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David keeps watch

Me: Why is Dave guarding Kev’s studio?

Nell: David has been assigned the top garden.

Me: Why?

Nell: Joyce says we need to cover all areas and the armoured woodlice can only do so much.

Me: I don’t care what Joyce says.

Nell: Now, I’m going to tell you something very important and you must keep it to yourself.

Me: I’ll do my best.

Nell: Joyce is a Border Terrier.

Me: I know that, Nell. You are a Labrador and Poppy is a Maltese cross.

Nell; No. Joyce is a proper ‘Border Terrier.’

Me: So she’s got a Kennel Club certificate. So have you, Dave and Harriet.

Nell: No. She keeps our borders safe. Joyce works with Sally.

Me: What?

Nell: She has been working undercover for some time and when Sally heard The Hunter was back she asked Joyce to keep a closer eye on us all.

Me: Was her relationship with Mutley just a lie then?

Nell: No. It was real. Mutley knew all about her.

Me: He never said.

Nell: Of course he didn’t. Mutley was never one to talk out of turn. He knew when to bark and when to hold his growl.

Me: But I don’t see why it has to be kept a secret from us all.

Nell: Sally thinks The Hunter is someone known to us. She can’t risk it getting out before we have tracked The Hunter down.

Me: So why are you telling me now?

Nell: You are half Welsh.

Me: I’m not The Hunter.

Nell: I know that. But if you feel yourself becoming a little more Welsh than usual you need to let me know.

Me: I quite fancy leek and potato soup for lunch.

Nell: That is not what I meant and you know it.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Reconciled

Nell: Well, that was a lovely lunch yesterday.

Me: Yes.

Nell: As soon as Poppy and John saw each other they both apologised and John hasn’t left her side since.

Me: I am so glad they are back together.

Nell: Yes. Between you and me, Poppy’s scones weren’t quite as light as usual during their estrangement. Today’s breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup, however, was excellent.

Me: Where are they today?

Nell: They’ve gone into Salcombe to see John’s younger brother Jago. He runs the Starbarks there and they wanted to let him know about Hollywoof and the Beefies.

Me: I don’t think I’ve met Jago.

Nell: There’s something not quite trustworthy about him. He’s tall and slim and always immaculately turned out but he doesn’t have John’s solid dependability. Poppy is not keen.

Me: I know exactly what you mean. Shifty eyes?

Nell: He usually wears sunglasses so it’s difficult to tell. He’s one of the Salcombe Set.

Me: Your new beau Sebastian probably knows him then.

Nell: Sebastian is not my beau as you well know. I suppose he might be acquainted with Jago, though. It’s a small world.

Me: I remember now. Didn’t Jago upset Harriet?

Nell: Yes, he made unwelcome advances at a beach barbecue. David intervened.

Me: I hope he stamped on his sandcastle.

Nell: Words were exchanged. Surfboards were scratched and sausages were thrown.

Me: Gosh.

Nell: Nobody bothers Harriet when her brother is around.

Me: Go Dave. He’s normally such a gentle giant.

Nell: There was something about Jago he didn’t like. So don’t mention him. It’s like a red rag to a Rottweiler.

Me: Don’t you mean bull?

Nell: No. Rottweiler’s couldn’t care less about bulls. They just hate red.

Me: I didn’t know. Sorry.