Table of Contents

5. Great is the hand that holds dominion over Man by a scribbled name - The Ballad of Lady Smallwood by A.J. Hall

“How can this even be possible?”

She’d always been a good actress; had even, briefly, contemplated running away from Cheltenham Ladies College and going on the stage. It hadn’t been acting, though, her response to seeing James Moriarty’s face on the screen.

It had been awe.

How can we have made this possible?

Not her alone: Janine and Sherlock’s mother and that Adler woman, all unseen, all overlooked, each with her own agenda and together stronger than tungsten.

She turned to Sir Edwin.

Has the Prime Minister been told? And Mycroft?

She phoned Downing Street herself and repeated the PM’s instructions aloud, with that image still on the screen before them all.

Sherlock Holmes is recalled to deal with the crisis. All charges dropped.

A clock ran down in her head: so long to turn a plane round, so long for ATC to acknowledge, so long for traffic between London and Fitton. A heightened tension in the room told her when it was time, before her iPad did.

She got to her feet as the door opened, walking round the table and extending her hand.

“Sherlock. No-one could have predicted this would happen. But whatever the circumstances, can I be the first to say, ‘Welcome back’?”