The Adventure of the Cat's Eye

Part 8

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
9/27/01

Lestrade waited until she was certain the others were asleep before sneaking downstairs again, and into Merry's study. Earlier in the week she had come in to ask Merry a question and had seen her ionizer sitting atop his desk. She had looked at it in fascination, then dismissed it as though it were beyond her. She had caught Merry's relieved expression, and had wondered anew why he had never questioned her.
Anyway, it didn't matter now. She would soon be leaving. She started to walk over to the desk, but stopped as a vision of the lady in the white dress entered her mind.
"He is safe, Beth," the lady said, "And where he is does not matter at the moment. Your place is here, with these hobbits."
"But what am I supposed to do?" Beth questioned, "Why is this my place?"
"Do not worry," the lady said, and the vision slowly faded.
Lestrade shook her head. How long she had been there standing in the middle of the study she didn't know. She turned around and made her way slowly back to her room. As she lay on her bed, she thought about what the lady had said. Basically she had been told not to look for Holmes and she was needed here. She turned over on her side and closed her eyes, having already decided she would do what the lady asked. The guilt she had been feeling lifted its weight, and she drifted off to sleep.
She woke the next morning feeling refreshed and...bouncy. That was the only word she could think of to describe it. She quickly got dressed and bounded down the stairs, nearly running into Frodo. She blushed and smiled in apology. Her heart was beating very fast and she felt breathless, but she told herself it was because of her impromptu race down the stairs.
"Excited?" he asked with a smile. She nodded in response and took the arm he offered.
They walked in companionable silence until they came to the breakfast room. To her surprise, everyone was already there, and she realized she had slept longer than she should have. She blushed and sat down in the nearest chair. What was wrong with her? She had never blushed in her entire life. She had gone red with anger, yes, but she'd never blushed in embarrassment. Not even when she'd seen Holmes in that hospital gown. So she decided it must have something to do with the anatomy of hobbits and to forget about it.
Watson walked into 221b Baker Street and called for Holmes. What he had found was of great importance, and he was sure the detective would want to hear this first hand. One of the gems he had researched was merely one of many, and that someone had bought all of them except the one researched.
He frowned when Holmes didn't answer. It didn't really mean much to his electronic brain, but he felt it was good to practise. Where could Holmes be? He quickly went to the vidphone and called up Lestrade. She didn't answer at her apartment. Well, she was on vacation, so she probably wasn't even home. Ah well, Holmes would be back when he got back. Abruptly, he thought no more as he was shut off.
Frodo smiled at the antics of Pippin. He was trying to get Beth to laugh, but she just seemed to get annoyed with him. Then, when he got down on one knee and started singing, she took one look at him and burst out laughing, or rather she made the motions of laughing, as she could make no sounds.
"Here now," Pippin said in a mock grievous tone, "When I try and make her laugh she doesn't, but when I'm being perfectly serious she laughs. Now if that makes sense then I'm a gopher."
"You're a gopher," Merry assured him, also laughing.
Frodo shook his head, still smiling. It felt good to be back, to enjoy doing things like this with his friends. He looked up as Beth suddenly poured a pitcher of water over the unsuspecting Pippin's head, and broke out laughing as well.
There was something odd about the girl. Besides the fact that she couldn't talk. It wasn't anything he could nail down, just a vague feeling. He hadn't said anything to her about his appearance in the Shire at the same time as hers. He had told the others, and Merry had said he was afraid if she knew she would leave. Frodo had agreed. Beth was here for a reason, just like he was.
As odd as she seemed, however, he caught himself staring at her from time to time. She really was a lovely girl, especially when she blushed. He quickly pushed those sorts of thoughts from his mind. She couldn't be any older than Pippin.
They were all startled from what they were doing by the sound of hoofbeats coming ever nearer until two horses stopped just outside the area the picnic was being held at. Two figures dismounted, and as they came closer, Frodo recognized them as Faramir and his wife Eowyn. They walked up to the blanket he and the others were on, and he could see that their faces were troubled.
Merry stood up and bowed low. "To what honor do we owe this visit?"
"To no honor, I fear," Faramir stated. He looked at Frodo with a slight frown. "But what is this? I thought you had set sail? Ah, but explanations can be had later. We have come because we are in need of your service, Master Meriadoc and Master Pippin. Rohan and Gondor are under attack."

On to Part 9!
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