Me: You’re looking at me in a particular way. Have I done something wrong?
Nell: I’m trying to decide if you’re to be trusted. There are things I wouldn’t mind discussing with you.
Me: I definitely am. Especially if it’s about Mrs King and Beauregard. I love a good romance.
Nell: This isn’t one of your stories, you know. This is real life. A lioness doesn’t just fall in love with a tiger.
Me: Beauregard isn’t any old tiger. He’s awfully handsome and ever so charming.
Nell: Mrs King was a married lion at the time.
Me: Married to a nasty lion.
Nell: Lionel King wasn’t nasty when she first met him.
Me: What happened?
Nell: He got involved with the wrong crowd.
Nell: No. Rooks.
Me: Oh dear. A whole parliament?
Nell: Why bring politics into it?
Me: No, it’s what you call a group of rooks.
Nell: Anyway, he started playing poker and soon he owed the rooks a large amount of money.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: Mrs King says Lionel began to change for the worse. She hardly recognised the lion she had married.
Me: How sad.
Nell: Little Roary was born but Lionel had no time for him. He was now working full time for the rooks.
Me: Stealing and cheating?
Nell: Exactly. It was during a poker game at their house that Mrs King first met Beauregard.
Me: Was he a baddie too?
Nell: No. He had retired as an international jewel thief and was now working undercover.
Me: Of course. Silly me.
Nell: When their eyes met she said it was like coming home. She just knew he was the one and so did he.
Me: You do, don’t you?
Nell: Yes. It was the same for me and Charlie.