THE DETECTIVE AS CRICKETER
WHAT SHERLOCK HAD IN MIND, IF REICHENBACH HADN’T WORKED OUT
“'…If you are clever enough to bring destruction upon me, rest assured that I shall do as much to you.'
‘You have paid me several compliments, Mr. Moriarty,' said I. 'Let me pay you one in return when I say that if I were assured of the former eventuality I would, in the interests of the public, cheerfully accept the latter.’”
At Lord’s on a sunny, summery day,
The umpire signals start of play
In the match between the Senior Electives
And the team of Bright Young Private Detectives.
It’s Holmes to Moriarty
(A batsman of seniority).
Old Morty’s head begins to sway.
Right and left and every way.
From Holmes we have a lightning bolt
That occasions a huge and frightening jolt
To the batsman’s oscillating crown,
And provokes in him a fearful frown.
It’s a ball he cannot hook, nor fend;
And Doctor Grace from the other end
Has to amble down the seaming wicket
To ply his craft on a field of cricket:
To wit, to examine the broken head
And certify Old Mort(y) dead.
‘I’m glad’, said Sherlock, ‘to pay the price
Of making sure he’ll never more rise.
It gives me joy to have made a dent
In all that frontal development.
I’m glad indeed to have outed this pest,
Though it ban me forever from playing a Test.’