Nell: I enjoyed our lunch at The Cottage Hotel.
Me: Yes, but can I point something out please?
Nell: Here we go.
Me: When I asked you a question you gave me one of your looks.
Nell: Did I?
Me: But when Kev started talking, you gazed at him adoringly.
Nell: Talking to Kev is a joy and you can be extremely exasperating.
Me: What have I done now?
Nell: Staring at that Labradoodle’s earrings then asking where they came from.
Me: They looked very similar to Gladys’s missing ones.
Nell: Yes, but you should glance, not stare. Staring is rude and draws attention.
Me: You stare all the time when we’re eating.
Nell: That is entirely different. It’s a Supportive Stare intended to show interest and encouragement.
Me: If you say so.
Nell: Anyway, the Labradoodle explained they were a gift from her husband.
Me: Unless her husband is the thief.
Nell: Do stop. He’s an elderly greyhound enjoying a quiet holiday, not a cat burglar.
Me: Oh dear.
Me: Is that what your Detective Inspector Lionel King is saying?
Nell: He is not my Detective Inspector.
Me: Is Beauregard under suspicion because he’s a cat?
Nell: Beauregard is a tiger.
Me: Or, even worse, is The Cat under suspicion too, because it likes sparkly things? And it’s a cat?
Nell: Nobody is under suspicion. Inspector King is merely investigating reports of unnecessary roaring on Burgh Island.
Me: I don’t think Beauregard has ever been to the island.
Nell: That’s exactly what he told Inspector King. Have you seen my pearls, by the way?
Me: No. Why?
Nell: I’ve been invited to afternoon tea at the Thurlestone Hotel tomorrow and I was going to wear them.
Me: Who by?
Nell: You mean ‘by whom.’
Me: Yes. Sorry.