The Great Detective holds forth

They left the building as quickly as the lift would take them, and hurried around it into a side-street.  Holes looked up at the side of the building, and pointed out that there were no windows on this side so it was unlikely that the lady of the household would be able to see them and wonder why they weren't pulling lots of cleaning equipment out of a van.  Then he looked as Jason, who looked a little upset.

"She wasn't bloody old enough!" said Jason, almost stamping his foot in a caricature of himself.  "She couldn't have been his mother.  She must have been his sister!"

"You're welcome to go back and ask her," said Holes, his tone making it clear that Jason would be going back alone.  "But I fancy that if she answers you she'll tell you that she's not Mr. Zippi's sister, nor his wife, nor his daughter.  In fact, I'm entirely confident that she's never met Mr. Zippi."

"But why would he tell me that she was?"  Jason looked even more upset now, and his eyes were glistening with what might be the start of tears.

"In order to reassure you that you were bed-wetting in an approved manner," said Holes.  "Surely you're aware that normal people are educated not to wet the bed from an early age, and that bed-wetting past the age of learning how to use a potty is frowned upon?  I would have thought that you were made to wear nappies well past the age that is considered normal, and that you were bullied as a result of it."

"I say, Holes, that's going a bit far, isn't it?  You're a detective, not a psychotherapist."  Wilson had been quiet so far, but now he interjected to defend Jason from Holes's relentless deduction.

"No, he's right," said Jason, tears now rolling down his face and leaving tiny glistening trails behind as though he'd been mugged by snails.  "I've worn nappies all my life, and getting enough money to hire a tailor to hide them has been my lifelong goal.  And now, when I've found a job that wants me to wet beds and pays me enough to conceal my shame, it's taken away from me again!  How am I supposed to go on now, Mr. Great Detective?  You have to get my job back for me!"

"There are other jobs that you can do, even while wearing nappies," said Holes.  His face was impassive, unsmiling, and his eyes seemed slightly unfocused, staring off at something only he could see.  "And bed-wetting, though you may have thought it a career, most definitely isn't.  Even the manufacturers of mattress pads prefer to use more reliable means of testing their products.  You will just have to satisfy your urges to urinate on things in more... socially acceptable venues."

"I say, Holes!"  Wilson hardly ever said "I say," but he'd now used it twice in quick succession which showed the depth to which he'd been shocked by the revelations in the apartment.  "I don't think you should be bringing up things from Cosmopolitan out here on the street where anyone could overhear!  That's just shocking."

"What are you really shocked about, Wilson?" asked Squareknock.  His voice was soft suddenly, almost tender, and for an instant the friendship that the two were supposed to share was apparent.

"Well... he weed everywhere Holes!  You heard the woman, that wasn't bed-wetting, that was... spraying!  That's not what he told us he did!"

"It's what Mr. Zippi wanted!" Jason was still crying silently, his knuckles rubbing his eyes red every few seconds as he struggled to get it under control.  "He said that he wanted more than just the bed wet, so in the morning I was to moisten a few more things."

"But that's preposterous, Mr. Wilczys!  Who in their right mind would want such a thing?  Surely they could just buy a cat for that?"

"He said it was for his mother, and I couldn't let the man down, and he was paying me!"

"Enough," said Squareknock, who appeared to be enjoying all of these little revelations.  A careful observer might even have noticed that he appeared to be lip-syncing with everything that Jason said, as though to prove that he'd already worked this out.  "Mr. Zippi needed the room saturated in order to draw attention to the fact that someone had broken in and urinated everywhere, Wilson.  That should be obvious.  What is less obvious to you perhaps, is why he wanted to draw attention to that fact."

"And to me too, Mr.!" said Jason, who seemed to be getting his tears under control.  "That was my job, that was!"

"Yes, as you so tiresomely keep pointing out," said Holes.  "Let me explain to you both why Mr. Zippi wanted such a strange thing, and why there never was a League of Bed-wetting gentlemen while we walk.  Jason, I think you should take us to your house and offer us tea."

The End

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