Sherlock Holmes & the Missing Bowls
Author: Inventunus

Chapter 2
The Inspection of Locker 15.

    “Well, Holmes,” I said. “What do you make of it?”

    “A simple case, I think we shall find, Dr. Watson,” he replied. “The two prime suspects, Captain Plumes and Tony Eccles have the most evidence weighing against them I fear, yet both appear at this stage the most unlikely candidates. Lord London may be involved in this too but we will no doubt find, being a visitor, that he was tied up in conversation throughout the break. So then, Watson, what mysterious person entered the clubroom, unlocked a padlocked chamber and why that one in particular, and whisked away 8 heavy marble bowls? … To the scene of the crime we must go, Watson, at speed.”

     And we left forthwith, informing Mrs B not to worry about dinner this evening but to prepare a late supper for us instead.

    Forty minutes later by hansom cab brought us to the wooded village of Rosebush.

    “Just a few discreet inquiries first Dr Watson, then we shall proceed to the Bowling Green. Meet me here again in 10 minutes time.” No sooner had he gone than I heard two market gardeners quite near me saying what a pity Grayson Manor had changed hands and that the new tenants, Lord London and his young assistant were not the kind much liked in these parts.

     Holmes was smartly back and congratulated me on my snippet of information. “An invaluable clue, I perceive, Watson.”

     A brisk walk brought us to the Rosebush Outdoor Bowling Club. Over the fence we spotted the lawnkeeper trimming the hedge near his shack.

    “Remember to keep your eyes open, Watson. The most insignificant detail may become the most significant clue.”

     “Good afternoon, sir,” Holmes called out as we entered the gate. A young man with fair complexion but strong  limbs turned to face us. With boyish facial features, he wore an off-white buttoned shirt, gardening trousers (worn but not untidy), a dull yellow cap upon his head and moccasins upon his feet. I would have put him in his early 20s.

     “Good afternoon gentlemen,” replied the lawnkeeper. “I’ve been expecting you. Captain Plumes called in to say you might call this afternoon. You’d like to look around?”

      “Yes, thankyou,” Holmes replied. “Nice grounds. You keep them in very good order I see.”

     “Thankyou,” he replied. “Just one thing, sir. I need to be away from here shortly for a couple of hours. Can I leave you to wander around on your own?”

     “By all means. Mr Tony Eccles isn’t it?”

     “That’s right. Here are the keys for the clubroom, lunchroom and the lockers. The latter belong to the Captain who asked me to give them to you. You may have heard that we had a burglary this morning in locker 15.”

      “Yes, most mysterious, Mr Eccles,” said Holmes. “Did you see anyone enter the clubrooms during morning tea while you were rolling the lawn?”

      “No, sir.”

      “Did you meet Lord London this morning, Mr Eccles?” asked Holmes.

     “Yes sir. Just briefly at the gate.”

     “What time was that?”

      “Oh, about 9am, just before the Captain rang the bell for the first period of play,” said Mr Eccles.

      “Thankyou. That’s all for now. We better not keep you from your appointment any longer.” And Mr Eccles departed with haste out the gate.

      “Come, doctor. Let’s inspect Locker 15.”

 

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