The Adventure of the Mysterious Benefactor

Part 15

by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
Holmes looked down to see a couple of papers float to the floor at his feet. Further investigation turned up a trail of papers leading to a small desk that was littered with papers itself. The young woman behind the desk was standing, her hands on ther face.
"Oh--sir--I'm so sorry--I'm trying to work out something for Mister Fayre, and...."
"Not a problem, miss." Holmes said, bending down and scooping up some of the papers. A quick glance took in the general contents of one page--a column of numbers was at the far left--a column in the center had either a 'w' or a 'd', and the next column had dates. Next to some of the dates, a question mark was written in red ink.
"Oh, thank you, sir."
Holmes stood and handed the papers to the young lady, who was now standing next to him. Except for her makeup, she didn't look much older than Deidre.
"Miss--I am Sherlock Holmes. I'm here to see Mister Fayre?"
"Oh--Mister Holmes--I'm so sorry, I was--"
The young lady's face reddened considerably.
"Think nothing of it. You obviously had your mind elsewhere."
Hurrying back to her desk, the young woman punched buttons on a small computer terminal. "Mister Fayre, Mister Holmes and his associate are here."
"Send them in, Anna, send them in."
Anna moved to the door a few feet behind the desk to open it, but Holmes stepped forward.
"Please, miss, I'll get it."
The secretary looked a little bewildered, then smiled, stepped back and returned to her desk.
Holmes turned the knob on the door and stepped into the spacious office. Beneath his feet was a grey and red Persian rug, and he hesitated.
Behind a cherrywood desk, just four feet from Holmes and Watson, a man with broad shoulders looked up at them.
"Mister Holmes, come in." he said jovially, smoothing down the mane of yellow-blond hair on his head.
"Ah--" Holmes started, looking down at the rug.
"Oh, never mind that. Fayre said, smiling. "I have it cleaned professionally once a month. Besides, I have a friend who gets them for me wholesale."
Holmes shuddered at this ignorant view of the value of fine art. Remembering his misison, however, he came inside.
"Mister Fayre, I presume?" Holmes said, entering gingerly. Watson followed, closing the door behind them.
"Yes, and you're the famous Sherlock Holmes."
The company CEO stood and extended a hand. Holmes took it, and found it rather soft. Looking into his face, Holmes saw the full-cheeked features and turned-up nose of the youngest Irregular. The differences were that this man had blond whiskers on his chin, and his eyes--while they were the same deep navy blue as his son and his sister-- had no spark, no life behind them.
Fayre drew his hand back and grinned. "You're studying me, Mister Holmes. Am I a part of one of your investigations?"
"As a matter of fact, you are." Holmes answered, returning the grin.
"And what, may I ask, does it entail?"
The detective looked into Fayre's cold eyes. "That is to remain a secret for now, as it is of a personal nature to my client. I would appreciate you cooperation, however, as I do plan to reveal that client to you in time."
Fayre pinched his lower lip. Holmes guessed that he was thinking of the press attention he'd gain if he were associated with 'the world's greatest detective'. Finally he said, "Very well, Mister Holmes," sat down and leaned back in his chair. "Ask your questions."

On to Part 16!
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, and Part 14.
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