Cowley was in one of his obsessively grammatical moods.
"Bodie, when you say you found these men laying on the floor -- what were they laying?"
"Bricks or eggs, Bodie?"
"Er -- "
"Lying, Bodie, lying!"
"It's perfectly true, sir!" Bodie protested indignantly.
"They were lying on the floor. Hens lay eggs on the floor."
"Don't tread on them," Doyle whispered.
"Oh. Yes, I remember now. They kept on at us about it when I was at school. And bricklayers lay bricks on the floor."
Cowley sighed. "And the past tense of lie is lay."
"No, lay," Doyle corrected him.
"So if I told you a lie you'd say I lay to you?" Bodie asked.
"You lie down to sleep. Last night you lay down to sleep." Cowley didn't sound optimistic.
Doyle started: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray - "
"The Lord will be keeping your soul in a minute, Doyle! And the past tense of lay as in eggs is laid. Get out, the pair of you!"
On the other side of the door Doyle said: "Fancy getting lied tonight?"
"Yeah, if we can work out how to get onto the bloody bed!"