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Sherlock Special transcript: The Abominable Bride, part 2
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.
Return to Part 1 / Jump to Part 3
There is a brief shot of the outside of 221B, with Speedwell’s next door, and then we are in the flat’s sitting room. Holmes and Watson are sitting in their armchairs, and an elegantly-dressed woman sits on a dining chair opposite them.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Mr Holmes, I have come here for advice.
HOLMES: That is easily got.
LADY CARMICHAEL: And help.
HOLMES: Not always so easy.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Something has happened, Mr Holmes – something ... unusual and ... terrifying.
HOLMES: Then you are in luck.
LADY CARMICHAEL: ‘Luck’?
HOLMES (smiling at her): Those are my specialisms.
(He smiles across at Watson.)
HOLMES: This is really very promising.
WATSON: Holmes ...
(Holmes drops the smile and turns back to Lady Carmichael.)
HOLMES: Please do tell us what has so distressed you.
LADY CARMICHAEL: I – I thought long and hard as to what to do, but then, er, it occurred to me that my husband was an acquaintance of your brother and that, perhaps through him ...
(She trails off. Holmes tilts his head at her enquiringly.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: The fact is, I’m not sure this comes within your purview, Mr Holmes.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Lord help me, I think it may be a matter for a priest.
(Holmes glances across at Watson, who returns his gaze.)
FLASHBACK. In the huge dining room of their stately home, Sir Eustace Carmichael and his wife are eating breakfast with their two school-aged children, a girl and a boy.
SIR EUSTACE: And what does your morning threaten, my dear? (He takes a drink from his teacup.) A vigorous round of embroidering? An exhausting appointment at the milliner’s?
(His wife cuts herself a bite of food and lifts it to her mouth.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: I hope you are teasing, Eustace.
(He chuckles. A footman brings in a silver plate on which are letters and a letter opener. Sir Eustace slits open the first envelope and looks inside. He freezes, staring at the contents in horror.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: What is it?
(Sir Eustace doesn’t respond, his gaze still locked on what he can see inside the envelope.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?
(When he still doesn’t react to her, she puts down her knife and fork and looks across the table to the children.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Daniel, Sophie, go out and play.
SOPHIE: But Mama ...
LADY CARMICHAEL: Do as I tell you. Quickly, now.
(The children leave the table and go out of the room. Lady Carmichael gets up and walks over to her husband, gently pulling the envelope from his hands. She tips the contents into her hand and then looks at the five orange pips lying on her palm. She laughs.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace! What does this mean?
(She chuckles, then notices Eustace’s appalled expression as he gazes up at her.)
SIR EUSTACE (in a voice full of dread): Death.
LADY CARMICHAEL: What?
SIR EUSTACE: It means death.
(His eyes are full of tears, but then he pulls himself together and tries to laugh.)
SIR EUSTACE: Er, nothing. It’s, er, it’s nothing. I was mistaken.
(He lays the letter opener on the tray. Putting down the envelope and the pips, Lady Carmichael reaches down and takes her husband’s face in her hands.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: My dear, you’ve gone quite pale.
(Eustace surges to his feet and glares down at her.)
SIR EUSTACE: It’s nothing.
(He turns and leaves the room. She follows him.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace ...
221B SITTING ROOM.
HOLMES: Did you keep the envelope?
LADY CARMICHAEL: My husband destroyed it ...
(Watson frowns at her.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: ... but it was blank. No name or address of any kind.
HOLMES: Tell me: has Sir Eustace spent time in America?
LADY CARMICHAEL: No.
HOLMES: Not even before your marriage?
LADY CARMICHAEL: Well, not to my knowledge.
HOLMES: Hmm. Pray continue with your fascinating narrative. (He steeples his hands in front of his mouth.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Well, that incident took place last Monday morning. It was two days later, on the Wednesday, that my husband first saw her.
FLASHBACK. NIGHT TIME. Lady Carmichael wakes up and looks across the bed, realising that her husband is not lying beside her. Lifting her head she sees him standing at the window in his night shirt, staring out into the grounds.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?
(Still staring out of the window, Sir Eustace whimpers. Lady Carmichael approaches and takes hold of his arms and he gasps, spinning around to look at her with a face full of panic. Sobbing, he grabs at her.)
SIR EUSTACE: She’s come for me, Louisa. Oh, God help me, my sins have found me out.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Who’s come for you?
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace, you’re frightening me.
(He tightens his grip and shoves her to the window.)
SIR EUSTACE: Look! Look!
(She looks out into the misty grounds but there’s nobody in sight. Eustace sobs.)
SIR EUSTACE: Don’t you see her?
LADY CARMICHAEL: No, no. I see no-one.
(Out in the grounds, the mist roils over the large hedge maze but wherever it clears, there is still no sign of anybody. Eustace looks again, then turns to his wife, smiling hopefully.)
SIR EUSTACE: Gone.
(He breaks down in tears and crumples to his knees, sobbing. She bends down and cradles him.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You keep so many secrets from me. Is this another? Who have you seen?
(He raises his head to look at her.)
SIR EUSTACE: It was her. It was the Bride.
In 221B, Watson’s eyes widen and he looks across to Holmes, who glances back at him before looking at Lady Carmichael.
HOLMES: And you saw nothing?
LADY CARMICHAEL: Nothing.
HOLMES: Did your husband describe ...
LADY CARMICHAEL: Nothing – until this morning.
FLASHBACK. NIGHT TIME. Once again Lady Carmichael wakes up and looks across to find the bed empty beside her. She sits up and looks around.
