colebaltblue: (sherlock)
[personal profile] colebaltblue
Title: The Adventure of the Missing Actress
Author: [ profile] colebaltblue
Rating: PG
Characters: Watson/Mary, Lestrade, Mycroft Holmes, Mrs. Hudson & characters from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Warnings: None.
Summary: Casefic set during the Hiatus and featuring characters from The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wastson is appropriately competent, and a young woman isn't 'fridged. After Watson meets Lord Henry Wotton and a young actress on the same day, she goes missing and in an effort to uncover why and how, Watson learns that Holmes can still manage to be as mysterious as ever, even in death.
Notes: MANY thanks to [ profile] keerawa and [ profile] billiethepoet for the quick and extensive betas, for fixing my words and my plot, for talking through things with me and letting me know if something didn't work, or if it did. Thank you.

Written for [ profile] sherlockholmes for [ profile] acd_holmesfest.

I always attempted to reserve some time in the afternoon to spend an hour in the garden taking tea with Mary. She seemed to brighten like our early spring daffodils in the sun despite her persistent dry winter cough. All too often that hour was busy spent on a housecall that took longer than expected or an emergency here and there, but I did try, when I could, to find myself the time to sit with her for that hour. Today I had succeeded in finding the time to be out on a beautiful, if rather cool, sunny afternoon.

Mary was in the midst of a delightfully silly tale involving two friends who were currently upset with one another over of all things, wallpaper when the housekeeper approached.

"Begging your pardon, Doctor Watson, there is a young man here who insists on seeing you immediately, but he will not give his name, nor leave until he speaks with you."

I was puzzled for a moment, wondering why a young man would be so insistent upon coming to the house to see me. My housekeeper recognized most of my patients on sight, even though my attached practice had a separate entrance and she did not interact directly with them on a regular basis. She would have identified him to me if she could, and had him wait in the practice waiting room. And although I saw them rarely now and with decreasing frequency, Holmes's crew of rag-tag street children were known to drop in for me to heal their bumps and bruises. But they always arrived at the back servants' entrance, and their ill-fitting patched clothes identified them better than any uniform might.

I told her to let him know I'd be in shortly. I turned back to Mary to entreat her to finish the story before I dealt with the interruption, as it was near the end of my hour and I should be going anyway, but she was looking at me with her soft and understanding eyes.

"It is quite alright, John, Ethel's wallpaper can keep until supper."

I smiled and stood and kissed her softly on the cheek before heading indoors to deal with my unexpected guest.

The lad at the door was smartly dressed in what was quite clearly livery, starched and pressed and standing nearly at attention in my front hall. I approached him.

"Lord Henry Wotton wishes to engage your services, sir. Immediately," he said, before I could open my mouth. I stopped, taken aback. Lord Henry Wotton was unfamiliar to me. I had seen his name in the society pages, and heard a story or two from Mary, but I had never met the man, nor had any reason to.

"Your medical services," the young man clarified, raising a neat eyebrow and nodding his head towards the door where I would no doubt find a carriage waiting to whisk me away to wherever it was Lord Henry Wotton was waiting.

I heard Mary enter the hall behind me, having clearly followed me in. She placed a hand at the small of my back, pushing me forward. "Go on then, John, I will tell Parker you are out on a housecall and to mind the clinic for the afternoon."

I nodded, not comfortable with what I was being asked to do, nor the method it was being asked in, but unwilling to let someone suffer if they needed my help. I told the man to wait for me as I fetched my bag from the clinic. Once I had settled into the fine carriage and we set off for Wotton's London residence.

The carriage deposited me at the front of a fine townhouse. The door was opened smartly by a butler before I had even started to climb the steps. I was shown in and left waiting in the front hall. The beautiful paintings that hung on the walls caught my eye. Rather than the typical portraits of prominent ancestors and hunt scenes that featured the family's great country house in the distance one often found in the front halls of the rich and titled, I found delicate landscapes.

I felt my chest tightening as I recognized the Swiss Alps, so clean and crisp and cool that I could feel the breeze brush across my cheek as surely as if I had been there. There was a scene of pedestrians standing on a bridge that looked as if it was simply a moment frozen in time and that the people would start walking again in merely a heartbeat. There was one with a vibrant splash of colors that reminded me of my brief time in the East. Another one was of a cluttered artist's loft, and another of the sun sinking behind the pyramids of Egypt. The work was exquisite.

