Actions

Work Header

Play H for Murder

Work Text:

Play H for Murder

*

"So what exactly am I doing here? " Holmes’ look went around the little theatre and down to the stage around 20 feet beneath their loge while he took off his coat and placed it together with his top hat on the small table between their seats. Small gas lamps put the loges, the auditorium and the curtain of the small stage in diffused light. Everywhere one could hear whispering among the audience waiting for the play to start.

Watson cleared his throat. "Doing me a favour? After the case with the mummy you suggested ‘I’ could choose an activity for a change."

Holmes looked at his friend with an amused smirk on his face. "Well, I had something completely different in mind."

Watson lifted his eye brows. "Oh, I can imagine that. But no, tonight it’s time for a cultural experience. A friend recommended this production. And now shush. The curtain opens." He replied and pressed his friend softly into the seat.

As it turned out, Watson couldn’t really enjoy the play. Holmes was permanently commenting on the – in his eyes – illogical story. Watson’s reply that it was really useless to criticise a nearly three hundred years old work of Shakespeare in that way couldn’t stop the consulting detective, either. People from other loges already threw angry looks at them. That wasn’t only distracting but also rather embarrassing.

And he became aware that his friend actually didn’t know the play at all. Apparently a mere play was something that was too trivial to find a place in Holmes’ extraordinary mind, even a classical piece of art like Shakespeare’s "Hamlet". Watson gradually started to regret the visit to the theatre. He was glad when Holmes’ comments finally died away and the consulting detective got nearly interested as the scene with Hamlet, Gertrude and the hiding Polonius started.

"Hamlet will kill Polonius", the detective predicted.

"You don’t say!", Watson replied, shaking his head.

"How now? A rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!" On stage, Hamlet rushed enraged to the tapestry where Polonius was hiding and stabbed him twice.

"He really killed him", Holmes stated immediately, straightening himself up in his seat.

"Yes, that’s how Shakespeare wrote it", Watson responded, a bit annoyed.

But Holmes rose. "No, Watson, I mean he actually stabbed the actor behind the tapestry. Can’t you see?"

Holmes turned around and left the loge in a hurry.

Puzzled, Watson stared down on the stage where Hamlet was helplessly turning around and after a few more seconds shouted "Curtain! Curtain!". Shortly before the curtain closed, he could spot a lifeless hand and some dark liquid pouring from behind the tapestry. Watson grabbed their coats and hats and rushed after his friend.

He only caught up with Holmes backstage, and together they reached the stage where the theatre people stood around, shocked, unable to do anything. The performers playing Gertrude and Horatio kneeled next to Polonius, who had been dragged in front of the tapestry. Watson pushed through the crowd. "I’m a doctor. Let me through."

Gertrude shook her head. "He’s dead", she said and tried to fight her tears. Watson leaned over the body and took the pulse at the man’s throat.

"He’s dead", she repeated. "Sometimes I help in a workhouse. Unfortunately I’ve seen too many bodies."

The doctor turned around, searched for Holmes’ eyes and shook his head.

Holmes immediately went to the actor playing Hamlet. "Show me the knife!" He demanded.

Stunned, ‘Hamlet’ stared at the bloody knife, still in his hand. "I... I didn’t want... I can’t believe... I... I did that", he stammered.

Holmes grabbed a clean handkerchief which a nearby standing woman had just wanted to use and took the knife carefully by its hilt. He didn’t take notice of the woman’s outraged expression and examined the knife by turning it.

"Interesting. A proper blade was used", he muttered.

"We want our props to look as real as possible", the actor answered absent-mindedly. "We already had swords, battle axes, even pistols, not loaded of course, in other performances."

"Well, it worked brilliantly, I would presume", Sherlock stated sarcastically, raising the eye brows and nodding to the body.

 

"Did someone send for the police?" Watson asked no one in particular.

 

"Yes", the player of Claudius answered. "Samuel, a stagehand, is on his way. But for heaven’s sake, who are you?"


Watson faced the actor. "I am Dr John Watson and this is Sherlock Holmes. He’s the right man to be here now, be assured."

 

The actor wanted to reply something but Watson stopped him by turning his back on him. He went to the front of the stage and drew back the curtain a bit. Holmes joined him, the knife still in his hand.

 

"The audience is angry and leaving. Shouldn’t we..."

 

"They can go. They aren’t required. The culprit is among the theatre people, Watson", Holmes interrupted him. "Oh, how I love this. Who would have thought that theatre could be so fascinating?"

