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Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - Jan 2005 » [Beroean] The Case of Circus Maximus (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure Puzzle) » Archive through January 17, 2004 « Previous Next »

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Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 1:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Holmes


Sherlock Holmes – Consulting Detective
221B Baker Street
London


30th September 1888


Dear Lateral Puzzlers

I find myself in something of a sticky dilemma from which I am depending on you, to extricate me.

First of all let me make it quite clear that I, most certainly will not be responding to requests from one of the Chief Inspectors at Scotland Yard, to further involve myself in the Whitechapel murders of which there were two more in the early hors of this morning! I have already made it patently clear to the police, who the identity of this serial killer is, but for some reason they seem to be reluctant to arrest the foreigner.

However, I received a telegram from Inspector, Richard Lestrade early this morning. He seems quite troubled by a new case on which he eagerly seeks my assistance. I must say that the circumstances Lestrade describes in his communication have some promising features that pique my interest.

As fascinated that I am by the absurd and grotesque, I simply cannot divert myself from something rather more pressing. My brother Mycroft has insisted that I meet him to discuss a matter of international importance at the ‘Diogenes Club’, by noon today. I have no other choice than to make haste to meet with and assist Mycroft in this vital business.

All I can do for Lestrade right now is appoint Doctor Watson as my proxy and dispatch him to the scene of the crime. I barely have time to summon Watson and instruct him to meet with Lestrade. I intend to complete the agenda with Mycroft as soon as possible but I cannot predict when that will be.

Watson is a good man (for a doctor) but woefully lacking in the essential elements required for detection, they being, Observation, Knowledge and Deduction! I fear that he will not manage without the help of the Lateral Thinkers on this forum. I request that you make your way to the base camp of the Circus belonging to the Pratt brothers, which is commonly known as ‘Circus Maximus’. From here Watson will furnish you with an appraisal of the situation. After that he will await your instructions. I trust that I may rely on your good selves to instruct and guide the Doctor by means of your finely honed powers of lateral thinking ability.

Before you embark on solving this case you will need to await the arrival of Watson. He should be with you sometime within the next six hours. Please wait patiently until he arrives and makes contact with you.

Sherlock Holmes
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 2:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

the Whitechapel murders of which there were two more in the early hors of this morning!

Given the nature of the victims of the Whitechapel murders, would it be reasonable to conclude that the hitherto undocumented encounter between Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud was a meaningful one? Or can it be that the only reason you chose Watson to chronicle your adventures was that he could type? :)


Will ask more questions on the morrow. It is a capital mistake to theorise without data...
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 8:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Diary of Dr Watson


30th September 1988



I managed to arrive at Pratts Bottom at 2pm and have since taken a room at “The Bulls Head” along Rushmore Hill, which is just up the lane from Rushmore Wood. I will use my lodgings here as my base.

The location of Circus Maximus is on a clearing in Rushmore Hill Wood, which itself is sandwiched between “Pratts Grove” and “Pratts Bottom Wood”.

It’s now 6pm I spent the last two hours in the company of the police.

Lestrade and one of his officers kindly provided me with a full briefing and I was particularly interested to hear about the background of the Circus in some detail. Apparently, Circus Maximus is the business venture of three brothers, the sons of the late Benjamin Pratt, a millionaire who when alive owned most of the land in the region of Pratts Bottom. As bizarre as it is true the three Pratt sons, as well as being triplets, are also midgets! The first of the three boys to exit his mother’s womb was also the smallest and he was named, Maximus. The other two were called Huppim and Muppim. Maximus was always the favourite and inherited the majority of his father’s estate when old man Benjamin died. Interestingly, in the event on Maximus death, the remaining brothers stand to inherit, equally.

Although Maximus inherited nearly all of the money, it seems that he was blessed with little else from his parents. Indeed, he was not too bright and lacked in anything approaching charisma. When he was younger he suffered with feelings of inadequacy and became somewhat paranoid towards the world in general. On the other hand, Huppim inherited a quick wit and an academic brain with which he developed a flair for business, whilst Muppim was blessed with a talent, for succeeding in most things that his little hands would care to tackle.

The story goes, that despite the divisive influence of the father and his favouritism, the three little chaps experienced a strong emotional attachment that made them dependent on one another. To outside observers, their three-fold union was a bond so powerful, that it was only recently broken by the untimely death of Maximus – presumably murdered. I say “presumably”, because it has not yet been established. Neither the body nor the scene of the crime has been touched. I will explain more about this a little later. In any case I do not want to witter. I will allow you to ask me what you need to know, very soon.