I was startled by the sound of a throat clearing behind me. I turned to find the butler standing in an open doorway. He gestured to an open door behind him and I walked through into a simple and tastefully decorated study. There was a young woman seated in a chair in front of the broad desk that dominated the back of the room. Her head was down and hands folded neatly in her lap, but her chin was set defiantly and I could see that echoed in the rest of her posture, still shoulders, straight back, and a stillness that spoke to an effort to not fidget rather than a relaxation. As I approached, I could make out her fine and delicate facial structure, but with a spray of freckles across her nose that spoke of a youth spent outdoors. Her hair perfectly arranged, but the brassy color of the blonde betrayed the fact that it was dyed and not natural.

Seating myself in the chair from her I could see that the dress she wore was meant to look nice from afar, but a bit worn as if it were worn often and the materials were not of fine a quality as they had appeared at first. Given that she was with Lord Wotton in his study and there were no sign of a companion or chaperone about I supposed she was one of the many girls that came to London seeking their fame and fortune as actresses, but instead found steadier employment providing a sort of informal occasional companionship to men like Wotton. Audging from dust on the hem of her dress and the small purse tucked in her lap she was somewhat recently arrived and my business most likely concerned her..

I turned my attention to the man behind the desk. He was older than I expected from knowing what little I did of him - I had expected a younger man, in his late twenties or early thirties. That is not to say that the man seated across from me was ravaged by age, but he was much clearly closer to my own age rather than the young rake his exploits suggested and I revised my estimate of his age upwards, perhaps a bit older than myself.

He was handsome, but only because the cut of his hair was perfect, his skin clean and cared for, his clothing of the finest quality, and his mannerisms refined. The man thought himself handsome and through sheer force of will made others think that as well. But there was something selfish in his looks, and a glint in his eye that told me I was being assessed for merely how I could serve him and no more and once that service was done I would be cast off and forgotten.

I remembered him a bit now. He was known in the society papers for the company he kept, the young aristocratic men he lorded over and ran about like a gang of boys and of the hopeful matrons fluttering about as good as selling their daughters to him in the hopes of being able to acquire yet another title for their family lines. There was hardly a kind word said about him, but nary a cruel one either. And I didn't judge him so despite his clearly disinterested affect. If he had been wouldn't have called a doctor.

I set my bag beside my chair and looked at my host expectantly.

"I apologize, Dr. Watson, for tearing you away from your client this afternoon. You will be well compensated for your house call today." He paused for a moment, perhaps to see if I had anything to say, but I had learned from my time with Holmes that sometimes, when you were uncertain of the situation, it was best to sit silently. People would often fill it with all the information you still lacked and you would reveal nothing in return.

He continued, gesturing to the woman in front of me. "Miss Juliette Martin here requires some medical attention and I wish to engage your services on her behalf." I looked her over again. The blush in her cheeks seemed was the soft flush of high quality rouge and not the bright flush of fever. Her eyes were clear when they raised to meet mine, and a bit defiant. Her hair was thick and full. She displayed no outward sign of illness and had not coughed or sniffed once since I entered the room.

"Miss Martin?" I asked, placing a French inflection on her name as he had done.

She looked at Lord Wotton who appeared a bit annoyed that I had chosen to address her and not just get on with what he had just politely ordered me to do.

"Doctor Watson," he said, "You come highly recommended via a mutual acquaintance and your discretion is noted. I am confident you will treat Juliette here and keep our appointment today brief private." He paused and stared at her, "As will she," he continued in a hard voice.

I turned to him, finding myself annoyed at his aristocratic attitude that clearly was used to getting what it wanted with no argument, but at the moment more surprised by the news that we seemed to have a mutual acquaintance.

"I beg your pardon, Lord Wotton, but a mutual acquaintance? I was not aware we had any."

Now it was Lord Wotton's turn to appear surprised.

"You lived with the man for eight years and he never once mentioned that he knew me? Interesting." Wotton's look grew guarded for a moment. "I trust that although he has left us, you would still respect Sherlock Holmes's confidences as much as ever, doctor. Do not give me reason to believe that my trust in you is misplaced."

I opened my mouth to object to the insult about my loyalty to Holmes, but found I couldn't say anything past the lump in my throat for I had spoken rarely of the man since his death. I swallowed, twice. And tried again.

