Before they had time properly to discuss the most providential recovery of their parent, Pips was waxing enthusiastic about her new clue.
"What clue?" said Lilias.
"Didn't you see him?" said Pips. "Sir Henry Chalmers with a pot of caviare."
"Oh, well," said Lilias, "people as wealthy as that probably eat caviare all day long."
Pips said flatly, "You needn't try to tell me that it's a usual thing for people to walk about with pots of caviare in their hands even if they're so wealthy that pound notes stick out of their ears. It's far from common - why Fanny and I didn't even know what it was! Do you know what caviare's like, Liz-bags?"
"No," said Elizabeth, who didn't know what she was talking about.
"There you are," said Pips, "I tell you it's a clue. At least if it's not a clue it's a link."
"What exactly," said Lilias, "does it link?"
"I don't know why I should bother explaining it to you, when you're all so rude about it," said Pips. And if I were a detective in a book I wouldn't explain a thing to you - I'd just look mysterious and..."
"I know," interrupted Fanny, "and it's maddening. That's why I never do read thrillers, apart from the blood, of course. I never see the importance of any clue and it's just like trying to read Greek or something. Don't let's have anything like that, Pips. Tell us as we go along or I'll not know what's happening."
"Nothing's happening," said Lilias.
"I suppose you call all those bad fivers nothing? And men attacking Belinda nothing?" said Pips, disgusted.
"And all that untying the boat and so on and we had to swim for it," Fanny reminded her.
"I like that 'we'," Pips murmured.
"What are you all talking about?" Elizabeth, looking slightly fogged, asked.
"Pips seems to know," said Lilias. "Pips is going to tell us."
Pips refused to be drawn. "Yes, but not till we get back to Belinda," she said. "I'm going to write it all down - that'll make it clearer."
"That's a comfort anyway," said Fanny.
From THE CREW OF THE BELINDA, Chapter 15, Re-union.