Penny’s POV (Point of view)
My husband’s at it again...
Honestly, doesn’t he know the pain he puts my heart through every night.
The crowd cheering and that pathetic excuse of an ‘assistant’ acting all worried. Ha! I’ll show you worried, honey.
Oh, he’s done it now. People are starting to panic. I am too, a bit, but I know for a fact he can hold his breath a very long time.
The crowd is now yelling to ‘open the crate’ and ‘let him out of there’ Hmm......if they only knew. I’d bet money he’s already out of the crate.
“Ladies and gentlemen, The Great Houdini!!”
Nearing the five minute mark they finally start to pull up the curtain and as I suspected, there he is standing on the top of the water filled crate. He’s looking at me smiling in a way to say, ‘You weren’t worried, were you honey?’ Oh he’s going to pay for this later....
The crowd keeps cheering ‘bravo’. He’s walking off the other side with that tramp of an assistant following behind. She’s probably about to get into big trouble. If it took him that long to get out tonight the locks probably got sticky again. He’s told her time and time again to oil them before and after each show. Yup I was right. He’s going off at her; she’s in tears.
Five minutes later...
“Come on honey we have places to be,” Harry says to me, grabbing our coats.
“As in home...Right?” I say.
“No, in fact we are going here,” he says shoving a paper in my face with the headlines reading ‘Ghost Killer Stalks Convent.’ Great, just what I needed tonight.
“Why are we going here exactly?” I reply.
“You’ll see. It’ll be fun,” he says with a smile on his face.
Fun. Right. The last time Harry said something was going to be fun I ended up being trapped in his Chinese Water Torture Cell.
We get home with Harry saying he’ll be reasonable and wait until morning to go to New Scotland Yard.
“I don’t know why you’re so obsessed all of the sudden over some horrid newspaper headline,” I say.
“Because, I want to prove to them that there is no such thing as ghosts,” Harry replies.
“And then?” I ask.
“Then, I have finished what I want to prove. Not everything you see and hear is true,” he says, taking off his suite jacket.
“Harry dear, don’t you think you take things a bit too far?” I say, taking off my earrings.
“No, not at all why?” He says, walking into the closet.
“Hmm....nothing dear, just be careful.”
“You mean WE be careful,” he says.
“No, I mean YOU. I will not be part of your silly hunt for proof, especially not something like this!” I say, holding up the paper.
Harry walks over to me. He puts his left arm around my waist and his right hand caresses my face. Looking me straight in the eyes he says, “Mrs. Houdini I love you more than anything, and you know I would never put you in danger.”
He’s very good at charming people, not just me. I give in and say I’ll go with him tomorrow morning to NSY.
The next morning Harry was more than eager to start our little adventure. I’ve gone on several cases with my brother Sherlock, but that was a very long time ago. We got to New Scotland Yard and Harry headed straight for the Chief Inspector’s office...of course that’s Harry for you.
As we enter the room three men are already in there.
“Where did this story come from?” Harry asks holding up the paper. “You guys told the press there was a ghost killer out there.”
“The Great Houdini,” The Chief Inspector says in a not-so-flattering tone. “Let’s not forget the great Penny Holmes, too.”
“Good morning, Harry,” Dr. Doyle says “Mrs. H.,” he says nodding his head to me.
“Good morning, Dr. Doyle,” I say. “You too, Chief Inspector, but it’s Penny Holmes-Houdini, sir.”
“What’s Doyle doing here?” My husband rudely says.
“Wonderful to see you again,” Dr. Doyle says holding out his hand for Harry.
“Wish I could say the same thing to you,” Harry says shaking his hand, them coughs something under his breath...oh that man and his manners.
“I’m here because I can provide a wealth of information about the supernatural and this case offers a rare opportunity to prove-”
“Prove!” Harry interrupts “Ten thousand American Dollars says you can’t prove anything!” Harry says to Dr. Doyle holding up a big wad of cash in his face.
“I’ll accept your bet, but from my end I’ll put up a copy of my new book, The Great Bore War,” Dr. Doyle adds in.
