It was a dark and stormy night.
I awoke at approximately 4 of the clock to the sound of, what I initially took to be a crackling fire. Fearing that there was a conflagration in progress I leapt from my bed to ascertain the situation. I discounted the possibility of an inferno within the house immediately - there was an absence of smoke that surely would have caused the fire alarm designed for such contingencies to sound. I then proceeded to check outside, by the simple expediency of looking out of the window pane. I realised swiftly, and with some relief, that there could not be a fire outside chiefly due to the torrential nature of the rain that was falling. The sound that I had heard was due to a large volume of rain water striking the paving slabs outside creating a characteristic crackling noise.
I slept uneasily and by the time the roseate fingers of the dawn illuminated the house I ventured outside to investigate further. It was immediately evident that the sound that had caused me such concern, and in consequence to endure such a restless night, was due to water lapping over the edge of the guttering rather than being drained in the usual manner. What could have caused such an occurence? I retrieved a ladder from the garage of the house and carefully positioned it under the eaves of the house at the recommended angle and proceeded to climb with all due caution. On reaching the summit, I carefully reached inside the guttering in the region of the down pipe to see if I could detect the nature of the blockage.
I was surprised to find that it was not due to autumnal leaves, as I had initially supposed, but instead the offending item transpired to be a sodden ball of the kind used by aficionados of the noble sport of lawn tennis. Who could have placed such an object in this manner? Was this some devilish new scheme of that fiend Moriarty, designed to leave me at a disadvantage due to fatigue caused by lack of restful sleep?
Following a fresh line of inquiry I interrogated a suspect and extracted a full confession from the miscreant. Master James, a ten year old rapscallion and ne'er do well had thrown the ball onto the roof in a bout of high spirits and had failed to realise that the offending spheroid in question had become lodged in place when he had been distracted on some other youthful business.
Another case solved!