“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 9 (PG-13, V): Trouble at Marlborough Mills, December 16, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #484)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”,  Ch. 9 (PG-13, V):  Trouble at Marlborough Mills, December 16, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #484)

 aaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicOct1413GratianaLovelace-256x388Rev(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved;

Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its
2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

 

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South”:

Richard Armitage for John Thornton,  Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale,  Tim Piggott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, and Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, etc]   [(1) story logo image]

Author’s Mature Content Note:  “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s and beyond.  As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap of the Previous Chapter:  John Thornton and Margaret Hale have weathered together trying to complete the current Thompson order at Marlborough Mills during the strike.  .  And John and Williams the overseer, shipped off three quarters of the previously completed Thompson order last night, Friday night.  They have one week to feverishly complete the remaining quarter of the job in order to meet next Friday’s deadline with their only eight cobbled together workers–including Margaret.  Surprisingly–but maybe not so much–John and Maragret have even found time for some stolen moments of loving tenderness whilst Margaret lives at Thornton Manor during the week–even going so far as to scandalously breech the temporarily blocked connecting door between their two bed chambers.  Finding himself so in love with Margaret and their original wedding date still three weeks away, John resolves to procure a special marriage license and have them marry this week if possible.  But events will once again transpire to thwart our young lovebirds, John and Margaret.   Marlborough Mills’ success in completing the Thompson order is not assured, because the strikers know what Thornton is doing by trying to complete the order himself with his few helpers. And the strikers are gathering–to do something about it.

“N&S:  John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 9 (PG-13, V):  Trouble at Marlborough Mills

The next day, a Saturday, John escorts Margaret in his carriage to her home at Crampton–for her to see her parents, especially her mother, whom Margaret has not seen in the week she has worked at Marlborough Mills, helping John through the strike–and for Margaret to spend the night with her parents.  John and Margaret both notice the derisive looks they received from working people as they made their way to the Hale home, and John is uneasy about Margaret’s safety while she is away from him.  But John will see Margaret again the next day on Sunday at church and then bring her back to Marlborough Mills and his home, Thornton Manor, for their final week of working together to complete the Thompson order.  The Hales are overjoyed to see their daughter returned to them.  But John cannot tarry for long with the Hales, and he swiftly returns to Marlborough Mills after purchasing a week’s food supplies for Thornton Manor since the grocer’s were too scared to deliver them.

Taking his daughter Margaret aside after lunch when Mrs. Hale is napping, Mr. Hale cautions Margaret about the unstable strike worker situation in Milton.

Mr. Hale:  “Though I would not say it in front of your mother, I am glad to see you home safely, Margaret My Dear.”

Margaret:  “I am fine, Father.   No harm has come to me working at the Mill–nor will it. John will see to that.” She smiles confidently.  But she still worries about her father’s concerned tone.

Mr. Hale: “I am certain you are right.  It is just that the strikers are becoming more agitated. And they know what Mr. Thornton is doing.” Margaret looks at her father with confusion. “They know that he is finishing the Thompson order in hope that the payment he receives will allow him to ride out the strike.”

Margaret: “And how do they know that, Father?  Who has been telling them this?”  She is not accusing her father, and she cannot think who might have slipped in revealing their activities at Marlborough Mills.

Mr. Hale: “Gossip is rife during hard times.”  Then he winces.  “And it seems that Miss Thornton is rather free with her talk.”

Margaret: “Fanny!” She fumes.  “John is working so hard for everyone!   Not just for Margaret-isDanielaDenby-Ashe-inNorth&South-epi2-vlcsnap-01395Dec1513RAC-clrhimself, but to keep the mill a viable employment option for the workers when the strike is over.  Can the workers not see that they are damaging the one employer in town who is on their side?”  Margaret implores of her father [(2) right].

Mr. Hale: “On their side?  What do you mean, Margaret?”

Margaret: “I should not be telling you this, Father.  But John told me that the morning of the strike, he had intended to negotiate with the union representatives for a small graduated pay increase–first for long time, experienced workers, and then to young workers.  And he was planning to advocate to the other mill owners to see the sense of investing in their workforce. But he never got the chance.”  She shakes her head.