"Lord Wotton, Holmes was not only a colleague, but a dear friend as well. His confidences, even those he may have kept from me, will always be respected."

Wotton nodded, but his eyes remained guarded. He seemed to be considering for a moment before he looked at Miss Martin, and then pressed his lips together. He inclined his head towards her.

"Miss Martinhas found herself in a condition that will soon make her unable to continue her work on stage. She has come to me, and I have come to you, to correct that condition so that she may continue gracing London with her considerable talents." His tone implied that he was quite done with being graced by those talents himself once this little inconvenience was taken care of.

It would explain her illness quite neatly, I thought to myself, and the need for a discreet doctor. I looked at her. What Wotton was proposing was not entirely unknown to me. Although I hated treating women in this condition, I had done so a time or two, occasionally for the sister or the mother of one of Holmes's Irregulars. And once or twice for a young lady contacted by Holmes to end the condition put upon her by a vile family member or acquaintance. I had never performed the procedure at the behest of a man and refused to start now.

"Thank you, Lord Wotton, if you would please direct me to a private area where I may discuss this with my patient I would appreciate it."

"Here will not suit you?"

I glared at him. "Private, Lord Wotton."

His eyes hardened and he looked between Miss Martin and myself before he nodded and stood and rang for a maid who escorted us to a second floor bedroom. I shut the door behind us and took Miss Smith's elbow and led her over to the window, as far away from the door as possible to prevent curious ears from listening in.

She stepped back from me quickly and crossed her arms, her chin jutting out at me, but remained silent. I recognized her defensive posture and seated myself on a chair, looking up at her.

"Miss Martin," I began. "While quite capable of performing the requested procedure, I am unwilling, and nor have I ever been will, to perform a medical exam or procedure on an unwilling patient. And you are my patient, not Lord Wotton. Perhaps you should tell me what you wish and we will go from there."

She relaxed slightly and gave me a considering look.

"Doctor Watson, is it?" She asked in a careful and cultured accent that was clearly the result of practice rather than nature. I suspected her name was as affected as her manners. "I came to Lord Wotton specifically because I knew he would find me someone safe and good to doctor me. I could have had some Whitechapel doctor see to my needs, but I have seen what those butchers do to girls and I don't wish to die of infection."

"And he agreed?" I was skeptical. The man did not strike me as the kind of person who would agree to anything unless it benefited him in some way.

She shrugged, "He is not what I would call a kind man, doctor, but nor is he cruel. He has a conscience as it suits him and pointing out that helping me would not greatly inconvience him and it might very well save my life seemed to convince him."

I wondered instead if perhaps she reminded him of someone, and that this small favor was a sort of atonement for some past transgression - perhaps a time when his actions had caused the death of an actress and by saving Juliette Martin's life, he making up for having not saved another.

"The procedure is dangerous, Miss Martin, no matter who performs it, but no more dangerous than childbirth when done by someone trained and in a sterile environment. I will use clean instruments and not leave you in pain, but I cannot guarantee your life or that you will ever bear children again."

Her chin raised again. "You are a safer bet."

I allowed myself a small smile and nodded at her. "As long as this is your choice, Miss Martin, and not a condition to remain in Lord Wotton's, or anyone else's, favor."

She snorted at me, a gesture that spoke of the stubborn country girl that came to London to make her fortune. I knew then she was telling the truth. I stood up and gestured to the bed.

"I will need to fetch some things. You should take off all your clothing save your shift and make yourself comfortable."

I left her in the room to gather up my bag from down stairs, and to ask a maid for a few supplies in the form of clean sheets and hot water. I insisted on a dressing gown for her and one was fetched. Finally, as a condition of my services I told Lord Wotton that Miss Martin was to be allowed to stay at the house for an additional day or two to recover. He agreed reluctantly, clearly eager to be done with the business, and told me he was going to be out for the rest of the afternoon, but that my payment would be left with his valet who would see me home.

The deed was done a short while later and I left a maid with instructions on how to care for Miss Martin and I headed home in the fading light of the spring afternoon with the same man who had shown me to Lord Wotton's in the first place, well compensated for my services.

A week later I once again found myself out in the back garden with Mary enjoying a light tea during my afternoon break from my clinic. This time we were both absorbed in the afternoon newspaper and my attention was caught by Mary's soft and sad sigh.

