I was heading back to my own office in the Archive when Chris and Mycroft caught up with me. Chris was grinning like at cat who’s got the cream. That is to say he looked pleased with himself but also slightly queasy. Mycroft was experimenting with the face of Sir Christopher Lee so still sticking with the actors-who-have-played-Mycroft-Holmes theme.
“We have results.” Said Chris.
“Do you want to see if you were right about the voodoo doll?” Intoned Mycroft. I say intoned because somehow ‘said’ undersells the effect of the voice of Sir Christopher.
“Have you upgraded the speakers on his yPhone?” I said to Chris.
“Well I had to. If he’s going to go round looking like that he needs the voice to match. The upgrade will roll out along with the next gen yPhone come the new year. Said Chris.
“Ahem.” Said Mycroft.
“Sorry. I was distracted. What are you talking about?”
“The Voodoo Doll?” Said Mycroft.
“Don’t call it a a Voodoo Doll. It’s a poppet. And what about it?” I said.
“Do you want to know who made it?” Said Mycroft.
“You’ve found out?” I said.
“Not yet. That’s what we need you for.” Said Chris.
“We’ve traced the pieces of paper that were inside the doll. It was all paperwork related to one of the Dingo’s clients. We’ve sent the file to your yPhone. The person who made the poppet must have links to that family.” Said Mycroft.
“Right. Let me get back to my desk, get a cup of coffee and then I’ll look over this thing. In fact you two can go an get me some cake.”
“Cake?” Said Chris.
“You owe me cake. I said if I had to demonstrate the secret of the stick of doom before you worked it out then you would owe me cake. Given the circumstances I think you owe me cake for a week.” I said.
“I don’t see why I have to go too. It’s not like I can help carry the cake.” Said Mycroft.
“Fine. You come with me and Chris can get cake.” I said.
Chris looked like he was preparing to grumble but then thought better of it and gangled off in the direction of the canteen.
Back at my office I set Mycroft up on the corner of my desk, flipped open my own yPhone and began to read.
The file was pure Dingo. Badly spelled, poorly explained, deeply uncharitable towards the adults in the family and seemingly blind to the emotions of the children involved. By the time Chris got back with cake (baked cheesecake, good call) I thought I had a handle on the case.
The family consisted of a single father, the mother had died suddenly, trying to cope with twin five year old boys with autism and a traumatized and withdrawn 8-year old girl. The case should never have ended up on the Dingo’s desk but the father had a history of manic depression and someone decided that meant that his children were at risk. It was like reading about a car crash in horrifying and poorly parsed detail.