This is my first ever blogfest, the deleted scene sponsored by My Literary Jam and Toast. I hope you'll pop by and check out all the entries. My deleted scene is not from any particular of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but a scene of one that might have been written, shall we call it "The Story of the Sad Young Man" ?
Holmes stood by the window motionless, looking outside rather than at our visitor. I watched the young man as he sat awkwardly in his chair, apologizing for this unexpected visit.
My friend stared out the window, his aquiline profile stark and intelligent. "Tell us why you are here," he said. "You have my attention. What is your concern?"
The young man mangled the hat in his lap. "I'm getting married, you see, in just a week." He paused, and I congratulated him. Holmes remained quiet and aloof.
The man continued, "My mother and sister are reclusive, and quite unfortunately addicted to opium, a situation which has caused me untold grief and embarrassment. So much so that I can hardly stand to visit them in their abode."
"Where is this abode?" Holmes asked sharply.
"Near the wharf," the man said with apparent shame that his mother and sister would live so poorly. "They had better lodgings, but the opium..."
I nodded in sympathy, understanding the evils of this pervasive addiction.
"Wanting to invite them to my wedding, I stopped by and spoke to their servant, Douglas, a very kind and attentive man who has been with my mother ever since she began her decline. Douglas assured me that, although my mother was ill and unable to see me, that he would give her the message and make sure she attended the marriage ceremony. I wanted to speak to my sister, at least, but Douglas told me she had just gone out. He suggested I return at a later hour."
"Have you seen or spoken to either your mother or sister since then?" asked Holmes, now restlessly pacing the room.
"No, neither one since then. When I returned, Douglas said they were both quite ill. Not wanting to bother them, I retreated. That was last month, and I have had similar experiences every time I go to visit."
Holmes lit his pipe. "When did you last see your mother and sister?"
Our visitor looked down sheepishly. "Not since they moved to this unpleasant location. It's been quite difficult, as you can understand."
"Have you received letters from them?"
"Only a few. And sometimes a message from Douglas. He is quite concerned about their well-being. And since my mother wants nothing to do with me--"
Holmes interrupted to ask, "What kinds of messages?"
"Notes from Douglas that have put me off visiting, apologizing for my mother's refusal to see me. Or information about my sister-- She is in the country for her health. She is indisposed. She feels better but continues to suffer-- Sometimes the letters are in my mother's hand, sometimes my sister's, sometimes penned by Douglas himself."
"And when you do stop in to see them....?"
"Douglas invites me in, and then retreats to tell them of my visit. Sadly, they will never see me. They are indisposed, or in no mood for visitors, or some such excuse. I have left them quite alone for some time now, since neither seemed interested in my visits, and of course you understand how painful it is to see the degeneration of my family in this way."
Holmes puffed on his pipe for a moment, gazing at the young man. My friend knew only too well the problems of these elements. He kept his own secrets.
At last he spoke. "My dear young man, I insist that you go at once to the home of your mother, no matter how painful it is for you, and do not be put off by the man Douglas."
"But, but, I have tried before--"
Holmes hastily cut him off. "I beg of you! Go at once. The welfare of your mother and sister are at stake. Time is of the essence. Begone now. Watson and I will be meet you there shortly."
The man looked confused, but gathered his hat and cane, leaving with all promptness. Holmes then gestured to me. "Come, Watson, we shall make one stop on our way to the wharf."
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf