Now that Nancy is gone, the "main distraction" for Richard becomes Julie, the sultry older woman. Julie feels neglected by Tommy and bluntly asks Richard one day: "Do you want you and I to see more of each other or not? Leave it to me." She manages to have them booked at the same theatrical digs at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wall. The tension becomes palpable whenever Ollanton, Julie, Richard, and Beamish are together. Richard is not very good at hiding his attraction to Julie: "It was just so tantalizing . . . tormenting almost, being under the same roof as a fascinating, bewitching creature like Julie."
Julie and Richard are moving closer to each other She reveals all about her past life, her drinking, and how she owes Tommy Beamish, who rescued her. For the upcoming Christmas week, Julie arranges "digs" for Richard at the home of eccentric Alfred and Rose Bentwood in Nottingham. Lonely at Christmastime, Richard is swept up in the planning of their tryst. After Beamish passes out at the Christmas party, Richard and Julie meet in his room. It is Richard's "first time" obviously, and he wonders "What was it all about? Not love."
New Year's Eve 1914. "It's been a very eventful
year for you, hasn't it?" says Nick to Richard. It has. In Plymouth the
next day, Richard is planning to see Nancy "on stage and off." Unsure about
his feelings, he waits to see her after her panto show. They make a date
to meet for tea at the Grand next day. She does not show up and Richard
decides to go and find out that night why she stood him up. Nancy
comes out without looking at him and when he calls her name, she turns
around and goes on her way without a word, leaving Richard and the viewer
puzzled and dumbfounded.