The Singular Affair of the Second Moriarty

Chapter Nine

by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at
It was quite some time later before either Holmes or Watson heard any more of Miss Moriarty. She left both the police station and her hotel room soon after the hearing without saying goodbye to either of them or, to Holmesís surprise, Tennyson, who insisted on the entire story from Holmesís own lips on his next visit.
It was just afternoon on a Saturday when the young Irregular, flanked by Deidre and Wiggins, arrived on Holmes' front doorstep. Watson let them in; he noticed on Tennysonís lap was a flat rectangular box and a piece of paper. Holmes was sitting in his usual chair when they came in; standing up, he smiled curiously at them. Tennyson moved his chair forward and waved the paper at Holmes excitedly.
'Hello, son. What have you got, hey?' Holmes gently took the paper and smoothed it out; it was crumpled but was quite thick good quality paper.
'I hope you can make some sense out of it, Holmes. He just came 'round and pulled us both over here as fast as possible. He wouldnít even show us what it said and heís been clutching it the whole time.' Wiggins collapsed on a chair.
Deidre followed his example. 'I was meant to be selling maps Ďalf an hour ago as well.'
Holmes read the paper; it only had a few words on it. 'Half twelve, Saturday, turn on the sports channel. Tessa.'
It was quarter to one. They flicked on the small television at one corner of the room. As the channel came on it was showing highlights. The sports commentator was voicing over the action.
'....A marvellous turn on Falconís Corner, followed by a textbook power drive. Dave, the race just kept getting better for our young challenger.'
'Thatís right, Matt; Johnson on the Cloud Breaker had real trouble keeping up with the Hornetís latest sign of season. Just look at the control on the Death Drop.' The screen flicked to an image showing a group of skyboarders in coloured suits attempting a vertical u-bend in a lit tunnel; one flew into the wall being narrowly missed by another racer.
'An unlucky turn for Thorn; we hope his shoulderís patched up soon. But a surprise end to the race for all concerned, that this returning rider should have been in such superb form on her first return race, Dave.'
'Yes, Matt....Iíve just been informed that the podium riders have just taken their positions, so back to the racetrack.'
The image now showed the top of the sports channel skyscraper; three boxes of various heights were laid out to a backdrop of sponsors, VIPs and team members crowded round in a sea of colour that almost filled the rooftop. The other two riders were unfamiliar to the little party in Holmesí living room, but Tennyson, Holmes and Watson recognised the face on the top box, .And it was a face, not a mask or a helmet, but a face, grinning proudly at the camera; her new shaven hair not even moving in the breeze.
'Whuuurrrrr,' said Tennyson happily.
'Oh my,' said Watson, taken aback.
Holmes groaned. 'What has she done to her hair?'
In the background Deidre chuckled; she guessed from Tennysonís expression who it was.
'The interviewís coming on.'
'Miss Moriarty....Congratulations on your return to racing and on your win. Some superb flying skills today....'
Tessa grinned. 'Thanks....Jane, isnít it....I really enjoyed myself up there today, the conditions were good and I had a great team on my side.'
There was some wild hooting from offside.
'Thanks, guys....but my real motivation for the win was that I should have some friends watching today.' She waved furiously at the camera. 'Can I just say hi?'
The anchorwoman nodded.
'Hi, everybody. That was for you; thanks for everything....Tennyson, you can open the box now.'
'What box?'
Tessa laughed. 'Just a little surprise for my young friend.'
The interview continued but all eyes were on Tennyson. Slowly he unwrapped the silver plastic and took off the lid.
Underneath was a jumpsuit for the Hornet team that had been signed by as many racers as Tessa could get hold of, as well as some season tickets for the sky track. As Tennyson pulled out the suit something else fell to the ground.
The black mask bounced once before coming to rest; a piece of paper fluttered by it on the floor. Holmes picked it up and handed it to Tennyson.
'Well, man,' said Wiggins, craning over. 'Whatís it say?'
Around the bandanna Tennyson went red.
Holmes coughed and laid a hand on Tennysonís shoulder. 'I think thatís just for him, Wiggins.'
The older boy shrugged and sat down again. Tennyson read the letter again to be sure.
'Little bro.
'The mask is for you to keep. Donít ever put it on; itís harder to take off than you think. The season tickets are also for you and your friends, but the jumpsuit is for you only (itís probably a bit big, unfortunately, but people about your height around here got tired of me pouncing on them). Sorry I left so soon, but I needed to tell my parents what had happened and spend some time alone....theyíre buried quite a way from London. Look after Holmes, Watson and Lestrade for me and Iíll see you all soon....'
He read on.
'PS. As for the beginning of this letter, Iím kind of adopting you; nothing legal or anything like that, but I need someone to go skyboarding with occasionally (though youíll probably beat me hands down)....anyway, you're kinda cute for a teenager.
'Love, Tessa.'
Underneath the bandanna Tennyson smiled.

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