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A Man's Nature

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Mrs Watson enjoyed breakfast with her husband. This was their morning ritual. Over breakfast, they would read the daily paper together, sharing stories that might amuse or interest the other; a quiet intimacy before the distractions of the day. It was a habit he had acquired before their marriage, whilst lodging with the great detective, Sherlock Holmes.

"Oh," Mrs Watson exclaimed.

"Something interesting?"

"The playwright, Oscar Wilde, has been sentenced to two years' hard labor for indecency." She paused to allow her husband to comment, but he sat quite still, hidden behind his paper, so she continued. "It seems a waste. Such a brilliant man, confined with the coarsest of criminals."

"You do not ... condemn him, for his actions?" her husband asked.

Mrs Watson considered the matter, wiping her mouth delicately with a napkin. "No. I find myself rather moved to pity. For I cannot imagine that any man should engage in such perversion, inviting scandal upon himself and those dear to him, should his nature allow him any choice in the matter."

"As always, my dear, you cut to the very heart of the matter," Dr Watson murmured, excusing himself from the table. His face, she noted, was drawn as if he suffered from some long illness or silent grief.

"Take care," she called after him before finishing her breakfast.