Holmes: Inspector Lestrade, I understand that you have arrested Mr Algore .
Lestrade: Indeed I have Holmes. Once again the Yard brings the miscreants to justice, thank you very much; and without your … ‘assistance’, I might add.
Holmes: Quite so, quite so. May I enquire as to the nature of the evidence?
Lestrade: Your Baker Street methods will cut no cheese this time Holmes, that horse has left the stable. Besides, this is a simple fraud case, not your usual cup of tea, is it?
Holmes: Even so Lestrade, if you would indulge me?
Lestrade: Very well. It seems your Mr Algore has been defrauding the widows and orphans of London with some sort of lantern show which he calls ‘Discomforting Verities’ or some such nonsense.
He was convincing people that the weather would change because of vapours from the coal mines. Ha ha, imagine the thought of London’s air being bad from coal! The things some people conceive. No doubt he is an opium addict on top of it all.
Holmes: Quite so, quite so, pray do go on.
Lestrade: Yes well, he would do his lantern show and then he was selling people carbon bathing machines, bonnets, caps, and offsets, whatever the Devil those are. Some sort of undergarment I suppose.
Holmes: So you apprehended him in the act of selling these items?
Lestrade: Well not precisely, no, I cannot say we did.
Holmes: Well then, he had a quantity of these items on his person and was clearly intent upon selling them?
Lestrade: Not that either as it happens. Too clever to be caught with his hands dirty, too clever by half he is. Don’t you worry though Mr Holmes, we have all the evidence we need for Her Majesty’s Court.
Impeccable witnesses, and the man even admits to being an advisor for a firm that sells these items. He is now worth millions thanks to his frauds. He even claims to have purchased some of these offset undergarments himself. The swine will do anything to make a profit.
Holmes: Inspector, how much profit would he make from purchasing his own product?
Lestrade: Well, I’m not a business man myself Holmes, I can’t really say. As an advisor to the firm? well there’s the product itself that must be paid for, and of course all of the administrative costs and business costs. There are other advisors of course, and the King’s tax. I imagine it must be one percent at least.
Holmes: So for every 100 pounds he spends he will receive one pound in return? a rather odd way to get wealth I would think. It strikes me as not particularly effective, wouldn’t you say Lestrade?
Lestrade: I am not so good with my sums, but it must work somehow because the blackguard has millions. I spoke to Mr Hartwick at the Bank of England myself and he confirmed it.
Holmes: Indeed? Dr Watson, I believe you also spoke to Mr Hartwick this afternoon, at my request.
Lestrade: Precisely! So we’ll hear no more of it.
Watson: As I said, in the main, but the good Mr Hartwick rather insists that Mr Algore’s wealth comes from being a merchant of fruit and mechanical computation devices.
Lestrade: A fruit merchant? abacuses?
Watson: Yes, it seems he was a purveyor of Apples and Googles, or at least an investor. I am afraid I can’t tell you what a Google is though. Mr Hartwick had no idea either.
Holmes: I believe you will find that it is a relative of the breadfruit. Captain Cook discovered them in the Tahitis.
Lestrade: Well that is what he would tell Hartwick, isn’t it? He has to lay a false trail, fox that he is, but the hounds of the Yard got him anyway.
Watson: I considered that, but Mr Hartwick showed me the detailed records of transfers from the various firms. There is no question that Mr Algore’s wealth comes from fruit and computational devices, at least for the most part. The Bank of England’s records are unequivocal.
Holmes: Inspector, you seem very convinced that there must be some ill-gotten wealth involved. May I enquire as to why?
Lestrade: Really Holmes, and you claim to be a a student of the science of deduction! If Algore is not profiting from his ‘varying weather’ lantern show, then to what purpose is it? Why the fraud?
Holmes: Ahhh. As it happens I dined last evening with Sir William Thomson; you are familiar with his Lordship I presume?
Lestrade: Really Holmes, I am not utterly out of touch with polite society. I’ll have you know that Sundays I assist with the study of orchids at Kew Gardens, when opportunity permits.
Lord Kelvin is President of the Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences. His is the ‘young earth’ proof that he and Charles Darwin were always tusk to tusk about. The botanists still talk of it.
Rather through his lantern show Mr Algore merely seeks to share the knowledge discovered by many natural philosophers and scientists over this past century.
He explained it to me at some length over port. It seems that in 1824 the Frenchman Joseph Fourier discovered that vapours do trap the suns warmth like a goose down, or so it was thought.
