Mr. Zippi's email

Squareknock appeared to sulk while Wilson read through the email that Jason had posted on his Facebook wall.  It was terse and only four lines long.

Mr. Wilczys, I regret to inform you that your services are no longer required.  The League of Bed-wetting Gentlemen is being disbanded henceforth.  Thank-you for the services you have rendered, without which we could not have come this far.  Mr. Zippi.

Wilson read it twice, the second time slower than the first, aware that Holes would undoubtedly have barely glanced at it and made some stunning deduction that would leave the room in awe of his mental faculties.  Even after the second read-through he couldn't see anything in the email that seemed problematic though.

"I don't think Squareknock can help you," he said, adopting his best bedside manner Voice.  The International Society of Military Medical Practitioners had awarded him a plaque three years running for his delivery of a prognosis of cancer using this Voice.  "The email is quite plain, and I fear there is little comeback to the dissolution of your League."

"But I want my job back!  I've never had a job I enjoyed quite as much as this one, and it's not bloody fair!"

"Cancer never is," said Wilson gravely, getting carried away with the Voice.  "That doesn't mean it's not real."

"Cancer?" Jason looked alarmed.

"Can't help?" Squareknock placed his feet firmly on the floor, pushing his chair backwards, and seemed to spring out of it.  "That's ridiculous talk, James, and I won't hear of it in this room!  Of course I can help, I just wish the case were... well, less insipid.  A murder would be nice, or perhaps an escaped dog with feet the size of saucers.  Something to bring a little excitement to the day.  Not just an overgrown bed-wetter with entitlement issues."

"Bed-wetter?"  Jason looked suddenly near to tears again.  "That was a real League I was a member of, Mr Great Detective!"

"That remains to be seen," said Squareknock, raising a finger in the air.  "Now, before you ask, James, no, I do not wish to read Mr. Zippi's email.  I doubt it says very much at all save that the job is ended.  Since we must do this thing, let us go and visit one of the houses where our young man here was employed for the night and talk to the householder there.  I am sure that that will bring a little light into your benighted minds."

"Cancer?" said Jason, staring at Wilson.  Wilson wondered if Jason had actually understood anything that Holes had just said."

"Cancer is always far worse than any other of life's mishaps," he said gravely.  "Here, sniff this."  He pushed the bottle of Rohypnol under Jason's nose, who tried to step back, inhaling sharply as he did so.  Jason wavered for a moment, one foot on the ground and the other now unsure of where it should be, and then he set his foot back down on the carpet and looked a little spaced.

"I thought it was oral administration only?"  Squareknock raised an eyebrow.

"Not this formulation," said Wilson.  "We needed something that acted faster and could be delivered without needing someone to be able to swallow, or needing the doctor to have a needle.  It's short-acting, only blocks out a few minutes of memories, but when you've survived standing on a land-mine that's all that really counts."

"You must have seen some interesting things in that war," said Squareknock sounding thoughtful.  "Have you ever considered publishing your memoirs?"

Not until you're dead, Squareknock, thought Wilson, whose carefully collected stories of all of Squareknock's cases were equally carefully hidden inside the covers of the dusty medical journals.

"I just want my bloody job back," said Jason, his eyes uncrossing and a little pearl of drool breaking free from his lips and landing on his still-damp trousers.

"Very good," said Squareknock.  "Let's go and visit one of the houses you were employed at.  Do you know any of them?"

"I've still got all the emails," said Jason promptly.  His phone reappeared in his hand, and he prodded and poked enthusiastically at the screen.  "One moment,... and another... and, oh bugger, why'd it do that then?  Crap, now where's that... hang on a sec,... bit longer guys, that's it... it's loading up... yep, 'ere we go.  There, 17 Norfolk Crescent."

"That's a bit posh isn't it?" said Wilson.  "That's a surprise."

"Not at all, Wilson," said Squareknock smugly.  "That's nothing less than I'd expected, to be exact.  However, I think I should certainly go in disguise in this instance, as a League of Bed-wetting gentlemen is not something I think I should be associated with."

"Oh no," said Wilson, but softly enough that neither Holes or Jason heard him.  They stood and waited with varying degrees of impatience for fifteen minutes while Holes located various items of clothing from under piles of other things, and at one point from out of a pan that Jason had assumed contained rotten food.  Then there was another ten minutes while Holes applied stage makeup and arranged his hair, and then finally he was done.

"'ere," said Jason as they descended the stairs to Baker Street, "you look like that bloke off of the iPlayer."

"Which one?" said Squareknock, his tone indicating that he'd been hoping someone would say this.

"Bandersnatch Cummerbund," said Jason.  "Or something like that anyway."

The End

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