The Case of the Missing Irregular

Part 11

by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)

Holmes awoke the next morning with a headache. Had he been thinking that hard?

He turned his head and looked at the clock. Six-thirty. What day was it? Oh, yes....Sunday.

He sat up with a groan. Closing his eyes, he prayed, "Lord, do help me through this day -- the Irregulars and the Fayres as well -- especially Tennyson. Please keep that boy safe. In Jesus' Name, amen."

Putting his feet over the side of the bed, he stood painfully and went to the closet.

When he finally emerged, Watson was bustling about the kitchen, just as he had been the morning before.

Maybe it was all a nightmare, Holmes thought, nothing but a horrible nightmare.

Unfortunately, when Watson turned, a concerned frown appeared on his latex face. "My word, Holmes, you look awful! You must not have gotten any sleep at all with Tennyson on your mind."

"No, I fear I did not." the detective answered, disappointed that it hadn't been a nightmare. He took a seat at the table. "Watson, somewhere in a dark corner of this city a helpless boy is being held against his will. I admit to you that I feel more powerless than I ever have in my--well, either of my lives."

Watson let out what would have been a sigh if he had lungs. "Perhaps you will feel better after church today."

Holmes smiled -- weakly but genuinely. "Thank you, old friend. Hopefully I will."

After Holmes finished breakfast and was dressed, Watson drove him in the hovercar to Miss Fayre's house, where she, Deidre and Wiggins joined them.

On the way to church, Miss Fayre was quiet. Deidre did not say anything to her after they all got into the car, because she knew the woman often prayed without looking like she was. Looking at the woman as she gazed out the window, she thought, Doubtless she's praying for Tennyson now. She's so strong -- if my nephew had been kidnapped, I'd be frantic!

From there, Watson drove them to a small building on Oldbury Place. Several other hovercars were parked around, and people were entering a large building that until recently had been abandoned.

Deidre turned her gaze to Holmes as they got out of the car. When Wiggins came over to her she whispered, "He looks really bad."

"Yeah, I know." her companion answered, studying the detective's drawn face himself. "I wish there was something we could do."

Deidre thought a moment, then her eyes brightened. "Hey, maybe there is."

"Oh, man...." Wiggins sighed and rolled his eyes, but before they could get into any big discussion they had walked inside the church building.

Holmes was quiet through most of the service. Deidre sat next to him, singing when it was time, and noting the titles of the songs: "Victory in Jesus" and "Hold the Fort", among others. Although he did not sing, Deidre noted that Holmes closed his eyes and grinned at many of the lyrics.

"Lord, let this service give him an uplift." she prayed in her head. "He thinks that just because he's "the greatest detective in the world", he's supposed to have an answer for everything."

The sermon went straight to Deidre's heart too. The key verse was in the book of Proverbs, chapter seventeen and verse seventeen;
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Wow, Deidre thought, Tennyson's sort of like a little brother to me and Wiggins, and our pastor told us that adversity means trouble, which Tennyson's certainly in........

She turned her head when she felt someone looking at her. Wiggins' eyes told her that he was thinking like she was.

After the service, an altar call was given for anyone who either wanted to come and either accept the Lord's plan of salvation or leave a burden. Neither Deidre nor Wiggins were surprised when Mister Holmes left his seat and went forward to the wooden bench at the front of the church. The two followed.

Holmes knelt down, and the two Irregulars knelt on either side of him. After a moment the pastor came over.

"Sherlock," the man said in a soft tone. "What appears to be the problem?"

"Nothing I can relate aloud." the detective answered, looking the man in the eye. "--but it has been weighing on me heavily."

That's for sure, Deidre thought.

"Well, then. I'm sure you know Who you need to give whatever it is to," the pastor said with a smile.

"Yes, sir, I most certainly do."

On the other side of him, Wiggins grinned. He had a lot of respect for Mister Holmes, partially because he had taken the Irregulars "under his wing" and partially -- well, it was "awfully cool" being friends with the greatest detective in the world.

He's just a human being, though, Wiggins thought to himself. Sorry, Lord, sometimes I forget that. I'm glad he knows Who's really in charge.

The pastor finished praying, then he looked at the teens.

Deidre grinned at Mister Holmes, whose eyes sparked like they hadn't been in at least twenty-four hours.

"We're just here for moral support," she said, standing up. Wiggins nodded, and stood also.

"For which I thank you both," Holmes said, grinning. He nodded to the pastor, who smiled back.

"I'll pray that your burden will not only be lifted, but terminated," the man said, and went to greet other parishioners.

Holmes, Wiggins and Deidre walked to the back of the church to where Watson waited.

"I took internal notes on the sermon -- to share with Tennyson when he comes home," the compudroid said.

"I'm sure he'll appreciate that, old boy," Holmes said with a nod. "Now, come along, everyone; we must get home."

The rest of the day was uneventful, save going to the evening church service. That night, Holmes slept much better than the night before.

The next day was Monday, and the two older Irregulars had school -- the last place they wanted to be. At lunch, the two got together.

"Wiggins, I have an idea," Deidre said, looking at him earnestly across the round table at which they sat.

The boy rolled his eyes. "Why do I have the feeling I'm not gonna like this?"

Deidre looked at the clock on the wall across the room. "Meet me after school -- I don't have time to tell you everything now -- besides, this probably isn't the best place to discuss my plan."

Her friend sighed. "Plan? Aw, man, I knew I wasn't gonna like this...."

Just then the bell rang, and they both had to go to class. Deidre jumped up and took off before Wiggins could protest.

What would be the use? he thought. She would do what she wanted regardless of what I said....

He shook his head and stood to go to class himself.

On to Part 12!

Back to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, and part 10.

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