"What is it, my dear?"

She shook her head and closed the paper, "Oh, yet another case of a young woman disappearing. It troubles me, John, the way women can so easily find themselves preyed upon by men with no recourse."

I nodded and continued reading, but Mary was apparently not done yet.

"Women have so few choices, depending on the the good will of their family or employers. Women who are not born into stability have little hope of achieving it later in life. They can only hope that the choices they make do not result in their death."

I set the paper down.

"Their death? Mary, while women may suffer occasionally at the hands of men, you must surely agree that such treatment leading to death is rare in a place like England."

Mary at me with a mixture of pity and exasperation.

"Take this young woman for example, John, " she said, stabbing a finger at the paper. "She was an actress who no doubt had to supplement her income entertaining men. Women should not have to turn to such things to provide for themselves. For not every woman is lucky enough to have a family to provide for her, or to meet a good man to be her husband. And we are so quick to blame them for their circumstances and no one ever cares to ask them why. We just flutter our handkerchiefs and tsk at yet another woman likely dead through no fault of her own." Mary took a breath, and then another one with her hand pressed to her chest before coughing a few times.

I furrowed my brow and reached for the paper, more concerned as to what had my wife so upset. Scanning the print I saw a short story written in sensational prose about the woman she must have been referring to, a promising young actress who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Honore Smith, but perhaps better known by her stage name of Juliette Martin.

"Mary! Do you know this woman?" I asked, startled as to why my wife would single her outof all stories in the page about crimes and the suffering of the less fortunate that the London papers published more to sell copies than to report the news.

"No," she said, surprised by my outburst.

"If you'll excuse me, my dear, I have an urgent appointment," I said, getting up quickly and taking the paper with me, leaving her behind in confused silence. I shrugged into my coat in the front hall before dashing out of the house and hailing a cab towards Lord Henry Wotton's London home.

The butler clearly recognized me once the door was opened to my ringing of the bell but he was far less solicitous as the day before. I asked if Lord Wotton was home and received a terse and annoyed reply that he was not to announced visitors. Before I could hardly think about it, I had opened my mouth and was demanding to see the man who had engaged my services just days before, with the firm but unspoken implication that my arrival here today was related and urgent. I could hardly believe my bravado and struggled to keep the haughty expression on my face for fear that the butler would see right through me. I was given a cold command to wait in the hall once again as he disappeared toward the study. After a few moments, I was admitted, quite reluctantly I could tell, to Wotton's presence.

"I thought our business had concluded, Doctor Watson," he said.

"I thought so too, Lord Wotton, but I was troubled to learn, of Honore Smith's disappearance."

Lord Wotton looked at me, puzzled.

"Juliette Martin," I clarified.

He looked out the window, clearly annoyed, but pressed his lips together and looked back at me with an expression that almost looked tired.

"I hardly see how this concerns me, Doctor Watson. And not that it does you, but I last saw Juliette days ago. What occurred after she left my house has nothing to do with me, nor do I care." He was blunt and condescending. It was clear that his business with Juliette Martin, or rather Miss Honore Smith had concluded and he wished to forget her and have nothing more to do with her again. She was a play thing and had served her purpose and was to be discarded as I suspected Lord Wotton discarded all his play things, by ignoring them and moving on quickly to the next thing that caught his attention. I doubted he'd ever think of her again if he didn't have it.

I was startled though, despite this observation. The man had engaged my services for a delicate operation that most men like him wouldn't have bothered to provide.

"I had hoped that engaging your services would not prove to be a mistake, Doctor Watson, please do not prove me wrong."

He looked down at the papers on his desk and I could tell I had been dismissed. I left the study and gathered my coat before stepping out. I hadn't decided on what exactly it was I planned on doing until I found myself giving the cab I hailed instructions to drop me at New Scotland Yard. I had no business investigating Miss Smith's wherabouts and I had thought the man who would dash off at the first hint of a mystery dead and buried along with Holmes. I was a doctor now, with a respectable practice and a beautiful wife and soon, I hoped, a growing family. By the time the cab had stopped I was no clearer than I was when I had given the driver my directions, but I found myself facing the doors of New Scotland Yard and thought to myself that I was halfway there already, might as well see it through until the end. Besides, I thought, Holmes would have never let a mystery just be.

