A Jolly Good Show – Episode 62

THE company’s last engagement in Scotland was across the Firth of Forth to the city of Perth. The winter scenery became more dramatic and romantic the further north they travelled. Kate loved it.

A quiet, fretful Sally could only think that she was travelling further and further away from London, which gave her a nagging feeling of guilt. She had said nothing to Will.

She wished she had never had that telegram.

Delia, of course, was deeply happy. She finally felt at peace with herself. The emptiness had gone. And Nesbo had got the news that Judith’s divorce petition was due to be heard next week in Birmingham.

“Next week!” he said. “Next week I’ll be free!”

After arriving in Perth, the company had a day off. They were only appearing for three days before returning to England. Kate suggested to Michael they hire a motor car. She longed to get deep into the Highlands.

“I’ll pay for it,” she said.

Michael laughed.

They drove towards Pitlochry in clear bright light. Kate was quiet for a while.

“Michael. What did you call your mother?”

“Mom,” he said. “Why?” He sounded surprised.

Kate laid her hand lightly on his hand on the steering wheel.

“Darling, do you think you could call Delia Mother? It would mean so much to her. Do you think you could?”

He looked sideways at her.

“You’re a sweet girl.” His eyes went back to the road. He nodded. “Yes, I’d like to do that.”

Kate sighed contentedly. They drove on through Pitlochry and the road followed the shining River Tummel, then began to wind upwards through the river’s wooded banks.

“Where are we going?” Kate asked.

“I’ve looked in the guide books and I’m taking you to where Prince Albert took his Victoria to Queen’s View.”

Eventually Michael pulled up almost at the top of a steep hill. They left the motor and followed a narrow track through silent woods with drifts of snow on either side, and emerged on to a viewing platform.

Kate thought she had never seen anything more beautiful than the majestic scene before her. They stood high above the waters of Loch Tummel, rippling grey-blue below them and reflecting the steep wooded hills. Away to their right they could just make out the white tips of the mountains of Glen Coe. Across the loch to their left were the broad snowy shoulders of Schiehallion, its peak glinting icily in the thin sunshine.

Michael stood close to her.

“I wonder if Albert slipped his arm around Victoria’s waist as they stood here?” His arm went around her.

“There were probably too many courtiers around,” Kate replied, looking up into his face.

“Kate, I want to take a souvenir home with me to Nova Scotia.”

“A kilt, dear?” she teased, her voice soft. “You’d look fine in a kilt.” Her eyes were looking into his.

“I want to take you. I love you. You made a big step from Woolworths to the stage. Can you take a bigger step, darling? A step of three thousand miles? Will you marry me, Kate?”

“Oh, yes! Yes, I will.” And there were no courtiers around. There was no-one else around and they kissed high above the waters of Loch Tummel between the mountains of Glen Coe and the peak of Schiehallion.


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