Mr. Hale: “Oh no!”  He looks at his daughter in alarm.

Margaret:  “Father? What do you know?”

Mr.  Hale: “It is more of guess, really.” Margaret looks at him quizzically.  “It has to do with Mary Higgins and how she has been skittish all week.”

Margaret: “Mary?”

Mr. Hale: “Yes.  Since you were unavailable to help Dixon around the house–and to keep the peace…”  He raises both hands in the air in a pleading gesture.  “… Mary Higgins has been coming in afternoons to help Dixon with the heavier work.

Margaret: “Is Mary still here now?”

Mr. Hale:  “Yes, in the kitchen. But ….”  He gets no further as Margaret dashes down the stairs to the kitchen.

***

As Margaret enters her parents’ small Crampton home kitchen, only Mary Higgins is there–washing clothes.  Mary startles when she sees her.

Mary: “Oh Miss!   I did not see you standing there.”  Mary is a young woman of few words.  And these two sentences comprise more words than Margaret usually hears from Mary in a week.

Margaret:  Margaret gets straight to the point.  “I am sorry to startle you, Mary.  But I must know if there will be trouble at Marlborough Mills.”

Mary looks away from Margaret and down at the floor.  She is not in the Hale home to spy on them, neither is she here to be a snitch about the union.

Mary: “I don’t know anything.”   She croaks out as she shakes her head.  But the fear in her eyes tell a different story.

Margaret: “Mary, I’m not trying to make you betray your Father.  But if my fiancé Mr. Thornton and his family are in danger, I need to warn them.”

Mary: “Fee-antsy?”  Mary has not heard that word before.  At her level of society, people want to get married, then they do–no fuss nor waiting about it.

Margaret: “Mr. Thornton is my intended.” Mary looks perplexed.  “He is my betrothed?”

Mary: “Ain’t ya sure?”

Margaret: “Of course I am sure.  We would be wed this week if we could. But we are trying to save the mill by finishing an order–so the workers have employment to return to when the strike is over.”

Margaret instantly claps her hands over her mouth for having revealed what they are doing.  Although, the strikers already know what is going on due to Fanny.

Mary: “Aye!   We thought it ‘twere somethin’ like tha’.”

Margaret:  Feeling on edge–the week of physical and mental stress coming to the forefront–Margaret clasps Mary’s hand and squeezes it in friendship. “Cannot the strikers see that they are only hurting themselves with this strike?  How are they buying food to feed their families if they don’t earn their pay?”

Mary: “Saved up some.  And the Union helps.  And Father sees to those who can’t see to themselves.”  She stands proud, glad for her father to be such a respected man.

Margaret: “But will the striker’s cause violence at Marlborough Mills?”  She pleads.

Mary:  “I don’t know the particulars.” Mary looks around the small kitchen to see if anyone might be at a window or door listening. Then she continues in a barely audible whisper. “But you had best stay here tonight as ye planned, Miss Margaret.  You’ll be safe that way.”

Mary looks at Margaret earnestly.  Margaret’s worst fears are confirmed.  Marlborough Mills will be targeted for violence–this day. And all Margaret can think of is getting back to John–to warn him.  Margaret races up the stairs to her room, stuffs more clothes and toiletries into a satchel for herself. Then she quickly tells her father that she is returning to Marlborough Mills this afternoon, and she will not hear his objections as she leaves Crampton for Thornton Manor.

***
John had been uneasy driving his carriage laden with a week’s worth of food and supplies home from town by himself this Saturday morning after he had dropped Margaret off at her parents’ home at Crampton this morning.  He saw the angry looks of the strikers glaring at him as he passed them.  And he cannot blame them for their anger and frustration.  Being out of work two weeks on strike means many of the workers are without funds to purchase food by now–except what meager strike pay the union might be giving them.  John had heard that there was trouble over at Hamper’s Mill, some windows busted out with rocks.   And Slickson’s Mill, also had some vandalism.  But John reasons that violence was because the other Mills were unattended–the mill masters’ homes being far away from their mills.  Whereas, John lives in Thornton Manor on the Marlborough Mill grounds.  So John can watch over his property more closely.  Currently, John views that close proximity as a blessing, but it might soon prove otherwise.

