Where Threads Come Loose
"Sherlock Holmes and the Very Incredible Case of the Visible Man, Part I and Part II

The Recording Script

• Written and directed by Christopher Bahn. Copyright 1996.
• Episodes 17-18 of the radio-drama series Where Threads Come Loose (Originally episodes 25-26 of 1997 Edition)
• Originally broadcast on KUOM-AM, June 1995.
• Engineered by Dan Grothe and Christopher Bahn

Audio Excerpt
Right-click to download: Watson Answers the Phone, the Baker Street Irregular Irregulars and A Trip To Scotland Yard

• Sherlock Holmes, Insurance-selling monster: Christopher Bahn
• Dr. John Watson, Black Museum Curator: Dan Grothe
• Abductee: Chuck Tomlinson
• Inspector Lestrade, Baker Street Irregular Irregular 1 (One-Word Frankie): Rich Dahm
• Professor Grimm, Mrs. Hall, Baker Street Irregular Irregular 2 (Napoleon Bonaparte): Tony Pagel
• Baker Street Irregular Irregular 3 (Grimsby): Jim Musil
• Smithson: Adam Pagel
• Cop: Dan Sigelman
• Screaming townspeople: The Seamus O'Grady Screaming Crowd Company, Inc., specializing in terrified townspeople since 1921.

Author's Notes
• The second of my Holmes parodies and, I think, one of my better shows. I'd been reading H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man," and paid homage to the story both by lifting the central villain and setting the second scene at the Coach and Horses pub, which is where Wells' Griffin hides out in the book. The villain's address, of course, is a reference to the 1933 film version. The Black Museum in Scene Six and its sepulchral curator is a parody of Orson Welles' early-1950s radiodrama "The Black Museum," which we'd been playing in tandem with Threads as part of a Sunday radio-drama hour. It revolved around Scotland Yard's evidence room, and the hammer-obvious gimmick of the show was that each week Welles would pluck an object from the archives, seemingly at random, and tell us the story of how it was used to commit ... a murder. (Here's a great compendium of some of Welles' real "Black Museum" introductions.) And near the end, there's a rather ham-handed tweak of Gene Hackman's final speech from "Unforgiven." Special thanks to Will Seng, who originally played the part of Arbuckle the Abductee, and Dan Grothe, who came up with the idea of Smithson's slapstick gag.
INTRO: Today on Where Threads Come Loose we return to the casebooks of that master detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street. I can already tell we're going to have trouble keeping this jam-packed action-adventure-murder-mystery-thriller-suspense thingamajig under 28 minutes, so I'll shut up and we'll join Mr. Holmes and his companion Dr. John Watson in their London apartments, where Holmes is solving a most mysterious mystery.

Art by Audry Wolters
SCENE I: 221B Baker Street
Abductee: ... and then with a blinding flash of light it was gone, and I found myself back in my living room again.

Holmes: I see.

Abductee: Those are all the details, Mr. Holmes.

Holmes: Very well. Let's quickly recap your story so I can be sure I have it straight, shall we, Mr. Arbuckle? You say that every Wednesday for the past month, you were kidnapped by aliens in a UFO, who hooked you up to wires and made you watch endless reruns of "The Love Boat" while jumping up and down on one foot.

Abductee: Yes... It was horrible.

Holmes: Hmmm... a strange case. But I think I have the solution!

Abductee: Oh, bless you, Mr. Holmes!

Watson: Holmes, you've done it again!

Holmes: Not yet, Watson -- wait until I've explained my logic before slathering me with sycophantic praise.

Watson: Harrumph.

Holmes: Now then, Mr. Arbuckle, I need only one more piece of data to fill in this puzzle.

Abductee: Anything, Mr. Holmes, if it will stop them from taking me away again. I don't mind the experiments so much, but I just can't stand the sight of Julie the cruise director.

Holmes: What kind of UFO was it exactly that abducted you?

Abductee: Well... it was an alien spacecraft, of course!

Holmes: Aha! And there is the key!

Abductee: What?

Watson: You'd better explain yourself further, Holmes.

Holmes: This case is a simple matter of bad syntax.