It had been at least two years since I had visited Lestrade, and during that time the police had relocated from their Scotland Yard headquarters on Whitehall to New Scotland Yard. I had never been to his new office, but after asking a few young constables for directions, I was waived towards his office by a familiar looking desk sergeant who seemed to recognize me as well.

"Doctor Watson!" he exclaimed as I stepped through his doorway unannounced. "I haven't seen you 'round these parts since you became a respectable doctor. I do hope all is well with your wife and that your visit here is pleasure, not business." The affable and friendly inspector gestured to a seat in front of his desk I sat folding my coat into my lap. He called for tea before settling into his chair and smiling at me.

I realized I had missed Lestrade. He had been to dinner a time or two after I had married Mary and set up my practice in Kensington, but after seeing him at Holmes's funeral I hadn't had him over since. I had thrown myself into my work after Holmes had died at that waterfall in Switzerland and had assiduously avoided anything that had reminded me of Sherlock Holmes, including Lestrade.

"Mary is quite well, thank you for asking, we really must have you round again. Perhaps Thursday, next?"

"I would be delighted!" Lestrade exclaimed before looking at me critically. "Doctor Watson, I have a hard time believing that you would pop by the Yard for an unannounced social call in order to invite me to dinner. What is troubling you?"

I smiled. For all Holmes's grumblings about Lestrade's skill as a detective inspector, we both acknowledged that the rat-faced little man was actually a keen observer with a sharp mind.

"There is a little matter," I paused, unsure of how to go on.

Lestrade smiled at me and prompted, "that you found yourself investigating, sir?"

"Well, perhaps not investigating, but rather I am seeking some answers, an answer, and I was hoping you could help."

Lestrade sat back and folded his hands over his stomach. I noticed that in the two years since I had last seen him he had a few more gray hairs in his moustache, a few less hairs on his head, and the soft stomach of an aging man. I thought ruefully of my own belly expanding since I had met Mary and partaken in regular meals. For a moment I thought of Holmes's lean physique, the product of a varied fitness routine as unique as the man himself and his abominable habit of forgetting to eat. Every day it hurt a little less to think of him and I smiled a melancholy smile at Lestrade.

"Honore Smith, but perhaps better known by her stage name Juliette Martin" I continued, "an up and coming actress on the London stage, but recently disappeared."

Lestrade sat up and considered me, "I am familiar with the case, but I am not quite sure why you are Doctor Watson. Did you know the young lady?" Lestrade's voice was curious, perhaps a bit concerned, and carried no judgement, but it was quite clear he was very curious as to why I was asking about Miss Smith.

I had no interest in revealing to Lestrade the true manner in which I had met the young lady, yet I could not countenance his assumption that I should take advantage of a young woman in such a way. I considered for a moment, wondering what version of the truth was the best. Lord Wotton was far from blameless in Miss Smith's situation and I hoped that like always, Lestrade would be the fair-minded detective I knew him to be and concern himself only with the facts as they were relevant to the case.

"I have only met the young lady once, but we had, have, a mutual acquaintance." I winced; giving too little information to Lestrade often set him off like a dog on a scent.

"And why, pray tell, Doctor Watson are you here darkening my doorway and not your mutual acquaintance?"

I sighed. "Given the circumstances of the situation, Lestrade, it is both a bit delicate and makes me suspicious that Miss Smith's disappearance may be foul play."

Lestrade waited.

"I met her through Lord Henry Wotton. I am concerned for her."

Lestrade sat up quickly at the mention of Wotton's name and leaned forward.

"Lord Wotton. Surely, Watson, you are not mixed up in that crowd are you?"

I sat back, unsure if I should be offended, but mostly I was puzzled. "Lestrade, I must confess I have no idea what you are talking about. I have only met Lord Wotton once myself, on the same occasion that I met Miss Smith."

Lestrade looked at me with his small piercing eyes. "Understand, Doctor Watson that it is only our long association, and friendship, I hope, that is preventing me from placing you on the suspect list after this information."

I was shocked. "But-"

Lestrade held up a hand to halt my protestations. "I have reason to believe Miss Smith's disappearance is the result of murder, doctor. Her room was ransacked and blood was found. This new information, that she was known to Lord Wotton, merely confirms my suspicions that Miss Smith's profession was not strictly stage acting."

