Technical difficulties having to do with the number of working hours in a week and the inability of LRK to produce satisfactory clones has delayed the promised announcement for today. But fortunately, my excellent friends at the Seattle Mystery Bookstore have stepped into the breach, with the following hot news flash (and if you know where the report originated or know of any AP wire photos on the subject, please don’t hesitate to let us all know more) :
A stunning announcement from Britain has rocked the scientific and literary world for the second time this Spring as a multinational team of archeologists report having found the ossuary of Sherlock Holmes.
â€œWeâ€™ve been searching for his resting place for decades, though most have laughed at usâ€, said lead researcher Dr. I. M. Bruce-Partington. â€œClues as to the burial grounds of the Great Detective were carefully hidden within the Canon and, with the help of the latest AI from around the Globe, we were able to crack the case. It was a solution worthy of the Great Man himself.â€
The exact location of the find was kept secret to ensure treasure hunters, true believers and members of the Moriarity Crime Syndicate wouldnâ€™t be able to disrupt the work. Thought to be sited somewhere to the Northwest of London, deep in the Moors. â€œWhile the Moors are thought to be largely boggy, it has been widely known within the geological community â€“ as well as the archeological community, I should add â€“ that cave-like structures do occur and are quite stable and dry.â€ Explained Dr.Charles Milverton. â€œThe spot weâ€™ve been excavating is quite large and contains a number of boxes related the Holmes family, as well as boxes we believe to be associated with them.â€
According to Dr. Jonathan Small, the first ossuary to be discovered bore marks that were quite difficult to decipher. â€œThe marks seemed to be saying â€˜my craftsâ€™ as if we were going to find knitting needles or paintbrushes inside. Our cryptographer, Gloria Scott, recognized it to read MYCROFT, and from there it all began to make sense. We have no unearthed ossuarys holding the remains of Mrs. Hudson, John and Mary Watson â€“ those were found in a niche with a number of old battered metal dispatch boxes – our literary investigator, Professor L.S. Klinger, is pouring over those and his report will be forthcoming â€“ in a separate niche. We are most puzzled by the recent discovery of 5 other limestone boxes. Tests are still ongoing and we are not confident, at this time, to announce whose remains those might contain.â€ One of the most intriguing is one which bears the damaged carving â€œMaria de Frans—â€. The American specialist Leigh Richards has been called in to work on that stone container.
The literary world has been ablaze with comments and controversy. Most mainline, serious critics have railed at the thought that Sherlock Holmes could have been a real person. â€œWhatâ€™s next?â€ demanded Thorneycroft Huxtable, MA, PhD, â€œThe crypt of James Bond, Miss Marpleâ€™s headstone?â€ Reached at the prestigious Istituto per gli studi religiosi di Bologna, Professor Sabaglione objected strongly: â€œÃ¨ questa gente di mistero pazzesca? sta confrontando un detectivo fictional ad una figura santa! deve essere uno scherzo!â€ A spokesman for the British Crime Writerâ€™s Association, who requested anonymity, expressed guarded enthusiasm. â€œThis is something like the discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls, I should think. Just imagine how this could change our understanding of the beginning of the mystery story.â€
Most excited seems to be the Minister of Tourism and Visitors, Frances Carfax. â€œWe in Her Majestyâ€™s Government are quite thrilled with the possibilities this scientific discovery may provide. Sherlock Holmes is a beloved figure world â€™round and, if this cannot be proven beyond a doubt to be the final resting for Mr. Holmes, his believers will not be deterred and will flock to the site in massive numbers. True believers, as we all know, will bear any effort or cost to be close to those they worship and we very well may see the beginning of a new Holy Land of Literary Greats. The PM and Her Majesty are quite excited.â€
San Francisco Holmsian expert Philip Gilbert was unavailable for comment. However, spokesman for the Gathering of Critical Literatis, Sir George Burnwell, retorted â€œHarumph! Really, Holmes, while an interesting fictional figure of minor importance â€“ good lord, weâ€™re talking about genre fiction, after all – cannot possibly become the central figure of such economic and journalistic focus. These people toss about words like â€˜Greatâ€™ and â€˜Canonâ€™ as if just any creature of fiction can have holiness bestowed upon Him. Anyone believing such rubbish is simply a fool.â€