An excerpt from The Beckoning Lady by Margery Allingham. On the day of Midsummer's Eve Albert Campion and Charlie Luke are having lunch at the local pub, an outing that Charlie found...
"....alarming in its little surprises. For instance, he had just discovered that the excellent pie which he had enjoyed was made
largely of peacocks. The comfortable elderly party who said she was the daughter of the old landlord had just told him so when she came in to apologize for having to serve them in the little back room, since the large front one was crowded. She brought them each a tail feather tip to put in their coats for luck.
'Wear them, and the pie won't repeat,' she said cheerfully, placing a plate of processed cheese, five dry biscuits, and some margarine before them. ' Or would you like a junket?'
'This,' said Luke firmly, seizing the cheese, which he detested but had at least eaten before.
' Do you - er - eat a lot of peacocks round here?'
'Oh,no.' She seemed scandalized. ' They're a very rare bird. Old Admiral Bear from Bandy Hall at Girdle has his roast peacock club dinner here every twentieth of June. He's done it for years and years, and his father before him. He breeds the birds and we cook them. Then on Midsummer Eve we make pies out of the giblets and the leftovers, and that way every customer gets a taste.
Think I'll give that one a miss should I ever find myself in England on Midsummer Eve!