"This reminds me of that fateful encounter with Prof. Moriarty", said Holmes staring vacantly at his iPad. It was a cold and gloomy morning and we had just concluded breakfast at our 221 B Baker Street lodgings. What had induced this comment was the singular case of the environment-fanatic who had caused much bloody turmoil within the premises of Discovery Channel.
" Yes Watson , the more i think about it ", continued Holmes " the more it . . . " . He let the sentence trail off the better apparently to pursue his own train of thought. He pushed the iPad aside, lit his pipe , closed his eyes - in short , exhibited all the signs of being immersed in deep contemplation.
I knew better. This remarkable - if recently wasted - man had taken to availing himself of rather more than the proverbial forty winks of slumber after Mrs Hudson's excellent ham , eggs and bacon each morning. I suspect the quantities of cocaine he consumed besides , unencumbered now by not having to aid the process of solving some of the most complex detective cases ever presented to man, did not much to help.
" Up , Holmes !" , i cried. For such laxity in matters of personal habit went against the very grain of both my personal belief and professional practice . Besides I had another , more selfish motive. Namely, to gather at last the missing threads that would bind that singular story pertaining to the end of Professor Moriarty's vile career such as Holmes had caused it into a seamless whole.
Such readers as may be advanced enough of years may remember the case which had caused such a public sensation that year. Professor Moriarty - Environment extremist , founder of Greenwar and as dark a black hearted villain as ever existed upon the face of this earth - had finally met his comeuppance at the altar of my friend Holmes' brilliance .
Moriarty had been promulgating a radical agenda pertaining to issues of the Environment , Sustainability and Non-Fossil Fuels- based Renewable Energy through his infamous Greenwar organisation. Most of his demands were of a singularly peculiar nature . To expatiate but a mere handful which springs readily to the mind , these included organic laptops, web browsers entirely green of colour , a blue whale as prime minister presiding over a cabinet comprising assorted fauna from the Amazonian rainforest , SUV's made of palm leaves and helicopters constructed from compost. He and his notorious organisation had wrought incalculable harm upon the civilized world with their many terror campaigns across it, all conducted under the cloak of anonymity.
Then Holmes by dint of deduction remarkable even by his exacting standards of those days traced Moriarty's whereabouts to a cybercafe in Cairo whence after the course of many a harrowing cat-and-mouse battle , the theatre of their war finally shifted to a climax in the Sahara desert. There - deep in the unforgiving desert , amidst the dire dunes ,witnessed by nary a living soul let alone live television - Holmes overpowerd the wretch into mortal submission in a legendary encounter.
But it was to be a legend that only the outlines were known of. Nobody ever received even partial possession of the details. Neither Scotland Yard nor I , his closest friend and confidant, knew them. I perceived this now to be an opportunity to be seized of the facts such as they were.
" Come , come ! It hardly befits a person of your standing to succumb to the temptations of indolence so early in the morning. Up Holmes and pray elaborate , sir , on what ensued in your final encounter with Moriarty. For it is about time the facts emerged from the murky depths of conjecture and up to the clear surface of truth !"
That Holmes awoke from his sedated reverie only after a prolonged interval of time bears but no labouring upon. Nor shall I elaborate upon the considerable quantum of effort i had to expend towards that end. I am sympathetic , dear reader, to the demands our Twitter updates places upon our time. Suffice it to say that I managed at last to produce some semblance of response from Holmes.
" Moriarty lured me to an especially confounded area of the desert" , said Holmes. " I was thirsty , Watson , with such thirst as only the unforgiving desert sun can bring on in man. And having drunk to the last drop what remained in my water bottle , I was in much trouble.
"My good Watson , you have always been kind enough to attribute the faculty of deductive reasoning to my undeserving person. I can not of course deny that Providence has indeed bestowed me with a modicum of this ability. And it is to these deductive powers that I turned now . I reasoned that the clump of coconut trees placed there could well be a source of the precious life saving fluid I was so severely in want of. So i took swift aim with my Colt revolver and fired lustily at them."
"But what astoundingly clever thinking , my dear fellow !" I ejaculated , marvelling again at his genius.
The emotion in Holmes' reply startled me. " It was a mirage , Watson, a mirage !" he cried " In reality there was not an inch of green in those infernal sands. To make matters worse , i had exhausted the last of my revolver bullets .
And then the hellhound accosted me. Moriarty was armed to the teeth with both gun and grenade. And there I was dehydrated and de-armed. It looked like the end was nigh , Watson - I was to be exterminated by a viper and a vermin then. I abjured my pride , sir , and pleaded with him to spare me.
I pointed out that I too was a part of the planet he so wanted to save. I especially stressed upon my support for his position on global warming. (And what more appropriate a context in which to do so , I said). I swore to reduce my carbon footprint. I gave him my word that I'd switch to recycled products. I promised to be on more friendly terms with whales and dolphins. I professed my love for the endangered tiger. I expressed my deep sympathies with the extinct emu. All to no avail , Watson.
The fiend was determined to finish me. He fired at me . Luckily , he missed. It is my considered advice now to those set upon going green with their guns to reconsider the use of recycled bullets. Then , he hurled a grenade at me. Again , it did not go off. Why ? My dear Watson , but it was solar powered and - as devices based on unentrenched technology often will - it malfunctioned. So there we were at last , both evenly unarmed. "
" Ah , so you overpowered him in direct body combat !" , i said.
Holmes appeared evasive: " Not precisely Watson , not precisely." He hesitated for a moment. "Truth be told Watson , I took to my heels and fled."
" What !" , i cried. I was stung by this revelation. Had we all got it wrong then ? " How did he die then , Holmes ? Out with it man ! Tell me for the sake of all that is honourable in this world !"
Holmes replied uncertainly : " A cosmic force of nature accounted for him. "
I could brook no further nonsense. " Come come Holmes ! Arrive directly at the point , sir" , I snapped.
A sheepish Holmes returned quietly : " He perished of sunstroke."
Then he quickly added : " But it took me not two moments to deduce the cause of his death, Watson "