by Lily Rowe
Irene Holmes, a freshman in college, doesn't get far without being thrown into a mystery.
| I was told the stories; they were passed down verbally through the family since it all happened in the late 19th century into the early 20th century. He continued his mission after that, but it was a bit more private because his son, my Grandfather, began his school career. His brains and nose for mystery have not died with him. Even though it’s been 93 years I've solved a couple of mysteries of my own.
My great grandfather was a forensic scientist along with a detective, and then there I was, an 18 year old girl from upstate Vermont, had found myself going to a university in Nottingham England for forensic science and criminal justice.
I am getting ahead of myself so I guess I will say a little bit so you can halfway follow me, but after this you're just going to have to keep up. My Great Grandfather is the great detective Sherlock Holmes, he has changed through the century from a man you could call if something odd was going on in the household to just a legend. My name is Irene Holmes. I still have the last name because I am the first woman in the line leading up to The Famous (infamous if he put you in prison) Detective Holmes, and I think just the name starts a reputation. Anyway now that I’ve caught you up let me get back please.
I boarded a plane in New York that would take me to England on September 5th waving back to my parent’s not knowing that on my plane all chaos would be unleashed. It started as just any other ordinary plane ride. In fact the only different was that on the little screens in the center aisle it wasn’t an unappealing movie made for crazy teenage girls or immature adults, but since this was a British plane a series about James Herriot was playing. There was a young man who was most likely heading back home from college, for he had a quite full book bag in the carryon, but He looked closer to 16 than 26 however. This man sat on an aisle seat, but only for the first hour for he fell over hitting the floor with a loud thud.
I walked over to the man checking for vital signs, I had learned about this in Girl Scouts when I was 13 years old, his life was hanging on an unraveling thread. I checked why he was dying when I discovered that he had been slowly bleeding to death out of his big toe this entire flight, well no not out of his big toe, it had been cut off.
“Well someone put yourself to good use and get me a large bandage or a clean cloth or perhaps even a piece of tape and some paper!” I yelled because by this point many people had gotten up to start staring. Before I knew it I had a Box of gauze pads some duct tape and an old T-shirt, the shirt I didn’t really need, but I might be able to save his life with everything else. I tore open the box of gauze pads; finally I was able to stop the bleeding by putting enough pressure on the wound. Just to make sure I checked his pulse. He was still alive but he wouldn’t be if I didn’t get enough blood back in his body. I needed to get 2 liters of blood back in his body, but without knowing what blood type he was I needed to put type O blood into his body. Unfortunately however I am a type B blood.
“Miss, what do you need?” asked a couple who looked roughly 20. The truth was he needed blood, but all I needed was a doctoral degree.
“Honestly, I need a degree now, but he needs two liters of blood, but without a degree I can’t get it to him. Is anyone a doctor or a nurse or anything like that?”
“Can you ask the pilot to get a doctor on the line?” I asked the flight attendant.
“Yes ma’am.” I waited about two minutes.
“Do you have a syringe?” She yelled down the halls.
“Not yet,” I yelled back, “Get me a syringe!”
“As big as you can,” she yelled again.
“As big as you have!” I added.
“And a liter bottle.”
“And a liter bottle! Hurry!”
“Do you know what blood type he has?” the doctor on the other end asked. I hadn’t actually thought to ask that question.
“Does anyone know the blood type of this man?”
“Yes he has type B- blood,” answered the man I earlier mentioned. not three seconds later I got a huge syringe, and a liter bottle.
“Ok, he has type B- blood and I got a 30 ml syringe, and a liter bottle…” I have no clue about anything after except that I was dead silent, for I have gone into autopilot many times since then and my best friend said I could be in the middle of my sentance. Anything and I would just start to think or work in absolute silence. The next thing I remember is sitting back down in my seat with the man’s reviving body draped in my lap. Now that I think about it it’s a little odd that my first plane trip was with some dude nearly dying not halfway thru it.
“Girl! How did you think to take off his shoe to find out why he was over! Was it you whom chopped off his toe?” some voice called from behind me.
“Yeah! Nobody else would do that!” another voice from in front of me yelled. I thought, I also find it strange that I hadn’t began college, or even had gotten anything more than a talk with the principal in middle school and already I was being accused of murder.
