A rose in London - Sherlock Holmes
Chapter 5 - A ghost
Sherlock, though it was hard to tell by the serious expression on his face, was ecstatic that you were joining them. With Watson leaving him on his own and going off to marry Mary, Sherlock saw potential with you as his partner if you turned out to enjoy this kind of work. You explained to him as you got in the carriage, back at Baker Street, that you had never done anything like this before. The detective made a silence promise that we do what it took to keep you interested, and perhaps even show off a little.
He was Sherlock Holmes after all.
The carriage took you to the graveyard where Blackwood's body had been buried after his hanging. It was a large resting place with many headstones lined neatly next to one another. It was a graveyard, nothing particularly interesting about it. Well, other than a dead man raising from a grave here.
Sherlock helped you out of the carriage when it stopped, taking your arm in his as you looked around at the few people here. John took note of the way Sherlock seemed to keep you close. It had been a long time since he had seen Sherlock behave in such a way with another human.
This made him further that he was right about Sherlock liking you.
"Who do you think won the match, Clarky?" John asked the office who had come by earlier to fetch Sherlock.
"The rugby match." John pointed at some drag lines made in the dirt with his cane. "Your boys have done a good job at obliterating any potential evidence."
"At least they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Sherlock chimed in.
You neared the opening of where Blackwood had been buried. The whole place was a mess, looking as if someone had broken in.... or out.
"You took your time, Holmes." Lestrade called from within. He climbed up the stairs and made his appearance as Sherlock let go of your arm slowly and neared him.
"And on the third day." Sherlock joked.
"These slabs of sandstone are half a ton each and were smashed open from the inside." Lestrade explained.
A shiver ran down your spine. Your guess would have been just that. Most of the mess was up on the ground, if someone was breaking in then you would think the mess would fall down the stairs, laying underground where the man was buried.
Did he really rise from the grave?
"Lestrade, what of the coffin?" Sherlock asked, serious face on.
"We are in the process of bringing it up now."
The other officers were all grouped together, watching. You felt nervous all of a sudden. You couldn't possibly believe a dead man really did come back to life and walk right out. It was just impossible, and considering who the man in question was, you feared of what he would so if he really had come back. Was killing all those people not enough?
"Hm, right. At what stage of the process?" Sherlock asked. No one else had moved and there was no coffin as of yet. How could Sherlock possibly impress you with his skills if there was nothing to work with. Scotland Yard was making him look like a fool. "And how is our witness?"
"He's over there." Lestrade nodded ahead. "And apparently he's cata... cat...." He turned to another officer.
"He's not feeling very well." Lestrade simplified.
Lestrade sighed and walked over to his officers, demanding they bring the coffin up. You joined Sherlock's side as he looked up at the surrounding environment. John Watson went to talk to the witness.
"You don't actually think this is all real do you?" You asked him softly.
"I won't know unless I find evidence." He smiled at you. "If the inspector could do his job, I might have found something by now." He complained. "Having fun?"
"It is rather thrilling, I just say." You grinned. "I can't wait to see you in action."
"All in good time, my dear."
Sherlock sat down on the rubble, you knelt down beside him as he picked up some of the stone and licked it. You furrowed your brow at him, but he didn't say anything. His mind was already at work.
You heard John argue with Lestrade over the fact that Watson has pronounced the man dead. A man with no pulse speaks for itself.
A black coffin with intricate design, appearing undamaged by anything, was brought up the surface. Sherlock remained close to your side as you both neared it. You were scared to know what was going to be inside. If Blackwood's body was in there, as it should be, then this was nothing but a horrid joke. If he wasn't in there.... well, you wondered what would happen next.
Sherlock seemed to sense your nerves and placed a comforting hand on your lower back.
John and Lestrade both took crowbars and began to pry the coffin open. Your heartbeat was racing. You were glad to have Sherlock there with you. The lid of the coffin flew open and you gasped rather loudly.
The man in the coffin was most defiantly not Blackwood. He had ginger hair and was rather short. That much was easy to tell even with all the dirt he was covered in.
"Is that...?" You whispered.
"It would appear so." Sherlock muttered. His mind was racing with thoughts.
"That's not Blackwood." Lestrade pointed out.
"Well, now we have a firm grasp of the obvious." Sherlock said, sarcasm laced in his voice. Sherlock opened up a tool kit and looked to John. "Time of death?"
Both men knelt down over the corpse and John began to work it out.
"Between ten and twelve hours ago." John estimated.
"Can I borrow your pen?" Sherlock asked Lestrade. He handed it over. Sherlock used it to push up the dead man's upper lip, revealing he had no front teeth.
"Midget." Sherlock corrected him. He handed the pen back to Lestrade who grasped it within his handkerchief. You couldn't blame him.
Sherlock removed his hat and ran his fingers through his thick dark hair. You watched him curiously. He was taking all the information in and trying to piece them together. You were intrigued.
Sherlock placed his hat on the corpse.
"I know what I saw." The witness came forward. "It was Blackwood. As clear as I see you. And when the dead walk, the living will fill these coffins." He spoke menacingly. You felt rather uncomfortable.
While listening to the witness give a warning, you didn't see Sherlock take the ginger's pocket watch as he picked up his hat once again.
"Well, um." Sherlock attached his tool pouch to his belt and tucked it under his coat. He offered you his arm which you took gratefully and he nodded at Lestrade, leading you away from the coffin. You heard the Inspector order them to put the lid back on the coffin.
"You really believe he was resurrected?" John asked Sherlock, still not believing any of this to be true. How could it be?
"Question is not 'if' but 'how?' The game is afoot. Follow your spirit-" John chimed in with the rest. "-and upon this charge cry God for Harry, England and Saint George."
