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Death and the Doctor

by Adam Beau McFarlane

About the Author: Adam McFarlane is an active member of the Mystery Writers of America. His stories appeared in Thuglit, Pulp Adventures, and Yellow Mama. He lives in Minnesota's Twin Cities metro area.



Doctor James Watson sat on the bottom step of a rowhouse stoop. His head rested with his hands concealing his face. When he heard my voice, he looked up. He didn’t look fatigued or as if he had been crying. He looked lost.

“Thanks for arriving so quickly. It’s easier, now that you’re here, rather than trying to explain things later—you’d still want to see for yourself.”

He had called me to a three-level rowhouse on Eppes Avenue. Like a colonnade, trees and streetlamps lined the grand boulevard’s wide sidewalk. The angle of the afternoon sun was just enough to cast its swath of shadow over him and the stoop.

A physician for New York City’s medical examiner, Watson investigated crimes. He called on my insights and observations occasionally. From the 1920 Wall Street bombing until the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, James Watson and I assisted New York City’s police and citizens.

Gesturing toward the door, I said, “After you.”

I was the daughter of Sherlock Holmes. Unmentioned in any of his sixty published cases, I grew up unrecognized by him and unknown to the world until meeting the Watsons at his funeral. Now, I lived as an independent woman. I earned my income as an actress under the stage name Dorothy Volant. Living with James, John Watson’s son, I was intrinsically linked by heart and history to the so-called Great Detective.

He said, “Welcome to the main residence of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Benthyk. He’s a doctor at Saint Basil’s.”

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