Feb. 25th, 2017

[identity profile] gardnerhill.livejournal.com
Title: And Worketh Willingly With Her Hands
Author: gardnerhill
Form/Wordcount: 221b
Rating: G

Warning: None
Summary: No one pulls the wool over Holmes’ eyes.
Author's Notes: For the February 2017 Holmes Minor Monthly Prompt, “card.”

Hiding a gem in a goose was a foolhardy move, and the mark of a desperate man. So also was the frantic embedding of a priceless pearl in a wet plaster bust. So the loss of a wool-broker’s wedding ring was no great leap to deduce.

“It’s in here,” Holmes said, looking around the shed at the bales of raw wool that surrounded us. “The solution is not quick, but it is absurdly simple.”

So at Holmes’ instruction the bereaved woman hired a score of wool-carders and set them to work, paying them in wages the sum she’d first tearfully offered to my friend. Back and forth they worked, taking lumps of the white and grey and black fleece and scraping them between the multi-toothed paddles, combing them straight and freeing them from small stones and lumps of dirt and bits of twig and bark. For nine hours a day they worked, carding fleece.

On the third day one of the girls shouted in triumph, tossed down her card, and held up a glint of gold. The case was solved.

Holmes took no money for such an elementary solution.  But the woolen muffler the client sent him – all in bands of white and shades of grey that complimented his eyes – kept Holmes’ neck well-wrapped for many winters, and looked very becoming.


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