So while I have no idea where the bulk of my day went, I did spent some time writing. And while I’m not sure where the rambling was going (seemed like filler writing, getting from one place to another and not writing the scenes I’m wanting to write) I did make some words and got closer to where something will be happening!
Of course, sometimes this happens. I write myself into a corner and have to work through the spot. Or, in my head, I knew I had to get somewhere and had an empty day for my characters. While I didn’t especially want to write the day out, I found I couldn’t quite just skip it. So, a long Chapter 38 that I hadn’t expected at all. Looking forward to the following morning, but I have at least one or two chapters until that time. So chapter 40 or 41 is a large part of done, I just have to GET THERE. Ugh. 🙂
I spent the morning passed out quite nicely in bed, after waking up an hour after I fell asleep last night with spasming leg cramps that had me walking around and swearing for ten minutes. It was great inspiration for John, actually, in chapters 36 and 37, but as those chapters were already done before, I didn’t need the timely reminder of how much they suck.
I wrote a little on a one-shot that crawled into my head. A second one, actually, since I started on a different one the other day. Damn brain. I barely have the energy to work on this long bastard, much less get interrupted by weird Sherlock Snow White and Gambling John mistress fics. Gah.
Yes, those were intentional teasers. 🙂
I did weird research. Did you know that the hairs of violin bows can get eaten by bugs, particularly when shut in violin cases for long periods of time? And that in 1815, John’s pistol would have to have been a flintlock? And that there really weren’t many universities in London at the time? And Regent’s park wasn’t built yet, which would be the park closest to them at Baker St.? And for the Gambling John fic, I had to decide what sort of game he’d play, whether faro or hazard or piquet or whatever, and also what the heck those were? And that while Queen Victoria took mourning to a new level, there was still mourning and half-mourning and such in the Regency era?
This is not to mention the research on fashion, and whether they’d have a coal fire or a wood fire (in the city it would most likely be coal since wood would be more scarce), and whether there were aquariums or not (mostly not). I had to look up what type of night-clothes people would wear because there’s a definite nightshirt scene coming up and Sherlock wearing a banyan and drawers just for fun. Also, two of the books I mention actually exist, though I’m not sure if Sherlock would have thought the Albini’s illustrations proper; apparently the illustrator set skeletons in woods and quaint settings and there was a scientific furor. So Sherlock might like it for its accuracy or for its somewhat macabre pictures, or he might have hated it for being somewhat sentimental. And humoralism! Jeez.
And keep in mind, I’m doing this in the most half-assed way possible! I’m deliberately leaving in anachronisms just because I prefer certain things or certain references. Gotta give props to those who write even trashy historical romances for a living! Researching every dang detail is hard! 🙂 I also use thesaurus.com about three times a page because I can never think of quite the right word.
With John tucked away for the night, Sherlock went up to his room and adjusted his clothing to his comfort. The dreadful cravat flew towards the fireplace and only the lack of aerodynamics inherent in a wadded strip of silk saved it from being ash. The close-fitting jacket and waistcoat were next, replaced with a dark blue silk banyan which he let drape around him rather than tying it closed. He slipped his feet out of his dress shoes and into a much more comfortable pair for around the house.
When he went past John’s door downstairs, he could hear the man inside readying for bed, limping across the room, crawling between the rustling sheets and sighing as he settled in. Light still glowed from underneath the door, brightly, as if a lamp had remained lit just beside the door. Logic would indicate that the light would remain by the bedside so that John could extinguish it without walking across the room in the dark. Conclusions: he meant it to remain lit; childish habit, unlikely; unfamiliar bed, likely; consistently woken by dreams from the war, possibly.
Sherlock continued on into the sitting room and glanced around at the crates of books stacked around. He frowned. Mycroft had deliberately instructed that the books be packed away in random order, instead of taking them off the shelves in the proper order so they could be more easily reshelved. They appeared to be sorted due to size, height and then width. It would take the rest of the night to reorganize them.
Sherlock emptied the first few boxes out onto the floor, made a few calculations in his head of the length of the available shelving, and began placing books where they would belong. He drank the tea Matthews had left for him, though after the first two mouthfuls, it had gone cold. He drank it anyway, in one long gulp. It sloshed a bit uncomfortably in his belly for a few minutes, but the sensation was lost as Sherlock set his mind to the completion of the task before him.