Abductee: Come again?

Holmes: You say you were picked up by a UFO -- an unidentified flying object. And yet you positively identify this UFO as an alien spacecraft. Now, logically, if you know for sure that it was an alien spaceship, then the UFO is not unidentified and therefore not a UFO, QED.

Abductee: Ah... I hadn't considered that aspect of it.

Holmes: Obviously not. Watson, this is your cue.

Watson: Brilliant! An astounding deduction, Holmes!

Holmes: Thank you, Watson. Mr. Arbuckle, I declare this case solved. I bid you good day.

Abductee: But... but... What if the aliens don't care about bad syntax?

Watson: You heard the man, Arbuckle -- now clear off!

Abductee: Oh, alright.... Thank you, Mr. Holmes.

Holmes: It was nothing. Less than nothing, even.

(SFX: Door close)

Watson: Very well! I'll just write up the details and put this adventure where it belongs -- buried deep in your filing cabinet.

Holmes: Excellent, Watson.

Watson: By the way, where would you like me to alphabetize this case in your records?

Holmes: Hmmm... good question. For right now, just put this under X until I figure out what to do with it.

Watson: Righto! The X-Files it is!

(SFX: Filing cabinet opens and slams shut)

Holmes: Ah, dear... Another dreary day begins at 221B Baker Street, my dear Watson.

Watson: I beg your pardon, Holmes?

Holmes: Oh, you know how it is with me, Watson. I'm a man who needs great puzzles to divert me from the humdrum everyday.

Watson: But you just solved one, not even a minute ago.

Holmes: Oh for god's sake, Watson... That was then, and this is now. Alright?

Watson: Righto.

Holmes: Yes, without a master criminal to outwit, without some abominable malefactor to bring to justice, without some law-scoffing scoundrel to grind into humiliated paste like an odiferous vermin -- always within the bounds proscribed by law, of course -- I fear life itself is grey and banal. I need the sheer mental thrill of it all -- matching his every devious move step for step, logically reconstructing the heinous nature of his misdeeds and at last bringing the fiend to the attentions of Blind Lady Justice!

Watson: I don't follow you, old bean. This Blind Lady Justice, was she an old blues singer?

Holmes: A case, Watson, I need a case. I haven't had a crime to solve in almost three minutes, and I'm going stir crazy.

Watson: Ah, Holmes, there are other ways to enjoy oneself than work!

Holmes: Well, as you know, I usually seek solace in drug-induced oblivion between jobs. In fact, I think I feel like a little smack right now. I'll just roll up the old sleeve -- damn -- where's my needle?

Watson: Holmes, I'm shocked. There was a time when you could go a full 45 minutes after a case before unscrewing the top of the morphine jar.

Holmes: Oh -- I suppose you find something morally wrong with wanton drug use.

Watson: Well, yes, actually. It's a terribly bad habit. It hardly leaves a person any income to blow on lottery tickets! If there are any children listening at home, I want you to know that as a doctor I wholly disapprove of your drug addiction, and hope that it in no way leads any impressionable youths to experiment with cocaine and morphine as you have.

Holmes: Oh, get off the soapbox, Watson. You don't know what it was like for me, growing up in the 'hood. Every day was a struggle in South Central. But it's a moot point, anyway. I'm out of morphine.

Watson: Sorry, Holmes. Why don't I regale you with tales of my exploits as an Army doctor in India.

Holmes: Oh, if you feel you must...

Watson: Harrumph. There was one time when a soldier came in for treatment with twelve bloodthirsty rabbits clinging to his legs! Seems he'd run into more than he bargained for in one of the specialty shops down in the red-light district.

Holmes: You don't say...

Watson: Well, I don't mind telling you, a lot of doctors would have been shocked and mystified! But not me! No, sir, not Dr. John Watson! I was mystified first, and only shocked later on.

Holmes: Yes, ever the rule-breaker, Watson.

Watson: Oh, Holmes, I'm blushing. Anyway, I took a crowbar to the rabbits and got them all off the man. But by that time, his legs were... well, they had to come off.

Holmes: That's terrible, Watson! And you thought that would cheer me up?

