Chapter 17: Gwrych Castle

The approach to Gwrych Castle.
Photo by Laurie Oliver.
We left the train at Abergele and Pensarn.

"Would you enjoy a short walk?" Holmes asked, and I nodded readily.

"We've been sitting for so long. Why not?" I replied. "Where do you want to go?"

"I want you to see one of the most amazing pieces of architecture in Britain, Watson," he answered, "and reputedly one of the most haunted places in all of Wales."

"Do you think it's safe?" I asked.

The lady at the window
"I don't see why not!" Holmes answered. "She wasn't mad at you, was she?"

"Who, Holmes?"

"The lady at the window!"

"What window?"

"The window of the haunted castle, Watson! You haven't been reading the tabloids, have you?"

"Guilty as charged, I fear." I said. "But I don't follow you."

"You're following me just fine, Watson," Holmes replied. "And if you'll follow me just a few steps more, you'll see where we're going."

We crossed a footbridge over the tracks, and another over the highway. "It's incredible, Holmes!" I gasped. "What is it?

Gwrych Castle.
Photo by Laurie Oliver.
"Gwrych Castle," he replied. "Have you never heard of it?"

"I can't say I have," I answered. "and I am sure if I had seen a picture of this place, I would have remembered it."

"We should buy some postcards before we leave, Watson," he said. "They would make a wonderful addition to your book."

"What book?" I asked, surprised again -- even after all these years -- at yet another sudden shift of topic from the friend I thought I knew so well.

"You're planning to write about the Gareth Williams case, are you not?" he asked.

Gwrych Castle turret.
Photo by Laurie Oliver.
"It had crossed my mind," I replied, "but I thought I might wait and see whether you can solve the mystery."

"Don't worry about that, Watson," he surprised me again. "Write about it if you want to; otherwise don't!"

"Seriously, Holmes?"

"Of course, Watson. I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it."

"Do you think you have a chance to solve the case, Holmes?" I asked.

"At present, I couldn't say one way or the other," he said. "And for the next couple of hours, it doesn't matter in the slightest.

"We're sightseers now, Watson, and strangers in a strange land, too. But if we stumble around and gawk, and carry on like stunned tourists, nobody will notice us at all."

We bought postcards on our way out.

Postcards from Gwrych Castle:
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