Though "A Scandal in Bohemia" was one of my friend Watson's most popular stories, I feel compelled, now that I am in the sunset of my life, to correct the numerous falsehoods he wilfully published.
Forgive me. I had assumed you knew my identity. I am Sherlock Holmes, formerly of 221B Baker Street, London. My not-so-faithful chronicler, physician John Watson, described me in flattering terms as history's most famous consulting detective.
But, forced by the mean, narrow confines of the Victorian age to censor his chronicles, he never spoke of or alluded to my relationships with the gentler sex. However, as the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth, conventions changed. Now, in the freer year 1922, I can reveal the truth.
Watson did write of my fondness for a seven percent solution of cocaine I occasionally used to ease my boredom between cases. But he never breathed to a soul, not even to his beloved wife Mary, a word about the dalliances in which I indulged due to both the influence of cocaine and my natural inclinations. Though I am not a naturally gregarious man, I have always enjoyed the company of women. I must say that my desire increases to uncontrolled randiness when I use cocaine.
I sampled the delights of many females, but never found one with whom I wanted a permanent connection. My attitude hardened and became somewhat cynical, which was reflected in Watson's writing ... it is true that I rarely referred to the softer emotions save with a gibe or a sneer. Looking back, I realise that the Victorian woman deserved my pity. She was expected by society to present a stern face of propriety while men want a Maenad in the bedroom. And unlike most of my fellows, I prefer my companions to provide intellectual stimulation as well. I despaired of finding a woman who could tickle my cock as well as my mind.
In "A Scandal in Bohemia," Watson reported that on the evening of March 20, 1888, he stopped by to visit me at 221B Baker Street, London. He had moved out some months before, upon his marriage to the former Mary Marston, but occasionally would stop in for a cigar and a chat.
We were visited by a peculiar man who insisted upon wearing a mask. I quickly deduced that he was none other than the King of Bohemia, who brought to our attention a most important and delicate matter. The king wished to marry a Scandinavian princess, and her family was quite strict. The king, however, had engaged in many misadventures while he was a bachelor. One of them involved Irene Adler, an operatic star, residing in London.
When I heard her name, I involuntarily started, but the King in his arrogance did not notice, but told us that a photograph had been taken of him with Miss Adler.
I winked at Watson and said, "Your Majesty has indeed committed an indiscretion."
Watson bit his lip to keep from laughing, while trying to scowl with disapproval.
I continued, "What does the lady want? If it is money, it must be paid." Even as the words left my mouth, I knew the solution would not be so simple. Irene Adler could not be bought.
"Worse," the King said. "She wants revenge."
"She wishes to ruin me."
I laughed. "I will not ask why." No doubt the king had rogered his way across Europe, and Miss Adler was not one to hesitate if any man she found pleasing caught her eye. And if he had betrayed her...
"She threatens to send the photograph to the newspapers on Monday, the day my betrothal is announced. She will do it ... you do not know her, but she has a soul like sharpened steel."
I would not tell him the truth, of course. "So, we have three days," I said.
"I am lodging at Grosvenor House under the name Baron von Krumm. You will keep me notified, ja?"
"Of course. And as to my fee?" I loathed the sordid subject, but...
The King waved a negligent hand, naming a sum which made Watson's mouth drop open while I stifled a grin.
So we were approached to retrieve a photograph of the King taken with Miss Adler. Watson wrote that I discovered the hiding place of the photograph and attempted to steal it, but was thwarted by Irene Adler herself, who fled the country with her new husband.
These falsehoods were perpetrated to sell the story and protect Watson's writing career. What really happened was in truth is even more scandalous--dare I say salacious?--than the fiction.
I had first heard of Miss Adler some years before, in 1880, I believe. Being a lover of music, I read of the young American contralto's debut at Milan's La Scala in Rigoletto. Her reviews were devastating. Not of her singing, which was said to be impeccable. But the acting ... one critic wrote, "Bursting with American joie de vivre, Miss Adler could not convince a blind, deaf old man she was the manipulative Maddalena."
She rebounded from that unfortunate debut and made her name as a Mozart stylist. I like joie de vivre in my opera singers and went to see her in Le Nozze de Figaro. Her impersonation of the amorous page, Cherubino, intrigued me, immediately seizing my attention when she pranced across the stage dressed in Cherubino's breeches, her fine arse wonderfully limned by the tight garment. I wanted nothing more than to bend her over, tear off the manly trousers and plough her quim long and hard whilst spanking that sweet bottom.