The Case of the Missing Irregular
by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
Mrs. Fayre shivered. She had come just where Tennyson's
kidnapper had told her -- and now was standing in front of a stack of
crates. Directly across from her was an old warehouse. Mrs. Fayre
stared intently at the door.
Come on, you bloody cretin! she thought. If you've
harmed my boy....
She looked around. Where on earth was Mister Holmes? He said
he'd be there....
"Good day, madam."
Mrs. Fayre looked to her left. An old man with bushy grey
hair and an equally bushy moustache came hobbling around the side of
the crates with a cane.
"Sir," she said, "I'm sorry, but I'm waiting here for
someone -- I must ask you -- I beg you to leave."
The old man waved a hand. "Yes, yes, you're waiting for
Mister Holmes," he said in a voice that sounded like a squeak that
needed oiling. "Well, he decided it would be better to send me --
that I'd be less threatening."
Tennyson's mother felt the blood drain from her face. She
was appalled -- how could Holmes do this to her? How could
he do it to Tennyson -- who he seemed to be so concerned about
before? What help would this old man be?
No time for that, now, she thought to herself.
I must get my son back -- even if I have to do it myself!
She squared her shoulders and turned back to face the
warehouse door. "Very well. I suppose Mister Holmes knows what he's
Mrs. Fayre looked impatiently at her watch. It was seven
minutes after one.
"Blast -- where are they?"
"Lookin' fer me, Missus Fayre?"
She and the old man looked toward the door, which was now
open. Against the doorframe leaned the figure of the now familiar
Mrs. Fayre's eyes narrowed. "What have you done with my
son!?" she demanded.
"Now, don't get yer knickers in a twist," the man said,
laughing. "You'll 'ave 'im back in a minute. Now, where's th'
The woman was about to demand that Baxter bring Tennyson to
her first, when she felt a hand on her arm.
Looking down, she saw the old man with his hand on her
arm. He shook his head slightly. "Now, ma'am, y' don't demand
things o' this type," he said in a low tone.
For a moment Mrs. Fayre wondered how the old man would know
such things, then she looked back at Mickey Baxter. "I have the
money," she said, holding up a briefcase in her right hand.
Beside her, the old man's strangely keen eyes were moving
around. He caught a movement behind some crates about fifty meters
from where he and Mrs. Fayre stood.
Behind the crates, Wiggins looked up at Deidre from where he
squatted, ready to get up at a moment's notice. "Well, what's
"Mrs. Fayre just showed Baxter the briefcase with the money
in it," she answered, frowning. "No sign of Tennyson."
"He's gotta be in that warehouse," Wiggins said. "I wish we
could do something besides sit here."
Deidre got down on her haunches next to him and looked him in
the eye. "So do I, Wiggins, so do I."
On the other side of the crates, at the warehouse door,
Mickey Baxter had pushed himself away from the doorframe and stood
up. "Have the old man bring me th' money," he said.
"What?!" the woman cried, looking down at the
hunched-over figure beside her.
"Jus' gimme the case, ma'am," the old man whispered in the
squeak that was his voice, holding out his hand. "We want t' get
yer boy back, don' we?"
Mrs. Fayre growled and gritted her teeth. For all she knew,
this old man was in league with her son's kidnappers. She'd give
him the money, he'd take off with his cohorts, and she'd never see
her boy again.
The old man looked up at her, his eyes keen and sharp.
"Missus Fayre -- hurry it up, now. We can't keep this fella waitin'."
Tennyson's mother looked down at the man, then over at Mickey
Baxter, who had a sickening grin on his face.
The old man beside her jumped a bit, and Baxter's eyes
"No!" Mrs. Fayre repeated. "For all I know, you've slit my
boy's throat and dumped him in the Thames! Now where is
he!?! Tell me, or you won't see any of this money!"
On to Part 18
Back to part 16.
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