 

"Sherlock, please", Watson hissed and turned around again, where the cast and workers of the theatre stared at the body and them in turns now.

 

Claudius seemed to be some kind of leader and spoke up again. "You aren’t from the police, are you? Who gives you the right to act like this?"

 

The consulting detective simply ignored the man, went to the body, knelt down and started to scrutinize it with a magnifying glass he pulled out of his jacket pocket.

 

Watson tried to defuse the situation. "You don’t have to worry, we know exactly what to do. Mr Holmes often works with the police. For a start, I would really appreciate it if you would introduce yourself. And your company, if you don’t mind."

 

Holmes glanced at his friend and smiled. ‘His’ doctor and his determined way to handle such situations, a relic of his time at the army... Watson was the only one he knew who was able to hold a candle to him, at least in this respect. One of the many reasons he appreciated him so much.

His look went back to the body, turning the coat of the costume back from the wounds. "Well, these are two proper stabs. Didn’t you feel any resistance, Hamlet?"

‘Hamlet’ was still stunned. "My... my name is Francis... Francis Thomas. I... thought it was the tapestry. It’s really thick, you know? Usually Brighton stands far enough from it that the knife can’t reach him. I don’t understand..."

Suddenly, the theatre people’s mumbling became louder again. A man in a brown suit, well-known to Holmes and Watson, and obviously in charge of the three accompanying police officers entered the stage. They were followed by a young, very tall man, 6.5 at least, who wore dirty work clothes and preferred to stay a bit behind.

As the man in the suit caught sight of Holmes and Watson one could read an ‘Oh, no’ on his lips. He gave a few instructions to his men and headed directly towards the consulting detective. "Holmes, what are YOU doing here?"

"Nice to see you, too, Inspector Lestrade. You won’t believe it, we came here to watch a boring play and got an exciting murder instead. By the way, this gentleman is Mr Francis Thomas. He stabbed the victim, but he is not the murderer."

 

Holmes stood up and thrust the knife into Lestrade’s hand. Francis Thomas ran his hands through his hair nervously. He didn’t seem relieved at all, in spite of Holmes’ conclusion.

"Sorry, what?" The inspector seemed slightly annoyed.

"That’s the murder weapon. Hamlet murdered Polonius by accident."

 

Holmes went to the tapestry and pushed it aside. An open space appeared.

 

"The blade of that knife is too short to reach the victim unless he stood really close to the tapestry. And why should he do that, when he had enough space to retreat? What do you think, Inspector? Seven feet perhaps, from the tapestry to the rear wall?" Holmes stepped in. "Ah, and you can leave by the side. On the right there’s a low passage."


He left the little chamber again. "So the question is: Why did the victim stand that close to the tapestry?"

 

Lestrade’s look went from Holmes to the knife in his hand and back again. "He was forced to?" he guessed.


Holmes pointed at the inspector. "Exactly, my dear inspector. I’ll leave the ‘How’ to you."

 

He went to his friend and grabbed his arm. "Watson, we can leave now that the capable inspector has arrived. Let the police do their work."


Shortly before they left the stage, Holmes turned around once again to get a general idea of the situation. The actors and other theatre people were standing around, still shocked. Some were whispering to each other, now and then interrupted by Lestrade who questioned them.

 

Only two persons seemed to be somehow separate. The actress playing Ophelia stood a bit aloof and seemed strangely emotionless. Only the deep breaths she took now and then showed that something worked inside her. The tall man who had arrived with the police still stood alone at the stairs leading from the stage. He kneaded his cap in his hands and mumbled to himself. Holmes noted a small, fresh cut running across his forehead.

He turned back to Watson and took their coats and hats from the balustrade where Watson had placed them. "Come on, let’s go."


In front of the theatre, Holmes immediately started to question the doctor about what he had found out about the theatre cast. But before Watson answered, he first asked something in return. "Are you sure about leaving Lestrade alone with this? I am surprised that you didn’t want to probe any deeper."

"Oh, for now I’ve seen everything I needed to see, my dear Watson. Lestrade will do well. At least he can’t do anything wrong. So what have you got?"

"Right." Watson opened his small notebook, using the glow of a gas lantern to read. "The victim’s name is Brighton Homrich. He did the acting just for fun, the same way he owned that theatre just for fun. He joined the cast after he bought the theatre. Actually he made his living with being a ship-owner, originally located in Portsmouth. The murderer whom you don’t believe to be the murderer..."

