Me: Why is Poppy whispering in Harriet’s ear?
Nell: They are planning a secret afternoon tea for me.
Me: Why is it a secret?
Nell: They want to surprise me. To lift my spirits after my disastrous dinner with Sebastian.
Me: Do they know you know?
Nell: Of course they don’t know I know. If they knew I knew, they wouldn’t be whispering.
Me: I suppose not. How do you know, by the way?
Nell: David. He said I was not to worry as there would definitely be no fish in the surprise sandwiches. Just egg and cress, and local ham followed by Poppy’s scones and a Victoria Sandwich.
Me: Your favourite cake.
Nell: Yes. I said: “What surprise sandwiches and why would I worry?”
Nell: And he said: “Oops. I mentioned fish.”
Me: Quick thinking.
Nell: What do you mean by that?
Me: Well, we are all trying not to mention fish at the moment.
Nell: What? Anyway, I made him tell me everything.
Me: Obviously not really everything.
Nell: What is going on? You’ve got that pained look on your face like a dog with a cold wet tail.
Me: Mutley remembered where he met Sebastian.
Nell: That’s good. Maybe it will shed some light on proceedings.
Me: It will certainly do that.
Nell: What do you mean?
Me: It’s not my place to say.
Nell: This isn’t Downton Abbey you know. You don’t have a place.
Me: Well, you do sometimes remind me of the Dowager Countess.
Nell: Stop prevaricating and answer me.
Me: I think you should ask Mutley.
Nell: I will. Where is he?
Me: He’s gone to see John.
Me: Would you like another cup of Earl Grey?
Nell: No, I would not. You are going to tell me what you know. Right now.
Me: Yes. Sorry.