Sherlock Holmes and the case of The Virgin Bride

BY : Belinda-LaPage
Category: Titles in the Public Domain > Sherlock Holmes > Het
Dragon prints: 1904
Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I do not own Sherlock Holmes, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Foreword

Hello readers, sorry to delay the storytelling, this is just a short note about why I wrote this story. If you page down to the Prologue now, you won’t miss any of the story.

The creator of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle – is possibly the world’s most famous author of short stories, and these days erotica is the literary genre now most commonly presented in small, delicious portions; so the marriage of the two was too enticing for me to resist.

I own (and treasure) a paperback collection of Sherlock Holmes stories that I have read many times over. I love the Victorian style of these bite-sized mysteries and have also read a number of Holmes-homage stories that replicate the language and characters so convincingly that they could have come from A.C. Doyle himself. It was this type of story I wanted to write; one that looked and sounded just like a Sherlock Holmes story, except it would be erotica.

This story is part parody and part homage to the world-famous detective.

All but four of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories were narrated by his friend and roommate, Doctor John Watson (you know: “Elementary, dear Watson”). In the stories, Holmes is a very arrogant and intolerant man; qualities that Watson readily forgives because he enjoys the excitement of solving crimes. These are the “homage” qualities of my story: I have tried to replicate Watson’s narrative style, Holmes’s arrogance and the nature of their partnership.

In Doyle’s stories, Holmes is always mentally superior and cracks the case long before Watson. In this respect my story is a parody; I wanted Watson to win for a change and I hope I have given it a humorous twist by exploiting Holmes’s only earthly weakness: his knowledge of women.

As for the erotica, I have never read any explicit Victorian erotica, so the style may seem a little anachronistic; certainly it doesn’t sound like A.C. Doyle, so for that I apologise in advance.

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories, I hope you enjoy this one in the spirit in which it is offered. If you haven’t read any of Doyle’s stories, I hope you find this to be a short piece of sexy, Victorian fun.

Belinda LaPage, 2014

 


Prologue

I have chronicled a great many of the confounding mysteries solved by my dear friend Sherlock Holmes, but as I peruse my notes from our adventures, I realise that I have done myself a disservice in describing Holmes as ever the ‘first violin’ in our little ensemble and relegating myself in every case to the rank of second fiddle; for this has not always been the case.

Indeed, as limitless the great detective’s powers of deductive reasoning may seem, there are some small chinks in his armour. One of these I discovered upon our first meeting when I found Holmes’s knowledge of our solar system to be gravely lacking – although to date this has been no liability in his role of consulting detective to Scotland Yard, as every case brought before him has had its solution to be found firmly planted on terra-firma.

The brain of Sherlock Holmes may indeed be faultless in matters of poisons, weapons, criminal behaviour, footprints, guilt and a thousand other arcana upon which the key to a case may turn; but there is one subject that shall be forever beyond the reach of his enormous intellect, and that is the thoughts and desires of the fairer sex.

Though rarely a barrier to his deductive method, Holmes’s ignorance of women, their passions, and most especially their bodies; is complete. I do not mean to imply that Sherlock – how should I put this? – prefers the company of gentlemen; just that he is to all appearances, utterly asexual; and never was this more apparent than in The Case of the Virgin Bride. In fact, were it not for my timely assistance, then due to the elevated status of the persons in the matter, it may have become a permanent stain in his otherwise impeccable record.

 


Chapter One – The Client

The case began as so many do: in our rooms at 221b Baker Street. Holmes was in a dark study and was teasing a melancholy strain from the strings of his violin. Under normal circumstances I would beg him to desist, though having just endured an hour-long tirade on the dearth of intelligent criminal activity in London, I was disinclined to interrupt him lest he resume that broken thread.

The sound of hooves on the street below roused me from my study of the newspaper and I moved to the window to observe the source of this small interruption. It was a splendidly decorated brougham drawn by four of the finest specimens of horse-flesh that one might encounter in London. As I watched, a pair of footmen in fine livery leapt from the back; one opened the near-side carriage door while the other placed a wooden step upon which the occupant, an imposing figure in a dark cloak and top-hat, quickly alighted.

“A case, I perceive, Watson,” Holmes raised an eyebrow with as much curiosity as I had seen from him in a fortnight.

