Have the Tarringtons had their mice?

From Saki’s The Talking-Out of Tarrington:

“Heavens!” exclaimed the aunt of Clovis, “here’s some one I know bearing down on us. I can’t remember his name, but he lunched with us once in Town. Tarrington—yes, that’s it. He’s heard of the picnic I’m giving for the Princess, and he’ll cling to me like a lifebelt till I give him an invitation …

“I’ll fight a rearguard action for you if you like to do a bolt now,” volunteered Clovis; “you’ve a clear ten yards start if you don’t lose time.”

…..

The new-comer smiled weakly, as one who is not to be put off by mere flippancy, and began again with patient persistence:

“I think you ought to remember my name—”

“I shall,” said Clovis, with an air of immense sincerity. “My aunt was asking me only this morning to suggest names for four young owls she’s just had sent her as pets. I shall call them all Tarrington; then if one or two of them die or fly away, or leave us in any of the ways that pet owls are prone to, there will be always one or two left to carry on your name. And my aunt won’t LET me forget it; she will always be asking ‘Have the Tarringtons had their mice?’ and questions of that sort. She says if you keep wild creatures in captivity you ought to see after their wants, and of course she’s quite right there.”

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