gag order on this situation almost the moment it happened, Mr. Dokic. There has been no radio broadcast in England."
Damir (awkwardly): "Well...I don't know where I hear things. I just pick them up. Maybe someone told me, and I just thought I heard it on the radio."
Holmes: "Someone contacted a pariah, like you, to tell you something? Out of the kindness of his heart? Even though you'd not contacted anyone here in London, trying to lay low so you could be near Jelena without alarming her?"
Damir: "Look, I did nothing wrong!"
Lestrade: "With respect, Mr. Holmes, there is a flaw, here. Someone did drive a car at Miss Dokic and Mr. Bernoldi at high speed."
Holmes: "Indeed they did, and that was a calculated risk. But there's more to this little story. You see, Mr. Dokic is well known for his animosity towards Mr. Bernoldi. And Mr. Bernoldi has enemies on the racing circuit. Following a hunch, I called one of my contacts in Yugoslavia, an ex-policeman who is now a consulting detective like myself. After just a few phone calls -- routine work, really -- he confirmed that you, Mr. Dokic, were seen approaching several race car drivers, all of whom, coincidentally, despise Mr. Bernoldi, and eventually were seen to be deep in discussion with one of them."
Chrissie: "I don't understand. Is this about Wimbledon, or about Enrique?"
Holmes: "Both. It was an elegant plan, to deal with his daughter's boyfriend -- whom he despises -- and to elevate Miss Dokic's chances of winning Wimbledon at the same time. The entire plan was conducted on Miss Dokic's behalf, without her knowledge."
Jelena (to her father): "Papa?"
Holmes: "Mr. Dokic made an offer to one of Mr. Bernoldi's rivals on the racing circuit, an offer to do something they both liked -- to harm Mr. Bernoldi. The rival hates him for personal reasons of his own, and Mr. Dokic hates him because he believes, however rightly or wrongly, that Mr. Bernoldi has turned his own daughter against him. So Mr. Dokic first eliminated the main threats in his daughter's quarter of the draw. Then his accomplice, using great driving skill -- for that is his profession -- pretended to target Miss Dokic, and specifically harmed Mr. Bernoldi instead.
"The true genius of his plan is that, had it continued without fail, Miss Dokic would have been viewed as heroic. By surviving an attempt to oust her from the tournament with lethal means, she would have been viewed with sympathy in the eyes of the public. Thus, if she hoisted the trophy after the fortnight, the public would have marveled at how strong and resolute she is to win under such adverse circumstances, instead of casting suspicion upon her simply because she was the victor.
"In one stroke, Mr. Dokic dealt harm to the one he despised and ensured no suspicion would fall on the one he loved, and the one he was trying to help."
Jelena: "Papa? Is this true?"
Damir (looking miserable): "Yes, it's true. But I did it for you! I wanted you to win Wimbledon, even if it was only once. I also thought that if you won Wimbledon, then Australia or some other country would be only too eager to sign you onto their Olympic team, and you could play in the Olympics!"
Lestrade: "If you turn in your accomplice, the driver of the vehicle who injured Mr. Bernoldi, we'll lessen the charges against you. I take it he's staying nearby?"
Damir: "He's in London. I'll take you to him."
Watson: "But Holmes...I didn't see you make any phone call to a contact in Yugoslavia. And I was with you all the time."
Holmes: "Indeed I didn't, Watson. That was a bluff. Remember I told you that I might have to take a risk and use only my instinct? I did exactly that. I staked my reputation on it. Had I been wrong, I would have admitted my error and endured the humility. But I...received a bit of confidence recently, enough to carry the bluff through, even though I had no conclusive proof."
<Holmes nods to Serena Williams, who nods back with a small smile. No one else notices the exchange.>
Holmes: "But as I was correct, I can allow Lestrade to take this man away."
Watson (grumbling): "You mean, you can let Lestrade gain all the credit. Again."
Holmes: "It's better this way, Watson. And indeed, I did place my services at his disposal after he was instructed to retain them. No, this investigation is his. Let it stay that way."
Lindsay: "Great work, Sherlock! How can we ever thank you?"
<Almost everyone in the room is beaming at him.>
Holmes: "It was a trifle. Think nothing of it."
<Everyone who was smiling suddenly stops and gets up.>
Lindsay: "Oh, okay. See ya."
<They file out the door, leaving Holmes pondering his last words with a funny look on his face.>
Jelena: "Will you treat my papa well?"
Lestrade: "We will. Come along, Mr. Dokic."
<Lestrade, Jelena, Enrique and Damir leave.>
Watson: "One thing I don't understand, Holmes. Mr. Dokic said in the hospital that he hates whoever is behind these incidents, and you said you believed every word he said."
Holmes: "And so I did. I suspected Mr. Dokic as we spoke to him at the hospital, for his story didn't seem to add up. But I do believe he hates the person behind these incidents: himself. I don't believe the man has very much self-love at all."
Sanders: "Well, Mr. Holmes, it was a nasty business, but I am absolutely delighted that it's over! How can we ever thank you?"
Holmes: "Pay me fee. Beyond that, I believe two seats on center court for the next fortnight would be wonderful, for myself and Dr. Watson."
Sanders: "As you say, Mr. Holmes. It shall be done!"
('til next year, perhaps) ;)
P.S. I know nothing about car racing. At all. That's why the accomplice was never named. I have no idea who it is. Nor do I care. :p
Jul 8th, 2003, 11:09 PM
That was amazing, Spirit!
Jul 8th, 2003, 11:53 PM
Excellent finish, Spirit! :D Thank you for an entertaining read! :) :)
I hope to read more from you next year. :wavey:
Jul 9th, 2003, 02:55 AM
Thank you for the kind words, everyone. :) I had no idea what the final product was going to look like.
I wrote a bunch of gags and cliched mystery lines and tried to fit them into the story in various places, but there were a few I couldn't use because there was no opportunity, as well as a few plot ideas. So hopefully Holmes and Watson will return to the All England next year, and equally hopefully, I'll be more prepared. I thought of this one just as the tournament began and it was bigger than I thought it would be.
Jul 9th, 2003, 09:35 AM
you should go and publish a book... NOW
Jul 9th, 2003, 12:28 PM
Wow! I loved it!
Jul 9th, 2003, 02:28 PM
That was great! I never even suspected Damir - incredible......ENCORE, ENCORE!!!!