Our own John Tyndall, whom you may know is just recently deceased, showed what these vapours are, and indeed went so far as to declare that without them “The warmth of our fields and gardens would pour itself unrequited into space, and the sun would rise upon an island held fast in the iron grip of frost.”
Lord Kelvin informs me that some Swede is even now calculating just how variable the weather will become, and may even have an answer before next year. Quite fascinating these modern scientific discoveries.
Lestrade: That is not possible. Surely you misunderstood. I have it from no less an authority than Professor Skeptic of the Courterre Academy in Paris.
Holmes: I am afraid there is no mistake. Lord Kelvin was good enough to give me this pamphlet that the Royal Society has published on the matter.
Lestrade: I have it! No doubt the Gentlemen naturalists and scientists who study this phenomenon receive some largess from the Crown, honours and such. That would be the motive for saying this faerie tale is fact of science.
They follow along Mr Algore’s ideas like simpletons following a band upon a wagon, hoping for the coins that may fall in the dirt.
Holmes: Really Inspector, to so impugn the reputations of the worlds greatest minds, and all of England’s scientists and philosophers?
Lestrade: All Holmes? hardly! Professor Skeptic gave me this list compiled by no less a person than James Inhofe, giving the names of 650 scientists and natural philosophers declaring Algores ideas to be pure fancy.
Holmes: Inspector, at what time was the lantern show?
Lestrade: What? how does that matter? Very well, here, you can see in my notes. The show began at precisely 20:06 , what of it?
Holmes: Lord Kelvin shared with me documents showing beyond question that the Society had already accepted the fact of ‘variable weather’ theory at 19:92. Indeed, in the intervening time their conviction has swollen like an inflated bladder.
You see Inspector, neither the Crown nor the public had scarce heard of ‘variable weather’ before 20:06. There were no honours or largess to be had in their investigations. These worthies plumb the mysteries of the cosmos for it’s own reward. This accusation is pure calumny.
Watson: I say Holmes, Mr Hartwick’s Bank records clearly show that Mr Algore’s wealth came for the most part between 20:01 and 20:05, well before his lantern show as well.
Holmes: Thank you Watson, I suspected as much. So you see Inspector, the timing does not work. It is not the scientists who are following Mr Algore, but rather the obverse, it is he who follows them.
Lestrade: Not these named on the list from the Courterre Acadamy.
Holmes: Actually Inspector, I took the liberty of telegraphing Francois Le Villard of the French police and only just received his reply before making my way to you.
The list you have is a charade. Most of the names on it make no such claims, others are charlatans, and you probably know “Mr James Inhofe” and the “Courterre Academy” better as ‘Jimmy the Scale’ and the Heartland Institute.
Lestrade: You jest. No, I see you do not. I thought we had exposed those villians for liars and montebanks last year.
Holmes: Indeed we had, but it seems they are totally without honour or conscience, whereas Mr Algore is merely a student of natual philosophy and an honest purveyor of fruit and computational devices.
Lestrade: And Professor Skeptic?
Holmes: Think Lestrade, the complete absence of evidence, the hysteric claims that everyone else is part of a conspiracy, the false claims of credentials and misrepresenting others?
Lestrade: Of course! Monsieur Climate Denier! How did I not spot that scoundrel?
Holmes: Monsieur Denier is a master of disguise. He lives by deceit and falsehood. He might have fooled even me were I not such an avid student of the sciences.
Lestrade: Then there is no Professor Skeptic? but I checked his background myself.
Holmes: Le Villard assures me that the good professor is alive and well and engages his fellow philosophers in heated debate at the Sorbonne. The foul imposture has harmed only his reputation, but not his person.
Lestrade: But how did you know?
Holmes: The timing Inspector, the timing. I find it always profits to carefully document the chronological sequence of events. Done properly a clear grasp of the timing of events reveals lies instantly.
Watson: Why it’s just like the Bellamy Affair. There too the times did not make a jot of sense when you laid them out.
Watson: So Lestrade has a passion for orchids? I will warrant that even you would not have deduced that.
Holmes: Really Dr Watson, you should pay more attention. The potting soil beneath his fingernails on Mondays, the unusual boutonnieres he wears to formal occassions, his familiarity with keiki; I should have thought it an elementary deduction.
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
Denier “Challenge” aka Deathwatch Update: Day 86 … still no evidence.