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Baker Street. No 21b.


SHERL: Were al the fiery demons in the nether world

To blow their poisonous smoke into London

Compound it with a yel ow hue and take

Away our light, they could not make a fouler day

Than we have now.

WATS: It’s foggy out?

SHERL: It is.

A wretched, vile and tedious kind of morning,

And nothing in the post but thanks from Scotland

That I did solve the sudden death of Duncan,

Not to mention Banquo. No doubt by now

You’ve written up the case and had it published?

WATS: A little five-act tragedy, with notes

On some of the more striking details.

SHERL: And blood, and fights, deaths, witches, ghosts and al

` The melodrama that you inflict on logic,

I’l be bound. Once I ‘d seen the importance

Of having not two murderers but three,

The rest was simple. Have you read the paper?

WATS: Only the Morning Post. King Lear’s

Stil lost. A fascinating trial in Venice.

A case of changed identity in Verona,

And sundry goings on at Windsor.

Nothing else.

(A noise on the stair)

SHER: But here, unless I’m much mistook, comes one

That needs our aid. A case at last!

(Enter to them HAMLET)

HAM: Which one –

SHERL: Of us is Holmes? ‘Tis I. This gentle here

Is Watson, my devoted friend and colleague.

HAM: Good morrow to you both. You do not know me –

SHERL: Apart from knowing that you are a prince,

From Denmark, I would hazard, and a solitary,

That you take snuff, have lately been at sea,

Were frightened by a horse at five and now

Are sitting for your portrait, you are a stranger.

WATS: Good heavens, Holmes!

HAM: Do you have magic powers?

SHERL: Sheer observation. You do wear a crown

And are a prince. You have a Danish accent,

Your shoes have late been knotted by a seaman,

There’s snuff upon your ruff, and on your doublet

Some Prussian Blue flicked by a careless painter.

That you do not frequent society

Was clear because you did not knock the door

When entering, and then did leave it standing ope.

WATS: But, Sherlock, what’s this about his childhood fright?

SHERL: Come, come, dear Watson! Lives there yet a man

Who was not frightened by a horse at five?

HAM: Al that you say is true, and yet I fear

You cannot guess my problem. To be brief,

My father was King of Denmark, where

Now reigns his brother, my uncle, Claudius

With his wife, my mother, the late Queen

And Queen again. Sir, I implore your aid.

SHERclass="underline" The grammar’s convoluted, but I think

I have the picture. I have the answer too.

The wrong man reigns – you should have climbed the throne.

HAM: No, no that’s Danish law, to instate the brother

Not the son. What I seek to know

Is how my father was so cruel y murdered?

SHERL: Your father murdered? Are you sure of this?

HAM: Quite sure. My father’s ghost has told me so.

SHERL: I see. (Aside) Quick, Watson, get your gun This man’s

A raving lunatic (To HAMLET) You have a suspect?

HAM: I fear the foulest of my Uncle, Claudius.

SHERL: No evidence?

HAM: Except that he poured poison

Into the ear of my poor sleeping father.

SHERL: How know’st thou this?

HAM: The ghost did tel me so.

SHERL: Hmm. (Aside) A talkative ghost.

Would that he were

Admissible in a court of British justice. (To HAMLET)

This case is not without its points of interest.

Within a day or two, sweet prince, I may wel be

With you in Denmark.

HAM: My thanks! (Exit)

SHERL: Or there again

I may wel not. I’ve better things to do

Than listen to the babbling of mad youths.

(Enter CLAUDIUS disguised)

CLAUD: Have I the honour to address the wel -known Holmes?

SHERL: You do not. He is my trusty colleague Watson.

WATS: Hel o.

CLAUD: Hel o. And was the man outside

Young Hamlet, Prince of Denmark?

And did he spin you some far-fangled tale

Of how his uncle has contrived his father’s death?

SHERL: That was the drift.

CLAUD: Pay him no heed. He has

A most ingenious mind, but little sense.

SHERL: Indeed, Your Majesty?

CLAUD: You guessed?

SHERL: Of course.

You too did leave the door ajar, and wear a crown

Are there many more like you at home?

CLAUD: Nevertheless I swear there’s nothing to it.

Remember – you come to Elsinore at your peril.


SHERL: Better and better! I think it would not hurt

To spend a day or two at Elsinore.

Watson, look up the boats and see which leaves

Tomorrow morning on the Danish line.

WATS: Right ho.

ACTS 11,111,1V AND V



WATS: A draughty castle this, Holmes. Where a man

Could catch his death of cold.

SHERL: I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamlet’s father froze to death.

But look! What shape is this?


GHOST: For you to be in Denmark is not meet.

Go now, and get you back to Baker Street.

(GHOST vanishes)

WATS: I think he’s right, Holmes: I do fear that he

Came from the other world to give us warning!

SHERL: (With lens)

Then why did he leave prints in this soft earth

Of hunting boots, size 10, one broken heel

And marks of clay upon the instep? Tel me that?

(Enter HAMLET)

HAM: ‘Tis good to see you, Mr Holmes. Have you

Found aught that might reveal the murderer?

SHERL: A clue or two. But tel me, Prince, is there

A man who served your father at court

Of whom I might a few light questions ask?

HAM: Alas, alas, one such there was, but he

-Polonius- I mean - has just been stabbed in’th’arras.

WATS: Sounds painful. Is this a Danish malady?

SHERL: And does he live?

HAM: No, sir, his life has ebbed.

SHERL: Most interesting. And tel me, Hamlet, too

If Claudius should die, have you a queen?

HAM: I would have had, in fair Ophelia.

SHERL: You would have had. You mean –

HAM: She’s also dead.

WATS: I told you that the castle was unhealthy.

SHERL: I think I start to see some light amid the gloom

I’l take a walk and meet back in our room.

A graveyard with diggers


SHERL: Good fel ows, may I talk to you and ask

What is’t you do?

1ST DIG: Why sir, ‘tis meet we dig, though ‘tis not meat

We dig, but bones, of that we make no bones,

And then into this hole we place the bones,

Though being bones they are not whole…

SHERL: Here’s five bob.

2nd DIG: To answer questions?

SHERL: No, to stop thy puns

Here’s five bob more to answer question with.

Now, tel me straight, is business good or bad?

1st DIG: Not bad, not good. Not good for us, but good

For those that stay alive. ‘Tis many a year

Since we did have good digging, people live so long.

SHERL: Except for Hamlet’s father.

2nd DIG: A one-off job.

Since then, nothing. Stil it may pick up.



2011 - 2018