The Adventure of the Cat's Eye

Part 2

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
9/15/01

Lestrade stood quietly beside Holmes, feeling rather exposed in the flowing white medieval style dress. She looked over at him. He too was dressed in the same period style she was, with gleaming gold mail shirt and tights; however, he looked as though he belonged in them. 'His' pointy ears didn't look funny.
The 'guard' was speaking with them again, in a horrid attempt at Middle English. "'Ere now milord and milady, I's cannot let you passeth this way, unlesseth you have business in the faireth and wiseth Kingdom Fairy."
"We do have business, good sir," Holmes replied with the same condescending tone he often used on those he deemed of less intelligence than he, "I am Celeborn, Lord of Lorien, and this is my lady, Galadriel. We seek no more than to partake of the wonders and the food of this kingdom."
Lestrade had to admit, when Holmes had a part to play he did his research, although she wouldn't have chosen those names. They were too...lofty. Not that any of these folk would even get the significance. She was proven right at the guard's next words.
"Wow!" the young man said, dropping all pretext of even having a British accent, "Those are the most original names I have ever heard!"
"Yet they are not as original as you may think, lad," a deep voice said from Lestrade's right. She turned towards it and saw an old man with a long white beard and bushy white eyebrows. He wore a blue 'wizard's' hat and a matching blue cloak. His eyes twinkled merrily, and yet there was a sadness, an agelessness hidden in the depths.
The 'wizard' bowed low. "Come, my friends, for there is much to be discussed and little time." The old man turned and began making his way through the crowd.
It seemed to Lestrade that they walked a long time before they came to a small tent nestled amongst the various trade booths. The old man opened the flap and motioned Lestrade and Holmes in first, then followed.
The inside was larger than the outside made it appear. There was a table in the center that could hold at least fourteen people, and several meters besides that of empty space before it ended in stacks upon stacks of books, lining the edges.
Lestrade took in this sight with amazement. She had never seen so many books in one place, besides a library, and that long ago. She never had time anymore to visit the old libraries that still kept the outdated stuff.
As she was looking, Holmes and the old man had seated themselves at the table, and were now looking at her expectantly. Blushing, she sat beside Holmes.
Hating the red heat climbing up her cheeks, she blurted out before thinking, "Who are you?"
The old man chuckled and Holmes shook his head. "Really, Lestrade," he admonished, "You should know by now that if I haven't told you something you most likely shouldn't know it."
"Ah, there is no harm done," the old man said, smiling at her, "You may call me Toutarien. That is all you need to know for now." He turned to Holmes. "Tell me, Sherlock, just why it was you happened to choose those names?"
The detective shrugged. "No reason, really, they were just the first that popped into my head. They weren't as important as getting in here," he said with a frown, "I still don't understand why we had to meet in such a place. None of it is real."
Toutarien looked piercingly at Holmes. "Perhaps not, and then again perhaps reality is all a fantasy. One may never know. However, the reason I chose this is because it is certainly the last place you would be seen at. Now we may talk without fear of eavesdroppers."
Toutarien reached under the table and brought out what looked like a scroll. He didn't show it to Holmes or Lestrade, but studied it a moment before putting it away and drawing out a small metal box, a holoviewer. It was odd seeing modern technology here. Against this ancient setting, it was an anachronism. Then the old man turned the viewer on, and Lestrade gasped. It showed a beautiful emerald set in an almondlike shape.
"The Cat's Eye," Lestrade breathed, "It's been rumored that a collector of rare gems has it. Are you that collector, Toutarien?"
The old man laughed. "You chose your companion well, Sherlock. She's quick." To her he said, "Yes, I am that collector. However, it no longer resides within my home. That is what I needed your help for."
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Okay, does anybody know what book I'm talking about yet? 15 wishes to anyone who gets it right ^_^ Not that they would come true or anything...but you can still wish. ;)

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