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?”

Me: Right.

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: Why?

Me: Oops.

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.

Nell: Why?

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.

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