"Dr. Watson! To the coach, the game is afoot!"
""Has a heinous crime occurred?"
"Perhaps, the investigation is already underway. Our reconnaissance team has discovered a twenty-nine year old male, unconscious in the ladies room of the local Burlesque!"
"I do enjoy the Burlesque, Mr. Holmes."
"Elementary, My Dear, Watson, Elementary!"
We drove to the destination in amiable silence, the hi-lo wail of the siren piercing the mist as the fog rolled in from the Port of Providence. A hound crossed our path, not hurriedly as one would expect, but in a nonchalant fashion reserved only for the most cagey of city beast. He stopped before entering a vacant lot through an opening in the wrought iron fencing, turned his head to the moon and emitted a guttural howl.
"Turn down that siren if you will, Dr. Watson, no sense disturbing the nocturnal inhabitants of this desolate place."
"The coyote has made a remarkable resurgence, Mr. Holmes."
"Correct, Dr. Watson, the more we progress, the further we regress."
We turned into the parking area of our destination, stopped our rescue wagon at the front doors of the place and disembarked. Dr. Watson retrieved the stretcher from the rear of the wagon and I made my way past two fierce guardians who glared at me, as I returned an equally fierce look of consternation their way. The denizens of these places are a tough lot, and must be treated with the same degree of intimidation techniques they themselves use.
The fire brigade that had arrived prior to us filled me in.
"We have a man in his twenties, wearing tight leather pants and no more, lying on his back in the ladies room, unconscious with no response to painful stimuli. We're bagging him now."
"Great Scott! Does he have a pulse?"
"Indeed, and a strong one at that."
The patrons of this den of inequity parted way as Dr. Watson, the Lieutenant and myself made our way to the Ladies room. The Men's room was across the hall, and ladies, some pretty, others, well, manly, all in various stages of undress came and went.
"What sort of madhouse have we entered?"
"Swingers Ball, I suppose," said Dr. Watson.
"It is a strange world, Dr. Watson. Quick, no time for distractions. We have a man in his twenties, in a state of unconsciousness, wearing only leather pants. What could possibly have befallen this lad?"
"A beating, perhaps?"
"No sign of trauma."
"Too much champagne at the fountain?"
"He would flinch when I tweak his nipple. Look here!"
I pinched his nipple between my thumb and forefinger and gave a hearty "tweak." He did not flinch.
"Perhaps he is plagued with the sugar?""
"I think not. Gentlemen, look about! Is there evidence of laudanum ingestion, opium or other narcotic substances afoot?"
"Look here! A syringe and the corner of a plastic bag, in the trash!" said Dr. Watson.
"It is as I suspected. Prepare the antidote, let's bring this corpse back from his early demise."
The squad got to the task of preparing the necessary delivery devices for the administration of the antidote, also known as Naloxone, a dandy little invention used to counter opiate overdose.
"Shall we start an intravenous?" asked Dr. Watson.
"I think not. The less time I spend in this wicked place the happier I shall be. In intra muscular administration will have to suffice."
One of the men held the victims arm, and Dr. Watson pushed a 22 guage needle into the triceps muscle, depressed the plunger and covered the injection site with a sterile dressing. Then, we waited. It wasn't long.
"Who, are you!" exclaimed our hitherto unconscious person.
"We are the men who saved you from an early demise, young sir. Your affinity for opiates was nearly your undoing!"
The victim regained his bearings, rubbed his irritated nipple and tried to flee. We would have none of that, the antidote would not last long, and respiratory arrest a real possibility.
"You will have to come with us," I informed my ungrateful charge. He struggled, and attempted to worm his way away from us but we held fast, and escorted the young man away from the place that nearly did him in. He remained steadfast in his denial of illegal substance use, all the way to The Yard, where he was placed under constant observation.
"When will they learn, Mr. Holmes?" asked Watson as we returned to headquarters.
I neatly packed my pipe with a fine tobacco, lit a match which illuminated the interior of the wagon and puffed, filling the space with aromatic smoke. Watson lowered his window but did not complain.
"Sadly, Watson, for him, I believe it will not be until it is too late. This case may be over for tonight, but it is far from closed. Our young friend has a long way to go, and may fall victim to his own demons."
"Elementary, Mr. Holmes."
We returned to our chambers, each lost in our own thoughts.
"Goodnight, Watson, until the next one."
"Goodnight, Mr. Holmes, pleasant dreams."