|This page is a transcript for the Season Six episode You've Come a Long Way, Baby.|
Detective Bell: Hey. Just you?
Joan Watson: Yeah. I got your message while I was out. I actually thought that Sherlock would get here before me.
Bell: Don’t get me wrong. No one I'd rather linger over a two-day-old corpse with.
Watson: Two days?
Bell: Neighbors noticed the pizza had been sitting there a while, got concerned. MLI says he's been dead about 48 hours. Victim's name was Gilbert Pham. He's a lawyer at Kress & Howell, one of the big accounting firms.
Watson: "VP, Discovery."
Bell: Yeah, they go over the books of companies involved in deals, vet mergers, things like that. Talked to the pizza shop. Cashier says Pham was a regular, and it was definitely him who placed the order. That was 9:00 p.m. night before last, so we know he was still alive then.
Watson: Home invasion gone bad?
Bell: I'd say that's what we're supposed to think. Kitchen door window's busted from the outside. We found the bolt unlocked. Place has been tossed. No money or loose valuables left behind.
Watson: But if someone broke that window and then opened this door, the door would have swept the glass aside, so this was done for show.
Bell: We also found a car service voucher in Pham’s pocket. Says they dropped him here at 7:00. That's two hours before he ordered the pizza. I don’t know about you and your partner, but when I get home, shoes and tie come off as soon as I’m in the door.
Watson: So you’re wondering what happened in the two hours between when he got home and when he was killed. Did you notice these scratches? I saw those bruises on his wrist. I’m guessing that he spent some of that time handcuffed to this chair. Could be this whole "home invasion" angle was just a distraction to keep us from looking at his computer.
Bell: I’ll have CCS go over it, find out what kind of work he did on it the night he died.
Watson: All right. I'll call Sherlock again.
Sherlock Holmes: You can’t be certain that it was Moriarty who hired Vanja Borozan to kill you. Plenty of people want you dead. Most of my life, I’ve wanted you dead.
Morland Holmes: No doubt. But even you must be able to see the sense in what I say. Borozan trained in Moriarty’s camp. I’ve made it my mission for the last two years to destroy her empire. That she should eventually turn her attention to me was inevitable.
Sherlock: So, did every last one of her handlers die during her escape? ‘Cause you’d think someone would have notified me.
Morland: As I understand it, she simply slipped through their fingers. No bloodshed. Makes one think she could have done it at any time. I wouldn’t be too harsh on your FBI contacts. The Bureau tried very hard to keep a lid on it. Losing a prisoner as important as Moriarty, well must be quite an embarrassment.
Sherlock: What’s your excuse for not telling me?
Morland: I haven’t known for long.
Sherlock: I will, of course, need to verify all of this.
Morland: Of course. Once you have, I’ll need your help. I hoped I would never have to make this request. We can both imagine how many lives would be lost should she ascend to her former power. And no one knows her better than you.
Sherlock: What’s the request?
Morland: Moriarty intends to kill me. I need your help to kill her first.
Sir James Walter: You’ve been asking a lot of favors of us lately, Holmes.
Sherlock: My time working for British Intelligence may have been brief, but I’d say I’d earned a few chits.
Walter: Indeed. Per your request, the personal effects of Vanja Borozan. Everything we found on his body or in his hotel room. So far, our boys have failed to identify whoever was paying his bills, but I would not be surprised if you have greater success.
Sherlock: I’ll let you know what I find.
Walter: Holmes. The last time we met, I expressed my condolences on the death of your brother. But that time, they were empty words, as you and I both knew that he was alive. I am sorry for your loss.
Aldo Ventura: To Washburn Tobacco and Summit-Stow Distributors. Congratulations, Kip. You’re about to be a wealthy man.
Bell: Sorry to interrupt. We’re looking for Aldo Ventura.
Ventura: That would be me. Is there a problem, Officer?
Bell: Detective, actually, Marcus Bell. And I wouldn’t sign those contracts if I were you. We’re pretty sure your discovery lawyer gave this merger his blessing with a gun to his head.
Bell: Summit-Stow Distributors is a tobacco wholesaler. Is that right, Mr. Lowell? So you buy cigarettes from the big companies and sell them to retailers. Only now you’re about to become part of a big company.
Kip Lowell: That’s right.
Watson: Are you all right, Mr. Lowell?
