Holmes slid into an alley, obviously in a rush, but retreated behind the corner when he caught a glimpse of a ravishing young beauty strutting toward his position. He watched her with great interest as a dust-covered Cockney approached her with a bouquet of red roses.
" 'Ey sweet'eart. Got some flowers fer ya. I'll cut ya a deal 'cause you're so pretty." He smiled with crooked, dirty teeth. She returned the smile with a sparkling one of her own and dipped down to smell the roses. "Oh! My lucky day!"
Another man crept up behind her. The two were most definitely thieves. Little did they know that they were in the presence of world-class criminal, Irene Adler. She stopped at the cool breath of the second man on her neck. From beneath the sleeve of her pink bustled dress slid a small nightstick. She whirled around, smashing the stick into the thief's cheek. Once, twice, thrice, and one last pound on top of the man's head sent him unconscious to the ground. She pulled out a knife and cut open the first man's brown vest, revealing his striped shirt and braces. She pushed him against the wall viciously. "Move!" she growled. She cupped her hand over the man's mouth and placed the knife against his neck. Slowly, she pulled open his vest to reveal a pocket. In it, the man's wallet. She sarcastically snatched it and wrapped her arm around the bouquet before leaving the two men dumbfounded. The thieves had just been thieved.
"That's the Irene I knew." Holmes muttered, satisfied. He quickly took a detour around a block of buildings, stumbling all the way along crates and cobblestone.
He emerged at the square, mere seconds behind Irene whose bright bustle could easily be spotted among the rest of the gray world. She swiftly flew past the gypsies that were performing in the square. Holmes dashed through a gypsy shop tent, secretly plucking an eyepatch from a table and slipping it on. After making it through the square, he veered off course down a series of back alleys. He sped out of the last alley onto the street and straight into the side of a carriage. Gaining his composure, he rose from the ground and appeared in the carriage window once more. Spotting the lovely Irene Adler inside the carriage, he smirked at his own brilliance. He had successfully predicted her route.
He turned to the other man in the carriage. Unfortunately, this certain being was engulfed in the shadows. Holmes, in a gruff, heavy voice, asked the man for money as if he were a beggar. Quick as a flash, the man's arm extended. His leather-gloved hand was a mere 6 inches from Holmes's false nose and even more surprising was the contraption that slipped out from the man's coat sleeve. Perched proudly upon the bending machine was the smallest gun the sleuth had ever seen. Compact, unseen, and effective, this was quite ingenious. With his hands raised in defense, Holmes backed away from the carriage mumbling his apologies. Despite being frightened away from the carriage, Holmes smiled to himself. He had deduced vital details about Miss Adler's mysterious employer.
It was three days later. A rather chilly afternoon breeze had kept Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes, and Evangeline Wells inside the men's humble abode. Sherlock, bored, twisted the black shoelace about his fingertips while Watson glanced over the day's paper. Evie used a soft, horsehair brush to run through her long blonde tresses. Her hair had gotten quite long in the past months. From her shoulder blades it continued to grow until this particular day when the ends playfully stroked the arch of her back. With all of her locks slung over her left shoulder, she relaxed onto the couch and stared at the ceiling as she combed her fingers through the curled ends. Suddenly, into the room barged a tall, mustachioed constable in a state of pure unrest. Holmes smirked.
Watson and Holmes arrived, irritated that Evangeline straggled along, at a large and majestic cemetery. As they approached a scene of chaos and business down a dusty pathway, Evie shrank behind Holmes and the doctor both from shyness and from an uneasy feeling that overtook her mind as she stared up at the towering stone angels and crosses. Even though she fancied herself to be extremely boyish for the period, she was absolutely terrified of ghost stories quite like the one she had followed her friends to investigate. Why she had tried so desperately to convince them to allow her, she had not a clue anymore. "I'll be waiting in the carriage." She murmured to Holmes and turned to leave. Holmes rolled his eyes and pulled her back by the collar of her coat and wordlessly pulled her towards Inspector. "If you went through so much trouble to come, you're staying." He reasoned. She whimpered behind him.
"You took your time, Holmes." Lestrade spoke from the shattered stone tomb. Sherlock jokingly responded, "And on the third day…"
Lestrade, Watson, and Sherlock discussed the case at hand. Apparently, a witness had seen Lord Blackwood walking about the cemetery the night before. This was, of course, incredibly odd seeing as Lord Blackwood had been hanged 3 months prior. Dr. Watson himself, who was the supervising practitioner, pronounced Blackwood dead.
Both Evangeline and Holmes were watching from the audience when the lord spoke his final words.
"Lord Henry Blackwood, you have been tried and convicted for the practice of black magic, and the horrible murders of five innocent young women. For which crime you have been sentenced to death. Have you anything final to say?" asked the Governor.
"Death…is only the beginning." Replied Blackwood before being hooded. Evie glared at his smirk. However, as he flopped about, fighting the pull of the rope, Evie couldn't bear to watch so she buried her face in her palms as Sherlock draped a comforting arm over her shoulder.
The three men twittered on about ghosts and dead men, things that made Evie quite uncomfortable, so she simply watched the other Scotland Yarders chat amongst themselves. As she stared, her eyes followed the stray rocks that littered the ground to the tomb. Her curiosity rose.
With a dozen nervous eyes watching her back, she scooted toward the large stone pile blocking the entrance to the tomb. She picked away at small rocks to reveal a tiny hole through which she gazed into the eerie darkness. Reaching her long arm through the hole in hopes of feeling what might be inside. She half expected to reach out and touch the warm skin and crooked smile of a living Lord Blackwood. Alas, there was no crooked smile or warmth. She suddenly felt a small sensation on top of her hand as if a small spider was crawling along her pale skin. She wasn't normally afraid of spiders but the sudden touch startled her already racing heart. She let out a small scream and, in one swift motion, withdrew her arm from the hole, slapped the creature on her hand and fell back onto the gravel.
