Dave Falls Asleep on Duty as Evidence Mounts

Nell: Emergency meeting downstairs. Chop chop.

Me: But it’s the weekend, Nell. Can’t I have a slow start to the day?

Nell: David can only save the Yellow Chair for so long.

Me: I don’t sit in the Yellow Chair.

Nell: It’s not all about you, you know.

Me: Have I got time to shower?

Nell: No. Slippers and dressing gown will do. Time is of the essence.

Me: Why did you make me rush like that? Nobody else is here and Dave’s fast asleep.

Nell: Nonsense. He’s simply lulling Beaumarchais into a false sense of security.

Me: You do know Beaumarchais is a Stuffed Tiger, don’t you?

Nell: His accomplice could be anywhere.

Me: Where’s everyone else?

Nell: Finishing their first breakfast. Soft boiled eggs and soldiers. They’ll be in soon.

Me: I’m surprised Dave isn’t with them. He’s partial to a soft boiled egg.

Nell: David had an early first breakfast before he went on duty.

Me: Poor Big Brave Beautiful Boy. No wonder he’s asleep. The waiting for second breakfast must seem ever so long.

Nell: Needs must. Now, you’re probably wondering what this emergency meeting is all about.

Me: I am.

Nell: I’m afraid evidence is mounting against Kev and an imminent arrest is in the offing.

Me: But Kev hasn’t done anything.

Nell: Witnesses put him at the scene of the crime.

Me: He lives here.

Nell: And Kev is known for liking a double cuff shirt.

Me: So?

Nell: Worn with cufflinks.

Me: We can’t let him be arrested, Nell.

Nell: Quite. He’s going to have to go into hiding.

Me: Where?

Nell: I’m not telling you. You overshare.

Me: My readers won’t say anything.

Nell: Information can only be imparted on a need to know basis.

Me: Well, I need to know. Sorry.


It’s a Set Up

Nell: Where’s Kev?

Me: I don’t know. In his studio I expect.

Nell: We need to find him now.

Me: Leave him be. It was really beautiful down on the beach, wasn’t it?

Nell: Yes, it was.

Me: Cold but sunny. Just as I like it.

Nell: I’m afraid you’re not going to like what I’m about to show you.

Me: You’re being awfully dramatic, Nell.

Nell: You need to take a look at the Daily Growl and then you’ll understand.

Me: I’m not in the mood for reading newspapers. They’re always full of doom and gloom.

Nell: There’s a photo on the front page you should see.

Me: Why?

Nell: It’s of Kev.

Me: Kev’s on the front page? Is it a good photo?

Nell: No.

Me: Oh dear. Let me see it then. What?

Nell: It’s shocking, isn’t it?

Me: ‘Jewel Thief Caught on Camera.’

Nell: Yes.

Me: Why is Kev wearing my stripy t-shirt?

Nell: That’s the least of our problems. Look what he’s carrying.

Me: A swag bag. He doesn’t have a swag bag.

Nell: I know that.

Me: And if he did he wouldn’t walk around carrying it full of jewels wearing my t-shirt.

Nell: I know that too.

Me: It’s a set up.

Nell: Yes, Sherlock, we know it is.

Me: Who would do such a thing?

Nell: My guess is the Beefies are behind all this. Stephen Seagull has several contacts at the Daily Growl.

Me: Has Kev seen it yet?

Nell: No. We thought it might be best if you showed it to him.

Me: Would you come with me?

Nell: Yes, and we’ll ask David too.

Me: Good idea. I could do with a Dave cuddle.

Nell: All cuddles are for Kev. He’s the one who’s been framed.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Under Suspicion

Me: Is there something wrong with the puppies?

Nell: They’re not puppies. They’ll be 6 in June?

Me: Age is irrelevant.

Nell: I shall remind you of that on your birthday.

Me: I knew you’d remember. Is the Birthday Ball for me?

Nell: I thought you were worried about David and Harriet.

Me: I am. They seem a bit down.

Nell: We still haven’t found Mutley’s cufflinks.

Me: What about your tiara and pearls?

Nell: Nothing.

Me: This whole thing has Lionel King written all over it.

Nell: Lionel swears he has nothing to do with it. PC Panda was here while you were at the hospital conducting interviews.

Me: Was he?

