It all began with Sherlock and I visiting the bank. We'd been called in by an old school friend of his. The man was a banker and pretty much what you'd expect. Someone had broken into their offices and sprayed graffiti across a painting. Nothing too interesting about that, you might think. Except that whoever did it, they didn't show up on any CCTV. The bank's offices were like Fort Knox but there was nothing. No sign of who'd done it.

Sherlock worked out that we needed to speak to one of the bankers, ▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓. So we went to his flat but he was already dead. It looked like suicide but of course it wasn't. The graffiti at the bank had been a warning. A death threat. The police still thought it was suicide and I have to admit... well, it was a locked room. A dead man. Gun in his hand. It did look like suicide.

But Sherlock, of course, had noticed from every little thing in the flat that ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓ was left-handed and that the gun was in his right hand. He said he was 'amazed' that we hadn't noticed. Sad thing is, he genuinely was. That sort of thing comes so easy for him.

Then, almost as if to confirm that what Sherlock was saying was true, there was another murder. A journalist. He was also in a locked room. He'd also presumably thought he was safe from whoever it was that killed him. We needed to find out whatever it was that connected the two men. Sherlock worked out that the graffiti was like an ancient secret code. So we went to meet a 'friend' of his. I think the correct term is 'delinquent'. I called him much worse.

To cut a long story short, I found myself at the police station, reading ▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓'s diary. And that led me and Sherlock to a Chinese emporium on Shaftesbury Ave. It was a shop full of tat basically but we got what we wanted...the graffiti tags were numbers. Old Chinese numbers. Sherlock then noticed that nobody had been in the flat above the shop for a few days... but that the window was open. So, of course, he had to break in and leave me standing outside while he explored. It turned out the flat belonged to a woman who worked in a museum. By now, I have to admit, I was pretty confused. All these people and places that seemed to be linked randomly. Our visit to the bank seemed like a lifetime away.

The woman at the museum, Soo Lin, was really quite brilliant. She was hiding in the museum, fearing for her life. She was hiding there, though, so she could continue looking after some old Chinese teapots. It was both absurd but also strangely beautiful. I think even Sherlock was impressed by her. She told us about a huge smuggling operation and of an assassin sent to kill those who betrayed the organisation. Which is what had happened to the banker and the journalist.

And which is then what happened to her.

So we worked out that the smuggling ring was trading in Chinese antiquities. Both the banker and the journalist were able to bring them to the UK because they travelled a lot and the gang had contacted the woman because she was an expert in such things. We found out where they were selling what they'd stolen but we still needed to work out what the code meant. We realised that the numbers were references to books. Each bit of the code indicated a certain page in a certain book. The problem was working out which book. It needed to be something that anyone would have.

And, meanwhile, I went on a date. I'd met someone. She's called Sarah and she's great. Sherlock gave me tickets for the circus so I could take her. Only, of course, he invited himself along as well. Mine and Sarah's first date and I've got the madman detective there. I kind of figured that it wasn't going to go well. And sure enough, one minute Sherlock was standing next to us, the next he was on the stage fighting with a mad warlord assassin. Luckily, Sarah didn't seem to mind helping me to help him. We saved his life and then returned to the flat. And Sherlock was, of course, his usual rude and arrogant self, ignoring Sarah. Until she pointed out that Soo Lin had already translated part of the code. Sherlock rushed out to do God knows what, leaving me and Sarah to be kidnapped. The date really hadn't gone well.

We found ourselves being held at gunpoint by an opera singer and her assassins. My main concern was Sarah, of course. She hadn't agreed to this. She hadn't agreed to any of this. And, of course, the biggest irony was that they didn't even want me. They'd mistaken me for Sherlock. They were going to kill Sarah because they thought I was Sherlock Holmes!

Sherlock found us and we managed to escape and shut down the operation. It turned out that they'd been looking for a hairpin. All this madness and death was because of a hairpin! An Empress's hairpin apparently but still, a hairpin. Sherlock even knew where it was...he'd seen it before. And that was it. Case closed. Over a couple days we'd encountered Chinese assassins, killer opera singers, secret codes, secret messages in the A-Z, smugglers and god knows what else. I'd even met a beautiful lady. It was all very James Bond.

I can't deny that I prefer this kind of life. Being a civilian doesn't suit me. But the thing is, this life we've chosen isn't safe. Sherlock chooses to be this crusading consulting detective and I choose to be his colleague. But he's becoming known. People know of him. It's like that taxi driver said about how this Moriarty knew about him. Then the opera singer, she knew all about him. How long before someone else comes after him? And what happens to the people like Sarah or Mrs Hudson when that happens?

All these people he involves in his adventures... They're not safe. We're not safe. There are forces out there and they're coming for Sherlock Holmes.

 


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