The Revenge of the Mummy
by John Pirillo
But he said no more.
Because Watson could plainly be seen to be in distress. He wobbled at first, then his whole body began to shake.
"Good God, Man!" Challenger cried out and ran to him, clutching him firmly before he could fall.
Sherlock announced. "Mrs. Hudson, we need you!"
Challenger helped Watson to sit back down. Mrs. Hudson scrambled into view, wringing her hands in worry, but when she saw Watson, she almost had a panic breakdown. She flew to him and clasped his hands. "You should be in bed, you know that, you grumbly old bear!"
Watson gave her a weak smile. "First. I do not need sleep. Second. I am not old."
Mrs. Hudson smiled, and looked at Challenger. "Notice he didn't say I am not grumbly."
Challenger looked to Sherlock, who nodded.
He, Challenger and Conan headed for the stairs with the Inspector in tow, he himself looking ready to collapse as well, but gamely struggling to keep it together. He looked back at Watson. "I'm posting two Constables outside."
"What in earth for?" Watson demanded. "I am in no imminent danger!"
The Inspector descended from view, and then Watson and Mrs. Hudson could the front door open and shut.
He glanced at her warmly. "I'm sorry."
She sat near him and sighed. "John, you're lucky to even be alive. After those days in the hospital. The concussion."
"It was not a concussion." He insisted. "It was..."
Then he frowned, the memory of him sliding across the roof towards towards the creature and the chimney growing more and more vivid, and then the creature peering into his face, and then. And then he felt very, very old. "Maybe I am a grumbly, old bear." He finally told her, to hide the distress he was feeling about his lacking memories.
"What aren't you telling me?"
He gave her a blank look. She gazed into his eyes, as if that would force the memories he had been seeking back to the surface for her to see, but they refused to budge for her or him. He looked away, feeling quite alone and frightened again. Much like when he fought in the Chinas and was lost from his platoon for weeks, struggling to find his way back, his shoulder bleeding and in great pain.
"Grumbly old bear!" She teased, then kissed him lightly on the forehead and went for the way downstairs. She looked back. "I hope I haven't burned the scones I was cooking for you."
Watson grinned from ear to ear. "Now that...that would be a tragedy." He replied, his face losing its remote look.
She blew him a kiss and descended from view.
As soon as she had, he rose from his chair, suddenly his strength back again and went to the window overlooking the street. He observed his friends climbing into a Constable's Wagon and leaving, then he looked to the opposite rooftop where something large and dark with fierce red eyes was watching.
He looked at it and saw it, but didn't see it at all. It was invisible to his conscious mind, but inwardly, he shivered with great fear. Something had changed for him. Something big. Something awful. Something dark and terrible.
The Constable Wagon pulled next to the curb where a rather stout Mister Alexander Hawkins of Hawkins and Hawkins Electrics stood wringing his hands, eyeing his broken front window, where two workers were sizing it up after having just removed a series of boards that had closed it up.
Some civilians walking near the shop which was on 61 Paddington Street, not so far from Baker Street, paused to watch as Sherlock, Challenger, Conan and the Inspector climbed out.
Sherlock didn't wait for the Inspector to introduce him to Mr. Hawkins, instead he brushed past him and entered the shop, along with Conan and Challenger much to the distress of the Inspector, who remained to explain what was going on.
"Inspector Bloodstone, I'd like to know the meaning of this unseemly intrusion!" Exclaimed Mr. Hawkins, no longer wringing his hands, but now that he had found a focus for his fear and anger, were doing his best to take it out on the wretched Inspector.
"You did not recognize who entered your shop?"
"Sir, it matters not to me if Her Majesty were to enter at this time. My question would remain. Why?"
The Inspector grappled with an explanation for several seconds, then turned to his Constable, who stood beside him watching with a neutral face. "Take care of this, will you Constable Evans?"
And then to further frustrate and anger Mr. Hawkins, the Inspector brushed past him as well as the others before him, leaving him to face a Constable who swallowed hard, knowing he had to be civil, but having nothing to give him to explain what had just happened.
Inside the shop, Conan was on his knees with a swab, taking samples of a slight glaze trail that crossed the floor to the shelves on the left. "From what I can see, Sherlock, this appears to be of the same substance as the one you and Watson found near the theater as well. And the Museum."
Sherlock wasn't listening, instead he was taking note of the shelves, which ones appeared to be disturbed and which ones not. He made quick notes into his pad, then pocketed it. Challenger was doing the same on the other side of the room. The slime trail led to both sides and the rear of the shop, which Sherlock went to next.
There he found a Tesla motor, one of the older ones discarded on the floor.
"Just what are you looking for?" The Inspector demanded, as he came into the back and saw what Sherlock was looking at.
Sherlock said nothing, but instead, next went to an electrical panel, where he noted a slight burned look. He brushed it with a finger, then touched it to the tip of his tongue, made a slight face, then turned to the Inspector.
"Have the shop owner come to me."
The Inspector knew better than to argue and stepped outside. A few minutes later he returned with Mr. Hawkins, who had cooled off somewhat, but still looked like an angry lion about to bite someone's head off.
"Mister Hawkins." Sherlock addressed him. "I have a few questions for you."
"And I for you, sir!"
Sherlock ignored the sharp retort and continued. "What exactly have you found to be missing?"
"Nothing of value to a thief, except some electrical parts."
"You had no newer Tesla devices in the shop then?"
The owner squirmed under Sherlock's hawk-like gaze.
"I do not specialize in new electronics, but refurbished and older models."
Sherlock's right eyebrow lifted. "I see. And exactly what were the electrical parts."
"My entire stock of copper and manganese wiring. The cheapest metals I have and the most useless as they are hardly found anymore in the electronics we build."
"Thank you, Mister Hawkins. I wish you a speedy recovery from your losses." Sherlock told him, then exited.
The Inspector gave Mister Hawkins a look of surprise, then followed.
Mister Hawkins rushed out and followed everyone to the Constable's Wagon as they were climbing back inside. "Have you found anything? Anything that might be a clue that could help me to recover my losses?"
Sherlock paused before climbing in and eyed Mister Hawkins directly. "I don't expect you will ever recover these losses. Good day, sir!"
He climbed in, then nodded to the Constable, who drove them off, leaving a stunned Mister Hawkins, who sighed deeply, then turned to the two men who had been working on his shop window. "Well then, the show's over, get back to work. Chop. Chop!"
The men bustled to get back to business.
Inside the Constable's Wagon Sherlock turned to the Inspector. "As soon as we return to the headquarters, I would like you to use the full resources of your office to find out how much missing copper and manganese there is in our city."
"That's a tall order. May I ask why?"
Sherlock looked away.
The Inspector frowned a moment, then looked away himself. When Holmes was in the formative stages with his work, he was like a brick wall. Impenetrable. So be it.
But then his thoughts began to wander indiscreetly as he considered the question. What on earth would need massive amounts of copper and manganese, whether from humans or otherwise?"
The next thought that arose in his mind caused him to squirm in great discomfort. He refused to even consider it and shoved it deep into the dark recesses of his mind, where he kept all manner of things dark and ugly, which he preferred to keep in memory only and never consider again.