Outside, Sir Eustace has a dressing gown over his night shirt and is walking across the front of the house towards the maze in his slippers. Shortly afterwards, Lady Carmichael, also wearing slippers and a dressing gown over her night dress, runs out to try and find him.
LADY CARMICHAEL (calling out): Eustace!
(She runs towards the maze but stops when she sees something lying on the ground. Looking down, she realises that it is one of Eustace’s slippers which must have slipped from his foot unnoticed. She walks forward a little and calls out again.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?!
(She hurries on into the maze.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?
(She continues on, turning several corners within the maze.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace!
(She trips over something on the ground.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Ah!
(She falls to her hands and knees.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Blast!
(She kneels up, looking down at her grazed hands ... and the Bride walks across the junction behind her. Unaware of this, Lady Carmichael cries out again, her voice desperate.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace! Where are you? It’s me!
(She turns her head to look behind her as a female voice begins to sing.)
BRIDE (offscreen): ♪ Do not forget me, Do not forget me ...
(Lady Carmichael rises to her feet.)
BRIDE (offscreen): ♪ Remember the maid, The maid of the mill. ♪
(Lady Carmichael walks back to the junction and turns right, and sees her husband standing there with his back to her. Facing him, just in front of a dead end, the Bride stands with her veil covering her face and her hands folded in front of her. Lady Carmichael walks slowly forward to stand just behind her husband. He is staring at the Bride in horror, his face deathly pale.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Who are you? I demand you speak! Who are you?
(The Bride tilts her head to the right but doesn’t say anything. Lady Carmichael reaches out and seizes her husband’s right arm to turn him to face her.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace! Speak to me!
(She takes hold of both his arms and shakes him gently. He gazes at her blankly.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: In the name of God!
(She shakes him again and slaps his cheek. He rouses slightly.)
SIR EUSTACE: She’s ... she’s Emelia Ricoletti.
(He half-laughs, half-cries. They both turn and look at the Bride who, apparently without moving her feet, is slowly drifting forward towards them.)
SIR EUSTACE (despairingly): No. Not you. No!
(The Bride stops a few paces away from him.)
SIR EUSTACE (terrified): Please!
BRIDE: This night, Eustace Carmichael, you ... will ... die.
(She reaches up with both hands and starts to lift her veil. Before her face can be revealed, however, Eustace’s eyes roll up into his head and he faints. Lady Carmichael cries out and catches him, lowering him to the ground and gasping. When she looks up a few seconds later, the Bride has gone. The camera rises up into the air to show the whole maze. There is no sign of the Bride.)
The straight lines of parts of the maze resolve into a close-up of Holmes’ ludicrously long fingers steepled in front of his mouth while he sits in his armchair in 221B. Despite being very behind schedule in the writing of this transcript, your transcriber re-runs those few seconds
WATSON (offscreen): Holmes?
HOLMES: Hush, Watson.
[Yeah, hush, Watson. Your own Boswell is busy
WATSON (out of the side of his mouth): But Emelia Ricoletti, the Bride!
LADY CARMICHAEL: You know the name.
HOLMES: You must forgive Watson. He has an enthusiasm for stating the obvious which borders on mania.
(He turns a pointed look towards Watson, who throws a dark look back at him.)
HOLMES (to Lady Carmichael): May I ask: how is your husband this morning?
LADY CARMICHAEL: He refuses to speak about the matter. Obviously I have urged him to leave the house.
HOLMES: No, no! He must stay exactly where he is.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Well, you don’t think he’s in danger?
HOLMES: Oh no, somebody definitely wants to kill him, but that’s good for us. You can’t set a trap without bait.
(He smiles at her. She gasps.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: My husband is not bait, Mr Holmes.
HOLMES: No. But he could be if we play our cards right.
(Watson raises his eyebrows.)
HOLMES: Now, listen: you must go home immediately. Doctor Watson and I will follow on the next train. There’s not a moment to lose. Sir Eustace is to die tonight.
HOLMES: ... and we should ... probably avoid that.
HOLMES: Definitely avoid that.
(Lady Carmichael looks rather confused, but nods.)
THE DIOGENES CLUB. Mycroft Holmes is in The Stranger’s Room.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Little brother has taken the case, of course. I now rely on you to keep an eye on things, but he must never suspect you of working for me. Are you clear on that, Watson?
(Behind him, Mary Watson walks into view and smiles at his back.)
MRS WATSON: You can rely on me, Mr Holmes.
TRAIN CARRIAGE. Holmes and Watson are sitting opposite each other in the window seats of a single compartment. Holmes has his eyes closed, while Watson is looking out of the window. After a while he turns to his companion.
WATSON: You don’t suppose ...
HOLMES: I don’t, and neither should you.
WATSON: You don’t know what I was going to say.
HOLMES (his eyes still closed): You were about to suggest there may be some supernatural agency involved in this matter, and I was about to laugh in your face.
WATSON: But the Bride! Holmes, Emelia Ricoletti, again. A dead woman, walking the Earth!
(Holmes sighs heavily and opens his eyes.)
HOLMES: You amaze me, Watson.
WATSON: I do?
HOLMES: Since when have you had any kind of imagination?
WATSON: Perhaps since I convinced the reading public that an unprincipled drug addict is some kind of gentleman hero.
HOLMES: Yes, now you come to mention it, that was quite impressive. (He looks down thoughtfully for a moment, then raises his eyes again.) You may, however, rest assured there are no ghosts in this world.
(Watson nods slightly and looks out of the window. Holmes lowers his eyes.)
HOLMES (quietly): ... save those we make for ourselves.
(He closes his eyes and leans his head back against the headrest.)
WATSON (looking round to him): Sorry, what did you say?
(Holmes keeps his eyes closed.)
