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Crumpets

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Dawson is sitting by the fire reading, basking in a brief moment of peace without anyone trying to take over the world or Basil nattering on about something or other – Basil is a dear sweet fellow, but he does natter on so, and really it’s rather pleasant when he’s out solving things by himself and Dawson can relax – when a young mouse arrives with a letter. It is addressed to Dawson in Basil’s clear handwriting, and the messenger leaves without waiting for a reply. Curious, Dawson unfolds the note. CANNOT FIGHT CRIME, DAWSON. AM CRUMPETLESS, it reads, followed by an address.

Dawson sits and laughs for a long moment, and then gets up and gathers together crumpets and butter and jam – the jam is his own vice, not Basil’s, but Basil won’t mind if he steals a crumpet to put jam on, or, as Basil puts it, ‘A crumpet to go with your jam, Dawson?’ – and knives and plates and napkins, because one must always be civilized, and packs a little basket. It is rather silly to be going out to a crime scene with crumpets, perhaps, but Dawson would do much stranger things for Basil.

Basil looks up from his investigations when Dawson comes into the little house at the address from the note, and leaps forward to clasp Dawson in a hug, snatching the basket from his hands. “Crumpets!” he cries triumphantly, and Dawson is careful not to laugh as he helps Basil set out the plates and knives, and snags a crumpet and the jam for himself. Basil wolfs down his own crumpets with little sounds of happiness, picking the crumbs from his plate and licking his paws clean, and Dawson cannot help an indulgent smile as he watches.

When all the crumpets are gone, Basil smiles at Dawson. “I do not know what I should do without you, my friend,” he says, and Dawson murmurs something self-deprecating and feels warm all over, and doesn’t mind at all when Basil starts nattering about the case, because really, he would rather be here with Basil than anywhere else in the world.