Getting back to the Pratt brothers, Maximus became a recluse who wished to hide himself away. It was only by the prompting of his brothers that he agreed to spend his money on developing a circus (later in which) he would even bill himself as the shortest man in the world! Otherwise, Maximus would have been happier left to himself, curled up in a mansion for the rest of his life. However he needed his brothers and they desired to exercise their respective talents, out in the world at large. The capital that Maximus was in possession of bought the Circus and allowed each of them to realise their individual goals and at the same time, stay together. With the Circus, for much of the time, Maximus could hole himself up in his own little fortress within a fortress. His “own little” fortress was a converted prison carriage that was an item of old rolling stock from the railway. This was constructed largely from steel and thick planks of timber. The only door was heavily bolted and all the windows were barred with steel rods no more than five inches apart. The other fortress was the high fence that surrounded the Circus itself like a cocoon. As I have already mentioned, Circus Maximus is located on a clearing in Rushmore Hill Wood. The pine trees that were felled when clearing the site were used to erect a fifteen-foot fence that acts as the Circus perimeter. This fence was installed as a condition that Maximus insisted on. Nobody could enter or leave the circus without the gatekeeper’s permission. This is how Maximus liked it. It made him feel safe.

Many scoffed at the project – fancy having a circus in a forest outside of town. It was regarded as folly and was expected to flop and to be abandoned. But Maximus didn’t care. He had enough capital to live comfortably for the rest of his life, even while supporting an ailing circus. However largely due to Huppim’s business acumen, the circus was a profit making success. Some of the world’s best performers and weirdest oddities were hired and as a consequence droves of people flocked to it during the summer months. Many came from London on a Friday night and stayed over for the weekend performance that promised a constant flow of different top class acts. Even with the cream of the world’s circus artists present it was often Muppim the clown who won the hearts of the audiences.

The summer is over; many of the acts have gone off for their winter break or in pursuit of seasonal employment. Those that remain are a queer old bunch. There is plenty more I can tell you but I need to stop right now. I need to get some sleep in – it promises to be a busy and demanding day tomorrow. Just how busy, will depend on you!

Sherlock Holmes has made it clear that I must take my instructions from you. Therefore, please ask me the things that you need to know and what you want me to do and I promise that I will do the best that I can. Mr Holmes has every confidence in you and expects you to make good progress although he did suggest that you might need his help to complete the case. We shall see!

Dr John Watson


P.S. Sherlock Holmes regrets using Mrs Hudson as the typist for his letter. In his communication the word "hors" should of course read as , whores "hours". He would also like to set the record straight regarding his encouter with Sigmund Freud. It is true that Mr Freud did request an interview with the Consulting Detective but Mr Holmes cannot divulge any of the content of their private session, for this would betray confidence and most certainly constitute a Sherlockian Slip!
Benjamin Schultz (Scuba_Ben)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 2:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We need the classic facts of a murder mystery -- suspects, weapons, and rooms.

Doctor, please examine the body. Where is it, both in general and in particular? Are there any signs that the body was moved after Maximus died? What was the cause of death? What was the time of death?

If the body is inside the circus perimeter, please obtain a list from the gatekeeper of whom was inside the perimeter at the time of death.
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My dear Watson! Thank you for arriving at such short notice.

The first order of business is to establish who was the last to see Maximus alive. Separately interview the gatekeeper, the two brothers and any relevant witnesses as to his general habits, recent activities, any unusual or suspicious behaviors/occurrences of any kind, and who they might each believe capable of this foul deed.

Did the police note anything of any potential importance at the crime scene? (Scarcely worth asking, Lestrade is bound to have missed some glaring clue..) I do not expect the legendary insights of Holmes, but please give me your own detailed description of the area. And in particular, do not neglect to examine Maximus and the two surviving brothers for signs of a "peg leg", prosthesis, or use of elevating shoes, and scrutinize the floor of all surrounding areas for suspicious shavings of any kind!
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 11:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1st October 1988


Scuba Ben

We need the classic facts of a murder mystery -- suspects, weapons, and rooms. Indeed!

Doctor, please examine the body. Where is it, both in general and in particular? Are there any signs that the body was moved after Maximus died? What was the cause of death? What was the time of death?

I will explain what happened here. Before we could examine the body we had to get access to it. For a while we could see it but couldn’t touch it.

