Since we last left them in Paddington Station, the girls, Miku Holmes, Neru Watson, Gumi Lestrade and their chaperone , Mrs. Hudson have boarded the 'Devonshire Express'. They were travelling in a First Class compartment, courtesy of Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes faithful and long time associate. Miku was a little upset upon learning that Devon was no where near Wales as she had rather hoped to visit the land from which Welsh Onions (leeks) originated.
Neru: And so how long do you intend to sulk for Ms. Holmes? (She asks sarcastically). You do realize that Devon is still several hours away and if you're going to be like that, I might as well take a nap.
You big meanie, you told me that Devon was near Wales!
Neru: Did not!
Miku: Did too!
Gumi: Do shut up the two of you, you're going to give Mrs. Hudson a headache.
The compartment quietens down for the next five minutes. Gumi, having won a round of rock, paper, scissors had one of the window seats and Mrs. Hudson had insisted on taking the other one as she claimed to suffer from motion sickness unless she had a decent view to keep her mind distracted. In any case, at the moment, she was quietly dozing off. Miku and Neru, with nothing to do just spent the time sticking their tongues out at each other and making faces.
Miku: I'm bored. Let's take a walk or something.
Neru: Yeah, sounds good. Besides, I need to go to the bathroom.
Gumi: (not looking away from the view outside the train window) Don't get lost you two ...
Miku and Neru: Yeah, right ...
They left the compartment which was located midway in the carriage and headed towards the end where the toilet was. A man came out of some compartment further back, rudely pushed past them and headed for the same facility. Which he entered, slamming the door firmly behind him. He seemed to be in a bit of a hurry.
Neru: Well how rude! (She declared as she extracted herself from the side of the carriage to which she had been shoved by the man as he passed by them).
Miku: Rather, kind of odd for the English. Usually, they're a lot more polite than that. Maybe he's feeling sick or something and needs to throw up?
Neru: Don't be gross ...
That, however, did not stop the two girls from pressing their ears to the bathroom door to try and hear what the man was doing. All they heard was the sound of running water. They discreetly and quickly ducked around the corner when they heard the man coming out. Miku noted that he then headed in a different direction from which he had come.
Neru, cautiously entered the bathroom, holding her nose, to be shoved in by Miku.
Miku: It's ok, we're both girls - you go first.
Neru: Don't look!
Miku: Wouldn't dream of it baka ... (and notices something) ... btw, don't fall in.
Somewhat alarmed , Neru looked down between her legs and noticed that the toilet was actually just a hole at the bottom of which was the railroad tracks passing underneath the train.
Neru: Oh no wonder there was a breeze ...
By the time they returned to their compartment, Mrs. Hudson was awake and informed them that it was 'tea time' so they should head to the dining car for some English Tea and scones. The girls had no idea what a scone was, but upon being informed that it was a sweet with jam, they suddenly gained enthusiasm and headed with Mrs. Hudson to the dining car.
As usual, they stuffed themselves, and by the standards of that era, in most unladylike manners (such as eating quickly, large amounts and talking at the same time). However, they were suddenly interrupted by the Train's Conductor.
Conductor: Excuse me. I rather hate to disturb you, but might one of you be Ms. Holmes? It does say here on my passenger manifest that a certain Ms. Miku Holmes is travelling on this train.
Miku: That would be me (not stopping from eating her scones).
Conductor: You wouldn't by any chance be related in some way to Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the Great Detective by any chance?
Miku: Yep, his niece (she declared between chomps on her food and oblivious to the hard glares given to her by both Neru and Gumi)
Conductor: Well, we were wondering if you might be able to help us with a rather delicate matter.
Miku: If it helps alleviate the sheer boredom of riding on this train I would be most obliged to help. What seems to be the problem?
Conductor: (In a quiet voice but still loud enough for Neru and Gumi, whose ears were peeled back by this point, to hear) There seems to have been a murder ...
Miku: ... and you want me to solve it for you, correct? (She declares, finishing off the Conductor's sentence and her scone at the same time. Neru and Gumi were aghast by her statement).
Conductor: Eh ... yes, we would be most obliged for any assistance you could offer.
Miku: No problem my good man. Glad to be of service. Come along Watson and Lestrade, let's go and look at this 'murder'.
And so they took their leave of Mrs. Hudson for the moment and followed the Conductor to the scene of the crime.
Neru: What do you think you're doing Miku? You're not really a detective and besides, this is a real murder we're talking about here. (She whispers to Miku as they head back towards their carriage following the Conductor).
Miku: Don't worry, we can handle this (she says confidently).
Neru: You know, sometimes, you really make me wonder about you ...
On arriving at the compartment where the murder took place (which as it turned out was in the same carriage as theirs, just a few compartments down) they observed the body of a man lying slumped against the window. From the amount of blood at the scene, it was apparent that the poor man's throat had been cut ...
Miku: Ms. Neru, if you could be so kind, please ascertain for us as to how the victim died and if possible, the approximate time of death.
Neru: What? Are you serious? That's a real dead body there ... no way am I going to touch 'that' let alone go anywhere near it!
