“Dr. Watson! Come here. I want you.”
Holmes waved a letter that had been delivered by courier.
“A policeman down in Kent needs my services. Its nature requires your skills.”
This was certainly flattering! I had gained some measure of “reflected” glory due to my published chronicles of Holmes’s more challenging cases. Boswell must not overshadow Johnson; yet I straightened perceptibly with pride.
“I need you to examine a badly mangled corpse,” Holmes said.
My nose crinkled. I had studied as needed at the University of London to take my degree, but I would never miss the smell of the mortuary.
“Oh, come now, Watson. Buck up. This is your field of expertise.”
“I am no Monsieur Dupin,” I said, jokingly mentioning the fictional detective. But then I allowed: “Of course, I do know a thing or two.”
“There’s the spirit!” Holmes jumped up out of his chair and retrieved a valise; he began packing various tobaccos, a couple of fine pipes, and even some clothing.