By the time the fire had died down due to lack of attendance and the room began to chill, Sherlock had discovered that Mycroft had kept the second volume of his favorite treatise on medicinal herbs, his copy of Albini’s Tabulae Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani and, most grievously, both volumes of Charles Johnson’s A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates. The villain. All could be replaced, true, but the first two were already full of his notes and corrections and repeating himself on a new text would be tedious.
Sherlock was distracted from his indignation by a noise from John’s room, part exclamation, part groan.
Nightmares, then. He tilted his head towards the sound, listening closely. There was no sound for several minutes, but then the covers rustled and the bed creaked. Feet hit the floor. Floorboards creaked as footsteps padded slowly around the bed, back and forth just the length of the bed as if John was using it for support.
Sherlock glanced at the face of the clock on the mantle, without moving from his kneeling position by the bookshelves. Nearly half three and John was pacing clumsily in his room. Sherlock continued to listen as John, for nearly half an hour, paced, never once sitting, never once climbing back into bed.
Sherlock could hear him so clearly, he may have been sitting in the room watching. That was one of the things Sherlock so loved about the dark hours: so few other distractions. People were mostly asleep and the world was as close to still as it ever got. The flow of information slowed to a crawl and Sherlock’s brain, well, it never rested or he would be dangerously bored, but it could process only the information Sherlock himself introduced.
When the ticking clock neared four, Sherlock heard John sigh and climb back into his bed. After a few minutes, Sherlock stood, knees hardly stiff thanks to Mummy and her ridiculous insistence on hours of kneeling prayer when he was bad. He wrapped his banyan tighter around his waist and installed himself on the sofa. Mrs. Hudson had kindly left a knit blanket draped over the back, so he curled up with that, too.
Sleepless John filled Sherlock’s mind. He’d not come out of his room to see if Sherlock was still awake, doubtless assuming he wasn’t. He’d barely left the side of the bed, until the end when he’d stirred the dampened fire a little and added a little coal. His step had not been steady or regular as he shuffled about. Aside from that first noise upon waking, though, John hadn’t made another sound that Sherlock could hear. Sherlock’s deduction turned from nightmare to pain, and pain regular enough that John was used to it, that he bore it without complaint.
That thought made Sherlock’s nerves tingle in odd places, above his upper palate, in his throat. He swallowed a few times and the feeling dissipated. Odd. Sherlock closed his eyes and listened more intently. He couldn’t hear John breathing beyond the wall separating them and above the flames in the fireplace. John didn’t snore and if he made any soft snuffling noises when he slept, they weren’t loud enough to detect from here.
Still, Sherlock was content with the lack of further shuffling that John had fallen back asleep, and he let himself follow suit.
John woke far too early for his liking, but his body reacted to the light streaming in around the edges of the heavy curtains on his window. He stayed abed for a quarter of an hour more, trying to fall back asleep, but even as tired as he was, his brain wasn’t having it. He finally got up and used the bell pull. By the time he’d used the chamber pot and pulled on the thick damask dressing robe draped across the foot of his bed, Matthews was knocking lightly at his door.
John hobbled over to the chair by the fireplace and Matthews moved a small table to his side, laying tea out for him. There were plenty of warm scones as well, with jam and cream.
“Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?” Matthews seemed more than efficient; in just a few moments he had built up the fire, gathered up the clothing John had worn yesterday, carried away John’s boots for polishing, and laid a lap rug over John’s legs as he warmed himself in his chair by the hearth.
“No, I think I’m perfectly situated for a while, thank you.” John would be quite comfortable spending a good portion of his morning exactly where he sat. His leg had cramped up in the middle of the night, every muscle from hip to ankle twitching in its turn. It wouldn’t be quite so unbearable if the muscles in his calf wouldn’t spasm at the same time as the ones on the front of his ankle. He couldn’t stretch the one without painfully indulging the other. The spasms had taken their toll, as well; his leg still ached from the strain of the contracting muscle.
“Very well, sir. Ring when you wish to dress.”
Matthews left the room and Sherlock burst in only a few seconds later.
“When will you be ready to go to the shops, John?”
Sherlock was fully dressed, splendid in a midnight blue velvet jacket with a powder blue waistcoat peeking from the cutaway. The dark color accented the darkness of his hair and the brightness of his eyes. He settled into the chair opposite John’s and stretched out his long legs in their buff breeches and tall boots.
