It's worth knowing how all this ends - if you haven't read this short story, seek it out (you won't be disappointed).
The meal began with a plate of whitebait, fried very crisp in butter, and to go with it there was a Moselle... We finished our fish, and the maid came round removing the plates. When she came to Pratt, she saw that he had not yet touched his food, and Pratt noticed her. He waved her away, broke off his conversation, and quickly began to eat, popping the little crisp brown fish quickly into his mouth with rapid jabbing movements of his fork. Then, when he had finished, he reached for his glass, and in two short swallows he tipped the wine down this throat and turned immediately to resume his conversation with Louise Schofield... Soon the maid came forward with the second course. This was a large roast of beef. She placed it on the table in front of Mike who stood up and carved it, cutting the slices very thin, laying them gently on the plates for the maid to take around. When he had served everyone, including himself, he put down the carving knife and leaned forward with both hands on the edge of the table.
'Now,' he said, speaking to all of us but looking at Richard Pratt. 'Now for the claret. I must go and fetch the claret, if you'll excuse me.'