Stumped, to the very marrow.
On the third day, I had begun to wonder whether this case was beyond immediate solution, and would have to be shelved. I wondered whether to broach… and knew in the same breath that he would have the evading of that very simply.
Instead, he seemed to cast about for something else to occupy his mind,
Pulled too hard, the brass handle on one of his three desks wrenched from its fixing, in one of his piques, no doubt, although I had not been there to witness it,
Performing since as an unregarded paperweight.
Now with bradawl and fine chisel, he sets to carefully reset the handle, with two lion head cartouches, expending time over the morning in the task,
Mixing a little sawdust with horsehoof glue for the final touches.
Resting in his armchair, while his mind laboured.
All the times turning over and over the pinchbeck watch,
Eyes closed, hearing the traffic from Baker Street, and assembling the scene from its sounds only, a Pelmanism of a sort, once seen similar, revised,
But never the handle tried.
Hours go past, and the glue is hardening; I have completed a couple of outstanding engagements, and returned to the same pensiveness. The rain on my galoshes and
I muse again on the missing handles of the coffin — a connexion here? — while occupying myself with writing up a draft from some other notes.
—Cabinet maker, that is a profession, he under his breath. Of construction in all its honesty.
And we reach two in the afternoon
The afternoon sky in gold, celeste and black, piebald by a storm that has gone past, more a phenomenon of May or September. Nature withholding its secrets, but producing the nocturne.
—No more of the storm, I believe.
And then he does not open the drawer to test, but pronounces it, by his estimation only, to be mended. Closed, static, yet functioning.
And from his equable demeanour I can be reasonably assured that we are at an Elucidation.
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When No One is Looking by Hannah Shilling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.