At the turning of the new year, I find myself in the most morose and black of moods. There has not been a single case worthy of my special attentions since October. Has all the enterprise gone out of the minds of the criminals of this city? Is there no future for my profession?
I am certain that you are in the best of spirits in your new life, though I cannot help but wonder at your lack of returning correspondence. Perhaps it is simply that you are away on holiday or that your attentions are possessed by something of trivial importance. Nevertheless, I find it a relief to express myself to you, my dear friend, the one man on whom I may thoroughly rely.
My Dear Holmes,
I fear my departure for such an elongated period of time may have resulted in a consequence of which I cannot forgive myself, should it have caused any detriment to your person. Indeed, I confess, I had but travelled to America on a proposition which required my immediate care, yet it was only to be temporary, for a few months. Had I known the lack of criminality would be so severe in the duration as to cause your reaction, of which I am learning only too late, I dread, I would not have dared to tread a step out of London. Pray tell me of the nearest time at which I can present myself to you in my sincerest apology.
-Dr John H. Watson