The body of Maximus was observed laying face up on the floor of his caravan (if I can call it that*) at approximately 7.00 hours yesterday morning. A member of the circus happened to be passing by the open barred window of the caravan and noticed the body. The circus staff could not rouse him with their voices and were unable to get into the caravan because the door was bolted and locked from inside. They contacted the police who presumed that Maximus was dead. The body was perfectly still and a small pool of congealed blood could be observed on the floor right beside the body and judging by the dark stain it had emanated from his abdomen.

The local police contacted Chief Inspector Lestrade who gave instructions not to break in and to have nothing disturbed before he was able to consult with Sherlock Holmes. I know for a fact that Holmes is delighted with Lestrade for taking this decision and as he told me so, he added with a glint in his eye, “this single piece of good fortune will be sure to lead us to the murderer, Watson my dear fellow”.

With the aid of a local locksmith we were able to break into the caravan. Holmes gave prior instruction that before we entered the caravan we were all to don gloves and to continue to do so whenever we enter the caravan. I am not yet sure of the reason for this but we are being obedient to his command.

Maximus’s body was fully clothed and he has a stab wound to his abdomen but there is no sign of any weapon. However I cannot verify the actual cause of death at this stage. I believe that death must have taken place somewhere between midnight and 1.00am on the 30th September. There are no signs that the body has been moved since the time of death.


* I remind you that the “caravan” belonging to Maximus is a converted prison carriage that was an item of old rolling stock from the railway. It is constructed largely from steel and thick planks of timber. The only door is heavily bolted and all the windows are barred with steel rods no more than five inches apart.


If the body is inside the circus perimeter, please obtain a list from the gatekeeper of whom was inside the perimeter at the time of death.

The majority of the circus folk have departed for the close season and those that remain are a queer old bunch. Apart from many of the traditional acts, Huppim also employed a cast of overseas characters from various parts of the British Empire who entertained by virtue of their cultural peculiarities.

Here is a complete checklist the individuals who were on the site from 21.00 hours on 29th September to 07.00 hours on 30th September.

Maximus Pratt
Huppim Pratt
Muppim Pratt
Albert (The Zulu Warrior. Nobody can pronounce his Zulu name and so he adopted the name of the Queen’s late husband.)
Jago (The Australian Aborigine)
Kill Bodie (The American Cowboy)
Lilly Lustre (Kill Bodie’s assistant)
Harra Singh (The Indian Sikh)
Mary Roti (The bearded fat lady)
Cricket (The Chinaman)
Arty Morty (The gate keeper and maintenance man)
Inspector Lestrade has commanded that all the circus staff remain on site while the murder investigation continues.


Dryman
My dear Watson! Thank you for arriving at such short notice. Much obliged old bean!

The first order of business is to establish who was the last to see Maximus alive. It is reported that Huppim and Muppim were the last to see him at about 22.00 hours on the night of the 29th. They had conducted a meeting in Maximus’s caravan and then retired for the night leaving Maximus to himself. Evidently he locked and bolted his caravan as usual and then we assume that he proceeded with his nightly ritual of gloating over his jewel collection that he kept in his caravan.

Separately interview the gatekeeper, the two brothers and any relevant witnesses as to his general habits, recent activities, any unusual or suspicious behaviors/occurrences of any kind, and who they might each believe capable of this foul deed.

I have made some initial enquiries:
Arty Morty says that it was a most quiet night and that he did not see or hear anything unusual during the night apart from one thing. AT about midnight he heard a single dull thud. He was unable to identify what it was and thought nothing more about it. He was also aware that the Pratt brothers were meeting in the caravan of the deceased until about 10 pm because he could occasionally hear some raised voices from that direction.

I have spoken to Huppim and Muppim who confirm that they had the meeting with their brother in his caravan but aren’t able to add anything useful at this stage.


Did the police note anything of any potential importance at the crime scene?

Most certainly! I have been informed that Maximus has been robbed and this appears to be motive enough for murder and confirms our suspicions that this is indeed a murder case.
Lestrades officers have been interviewing the other circus folk, a number who have complained about the theft of personal items in recent days.
The police officers have gleaned another interesting fact. Maximus would not permit animals to be used in the circus. It was strictly a matter of human performers only. In addition to that he would not allow any pets – cats dogs and the like – as he felt very threatened by animals. This did cause some discontent among the staff but they agreed to abide by it for the sake of their employment. However Maximus made one exception to his own rule. Paradoxically he had a fascination for snakes and he consented for Harra Singh to keep his cobra with him as part of his snake-charming act.