WATSON: Ghosts we make for ourselves? What do you mean?
(Holmes doesn’t respond. Watson sighs.)
At the stately home of the Carmichaels, Sir Eustace is standing near the fireplace of a large drawing room. Watson stands facing him while Holmes is pacing around the room.
SIR EUSTACE: Somnambulism.
WATSON: I beg your pardon?
SIR EUSTACE: I sleepwalk, that’s all. It’s a common enough condition. I thought you were a doctor. The whole thing was a bad dream.
WATSON: Including the contents of the envelope you received?
(Sir Eustace tries to laugh.)
SIR EUSTACE: Well, that’s a grotesque joke.
WATSON: Well, that’s not the impression you gave your wife, sir.
SIR EUSTACE: She’s an hysteric, prone to fancies.
SIR EUSTACE: I’m sorry? What did you say?
HOLMES (finally stopping his pacing): I said no, she’s not an hysteric. She’s a highly intelligent woman of rare perception.
SIR EUSTACE: My wife sees terror in an orange pip.
HOLMES (walking closer): Your wife can see worlds where no-one else can see anything of value whatsoever.
SIR EUSTACE (sarcastically): Can she really? And how do you ‘deduce’ that, Mr Holmes?
HOLMES: She married you.
HOLMES: I assume she was capable of finding a reason.
(Sir Eustace angrily surges towards him. Watson instantly steps closer to Holmes, ready to protect him if necessary, but Sir Eustace stops as Holmes speaks again.)
HOLMES: I’ll do my best to save your life tonight, but first it would help if you would explain your connection to the Ricoletti case.
SIR EUSTACE (hesitating slightly before speaking): Ricoletti?
HOLMES: Yes. In detail, please.
SIR EUSTACE (again pausing momentarily): I’ve never heard of her.
HOLMES: Interesting. I didn’t mention she was a woman. We’ll show ourselves out.
(Sir Eustace swallows nervously.)
HOLMES: I hope to see you again in the morning.
(He and Watson start to leave the room.)
SIR EUSTACE: You will not!
HOLMES: Then sadly I shall be solving your murder. Good day.
(He and Watson walk into the entrance hall. Holmes takes a notebook from his trouser pocket and writes a note onto one of the pages.)
WATSON: Well, you tried.
(A footman walks across the hall towards them. Holmes addresses him.)
HOLMES: Will you see that Lady Carmichael receives this?
(He hands him the note.)
HOLMES: Thank you. Good afternoon.
FOOTMAN: Yes, sir.
(Holmes and Watson walk on.)
WATSON: What was that?
HOLMES: Lady Carmichael will sleep alone tonight, on the pretence of a violent headache. All the doors and windows of the house will be locked.
(They reach the place where their coats and hats have been hung up, and take them down.)
WATSON: Ah, you think the spectre ...
(Holmes throws him a disapproving look.)
WATSON: ... er, the Bride will attempt to lure Sir Eustace outside again?
(He puts on his scarf and then his coat.)
HOLMES (putting on his coat): Certainly. Why else the portentous threat? “This night you will die.”
WATSON: Well, he won’t follow her, surely?
HOLMES: It’s difficult to say quite what he’ll do. Guilt is eating away at his soul.
(He pulls his gloves from the pocket of his coat and puts them on.)
WATSON: Guilt? About what?
HOLMES: Something in his past. The orange pips were a reminder.
WATSON (putting on his gloves): Not a joke.
HOLMES: Not at all. Orange pips are a traditional warning of avenging death, originating in America. Sir Eustace knows this only too well, just as he knows why he is to be punished.
(Taking their hats from the pegs, they start to walk out onto the entrance porch.)
WATSON (putting on his hat): Something to do with Emelia Ricoletti.
HOLMES: I presume. We all have a past, Watson.
(They stop in the porch.)
HOLMES: Ghosts – they are the shadows that define our every sunny day. Sir Eustace knows he’s a marked man.
(Watson glances back behind them into the house.)
HOLMES: There’s something more than murder he fears. He believes he is to be dragged to Hell by the risen corpse of the late Mrs Ricoletti.
(Watson looks around thoughtfully for a moment, then turns back to Holmes.)
WATSON: That’s a lot of nonsense, isn’t it?
HOLMES: God, yes. Did you bring your revolver?
WATSON: What good would that be against a ghost?
HOLMES: Exactly. Did you bring it?
WATSON: Yeah, of course.
HOLMES: Then come, Watson, come.
(He puts on his deerstalker.)
HOLMES: The game is afoot!
(They head off.)
NIGHT TIME. In a greenhouse in the grounds of the Carmichael house, Watson grunts and stands up from some lower position.
[Transcriber's note: At this point, one of my betas made some positively filthy suggestions about what Watson had been doing in that lower position. I’m so proud of her. ;-) ]
HOLMES: Get down, Watson, for heaven’s sake!
WATSON (quickly sitting down): Sorry. Cramp.
(Grimacing, he rubs his leg.)
WATSON: Is the, er, lamp still burning?
HOLMES (looking across to one of the few windows of the house which are still lit): Yes.
(Almost immediately, the lamp in that room goes out.)
HOLMES: There goes Sir Eustace.
(He looks across to another lighted window, which goes dark a moment later.)
HOLMES: And Lady Carmichael. The house sleeps.
(Watson shakes his head, apparently bored, then draws in a deep breath.)
WATSON: Mmm, good God, this is the longest night of my life.
HOLMES: Have patience, Watson.
(Watson takes out his pocket watch and looks at it.)
WATSON: Only midnight.
(He puts the watch away.)
WATSON: You know, it’s rare for us to sit together like this.
