The Phantom

Chapter Four

by TT (a.m.tilmouth.s99 at cranfield.ac.uk)

The next half hour Holmes and Watson spent trying to detach themselves from the hysterical drama teacher, and it was only when they were halfway home that Holmes, who had been deep in concentration, remembered Rachel’s note. He unfolded the scrap of paper that had been hastily thrust into his hand and read the scrawled writing.

"It was the lullaby from before -- he is angry."

Holmes examined the paper and slipped it back into his pocket.

"Well, Watson, whoever our mysterious phantom is, he certainly has Miss Morris scared. She even gave herself a pretty nasty paper cut tearing this paper from a notepad -- you can see a little blood down one edge of the paper."

Watson took his mask from his chest compartment and pulled it back over his face. "Much better. I feel a little more human now."

A small smile played on the corner of the detective’s mouth as his companion spoke; he scratched his jaw to hide it. "We’ll know a little more once the photographs come through. You did point the camera at all the dark corners around the room and stage?"

"Every last one. If he’s hiding, we’ll find him."

"Don’t jump to conclusions, my dear Watson; you can’t be sure this Phantom is male. Even though the girl claims to have heard his voice, it could easily be a synthesiser."

Holmes spent the rest of the afternoon poring over the photographs from the rehearsal on the computer. Every corner, every nook, every cranny was pored over with his undivided attention, and he found -- nothing. Eventually he switched off the computer in disgust.

"Well, Holmes?"

Holmes made the familiar triangle out of his hands and frowned. "Nothing. Whoever it is has not been hiding amongst the rafters, which makes this case slightly more difficult."

"In what way?"

"My dear Watson, if they were in the rafters it would simply be a case of waiting for them and then snaring them. Because they are not, it undoubtedly means they are one of the castmembers or stage crew, and we know too little about any of them to start speculating. I believe we will have to make our way back into the school tomorrow, and begin some more in-depth investigation." Holmes closed his eyes and leant back in his chair.

Watson began to clear the tea things; he expected his friend would have a restless night.

Pounding began on the door, heavy forceful blows that made the room ring with their force. In an instant Holmes' eyes had snapped open and he was all action, springing past his companion and flinging open the door.

The young man who stood outside was deathly pale, his hand raised to strike the door again. For a second he stood shocked and then beckoned the detective to follow him. "Sir, you must come at once. Rachel Morris has disappeared."

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