Watson: I'm not done! You see, I had a brilliant idea!

Holmes: I'm not liking this, Watson. I've never known you yet to have a brilliant idea.

Watson: Ah, but this one was quite crafty indeed! You see, I didn't amputate the man's legs at all!

Holmes: You didn't?

Watson: No sir! I cut off his arms instead!

Holmes: What?

Watson: I took his arms off.

Holmes: Whatever for, Watson?

Watson: It was brilliantly unorthodox! Modern medicine thrives on unorthodox treatments. I figured it would be so very clever to amputate a man's arms when his legs were infected, that the man would survive due to the sheer unadulterated brilliance of the treatment.

Holmes: It didn't work, did it.

Watson: No. He died screaming. But it was the thought that counts.

Holmes: Watson, if you ever try something like that on me, I'll pick up my discarded limbs with my teeth and beat you senseless with them. Now if you want to be useful, why don't you pop over to the neighbors and see if you can borrow a cup of morphine?

Watson: No! I refuse to enable your addiction! Why don't we play a nice game of chess?

Holmes: No.

Watson: Oh, come now, Holmes!

Holmes: Watson, we've been through this many times before. You are simply not an adequate opponent for me in games of skill. I may as well play a game against one of the squirrels that lives in the tree in the front yard.

Watson: It's true, those squirrels are crafty adversaries and have defeated me many times in the past. But we've nothing else to do.

Holmes: No.

Watson: Please, Holmes... Just one game.

Holmes: Oh... alright. The board is set up on the coffee table, as usual.

Watson: Bully!

Holmes: I'll even be gracious enough to let you make the first move, Doctor.

Watson: Very sporting of you! Let's see... Hmmm.... Got it! Pawn to King's four!

Holmes: (yawns) Bad move, Watson.

Watson: What?

Holmes: Your position is hopeless. Mate in thirty-seven moves, I'm afraid.

Watson: But surely --

Holmes: Watson, Watson, Watson... The secret to chess is the ability to anticipate the opponent's future moves. If you'll just use plain, elementary deductive reasoning, you'll see that your tragically misguided first move has left you ineradicably doomed to defeat in precisely thirty-seven moves from now.

Watson: Hmmm... Damn. You're right again, Holmes.

Holmes: Of course, Watson.

(SFX: Telephone rings)

Watson: Holmes!

Holmes: Yes, Watson!

Watson: That ringing! Do you hear it?

Holmes: Yes, Watson.

Watson: What could it be? Now there's a mystery for you to solve.

Holmes: It's the telephone, Watson.

Watson: Oh. So it is.

Holmes: Pick it up, will you?

Watson: Certainly, old bean.

(Phone keeps ringing)

Holmes: (very patiently) No... That's not what I meant.

Watson: But you said --

Holmes: Never mind that. Put the telephone down.

Watson: I wish you'd make up your mind.

Holmes: Now pick up just the receiver.

Watson: Well... Alright. But I don't really see that this is going to get us anywhere. (SFX: Ringing stops) Good heavens -- how odd.

Holmes: Now put the receiver in front of your mouth and say "hello."

Watson: Hello? (shocked) Holmes, there's somebody in this thing!

Holmes: You abominable cretin, just give me the damned thing, will you? Hello?

Lestr: (phone effect over voice) Ah, Holmes, old chap! Good to find you at home.

Holmes: Why, it's Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard!

Lestr: Indeed, sir. Another amazing deduction.

Holmes: For one of my powers, it was nothing. Do you have another apparently insoluble case for me, which has baffled what passes for the best minds of the London police force?

Lestr: Well, um... It's nothing I couldn't handle on my own, you know, but... Even with your unorthodox methods and theories, you do get results, and, well... There is a mystery.

Holmes: Excellent! Once again, Lestrade, we two will be partners against crime for our mutual benefit. I shall achieve relief from boredom, and as usual you'll hog all the credit and the press when we're done.

Watson: Not to mention Blind Lady Justice!

Holmes: Oh, alright... You can hog her too.

Lestr: I knew I could count on you, Holmes. There's been a terrible crime committed down here at the Coach and Horses pub in Iping Village.