Lowell: Yeah. I’m sorry. I, uh I took a couple of lorazepam for the flight in from Ohio.
Watson: For antianxiety.
Lowell: Also, I drank some champagne, so...
Sherlock: Should you be signing contracts in your condition?
Lowell's VP: We’ve already read them. They’re very good for us.
Lowell: Think what I just don’t get is why you think one of us killed Gilbert Pham.
Bell: So you knew Mr. Pham?
Lowell: Yeah, we spoke. He worked at the accounting firm that Washburn hired to go over our financials.
Bell: Mr. Pham logged into his firm’s network from home the night he was killed. He filed a report that gave this merger his sign-off.
Watson: And since Pham was hired by Washburn to vet the deal, it seems likely there was some bad news in your books that one of you was worried about. So you forced Pham to give the okay, and then killed him.
Lowell's VP: You’re looking at the only four employees at Summit-Stow with any financial stake in this merger. And we all flew in together this morning.
Lowell: I can personally vouch that we were all in Akron three nights ago.
Bell: We’re listening. This is a murder investigation. We don’t take alibis at people’s word.
Sherlock: You seem unimpaired. Who are you?
Tim Darsha: Name's Tim Darsha.
Lowell: Tim’s one of our sales managers. Lamar over there is the other.
Sherlock: And you’re the president of the company, so why did you look to him for permission to speak?
Lowell: I didn’t.
Darsha: He didn’t.
Sherlock: Sorry. You were saying? Your alibi.
Lowell: We’d heard from Washburn that Pham had signed off and that our deal would be finalized soon, so we started celebrating early. That night, we all, uh, met up at a hotel and hired some entertainment.
Watson: You hired prostitutes.
Bell: All right, say that checks out, and none of you were here the night of the murder. Still could have hired someone.
Lowell: A hit man? Honestly, Detective, I wouldn’t know how.
Watson: So, obviously, we’ll have to wait on a bunch of prostitutes in Akron to confirm his story, but I believe him.
Sherlock: Lorazepam and alcohol is not exactly a truth serum, but it would make sticking to a lie more difficult.
Bell: That was our forensic accounting team. Gilbert Pham’s firm sent over his work. They’re going through it.
Sherlock: Take a closer look at that sales manager, Darsha. He had something to hide.
Watson: Where are you going?
Sherlock: More family business.
Watson: Hey. So, it turns out "Tim Darsha" is a pretty common name. But it looks like the one that we met does not have a record. You know, if your mom catches you with these, she’s gonna make you smoke every single one.
Bell: Forensic accounting finished going over Gilbert Pham’s work. According to them, Summit-Stow’s financials were all in order. Thing is, Pham went above and beyond when preparing his report. Among other things, he also checked out Summit-Stow’s loading dock records. Judging from his notes, he thought there was more inventory moving through the place than the company's cash flow accounted for. Say the books showed Summit-Stow bought 10,000 cases and sold 10,000 cases. All the money adds up except, according to the loading dock, they moved 15,000 cases in the same time. So, where’d the other cigarettes go?
Watson: Interstate cigarette smuggling is a big problem, right? So you think Pham stumbled onto a smuggling operation.
Bell: Smugglers buy cigarettes in lower-tax states like Ohio and sell them in higher-tax places like here. The difference is so big, they can clear a hundred bucks a carton. Now, the Akron PD tracked down the girls the Summit-Stow guys said they partied with. They confirmed that Mr. Lowell and his team were in Ohio the night Pham was killed. But if one of the guys was working with smugglers, say that sales manager, Darsha, it could be the smugglers killed Pham so they wouldn’t expose their racket.
Watson: So, what are these for?
Bell: The sheriff’s office enforces cigarette taxes in the city, so I reached out. They said a lot of cigarettes from Ohio are showing up in bodegas in Brooklyn, especially around Fort Greene. I asked them to send over some samples.
Watson: Any idea who the smugglers are? So far, no luck nailing the local crew. But those tax stamps and lot numbers are all unique. I wanted to check ‘em out. They’re definitely coming out of the right part of Ohio to have been distributed by Summit-Stow.
Watson: You know, my stepfather used to smoke this brand when I was a kid. Do you mind if I borrow some of these? I think I might know a way to find the smugglers.
The Nose: Holmes.
The Nose: Imagine my surprise when Miss Watson explained the particulars of your new case.