HOLMES: I should hope so. It’s murder on the knees.
(He smiles. Watson returns the smile.)
WATSON: Hmm. Two old friends, just talking, chewing the fat ...
(He looks at Holmes.)
WATSON: ... man to man.
(Holmes looks somewhat startled, then looks towards the house whilst fidgeting slightly.)
WATSON: She’s a remarkable woman.
WATSON: Lady Carmichael.
HOLMES: The fair sex is your department, Watson. I’ll take your word for it.
WATSON: No, you liked her. A “woman of rare perception.”
HOLMES: And admirably high arches. I noticed them as soon as she stepped into the room.
WATSON: Huh. She’s far too good for him.
HOLMES: You think so?
WATSON: No, you think so. I could tell.
HOLMES: On the contrary, I have no view on the matter.
WATSON: Yes you have.
HOLMES (after a momentary pause): Marriage is not a subject upon which I dwell.
WATSON: Well, why not?
HOLMES: What’s the matter with you this evening?
WATSON (pointing): That watch that you’re wearing: there’s a photograph inside it. I glimpsed it once ...
(Cutaway shot of the photograph inside the lid of the pocket watch. We all recognise it.)
WATSON: I believe it is of Irene Adler.
HOLMES (a little angrily): You didn’t ‘glimpse’ it. You waited ’til I had fallen asleep and looked at it.
WATSON: Yes, I did.
HOLMES: You seriously thought I wouldn’t notice?
WATSON: Irene Adler.
HOLMES: Formidable opponent; a remarkable adventure.
WATSON: A very nice photograph.
HOLMES: Why are you talking like this?
WATSON: Why are you so determined to be alone?
HOLMES: Are you quite well, Watson?
WATSON: Is it such a curious question?
HOLMES: From a Viennese alienist, no; from a retired Army surgeon, most certainly.
WATSON: Holmes, against absolutely no opposition whatsoever, I am your closest friend.
HOLMES: I concede it.
WATSON: I am currently attempting to have a perfectly normal conversation with you.
HOLMES (precisely): Please don’t.
WATSON (equally precisely): Why do you need to be alone?
HOLMES: If you are referring to romantic entanglement, Watson – which I rather fear you are – as I have often explained before, all emotion is abhorrent to me. It is the grit in a sensitive instrument ...
(Watson joins in with what he says next.)
HOLMES and WATSON (almost simultaneously): ... the crack in the lens.
HOLMES: Well, there you are, you see? I’ve said it all before.
WATSON: No, I wrote all that. You’re quoting yourself from The Strand Magazine.
HOLMES: Well, exactly.
WATSON: No, those are my words, not yours! That is the version of you that I present to the public: the brain without a heart; the calculating machine. I write all of that, Holmes, and the readers lap it up, but I do not believe it.
HOLMES: Well, I’ve a good mind to write to your editor.
WATSON: You are a living, breathing man. You’ve lived a life; you have a past.
HOLMES: A what?!
WATSON: Well, you must have had ...
HOLMES: Had what?
(Watson pauses a little awkwardly, then points at his friend.)
WATSON: You know.
HOLMES (angrily): Pass me your revolver. I have a sudden need to use it.
WATSON: Damn it, Holmes, you are flesh and blood. You have feelings. You have ... you must have ... impulses.
(Holmes closes his eyes in exasperation.)
HOLMES (through his teeth): Dear Lord. I have never been so impatient to be attacked by a murderous ghost.
WATSON: As your friend – as someone who ... worries about you – what made you like this?
(Holmes has opened his eyes and looks at his friend almost sympathetically.)
HOLMES: Oh, Watson. Nothing made me.
(From somewhere to his left, scrabbling claws can be heard together with a sound of a dog whimpering anxiously, or as if it is in pain. Holmes turns his head in the direction of the sound.)
HOLMES: I made me.
(The scrabbling and whimpering continues. Holmes frowns in confusion.)
WATSON: Good God!
(Holmes turns his head to look at him. Watson is staring towards the house. Holmes follows his gaze. Through a dark archway at the house, the illuminated veiled figure of the Bride floats slightly above the ground.)
WATSON: What are we to do?
(The Bride raises her right hand as if encouraging her watchers to approach.)
HOLMES (nonchalantly): Why don’t we have a chat?
(He jumps up. Watson frowns, but then follows and they run across the garden towards the house.)
HOLMES (calling out as he runs along the front of the house): Mrs Ricoletti, I believe.
(He and Watson stop outside the front porch, a few yards away from the ghostly image. The Bride lowers her hand. Still floating above the ground in front of a nearby doorway, her other hand has its fingers splayed threateningly.)
HOLMES: Pleasant night for the time of year, is it not?
(Watson seizes Holmes’ arm as if to hold him back.)
WATSON: It cannot be true, Holmes. It cannot!
(The Bride floats backwards towards the door, holding out her hands towards the men as if in invitation.)
HOLMES: No, it can’t.
(The Bride begins to fade from view. At the same moment, a man screams inside the house. Holmes and Watson turn their heads towards the sound. Somewhere, a large pane of glass can be heard smashing. Holmes and then Watson turn back towards the other doorway but the Bride has vanished. Holmes runs to the front door and tries to open it.)
WATSON: Is it locked?
HOLMES (coming back out of the porch): As per instructions.
WATSON: That was a window breaking, wasn’t it?
HOLMES: There’s only one broken window we need concern ourselves with.
(They run to the nearest window beside the front door and Holmes jabs his elbow through the glass, then breaks out the rest of the glass with his gloved hand. He and then Watson climb inside, and Holmes strikes a match to light a lantern.)
HOLMES: Stay in here, Watson.