After Williams helps John put away the mill supplies of paper and bailing wire to  secure the shipment bundles–while the Thornton Manor staff organize the food stuffs and manor supplies–John halfheartedly eats a sandwich and drinks some ale in his office at the mill.  He just could not handle answering his mother’s many questions about his trip into town and what news he had gained, because he does not want to worry her.  And Fanny is so seemingly oblivious to the danger they are under that John finds himself despairing of her ever finding a man whom she would want to marry who would put up with her.

It is now 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon and John puts his head in his hand and stares John-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&South-epi4-227-Dec1513ranet-crop-clrnumbly at the numbers on the ledger before him [(3) right]. If they can complete the Thompson order this week on schedule, their payment for it will not be reduced.  And John will be able to repay his bank loan and have several months worth of funds to ride out the strike if need be.  He just prays that the strikers will see sense and come back long before the first snow.  But the chill of November is almost upon them.  And it doesn’t look good. The only bright spot in John’s life is his fiancé, Margaret.  But even he is hard pressed to think that her parents will allow her to marry him if he loses the mill and loses his financial security.

Margaret quickly returns to Marlborough Mills–almost scaring Williams who wasn’t expecting her when she pounds on the imposing wooden gate. Margaret rushes into Thornton Manor to find John.  But he is not there–nor is Mrs. Thornton, nor Fanny.  Margaret cannot even find one of the maid servants about when she walks back to the servants’ preparation areas like the kitchen.  The manor is eerily quiet.  And Margaret thinks that John can’t have given them time off, it is not safe for them to walk about–especially since Margaret knows that the strikers are organizing against John and Marlborough Mills right now.

Then Margaret hears some muffled voices as she looks around the kitchen, and she notices that the double door pantry is shut with a broom handle through the door handles.  Margaret quickly removes the broom handle and opens the door to the pantry.  Inside, she finds the four Thornton maid servants cowering in the back, but no Mrs. Thornton, nor Fanny.

Margaret:  “What happened?  Where are Mrs. Thornton and Fanny?”  She asks pleadingly.

Head Maid Sarah: “It was that Stevens!”  Sarah is the oldest and most senior of the maids who comes forward and speaks up.  “He blocked us in here and took the mistress and Miss Fanny.”

Margaret: “Who is Stevens?”  She asks, not recognizing the name at first.

Head Maid: “He’s the one Master Thornton fired for smoking in the mill.  Stevens could have caused a fire and we would all be dead.”  The other maids tremble at the thought.  “Stevens said that he’ll show the Master what fire is.  We all thought he was going to burn us up. But that twere a bit ago.”

Margaret: “How long ago?” She asks frantically.

Head Maid Sarah: “Twere around half past–because the clock chimed not long after.”  She nods her head knowingly.

Margaret looks up at the kitchen clock.  It is quarter till four o’clock now–a bare fifteen minutes later. Margaret takes charge of the situation.

Margaret: “Right.  You three younger maids, I want you to secretly leave Marlborough Mills through the servant’s back entrance from the manor here.   No one who might be in the mill will see you.”  She obliquely refers to Stevens.  “You need to bring the police and anyone who can help with water buckets if this Stevens causes a fire.”  The girls all nod with wide eyes and quickly leave.

Head Maid Sarah:  “What about me?” She asks in consternation.

Margaret: “You’re coming with me.  I need someone with your clear head if we are to save the Thorntons.  What is your name?”

Head Maid: “Sarah, Miss Hale.”

Margaret: “Sarah, I’m Margaret.” Taking Sarah’s hand, Margaret implores. “Come with me, Sarah.  We need to find Mr. Thornton so he can help us find his Mother and Sister.”