Holmes: Say no more, Lestrade! Watson and I will be there momentarily! (SFX: phone hangs up) Watson! Can you spare some time away from your medical practice?

Watson: Well, I am scheduled to perform a coronary bypass this afternoon.

Holmes: Oh, come on, Watson! What's a matter of life and death compared with being my loyal flunky for a few days?

Watson: You're right, Holmes! I'll grab my trusty service revolver and medical kit and we'll be off!

Holmes: That's the spirit! And bring along some morphine for me in case this turns out to be a false alarm. There's not a moment to lose!

SCENE II: The Coach and Horses, Iping
(SFX: Coach drives up, stops. Holmes & Watson exit)

Holmes: Here we are, Watson. The Coach and Horses pub in Iping.

Watson: Bully!

Holmes: Let me just inspect the grounds.

Watson: Ah! You're about to give a demonstration of your remarkable prowess in the study of footprint detection!

Holmes: Indeed, Watson. Why don't you have a look yourself, and we'll compare notes.

Watson: Certainly, Holmes... Let's see. Well, there's a footprint. And over there -- there's another footprint! And two more just behind me!

Holmes: Very good, Watson.

Watson: Holmes, I plainly detect two sets of footprints just behind us, leading back to the edge of the sidewalk. They stop a set of carriage tracks. Someone drove here in a carriage, then walked up to where we stand right now.

Holmes: Watson... we drove up in a carriage, then walked up to where we stand right now.

Watson: My god, Holmes! We're being followed! The plot thickens!

Holmes: Watson... We made those footprints.

Watson: Don't be silly, Holmes. Why would we follow ourselves?

Holmes: (strangled voice) Just -- ignore -- those -- particular -- footprints. I'll tell you what I observe from the other prints in the area.

Watson: If you say so, Holmes, but it seems like a false trail to me.

Holmes: Look here. There's a man's bootprints, size twelve, leading back and forth across the street, right by the door to the Coach and Horses.

Watson: So there is! What do you make of it?

Holmes: In our modern age, a man can have no good reason to wantonly cross the street. There's evil afoot here. Notice that the Coach and Horses is located in the middle of the block, metaphorical miles from any legal pedestrian crossway.

Watson: Good gracious, Holmes! You don't mean --

Holmes: Yes, Watson! We're faced here with a criminal of the worst stripe! A man who brazenly, and with full knowledge of his misdeeds, jaywalks across this street as often as two dozen times per day!

Watson: The miscreant! He must be stopped!

Holmes: Thank heaven Lestrade called us in. This is truly a job worthy of my deductive ability.

Watson: Let's get inside and hear what Lestrade can tell us.

(SFX: Door open, close. Pub ambience)

Holmes: Inspector! I have arrived, and none too soon, I can see.

Lestr: Indeed, Holmes! There's been murder most foul.

Holmes: Hmmm... We'll deal with that later.

Lestr: And 2000 pounds have been stolen from the Home for Destitute Limbless Pathetic Orphans.

Watson: 2000 pounds of what?

Holmes: English pounds, Watson. It's our national currency.

Watson: Oh, yes... Sorry, I forgot.

Holmes: At any rate, Lestrade, that's a trifle, and irrelevant.

Lestr: Of course. And an unknown person or persons has been roaming the streets poking innocent citizens in the belly and then running away.

Holmes: Well, that seems marginally of interest, but I implore you, Lestrade -- stick to the important facts!

Lestr: Eh?

Holmes: The jaywalker, man! That must be why you've brought me all this way.

Lestr: Very well, Holmes. I should have known your razor-sharp mind would cut through to the heart of the matter. We need action on this case, and we need it fast!

Holmes: I'm your man, Lestrade.

Lestr: The newspapers are having a field day with this one -- "Mad Street-Crosser Terrorizes Village," they say. "Babies and Puppies Menaced By Perambulator," they say. And the London Times, the bastards, misspelled my name and ran a photograph of the bad side of my profile!

Watson: We've got to put a stop to this, Holmes!

Lestr: It's bad for business. People are afraid to leave their houses.

