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The Case Of The Thallos Prison Death...
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Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

The Case Of The Thallos Prison Death...

This is a Sherlock Holmes story I wrote a year or so ago. I was reading most of Doyles detective books at the time, and I literally saw most of this plot in a dream and promptly wrote this story that following day. I haven't shown many people it, however, so I hope you think it is ok smile

Sherlock Holmes

The Case Of The Thallos Prison Death

It was the eve of my companions birthday, and he and I were sat in the drawing room of his welcoming abode. An oak bookshelf was lined against the wall opposite to myself, and the light from the candle glistened off the shiny red surface. I was sat on a small stall, with a green leather cushion stitched into the dark orange wood. My friend poured me a fresh glass of whisky into the small, crystal glass he had provided me earlier in the evening.

We were celebrating the success of a case earlier in the day, and subsequently we were rewarded with a large donation. We had been drinking whisky and an expensive bottle of ‘Blue Nun’ wine that Holmes had bought over a year ago and felt that this was the perfect occasion to drink it.

Holmes had not spoken for more than twenty minutes, he seemed deep in thought. I turned round on the stall and looked out of the window.

It was a dark night, and stars glistened against the grand sky. A figure walked past the window briskly, and moments later I heard a knock at the door. This promptly knocked my friend out of his thoughts, and I stood and walked out of the dimly lit room and to the front door.

I clasped my hand around the brass door knob, and turned it slowly. The smooth wooden door open slowly and stiffly, and the silhouette was at the door. It was a man, in a police uniform and carrying a cane. The uniform was dark navy, almost black, with a dull police badge on the pocket next to his right shoulder. The uniform was dusty, and the gentleman’s hair was in a terrible state.

“Yes?” I asked, “something wrong?”

“Yes sir, there is something terribly wrong. May I come in?” the policeman replied frantically.

“Yes of course, follow me…” I said, leading the way to the drawing room.

Holmes had lit some more candles on the bookshelf, and the room was now much brighter than before.

“Here…” I said, pulling forward the stall that I had previously been sitting.

The man thanked me and sat down. I went into corridor and got another stall that was resting underneath the stairs. I sat down quickly.

“Now,” the gentleman started, resting his cane against his leg, “what I’m about to tell you is strictly top secret and may not be ushered outside of this room.”

“I understand,” Holmes whispered.

I got a pencil and paper from the bookshelf, and put the paper onto a mahogany coffee table that was tucked up into the corner where I was sat. Holmes, his shiny brown hair brushed into a neat side parting, lay back in his chair and closed his eyes.

“I am a warden at Pentonville prison, located at Islington, in North London. It is unfortunately one of the lower paid prisons in the country, where only the worst criminals in the country go. It is also a jail where criminals awaiting hanging go. I work on one of those corridors.

Earlier this week one of those awaiting the death penalty was found dead in his cell. I just went about my normal rounds, and when it came to Benny Hill’s cell he was lying in his bed. I told him to get up but he just lay there. His cell was no different to the night before, that was confirmed by the warden who worked the previous night. The bars had been untouched and there were no footprints in and around the cell.”
“Sorry to disturb you, but what crime had the victim committed to had been there?” Holmes asked, not moving.

“He had murdered his wife and children. He was a quiet man, kept himself to himself, never argued or talked back. The kind of prisoner you want to have in this kind of jail.

Anyway, not twenty minutes since I first discovered his death that the prisoner in the cell opposite confessed to the death. He announced it to the police that had arrived, and was promptly taken to be interviewed. In the interview, which I witnessed, he only said the words ‘I killed Benny Hill’.”

“Who was this person that admitted it?” I asked.

“John ‘The Slasher’ Redding, the…”

“… the gentleman that brutally murdered and raped twelve nuns in Nottingham,” Holmes added.

“Yes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he added someone else to that list. He has been in my corridor for two months and he is the most troublesome, most damn right rude and abusive prisoner who has ever set foot in the prison. When any guard puts food under the door they always seem to get stamped on, and promptly laughed at. I have tried to discipline him but god only knows how you control a man like him. Unusually though he has not said one violent word, not moved a finger for the worse and hasn’t even looked at another police investigator badly since then.”