"I KNOW he isn’t the murderer."

"Well... yes... anyway, Francis Thomas inherited the theatre from his father Charles Thomas who died due to an accident eight months ago. Obviously drunk, he fell from the loge we sat in tonight. Francis had to sell the theatre just two months ago to Homrich because he couldn’t pay the debts he inherited along with the theatre. Of course Francis’ heart was bleeding because his family had owned that theatre in the third generation."

"Interesting. Who told you all that?"

"Elisabeth Newton. She plays Getrude and was very communicative. She has played at that theatre for more than twenty years. She observed and she didn’t hold back on her colleagues. You would like her," Watson winked and went on.
"Alden Rutherford, Claudius, was an old friend of Charles Thomas and really grieved for him. He didn’t like Homrich at all. Actually no one did. George Temple, Horatio, used to work for Homrich as a bookkeeper in Portsmouth until he suddenly decided to follow his passion for acting. It had been a really unpleasant surprise for him, according to Ms Newton, to discover that Homrich became his boss again. And Homrich in return also seemed very startled to see him. Ms Newton told me there was always tension between them. She once overheard a quarrel between the two men. Didn’t understand much but thought that money was the reason."

"So we have everyone from the cast but Ophelia. And what about the other people working in that place?"

Watson turned a page in his notebook. "Ophelia is Annabelle Christie. Astonishingly Ms Newton didn’t know that much about her. She joined the company about a year ago and is a talented actress. But in real life she seems to be an unremarkable and very shy person. She is certainly in her early twenties and her past is unknown. Charles Thomas was absolutely enthusiastic about her, an ardent worshipper. Rumours had started among the cast. That old Thomas could be interested in more than her acting skills. He was a widower for a decade already and especially devoted to younger women. Off the stage Annabelle Christie had no contact to the other cast members whatsoever, which increased the tittle-tattle."


"Finally... the theatre crew. Only one woman, the tailor responsible for the costumes, and four men; all of them ordinary, hardworking people who are glad to still have their jobs here, as Ms Newton said. Homrich was a knight in a shining armour to them, as he had saved the theatre.

Only one of the stagehands, Samuel, the one who was sent for the police, is different. He is hardworking, too, but needs more support and advice because he is mentally retarded. Old Thomas picked him up from the street when he was a child, begging in front of the theatre. Ms Newton mentioned that she finds him a bit scary, because he behaves very strangely sometimes. Let’s see… How did she describe him? ‘A poor soul which, if he hadn’t been found by old Thomas, would certainly have died. ` Samuel loved old Thomas like a son his father and was devastated after the accident."

When Watson concluded his report and looked up again, he saw a smile on his friend’s face. He wasn’t sure what to make of it and gazed at him sceptically. "What?"


Holmes slightly shook his head, as if he couldn’t believe himself what he was about to say now.
"You are the only human being able to allure me. I love you, John", he answered softly.

 

The words raised a smile on the doctor’s face.

 

"Sherlock...", he started, but was interrupted by his amazing friend laying a hand on his cheek.

 

"You know that, don’t you?" Holmes looked around to check whether or not they were alone, then leaned forward and pressed a smooth kiss on Watson’s lips. Watson shivered and deeply enjoyed being kissed, but the noise of a coach turning around the corner stopped the kiss.


Seemingly without effort, Holmes turned back to business by stopping the coach. With a sigh Watson climbed inside behind him.

 

*

Early on the next morning John turned around in bed only to find Sherlock’s side empty. He had got used to that a long time ago. When a case or a problem occupied his friend’s mind he often rose in the middle of the night to walk around lost in the deeper parts of his mind palace. John reached for Sherlock’s dressing gown and threw it on. He found his friend in the parlour, fully dressed, poking at the logs in the fireplace and trying to fan the embers again.

"You are up early, Sherlock."

The addressed turned to John and looked at his fob watch. "For three hours and 4 minutes already to be precise, my dear John. Hope you slept well?"

"That means you got up", John also glanced at Sherlock’ watch "at four o’clock?"

"Yes. Needed to look closely at the crime scene once more."

"In the middle of the night? Who let you in?"

"I let myself in, John. It wasn’t really a challenge. You know I prefer it when everything is quiet... and nobody’s around to distract me."

"Including me," John stated.