Sherlock: I barely can.
Watson: Hey. You saw my text about the cigarettes that Marcus got from the sheriff’s?
Sherlock: I did. I don’t recall anything about summoning The Nose.
Watson: Well, I noticed there was something off about the smell of the cigarettes, so I thought maybe it was a scent they picked up in the trucks they were smuggled in, or the place they were kept when they arrived in New York. Either way, I thought it could help us locate the smugglers.
Sherlock: Well, you could’ve asked me to smell them.
Watson: Well, you weren’t around. What’s the big deal? I mean, aren’t you guys friends?
Sherlock: Oh, we are. It’s just, uh, tobacco is the one area of olfaction in which we’ve agreed to disagree.
Watson: Excuse me?
The Nose: Some years ago, when Holmes wrote his monograph on the 140 varieties of ash, I pointed out that his distinctions between Trichinopoly and Bird’s Eye were all wrong. He’s never let it go.
Watson: Well, maybe if you’d told me what you were up to the last couple of days, I would’ve known I could count on you.
Sherlock: You’ll recall I discovered a threat to my father’s life? He believes that the person behind that threat is a certain woman. The woman, in fact.
The Nose: If you don’t mind, a little quiet, please? I’m trying to smell.
Sherlock: I don’t know if my father’s right. As you know, there have been multiple attempts on his life over the years. It's possible some other enemy financed this latest one.
Watson: If your father is right about who’s coming after him, are we safe?
Sherlock: If you’re asking whether I think Moriarty is sizing us up for assassination, I would remind you that her organization’s one rule is that no harm befalls me. She prefers the world with me in it. You seem to enjoy some tangential protection due to our partnership.
Watson: That’s reassuring.
Sherlock: As I said, I am not convinced she has anything to do with this.
Watson: What have you found out so far?
Sherlock: There was a MetroCard in Vanja Borozan’s personal effects that ultimately led me to a garage that he had been renting. In it, I found notes on the routines of Father’s bodyguards, along with schematics of his limousine. Borozan was planning to kill him. I also found six one-pound bags of coffee beans. Untouched, just left on the table, along with the receipt of their purchase. I plan to visit the café where they were bought tomorrow. It’s possible that’s where Borozan and his contact were communicating.
Watson: If Moriarty is behind this, your father wants you to help him kill her. Will you?
The Nose: I’m ready to report my findings. Pine. Star anise. Grapefruit.
Watson: Okay. Uh, candles? Cleaning supplies?
The Nose: Hops. Specifically Chinook hops, grown in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. I’d wager these cigarettes were transported in trucks carrying hops from the Northwest.
Watson: Marcus mentioned that the cigarettes had been turning up in bodegas in Fort Greene. There is a craft brewery in that area. Maybe that’s where the smugglers are bringing their shipments.
Bell: They’re not just dropping stuff off a truck. They’re moving a lot of inventory into the brewery.
CSU Commander: Makes it more likely the owners of the brewery are in on it.
Bell: Looks to me like this might be the crew’s base of operations.
Commander: Copy that. I’ll brief my team.
Bell: Your guys ready? We might not get a better chance.
Commander: Two minutes out.
Dispatch (radio): Major Case, Detective Bell on the air?
Bell: Detective Bell. Go.
Dispatch: Detective Bell, call your command.
Captain Gregson (phone): Hello?
Bell (phone): Yeah, it’s Marcus.
Gregson: Hold off on the takedown. I got someone in my office you’re gonna want to talk to.
Gregson: He says you met him earlier today, only then he said his name was "Darsha." His real name’s Bakshi. He’s an ATF agent, and apparently, you guys are about to blow up his op.
Agent Bakshi: I’ve been undercover at Summit-Stow almost three years now.
Sherlock: I take it from the furtive glances yesterday that, at the very least, the company’s president, Kip Lowell, knew about your presence.
Bakshi: He knows. The other sales rep who was there doesn’t. But the main reason I didn’t blow cover is you surprised us. Agent Evaneer and I didn’t have a chance to discuss.
Agent Evaneer: Agent Bakshi is based out of Columbus. I’m here in New York. Those guys that you were about to move on yesterday, small fish. Part of a huge ring that moves product all over the East and the Midwest.
Gregson: Pretty unconventional, isn’t it? ATF setting up shop inside an existing company?