Holmes: I shall not rest until I put a stop to this reign of terror!

Lestr: I'd better introduce you to the woman who called in Scotland Yard. This is Mrs. Hall, the proprietress of the Coach and Horses.

Hall: (Cockney accent) Ooo, pleased to meet you, gov'ner.

Holmes: What can you tell me of the case, Mrs. Hall?

Hall: Y'see, there's a stranger, done arrived about five days ago, been renting a room from me here at the pub. An odd one, he is.

Holmes: Tell me about him.

Hall: Ooo, 'e's an odd one. 'E's a mysteriously strange mysterious stranger, 'e is.

Holmes: Yes... can you be more specific, Mrs. Hall?

Hall: I assume you're looking for evidence so you can prove that this man was the jaywalker.

Holmes: No, no -- all the evidence I needed was the bootprints on the sidewalk.

Lestr: Yes -- and I resent the implication that Scotland Yard needs to go looking for anything as mundane as evidence to convict people we deem to be felons. I'll have you know that Scotland Yard is the most creative police force in the Western world, the envy of wimpy cops everywhere shackled unreasonably by habeas corpus and other liberal schemes.

Holmes: (pause) Yes. Quite. Mrs. Hall, I was looking for something in the line of a physical description so I can identify this jaywalker later on.

Hall: Ooo, well now, I can't help you there. I never saw him.

Holmes: Ah. One of the inn's other employees must have checked him in. Let me talk to that person.

Hall: It's no use, Mr. Holmes. None of us saw him.

Holmes: (pause) Mrs. Hall, I thought you said this man was checked in here at the Coach and Horses.

Hall: That 'e was. I checked 'im in meself. Helped 'im with 'is bags and brought 'im 'is meals three times a day. But I never saw him.

Holmes: How on earth is that possible?

Hall: 'E's an invisible man.

Holmes: What?

Watson: My god -- that ever-churning mind of Sherlock Holmes is thunderstruck!

Lestr: Ha! You see, Holmes -- only good solid average boring police work, however incompetent, can ever produce results -- not the unorthodox flailings of amateur civilian people!

Holmes: Who called who onto this case, Lestrade? Mrs. Hall -- what kind of clothing did this man wear?

Hall: 'E wore a full-length trenchcoat, dark glasses, a big floppy hat, gloves, and whatever parts of his body would ordinarily be exposed, he covered by wrapping hisself in bandages. There weren't a single bit of 'is skin nor hair that you could see all wrapped up like that.

Holmes: So you could see him.

Hall: Well, yes -- I never said no different.

Holmes: Then how can you claim he was invisible?

Hall: 'E said so.

Holmes: Oh, for god's sake...

Hall: 'E made a special point of sayin' so, 'e did. 'E told me when he first arrived not to be a-scared of 'is bein' all wropped up in bandages-like, on account of 'e was an invisible man, and thus could not be seen by a naked eye nor one which wore clothing neither.

Holmes: But that contravenes the laws of physics!

Hall: Well, it ain't my policy to dispute the word of a payin' guest.

Holmes: ...very well. Is he in his room right now? I'd like to go interview him.

Hall: Ooo... In 'is room? Didn't I tell ye? 'E's gone!

Lestr: Gone!

Watson: Where'd he go?

Hall: Well, after I called the police on 'im on account of 'is impertinent crossin' of the street as if 'e thought 'e owned the bloody thoroughfares, I went up to 'is room, and I asked 'im politely-like if 'e wouldn't mind waitin' up for the nice officers who was gonna come and haul 'is butt off to jail.

Holmes: I see...

Hall: And 'e said, ever so politely, "No thank you, ma'am, I believe I shall settle my bill and retire to new lodgings." Oh, such a gentleman, 'e was, for a filthy jaywalker. It makes you wish that crossing the street however you wanted to didn't corrupt the moral fabric of our culture.

Lestr: You mean you called the police and then just let the man escape right away?

Hall: Yes.

Lestr: Before we'd even had a chance to beat him senseless?

Hall: Well... yes. Did I do something wrong?

Lestr: Oh, it's no big deal.

Holmes: Of course it's a big deal! How do we catch him now?

