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First edition, November 2017
© 2017 Orlando Pearson
Ebook Edition © 2017 Delos Digital srl
Piazza Bonomelli 6/6 20139 Milano Italy
May 1945. The British Government needs to decide whether to put Rudolph Heβ, Hitler’s deputy, on trial on for war crimes...
May 1945. The British Government needs to decide whether to put Rudolph Heβ, Hitler’s deputy, on trial on for war crimes. Heβ flew to Britain in 1941 but no one has been able to work out why he came as he neither sought political asylum nor brought peace proposals.
Holmes is commissioned to carry out the interrogation of Heβ. This proves to be a highly dramatic affair as it reveals not only the totally unexpected reason for Heβ’s flight but also some completely unknown facts about Hitler.
Dr Watson’s papers on this case were only discovered in the summer of 2015 and this is the first time the true story can be told.
Orlando Pearson, creator of the well-known Redacted Sherlock Holmes series, commutes into London during the day and communes with the spirits of Baker Street by night.
An international businessman, his interests include classical music, history, literature, current affairs, sport and economics. All these themes find their way into his stories which are being translated into German and Italian.Mr Pearson is married with two children and lives near Wisteria Lodge.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organisations, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
I have indicated several times in the past that there would be no further works about Sherlock Holmes. When I have done so, I have generally added the qualification that this was not for want of suitable material. After the Great War, however, relations between Holmes and me became much more distant as he retired to be an apiarist in Sussex. I had moved out of Baker Street after I remarried in 1907 and from then until well into the late nineteen-twenties I was busy raising my family with my second wife at our house in Queen’s Square. Accordingly, while I continued to publish old cases occasionally, I had no recent ones on which to report. As time passed, these old stories increasingly wore the air of coming from a by-gone age. Thus, after 1927, I published no further cases at all as I had no desire for the work of my friend to appear as up to date as the penny-farthing bicycle or the mangle.
The narrative that follows recounts the only one of Holmes’s cases from the second German war just ended in which I had an involvement. As might be expected, both Holmes and I were physically frail by the mid-nineteen-forties. Nevertheless, this case illustrates how my friend’s extraordinary intellectual capacities were, with full justification, valued at the most senior levels across Europe long after his withdrawal from active detective work.
In 1937 my wife died and, rather to my surprise, Holmes travelled up to London for her interment. At the wake we readily fell back into conversation.
“Come to Sussex, dear boy!” he urged. “My beekeeper’s cottage could do with a bit more life. My housekeeper will remain in post with me, but she has saved enough to buy her own cottage in the village and will move there, which means that I have extra space. You will remember the housekeeper as Mrs Turner – the married name of Mrs Hudson’s elder daughter – who ran the Baker Street flats with her mother after Mr Hudson’s death. We can spend our time there defying the fading of the light. This time I will not even need to persuade a relative to buy your practice as your freedom from any smell of iodoform tells me that you have fully given up your work as a doctor in civil practice.”
My children had by 1937 all long since left the family home and I found the idea of living in the country with Holmes far more appealing than living on my own in central London. It proved surprisingly easy to settle my affairs and within a month I had moved into Holmes’s cottage.
There I planned to spend my final days and would have done so had the War not brought about a sudden change of plans. Our cliff-top village was an ideal location for a look-out and extended gun-battery to protect against the invasion feared in 1940. Our cottage was requisitioned and Holmes and I had to move out. With accommodation so short, I was concerned that we would not be able to find anywhere suitable to live, so I was pleased when, contrary to my fears, Holmes rapidly obtained the tenancy of a cottage near Fenny Stratford in Buckinghamshire. Thus it was that in July 1940 we found ourselves in the flat lands of the northern Home Counties, in a pleasant cottage with space for Holmes to continue his retirement activity of bee-keeping.