But Sherlock didn’t respond to that. Instead he went to John and ran his hand over his friend’s shoulder.

"I like you wearing my dressing gown. Are you wearing anything underneath?"

John sighed.

"Sherlock, please, not now. Did you discover anything new? I thought you had seen everything?"

The detective settled in his arm chair and put his fingertips together.

"Ah, John, people standing in your way, always interrupting… my brilliant mind needs silence for its work. I inspected our loge, after all the place of old Thomas’ accident, and then the whole stage once again. I also investigated the passage next to the small chamber behind the tapestry. I was curious where it was leading. When I went through I found myself in a storeroom full of props. And there is another door, leading straight out into the street. So…this is how it happened: someone came through that passage to the chamber, held Homrich so he couldn’t avoid the knife and escaped the same way."

"You seem pretty sure about that, Sherlock."

"Indeed. And I have a hunch who did it. Just need the final proof. You should get dressed. I sent Archie to Lestrade with the request to invite the theatre people to the crime scene. We are going to do this in an unusual way this time. Calling them all to expose the murderer... yes, of course, that’s a bit unworthy of my skills. But nevertheless it could be entertaining."

*

Almost an hour later all involved parties were assembled on the theatre stage again. Of course they were less than thrilled about being gathered at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Rutherford expressed his anger loudly. "Who do you think you are? Who gives you the right to drag us here at the crack of dawn? And, even worse, supported by the police! I shall complain about this behaviour to your superior, Mr Lestrade."

While Lestrade tried to calm down Rutherford and the others, Watson took Holmes aside where the gas light barely reached them.

"So, what’s your plan, then, Sherlock? The men of the cast seem to be in a temper. I don’t want this to end in a riot."

"Oh, John, I have control. Don’t worry. Trust me."

Holmes turned to the theatre cast and workers again. "Shall we begin then?" he asked, walking slowly around, finally reaching the tapestry and skimming his fingers over it.

"Begin? With what?" George Temple asked belligerently.

"Ah, Mr Temple, it’s very kind of you to volunteer to be first. You used to work in the victim’s company as a book keeper? Why did you leave?"

Temple looked around as if searching for support, but in vain, and then hesitantly answered. "Being an actor always was my passion. I wanted to concentrate on acting completely."

"But you aren’t very good at it. To me, you actually seemed only half-hearted last night." Holmes glanced to the other members of the cast. "But I’m not an expert on acting. Does anyone share my impression?"

Rutherford cleared his throat. "Yes, I’m sorry to admit it, George, but in fact you aren’t a good actor at all. You don’t put much feeling into your performances. And you’re absolutely terrible at learning and remembering your lines. You will never get a lead."

Temple was offended. "What about you? You had a splendid career, hadn’t you? Why aren’t you part of the cast in one of the fashionable theatres instead of languishing at our small amateur theatre then? Too many glasses of wine before every performance?"

"Gentlemen…", Watson tried to step in and calm down the situation but was kept back by his friend.

"Excellent. I want to hear more. It’s getting interesting", Holmes whispered.

Now Francis Thomas rose to speak. "Amateur theatre? The Marylebone Theatre is a house with a long tradition. My grandfather founded it nearly a hundred years ago. We have had the most excellent plays on this stage with superb reviews."

"Yes, indeed. I remember the credit we got for our production of Othello." Ms Newton agreed. "And Francis, The Jew of Malta, wasn’t it sold out for weeks? But also comedy… Volpone, one of the best performances that Charles Thomas ever…"

Temple interrupted her angrily. "Ha! But the good days have been over as soon as your father passed away, Francis. How long was it until you had to sell the theatre?"

"And how surprised you were, unpleasantly surprised, on discovering who your new boss was, my dear George", Rutherford chipped in. "What had happened between you before you left his company? Perhaps something giving you a sufficient reason for a murder?"

Holmes stepped forward and stopped the enraged George Temple from moving towards Rutherford. Watson and Lestrade watched everyone closely, also ready to intervene if needed.

"Dear gentlemen, please stay calm. There’s no need for a row. You being here, Mr Temple, had nothing to do with an overriding passion for acting, hadn’t it? Why did you leave such a good job in a hurry? You thought getting away from small Portsmouth to London and to this place, an insignificant theatre with rarely published reviews, would be safe. A place where you certainly never expected Homrich to show up? So Mr Temple… how much money did you embezzle while working as a book keeper in Homrich’s shipping company? It certainly wasn’t enough to make a good living for long, was it?"