"Lestrade, you don't think Lord Wotton had anything to do with her disappearance, do you? When I spoke to him he seemed disinterested at best, hardly guilty."

"Spoke to him, doctor?"

I muttered an oath under my breath. I was out of practice and scattered. I had been out of the game too long and I was lost without Holmes by my side, even with a friend like Lestrade. Holmes had impressed upon me the importance of never revealing information that a subject didn't already have during an interview, even when that subject was an ally, until absolutely necessary.

"I called on Lord Wotton after reading about the young woman's disappearance this afternoon and came straight here after."

"No. I do not think Lord Wotton had anything directly to do with her disappearance. Do you truly not know the man, Watson? I would have thought that you would have through your long association with Mr. Holmes. They were friends, or at least more than nodding acquaintances, at one point. And I know that they did have friends in common."

I was shocked. I had only just learned, from the man himself, that Lord Wotton knew Sherlock Holmes, but here I was learning that Lestrade had known as well. After living with Holmes for years I thought I had known most of the man's friends, if not a majority of his secrets as well. And now I was beginning to suspect there was a side to my dearest friend that was kept well hidden.

"I must confess, Lestrade, that I had no idea of the friendship you are speaking of," I said. I was uncomfortable letting the conversation focus on Holmes and the fact that I seemed to be in the process of discovering that perhaps I knew the man less well than I had thought.

I attempted to bring the subject back to Miss Smith. "Directly? So you believe Wotton may have been involved somehow."

"This is not the first time Lord Wotton's name has come up in conjunction with a disappearance, but the man never is directly involved. And not just with such severe crimes. He is friends with plenty of unsavory people, yet always seems to be uninvolved himself in whatever those people are up to."

Lestrade paused, seeming to consider something, before he went on with a cautious note in his voice, "Watson, I can't help but consider that Mr. Holmes's obfuscation of his relationship with Lord Wotton and their mutual acquaintances was perhaps deliberate."

"Perhaps he had ended his association with him before we became acquainted and it never came up?"

Lestrade shook his head, "No, Holmes had dealings with them after you had taken digs together, I do know that for a fact. Doctor Watson, I would caution you against pursuing this. I had assumed you knew of Wotton and his types previously. As it appears you don't, then I can't help but be concerned that by investigating you may uncover far more information that you were never intended to know."

I was unsure if I should be offended or not. But it was curious, Lestrade defending Holmes to me and I don't think that ever in our long acquaintance such a thing had occurred. Initially, I had defended Holmes to Lestrade before I realized that part of what they both enjoyed about their relationship was its adversarial nature. Later in our relationship, I had simply sat back enjoyed their sparring the way someone might take in a boxing match.

Holmes had been incredibly reticent about his life prior to our association, and I did my best to respect that, but during my time as his biographer, I thought I had relatively unencumbered access to his life and the cases that it revolved around. The thought that Holmes had secrets was not shocking to me, but I was finding it hard to accept that he may have actively sought to conceal friends and events from me that occurred during our long friendship.

"Lestrade, as I am sure you are well aware, Holmes was someone who meant a great deal to me. He, in a way, saved my life from the slow death that Afghanistan was inflicting upon it. I lived with the man and all his strangeness for the better part of a decade. I was his only companion in the days before his death. I hardly think that there is anything I could learn about the man now, no matter how close-kept the secret, that could alter my esteem of him."

I swallowed hard against the lump in my throat. My speech was perhaps the longest one I had made concerning Holmes since his death. His brother had delivered his short and succinct eulogy and I had not been able to bring myself to do much more than murmur thanks to the condolences that had been offered at his funeral. Even Mary had been incapable of pulling more than a few words at a time about Holmes from me. I glared at Lestrade, blinking hard to prevent my eyes from tearing.

Lestrade sighed and then nodded, he wrote something on a slip of paper and passed it to me.

"Her address," he said. I looked down and saw in his neat handwriting the address located not too far from London's theater district. "It was a shared flat of sorts, someone there will show you her room. It had only been paid for through the end of the week. If you want to see it, you'll have to do so quickly."

I stood and gathered my coat before offering Lestrade my hand and reiterating my invitation to dinner. He agreed and again cautioned me against poking my nose into Holmes's business. I thanked him and headed out to catch a cab to Juliette Martin nee Honore Smith's residence.

Part 2


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