The Five Orange Pips (Ch13)

In the morning, the weather was nice. The sun was shining and I saw Holmes at the breakfast table when I came down the stairs.

`I am sorry I did not wait for you,’ said Holmes. `But I have a very busy day. I want to start early on young Openshaw’s case. `

`What will you do first?’ I asked.

`I’m not sure. I may have to go to Horsham later.’

`You are not going there first?’

`No. I shall start in the City. Ring the bell and the maid will bring you coffee.’

I rang and waited for the maid. I lifted the unopened newspaper and started to read it. I saw something that made my heart stop. `Holmes!’ I cried. `You are too late.’

`Oh,’ Holmes said, putting down his cup. `I feared this. How was it done?’ He said this calmly, but his face told a different story.

The headline in the newspaper was: “Tragedy near Waterloo Bridge”. I read aloud the story below it.

‘Between the times of nine and ten last night, Police Constable Cook was on duty near Waterloo bridge. PC Cook heard a cry for help and then a splash in the water. It was very dark and stormy. Even with the help of some people it was impossible to start a rescue. The alarm was raised and with the help of the Water Police the body was recovered. An envelope was found in the young man’s pocket. It had a name on it – John Openshaw, from Horsham. It is believed he was hurrying to catch the last train from Waterloo station. It was a dark night, and, because he was hurrying, he walked over the edge of the pier and fell into the water. There was no sign of violence. It appears to have been an unfortunate accident…’

We sat in silence for some time. Holmes was upset. The most upset I have ever seen.

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