Agent Evaneer: New solution to an old problem. Running a sting operation isn’t easy. Cigarette smugglers don’t want to buy from just anyone. You gotta have a business that they’ve heard of.
Sherlock: You gotta have someone with a history. So you borrowed a history, Summit-Stow’s. You buy cigarettes as them, you send them on to smugglers in order to enact your stings.
Gregson: So when our Vic, Gilbert Pham, noticed there was extra inventory moving through the loading dock, what he’d actually stumbled onto was your operation.
Holmes: Which begs the question, what did you expect to happen when, uh, Summit-Stow merged with a larger company?
Agent Evaneer: We expected that Washburn Tobacco would never even notice us. Though, to be clear, there was nothing that we were trying to hide. I mean, not from the good guys, anyway.
Gregson: Maybe not. But Big Tobacco and the ATF aren’t exactly pals. Did it occur to you that if Washburn found out you were working inside their new acquisition, they could just tell you to ship out? Undo three years of undercover work?
Agent Evaneer: It occurred to us. And if Washburn had asked us to pack it up, we would have made whatever arrests we could and taken the case down. We don’t get paid on performance, Captain. And we certainly wouldn’t have killed someone to protect a sting operation.
Holmes: What about Mr. Lowell? He had a lot to gain from the merger, didn’t he? Perhaps he thought your operation was a secret worth killing over.
Agent Evaneer: I don’t see it, but you can ask him.
Gregson: We will. Our colleagues are on their way to speak to him right now.
Lowell: Believe me, I wanted to tell you all of this yesterday, but I, I just didn’t think it had anything to do with Mr. Pham’s murder. I still don’t. And Agent Bakshi didn’t want to blow his cover. Later on, he and Agent Evaneer said that they were gonna tell you the truth. I asked Maggie, my office manager, to fly out here and show you what we showed Pham. All of the accounting files and the security videos from the loading dock.
Bell: Why the videos?
Lowell: Because they clear everything up. They show how Agent Bakshi only sold his cigarettes to smugglers, while our guys handled legitimate business.
Maggie Foltz: Should I start with that?
Watson: English bulldogs.
Foltz: My babies. I know calling them that makes me weird.
Watson: Well, my partner puts wool cozies on our tortoise. You’re not even approaching weird.
Bell: So Pham asked you about the extra inventory?
Lowell: Yeah, he flew out. We explained the whole thing. We thought it was resolved.
Watson: Are you saying that you told Pham about the ATF? Don’t you think that was risky? When Washburn Tobacco found out about it, it could have blown the whole merger.
Lowell: Yeah, I worried about that, but once Pham started asking questions, I didn’t think I had a choice. The alternative was Washburn would think we were crooks. That wouldn’t have helped the sale, either.
Watson: What did the ATF say once they found out that Pham knew about them? You didn’t tell them.
Lowell: Maybe I should have. I don’t know. Truth is that those guys have always scared me.
Watson: So, you didn’t just volunteer to let them set up at Summit-Stow. They had something on you.
Lowell: A few years back, Bakshi and Evaneer showed up with proof that smugglers were already buying from us and we were looking the other way. Told me that they’d raise hell unless we’d cooperate.
Bell: Check this out. Bakshi just finished a sale. Few minutes later, this guy drove up.
Lowell: Yeah, that’s Agent Evaneer.
Bell: Was he working undercover, too?
Lowell: No. Just Agent Bakshi.
Watson: Nice rides.
Bell: Nice? That’s a BMW M7, and that’s a Porsche 911 Turbo. Those are $150,000 cars. Maybe you could write off Bakshi’s car to him wanting to look the part he’s playing, but what’s Evaneer’s excuse? The cash they take in is kept separate from Summit-Stow, right? Any idea where it all goes?
Lowell: They turn it over to the government. Don’t they?
Cashier / Ellory: What can I get you?
Sherlock: You the owner?
Ellory: If I was, I’d have health insurance. He’s on vacation.
Sherlock: Do you know where that picture came from?
Ellory: Some of these are for sale. I can let the owner know if you’re interested.
Sherlock: I’d like to get a message to her. Tell her I want to talk.
Watson: I didn’t hear you come in.
Sherlock: These are the videos you got from Summit-Stow, correct? Can see what you and Marcus saw. Aside from their fancy cars, Agent Bakshi’s shoes are Prada. Agent Evaneer’s watch is a Patek Philippe. It alone is worth more than their annual salaries combined. Might be the most conspicuous "conspicuous consumption" I’ve ever seen.
