A few days later we were having breakfast when a note for me arrived from Miss Brandon. It was a short letter, half-friendly, and half-formal. Having broken off her engagement to Hunter, she had employed a new solicitor, who would be sending us a check for the investigation very soon. She also said that she hoped the two of us might see each other again under less grave circumstances.

"Everything seems to have worked out nicely," I said to Holmes, setting down the note on the table.

He waved his hand in a vague, affirmative gesture. The case was over and he was in his usual snit from having nothing to occupy his mind. A fly landed on the table near his hand.

"Are you still trying to drive away the flies with music?" I asked.

"No, I've given up on that."

"Good." And I killed the fly with Moriarty's guidebook.

"Effectively done, Sherwood," some hint of cheerfulness crept into his voice, causing me to smile.

"I learned from the best," I replied enigmatically. "And since you're not playing endless chromatic scales, or that Incan funeral dirge, I wouldn't mind hearing your violin again."

He got up from the table and picked up the instrument. "You lack subtlety, Sherwood."

"You don't appreciate subtlety," I took my coffee cup to the sofa and sat down.

He started playing an unfamiliar piece on the violin, and I closed my eyes to better enjoy it, idly wondering if there was anyone out there who could replace the late Professor Moriarty as the Napoleon of Crime.