“That was two days ago, and since then it has gone through my head a number of times that the police have no evidence to convict him. I know the gentleman murdered was a murderer, but no man deserves to die that way. I realised that without someone’s help this man will get away with it. We are nearly into the nineteenth century, and in these treacherous times a confession just won’t do. You need proof, and you have quite a marvellous reputation for finding proof, and reasoning in a crime. Please sir, help me on this one…”


Old Post Feb 4th, 2005 11:19 PM
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Gender: Unspecified
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Authors Note - You may notice a FEW spelling mistakes. This is mainly down to the fact I wrote it in one who, and have never gone over it and checked it. I think a majority is good, but I apologise for any unfound errors.

“Well, we have no cases at the moment sir, so it should be no prob…” I started.
“Do you think it is him?” my friend asked, abruptly.

“Did he do it? To be truthful, he probably did. Two months he has been in my patch, and he has presented himself to be a monster, a selfish monster who didn’t care about anyone or anything.

Sir, I really need to get back home, my wife and child is waiting for me. Thank you for your time. Would you care to look around the cell and it’s surroundings?” the tired warden asked, standing up.

“That would be magnificent, thankyou,” Holmes said, standing up.

“Come over anytime in the morning and I’ll show you,” he said, “oh, and just to mention, my name is Jack, Jack D’Ipper. Ask for me when you arrive.”

“Ok then sir, I’ll do that,” Holmes said, shaking his hand slowly.

“Let me show you the door,” I said, ushering him to the door.

He followed me up the corridor, and I opened the door. He shook my hand and walked down the dark, concrete steps and onto the quiet Baker Street pavement.

“I’ll be seeing you tomorrow then, good night,” Jack said, turning round and walking across the road towards a horse and carriage that had been waiting.

I walked back into the drawing room and sat back down on the stool which I had previously inhabited. Holmes was sat back in his brown, leather chair looking at me. I smiled.

“Well, what do you think Sherlock?” I asked, getting comfortable on the small, hard stall.

“What do you think my dear advisor?” he asked back to me.

“Well,” I began, “anyone in that prison is capable of murdering him, and if he admits it is there any reason why it wouldn’t be him. But how? Well, that one confuses me. I have read about Pentonville Prison and I know it is one of the most secure in our country. There has been a lot about it The times recently. It is the first prison to be built in the country where prisoners are actually attempted to be reformed. But unfortunately it looks like only half of the prison has that policy. The men in this part of the prison are waiting to die, and I suppose they would do anything to relieve the boredom, even killing. Now my friend, what do you think?” I announced, looking at Holmes.

“Well, you are right. These men are all capable of killing, but would they really be driven to murder just through boredom? And even if they did want to murder, how do they plan on doing it? This is a prison, Watson, not an Art Museum!” Sherlock said, cracking a grin.


Old Post Feb 4th, 2005 11:20 PM
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Gender: Unspecified
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK


My companion and I opened the dirty wooden door and entered the hallway of Pentonville Prison. Wood panelling lined the walls, with two candles above the entrance door. They were not alight as it was an hour past high noon, and the sun was beaming through the windows, which incidentally has cobwebs lining the top of the window frame.

“Can I help you?” an old woman asked behind us. It startled both of us, and we quickly turned around. She had curly grey hair, bright blue eyes and wearing a grubby blue cotton jumper with a black shirt.

“Yes please. We are hoping to meet Mr. Jack D’Ipper, a warden at this prison. He told us to come around this time. I am Dr. Watson, and my companion is Mr. Sherlock Holmes” I said, while my friend looked around, holding his trusty pipe in his mouth.

“Oh yes, he is indeed expecting you. Wait one moment please.”

