Nell: John came to see me this morning?
Me: John the Doberman who runs Starbarks?
Nell: Yes. Poppy’s fiancé. How many Johns do we know?
Me: I was just checking.
Nell: It seems someone saw Poppy holding paws with Tall Hollywoof in the cafe near the quay and now everyone is talking about it.
Nell: I suspect Dominic Simmons.
Me: Of what?
Nell: Meddling. His jewellers shop is near the cafe. We all know Dominic is a dreadful liar and in the pay of Stephen Seagull and the Beefies.
Me: We do.
Nell: Insipid skinny creature.
Me: I don’t think you like Dominic Simmons.
Nell: What would the Beefies gain from breaking up Poppy and John?
Me: A claw in the door?
Nell: Good grief.
Me: Actually, Nell, that was quite a good one.
Nell: Except that seagulls have webbed feet not claws. However, they might be hoping to take over Starbarks.
Me: What did you say to John?
Nell: I told him to take no notice of idle gossip and to tell Poppy what is being said.
Me: Good advice. How did it go with Sebastian, by the way?
Nell: He’s invited me to the yacht club for drinks.
Me: Are you going?
Nell: Perhaps. Did I just see a seagull fly past?
Me: They often do.
Nell: No, this wasn’t a local. It looked more like a Beefy. Find Poppy. There is something going on.
Me: I wonder what.
Nell: No, please don’t start wondering. Who knows where that will end.
Me: Yes, sorry.