Then they both race out of Thornton Manor and over to the Mill.

***

After earlier leaving Master Thornton after putting away their supplies in the empty warehouse next to Thornton Manor, Williams the Marlborough Mills Overseer Williams had sat at the gate eating his lunch.  But a chance glance back toward the warehouse made something catch his eye and he walks across the Mill yard and over to the warehouse.  He notices through a second floor window that a lamp is lit in the empty warehouse–but neither he nor Master Thornton would have left an open flame in there and he goes to investigate.  However Williams no sooner walks into the empty warehouse’s second floor staging room and he sees Mrs. Thornton and Miss Thornton cowering in the corner, then he is whacked over the head by Stevens. And Williams falls to the floor unconscious.

Fanny:   Fanny Thornton screams in terror.  “Eeeeeeeeee!”

Steven: “Tell her to shut her trap!”  He menacingly walks toward Mrs. Thornton and Fanny carrying a large wooden stick.”

Mrs. Thornton: Eerily calm, Mrs. Thornton surprisingly does as she is bid. “Fanny Dear, your histrionics now will not be helpful.”  And she knows that no amount of Fanny’s screaming will alert her son John to their predicament, since his office is in another brick insulated building across the Mill yard.

Steven: “Stay here!”  He brandishes his stick.   Then he shuts the door and blocks it closed.

Mrs. Thornton instantly rushes over to Williams’ still form.

Fanny: “Mother!  What about me?” The selfish girl asks.

Mrs. Thornton:  “Fanny, we need to see if Williams can help us!”  Mrs. Thornton sharply replies. “He breathes!” Mrs. Thornton sighs in relief.  “Mr. Wiliams, Mr. Williams. Can you hear me?”

Then Mrs. Thornton uses her fine linen handkerchief to staunch the blood coming from where his head took the blow from Stevens.  A few minutes later, Williams begins to rouse himself.

***

John hears rushing steps in the hallway outside his office and he instantly reaches into his desk drawer for a loaded pistol that he keeps there and trains it on the door, just in case.

Margaret: “John!   John!”  Margaret pounds on the closed and locked office door–he had done both as a precaution.  “Let us in!”

John quickly strides across the room to the door and let’s Margaret and what appears to be one of the maids into his office.

John:  “What is going on?”

Margaret: “It’s your Mother and Fanny!   They were taken by Stevens!”

John looks to their maid.

Maid Sarah:  She nods.  “Aye!  Stevens locked us maids up in the kitchen pantry and took the mistress and a wailing Miss Fanny at knifepoint.”

John: “Oh my god!  Where are they?”  His heart fills with fear, for Stevens is the fire starter and John worries that Stevens means to burn his mill and everyone in it to the ground.

Margaret: “We don’t know.  As soon as I found the maids, I sent the rest of them for help in town, and Sarah and I came to find you.”

John:   “Come with me!  It is better that you are out of the buildings until help arrives.”

***

Several dozen strikers from all of the mills converge upon Marlborough Mills late Saturday afternoon intending to do vandalism similar to what they did at the other mills to show Thornton that they mean business.  Nicholas Higgins is not leading them–he has tried to curb the violence since he feels that it does not help their cause.  So Higgins tags along to try to stop the strikers from doing more than merely breaking some windows.  Higgins will have his work cut out for him today.

The workers easily batter down the Marlborough Mills gate.  But they do not expect to see flames coming from the loading docks.

Higgins: “Lads!   The Mill is on fire!   Come!”  Higgins grabs an axe out of the hand of the man next to him and he races over to the burning dock and starts hacking away at it to get it away from the carding building on the other side of Thornton Manor.

Then Higgins notices a black plume of smoke rising above Marlborough Mills carding building beyond the dock and he sounds the alarm.  The mob hesitates.

At that moment, John, Margaret, and Sarah race out of the Mill Office building and are startled to see the mob.   John does not know if they are here to help him or to bury him.

