“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 12: Merry Match Making Mirrrrth, December 26, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #489)
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, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, and Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, 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: After the Mill incident ordeal, John and Margaret shared their love with each other for the first time as they pledged their love before god–just not before witnesses. That came the following Saturday with a quietly elegant and loving wedding attended by close family and friends. So John and Margaret began their lives as a married couple by snuggling together in their bed their first Sunday morning together. All was just as it should be. But John and Margaret are not the only romance brewing.
“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 12: Merrry Match Making Mirrrrth
While Hannah Thornton was not pleased, she had acquiesced to John and Margaret inviting Dr. Cameron Ogilvy to their wedding. She understood their reasoning–or so she thought–that the doctor had been so helpful to them after the Mill incident ordeal. And of course, Hannah was grateful for Dr. Ogilvy’s tender care of her daughter, Fanny.
But in the intervening seven weeks, John has taken Dr. Ogilvy on retainer as de facto physician for his Marlborough Mill workers–an unheard of concession to workers in their era, but John insists that having healthy workers means higher production–the good doctor seems to pop up at Thornton Manor for tea and dinners quite regularly. And that unsettles Hannah Thornton. And Hannah is unaware of Dr. Ogilvy’s admiration of her since he has yet to tender to her an invitation to dine with him and then attend a concert. So John and Margaret try to play matchmaker by inviting Dr. Ogilvy to Thornton Manor as often as they can without arousing suspicions. They are so blissfully happy as newlyweds, and they want others to be happy as well.
And it was one thing for Hannah Thornton to acclimate to having Margaret come to live at Thornton Manor (more about that later)–with her husband, John Thornton, Hannah Thornton’s son. But it is altogether quite another thing for Hannah Thornton to have the weekly male presence of Dr. Ogilvy. The only constant male she Hannah Thornton has known for the last sixteen years is her son, John. And Dr. Ogilvy’s Scottish ways wear on Hannah Thornton–his style of Scottish attire [(2) right]–plaid not being a pattern that Hannah Thornton has ever worn, though thankfully he wears trousers and not kilts–his deep Scottish voice that trills his r’s incessantly, and the piercing twinkle in his eye when he looks at her. No, Dr. Ogilvy is far too unsettling for Mrs. Hannah Thornton.
It is now a frosty Saturday morning in December, the 21st to be exact, and John had dashed out after lunch so quickly that his mother, Hannah Thornton, wondered what he was about. But John’s wife Margaret did not wonder–because she knows John’s purpose and intentions are to enlist Dr. Ogilvy’s aid in selecting and bringing a Christmas tree to Thornton Manor, as Margaret sets about to making their home more festive. Looking up from her needle work, Hannah Thornton gazes quizzically at Margaret who seems to be braiding something, but she cannot tell what it is.
Hannah: “Margaret? When is John expected back with our Christmas tree?”
Margaret’s head instantly shoots up in surprise as she looks wincingly at her mother-in-law.
Margaret: “How did you find out?”
Hannah: “I think Fanny mentioned overhearing your order to cook to have some hot mulled cider and cakes made read for tea time today–since John will be extra hungry for cutting down and hauling our Christmas tree all the way here.”
Margaret: “Oh!” Trust Fanny to not keep a secret. Then Margaret treads carefully, as she has done these first seven weeks as John’s wife and as the new mistress of Thornton Manor. “John wants it to be a surprise.” However, Margaret thinks that the real surprise will be Dr. Ogilvy joining them again.
Hannah: “Hmmm.” Hannah knows that the Christmas tree is Margaret’s doing. And unlike Margaret’s redecorating here and there of Thornton Manor–to make it more cozy and inviting for John, as Margaret tells Hannah without recognizing her cheekiness–Hannah is actually looking forward to the Christmas tree.
Outside, John pulls the carriage up to Thornton Manor. Then he and Dr. Ogilvy hop down and lift out the large evergreen spruce tree that they cut down in the nearby woods. It is so large that he takes two of them to haul it up the stairs and into Thornton Manor. Hearing a commotion in the hallway, Margaret goes to investigate while Hannah continues her embroidery.
Margaret: “John! You’re home!” Margaret rushes to her husband, disregarding that they have an audience in the person of Dr. Ogilvy. Then biting her lower lip in worry, she adds. “I was worried that you might get caught in the snow storm that seems to be worsening outside.”
