Behind the door, the table was set for tea. Fanny had bought the most enormous ham, and there was bread and butter and berries with lashings of cream.

“George, dear,” she called across the garden, “come in and wash your face! Your cousins will be here soon.”

It was a rare treat, and something of a trial, to have all four children for Christmas. Fanny had fretted for months over how to quash their relentless adventuring, until clever Quentin had devised a solution. A very clever solution, thought Fanny to herself, dusting a little more methylphenidate over the Victoria sponge.

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