I continued to live in Baker Street with Basil well after the excitement after our famous case where we saved Olivia Flaversham’s father while foiling Professor Ratigan’s plot against the Mouse Queen. Basil continued to amaze me with his talent for detective work and shock me with his moodiness.
During the holiday time, we had been tasked by Lady Stuart to find her precious red sapphire. Basil believed it to be stolen by The Lizard and had been inquiring after it in every seedy place he knew. After cornering a minion of The Lizard in a pub, Basil attempted to persuade the minion to tell us where the stolen gem was hidden. The only responses we could gather were in the form of riddles.
After days of deciphering the riddles, we were nearing the end. I stood in front of the towering white edifice of a human fireplace. Christmas garlands still adorned the mantle and the two flanking bookshelves, even though the holiday had passed. The fire, while only a low fire in the fireplace, was rather inviting considering the damp cold weather Basil had ran me through all day. My whiskers were damp. My clothes were damp. My fur was damp. I was an unsightly mess and leaving a damp spot on the hearth.
Basil was humming as he paced. As the minutes ticked by, his melodic humming grew more sporadic. His tail flicked back and forth in his characteristic display when the problem took an unexpected turn. We had entered the study from a small opening at the bottom of one of the bookshelves. Basil counted his footsteps until we were in front of the fireplace. Upon seeing the fireplace, he dashed about trying to find the concealed hiding place that was under the ivy. Perplexed, my friend proceeded to check his reasoning.
While I warmed myself, I continued to survey our surroundings. I touched one of the garlands hanging hear me and gasped in surprise. High above me, under the garland, was a delicately carved ivy.
“B-Basil!” I cried.
“Not now Dawson, I need to retrace our steps to determine where I went wrong. I am missing something.”
He continued pacing as if he did not hear me. “Now the next clue said under the ivy, yet there is no ivy here. Does ivy stand for something? Maybe it is IV, meaning four, and not ivy.”
Basil finally looked up and caught my eye. I pointed to my discovery.
“Excellent Dawson!” He exclaimed and ran up to me bright eyed with excitement.
Just then, the door open and two humans walked into the room. I dove behind the fire shovel and Basil hid behind the poker. The humans came closer to the fireplace and I was able to see them clearly in the dark room because of fire. The tall and thin one with dark hair was talking with the slightly stockier, moustache wearing one.
“Watson, while Mrs Watson was fascinated in the tale of the goose and recovered gem, I am not sure the public would be as kind.” Dark Haired said.
“Come now, Holmes, it showcased your superb talents of deduction,” said the one who I presumed was Watson.
From my hiding place behind the shovel I could see that the cheeks of one who was called Holmes turned a little red. He quickly began investigating the bookshelf mantel near our hiding place with an intensity that was rivalled only by Basil’s. I heard a hiss and turned to see that Basil was motioning for me to follow him quickly before we were discovered. We ducked under the bookshelf and waited for them to leave.
“For our latest case, I will have to change some of the details. Perhaps I’ll start with the type of precious stone.”
“Why not use a black diamond?” asked the one called Holmes.
“Too sinister. Orange pearl?”
The tall one made a noise and the one with the moustache laughed. “Ok, Holmes, I won’t use that. Oh! What about a blue carbuncle?”
“Carbuncle does roll of the tongue well.”
“Here it is, last year’s volume of the Lancet, as requested.”
With a shuffling of feet and closing of the door, the two humans were gone. Basil leapt from our dark corner once the door clicked and scurried up the garland. I stayed below and took the opportunity to closely examine the fireplace. I heard a cry of excitement from Basil. He held out his prize: a gleaming red stone set between the necks of two golden geese.