Watson: I did some rough math. Based on the volume of cigarettes they’ve sold and the fact that they’ve been up and running for the last three years, I’d say they’ve probably made about $30 million.
Sherlock: Have you been able to determine where any of it went?
Watson: I can tell you where it isn’t, in the hands of the government. The Captain reached out to the ATF in Washington. Apparently, they told Bakshi and Evaneer that they could keep the money until the whole operation was wrapped, and then voucher it all at one time. If I’m right, that’s tens of millions completely unsupervised. Not on Summit-Stow’s books or the government’s.
Sherlock: And unlike every other time in human history when someone was entrusted with another person’s money without oversight, the ATF assumed that these two would not skim off the top to enrich themselves. Not at all idiotic.
Watson: Now, if Gilbert Pham kept asking questions about the cigarette sales that were not on Summit-Stow’s profit statements, there’s a chance he would’ve exposed what they were doing.
Sherlock: Giving these two large-living agents motive to kill him.
Watson: Police are looking for them right now. The ATF has not heard from them since this morning. Evaneer hasn’t been home, and Bakshi checked out of his hotel. Marcus is gonna tell us if there’s any news. What about you? Did you find anything at that café you went to?
Sherlock: A painting. One of hers.
Watson: That can’t be a coincidence.
Sherlock: It isn’t. And it makes it a virtual certainty that my father is right. She’s trying to kill him.
Watson: So, Moriarty is somehow connected to that café, and Borozan bought beans there that he never used.
Sherlock: It supports my suspicion that the café is a conduit through which they exchange messages. Buying the coffee beans is merely a cover.
Watson: And since Borozan was hired to kill your father, Moriarty has to be the one who hired him.
Sherlock: It’s short of proof positive, I know, but I’m quite convinced. While I was at the café, I left a message of my own. I’m not sure if she’ll respond. Or how. She hasn’t written to me in close to a year. But I know several news and social media sites that she might use to contact me, so I’ll just remain vigilant.
Watson: Say that works, she contacts you. You never answered my question from last night. What’ll you do? Your father asked you to arrange the murder of the woman that you love. Is that something that you can do?
Sherlock: Don’t know. A while ago, I would have laughed in his face, but...it is vexing.
Watson: What if you do nothing? Just let them do what they do. What do you think will happen?
Sherlock: I honestly have no idea. But I do know that, given the resources that each of them has at their disposal, collateral loss of life could be immense. I don’t think standing idly by and doing nothing is an option.
Watson (phone): Hey, Marcus.
Bell: It was over before we got here. Driver of that truck was asleep in his cab. Heard two men yelling, followed by gunfire. He’s the one who called it in. Looks like Bakshi died pretty quick. Evaneer took one in the gut, one in the leg. From the looks of it, managed to drag himself back to his car, but he must have lost consciousness before he could go anywhere.
Watson: And we’re sure they did this to each other?
Bell: Witness didn’t look till he was sure the shooting was done, but he said they were the only ones here.
Sherlock: Did he hear what they were arguing about?
Bell: He said he heard one of them yell "it wasn’t me" a bunch of times. He couldn’t tell what "it" referred to, but I have a pretty good idea. We found this phone on the ground. Bakshi’s was on him, so this must be Evaneer’s. We haven’t cracked the password yet, but look at the last notification. A bank transfer of $26 million out of an account a few hours ago.
Watson: Looks like we found their slush fund, or at least where their money was.
Bell: So, judging by the location, the two of them were lying low. Except Evaneer gets this message from the bank, sees all their money’s gone. They meet up, the accusations fly, they’re both armed, so this happens.
Sherlock: That leaves us with two possibilities. Either one of these men died lying to the other one or someone else stole all their money.
Bell: Ballistics confirmed the slugs the M.E. pulled out of Bakshi and Evaneer came from each other’s weapons.
Gregson: So the two of them build up an unsupervised $26 million slush fund, then they kill each other over it because each one thinks the other one stole it.
Bell: Looks that way.
Gregson: But you guys think they were wrong?
Bell: Maybe. We had the account info off Evaneer’s phone, so I got a court order for the bank records. The 26 million was transferred out of the account yesterday afternoon and into an account in the Caymans. Whoever did it used one of the free Wi-Fi kiosks in Midtown. We also pulled Bakshi and Evaneer’s cell tower logs. At the time the transfer was made, neither one was anywhere near that kiosk.