Gumi: Would probably be an understatement (observing Neru's ashen expression).
Miku and Gumi shoves Neru deeper into the compartment.
Neru: And why exactly should I be doing this?
Miku: Because your 'uncle' is a doctor?
Neru: What? Hey, we're only ...
Gumi: (shoves Neru even closer to the corpse whilst hiding a smirk)
Neru gives her two companions a really dirty look, then gingerly pokes at the corpse with the tip of her boot. There is no reaction.
Gumi: That's awfully disrespectful ...
Neru: Then you do it ... he looks dead to me.
Miku: And your prognosis Ms. Watson? How did he die and approximately when?
Neru: Bloody obvious isn't it, his throat was cut, the blood is still gushing out so it couldn't have been that long now could it?
Gumi: I don't see any signs of the murder weapon. Must have been some type of blade.
Miku cooly examines the corpse, using a magnifying glass that Sherlock Holmes had given her to play with. Then, satisfied with her inspection, she calmly takes out a leek and chews on it whilst thinking hard. The Conductor, Neru and Gumi observes her curiously.
Miku: I know who did it. I also know where the murder weapon is. Gumi, you have that revolver on you? We are probably going to need it. Now follow me, let's apprehend the culprit before we get to the next station and he escapes.
They are joined by Mrs. Hudson as they exit the compartment and the party follows Miku into the next carriage. The next carriage had Second Class passengers who were seated in rows. Everyone looks in their direction as most were surprised at the entrance of the girls especially given the way they were dressed.
Miku: HE DID IT! (She declares rather loudly pointing at no one in particular and everyone at the same time. Everyone was surprised at her outburst and looked around trying to figure out who exactly she was pointing at).
Conductor, Neru and Gumi: Who?
Miku: HIM! (She points straight at the man who had shoved Neru to one side in the train corridor earlier).
Alarmed, the suspect tries to make a run for it ...
... to be stopped by a warning shot fired by Gumi. Everyone else had ducked for cover, except Miku who is still calmly chewing on her leek.
Gumi: Stop right there! The next one won't miss!
The man is immediately tackled by Neru who tips him over her shoulders with a Judo throw. The Conductor and several of the other male passengers then grapples with the suspect and apprehends him. Then Gumi produces a pair of handcuffs which were used to secure the suspect.
Neru: Where did you get those from?
Gumi: I picked my 'uncle's" (she's referring to Insp. Lestrade of Scotland Yard) pockets when I was hugging him at Baker Street ... but I wasn't able to get the keys so they're going to be needing a locksmith to undo those.
Neru: (She asks Miku): How did you know it was him and where is the murder weapon? (A search of the suspect by the Conductor and the other passengers did not produce any weapons).
Miku: Elementary my Dear Watson. (She beams, still chewing on her leek).
Conductor, Neru, Gumi, Mrs. Hudson, the other passengers and the suspect: ?
Miku then sits down and explains ...
Miku: He was the only one to jump when I shouted "HE DID IT". Everyone else was just surprised. And when he was in the bathroom earlier all he did was wash his hands for a long time. If you inspect his sleeves carefully, there's probably still some blood stains; although they may be hard to see since he's wearing dark clothing. As for the murder weapon, he threw it down the toilet bowl. You should be able to find it on the tracks somewhere back that way and it probably still has blood on it as well as the suspect's fingerprints.
Conductor: (Makes notes of what Miku said for the police and inspects the man's sleeves as she suggested to find that her observation was accurate).
Neru and Gumi: (They are both clearly impressed as was everyone else in the carriage). Well maybe you're not a complete 'baka' after all.
Miku: Definitely not a 'baka' ... (she states grinning as she gets up again) ... first one back to the compartment gets the window seat ... (she declares with a sly wink before Neru and Gumi could react and she races off ahead of them).
Conductor: (to Mrs. Hudson) Looks like you have quite a handful to look after.
Mrs. Hudson: Yes, rather. But they are adorable aren't they?
Conductor: Well I wouldn't know anything about that. That said, Ms. Holmes' deductive reasoning seemed quite impressive. Also, I was quite surprised by Ms. Watson throwing that large man over her shoulders like that - she's a rather small girl at that too. And Ms. Lestrade seems really handy with that revolver. It's a big gun for a small girl like her, yet she handled it like a professional. Good stance and all, I should know, Ma'am, I used to be in the Army.
Mrs. Hudson: Definitely a very talented and most unusual trio.
Conductor: I do declare though, their attire is somewhat ... skimpy? Don't you think?
Mrs. Hudson: Well, yes. But they're from 'the Colonies' and after looking at them dressed like that for awhile, their clothing seems rather sensible compared to ours. They don't even wear corsets! Well, I better get back to them; don't want them getting into mischief whilst I'm not watching.
Conductor: Righto, they do seem to be a rather active bunch. We should be in Devon in about two hours or thereabouts. Do please ring on the bell should you need anything then Ma'am.
And so the girls and Mrs. Hudson soon arrives in Dartmoor in Devon towards the early evening; and waiting there for them at the station was a carriage to take them to Baskerville Hall.
To be continued ...