Fabulously Famous FEB

Death of a Gossip was M.C. Beaton’s F1RST Hamish Macbeth book.

FEB is named.

“What’s this? Men’s lib?” Daphne slid her arm into his and they left the lounge together. Alice stood stock still,

biting her lip.

“I told you you were wasting your time.” Lady Jane’s large bulk hove up on Alice’s port side.

Fury like bile nearly choked Alice. “You are a horrible, unpleasant woman,” she grated.

This seemed to increase Lady Jane’s good humour. “Now, now,” she purred. “Little girls in glass houses

shouldn’t throw stones. And I do trust our stone-throwing days are over.”

Alice gazed at her in terror. She knew. She would tell Jeremy. She would tell everybody.

She turned and ran and did not stop running until she reached her room. She threw herself face down on the bed

and cried and cried until she could cry no more. And then she became conscious of all that barbaric wilderness of

Highland moor and mountain outside. Accidents happened. Anything could happen. Alice pictured Lady Jane’s

heavy body plummeting down into a salmon pool, her fat face lifeless, turned upwards in the brown, peaty water.

Abruptly, she fell asleep.

When she awoke, she thought it was still early because of the daylight outside, forgetting about the long light of a

northern Scottish summer.

Then she saw it was ten o’clock. With a gasp, she hurtled from the bed and washed and changed. But when she

went down to the dining room, it was to find that dinner was over and she had to put up with sandwiches served in

the bar. Everyone seemed to have gone to bed. The barman informed her that the fat FEB had gone out walking and

perhaps the other was with her -that Lady Whatsername. Alice asked curiously what a FEB was but the bartender

said hurriedly he ‘shouldnae hae said that’ and polished glasses furiously.

Later we learn what FEB actually means :o)

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