The Affair of the Dartymuir Dog. Part Five

The adventures of Piglock Homes and his sidekick Doctor Bearson

Bearson reached into his capacious pocket and pulled out a packet of hunny sandwiches. He unwrapped the greaseproof paper and handed them around, frowning a warning at Homes who seemed about to question Yore.

“Leave the man be, Homes. He needs to eat before he talks.”

Homes glowered, but buried his sharp little teeth in a doorstop of brown bread liberally spread with butter and hunny.

After he had eaten his sandwich, Yore looked a little better and he turned his long mournful features to where Homes sat licking hunny off his trotters.

Once Yore was satisfied he had the pig’s attention he put a hand in his inside pocket and withdrew a newspaper which he passed across. The headline across the front page was smudged but readable.

‘Fearful Haunting. The Dartymuir Dog strikes again.’

“What has happened, man?”

“Yesterday the old Lord Sleepytown went for his morning walk on the muir. When he didn’t return, his heir went looking for him. The old man was found fallen in a bog, he had suffered some sort of a seizure. The young one carried him home on his own broad back. The doctors say the old one is close to death. He has only spoke three words since they laid him on his bed…”

“And what were them three words.”

“Orange bounding dog.”

“That was very much what I feared.”

Homes hunched in his corner of the carriage, looking, Bearson thought, like a wizened old crab apple hanging from a tree.

For a very long time he said nothing. But when he did speak, his words were utterly unexpected.

“Bearson, old chap. Do you recall the name of that rogue whose circus was accused of harbouring known criminals?”

“The man whose name you so cleverly cleared?”

Homes puffed out his skinny chest. “Yes. Him.”

Bearson closed his eyes to better think, calling to his mind’s eye the hulking brute who swore to be Homes’ servant for life. For a moment his brain paused among the tattoos that liberally decorated a torso rippling with muscles. And then the name came to him. 

“Crispermeadow. The man’s name is Arnold Crispermeadow.”

“Well done old man.”

Homes scrabbled about in his many pockets, coming up with a pad of telegraph forms and a purple indelible pencil….

Piglock Homes and his sidekick Doctor Bearson will continue their investigation into The Affair of the Dartymuir Dog next week

Jane Jago

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