WATSON: What? No!
HOLMES: All the doors and windows to the house are locked. This is their only way out. I need you here.
(Picking up the lantern, he hurries away.)
WATSON: But the sound was so close, it had to be from this side of the house.
HOLMES: Stay here!
(He runs into the house. Watson looks anxiously at the window behind him. Holmes runs for the stairs just as a woman cries out in horror upstairs. As she continues to shriek, he reaches the landing and looks around, shining the light from his lantern around the nearby carpet. Two maids run up another set of stairs towards him, and Holmes heads off along the landing. Turning a corner, he finds Lady Carmichael standing there in her night dress. On the carpet in front of her is a pool of blood. Holmes looks up at Lady Carmichael as her maids hurry towards her. She stares savagely at him.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You promised to keep him safe. You promised!
(The maids take hold of her arms.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You ...
(Holmes stares wide-eyed at her as she begins to sob. He turns away.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You promised!
(Holmes makes his way along the landing, following a trail of fresh drops of blood.
Downstairs, in the entrance hall on the other side of a narrow corridor leading to Watson’s position, the floor creaks. He takes out his revolver, holds it up with the barrel pointing towards the ceiling, and cocks it. In the hall, the floor creaks again. Lowering his gun to his side, Watson slowly walks forward across the broken glass on the floor and enters the corridor. He stops.)
WATSON: You’re human, I know that. You must be.
(It’s dark in the corridor. He puts his revolver onto a table beside him, on which is a candle and a box of matches. He picks up the latter.)
WATSON: Little use, us standing here in the dark.
(He strikes a match and picks up the candle to light it.)
WATSON: After all, this is the nineteenth century.
(On the floors above, Holmes runs up another flight of stairs and into the eaves of the house. He shines his lantern to the left and then to the right, and immediately sees a man lying on the floor on his side. There is something sticking out of the man’s chest. Holmes walks forward and bends down to the man, his face full of dread. He gently rolls him onto his back and reveals Sir Eustace. A large ornately-handled dagger is in his chest, and Eustace’s eyes are fixed and horrified. Behind him, a woman screams as she catches sight of the body.
Downstairs, a breeze blows out the candle which Watson is holding. His eyes widen and he breathes heavily. He looks down to strike another match and he re-lights the candle, blows out the match and then picks up his revolver again and turns towards the hall. As he peers into the darkness, he is unaware that behind him stands the Bride. She slowly drifts towards him.)
BRIDE (whispering harshly in the same rhythm as the song): Do not forget me.
(Watson’s eyes widen. The Bride comes to a halt just a pace or two behind him.)
BRIDE (in the same harsh whisper): Do not forget me.
(His face full of terror, Watson turns around. Instantly the Bride lifts both her arms high and displays her bloodstained fingers, the nails long and pointed as if they are claws, and she lets out a savage half-hiss half-scream. Dropping the candle, Watson turns and runs into the hall, turning around to run backwards as he looks for the Bride, just as Holmes races down the stairs. They bump into each other.)
WATSON (pointing to the corridor): She’s there! She’s down there!
HOLMES: Don’t tell me you abandoned your post.
WATSON: What? Holmes, she’s there! (He points with his revolver.) I saw her!
(Aiming his lantern ahead of him, Holmes runs into the corridor. Watson chases after him. Holmes arrives at the broken window and angrily turns back to Watson.)
HOLMES: Empty, thanks to you! Our bird is flown.
WATSON: No! No, Holmes, it wasn’t what you think. I saw her – the ghost.
HOLMES (furiously): THERE ARE NO GHOSTS!
(He glares at Watson for a moment, then calms down.)
WATSON: What happened? Where is Sir Eustace?
Some time later, a police photographer removes the cap from the lens of his camera and takes a photograph of Sir Eustace’s body, still lying where it was found, with the dagger still stuck in his chest. Holmes, Watson and Lestrade are standing at the top of the nearby stairs.
LESTRADE: You really mustn’t blame yourself, you know.
(Holmes pulls in a long breath through his nose.)
HOLMES: No, you’re quite right.
WATSON: I’m glad you’re seeing sense.
HOLMES: Watson is equally culpable. Between us, we’ve managed to botch this whole case. I gave an undertaking to protect that man; now he’s lying there with a dagger in his breast.
WATSON (walking towards the body and squatting down to it): In fact, you gave an undertaking to investigate his murder.
HOLMES (angrily): In the confident expectation I would not have to.
LESTRADE: Anything you can tell us, Doctor?
WATSON: Well, he’s been stabbed with considerable force.
LESTRADE: It’s a man, then.
LESTRADE: A very keen blade, so it could conceivably have been a woman.
WATSON (angrily standing up and walking back to the other two): In theory, yes, but we know who it was. I saw her.
WATSON (loudly): I saw the ghost with my own eyes.
HOLMES (angrily): You saw nothing. You saw what you were supposed to see.
WATSON: You said yourself: I have no imagination.
HOLMES: Then use your brain, such as it is, to eliminate the impossible – which in this case is the ghost – and observe what remains – which in this case is a solution so blindingly obvious, even Lestrade could work it out.
LESTRADE: Thank you(!)
HOLMES (angrily, to Watson): Forget spectres from the otherworld. (More calmly) There is only one suspect with motive and opportunity. They might as well have left a note.
LESTRADE: They did leave a note.
HOLMES (to Watson): And then there’s the matter of the other broken window.
LESTRADE: What other broken window?
HOLMES: Precisely. There isn’t one. The only broken window in this establishment is the one that Watson and I entered through, yet prior to that we distinctly heard the sound of What did you just say?
HOLMES: About a note. What did you just say?