A blushing Evangeline rose from the ground and dashed over to where Watson was examining the groundkeeper in shock, trying her best to ignore the snickering Scotland Yarders and Sherlock Holmes. Watson sympathetically ushered her closer to show her how one might tell symptoms of catatonic behavior. Utterly fascinated, she remained engrossed in the man's words until he returned to Sherlock's side, leaning over a dusty black casket. Evie felt her stomach churn so she began cooing kindly to the catatonic "witness" in an attempt to calm him. The old groundskeeper curiously inched towards the scene of Scotland Yarders, Dr. Watson, and Sherlock Holmes gazing in shock into the open coffin. Evie followed, unsure of what resided inside. Watson lifted his head and spoke to Evie, "Well, looks like we've found Holmes's ginger midget." Evie stopped and frowned at Watson. "A ginger midget? Stop playing around, John!" He shook his head and nodded toward the casket. Slowly, she wiggled through the crowd beside Watson, driven to prove that there was no such person in the casket. Her eyes widened and she cocked her head to the side, no longer afraid but rather purely intrigued by the little man in the coffin. In a matter-of-fact way as if it was an obvious discovery, she flatly stated, "Oh, look… a ginger midget."
The groundskeeper stepped toward the crowd. "When the dead walk, then the living shall fill these coffins." He prophesized. Evie and Sherlock locked eyes. He sighed and rolled his orbs before snatching up the dead man's watch, assuring Lestrade that he'll keep him updated, and strutting away down the same road they came by. Watson and Evangeline nervously glanced at one another before following. Evie mindlessly began daydreaming about the possible black magic that could've risen Blackwood from the grave. Completely leaving reality for her thoughts and pondering, she heard Sherlock remark, "Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks without clay."
The trio walked together down a small cobblestone street, Evangeline struggling to keep up with the taller men at her sides. Sherlock rolled the pocketwatch over in his palms, looking for clues. He stopped at the sight of crudely struck initials on the back of the watch. Watson leaned forward to get a glimpse of the letters. "Perhaps a pawnbroker's initials?" he offered up. The two noticed, also, small scratches upon the front. Watson suggested that the midget was a frequent drinker. Holmes nodded his head like a proud mother whose daughter has just brought home a handsome husband. "Very good, Watson. It appears you're developing deductive powers of your own." Evie lowers her head shamefully, a glint of pink on her cheeks. She wasn't nearly as brilliant as these two. She couldn't even deduce simple things about the watch. Suddenly, a thought occurred to her as she raised her head. "If we find the pawnbroker, we could find out the midget's address, yes?" Sherlock grins at her shyness and simply states, "Exactly, Evie. Exactly Correct." She bit her tongue, trying to hold back her smile, as she thought," What a child I am. Always pining for praise." She giggled to herself before being halted by Watson. Before the three was the pawnbroker's shop whose initials were scraped into the watch. They all had passed this shop on many occasions but never had they truly noticed it.
Beneath a canopy the three passed to get to the pawnbroker's door. A stout gypsy woman offered a palm reading to Watson through her missing front teeth. He promptly ignored the woman and stared down toward his feet, hoping she would catch the hint. He never did trust gypsies. Once more, only more forceful, she shouted after Watson, " 'ey! You really need to hear wha' I got'a tell ya!" He ignored the old woman's pleas. She finally revealed her knowledge. "You're to be married!" Evangeline and Watson turned in shock. Sherlock's lips curved upward in a slight smirk that was barely noticeable to the untrained eye. But Evie's eyes were well accustomed to Sherlock's quirks. The gypsy began disclosing information about Watson that only a dear friend would know. Evie caught Holmes's eye with her questioning looks. His smirk became more apparent and he raised an index finger to his lips with a mischievous sparkle in his brown eyes. Evie's mouth gaped open at Sherlock's audacity, unsure of whether to giggle or scold him. Despite the side of her that told her that it was wrong to trick a dear friend into believing in such superstitions as palm-reading, she couldn't stop her small smile from forming and her nose from wrinkling as it usually does when she was forced to hold her uncontrollable laughter. Sherlock, seeing Evie's wrinkled nose and timid smile as she gazed between the gypsy and Watson, smiled and cast his eyes to the road but once again found himself glancing at her. He always had found the way she wrinkled her nose when she was smiling an undeniably adorable aspect that seemed to attract his eyes to her face like a magnet.
His ears, however, paid no mind to Evie as they heard the gypsy mumbling about a fat Mary, doilies and print wallpaper. Holmes echoed her and added, "And what of the warts?" The gypsy nodded solemnly and added a beard to the lie. Watson's brows furrowed in irritation. He realized at that moment that it was one of Sherlock's setups to protest his marriage to Mary. Watson pulls Sherlock away with Evie hurriedly scuttling after them. "Have you no shame, Holmes?" the good doctor interrogated. Sherlock defended his decision but was proved wrong by Watson's purchase of an engagement ring mere moments later. While Watson and Evie were searching for the perfect ring, Sherlock had casually asked for the midget's address. His smug grin beamed with success.
They had set off down the road to investigate the previous residence of the ginger midget whose name, Evie found out, was Reordan. Watson stopped, informing Sherlock that he couldn't accompany him due to a dinner date with Mary and her parents. A slight air of disappointment in his voice, Sherlock agreed and continued on with Evie at his side, quietly wondering what could be lurking inside Reordan's abode.