The Adventure of the Mysterious Benefactor

Part 10

by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
"Goodbye, Deidre," their host answered. "Until next time."
The door closed, and Watson frowned. "What a truly sad story, eh, Holmes?"
"Rather maddening, I'd say." the detective answered, frowning deeply himself.
He stood up and headed for his room. "I must retire to my bedchamber a moment, Watson. Thank you for tidying up."
Watson had just returned from the kitchen and putting the tea things away when Holmes re-entered the room, wearing the Inverness and deerstalker cap that made him stand out so among New Londoners.
"Why, Holmes, where are you going?"
"I need to run an errand, Watson." Holmes informed him, heading for the door. "Be a good man and watch the place for me, won't you?"
"But Holmes," Watson said in a concerned tone, "Won't you need transport?"
"That is what man was given feet for, Watson." Holmes said, opening the door. "Besides, I haven't yet been to see the sights as yet--unlike our young friend Tennyson."
He touched the brim of his cap and opened the door. "I shan't be more than a few hours, old chap."
Outside of 221, the air was cold. Holmes shivered and headed down the walk, the snow crunching under his feet.
Along the way, Tennyson's story kept going through his mind.
"Honestly, such an atrocity." Holmes muttered, looking toward the high-rise buildings that marked the buisness section of New London. "I cannot fathom the shallowness of a mind that would shut out one's own son."
As he walked, he noticed many displays of lights and animated characters that adorned the yards of some homes--most depicted fat men in red suits with fur trim, shouting the rather annoying phrase, "Ho-ho-ho" over and over.
"Oh, my." Holmes murmured, covering one ear with his hand. "I do wish I had a hearing aid to turn down as Tennyson does. What is the purpose of such infernal displays, I wonder?"
At one point, he stopped across the street from a group of human carolers ( the last ones Holmes had heard were robots) and listened a moment. It was so nice to hear voices that didn't soud like a recording being played through a tin can.
As he gazed at the group, he noted that there were three men and three women. If these were the carolers that Tennyson had stopped to listen to, how could they not have seen when the boy was assaulted? Why had the men not come to his aid?
"Could society be so advanced and yet so Cro-Magnon that adults would look down on someone 'different' like Tennyson? He supposed so, thinking back on Ashton Fayre. The thought infuriated him, and he had no proof that these were the same carolers, so he moved on.
The tall, majestic-looking buildings thinned out as Holmes neared the outskirts of New London. There were a couple of boarding houses, a few small entrepreneur stores, and finally just a cottage here and there.

On to Part 11!
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6,Part 7, Part 8, andPart 9.
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