Sherlock Holmes: Completed Mysteries

Basically this is the same as my other Sherlock Holmes story, except for this one will be divided by full stories instead of having them in chapter form.
Enjoy.

Chapter 1

The Mystery of the Sleeping Man

It was a strange day when I came to inquire for his help. There had been a tragic upsetting in my life recently. I had needed his help for he was the best detective in all of England. It would take the best to solve the mystery.
I made my way up to the house on Baker Street. I was greeted and then sent into a main room where I found Mr. Holmes and another man lounging in front of a fire place. They seemed to have been in deep conversation until I walked into the room. "Sorry for interrupting you, if there's a better time I can come back," I tired to apologize.
"No, not a problem at all. Hello, take a seat. As you probably already know I am Sherlock Holmes and this is my friend Dr. John Watson. I hope you don't mind if he stays while you tell your story. If it bothers you I can have him leave."
"No, it's fine if he stays," I said, taking my seat. "The more to hear the story the better."
"Wonderful, carry on then." He sunk into his chair and lit his pipe as he waited for me to start.
"Well, you are may have read in the papers my husband to be, Harold Paine, is very sick with some unknown ailment."
"That doesn't sound strange at all," He interrupted. "People fall ill everyday. What is so special about this case?"
"It;s not the illness that's strange, it's the events that followed. I was to meet him out on a meadow one day for some lunch. I got there early to set up. Now, he didn't appear for some time after he was supposed to get there. I didn't get worried at first, he's usually not very punctual as is. I started to worry once it got to about half and hour past, but then he walked in. he stumbled from out of the woods and came towards me. When he got over to me he fainted and I caught him, but as he reached my hands he slipped right through my fingers, like dust, into the ground. The odd thing is, besides all that, was that before he turned to dust he dropped a small paper tied with a red bow. I've looked at it since, but it only had five black ink dots on it. No specific pattern, just five dots of the same size all in a row.
"Now, you can imagine how frightened I was. I rushed back to my home, but the story gets even more odd yet. I rushed into my bedroom, and my fiancee was in bed, fast asleep. I would have thought he were dead if I hadn't checked for his breathing. I tried to wake him but he wouldn't budge. I decided to remain calm once more because he's not the lightest sleeper in the world. But, you see, the next morning he didn't awake either. It's been three days since then, he's still sleeping."
"Have you checked to make sure he's still alive?"
"Yes, I've checked his breathing every chance I get. It hasn't changed from that first day. It's shallow and soft. You can't notice it by looking, he looks dead, but if you put your hands on him you can feel it."
"Watson, what's your opinion on this, medically?"
"It just seems like he's in a stage of comatose."
"I figured as much, but how does that explain the apparition I saw?"
"That's where the mystery begins."
"Are you prepared to take this case on for me Mr. Holmes."
"Yes."

The day after my first visit on Baker Street Mr. Holmes and Doctor Watson came to visit my fiance and myself at our home. After a few minutes of Dr. Watson checking for his pulse he moved his hand away from Harold's neck. "Well this is strange. Strange indeed. As you told us earlier, he is passes out, but still alive. He might be in a coma, but with the lax medical care here, it's very likely he would be dead by now."
"So what do you think is going on then?"
"I haven't the slightest clue. I've never seen a case like this before. Holmes, what's your opinion on this?"
"Miss, do you have a picture of Mr. Paine?"
"Yes," I pulled a picture of Harold out of my purse. "I don't see why you need it though when he's right here."
"I may be able to tell you later." He held the picture up to the light. "Now, when was this picture taken?"
"I believe it was taken near Christmas, so quite some time ago."
"You don't have any newer pictures, do you?"
"No sir."
"Very well. This will have to do then. Watson, step out into the hall with me. Miss, stay and watch over Mr. Paine to make sure there aren't any changes."

