Holmes pulled up his chair, muttered to himself for a second then cleared his throat.

'We have your bizarre first appearance as a Scottish small holder, otherwise known as a Crofter, if I am not mistaken. At first I thought this was a silly pun on your name, dear brother. "M' small holding' being rendered as "My croft".'

Mycroft nodded.

"Yet, you knew I would see through your disguise even if Watson was fooled." He turned to me and smiled apologetically. I dissembled, but had to admit he was correct. " And we must not forget the excellent Western lilt to your Scots accent, if I may say so, when crofting is primarily from the Highlands and Islands."

"An acceptable observation" his brother demurred.

"The watch pocket in your waistcoat that showed no sign of ever having held a watch. So, the provenance of a watch that does not belong to you, or the idea of a new suit, which I would hazard was bought less than two hours ago. Hmm… I would say the former, but the timing is significant also. So, a two hour discrepancy. Watson, does that bring anything to mind?"

Startled at being unexpectedly included, I did indeed recall a case. One of Sherlock's untold cases, for reasons I cannot at present divulge.

"The Camberwell Poisoning Case? You proved the watch had only been wound down two hours, but there was a discrepancy in the apparently elapsed time. But I…"

"Indeed. Well done." Sherlock paused for breath. "And now for the final riddle: Your request for wine, Mycroft, rather than the offered tea. Is it true? We have the real identity at last of Fred Porlock? And what finally happened to James Phillimore."

"Happy birthday, Sherlock." was all the response the elder Holmes provided, toasting the younger with his glass.

Needless to say, dear Reader, one day perhaps, when Holmes deems me ready to understand the significance of these events, he will furnish me with the explanation so easily shared between brothers. All I could do was hand my friend the wrapped tobacco I had acquired only this morning.

"Watson, how did you know I needed more?" he smiled, "And my favourite brand too" he remarked without even opening it.


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DoctorMikeReddy over 10 years ago

This is the end of the story. Hope you like it. This web site may be of use if you want to try to get to the bottom of this story:

DoctorMikeReddy over 5 years ago

There is an audio version at

DoctorMikeReddy (joined about 13 years ago)
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I do all sorts of things. Mostly badly. Mostly better than others. I tell stories. Occasionally, I lie.

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