John: Gathering her into his arms, John sighs. “Margaret, my love! It is just snow.” Then John kisses her soundly–also ignoring Dr. Ogilvy’s presence.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Kkkhhh!” Dr. Ogilvy coughs loudly to get their attention. He is not embarrassed by their display of affection. But Dr. Ogilvy is, perhaps, a little jealous of the happy couple’s loving solicitude since he hasn’t had the nerve to ask Hannah Thornton out yet.
John: “Sorry Cameron.” John smiles sheepishly as he comes up for air and Margaret blushingly nestles her face into his broad chest. “But technically, Margaret and I are still newlyweds.”
Dr. Ogilvy: “Tis not a censurrre, laddie. I merrrely wanted to rrrmind ye of me prrresence.” He trills his r’s mightily with his heavy Scottish accent. “Ye kiss yerrr wife as much as ye want, Laddie. Twill only hasten yerrr need for me serrrvices.” He adds with a twinkling smile.
Both John and Margaret blush at his reference to their having a baby at some point in the future. It hasn’t happened yet, but they look forward to children whenever it does happen.
John: “Let’s bring the tree into the parlor.” John says to Dr. Ogilvy as he grabs onto one side of the tree. “Margaret, is Mother present?” John asks for Dr. Ogilvy’s benefit.
Margaret: “She is.” Margaret smiles knowingly as Dr. Ogilvy’s face reddens in embarrassment
Dr. Ogilvy: “Ach!” Dr. Ogilvy looks heavenward for romantic assistance.
Following behind Margaret, John and Dr. Ogilvy drag the Christmas tree into the parlor with much huffing and puffing–whether they feel that they are truly exerting themselves or not. For it is a truism that just as women of their time might primp and pamper themselves in the hope of receiving a pleasing compliment, men are just as eager to receive praise for their efforts as they put on a manly show.
Hannah: Slowly looking up from her embroidery, Hannah stifles a small smile at seeing John with the surprise Christmas tree. “John! What is this!?!” Hannah feigns surprise for John’s benefit.
John: “It’s a Christmas tree, Mother. Cameron helped me find it and cut it down.” John smiles broadly and gestures to his companion.
Hannah: “Oh! Dr. Ogilvy. How nice to see you again.” She smiles politely. The doctor has already doffed his tam hat–showing his balding but pleasing shaped head–and a mass of neatly groomed grey beard, with snowflakes in it.
Dr. Ogilvy: Striding over to her, Dr. Ogilvy removes his tree sap covered gloves and lifts her hand to his lips. “And I you, Madam.” Then looking about the room, he asks. “I do not see, Miss Fanny. Does she not want to help trrrim the trrre?” He smiles affably.
Hannah: Quickly removing her hand from Dr. Ogilvy’s grasp, she says curtly. “Fanny is out Christmas shopping today with Ann Latimer.”
For you see, though Dr. Ogilvy always makes a perfunctory mention of or compliment to Fanny Thornton when he visits Thornton Manor, Hannah Thornton has come to believe that the doctor as formed an attachment to her daughter, Fanny–which she does not think is at all suitable, given that his age is nine years her own senior. That was John’s mistake in thinking as well–until Dr. Ogilvy clarified that his admiration was reserved for John’s Mother, Hannah Thornton. Not much progress has been made on that front. So John and Margaret’s matching making efforts will need to improve–or at least, be more specific–if Dr. Cameron Ogilvy is to have any chance with the formidable Hannah Thornton.
John: John groans. “I cannot wait until Fanny is married and her shopping bills are someone else’s burden. Ha ha ha!” He rolls his eyes mirthfully as Margaret giggles.
Margaret: “Ha ha ha!”
Hannah: “John! That is unfair of you to portray Fanny in an unfavorable light. Her spending has become more parsimonious since the Mill incident.” Hannah bristles–for Fanny’s spending is still rather extravagant for the sister of a man who so recently regained his financial footing.
Margaret: “Oh I do hope that Fanny doesn’t get caught in this snowstorm.” Margaret frets.
Hannah: “Fanny had already told me of her invitation to stay the night at the Latimers precisely because of the impending weather.”
John: “And, because Fanny did not want to give up her shopping trip, I presume.” He rolls his eyes again with a smile. Hannah Thornton gives her son a reproving glare.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Ach! Miss Fanny is a bonnie wee lassie, entitled to herrr excurrrsions now and again.” He smiles brightly at Hannah Thornton.
