OK, here is the next part of this adventure folks:
The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses: Part 2
Sherlock Holmes stairs intently at the assembled group as he ponders the situation:
"Lady Arabella, if it is not too stressful for you at this moment, I would like you to tell us a little more about the circumstances of your parents' death."
Lady Arabella takes an elegant sip of the tea that Mrs Hudson has just brought for her:
"Its alright Mr Holmes. There is not much that I can tell you. I was at boarding school here in England when I heard that mother and father had died of malaria out in India. My father was out there working for the Viceroy. His valet , a Mr Jeremiah Snape, brought the news to me. I remember he was most concerned, he kept asking if mother or father had sent me any letters recently and that if I recieved any I should give them straight to him."
"Didn't that strike you as rather odd of him?" Ben asks:
"I was too young and upset to notice. But in retrospect it did seem a strange thing for him to ask *dabs her eye*".
Ben is intrigued:"This Snape was clearly after something. Do you know what happened to him?"
Holmes intercedes:"I know of this Snape. He regularly frequents the opium den just off Soho Square. We must pay him a visit. One more thing: could you describe the crosses to me?"
Lady Arabella has begun to weep and Ben puts his hand on hers to comfort her:
"The....they are quite small. They have a hole at the bottom end which is odd, because it means that they would hang upside down."
Holmes leaps up:"Oscar, I would like your permission to let Lady Arabella stay here for a while, It'll be safer. Ben & Constable Scott will accompany Watson and I. We'll meet you at the Albermarle Club in an hour"
Oscar stirs from a little nap:"Certainly my dear boy."
The carriage moves through the fog-drenched streets towards Soho Square.
"By jove Holmes, I do worry about you knowing about these awful dens and their poor unfortunate clientele" Watson muses. Holmes smiles.Ben looks out of the window sadly:
"I somehow fear that opium will continue to destroy lives for many years to come." He thinks of Niki and realises that Kyle is thinking of his mum.
Arriving at the opium den, they walk in and Holmes asks the scruffy looking man collecting entrance fees if Snape is present. Ben, gazing inside at the sunken-faced Victorian addicts sucking at their opium pipes by candlelight, notices a man leaving by a back door.
"Come on Kyle: round the back!" He shouts and they run out into the alley. The man is running away, however Kyle rugby-tackles him to the ground and gets him in an armlock. Holmes and Watson run up as Ben questions the man:
"I presume you are Jeremiah Snape. Have you just sent Lady Arabella Framcombe a severed hand?"Snape shakes his head and mutters obscenities. Holmes gestures to Kyle to relax his hold:
"Look Snape we mean you no harm. I know that if you are involved in our business it is in a minor way. Now please let us take you for a civilised drink and a bit of supper where we can talk properly."
"Alright Mr Holmes."Ben is impressed by Holmes' subtle approach and command of the situation, which reminds him a little of the Doctor.
Arriving at the Albermarle Club, just off the Strand, they alight from the carriage and Snape follows Holmes towards the door. Suddenly a man with a beard approaches through the fog. He lifts up a gun and shoots Snape. He runs away, dropping a folded piece of paper. Ben and Kyle give chase however he loses them in the dark London backstreets. As they return, Watson is stepping up from inspecting Snape."He's dead Holmes." Holmes has unfolded the sheet of paper and shows it to Ben and Kyle. On the paper is drawn and coloured in a green hand.
Ben looks puzzled:"...And this means?"Holmes stares intently:
"This is the symbol of the Green Hand League. An anarchist group devoted to the cause of revolution"................
............... to be continued