“I didn’t. If I had I wouldn’t try to save him.” when I said this nobody else said anything. It wasn’t the comforting accomplished feeling in the air, more the the-law-says-innocent-til-proven-guilty-so-I-will-just-prove-her-guilty feel in the air, and it was a little weird. I knew then that I’d have to clear my name if I ever wanted to make it into college.
To while away about five minutes I looked at the young man on my lap. He actually was very handsome if you’re into dead looking hot guys without a big toe. He was about 5 foot 4 with nearly-neon green eyes and a brown mop of hair on his head. he also wore big round glasses I propped on his nose pushing them back up every once in a while. For the next 55 minutes I started watching the TV again. This episode was in which James has to take care of Mrs. Pumphrey’s dog tricky-woo. Tristan and his brother were trying to diagnose a rather large dog. At the end of the hour the young man finally woke up.
“Miss, may I ask what is going on?”
“You knocked yourself out of blood loss, I gave you your blood back, and someone is trying to kill you.”
“Well that explains the headache, but who are you?” he inquired. By this point he was sitting up in the seat next to me.
“My name is Irene Holmes, yours?”
“John Watson,” he replied. To you dear reader this may seem very unordinary, a descendant of Sherlock Holmes meets a man who’s name just happens to be John Watson, but you must understand Watson is the eighteenth most common name in Britain. “Where are you heading?”
“To Nottingham for college.”
“Really so am I what will you major in?”
“Criminal justice, but I am also taking a couple classes in forensic science, how about you?” I replied.
“Criminal justice, but my side degree will be in medicine.” He replied.
“Who would want to kill you?”
“I don’t think anybody would.”
“Our plane will begin for decent,” the polite lady on the intercom said interrupting our conversation.
“Where are you from?”
“I am from Vermont.”
“I am actually from Nottingham. Will you need a lift to the college?”
“Yeah thanks,” I replied as the plane landed. The other 30 or so people grabbed their luggage. Because of the beating sun, I looked at the ground almost immediately. I noticed only about five people had the same bright red mud on their shoes. I grabbed out my camera and took pictures of these five people. I heard all five earlier, they were all British however there were about 12 British people on the plane. John and I left the plane last. We made our way to the luggage thing. I grabbed my couple bags, and so did John.
He led me thru the parking lot until we got to a big red truck. I knew cars in Britain flipped, but it still was odd being the passenger getting into the driver’s side.
As he began driving slowly thru the airport parking lot, I looked out over the countryside. It was beautiful. It was so green. in the background, there were bushy trees that if traffic weren’t so slow I would have thought they were hills rolling off into the distance. While in the foreground there was a long stretch of grass. right next to the road were tall grasses and flowers. The flowers looked like lavender and a variety of, roughly six inch, yellow and white flowers.
After an enjoyably timed car drive we arrived at the college dormitories. We went to get our schedule and so forth together. We never quite got there however the police picked us up.
“Are you Irene Holmes, miss?” asked a tall brawny policeman.
“Yes unless my name was changed without my knowing it is there a problem officers?”
“There might be if you don’t come with us.”
“Well I’m not putting up much of a fight,” I laughed to them. They began to grab my arm.
“I’m perfectly capable of walking on my own thanks,” I told him shaking his hands away. Like a gentleman he escorted me to the back seat of the police car.
“Officer, do you mind if I come with you?” John asked the other who was a bit stouter than the first.
“Well I guess this applies to you also John, so why not?” The officer stated leading him to the other side, and he slid into the back with me. We went to a courthouse on the other side of town. A big group of people were in the courtroom, including a judge, and all of the other people from the plane.
"Excuse me Judge, but do you mind telling me why I'm here?" I asked chucking my past bit of attitude out the window.
"We had an attempted murder case, and you are both a witness and a suspect," He answered just as calmly. "Now may I begin?" I nodded.
"Irene Holmes how much do you know about the attempted murder of James Watson?"
"His right big toe was cut off, and he'd been slowly bleeding for about four hours. His toe was cut off most likely after going thru security. That's it."
"How did you know to check his feet?" asked a lady on the other side of the room.
"His shoes were caked in mud, what would you have done but take off his shoes?"
"How do you know it was after security?" The judge asked. I have to admit it was a fairly good question.
"You have to take off your shoes for security and I tend to doubt that a murderer would risk police officers seeing blood in his sock."
