The Strange Adventure of the Lady Arwen - the conclusion
"Have you taken leave
of your senses, Holmes?" protested Plodder. "Unhand the Lady
"Explain that!" he shouted triumphantly, his outstretched
finger pointing accusingly to the trail of double punctures running
down the inside of her forearms.
The Elf maiden drew herself up to her full height. She had never looked
more beautiful or more terrible. Fair as a Queen among women, yet cruel
as an Orc, and as worshipful as the filthiest whore who ever whipped
a lusty young Hobbit's bottom. I shuddered, and would have taken her
roughly from behind if only I had been a little taller and a lot better
Holmes stepped nimbly aside as she slashed desperately at him with
a vicious looking stiletto.
"Don't look so disappointed, Bingo," said he. "It was
the Elven Breath. Few among mortals can resist its evil spell, least
of all a dull and unimaginative Hobbit like yourself. You are fortunate
that she was only partly conscious or she would have riven what little
remains of your furry brain: not to mention reducing your Hobbithood
to a pair of shriveled filberts."
"I say, Mr Holmes," said Plodder, leaning over the unconscious
Elf, "That was a neat trick, I trust no permanent harm has been
"Compose yourself, Inspector", said Holmes kindly, putting
his hand upon his shoulder, "Or I fear you will burst a blood vessel.
The threads of this dark intrigue are really very simple if you will
divest yourself of the notion that romance played any part in them."
"Simple?" I expostulated
Borrowmore nodded gravely as Holmes warmed to his exposition: "But
a woman might. The ropes which bound the deceased to the bed were knotted
in slipshod fashion which would have shamed the clumsiest Hobbit child—but
not a woman. Finally there were the vials of the drug miruvor—used
by the Elves in their perverted sex rites. I confess that puzzled me
for a time. Why should the murderer go to such lengths to implicate
a Rondorian, and then leave a deadly drug lying about which was used
only by Elves? When the good inspector produced the Lady Arwen as his
prime witness I realised she had left the drug to confirm her story
that Borrowmore had interrupted their lovemaking, overpowered her, and
murdered Harry Gaunt. Had she not been disturbed by the untimely arrival
of her victim's lover, she would not have dropped the syringe, and might
very well have got away with—"
"Three links in a very long chain: the altercation in the 'Blue Tit' in which Borrowmore is alleged to have said that he would kill 'that scheming trickster'. Now, Plodder took that remark to refer to Harry Gaunt. It might with much greater justification, be taken to refer to the Lady Arwen. Secondly, the drawing which fell out of Harry Gaunt's pocket that evening which my fur brained assistant took to be a childish doodle, but was clearly a warning couched in the symbolic language of Rondorian heraldry. What Bingo took to be a 'pixie', was in fact an 'Elf'. The cash and crown require no elucidation. The hanged man is none other than the unfortunate Mr Gaunt who feared that the Lady Arwen would murder him because he had transferred his affections to the only other man who could offer her what she coveted: the crown of Rondor, and through it, the domination of Middle-Earth. Unfortunately Borrowmore did not grasp the significance of the note until I had explained it to him, by which time it was too late to save his lover. When he revealed to me that he and the Lady Arwen had been lovers in Rondor I finally understood her hatred of him. A hatred that was increased a thousand fold when Harry Gaunt told her that fateful evening that he could not marry her because he was in love with Bob Borrowmore. She saw the prize she had schemed to obtain for so many years slipping through her fingers, and like a woman took the only revenge which would satisfy her twisted heart: the murder of her lover and the framing of the hated rival who had taken him from her."
"Astounding!" gasped Plodder, mopping his brow.
Holmes leant back in his chair and put the tips of his fingers together. "My life is simply one long effort to escape the ennui of existence, my dear Bingo. These little problems keep me off the cocaine."
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