22nd January, 2 Comments
By John Watson
Or maybe it is? In the The Sussex Vampire case, Holmes mentioned a Matilda Briggs and then hastened to point out that this was not the name of a woman but a ship associated with giant rat of Sumatra and that it was “a story for which the world was not yet prepared”.
Holmes never elaborated any further and I cannot find any notes in my battered tin dispatch box that shed any further light on the matter save that at some point I determined that the “giant rat” may have been Sundamys infraluteus which is commonly referred to as the “Giant Rat of Sumatra” and as rats colonise ships this may be a link. In the picture above it does not look very formidable though!
Well, Book and Magazine Collector (February 2010 issue) and Writing Magazine have apparently decided that the world is ready for this story. In February they are running a competition to write the story. Your story must be no more than 2,000 words, there is a £4 entry fee and must be submitted by the end of February. It need not be a Sherlock Holmes story. The winner will get £200 and the runner-up £50. The story will be published in the May 2010 edition and the magazines contain an entry form.
Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra, written by Alan Vanneman, purports to tell the tale as if it had been hidden for more than a century in my dispatch box. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Nevertheless are there any budding Watsons (or Conan Doyles) out there wanting to write their own version?