Although she claimed to be nervous about criticizing Lewis’s poetry, [Ruth] Pitter happily attacked a number of his other works, including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She explains, “I used sometimes to try and catch Lewis, you know, because his invention, especially in the Narnia stories, is so brilliant and so various” (Oral History Interview with Ruth Pitter, conducted by Lyle W. Dorsett (23 July 1985), page 19.
In C.S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide, [Walter] Hooper records the details of one of their conversations, including the rousing conclusion by Warren Lewis:
RP: The Witch makes it always winter and never summer?
CS: (In his reverberating voice) She does.
RP: Does she allow any foreign trade?
CS: She does not.
RP: Am I allowed to postulate a deux ex machina, perhaps on the lines of Santa Claus with the tea-tray? (This is where CS lost the contest. If he had allowed the deus-ex-m., for which Santa gives good precedent, he would have saved himself.)
CS: You are not.
RP: Then how could the Beavers have put on that splendid lunch?
CS: They caught the fish through holes in the ice.
RP: Quite so, but the dripping to fry them? The potatoes – a plant that parishes at a touch of the frost – the oranges and sugar and suet and flour for the lovely surprise Marmalade Roll – the malt and hops for Mr Beaver’s beer – the milk for the children?
CS: (with great presence of mind) I must refer you to a further study of the text.
Warner: Nonsense, Jack; you’re stumped and you know it.
Diana Pavlac Gyler, The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (2008)