Sherlock Holmes & the Sacred Sword


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Literary Treasures

Watson and I will be there.

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Deets's smile had an infectious quality. The butler, Dooley, is an old Crimean man and rather intrigued by the prospect of action. I noted several pokers were missing, so I suspect the housemaids are prepared as well. Mayswood is a bit of an armed camp. Mysterious intruder with an obscure motive who seemingly materializes and then promptly vanishes. All the elements that you love so well. But there is that matter that Mycroft brought to your attention. This had to satisfy, and I turned to the word-squares of the day. Those beguiling combinations had long ago presented a most nagging challenge until I realized that I possessed a secret weapon.

After a lengthy passage of time, Holmes broke in on my concentration. If the intruder made his entry and escape, a fact that we must assume or there is no case, we shall find out how. What intrigues me no end is the why. His recreation of the event was delightfully to the point. I could wish witnesses in court were as concise. But there is the question of his cigarette case. Now I just wonder, Watson, who fired the bullet? It was shortly thereafter that Holmes departed the premises. He stated that there were some investigations regarding our adventure of the previous evening that he wanted to tend to and that he might even inquire into Mr.

Clyde Deets. I made a move to accompany him but he would have none of it, stating that his efforts would be but contact work and did not require my always-welcome assistance. I turned my hand to my case history again but could make little progress. There was the guilty thought that my friend was braving the elements while I remained cozy and warm within.

But I forced myself to brand this as fruitless castigation. The number of Holmes's available contacts, regarding all sorts of information, was enormous. It seemed reasonable that some of them would speak to him more freely without his biographer in attendance. At loose ends, I returned to my word-squares. As he shook moisture from his coat, I busied myself with the tantalus and gasogene and we sat before the fire and clinked glasses.

In the first crossword puzzles appeared in publications and by achieved the immense popularity they enjoy today. I was able to draw for him that scroll-like design on its blade, and he identified it as a cartouche. As my eyebrows elevated, Holmes continued.

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Now, to Deets. With your frugal sense, Watson, you might be happy to learn that Clyde Deets of Surrey is solvent and runs a most respectable business. Moved to that area around five years ago.


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Father was a recluse and died shortly thereafter. Complete dead end as regards family history and origin. Rather singular, but then not all our clients date back to the Norman Conquest. Your expertise with the decanter is of medicinal assistance. Now tell me of your day. I reached for my pencil with some excitement. Associate in ten letters, third letter 'c' if 'citceh' is right. My voice dwindled away as I found my friend regarding me with a strange look, akin to wonderment. Intuitive, perhaps, or just the ability to say the right thing at the right time.

You are a treasure, indeed! Since his remark struck me dumb, I could but regard him with a slack jaw. The wonderment faded from his eyes to be replaced with that far-away look, a sure sign that his massive intellect was working in high gear. Our client's name is Deets. Not a common name but nothing unusual either. Uninteresting might be the best description. But reverse it and you have 'Steed,' which opens up fascinating possibilities.

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Holmes was on his feet making a beeline for the bookcase, from which he extracted the 'S' file. There was a tight smile on his face as he leafed through pages. Slagar, the Serbian strangler. Never convicted. Sloppy police work there. Here we are! I'll try to dredge through the chaff. You recall the theory of the Pyramid Inch and the Great Pyramid.


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  • Steed-Spaulding was a student of cultures and of religions, as well. Wrote two books on the latter.

    Sherlock Holmes and The Sacred Sword by Thomas, Frank

    Both considered monumental, though the last one did receive adverse criticism. He traced the rise of Mohammedanism in Egypt beginning with the Arab invasion of and laid emphasis on the tolerance of the Islamics towards Jews and Christians as opposed to the attitude of Christianity during that period.

    His eyes rose from the book, sparkling with interest "It's becoming crystal clear, Watson. Spaulding took the first half of his hyphenated name, reversed it, and used it on coming to Surrey. Spaulding was brought to my attention. Sir Randolph Rapp expressed some puzzlement regarding the gentleman, and I did a little investigation for him.

    Spaulding's expedition to Abydos in Upper Egypt and his first expedition into the Sudan were considered the coups of his time. He was involved in a second trip to the Sudan that he abandoned halfway, and he returned to England and took up the raising of dogs in Stoke Newington. There was, in '90, an attempted robbery of his estate. Matter was hushed up, but I'll wager that is when our client's cigarette case saved his life. Following the robbery, Spaulding sold out and dropped from sight. Five years back that was, and you will note that the Deets's arrived in Surrey at that time.

    I'll give you that," I admitted. Another thought crossed my mind. I had always been tantalized by the real reason for Holmes's journey to Mecca and then to the Sudan, but he brushed aside my bait quickly. It's the matter of the Sacred Sword, you see. My friend smiled, replaced the "S" file in the bookshelf, and took his pipe from the mantel. The unsheathing of the Sacred Sword is to signal the rising of the followers of the Crescent, who are then to drive the infidels into the sea.

    But what has the late Captain Spaulding to do with that? Somehow he caught wind of the whisper that an Arabian chieftain feared that the Sacred Sword would be used as a device to lead his people to annihilation, a bloodbath.


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    • He supposedly gave the sword to Captain Spaulding, considered a true friend of the Islamics, despite the fact that he was Christian. Spaulding was to remove the weapon to England until such time as it could be returned without being an instrument to incite and inflame. The attempted robbery at the Spauldings' dwelling in Stoke Newington may have been an attempt to secure the sword entrusted to the Captain. Whatever, it got their wind up and they changed their residence posthaste and their name as well.

      The recent intruder at the Spauldings' home in Surrey was not a thief to my mind at all.

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      To use the language of the ha'penny dreadfuls, he was 'casing the joint.

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