Gregson: Which means someone else did steal that money from both of them.
Bell: That’s one possibility. Another is that one of them had a helper. At the very least, it proves a third party was aware of the slush fund.
Gregson: And we’re still thinking Gilbert Pham was killed to cover up what was going on with that slush fund.
Bell: Yeah. Bakshi had already alibied, and we checked, Evaneer was at his office late the night of the murder. Makes this third party our best suspect. I’ve got detectives checking the cameras around the Wi-Fi kiosk they logged in from, but they could have been in the back seat of a passing cab, for all we know.
Gregson: So you’re not holding your breath.
Bell: Sherlock and Joan have been going over the rest of the slush fund’s records. We’re hoping something in there might tell us who else knew about the account.
Gregson: More transfers to the Caymans. These all go into the same account as the 26 million?
Sherlock: They started off small about eight months ago. The first was for a modest $5,000. Then, over time, transfers got larger. Prior to the emptying of the account yesterday, they added up to just over three million.
Gregson: Sounds like someone was testing the waters. Siphoned off a little bit, then got bolder when no one noticed.
Watson: We thought the same thing.
Gregson: And this was going on for months before Gilbert Pham started poking around.
Watson: So, if he discovered the slush fund, he would have also discovered the theft.
Gregson: So, who owns the account in the Caymans? So far, the bank has opted to protect its client’s privacy. I’ve reached out to a friend in Georgetown who might be able to persuade them otherwise, but, um, even if he does, the owner may be hidden behind an alias or a shell company. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Gregson: Right. That explains this color. Um, what about this other one?
Bell: Yeah, those are weirder. They go back farther, starting about a year after Bakshi and Evaneer got up and running. Over a dozen transfers out of the slush fund, ranging from around ten grand to fifty grand, going to a handful of bank accounts in cities all over the country. Baltimore, Louisville, Tampa, Phoenix. So far, we don’t know what those transfers are or why those cities.
Gregson: I think I can explain the cities. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of joint investigations with the Feds. Every one of those cities has an ATF field office.
Sherlock: You think other ATF agents knew about the slush fund?
Gregson: Maybe Bakshi and Evaneer were getting ripped off by one of their own.
Bell: When examining Agents Bakshi and Evaneer’s slush fund, we noticed a series of transfers going to cities with ATF field offices. We compared those transfers to the two agents’phone records. Each one was preceded by a call from your cell phone.
Prashant Hobbs: So? I’ve shown you a lot of patience, Captain. Sitting here, having this talk in an interrogation room. You said this is about what happened to Bakshi and Evaneer. What happened is they shot each other.
Gregson: As far as we know, that’s true, but mainly, we’re interested in the murder of Gilbert Pham.
Watson: Pham was a discovery lawyer hired by Washburn Tobacco to vet the purchase of Summit-Stow. We think he was murdered to keep him from digging too deeply into Evaneer and Bakshi’s slush fund.
Gregson: We honestly don’t know why you were wiring money all over the country, but whatever the reason, the timing of those phone calls tells us you knew about the fund.
Bell: And since we already ruled out Bakshi and Evaneer for Pham’s murder, that leaves you.
Hobbs: You people have it so wrong, I don’t know where to start.
Gregson: Do tell.
Hobbs: I wouldn’t have killed anyone to hide anything. You know what those transfers were? Us doing good. We used the money to fund other ATF ops. How would you feel if every step you took here, you had to run it through the DMV? The number of targets we lost waiting for Congressional funding...I lost count. Bakshi and Evaneer were sitting on all that cash. I suggested we use it to cut some red tape.
Bell: So this was your idea.
Hobbs: Damn right.
Gregson: Ho-Ho-Hold up. You were using off-the-books money from an ongoing operation to pay for what exactly?
Hobbs: Whatever our agents needed to catch the bad guys. They’d call me, I’d call the guys, and we'd make it happen. Untraceable license plates, hotel rooms, vehicles.
Watson: Prada shoes, six-figure watches.
Hobbs: If those two were sticking their hands in the till, that’s on them.
Bell: So humor us. Where were you five nights ago when Pham was killed?
