The Adventure of the Mysterious Benefactor

Part 1

by Stacey (SST205 at
Holmes stood with his back against the wall on the far side of the apartment, partially to watch his two young visitors, and partially to stay out of their way.
A young lady in a red t-shirt and khaki jeans stepped down from the hearth, where she had been arranging tinsel and holly sprigs on the mantel. "Wiggins, where's that wreath?"
A black boy who stood about six feet one stood up from placing candlesticks on the coffee table. "Umm--I don't know, Deidre-- where'd you put it?"
"Very funny." the girl retorted, reaching up and rapping his prematurely bald head with her knuckles.
"Y'know," Wiggins said, rubbing his head and tilting it to the side, his dark brown eyes focusing on the mantel. "Something's missing."
Deidre gazed at the mantel herself. "Mmm--what?"
"What, indeed?" Holmes said, finally leaving the safety of the wall space and walking up beside them. "Eyes and brains, kids. You see something's missing--think--what's the most important decoration you see 'round Christmastime?"
Wiggins smacked his forehead with the heel of his hand. "Aww, man--a Nativity scene!"
Deidre pounded her fist into her palm. "Oh, darn! I should have paid a call to Tennyson's aunt; she has three or four--I'm sure she would have lent us one."
The compudroid who'd been known as Watson even before he'd scanned the original Doctor Watson's journals, then been given the synthetic face, hair and eyes that rang of Holmes' old companion, stepped in from the kitchen.
"Where in New London is the lad, I wonder? He's never late for tea."
Wiggins looked at the clock on the wall. "Watson, it's three forty-five."
"That's my point, Wiggins. He's usually here by three-thirty."
Deidre giggled.
Holmes wondered if they really shouldn't be alarmed.
Deidre saw the familiar 'wheels turning' look in Holmes' deep brown eyes and said, "There's nothing to worry, about, Mister Holmes."
The 'super detective' blinked slowly and looked at her. "Really?"
"No, Mister Holmes." Wiggins said. "Y'see, we've known Tennyson longer than you have. He loves this time of year."
"Relishes it, is more like it." Deidre said, glancing out the window. One could see red, green, yellow and blue light reflecting off the glass. "He gets so caught up in the decorations and lights and singing--as though he's trying to drink in every bit through his eyes and his ears."
His ears, Holmes thought, grinning a bit. He remembered the first time he'd met the youngest Baker Street Irregular. Still being new to the century at the time, Holmes had thought that the headphones the boy wore were some kind of futuristic fashion statement. As he found out later, they were actually high-tech hearing aids.
"He'll be along soon." Wiggins said. "He's probably got those big blue eyes focused on somebody's elaborate set-up--not only enjoying the appearance but checking out the mechanics--then he'll see his on-board clock says it's nearly four, and gun it."

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