One day in the early fall I returned to Baker Street after an afternoon's walk in the park.
"Watson, my good man!" My companion glanced up from his newspaper as I removed my overcoat. "You have had an awkward and somewhat embarrassing encounter with an exotic florist, I perceive. And a decision to take a shortcut to the Wigmore Street Post Office upon your return proved unexpectedly fruitful."
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
My dear friend leaned back with a smile and steepled his fingers before his chin.
"It is simplicity itself. There is a petal upon your lapel from the Plum Blossom, a Chinese flower which does not grow naturally within England and is not among the variety of flora transplanted to our fair city's parks. Given the sturdy pride of our countrymen it is highly unlikely that a florist born upon this isle would stock a flower of such distant origin."
He beamed with pride at the stunned expression upon my face.
"Why do you not play sports?" I asked, imagining the advantages Sherlock's height and elongated limbs would provide in athletic outings such as ball-to-basket.
"The petal was transferred to your person when the florist invitingly held a bouquet to your face - a womanly maneuver to be certain - yet you did not purchase the flowers, for they would have been in your hand upon your return. As a romantic-minded man you are not one to pass up a lovely gift for your fiancee. So why was the transaction halted? Your billfold has sat upon the mantle all day. I can only imagine the look of distress upon your face as you patted your pockets and apologized to the disappointed merchant."
"Incredible!" With my eyes boggling, I leaned forward. "Do you bump your head upon door frames quite often? When you stand is there a noticeable change of climate about the area of your face?"
"As for the shortcut," said Holmes with a twinkle in his eye, "it's quite elementary. Observation tells me that you have a reddish smudge upon the soles of your shoes. Having studied every variation of clay within the boundaries of London, I was able to immediately identify it as belonging to a secluded patch of ground in the very park you visited. This track of clay runs directly between a gap in the hedgerow from which the post office can be seen."
"Were your parents very tall?" My jaw slacked in amazement. "Is it something in the water? When you lay down at night do your knees hinge at the bottom of the bed and your feet rest flat upon the floor?"
"The matching splotch of dried clay upon your coat's right sleeve tells me you stopped to pluck an object from the ground. This is confirmed by the crumpled handkerchief loosely stuffed into your outer pocket, obviously used to wipe clean your hand and the treasure you obtained. And treasure it must be, for a gentleman of relative comfort would not dirty himself for a mere shilling."
Just then an urgent knocking came from the entrance. Within moments our landlady Mrs. Hudson ushered in an eager man of middle age, clutching his worn hat.
"Please do come in, dear sir," Holmes implored soothingly as his quick glances took in every aspect of the stranger. "We shall get to the bottom of your lord's death and return you to the stables in no time. I observe that you missed your first train and waited some three quarters of an hour for the next to come along. Let us hear your story so that we may visit the scene before the clues have disappeared. The murder, I suspect, is a case of mistaken identity. We only have days to find the intended target before the scoundrel realizes his error."
"How did you..." Our guest shook his head and planted a calloused hand on the wall to steady himself. "How did you get so tall? You must be, what, six foot seven?"
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