A Note of Discord | Teen Ink

A Note of Discord

January 24, 2016
By ParadoxicalCat BRONZE, Delafield, Wisconsin
ParadoxicalCat BRONZE, Delafield, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"With great power comes great responsibility."

     It was on a frigid, blustery night when I had set out to meet a close friend by the name of Gideon Hayward. I had almost arrived at his place of residence when a man wearing a long, unfastened black coat and carrying a dark briefcase barreled into me; the documents he carried in his arms were scattered and swirled around by the wind. The bag I was carrying slipped from my fingers and hit the ground amongst the many papers strewn across the street. I bent down and began to gather some of the now damp papers, but the man leaned over me and snatched them away.
    “I would very much appreciate it if you’d leave my belongings be,” he hissed, his eyes glaring into mine.
    “My apologies, sir.” I stood up, taking my bag with me, the knees of my trousers now cold and wet. I turned to leave, but then watched as the man collected the remaining papers.  He made no attempt to straighten them, he simply grabbed fistfuls of them and, with a backward glance at me, scurried away.
As I took another step towards my destination, I noticed one lone paper caught between my shoe and the pavement. Stooping down, I picked it up and examined it. It was creased and the ink streaked down the page when I pulled the paper open.  Although smudged in quite a few places, I could still make out most of the writing. The paper was neither a letter nor a legal document as I had suspected, but a piece of sheet music with an intricate melody scrawled across it.  I turned to call after the man, in hopes of returning his lost music, but he was nowhere in sight.  Sighing, I slipped the partial tune into the pocket of my overcoat and resumed my course.

“You’re late, Wakefield,” my friend remarked as I hurried in through the door of his home.  He was in his usual place, in his worn, leather armchair with open books surrounding him.
“My apologies; I lost track of time earlier and I ran into a spot of trouble on my way here.”
“Ah, yes, I assume you are referring to your little incident on the corner of the street?”
“How would you know about that?” I inquired, placing my hat upon the hat-rack near the door.
“I grew weary of waiting for you, so I decided to watch for your approach. I saw you and that other gentleman collide and figured it would further delay your entrance, so I chose to read while you sorted yourself out.”
    “Now that you mention it, I do believe I saw your face momentarily at the window pane.”
    Hayward glanced at my pocket. “Speaking of which, what is it that you picked up afterward?”
    “Oh, this?” I reached into my pocket and pulled out the paper. “Only a piece of sheet music dropped by that strange and rather excitable gentleman.”
    “May I see it for a moment?” Hayward extended his arm to me, and I placed the document in his open hand. He examined the script of the music, humming softly under his breath. He walked into another room and reappeared carrying his prized violin. He began to play a few bars of the melody, then suddenly stopped and gave me a quizzical look. “Tell me, Wakefield, have you heard about the theft of the famous Ravelini violin?”
    “Why, yes, of course. What a daring theft. Have you been asked to consult?”
    “Yes, but I’m sure you will be pleased to hear that I have already solved the case.”
    “Goodness! How on earth did you come to a conclusion so quickly?”
    “The answer itself is quite simple. You did hear how the bow of the violin was shredded  in the theft?”
    “Yes, I did.”
    “Well, I decided to go to the nearest horse farm.”
    “Horse farm? What does a horse farm have to do with a stolen violin?”
    “You do realize that a violin bow contains long strands of horsehair? I simply asked the ranchers if there had been anyone in need of horsehair lately.  They provided the name.  The police went in search of the thief, recovered the violin and, incidentally, a finely repaired bow as well.  Case solved.”
“I wager you can’t solve the return of this snippet of music that quickly.”
“Oh, to the contrary, I’ve already sent a message to the owner and he will present himself at my quarters tomorrow morning at ten o’clock.”
“How, Hayward, how?”
“My dear chap, that is a tale for another evening.  We have delayed our departure for far too long.  I would like to arrive at the theatre before the curtain rises.  Come, let us go.”

The author's comments:

This piece was written to try to capture the writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I've been a fan of his writing for a long time, and I thought his style would be an interesting and challenging one to imitate.

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