} "Our visitor is none other than Inspector LeStrade of the Yard."
} I sat up, thunderstruck, with one of those baffled looks which Holmes
} seemed to find so amusing. "Amazing! How do you know it is him? Some
} sort of rhythm to his knocking?"
} "No," Holmes said, rising from his seat,"It's the fact that he is
} threatening to come back with a warrant if we don't answer the door.
} That tells me that he is a police officer.I know that he's LeStrade
} because he takes the trouble to reassure us that he is not a creditor.
} Only someone who knows us well would bother to point that out, and
} LeStrade knows us better than any other policeman I know. Elementary,
} "Extraordinary, Holmes!" I said, laying it on a bit thick, "Really
} quite brilliant!" I would have gone on at some length, but at this
} point the door fell in with a splintering crash (a most appropriate
} noise, for Inspector LeStrade (for indeed it was he without) had
} crashed the door to splinters.) LeStrade stormed into our presence. He
} appeared troubled.
} "See here, Holmes. A bit of a situation has come up. Frankly, all of
} us police officer types are absolutely baffled. Furthermore, we freely
} admit that we are baffled and come to you, a civilian for help."
} LeStrade went on with his grovelling for a while. But in the meantime
} Holmes was whispering to me.
} "Make a note of this Watson. Events lately have seemed rather
} incredible. I am beginning to suspect that we are but characters in a
} story of some sort, and a rather contrived one at that." Holmes would
} have said more, but LeStrade was beginning to get around to his point.
} Apparently a certain Mr T----- had been taking his pet wallaby out for
} an evening stroll when a meteorite of some description had suddenly
} fall out of the sky at his feet. He had been quite surprised to find
} that the meteorite was nothing other than a contused, burned human body
} which had seemingly fallen out of the sky. He had set his wallaby to
} guard the corpse and himself to fetching the police.
} "Let us go to where the body lays at once!" Holmes cried. Holmes may
} be good at detecting, but I'm the writer. "Lies." I said. I would
} have gone on to explain that one can "lay" a body down, but that the
} body itself "lies". But LeStrade misunderstood my remark.
} "So, you have seen through my tissue of falsehoods," LeStrade said.
} But it was not really LeStrade, as I discovered when the figure before
} us removed his LeStrade mask, revealing a glowing figure underneath.
} "Why, this can be none other than the UseNet Oracle in disguise,"Holmes
} said. "I'd know that longwinded, cliche-ridden manner of speech
} anywhere.Good show, Watson! Do you realize you've managed to detect a
} disguised immortal being?"
} "Er," I said, and was prepared to go on in that vein for a while, but
} Holmes had other plans.
} "So tell me, Oh Oracle whose fleecy locks never need conditioner, whose
} nasal flange is stronger than granite, who leaks wisdom..." (Holmes was
} always a stickler for protocol) "...every last ever lovin' spoonful of
} goodness, why did you really come to us?"
} The Oracle struck a thoughtful pose, looked out the window with a
} guarded stare (or did he stare out the window with a guarded look?),
} and began: "Recently I had to kill a pulp detective. He asked The
} Question which Must Not Be Asked Assuming You Want To Avoid Bloodshed.
} I see you are startled at my confession. Do not be. I, an immortal,
} feel no remorse at killing one of your puny kind. Besides, as a native
} of Olympus, I have diplomatic immunity. Anyhow, I'm worried about a
} friend of this guy coming along and hunting me down. Remember--he's a
} pulp detective; Spade and Archer set a precedent for this sort of
} thing. You owe the Oracle a way out of this situation."
} "Are you sure he's the Oracle?" I asked Holmes, "He seems to refer to
} himself in the first person a lot." Holmes ignored me.
} "I fear you are doomed. I suppose it might be possible to hide from a
} pulp detective, but those detectives who are seeking revenge,
} especially revenge for a lost partner, are almost impossible to evade.
} And good hiding places are so hard to come by." Holmes appeared
} "Well, at least I got Dan Quayle's presidential material. I could use a
} good laugh." The Oracle appeared at the brink of despair. Holmes
} suddenly looked inspired.
} "Of course! Quayle's presidential material is quite small and
} impossible to discern! You need but hide within, and not even the most
} steadfast detective will ever find you!"
} "Gee, that's swell," Said the Oracle, who immediately disappeared from
} "Astonishing!" I exclaimed. "Marvellous, quite shrewd!" I figured the
} case was pretty much closed, and was thus rather free with my
} adjectives. "Holmes, you've done it again. Say, was that really the
} Oracle? Who was that masked being, anyhow?"
} "It's always hard to judge identity when it comes to immortals, my dear
} Watson," he said, "but he left us Geraldo Rivera's left nostril."