Nell: Yes, and until this has been sorted we are all under suspicion.

Me: Even me?

Nell: Everyone. In fact, I didn’t really want to tell you this.

Me: You’ll have to now you’ve started.

Nell: But Kev is right up there on the list of suspects.

Me: My Kev?

Nell: Our Kev, thank you very much.

Me: Why?

Nell: He used to be an actor.

Me: That’s got nothing to do with the price of fish.

Nell: Don’t bring fish into this, please.

Me: What else?

Nell: He can do a cockney accent.

Me: So?

Nell: The postcard has a cockney feel to it like Kev when he’s pretending to be an East End gangster.

Me: Anyone can do that.

Nell: You can’t.

Me: No, I’m terrible at being a gangster.

Nell: And Kev loves a practical joke.

Me: He wouldn’t steal anything.

Nell: PC Panda is just doing his job.

Me: Is that why the puppies are sad?

Nell: Yes, they don’t want Kev to go to jail.

Me: We have to do something, Nell.

Nell: Calm down. Miss Maple is on the case.

Me: Sorry.


It’s Too Early To Chat

Nell: It’s too early to chat.

Me: I’ve got an appointment at the hospital and it’s still icy outside so Kev and I are giving ourselves a bit more time to get there.

Nell: Is the appointment about your cancer?

Me: No. Don’t worry. It’s an asthma test.

Nell: I could go with you if you like?

Me: I’d rather you stayed here and looked after the others.

Nell: As long as you know I’m more than willing.

Me: I do. Before I go though, I just wanted to check that you know the Stuffed Tiger is sitting next to you on the sofa.

Nell: Of course I know and its name is Beaumarchais.

Me: Do you think it might be related to Beauregard?

Nell: Beauregard is a real tiger not a stuffed toy. Do try and be a little more realistic.

Me: Their names are awfully similar.

Nell: Yes, I noticed that too.

Me: Almost like someone is trying to make us think Beauregard has something to do with it.

Nell: Yes. Although the someone is not as clever as he or she thinks they are.

Me: Why?

Nell: If you were trying to move a stuffed tiger around without anyone knowing you wouldn’t call it Sara Jane, would you?

Me: I wouldn’t call anyone Sara Jane.

Nell: What I mean is Beauregard wouldn’t call the Stuffed Tiger by a name similar to his own.

Me: Maybe all tigers have names beginning with Beau?

Nell: Nonsense. Helen Mitchell has a stuffed tiger and her son calls it Foxy Bingo.

Me: Gosh. So, there’s more than one of them?

Nell: Yes.

Me: Maybe they’re working together?

Nell: Maybe you should put your hat and coat on. Kev is waving at you to hurry up.

Me: Yes. See you later. Sorry.


Have you seen my tiara?

Nell: Have you seen my tiara?

Me: What tiara?

Nell: The one I wore to the Royal Wedding.

Me: Never mind that. The Stuffed Tiger is sitting in the yellow chair.

Nell: My pearls are missing too.

Me: Dave isn’t happy.

Nell: He wouldn’t be. We still haven’t found Mutley’s cufflinks.

Me: I meant Dave isn’t happy about the Stuffed Tiger sitting in the yellow chair.

Nell: Its name is Beaumarchais, by the way.

Me: How do you know that?

Nell: Someone sent it a postcard.

Me: Who?

Nell: I don’t know. It wasn’t addressed to me.

Me: Who was it addressed to?

Nell: Beaumarchais. I just told you.

Me: Beaumarchais could be anyone.

Nell: It began with ‘How’s me old stuffed tiger?’

Me: Why the Cockney accent? You said you didn’t read it.

Nell: I said it wasn’t addressed to me. It was from a friend.

Me: How do you know?

Nell: It was signed ‘A Friend’.

Me: What else did it say?

Nell: ‘Hope you’re enjoying your new dogs.’

Me: What?

Nell: Although it might have been digs. The writing wasn’t very clear.

Me: Where is it?

Nell: I gave it to Miss Maple. Are you sure you haven’t seen my tiara?

Me: Yes. Is this for the Birthday Ball?

Nell: I thought I was wearing my pearls when I went to lunch with Rupert at The Cottage Hotel the other day but I might be mistaken.

Me: The Cottage Hotel is closed in January.

