'What about this?' says Camilla. 'Shall we take this with us or shall we get rid?'
Primrose frowns and rubs her beak. 'To be honest,' she says, 'I don't think we'll have much call for a suit of armour in Shropshire, shall we?'
Camilla shrugs. 'Who knows?' she says. 'The natives could be restless. It might be essential protective equipment, along with this lot,' and she waves to the accompanying mace, pike, halberd and sword collection that are lying in a cluttered hardware heap next to the open loft hatch.
'Restless natives, eh?' says Primrose. 'P'raps we'd better hang onto them all just in case.'
Down below on the landing Tango Pete is peering up the ladder. 'Have you decided yet?' he shouts. 'Only my mate Harris McCoughnuts says he'll take them off your hands for his 'Knights and Spurs' theme park. He'll pay you...' he adds as an after-thought.
'What do you think?' says Camilla.
'We could do with the cash,' says Primrose.
'For the open air hot tub,' says Camilla.
'SOLD!' yells Primrose, and she drops the weaponry through the loft hatch.
'OUCH!!!!' says Tango Pete, followed by a certain amount of expletive and clanking and 'Oops...that'll never clean out of the carpet.'
The hens ignore him, for he is a man cock after all and they are well known for making a hideous fuss and ado over nothing. They turn their attention back to the pile of loft tat.
'Great Aunt Gertrude's stuffed puffin?' says Camilla, picking up the aforesaid item and puffin' (ahahahahaha!!) off a goodly layer of dust.
'She'd know if we ditched it,' says Primrose.
'But she's been dead for 53 years,' says Camilla.
'She would still know,' says Primrose. 'And the last thing I want for our new life in the countryside is the ghost of Gertie huffing and puffing and doing her haunting best in the wee small hours.'
Camilla perches on the edge of the faux- Victorian travel chest that contains her lifelong collection of ornamental piskies, elves and hobgoblins and has a wonky handle. 'It'll be fantastic, won't it, living in the countryside? All those fields and trees and hedges. All that fresh air and those clear night skies.'
'I am especially looking forward to the clear night skies,' says Primrose. 'There won't be a smidgeon of light pollution, you know. I shall definitely be dusting off my periscope and sitting outside under the stars in my deckchair and muffler with my flask of hot Bailey's and some toasted toast.'
'Don't you mean telescope?' says Camilla.
'I know what I mean,' says Primrose. 'There are some pretty tall hedges to have a shufty peep over. There'll be plenty of local wildlife to keep my beady chicken eye on.'
Down below, Tango Pete can be heard bumping a suit of armour down the stairs.
'It's very therapeutic, all this clearing out, isn't it?' says Camilla.
'Like taking a psychological suppository,' agrees Primrose. 'Clearing the bowels of years of pointless tat accumulation.'
'I thought I'd put my collection of autographs into a specialist sale,' says Camilla. 'I've got Bobby Davro, Spit the Dog, one of the Krankies, Edith Piaf...'
'Edith Piaf?' says Primrose. 'Ooooh...let me see...'
Camilla passes over her treasured autograph book.
Primrose peers at the scribble on the page and sighs. 'That's not Edith Piaf,' she says. 'That's Edith Piff...'
'Who's Edith Piff?' says Camilla.
'Don't you remember?' says Primrose. 'She was the wife of Omeroyd Piff. They ran the cookware shop in town on the corner of Knitting Row and Crochet Square. You know - 'Piffs and Pans.''
'Oh yes,' says Camilla. 'Ah well...I am sure half a Krankie is worth a bob or two.'
Primrose looks at her watch. 'Right,' she says. 'Time for tea and a bun, I think. All this clearing out malarkey is quite exhausting.'
'But we've only been up here twenty minutes,' says Camilla.
'Quite,' says Primrose. 'My point exactly.'