“Are we going to the shops?” John replied more calmly than he felt, his quiet morning invaded by a restless Sherlock. “Have you eaten?”
“I ate yesterday after the wedding.”
“That’s a no, then.” John split a scone and spread it liberally with the jam and clouted cream and handed the small plate to Sherlock. “There’s a second cup on the tray; would you like tea as well?”
Sherlock took the plate with a belabored sigh, but finished every crumb. He took the tea with less complaint, ordering three sugars.
“Did you sleep?”
“A little, on the sofa, after I’d finished with my books. Mycroft stole my favorite one; I’ll have to send him a bill for a dozen others.”
“So the bookshop, then.” Sherlock nodded in agreement.
“I received a notice from Harris’ that an idiot of whom I’ve made the unfortunate acquaintance has published his thoughts on the sciences. I plan to correct the text and return it to him.”
Oh, so many questions. John almost laughed.
“But what if he’s written something correct?”
“Unlikely,” Sherlock scoffed. “His mentor is a man named Fortager who still believes in balancing the bodily humours.”
“That’s a respected viewpoint, Sherlock,” John said, just to see what Sherlock might say.
“It’s an idea almost two thousand years old, John! How can we, with all the advances in the recent age, believe in a theory propagated by such scientifically backward generations?”
“The ancient Greeks were hardly backward, Sherlock.”
Sherlock continued as if John hadn’t said a word, and certainly didn’t notice the tilting up of the corner of John’s mouth.
“I could spend my lifetime disproving such prattle and nonsense, but it would be futile. One would think that a simple microscope and cadaver would be enough to teach these fools differently, but they only allow evidence in front of their eyes that confirm their prejudices. It’s the worst kind of scientific theory!”
It was then Sherlock apparently noticed John’s smile, for he ceased his haughty lecture.
“You trained as a doctor, yet you don’t believe in humoralism either?”
“I’m of a slightly more modern viewpoint, yes, and I think there is a lot we don’t yet know about the human body. Keeping strictly to old ideas is limiting to progress.”
“You were just having me on, then?”
John tried to hide his smile behind his teacup. “It is fairly easy to wind you up, apparently.”
“John!” But then Sherlock’s stern face broke into a grin. They chuckled together a moment.
“I must say I’m quite relieved, John. At least we won’t have to have an awkward conversation about bloodletting if I ever grow ill.”
“No, I’ve seen the results of losing too much blood. It didn’t improve the health of anyone on the battlefield.” John hadn’t meant for his statement to come out so seriously, but Sherlock reacted as such.
“No, I imagine it didn’t.”
There was a moment of grim silence before John spoke again.
“So what else are we shopping for?”
“Glassware for an experiment. I’ve a special item on order at Edgers and Sons.”
“I suppose I ought to hurry and dress, then, so advancements in scientific experimentation by the great Sherlock Holmes are not further delayed.”
Sherlock didn’t leave the room as John dressed, so he dragged his lap robe with him before flicking it onto the bed. His dressing gown was long enough to nearly touch the floor, and as long as he wasn’t walking towards Sherlock, it hid the scarring on his leg well enough. John rang the bell for Matthews, who might have been waiting on the other side of the door with the basin of warm water for as quickly as he appeared.
John stepped behind the screen in the corner, washed, and only reappeared when he had the majority of his clothing about his person. John’s new clothing had been installed in his new home, but he looked at the knit sweaters from Mrs. Phillips sitting in a drawer next to his worn buckskins with longing. He felt a bit like he was wearing a stranger’s clothes. Matthews helped with the buttons and ties and coat, straightening him up quite tidily. In no time at all, he was ready to hobble along the market street after his husband. He had to admit that, with walking sticks being in fashion, he looked quite dapper. If he leaned a little more heavily on it than other gentlemen, well, no one would say anything.
The bookshop was within walking distance, and John felt healthier with the morning sun on his face and the warmth of a good walk in his legs. In the places where the cobbles were rougher, Sherlock took John’s hand and wrapped it around his elbow for balance.
“Pick out anything you like, John,” Sherlock directed as they stepped into a warm bookshop that smelled of leather and paper and the tangy scent of ink.
“Oh, I’m sure I can make do with the books in your library, Sherlock. There are bound to be dozens I’ve never read.”
“I will tell you if the books you pick out are already in my library. We’ve no need for frugality on Mycroft’s tab. Go. Buy something.”
