Buckhannon was indicted before the magistrate the following day. Holmes and Watson attended court, the latter pale and making every effort to smother his coughing; a hangover from the time spent out on the snow-ravaged moor, Holmes felt. Both gave evidence, along with Dr Mortimer and Sir Henry. Only Sally, the serving girl, tried to speak in her lover's defence, until the Judge impatiently dismissed her tearful recounting of their tragic backgrounds and promptly sentenced Buckhannon to five years' imprisonment.
"It's not enough, Holmes," Watson said, bitterly, as they left the court, "he may have done no real harm here, but he's wanted for murder elsewhere…"
"Murders that we could neither prove his involvement with, nor testify to," Holmes replied, darkly, "I fear we have not seen the last of him. Come; this freezing weather does neither of us any good. We shall return to London tomorrow; you to the warmth of Baker Street and Mrs Hudson's tender mercies, and I to my cases… I have been gone for too long."
Watson smiled, knowing his companion's hatred of inactivity.
"As you wish, Holmes," he acquiesced, "maybe one day we will come back here under more pleasant circumstances!"
"Perhaps, Watson," Holmes allowed himself a ghost of a smile, "yet I confess I find Dartmoor a bleak and chilling place… quite suited to one of your romantic stories!"
"The Hound of the Baskervilles, or The Case of the Vengeful Ghost?" Watson suggested.
"Indeed!" Holmes laughed, as they walked to Sir Henry's repaired carriage, which waited for them, "Why not both? But now, let me see… let us make arrangements for our return…"
They stepped up into the waiting carriage, already making plans to go back to their home in London, and, as such, not even the observant detective saw the malevolent stare that watched them from the barred window of the court room jail cell. In fact, no-one was near enough to hear the muttered threat…
"Mark my words, and mark them well, Holmes, Watson; Dr Jim's got your number, oh yes he has, and that number will soon be up!"
A/N: I would just like to thank everyone who has read and reviewed this story - it has meant a great deal to me; so thank you for your kind comments to a novice writer, and for such a warm welcome to this genre... I hope I will be able to write more Holmes stories soon. As you may have guessed, I am already hoping that the muse stays with me long enough to complete a sequel to this one... if you want one, that is?