(Scarcely worth asking, Lestrade is bound to have missed some glaring clue..) I do not expect the legendary insights of Holmes, but please give me your own detailed description of the area. And in particular, do not neglect to examine Maximus and the two surviving brothers for signs of a "peg leg", prosthesis, or use of elevating shoes, and scrutinize the floor of all surrounding areas for suspicious shavings of any kind!

I will do my best. The circus campsite gives the appearance of a wooden fortress with its huge pine fence encasing the perimeter. It is difficult to see how anybody could gain illegitimate entry or exit. Immediately beyond the perimeter fence are the giant pine trees that are tightly packed and dominate the woods here. There is a track of about one hundred yards in length leading from the perimeter gate out onto Rushmore Hill.

Inside the fence, on the site of the circus camp itself there is now a huge space in the centre where the circus tent stood during the months of the summer performances. That tent and redundant circus equipment is now in storage in a collection of trailers and caravans that are dotted randomly about the site along with the caravan dwellings of the circus performers themselves.

I am not sure that there is much more that I can tell you at the moment but I am sure to have missed much that Holmes would regard as vital information. I also suspect that I cannot give you complete answers to your enquiries, simply because of my limited powers of observation. I f I notice anything in retrospect that I failed to tell you before, I will inform you immediately.

I expect that items of interest will occur to you that will undoubtedly bypass my notice. Then you can ask me to observe and enquire so that I can feedback this information to you.
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 12:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A fascinating narrative! I have already become suspicious of that Arty Morty character, though I cannot put my finger on why..

You noted that the pine forest is closely packed round the perimeter. In your opinion, could an agile man or creature leap from the trees to surmount the barrier?

What was robbed from Maximus -- his infamous jewel collection, I take it? Were the losses insured? Exactly what has been reported missing by the performers, and who is missing it? What sort of circus equipment is stored in the trailers? Have they or their contents been tampered with?

You observed a five-inch gap between the caravan's bars. Would such a space be sufficient for a particularly small and agile midget to squeeze through? Would it permit a cobra to pass? Might someone have stabbed Maximus with one arm through the gap? Do any of the performers have known skills in contortionism? Are there keys to the caravan, and if so who had access to each set?

Finally, please describe for us in detail the scene of the crime (the caravan interior). Are there signs of a struggle? Anything else of note? Examine the body, and please give an opinion as to the nature and dimensions of the instrument used and the relative positions or motions of assailant and victim. Was the blow struck forcefully or weakly, from above or below, and which hand was more probably used in the attack? Does the wound's placement suggest an experienced killer, a stealthy blow, or a haphazard slash? Could it be self-inflicted?
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 12:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

<Albert The Zulu Warrior. Nobody can pronounce his Zulu name and so he adopted the name of the Queen’s late husband>

I believe it is pronounced T!ng'!'t'!!owaye, where ! is an emphatic palatal click and ' is a voiceless (or glottal) stop.
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 3:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe it is pronounced T!ng'!'t'!!owaye, where ! is an emphatic palatal click and ' is a voiceless (or glottal) stop.

Come now, Dryman, you are getting sloppy. Everyone knows it is T!ng'!!t'!!owaye. What you typed means something very different, and unmentionable on a family forum :)
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 9:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

2nd October 1888


Dryman

A fascinating narrative! I have already become suspicious of that Arty Morty character, though I cannot put my finger on why..
Yes, Arty Morty is rather a tall, sly looking fellow. However there is nothing to implicate him so far.

You noted that the pine forest is closely packed round the perimeter. In your opinion, could an agile man or creature leap from the trees to surmount the barrier?
Most of the trees are some yards away from the fence and although your speculation is a good one, I am not sure if it would be possible. I think it would take something quite remarkable to achieve such a feat. We can certainly bear it in mind.

What was robbed from Maximus -- his infamous jewel collection, I take it?
Yes indeed. At the far end of his caravan was a chest in which he kept his collection of precious stones. Strangely the chest possessed no locking mechanism but I suppose he felt it was safe enough in the confines of his vault like caravan. We did not realise that this theft had taken place until we broke into his place because this part of the caravan is invisible from the barred window. All we could really see from the window was the body slumped across the floor.

Were the losses insured?
I have checked this with Lestrade and the other two Pratt Brothers. It seems that no insurance was taken out.

Exactly what has been reported missing by the performers, and who is missing it?
The reports that are coming in are decidedly strange and make no sense whatever to me. Here is a list:

Jago – His Boomerang is missing.
Muppim – His stilts disappeared a few days ago but one of them has been returned.
Kill Bodie - His prize set of fly fishing hooks and some fishing line all missing
Mary Roti – Two pairs of her Knickers have been stolen from her washing line
Lilly Lustre – Her collection of sea shells and pebbles went missing weeks ago but have all mysteriously reappeared.