LESTRADE: I said the murderer did leave a note.
HOLMES: No they didn’t.
LESTRADE: There’s a message tied to the dagger. You must have seen it!
HOLMES (walking towards the body): There’s no message.
HOLMES: There was no message when I found the body.
(He stops and looks down at Sir Eustace’s corpse. Looped around the hilt of the dagger is a piece of string, to which is attached a luggage label. He squats down, picks up the label and looks at the underside. His eyes widen and he lowers the label back down onto Sir Eustace’s chest. Staring into the distance in disbelief, he slowly stands up.)
(He walks closer as Holmes slowly backs away, then turns and walks slowly towards the stairs.)
WATSON: What is it?
(Not answering, Holmes heads down the stairs. Watson walks over to the body, squats down and lifts the luggage label and looks at the underside. Written in large letters is:
Watson raises his head and frowns. On the stairs, Holmes seems to float down them as he stares ahead of himself in shock and bewilderment.)
[And I’m sorry, but as a fan of “The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar” from ‘Mitchell and Webb,’ that particular footage had me cracking up laughing and loudly singing ‘The Devil’s Galop,’ which completely ruined the mood for me. Apparently nobody involved with ‘Sherlock’ has ever seen that series or they would never have filmed the moment in that way.]
THE STRANGER’S ROOM OF THE DIOGENES CLUB.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Do you?
(Holmes has been facing away from his brother but now turns to look at him.)
HOLMES: Do I what?
(Mycroft holds up the bloodstained luggage label with its MISS ME? message.)
HOLMES (breathing out a long ‘h’ at the beginning of the first word): How did you get that? (He points to the label.) I left it at the crime scene.
MYCROFT HOLMES (putting down the label on the table beside him and then folding his hands over his huge stomach): ‘Crime scene’? Where do you pick up these extraordinary expressions? Do you miss him?
HOLMES: Moriarty is dead.
MYCROFT HOLMES: And yet.
(Holmes has turned away from Mycroft again.)
HOLMES: His body was never recovered.
MYCROFT HOLMES: To be expected when one pushes a maths professor over a waterfall. Pure reason toppled by sheer melodrama: your life in a nutshell.
HOLMES (turning to face him): ‘Where do you pick up these extraordinary expressions?’
(He turns again and stops at the sight of a painting on the side wall. It is Turner’s ‘Falls of the Reichenbach.’ [Click here for image.] For a moment it’s as if he can see the water pouring over the top of the falls and plummeting into the drop. He blows out a breath and then sniffs harshly before turning to his brother.)
HOLMES: Have you put on weight?
MYCROFT HOLMES: You saw me only yesterday. Does that seem possible?
HOLMES (slowly walking past his chair while looking at him): No.
MYCROFT HOLMES (holding out his hands): Yet here I am, increased. What does that tell the foremost criminal investigator in England?
HOLMES (a little indignantly): In England?
MYCROFT HOLMES: You’re in deep, Sherlock, deeper than you ever intended to be. Have you made a list?
HOLMES: Of what?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Everything. We will need a list.
(Taking a breath, Holmes takes a piece of paper from his pocket and holds it up.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Good boy.
(Holmes walks towards his brother, who reaches for the paper, but Holmes lifts it away, screws it up and puts it back into his pocket.)
HOLMES: No. I haven’t finished yet.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Moriarty may beg to differ.
(Holmes sighs sharply.)
HOLMES: He’s trying to distract me, to derail me.
(He places his hands palms together under his chin.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Yes. He’s the crack in the lens, the fly in the ointment ... the virus in the data.
(Lowering his hands, Holmes turns round and looks sharply at him.)
HOLMES: I have to finish this.
MYCROFT HOLMES: If Moriarty has risen from the Reichenbach cauldron, he will seek you out.
HOLMES: I’ll be waiting.
(He walks away and leaves the room, closing the door behind him. Mycroft’s face becomes sad.)
MYCROFT HOLMES (softly): Yes. (He looks across to the painting.) I’m very much afraid you will.
221B SITTING ROOM. Holmes, wearing a blue dressing gown over his clothes, is sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor facing the fireplace. The backs of his hands rest on his knees and he is touching the index finger of each hand to the thumb as if in a yoga pose for meditation. His eyes are closed. Newspapers lie on the floor all around him. In the corner behind his chair smoke is rising from what I presume is an incense burner.
In the same place but inside his Mind Palace, he opens his eyes and torn-out cuttings from newspaper articles start to float past him in mid-air. He reaches out and grabs random cuttings as they pass, looking at the text on them. Some of them read:
THE DEATH OF EUSTACE CARMICHAEL
STATEMENT FROM CAB DRIVER
”IT WAS MRS RICOLETTI”
ALARMING DISCOVERY IN ISLINGTON
ANOTHER BRIDE OUTRAGE
VISCOUNT HUMMERSKNOT DEAD
SORDID END TO BRILLIANT CAREER
RENOWNED PEER VICTIM OF VITRIOL ATTACK
SCOTLAND YARD BAFFLED
CAUSE OF DEATH
The mysterious death of Viscount Hummersknot on
Wednesday last has led to questions in the House.
Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard refused to say
whether the peer’s death was anything to do with
the now notorious ‘Bride’ murders.
WHO WILL BE NEXT?
A strange discovery awaited Miss Eliza Bar-
ton on Monday last. Entering the Union Chapel, Is-
lington where she is employed as char, Miss Barton
found the corpse of Captain Leo Masterson, late of
Her Majesty’s Navy, shot to death. Captain Master-
son had succumbed to his wounds following a shot-
gun blast to the head. Mysteriously, the body was
covered in a quantity of rice, though a wedding
had lately taken place [words obscured by Holmes’ thumb] wedding had
[unclear] the [obscured] blood upon the floor
was the [obscured]
[Transcriber’s note: thanks to Swissmarg for squinting her way through the above reports. Also click here for a transcript of another of the articles.]
