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  • Sophie Koenig

The Scarlet Hand Part 1

Holmes spread out his notes. "Very peculiar, very peculiar,” he mumbled under his

breath. Somebody knocked at his door.

“Excuse me sir, may I enter?” A familiar voice asked.

"Why yes you may Watson. What is the matter?”

“It is about the Scarlet Hand. It has struck again.”

“By golly, this is quite serious. This is the fourth victim by now. I was just examining my notes on the case. First Mr Pennyworth, then Mrs Northstead, and not to forget the Duchess’ niece, Ginny of North Hampshire. Who is the unlucky fellow now?“

”Mr Lainsburg's daughter, Anne. He wants you down tomorrow at noon at Bettington Manor.” “Tell him I shall come, and I trust you will join me, Watson?”

“Certainly sir,” he replied.

“Well, we should better get some rest, we have quite a bit of work to do.”

Watson left the room and shut the door behind him. Holmes continued studying his notes on the case until his final candle burned out.

At noon the next day, Holmes and his trusty assistant stepped onto the grounds of

Bettington Manor. A plump man hurried up to them, visibly in distress. He wore a black suit with a dark top hat, judging by this clothing, he was clearly of wealth.

“Thank goodness you are here Holmes, something terrible has happened. My daughter has vanished, she was murdered. All that was left of her was a red mark of blood on her pillow...could it possibly be hers... then she really would be dead! Oh God this is-”

“I must stop you right there Mr Lainsburg. I am aware that something terrible has occurred, but you must remain calm under all circumstances. How about you lead us inside and we shall discuss these events thoroughly over a cup of hot tea.”

As Mr Lainsburg showed them to his sitting room, Holmes took his time study the interior. It was quite dark in Bettington Manor, only a few windows gave way for the sunlight. They eventually sat down, and Lainsburg poured them tea, spilling some tea on the antique coffee table, as his hand trembled vigorously.

“So, about this crime, you are not sure whether your daughter disappeared or got

murdered. You had mentioned earlier that when you were looking for her, you

found a red handprint most likely of blood on her pillow. I would like to inspect the

mark. Is it still planted upon it?”

“Why yes, it is still there. Follow me,” Mr Lainsburg replied. He led them through a series of steep, winding stairs, up to the highest point of the mansion. There were three doors on this corridor. Two positioned right next to each other, with the names Anne and Julia engraved in them. There was one more door, opposite the two others. The name Beth was scribbled onto a paper, hung loosely on a nail.

“Here is Anne’s room,” Lainsburg said. They entered the expensively decorated room. Surely enough, there was a red mark seared into the white silk of Anne’s pillow.

“The Scarlet Hand...Watson, you had told me it was the Scarlet Hand.”

“Why yes sir. After Mr Lainsburg found me to report the crime to you, I had no other way than to conclude that it was the hand. Its victims are always imprinted with a scarlet mark of their own blood after it had killed them," Watson sputtered back.

“But as much as I know, my dear Watson, the Scarlet Hand leaves the lifeless corpse to be found. And this mark is placed nowhere else than right next to the cut on their chest where it had seared the heart of these helpless people.”

“S-so Mr Holmes, you are suggesting that my daughter has not been killed?" Mr Lainsburg sputtered.

“No, my dear sir. The only thing that we can conclude from this is that Anne has not been murdered by the Scarlet Hand, for all that we know she might not even be dead," Holmes replied calmly, "Now if you wouldn’t mind, we should get going. It is already late. I shall think this all through, and I will return tomorrow. I would like to have a few words with your daughters.”

“I will let them know.”

All was still that night in Bettington Manor. But just as the clock struck 1 AM there was a thump. Only seconds later a faint shriek echoed through the rooms. The shriek of a young woman.

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