‘Yes, I am upset. My feelings—ah, well, no matter.’
‘But tell me about it.’
‘Why should I make a fuss?’
‘Why shouldn’t you? You’d better come and tell me all about it. When will you come? This afternoon. Come and have tea with me.’
‘Afternoon tea, I do not drink it.’
‘Then you can have coffee.’
‘It is not the time of day I usually drink coffee.’
‘Chocolate? With whipped cream on top? Or a tisane. You love sipping tisanes. Or lemonade. Or orangeade. Or would you like decaffeinated coffee if I can get it—’
‘Ah ça, non, par exemple! It is an abomination.’
‘One of those sirops you like so much. I know, I’ve got half a bottle of Ribena in the cupboard.’
‘What is Ribena?’
‘Indeed, one has to hand it to you! You really do try, Madame. I am touched by your solicitude. I will accept with pleasure to drink a cup of chocolate this afternoon.’
‘Good. And then you’ll tell me all about what’s upset you.’
She rang off.
You just have to love Ariadne Oliver - she knows how to make an entrance in a story, and here she covers all her bases of non-alcoholic tea-time beverages, too.
Can you actually imagine either of the two characters enjoying anything with Ribena in it?