Sherlock turned to you.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes. I think. I'm not sure, actually. I was hoping it would be Blackwood within that coffin." You sighed. "What a strange occurrence."
Sherlock gave your hand a fond pat and gave your arm a small squeeze. You weren't asking to go home, so he felt like he was doing alright so far.
"Where are we going?"
"To look for answers." Sherlock replied.
You find yourself on a busy street with the boys. People were bustling about getting on with their day, non the wiser to anything that had happened. Your morning had been far from normal so far, it was strange to think no one else had a clue.
"There you are." John said holding out a small batch of chips in a newspaper cone. "Why that certain fish and chip stand?"
Sherlock was just being picky about his food, but you admitted it tasted good when he offered you some. This was also Sherlock trying to impress you some more, but he was being rather sneaky about it.
"You know, Holmes, I've seen things in war I don't understand. I once met a man who predicted his own death right down to the number and placement of bullets that killed him." John said. "You have to admit, Holmes, that a supernatural explanation to this case is theoretically possible."
"It sounded to be earlier that you were the one who didn't believe." You pointed out. Sherlock chuckled.
"It's a huge mistake to theorise before one has data. Inevitably, one begins to twist facts to shoot theories, instead of theories to shoot facts. That said, I believe, we have the key to this." Sherlock held up the pocket watch he had taken from the ginger man. "Right, scratches round the keyhole, where the watch was wound. What does that tell you?"
"The man was likely a drunk." John replied. "Every time he wound the watch his hand would slip, hence the scratches.
"Yes. Very good, Watson. You have developed considerable deductive powers of your own. Hmm, I can see now there are several sets of initials."
"Pawn broker marks."
"Excellent. Most recent of which are M.H." Sherlock muttered that several times, but you looked up in sync with John to see, conveniently, "Maddison & Haig." You all said together. A pawn shop.
"They should be able to give us an address." Sherlock said, looking at you. You were smiling at him.
"Funny." You muttered, following him into the shop.
"What a coincidence." John chuckled, following after you both. "There is one thing you failed to deduce from the watch, Holmes."
"Really? I think not."
"The time. I have to get back, Holmes. I'm taking tea with the in-laws." John stated.
"Look at your future, sir!" A woman called out. A gypsy woman, and apparently a fortune teller. First ghosts, then this.
"Absolutely not." Sherlock said firmly, guiding you past the woman.
"No thank you ma'am." John added.
"You need to hear what I have to tell you." She pointed at John.
"We have no need of your lucky hella, gypsy woman."
"Not even to do with Mary?" She asked.
You all stopped and looked at John. The woman reached for his hand and looked at it. He looked interested now. You glanced at Sherlock, unsure.
"Oh, oh, I see two men. Brothers, not in blood, but bond."
Sherlock shifted in his spot. This made you curious. She was obviously talking about the two men beside you. John spoke fondly of Sherlock and since meeting the detective you had seen how close they were.
"What of Mary?" John asked.
"For Mary, for marriage, oh, you will be married!"
He nodded, "go on."
"Oh, I see, patterned table cloths and, oh, china figurines, oh, lace doilies!" She sounded more disgusted about such trivial things. You were not impressed and came to the conclusion, bu his expression alone, that Sherlock has paid this woman to say all of this.
You looked at him with a blank look, but he wasn't paying any attention.
"Doilies." Sherlock muttered.
"Lace doilies?" John looked at Sherlock. "Holmes, does your depravity know no bounds?"
"Oh, she turns to fat and, oh, she has a beard." The woman continued.
"What about the warts?" Sherlock asked, looking at nothing in particular.
"Oh, she's covered in warts."
"Enough!" John pulled his hand back and you gave Sherlock a slap on the arm. He turned his gaze to you, pouting a little bit.
"Most apt prediction." Sherlock said, moving closer to Watson. "Preciously the reason you can't find a suitable ring."
"Do you have my money?" John asked.
"You are terrified of a life without the thrill of the macabre."
"Do you have my money?" John asked again.
"Admit it, Admit it!"
"Give me my money!" John yelled.
"ADMIT IT!" Sherlock yelled back.
Sherlock turned around and saw what John was looking at. You turned around to see, in perfect condition, sitting beautifully in an open box, a gorgeous engagement ring in the pawn shop. Looked like John had found what he was looking for after all.
Though you felt sorry for Sherlock. He didn't want John to marry and leave their wonderful duo. He had gone to some extreme measure to try and put Watson off marrying.
"Oh, I see." Sherlock turned back to John and handed over the winnings from the match.
"Thank you." John took it and went inside.
The woman left you both alone.
"Is John marrying Mary really that bad?" You asked him.
"Yes." He muttered. You concluded he was just being a child about the whole thing, but you reached out and laced your arm with his. He seemed to welcome the gesture and even leaned into your side a bit as you both followed John into the store.
John bought the ring.
"Well, you got your ring and I got my address for the midget. It should be just there." Sherlock pointed just ahead.
"I think she'll really like this." John said, looking at the ring and then putting it into his pocket. "And, I have some change in my pocket."
Sherlock glanced down at a small game being played to he right. He gave you a look, knowing John was looking too. The good doctor was sure to have an itch to get involved with the money left over.
"Should I look after it for you?" Sherlock offered, holding out his hand.
"Don't give it away here."
John put the change in his pocket, agreeing with Sherlock. "I have to go see Mary."
"Give her my best, and her family as well."
You waved to John as you carried on with Sherlock, not interested on going anywhere else. You wanted to help Sherlock on his case, if you could possibly so such. Being a detective was becoming rather fun and you would be lying if you said you weren't enjoying it at least somewhat.
Sherlock held the door open for you as you walked into building. He was grateful you were still with him.
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