Sherlock fell into conversation with the shop owner, someone apparently well-acquainted with Sherlock’s preferences. John looked about himself in a bit of awe. There were quite a few books around when he was growing up, but they weren’t really intended for reading. They arrived by the crate and later disappeared the same way. He had his medical texts, certainly, but much of what he had learned was by apprenticeship and practice.
Now, faced with such choice, he grappled with indecision. What did he want? He moved to the nearest shelf, eyes flicking over the gilding on the spines. He could have anything. John walked from section to section, reading labels and pulling random books off the shelves. He felt like the whole world was crammed into this tiny shop in London and he was welcome to venture anywhere.
In the end, he selected two travelogues, one about Egypt and one about the West Indies. He might be able to ask Petrina Holmes how accurate it was to her experiences if she visited. When he carried them up to the counter, Sherlock merely glanced at him and said, “Only two?” and added them to his growing pile.
Sherlock signed his name to the bill and gave the direction of Lord Sherrinford while smirking. The shop owner didn’t seem surprised in the least; of course, Sherlock had been charging to his brother’s accounts all his life. Sherlock made further instruction for delivery of the books to Baker Street before taking John’s arm and strolling back into the street.
“Is there anything else you have need of while we’re out, John?”
“I can’t think of anything I need. Everything seems to have been taken care of for me.”
“Yes, well, that’s Mycroft at his most overbearing. He’ll make all the arrangements for every breath you take, if you let him.”
They stopped at Edgers and Sons, which turned out to be a small forge. The air inside smelled hot and smoky. Workers spun long tubes with glowing bubbles of molten glass on the ends, handling them as easily as if they were children’s toys. To the side of the glassworks was a glittering shop full of their wares. The front room held all the decorative items, pleasing to the eye and glinting at the passersby. Sherlock walked through this without looking and entered a back room more practically stocked with flasks and bottles and jars.
“Mr. Holmes, good day!” greeted one of the young men bustling about this second room. “Father just finished your project yesterday. It’s quite a beauty.”
“Excellent. Let’s have a look, shall we?”
John followed with curiosity as the young shopkeeper led them down a hallway and into the forge proper. At the end was a table with a sizable glass tank perched on top. Five large panes of glass were edged with metal framing. A lid of sorts fastened on with hinges and a locking mechanism. The lid was partially solid, partially fine mesh webbing.
“It’s completely secure?” Sherlock continued to examine the finished product minutely.
“What’s it for? A pet?”
“Of a sort. We’re picking that up later.”
“And you’re not going to tell me?”
A smile played on Sherlock’s lips as he straightened up. “No, it’s a surprise. Pack it up and send it to 221 Baker Street, Edgers.”
“Of course Mr. Holmes. This very afternoon.”
John kept his curiosity to himself as much as he was able.
“Where to next, Sherlock?”
“Lestrade has promised we could speak to some of the families of his missing persons.”
“He isn’t going to have them try to identify the body parts, is he?” John followed Sherlock out onto the street where he hailed a hack in record time.
“To Bow Street,” he directed, climbing inside. “No, John. It is unlikely that the families would be able to recognize a foot or hand separate from the rest of the body, especially after preservation methods. Most people aren’t terribly observant anyway, and there were no particularly distinguishing marks on any of them. Even if we do discover the rest of the body, it may be so decomposed that the face will be unrecognizable.”
“So what can they tell us that isn’t in the files?”
“People tell you so much if you only know how to observe, John. One can spot lies, guilt, and deception so easily. Eyes might flicker to a spot where something is hidden. Incongruous hairs on a shoulder may signal an affair; ones on an ankle may indicate a pet.”
“And what, pray tell, will signal that these people know anything about the deaths of their loved ones?”
“I have no wish to speculate. That is invariably harmful to the process. We shall have to wait and see.”
At Bow Street, Lestrade climbed into the hack and directed the driver to the first address on his list. John greeted a haggard-looking Lestrade with a genial, “Good morning,” but Sherlock looked at his person and greeted him with something much more blunt.
“I don’t know why you tolerate her indiscretions, Lestrade. She can’t possibly believe you won’t find out; in fact, I suspect she does this deliberately to hurt you.”
“Do me a favor, Holmes, and stay out of my relationship with my wife.”
“You should make her leave…”
“Sherlock, hush.” Sherlock, surprised at John’s tone, did just that. Lestrade looked at the quiet man sitting across from himself with a curious appreciation. Then, as quickly as he was able, he began to lay out the facts surrounding their first missing person.
