“Look at that toff,” yelled the street urchin, pointing. He was quickly joined by another, who jeered,
“Oi! You there! Where’d you get such fancy clothes, eh?”
Moriarty and Moran, dressed for the opera, walked by the two dirty boys, for the most part ignoring them.
“Should we let them mock us, sir? I could teach them a lesson in manners, if you want—”
“That won’t be necessary, Moran,” Moriarty soothed. He took his arm and propelled him farther down the street.
“Oh, I see how it is! We’ve got ourselves a couple of nancy boys!
Moran turned bright red, his grip on Moriarty’s arm immediately slackening.
“We are not… damn kids…why I oughta…” he began muttering, darkly and incoherently. He was actually rolling up his sleeves when Moriarty laid a hand on his arm, more forcefully this time.
“That won’t be necessary,” he reiterated firmly. At his master’s look, all the fight drained from Moran.
“Yes, sir,” he said reluctantly.
When they were almost out of the street, he turned to him and said:
“Are you sure?”
Moriarty hesitated, a wry smile twisting thin lips.
“A few bruises might teach them a valuable lesson,” he finally allowed, goaded on by Moran’s eager look.
“Right you are, sir!” Moran said, and hurried to fulfill Moriarty’s “suggestion.”