Though Dr. Ogilvy likes Fanny–as he does all of his patients–he does think that she is a trifle spoilt. But he will praise Fanny Thornton to the skies if that will make her mother, Hannah Thornton, look kindly upon him for praising her daughter. But he does not realize that his praise is being misinterpreted by Hannah as him being romantically interested in Fanny–and Hannah purses her lips.
John: “Cameron! This unpredictable weather makes travel dangerous. And it is beginning to get dark. So you must stay the night with us as our guest. And you will make our numbers even for dinner.” John hints, rather obviously.
Dr. Ogilvy: “You’rrre verrry kind, Laddie! I accept!” Dr. Ogilvy has never spent a night as a guest under the Thornton roof–well, except for when he tended Miss Fanny after her Mill incident ordeal.
Margaret: “I will inform cook that we will be four for dinner–and that we would like our tea now.” Margaret smiles and exits the room to do that.
After Margaret returns in a few moments, John and Dr. Ogilvy set the spruce tree in its stand and place it in the parlor’s front bay window as Margaret directs him. Of course, there was much debate as to the most suitable location for their Christmas tree. And Hannah is not altogether certain that placing candles on the tree is altogether safe, but she acquiesces. Then Margaret produces the burgundy and gold fabric and ribbon braided garland that she made and they place it festively around the tree. Finally, Margaret reveals her boxes of homemade and store bought ornaments, which they all have a hand in placing around the tree. When they are finished, they stand back to admire their creation [(3) right]–Margaret nestled into John’s arms with her back against his chest, and Hannah and Dr. Ogilvy stand on either side of them.
John: “The tree looks beautiful, Margaret. Thank you for doing this.” John kisses her forehead.
Dr. Ogilvy: “It is a fine trrree, my dearrrs.”
Margaret beams at the praise. Even Hannah Thornton nods to Margaret in acknowledgement.
Margaret: “Thank you, everyone.”
Dr. Ogilvy: He smiles wistfully. “Such festive celebrrration makes me wish me bairrrns and theirrr little ones werrre visiting this yearrr.”
Hannah: “They are unable to visit you at all?” Hannah asks worriedly, for with her son John just recently married–and her daughter likely to be in a year or two–Hannah does not wish to be separated from them at holiday times.
Jane carries in the tea tray with cakes and hot mulled cider on it and John and Margaret move to the sette to pour.
Dr. Ogilvy: Now having Hannah Thornton’s undivided attention, he replies. “Nooo. London is too farrr forrr them to trrravel with the little ones. And I canna get away frrrom me prrractice until afterrr the new yearrr.” The more senior physician in Milton, Dr. Donnalson, being too infirm at 77 years to see patients outside of his office in the cold and snowy Winter time.
Margaret walks over to the Christmas tree where Hannah Thornton and Dr. Ogilvy are standing–to give them their cups of hot mulled cider and offer them their plate of cakes. They take each gratefully.
John: Then John calls out from across the room. “Oh and Cameron, I have improved the spirits of your cider by adding some rum–as I did to my own.” John smiles and Dr. Ogilvy nods his thanks back to him.
Hannah: “John! You will make Dr. Ogilvy think that we are intemperate.” She has a look of horror on her face for the men drinking alcohol before dinner.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Nay, my dearrr, Mrs. Thorrrrnton! Young John is merrrely being polite in offering me rum. We gentlemen will take ourrr tea with the ladies, to enjoy yourrr pleasant company–but tea is not rrrealy a man’s drrrink.” He states zestily as the effects of the rum begin to have an effect on him.
Hannah Thornton nods wincingly at him. Dr. Ogilvy is not a bad man in her eyes. And she does wonder at his statement referring to himself as a gentleman. Balancing saucers with cups and cake plates is unwieldy standing up. So Hannah motions for everyone to have a seat where small occasional tables are adjacent.
John: Striking up a new thread of conversation, John inquires more about the good doctor. “Cameron, your last name Ogilvy sounds like a Scottish clan name if I remember my Scottish history from school.”