We stood in the murky corridor, listening to the quiet sounds coming from the door at the bottom of the corridor that the old lady had just walked through. Shouting and screaming were the most common sounds coming from within the prison, with the occasional sound of a cell door being violently shut or kicked.
Holmes was looking down at the corner where floor meets wall. A white powder-like substance had been sprinkled across the corner all along the corridor.
Suddenly, a loud bang at the end of the corridor broke the concentration of both of us, and we both looked up. Jack was walking up the corridor smiling grimly.

“Thankyou for coming!” he cried, shaking both our hands before taking both of us down the corridor and through the door. We went up one flight of stairs and down two more corridors before stopping out side a large, dark, damp door with a metal sign above it reading ‘Death Corridor’.

Holmes and I exchanged glances, and then turned our attention to Jack. The wind, coming from a barred open window to the left of the door, was fluttering his black hair as he prepared to speak. He looked worried for us, but Holmes looked unflustered.

“Now listen up, both of you,” Jack started, “through this door is a group of the most evil and positively sadistic people in the country. Keep your head held high, and your eyes kept forward. Are you ready?”

“Let’s go,” Holmes said.

Jack slowly opened the door, and a dimly lit room was revealed. Black bars lined both sides of the room, with prisoners quickly getting up, and peering through them as they heard the constant squeak of the door as it opened. There were five cells on either side, and at the end of the corridor a dark brick wall, with a large painting of what looks like purgatory hung up in the centre. The painting was starting to be affected by the constant damp atmosphere in the corridor, with wet patches starting to appear over a cherubs face as it reaches up towards heaven, but is being dragged down to hell.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a large brown rat run from one end of the dark corridor to the other, and stopping at the corner, about three metres from where I was stood. It was licking something on the wall. Holmes was examing this too, but was shook out of his concentration as Jack started walking up the long corridor, looking straight ahead the whole time. Holmes and I did the same.

“Hey Ipper, who’s ya friends?” a prisoner growled, laughing.

Jack didn’t reply.
“Reply you ****in…” the prisoner continued, raising his voice and shaking the bars on his cell like a gorilla in a zoo.

“… you say one more thing Redding and I will knock you out.” Jack said angrily, not even looking at him.

The prisoner was little more than a silhouette, as only one candle lit the room, positioned above the door in a glass shade. He seemed to give up, and sat back down on the bed in the cell.
Jack stopped, and turned to a cell at the end of the dark corridor. He pulled out a large ammount of brass keys from his left pocket and clenched one of them and put it slowly into the large key hole on the front of the cell door. He turned the keys, and a quiet click was followed by the opening of the large cell door. Jack stepped inside.

“Nothing has been touched, only the body has been removed. There were no footprints in the cell, apart from his, as I said last night. The footprints you may see are either mine, yours or the police gentleman that came two days ago. I’ll leave you to inspect the surroundings, I’ll be back in a minute,” Jack explained.

“When did John Redding come back?” Holmes asked as Jack prepared to leave.

“He arrived back this morning. He isn’t charged for anything yet, and if no proof is found by sunset then all charges will be dropped and forgotten,” Jack whispered.
“Ok then sir, we’ll try our best,” I replied, stepping into the cell.

Sherlock stepped into the cell and walked over to the open window, which had five thick iron bars lined vertically over the small airy space. Holmes felt, and stroked along each bar, checking they were all solid. One wobbled slightly. He nodded his head and looked down to the floor. The same powder that had been on the wall to floor corner was still there.

“Sherlock, look,” I whispered, pointing to a drawing of three stick men on the wall, all carefully carved with a sharp object.

“Interesting Watson,” Holmes replied, feeling into the carvings.


Old Post Feb 4th, 2005 11:22 PM
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Gender: Unspecified
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Note - One more after this, and the next one (after this section) is the FINAL post - so pause, and see if you can figure out who done it, how it was done etc. Then read on and see if you were right wink

Holmes turned around once more and concentrated on a shiny object he had spotted on the floor. He bent down and picked it up.

“Tell me Watson, what is this?” Holmes asked me, showing a very small hexagon shaped, metal object.

