The Case of the Missing Irregular

Part 18

by Stacey (SST205 at


Behind the crates, Wiggins and Deidre heard Mrs. Fayre's demand. "Oh, man--that can't be good," Wiggins said, looking ready to run out from behind the crates.

"No, it certainly can't," Deidre agreed, placing a hand on his arm to remind him to stay put. She swallowed and peered over the top of the crates again.

"Missus Fayre," Baxter said, having regained his composure. "I'll only tell y' once not t' do that again, 'r I'll bring yer boy out here 'n' cut 'is throat right in fron' a' you. "

Tennyson's mother drew a deep breath and exhaled shakily. "Please--please, just give me back my son." she said in a much lower tone. A tear slid down her cheek.

"There now, ma'am," the old man next to her said, patting her arm. "It'll be all right, I promise you." With that statement, he slipped the handle of the briefcase out of her hand and into his own.

Mrs. Fayre was frozen. She watched the old man hobble off with the money toward Baxter, thinking That old man probably doesn't know Holmes at all. He's probably in league with the men who have my son. I'm never going to see Tennyson again.

Inside, lying on the floor, Tennyson strained to hear what was going on outside. All that came to him were muffled voices. Oh, Lord, please let this be over, soon. I just want to go home!

The sound of quick footsteps came to his still-aided ear. Looking toward the entrance in the boxes, Tennyson saw Jake Baxter. "Sorry, lad, I can't untie y' now," the man said, squatting down and taking the boy in his arms. "There's no time. We've got t' go."

Go? Tennyson thought. Oh, mother, I want so much to see you again. But, what had the man meant by; 'There's no time?'

The older Baxter brother stood up and carried him to the entrance in the boxes. Tennyson looked to see Mickey Baxter standing in the doorway, his hands on his hips and his foot tapping. "Come on, old man, I 'aven't go' all day!"

Tennyson thought that Jake was going to take him to the door when his brother received the ransom that had been demanded. Instead, the man carrying him turned the opposite direction and headed toward the back of the warehouse.

"Don' you worry, lad," Jake said as he hurried toward the back exit. "I'm no' gonna let me brother 'urt you anymore." With that statement, he pushed the bar on the door with his hip. The door came open, and Jake carried Tennyson outside.

For a moment, Tennyson closed his eyes against the bright sunlight. How long had it been since he'd been out in it? It felt so good.

When the boy opened his eyes again, he looked over Jake's shoulder. Instead of being around the front of the warehouse, where he was sure his mother was waiting for him, he saw that the back of the warehouse was farther away.

Tennyson looked up at the man who carried him with dismay, and thought the words he wished he had the voice to speak: Where are you taking me?!?


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