I don't own Buffy, Josh does and kindly doesn't make a fuss about it when others play in his sandpit. (Strictly non-profit play of course). Sherlock Holmes would belong to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, MD if he were still alive but he ain't. And if he were he probably wouldn't mind too much. He once wrote back to a fellow who was putting Holmes into a play and who wrote asking for permission to marry Holmes off, saying: "Marry him, murder him, do what you like with him."
This is a work in progress: we begin in media res
The tall greying man looked up to us from where he stood, knee deep in mud. He took off his glasses and polished them free of spatters.
“Ah, Mr Holmes,” he said and polished his glasses again. “Doctor Watson.” Neither he nor his companions seemed the slightest bit perturbed by the fact I was covering them with my Webley.
He put his glasses on and blinked owlishly at us. “I suppose that you would like an explanation.”
”Indeed I would,” said Holmes. “For apart from the fact that you are members of an organisation dedicated to fighting threats to the world of a supernatural kind and that furthermore you have travelled here, by means not yet known to science, from a future period of the world’s history, (no more, I would estimate, than one hundred to one hundred and fifty years ahead) and that you are attempting to prevent another visitor from your native time from altering events in this epoch, I have been unable to come to any more specific conclusions. A full accounting of your presence and motives would be most useful to me.”
I felt my jaw hit my chest and I turned to Holmes to see if he were either joking or humouring the others in some delusion. But his expression remained grimly earnest.
On the far bank, the small blonde woman dressed in man’s clothes first grasped her stomach as if in pain and then burst out laughing. She dropped the peculiar axe-like weapon she was carrying and began to roll about on the ground, helpless with merriment.
Her companion, the tall brunette gave her a disapproving glare and then knelt down on the bank to bring her head next to the greying man’s face.
“Told you so,” she said smugly in an American accent. “That’s twenty pounds you owe me, Giles.”
”Pay up now, or I’m going to tell Andrew about this.”
Without further protest he extracted a roll of fivers from his waistcoat and paid up, handing over an amount that many honest labourers would work a whole year without seeing with an air of distraction.
“Goody! Buffy! We’re going shopping before we go home… You wouldn’t believe the line of bullshit he was going to feed you.” I blinked at hearing such language from those pretty lips.
“It was the very best…. Ah… Bull I could find. Please allow me to extract myself from this predicament, gentlemen and I’ll tell you what I can. As much as I think I can tell you, safely.”
“By all means,” said Holmes. “We have some time before the next train passes through.”
The blonde girl, still giggling helplessly sat down on the edge of the mud pit and hooked her arms under his. I looked at Holmes, unwilling to abandon my hold on my gun but equally unwilling to let a lady struggle against such a task. Holmes gave the slightest shake of his head and a moment later the man was flying upwards and over her head to land behind her with a ‘whoomph’ of expelled air. She turned to look at him and burst into laughter again.
The man picked himself up and looked down at his mud encased lower limbs.
”Ruined. Utterly ruined. If you will excuse me for a moment, I will go and try to clean up at that horse trough over there.”
Holmes nodded and we gingerly made our way around the pit. I offered the blonde young woman my handkerchief and she returned it with thanks after wiping the tears of laughter from her cheeks and eyes. She seemed almost insultingly unimpressed with the fact that I was holding her at gunpoint. When she spoke she too had an American lilt to her voice.
“Thanks. I’m sorry to go off like that but it just that Giles has been using his IQ like a baseball bat to keep me in line since I was sixteen and it’s so
good to see him one-upped for a change.”
”I’m sorry? His Eye Cue?”
”His brains. His smarts. His MA, Doctor of Philosophy. His six or seven different languages and the fact he can look at a piece of a broken pot and tell you which king of ancient Babylon used to shave from it. He’s even got my sister doing it! Do you know what it’s like feeling you’re the dumbest person in the world?”
”Oh, yes!” I said with feeling. “I know how that feels…”