The door to the (real) sitting room opens and Mrs Hudson and Inspector Lestrade peer in. Holmes is sitting in the middle of the floor with his eyes closed and his hands resting on his knees as described above. They speak barely above a whisper throughout the following conversation.
MRS HUDSON: Two days he’s been like that.
LESTRADE: Has he eaten?
MRS HUDSON (shaking her head): Oh, not a morsel.
LESTRADE: Press are having a ruddy field day. There’s still reporters outside.
MRS HUDSON: They’ve been there all the time. I can’t get rid of them. I’ve been rushed off my feet making tea.
LESTRADE: Why d’you make ’em tea?
(She looks round at him.)
MRS HUDSON: I don’t know. I just sort of do.
(They look back towards the unmoving Holmes.)
LESTRADE: He said there’s only one suspect and then he just walks away, and now he won’t explain.
MRS HUDSON: Which is strange, because he likes that bit.
LESTRADE: Said it was so simple, I could solve it.
MRS HUDSON: I’m sure he was exaggerating.
(Lestrade looks at her, then wrinkles his nose and looks towards Holmes again.)
LESTRADE: What’s he doing, do you think?
MRS HUDSON: He says he’s waiting.
LESTRADE: For what?
MRS HUDSON: The devil.
(He stares at her.)
MRS HUDSON: I wouldn’t be surprised. We get all sorts here.
LESTRADE: Well, wire me if there’s any change.
MRS HUDSON: Yeah.
(He turns and goes down the stairs. Mrs Hudson watches her lodger for a moment longer, tuts sadly and then closes the door.
In the sitting room, Holmes lifts up a newspaper from the floor and moves it to reveal a small open case containing a syringe. He reaches down and gently caresses the syringe with one finger, then picks it up. He looks down at it for a while, then lifts his eyes as if he has made his decision.)
Some time passes and night is falling. Holmes still sits in the same place on the floor with his eyes closed. A shadow falls across him and the floor creaks. Holmes frowns slightly and turns his head a little in the direction of the sound, his eyes still closed. The floor creaks again and quiet footsteps can be heard. After a moment, a familiar voice speaks.
MORIARTY (softly): Everything I have to say has already crossed your mind.
HOLMES (quietly, not moving): And possibly my answer has crossed yours.
MORIARTY: Like a bullet.
(Holmes opens his eyes, then carefully gets to his feet, putting his right hand into his pocket. He turns to face Professor Moriarty, who is standing in front of the right-hand window.)
MORIARTY: It’s a dangerous habit, to finger loaded firearms in the pocket of one’s dressing gown. Or are you just pleased to see me?
(He smiles, then rolls his jaw and tilts his head to the right, crunching the bones in his neck.)
HOLMES: You’ll forgive me for taking precautions.
MORIARTY: I’d be offended if you didn’t.
(He pats the pockets of his jacket, then reaches into the breast pocket and takes out a small pistol.)
MORIARTY: Obviously I’ve returned the courtesy.
(He looks down at the gun and cocks it, then spins it round with his finger through the trigger guard for a few seconds. Eventually he stops, holds it properly and wanders vaguely around the room.)
MORIARTY: I like your rooms. They smell so ...
(He gestures with his free hand as if searching for the most appropriate description, then says the next word in a deeper voice than usual.)
MORIARTY: ... manly.
(He wanders closer and stops very close to Holmes.)
HOLMES: I’m sure you’ve acquainted yourself with them before now.
MORIARTY: Well, you are always away on your little adventures for The Strand. Tell me: does the illustrator travel with you? Do you have to pose ...
(Lifting the pistol, he touches the end of the barrel to his chin while he steeples the fingers of the other hand against it.)
MORIARTY: ... during your deductions?
(He lowers his hands and wanders towards the fireplace.)
HOLMES (turning to keep him in sight): I’m aware of all six occasions you have visited these apartments during my absence.
MORIARTY: I know you are.
(He runs his fingers along the top of the mantelpiece. It’s very dusty.)
MORIARTY (looking down at his dusty fingertips): By the way, you have a surprisingly comfortable bed.
(He looks round to Holmes and smiles.)
MORIARTY (looking back at his fingertips): Did you know that dust is largely composed of human skin?
(Moriarty opens his mouth, sticks his fingertips onto his tongue and licks them. Holmes, his hand still in his pocket, looks slightly appalled.)
MORIARTY: Doesn’t taste the same, though. You want your skin fresh ... (he waves the licked hand in the air as if trying to describe the flavour of his favourite recipe) ... just a little crispy.
HOLMES (gesturing to Watson’s chair): Won’t you sit down?
MORIARTY: That’s all people really are, you know: dust waiting to be distributed. And it gets everywhere ... (he sticks out his tongue and waggles it as if trying to shake off the dust he just licked) ... in every breath you take, dancing in every sunbeam, all used-up people.
HOLMES (cocking one eyebrow): Fascinating, I’m sure.
(He gestures to Watson’s chair again.)
HOLMES: Won’t you sit ...
MORIARTY (talking over him and now staring down into the muzzle of his gun): People, people, people. Can’t keep anything shiny.
(He blows into the end three times, then lifts the gun and peers into it.)
MORIARTY: D’you mind if I fire this, just to clean it out?
