Me: Sometimes you’ve simply got to throw caution to the wind and run down to the stream.
Nell: Here we go.
Me: Casting aside the cares of the world you dip your paws in the cool water and embrace life.
Nell: Good grief. Harriet and I were simply chasing the ball.
Me: I know but it was so good to see you running free.
Nell: Yes. Life is a little tense at the moment.
Me: When are Harriet and Sally going to tea with Madame Odile?
Nell: This afternoon. David is to accompany them. He will wait outside during tea and escort them home.
Me: On his own?
Nell: Gladys has begged to go too but I’m not sure she is the right animal for the job.
Me: Can I ask what is going on, Nell? Only I feel rather confused.
Nell: This is highly confidential so please keep this to yourself. Charlie and Sally suspect the French bakery is a front for the dastardly N.O.I.R.
Me: Why are you spelling it? We know the bakery is called Oiseau Noir.
Nell: No. N.O.I.R. stands for the Notorious Organisation of International Rooks.
Nell: They have French bakeries in London, Paris, New York and Rome and now they’ve come to Kingsbridge.
Me: I wonder why. It’s not really an obvious choice.
Nell: Exactly. Sally and Charlie mean to find out with the help of a double agent.
Me: How exciting. Who?
Nell: Yes. She approached Madame Odile a while ago under the name of Mademoiselle Écarlate offering her services as an informer.
Me: The Cat made her costume.
Nell: Yes. The Cat has been working with Charlie for quite some time.
Me: Does Dave know?
Nell: He knows he must be vigilant and discreet.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: Did David just walk past dressed as a French onion seller carrying Gladys in my handbag?
Me: Yes. Sorry.