DURING the next week Cyril Broom found things difficult, but the unremitting friendliness of the people around him and the unfailing support of his wife began to ease the situation which he had got himself into. The secret burden he had carried had been lifted. He had made a promise to Enid that his gambling days were over.
Kate had visited the bank, the next theatre was booked and paid for and at the end of their run in Kingston upon Hull the company prepared to spend Christmas and New Year at the Empire Theatre, Edinburgh.
Michael Cavendish had delayed his return to Canada.
“How can I return to Nova Scotia when I have the opportunity to visit Scotland? There is, of course, another reason.” He smiled at Kate.
“And what might that be?” she asked as they walked hand in hand.
“I’d like to see this Loch Ness monster.”
“You rotter!” She punched him on the arm.
He laughed and linked her arm in his.
“Before I go home, there are a couple of things I have to do.” He looked at her, no longer laughing. “Serious things. And I don’t know what the outcome will be. Perhaps in Scotland I’ll find out.”
Kate had never been to Scotland. It seemed foreign and exciting, and everyone spoke with a soft, lilting accent or with a fast, challenging dialect.
Enid Broom organised the company’s Christmas party. It wasn’t lavish, but everyone was happy, relieved still to be together and secure. Cyril was still very quiet, but looked much less careworn.
Enid had booked a room at the Victoria caf and there were light refreshments, beer, wine and soft drinks. Enid played the piano and they sang carols. Delia sang a beautiful solo and Fabio juggled some plates, much to the consternation of the manageress who had popped in to see if everything was satisfactory. When Lennie asked her where the mistletoe was she hurried away.
Nesbo had received Judith’s divorce petition, much to his relief, and he made a formal request to expedite the decree nisi to a decree absolute.
“The sooner the better,” he’d said.
Kate was delighted to see that the black cloud that had hovered over him was gone. The scowl had been replaced by the occasional smile and Delia was behaving like a young girl.
“You are definitely skittish,” Sally told her.
“I’ve waited a long time to be skittish,” Delia replied, “and I’ve been learning from you and Kate.”
Kate had wanted Michael to come to the party, but he’d declined.
“It’s for the company. I’d be out of place, and, anyway, they are having a Christmas dance at the hotel.” Michael had booked into the Argyle Hotel. “If you could slip away from the party we could spend a part of the evening together, just the two of us.”
So at nine o’clock, in her party frock, Kate said her goodnights.
“Just when am I going to meet this wonderful young man?” Delia asked with a smile. “Sally says he’s terribly good looking.”
“He’s quite shy, but he’s going to come to the performance tomorrow night and wants to come backstage afterwards. He especially wants to meet you and Nesbo.”
“Lovely. Go on, now, he’ll be waiting for you.”