"Things that Go Bump in the Night"
A Baker Street Adventure
The North and South Downs presented to them choices which they had to take one way or the other, and so since Mrs. Hudson had chosen to come anyway with Harry, then Holmes had immediately taken hold of the sticky situation and had her and Watson separated by taking Harry into their car with Mrs. Hudson, and sending Professor Challenger and Conan in the other car with Watson so the clashes would be minimal...unless you noted the dirty looks and scowls that Watson exchanged with Harry, whom he was usually quite fond of, but at that moment, could have twisted his neck off and thought nothing of it. At least until after his temper died down.
"I don't like this one bit." He had told Holmes, who stood there stoically, ignoring the rants and ravings of his best friend and his other companions, who all felt they had been cheated in one way or another.
Finally, Holmes had raised a hand. Regally, above his head. Everyone fell silent.
Mrs. Hudson gave Watson a look and he gave her one back. Not quite hostile, but close, while Harry edged further away from both Mrs. Hudson and Watson, just in case he needed to make a quick getaway.
"It seems our party has been strengthened by the ploy of our magician friend and Mrs. Hudson, so we shall take advantage of it."
"The Downs as you know are broken into two sections...two separate barriers...the North and the South."
"It's a lot of land to explore." Challenger noted. "I've traveled them many at time."
"Yes." Sherlock agreed, but now we know what we're looking for. We know that the town is near the ancient ruins of the Druids."
"But then why are we exploring the south?" Conan complained.
"Because what we seek is not necessarily there anymore." Holmes said with a hint of mystery in his voice, which all had come to know as reticence and a knowledge he wasn't willing, able or desiring to share just yet.
"I believe that we are looking for more than just a man." Holmes finally said.
Watson gave him a look of surprise. "What could possibly be more than a man?"
Challenger clapped him on the back. "Two men and a woman. Or if you ever listened to the woman I almost married, a woman!" He laughed so hard that Watson almost turned on him, but held his temple.
Everyone lapsed into silence. Finally, Holmes delegated the missions and everyone separated to leave. Mrs Hudson gave Watson a shy wave good bye, and he made a scowl for a moment, then rushed over and gave her a hug.
She tapped his shoulder lovingly. "It's all right. What good are friends for if they can't disagree now and then."
She put a finger to his lips. "Later."
He nodded and backed off, climbing into the vehicle with Challenger and Conan, while Holmes, Harry and Mrs. Hudson climbed into the other. Challenger's car went south and theirs went North.
Holmes studied the terrain as their car climbed the rugged path towards the nearest town. "According to our maps the town you lived in was Durmouth. Is that correct?"
"However in the world did you discover that?" Mrs. Hudson asked, surprised at his knowledge. "I've never told anyone my hometown's name, not even dear Watson."
Harry coughed lightly. "Uh..."
Her eye darted to him. "Holmes!"
"Time is of the essence, Dear Ms. Hudson, and another life is the stakes!" Holmes scolded her.
She deflated as the weight of the comment settled into her mind and turned to Harry. "How?"
"Oh, a little this. A little that." He told her with a sly grin.
She punched his right shoulder.
"Oww! No wonder John is always complaining about his right arm so much." Harry blurted out.
Holmes looked away to hide his smile.
"I used magic." Harry finally said, when she threatened him with a second blow.
"What kind of magic?" She demanded.
Holmes stepped in at that moment. "Look there!"
Everyone turned to look in the direction pointed. Something large was flying in the sky. It didn't belong there. Something not natural.
Harry's face animated. "A dragon in England!"
Holmes shook his head. "Look again."
It turns out it was no dragon, but something far worse. Harry's look of delight turned to horror as the distant beast turned on its leathery wings and shot towards their taxi.
Holmes tapped the Driver's window. It slid open and the Driver looked back. "Yes?"
"I think now would be a good time to pull us over quickly." He advised.
Holmes pointed and the Driver looked out the same time as the giant beast shot a torrent of flame at their vehicle.
The Driver reacted by driving their car off the road, even as flames licked at its roof.
Chapter Ten Watson fumed in the rear of the taxi as Challenger and Conan played a game of cards between them, holding the cards in their lap as they played.
"Sure you don't want to join us, John?" Challenger asked, then said. "Snaps!" He cried out, laying down three Aces upon a Red King that Conan had on his lap.
Conan gave Challenger a dirty look. "You cheated!"
"I most certainly did not, you little scoundrel." Challenger blared back, his beard flaring in anger.
Watson merely said. "Quiet!"
The tone was so fraught with peril that both men lapsed into a sullen silence, giving each other scowls.
"Will you two stop acting like schoolyard idiots and put your minds to the task at hand?" Watson demanded.
They both lost their scowls and before Watson knew it they were laying out their cards again, as if nothing had happened.
"I said..." Watson scalded them.
"We are, John." Challenger replied.
He pointed out the four cards just won by him. "Three aces and a king."
Conan nodded. "Ourselves. Note the king is the black spade."
"The king of evil." Challenger pointed out.
"We are the men who will surround him and bring him safely to retribution."
"What utter nonsense." Watson blasted at them. "Who taught you this stupid way of doing things?
Conan and Challenger both looked at each other, afraid to answer, then Watson realized he'd just hoisted his own petard. He began to choke.
"I did." He answered himself.
Then all three broke into laughter.
Chapter Ten The Tesla cab that had held Holmes, Harry and Mrs. Hudson lay overturned in a deep gulley of white chalk rock. The white chalk was scarred by black smoke and cuts made by the tearing of iron and steel as the cab had rolled from the road above.
The area about the cab was scorched for dozens of yards and flames still hovered above the chalky ground, along with black fumes.
The Chimarae, which is what the flying beast was, landed in the midst of the holocaust its flames had caused and surveyed the vehicle for life. When nothing moved it blasted it again for good measure, then secure in the knowledge it had performed its mission, it hurled itself into the sky and began flapping its gigantic dark wings with a force that quickly carried it away.