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11th May – An Incident

This morning I was troubled to hear of the death of a labourer cleaning chimneys just two doors away. News came by way of the mortuary men, who called with much apology to ask for assistance in certifying the death. Naturally I had reservations, for the thought occurred that the business had occured adjacent to our property, and that I would be placing myself in an awkward position if called to weigh on any disputed matter. Nevertheless I went along with the pair, and to my relief found that my doubts were unjustified. On uncovering the body (which had, against usual practice, been imprudently stripped and cleaned) it was clear that the man’s injuries had come about by way of a serious fall, with characteristic fractures to the skull and clavicle. I made a careful examination of the external wounds and, perhaps disloyally, also felt compelled to search for any signs of bee stings, (thinking that the question was better resolved than otherwise, and that in any case the question should be answered ahead of any possible query. ) To my relief, I found no other other injuries save those old marks that are unremarkable on any man who has worked long and hard. 

Since Doctor Kaligawa is away, I pressed the men to take on some ice for this May weather, and went up in search of a lad to take a message. At the same instant, I saw Mister Tiger’ge coming the other way in his cab contraption. I asked him if he’d seen or heard anything of the incident, and while he was as ignorant of the matter as I, he offered to go up to look for any traces or belongings that might assist any inquest. On this matter I deferred to Holmes, but asked our neighbour about a ladder so that someone may go up safely if necessary. 

Having passed the morning in this peculiar fashion, I came home and recounted the whole business across the breakfast table. The incident seemed to leave Holmes in an odd mood, and he has been back and forth a dozen times along the pavement between our rooms and the clinic. I have had words rather than sentences out of him, but he did at least assuage any lingering doubts I might have had about the hives. His meticulous notes record that the hives are, if anything, uncharacteristically dormant. After that, I had nothing but muttering, so took myself off to write these lines, along with a brief report in hopes of Doctor Kaligawa’s return. 

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