"Oh, of course," Matthias agreed. He had taken enormously to the hare. Basil sprang up in a smart military fashion and saluted.

"Right, first things first! Must get you across to the church, young feller me mouse. I say, that green thingummyjig you're wearin' - habit, isn't it? Capital camouflage. You just try lying down anywhere in the shadows. Believe you me, you'd have trouble finding yourself. Top hole-cover, absolutely!"

Basil stopped and ruminated for a moment. His ears lay flat, stood up, men pointed in opposite directions. He continued, "Now, when you've liberated your bit of tapestry or whatever, make straight back across the common. I'll be waiting, never fear. Good! Well, come on, young bucko. We can't sit about here all day like two fat rabbits at a celery chew. Up and at 'em! Quick's the word and sharp's the action! Nip about a bit, young un."

Again Basil vanished only to reappear some three yards out on the common. "Come on, Matthias. Bob and weave, duck and wriggle. Look, it's easy."

Matthias hurried to follow, keeping in mind Basil's instructions. Surprisingly, they seemed to work perfectly and before long the two friends had covered nearly three-quarters of the common land. Matthias could even count the whiskers on some of the rats. He covered his mouth with a paw to stifle a giggle.

"It's really very simple, isn't it, Basil? How am I doing?"