Nell: Well, at least I know it all now.
Me: Tell me everything. I have been so worried.
Nell: I arrived at the hotel and Siegfried was waiting for me. I had called from the car to let him know I was coming. When I saw his face I could see the guilt in his eyes.
Me: Oh no.
Nell: I told him it was best to be honest with me and he agreed.
Me: You were brave.
Nell: It turns out that Siegfried Schaeferhund isn’t his real name.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: He isn’t even German. It was all a lie. All part of the deception.
Me: No? The bounder!
Nell: He is working as an undercover reporter for the Daily Growl. The farm dogs led him to me. He was trying to get a story on the royal family.
Me: What is his real name?
Nell: Charlie Shepherd and he is from London. He started out as an actor but moved into journalism as it paid more. With his charm and acting skills he managed to get a number of inside stories and became one of the Daily Growl’s lead reporters. I was his next target.
Me: What a cad and as for those farm dogs!
Nell: Yes, indeed. No scones for them.
Me: It must have been such a shock.
Nell: To be honest it was an even bigger shock when Poppy appeared in reception waving her sword, followed by David in his hat and Mutley in his dinner jacket.
Me: Gosh! How did they get there?
Nell: Harriet organised a taxi as soon as she heard I was going alone. She knew where he was staying and put two and two together. Clever little thing. David and Poppy insisted she stayed behind as she is still recovering. They were about to leave when Mutley arrived dressed to kill and got into the car. There is no arguing with him when he is determined, even if he could hear.
Me: I wish I had been there. What did Charlie do when they arrived?
Nell: He apologised and told them the truth. He said he had never meant to hurt anyone, especially the lovely Nelly who had stolen his heart. His words.
Me: He called you Nelly?
Nell: Yes. Outrageous. It’s Miss Eleanor Martin to him.
Me: Quite. What happened then?
Nell: Mutley told him to get on his bike. He can be quite forceful when riled.
Me: And did he?
Nell: Actually, he did. The Mercedes was rented so he rode off on his motorbike blowing me a farewell kiss.
Me: Gosh. The cheek of it.
Nell: Well, after that I suggested they all join me in the bar for a stiff G and T to settle the nerves before James drove us home. David was a little squiffy when we got back so I sent him upstairs for a lie down.
Me: Has Charlie gone back to London?
Nell: I don’t know. I’m refusing to read his texts.
Me: You can’t stay in contact with him, Nell. He’s a scoundrel.
Nell: I shall do as I please and what I please right now is to be left alone. I have a lot to think about.
Me: Yes. Sorry.