Hobbs: Friday? I was in Vegas at a friend’s bachelor party. I hear they have a lot of cameras there, so I’m sure you can confirm it.
Bell: We’re gonna need your travel records and the names of the friends you were with.
Watson: Did any of the agents you were funding know the details of the account?
Watson: Can you think of anyone else who knew about the slush fund?
Hobbs: They had a helper. Someone who managed the account with them.
Gregson: Did this helper have a name?
Hobbs: I heard them use a nickname sometimes. "Bulldog will handle it," stuff like that.
Watson: Would you excuse us?
Watson: Do you remember Kip Lowell’s office manager from the hotel yesterday?
Bell: Sure. Maggie Foltz, right?
Watson: Yeah. And remember her laptop? Her wallpaper had a picture of her and her bulldogs. I think she’s Bulldog.
Bell: Makes sense. She knew about the undercover operation. Since she handled Summit-Stow’s accounting, the ATF guys might have asked her for help with theirs, too.
Gregson: You’re thinking she’s the one who embezzled from the slush fund, then she murdered Gilbert Pham for asking too many questions?
Bell: I’m pretty sure she and Lowell flew back to Ohio yesterday. I’ll call the Akron Police, let them know we want to talk to her.
Sherlock (phone): I’d say we should keep the line clear, but it isn’t 1970.
Watson (phone): Any word?
Sherlock (phone): Not yet. I’m not sure what sort of contact to expect. You?
Watson (phone): Well, best we can piece together, the woman I texted you about, Maggie Foltz, flew back to Akron with Kip Lowell like nothing was wrong. They got off the plane, they went their separate ways, and no one's seen her since. Her car is still at the airport.
Sherlock (phone): With $30 million in an account in the Caymans and a full day's head start, she could be anywhere in the world.
Watson (phone): Marcus is pulling her phone records and her credit card history. So we'll go through those and see if there’s any new activity. Maybe we’ll get lucky. Was that the door?
Sherlock (phone): It was. Safe to say it isn't Miss Foltz.
Watson (phone): Well, be careful.
Ellory: Mr. Holmes.
Sherlock: How did you know I live here?
Ellory: Do you always ask questions you already know the answers to? Oh, you didn’t expect her to come herself, did you? She sent me.
Sherlock: Do you have a name?
Ellory: It’s Ellory.
Sherlock: So, how did you come to be in Moriarty’s employ?
Ellory: Does it matter?
Sherlock: I just recognize the tattoo on your shoulder. It’s used by a Guatemalan amphetamine ring to brand their drug mules. Perhaps you think you owe her for removing you from a bad situation. Or perhaps you’re just unaware of how many more bad situations you’ll help her create.
Ellory: We’re all fish eating other fish, Mr. Holmes. I’d rather be swimming with the biggest one. You said you wanted to talk, so talk.
Sherlock: It’s become clear that tensions between your employer and my father are coming to a head. It should come as no surprise that my father has asked me to help bring about Moriarty’s death. After slaving over the question for quite some time, I’ve decided I’d rather discuss his.
Watson: More ATF agents. These guys took money from the slush fund, too?
Sherlock: Specifically, agents working out of the Charlotte, North Carolina field office. Maggie Foltz’s phone records show one call after she landed in Akron, to a burner registered in Charlotte. I reviewed surveillance footage from the Akron-Canton Airport, and the last camera to pick her up, she was headed to the private terminal. Video in that terminal is lacking.
Watson: You think she got into a private plane?
Sherlock: I do. Moreover, I think she had help. There are no records of her arranging that flight herself. Whoever was on the other end of that call picked her up. I believe she was extracted.
Watson: And since the call was to Charlotte and all of those agents benefitted from her help before, you think those are the best suspects for her accomplice. It’s amazing to me how many of these guys were corrupt.
Sherlock: I was struck by the same thought when you described Agent Hobbs’s unrepentant attitude. All of these men, Hobbs, Bakshi, Evaneer, they saw themselves as the good guys. Yes, they were breaking the law, but it was okay because they were catching bad guys. And it gave these men permission to commit their crimes.
Watson: And those markings?
Sherlock: An irony I discovered. Despite these men’s belief that the ends justified the means, if the agents had any additional success thanks to their slush-fund funding, it was short-lived. Across the board, within months of Bakshi and Evaneer handing out money, arrest rates for all of the agents involved dropped.
