Date: May 9-11, 1903
Location: Channelside House and Elsewhere
See Previous Chapter 65 here:
4:51 a.m. - MAY 9, 1903 - LONDON
Pedestrian: "Cabby! --- I SAY --- CAAAABBY. --- Helloa there!
Cabby: "Pardon me Gv'nr. Sleep'n I was. How may Doris and I be of service?"
Pedestrian: "Victoria Station my good man. I must catch the 6:-- ah, to, well --- let us make haste, if you please."
Cabby: "Very good sir. Step right up and --- in. There you are. Make yourself at home. --- We'll be at the train station in no time or I'm a whirling Dervish. --- Doris! Tally-Ho!
THIRTY-TWO MINUTES LATER
Holmes: "My dear reliable old Watson. Thank you for kindly obliging my desire for your company on one more adventure. I trusted you would instantly drop everything and join me to board the 6:06 a.m to Brighton. I'm glad you brought your service revolver."
Watson: "I did. How do you know?
Holmes: "I see the distinctive bulge in your right coat pocket where are stored six or seven cartridges --- placed there when you departed your lodgings. A smear of common Gibborn grease associated with them appears on your shirt cuff migrating onto your coat sleeve no doubt occurring as a last event before leaving. Plus, I am familiar with your ways my friend. Elementary deduction really."
Watson: "Your wire only arrived yesterday saying, The Empire and I need you. Join me on the 9th instant at Victoria in time for the morning 6:06. Naturally I transferred my patient appointments to another doctor for the week. However, had anyone else made such an astounding request, I would have demanded more data and wondered about his hyperbole."
Holmes: "I am afraid it is not an excess of explanation. It is a serious matter of great importance. You started the whole affair."
Holmes: "Remember telling me about the disappearance of Captain Collingwood, 66th Foot?
Watson: "I do. Poor fellow. He served with me in General Pettygree's Surajistan Field Force until sent home to recover from wounds, but what has he to do with trouble in The Empire?"
Watson: "Your brother ---- perhaps the most important man in the government with his singular skill and correct analysis of innumerable facts."
Holmes: "Quite so. In moments after telling him about Collingwood, he and I assembled an extraordinary chain of incidents leading to a conclusion there is an insidious serial of murders all suggestive of hateful revenge and deterrence."
Holmes: "Here is the 6:06. --- Yes, remarkable indeed. Suffice it to say nine more of your brother officers from The SFF disappeared from York to Brighton. Several were found --- all with minuscule yellow fibers about their necks. Do you see a pattern ol' boy?"
Watson: "The Thugee rumal strangulation scarf!"
Holmes: "Hum. Yeees and one more. The train of murders is consecutive from north to south, York to The Channel and thence from Brighton westward to Worthing. Mycroft knows of one more officer from The Surajistan Field Force in the vicinity. He was so shaken, he hustled himself away without finishing dinner to personally warn the gentleman."
Watson: "You can't mean General Pettygree himself!"
Holmes: "I do. He is about to be reactivated to restore order outside the country. The sole man who can do it --- or so says Mycroft. I only hope we are not too late to prevent another murder of a kind which threatens The Empire!"
MOMENTS BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Tumagee-Kota: "Our supreme moment is here. Enter and kill, kill, KILL!"
In semi-darkness they enter the banqueting hall of General Pettygree's Channelside House.
Tumagee-Kota: "Who is turning on the lights?"
A Thugee: "We are discovered."
Another Thugee: "Kali is dissatisfied with us. --- WE are to be sacrificed!"
Inspector Gregson: "Stand down. You are all under arrest."
Tumagee-Kota: "Never! Fight the unbelievers!"
Holmes: "That won't do Tumagee-Kota. Your malevolent scheme is finished."
A brief scuffle ensued ending in subjugation of the Thugees. Their morale suddenly failed.
Pettygree: "I hope you are right sir --- and --- thank you."
Inspector Gregson: "If you don't mind Mr. Holmes, I have one question before I take these men away. --- Mr. Turmagee-Kotar, why did you give up so easily --- quickly?"
Tumagee-Kota: "There can be only one reason, S'hab. In some way we displeased the goddess Kali. A sacrilege perhaps. She therefore sacrificed us to you and your confederates as justifiable punishment for our transgression. Our only salvation is to surrender and suffer your penalties. We are her servants in good and bad circumstances even if this results in...."
Holmes: "Hanging no doubt. Take them away Inspector."
Tumagee-Kota: "If it is the will of Kali."
Pettygree: "As for you, Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson, please be my guests at Channelside. I'll find Jameson and ask him to show you to your quarters for what is left of the rest of the morning for sleep."
MAY 11, 1903 --- TWO DAYS LATER
Mycroft: "Congratulations gentlemen. It was touch and go and...."
Sherlock: "Here we are at dockside presumably safe near Ajax."
Pettygree: "Mr. Holmes --- Mycroft I mean. What news have you of promised reinforcements for my mission?"
Mycroft: "The first unit to depart did so the same morning after my brother and Dr. Watson left Victoria Station; 2/Seaforth Highlanders. The 2/66th Foot followed a few hours later."
Pettygree: "Very well. I hope there will be more."
Angry Sailor: "Handle the lady's luggage smartly now. The General's wife would not take it kindly if you dropped it over the side!"
The Other Sailor: "Quit yer shoving mate."
Dr. Watson: "Godspeed Mary and General Pettygree."
Mycroft: "The government has every confidence in you General. Good-bye and good luck."
Mary: "Here we go dear. Egypt, Alexandria, Cairo, the pyramids and the Nile."
Pettygree: "A quasi-holiday darling. It will be fun."
Mycroft: "He'll need Divine intervention I'm afraid. Going to Egypt and The Soudan is only a ruse...."
Sherlock: "To inveigle the newspapers and The Guru."
Dr. Watson: "A good plan I should think before he returns to the the Northwest Frontier; his real mission. However, I don't like it that Mrs. Pettygree is not in the know."
"Holmes you may put away your revolver."
Mycroft: "Though she does not know it now, Mary will return to England after swanning about Egypt for a few weeks. You see don't you Doctor, secrecy is paramount to frustrate The Guru. He will only find out Pettygree is back when he steps ashore at Bombay."
Sherlock: "Hopefully to discombobulate The Guru's plans for the jewel of The Empire."
1) Wish Mary and General Pettygree luck will you? Though the threat at home was squashed, turbulence remains in The Soudan and India. Should we also concern ourselves with mischief from the Kaiser's East Asia Squadron?
2) Thank you Greg H., down under, for giving me an appealing Eureka Miniatures hansom cab and I think Foundry bobbies!
3) See the previous chapter for several manufacturers of miniatures. Ajax is from The Virtual Armchair General, a Richard Houston model. Watson and Holmes in the beginning of this story are from Reaper Miniatures. The second Holmes and Watson were produced by Muttonchop Miniatures now sold by Empress Miniatures. The third Watson is a Foundry Victorian civilian who resembles Watson. The lampost is a model railroad structure by Lionel Trains.
4) Your remarks will be posted after review solely because an anonymous spammer has sought to place hundreds of irrelevant posts here. General Pettygree will never allow those.
5) However, your remarks are sought, welcome and will appear after a short delay!