“Sir, I can handle this case mysel, without help from a writer and a magician,“the other man in the corner speaks up to the Chief Inspector.
“You forgot a woman too, sir,” I say to the man in the corner as he glares at me.“Or two magicans would have sufficed.”
“I’m quite familiar with police protocol-” Dr. Doyle starts.
“I’m sorry gentleman but Sergeant Gudget is absolutely correct,” The Chief Inspector says to us. So the man in the corner who keeps glaring at me is Sergeant Gudget.
“Aww, don’t tell me your still upset about our photo,” Harry says to the Chief Inspector. Ah yes, I remember that photo in the paper. Front page of the paper headline was ‘Jailbreak! Houdini Outwits Police’ under the headline was the picture of Harry holding a pair of handcuffs behind a not so happy looking Chief Inspector.
“Possably,” The Chief Inspector replied. “And I don’t need a Holmes on this case eather, stirring up trouble.”
“Then I guess I’ll have to play the Nicki card,” Harry says, tisking at the end.
Leaning forward intrigued the Chief Inspector replies, “Your going to call Sir Nicklaus Hanson, the head of New Scotland Yard because I won’t facilitate a juvenile wager,” Harry and Doyle are grinning to each other. “Why? Can’t just be the bet. Why do you two care so much about this?”
“Every time you arrive at the scene of a bloody murder. The first thing you have to do is to find the ones left behind, the ones who have not been physically harmed but to whom all the pain will land. There loved ones ripped away from them, forever. But what if that wasn’t the truth, every religion for centuries has told us that death isn’t the end. And now thanks to the many staggering advancements in science we may be able to actually prove it. Nothing as it was ten years ago, maybe not even death,” Dr. Doyle says in a very dramatic way. Harry looks like he might roll over laughing at any minute.
“What a complete and utter load of crap. Death is scary, death should be scary. Con artists and fools shouldn’t be allowed to use the word science in defense of a dream,” Harry says.
“I will allow both of you access, as long as your assisted by one of my officers,” The Chief Inspector says to us.
“Sir I’m not-” Sargent Gudget starts but the Chief Inspector cuts him off.
“Sargent, fetch me Constable Stratton,” The Chief Inspector says to Sargent Gudget.
“Yes sir,” Sargent Gudget replies, leaving the room.
After a few minutes of waiting a beautiful young woman enters the room. She has light brown hair and green eyes, with a slight limp to her left leg.
“This is Constable Stratton,” The Chief Inspector says. The room gets eerily quite as the shock starts to settle.
“Arthur Conan Doyle, mam,” Dr. Doyle says holding out his hand to Constable Stratton.
“Pleased to meet you,” Stratton replies, shaking his hand. She turns to Harry and me. “Its an honor Mr. Houdini. To you as well Mrs. Houdini.”
“Please call me Mrs. H, everyone does. I’m glad I’ll be getting some help watching after these two idiots,” I say giving her a smile.
“This is Constable Stratton?!” Harry says in a shocked tone.
“One of the many wonders of the new century,” Stratton says turning to the Chief Inspector.
“Constable, you’ll be assisting these gentleman with there investigation into the murder of Sister Mary May hue,” The Chief Inspector says.
“Me? Thank you sir, I won’t disappoint,” Stratton says with a big grin on her face.
“Mrs. Houdini,” The Chief Inspector says. I turn around to face him. “Just because you and your brothers are cousins with the head of New Scotland Yard doesn’t mean you are alowed to call in any favors. Am I making myself clear?”
“Crystal,” I say.
Harry walks over to me and whispers “I don’t think I’m going to like this century,” with a raised brow I turn to him and reply, “oh really? Last century I was helping Sherlock with pen fights at the age of 17. Plus, have you forgotten who has helped you with several of your tricks over the years? You’d be wise not to mock women Harry, we know many ways of offing men and making it look like the dog did it.” He gives me a small smile and takes my hand as we leave behind Dr. Doyle and Constable Stratton.