By E.D. Wivens, November 2002
Dear Mrs. Hudson,
I regret that I must once again complain about the activities of your lodger.
Over the years I have tolerated his dreadful violin playing and the arrival of cabs at all hours of the day and night, but I do feel that this latest sequence of incidents is pressing my tolerance to its limits.
About a week ago I was seated in my study working on a the revisions of my paper when suddenly I heard gunshots coming from your house. Each gunshot, of which there were a not inconsiderable number, was followed almost instantly by a violent rap on the party wall. This has done considerable damage to the decorations in my study and I am informed that it will be necessary to renew the plaster on this wall and replace the paper.
I decided that it was necessary to investigate the cause of this disturbance and so made my way to your house the following morning hoping to discuss the matter with you. Unfortunately I was informed, by Billy, that you were out and so I decided to speak directly to your lodger. My interview with him was cut short however when it became clear he was fingering a firearm concealed in his dressing gown pocket. I decided that the situation was quite threatening and so retreated from the room. This was not before I had been informed that I was the "most dangerous man in London", which I feel is quite the reverse of the situation.
While in his rooms however I was able to ascertain that the cause of the previous nights disturbance was his firing bullets into the wall in a crude representation of the letters "VR". I do not think that Her Majesty would be amused by such behaviour.
I see that he has been collecting cigar butts again. When I enquired about this he informed me that he was preparing a monograph on cigar ash. I find this explanation highly unlikely to say the least and feel that he is once again obtaining the tobacco for that foul pipe of his in an unorthodox manner.
I also notice that his so called friend Jack (or is it John) has been hanging around again. I can only comment that for a medical practitioner he seems to have a surprising amount of free time. I also have my suspicion of where the cocaine is coming from. I have always viewed this person with a great deal of suspicion if only because of his dubious war record. In particular I am highly suspicious of his bullet wound which seems to change location on a regular basis. What his wife makes of this behaviour I cannot imagine, although now I write this I realise I have not heard anything of her recently.
His idle brother has paid a visit once more and as I have made my opinions of members of the Diogenes Club only too plain on more than one occasion, I will not repeat myself here.
I appreciate that most of this behaviour is probably due to his cocaine addiction and I greatly admire your tolerance in housing such a person. I feel that it would be healthier if he could get out more. I realise that he recently visited Dartmoor but he does seem to spend an unhealthy amount of time compiling his scrapbooks and otherwise littering your rooms. This interest of his in collecting newspaper cuttings relating to violent crime is quite unsettling and cannot be entirely healthy in my view. Perhaps he could be persuaded to once more take up the amateur dramatics for which he displays quite a talent.
That policeman was in the street again and he informs me that your lodger has once more been helping them with their enquiries. I am not surprised, if a little saddened, by this, but it does amaze me how you manage to keep his name out of the papers. I deeply admire the way you take your Christian duty towards such unfortunates to heart but I do however feel that the situation is now getting way out of hand.
I further regret that if you have not remedied the situation by the time I return from my Alpine walking holiday, I shall feel compelled to take matters further.
223 Baker Street,