From the personal diary of John H Watson MD: Inspector Hopkins called round to wish us season’s greetings. We spent a pleasant evening together.
[Ocelot’s Note – it proved impossible for Mouselet to commit this event to writing in a way that anyone could follow. I have therefore transcribed her words.]
Mouselet remembered the occasion rather differently.
I recognised the footsteps of my dear inspector as he approached the door to 221B. As Mr Holmes went to answer it I thought I would risk a quick peep by standing on the mantelpiece. Snow had started to fall and there were a few flakes on the inspector’s hat. I watched as he removed his hat, scarf and coat. He passed them to Dr Watson, and I tried to check whether any flakes had inadvertently slipped inside his coat collar, for I did not like to think of him catching a chill.
He spoke softly to Mr Holmes and I have to admit I was not paying any attention to his words, for I was listening to his mellifluous tones instead. It therefore came as a shock to me to realise that he was heading to the fire to warm his hands. I froze, hoping that he would not notice me. I was sure that if I tried to run his keen eye would instantly spot my movement.
I thought I had achieved my goal when the inspector gave a gentle laugh.
“I believe you have a visitor,” he said.
“I’ll mention it to Mrs Hudson,” Dr Watson replied.
“I suspect she wouldn’t approve,” my inspector said. “I’m sure this little thing can’t be doing much harm. In fact, she’s rather a pretty little thing.”
[O/N – At this point Mouselet went into a dream in which she kept muttering “He thinks I’m pretty; he thinks I’m pretty.” I waited for her to continue.]
The inspector reached across to the table and picked up a crumb and laid it in his strong manly hand. It was pastry from one of Mrs Hudson’s mince pies. He placed his hand on the mantelpiece and I was able to admire his fingers from close up: so beautiful, if I hadn’t known his profession I would have said he was a musician.
“Here, little mouse,” he said. “Would you like this?”
Cautiously, my nose and whiskers quivering, I advanced towards him. Father had warned me that there were men who would seek to trap an unwary mouse, but I couldn’t believe that of my dear inspector. After all, hadn’t he said I was a pretty little thing?
[O/N – I coughed loudly before she could return to her dream.]
Taking confidence from my knowledge that he was the best of men, I crept onto his hand and began to eat the pastry crumb. I could feel him gently stroking me with his finger and it was all that I could do to avoid squeaking with excitement. Of course, had I done so I would have spat out some of the crumb, something no lady should ever do, no matter how excited she is. My desire to prove that I was indeed worthy of my inspector’s attention overruled my other emotions.
[O/N – I waited whilst Mouselet brought her breathing under control.]
And then, and then, he carefully picked me up and, still stroking me, carried me across the room to where Mr Holmes and Dr Watson were standing. Mr Holmes merely grunted, but the good doctor said something suitable (I admit I do not remember his words) and then, equally carefully, my beautiful inspector carried me back to the mantelpiece.
“There, little mouse,” he said. “I do not want to cause you any fear, so perhaps it would be as well if I put you down now and let you return to your home.”
I could not tell him that I would have been happy to remain in his hand forever, so instead I felt him stroke my head before I ran off to our mouse hole and disappeared inside. I heard Dr Watson offer him a glass of brandy and when I was sure that he had sat down I crept back to the entrance and watched him for the rest of the evening.
[O/N – most of the rest of Mouselet’s account of the evening comprises Hopkins’ beautiful grey eyes, his noble chin, his sweet smile and various other descriptions, all of which we have heard before.]
It was the best Christmas ever.