What sort of circus equipment is stored in the trailers? Have they or their contents been tampered with?
I have taken a look and am amazed at the amount of equipment stored here. There are three caravans and five trailers and also three small tents that have been erected simply to act as storage units for countless items of circus paraphernalia. There is a total of eighty or more staff performing a whole variety of acts that have their gear stored here. None of these storage units are secured. There is open access to the equipment so that circus staff can remove or replace any items at will. It is recognised that performers may wish to retrieve equipment for practice sessions and the like. So maybe it is not so relevant to talk about tampering as such.

You observed a five-inch gap between the caravan's bars. Would such a space be sufficient for a particularly small and agile midget to squeeze through?
At first I did wonder about this, but now I am convinced that skull sizes would make it quite impossible unless of course such a midget could manipulate his skull like putty – but no – I mustn’t allow the surreal nature of this environment to affect my thinking so!

Would it permit a cobra to pass?
Yes. Most certainly it would.

Might someone have stabbed Maximus with one arm through the gap?
Yes I believe that is possible.

Do any of the performers have known skills in contortionism?
Yes there are a pair of contortionists but they are currently away on leave. Lestrade has been asking whether any of the remaining folk have talents in that direction and the answer has come back as a negative.

Are there keys to the caravan, and if so who had access to each set?
The only set of keys was that owned by Maximus and these were in his pockets when we found his body

Finally, please describe for us in detail the scene of the crime (the caravan interior). Are there signs of a struggle? Anything else of note? Examine the body, and please give an opinion as to the nature and dimensions of the instrument used and the relative positions or motions of assailant and victim. Was the blow struck forcefully or weakly, from above or below, and which hand was more probably used in the attack? Does the wound's placement suggest an experienced killer, a stealthy blow, or a haphazard slash? Could it be self-inflicted?
I will investigate these matters as soon as I have had lunch. This investigating lark is hungry business!
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 10:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman


Finally, please describe for us in detail the scene of the crime (the caravan interior).
The interior of the caravan is rather fascinating. The walls are covered with paintings and decorative exhibits acquired from exotic places around the world. However the actual amenities for food preparation and personal hygiene are rather Spartan. Mind you I suppose this is generally the case in a caravan but I get the feeling that the little fellow enjoyed his entertainment but otherwise, rather neglected himself. Due to the secure nature of the caravan, it only has the one window. Oil lamps are required for clarity of vision, even during daylight hours.

As I take a glipmse out of the steel barred window, it feels like I am looking out of a gaudily furnished birdcage. The real item of interest is the empty chest sitting on a desk, to the left of the window, concealed from anyone peering in from the outside. The chest is about 24 inches long x 12 inches wide x 12 inches deep and was designed with shelves that splayed out like a concertina when the lid was opened. I am observing the chest in exactly the same condition that it was discovered when we first broke into the caravan. It seems that Maximus was admiring his collection of gems at the very moment when he was murdered. He was likely sitting in a chair at the same desk with his right side just visible to anyone looking in through the window. He would have been examining and admiring each jewel in turn. I have been told that this was his regular nightly ritual before finally retiring to bed.

Now of course, Maximus is dead and every single gemstone and pearl has disappeared – been stolen.


Are there signs of a struggle?
There is evidence of some disturbance. The desk chair is upturned and laying on its side but nothing else seems to be unusual.

Anything else of note?
Let’s see

Examine the body, and please give an opinion as to the nature and dimensions of the instrument used and the relative positions or motions of assailant and victim.
The stab wound has entered through the clothing – a shirt. I have cut away the shirt so that I can see the actual wound. The entrance to the wound is located at the right iliac fossa and the entrance is about two inches long and the depth is also about two inches.

Was the blow struck forcefully or weakly, from above or below, and which hand was more probably used in the attack?
Hmm I am getting a strange feeling about this. The blow seems fairly weak and was struck from below. How strange! (I can’t tell which hand was used for the attack)


Does the wound's placement suggest an experienced killer, a stealthy blow, or a haphazard slash? Could it be self-inflicted?
The wound’s placement suggests inexperience and a lack of stealth. It seems very haphazard – almost arbitrary. It could be self inflicted but if it was, why would it be so and where is the weapon? This is all very peculiar indeed!
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 12:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Arty Morty is rather a tall, sly looking fellow. However there is nothing to implicate him so far.
True. And that Mary Roti seems more suspicious still! I feel sure I've seen that name before..

