We have had some dramatic entrances and exits upon our small stage at Baker Street. The invasion of the Ninja Cheerleader Squad or the visit by the Ivory-Billed Dodo for example, but I cannot recollect anything more sudden and startling than the first appearance of Magnus Pedis, M.A., Ph.D., etc. His card, which seemed too small to carry the weight of his academic distinctions, preceded him by a few seconds, and then he entered himself — so large, so pompous, and so dignified that he was the very embodiment of self-possession and solidity. But he slammed his head into the top of the door frame as he entered, cracking the stout English oak and causing him to stagger against the table, whence he slipped down upon the floor, and there was that majestic figure prostrate and insensible upon our bearskin hearthrug. He blended in against the bearskin, from which I deduced that he badly needed a shave.
We had sprung to our feet, and for a few moments we stared in silent amazement at this ponderous piece of wreckage, which told of some sudden and fatal storm far out on the ocean of life. Then Holmes hurried with a cushion for his head. and I with
brandy for his lips. The heavy, bearded face was seamed with lines of trouble, the hanging pouches under the closed eyes were leaden in colour, the loose mouth drooped dolorously at the corners, the rolling chins were unshaven. As were his hands. Collar and shirt bore the grime of a long journey, and the hair bristled unkempt from his enormous head. It was a sorely stricken and hirsute man who lay before us.
"What is it, Watson?" asked Holmes.
"Absolute exhaustion — possibly mere hunger and fatigue. Or he's had a bit too much gin and tonic," said I, with my finger on the thready pulse, where the stream of life trickled thin and small.
The puckered eyelids had begun to quiver, and now a pair of vacant blackish brown eyes looked up at us. An instant later the man had scrambled on to his feet, his face crimson with shame. Well, what we could see of it under his five o'clock shadow.
"Forgive this weakness, Mr. Holmes, I have been a little overwrought. Thank you, if I might have a bottle of Scotch and a side of beef, I have no doubt that I should be better.”
Holmes ordered the comestibles straightaway and our guest disposed of them straightaway.
“I came personally, Mr. Holmes, in order to insure that you would return with me. I feared that no telegram would convince you of the absolute urgency of the case."
"When you are quite restored –"
"I am quite well again. I cannot imagine how I came to be so weak. I wish you, Mr. Holmes, to come to Georgia with me by the next train."
My friend shook his head.
"My colleague, Dr. Watson, could tell you that we are very busy at present. I am retained in this case of the Elvis Documents, and the Abergavenny wardrobe malfunction is coming up for trial. Only a very important issue could call me from London at present. Besides, it is quite impossible to take the train across the Atlantic Ocean."
"Important!" Our visitor threw up his hands. "Have you heard nothing of the discovery of a dead bigfoot in Georgia? It is imperative that you come to Georgia to test the DNA of this creature!
“Oh, that won't be necessary, Dr. Pedis. I have already tested the DNA,” said Holmes.
Our visitor gazed down at his size 26 boots and muttered angrily to himself.
“Drat, I had hoped I actually existed.”