Monday, 28 February 2011

Sherlock Holmesinho paced restlessly around the studio, occasionally stopping to examine some trinket or other that, given he had been enjoying Senhora Hudson’s excellent hospitality for a number of years now, he must have seen a hundred times or more.

“‘I’m bored, Watsão, so dreadully bored,” he moaned, peering out the window into the blazing summer afternoon for the twentieth time. Suddenly he stiffened.

“But wait,” he said, “I fancy I won’t be bored for long, for here comes something highly interesting, if I’m not very much mistaken!”

Holmesinho was right. A few minutes later a Senhor Gustavo Dubeux was announced. He was a thin man, with a pinched face that inspired neither trust nor confidence. Holmesinho studied him carefully.

“Don’t say a word, Sr. Dubeux. You have suffered greatly, I’ll warrant, and for a number of years. You have been accustomed to great success in your own, fairly limited field, and yet you feel snubbed and excluded at a higher level. Am I right?”

“Why, Sr. Holmesinho, you’re right. How the devil did you know?” Dubeux spluttered.

“Elementary, Sr. Dubeux. Your nose is rather elevated and yet your eyes have a downward cast, telling me that you are familiar indeed with the vocabulary of arrogance, and used to sneering at those less fortunate than yourself. And yet your back and shoulders are hunched in posture, suggesting tension and resentment, for clearly you are not as successful as you think you are or would like to be.”

“Exactly right, Sr, Holmesinho, you’ve got me down to a tee!” said Dubeux. “But let me tell you why I’m here. We are a wealthy family it’s true, by Pernambuco standards, and the pride of our household has long been a bauble we earned in 1987. And now,” and here Dubeux let out a heartrending sob, “it’s been taken from us. They’ve stolen it!”

“You refer of course, to the Campeonato Brasileiro of 1987, do you not?” said Holmesinho.

“Right again, Sr. Holmesinho”.

“And you say it’s been taken from you?”

“It has.”

Holmesinho’s face darkened. I have seen such an expression many times, and know that it means only bad tidings for those on which it is turned.

“Do you think me a fool, Sr. Dubeux? Do you think I have nothing better do to with my time than listen to such tales?” he growled.

“But what do you mean, Sr. Holmesinho? Why do you speak to me in such a way? Am I not the victim here?”

“No, Sr. Dubeux, you are not the victim, not by a long chalk. Even Sr. Watsão here can tell you that much. With one hand you take the money of the Clube Dos 13, and use it to bully your neighbours here in Pernambuco, and on the other you howl and complain about how our wealthy cousins in Rio torment and humiliate you.”

“But, but...” protested Sr. Dubeux.

“But nothing. Sr. Watsão will escort you out. Though before you leave, Sr. Dubeux, answer me the following, if you will. How can you be robbed of something that was never yours in the first place?” Holmesinho’s eyes glittered in triumph.

Now it was the turn of Sr. Dubeux’s face to darken. He had no reply to Holmesinho’s question. It was only a few seconds later, as he stalked away down the street, that we heard him muttering, as though possessed, the strange, meaningless refrain of cazá, cazá, cazá.

Holmesinho stood and watched him go, shaking his head sadly. And then he resumed his restless pacing.

“I’m bored, Watsão, so dreadfully bored.”

For those entirely baffled by the above, the backstory can be found here.

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