48 Hours a Day
Chapter 498 - Does Mr. Holmes Live Here?
Chapter 498 Does Mr. Holmes Live Here?
There were a total of five men running after them. Outnumbered, Zhang Heng ran to the assailants instead of waiting for them to get to him. The leader of the group and the one at the back were about five or six meters apart.
Since they were all fixated on the gypsy, they were unable to react in time when Zhang Heng came for them.
The person leading the band of pursuers was about to shout, attempting to scare the Asian man, but the easterner made the first move, punching him in the trachea. A sharp pain shot up the man’s neck, and the leader of the group crumpled on the ground, clutching his neck and wheezing as he struggled for breath.
Zhang Heng didn’t stop there. With a violent kick, he sent the person behind the leader crashing into a fish stall. The unlucky bastard overturned the cart of salmon and was buried under a pile of smoked fish.
When the other three assailants saw what had happened to their friends, they came to a halt, looking as if they had seen the devil.
These troublemakers were not unfamiliar with fistfights, but they often targeted those weaker than them. They had only stolen crowded places before and had only been involved in a few serious fights. This was completely new to them. Both their accomplices didn’t even get the chance to swing a fist before they were pummelled to the ground.
The three men looked at each other in dismay.
Zhang Heng lowered his body as if to make chase, and the three remaining assailants turned around and fled.
The busker’s eyes were as round as marbles. It was quite a hilarious scene—three attackers armed with wooden sticks running helter-skelter from a barehanded man.
Zhang Heng walked past the man, still gasping for dear breath, and retrieved his coat from the busker. He gave it a little pat and draped it back over his shoulders.
“It’s all good now. But here’s my advice to you, leave this place as soon as you can.”
Zhang Heng turned around and left without waiting for a reply. He helped the gypsy only because he happened to be there. The latter had shown kindness to the Jewish, and since he was present at the scene, he did not mind helping out.
As he was walking away, the busker came up to him, asking, “You’re really quite an interesting character. How long have you been here in London? What’s your name? Where do you live?”
Zhang Heng then openly revealed his name and address.
“Oh, you’re not an East Ender. Why are you here, then?” asked the gypsy. “Well, you’re not an East Ender either, yet here you are,” Zhang Heng retorted. “I… I have my own reasons, of course.”
The gypsy busker answered. “Whatever it is, thank you. When I have time, I will visit your place.”
“Mmm.” Zhang Heng nodded, not taking the last statement seriously.
The two parted ways at an intersection and returned to their respective homes.
When he returned to his apartment on Baker Street, Mrs. Hudson had just finished preparing a warm dinner consisting of bacon, potatoes, and pumpkin soup.
Much to Zhang Heng’s surprise, the detective wasn’t in his room playing dead. Mrs. Hudson said that Holmes had received a letter earlier and had left the house since noon.
Zhang Heng could not help but wonder what case Holmes must have come across this time. Just this morning, he was still curled up in his armchair, thinking about ways to end his life. Yet, in the afternoon, he suddenly slipped into work-mode again, completely unaffected.
Mrs. Hudson was setting the table when there was a knock on the door. When Zhang Heng opened it, he found a bearded coachman standing there. In a gruff voice, he asked, “Is this Mr. Holmes’s residence?”
“That’s right. But he’s not home at the moment.”
“But my master has something urgent, and he needs a consultation,” the coachman insisted, dissatisfied.
“I don’t know why he left, but if you’re in a hurry, you can wait for him inside…”
Zhang Heng’s voice trailed off…
The bearded man burst into laughter, and he spoke in his regular voice.
“Not bad. You were able to see through my disguise,” Holmes remarked, removing the wig, beard, eyebrows, and a whole bunch of miscellaneous things.
Now, he looked like himself again.
“Your disguise is good. Not only did you look like a coachman, but you also acted like one. You even changed your accent, lowered your tone, and used a different dialect. Even your figure had changed.”
“But it couldn’t get past you…” Holmes sighed. “How did you know it was me?”
“You’ve cleaned and removed all the ink stains from your hands, but there are still remnants of chemical reagents. And your shoes are a little new. It doesn’t look like something a coach driver would wear.”
Zhang Heng stopped as if he thought of something but gave up when he could not recall it.
Holmes looked a little annoyed. “Ha! It seems you’ve learned a lot this afternoon. I deliberately soiled my hands. Could you tell me? As for the shoes- I was careless-I had a pair of old shoes I kept for situations like this, but it was damaged during one of my experiments some time ago, and I had yet had the time to replace it. In the end, I had to relent and got a pair of unremarkable ones. Fortunately, not everyone in this world has excellent observation skills like you and me.” “It looks like your trip went well.”
Zhang Heng couldn’t remember what he wanted initially to talk about, so he set it aside for the moment.
“It was worthwhile.” Holmes sniffed the air. “Has Mrs. Hudson prepared dinner? Then let’s talk over dinner.”
At the table, Holmes briefly described the job he took in the afternoon to track a prominent Congress member and look into his relationship with a young woman without alerting anyone.
“The congressman is an important member of the Conservative Party and has many allies in the party. But some Conservatives suspect that he has fallen over to the opponent, the Liberal Party. After preliminary investigations, they ruled out the possibility that the congressman was involved in bribery or was under threat. But recently, he struck up an intimate relationship with a young woman. Worried that this may be a trick up the Liberal Party’s sleeve, and since they were unable to find out the relationship between the two without being found out, they’ve asked me for help.”
“So, what have you found?” “How should I put it? It was rather intriguing.” Holmes leaned back against the chair.”
Under the disguise of a coachman, I went to the young lady’s place and found out she had a boyfriend she was very fond of. They were an inseparable pair, so I can ascertain that her relationship with the congressman is not what everyone thinks it is. But, at the same time, I could see that the congressman really likes her. He had gifted her with many expensive clothes and jewellery. Considering their age difference, the answer is obvious.”
“She’s the congressman’s bastard daughter.”