Holmes and I sat by the fireplace, smoking our esoteric pipes, when there was a knock on the door. It was our old friend, Inspector Lestarde.
It was cold for April, and there was a smell of good old fashioned British soot in the air. Lestarde strode over to Holmes, took the pipe from his mouth, toked a long drag, and handed it back.
"Someone has stolen the Queen's mechanical knickers," he said. "Her Majesty has asked personally for your discreet help."
"Mechanical knickers?" I asked, my eyes wide.
"A gift from the King of Siam on her wedding day, complete with a hydraulic corset," said Holmes. He threw the pipe into the fire. "The real question is, why didn't you come to me immediately? Why did you stop and get raspberry muffins first?"
"By Jove, Holmes," I said. "How did you deduce that?"
"Easily," the great detective said. "The inspector has crumbs on his mustache. Only a fool would appear before the Queen in such a state. Therefore, he must have gotten his muffin fix before coming here."
Lestarde rubbed his bare upper lip, his eyebrows furrowed. "But Mr Holmes," he said, "I haven't worn a mustache in over five years."
"Exactly," said Holmes. "You have sat on Her Majesty's request for all that time, knowing it would be too embarrassing for her to ever mention again." He dashed to the window, and yanked it open. "Police," he shouted, "come quickly!"
I heard the thunder of boots as a pair of bobbies dashed up the steps, and into our humble but cosy apartment. They looked about in confusion.
"Arrest this man," said Holmes, pointing at Lestrade. "He is involved in a plot to embarrass Her Majesty."
"Bloody hell," said Lestrade, as the two fine, young lads clasped him by be upper arms, "I never thought I would be caught."
"What's more," said Holmes, whipping out a knife, "he is wearing the purloined pantaloons as we speak."
With a flourish of steel, he sliced through the inspector's suspenders, revealing a pair of pink, rubber knickers. The detective slashed deftly at the hydraulic girdle. The inspector's enormous belly flopped out, accompanied by a torrent of oil.
"Parade him through the streets," Holmes said, "and make sure no one ever tries such a stunt on our beloved Queen again."
As the two constables marched their grease-covered superior from the room, Holmes picked up his violin, and began to play. "His pot-belly was his downfall, you see," he said, as his fingers danced across its neck. "He should have been watching his weight."
"Very true," I said, "but how did you ever know he was still wearing them?"
"Elementary, old chap," said the spry detective, his bow sawing faster and faster. "But surely you know that a watched pot never oils!"