Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (28) To Catch a Thief and Steal a Heart (Part 09)
Just after David had introduced Dennis and Gwen a waitress arrived with a tray of drinks, Dennis took one and handed it to Gwen and then took one for himself and David grabbed a glass just in time before the waitress snatched the tray away and as she left, Leslie joined them, looking very shapely and David’s heart skipped a beat.
“What are you lot talking about?” she said
“Gwen was just telling me what a little gem Wendy Corney is weren’t you Gwen” he said but she and Dennis appeared to be oblivious to their presence and then the waitress stepped through the crowd to offer Leslie a drink and then Emma Goldup appeared wearing a long white dress.
“Hello Mr Goodman” she said “I hear on the grapevine that you know someone hard working and conscientious who might be looking for some work”
“Yes I do, Emma, but I’m not sure how much free time she has at the moment” he said “she’s in great demand, but I will certainly put her in touch, but only on one condition”
“That you stop calling me Mr Goodman and call me David”
“Ok” she said and giggled
Gwen and Dennis suddenly became aware they were not alone and then the small talk ebbed and flowed before they wandered over to the seating plan to find out who their dining companions were.
“Great we’re on the same table” David said
“Really?” Leslie said “how funny, who else have we got?”
They studied the plan for a few minutes and then David said
“Well that’s probably the best table in the room”
“I agree” Leslie said proudly
“So who do you think we need to thank?” he asked her
“Gwen obviously” Leslie scoffed “She always does the tables”
Then she stuck her arm through his and said
“You may escort me to my table peasant”
“Yes’m” he said tugging his forelock
They were right about it being the best table in the room, they had a good mix and there was a lot of jovial banter
The only person who didn’t seem to enjoy it was Leslie’s husband Frank, he seemed totally bored with the whole affair and complained about everything and communicated with the rest of the group in monosyllables.
Leslie was not at all pleased with him and made no secret of the fact.
But the straw that broke the camels back for her was when the dancing started Frank deserted her to go and drink with his mates at the bar.
“Intolerable, completely intolerable” she muttered and stormed out of the ballroom.
David was on the other side of the table at the time but as soon as he saw her leave he set off in pursuit.
She bolted towards the terrace but when he got outside there was no sign of her.
There were small groups of guests at one end so he guessed she had not gone in that direction and went down the steps to the garden.
He eventually found her sobbing in an arbour and when she saw him she threw herself into his arms.
“Oh David, why is he such a bastard?”
“I don’t know love” he replied
“He couldn’t even wait to have one bloody dance with me” she sobbed.
“Will you dance with me?” she asked
“Always” he replied