Lestr: Ha! That's your problem, isn't it, Mr. Who-Called-Who-Onto-The-Case Holmes?

Holmes: (pause, then gruffly) I hate you, Lestrade.

Watson: Oh, don't be downhearted, Holmes! I'll help you search! Let me start by looking for footprints... Damn. None to be found.

Lestr: I could get one of my sergeants to walk around for you, Watson.

Watson: Why, thank you! You see, Holmes -- the police will work with us if you give them half a chance.

Holmes: Oh, why don't I just retire right now and become a beekeeper?

Watson: But, Holmes! You'll miss the thrill of the chase!

Holmes: Yes.... Perhaps this won't be too hard. Mrs. Hall, did he leave a forwarding address?

Hall: 'E said 'e'd fill out the proper forms at the post office.

Holmes: Aha! We have no reason to doubt the good word of this evil criminal. If we want to find him, we have only to look in the telephone directory!

Lestr: Holmes, that's a damned silly idea, and one of the poor quality I've come to expect from those private citizens who think they can just barge in and tell Scotland Yard what's what.

Holmes: What are you on about now, Lestrade?

Lestr: Well, it's just so illogical, looking for people in the telephone book. Nobody lives there! People like to live in houses and apartment buildings, not in between the pages of the phone listings.

Holmes: Oh, for god's sake, Lestrade...

Watson: He's got a point, Holmes. There's barely any room for furniture if you live in one of those things.

Lestr: And just try to get somebody to sublet if you should decide to move out.

Watson: Indeed. It's enough to make a person get an unlisted number.

Holmes: Enough! I withdraw my suggestion, Inspector Lestrade. Obviously on whatever planet you two live on, the telephone book is a dreaded bane of human existence. We shall simply have to find the man's address through more unnecessarily complicated means.

Lestr: Excellent! You're catching on to the Scotland Yard way, Mr. Holmes.

Holmes: Heaven forfend. I think I shall instead use my own methods, Lestrade.

Lestr: Suit yourself.

Holmes: I'll contact you when I've got something, Lestrade. Come, Watson! Back to Baker Street!

Watson: Harrumph!

SCENE III: 221B Baker Street
Announcer: The next day, at 221B Baker Street, we rejoin Holmes and Watson.

Watson: Holmes, look out the window! The Baker Street Irregulars have arrived!

Holmes: Ah, yes! My crack squad of information-gathering street urchins! I put the word out that I wanted them to help me find that nefarious jaywalker. (SFX: Curtains open) Eh? Watson, who are these people?

Watson: The Irregulars, Holmes.

Holmes: Watson, the Baker Street Irregulars are a group of scruffy yet lovable dirty-faced orphans. This is a bunch of guys in straitjackets.

Watson: Well... there's been a change.

Holmes: You're telling me! Where are the regular Irregulars?

Watson: They're all out on a Boy Scout camping trip. Except for Li'l Tommy, who's in a special school for young pickpocketers.

Holmes: And these... fellows?

Watson: I took the liberty of enlisting some new Irregulars for you. They're escapees from the mental asylum at Bedlam. They're quite irregular indeed.

Holmes: I'm sure... Well, I suppose I have to work with whatever materials are at hand. Show them in, Watson.

One-Word Frankie: Eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs (this fades up as he enters, and continues unless otherwise noted)

Napoleon: (French accent) Nice apartment -- ze curtains look tasty! (chewing sounds)

Holmes: Stop that! ... I'll get you for this, Watson.

Watson: Now, don't be shy, Holmes -- look at this as an opportunity to make new friends.

Holmes: Oh, very well... You people! Who's your spokesman?

Grimsby: That's me, Mr. Holmes. I'm Grimsby, and the man chewing up your curtains is my second-in-command, Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon: Vive la France!

Holmes: Vive la France. I'm... pleased to meet you.

Grimsby: The voices in my head told me you wanted some information, Mr. Holmes.

Holmes: Yes, Grimsby -- I'm looking for the new address of a known jaywalker.

Grimsby: You'll be pleased to know that we've come through for you, Mr. Holmes!