"This is all you know?"
"You may go back however if you don't clear your name within a week you will not be able to begin school this semester; you are still a suspect," the judge threatened.
The two Police officers who brought us here came to get John and I. They took us back to the exact place they had kidnapped us from. We began walking to the small lines to get any last paperwork. With regret, they finally gave me my paperwork, and more immediately gave John his.
"Well I've got my work cut out for me," I stated completely distraught.
"I will help you Irene. I know it wasn't you," John stated.
"John I can't thank you enough."
"No problem, if you wouldn't mind finding a lead though it might be a start."
"Well?" Then it crossed my mind that John would know who tried to kill him; you couldn't really not see someone chop off your toe. "Do you know anything about what happened?"
He began to go on about how he got out of security and blacked out then he was right back where he was. John didn't add too much detail besides the occasional rubbing his head or foot. Of Course I asked him for more details such as what kind of pain he felt; did anyone immediately walk past; did he immediately wake up, or was it more a slow drowsy awakening, and did he have any other's with him while in New York. Just in case you think you need to know, which technically you don't I am only even writing because John decided a book needs to be written and he gets knocked out a lot so I got the job, the pain was like when your foot goes numb then you out a bunch of weight on it; his friend Harold Carter walked past him, Harold was texting his girlfriend Ameretta; he woke up slowly but not drowsy in the least; he went with a group of high school friends but the only name he mentioned was that of his, I assumed, best friend Harold Carter, David Galenson, Arnold Bicket, Rupert Beagle, Timothy Baker, and Ameretta Witherbee.
We stepped into my dormitory when I asked about the mud on his shoes.
“The mud was the shale one of the colleges I looked at when another person spilled a jug of water. How do you know to ask these questions?”
“Reading, instinct, or genetics I guess. Holmes remember.”
“Holmes! As in Sherlock Holmes?!”
“Yes, he’s my great grandfather.”
“Those are enormous shoes to fill; not near as big as my great grandfather. Watson remember,” he said with a smile.
“Actually I’ve seen his shoes and they’re not too big, yet still a bit big for my feet,” I said with a laugh. “Watson you say? Maybe we should stick together a while.”
“We should most definitely stick together,” He started. “However first we need to get you legalized into college. Have you got anything
“I think I might have something, but first we might have to tell your parents that you're back home." This is where keeping up would be such a good idea.
We headed to John’s parents’ home first. Boy was that an interesting event. Their home was only about two blocks from those Dorms. John and I knocked on the door completely unaware exactly how motherly Mrs. Watson was.
“John! Oh, John they said you were dead!” She explained overjoyed smothering John in a hug. “And you brought home a new girlfriend,” She asked surprised letting go of John.
John and I glanced over at each other.
“No, Mom this is just the girl that saved my life, and I am helping her be legalized into college because a bunch of other people think that she tried to kill me,” John cleared up. Mrs. Watson looked relieved.
“Ma’am you said ‘they told you he was dead.’ Who were ‘they’?” I asked trying to get a solid lead not just the ghost of one.
“The group Harold Carter, David Galenson, Arnold Bicket, Rupert Beagle, Timothy Baker, and Ameretta Witherbee. Do you think you can find out who tried to kill my son?”
“I am confident that I can ma’am. Thank you.” I replied turning away down the short way. I asked John if I could meet Harold. I wanted to do this because if I heard his side of this it might be a bit easier to solve.
John called Harold up to see where he was after getting back in the car. He stayed quiet until he began to drive back in the direction of the college. No I just got corrected by John; he drove all the way back to the college. Anyway Howard had a dorm in the same building as John and I. We walked down a corridor to dorm 17; I knocked on the door. He must have been expecting us because the door flew open almost immediately.
Howard invited us in. At first glance his dorm was the classic dorm. Until I began to think about it, I didn’t realize that for a young man this was abnormal. Harold hadn’t even unpacked.
John’s dorm would be clean because he hadn’t been there for more than 5 minutes unless of course his roommate had arrived by now.
As a forward to the later conversation there’s a few things that are needed to know. The first, and only really, is that I use big words when I am nervous or scared. It got a bit interesting my first speech really, I was so nervous I used the word honorificabilitudinitatibus.
