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Brand and the Eye Exam



‘Now read the next line, please.’

‘E G C K D C O B,’ read Brand.

‘Very good! Now the next,’ said the eye doctor.

‘Y T W Q V G C Z,’ read Brand.

‘Oh, dear. Try it again.’

‘Y T W Q V G C Z,’ read Brand.

‘I’m afraid I must ask you to read the line again.’

If there was one thing Brand hated more than going to the doctor…..well, there wasn’t ANYTHING Brand hated more than going to the doctor.  Still, he needed to have his eyes checked every so often just like anyone else and so here he was, chafing under the direction of an opthamologist who looked as if he couldn’t be more than twelve.

‘I’m telling you, that’s Y T W Q V G C Z!,’ cried Brand.

‘You may need spectacles.  I was worried this might happen.’

‘YOU were worried?’

‘Come with me, please.’ The two men walked down the corridor, past the adjoining office where another vision specialist was administering a like exam, and into an examination room that had some equipment that looked for all the world like it had been salvaged from some kind of spacecraft.  Brand was instructed to put his chin on a chin holder and look directly into a light.

‘Now, doc, you know I’m no sissy, but is this safe?’

‘Perfectly safe.  Nothing to worry about.  Uh-oh.’

Now of all the things that one doesn’t want to hear at the doctor’s office, ‘Uh-oh’ is right at the top of the list, and Brand started quaking.

‘What’s wrong, doc?’

‘I don’t understand--everything checks out as normal!’

‘Well,that’s good, isn’t it?’

‘Yes, but then why so much trouble with the charts?’

‘Perhaps I can be of some assistance?’  A newcomer had suddenly appeared in the office.  Tall, he was, and thin like a scarecrow.  And there was another outstanding feature.....

‘Hey, buddy, can you play us a tune on your saxophone, or….oh, wait.  That’s your nose.’

‘My good man, your levity, while weak, is misplaced.  I am only trying to help you.’

‘Help me?  How?’

The doctor said, ‘How dare you barge in here and start throwing your weight around!  And from where I sit you haven’t much to spare!’

The stranger said, ‘Permit me to explain myself.  My name is Holmes.  I am a patient of your partner, Abercrombie, and was myself being examined in the next room.  Your patient here, Mr.---Mr.--’

‘Brand.’

‘Of course, Mr. Brand.  If you will perforce examine Mr. Brand once again, doctor, I believe you will find that he has a very rare condition called ‘eagleosis,’ or very very keen vision.’

‘Is that a fact, Mr. Holmes?’  A note of obsequiousness had crept into the doctor’s voice, as with all men who realize that they are outclassed.

‘Indeed it is, doctor.  Mr. Brand’s vision is so keen that he actually read the chart in the next examining room, the selfsame chart I myself was reading at the time.  This is what threw your results askew.’

‘And how did you ascertain that, sir?,’ said the doctor.

‘The gentleman and I were reading the same chart at the same time, and as he was not in the room with me but in the same line of my vision, it was really a simple deduction, my good man.’

‘I’m much obliged, mister,’ croaked Brand.

‘Not at all, sir.  And I shall in this instance overlook your snide remark about my facial features.  Now, gentlemen, I bid you adieu. Do send me your bill, doctor,’ he called to Abercrombie in the next room.

And with that the tall stranger took his leave.

Brand was the first to speak.

‘Well, now, what do you make of that?’




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http://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/products/michael-dirda-on-conan-doyle

 

Read the mystery adventures of Brand in this space! New posts on various mysterious subjects every Monday and Thursday (or so)!



Questions/Comments/Hipster Eyewear?  mike@mysteriousbookshop.com

 

Written by Ian Kern — March 17, 2016

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