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4. Hands have no tears to flow - The Ballad of Lady Smallwood by A.J. Hall

“Why would I’d give a feck about Sherlock’s future, Lady Smallwood?”

“It’s a rather nice place you’ve got here. Thanks to him. View of the Downs, roses, beehives — “

“They’re going.”

“Are you sure? I took a look on the way in. Unusual type. Cornish black honey-bees. Major grants in the pipeline for preserving rare native species, or so they tell me. I don’t think you’re the woman to let personal preferences stand in the way of a big payoff downstream, somehow.”

“Assume I did have a belated generous impulse, how do you reckon I should play it? Not the chocolate type, Sherly.”

“You managed Magnussen’s diary. You scheduled appointments for his victims and he squeezed them.”

“Soundproofed office. Never heard a pip squeak, Lady Smallwood.”

“Oh, you didn’t have to. Not for what I want. The diary’s enough. I just need names.”


“I need to send a message. In fact, to broadcast it. So just give me names of anyone you can think of in communications who might have good reason to be glad Magnussen’s no more, and I’ll be on my way.”

“OK, you’re on. That lad’s going places — provided he keeps dodging bullets. Some day I may want to sell another story: Sherlock Holmes: Memoirs of a Beard.