Temple gasped for air. "It wasn’t... I didn’t..."

Holmes waved aside. "Don’t worry, Mr Temple. I don’t think, no, I know you didn’t do it. You are just a little fraud. You wouldn’t have been able to carry out the murder without an accomplice. And there is no one around here who would help you. Because no one really likes you."

"Reminds you of someone else, doesn't it?" Lestrade whispered to Watson, nodding slightly. The doctor gave him a knowing smile.

"What about you, Mr Rutherford?" The consulting detective went on.

"What about me?" Rutherford replied and folded his arms defensively.

"You were a good friend of old Thomas, a very good friend actually. What do you think about his incapable son and this chinless wonder Homrich ruining your friend’s lifework?

"Francis is a good boy", Rutherford answered in high dudgeon. "It’s not his fault that the theatre had to be sold. Times aren’t easy for small companies like ours. A lot of people visit the big theatres and shun ours just because it’s small and no longer fashionable. Homrich was a ghoul. But he did spend money to save the "Marylebone". So, what can I say?" With his last sentence he lowered his voice.

 

Holmes turned to his friend and slightly shook his head, which meant, ‘also not him’.

 

"Well, it seems that I was wrong then", Holmes said while observing everyone intently.

"Holmes... says he’s wrong?" Lestrade whispered in utter disbelief.

Watson grinned. "You don’t really believe him, Inspector, do you?"

 

Holmes went on.

"It indeed looks like Hamlet murdered Polonius. And his accomplice was a man who was strong enough to hold the victim and who then escaped from the scene of the murder through the passage on the side."

 

Holmes looked at the stagehand, Samuel, who stared back and hesitantly touched his forehead.

 

"Oh yes, Samuel, you didn’t pay attention, being in a hurry, and banged your head against the low ceiling of the passage. Not easy for a tall man like you to navigate the narrow passage, though you certainly know the way blindly."

 

"I... That’s not true. I didn’t murder... Samuel didn’t… I didn’t know!" Francis Thomas tried to defend himself desperately, yet not very convincingly. Samuel just looked at Holmes terrified.

 

Holmes put his finger tips together in front of his face and addressed Francis Thomas. "Right, but if you didn’t put Samuel up to help you, what made him do it? Did you say anything to him?"

 

Thomas frowned and looked at the stagehand. "I can’t remember saying anything to Samuel, that... Well, I was angry and disappointed when I had to sell the theatre. It could be that I said things..."

 

"Things like...?" The consulting detective wanted to know.

Thomas shrugged.

"Like... that if my father hadn’t died before, this sale would certainly have killed him. And Homrich would have been his murderer. Silly things one says when one gets emotional."

 

"But... but... you said, Homrich did it, Francis. He killed father!" Samuel shouted excitedly. Nervously he wiped his face with both hands and then stared at Thomas wide-eyed.

 

"Samuel, no! I never meant that literally, you must have seen that! You know how father died. He fell from that loge... lost his balance. It was an accident… Oh my god, Samuel!" Francis Thomas replied stunned.

 

"Oh Heaven, help him." Ms Newton whispered.

 

Before anybody could react, Samuel ran over to Annabelle Christie and held a knife at her throat. "Don’t... don’t come closer!"

 

"Oh my god, Samuel…" Francis Thomas repeated in a low voice.

 

Slowly Samuel stepped backwards, holding poor Ms Christie as a shield in front of him. Watson and Lestrade who stood sideways behind the stagehand started to move carefully towards him. But Holmes shook his head without looking at them. Watson understood and stopped Lestrade.

 

"Holmes needs more time", he hissed to the inspector.

 

"He needs more time? What for? I don’t think Ms Christie has got any time."

 

"We have to trust Holmes, Inspector. I do", the doctor replied with a piercing look.

 

Lestrade frowned at that but upon Watson’s look remained quiet. Together they watched as Holmes started walking, but not towards the confused man. Instead he circled around him, keeping a measured distance.

 

"Don’t come near me. I will kill her!" Samuel shouted and looked manically around.

 

"Calm down, my dear Sir", Holmes tried to reassure him, "I’m not coming closer. The distance between us is constant, don’t you see?"

 

Samuel breathed heavily. His hand holding the knife at Ms Christie’s throat trembled.

 

"You murdered the wrong one, you know?" The consulting detective went on, still circling with slow steps around the tall man and his hostage. "Homrich didn’t kill Charles Thomas. You made a mistake. But you are going to correct it as I notice."

