The Adventure of the Mysterious Benefactor

Part 18

by Stacey (SST205 at
As if on cue, the compudroid came through the door. He had a large sack in one hand.
"Deidre, Wiggins!" he greeted them as he turned, picked up another large sack that was in the hall and shut the door with his foot. "So glad you could make it!"
"What's in the bags, Watson?" Wiggins asked.
"You haven't told them, Holmes?"
Holmes grinned. "While at Caroline Fayre's home, I noted the place was in need of some repair..."
Deidre was on the floor, peering into one of the bags. "Mm-hm. There are three hammers, a saw or two, nails and sandpaper in here--"
"--and four cans of paint, screws, oil, a can for it, brushes, and caulking stuff here." Wiggins added as he peered into the second bag.
"Sorry to have gotten all of the old-fashioned things, kids," Watson apologized, "--but Holmes said to get as much as I could, and there was a sale on the old things."
"Come now, Watson--the Irregulars shouldn't mind old-fashioned things," Holmes said as he donned his deerstalker and Inverness. "They keep company with me, don't they? Now come along, all--we've got work to do."
Holmes and the others took the car to the Fayres' home, and were there in mere minutes as compared to Holmes' original visit.
The four got out of the car, Wiggins and Watson grabbing the bags of tools and things as they came.
Holmes went ahead and held the gate open for Deidre, Wiggins, and Watson, then followed them into the yard.
Deidre knocked on the door. After a moment, Miss Fayre answered it.
"Deidre, hello--why, Mister Holmes, I--" she lowered her voice considerably--"--didn't expect to see you so soon."
Holmes touched his cap in greeting. "Miss Fayre--I hope you don't mind the intrusion."
"No, certainly--come in."
She stepped aside, and the four entered.
Tennyson was sitting in his hoverchair in front of the fire, a large book open on his dashboard.
"Hey, buddy," Wiggins called, waving a hand in front of his younger friend's eyes. "Whatcha readin'--this time?"
"Bee-urrp! Burreeeurp!"
"A gardening book! In December?!"
"Yes, Wiggins." Tennyson's aunt said with a chuckle. "My nephew is deternined to figure out for me which seeds or bulbs will grow best and where in our yard they'll do so before February."
"Oh, my!" Watson cried, looking down at the drop of water that had fallen from the celing to the floor between his feet.
Miss Fayre sighed. "Oh, that leak again."
Holmes looked upward, then down at Tennyson. "Do you think you could determine where that leak is coming from from atop the roof, lad?"
"Good. Miss Fayre, is there a ladder nearby we could borrow?"
"Yes, sir--against the back of the house," Miss Fayre told him, looking quizzical.
"Watson," Holmes continued, "Did you manage to find any caulking materials on you shopping trip?"
"Yes, Holmes. They along with some putty are in the bag with the paint."
"Excellent. Wiggins, retrieve them, then get the ladder and climb to the roof, won't you? Tennyson will help you find the source of the leak."
"Uh--" Wiggins began, swallowing hard.
"Come now, my boy, a little height never hurt anyone," Holmes assured Wiggins with a pat on his shoulder.
"What would you like me to do, Mister Holmes?" Deidre asked.
"You and I shall begin painting the outside of the house. Watson, scan the place to see if there are any boards that need replacing or re-nailing, won't you?"
"Righto, old chap."
As everyone headed for their assignment, Tennyson giving Holmes a thankful look before he went out the door, Miss Fayre was left standing speechless in the center of the room, her eyes full of tears.
"Mister Holmes, I--how can I--?"
"No need for repayment, Miss Fayre--this is in my best interest as well. I couldn't have one of my valuable assistants, nor the woman who cares for him, catching their deaths of cold, now could I?"
Miss Fayre shook her head. "That may be so, sir--but I can't accept it. I must repay you some way."
Holmes looked at the clock. It was nearly ten. "Well, Miss -- could you spare lunch for my rather motley crew?"
"Absolutely." Tennyson's aunt said with a nod. "The Lord's been good to me--I always have more than enough to feed my teenaged nephewand his friends when they stop by."
Holmes chuckled. "I am quite familiar with their eating habits--so I'm sure you'll have enough for us all. Now if you'll excuse me--" he turned on his heel--"I must go assist Deidre."

On to Chapter 19!
Part 1,Part 2,Part 3,Part 4,Part 5,Part 6,Part 7,Part 8,Part 9,Part 10,Part 11,Part 12,Part 13,Part 14,Part 15,Part 16, andPart 17.
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