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The Adventure of the Very Quiet American

by Eric Cline

About the Author: Eric Cline is an author living in Maryland with his wife and dog. His stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and other magazines and web sites.


“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.

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