The girl was in her place on time.
Lestrade was with me, in the shadows, in spite of his misgivings, a silent Constable shadowing him.
The three of us waited as dusk fell, watching.
The girl slowly began to make her way down the street with all the appearance of one who does not have enough sense not to linger on an empty street as darkness approached.
"Sir-" Lestrade silenced the Constable with a slight jerk of his head.
The Inspector had settled into a half crouch, ready to move at a second's notice, and was now completely still, his dark eyes intent on the scene before us. The Constable tried to follow his example, but was a restless sort, and had been told little of the nature of this watch.
Someone else was out. He was on the same side of the street as the girl, and walking towards her.
They met, and he stopped and tipped his hat to her. She curtsied, and he made a comment about the weather.
"Nice night." The girl agreed, and was doing an admirable job of hiding her terror. She had recognized the man.
He steeped closer, laid one hand on her arm, and with his other tilted her chin so that their eyes met.
He recognized her, and struck her with considerable force as I sprang forward from the shadows and towards them, Lestrade and the Constable right behind me.
I lunged towards the man. He simply sidestepped me, the stuck his foot out and sent me sprawling.
Idiot. I cursed myself as the murderer took the opportunity to run for it.
Lestrade went after him, the Constable hot on his heels. As I regained my feet Lestrade caught up with the man and tackled him.
The two were getting into it as the Constable caught up with them and lent a hand. Between the two of them they managed to subdue the murderer and slap a pair of darbies on him.
"Watch him, Adams." Lestrade said as they got to their feet. He left the Constable in charge of his man and returned to us.
"Alright, Mr. Holmes?" He asked as he knelt by the girl, a stricken look on his face.
"Fine." I replied coolly. I wondered that he hadn't taken the opportunity to point out that my mistake could have allowed our quarry to get away.
The girl was coming around, a fact which relieved Lestrade immensely. "Well done, Young Lady." He said as he helped her up. "That was a very brave thing you did there."
The girl blushed at the praise. "I was terrified." She confessed. "And he recognized me! Did we-?"
"We got him." Lestrade assured her. "Let's get you home.
Lestrade was embarrassed the next day as he paid me my pathetic fee, and rightly so. I accepted it without a word, and turned my attention back to my reading.
The next time Scotland Yard wanted my help, I would refuse. If they didn't think I was worth compensating for my time, I didn't see any reason to trouble myself with their dull and commonplace crimes.
If they had half a brain amongst them they wouldn't need my help anyway.
Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes does not belong to me.