Posted by: relativitygirl | January 2, 2011

Part II

Tinley’s teacake aside, he is correct, I quickly deduce from the absence of sound behind the heavy wooden door. I take stock in our only two objects of hope – my aged but impeccably clean-barreled revolver and the blade I know my friend Holmes keeps in a secret pocket in the front of his leather boot. Barely moving, I slide my right hand upward to gauge Holmes’ pulse – theady at best. Alright then, we shall propagate a good old-fashioned bluff!

“Water,” begs Holmes before my hand slaps over his moving lips.

“Quiet!” I hiss back, pointing to the door. “I’ve got a plan.”

His brows raise but an inch, as if my feeble brain could conceive of anything but food and tobacco. “We’re going to play dead, but I shall my revolver poised in my right hand upon their closer inspection.”

“The taller one’s got a lame leg – the left – use it to your advantage.”

“That’s it!” I exclaim, recalling in that moment the newspaper boy perched on the opposite side of Baker St. this morning, hobbling on one leg.  From our present location in the building diagonally across from our own well-respected rooms, I could garner his attention by tossing a note out the window.  Careful where I apply my weight upon the creaky floor, I reach slowly into the tuck of my trouser pocket to retrieve my notebook and pencil, scribble two words upon the crinkled page and beg the powers above us to conceal the sound of tearing parchment.

Ah, a cleared throat, the shuffle of a boot dragged across the wooden floorboards and bodies and clothing rustling to stand.  I gently tap Holmes’ knee to signal him, but then see that his wide eyes wouldn’t miss a narrow escape for all the cocaine in London.  He is near death, I must gravely admit to myself, but as always, he is ready for whatever comes next…

I calmly rise and take one step to the window, raise it with one hand and peer to find the hobbled boy actually meeting my gaze.  With an index finger to my lips, I toss the paper to him and wave a hand to signal haste.  After seeing the words on my note and the quid in the center, he runs as quickly as his mal-formed legs will take him.

“I’ll bet you two rounds he’s dead as a…” and as the door to our hideout creaked open, I pulled Holmes’ upper body over my left shoulder and reached under him with my right hand…and fired.  One of them shot back, but the round ricocheted against the door’s edge, redirecting the bullet into the west wall.  Holmes and I tumbled clumsily out the first story window into a hedge of Juniper, met by the comforting two-toned siren of Scotland Yard.


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