The Carl Powers Case

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Shortly after Sherlock had yelled that 'the game was on,' they all left the hospital and went to get a cab. As they rode in the back, Sherlock expained everything to Alex and John. He pulled up an article on his phone. 

"1989, young kid, champion swimmer, came up from Brighten for a school sports, tournament, drowned in the pool, tragic accident." Sherlock said. He presented the article to the Watsons. "You two shouldn't remember it, why should you?"

"But you remember?" John asked.

"Yes." Sherlock nodded. 

"Something fishy about it?" John questioned.

"Nobody thought so, nobody except me." Sherlock said. He had moved so his back was resting against the cab door. Alex rested against him. "I was only a kid myself. I'd read about it in the paper."

"Started young, didn't you?" Alex said, looking up at Sherlock. Sherlock ignored her remark and continued.

"The boy, Carl Powers, had some kind of fit in the water, but by the time they got him out, it was too late." He said. "There was something wrong, something I couldn't get out of my head." 

"What?" Alex asked.

"His shoes." Sherlock said. 

"What about them?" John asked.

"They weren't there. I made a fuss, I tried to get the police interested, but nobody thought it was important." Sherlock said. "Nobody except me."

"Why?" Alex asked.

"He'd left all the rest of his clothes in his locker, but there was no sign of his shoes." Sherlock said. He picked up the bag containing the one clue he'd needed for a question biting at his mind since he was a child. "Until now." 

Sherlock had the cab stop at the library so he could pick up every newspaper article he could find on Carl Powers. When they got home, Mrs. Hudson tried to force them to get some sleep, but Sherlock would have none of it. He needed to get this done. He had been so bored

"You need any help?" Alex asked, standing in the doorway.

"No, but you can stay in here if you want." Sherlock said.

He went through numerous newspaper articles, having Alex hand him whatever he couldn't reach. Alex finally, fell asleep with her chin resting on her head. She was awoken to Sherlock pushing her hand out from under her. 

"Hey!" She said. "I was woken up at one in the morning because of you! Can't you let me take a nap?"

"No." Sherlock said. "I need you to help."

John opened the door to the room Sherlock was in. He looked at his sister.

"Alex, go to sleep. I can help Sherlock." He said.

"No." Sherlock said again.

"I want to help." John protested. "There's only five hours left."

His phone beeped and he took it out of his pocket. John turned it on and groaned. He looked up at Sherlock.

"It's your brother. He's texting me now." John said. "How's he know my..."

"Must be a root canal." Sherlock said to himself. Alex chuckled.

"Look, he did say 'national importance'." John pointed out.

"Hm, how quaint." Sherlock said. 

"What is?" John asked.

"You are. Queen and country" Sherlock said. He nodded to Alex. "How is she your sister?"

"You can't just ignore it." John said.

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