The Royal Highwayman
Vincent Rosamond Rice
Chapter One – Hideaway At Chagsford House
John Rosamond made up his mind to buy the flat on the ground floor of the Chagsford House the minute he heard the rusty gate opening to an exquisite courtyard with a view of the side of a church located on a narrow road near the Shurlock Holmes museum. John had a vision of giving outdoor lectures to fellow lovers of Sherlock Holmes in this court during the summer, even the fall! He needed to get away, and – even stay away! Two weeks after his famous sister Rosamond drowned, then John’s daughter showed up – out of the blue! He did not know he had sired a child. He saw her red hair come blazing his way across the courtyard in Carmel. His first thought was – to hide! His heart started racing when he beheld the spitting image of Dorothy Witherspoon who he saved from The Process in Boston – a month after the Mafia tried to kill him. John brought Dottie to California, and to the top of Mount Tamalpias, but, she was not her, the love of his life…..Irena Hayworth Rollins.
“I am your daughter. My mother showed me a photograph of you. She read your sister’s obituary. We have been looking for you for a long time.”
Dottie took their Blue Tic Hound to Ukiah when she joined the Light House Jesus commune. She had changed her evil magical ways. However, it appears Persephone Witherspoon was able to plumb the depths of her Old Witchery, and was already looking for way to bewitch her newfound father.
“Would you like a gallery and home? I was about to sell everything and rent a flat in London. I’m a Sherlock Holmes Freak. I want to write a book about him.”
And so John told his child a big fat lie -ten minutes into meeting her! He had no interest in Sherlock, but, it sounded good. Who would dare deprive him of his quirky fixation.
“Sure. But, don’t you think we should get to know each other?”
“We can do that when I return, which should be in a year. What’s one more year? Stooky Crambotton, my sister’s trusted manage,r will show you the ropes. But, keep an eye on her! Toot-a-loo!”