Sherlock: I’ve got no idea. Perhaps once they no longer had to work so hard for funding, they got lazy.
Watson: You said the drop in arrests wasn’t right away. When was it?
Sherlock: About 18 months ago.
Watson: That’s when Maggie Foltz started working with Summit-Stow.
Sherlock: That means something to you?
Sherlock: Yeah. I think I know why the agents’ arrest rates dropped. And if I’m right, I also know how to find her.
Gregson: Glad this worked out with your schedule, Mr. Ventura. Sure you’re a busy man. You’ve met Miss Watson and Detective Bell.
Ventura: Always happy to do what I can for the folks who wear a badge.
Gregson: Those are pretty words, and I’m sure they’re mostly true. I hope they are today.
Ventura: Why wouldn’t they be?
Bell: Well, you know from when we met the other day we’ve been investigating the murder of your discovery lawyer, Gilbert Pham, right? Were you aware that Pham discovered an undercover ATF operation going on inside Summit-Stow Distributors?
Ventura: No. I had no idea.
Bell: Turns out those agents were running an unsupervised slush fund, using it to finance other ATF operations, circumventing Congress.
Ventura: All sounds serious. I don’t see what that has to do with me.
Watson: Well, my partner and I found something strange about the agents who took money from the slush fund. All of their arrest rates dropped once a woman named Maggie Foltz started helping them. Now, before Maggie worked at Summit-Stow, she worked at Washburn Tobacco, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bell: Maggie disappeared two days ago after calling a phone number in Charlotte. We went back through the private flight traffic at Akron-Canton Airport for that day. It wasn’t easy to spot until we knew what we were looking for, but one jet that flew in and out around the right time is owned by a company that’s owned by a company that you personally own.
Watson: So Maggie was your mole at Summit-Stow. You knew about the ATF operation. Somehow, you found out about it, and then you planted Maggie there to keep an eye on it for you.
Bell: I don’t have to tell you that Big Tobacco loves cigarette smugglers. In high-tax cities like New York and Boston, smuggled cigarettes are over half your business. You provided illegal aid. You helped the smugglers avoid the ATF by tipping them to whatever activity Maggie knew about.
Ventura: You have proof to back that up, son?
Bell: Yeah. We do. That phone number Maggie called to get your plane to come pick her up, she called that same number from Akron the day Gilbert Pham was killed. And according to the flight records at both airports, your plane made a flight from Akron to La Guardia and back that night.
Watson: Now, your pilot has already agreed to testify that he took Maggie to and from New York that night. And the flight times also fit the time frame in which Gilbert Pham was held hostage and then shot. Police also matched fibers they found in Pham’s house to the carpet on your plane.
Gregson: Now, I’m willing to believe you didn’t know you were helping a murderer at the time, but you know it now. I’ve already talked with the Department of Justice. Washburn Tobacco is going to be slapped with a penalty for aiding smugglers. But the DOJ has agreed to make that penalty smaller if you help us bring her in.
Sherlock: Thank you for coming. Come in.
Morland: I was on my way to the airport when I got your call. I take it you've come to a decision about my request?
Sherlock: Yes, I've done more than that. I've exchanged messages with Moriarty.
Morland: Oh. Naturally, I assumed you'd find a way to contact her if you wanted to. Didn't expect it so quickly. Where is she?
Sherlock: I have no idea.
Morland: What's our next move?
Sherlock: I said I'd exchanged messages with her. You're jumping to conclusions about the content of those messages. First among them that you're going to like what I have to say. I wouldn't be so sure.
Morland: Go on.
Sherlock: She and I have agreed to an armistice. A temporary cease-fire on both sides.
Morland: And how did you manage that?
Sherlock: I told her that should she succeed in assassinating you, I would assume your role at the head of her former organization. For the time being, she will remain inactive, allow you to continue your work. I believe she will honor our agreement. And assuming she does, I expect you to do the same.
Morland: And how long is this cease-fire supposed to last?
Sherlock: Until you die of old age. I persuaded her that won't be long.
Morland: You realize, of course, that you're just staving off the inevitable?
Sherlock: I do.
Morland: You're going to have to deal with her at some point. And when that time comes, the way you've planned it, I won't be there to help.
Sherlock: And that's as it should be. When the time comes, if it comes, the problem of Moriarty will be mine and mine alone.
Morland: We'll speak again. Soon, I hope.