The Case of the Singular Suitor

Part 4

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)

Since she could get nothing more out of Holmes, Lestrade decided to go home to her apartment. She had to be in at Scotland Yard anyway.

Holmes watched her depart with a concerned look. Then he turned to Watson.

"I was right, Watson," he said. "She was followed. There are the marks where another vehicle landed, and beside it are five sets of men's footprints." He pointed to another spot. "There are Lestrade's footprints. Do you see where they all come together?"

Watson followed Holmes' finger and saw that there were indeed footprints, though how he was able to tell which was which was beyond Watson.

They followed the footprints for a few feet before they came to a point where the prints were too muddied to tell apart. At this spot there was blood mixed in with the mud. Watson determined that it was Lestrade's.

"There is nothing more here to be discovered," Holmes announced, and they headed back to 221B.

"Well," Watson began once they were inside, "It appears that someone is out to get Lestrade."

"Or someone close to her."

Before Watson could respond to that remark, someone knocked on the door. Watson went to answer it. To both men's surprise, the caller was Thomas Lestrade.

"Please have a seat," Holmes invited, once that gentleman was inside.

The older man declined the invitation and asked, "Is Beth here?"

"No," Holmes said.

Thomas Lestrade suddenly became panicked. "Where is she?" he all but yelled.

"Calm down, Mr Lestrade," Holmes demanded in a cool voice, "and tell me why you sent your sister to a trap."

The elder Lestrade's face went white. "N...n...no," he stammered, "I called her to get her away from the house so that...." He stopped abruptly.

"So that what?" Holmes questioned, his voice colder than before, "So that whoever was after you wouldn't go after her?" He asked the last with sarcasm, as if he didn't believe it.

"No! So that they wouldn't kidnap her!" Thomas yelled. He then glared at Holmes. "Stay out of this, Mr. Holmes," he grated out. "It's family business."

Holmes' face was now expressionless. "Did you know that she was followed from your house and attacked?" At the shocked look on Mr Lestrade's face, he continued, "Yes, she was lucky to have landed on Baker Street." He stopped and leaned in close to the other man. "And as for staying out of your 'family business', I consider your sister a friend. As such, I shall help her whether you, or she, want me to or not."

Thomas Lestrade backed away from Holmes. Then he spat out, "Noble sentiments, Mr. Holmes. But how noble will they seem when my sister is dead?"

Before Holmes or Watson could stop him, he marched out the door.

On to Part 5!

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