“Dorothy Mae Hopkins, dressmaker. Didn’t show up for work Monday morning three weeks ago. Her sister is the family member who came to Bow Street; she’s married to a solicitor for Bleeker and Avery. Miss Hopkins had spent Sunday with her sister, going to church, staying for tea before being taken home by her sister’s carriage in the evening. Sometime between eight that evening and nine the next morning, she disappeared.”
“Can we see her rooms?”
“Doubtful. They’ve already been let. But we can speak to her landlady, if you wish.”
“That will have to do, but it’s detrimental to the case, Lestrade,” Sherlock pouted. “We’ll have to rely on the family and landlady to remember pertinent details as they cleared the room. It’ll be nearly useless.” Sherlock sank into his own head and was silent for the rest of the journey.
The hack pulled up to a modest house, the sister’s, and they disembarked.
Lestrade introduced Sherlock and John to Mrs. Evans, a subdued young woman in a gray dress and only slightly darker shawl.
“Have you come to tell me my sister is dead, then, Mr. Lestrade?” she asked once she’d shut the door behind the three gentlemen.
“I’m afraid we have no concrete proof of that at this time, Mrs. Evans. I’m sorry,” Lestrade said.
“It is likely, though, after three weeks with no indication of her having gone somewhere deliberately and no word. But I can see you realize that; you’ve donned half-mourning already, as if in preparation for bad news.”
“Holmes!” Lestrade was glaring at Sherlock again, as if that was all he was going to do today.
“I haven’t said anything untoward, have I, John?” Sherlock looked to his husband. John’s face wasn’t nearly as grim as Lestrade’s.
“A bit more gentleness and tact would be appropriate, Sherlock,” John replied, patting his husband’s arm, “but I don’t believe Mrs. Evans is offended.”
“Please, come in and sit, sirs. I’ll fetch a pot of tea.”
They made themselves comfortable as Mrs. Evans left the room, John and Sherlock perching on a small sofa and Lestrade on a rather too-soft chair.
“John, I might take a moment to tell you that I do feel that tact is akin to lying, and I do not see the point. Would it not be more of a relief for Mrs. Evans to have concrete evidence that her sister is dead than to live with false hope?”
“As we do not have a body for Mrs. Evans to bury, that argument is premature, Sherlock. There is no reason to press her to feel more sadness than she already does.”
Sherlock seemed to take this under advisement.
“Very well, John, though you may have to remind me, as I will likely misstep again.”
John flashed a smile at Sherlock and it wasn’t the same sympathetic smile he gave Mrs. Evans when she handed him a cup of tea. When they were all politely served, Mrs. Evans sat and patiently awaited the purpose of their visit.
“Mr. Holmes would like to ask you some questions about the movements of your sister prior to her disappearance and also about the state of her rooms on Grace Street when you removed her things.”
“Yes, of course.”
Lestrade and the Watson-Holmes found Mrs. Evans more than gracious. Sherlock was thrilled that she wasn’t overwrought with emotion, unlike most women, but her manner also didn’t indicate a complicit sort of guilt, either. She was sensible, almost intelligent, something Sherlock thought was a rare find.
However, her information was limited. She had not seen her sister for long after supper and only realized she was missing the very next day because she had stopped by the shop where her sister worked to look at a bolt of fabric she’d mentioned. When she was not there, she quickly proceeded to Grace Street in case her sister was ill. She wasn’t there and hadn’t been seen since coming in the night before.
“Did the landlady let you into your sister’s room that day?”
“Yes. There was no response to my knocking and I was worried she might be very ill and unable to answer. The key was not in the lock or on the table near the door where she kept it and her gloves and reticule.”
“Were her other belongings on that table?”
“No, just three of her handkerchiefs, neatly folded, a small dish where she kept a couple of mint drops, and a hatpin.”
“Did she normally keep her hatpin there? Did she only have one?”
“She had several; I gave her a few as gifts. She usually kept them in a hat pin cushion on her bureau.”
“Did you notice any belongings missing? Were all the hat pins found, was she wearing a bonnet when she disappeared? Was she wearing her work dress, or was her Sunday dress missing from her belongings?”
“The dress she wore Sunday was hanging up. All her other things were there. Just her work dress was missing and the few things she would take with her every day.”