Holmes: Wonderful! Let's have the information, then! ...By the way, doesn't that man say anything but "eggs"?

Grimsby: Which man?

Holmes: Which one do you think? The one who keeps saying "eggs."

Grimsby: Oh, you mean One-Word Frankie. He's not really insane, you know. He's just extremely annoying.

Holmes: Well, get him to stop.

Grimsby: Hey Frankie!

One-Word Frankie: Yeah?

Grimsby: This guy wants you to stop saying "eggs" all the time.

One-Word Frankie: He does?

Grimsby: Yeah:

One-Word Frankie: Why, is it bothering you?

Watson: Actually, I find it quite soothing. Eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs... aaaaaaah.

Holmes: Shut up, Watson. Yes, it's bothering me.

One-Word Frankie: Well, would you like me to repeat a different word then? Because I do take audience requests.

Holmes: No, I'd like you to just be quiet.

One-Word Frankie: What?!

Napoleon: You cannot ask zat of him!

Grimsby: This is One-Word Frankie you're talking to!

Napoleon: He is ze best in his field!

Grimsby: A natural artist!

Napoleon: An idiot savant!

Grimsby: Well, maybe not the savant part so much...

Napoleon: But an idiot, oh oui oui! C'est magnifique le dum dum.

Holmes: I don't care who he is! I just want him to shut up!

Grimsby: Maybe we don't like your tone, Mr. Holmes.

Holmes: What do you mean?

Grimsby: Well, maybe we won't give you the information you're looking for unless you're nice to Frankie.

Holmes: I could retire... I could get a job as a TV commentator on a true-crime show like Cops or Rescue 911... Life would be so easy...

Grimsby: How 'bout it, Holmes -- you gonna apologize to Frankie?

Holmes: Argh... FrankieI'msorryWouldyoupleasestartrepeatingonewordoverandoverandoverandoverandoveragain.

One-Word Frankie: (deep breath) Eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs...

Holmes: Oh, please, at least make it a different word!

One-Word Frankie: Can I stick with the barnyard theme? It's worked very well for me in the past.

Holmes: Sure, sure, whatever.

One-Word Frankie: Cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow...

Holmes: For all this you'd better have the data after all, Grimsby.

Grimsby: Monsieur Bonaparte -- the location of the jaywalker, please!

Napoleon: He is in ...

Holmes: Yes?

Napoleon: In...

Holmes: Yes?

Napoleon: In...

Holmes: Yes?

Napoleon: Waterloo! Yes, he waits in Waterloo with ze Duke of Wellington, where zey plan my defeat! But zey cannot kill ze spirit of France!

Holmes: That's it! Watson!

Watson: Yes?

Holmes: Push this bloody Frenchman out the window.

Watson: But he was giving us the address!

Holmes: Just do it!

Watson: Well... alright.

Napoleon: What are you doing? Ze crafty Napoleon cannot be defenestrated! Aaaagh! (SFX: Crash of glass)

Holmes: Now then, Grimsby -- talk!

Grimsby: Talk?

Holmes: The address! Give me the address, damn you, and be on your way!

Grimsby: The jaywalker now lives at 145 Claude Rains Place.

Holmes: How do you know it's right? How did you find it?

Grimsby: Oh, it was no big deal -- we just looked in the phone book.

Holmes: Nnngh... Of course you did.

Watson: My god, you people really are crazy! Crazy like a fox! Two foxes, even!

Grimsby: If that's all you need, Mr. Holmes, we'll just be on our way.

Holmes: Yes, yes, fine. And when you get back to the asylum, reserve a room for me, will you? If this case keeps going like this, I'll be joining you shortly.

Grimsby: Sure thing, Mr. Holmes. You'll love Bedlam -- it's got free CNN! Come on, Frankie, let's go home. (SFX: Frankie fades out, door closes)

Holmes: Oh, my god.

Watson: By the way, Holmes, I took the liberty of inviting them back to play bridge tomorrow evening.

Holmes: (sighs) We'll discuss that later. Right now, let's go find Lestrade -- we're one step closer to catching our man!

SCENE IV: A murder scene
Announcer: A short time later, we join Inspector Lestrade at the scene of a murder which has pretty much nothing to do with the plot of the rest of our story.