Nell: Are you sure?

Me: Yes. I’m absolutely certain because I can never spend my birthday there.

Nell: I can’t remember when I last wore my tiara.

Me: Wait a minute, Nell. It’s my birthday on 30th Jan.

Nell: Stop making everything about you. We need to find my tiara.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Poppy is Badly Behaved

Me: I’d like to discuss a couple of important things with you.

Nell: No time, I’m afraid. I have my massage and hydrotherapy session with Chloe so Kev and I will be leaving soon.

Me: You can jolly well make time because this is important.

Nell: Fine. What’s so urgent?

Me: I want to talk about Poppy’s dreadful behaviour on the beach yesterday and the Birthday Ball.

Nell: What dreadful behaviour?

Me: She pulled her lead out of Kev’s hands when he was busy kicking the ball for Harriet.

Nell: Yes, that wasn’t a good move.

Me: And then she ran right across the beach and chased two terriers.

Nell: I think one of them might have been wearing cufflinks.

Me: There wasn’t a cufflink in sight.

Nell: She probably saw it glinting in the sunlight and had to move fast.

Me: There was no sunlight.

Nell: I admit the sun was a little shy but it did peek its head out now and again.

Me: That’s rather poetical of you.

Nell: Yes, I thought so too.

Me: But back to Poppy’s behaviour.

Nell: She thought it had stolen Mutley’s cufflinks from Dave.

Me: She did not. She was just being a bully.

Nell: It wasn’t her finest hour but anyone can make a mistake. Ask David.

Me: I had to run across the beach to get her.

Nell: Yes, I know.

Me: And I never run.

Nell: It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Me: I could hardly breathe.

Nell: You are a little unfit.

Me: I know I am. As soon as I’ve got these health issues sorted I’m going to start swimming again.

Nell: Good, anyway it was lovely talking to you but I need to go.

Me: What about the Birthday Ball?

Nell: Chat later.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Be like Harriet

Me: I’ve been doing some thinking.

Nell: Here we go.

Me: We should all be more like Harriet.

Nell: How exactly?

Me: She makes the most of things and lives in the moment.

Nell: Does she?

Me: Yes, it was cold, wet and rainy down on the beach but Harriet didn’t care. She dashed into the sea and rolled around in the sand just loving life.

Nell: True. Sunday Songs has been moved to the barn, by the way.

Me: Why?

Nell: The Welsh Corgi Choir can’t sing outside in this weather.

Me: No. Even mackintoshes and Wellington boots won’t help today.

Nell: Poppy is making a hearty stew with dumplings for lunch. It’s not a traditional roast but it can be shared amongst many.

Me: Sounds delicious.

Nell: Yes, there’s nothing like a warming bowl of stew on a cold day.

Me: I’m usually a mashed potato person, myself, but this is definitely a dumpling sort of day.

Nell: David is partial to dumplings. He’s in the kitchen now taste testing with Malcolm.

Me: Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. So helpful.

Nell: You haven’t seen his cufflinks, have you?

Me: I didn’t know he had any.

Nell: They were Mutley’s so they are of great sentimental value.

Me: I’ll keep a look out. Why does he need cufflinks?

Nell: The Cat wants everyone to wear their finest for the Birthday Ball.

Me: What Birthday Ball?

Nell: Goodness. Is that the time?

Me: I was asking you about the Birthday Ball.

Nell: I’m afraid I must be off.

Me: Why are you changing the subject?

Nell: I can’t stand around chatting to you when there are potatoes to be peeled.

Me: You said we were having dumplings.

Nell: You can’t have a stew without potatoes. Do keep up.

Me: Sorry.



Me: What are you doing? You’ve been glued to your iBone for ages?

Nell: I’m catching up with sophiefromromania.

Me: You know she’s actually called Sophie and she was rescued from Romania, don’t you? Sophiefromromania is just her social media handle.

Nell: Yes, I know. Mine is conversationswithnell.

Me: Our is also nellandsara.

Nell: Anyway, sophiefromromania came out from behind the sofa and allowed the Prof to stroke her.

Me: We should probably explain that sophiefromromania is a shy and traumatised young dog rescued from the streets of Romania and brought to live with ex-BBC journalist Rory and his professor wife in the UK.

