The Case of the Missing Irregular
by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
The car settled in front of the little house in the poorer part of
town. For a moment Holmes just sat, marvelling at the silence that was so
different from earlier that day.
Deidre got out of the back. "Come on, all, let's see how Miss
"Y'know, I just thought of something," Wiggins remarked as he
emerged from the car on the opposite side.
"What was that, my boy?" Holmes asked, snapping out of his thought
and getting out of the car himself.
"Well--who's gonna tell Mrs. Fayre? She has a right to know,
Holmes stared ahead of himself a moment. Tennyson's mother -- she
had completely slipped his mind in all of the confusion.
"You're right, Wiggins, she does. We shall have to deal with that
situation when it arises."
The group made their way up to the front door of the little house.
Once at the door, Holmes knocked.
For a moment, there was an uneasy silence. Deidre wondered, Oh,
no, what's happened now?
Fortunately, they soon heard footsteps inside. The door opened,
and Tennyson's aunt greeted them with a weak grin.
"Miss Fayre, I hope we're not disturbing you." Holmes said,
touching the brim of his deerstalker.
The woman shook her head. "Not at all, Mister Holmes -- Doctor
Watson, kids -- I've sort of been expecting you."
She stepped aside and let them in. Deidre and Wiggins settled
themselves on the couch, while Watson and Holmes stood.
Miss Fayre seated herself on a low stool, pushing her now-brushed
hair over her shoulder. "I assume, Mister Holmes, that you're here to ask
me about what happened last night."
The detective took his deerstalker off. "Yes, Miss Fayre, I am.
If you're not up to it, however--"
"I feel much better than I did this morning, thank you," the woman
answered him, looking up with a face which had been washed and eyes that
had lost a lot of their puffiness. "Last night was a terrible experience,
but if I am to get my nephew back, I'll do what I must do."
Holmes sat down on the couch next to Wiggins, and looked Miss Fayre
in the eye. "What did happen last night?"
The woman drew a deep breath, fingering the end of the blue ribbon
that hung by her ear. "I woke up last night with a start. Upon looking at
the clock, I saw that it was a little after two a.m. I listened a moment,
and then --I heard an odd scraping noise coming from the area of this room."
She glanced at the window. " I got up, put on my robe and stepped
out my bedroom door. From there, I could see two shadows at the front
She grinned wanly. "My first thought was that I was being robbed,
then I wondered what on earth they could find in here that was worth
Her voice cracked then, and Deidre reached from her seat on the
couch to take her hand.
Miss Fayre blinked back tears and looked up at her. "I went back
into my room, hunting for the little communicatior Tennyson had made me.
I never could afford one of those massive computers, even if I wanted one.
"Unfortunately, I could not for the life of me remember where I had
put it. As I finished digging through my dresser drawer and closed it,
someone grabbed me from behind."
Deidre's grip on Miss Fayre's hand became tighter.
"I -- struggled, but I've never been much of a fighter. I was
pushed onto my bed, and while one of the men gagged me with a cloth the
other bound my hands and my feet. When they were done--"
She began breathing hard. Watson hurried to the little kitchen
area and brought back a glass of water.
"There, now, Miss Fayre, it will be all right," he said, handing
it to her.
"Thank you, Doctor Watson." the woman said, taking the glass from
him and sipping the water a bit. Staring blankly at the coffee table when
she was finished, Miss Fayre continued, "When the men were -- done with me,
one of them said, "There now....grab the boy."
"I had never felt so helpless in all my life. I tried so hard to
get loose as those awful men left the room--but I only wound up hurting
myself. I heard the men talking and a sounds of a struggle going on. The
next thing I knew, the men walked by the doorway, one of them with my
nephew over his shoulder."
Miss Fayre's tears were flowing now, and she tried to wipe them
away with the back of her hand. "I don't remember praying any harder than
I did early this morning, either."
Holmes got on his knee by the end of the coffee table. "I swear to
you, Miss Fayre, I won't rest until I have that boy safely home."
The youngest Irregular's aunt smiled through her tears. "I know,
"How was it that you were released, Miss Fayre?" Watson inquired.
The woman drew a deep breath. "My neighbor was walking his dog...
he saw the window was open. When he came closer to investigate, he noted
that it had been forced. He came in through the same window, calling me --
and I managed to make some noise. He came into my room and untied me.
When I told him what had happened, he was the one to inform the Yard."
She looked into Holmes' face. "The first one to arrive here, aside
from the Chief Inspector, was Inspector Lestrade. She seemed rather upset
when she was made aware of what happened."
Holmes grinned slightly. He could imagine Lestrade's face at the
thought of telling him about Tennyson's abduction. "She and I have worked
together -- several times, and she is quite familiar with the Irregulars,"
he said. "I wonder if--"
"Caroline? Are you in?"
Tennyson's aunt stood and looked at Holmes. The detective nodded.
Caroline Fayre went to the door and opened it. A woman in a long
coat stood on the step.
"Hello, Caroline, I'm sorry I haven't had the chance to stop by in
a couple of weeks, I've been meaning to I swear -- it's just that the
business is so much work now that Ashton's gone, and---"
Her green eyes focused over Miss Fayre's shoulder. "Why, Mister
Holmes--what are you doing here?"
The detective stood and walked to the door. "Mrs. Fayre, hello.
Miss Fayre, let your sister in law in, please. I fear that now is the
time for us to tell her what has happened."
The lady of the house stepped aside, and the CEO of Fayre
Technologies came in. "What -- what has happened?"
"Mrs. Fayre, please sit down," Holmes instructed, gesturing
toward the couch. Wiggins and Deidre were immediately off of it.
The newcomer's glance went from her sister-in-law to Holmes, then
to the couch. After eyeing each again, she walked over and sat down.
"May I take your coat, Mrs. Fayre?" Watson asked.
"No, thank you, Doctor Watson," the woman answered, her gaze
focused on Holmes. "What is it?"
She then glanced at Deidre and Wiggins, and her face paled a bit.
"Does it -- have something to do with my son?"
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