The End Of The Rainbow – Episode 86

Sir Hugh Glenavon settled back in his armchair and reached for his cigar case.“Would you think badly of me, my love, if I indulged in a cigar?”Letty regarded him fondly across their makeshift supper table.“Of course not, dear Hugh.”He lit a cigar and regarded his wife fondly.“Give me all your news.” He leaned back, relaxing. “After all, I rushed back from business in Glasgow just to spend what was left of the day with you.”Letty looked up.“How I love it when you do that, Hugh. Without you, the house seems so empty, no matter how busy I am, or how many people I meet in the course of the day.”As their eyes met, his expression made her blush slightly. He cleared his throat.“This house used to seem so vast, Letty. Somehow, you have made it cosy and welcoming.”His wife looked pleased.“I haven’t changed much, Hugh, dear. Just little things, like making this library our private sitting-room of an evening, and taking our supper here. There was no sense in using that huge dining-room for meals when there are just the two of us.”Her husband nodded approvingly.“And dismissing the servants early, so that we can have time on our own,” she went on. Her husband treated her to a twinkling glance. “Just the two of us. Perfection for me, my dear Letty. And it has turned my mind to spending more time at home and less at business in Glasgow. Then we can go travelling when the humour takes us!”Hugh told Letty the good news that Josh had agreed, at last, to involve himself in the business.“He will always be an artist, Letty, but he’s willing to learn enough to keep things moving after I retire. I have a good, trusted man as a director already, but Josh will have the final say in the big decisions some day. And the business will remain a family business.”“How did you persuade him?”Hugh smiled a slow smile.“He has sons of his own now. It’s their future, too, dear Letty.” He chuckled. “Besides, if he looks as if he’s slacking, Kirsty will drive him on.”Letty joined in the laughter, then studied her husband for a moment with a quizzical expression.“Hugh, my dear, when you bought the gallery for Josh as a wedding gift, were you by any chance making sure that he would be coming into Glasgow regularly? After all, your business is in Glasgow.”“Dearest Letty, that had never occurred to me. I do declare that I am completely innocent of plotting such a thing!” He guffawed.There was another contented silence while Letty rummaged in the little bag she always carried. In it were a bunch of keys, a lace handkerchief, a small notebook in which she wrote suggestions for Cook, and a pair of spectacles in an embroidered case spectacles which she used as seldom as possible. Now, she brought them out together with a letter.“I received a letter from Louisa today.”“Read it to me, Letty dear. I enjoy hearing you read Louisa’s letters because I know by the tone of your voice exactly what you are thinking!”She looked uncertain.“I fear I will have to wear my spectacles.” “I love your spectacles, Letty. They simply make your eyes all the more blue,” he said, knowing how she hated them.His wife blushed just a little and began to read.Dearest Letty, Louisa began. I have not written recently because I have been much occupied with my grandchildren. Marianne in particular chooses to spend much time with me. Thomas is still young and has much to learn in the way of manners, but I expect time will improve that.Constance and my son-in-law are taking good care of Avondale House. There were a few repairs to be made after the last visit of Hugh’s grandsons your grandsons, too, of course. The summerhouse is as good as new again, and the broken window by the kitchen door has been replaced. I take great pleasure in the growing fame of my daughter and son-in-law. You will, no doubt, have seen their names in the newspaper in recent weeks. When time permits, I intend to pay you a visit, but in the meantime I feel I must devote as much time as possible to my grandchildren.Letty looked up. Hugh was smiling broadly.“She’s mellowing.”Letty folded the letter.“She sends her best wishes to you, of course, but I sense that she doesn’t quite approve of Josh and Kirsty’s family!”They both laughed at that.“Dear Louisa has a good heart,” Letty said at last. As they were going upstairs, she turned to him.“Oh, I almost forgot Christmas. It’s a long way away, but I wondered if we could have a big house party? They could all come and stay!” Hugh Glenavon looked down at his wife, then tucked her arm more securely into his.“You constantly remind me why I am the luckiest man in the world, Letty, my love,” was all he said as they drowned in each other’s gaze.


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