A short story by Moshe Sipper
It was a tranquil Sunday afternoon, a rarity I savored greatly but which annoyed Olmes to the utmost. It did not last long, though. The calm was suddenly interrupted when Olmes sprang like an arrow and proclaimed:
“The King’s emissary shall present himself at our abode within the moment.”
“I suppose some amazing explanation of this deductive feat of yours is forthcoming?” I said, trying hard to stifle a yawn.
“Elementary, my dear Atson,” said he, “I simply recognized the gentleman’s odor.”
And at that there was a knock on the door. The King’s emissary, of course. Olmes’s olfactory capacities were unarguably much keener than my own.
“Welcome, welcome to our humble abode.” Olmes made no effort to hide his delight at what he no doubt considered a fortuitous breach of our pleasant idleness. The nondescript yet tastefully attired man entered our domicile, while Olmes reclined in his favorite armchair, and lit up his cherished pipe.
“You seem a tad nervous,” remarked Olmes as the man settled into the proffered chair, his hands visibly shaking. “Atson, I do believe the gentleman is in need of a glass of sherry.”
The potable seemed to soothe the emissary. “This is an exceptionally fine drink,” he said, after having quaffed several sips. “Thank you, Doctor Atson.”
“Royal Sherry,” said the good doctor with a modicum of pride. “Only the best.”
“Now,” said Olmes in that special trust-instilling voice of his. “Let me see if I can apply some simple logic to deduct the cause of this royal visit.” He paused for a moment. “The King’s daughter, Princess Ann, has gone missing.”
The man was agape. “Mr. Olmes, you are nothing shy of a genius! How on earth did you arrive so quickly at the correct conclusion?”
“Well,” relaxed Olmes as he assumed his famed explanatory posture, “the princess is obviously a virgin.”
“Most obviously.” The man seemed somewhat indignant, which did not perturb Olmes in the least.
“She is of the right age, is she not?” Olmes continued his chain of reasoning.
“Yesterday was her eighteenth birthday, Mr. Olmes. That is when she disappeared.” The awe emanating from the man’s eyes was unmistakable.
“I know exactly what happened,” proclaimed Olmes in a voice evidencing his flair for the dramatics, with his eager, stooping face shining in delight. The emissary leaned in closer.
“She was kidnapped by two dragons!” Olmes declared triumphantly.
“No!” said the man. “How can you be so sure?”
“Elementary,” said Olmes, as he rekindled his pipe with a puff of fire. “You see, it was Atson and I who flew into Princess Ann’s chambers late last night and spirited the lovely damsel away.”
“You must understand,” Olmes added in earnest, “we were running out of Royal Sherry.”
Copyright © 2012 by Moshe Sipper