By Philip Shreffler
“My collection of ‘S’s’ is
a fine one,” remarked Sherlock Holmes. “Here is Col. Lysander Stark of evil
memory, and Kenneth Starr, the worst man in Washington. But you asked about
the fate of Dr Leon Sterndale, and here he is — his work, the other half of
it in Africa, neatly docketed.
frequent self-destructive behaviour, including, but not limited to, strolling into clearly marked “Hostile Hippo Zones,” eating ground glass, and attempting to levitate herself above beds of hot coals when she knew this to be impossible. To end the union, Sterndale fled into the jungle, taking with him only some peanut butter sandwiches wrapped in a bandanna.
“He soon rebuilt his fortune and ruined life by supplying black-faced langur serum to the importers Lowenstein, Lowenstein & Mangles, of Prague. Flushed with success, Sterndale determined to discover the source of the Nile, despite the fact that this had been done thirty years earlier. Rejecting both Richard Francis Burton’s identification of Lake Tanganyika as the source and John Hanning Speke’s correct nomination of Lake Victoria’s Falls, Sterndale opted for a location roughly proximal to Teaneck, New Jersey. His theory was never seriously entertained.
“Still in funds,
Sterndale then pooled his remaining cash with a Lascar or a Sikh or something
named Jarawaral O’Brien and the two entered into a wildcat scheme to
undertake aluminum foil mining — but the venture failed since aluminum foil
hadn’t been invented yet. Now destitute, the adventurer-explorer fell into
black moods, often drinking himself into a stupor on distilled aloe juice and
carrying on animated conversations in German with King George III.