*******************************************************************************************

"Holmes, have you figured it out?" Watson asked.
"Only part. That man in the bed is most certainly not the man in this picture."
"Why do you say that?"
"Watson, as a doctor I would expect you to pay much more attention than you do. Remind me to search for another if I am ever in the need for medical assistance. To answer your previous question, this cannot be the same man as the man in this picture. The man in the picture clearly has a large mole on his neck. The man in the bed does not. Now, there is a small percentage of chance that this woman would be as weak of eyesight as you as well. His neck has been covered very well with makeup. Make up to make a mole. When you went to check the man's pulse your finger nudged the mole just enough to move it more than an inch. Correct me if I am wrong, which I rarely am, but moles do not move. They stay in the same place all the time, even when nudged."
"That is all very well, but if this isn't Mr. Paine, how do we know who it is? How do we know how he remains non-responsive."
"Another obvious answer. As for the identity, it could be a twin, or maybe a close relative. For the apparent comatose, he could be faking it."
"Faking it? How?"
"The miss left to see us the other day. He could have easily gotten up to eat, bathe, or do whatever else he needs to during that time. I'm sure she must leave the house on other occasions as well, so this man must have plenty of opportunities to do what he must. It would be fairly easy to pull off actually."
"Should we tell her what we've found out then?"
"Not yet. Let her keep with him. Don't diminish her hopes. I have a plan and I'll be needing your help."
"At what hour and where?"
"Tonight at dusk. Here will do."
"Very well."

At dusk Holmes and Watson met up again at the Paine household.
"Does the miss know we're coming?" Watson asked.
"Oh course not, Watson, I except she must be asleep at this hour. We are here simply to observe. If my hypothesis is correct this 'Mr.Paine' should be up and about now, doing whatever it is his wicked mind commands."
"How will we know what he's up to?"
"We enter the house. Like this," Holmes pushed open the door. "Just as I suspected, she keeps the door unlocked. Now follow me Watson, and quietly."
Watson followed Holmes up to steps (Holmes instructed him on which one to skip because of the loud squeak it produced) and into Mr. Paine's bedroom. "Just as I suspected." Holmes said. "He's gone." Indeed the bed was empty.
"Where has he gone?"
"Shh, Watson! I hear something. Hide!" They both hid in the darkest corners of the room.
A shallow-faced man walked into the room. He began pacing across the room as if wondering what to do next. He also muttered strange things to himself in another language. Holmes simply nodded to Watson to show that this was their man. A few moments later another pair of footsteps could be heard scurrying down the hallway. As soon as the man heard this he leaped back into bed and covered himself with blankets. She walked over to the bed and started talking to the non-responsive man. "Oh Harold, for a moment I thought you were with me again. I've just had the strangest dream about you. It's about that day with the apparition. I believe that it wasn't really one after all. I think it was a person. Perhaps you! Oh dear..." She rested her head on his chest and began weeping. "Tomorrow I'll tell Mr. Holmes about this. Maybe they know about this kind of thing. If not, maybe they'll at ;least know something about your case by now." She started to cry again. A quarter of an hour later she got up, sniffled, and then left the room for good.
After five minutes of her being gone Holmes nodded to Watson that it was time to go. They left as quietly as they had come.
The next morning on Holmes' doorstep there was a letter from the miss requesting a visit.

Holmes and Watson went to the miss's house later that day. As they walked up to the front door they saw that she was standing there pacing.
"You won't believe it!" She yelled as they stepped into the house and were given some tea. "He's gone! Harold is gone!"
Holmes and Watson just looked at each other and Holmes nodded. "We think we know where he might have gone."
"How would you know? Do you think someone took his body? What could have happened? It's not like he could have just got up and walked out himself."
"I think he could." Holmes said. "He didn't look sick at all, the mole on his neck was purely make up."
"Then where is he?!"
"We don't know that."
"I thought you said that you DID know though?"
"I know where he is. I just don't know where that place is."
"That meadow. The place where you thought you saw the apparition. We need to go there."
The miss merely nodded and called them a cab. Within the hour they were at the place where the miss first saw the apparition. "It was right here. I saw sitting on the grass reading my book when all of a sudden a man that looked like Harold came running out from the woods and fell over into my lap, and then into the ground."
Holmes surveyed the area. "You were standing here? I find that impossible. Nothing could go through the ground here." He walked a little more. "What about over there?" He pointed to an area which seemed to slope.
"I don't know. It all happened so fast Mr. Holmes. I was stuck in shock. I really don't know..." The miss rambled on.
Holmes walked over to the area where he thought it would have happened and he looked down and gasped.
"What is it Mr. Holmes?" The woman asked.
Inside the ditch was a body. It must have been rotting there for over a week. The bullet hole in his head was fully visible. From the picture that Holmes had seen, this was clearly the real Harold Paine. The miss walked next to Holmes and had to grab on to him to prevent feinting. She started to weep loudly on his shoulder. She knew that this was her future husband. Well, the future husband that didn't have a future anymore.

