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A letter from Dr. Watson, care of the Neverlight Society:

Dear Sir,

I am writing on a matter of some urgency, and hope you will be able to provide assistance.  Forgive my lack of formality and my presumption, but as I stated the matter really is quite urgent.  The crux of it is this:

Some few nights ago, I was out for the evening with my dear friend Mr. Holmes.  We had gone out upon the evening for some supper.  We had finished and were strolling towards Oxford Street when we heard the strangest sounds emanating from a club down the street.  It was, as I have only recently learned, a club specializing in heavy metal music. I must say, for myself, I have had quite enough concussive noise in Afghanistan to last a lifetime.  But my dear friend grew ever more distracted as we drew closer until at last he crossed the street and made straight for the door. Seeing my hesitation, he chuckled softly. “My Dear Watson,” said he, “stay here if you like, and keep a wary eye ‘pon the door, would you?  I wager there’s more afoot here than a mere rock concert.”

And so, to my great shame, (though if I’m honest also to my great relief) I stayed where I was, rooted to the spot, as it were, and watched.  I waited long enough in the fog that the old wound in my shoulder began to ache. Then suddenly, before my very eyes, there was a great flash and a noise like a whole battery of cannon firing, and the building began to empty rapidly, people streaming out.  And then the smoke started. I did not see my dear friend and had only just resolved to cross the street and brave the smoke when he emerged, laughing and wiping his sooty face on his handkerchief.

“Holmes!” I cried.  “Thank God you are safe!  What happened in there?” Chuckling, he answered me.  

“A mere diversion, my good man!  I meant only to clear the scene and preserve what evidence I could.  I admit I may have overdone it with the smoke, but when need drives, eh, Watson?  Murder has been done this night!” He chuckled all the more, his spirits clearly high, as he regarded my pale face.

“I have it all in hand, my good man! Do stay here.  I have summoned the constable. When he comes, do give him this, eh?”  And he pressed a black knit cap into my hands. I turned it over, and I saw at once what had piqued my friend’s interest and moved him to such extreme action.  Looking up, I saw him striding merrily down the street.

“But Holmes!  Where are you going?” I cried, wringing the cap in my hands. It was soft, and I wondered what the significance of it was.  

“Dear man!” he called over his shoulder “The cap!” And suddenly I knew where he was headed.  I held the hat up to the weak moonlight and confirmed it for myself nonetheless. And there it was.  Neverlight, emblazoned across the front, the white letters seeming to glow in the mist as I held it. My friend was going to pay a visit to the Neverlight Society.   And that, friend, was the last I heard from him. It has been some days, and I am growing concerned. I beg of you sir, tell me if you have seen him! I see that you bear the same hat, with the same lettering.  Can you tell me what the significance of this hat is? Why did my friend think it so important? And where has he gone?

I am gravely concerned, sir.  Please reply at once. And if I may inquire, would it be possible to send another of those hats?  I duly turned mine over to the ever-sturdy Lestrade, and I should dearly like to have one of my own.

In all sincerity and urgency,

Dr. John Watson

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