The Case of the Stolen Keepsake

Chapter 3

by Stacey (SST205 at

Michael got dressed, a million thoughts running through his head. This is certainly something for the record books. I can hear the guys at home, now: "Wow, you'll do anything for a story, won't you, Mikey?" Wonder if I'll ever see the jewel again....

When he was through, he got his duffel bag from where it sat at the foot of the bed, and went down the hall. Watson waiting at the nurses' station for him. After Michael had been officially released, he followed the compudroid out to a purple and gold car.

"Here, Mister Walsh, I can take that," Watson offered, lifting Michael's duffel bag easily off of his shoulder and stowing it in the back of the car. The American got in next to it, and Watson got into the driver's seat. Holmes was already inside.

Watson started the car, then it lifted into the air.

For a moment, Michael gazed out the window, as he had on the shuttle. I just can't believe this. It's so wild.....

A thought struck him then. Looking at the back of the seat in which Mister Holmes sat, he asked, "Sir -- how -- how did you know who I was?"

"Ah, yes." said the detective casually. "Watson?"

The compudroid seemed to search in his frockcoat a moment, then handed a plastic bag back to Michael. "Forgive me, young man. I shouldn't have kept this from you."

Reaching out, Michael took the bag from him. He immediately recognized his asthma inhaler, upon which was a sticker bearing his name and prescription.

"Oh...thank you. It's all right; I don't need it that often," he assured, putting the whole bag in the breast pocket of his leather jacket. Leaning back in the seat, he winced at the sharp pain in the back of his head.

"I've got something to take care of that," Watson said, glancing in the rearview mirror. "We'll be at Baker Street soon."

Sure enough, within minutes he was heading the car downward. Michael grabbed his duffel bag, opened the door of the car and slowly stepped onto the sidewalk.


It's exactly like I would've imagined it, Michael thought. It must have been so awesome actually living in the same building with the great Sherlock Holmes....

"Come now, Mister Walsh, we must get you inside. Standing there with your head tilted back certainly isn't going to do your headache any good."

Michael blinked, and felt his face get hot as he realized he'd been staring. He glanced at Holmes, upon whose lips there played a bit of a smile, but it was a friendly one.

He followed the detective and compudroid up the three front steps of the building, then inside, and up another flight of stairs. Finally they came to a door with a shiny brass "B" on it. Holmes unlocked the door, and they went inside.

"Please, Mister Walsh, sit down," Holmes said, indicating the couch and a few Victorian style chairs in the front room.

Partially because he was in awe and partially because he felt a little dizzy, Michael made his way to an armchair and, after placing his duffel bag on the floor beside it, settled into it with a groan.

"Here, sir, let me get something for your head," Watson said, hurrying off through and open door. Through it, Michael could see a stove on top of which sat a teapot, so he assumed it to be the kitchen. Minutes later, the compudroid came back; he had what looked like a blue pillow in his hand.

"Now, if you'll just lean forward a bit."

Michael did so, and Watson slipped the little pillow behind his head. Leaning back, the American felt a cool sensation at the back of his head, which after a moment seemed to make a lot of the pain drain away.

"Now, young man, what is it that's brought you here to New London? I can tell from your accent and dress that you're not from here."

Michael glanced at Holmes, who had removed the deerstalker and inverness he'd been wearing and was now seated on the couch at a diagonal from where Michael sat.

"Um..." the American felt a bit silly, now. "I...I'm a journalist...of sorts...I mean, I don't work for a big paper or anything, a bunch of friends of mine and I publish a paper. We report stories"

"...Are rather-- unusual?" the detective finished for him. "Such as the reappearance of assumed dead or supposed fictional detectives?"

Michael looked into his lap and gulped.

"It's quite all right, Mister Walsh, you're not the first," Holmes assured him, standing and making his way to the fireplace. "Besides, you intrigue me."

Blinking slowly, Michael stammered, "I--I do?" "Yes," Holmes answered him. "I want to help you find the belongings that were stolen from you," the detective turned and looked him in the eye, "--particularly whatever it was that you were wearing about your neck."

A few blocks away from Baker Street, the three young hoods that had assaulted Michael sat around a rickety table in the top floor of an abandoned building.

"Well, Ackley, what'd we get?" said the smallest of the three, who had run into Michael.

"Just a minute, little brother," said the largest one, opening Michael's wallet and dumping the contents on the tabletop. The pounds that their victim had received after exchanging his American money fluttered onto the table.

"Hm...." murmured the third youth, moving the notes around with his hand. "I guess there's about five 'undred fifty pounds, 'ere."

He glanced back at the youth called Ackley. "Never mind, that, though. I wan' t' see wha's in tha' li'l bag you took off th' Yank's neck."

"All right, all right," Ackley said, holding his hands out as if to stem his friend and brother's advance. "Just a second, will you?"

He reached back into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out the little bag with the broken cord. Tugging open the mouth of the bag, he turned it over and dumped its contents.

The huge jewel fell out onto the table with a soft thud. All six of the eyes that saw it widened.

"Crikey...." Ackley whispered.

"That's got to be worth a million pounds!' said Ackley's brother, his jaw dropping.

"Maybe even two bloody million, Gil," added the third youth, ogling.

"Oh, it's worth far more than you youngsters could ever imagine."

The three young men stood and whirled to face the doorway of the room. A man they did not know stood there, a cap pulled down over his face.

"I shall pay you plenty for it, of course," the stranger continued. "Or, if you refuse, I can take it by force."

As he added this, two men with surly looks on their faces appeared on either side of him.

"Well, gentlemen?" said the shadowy figure. "It is your choice."

On to Part 4!

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