The Case of the Stolen Keepsake

Chapter 5

by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
7/10/02

Michael stood on the sidewalk outside the shuttle terminal. On his left side stood Watson, and on his right, Mister Holmes.

"Ah. That should be the shuttle, now," Holmes said, glancing up to see a shuttle flying low from the west.

Over the loudspeaker, they heard: "Flight six-oh-four from Oregon, now landing at port 10."

Watson turned to go into the shuttleport. Michael came right behind him. He heard Holmes fall into step with them.

"Sir, where should I tell my friends to go for lodging?" Michael asked as they walked toward the gate.

"It shall depend on--"

"Mikey!!"

The two men looked up to see a group coming out of Gate 10, laden down with suitcases and sleeping bags. A woman had dropped her suitcase and was now running over. She flung her arms around the American's neck and buried her face in his shoulder, her strawberry blonde hair falling on his jacket.

Michael glanced at Holmes and shook his head.

The other newcomers came at a slower pace. One, a dark-haired man with broad shoulders, put his suitcase and sleeping bag down and came forward with his hand extended.

"Mister Holmes? I'm Brandon Walsh, Mikey's brother. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done."

Holmes looked Brandon in the eye. "Not at all, Mister Walsh. Your brother has been no trouble."

There was a snort from the group behind Brandon.

Michael shook his head. "Thanks a lot, MOUTH."

"Sorry, Mikey, but you and 'no trouble'? Those don't belong in the same sentence."

Brandon rolled his eyes. "Mister Holmes, sir, that's Clark Devereaux, the guy with the big grin is Larry Cohen, the fellow with the glasses is Data -- uh -- Rick Wang, the lady there is Stephanie Steinbrenner, and--" he placed a hand on the shoulder of the woman who still had a hold of Michael. "--this is my wife, Andrea."

He leaned close to her ear. "Andy, you can let go of Mikey, now."

Andrea looked up. "Sorry." she murmured, her face turning pink. She gave her brother in law a mock glare. "Why do you always freak me out like this?"

Michael just shook his head and grinned. Afterward, he looked at his friends' gear.

"Eh--what's with the sleeping bags? Were you guys planning on camping out in Picadilly Circus?"

Larry shrugged. "Not a bad idea...."

Holmes raised an eyebrow. "Ahem -- I think local law enforcement would have some trouble with that. As I was saying, Mister Walsh," he glanced at Michael, "Your friends' accomodations would depend on the articles they brought with them. If they do not mind the floor of 221B, I should be glad to accomodate them."

A number of jaws immediately dropped.

"Whoa...." Larry muttered.

"Really? For real?" Rick stammered.

"Ahem. Yes, Mister Wang, for--real."

After a second, the members of Walsh and Associates got over their immediate shock. After they hailed a cab, they divided into two groups and rode to Baker Street. Brandon and Andrea rode with Holmes and Watson in the hovercoach.

"Sir, have you found any leads to the guys who mugged my brother and took the gem?" Brandon asked.

Holmes glanced into the rear-view mirror. "No, Mr Walsh, I have not. Your brother found it more important to contact you before we had the chance to start any search."

Brandon glanced at his brother, who was still looking a bit ashamed. "Hey." He placed a hand on the back of Michael's neck. "It's just a pretty rock."

"I know. It just--it just holds so many memories," Michael answered with a sigh.

"Quite the contrary, Mister Walsh," Holmes interjected. "It is your mind that holds the memory. The gem was but a souvenir. Since a crime has been committed, however, we shall do our best to locate the perpetrators and bring them to justice."

 

At that moment, one of New London's chief 'perpetrators' stared at the beautiful gem in his hand. "Ah, you are a beauty," James Moriarty said, as if talking to the stone itself.

A short deformed-looking man in the room looked up at the gem, then at Moriarty. "Yes, master. It should fetch a very large price, oui?"

The criminal mastermind rolled his eyes. "Ah, Fenwick, you have no insight into the grand scheme of things. You see, I am going to keep this gem, until I have done with it what it was made for."

Showing that he didn't know about the 'grand scheme', Fenwick asked, "What are you talking about?"

Professor Moriarty shook his head and made a clicking noise with his tongue as if he felt sorry for Fenwick's ignorance. As he did so, he moved to a large computer terminal at one side of the underground hideaway. Clicking a few buttons caused a stern-looking man with a long curly wig to appear on the screen.

"William Reade was the son of an English nobleman. While he and his mother and father were living in Spain, his parents were killed by English troops in the area, who attacked their home claiming Reade's father was a traitor to the Crown. Reade escaped the attack, but not without great injury to his left eye. Young William swore vengeance against the English Crown, and travelled with many a rowdy group of sailors. When still a young man, he commandeered his own ship, the Inferno, hired men, and began to attack English ships, taking prisoners and relieving the ships of their treasure."

Moriarty smirked, noting the look of absorption on his lackey's face. He continued. "One such ship, the English Swan, was on its way back from South America with a considerable amount of valuable cargo. Reade, who had taken on the rather roguish name of One-Eyed Willy, found out about the Swan's cargo and ambushed the ship, stealing much of what was aboard. It was unfortunate for him," (and Moriarty looked disappointed at this point) "that the king had suspected such an attack. Although they did not make it in time to save all of the ship's treasure and lives, the British armada did close in on the Inferno and Swan, causing 'Willy' and his crew to retreat."

In front of him, Fenwick's bulbous yellow eyes were full of awe. Moriarty, smirked at the thought of how easily the simple were entertained.

"The armada chased the Inferno to the west coast of America," he continued, "-- near what is now known as the state of Oregon. Rather foolishly, 'Willy' ordered the ship hidden in a cove under some cliffs. The armada found them, and because the pirates' fighting was so fierce, finally wound up shooting the cliffs down upon them."

"Amazing, master," Fenwick said, eyes bugging more than usual. "But what of this gem?"

"Most of Reade's crew survived, along with him," Moriarty explained, eyes on the jewel as he turned it in his hands. "Underneath what is now the city of Astoria, the men built tunnels laden with traps. Reade, or 'Willy', then murdered his men, with obvious intentions of keeping the treasure for himself. Sadly--" Moriarty actually looked sad, as if at the loss of a great mastermind almost equal to himself. "--the great pirate died there himself."

For the first time since the story began, Fenwick looked incredulous. "So, how did you know all of this, then?"

Moriarty shook his head, sat down in a chair and held the garnet between both hands. "Ah, my dear Fenwick, if you would spend more time doing research--" He patted the computer terminal. "--and less time going over DNA and other boring things, you would learn something."

He turned to the computer terminal and set the gem down. Punching some buttons, he caused a large rotating image of the gem itself to rotate on the screen.

"If you will clear your mind of clones for a few moments, I will tell you what a truly fabulous treasure this precious rock is."

Once again, the deformed French-Canadian's eyes became fixed on Moriarty.

On to Chapter 6!

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