nodded back at me and Brett hurried me out the room.
I could hear Lestrade instructing Holmes and White to be careful and to remember on whose behalf they were working as we ran down the hall.
âMrs Goodtree is greatly disturbed,â Brett said. âHer house was in utter shambles and her husbandâs study a wreck. She kept saying that she âlost itâ. I think she went mad and destroyed the study. I was taken aback by her appearance and crazed actions.â
Mrs Goodtree lay on a cot in an empty room. Her forehead was burning, and her body trembled. Her pulse was racing. Brett showed me the marks on her arm. I confirmed it to be from the use of cocaine. I called for some cool water and a towel. Her nightgown was drenched with sweat. I removed it and covered the woman with a coarse grey blanket. Hanging on a chain around her neck was a silver pendent, which I also removed. An officer came in with cool water and a rag, and I laid the soaked rag upon Mrs Goodtreeâs head. I left the room to gather some equipment from the police surgeonâs chambers, then returned and continued my examination.
âWhat can you tell me about this woman?â I asked Brett.
âI know little of her,â he replied.
âShe told you nothing of importance when she was with you and Hewitt?â I asked sharply.
Brettâs eyes lit with realisation, but it was too late. I had worked it out already.
âShe was...â he began.
âWith child,â I finished.
Brett nodded, his face grimaced.
âLost it? Yes, she has,â I confirmed. Brett lifted the blanket and we looked at her discoloured stomach. âSheâs bleeding from within. She wonât last much longer.â
Lestrade and Reid walked in in time to hear the news. Lestrade put his face in his hands and sighed. Pulling his hands away from his face a look of intrigue fell upon Reidâs face. He walked over to the dying woman and gazed upon her.
âThis woman, Mrs Goodtree, I know her,â he said thoughtfully.
âOf course you do. She was in the papers when her husband died. He was a well-known chap,â said Lestrade. âAnd, as you remember, I questioned her.â
âI knew her name but I never saw her face, Lestrade,â said Reid. âNo, I knew her from somewhere else. Somewhere else...â Reid looked at the womanâs clothing. âThis was this on her?â he asked, picking up the pendent and opening it.
âIt was, yes,â I confirmed.
âAha! See? A picture of a crown, I thought it most odd when I first saw it. She was one of the many I helped out of the Whitechapel & Mile End station,â said Reid. âThis woman embraced me when I led her out and this very pendent fell from her neck.â
âThatâs impossible, Reid!â said Lestrade. âI questioned the woman myself. She was at home during the explosion!â
âThe man is correct,â came the faint voice of Mrs Goodtree.
âDear woman, rest,â said I. âLestrade, take this ruckus elsewhere!â
âNo, I need to... I need to speak,â said the dying woman. âI donât wish to go to hell.â The woman looked upon me with horror.
âWhich of us is correct?â Lestrade asked.
âHe is,â she returned, looking at Reid. She groaned, her face twitching with pain. âI was there. Jack... Jackson... he promised a better life after it was... over.â
âWas Jackson responsible for the explosion? Can you confirm it was he who planted the bomb?â Reid demanded.
âThomas and David, they were... vile. We were... we were doing the world a service by being... being rid of them.â
âWho is âweâ?â Lestrade demanded.
âMrs Goodtree,â said Brett softly. He walked over and knelt down by her. âWhat sin is it that you seek repentance for?â She looked at him. Her eyes began to drift