DELIA had thought about this moment and she had thought about her answer thought about it, but not decided on it. Now she had to.
He could see the hesitation in her face. He squeezed her hand.
“If you’re not ready to give up the stage, I do understand. We don’t need to totter off
into retirement just yet. We could become a duo. You on one side of the stage and me on the other.”
“It’s not just the theatre, Max.” She sighed, “Oh, I do like you. It’s just that . . .”
“What? Is there someone else?”
She shook her head.
“No! No, there is no-one else. It’s just such a big decision. The biggest . . .” she paused a second “. . . almost the biggest decision of my life. I need to be sure. This time I need to be right. I need to think a little more. Just a little more. Yes?”
He gave a rueful smile.
“I’m disappointed. But yes, of course.”
“It’s been a lovely meal and a wonderful proposal. Thank you, Max.”
“Thank you for listening. But now, dear, we must go. The show must go on.”
* * * *
The Saturday evening performance, the last one at the Regency Theatre, went off without incident to a full house. A number of the Jolly Goods Delia, Max and Nesbo may have been distracted by their own personal concerns, but they were all professionals and the audience hadn’t an inkling.
The next day on the Sunday afternoon the company would be leaving for an engagement at the New Theatre in Hull, and hopefully leaving death threats and mysterious admirers behind them.
After the show Delia had told Kate and Sally about Max’s proposal of marriage. Both were thrilled for Delia. Sally was astonished that she hadn’t accepted him at once. Kate wasn’t so astonished.
There was a knock at the dressing-room door.
“Come in,” Delia called.
Nesbo looked in.
“Excuse me, may I have a quick word with Miss Flynn?”
“Yes, of course,” Kate said. She stepped out into the corridor.
“Miss Flynn,” Nesbo said, “I will not be travelling with you to Hull tomorrow. I have to go to Birmingham.”
“Oh, really. On business?”
“You could say that, Miss Flynn. I’m going to see my wife.”