The Case of the Singular Suitor

Part 8

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)

"Call Inspector Grayson," Holmes told Watson, "and ask him to have backup at The Restaurant. If he gives you any trouble tell him that Lestrade is in danger, maybe even dead." With that he again rushed out the door.

When he arrived at the restaurant, he studied the outside. Noticing a small window around the back that looked as though it led to a basement, he looked through it.

Inside, he could see five burly men, Alicia Kinnard, Thomas Lestrade, and, tied up in a chair, Inspector Lestrade. He quietly opened the window and leaned a little forward so that he could hear what was going on.

"Now, Tom, dear," Alicia said in a saccharine voice, "all you have to do is live up to your bargain, and your sister goes free."

"Don't do it, Thomas," Lestrade demanded. One of the men, Holmes noticed that it was the guard from earlier, gave her a vicious backhand. She glared at him and continued talking. "She's going to kill me anyway. I already know too much."

Again the guard lifted his hand to hit her, but was stopped by Kinnard. "No, William," she said, then looked at Lestrade, "If Tom agrees to marry me like we planned, I will not kill you, dear. After all, what can you do? Who is going to believe the jealous younger sister who would do anything to keep her beloved older brother from being married?" Alicia smiled sweetly.

Lestrade looked up and away from the woman. Her eyes connected with Holmes', and they lit up. She looked back at Alicia. "You know, I know someone who'll believe me."

"No, you don't, Beth," her brother said in a rush, "Because you're not going to tell anyone. Alicia, I'll...." His voice trailed off when Holmes suddenly landed in front of Lestrade.

The five men instantly rushed him, but they were no match for his cane. Within seconds, they were all laying unconscious on the floor.

"My, what a nice big, strong man you are," Alicia purred. Holmes gave her an icy glare.

"Tell me, did you kill all your previous husbands?"

Kinnard grinned unrepentantly. "All except my first. He drowned while out to sea. My second husband I killed accidentally, and it was such an easy way of getting money that...." She shrugged.

"So you were going to do the same thing with Mr. Lestrade here, when he found out about what you had done. He tried to call off the wedding, so you arranged to have his sister abducted. You planned to use her as a bargaining chip."

"That's right, mister," she said, "Although I did warn Tom of what was going to happen. I knew he'd probably try to get his sister away, so I had my men follow her. Unfortunately, they messed up, and were not able to get her until today. No matter."

At that moment, twelve police constables came into the room, led by Inspector Anderson and Watson.

Holmes smiled. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "You are here just in time."

"Yes, you are, officers," Alicia said, "This man has been using my basement to do unspeakable things to young women," she gestured towards Lestrade.

Anderson looked confused. "But why would Sherlock Holmes do anything to Inspector Lestrade?" Alicia Kinnard stared at Holmes in shock.

Holmes grinned. "Here," he said, "is Miss Kinnard's confession." He held up a small recording device, "She confesses to killing all six of her previous husbands, and to the abduction of Inspector Lestrade."

Anderson ordered his men to arrest her and the five men on the floor. While this was going on, Holmes went to untie Lestrade. Lestrade's brother was the only one to see the tender expression on Holmes' face as he completed his task.

"About time, Holmes," Lestrade said, "I was beginning to think you'd never get here."

Holmes smiled sardonically.

Later, back at Baker Street, Holmes and Watson sat in their accustomed chairs, while Lestrade and her brother sat on the couch.

"Mr. Holmes," Thomas said, "I...want to apologize for earlier."

Holmes waved it away. "You were concerned about your sister. Besides, if you hadn't acted that way, it may have taken me longer to solve the case, and you both might now be dead."

Tom nodded. "By the way, how did you find out I was going to marry Alicia?"

"You introduced her to me as your fiancee," Holmes said, his eyes twinkling.

T. Lestrade frowned, then he looked at Holmes in surprise, "You're Jeff Baker?"

Holmes nodded, and Tom laughed.

"What are you talking about?" Lestrade questioned.

"Uhh... long story, sis, and I really gotta be going." He stopped and stared at Holmes for a minute. "Can I speak with you in private, Mr. Holmes?"

Holmes nodded. "I will walk you to your car."

Tom waited until they were at the car before asking, "Are you in love with my sister?"

Holmes appeared taken aback; then he composed his features. "I told you before, I consider her a friend." He turned on his heel and walked back inside.

It was only after Thomas was well on his way home that he realized Holmes hadn't really answered his question. He smiled to himself.

Once Holmes was back inside, Lestrade asked, "What did my brother say?"

Holmes' face turned red. "Nothing important, Lestrade."

She eyed him suspiciously. "Yeah, whatever." Then she stood up. "Well, I gotta be going; looks like it's about to fog up again." She left.

Holmes went to the window and watched her depart. It was indeed getting foggy.

Once again, Holmes stared out the window at a foggy London night. However, the soft expression on his face showed that he was contemplating something other than the fog.

The End

On to the sequel, "Reminiscence"!

Back to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7.

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