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Nancy was apologising most persuasively. In fact, so fervent was she that Kathie had by this point almost forgotten just what Nancy was apologising for. Almost. After all, a penitent Nancy was a sight she rather enjoyed, and she fully intended revisiting this topic at great length in some more private location.

At the moment, however, her appreciation of Nancy's apologies was being somewhat hampered by the fact that, on the stage, Othello seemed to have deviated rather from anything that Shakespeare might have recognised...

"I didn't say a word that wasn't in my lines." Nell positively radiated self-righteousness.

"Indeed?" Hilda's tone was icy. "I distinctly remember cutting those words you were dwelling on so lovingly."

"Not in my script." Nell waved her pristine copy aloft in triumph.

"If you were a lady," Hilda commented scathingly, "you wouldn't dream of using such words."

"If you were a lady," Nell retorted, "you wouldn't know what they meant in the first place."

Hilda was fuming. "You were just looking for an excuse to say it, weren't you? I know you, Nell. I expect the only reason you wanted that part was so you'd have the opportunity to call me... that."

"Of course it wasn't!" Nell sounded truly shocked. "I also wanted to be able to call you a-"

"Enough!" Kathie interrupted in strident tones.

"Nell said-"

"But Hilda-"

Unluckily for the two actresses, Kathie was in no mood to listen to protests, particularly given that Nancy seemed to be in the process of experimenting with an intriguingly new form of apology. "Hilda, Nell, I don't care which of you says what, as long as it appears in some version of Shakespeare's text!"




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