Me: There’s an awful lot of discussion going on at the bird feeder.
Nell: I know. Faye and Poppy are monitoring it from upstairs.
Me: Is Faye part of Poppy’s Protection team too?
Nell: Yes. There’s been a worrying development.
Me: What’s happened?
Nell: Well, after much deliberation David was chosen to go down to the beach alone at 3pm.
Me: Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.
Nell: Jonathan insisted on going down there first, however, to check out the lie of the land.
Me: He’s been to the beach before, Nell.
Nell: Jonathan wanted to position himself on River Beach to see what was going on.
Nell: At the last moment Henry decided to go with him on his hat.
Me: A piratey one?
Nell: No. Chris provided a Canadian cap. Less conspicuous.
Me: Good idea. Where was Horst?
Nell: With David which was a blessing as he could communicate with Henry in Louse Code.
Me: What happened next?
Nell: David was just about to leave for the beach when Horst received an urgent message from Henry.
Me: What was it?
Nell: If I tell you then you must promise to keep it a secret.
Me: I’ll try.
Nell: It said: ‘Brown dog spotted on River Beach.’
Me: It is the dog beach.
Nell: I haven’t finished.
Me: Oh. Please continue.
Nell: ‘Suspect believed to be Harriet Martin.’
Me: Our Harriet?
Nell: Yes. She couldn’t bear the thought of David putting himself in danger and ran down to the beach.
Me: Sweet girl.
Nell: But that wasn’t all. You’re not going to believe this.
Me: I just might.
Nell: The last part of the message was: ‘Subject squawking like a seagull.’
Me: So Harriet has her voice back?
Nell: Yes. But it isn’t hers.
Me: Oh no. Sorry.