HOLMES ESCAPED FROM MORIARTY'S LAIR with Salome with the help of the Great Masalai. But the words carved on that ancient piece of wood given to him by Karol rang through his head. What was the secret key to unlock this message?
He had managed to translate the ancient heiroglyphs into something vaguely understandable. But this still puzzled his great brain.
They read - "4d 6f 72 69 61 72 74 79 20 77 69 6c 6c 20 66 61 6c 6c 2e 20 41 20 6e 65 77 20 70 65 6f 70 6c 65 20 77 69 6c 6c 20 72 69 73 65 2e 0d 0a"
What great demonic secret did this hide? What ancient wild mathematical system could this represent? He had heard stories of demonic curses embedded in old carvings in ancient symbolic languages.
But this seemed like a code from a number-based system of encryption of which there were many very interesting examples in the island of New Guinea, a utopia for mathematicians.
But without a word of warning they found themselves suddenly encased inside a traditional bus-material hut as if by magic, with a frightening whooshing and shrieking noise around them. They whizzed around at dizzying speed, but at last the contraption shuddered to a halt.
The Tardis shaked and shivered, and was thrown against the gigantic forces of the universe.
"Doctor. what should I do?"
"Pull that lever and hold it down as strong as you can!"
Rose (the Doctor's assistant) did so, and the strange square craft was battered and torn as it finally came to a halt.
The Tardis came to a shuddering standstill above a small mission station at Boianai, Papua.
"Doctor, where on earth are we?"
"Don't worry Rose. The natives are friendly. We are in Papua."
"Tell me it's not South Sudan or something!"
"Oh no Rose. Come and look out the door."
Beneath them spread the coconut-fringed peace of a mission settlement, with a dozen or so people gazing up at them.
"Wave to them Rose."
Rose waved. And so started a legend.
"Great Scott! I'd forgotten about those two hitchhikers we picked up over Manus on the way here!"
"Good Mr Holmes, and the delightful Salome (no need for that bus knife around my throat by the way. I know your Geefouress warriors can act somewhat precipitiously), come and meet some of my friends! And I see you have met another of my passengers, a Dr John Watson. The Tardis has a mind of it's own you know, and just stopped by Loch Sheil and picked him up. He was rather surprised as he was salmon fishing at the time."
"Good God Holmes! You are alive!"
"And so I see are you dear Watson. And I judge from your accoutrements that you are planning to introduce salmon fishing to the Wahgi."
"All in good time Holmes, I haven't finished with the Yemen yet I'll have you know."
The Doctor looked out of the door of the Tardis and shouted down...
"Father Gill - we meet again. Hail fellow, well met!"
"Holy oaks! Well I'll soak my socks in garlic water and wear them on my head. Is that the Doctor! Heavens-to-Bubu. Come on down and have a whisky!"
They hugged each other warmly.
"Father - how are you doing here? And what of your flock?"
"Well you know how it is. Battles with disease and sanguma. But we are winning!"
Fr Gill, "And who are your friends Who?"
"Ah allow me to introduce Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Salome Daka."
"Pleased to meet you all I'm sure."
"Now there have been some strange goings-on in the depths of a plantation not far from here. People tell me hunters hear a clunking sound as of two heads being bashed together. Repeated many times, and in the middle of the night! What do you make of this?"
"Well I think this may be related to what Mr Holmes is investigating."
"Well there's no time to waste. Let's go!" and the Tardis disappeared into the nearby jungle with a whoosh and flash - the best sound and light system the BBC Radiophonic Workshop could provide.
"By the way" added Dr Who, "Don't you think my new bow tie looks cool?"
Holmes and Watson wandered through the plantation and suddenly were enmeshed in a tangle of strings between two trees, with coconuts threaded upon them!
"My goodness, what is this we have stumbled across?"
Daa Laikimrope* was running after them.
"Don't touch that! It is solving a problem for us all!"
"Whatever can you mean, Ms Laikimrope?" pleaded Watson, disentangling himself.
"It is my coconut analytical engine."
Holmes - "I think I see. You have constructed the analog of a human calculator - a computer no less!"
"Yes. Many enterprises employ human computers to perform basic repetitive mathematical tasks, but I have devised a more efficient way using what materials were at hand."
"A coconut calculus!"
"Exactly so. See here we have 8 coconuts on sixteen strings. Each one represents a binary state. By moving them so (she moved four across to the right-hand tree) we can perform simply binary calculations. Multiply this by many more such strings, and you have inordinate mathematical power!"
"Ms Laikimrope- you are a genius!"
"Call me Ada, I don't like Daa, and Ada was my Bubu's name"
Now therein lies a secret.
Holmes - "I am reminded of a quote from a distant forbear of yours.
"She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies."
"Holmes you are getting sentimental!"
"Watson I have just seen genius at work."
*Daa Laikimrope is a puzzle for you. Her history with mathematics goes back 80 years and she is the lovechild of someone famous. Guess!
PS. Dr Who had received a distress call from across the far reaches of the galaxy on his Sub-Etheric Universal Sublimator. His iPod/SUCS. TARDIS is explained by Trans-dimensional Amazing Relativity Dimensional Interface Speaker. AKA the Zurenuoc thought transformer.