We didn’t forget our thrilling adventure story with Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and other assorted super-heroes. It’s just been busy around here. For those of you who need a reminder, the first four parts of the adventure have been collected here and you can read them in the order they were posted.
Chapter Seven – A Midnight Ride
We join our intrepid heroes as Dr. Watson crept around the edge of the corral. It was a dark night in the Rocky Mountains and he could barely see.
“Psst! Watson. Over here.”
Suddenly and without warning, Watson shifted the narrative into the first person.
I [Watson] joined Holmes next to the fence, just above the creek. “Did anyone see you?” demanded Holmes.
“Not that I know of.”
But I was wrong. Two pairs of eyes had followed me from my room. Two pairs of eyes with six legs.
Holmes and I led two horses silently away from the corral. “As soon as we’re down by the creek we’ll mount and ride upstream,” whispered the English detective.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Up river and then to the Monsanto Ranch.”
One of Holmes’ more annoying habits was that he hardly ever told me his plans. Partly the result of his professional caution, it nonetheless bothered me greatly since I was left to surmise exactly what game it was that was afoot. That night was among the worst. A great challenge was before us and I knew little or nothing of what would happen. I had no idea why we were going to the Monsanto Ranch in the dead of night. It was a long ride that night in the darkness of the mountain forest. But I knew that every stride of the horses was taking us nearer to the conclusion of the adventure of the missing bees. Earlier in the evening at dinner, Holmes had told me that he had been in contact with his brother Mycroft in London. I knew that Mycroft had contacts at the highest levels of the British Government. “Mycroft has informed me there is a British secret agent here. We must try to contact him. Apparently another agent who was here first is missing.”
We rode for two hours or more. Eventually we topped out on a ridge overlooking a pristine mountain valley. A few lights glimmered far below us.
“That is Monsanto Ranch headquarters and the end of tonight’s journey Watson. Please dismount and walk on tiptoe and, above all, do not talk above a whisper.” We dismounted, tied the horses and moved cautiously along a faint trail. Holmes stopped when we were still several hundred yards from the ranch house and high above it.
“This will do,” said he. “These rocks upon the right make an admirable screen.”
“We are to wait here?”
“Yes Watson,” said he, “we wait until dawn.”
“But Holmes,” I cried. “That isn’t for three more hours!”
“Yes. It gives us a little time for sleep. I have brought two pads for us to lie upon while we wait.”
We bedded down there as the planet turned and waited for the dawn. From the darkness came Holmes’ voice.
“This reminds me of a joke about us Watson.”
I groaned. Holmes’ jokes were never very funny and I was tired and cold. “Yes, Holmes.”
“Sherlock Holmes and Watson were on a camping trip and sharing a tent. In the middle of the night Holmes awakens Watson and says, ‘Watson! Wake up! What do you see?’ Watson looks about and says, ‘Well, I see stars and the outline of trees.’ “And what do you deduce from that?’ Holmes asks. ‘That the universe is a huge place and that we are very small.’ ‘No Watson. Somebody has stolen our tent!’”
Chuckling mightily, Holmes was instantly asleep. I, however, wasn’t so fortunate. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were being watched and not just by the Great Horned Owl in the fir tree above us.