Sherlock continued to ask questions about every detail Mrs. Evans could remember. When he’d finished, he told Lestrade that they could reasonably presume that she had made it home the night before, slept, and likely left for work in the morning. That would narrow down the time for her disappearance to a couple of hours of the morning, sometime between when she would normally leave the house and when she was to arrive at work.
Sherlock’s questions delved into Miss Hopkins’ personal life, which Mrs. Evans answered guilelessly. She’d never mentioned a suitor or particularly problematic customer. There were no gifts of unknown origin – Sherlock even asked Mrs. Evans to produce the woman’s jewelry box and she named the provenance of the few pieces easily.
Their reception at Miss Hopkins’ last place of residence was significantly less helpful.
“I don’t know what you think, asking me all these questions. I stay out of the lives of my tenants!”
“It would be significantly more profitable if you admitted to being the nosy, intrusive landlady you so obviously are,” Sherlock had finally replied quite scornfully. “It would have also been more conducive to the investigation if you had waited to clean out the room until the end of the month, instead of telling her sister Miss Hopkins had only paid through the end of the week.”
The woman’s face burned, clearly caught out.
“I have a living to make. I can’t leave rooms empty when the tenant is clearly dead and gone.”
“And how can you be so sure?” Sherlock stood, his tall form quite imposing leaned over the indignant woman. “Did you observe a threat to her person, perhaps her abductor, and refuse to say anything all this time?”
“No, of course not.” But she seemed much more intimidated now than she had.
“Then what are you hiding?”
If a Sherlock-level glare wasn’t going to make the woman spill, nothing would. John and Mr. Lestrade collected Sherlock and ushered him out the door. He was scowling, but strode off in the direction of the shop where Miss Hopkins worked, taking the most likely route and throwing his eagle eye in every direction as he went.
John and Mr. Lestrade followed, their pace leisurely because Sherlock stopped often to examine this or that, or speak to someone on his way.
“Would that we could have him on every case in London,” Lestrade mused. “The city would be a much safer place if every potential criminal knew he’d be caught out within hours of his crime by the likes of Sherlock Holmes.”
“Is that why you work with him? To ensure justice?”
“That is a perk, yes, but I do get paid by how many criminals I bring in, how many crimes I solve. Mr. Holmes will make me a rich man by the time I retire. No one else at Bow Street is smart enough to realize that.”
“Quite shrewd, Lestrade, I must admit.”
The walk from the boarding house to the shop took nearly an hour at their snail’s pace. It might take Miss Hopkins a quarter-hour at most if motivated. Once at the shop, Sherlock asked a few questions of the proprietor about the daily habits of Miss Hopkins and left looking thoughtful.
“Lestrade, if you don’t mind, I have an appointment to keep. We’ll work on the next victim on your list tomorrow.”
“Really?” Lestrade gaped, unable to believe that Sherlock was going to abandon an investigation mid-afternoon. John was somewhat astonished, too. Of course, they had been shopping in the morning with little mention of the case.
“A bite to eat, John?”
John agreed because they had not paused in their day and he’d been ignoring his stomach for an hour. A cup of tea and a couple small biscuits at Mrs. Evans’ home earlier did little to satisfy.
Sherlock found them a cozy little dining room with a spot near the window facing the street. He declined to order any food, but when John’s meal came, he did steal a slice of bread and butter from his plate.
“So what do you think about Miss Hopkins?”
“I think the abductor would have had to be very clever to carry someone off without alerting anyone, especially on a busy street in the morning. She would have had to appear to go willingly.”
“Perhaps a friend, or someone she thought of as a friend.”
“Perhaps.” Sherlock peered out the window, thinking, always thinking. “I wish we could have seen her rooms intact. I might have been able to see the quality of her mail and whether she burned papers in her fireplace.”
“A secret affair?”
Sherlock sighed. “Useless speculation. Are you quite finished? I have someone I wish for you to meet.”
John might have wished for a few more minutes to let his meal settle, and to rest from their day-long excursion, but he was plenty used to eating in a rush from the army so he rose without complaint. Sherlock left a generous coin on the table for the meal and tucked John inside another hack. The address he gave the driver was near the university hospital with whose morgue John was already acquainted.
***** End of chapter 38, though I wanted to point out that I thought it was funny that wordpress kept suggesting that there was more than one abductor, for the word was underlined and the suggestion was “abductors.” Now who is the detective here, wordpress, I ask you?? LOL