The Phantom

Chapter Eight

by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at

Holmes spent the next few days in research in and out of Baker Street at all hours of the day and night, the almost luminous shine to his eyes growing more with each excursion out of the apartments. Inspector Beth Lestrade left various messages with Watson on many occasions trying to quiz Holmes about his intentions and the case, but it was only on Tuesday when the great Detective of Baker Street began to reveal his plans. Roger had indeed visited Baker Street on the previous day. After a short interview with Holmes alone he left looking even more worn and pale than before, nervous and agitated. To Watson, Holmes would only stress that all things would become clearer as the performance approached; the droid waited.

Lestrade appeared looking like thunder on Tuesday evening. Her hair was brushed and pulled back and she was in civilian attire; she'd even bothered with a little makeup. She sunk in a chair and took up the cup that Watson offered her, more to rid her hands of the London chill than to drink the contents.

"Sherlock Holmes, I have been trying to contact you for three days. Have you any idea how busy the police department is at the moment...."

Holmes smiled at Lestrade and his eyes shone in amusement. There was nothing the master of crime enjoyed more than tormenting the police force, especially Lestrade. Holmes was back in the disguise of the press officer Mr King, and Watson had once more removed his mask to reveal the Cyclops-like eye. Lestrade had been less than amused to be greeted by the moustached Scotsman on entering Baker street; Holmes had almost gotten himself arrested for breaking and entering before the evening had even began.

"My apologies, Inspector, I have been out. The frequent excursions have been most valuable. This will be, when all is done, an interesting case, but it still has the potential to be extremely dangerous. We must be careful." With that Holmes told Lestrade all about the previous weeks: the visit of Miss Morris, Roger, the passageway, the missing costume and props, and the previous death of the Phantom during the play. Lestrade listened carefully throughout.

"I remember reading the book a long time ago. Holmes, the man was deranged..."

"And in a sense so is this Phantom, Lestrade, but much will become clear as the evening progresses. Come. We must go or the play will have started without us."

The school hall was full almost to bursting point, proud parents lining the rows and rows of chairs, as did teachers, well-wishers and the occasional few who had just come to see a play. Holmes, Lestrade and Watson found themselves a space at the side of the stage. Mrs Lakes soon saw them and bustled over; her face looked pink and shiny. She grasped Holmes' hand and eyed up Lestrade with a critical eye.

"Soooo good to see you again, Mr King, and you've brought the photo droid back, I see...and who's this?"

Lestrade controlled a laugh as Holmes slid into his Scottish accent. "This is mi assistant, Gloria Davis -- performing arts specialist -- graduated only last year so she's on a training programme with the paper."

Mrs Lakes gripped her hand like a vise. "Always good to see new faces, Miss Davis. Now if you will both excuse me. So much to do, so little time." Mrs Lakes moved off into the crowds again.

Lestrade frowned and spoke in a whisper. "She looks nervous, Holmes -- too nervous."

Holmes laughed brashly and smacked her on the back, nearly knocking her over. Lestrade turned to hit him with the notepad but then saw a pale woman standing behind her.

"Shut up and help Tinny with the camera, Gloria; the show starts soon. Ah, Mrs Morris...."

Lestrade didn't hear the rest of the conversation between Holmes and the pale woman. Watson tried to zoom in the fitted camera; Lestrade helped when the mechanism got stuck.

"I've no idea where he got this from," said the droid, still managing to pull a look of disgust even without the mask. "But it's dashed uncomfortable."

"You're a robot. How in heck can it feel uncomfortable?"

Watson looked taken aback. "When you have someone else's insides placed in your storage compartment for a couple of hours, see how you like it."

The lights dimmed. Still there was no sign of Holmes. The play started.

On to Part 9!

Back to part 7.

Back to the fanfic index