A Jolly Good Show – Episode 34

THEN she remembered her errand.

“Here’s a letter for you, Nesbo.”

He took it from her nonchalantly, his eyes still on the book. He glanced, then stared at the white envelope, then held it and gave it his full attention.

He thrust it unopened into the pocket of his overcoat.

“This must be for you, Cyril.” She put the envelope addressed to The Manager on Cyril’s paper. He looked at it for a moment, looked up and said, “Thank you, Kate.”

Now she could read her own letters. She slipped into the back seat in the auditorium and opened Johnny’s letter from New York.

Everything was going well. America was an amazing place, and New York a beehive of people. The Yankee Doodles were an easy-going, friendly company, much like at home, but with a harder edge. He was missing Kate and hoped she was missing him.

There was a very nice girl in the company, a dancer called Daisy Fields. She was funny and really cute.

Kate did miss him, but was glad he seemed happy and excited with his new life. She could almost hear his voice in his letter. She held the second letter in her hand. She’d had one story accepted for publication. Could this be her second?

It wasn’t. The letter was from a firm of solicitors, Sharpies and Webb.

Dear Miss Flynn, We regret to inform you of the death of your aunt, Miss Norma Flynn. She died after a short illness in the care of the Little Sisters of Mercy. In accordance with her instructions her funeral was conducted in the chapel of Nazareth House and she is buried in the grounds of that convent.

We beg to inform you, after payment of our fees and payment of a bequest of fifty pounds to the Trustees of Nazareth House, you are the sole beneficiary of your aunt’s estate.

Your aunt’s house, contents and a deposit account at Martin’s Bank has realised the sum of five hundred and sixty pounds, a cheque for which is enclosed.

Yours faithfully,

C. Sharpies.

Kate sat stunned for a moment, rereading the letter. Aunt Norma was gone. Perhaps she was happy and at peace now.

Kate looked at the cheque. It was a lot of money. If she wanted, she could go to America. She could concentrate on her writing. If she wished she could leave the Jolly Goods, but where would she go? Where would she want to go? She looked again at Johnny’s letter. She slipped the cheque back in the envelope.

After the performance that evening Kate had a good cry. She sat in Delia’s dressing-room with Delia’s arm around her.

“It’s very hard to lose someone.” She squeezed Kate’s shoulder. “But you’ve got friends here to look after you. Does Nesbo know how upset you are?”

Kate shook her head.

“Right.” Delia stood up. “He needs to be told.”

“Oh, no! Please don’t, Delia. Especially after you and he . . .”

“Nonsense! I’m not afraid of Nesbo. He’s just a bully.” She strode out of the room.

A few minutes later she was back. Nesbo was with her. He looked at Kate’s red eyes.

“Delia’s told me what happened. She was right to do so. You are bound to be upset. I’m sorry.”

He put out his hand and gently touched her shoulder and gave her the quirky little smile he sometimes gave.

“I’ll tell you what, girl, tomorrow night I’ll saw you in half gently. How will that be, eh?”

She smiled at him.

“Oh, Mr Nesbo, I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”


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