Sherlock Holmes: The Pimlico Poisoner (Conclusion)

Better late than never… the final part

Rose and I fell down on the stiff hotel bed.

She kissed me passionately, desperately. Under normal circumstances I would have wanted her more than she wanted me, but these were not normal circumstances.

I found, almost to my surprise, that I was excited too. I was trying not to think, I suppose, of all the men who must have gone before me.

Reaching down, I found the scar where she’d had the caesarian with the first child. There had been complications during the birth.

She said: “Don’t leave me. Don’t ever leave me on my own again, Holmes.”

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I won’t let them take your child away from you.”

But we both knew, when we got out of this room, that she would be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life. That if the police, or a certain fraternal order, ever found out that she was the poisoner her life would probably be a short one.

Almost half an hour later I met Lestrade outside behind the building, a grim subterranean parking garage.

“What are you doing here, Lestrade?”

“You summoned me here.”

“Did I? I must have thought I had a lead for you. Turned out to be nothing.”

“Oh well,” he said, maybe thinking he had finally got something to hold over me. Or maybe not: “You can’t win them all.” He held out the pouch of American Spirits that he always carried, knowing I didn’t indulge.

“Coffin nail?”

“Life’s too short,” I said.

“Come on Holmes,” he said. “Doesn’t take a detective to work out you let her go. I’m sure you helped her slip away.”

“What do you know about it?”

“I know you were working on the Buechler case. I know you were close to the girl. The only question is, why? If you don’t give her up, someone else will.”

“The argument that if I don’t do it someone-or-other will is one of the most platitudinous in all the English language, Lestrade – along with ‘I was only following orders’ and ‘it just fell off in my hand.’ A crime is still a crime, regardless of whether someone else would commit it. You of all people should know that. An injustice would be still an injustice.”

“Do you believe that if men didn’t have guns they wouldn’t fight with swords and sharp sticks then, Sherlock? Allow yourself to return to being a rational realist for one moment. We’ll find her.”

“Maybe. But she’ll never sleep with you, Lestrade.”

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