Cop: (chewing sounds) Looks like whoever did it pulverized the bodies with a large hammer, sir. Nothin' left but bone splinters and gristle.

Lestr: Indeed, sergeant. Truly horrible. And sergeant -- is that meatloaf you're eating?

Cop: Yes, sir.

Lestr: Well, throw it away this instant. I don't know how you can eat that at a time like this.

Cop: Sorry, inspector.

Lestr: Why, most of the officers here haven't been able to take a lunch break all day! And you standing there, enjoying a delicious meal -- how do you think that makes them feel?

Cop: Yes, sir. Would you like a bite?

Lestr: Oh -- thank you, sergeant. (SFX: chewing sounds, gulp.) Ah. That hits the spot. (pause) What did the evidence people find?

Cop: Not much, sir. Just a set of bloody footprints, a few dozen fingerprints, a large sledgehammer marked "property of Mr. John Smithson of 142 Charles Avenue," a business card from Mr. Smithson in the hands of one of the victims, and a set of incriminating photographs of Mr. Smithson with a circus elephant.

Lestr: Damn. That's not much to go on. We'll have to classify this one as a double suicide.

Cop; Yes, sir. (pause) We also found Mr. Smithson hiding in the basement.

Lestr: Ah! Well, bring him in here, will you?

Cop: Mr. Smithson, sir? Inspector Lestrade wants a word.

Smithson: (completely unhinged) It was self-defense, I swear!

Lestr: Now, now, Mr. Smithson.... I know you're under quite a lot of strain here, but you should get ahold of yourself.

Smithson: They had it coming! Ha ha ha!

Lestr: Mr. Smithson, we in Scotland Yard are a fair bunch, and I wouldn't want it said that we'd taken an unreasonable toll on your valuable time. So you're free to go.

Smithson: They won't laugh at me again! Ha ha ha ha!

Lestr: Ha ha ha! Very amusing, sir. No go and get all that ketchup washed off you. You're quite the messy eater, if I may make so bold, sir. And my regards to Mrs. Smithson.

Cop: Inspector... she was one of the victims.

Lestr: Oh -- so she was. Well, in any case, I bid you good day, Mr. Smithson. Sorry to have kept you.

Smithson: My wave of revenge is cresting to a tide! All who have wronged me will suffer! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (SFX: Laughter fades, then glass crash as he jumps out the window.)

(SFX: Door bursts open, hits Smithson in the face and knocks him cold. He hits the floor with a thud. Who says you can't do slapstick on the radio?)

Holmes: Inspector Lestrade! There's not a moment to lose! (pause) Oh, I see you've had a double murder.

Lestr: No, no -- a double suicide.

Holmes: Hmm. Well, I can't be bothered with such petty transgressions of law right now -- I've learned the location of the jaywalker's lair!

Lestr: Really? That's excellent work -- for a namby-pamby civilian, I mean.

Holmes: He lives at 145 Claude Rains Place.

Lestr: Do you know who he is yet?

Holmes: Ah... no. The jaywalker's identity still eludes me. I hope to gather more clues.

Watson: Say, Holmes, old man...

Holmes: Yes?

Watson: If we didn't know his name, then how did the Irregulars find his address in the telephone book?

Lestr: Ha! Gotcha there, Holmes!

Holmes: Hmm... You're right, Watson. We have no way of knowing if our facts are correct. But the alternative is...

Watson: Going back to ask the Irregulars again.

Holmes: Screw it! We'll just go blindly forward, pretending that we know what we're doing.

Watson: I do that all the time, Holmes.

Holmes: I've noticed. Come, Watson! Lestrade, gather your officers and follow us! The game is afoot!

Ann: Join us next time as Holmes and Watson creep ever closer to the spider's lair, having exciting escapades and piecing together the terrifying secret of the Invisible Jaywalker of Iping Village. Plus there's a joke about insurance salesmen. All this and even more as we tie up "Sherlock Holmes and the Very Incredible Case of the Visible Man," on the next Where Threads Come Loose.

End of Part I; Go To Part II