Dr. Ogilvy: Setting down his cider cup and saucer, he replies. “Aye Laddie. Me Clan Ogilvy ancestors werrre the Earrrls of Airrrlie in Angus Scotland.” [(4)]
Margaret: “Really? You are descended from Scottish nobility?” Margaret asks interestedly and steals a glance at her mother-in-law who sits impassively to her left on the sette. Hannah Thornton rarely betrays he thoughts or feelings. The men are sitting in chairs facing the ladies.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Aye! But we had a wee spot of trrrouble with the crrrown of England overrr 100 yearrrs ago when we backed the opposing side and they strrripped us of ourrr titles.” He is getting his dander up now. “Werrre it not forrr that, me son would inherrrit the title.”
John: “Cameron! Would that make you the present Earl of Airlie?” John asks excitedly, thinking that this is better and better news for Ogilvy in trying to win over his mother. For his mother will surely recognize that the good doctor has gentile qualities.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Aye, I am. But me title is not rrrecognized outside of ourrr Clan. Well, outside of Scotland.” He smiles benignly.
Margaret: “Oh. So you had to work to support yourself?” She asks caringly.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Ach! No Lassie! They took ourrr title, but not ourrr lands norrr ourrr forrrtune. I became a doctorrr because that was me calling–and because me elderrr brotherrr inherrrited the title. But sadly, he died last yearrr without issue.”
Hannah: “And you became the Earl?” Hannah enters the conversation after initially being silent and reflecting privately upon this revelation.
Dr. Ogilvy: “I did, Madam.” Dr. Ogilvy smiles warmly and respectfully at Hannah Thornton–with a humility belying his elevated status. For in Scotland his rank is only outshone by a duke. “And I must trrravel home to Scotland afterrr the firrrst of the yearrr to attend to some estate matterrrs that my agent says rrrequirrres me perrrsonal attention.” He smiles sanguinely. Though Dr. Ogilvy grew up in a wealthy family, they have never put on airs–despite being the heirs of the Earldom of Airlie. Then he shows a pocket miniature of his home to them. “This is our ancestral home, Airlie Castle–I carry it with me always as a reminder of me family.” [(5) right]
Both Margaret and Hannah Thornton lean over to look at the miniature drawing.
Margaret: “Charming.” She sighs. And John and Hannah Thornton nod approvingly. “So you are more appropriately addressed as Lord Airlie.” Margaret’s eyes are wide as saucers, also thinking that this will help elevate the good doctor in her mother-in-law’s eyes.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Aye! But as I said, the title is not widely rrrecognized outside of the Clan Ogilvy rrregion in Angus, Scotland”. He shrugs his shoulders sanguinely. “Ourrr family hopes to rrrectify that someday–and we have made application to the English Parliament–but theirrr grrrudges are long, and even if the title is eventually fully rrrestored, it prrrobably won’t happen in my lifetime. So I am Drrr. Ogilvy, if you please.” He lifts up his hot mulled cider cup with rum in it and takes another gulp, the warm liquid sliding smoothly down his throat.
Hannah: “Though, as you say your title is not recognized in England, the Earl of Ogilvy’s wife would be an hereditary countess.” Hannah Thornton is liking the doctor better and better. She now sees his sometimes forthright ways as that of a gentleman. And she thinks that her daughter Fanny might like to be a countess. “So is your son married, Dr. Ogilvy?” She asks hoping to recommend her daughter to a younger generation.
Dr. Ogilvy: Noting Hannah Thornton’s interest in his family history, he warms to the task of revealing more about himself in the hope that she may get to know him better. “No. It is my elderrr daughterrr Angharrrad Ogilvy MacIntosh whose childrrren are me littlest bairrrns.” Bairrrd Ogilvy, me son, is not marrried. And my dearrr late wife and I would not have chosen that name forrr him if we had rrremotely thought that he would one day inherrrit the title.” He sees their quizzical looks. “Forrr as the heirrr prrresumptive, my son is now technically, Lairrrd Bairrrd Ogilvy. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
John, Margaret, and Hannah Thornton also laugh: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Of course, Dr. Ogilvy’s intentions for Hannah Thornton have still not been made clear to her as she ponders her daughter Fanny possibly being matched to his son–rather than to the good doctor, himself–with no thought for herself.
Later that evening after bathing and readying himself for dinner, Dr. Ogilvy exits his guest bed chamber in his borrowed dinner jacket and modern cravat from John. The suit Dr. Ogilvy wears [(6) right] is tailored in a modern style that Margaret had urged John to have made–but that John had not yet had the courage to wear so modern a style in his mother’s presence. And Dr. Ogilvy has trimmed his beard and wears not even a hint of plaid reminiscent of his Scottish ancestors.
