I hope it’s fairly evident who Mr. Homes really is. Also, this really all did happen in a dream. In some of my dream-stories, I have to fill in gaps, but for this one, almost everything in it was as it happened.
I was a relatively wealthy and young man, living in an expansive flat with my wife (an equally wealthy person), and my friend and colleague, whom I will refer to as “Mr. Homes”.
It almost a score of years since the turn of the century – more precisely, 1919. Both the wealth of myself and my wife had been inherited, and I cannot say that we were not glad for it. It allowed us (including Mr. Homes) to spend our days lazily around our flat or in town, or otherwise entertaining ourselves with art, writing, and music. Personally, I was the most specifically “writer” of our group, with my wife being the artist, and Mr. Homes being the musician, though it is notable that all three of us dabbled in with all of those three arts, and other. smaller, ones.
Mr. Homes and I had been acquaintances, and friends, for a much longer breadth of time than my wife and I, so we had somewhat of a deeper connection, in a way. A certain indescribable loyalty stronger, yet different, from that created at the marriage of my wife and I.
Subtracting from that already weaker, by comparison, bond I had with my wife, was the fact that I didn’t truly love her. We had “fallen in love” six summers before, and gotten married shortly after, but I had soon discovered that the woman – or girl – I had fallen in love with was not the one that I had married. The personalities were completely different.
True, I still would have sudden bursts of shallow affection towards her, but hardly anything more. I believe she held me in much the same light.
A few weeks prior to the time in which my narrative takes place, a murder, the details of which escape me, if they even had been provided in the newspaper report I read of it, had been committed in another well-to-do apartment on our street. There had been a few suspects, but not much headway had been made, nor had I seen any updates on the matter since then. One small detail that, strangely, I had remembered, was that it appeared that multiple articles of jewelry had been stolen. They had given some general descriptions on the jewelry, as provided by another tenant of the apartment.
On the first day of my narrative, Mr. Homes and I had been alone at the apartment, – I believe my wife was out, shopping – and had been looking for something or other of my wife, and, going through some of her drawers, discovered several items of jewelry that I did not recognize. Mr. Homes, though, noted that they “seemed familiar”, for some reason. A few minutes later, he disappeared for a moment, then came back with a newspaper, dated from three weeks before. He opened it to the page containing the police report of the murder and potential robbery. He read aloud the description of the jewelry, which, inevitably, fit the jewelry I held in my hands. I dropped them back into the drawer where I had found them with shock. Shock, at first. Then, quite the opposite feeling, followed then by almost relief.
But, as I have already said, the description in the newspaper was quite general, and could be made to fit descriptions of any number of other jewelry pieces in her collection. Therefore, Mr. Homes and I decided to put the jewelry back in the drawer from which it had come, and to speak no more of it, provided nothing more came of it.
And nothing more did, for some time. Then, several months later, another similar murder and robbery was committed, this one, also, nearby our house. When we got the newspaper with the report, all three of us were in the flat, and read it together. Mr. Homes and I, having finished reading it, looked at each other gravely.
“Second one in a few months, isn’t it, Homes?” I remarked calmly.
“Indeed. Much the same circumstances.”
“Do you know if the police have made any work with either, er, the first one, I suppose? Since this report just came out, I mean.”
“None that I have seen.”
“Someone should solve these. Not in the police.”
“Really? You think?”
“Well, you could hire me. Or they could. Someone.”
I realize now that I have forgotten to note one rather important detail about Mr. Homes – he had a calculating mind that often solved crimes, just out of the details in the paper, before the police on the case did. I had often told him that he should be a detective, but he had always dismissed it out of hand. The very fact that he suggested it, this time, indicated that he believed what we had begun to think months before.
I laughed. It was forced, but sounded sincere to some degree, in any case. “Why not. I’ll hire you. It should be fun.”
My wife smiled and laughed along. Mr. Homes made a show of scrutinizing the newspaper, and began to make “plans” for how to solve it. Before long, I asked my wife to buy us some bread, from the bakery on Smithston street, and she complied, wishing us well on our investigations.
As soon as I had seen her cross the street in front of the apartment building, Mr. Homes and I dashed to her bureau. After searching for a minute, we came to some jewels that matched those of the newspaper once more.
We made a call to the police, and they were ready by the time she returned with the bread. For the first few minutes, she, of course, denied any knowledge of what had happened, but before long, smiled ruefully and told what had really happened.
I didn’t even particularly pay attention to what she said. Neutral relief had come over me. I would be freed of the rotten bond that connected she and I, and I was glad of it.