The Adventure of the Mysterious Benefactor

Part 12

by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
She looked him in the eye and smiled. "I cannot tell you enough how I thank the Lord that you are in his life, now, sir--that he has someone else to turn to. Tennyson told me once that...."
"Yes?" Holmes asked after a pause.
"Well, not to embarrass you, sir--but he told me that he wished--he wished his father was more like you."
The detective blushed noticeably, stood and walked over to the fireplace. "Ahem--Miss Fayre, how deficient is Tennyson's hearing?"
Tennyson's aunt turned to look at Holmes, then glanced at the ceiling. "Ah--he has ten percent hearing in his left ear and fifteen or twenty in his right--if I recall correctly."
"There's no chance of his hearing us, then?"
"Oh, no. He takes his hearing aids off when he retires. What did you want to say, sir?"
Holmes glanced to his right. There on the sanded pine board that served as the Fayre's mantel, were three porcelain figurines. One was a kneeling Mary, whose paint had been worn from years of handling. The paint on the Child in the manger was almost completely gone, and the top of the staff carried by Joseph had obviously been broken off, by the odd angle of its top.
Holmes noted the loving look that had been sculpted in Joseph's face. Doubtless he had deeply loved and cared for the Child, though He was not of his own flesh and blood. Now, Holmes was about to enquire about a man who had sired a remarkable boy, and yet cared less.
"Miss Fayre, your brother...he owns Fayre Technologies, does he not? "
His hostess sighed deeply. "Yes. "
"If I am breaching a sore subject-- "
"No, " the woman insisted, shaking her head. "I love my twin brother deeply, but the way he has rejected my nephew...what is it that you wanted to know?"
"Where exactly is the building? I know it exists, but I have never chanced to come across it."
"It is near Sussex." she answered. "I've heard that it is a virtual fortress."
"You've never been there yourself?"
Miss Fayre chuckled a bit. "Oh, no, sir. I'm one of the last people he wants to see. When I became a Christian, he didn't like it at all."
Holmes nodded sympathetically and turned his eyes to his watch. "Well, Miss Fayre, I thank you for the information. I really must be going -- I told the fellow I room with that I wouldn't be more than a few hours."
"But of course."
Miss Fayre stood, and the two went to the door.
"Thank you so much for coming." Miss Fayre said as she opened the door.
"It was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Fayre." Holmes answered, donning his cap and Inverness and stepping onto the porch.
Crinkle!
"Hello, what's this?"
He bent down, lifted his foot and picked up an envelope. Computer - printed on it was the name: Caroline Fayre.
"I believe this is for you." Holmes said, turning and handing it to her.

On to Part 13!
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6,Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, and Part 11.
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