This is a repost of an entry from 12/27/2006. I've decided to make it a regular annual feature here.
In 1995 I penned a seasonal ode to The Blue Carbuncle in the style of Clement Moore's A Visit from St. Nick. Since then, it has been an annual tradition to share this gem (sorry, I couldn't help myself) in my Sherlockian circles.
Enjoy. Please note that you are free to use this at your own society meetings; according to the Creative Commons license below, you just have to give attribution for for it.
And allow me to wish you "compliments of the season." May all your carbuncles be blue.
Sherlock Holmes was lounging in his purple dressing gown.
A felt hat was hung on the wood chair with care,
Looking seedy and cracked and much worse for the wear.
The forceps and lens were an arm’s length away,
So Sherlock Holmes was engaged well today.
Peterson was the giver, Holmes was the taker
Of the hat and goose, "For Mrs. Henry Baker."
Holmes began to infer from the battered old hat
Grizzled hair, self-respect, and odd things like that.
Then Peterson entered, astonished and dazed,
And showed us upon what the goose must have grazed.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a bonny blue thing in the shape of a tear.
With facets that twinkled, sparkled, and shone,
I knew in a moment it was the Countess’ stone.
Holmes sprang to the Times to review all the history
Of the Hotel Cosmopolitan jewel thief mystery.
The crime was fixed on a plumber named Horner.
No Christmas pie, no plumb; for him, a corner.
More rapid than lightening, Holmes’s orders now came,
As he wrote an advert and called the papers by name:
"Evening News, the Star, Globe, and Pall Mall!
St. James’s Gazette, Standard, Echo, et al."
The stone which Holmes held was the devil’s pet bait,
With a sinister history for a forty-grain weight.
Robberies, vitriol, three people now dead;
And all for a stone which should have been red.
Henry Baker called on the street with his name,
Wearing a tam o’shanter, much to his shame.
Holmes gave him his hat and then the bad news:
That we were compelled to eat his fine goose.
"To eat it!" said he, as he rose from his chair,
Holmes offered to him the disjecta membra,
Relics of an adventure he still could remember.
And taking his items, Baker turned with a jerk,
As Holmes and I set straight to work.
To the Alpha we went, then on to Covent Garden
Where Breckinridge against our pleas seemed to harden.
But finally we found the origin of the geese,
From one Mrs. Oakshott of Brixton Road, east.
We overheard Ryder, who was hot on the trail,
So as a four-wheeler passed, we decided to hail.
Riding to Baker Street, of the mystery, no mention,
But all the way there, we could sense Ryder’s tension.
As he saw the truth, our guest stifled a howl:
The stone had been rescued from his bar-tailed fowl.
At Holmes’s request, I helped the small imp,
To whom Holmes referred as simply "a shrimp."
The little man clutched at the detective’s knees,
Shrieking and begging and putting forth pleas.
For Sherlock Holmes, the case held no glory,
He was simply looking for an end to the story.
Cusack, the maid and Maudsely, who went bad -
Both wanted the stone that Holmes just now had.
The hotel attendant did the deed of evil,
Fed the stone to a goose, in the hopes of retrieval .
There were two that matched, but he hadn’t looked.
So now it seemed that Ryder’s goose was cooked.
Holmes said "No more words," and turned to the lout,
Ryder opened the door and then ran straight out.
The crisp rattle of footfalls, up from the street,
Told me Ryder knew that Holmes had him beat.
"I am not here to perform the policeman's role,
But it is just possible that I’m saving a soul.
It’s the season of forgiveness, a time to have heart,
Let us begin another case, in which a bird will take part."
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