Chapter 1: Prologue
Once upon a time, there were two friends.
Their names were Holmes and Watson.
Holmes was tall and thin and liked to know things. He knew all kinds of things.
He knew things about the weather and things about dirt.
He knew things about letters and rope and carriage wheels. He knew about dogs.
Holmes knew so many things because he was a detective.
(A detective is a person who solves mysteries.)
Holmes was the best detective in the world.
Holmes had a best friend. His name was Watson.
Watson was strong and kind and liked stories.
He liked telling stories. He liked hearing stories.
Watson could calm a horse. He could fight a villain.
(A villain is someone who does bad things.)
He could make a sick person feel better, because he was also a doctor.
Watson could do all these things because he had lived through many stories.
Watson's favorite stories were the ones he lived with Holmes.
Holmes and Watson lived together in house number 221b, on a street called Baker, in a city called London, in a country called England. They had been living there for many years.
They would live there for many years to come.
Chapter 2: Watson Goes for a Walk
Chapter by briar_pipe
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
One afternoon, Watson looked out the window and saw that it was spring.
"Holmes," said Watson. "Let's go for a walk."
Holmes was reading. He did not look up. "I do not wish to go for a walk, Watson," said Holmes.
"Then I will go alone," Watson said. And he did.
Watson walked down the street.
The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The people were smiling.
Watson was sad Holmes had not come with him.
"I know," he said to himself. "I will find something from this day and bring it home with me. Then Holmes can enjoy it, too."
First, Watson went to a bookstore.
He looked up.
He looked down.
He looked left.
He looked right.
There were books about dragons. There were books about whales.
There were books about stars, shoes, and winter sleds. There were books about books and books about people who write books. There were books about dreams.
Not even one of the books looked like something Holmes would enjoy.
"I must go somewhere else," said Watson to himself.
As Watson left the bookstore, his shoe began to flap.
He looked down. His shoelace was broken!
"Oh no!" said Watson. "I have not found a gift for Holmes. I can't go home yet."
"Here," said the bookstore owner. "I will give you a piece of wrapping string. You can fix your shoelace with it."
"Thank you," Watson said. And he did.
Next, Watson went to see the hatter.
(A hatter is a person who makes hats.)
He saw tall hats. He saw short hats.
He saw brown hats, blue hats, and black hats.
He saw round hats, top hats, and big floppy hats with flowers on them. He even saw hats with stripes.
Watson put the hats on his head one at a time. He wanted to see if they looked good.
Some were too small. Some were too big.
Some were just the right size, but not one of the hats looked like something Holmes would enjoy wearing.
"I must go somewhere else," said Watson.
Walking along, Watson saw a park nearby.
"I could bring Holmes a flower from the park," Watson thought. "I know he enjoys flowers."
Watson left the path and walked across the grass.
There were flowers above Watson. He could not reach them.
There were flowers below him. They had thorns.
There were flowers just his height, but they were too deep in the bushes.
Sadly, Watson let his arm drop.
"Now I have nothing to bring Holmes," he said.
He went home with his hands in his pockets.
When Watson came home, Holmes was still reading.
"Hello, Watson," said Holmes. "How was your day?"
Watson shrugged. "I am sorry, Holmes," he said.
"Why?" asked Holmes
"I wanted to bring you the sunshine," said Watson.
"I wanted to bring you the singing birds and the smiles on people's faces. But I could not find anything that you would enjoy."
"Watson, you know that the thing I most enjoy is a mystery," Holmes said. "Let me guess where you have been today..."
"Your shoelace is broken," said Holmes.
"It is tied with a string.
It is the kind of string used to wrap books.
So you have been to a bookstore."
"Your hair is flat in the back.
Your forehead has a line across it.
You have been trying on hats that were too big and hats that were too small.
So you have been to a hatter."
"Your shoes have mud on them.
The back of your hand is scratched.
There is a leaf caught in your pocket.
So you have been to the park."
"You are right, Holmes!" cried Watson.
"Of course I am," said Holmes. "And now, I have a gift for you."
"What is it?" asked Watson.
"A story," Holmes said.
"Oh!" said Watson. "I love stories most of all."
"I know," said Holmes.
...And this is where I stopped. For now.