Sherlock Holmes: The Stuff of Nightmares
It's the autumn of 1890, and a spate of bombings has hit London. The newspapers are full of fevered speculation about anarchists, anti-monarchists and Fenians. But one man suspects an even more sinister hand behind the violence. Sherlock Holmes believes Professor Moriarty is orchestrating a nationwide campaign of terror, but to what end? At the same time, a bizarrely garbed figure has been spotted on the rooftops and in the grimy back alleys of the capital. He moves with the extraordinary agility of a latter-day Spring-heeled Jack. He possesses weaponry and armour of unprecedented sophistication. He is known only by the name Baron Cauchemar, and he appears to be a scourge of crime and villainy. But is this masked man truly the force for good that he seems? Is he connected somehow to the bombings? Holmes and his faithful companion Dr. Watson are about to embark on one of their strangest and most exhilarating adventures yet.
faces of shopkeepers and passers-by clear signs of worry and strain. Some masked it better than others. Only children remained oblivious, gaily playing on doorsteps with their dolls and tin soldiers, for all the world without a care – which is how it should be. The headlines that the newspaper sellers yelled from their pitches were all about the bombings. “Scotland Yard Stumped!” “Still No Arrests Yet!” “Where Will Terrorists Strike Next?” They were doing a roaring trade. I had heard tell that
For every crime that is cleared up and punished, a hundred others go uninvestigated and unsolved. What I have been doing in the East End has amply proved, by example, the law’s ineffectuality. I am there where the police fear to tread. I am accomplishing what they cannot hope to. I am instilling a true fear of consequences in a section of the populace who until now have been raping and robbing and cozening and killing with impunity.” Cauchemar had grown quite heated. I must have hit a nerve, to
absence. I ask again: where have you been? Nowhere Id want to be, by the look of you.” “Forgive me for not realising that an event as rare as a solar eclipse was about to occur: a house call from Mycroft. I would never have had the temerity to venture out, had I had some foreknowledge. I would have waited here like a virgin anticipating a visit from her paramour.” “Virgin?” Mycroft spluttered. “Paramour? You really do –” “We have been pursuing the case,” I interposed. The Holmes brothers were
which I am determined to fathom. Solving the mystery of Baron Cauchemar might well even provide the key to unlocking the identity of the terrorists.” “So what now?” “Now? I have thinking to do, my friend, and it is best done at home, with the aid of three pipes’ worth of shag tobacco and a few violin pieces. Some of Mendelssohn’s Lieder would fit the bill, and perhaps Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata. I shall call for you again tomorrow. I trust you will be free.” “I have no other plans,” I said.
petty larceny to gun running. Their proximity to the criminal underworld was one of the reasons they were so valuable to Holmes. “Oh no, Mr Watson,” Grout exclaimed, all innocence. “Not me, sir. I’m as honest as the day is long.” “It’s autumn,” said I, wryly. “The nights are drawing in and the days are shortening.” “I ’ave no idea what you’re getting at, sir. But time is a-wasting. Perhaps we should go.” “Very well. Lead the way.” A thick fog had rolled in off the Thames estuary, flooding