“Salutation,” I gladly reached out my hand for a handshake trying my best to hide my total nervousness. “Harold I presume,”
“Yes,” He began shaking my hand. “And you are Irene?”
“Punctilious. May I catechize how prolonged you’ve been hitherto?” He looked at me funny and went to get a dictionary. After looking up a few words, he replied that he had been here roughly 15 minutes
“Where, pray tell, have you transpired all 24 hour ascendancy the avion disembarked at 10 a.m. and it is 10 p.m. now?” I asked and he went back to looking words up in the dictionary.
“I went my parents' house and to John’s Mother’s home.”
“In that order?” John piped in just after me completely forgetting he was standing there next to me.
“No the two were switched around; I just said that because I was looking back on tonight.”
“How prolonged were you sojourning each?” He quickly glanced at the dictionary.
“I was at my house for 2 hours and at John’s parent’s for 8 hours.”
“And the divergent bilaterality hours?” He seemed to know what I was talking about that time.
“Look those two hours were after the plane! I didn’t try to kill John!” He said angrily, very angrily. He looked at me like he wanted to kill me even if he didn’t want to kill John.
“Hey! This girl saved my life! Don’t you dare talk to her like that!” John snapped back just as angrily. He was also shoving me out into the hall, rather violently might I add.
I stood there for a while listening into their conversation. It wasn’t a hard task with how loud they both were yelling. The door did muffle quite a bit of their conversation however I got the gist of it pretty well. I know some details got left out.
John insists I tell you what I heard in their conversation, so fine it went something like this. I wasn’t his girlfriend, just a good friend that needed help. John’s girlfriend Ameretta would be mad if she found out John was associating with another girl. After that I started hearing punching, so I flew back to my dorm. When I threw myself into the door a blonde haired girl sat on the other of the two beds. She was reading “Little Women” when I walked in.
“Hello, are you in trouble?” she said warmly setting her book aside. She got up and walked over to me.
“No running away from two young men in a fist fight, that’s all.”
“Wow, how did you get caught into that?”
“I came on a plane over here and someone tried to kill this guy. I was blamed for it; he offered to help me figure out who did it, and he got in a fight with our first suspect. He got protective over me, so he threw me into the hall. They yelled at each other for a while then someone decided to throw a punch, so I ran.”
“Wow! Sounds exciting.”
“Yes, I find it exciting,” I began. “Oh, I’m Irene Holmes by the way.”
“Holmes? As in Sherlock Holmes?”
“Yes, he is my great-grandfather.”
“Those are big shoes to fill.”
“Yeah, well I’m not much trying to fill his shoes as much as be legally able to be in college.”
“Well I’m Mary Smith, nobody important.”
“You are important Mary.”
Then she went back to reading. I read her lips and she was about ¼ of the way done with the book. I began writing up a list of questions that needed to be answered, and suspects needed for examining.
1. Where had Harold been for two hours?
2. What did he tell them?
3. Was he lying about fifteen minutes? Why would he lie?
4. Was he hiding something?
5. How good of friends were John and Harold?
6. Why was the place his parents lived a house while John’s was a home?
When I had finished this I began to put my things away. This here, That their, honestly I was so tired it’s a wonder I remembered in the morning where everything was.
The next morning Mary and I were both awake and dressed by 7. I walked over to Watson’s dorm leaving Mary still there with her book. I knocked on the door. A different young man opened the door.
“Hello, I am Irene Holmes looking for John Watson.”
“Holmes, yes John mentioned that you might be coming this morning,” he stated motioning me inside.
I looked about the room. It was still fairly clean except a rummy game set to suit 2 people in the middle of a desk. No one sat at the desk though. John looked as if he were barely awake enough to open his eyes. The other young man and I am assuming John weren’t dressed much farther than a robe, so I told them that they better, both be dressed and ready to help in 10 minutes. I went back across the hall to pack a couple bags. once the bags were packed I stood patiently outside to wait for John and the other one too if he wanted to be there. I didn’t have to wait too long. Within 5 minutes both of them stood there between the dorms.
Alex wasn’t your typical guy. One thing that got me was how much he reminded me of Rick O'Connell, Malcolm Reynolds, or perhaps Han Solo. He was wearing slacks and a long sleeved dress shirt, but I think what was most amazing was that he was carrying 2 guns in his belt. I must admit though I thought it was rather attractive.
