"You agreed to come."
"I didn't know you were going to make me sit through King Lear."
"It's supposed to be a very good production."
"But Lear?" Nancy Wilmot looked at her partner beseechingly. "Shakespeare if you absolutely must, but not Lear. It's interminable. If you felt you had to drag me to Shakespeare, couldn't you at least have chosen something easier?"
"Like what?" Kathie Ferrars raised her eyebrows. "Kiss Me Kate?"
"There's no call for insults." Nancy was all offended dignity. "I know my Shakespeare almost as well as you do - which is how I know that Lear is excessively dull and goes on for about nine hours."
"Three, actually," Kathie corrected her with a grin.
"Oh, no, you can't expect me to sit through three hours of dramatised misery," Nancy protested. "Not again. Wasn't The Cherry Orchard enough for you? Not to speak of Oedipus, and that thing about the woman and her stepson."
"Yes, that." Nancy was evidently less than impressed with Kathie's theatrical selections. "Tell me, just as a matter of interest, what exactly have you got against happy plays of a reasonable length?"
"I'm simply trying to introduce you to some classic drama, my love."
"Well, I've been introduced to it, and I don't like it." Nancy had had her own ideas of how they might spend the last evening of their holidays, and they had not included King Lear.
"If you really feel that strongly about it," Kathie gave in, "we can go back to the hotel."
Feeling somewhat selfish at this easy victory, Nancy sighed. "No, I know you really want to see this. After all, it's only three hours, and we'll have what's left of the evening to ourselves. I'll go back to the hotel and take a nap or something, and be out here to meet you at ten o'clock."
"It's not exactly spending our last evening together." Kathie was disappointed. "Still, I suppose that is the best solution. Alright," she appeared to agree. "Unless..."
"Unless what?" Nancy asked warily.
"Unless," Kathie coaxed, "you'd like to come with me to pick up the tickets for our private box, where we can sit and hold hands for three hours just like any other couple might, and I'll buy you an ice cream in the interval, and you can cuddle up to me and take a nap if Lear really does prove too much for you."
"We-ell, alright." It was Nancy's turn to capitulate. "But I'm only doing it for the ice cream, you know."
Kathie's lips twitched. "Of course you are."
"And I rather liked the idea of Kiss Me Kath."
"Kate," Kathie corrected automatically, as she searched her bag for the confirmation of their booking.
"Not in my version," Nancy responded wickedly.
"Auntie Hilda recommended it, she said it's a first class production." Len had her head buried in the programme, so it took her a few moments to register that her triplet was not listening to her, but instead seemed to be gazing up at one of the boxes. "Con? Wake up! You can't stare at people like that! What do you think you're looking at?"
Con, her mind a million miles away, answered without thinking. "Miss Wilmot and Miss Ferrars."
A gasp from Len brought her to her senses, and she transferred her gaze rapidly from her erstwhile teachers to her sister, consternation in her face.
"That can't be Miss Wilmot and Miss Ferrars," Len said decidedly. "Honestly, Con, you must need your eyes tested. It's obvious it couldn't be them."
Under Con's wide-eyed gaze, Len found herself blushing, and mentally cursed her sister's innocence as she tried to explain. "Those women you were staring at, they're - Well, they're obviously - They're a couple, Con."
"And?" Con was looking at her sister expectantly.
"And, well, does that sound like Miss Wilmot and Miss Ferrars to you?"
Deciding that this was neither the time nor the place for revelations that her sister was evidently not ready to hear, Con reluctantly restrained her impulse to answer that, yes, in fact, it sounded exactly like Miss Wilmot and Miss Ferrars, and merely gave her triplet a thoughtful glance as she replied, "No, Len, I suppose not."