“I believe it is a bolt??? Sherlock,” I replied.

“You believe right, and what do you deduce from this Watson?” he asked once again.

“Maybe it had rolled in from another cell, or he swallowed it and choked,” I said.

Holmes put the bolt in a small waistcoat pocket and turned his attentions to the small toilet in the corner. It was wooden, and a long pipe led from the toilet to a sewage pipe on the ground floor. Holmes lifted the damp wooden lid, and straight away a disgustingly pungent smell surrounded the cell, and soon spread.

“Shut the lid!” a prisoner shouted from down the corridor.
Holmes got a rubber glove out of his inside jacket pocket and put it on his right hand. As he struggled to put it on I stepped out of the cell, and covered my nose with my hand. I peered at Holmes through the bars as he slowly put his hand into the stinking, filthy, wooden toilet. His left hand was held onto his nose, and he looked away from the toilet.
Holmes felt around the inside of the toilet for about 20 seconds, and slowly pulled out what looked like a snake. He threw the object onto the ground, it splattered in the absolute filth it was covered in, and Holmes quickly shut the lid.
As the smell started to fade away I slowly walked into the cramped cell.

“Do you know what that is Watson?” Holmes asked.

“A snake?” I replied quickly, examining the smooth surface of the soaking wet, long object that was strewn across the cell floor.

“No Watson, I deduce from its grainy feeling that it is a length of rope,” Homes said, bending down to examine it.

“A piece of rope? So someone could have climbed in through the lavatory?” I replied, slightly puzzled.

“No Watson, the pipes are too narrow for that,” Sherlock exclaimed, “it was probably used for…”

“…sorry to disturb you but it is the end of my shift now, and I’m afraid that this is all the time I can give you,” Jack said from the door of the cell, “if you find anything that can help the police then come back at around six ‘O clock, and ask for me like you did a little earlier.”

“Ok then Mr. D’ Ipper,” I said, walking out of the cell.

“Sorry about the mess,” Holmes said, walking out.

As we both walked down the long corridor, Holmes was staring back in the corner that a rat had previously run too. The rat, small and brown with a long tail, was not moving in the same place that it was before. A drip of water fell from the black ceiling onto the rats body, and it didn’t move. It must have been dead.
When we reached the door we both stopped and looked behind us, and behind us two new warden were pushing open trays of food under the cell door. Most of the trays skidded across the damp wooden floor and into the wall on the other end of the small cell. Sherlock looked at this repeated procedure before walking out of the door deep in thought.

When we were back at the doorstep of my companions abode Holmes was still deep in thought. His trusty housekeeper politely opened the door, but Holmes stood on the doorstep.
“Watson, I will be back in half an hour. Please make yourself at home. I am taking a trip down to the local library,” Sherlock said, and promptly turned around and walked down Baker Street to the nearest library, about two streets away.

Holmes arrived back on time, and sat down in his favourite chair in the cosy drawing room. He seemed to have cheered up.

“So Sherlock, my friend, what have you discovered at the library?” I asked inquisitively.

“I just went through the old newspapers on how Mr. Benny Hill was convicted. It turns out that all the evidence on him was very circumstantial, and there was no real proof he was the person who knifed down his family,” Sherlock replied.

“…and that helps how?” I asked, once again puzzled.

“It helps a great deal Watson, it proves everything.”


Old Post Feb 4th, 2005 11:23 PM
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Gender: Unspecified
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Note - Final one. See if you can guess the ending ;p

We arrived back at Pentonville at the deadline set, and we were waiting in the entrance corridor once more, waiting for Jack to arrive.

“We should really make sure the police are there to here this” I said.

“Yes Watson, I’ll ask Jack to call them,” Sherlcok replied, lighting up his pipe.

The old lady, the same one that was present earlier, came through the door once again and walked towards us. Jack was not behind her.
“I’m sorry but Mr. D’ Ipper cannot leave his post at the moment, a pair of police gentlemen are arresting a prisoner for murdering Benny Hill. You are free to walk up yourself, if you can remember the way…” the woman explained, scratching her curly grey hair.

