". . . And that's when he went step by detailed step through everything that happens to a man's body once the trapdoor drops from under his feet."

"He did not!" exclaimed Gregson, half delighted and half appalled.

"Oh, he did," Bradstreet assured him. "From broken neck and asphixiation to losing one's bowels."

There was a pause.

"Didn't think the doctor had such a malicious streak in him," MacDonald mused aloud.

Bradstreet shrugged. "I don't think he would have done it, if that blighter hadn't shown such a disregard for human life. Tit for tat, as it were." He chuckled slightly. "You should've that fellow's face when Watson finished."

There were schuedenfreude-esque chuckles all around as they imagined the "punisher" -- responsible for three deaths by beating and countless other attacks -- contemplating the manner of his own death. He had taken pride in his "work"; he faced his own death with less aplomb.

Bradstreet joined in, though he kept one detail private. Watson had found a savage satisfaction in relating the information and yet there had been pity too. He knew how it felt to be trapped by circumstances and could find a little sympathy even for the villain who attacked him. And that, Bradstreet reflected, was the line that forever separated good men from brutes.