The Case of the Missing Irregular
by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
Holmes was back in his room and dressed before Watson could shut
the computer off, put his own coat on over his metallic frame and find the
"What do you think could have happened, Holmes?" the compudroid
asked as he got into the driver's seat of the car.
"I don't know, Watson," answered the detective, climbing into the
passenger's seat. "But judging from the fact that Caroline Fayre really
has nothing anyone would be interested in stealing, I fear the
Watson flew as fast as it was allowed by law through the sky over
New London. Within minutes, he was landing in front of the Fayre's home.
Holmes was immediately out of the car. Inspectors from the Yard
were everywhere. He saw the familiar face of Beth Lestrade, and headed for
No sooner had he gotten through the gate with Watson than Chief
Inspector Grayson came over to Lestrade's side.
"Lestrade, he's the last person who needs to be here," he
complained. "Why'd you call him?"
"Because it's in his interest, sir." Lestrade answered, taking a
step toward Holmes.
"Yes, personal interest," the Chief Inspector grumbled.
"Which is exactly why he shouldn't be here."
Holmes was directly in front of Lestrade by that time. "Good
morning, Chief Inspector," he said, then turned his eyes on his friend.
"Lestrade, what's happened?"
Inspector Lestrade looked down at the ground a moment, then
directly into his eyes. Her own, he noted, were hard and distressed.
"I'm afraid -- something not good, Holmes," she said, motioning
toward the open front door of the house. "You'd better go in."
Her words chilled the detective to the bone. He got the distinct
feeling that whatever it was had something to do with why he couldn't
sleep last night. Just before going in, he noted one of the inspectors
dusting the sill of an open window for fingerprints.
Inside, the air almost seemed to drop a few degrees. Holmes took
in the surroundings of the normally quaint-seeming sitting room: two
inspectors were in a corner comparing notes, and on the couch by the wall
to the right was a woman whose clothes were disheveled, as if she had
dressed without taking much thought. Her hair had been pulled hastily
back, and the blue ribbon in her hair was knotted.
Holmes walked over and placed a hand gently on her shoulder. "Miss
She lifted her face out of her hands and looked up at him. Her
dark blue eyes were red and puffy, either from lack of sleep or crying, or
"Mister Holmes," she said in a weak voice. "Thank the Lord you're
"What has happened, Miss Fayre?" Watson asked.
The woman looked up at them both, and opened her mouth slightly.
Instead of speaking, she closed her mouth and turned her gaze toward the
Holmes took it as a cue. "Come, Watson."
He left the woman on the couch, walked around the coffee table and
headed down the hall. He could not remember the last time his heart had
pounded so hard. He was barely aware of Watson's steps behind him.
At the end of the hall was the lavatory, and to the right the door
to Miss Fayre's room. Holmes took note of a length of rope which had been
dropped just inside the woman's bedroom door.
He turned to the left, and the open door to the second bedroom.
Not meaning to ignore Watson, but because his mouth and throat had
gone dry, Holmes stepped into the room without saying anything. After
swallowing a few times, he began to be analytical.
"Judging from the direction the bedding has been pulled, Watson, I
surmise that someone came in here, stood on this side, and hauled our
young friend right out of his bed."
That was obvious, even to Watson, seeing that the other side of
the bed was against the wall. "Holmes," he said quietly, "Are you all
Holmes swallowed hard, and ran his hand over the blue cotton on the
top of the quilt. "Such fine stitching...I'm sure Miss Fayre made this
herself." He shuddered, wondering what hard, cold environment his young
friend could be in now. "Come, Watson, we must ask Miss Fayre what
Watson let his friend pass him and go out the door. After eyeing
the empty hoverchair in the far corner of the room, he followed.
On to Part 5!
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