(He turns the gun and points it at Holmes. Instantly Holmes snatches out his own gun and points it at his enemy. They stand there for several seconds, the ends of their pistols almost touching. Eventually and almost simultaneously – although Holmes makes the first move – they lift their guns to point the muzzles upwards. Moriarty slowly swings his pistol around to lower it to his side, while Holmes drops his own gun onto the nearby table.)
MORIARTY: Exactly. Let’s stop playing. We don’t need toys to kill each other. Where’s the intimacy in that?
(Holmes walks closer to him.)
HOLMES: Sit down.
MORIARTY: Why? What do you want?
HOLMES (still walking closer): You chose to come here.
MORIARTY: Not true. You know that’s not true.
(Holmes has stopped a pace away from him. They stare into each other’s eyes.)
MORIARTY: What do you want, Sherlock?
HOLMES: The truth.
(He starts to walk past him but turns to put his face close to Holmes’.)
MORIARTY: Truth’s boring.
(He walks slowly across the room. Holmes turns to watch him.)
MORIARTY: You didn’t expect me to turn up at the scene of the crime, did you? Poor old Sir Eustace. He got what was coming to him.
HOLMES: But you couldn’t have killed him.
MORIARTY (turning back to face him): Oh, so what? Does it matter? Stop it. Stop this. You don’t care about Sir Eustace, or the Bride or any of it. There’s only one thing in this whole business that you find interesting.
HOLMES (in an intense whisper): I know what you’re doing.
(The room starts to rock as if an earthquake is taking place. The decanters and glasses rattle. Holmes shakes his head and closes his eyes. The disturbance stops.)
MORIARTY (holding up his pistol near his chin, the muzzle pointed upwards): The Bride put a gun in her mouth and shot the back of her head off, and then she came back. (He shrugs and moves the gun further away from his face.) Impossible.
(Holmes’ eyes are open again.)
MORIARTY: But she did it, and you need to know how. How ...?
(The room begins to rock again.)
MORIARTY: ... don’t you? It’s tearing your world apart not knowing.
(The room continues to shake.)
HOLMES (intensely): You’re trying to stop me ...
(He pulls in a deep breath through his nose, closes his eyes and shakes his head before opening his eyes again.)
HOLMES: ... to distract me, derail me.
(The room settles.)
MORIARTY: Because doesn’t this remind you of another case?
(Holmes closes his eyes.)
MORIARTY: Hasn’t this all happened before? There’s nothing new under the sun.
(Holmes grimaces, his eyes still closed.)
MORIARTY: What was it? What was it? What was that case? Huh? D’you remember?
(Holmes raises his hands and runs them over his face.)
MORIARTY (whispering): It’s on the tip of my tongue.
(He points to his mouth. The room starts to shake again.)
MORIARTY (whispering as he points towards Holmes): It’s on the tip of my tongue.
HOLMES (whispering as he lowers his hands): It’s on the tip of my tongue.
(He opens his eyes as the room continues to shake, then settles.)
MORIARTY (whispering): It’s on the tip ...
(He raises the pistol, opens his mouth and sticks out his tongue, and rests the muzzle against his tongue. Slowly, holding that position, he sinks down to sit on the low table in front of the sofa.)
MORIARTY (whispering, his speech blurred): ... of my tongue.
(The room shakes again. Holmes takes another sharp breath through his nose and the room settles.)
HOLMES (in a normal voice): For the sake of Mrs Hudson’s wallpaper, I must remind you that one false move with your finger and you will be dead.
(He whispers the last word. Moriarty, the end of his gun still resting on his stuck-out tongue, speaks incoherently.)
MORIARTY: Ed ith the noo thethy.
HOLMES (closing and then opening his eyes): I’m sorry?
(Moriarty removes the gun and pulls his tongue back into his mouth, holding the gun next to him pointing upwards.)
MORIARTY: Dead ...
(He pauses for a long moment.)
MORIARTY (in a whisper): ... is the new sexy.
(Holmes stares at him in shock. Again the room starts to shake and this time the tremors are much stronger. In a quick movement, Moriarty raises the gun again and opens his mouth, aims the pistol into it and pulls the trigger, firing the gun. He falls backwards and blood flies into the air.
The room settles and Moriarty stands up, shaking himself down. He has some blood spatter on his face.)
MORIARTY: Well, I’ll tell you what: that rather blows the cobwebs away.
(Holmes stares at him wide-eyed.)
HOLMES (softly but intensely): How can you be alive?
MORIARTY: How do I look, huh?
(Slowly he turns around to reveal where the back of his head has been blown out.)
(Still Holmes stares in disbelief. Moriarty turns a full circle to face him again.)
MORIARTY (sounding a little anxious): You can be honest. Is it noticeable?
(He moves his head around as if giving Holmes a good look at him.)
HOLMES (softly, intensely): You blew your own brains out. How could you survive?
MORIARTY (gesturing to his hair): Well, maybe I could back-comb.
HOLMES: I saw you die. (He narrows his eyes.) Why aren’t you dead?
MORIARTY (stepping closer): Because it’s not the fall that kills you, Sherlock. (In a whisper) Of all people, you should know that. It’s not the fall. It’s never the fall.
(Glassware around the room begins to tinkle and smash. Moriarty spreads his arms wide on either side and stares manically at Holmes.)
MORIARTY (intensely): It’s the landing.
(The tremors start again, even stronger than before. On a cabinet in the corner, a small model of an elephant is shaken off the side and falls to the floor. The tremors throw Holmes stumbling back towards the fireplace.
Holmes falls backwards into his chair ...
... and as Sherlock sits in one of the seats with his eyes closed, his executive jet plane is landing at the airfield. Nearby, John and a heavily-pregnant Mary stand in front of the car and watch as the plane rolls to a halt.)
On to Part 3