The Reporting Team's Christmas Mystery Play 2003

Volume XI

We returned to our cottage where, in privacy, I was at last able to ask Holmes whether he had, indeed, solved the mystery.

"I believe," he said, "That I no longer have any shadow of a doubt as to how these tragedies were produced but the cause remains as obscure as before. All the evidence points to this man, Mortimer Tregennis, having been the criminal in the first tragedy, though he was the victim in the second one. We must remember that Tregennis had lost heavily at cards to the other three and my enquiries have revealed that this was not the first time he had gambled heavily and lost. When I think of Mortimer Tregennis, with the foxy face and the small shrewd, beady eyes behind the spectacles, he is not a man whom I should judge to be of a particularly forgiving disposition. The first tragedy occurred immediately after he was supposed to have left the house. From the fact that the other three remained seated in their original places it was clear that no stranger had entered the room. We may take it, then, that all the evidence points to Mortimer Tregennis as the culprit."

"Then his own death was suicide!"

"Well, Watson, on the face of it a not impossible supposition. There are, however, some cogent reasons against it. Fortunately, there is one person in England who knows all about it and I have made arrangements by which we shall hear the facts this afternoon from his own lips. Ah! he is a little before his time."

I had heard the click of the garden gate and now the majestic figure of Sonic Trehedgehog appeared upon the path.

"You sent for me, Mr. Holmes. I had your note about an hour ago, and I have come, though I really do not know why I should obey your summons."

"Perhaps we can clear up a point before we separate, " said Holmes, "Since the matters which we will have to discuss will affect you personally in a very intimate manner."

"What do you mean?" he asked at last. "If this is a bluff upon your part, Mr. Holmes, you have chosen a bad man for your experiment. Let us have no more beating about the bush. What do you mean?"

"I will tell you," said Holmes, "And the reason why I tell you is that I hope frankness may beget frankness. What my next step may be will depend entirely upon the nature of your own defence."

"My defence?"

"Yes, sir."

"My defence against what?"

"Against the charge of killing Mortimer Tregennis."

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