The End Of The Rainbow – Episode 78

“Tak’ yer feet off that fender, Josh Glenavon!” Josh looked up from the fireside chair and grinned.“Nagging already, and we won’t be married for another week!” He grabbed her round the waist and pulled her on to his lap.Kirsty threw her arms round his neck.“Josh, I’m that excited! Just think in another week we can stay here for ever!”He laughed and ruffled her hair.“After our honeymoon,” he amended, “and that’s a surprise.”She sighed a little.“We could have our honeymoon here, Josh. Everything’s ready.”Every inch of the little cottage was shining. It was full of colour and of life, with all the things they treasured or had bought together for their home at readiness in their proper places. In the kitchen, a row of copper pans stood above a huge jelly pan, Kirsty’s pride and joy. “We’ve rasps, blackcurrants and gooseberries in our garden,” she announced. “I’ll make jam!”Josh beamed. The back-breaking work he’d done in the garden through the spring had been well worthwhile. Now, Kirsty had her flower garden, and a neat vegetable plot stood just in front of the little orchard.She tugged his hand and pulled him out at the back door.There, on the patch of grass in the shade of the apple trees, was the folding table from the kitchen, complete with snowy cloth, set with flower-sprigged china sent by her aunt Jenny as a wedding present.“It’s too nice to sit inside the day. I’ll lay oot the stuff we brought wi’ us. Tak’ a seat.”The two of them sat there long after they had finished their alfresco meal. They talked for a while of their coming wedding.“I wish we were having a big wedding.” Josh sounded rueful. “I want to show my lovely wife off to the world.”Kirsty shook her head.“Mither and Faither would feel the strain, Josh. I cannae do that to them. An’ forbye, as long as ye are there, that’s enough for me.”“I wish Adam was here. I wanted him to be my best man,” Josh said. A shadow flitted across Kirsty’s face.“Mither’s that worried. No’ as much as a letter frae Adam for weeks!” Tears welled up as she spoke. “What if he’s ill, or hurt, or . . .?”Josh interrupted her.“Adam’s just being a bit inconsiderate, Kirsty. Rhuari dropped me a line to say that he’d left Paris and was on his way to Italy. He’ll write as soon as he’s settled, you’ll see.”He couldn’t let Kirsty know how worried he was. Adam had disappeared, and Constance was back at the art school, flitting in and out of classes like a pale ghost of her former self. Try as he might, Josh just couldn’t find out what was going on if anything. “I’m right glad that Miss Constance is goin’ tae be my bridesmaid.” Kirsty seemed to be reading Josh’s mind. “She looks that sad these days, an’ never says if she’s heard frae Adam an’ I’m feart tae ask!”“Don’t you worry. All will be well in the end, you’ll see. Now, lend a hand here!” He flapped the tablecloth at her, and she laughed, the danger of tears past.They discussed the proposal Sir Hugh had placed before Thomas.“It would be a dream come true for Mither. Livin’ in thon lovely wee gatehouse on yer faither’s estate. Away frae Dixon’s Blazes at last.”She shook her head. “Faither’s a stubborn man. Says he’s never been beholden tae anybody in his life. Mither’s keen, but she’ll no’ say.”Josh’s face grew serious.“But he won’t be beholden to my father! Thomas can turn his hand to anything. He’ll be doing a job seeing the place is kept in running order when my father and Letty are away. He’ll be the factor for part of the estate. It’s simply a much better job than the one he’s got . . . and hates, if the truth be told.”Kirsty sighed.“Mither hates the East End, but she wouldnae say to Faither. Ye ken what he’s like.”He gathered her into his arms.“Don’t you worry, Kirsty, love. We’ll persuade your father somehow.”Perhaps, if someone spoke up for her mother, someone like Sir Hugh Glenavon . . . perhaps that would make all the difference?“My father and Letty are due back tomorrow. I’ll have a word with him.”When at last they left the cottage, Josh slipped his hand round Kirsty’s waist.“Just think, next time we come to this door, I’ll be carrying you across the threshold!”


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