by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)
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
"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
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
"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
The lights dimmed. Still there was no sign of Holmes. The play
On to Part 9!
Back to part 7.
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