The Case of the missing Roses-Bouquet
Series. Sherlock Holmes
Pairing: Holmes, Watson/Mary, Mrs. Hudson
Summary: A missing bouquet and a new case for the famous detective
Disclaimer: The characters in this story don’t belong to me. I only borrowed them for some fun. No moneymaking, no violation of copyrights are intended. The story is mine and it is just fanfiction. English is not my native language, so please be patient with my mistakes. Thanks to Helen for the beta-reading. For all remaining errors, blame me.
From the secret journals of John H. Watson, MD
“It’s gone, Holmes!” With this cry on my lips I ran into our living-room. But my dear friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, however didn’t let himself be confused by my excitement and calmly put his pipe down on the table, as well as the newspaper in which he just had read, before he looked questioningly at me.
“My dear Watson, when will you finally learn to express yourself more precisely. Your vague style may find some success in your so-called literary works about my modest person – a fact which is still incomprehensible to me by the way - in reality, however, it is perfectly useless. Therefore please what has disappeared?”
“My rose-bouquet.” I sank sighing into my armchair, not bothering about the fact that I still was in hat and coat, and threw the afternoon newspapers on the table. “I had bought it for Mary... for Miss Morstan – for St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Maybe you have heard of this new custom, Holmes, that these days people in love…”
My friend waved impatiently – which didn’t amaze me. A man, for whom feelings are only troublesome accessories in the human life, was hardly able to find any interest in a day especially for people whom had fallen in love. “Facts, my dear Watson, facts. When and where did you last see the bouquet?”
“On the stairway,” I answered. “As you know I went to the city to make some purchases. I wasn’t able to carry them all, however the cabbie was very friendly and helped me to bring them in the house. I left the bouquet at the stairway and brought my other purchases upstairs.” I pointed at the pile that I had just left behind the door and the parcel that lay beside it. It was dedicated to our good Mrs. Hudson whose birthday it was that day. I knew that Holmes would not have given any thought to this event. As brilliant as his memory usually was, so forgetful could he be with those things that seemed banal and unimportant to him. I had therefore taken the liberty of purchasing a gift for Mrs. Hudson in our both names. Unfortunately, together with some urgently needed personal effects and the rose-bouquet, (which at that time of year cost a fortune in London) it had consumed almost all of my earnings for the entire month.
“I’ve arranged to meet Mary for lunch tomorrow after church. I wanted to give her the bouquet...” Holmes ignored both my sigh as I imagined how I would have to stand empty-handed before my beloved on such a special day – and my depressed mood.
“Was the cab-driver then in the house?” he asked.
“He did go out as I climbed the stairway,” I answered after some thought. “However he did not lock the door behind himself. As I returned immediately after putting down my other purchases and greeting you I noted that the door was ajar and closed it.”
Holmes wrinkled his forehead then pointed at the newspapers. “Where did you get those?” he asked.
“What do they..:?” I was about to admonish my friend for becoming distracted with such irrelevant details when – being used to the somewhat strange ‘jumps’ in his thinking – I noticed something. “They were on the floor immediately behind the front door,” I answered. “The paper-boy certainly noted the open door and brought them inside as it had begun to drizzle again.”
Holmes nodded reflectively. “Then either - the paper-boy as well as the cab-driver – could be the perpetrator. That a stranger came around, noted the open door, came in and stole the bouquet seems rather more unlikely to me.“
I sighed again “But what would the boy or the driver do with my flowers?”
My friend shrugged his shoulders. “Perhaps they pursue similar goals to you. These new customs that only serve to increase the revenue of certain industries obviously take the upper hand.”
He rose and grasped his coat. “The paper-boy should be easy to find. I don’t suppose that you noticed the number of the hansom?”
I nodded. Holmes always paid attention to such basic things as I had been able to witness more than once. “How should I know...,” I tried to justify myself.
Holmes interrupted, “We had best begin a search of your departure point. Perhaps the hansom has returned there or we find a colleague who knows with whom you have driven. You hopefully will at least be able to deliver a somewhat correct and precise description of the person?”
I nodded hesitantly.
“Come on, Watson!” Holmes put on his hat and went to the door. I threw a longing glance at the uncovered bowls that stood on the table. My outing had made me late for dinner but the remainders on Holmes’ plate indicated it had been curried chicken, one of my favourite meals. And I really was hungry.
It had already become dark when we returned to Baker Street, approximately five hours later. By this time my mood was clouded both my great hunger and because of our unsuccessful search for the stolen flowers. Neither the driver, who we had actually found after long inquiries, nor the paper-boy knew anything about their whereabouts. Holmes had threaten them so much that we could be sure that they had said the truth.
“It must have been a stranger who took it,” I said I gloomily as I discarded my coat. “The bouquet is lost forever.”
“I fear I cannot contradict you, my friend.” Holmes sat down and shrugged his shoulders indifferently. “But surely you will be able to find something else as a gift for the lady of your heart.”
“How,and most importantly when?” I asked gloomily. “All the shops will have already closed and tomorrow is Sunday.”
“Then just give yourself to her.” For a brief moment a smile showed on Holmes’ face. Then he pointed at my place at the table. “Come, Watson, sit down. I’m sure our valued housekeeper will soon serve us supper. We will eat and maybe strengthened we will get an idea of what to do.”
As if on cue there was a knock at the door and after Holmes’ “come in” Mrs. Hudson stepped through it carrying a tray on which several bowls were precariously balanced. I quickly sat down.
“You have been out nearly all day, I wasn’t able to thank you,“ she said with a broad smile in Holmes’ direction as she put down the bowls.
My friend wrinkled his forehead. “Thank me for what?”
“However Mr. Holmes,” again this flirtatious smile. “You do not need to pretend. It was such a joy for me that you remembered my birthday. Those lovely roses... they must have cost you a fortune. But you really don’t need to be so shy, secretly leaving the bouquet in front of my door.”
We looked at each other, both probably with the same thought in our heads. That was the fate of my bouquet for my beloved. The good Mrs. Hudson must have found them as I was upstairs with Holmes – and she had assumed that the present was for her.
“How do you know they’re not from me?” I asked our housekeeper.
She smilingly shook her head. “Dr. Watson, I know how you stand with the charming Miss Morstan. Therefore know that you would never give flowers to another lady, especially roses.”
She pointed at the bowls. “Please eat, gentlemen, the meal will surely be to your taste. It was cooked specially today with much love.”
“There you have started something, Watson,” Holmes sighed as our housekeeper went downstairs. “Now she will suppose I am interested in her – in a manner which is of course absolutely unimaginable to me.”
“I only wish I had your worries, Holmes,” I replied. “What shall I do now with my bouquet? I hardly can take it away from her. And even if there were the possibility of finding a new one I simply couldn’t afford it.”
Holmes pointed at the package still standing in the corner. “If I know you, my dear Watson, you surely have provided another present for our pearl. Or haven’t you?”
I nodded affirmatively.
“Then just give this gift to Miss Morstan and both ladies will be satisfied.”
I sighed mentally. If only it were that simple. Somehow I strongly doubted that a new saucepan would be the proper gift with which to demonstrate my flourishing love.