(Author’s note: First off…I’m caught up! And I promise to never let myself get so behind ever again. Because that was just not fun.
The last thing on my mind this July is Christmas, for a lot of reasons, so I decided to stay far away from that aspect of the story, even if Victorian Christmas traditions might be fun to play with. Might save that for December. Instead, I’ve chosen to play with the deduction-off a bit. And maybe have a little fun at Mycroft’s expense.
Of course it’s a blue scarf. This fandom has had an obsession with blue scarves since “Game of Shadows” and the costume department of “Sherlock” only made it worse.)
Anne wished me to extend her appreciation for your visit last evening. I enjoyed it as well, of course, as we’ve rarely had your company of late. Your new position keeps you busy, I know; so busy that I hardly see you, despite living a short cab ride away. I have been in need of my brother’s company, too. As our talk last night demonstrated. Thank you, again, for listening to me. Even if you disagree with me. Some issues, Mycroft, you and I cannot see similarly, if only because you see them through the eyes of a man, and I the eyes of a woman. The world is very different depending on that point of view.
That isn’t why I’m writing. You may have noted the inclusion with this letter of a garment. It is a blue scarf that recently came into my possession, and I find it a very interesting item indeed. I have made several deductions based upon observation, but thought I might get your thoughts as well. We haven’t played this particular game in a while. Shall we see how dull your time in bureaucracy has left your skills?
Most beloved of sisters,
Do you plan to only ever write me to complain about how busy I am or how often I don’t visit? I could point out, of course, that it is just as possible for you to take that short cab ride from Baker Street to visit me. However, I won’t be so cruel as to make you feel guilty for your lack of doing so as you otherwise do me. One of us must be the bigger person.
I understand that you think your logic on the issue discussed last night is sound, but I ask that you step back and rethink your position. Also, perhaps, consider what holding so tight to that logic may cost you in the end. If it’s truly worth it to do so. Do not be foolish, Charlie-girl. Some battles don’t need to be fought.
To your enclosed puzzle: the scarf is a fairly standard item, really, so I don’t understand your interest. It is silk, which indicates the owner is one of means. By appearance and material, it is easy to assume the owner is a woman. Men rarely wear garments of this particular style, material, or shade. On the topic of the shade of blue, it is still quite vibrant, indicating a recent purchase, not a handy me down or treasured item kept past its season. Someone purchased it recently and has yet to wear it much. The status of the hems confirms this: none are the slightest bit frayed.
The owner is a careful individual. I base this on the lack of stains on the material or unsightly creases or wrinkles. No one has stuffed this in a pocket or bag for long periods. It is likely pressed before wear. There is, however, the faintest trace of perfume lingering upon it. Something sweet and floral. Otto of Roses, perhaps? Unrelated, but I have grown increasingly less fond of that particular scent of late. The wives of my co-workers seem exceedingly prone to it, likely entirely for the cost, and their husbands come into work with the scent of it left behind on their coats or gloves.
I would feel comfortable assuming the owner is of fair complexion and likely red-headed based on the coloring. Darker women would tend toward a deeper blue. Blondes, in my experience, prefer something lighter. Red hair goes well with this hue.
And what have you deduced from it, sister-mine? If the owner comes to retrieve it, you must let me know if any of my conclusions fell short as well.
Think over my earlier comments.
Silliest of brothers,
I shall save further commentary on your absenteeism and my personal quandaries for lunch, which I am now inviting you to. Thursday. Twelve sharp. Watson will be at his club and Anne is going to lunch with a friend. It is perhaps better to save these conversations for in person. I find it more difficult to conduct them in ink.
However! I can easily continue the other, and gladly do so.
You asked for my deductions, and I have but one you missed and may find interesting, and it is thus: that my brother has begun seeing a fair-skinned, red-haired young woman of means and taste with unfortunate choices in perfume who left her scarf in the pocket of his coat last they met.
It fell out of your pocket as you were leaving. You can retrieve it at lunch.
P.S. Be glad Anne missed the smudge of lipstick on your collar, and that I chose to be kind and not point it out.
Have I told you lately how much I wish I’d been an only child?
I will see you at lunch.