Mon dieu! What have I done? What have I done?? Today I met among the greatest detectives ever conceived in mind or matter, and in my arrogance I dismissed him – insinuated that he was either making a joke or that he was insane! Clearly angered he told me to see what was right before my face with my pince-nez glasses and I did not but stiffen my lip and act smug as he walked away! And I continued – continued my attitude of conceit as I finished both our meals when they were sent to the table!
But how, you ask, if I was so dismissive, have I come to this conclusion when it was too late? I tell you that as I returned I wished to read some documents sent to me by Monsieur Trudeau before packing my luggage and – as I hoped – to return to Brussels. Promptly to read them I reached over to my mantelpiece and grabbed my pince-nez. And that was when it struck me. My pince-nez? I never brought it to the restaurant! And Sherlock Holmes, this man I angered, said in passing, as if it was obvious, that not only did I wear spectacles, but that I wore pince-nez, even though I never brought a pair for him to see! It even occurred to me that he knew I neglected to bring them that day! But how? How could he know such a thing? In a frenzy I rushed to a mirror and, though it was subtle and only visible to the trained eyes, to me it was clear as day what the man saw: two small wire pinch marks that donned the bridge of my nose!
I was struck; using only this observation and, perhaps, the observation that I lacked the chain where I usually carried it, he knew that I wore spectacles, that these were pince-nez, and that I had not brought them. Most strikingly, however, he felt little keenness to gloat about this observation, as if he tried with great strain to discover it; to him, it was obvious, worth but a critical comment in passing. Such a thing could only be observed and discovered by one man, a man who I was so convinced could not exist in this world that when he stood before me and told me who he was I refused to believe him. He was who he said he was; the famous detective Sherlock Holmes!
But Holmes is fictional! He is as these fictional characters which rumor indicated were breaking through the fourth wall. And yet he came into this world by a similar method as I? If Sherlock Holmes is fictional, then as he told me, I must see what is right before my face and, indeed as he said, with my pince-nez.
I must be fictional as well!
To those of you who tried with desperation to tell me and let me know what was going on to these fictional characters, and to myself, I commend your persistence. And if any of you had given up, and resolved to flatter my own pride, I do not condemn you; I was terribly stubborn. But it is better now that I see; it is better that I now that I accept the existential consequences of being fictional, understand that I myself cannot understand it, and resolve that I should understand it in the future.
But what of Holmes? I need to let him know and reconcile with him before his face! In haste I contacted my benefactor and asked him if he would allow me to go to New York. He hesitated, as to do so would mean he would cancel some of his arrangements. Ultimately he agreed to arrange the travel, but indicated that I had to organize accommodations. I will see what I can find with some money provided for me by the young Monsieur Paul de Blois (or Monsieur de Cavaignac, if you prefer) and arranged by Monsieur Trudeau.
P.S. If you have a new case, perhaps you can send me a message from my new business website at littlegreycells.biz! Graciously set up by this benefactor, I also have a contact email that will allow you to get in touch with me for a case or if I so request your formal assistance.
P.P.S. On a sadder yet inevitable note, I was informed that the body of Mademoiselle de Blois was found washed up down bank in the Seine. Her body indicated signs of great struggle, and prompted a full investigation into Elise de Cavaignac. This investigation proved very quickly that Elise de Cavaignac was in frequent contact with Mademoiselle de Blois at the time of the murder, with a request for a meeting shortly before her death. From what I hear, Elise de Cavaignac will negotiate a plea bargain for murder. I look forward to justice finally being served.