 

"Correct it? I can’t... can’t make him... alive again. Francis lied to me!"

 

"I didn’t tell you to kill anybody. I didn’t tell you that Homrich was guilty of father’s death!" Francis Thomas cried out defensively.

 

Holmes saw tears running down Samuel's cheeks, who had become a murderer because of deep love and his inability to understand.

 

"Correct it in terms of judging the real murderer now."

 

"What... what do you mean?" Samuel stammered.

 

"I mean you wanted to punish the murderer of Charles Thomas. And now you are holding a knife right to her throat."

 

Holmes’ words made everyone gasp.

 

Inspector Lestrade reacted first. "Are you suggesting that Ms Christie killed old Thomas?"

 

Holmes gave him a serious look. "Dear Inspector, I’m not suggesting, I know that Ms Christie killed Charles Thomas."

 

He looked back at the young woman and her captor. Fear and anger were reflected in his face…. and, more tellingly, in hers as well.

 

"Tell me, Ms Christie, what exactly happened the night Thomas fell from that loge? I assume he became… importunate? And that probably wasn’t the first time. But that last time, with you and him alone at the theatre, he not only wanted a touch, a kiss. No, he wanted more, much more. He thought you should be... thankful. A young woman, alone in this big city. He was convinced you needed a strong man to protect you. And he wanted to be that man, with all the rights he thought that role gave him on your person. But you didn’t want that. You thought he was a disgusting old man..."

 

There was dead silence for a few seconds while Holmes’ words sunk in.

 

Then Ms Christie suddenly cried out, "Yes! Yes! You are right!" Samuel was so shocked that he loosened his grip and let her go.

 

"He was a creep. Always wanted my best, ha? He couldn’t keep his dirty thick fingers away from me. That night he was drunk. He held me down and..." She started sobbing. "I managed to free myself and pushed him away. I only realised what happened as he flailed his arms. The balustrade is low..."

 

She dropped on her knees and wept inconsolably. Holmes nodded to Lestrade who took the opportunity to throw the stunned young man to the floor and handcuff him.

 

The police officer who accompanied Lestrade went to Annabelle Christie and pulled her up. She didn’t resist.

 

"Unbelievable!" Watson stated after joining his friend. "How could you know all that?"

 

Holmes looked at his friend with a smile.

 

"Always read between the lines, my dear Watson, and observe, of course. The implications were clear in everything Ms Newton told you.

Ms Newton described Charles Thomas as especially devoted to younger women, and interested in more than Ms Christie’s acting skills, even to the point that rumours started among the cast. But she never mentioned Ms Christie soliciting or encouraging his advances. Old Thomas was a creep as Ms Christie just said, and his interest in Ms Christie indicated a greater desire than only being a mentor.

Poor Annabelle Christie. She really needed protection but didn’t get it. She will not even be able to prove it was self-defence, and has to hope the jury will be merciful and willing to believe her. That’s… " Holmes tilted his head and frowned, "sad?


As regards the death of Mr Homrich, there aren’t any logical suspects other than Samuel. Rutherford is a big sedate dog with bark but no bite. George Temple, he is just a snatcher, not particularly cunning, either, and Francis Thomas only a desperate young man who tried to rescue his heritage, which gave him every motive to keep Homrich alive. Everybody else had neither motive nor opportunity. By the way, your Ms Newton was the only one I never considered as culprit. Obviously, she wasn’t guilty of anything apart from her addiction to gossip. Same with the theatre crew apart from Samuel. None of them would bite the hand that feeds them. These are difficult times and it is so challenging to make a living….

 

Poor Samuel, too... he just wanted to revenge the death of a man he loved like a father, but he made the wrong decision and will pay for it with his life.

And, you know what? Now I feel like having breakfast. I hope you told the coach to wait."

 

Once more the consulting detective cast a satisfied glance at those assembled and then turned around to leave the scene. Watson followed him, mumbling, "Breakfast? He wants to eat? Now?"

 

As they sat in the coach on their way home Watson couldn’t help asking again. "You’re serious? You just caught a murderer and revealed the true circumstances of Charles Thomas’ death, and now you want to have breakfast?"

 

Holmes smiled. "Oh John, I’m unbelievably hungry. You... in my dressing gown this morning... I'm sure you know what I want for breakfast." And he bent over to close his doctor’s mouth with his lips.