It had been several months since the incident at El Balcone, Jones had been greatly shaken by the whole event, never before had he failed to complete the task which someone had engaged him for. My companion did not take a case for several weeks and when he finally had to for financial reasons he took only the simplest ones that were presented to him. He was starting to get back into his stride when the case I am about to detail occurred.
It was the first day in many without rain, myself and Jones had just had our tea and I was by the fire reading a recent periodical on foreign medical treatments in the Times while Jones stood close to the window looking out into the street. “AH! We are, if I’m not mistaken, about to receive a visitor.” I got up and looked out of the window, there was a young girl on the other side of the street looking at the numbers on the doors, then catching ours in her sight headed towards the door with a look of determination on her face. Jones then proceeded back to his chair as the bell rang and we heard the maid let the lady in and show her up the stairs to our rooms.
The young girl entered all in a fluster, she was a blooming young girl hardly over her 20th year, she was wearing a dress which was a mixture of ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set of her charms. She introduced herself as Miss Tiana Harland, “I am terribly sorry for troubling you sirs but I have a problem, it has a little mystery surrounding it and you were recommended to me as being an expert with these types of problems.”
“If you lay out the situation to myself and the good Doctor Sexy, then we will endeavour to help you by any means necessary.” Jones replied, in a calm reassuring way.
“Thank you,” Miss Harland continued, “Let me begin at the very beginning, 10 years ago my father was returning from India after being away for 3 years. I was due to meet him at his hotel as he said he had to discuss my inheritance which in the letter he said was about to increase dramatically. I went to meet him but he was gone, his luggage was still there but he was gone he had no friends in England save the Major Fernandez who knew nothing of his arrival in Britain. I gave up after a few months of searching I went back to my job as a governess, it was 4 years later when upon my birthday I received a parcel saying this was part way towards my payment lost years ago and inside was a most magnificent pearl.” At this moment she took out a little box and opened it to show a set of six beautiful pearls. “As you can see I have received one every birthday after the first one arrived, however when this year’s arrived yesterday it came with a note, here it is, if you wish to look at it.” She passed the note over to Jones, he then passed it to me after a quick glance.
Dear Miss Harland,
If you wish to know the truth about what occurred that night 10 years ago then you will meet me outside the Whitehall playhouse at 8 tomorrow night. If you have any doubt to whether or not to come then you may bring three friends so as to calm any fears you might have.
After I had finished reading I questioned the lady, “I presume from this letter that you wish for us to be the people that go with you to meet this man?”
“Yes,” she answered, “If you two gentlemen would be so kind as to help me in this matter.”
“It would be our pleasure,” Said Jones, “The meeting is in an hour we had better hurry to the playhouse if we are to make it on time, do not fret I’m sure by the end of the night we will have solved the mystery that has surrounded your young life.” And he grabbed up his coat and instructed the maid to call a hansom for us. We plied in when it pulled up and gave our destination to the driver who speedily set off. “By the way,” I said, “The note says you can bring three friends, my ability in maths tells me that with myself and Jones you are only at two was there no one else whom you would ask to come?”
“Well yes there was someone,” She said rather reservedly, “I’m sorry Mr. Jones but I had heard about your failure at El Balcone, I was a little worried about whether you would be up to this so I enlisted the services of another prominent detective in the area.”
Jones sat bolt upright and with a worried expression asked, “Who did you get to come with us?”
“I believe,” Miss Harland replied, “His name is Flowmer.”
“Thank God, I was worried for a second there.” Said Jones relaxing back into his seat.
“Oh no my mistake,” Blurted out Miss Harland, “His name is Homer, Detective Homer.”
To be continued.