PETER 'CONAN' KRANZ
"HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO COVER THIS, you stupid bastards?" shouted Bikpela Mauswara as he slammed down the draft of the latest edition of the Post National in front of the trembling faces of his journalists.
"I employ you to get stories, not this lefty tree-hugging nonsense! Give me stuff about how great oil-palm plantations are, trees were made by God to be cut down and used, mines are God's gift to the developing world, and any stupid Neolithic tribe who stands in the way should be sent back to where they belong! In the bush Get those SABLSs running!"
"The value of Kotekas? Shit!"
Bikpela Mauswara puffed insolently on his cigar, blew the smoke into the face to the assembled staff and cast a quivering evil eye over his reporters.
"You write crap about a boy called Holmes investigating his grandfather's legacy in PNG and you tell lies about the great Moriarty!"
"God, I should sack the lot of you. Have you been talking to those greenies again? Now scrap this pekpek and get back to writing some real stories about the benefits of western industry to the ordinary people of PNG.
“Didn't they build a bridge somewhere recently? And a casino? Beendone Nomore speaks highly of the idea, and he has experience. And haven't those health blokes just signed a great deal with China for supplying drugs? Who cares if a few buskanakas are incovenienced. More fool them for being so stupid."
And those fish ready for the taking? Get Madang on the line. Ha, that's a joke - laugh!"
And get those darn tribal carvings knocked down. They spoil my view."
"Na gigl den onglo winga"
The words from Okuk rang in Holmes’ brain, as she told him about the Great Masalai.
"I come here as if by magic."
"Na gigl den onglo winga"
The Kuman rang in his mind.
"Good Missus Okuk. I bless you to all heaven!" cried Holmes.
The Kuman rang in his mind.
Holmes was beside himself.
"That's it! It's not magic, it’s a stage trick! The great Dan Leno did as much at the Foresters' Music Hall, repeated at The Strand Music Theatre!"
"Holmes, whatever has come over you?" pleaded Watson. "What on earth are you on about?"
Kinatoea - "Dan Leno used to dress as a woman. No accounting for taste I suppose."
Holmes was astride the mighty Daimler-Maybach with Watson sharing a somewhat cramped accommodation with Kinatoea in the sidecar.
"Where are we going?"
"You and Kinatoea are going to to Government House. Search the wine cellar. If you find anything suspicious, call the bomb squad. I have to go to Boianai. Daa is in great danger!"
Holmes managed three wheelies outside the entrance to Government House to attract the attention of the guards, then dropped off Watson and Kinatoea, whose security pass allowed them in.
"Dr John Watson I believe. What are you doing here and what is all the fuss?" said the Governor's secretary.
"You must evacuate the building immediately!" cried Watson.
"We have credible information that there is a direct threat to this establishment. The Governor himself is at risk!"
"But he's just sat down to tiffin with his family. I can't interrupt him now."
"Give him this message. C says code red. All civilian staff to be taken to safety. Go Now! Lives depend upon it!"
The secretary looked alarmed, and took himself off at what was, for him, lightning speed.
So Watson and Kinatoea, having achieved the evacuation of the noble building, proceeded to make their way down to the wine cellar.
They reached the bottom of the stairs, turned into the cellar and began their exploration.
"I say Kinatoea, there's a whole rack of 1890 Chateau Lafite here!"
"Watson - stop babbling and look at this." Kinatoea had discovered the bomb, hidden behind some old wine racks and with suspicious wires leading out of it to what looked like one of Signor Guglielmo Marconi's radio devices.
"If only Holmes was here, he would know how to deactivate this infernal device I'm sure," exclaimed a despairing Watson.
"Don't worry Watson" said Kinatoea. "I have just completed a bomb disposal course with the sappers and miners."
"Well that's reassuring, I'm sure!"
But where was Holmes?
Boianai was deep in the forest of Goodenough Island. Holmes had found his way there on a go-fast boat. With more than 1000 combined horsepower he was at Goodenough in a few hours. Luckily the weather was calm.
"I see you have circumvented Daa's encryption, Moriarty, and disguised yourself as her."
"Holmes you still amaze me, but your deductions are in vain. I hold Daa captive."
"Well Dan Leno would have been proud. But you forgot one thing,"
"And what might that be?"
"A simple mistake, but one that trips up us all. Hers was white, but your substitute was blue."
"Moriarty I have you. The police are on their way, now I believe Daa is held prisoner in your wine cellar."
"Holmes - you may have guessed this, but I swear the game is not up yet!"
"As you wish Moriarty, but I heave need of you telegraphic machine."
At that moment Bond's Papuan irregulars burst into the hut and seized Moriarty.
"I have no need of you now. The secret is about your person"
"Your tie. Red, white, blue. An ironic and iconic combination.
You confused Daa's – 0111001001100101011001000010000001110111011010000110100101110100011001010010000001100010011011000111010101100101 - with the hexadecimal values. But the true translation was in original Latvian.
"Holmes - I swear I will get you!"
"Well Moriarty, you may have to take a fall first. 'Red white and blue'. You thought no one could deduce this. But remember my friend, there is always someone more determined than you.
“You used this code for 'the Empire' to send a message to Moran and thus seek to blow up Government House. But your misdeeds have been undone, by a simple application of logic through Daa Laikimrope's remarkable coconut calculus."
Daa was released from the cellar.
"We have to get a message to Watson immediately! You know Moriarty tricked me and dressed as a woman?"
"Well there's no accounting for taste."
"Send him this. The code for defusing the bomb is 09734"
Holmes rushed to the Marconi radio and sent the message by Morse code to Watson.
"Kinatoea - I have received a message via the radiotelegraphic device!"
"Quick, give it to me."
And so the bomb under Government House was deactivated.
The Great Masalai sighed in relief. Moriarty had been bearded in his own den, The corruption of the Moriarty Pharmaceutical Company would be swept clean by a new broom, and Papua New Guinea past, present and future could rest easy.
How did Holmes happen to have a grandson investigating the tales of Holmes in PNG 80 years later? After all, as we all know the great detective never married.
Well I hesitate to tell, but there have come into my possession some secret documents which tell of Holmes experimenting with the medical uses of the drug marihuana as a pain reliever whilst in the company of Missus Okuk.
PS, Holmes, Watson, Kinatoea and Daa were invited to a great feast in Okuk's village in celebration of the defeat of the forces of darkness.
"I say Holmes, try some of this pork, it is really wonderful!"
"I think I will give it a miss and feast on these lovely steamed tropical vegetables."
"Well you're missing a treat Holmes. I'd give an arm and a leg to enjoy food as good as this."
"Watson - I think someone already has."
PPS, Watson has bought Holmes a Christmas present.
"I can deduce that it is a cruise on a magnificent luxury ship which may take us by ship New York. Very generous of you, Watson."
"Holmes - you amaze me! How can you know?"
"Well I have my contacts. But what is the name of this new ship?"
It is the RMS Titanic. You won't be disappointed Holmes!"