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This parody appeared in the Seattle Star in 1917. As far as I am aware it has not been republished since then.

Mother Goose Novelettes


BY Berton Braley


"Mr Holmes," the visitor began, "I come lo tell you -"

Sherlock Holmes laid down his knife and fork with which he had been vigorously attacking a fillet of cocaine with heroin sauce.

"You have had your pet pig stolen," he remarked, calmly.

The vlsitor, an old gray-haired man. looked astonlshed.

"How did I know it?" said Mr. Holmes, "elemental, my dear sir, elemental. Your agitation told me you had lost something. Now there are 17,893 kinds of agitation, all of which I have catalogued In my monograph on the subject. By the psychoanalytlc test of LeNoir, which you can read In my four volume treatlse published by Ducton and Company, 8 net; I know it is agitation caused by a loss that is personal rather than Intrinsic. Hence you have lost some object of affection. I know It Is animate rather than Inanimate because of the trembllng of your third finger. I know It is a pig because there Is bristle on your trouser leg where it has rubbed agalnst you, and it must be a pet or you wouldn't let it be so affectionate."

"Marvellous," said Dr. Watson.




"You shall have your pig In your arms within 24 hours," Holmes prornised and turned to his cocaine again.

"Thank you, Mr Holmes," said the visitor, "that pig is very dear to me. It is like one of the family."

"Ah. yes: ah, yes," said Holmes, "which one?"



"Watson." sald Holmes, "go down to 112 Sontag street and get that pig from Tom Noyse, the son of Sandy Noyse, the Scotch bagpiper. He has it."

"How do you know that?" demanded Dr Watson.

"Deduction, of course," responded Holmes, impatiently. "I just happened to know that Sandy Noyse, the piper, is ill. Too ill to pipe. So far luck enters Into the case. Being ill, Sandy can't pipe and Tom, his son, never could pipe. Sandy, missing his favorite diversion, is growing steadily worse. There are no pipers in town, so what does Tom do? He must entertain his father. So he rushes down the street, sees the pet pig In our client's front yard and has a hunch. He grabs the pig and runs home with It. Why? Because he knows that by squeezing the pig he will cause it to emit the only sounds there are which resemble the Scotch bagpipes. Simple, isn't it?"

"Marvelous," said Dr. Watson.




It was a week later that the visitor came to Sherlock Holmes' office and tearfully thanked the great detective.

"But, Mr. Holmes," he said. "I want to reward that poor boy, Tom, the piper's son.

"He has made our everlasting fortunes, and I do not think he should languish In jail. You see, after Dr Watson brought the pig home we found he squealed - the pig, not Dr Watson - In tune. His repertoire included the "Blue Bells of Scotland," "Auld Lang Syne" and "The Campbells Are Coming," and he's now on the Orpheum circuit, drawing down a thousand a week. But we want Tom out to teach him some more tunes."

"Marvelous," said Dr Watson.

Seattle Star, 29 September, 1917

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