“Thankyou madam, we shall do that,” Holmes said, trotting down to the door and sprinting through it.

I looked at the woman and smiled, “Thanks.”
I struggled to catch up with Holmes, and by the time I arrived to the corridor of cells Holmes had already gathered up the policemen and Jack D’ Ipper and they were all sat in a circle just in front of the door. A seat had been saved for me.

“Hurry up Watson!” Holmes said, smiling.

I promptly sat down and caught my breath.
“So Mr. Holmes, you have something to say?” a policeman asked, pulling out a pocket watch from his jacket and inspecting the time.

“Yes sir, do NOT arrest Mr. Redding,” Sherlock said with dignity.
The policeman looked most shocked, and everyone looked at Holmes.
“And why not?” the second policeman asked.

“Well, it is quite easy really. If you arrest Mr. Redding he will spend a couple of months in a comfy police station cell waiting for conviction of a crime he did not convict. I simply put it down to him being scared of death, but he was willing to do most anything to delay the punishment he had been given. When Mr. Hill died he found it to be most perfect, and so admitted to it. Unfortunately he would have got away with it as the police gentlemen that inspected the cage missed a lot of crucial evidence.”

“Like what?” Jack asked.

“Well, for starters one of the bars in his cell window had been unscrewed, probably by hand. A piece of rope had been lodged up the cell lavatory, and had probably been hidden there quite a while. Unfortunately this was not a reason for his death. He had probably planned to escape for a long time, and was just waiting for the right time. I have read through the newspaper reports about his murder trial and it seems to me that his claims of being innocent may have been true, and if they were he had every right to escape.”

“So he was going to climb through the window and down to the street below. So who murdered him?” Jack asked, looking puzzled.

“Mr D’Ipper, that white powder on the floor, I am guessing that it is Thallium powder, or rat killer?” Holmes asked.

“Well, the bottle says Thallos Rat Killer, so I’m afraid I don’t know,” Jack said, reaching for the bottle.

“Ah yes, Thallos, the Greek word for Thallium. So this is in every cell is it?” Sherlock asked again.

“No, only in the top two cells, Redding and Hill. Those two cells are the worst in the corridor so rats are attracted to the smell. They tend to ignore the other eight cells,” Jack said, putting the bottle back on the floor.

“Yes, that is what I thought. Thallium can in fact kill humans if they consume enough. Every night when the warden pushes food through the bottom of the cell door, and across the cell floor a little bit of the Thallium powder is blown into the food, and as weeks and months went by the Thallium must have built up inside his body. Benny Hill probably died in his sleep,” Sherlock concluded, lowering his head.

The two policemen looked and each other and nodded there heads. Jack didn’t move. After a minute of silence Jack spoke.

“So why did Redding not die?”
“You said when you arrived round ours that John Redding often stapms on Wardens hands so they must have not pushed food right across the floor, and so powder did not blow into the food. He is very lucky though,” Holmes exclaimed getting up.

“Thankyou very much sir. You saved a man from being arrested. You should join the police force, you would fit right in,” the first police office said, standing up and shaking Holmes hand.

“No thankyou, I enjoy what I do,” Holmes said, “and in the police force you don’t get to put your hand down filthy toilets, how could I give that up!”

The End.

There we have it, my previously unread story. I have loads of stories this length (or shorter or longer), so I hope you enjoyed this one. Please tell me what you think =]


Old Post Feb 4th, 2005 11:25 PM
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True KMC Jester

Gender: Male
Location: United Kingdom

This looks really good!

I only read the first section, but I definately will get aorund to the rest!

"If clowns warred on monkeys, and the monkeys had guns, and were trained to use them, who would win?"

Death only gives another set of choices.

He who dies with the most toys. Still dies.

Old Post Feb 6th, 2005 12:45 PM
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Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

I've finished each post at a certain point in the story, not randomly so you can definately go back to it whenever ^_^


Old Post Feb 6th, 2005 05:43 PM
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