"Doctor Watson! Thank heavens you're home at last."
"What's wrong, Mrs. Hudson? You're not unwell, I hope."
She flapped a hand dismissively. "No. No one is ill. It's Toby. He got out of your rooms this morning, although I can't imagine how."
Unfortunately, I could. I'd left in a rush and there was a fair chance the ungainly beast had slipped out and down the stairs without my noticing when I'd hurried back for something I'd forgotten. "I'm terribly sorry. I trust the hound did no lasting damage."
"Not as such. In fact--" She lowered her voice as if confessing a secret. "I rather enjoyed having him about." She continued at normal volume. "However, about is entirely different from underfoot. He followed me all 'round the kitchen whilst I was trying to finish my baking. I shooed him out and shut him in the other room, but he whined so pitifully that I finally had to let him back in."
"You are a kind-hearted woman, Mrs. Hudson. I can see how that must have worn on you. I trust you were able to complete your task despite the interference?" I selfishly thought of my tea and what sweet confection might accompany it.
"Oh yes, I managed. Eventually."
"I wonder. What were you baking that kept Toby so enthralled?"