John:    John races to the steps of Thornton Manor to be seen by the mob and pleads for John-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&South-epi2-175Dec1513ranet-clrtheir help [(4) right].  “Stevens has taken my mother and sister by force.  They are in one of these buildings.  I don’t know which one!  Will you help me save my family?”  John’s voice strangles with emotion as the flames reach higher in the carding building.

Meanwhile, several strikers have already joined Higgins in cutting away and putting out the flaming docks.  They are moving toward inside the carding building beyond where firefighting measures of water and sand are contained within to contain the flames.  But the bulk of the mob doesn’t move to help.Margaret-and-John-onThorntonManorSteps-BBCsNorth&South-epi2-161-Dec1513ranet-crop-clr

Then Margaret races up the Thornton Manor steps to make her appeal to the mob [(5) right].

Margaret:  “Please!  Help us!  We must find Mrs. Thornton and Fanny and bring them to safety!”  She pleads desperately–fearful that they are in the carding building that is on fire.

John can wait no longer, and he races down the steps and pushes his way through the mob toward the carding building–to aid the efforts to put out the flames and save his mother and sister.

Then a dirty and scruffily dressed Stevens makes himself known on the dock in front of the empty warehouse building on the opposite side of the mill yard.  In his hand is a bottle with liquid in it and a wick that he lights.

Stevens:  “It’s too late, Thorton!” He shouts with maniacal glee.  “Your kingdom will be no more.  My fires will see to that.”

Everyone turns to look at Stevens in stunned silence.  Then John sees the faces of his mother and sister in the second floor window of the empty warehouse building, Mrs. Thornton’s shouts and Fanny’s piercing screams pleading for their rescue–they can see the flames of carding building and know Stevens intent is to burn down the building they are in–with them in it.  Fanny becomes even more hysterical as she runs around the room trying to find a way out–there is none.  Mrs. Thornton can only helplessly watch her daughter’s not so irrational fear take hold until Fanny crumples to the floor and Mrs. Thornton goes to comfort her.  The staging room door is blocked with a stick through the door handles and they can’t get out.  Stevens lights the wick, and rears his arm back to throw it into a first floor window of the not so empty warehouse.

But before Stevens can toss the now flaming bottle through a window and into the building, a pistol shot rings out hitting Stevens in his shoulder and he drops the bottle to the ground into the dirt.  The liquid oozes out of the bottle and spreads its flames, but the strikers near it quickly kick up the dirt onto it, smothering the flames.  Then other strikers grab Stevens–none too gently by his injured shoulder and he screams in pain.

Meanwhile, the mob turns in the direction of the gun shot and see John Thornton on the lower steps of Thornton Manor with a smoking pistol in his hand.  John shot Stevens and he would do it again.  John lowers the pistol so that he doesn’t seem to be pointing at the mob.  But the mood of the mob is unreadable.  Master Thornton shot one of them–however wrong Stevens was.   John wonders if the mob will tear him to pieces now?   Or if they will they let him rescue his mother and sister first, then tear him to pieces?

Sensing the precarious nature of the situation, Margaret jumps into John’s arms  [(6) right] John-and-Margaret-at-the-mill-North&South-epi2-165-Dec1513ranet-clrto try to shield him from harm, since the strikers have rocks and bricks for breaking windows in their hands that they toss toward them.  Both John and Margaret are hit in their heads with rocks and they crumple together into a heap on the Thornton Manor front portico landing.   There is silence.  For the violence this day is more than any of them could have imagined.

Then a voice of reason shouts to the mob as he bounds up the manor steps.

Higgins: “What are you doing? Thornton was only trying to save his mother and sister from harm.  Go release Mrs. and Miss Thornton.”  He directs them.

So a few strikers dash into the warehouse to see to Mrs. Thornton and Miss Thornton.  They also find the Overseer Williams sitting up now, but still recovering from his head wound.

John and Margaret are also rousing themselves as Higgins gently jostles their shoulders.  They weren’t hit hard, only stunned.  John and Margaret first sit, then stand shakily.  Higgins tries to urge them inside to sit down, but John will not leave until he knows that his mother and sister are safe.