“It would appear so, Holmes,” I agreed as I watched the man mount our steps and knock at the front door.

We heard the familiar sounds of Mrs Hudson answering the door, a brief exchange, and then heavy footsteps on the stairs and finally a knock on our own door.

Holmes rose and took a place by the mantle from which he enjoyed a superior perspective on our visitors, making them walk across the room to greet him, thereby giving him additional time to observe those all-but-invisible markers that tell him everything that a man would keep secret.

This of course left me to answer the door, which I opened with some surprise to admit a large man in both height and breadth, now removed of his top-hat, but still attired in a handsome travelling cloak. He was, as I said, very large; at least 6’3” with powerful shoulders and a strong handshake, an unruly mop of dark hair and an untrimmed moustache.

“Good afternoon, Sir,” I greeted him. “My name is Dr John Watson, and …”

“And this would be the esteemed Mr Sherlock Holmes,” the man completed my half of the introductions as he strode across the room to shake hands with Holmes. “Thank God, for I have come to the right place. Gentlemen, I require your assistance in a matter of the greatest delicacy.”

“Welcome to Baker Street, Lord Palmerston,” Holmes began with a twist of a smile curling the corner of his mouth. “As you can see, Watson and I have both intuited your identity, if not your purpose, so if you would be more comfortable you may remove that ridiculous false moustache and wig.”

“I should have known better,” the man said, abashed. “But the disguise was more to protect my identity from those who may watch the door of the world’s greatest detective than from the man himself.”

Holmes preened at the flattery as our guest peeled off his moustache and hair, revealing a clean-shaven face and blond features that indeed looked nothing at all like the man who ascended our stair.

“If you will humour me, Mr Holmes,” he continued. “I have read Dr Watson’s accounts of your cases with great interest and I am curious as to your methods. Would you enlighten me as to how you so easily defeated my disguise?”

“Of course, my Lord,” Holmes smiled genially. “But this is hardly detection; in this case I think Watson probably picked up the very same clues. What say you, Watson? Would you care to explain how you saw past Lord Palmerston’s misdirection?”

Holmes delighted in this charade, for he knew very well that I had no idea as to our guest’s identity before he himself revealed it. This was, in fact, a little production on Holmes’s part to demonstrate the superiority of his powers, where not even a learned member of his inner circle could duplicate his methods.

“Well, dear Holmes,” I began in my familiar servile manner. “It is possible that I did not collect all of the same markers as yourself, but I dare say that like me, you observed the upright grace and noble bearing of our guest and correctly identified him as a member of the peerage.”

“Go on, Watson,” he smiled.

“And from there, no doubt,” I pressed on blithely, “you measured his great height and physical presence, of which you have no doubt heard mention in your brother Mycroft’s Diogenes Club in connection with the person of Lord Palmerston. A simple matter, to be sure.”

“A splendid display, Watson. Bravo,” Holmes enthused. “And you were absolutely correct in precisely one aspect of your analysis.”

“And which aspect was that, dear Holmes?” I tried to keep the pained sigh from my voice.

“The one where you admitted that you did not collect the same markers as myself,” Holmes shot back in clipped tones. “For example, I did not need to see Lord Palmerston’s fine bearing to identify his peerage, for that was revealed much earlier in the arrival of his brougham. I heard, I believe, four distinct sets of hooves; and as you know, Watson, there are no cabs or owners of private vehicles in the narrows of London who would suffer such an ungainly conveyance.

“Along with the footsteps of not one but two footmen, this placed our visitor as a wealthy gentleman from out of town. Now like myself, Watson, you will have noted the haste with which Lord Palmerston mounted our stair; it is still early afternoon, so I infer that he wishes to return to his country estate this day, very probably with our good selves in his company. This of course would suggest a Barony closer to London; no further removed than, say, Middlesex? Would you say my Lord?”

“Remarkable, Mr Holmes,” he shook his head in disbelief. “I do indeed wish to return to Hounslow tonight, and to bring you with me to help solve my problem. But there are several inner-baronies; presumably you recognised me as Dr Watson suggested.”

