The Case of the Missing Irregular

Part 15

by Stacey (SST205 at


Finally, part 15! Hope you find it satisfactory!


Holmes watched as the electric gate fizzled out. Watson drove the car through, and soon they were parked in front of Fayre Technologies again.

This has to be over soon.... he thought, staring for a moment at the front doors of the building.


The detective shook his head and looked up at his compudroid friend, who was standing just outside the car door. Behind him, the two older Irregulars stood, as if waiting for orders.

He shook his head and moved to get our of the car. "Sorry, old friend, I was lost in thought for a moment."

Upon closing the car door, he glanced at the Irregulars and stepped forward. "Come along, you two."

Holmes headed for the building's main entrance, and heard his three companions fall into step behind him. As he walked, he noted that their footfalls matched his.

What a melancholy bunch we must make, Holmes thought as he entered the Fayre building and headed straight for the elevator, only slightly nodding to the young woman that looked up from her desk as they entered.

The group entered the elevator, the doors closed, and they began their ascent.

After a moment of silence, Wiggins spoke.

"Uh--Mister Holmes?"

The detective paused, and then looked over his shoulder at the boy. "Yes, Wiggins?"

"What--what d' you suppose Mrs. Fayre wants to see us about?"

Holmes sighed and turned back to the elevator doors. "She said she had a message for us to listen to. "I'm quite sure that Tennyson's kidnappers have given her their instructions."

Deidre looked up at Wiggins, who returned her gaze and gulped.

Finally, the elevator stopped its ascent and the doors hissed open. Deidre shivered.

The four stepped into the waiting area outside of Mrs. Fayre's office. The young lady at the secratary's desk looked up at them.

"Mister Holmes, Mrs. Fayre is expecting you," she said.

"Thank you, miss."

Holmes led the others through the door of Mrs. Fayre's office. Being the last one in, Wiggins closed the door behind them.

The woman in front of them had her elbows on the desk and her head in her hands. After five or ten seconds, Holmes cleared his throat. She looked up.

"Oh--Mister Holmes, I'm sorry. I didn't notice that you had come in."

olmes noted that the woman's voice was weak and that her half-closed eyes were puffy. He deduced she hadn't been sleeping well.

"Madam--" the detective said, drawing a deep breath, "You said on the vidphone that you had a message for us to listen to."


Tennyson's mother got up from her seat and went slowly to the computer against the wall to the right of them. She pushed a button or two, then turned a dial.

A feminine voice said, "Message replay request, please."

Mrs. Fayre drew a deep breath, and exhaled shakily. "Computer, replay message fifteen."

A picture flashed on the screen. They immediately recognized the round-faced man wiith the unshaven face from the computer-generated pictures from the Yard.

"Missus Fayre, I p'rsume," the man said with a sneer.

"Yes, yes," came Mrs. Fayre's voice. "Get on with it."

"Y've go' th' two million pounds?"

"Yes! What have you done with my son?"

"Easy, now. 'E's still alive, if that's what yer worryin' about."

There was a sigh, then Mrs. Fayre's voice again. "When do you want the money?"

"T'morrow. Warehouse on Kirtlin' Street on th' Cringle side. Go t' the brick wall an' wait fer me t' show -- an' I better not see any Yardies, or I'll 'ave me brother use a smiler on th' kid, got that?"

Deidre and Wiggins looked at each other. "Smilers" were blades sometimes used by thugs on the street -- so called because they could cut a man's throat from ear to ear.

"Yes, I've got it."

"Good," the man on the screen said, grinning nastily. "Be there a' one 'o' clock--an' remember--no Yardies."

Mrs. Fayre pushed another button, and the screen went blank.

"You have the money, Mrs. Fayre?" Holmes asked.

"Yes, yes of course," the woman said, not looking at him.

"Good. You and I shall be at that warehouse tomorrow at the time Mister Baxter has appointed."

Mrs. Fayre looked at him, wide-eyed. "But he said--"

"Madam, he said, 'No Yardies'. I am hardly a Yardie. I am in private practice now; unless the Lord above deems otherwise, I always shall be."

The woman's shoulders drooped. "I would appreciate the support."

"And you shall have it."

Holmes nodded to Tennyson's mother, then turned on his heel and headed for the door. "Come, Watson, Irregulars -- we have much work to do."

"Li'l 'un...."

The voice seemed to come through a tunnel.

"Li'l 'un, please...."

It got closer, and a little clearer.

Tennyson felt his upper body being shaken slightly.

"Please, li'l 'un, wake up. I'm beggin' you -- wake up! Please don't be dead."

Dead? No, he wasn't dead. If he were, he wouldn't be hearing what he was hearing.

Slowly, Tennyson opened his eyes. Everything was a blur for a moment; then he saw Jake's furrow-browed face above his. When Tennyson looked up at the man, the tension in his face relaxed.

"Oh, li'l fella, I'm so glad yer all right. I thought Mickey'd killed ya fer sure."

Tennyson swallowed, then coughed. Turning his head to the left, he saw Mickey's prone figure on the floor.

"'E was chokin' th' life outta you, 'e was. I got up an' wen' over to 'im, beggin' 'im to stop. 'E did stop, but t' turn around an' go after me. When 'e leaned over an' reached for me, 'e fell on the floor an' stayed there. I guess 'e passed out from the drinkin'."

Tennyson drew a deep breath and exhaled. Thank You, Lord.

When he looked up at Jake again, the man was glaring at his brother. "Don' you worry, li'l 'un. I'm not gonna let him 'urt you again. I'm not, I swear."

The boy blinked curious, but Jake gave no further explanation.

He looks so determined, Tennyson thought. He could only wonder what the man had in mind.

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