“Where to first?” John asked. I glanced at my list.
“David Galenson.” John called him up then led us down to the other end of the hall. Again we rang the doorbell. I thought I’ll be doing that in my sleep if I’m not careful. Again the door was opened; this time by David Galenson. He invited the three of us in. Apparently John had mentioned that there were three of us.
“Hey John, come inside.”
“Hi David, this is Irene, she’s trying to figure out who tried to kill me,” He gestured toward me. “This is Alex, he’s also helping.”
“Come inside, I’m glad to help.”
“Who told you that John was dead?”
“We all just kinda witnessed it sort of, but I guess Arnold first looked over and verbalized ‘I think he’s dead,’ but like I said we all thought he was.”
“Do you know what everybody did after the plane landed?”
“We all went to John’s parent’s home for quite a while then split up, all I know is that Timothy and I came here to say we were here and all of that,”
We turned away.
“Hey wait!” he called and we all stopped. “If it helps at all everyone left separately except Ammeretta, Harold, and Arnold. Just in case it helps.”
“You have no idea how much that helps David,” I told him. We walked half the stretch of the corridor while I began writing more in my notebook.
7. Why did Ammeretta, Harold, and Arnold leave together
“Okay, well I’ve got a bunch and I should probably tell you what I know. Where is a good place?”
“I know a place, come on,” John offered. He took Alex and I to a little cafe on an outskirt of town area. It was really quiet, so it was absolutely perfect. We sat down at one of the tables when I began to tell them about what I knew, and how I knew it.
“Well to start with from the moment I noticed a toe was cut off I was positive that whoever cut it off was trusted greatly by John,” I said.
“How?” John asked.
“That’s easy. Usually murders aren’t random, and a murderer that wasn’t really close would just stab you. What would be the purpose in cutting off a toe? I thought at the time just putting in more to why not stab you. But it also reminded me someone you trust isn’t going to kill you for no reason, and they wouldn’t want to see you suffer for an inanimate object, so it must be for an animate. With me so far?”
“Yes,” They told me in unison.
“Good, afterward when John and I spoke with his mother and later to one another I knew who the animate object was, your girlfriend. Would that make sense?”
“Yes, actually Arnold has been trying to get at her since junior high,” John told me.
“Would anyone else say that Arnold was after Ammeretta since Junior High?”
“Yes, um Rupert Beagle, Timothy Baker, David Galenson, and Harold Carter. How important is it?”
“The end of the mystery. To make a long story short I knew Harold wasn’t lying so he didn’t try to kill John. I didn’t figure out who did it until this morning when David told us that Harold, Ammeretta, and Arnold left together. This is the truth I needed to report Arnold to the police for attempted murder. Let’s go to the courthouse.”
We piled back into John’s car. John drove to the police station; I went into the courthouse while I wrote the last of it on the third page of my journal.
“Compellation, I’m Irene Holmes. I was deputized to the endeavored lynching epithetical John Watson,” I told the woman at the communication center. She pulled out a dictionary. As you may have realized I was extraordinarily nervous.
“John Watson, yes. You were clearing your name. You have something?”
“Indubitably signora,” I said handing her the three papers. She looked through them, and called up a man. He looked through them.
“Wow! You figured all this out in a week?” He nearly yelled in disbelief. Boy, was I confused. What was I supposed to do?
“Well indubitably monsieur I did, what was I conjectural to do unequivocally?”
“Just find a different suspect. This is enough to put Arnold in jail for 20 years! You don’t think we could call you up to investigate something or someone?”
“Of course I would be happy to. Now can you tell the college I’m not a criminal please?”
“Yes, I’m on the phone right now. I might see you later,” he told me quite friendly.
I went back out to the car where Alex and John sat waiting for me patiently. He began driving, but I was so ecstatic I was speechless
“So you can begin college I suspect?” Alex asked.
“Oh, yes! And they're going to call me up if they need me to solve any other cases. Isn’t that marvelous?”
“Oh, Irene that’s wonderful!” Alex exclaimed. We went back to the college; John said he had to go off and do something. Alex let me out of the backseat.
“Irene I said it once, and I’ll say it again. You are marvelous, and I’d like to take you out tomorrow night; if of course I’m not too rundown for the greatest detective,” he asked.
“You're certainly not too rundown for any girl.”