The End Of The Rainbow – Episode 31

Sir Hugh Glenavon turned as Josh approached.“That’s a bonnie picture,” he said gruffly. “I’m minded to buy it.”Josh regarded his father, unsmiling.“It’s not for sale,” he said stiffly. “If you’ll excuse me . . .”He moved towards Adam, who was smilingly putting yet another red sticker on one of his Clydescapes.“Who invited him?”“I’ve no idea. Constance’s uncle, I suppose. Such men move in the same business circles. By the way, he has bought two of my paintings!”His gaze strayed to Constance, tranquil and smiling in grey silk, chatting to her uncle and aunt.“She’s hardly spoken to me all evening.”“She’s busy, like us, selling her work,” was Josh’s reply.At that, Constance caught sight of them and came across.“Uncle William was just talking about your pictures, Adam. He says they’re a clear statement of your pride in your city. Little wonder you’ve sold so many.”Adam didn’t respond at once, and Josh rushed in and helped the conversation along with talk of paintings sold and praise given.There was a short silence, set against the buzz of conversation in the room.“We should have a small celebration when the exhibition closes! Just the three of us and Kirsty, of course. Come back to Mrs Dinnimont’s.” Josh sounded enthusiastic.“Thank you, but no, Josh. I’ve promised to have supper with Uncle William and Aunt Emmeline.”Josh sighed. All his efforts at peacemaker were proving fruitless.Peregrine Scoular was studying Constance’s Summer and Winter panels. Each season was depicted on its long panel by a figure, female in form, elongated with richly ornamented robes, her lines swirling and flowing. She was aloof and expressionless, but unmistakeably Kirsty.“Now, that work is something completely new,” Peregrine murmured to his companion, Sir Hugh Glenavon. “That, developed, could be a completely new style in painting. Real talent there.”As Sir Hugh contemplated a suitable reply, there was a commotion near the door.“I’m lookin’ for ma son, Adam Gray!” The voice was loud and harsh, almost a shout.A sudden silence fell on the room. The throng parted and there stood Thomas, in his working clothes, his cap twisted in his hands. Catching sight of his son his face contorted with anger.“Yer mither’s been ta’en bad real bad. No’ that you’ll care, Adam Gray!”Adam remained motionless, speechless with shock.“But she’s askin’ for you. Leave what ye’re at an’ come wi’ me this minute,” Thomas continued.Adam’s heart was in his mouth. He hadn’t seen his mother in more than a month, hadn’t paid much attention to Kirsty’s reports that she was quiet, seemed tired . . .“I should have known!” was all he could say, his voice choked with tears.Before anyone could move, Hugh Glenavon was by Thomas’s side.“You’re shivering, man.” He placed a steadying arm on the other’s shoulder, and turned to an attendant.“My topcoat!” he thundered. “Bring my topcoat.“Put that on,” he ordered. “Keep warm. You’ve had a shock.”Shaking, Thomas Gray obeyed and was promptly wrapped in Hugh Glenavon’s opulent coat.“Now, let me help you. I’ll get you and your family home in no time at all. You can direct me. Then we’ll see what we can do for your wife.”Adam and Kirsty caught up with the two men as they went through the door.“There’s room for all of you. Come with me, don’t delay.” Bending towards Adam’s father, Hugh lowered his voice. “Stay calm. Think of the young ones.”Outside stood a gleaming Arrol-Johnston tourer. Just behind Kirsty, Josh threw a wrap round her shoulders.Hugh Glenavon pulled on a pair of gauntlets.“Get in,” he commanded, settling himself behind the wheel. “I’ll drive you there myself.”


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