“Not at all, my Lord,” continued Holmes, clearly not yet finished. “Although I have heard mention of your title in the Diogenes Club, Watson was mistaken to think that members dwell on the physical characteristics of the Lords of our great realm. In fact, it was a more simple matter: the gleam of your wedding ring betrays you as one recently married, and the very newspaper that Watson was reading as you arrived bore a headline that I could read from across the room that your Lordship had just last week taken a bride.”

“Ah, well,” Lord Palmerston agreed. “As you explain it, Mr Holmes, it is such a simple thing.”

“Which is precisely the reason that I rarely grant the favour of doing so, my Lord,” Homes muttered testily. “Now perhaps you can explain the one thing that I cannot deduce myself, Sir: your purpose in seeking an audience with a detective.”

“Well, Mr Holmes,” Palmerston’s brows drew together and he wrung his hands in concern. “As I said, the matter is most delicate.”

“And Dr Watson and I are most discreet, my Lord. Pray continue.” Holmes gestured to a chair and our guest folded his long frame into it with some awkwardness.

“It is my bride, Mr Holmes,” he began. “And I use the word quite deliberately, for it is almost a fortnight since our wedding vows and still I am unable to claim her as my wife, in the strictest definition of legal wedlock … if you understand my meaning, Mr Holmes.”

“Am I to understand that you are yet to consummate your marriage, my Lord?” asked Holmes, steepling his fingers beneath his chin.

“That is correct, Mr Holmes.” Palmerston’s eyes dropped despondently to his shoes.

“Forgive me, my Lord,” said Holmes, “but this sounds more like a case for a physician, or perhaps a priest, rather than a consulting detective.”

“And it was those fine men upon whom I called first, Mr Holmes,” he implored. “But to no avail. The priest pronounces dear Victoria most willing, and the doctor declares her equally able. I ascribe both attributes to myself as well, Mr Holmes; and compound them with a measure of eagerness and desperation of a new husband, such is the depth of her fine beauty. If not for Victoria herself, who is an avid reader of Dr Watson’s chronicles and suggested this avenue, I might now be consulting some filthy wise woman and feeding her unknown potions to my beautiful bride.”

“In what way does Lady Palmerston think we might help,” asked Holmes, obviously intrigued by the curious turn of this case into foreign territory.

“It is desperation indeed, Mr Holmes, but when we come to …” he paused, searching for the right words to use in front of a stranger.

“To the matrimonial act?” Holmes suggested.

“Yes, indeed. When we come to that act, as you say, Mr Holmes, Victoria experiences pain beyond her ability to describe, and such is my love for her that I cannot bear to continue and punish her so.”

“You are aware, Lord Palmerston,” I stepped in to an arena where I felt somewhat more qualified than Holmes. “That a degree of pain is inevitable for most young brides, but that it is transient and far from unbearable?”

“I am so aware,” Dr Watson, thank you. “I have been reminded of the same by our own physician. But such is the obdurateness and acuteness of her condition, I am persuaded that this is something more than the mere passing of a young maiden’s virginity.”

“Lord Palmerston,” I began carefully. “I do not wish to be indelicate, but it is true that you are a large man. Would I also be right in describing Lady Palmerston as a petite girl?”

“I take your meaning,” Dr Watson, he acknowledged with less embarrassment than I anticipated. “Victoria is, as you say, quite petite; however I myself am not completely in proportion with my great height. My physician has been very thorough in examining my body in addition to Victoria’s and he pronounces my manhood of about average size; certainly nothing that should be denied the intimacy of Victoria’s embrace.”

“Interesting,” mused Holmes. “Do you suspect non-physical causes, Lord Palmerston?”

“Do I suspect duplicity on Victoria’s part, do you mean Mr Holmes?” he asked.

“Quite,” Holmes smiled.

“I must admit that the thought had crossed my mind,” he said gravely. “Though I find it difficult to believe. If it is the case, then she is a fine liar, Mr Holmes.”

“I have met many fine liars, my Lord,” said Holmes. “Though I should give your bride the benefit of doubt before having met her.”

“Does that mean you shall come, Mr Holmes?”

“Watson and I both, Lord Palmerston,” Holmes stood to shake his hand. “I believe that I shall find your insight more valuable than usual on this case, Watson.”

Holmes could not have been more right. And that is how began the most extraordinary and memorable engagement of our detecting careers.



You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story