It was a cold, autumnal Sunday morning. Holmes sat exasperated. Boredom was his want. The doorbell rang and Hudders escorted in a most ungainly gentlemen who lilted to one side. Holmes immediately pricked up his ears and gestured to the poor fellow to sit down. The gent politely declined, preferring to stand. When Holmes enquired why, he dropped his trousers, turned round and afforded us a most unsavoury sight of his bottom, twisted beyond all anatomical recognition. The poor chap appeared to have two rectums, what, what, what, and festering spots galore. Holmes reacted in a frightfully unhelpful fashion by demanding the man leave forthwith. Several scones and cups of tea later, Holmes and I entertained the following exchange:
“I say, Holmes,” said I, “that was a damn awful way to treat that wretch, what, what, what.”
“Alimentary, my dear Watson,” said he, “I feared I was about to deposit a truly yummy breakfast on our brand-new Axminster. Hudders would have hit the roof, so I had to take extreme measures.”
“Ah, I see,” said I, “then it wasn’t because of any revulsion you felt for this mangled chap?”
“On the contrary, old boy,” said he, “I have nothing but admiration for the dignified way in which this freak presented himself in such trying circumstances.”
“More importantly,” said I, “are you inclined to help the poor chap out of his predicament?”
There was a long pause as Holmes struggled with his demons, or pondered what to do with Toby, who was once again tugging on his right slipper, a practice Holmes could not abide.
“Watson,” said he, “I fear to solve this case we must descend lower into the murky depths than we’ve ever done before. We must, in the modern vernacular, get our hands dirty. I have no doubt that the fiend Moriarty is behind this, if you get my drift. But no matter, we must get to the bottom of this, for the sake of this bum, don’t you know!”
“Oh, really, Holmes!” said I, “how can you joke at a time like this? This man’s future ablutions depend upon you.”
“Watson,” said he, “I am not a surgeon. I can find the culprit, but I can’t reconfigure his waste disposal facilities. I fear he is twisted for life.”
“Not if I’ve got anything to do with it,” said I. “Hudders! Hudders! The man who just left with his trousers around his ankles…”
“The man with the twisted…” said she.
“The very one. Quick. Time is of the essence.”
But Hudders was too late. The man was found in the early hours of the next morning in a ditch by King’s Cross railway station, in a highly distressed state, the victim of excessive wind. On this occasion, Holmes was proven wrong. It was not the dastardly Moriarty behind the perverted prank but none other than the Serial Twister of Twickenham, who obtained many a jolly from rearranging the anatomical parts of 73 victims before LaStrade cornered him outside a public house in Limehouse as he was about to reverse an unsuspecting wenche’s front and back parts. Holmes never forgave himself for allowing his hatred of Moriarty to cloud his deductive powers which prevented him from cracking the case earlier. No more was said of this and Toby was given his own set of slippers to tug and chew to his heart’s content.
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