A most peculiar scenario indeed! The blow could hardly have reached a vital organ -- but perhaps the iliac artery was injured? Was there sufficient blood loss to suggest death by shock? Did the amount of bleeding suggest injury before or after death? After you have again dined, kindly resume your examination of the corpse paying close attention to any other injuries or anomalies that may be present; I am suddenly suspicious that all is not as it seems..

Returning to the wound: are the edges ragged, or was a very sharp instrument used? Might he have been struck by a Boomerang?

<<Do any of the performers have known skills in contortionism?>>
<Yes there are a pair of contortionists but they are currently away on leave. Lestrade has been asking whether any of the remaining folk have talents in that direction>

Watson, this is dire and alarming news! You must warn me at once if my thought patterns ever again begin to parallel those of Lestrade!
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 12:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Come now, Dryman, you are getting sloppy. Everyone knows it is T!ng'!!t'!!owaye. What you typed means something very different, and unmentionable on a family forum>

My dear lady, I do apologize! By way of explanation, I'm afraid I had sampled a pinch of Holmes' cocaine just after typing the first glottal stop.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman
Yes, Arty Morty is rather a tall, sly looking fellow. However there is nothing to implicate him so far.
True. And that Mary Roti seems more suspicious still! I feel sure I've seen that name before.. Yes – it feels somehow familiar but for the life of me I cannot see why.

A most peculiar scenario indeed! The blow could hardly have reached a vital organ Quite correct Dryman. I say, you’re not a doctor yourself - are you?

but perhaps the iliac artery was injured? Possibly but I am not so certain

Was there sufficient blood loss to suggest death by shock? Exactly what I was considering as you mention it. The blood loss is not great and I would conclude that there is definitely insufficient blood to have caused death through a state of shock.

Did the amount of bleeding suggest injury before or after death? Again this is not too clear but as a physician myself I am fairly certain that death was not caused either by a damaged organ or through loss of blood, from this wound! I had better inform Lestrade about this. I am most grateful to you for making me delve further into this aspect of the crime.

After you have again dined, kindly resume your examination of the corpse paying close attention to any other injuries or anomalies that may be present; Yes, I most certainly will my friend.
I am suddenly suspicious that all is not as it seems.. Do you know – I am getting the very same suspicion as you.

Returning to the wound: are the edges ragged, or was a very sharp instrument used? It was definitely a sharp instrument.

Might he have been struck by a Boomerang? I hadn’t thought of that. I suppose it could have been but only if the boomerang had a sharpened end.

<<Do any of the performers have known skills in contortionism?>>
<Yes there are a pair of contortionists but they are currently away on leave. Lestrade has been asking whether any of the remaining folk have talents in that direction>
Watson, this is dire and alarming news! You must warn me at once if my thought patterns ever again begin to parallel those of Lestrade! That’s funny. Sherlock Holmes once said exactly the same thing himself!

Mr Dryman, I have examined the whole body in detail (just as you instructed) and I have discovered something. The body is less that 3 feet in length. There is some bruising on the rear of his right shoulder and there are a pair of puncture wounds on the nape of the neck.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Before it gets dark I am off to the post office to send a telegram to Sherlock Holmes, to inform him of the progress we've made so far. I'll ask him for his thoughts. I wonder what he'll make of it?

reading letter
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Dr. Watson. I like this nice mystery you got here.

Do you think that the puncture wounds on the nape of his neck may have been caused by a snake?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Krss. Thank you for helping me out here.

Do you think that the puncture wounds on the nape of his neck may have been caused by a snake?
What an intriguing notion! I don't know all that much about snakes myself. But maybe you are to something. Would a snake bite make such a mark? Please let me know as soon as you are able.
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found a snake bite image. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/images/ency/fullsize/8928.jpg It does look like two punctures.
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oops, the link is to Lookie. o_O Just copy and paste the text in a browser.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My word Krss. That is exactly what the marks on the nape of the neck on the dead body looks like!
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lestrade, arrest this man. He is not who he claims to be. John H Watson MD, late of Her Majesty's Forces in Afghanistan, would certainly know what a snake bite looked like.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is true that I fought in Afghanistan. I landed at Bombay and was immediately pushed to the front and served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. I was wounded almost before I had a chance to orientate myself. My time in Asia was so short that I hardly had an opportunity to study the flora and fauna of the region!