This was a birth certificate, for a child born in some place called Ferozepore in the year 1875. His father’s name clarified the difficulties of the K—something from the other forms: Kimball.
I looked up, hoping for an explanation, only to find both sets of grey Holmes locked expectantly onto me. How long, I wondered, before I stopped feeling like some slow student facing her disappointed headmistress? “I’m sorry,” I began, and then I paused, my mind catching at last on a faint sense of familiarity: Kimball. And O’Hara. Add to that a town that could only be in India…. No; oh, no—the book was just a children’s adventure tale. “I’m sorry,” I repeated, only where before it had connoted apology, this time it was tinged with outrage. “This doesn’t have anything to do with Kim, does it? The Kipling book?”
“You’ve read it?” Mycroft asked.
“Of course I’ve read it.”
“Good, that saves some explaining. I believe this to be his amulet case.”
“He’s real, then? Kipling’s boy?”
“As real as I am,” said Sherlock Holmes.