The days remaining until his departure seemed to pass more quickly than time normally did, although rationally Mycroft knew that such was not the case. But there were fittings to be had for his tail coats, striped black trousers, and black waistcoats. In addition, there were other necessary purchases to be made and the selecting of items that would go into the two large trunks being packed. Add in the deciding of which books he wanted to take with him and Mycroft was kept very busy indeed. He missed his lazy afternoons with Sherlock.
Almost at the end of the preparations, he carefully wrapped and packed two other items in the case that would stay with him though-out the voyage: the daguerreotype of his mother as a young woman and the silver urn that contained her ashes. The responsibility of carrying the ashes to England was not one he resented. Then, finally, he packed his journals and the binoculars.
Just as he finished, there was a soft tap at his door. “Come in,” he said.
The door opened and Ananda stepped in, a small brown paper wrapped parcel in her hand. “I have a gift for you,” she said.
Mycroft pushed himself up from the floor and she handed him the parcel. “Thank you,” he said, before carefully unwrapping it. Inside was a small watercolor painting of Sherlock sitting in the garden and smiling.
Ananda gave him a gentle pat on his arm. “So he can be with you always. And be assured that William will have the tintype for which you sat last week to look upon.”
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