“A Murder, A Mystery, And A Marriage” Part 6

This is the last part of a novelette; if you haven’t already, please start from the beginning or read Part Five.

CHAPTER THE LAST

“The game is afoot!”

“How did you know?” Hildegarde asked after we were out of the Palace.

“Elementary, my dear lady. To begin, we know that he stole the documents.”

“So it was he.”

“The fingerprints proved that.”

“But he couldn’t have taken the documents—”

“He had the metaphor of nothingness, you remember? I deduced that from my first sight of him, taken with the other circumstantial clues. I think he also had some sort of precognitive ability to know where he needed to go without looking, because he never looked out of the metaphor once but still fired unerringly. From the tests you ran in the chapel after the first attempt I deduced the use of some metaphor. I also knew that someone with a change-of-seeming device had made the first assassination attempt because the footprints outside ended on the Palace grounds. I deduce from the fingerprints all over the patch in the roof in the library image that the Department of Intelligence gave him a metaphor-change device so that he could patch the roof. (How he managed to convince them to do that, I have no idea.) We know that the Department of Justice brought him here along with that other man, as you mentioned, to face the charges of incompetence. The other man may have been an accomplice, but that will come out at the trial. The focus on the wedding I deduced from the contents of the missing files. I got the warrant and waited.”

“Thank you, sir.”

When we reached my rooms, there was an envelope sitting on my desk. The note inside it, in the Queen’s own hand, read:

While we are saddened by the loss of Prince Narcissus, we are grateful for your intervention that spared the life of Princess Anvila, for your work that uncovered a major security breach, and for your aid in the ongoing incompetence investigation. As a small token of that gratitude, we will supply you with a new rapier to replace the one you damaged in their service, and have given you the rights to the chapel where today’s ceremony was performed.

The other item in the envelope was the deed to the chapel, which I signed, as I do this account:

SHERLOCK HOLMES

That’s the end of this story. I’ll post the sources for the quotations that opened each chapter below. As always, feedback of any kind—comments, criticism, questions, requests, revision ideas, offers to “beta” future posts, or anything else—is eagerly desired and requested and greatly appreciated. What did you think?

Quotation sources:

“You see, but you do not observe.”
“A Scandal in Bohemia,” 1892
“Our highest assurance of the goodness of providence seems to me to rest in the flowers.”
“The Adventure of the Naval Treaty,” 1893
“‘Capital!’ cried the inspector. ‘Capital!'”
“The Adventure of the Dancing Men,” 1903
“‘It strikes me, Williamson, there isn’t very much that we can tell this gentleman.'”
“The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,” 1903
“‘You will rise high in your profession. You have instinct and intuition.'”
“The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge,” 1908
“‘There is only one man,’ he cried.”
“His Last Bow. An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes,” 1917
“Is it really you? Can it indeed be that you are alive?”
“The Adventure of the Empty House,” 1903
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
“A Scandal in Bohemia,” 1892
“Depend upon it, there is nothing so unnatural as the commonplace.”
“A Case of Identity,” 1891
“The game is afoot!”
“The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” 1904

All, of course, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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