The Miss stood, weeping, as she looked down at the body of her deceased love. She put her head on Holmes shoulder and cried until the moment the body was taken away to go to the morgue. The Miss didn't want to go with the body for some reason, she only wanted to stay with Holmes and Watson.
After a while she finally lifted her head and asked Holmes, "What ever can I do to thank you for finding the body?"
"Do nothing yet. They mystery isn't solved."
She pulled away entirely. "What do you mean? We've found the body. Shouldn't that be the end of it all?"
"On the contrary, it's quite the opposite."
"What do you mean, Mr. Holmes?"
"It doesn't explain the man in the other bed. This men that was just hauled away has clearly been here for days, not simply over night. That other man is still out there, and until we figure out his motive the case will remain open." Holmes turned to Watson, "Tonight you and I will investigate near the house again. If I have a clear understanding of this--which I usually do, then by my predictions the man should show up again. This story won't be in the paper at least until tomorrow. There's practically no way he would know that we found the body. For all he knows no one even knows he left at all. If my calculations are correct, the man must still be in bed, waiting for the chance to trick you for another day." He looked to the Miss again. "Shall we return to your home now?"
"Before we do so, may I tell you a plan of my own?"

After whispering her plan to the two men they went back to the Miss' home. Sure enough, the man was there again, putting on his charade of sleeping. The Miss started talking loudly, "Oh, poor Harold, all sleepy all the time. If he's like this much longer I think my affections might fall to another man."
"To Another?" Holmes played along. "But you're to be married to this man soon."
"I fear I have already fallen for another. I can't marry this man anymore anyway. Not with the way I feel about this other man."
The man on the bed seemed to twitch. "Who is this man?" Holmes asked.
"You!" The Miss yelled. She leaped forward and grabbed Holmes in order to kiss him. The man on the bed have a violent lurch. Holmes himself was shocked. This hadn't been part of the plan.

The Miss pulled away and then walked towards Harold. "You! I knew it! I saw you move! You haven't moved in days and now this? How dare you? Get up now or else..."
Watson grabbed her away. "Don't be too hasty on this. You man have just seen something."
An unfamiliar voice rang through the air. "She didn't just 'see' something. It really happened." 'Harold' sat up and grabbed a cloth to clean off his make up. Without it he looked extremely rugged and worn. It looked as if he had been the one laying in the meadow instead of the real Harold.
The Miss frowned. She knew this man. "Peter?! Why would you do this? HOW could you do this?"
"When I head of your engagement to my cousin I had to do something about it. Your heart may have mended since we decided to go our separate ways, but mine hasn't. I couldn't just let you do this. I had to get my cousin out of the way if I could ever land a chance of having you again."
"Were you going to try and put on this charade of sleep forever then?"
"Of course not. Eventually you would forget about the real Harold. Forget how he talked, forget how he walked. You would just be overjoyed when I woke up, you wouldn't care about the differences. Then, at last, we could be together and get married. Now that you love that Holmes man there's nothing I can do about it. Killing once was bad enough. I couldn't do it again. I couldn't break your heart again. I'd rather die myself."
"After confessing to murder you very well should be put to death.
Watson interjected. "You've got so many witnesses here that you could be hung right now."
"Take me, take me away then. I don't deserve to be alive." He turned to the Miss. "I don't want to even be in the same room as you and your new love interest."
"I don't know if I love him. I'll be more than happy to see you out of my life though," she said coldly, "For the safety of all my future loves."
Peter looked extremely sad and there was no more talking until after the police carted him away. The miss expressed her thanks many times and apologized Holmes for the kiss. Holmes and Watson then went on their way.

"Another mystery solved, eh Holmes?" Watson asked.
"Indeed."
"Shame you had to let that girl go though, she was a pretty little thing."
"Ah, but the life of a detective is a lonely one."
"You've got me sir."
"Oh, and what would I do without you?" They both laughed.

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