Stave the One


Marley was dead to begin with,

There was little doubt of all that.

The coroner signed off the papers,

And Scrooge had re-rented his flat.


Yes, Marley slept deep in the graveyard,

Struck down by the Finger of Fate,

And basked in the glory of angels,

Whilst Scrooge now controlled his estate.


For Marley was rich as a baron,

And Scrooge was as poor as a mouse,

Having lost all his stock and his business,

At some dubious gambling house.


Bob Cratchett knew the whole story,

And sat up long nights in despair.

He asked himself over and over:

Why did Marley name Scrooge as his heir?


For the two had never been friendly,

The business alone was their bond,

And Scrooge lived a secret new lifestyle,

He and his tarted-out blonde.


Bob Crachett worried and pondered,

Then hiked through the snow and the ice,

To see Sherlock, the Master Detective,

In his Baker Street rooms for advice.


Stave the Two


Holmes brought Bob inside, made him welcome,

And offered hot tea and a chair,

Which Bob drank as he sat by the fire,

In his deep and distressing despair.


He told Holmes the whole of the story,

And how he suspected foul play.

And that Scrooge had murdered poor Marley,

As sure as the night follows day.


Holmes pondered and smoked for a moment,

Then said with his well-mannered grace,

“If Scrooge did indeed murder Marley,

I’ll gladly look into the case.”


Stave the Three


It wasn’t that much of a challenge,

But Cratchett was suitably awed,

When the courts had announced their decision:

“Jacob Marley’s last Will was a fraud.”


Scrooge had re-drafted the papers,

And signed Marley’s Will with a flair.

Scrooge had inherited nothing,

Bob’s son, Tiny Tim, was the heir.


Scrooge disappeared from his lodgings,

Hid out in his cesspool of shame.

He had forged false identity papers:

And made “Moriarty” his name.


Stave the Four


It was Christmas Day dinner at Cratchett’s,

And Watson and Holmes were their guests,

With turkey and goose and the trimmings,

And carols and innocent jests.


Tiny Tim was well-pleased with his fortune,

And gave Holmes a hearty, “Well done!”

He smiled as he sat at the table,

Saying, “God bless us all – everyone.”


And Holmes thought as he sat at Tim’s table,

“’Moriarty’ Scrooge calls himself then?

I suspect this isn’t all over.

We two will cross paths yet again.”



Edward C. McManus

44 Queens View Road

Marlborough, MA 01752