It was a few days after Christmas amid the rumblings leading to the Great War and Diddlington Hall had a houseful of guests all of whom were somewhat noisy that evening. The host Lord Percy was about to make an after dinner speech to his London pals and their high society wives. It was also the second day of a long planned hunting break but to date it had been far from successful. Yesterday the arranged pheasant shoot was so bad that you could be forgiven for thinking that the birds had been given inside information as they had failed to show. Then earlier the deer herds of Thetford Forest had likewise been strangely elusive. Now trying very hard to win the favour of his guests Lord Percy was resorting to extravagant feasting and overdrinking. He banged on the table and requested everyone’s attention to proudly announce that tomorrow they would all go otter hunting!

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