Sherlock led the way to Scotland Yard and stopped by the doorman. “I’m here to see Lestrade.”
“Right you are, Mr Holmes; he’s in his office.”
Sherlock nodded in thanks and stepped inside. John followed into a cluttered office, in which a young man with greying hair sat at the desk.
“Ah, Sherlock, you’re here.” He glanced over at John questioningly.
“This is my friend, John Watson.” Sherlock stated.
“Friend?” Lestrade raised his eyebrows. “Will you friend be coming on the investigation?”
“Yes, he will. Now let’s stop with this nonsense and get straight to it; what do you have for me today, Lestrade?”
“Have a read of this.” Lestrade passed over a file.
Sherlock took it and looked over it quickly. “A mysterious benefactor… goodness, I’d be furious if I was Mrs Selwick’s son.”
“What is it?” John spoke for the first time.
“A young Mr Selwick has been given a rather large sum of money from an unknown benefactor, but his mother wants it looking into.” Sherlock closed the file and dropped it back on Lestrade’s desk. “Well, Lestrade, I must admit I am rather disappointed that you didn’t call me over for a good old murder, but I suppose it’s good to be in London again. Point me in the right direction of Mr Selwick and I shall begin.”
John followed Sherlock through the London streets. The young detective seemed to know the place as well as the back of his hand, and the look in his eyes as he looked about him showed that he adored it. They arrived at a middle-class looking house after about ten minutes of walking – Sherlock refused to travel by carriage just yet. They were led into a sitting room where young Mr Selwick was sat, looking rather agitated, next to assumedly Mrs Selwick. Sherlock sat down on an armchair opposite the Selwicks and gestured for John to do the same.
“So,” Sherlock placed his palms together under his chin, posed to listen. “Tell me what happened.”
Mrs Selwick started. “Well-”
“Not you.” Sherlock cut in. “Your son.”
Looking rather taken aback, Mrs Selwick remained silent. Sherlock looked over to Mr Selwick, waiting for him to speak.
“Well, about two weeks ago now, the lawyer, Mr Briggs, came round to announce that I’ve a large sum of money now, which I am to use to help me into high society to become a gentleman-”
“It’s ridiculous, he’s to be a doctor, which is a very honourable profession; he’s no need for this money and no need to be a ‘gentleman’ as they put it.” Mrs Selwick interjected.
“Mrs Selwick,” Sherlock sighed. “Please leave the room.”
“Excuse me; this is my house, I will not-”
“You are disrupting my investigation and I cannot have that. You are the one who wanted an investigation, so if you would like it to continue, I suggest you do what I ask.”
Looking utterly shocked and offended, Mrs Selwick huffed and exited the room.
“Mr Selwick,” Sherlock turned to face the young man again. “Please continue.”
“You see Mr Holmes,” Mr Selwick spoke in a hushed voice. “I think I know who my benefactor is.”
“Is that so?”
“When I was a boy, I used to go to a woman named Miss Temple’s house. She had an adopted daughter and we used to play together. I think Miss Temple was fond of me, and she used to say that her daughter, Diana, was to be a lady, and she was to marry a gentleman. I think she means for me to marry Diana, hence the fortune.”
Sherlock raised his eyebrows. “That’s quite an assumption, Mr Selwick, and I can tell you here and now, that you are incorrect.”
Mr Selwick looked at Sherlock, confused. “Incorrect? But who else-”
“Leave it with me, Mr Selwick. Everything will be solved in good time. I will be leaving now to begin my investigation. I bid you good day.” Sherlock stood up and John followed, stepping out onto the street. “I’m going to get some coffee, would you like some?”
“Yes, thank you.” John walked as fast as he could manage to keep up with Sherlock. “How do you know that Mr Selwick’s theory was incorrect?”
“It’s obvious; if Miss Temple was going to give Mr Selwick money, she wouldn’t make it a secret.”
“Do you know Miss Temple?”
“No, I’ve never met her. Here we are.”
Sherlock turned into a small coffee shop. John looked about him curiously; he’d never been to such a place.
“How do you like your coffee?” Sherlock asked before approaching the counter.
“Milk with one sugar, thank you.”
Sherlock ordered their drinks and they found a table.
“I’m sorry if this is boring for you; I was expecting a better case than this.” Sherlock looked irritated.
“Not at all! This is far from boring. I feel like quite the adventurer. You can tell I’m not content back at home.” John smirked.
“Well, that’s good.” This seemed to put Sherlock at ease.
A waiter approached with the drinks, setting them on the table. Sherlock immediately took a sip, cringing.
“Isn’t it a bit hot?” John laughed.
“Yes, I just needed some caffeine.”
Sherlock waited patiently for his coffee to cool before drinking it rather quickly. John rushed to drink his too as to not keep Sherlock waiting.
“Let’s go for a walk.” Sherlock stood up quickly and left the building.
Sherlock took John on a tour of London, pointing out locations of crime scenes for cases he had previously solved, and occasionally greeting homeless people as if they were acquaintances. The tour went into the night. The streets gradually got emptier and became almost silent. Light rain from earlier in the day left the streets wet; the streetlamps reflecting on the ground like golden orbs. Sherlock reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette and a box of matches.
“Would you like one?” Sherlock raised his cigarette in John’s direction.
“No thank you.” John looked on as Sherlock lit the cigarette and took a long drag, exhaling slowly in a long sigh. “Are you alright?” John asked.
“I’m fine… it’s just… it’s nothing.” Sherlock frowned to himself, exhaling again.
A few moments of silence followed as Sherlock finished smoking, dropping the cigarette on the ground and stamping it out.
“My first case was just around the corner from here.” Sherlock started walking again, John catching up to walk beside him.
They turned a corner into a narrow alleyway. “I was about fifteen years old-”
John and Sherlock turned to hear the voice that came from behind them. The alleyway was dark, but a man’s silhouette could be seen against the light coming from the adjacent street.
“To whom am I speaking?” Sherlock asked, trying to get a good look at the man.
“You don’t remember me, then?” The man stepped forward, his face becoming slightly more visible.
“Derwent.” Sherlock confirmed quietly. “Seems quite like you to lurk in a dark alley.”
“I’m not here to exchange insults, Mr Holmes.” Derwent pulled something out of his inner pocket. A glimpse of light reflected off the object: a knife.
John’s heart started racing. He looked nervously between Sherlock and Derwent.
“This won’t do you any good, Derwent. You’ll just end up in prison like your brother.” Sherlock spoke calmly, but John could see his breathing had increased; he was scared too.
Derwent stepped forward, his grip tightening on the knife.
“Stay back!” John shouted.
Derwent turned to John. “Or what?”
John thought for a moment for what to say when he remembered. He reached into his coat and pulled out his father’s pistol, pointing it at Derwent’s chest.
“Alright.” Derwent lowered his knife immediately, returning it to his pocket. He raised his hands in the air to show he meant no harm. “I’ll leave. You’ve got a good friend there, Holmes. You’re lucky tonight.”
“I know.” Sherlock spoke softly, taking a step back. “Goodbye, Derwent.” Sherlock stared at the man until he turned and walked away, still looking back at the other two men.
John lowered the pistol. His heart was still pounding. Sherlock looked at the pistol, then at John’s worried face.
“Had enough adventure yet?”