It is only a few minutes until first Williams the Overseer is helped out of the warehouse building.  Then Mrs. Thornton emerges.  But then, John sees Fanny being carried out by a big mill worker–she has fainted from her terror.

Then the soldiers come and start to disperse the mob by striking several nearby mill workers.   John rushes forward.
John:  “Stop!   Stop!  Leave them alone!”  The soldiers seeing Mr. Thornton, Milton Magistrate Thornton, they cease.

Captain: “Mr. Thornton! We were told that the strikers were causing violence at your mill–and we saw the smoke.”  He says.

John: “No!   The strikers did not cause violence, they prevented it.  And they put out the fire caused by that man over there.”  He points at Stevens.  “He is the one you want.  I shot his arm to stop him from throwing a flame into the warehouse.  The rest of these good people have only been a help to me today.  But for them, this mill would be burned to the ground and my mother and sister dead.”

Captain: “But your head is bleeding.”  He observes suspiciously.  He has been at several of these mills to quell the violence there.  And this is the first time a mill owner has refused his help.

John: John touches his forehead and it is wet.  He looks at his blood stained fingers.  “Well!  How did that get there?  I must have knocked my head when I was dashing about.”  John looks at the soldier pointedly.  For who will contest the word of a magistrate?

Captain: “Kkkh!” He coughs.  “Of course, Mr. Thornton Sir.”  He raises his eyebrow. The captain knows that he is not getting the whole story, but he can do little about it.  Magistrate Thornton out ranks him.  “Guards, take that man into custody.” He motions toward Stevens. And the soldiers haul Stevens away and retreat.

***

Margaret walks up to John’s side and places her hand in his. John turns to her and smiles.  She also has a bit of blood on her ear from where a rock grazed her.

John:   “Margaret, after seeing that Mother and Fanny are well, I must walk through the carding building to make certain there are no lingering flames.
Margaret: “You will be careful, John?”  She asks fearfully.

John: “I will.”

The Overseer Williams, now recovered, walks over to Mr. Thornton to see what he wants to do about dispersing the workers.

Williams:  “I will see to securing the carding building.  You see to your family, Mr. Thornton, Sir.”

John: “Thank you.”  He sighs, gratefully clapping Williams on his back.
Williams: “What should I do about the strikers?”

For the strikers had not left, curious for what Master Thornton was about–not setting the soldiers upon them.

John:  “I will deal with them.” He nods. “Come Margaret. I should have acted sooner and maybe the strike could have been averted.”

Margaret: “Huh?”  Margaret looks at John quizzically, but she follows him up the steps of the Thornton Manor Portico landing. Higgins walks down the steps and stands with the workers.

Looking out upon the strikers, John sees not a sea of angry strikers, but his workers–some of long standing–and some mill workers like Higgins who worked at other mills.  They are all hurting because of the strike.

John:  “Thank you for your help today.  I know that you initially came here to cause some damage.”  The crowd grumbles. John raises his hand. “But you didn’t.  You helped me save the mill–and more importantly, save my family.  For that, I am eternally grateful.”  He pauses.  “I should have done this earlier–I waited too long to negotiate with your union representatives.  But the morning you struck, I had planned to propose a counter offer regarding worker wages.”  The mob waits expectantly.  “My proposal–which I deem fair to workers, recognizing their longevity and expertise and applying increases on a graduated scale–is to raise wages by 1% for workers who have been employed with me for10 years or more.  Increasing wages by ½  % for workers of 5 to 10 years.  And newer workers will see an increase of one pence or more per week, depending upon their expertise. I have a mill to run and you all need employment.  Let’s get back to work for all of our sakes.”  Then Thornton looks at Higgins standing below him.  “Higgins, will you take my proposal back to the union and invite representatives to see me at 10 o’clock Monday morning?  I’m trying to complete the Thompson order this week so this mill doesn’t go under.  I need to stay afloat if I am to convince the other mill owners of the benefits of paying increased wages.”

Higgins: “Are you always this straightforward, Thornton?”  Higgins asks Thornton incredulously.  For Higgins worked for the secretive and back dealing Hamper.

