A tall detective,
His short friends somewhat fat
The large man an actor
All evidence says he could also be a thief
It seems so familiar
One moment they are discussing the abstract in the rooms
Another moment they are traveling
There is talk between the scientific detective, and his unscientific friend
Somehow there is a surprise,
The short man notices something
They debate the possible and the likely
The short man finds motive when the others seek facts
Nowhere do we find the details of the scene
The clues are only the ones seen by the sidekick
How does the detective find the truth,
Truth is, today he is mystified
The story ends not with the detective piecing together facts
But the criminal is cornered, and confesses to the priest.
I have been reading the Father Brown mysteries recently. What I find interesting is that Brown is not based on Sherlock Homes, but instead on Watson. You see, he is a special friend who sometimes accompanies a 6’4″ London private detective. This tall lean detective is an expert at disguises, and fancies himself a rather competent criminal — superior in every way to the official police.
While it is true that not every story includes the detective, Father Brown remains in my mind… not a new Sherlock Holmes, but instead a surprisingly better Watson.