Young Sherlock Holmes: Fire Storm
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there were days when you could not tell there was anything wrong with him.’ He paused. ‘But on other days he would become so excited that he could be dangerous, or so maudlin that he talked of ending his own life. I say he was “looked after” at the asylum rather than “cared for”, because I visited him once, and I will never forget the abject horror of his surroundings. They left their mark on him, I am sure.’ He paused, staring at the table, but Sherlock suspected that, in his mind, he was seeing
was to discover that they had travelled from a different London terminus – and that would mean a day wasted while they checked Paddington, Euston, Liverpool Street and the other major stations. They didn’t have time to do that. ‘You look pensive,’ Rufus Stone said, clapping him on the shoulder. ‘Just thinking through a problem,’ Sherlock replied. ‘I was wondering whether it was worth asking after Mr Crowe, but I think it would just be confusing.’ Stone nodded in agreement. ‘Even if he bought a
Half expecting to suddenly find himself sinking in cold water, he bounced on a soft surface and rolled until he hit a wooden board at right angles. The inside of a cart lined with straw? It seemed likely. He heard something hit the straw beside him, and a second later a heavy object thudded into him with enough force to drive the air from his body in a sudden whoosh! Matty. ‘You all right?’ he called through the hessian sack, but before Matty could answer something struck Sherlock in the ribs.
looked around. ‘What happened to the man who was asking the questions? The one with the walking stick with the gold skull on top?’ Rufus frowned. ‘Didn’t he go past you? I thought he went for the stairs.’ ‘I didn’t see him.’ Remembering the man’s hand, caught in the light from the window, Sherlock added, ‘What was wrong with his skin?’ ‘Ah, you noticed that?’ At Sherlock’s nod, Rufus went on: ‘He had tattoos all over: face, neck, hands, arms – everywhere.’ ‘What kind of tattoos?’ Sherlock
looked around wildly for somewhere to hide. Under the bed? In the wardrobe? He took a half-step, hesitant, fearing that a board would creak beneath his feet and give him away. Before he could move again he heard the noise for a third time, and he recognized it with a rush of relief. It was the sound of ashes being scraped from one of the fireplace grates downstairs with a shovel, echoing through the chimneys. He relaxed, and let his hands unclench. Now that his attention had been drawn to the