The Adventure of the Double Holmes

Part 1

by Pat Cuadros (prccu at hotmail.com)

Tennyson's aunt and the last name of Fayre are used by Stacey's permission.

The streets of New London were deserted where Sherlock Holmes was walking. The wind made his Inverness move more than usual and he had pulled the front of his deerstalker cap down as far as it would go. "Huh?" Holmes looked over his shoulder when he had heard rapid footsteps behind him.

Standing a couple of paces behind him, was a man with the same height, build, and clothing. A deerstalker cap covered his facial features. "You must be Sherlock Holmes," said the stranger, in a heavily disguised voice. "I've been sent to kill you."

"You're not the first," Holmes answered.

The stranger grinned before rushing forward and punching Holmes in the face. Unfortunately, Holmes was caught off guard but only received a cut lip. His deerstalker fell onto the sidewalk. He stood up and tackled his opponent. "Now, let's see who's under this cap!" he cried, throwing off the stranger's deerstalker cap. "What the...?"

The stranger had his face! Before Holmes could regain his composure, his double pushed him off and repeatedly punched and kicked his face and upper body. "I've had all I could stand," Holmes mumbled as he was trying to get to his feet. Then he fell into an abyss of darkness.

When Holmes regained consciousness, he found himself looking into the eyes of Tennyson Fayre, his youngest Baker Street Irregular. Those huge, gentle, light blue eyes never failed to make him smile and Holmes did so as he closed his eyes for a moment. He decided to get his bearings when he opened them again. "This is your room, isn't it, Tennyson?"

Tennyson nodded and pressed a couple of buttons on his keyboard. "Blurr-epp whur."

"Yes, I feel better. Thank you, son," he replied, struggling to sit up.

Then his head fell back onto the pillow since he had started to become dizzy. "I suppose I'll rest for a few more minutes."

"Bee-whurr-erp?" Tennyson 'asked', pressing his keyboard.

Holmes thought about the face he saw under his opponent's deerstalker cap and wondered whether or not to tell the teenager. "I was attacked in the street. Tennyson, if Watson calls, tell your aunt not to say that I'm here. It's essential that Watson and Lestrade have no knowledge of where I am at the moment."

Tennyson nodded, although he was a little perplexed by the instructions he had just been given. He left the room to tell his aunt about Holmes' request.

Sherlock Holmes reached for his shirt and took great pains in order to stand up. Another wave of dizziness came over him, but he was able to bear it since it wasn't as strong as the one he had earlier. He buttoned the top button on his collar just as Tennyson returned. "I have a very important case to attend to," he explained to the wondering blue eyes. "It's the reason I was attacked last night. I take it that I was literally found on your doorstep by your aunt?"

The young boy nodded. "Whurr-beep-whurr."

"I wonder why he dragged me to your doorstep," Holmes wondered out loud. "Well, my attacker may have wanted me out of the way temporarily. Thank you, Tennyson. I must leave now."

He pulled on his vest and walked to the sitting room, where Tennyson's aunt was studying another pile of bills. "Good morning, Miss Fayre...."

"You look much better than you did last night, Mr. Holmes," she interrupted him. "Tennyson looked so upset when he saw you lying unconscious in front of our door."

Holmes smiled, remembering the time when Miss Fayre said that Tennyson wished that his father was more like him. "Ahem, thank you for your kind hospitality. Tennyson is welcome to visit me whenever he wishes. Now, there's just one thing I need."

"Your coat? It's in the closet."

"No, I would prefer not to use my own," replied Holmes. "I might get another visit from my attacker or any of his possible confederates. Do you happen to have a gentleman's coat that I could use?"

"Well, I may have something. Let me go take a look in my father's old trunk." She left the room.

Holmes went to the restroom to look at his face. He knew from the pain that it was swollen and found his conjecture correct upon looking in the mirror. His lower lip, lower left eyelid, left cheek and upper right cheek were pretty swollen. "I'll have a black eye by tonight." he remarked, smiling grimly.

Miss Fayre came up from behind him. "Oh, here you are," she said, holding up a modern, formal black overcoat. "I believe it will fit, my father was a little taller and wider than you."

"Thank you, Miss Fayre," said Holmes, bowing after he put the coat on. "I'll send it back with Tennyson when he assists me with another case."

On to Part 2!

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