The Infamous Bone Watch of Sherlock Holmes

"Don't you see? It's not true. None of it was true!"

The watchmaker's son was shouting loud enough now to attract the attention of the entire bar. The pocket watch that took thirty years to track down sat in front of me. I could hear it ticking.

"My father never met Sir Doyle! Is that what you're trying to get me to say? It was all a lie! A hoax! My father wouldn't have even known how to butcher a deer let alone a human body."

The young man was standing now. Sweat matted his hair to his forehead. He grabbed the large glass ashtray and raised it over his head. The sight of the ash and cigarette butts pouring down over him was why I hadn't predicted what he was about to do.

The ashtray crashed down and bit into the pocket watch. The back piece split and a white half moon skittered across the table hitting a half-finished glass of whiskey.

"So you think this is the famous Watch of Bone?!"

I was frozen in place as I watched him destroy my life's work. His words became animalistic howls, and the ashtray rose and fell with bits of the watch flying and skittering around. To my left, I saw some people rushing toward our table, but the decaying watch was the only thing in clear focus. Even in the dim light of the bar, I could see a labyrinth of scrimshawed white gears that were slightly yellowed with age and the tendon which formed the spring was still fresh and pink and throbbing with blood.



Commentary

Ungeheuer was a massive fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He once spent a large amount of money for a first edition of "The Valley of Fear." Inge was so angry with the purchase she refused to let him into the house until he returned the book. Two days later, however, she retrieved both the stubborn Ungeheuer and the book from a local tavern in order to keep him from spending even more of their money on food and alcohol.