The Case of the Private Eye

by Sarah Hudson

You'll never guess who I got stuck in an elevator with last summer. I was on duty as a security guard at the mall when I first saw a man lurking behind me. As he appeared to be harmless, I quickly forgot about him.

After I finished my shift, I hurried home to my apartment, but as soon as I got to the elevator, someone spoke.

"Get rid of that! This is a smoke-free establishment," the manager said behind me.

I turned around and saw the same exact man that I had seen at the mall; this time, he had a pipe, which he put away. I rapidly stepped into the elevator, but as the doors closed, the man stepped inside with me.

"Are you stalking me?" I asked.

"Sherlock Holmes," he announced, "finest detective in England. You are Mark Brown, an aspiring big game hunter whose lack of good physical condition forces you to instead hunt for birds from your front porch," he paused and smiled smugly.

"Your shocked silence confirms my every suspicion. It was an elementary deduction, really.

You are carrying a gun, but do not look fit enough to hunt larger animals; the gun is too minuscule to take down any prey bigger than a bird. I deduced the fact that you hunt from your porch due to your lack of pigmentation. Your name is affixed to your shirt, as any simple-minded person could observe," the man continued, self-importantly.

"Excuse me!" I interrupted, "But I don't hunt, and I never have. And there's nothing you can say to convince me that you are Sherlock Holmes."

"Not even that your gun contains explosives?" the man asked and pulled my gun out of his trench coat. He opened the bullet chamber and removed two small firework tins.

"But, how did you ... ?" I sputtered.

"As soon as I saw the indentations in your right pocket, I knew that this pistol was not ordinarily loaded. As I followed you, I watched to see if you wanted to harm someone, but soon concluded that someone intended to harm you. I met you here, and relieved you of your weapon. I knew that I had to stall you somehow, and so made up a ludicrous story about you while I secretly examined the explosive. There appear to be markings on the tins that make me suspect a local gang," he said, watching me intently as he handed me my gun and the firework tins. I took the gun warily and squinted at the markings.

"Here, you might want to use this," the man said, handing me his magnifying glass as the doors opened. He promptly stepped out and was gone before I could say anything.

Later that week, I took the magnifying glass to an antique shop, hoping to make a couple of bucks. However, the owner handed me $100 and told me the glass was about 150 years old! Maybe that crazy guy in the elevator was Sherlock Holmes after all!