Me: Why is Dave pushing your sofa away?
Nell: He doesn’t like it when I’m angry.
Me: What’s happened?
Nell: The Royal Terriers finally called me back.
Me: So, where are the Beefeaters?
Nell: There are no Beefeaters.
Me: Yes, there are, Nell.
Nell: I mean down here in Devon.
Me: Did they get lost?
Nell: They never left London.
Me: What about the letter?
Nell: It’s a forgery. The palace never sent it.
Me: Who did?
Nell: As Rupert pointed out at Morning Thoughts the clue is in the name.
Me: Now, I’m really confused.
Nell: Beef eaters.
Me: Still confused.
Nell: Who else has beef in their name?
Me: Are you talking about the Beefies?
Me: The scoundrels. Is that why the letter was soggy?
Nell: It wasn’t soggy. It was stained.
Me: With sea water?
Nell: Yes. Henry and Horst tasted a little and confirmed our suspicions.
Me: They’re such brave and helpful woodlice.
Nell: They are.
Me: Do you think the Beefies told the Royal Terriers about Poppy knighting people too?
Nell: I’m sure of it. The palace received an anonymous letter.
Me: What a nasty thing to do.
Me: Does Poppy know?
Nell: She does. She’s determined to go down to the beach to confront them.
Me: I’m not sure that’s a good idea.
Nell: I agree. Beefies are best ignored whenever possible. It infuriates them.
Me: What about the palace? Are they willing to let Poppy keep her sword?
Nell: Yes, on condition that she attends the sword awareness course.
Me: Is she going to go?
Nell: Yes, she is. Even if I have to take her there myself.
Me: I could take her, Nell. I did a fencing course in my youth.
Nell: Don’t be silly.
Me: Ok. Sorry.