John: “To a fault.  Ask any of my workers.”  John shrugs.  “And if you’re a good worker, you can come and work for me, too.”  Because John seriously doubts that Hamper will take Union Committeeman Higgins back.

Higgins: “Why would you do that?  Take me on?   You wouldn’t worry I would cause a strike?”  He asks with astonishment.

John: “Let’s just say that your character has been vouched for.”  John says dryly as he glances over at Margaret, who beams at him.  “And you have done me a great service this day. And I repay my debts.”  John nods at him.  Higgins nods back.

The strikers slowly disperse and return to their homes.

***

Then John and Margaret walk into Thornton Manor and find Mrs. Thornton fussing over Fanny lying inert on the front parlor’s large sette.

John: Walking over to his mother, he bends down and embraces her.  “Mother!”  He sighs in relief.  “I am so glad that you and Fanny are alright.”

Mrs . Thornton:  She turns to both John and Margaret with a solemn expression on her face. “Something is wrong with Fanny. She has fallen into some kind of waking faint.” They turn to look at Fanny and see her eyes open, but staring blankly.  “She will not respond to my entreaties.  It is as if, she is not there.  But yet, she breathes.”  Mrs. Thornton slowly turns her head to look forlornly upon her daughter.

Margaret:  Seeing the distress in both John and Mrs. Thornton’s face, Margaret takes charge. “I will send your maid Sarah for the doctor.  He will be able to help Miss Thornton.  Let us hope that rest and time are all Fanny needs to get over the shock that she has had this day.”

Margaret motions to Maid Sarah who had been hovering about.  Mrs. Thornton nods and sits down next to Fanny, clasping Fanny’s hand in hers–with Mrs. Thornton’s back to John and Margaret. Maid Sarah curtsies and leaves to get the doctor.

Then Margaret looks up at John, his forehead wound still seems to be oozing a bit of blood and she makes him sit down so that she can see it better.  Then Margaret takes out her fresh linen hankie and dabs at his wound to put pressure on it.  He winces a bit with the slight pain of it, but he does not complain.  Margaret kisses John’s other temple as she leans in to him, her arms about his shoulders.  And John embraces Margaret around her waist, burying his head in her neck in solace, stroking her back, even as she strokes his hair.  And John and Margaret stay in this attitude of caring and loving sympathy–comforting each other about this day’s harrowing events–until the doctor will arrive to tend to Fanny.

To be continued with Chapter 10

JT Love Lessons, Ch. 9 References, December 16, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #484)

1) “N&S:  John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo:  Richard Armitage as John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North  & South, 2004 was found at  richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ;  For more information about the wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29

2) Margaret Hale is Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC Drama “North & South”, episode 2 found at  richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=78469&

3) John Thornton is portrayed by Richard Armitage in the 2004 BBC drama “North & South”, episode 4 found at  richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/ns4-227.jpg

4) John Thornton is portrayed by Richard Armitage in the 2004 BBC drama “North & South”, episode 2 found at  richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-175.jpg

5) Margaret Hale (portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe) and John  Thornton (portrayed by Richard Armitage) on the steps of Thornton Manor trying to plead with the strikers in the BBC 2004 drama “North & South”, episode 2 found at trichardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-161.jpg

6) Margaret Hale (portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe) jumping into  John  Thornton’s arms (portrayed by Richard Armitage) on the steps of Thornton Manor in the BBC 2004 drama “North & South”, episode 2 found at   richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-165.jpg

Link to Previous Ch. 8:
 https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/ns-john-thornton-love-lessons-ch-8-pg-13-s-a-compromising-situation-december-9-2013-gratiana-lovelace-post-481/

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About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creative Writing, Fan Fiction, Love and Relationships, North & South, Richard Armitage, Romance and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 9 (PG-13, V): Trouble at Marlborough Mills, December 16, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #484)

  1. Pingback: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 10 (PG-13, S): Recovery and Romance, December 22, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #486) | Something About Love (A)

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