As we walked to the stools again, Sherlock picked up another blade and held it to the flames. Cleaning the air of the cold-blooded-scoundrel’s aroma with the stench of rotting flesh as he watched the flames, he took his time reaching for his cleaning rag and setting to work on another blade.
“I cannot now entirely see the steps of you reasoning,” I remarked, “As I know you to be the best judge, I would not question you in front of the guilty. Kindly explain sir.”
The steam again rose to cover his face. As the steam cleared he began, “Of course it is obvious from the first that this Master Hosmer Angel must have some strong object for his curious conduct,” Sherlock said as he tempered the steel.
“And it was equally clear that the only man who really profited from the incident,” shrugging off the rest of his conclusion, “as far as we could see, was Master Windibank.”
I considered this theory for a few swipes of Sherlock’s cleansing hand, and added my own observations, “Then the fact that the two men were never together, but that the one always appeared when other was away, does suggest some foulness to the both.”
I nodded, understanding where he was going, “How else did you verify them?”
He looked directly at me then, “The two being only one man? Ah, well it all came down to the runner. His reaction in front of Mistress Sutherland at the moment when Master Windibank walked by, and then his sudden disappearance. I sent Bitr to find the whereabouts of the lad. Windibank had his route changed after the incident. As runners are valuable when they are fast, he was not allowed to kill him on site, or even pluck out his eyes.”
I was glad no harm was brought upon the unfortunate witness, and also rather I rather liked the idea of Bitr having a friend for a short time. If they were both lucky, they would survive the next ten winters.
“He only confirmed your suspicions though?” I asked him, as I knew he would only question someone when he already knew most of the answers.
“The child confirmed that the two were strikingly similar to the point of relation. All that separated them was the whiskers, the glasses and the voice,” he said in a satisfied tone.
“And Mistress Sutherland? How did she surmise identity of the man?”
Sherlock returned the sword to its scabbard and picked up another. Stretching it towards the flames, “I suspect she realized after our conversation concluded, that either I would discover where her lover was, or who he was, and then she would be able to exact whatever payment she saw fit for abandoning or tricking her. I believe that Master Windibank did not heed the Persian saying, ‘There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for who so snatches a delusion from a woman.’ There is much sense in Hafiz as in Horaces, and as much knowledge of the world.”
Editors Note: Linda K. Strahl graduated with a degree in Creative Writing from Lewis University. She is currently a volunteer poetry editor for Jet Fuel Review, as it is the catalyst to her ongoing pursuit to join the publishing field. To keep her writing fresh she is currently working on integrating old classics with more present superstitions and fads, while also keeping her own word journal, and Evernote app on hand. To keep her finger dexterity, she knits, and practices piano.