(Editor’s Note: This is our third riveting installment in the serial about the missing bees. You can read the first installment here and the second part here if you are new to the spine-tingling mystery.)
After checking in at the hotel, Holmes and Watson went to the bar. They ordered a pint of bitter. No one had a clue what they were talking about. So, they got sarsparilla. “Watson, this tastes like brambles!” exclaimed Holmes.
Watson called the bartender over, “I say, my good fellow, haven’t you got something that tastes better, like beer?”
“Well of course we have beer. Why didn’t you order one?”
“We thought we had. Terribly sorry, old chap.”
“I’m not old and these are jeans I’m wearing, not chaps.”
Holmes drained his beer. “Another glass, Watson!”
“It is a good beer, Holmes.”
“A remarkable beer, Watson. The bartender has assured me that it is from Franz Josef’s special cellar at the Schoenbrunn Palace. Come, let us strike up a conversation with that man on the sofa over there.”
Holmes and Watson walked over to the sofa. Noticing that a crossword puzzle was available, Watson moved on to a table where he could work on it. The clue for 1 across was “A five letter word for fish.” Dr. Watson was an expert fisherman and knew the answer was “trout.” Of course, the hotel was a trout-fishing resort so it wasn’t difficult. 6 across was also easy, “A red-necked assertive hummingbird.” Watson filled in, “Rufous.” 11 down was a scratcher though, “Famous fictional English detective.”
In the meantime, Holmes said to the man, “My name is Sherlock Holmes. Do you mind if I sit here?”
“Of course not. I am Bill Jansen. Not from around these parts are you?”
“No,” replied Holmes, “but I perceive that you are a unmarried right-handed lawyer, fisherman, and bee-keeper.”
Jansen flushed, “How do you know that? I am.”
“That you are right-handed is clear from the callus on your right middle finger where your pen rests when you write. That you are a fisherman I deduce from the callosity beneath the inside of your right-hand ring finger which means you cast with your right hand. There is no ring on your left hand which indicates that you are unmarried. That you are a lawyer is evident from the briefcase by your side and that you are a bee-keeper is apparent from the welt on your neck, obviously caused by a bee sting and also the fleck of honey in your hair.”
“You are very quick at observing.”
“That is my trade. Tell me, have your bees been disappearing?”
Jansen looked downcast. “Why yes, they have. Over the winter, I lost almost all of my hives.”
“But not all?” inquired Holmes.
“No. Two survived.”
“Was it an unusually warm winter?” Holmes asked.
“No. It was about normal. We had a lot of snow.”
A beautiful woman walked over and told them that dinner was being served in the dining room. Holmes remarked to her, “ You are named after an American Robin, I perceive.” The beautiful woman stared at him. “How do you know my name?” she asked.
“Your voice reminds one of the bright, rich call of a robin,” said Holmes. “Surely your parents noticed this and named you accordingly. That they changed the spelling is of no account.”
After beating him up for no apparent reason, the guards at the Nonsanto Ranch released Tonto. He noticed a man being dragged toward a dungeon. Tonto decided to rescue him. Tonto hauled himself on his horse and charged the guards. The man grabbed Tonto’s outstretched hand and swung himself aboard the horse as Tonto raced by. They galloped towards the mountains with the guards close behind. It was an exciting chase with lots of hair-breadth escapes but we don’t have time to tell you about it. In the end, they got away and rode into the Lone Ranger’s camp.
The Lone Ranger said, “Well Tonto, who is that you have with you?”
The man walked up to the Lone Ranger and said, “My name is Bond, James Bond.”
A Scrub Jay called. This was Colorado and part of its year-round range.