Content Notes: Holmes & Watson; crack; humour; Bessie & Mrs. Hudson; a bit of Woosterism.
Summary: Holmes & Watson make New Year's resolutions. Whose will is the strongest?
Author's Note: For the monthy prompt: resolution.
“I’ve made a decision for the New Year, Holmes, a resolution.”
“You’re not shaving your moustache?!”
“Goodness, no,” Watson touched his upper lip reassuringly, “I’m stopping smoking, all use of tobacco, in fact.”
“The air of London is sufficiently polluting, I needn’t add my own foulness to it, and perhaps, in time, I shan’t wheeze like an octogenarian asthmatic in pursuit of the many blackguards we encounter. For heath, you see.”
“There are benefits, Holmes, I commend to your attention a recent monograph—“
“No doubt. My skepticism isn’t of the validity of that claim but rather at your ability to maintain your resolve.”
“I have an iron will!”
“I have an iron will. You are a creature of habit.”
“Join me, then. Leave pipe and cigarettes behind.”
Holmes glanced nervously at the breakfast table, then said, “I might if I hadn’t already decided upon my own New Year’s resolution, one which will afford boons superior to those of yours.” He poked a kipper with a fork. “Henceforth, I shall be a vegetarian.”
“No!” Watson gasped. “Like the poet Shelley?”
Holmes huffed. “And many other wise persons around the world.”
“Yours is the much more difficult course, Holmes.”
“Naturally, my will is the stronger.”
“Oh, Mrs. Hudson!” cried Bessie.
“I know, my dear.”
“Mister Holmes smoking like a chimney.”
“The curtains,” said Mrs. Hudson mournfully.
“Doctor Watson devouring every scrap of bird and beast he finds.”
“Mister Holmes and his poor vegetable marrows.”
“Doctor Watson, with tears in his eyes, giving away his pipe.”
“The chamber pots.”
They looked at each other and wrinkled their noses.
“I have a plan, my dear, if, well, things go—“
“I’M GOING TO MY CLUB! THIS AIR IS POISONOUS!”
“WONDERFUL! I AM OFF TO AN AFTERNOON CONCERT. A BIT OF REFINEMENT IS NEEDED AFTER BEARING WITNESS TO THAT BEASTLY DISPLAY!”
“I LIKE STEAK AND KIDNEY PIE! SAY HELLO TO THE POET SHELLEY IF YOU CAN SPARE THE BREATH!”
“OH, WAIT, YOU’VE A GREASE SPOT—EVERYWHERE!”
The ladies jumped. Then Bessie sniffed.
“Oh, Mrs. Hudson, smoke!”
Their eyes met.
As they ran for the stairs, Mrs. Hudson muttered, “The camel’s back is broken, my dear.”
Watson opened the door.
“Well, that’s a change,” he said as he entered. “No smoke.” His eyes widened when he saw Mrs. Hudson with the gun—his gun—and Bessie with the fire poker. Both weapons were aimed at Holmes, who was hunched in his armchair, looking much like a punished schoolboy.
“You and Mister Holmes are going directly on a week’s holiday,” announced Mrs. Hudson, waving the barrel of the gun at the two trunks stacked by the door, “to a lovely seaside inn run by cousin, and you’ll sort your differences and return as gentlemen or you’ll be finding another address.”
“Claimant to the most iron will is,” grumbled Holmes, “apparent, Watson.”
They both looked at Mrs. Hudson, who only smiled and said,
“Now on you go.”