Nell: She arrived on Christmas Eve and has spent most of her time since then behind their sofa.

Me: Her story has captured the hearts of people across the UK and the world.

Nell: Perhaps I should ask her to join my Young Animals Mentoring Group on WoofsApp?

Me: She won’t know how to use an iBone, Nell. She’s not even used to living in a house. Poor little thing.

Nell: I’d be happy to bring her one. Rupert could take me on his motorbike.

Me: That’s awfully kind but she might need to learn to be around her new family first.

Nell: You’re right. In the meantime I’ve written her a poem.

Me: Can I hear it?

Nell: Of course.

‘Dear sophiefromromania

You poor little pup

I know you are scared

And life has been tough.

But now you’ve been rescued

And have a new home

Where you’re safe and you’re loved

And no longer alone.

So come out from that sofa

For cuddles and such

And begin your new life

Cos we love you so much.’

Me: Perfect. Let’s hope Rory reads it to her.

Nell: You’d better post it then.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Sleuthing is not for Sara

Me: Are you spying on me?

Nell: Don’t be ridiculous.

Me: Why are you watching me from behind a cushion then?

Nell: I’m just keeping an eye on you.

Me: I’m not going to throw the Stuffed Tiger on the floor, if that’s what you think.

Nell: Good to hear.

Me: I will if it tries to sit in my chair.

Nell: Sally and Miss Maple have asked us to keep our distance. Kindly respect that.

Me: Actually, I’ve had a few ideas about the accomplice.

Nell: Here we go.

Me: We can probably rule out all insects and small birds.

Nell: Why?

Me: The Stuffed Tiger is too big.

Nell: True.

Me: They could work together but it would mean an awful lot of accomplices.

Nell: It would.

Me: And we might notice that.

Nell: We might.

Me: The Beefies are the obvious suspects.

Nell: Yes.

Me: But how are they getting in and out of the house undetected?

Nell: Quite.

Me: They must have an accomplice and if they do then why doesn’t their accomplice just move the Stuffed Tiger himself?

Nell: We don’t know it’s a Him. It might be a Her.

Me: I’m a bit tired of trying to work it all out now.

Nell: Why don’t you just leave the sleuthing to Miss Maple?

Me: Where is she?

Nell: Pursuing another lead.

Me: A real one?

Nell: Yes. Owl Pacino has reported strange goings on in Wary Wood.

Me: Wary Wood?

Nell: Yes, it’s not far from here.

Me: Why is it Wary?

Nell: Nobody likes to go in there. Not even Poppy.

Me: So, any activity is highly suspicious?

Nell: Exactly.

Me: I think I’m going to stick to writing for the time being.

Nell: I would if I were you.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Marvin has a New Coat

Me: Look at the photos Chris sent me from Toronto. Marvin has a new coat. Doesn’t he look wonderful?

Nell: I’m not wearing one.

Me: You don’t need one. We don’t live in Canada. It gets very cold over there.

Nell: Don’t let the llamas see it or they’ll all want one.

Me: Shannon made it herself. Isn’t she clever?

Nell: I’m not sure Marvin would agree.

Me: Chris said Marv wasn’t keen at first but they need to keep him warm.

Nell: I told him that in my Young Animals Mentoring Group on WoofsApp.

Me: So you knew about his new coat?

Nell: Of course I did. I keep a close eye on all my Young Animals, especially those whose start in life has not been the easiest.

Me: Yes. Thank goodness Chris and Shannon rescued Marvin when they did or he wouldn’t have had a life at all.

Nell: Best not to dwell on that.

Me: You’re right except to say thank you to all of you out there who have rescued animals.

Nell: Absolutely. Now, I need to discuss yesterday’s unexpected visit to the vet.

Me: It was your yearly vaccination and check-up.

Nell: David and I had no idea we were going.

Me: Kev and I thought it best not to bother you. The vet was pleased with you both. Dave weighs 47 kilos as usual. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. You need to lose a little.

Nell: Moving on. Why were Poppy and Harriet left at home?

Me: We couldn’t manage you all. They’re going next week.

Nell: David got extra cuddles with Chloe while I was with the vet.

Me: I know. She was delighted to see him. She said he was a lovely big boy.

Nell: Chloe is my person.

Me: Yes. Sorry.