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We met Millars again in his role as doorman of the casino
which took up the west wing and main building of the
great Hall. He greeted us civilly and escorting us to the
cashier’s cage informed us that as Sir Clifford’s guests
we were entitled to a quantity of chips with which to
gamble. This came as a relief as I had worried about our
ability to blend in when we were in such straitened
financial circumstances. However, gambling was the last
thought on Sherman Holms’ mind.
“Your Italian masters, Millars, could we be introduced?”
“They have a private room, sir, and I shall have to ask
their permission. Could I give them any reason why you
wish to make their acquaintance?”
Holms stroked his chin. “As you know, Millars, we are
here concerning Sir Clifford’s health. Dr Wilson here is
an expert on Latvian herb therapy and we merely wanted
to ascertain whether his afflictions are having any effect on their business relationship.”
“I shall enquire, sir,” answered the gamekeeper and disappeared through an adjacent door.
“Latvian herb therapy?” I asked Holms.
“A figment of my imagination, Wilson, brought on by sheer panic. Please do try and keep up with me.”
It was unusual for Holms to admit to being caught on the hop and so I took the rebuke stoically.
Within seconds Millars had returned and ushered us through the door to the private sanctum of the Italian
On one wall was a bank of CCTV monitors displaying the activity of the casino floors. Opposite this was a large,
mahogany, desk and in the centre of the room a large coffee table was surrounded on all four sides by
Chesterfields. The three Italians were seated on three of these and the eldest, judging by the slight silvering of
his hair, beckoned us to take the fourth.
We obliged and Holms made our introductions but these were waved aside.
“We know who you are, Mr Sherman Holms,” the thinnest of the three said, “You are the private detective, but
what we want to know is what you do here?”
“We are Sir Clifford’s guests.”
“I am Gennaro Riveli, gentlemen,” the eldest said, “and these are my colleagues Alfonso Pettuci and Antonio
Silvestre. We know what people think of us, Mr Holms, but please be assured that we are respectable
businessmen and have no connection to organised crime. Which makes Alfonso’s question to you very relevant,
why are you here?”
Holms leaned back and considered the three. “I have a feeling you are being honest with me, Signor Riveli and
therefore I will not lie to you. I cannot, at this time, reveal why we are here, save that it has nothing to do with
you or your business enterprises.”
Riveli considered this for a moment and then nodded. “You are an honourable man, Mr Holms, and I appreciate
this. Whatever your business is, it is not ours. In what way, then, can we be of help to you?”
THE CASE OF
LADY SHATTERLEY’S LOVER
(The third and last part of our thrilling Serial)