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Letter From America: Holmes In Need

Ronnie Bray needs outside help as he investigates The Case Of The Missing Liquorice.

I know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didnít have his leading man, Sherlock Holmes, ask the advice of people he didnít know when he was working on a particularly sticky or thorny case, but I am not Holmes, and since I do not play the violin or sniff cocaine I have little input from esoteric sources and none of the flashes of brilliance enjoyed on an hourly basis by the Man from Baker Street.

Due to these deficiencies, whenever I am faced with an urgent serpentine problem I am on my own. Yes, you are quite right, gentle reader, that I do have a Border Collie and a Groenendael jointly occupying the role of Watson, but since neither of them is interested in "The Case Of The Missing Liquorice," I am very much on my own.

In such a situation, Holmes might have a welcome visit from his brother Mycroft, or even a little unintentional assistance from his arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty whose braggadocio often lets slip some titbit that ignites a spark in the inner chambers of Holmesí towering intellect, and sets at least one of his great toes on the path to a superlative explication of what is for ordinary mortals an insoluble enigma.

Two pair of beautiful, engaging but otherwise unsympathetic brown eyes look at me in something approaching pity. "Poor old duffer," they seem to say. "He bought it, ate some on the way home, and now he hasnít a clue where it is! Whoíd be a human? They are olfactorily deficient to the point of ludicrousity!"

I interpret their looks of pity into expressions of profound sympathy in my head, and thus my heart received solace. Yet, the Liquorice remains lost, unfound, out of reach, uneatable, forfeited, missing, absent, gone, lacking, past, missed, and deeply mourned. It is only 1.12 miles to the supermarket to buy another bag, but $1.98 cents do not grow on streets, and think of the cost in petrol! Petrol cost almost two pounds a gallon! Poor me.

No! The stuff has to be around here somewhere and it is become my mission in life to find it and eat every wonderful, glistening stick of rich black Pomfret taste before I can lose it again! Only, first I have to find it, and as I have looked everywhere I can think of and it hasnít surfaced I donít hold out much hope of ever being reunited with it.

So, in an admittedly unholmesian way I am compelled by my misfortune to appeal for suggestions from my devoted readers. Any proposition that leads to the discovery, arrest, and ingestion of at least one of the twisted vines will be rewarded by an honourable mention in this column. Sorry it is not a cash reward, but I might need to hold onto a couple of dollars if I am forced to undergo LRT. Thatís right, Liquorice Replacement Therapy!

Copyright © 2011 Ronnie Bray

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