Young Sherlock Holmes: Bedlam (Short Reads)
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Sherlock has been incarcerated in the Bethlehem Hospital – Bedlam - where Victorian London’s most unfortunate citizens are locked away in squalor, cruelty and hopelessness. Sherlock tells them he’s not mad – but who’d believe a lunatic? There’s only one option: he has to escape – and then use all his rational powers to work out who put him there in the first place...
brickwork that formed the walls was whitewashed and dry too: no moss, no trickling water, and the air was chilly but not damp. At first he’d thought he was in some sort of outbuilding, but the evidence suggested otherwise. He was indoors – just not in a particularly well-appointed room. There was a window in one wall, but it was tall and thin, barely wide enough for him to get his arm through if he tried. Certainly not large enough for him to escape. Even his friend Matty wouldn’t be able to get
attendants opened a door in the grille with a key selected from a bunch that hung from his belt and pushed it open. He went through, leaving his colleague behind Sherlock, and gestured to Sherlock to follow him. The two of them had obviously done this many times before. They had the whole process down pat. The domed hall into which they led Sherlock was opulent: painted white with gold-leaf ornamentation, and beautiful paintings hanging up on the walls. This area didn’t have flagstones on the
son of the man in whose house she worked. When this son left home he gave her a guinea coin – pressed it into her hand as a gift. He got into his coach and drove away, but the next thing the family knew she was chasing after the coach, screaming. The family ran after her, but the shock of the son leaving had driven her senses from her. She was committed here, to Bedlam, and spent several years here, and all that time she clutched that guinea in her fist and would not let it go, whatever the
He tugged on it. Nothing. He felt a growing frustration churning in his chest. He wanted to pull hard, but if he did that then the thread might snap, or the knots might give. Maybe it was snagged on a rivet, or a splinter, or something. It might even have become caught up between the door and the frame when the door closed. Forcing himself to focus, Sherlock felt the tight band around his chest ease slightly. He pulled again on the thread. This time he felt something give, and from the other side
the attendants, but he was amazed to see that the grille was unlocked. He glanced around, expecting a trap, but nobody jumped out at him. He pulled the door open and slipped into the hall. Freedom. Almost. He kept to the shadows around the edge of the hall, rather than crossing the tiled expanse of the centre, until he came to the double doors that led outside. Nervously he pushed them open, expecting at any moment that an alarm bell would be sounded, or that somebody would shout after him,