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Third Girl - Agatha Christie

‘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?’

‘Blackcurrant flavour.’

‘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?