John had suggested to Dr.Ogilvy that his mother’s inclination for formal dinners with guests would require more formal attire of him. And since Dr. Ogilvy is stranded at Thornton Manor during the snowstorm this night, he acquiesces, feeling a tad constricted in this unfamiliar suit since he is more broad shouldered than John. But Dr. Ogilvy has another sip or two of the rum that John had put in their ciders–to fortify him in deciding to request Hannah Thornton join him at the Holiday Concert. And Dr. Ogilvy feels quite pleasantly disposed to putting his case to Hannah Thornton this night. He just has to realize first that he needs to clear up a misunderstanding–that he wants to court the mother, not the daughter.
As he walks down the hall, Dr. Ogilvy happens to meet Hannah Thornton also exiting her bed chamber to head downstairs. She is wearing a black satin gown and some sparkly gems that catch his eye. Though relaxed by the rum that he had consumed this afternoon, Dr. Ogilvy still mindful of his manners. It is just that he is even more straightforward than usual as they enter the parlor and chat while waiting for John and Margaret to arrive. In particular, fixing his gaze upon the still lovely Hannah Thornton who smiles cordially at him [(7) right].
Dr. Ogilvy: So Dr. Ogilvy pays her a compliment. “Mrs. Thorrrnton, would it be too bold of me to say that you look lovely this evening?”
Dr. Ogilvy thinks that Hannah Thornton can be in no doubt about his interest in her–and it only remains for her to say yea or nay to him. He will need to work a little harder than that.
Hannah: “I thank you for the compliment.” She says graciously and nods politely at him.
However, Hannah Thornton is uncertain why Dr. Ogilvy wishes to compliment her when it is her daughter whom she thinks he is interested in. And she furrows her brow.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Ach! That twitch in yerrr eyebrrrow tells me that you do na believe me. But I am in earrrnest!”
He emphasizes most sincerely as he leans in to her so closely that she could count the hairs in his beard and mustache. And she leans slightly away from him.
John and Margaret enter the parlor at this moment arm in arm, but they stop immediately upon seeing Dr. Ogilvy and John’s mother Hannah seemingly tete-a-tete.
John: “Kkkh!” He coughs to get Dr. Ogilvy and his mother’s attention. “Cameron, are we interrupting a private conversation? We could meet you in the dining room.” He offers. Margaret stays silent, but smiles.
Hannah Thornton has a confused look upon her face as she turns toward her son and his wife.
Hannah: “No.” She sighs with a perplexed look upon her face.
John: “Well, hop to it, man!” John smiles broadly as he tilts his head to indicate the mistletoe ball [(8) right] hanging above Cameron’s and his mother’s heads.
Though John does not think that his mother has any special regard for Dr. Cameron Ogilvy yet, his mother has warmed to Margaret–at least to a tepid state from her initial glacial view. So John believes that miracles can happen. Hannah Thornton looks up to where her son is indicating and gazes disinterestedly at the mistletoe ball. Dr. Cameron Ogilvy will surely need that miracle.
Margaret: “Mother, …” For Margaret has colloquially taken to addressing Mrs. Hannah Thornton as her husband John does, as Mother, after being married to John and Hannah’s daughter-in-law for over seven weeks. “… John and I will be in the dining room and ask the footman to delay serving us for ten minutes.
Before Hannah Thornton can reply to Margaret, John twirls his wife around and they swiftly exit the parlor–closing the door behind them. Hannah stares at their retreating forms–and then the closed door–with astonishment.
Hannah: She says under her breath. “Why did they leave so suddenly?”
Dr. Ogilvy: “Perrrrhaps to give us some prrrivacy, Madam.” Gently taking Hannah Thornton’s hands in his hands, Dr. Ogilvy tells her plainly. “I fancy ye, me Dear!”
Hannah: Her brow furrows. “I beg your pardon?” She asks quizzically, then she notices him holding her hands in his and she looks up at him in shock.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Ach! That twerrr not how I meant to say it. Blurrrting it out! Hhhh! Forrr some time, I have held ye in me highest esteem.” He slowly repeats the words he has practiced.
Hannah’s chin lowers as her mouth begins to gape open. Of the many vagaries she could have expected in life, this circumstance was not one of them.
Hannah: “Uh … hmm … perhaps we should go into dinner–while the food is warm.” She stammers. Hannah is having a fight or flight moment–with wings sprouting even as she speaks.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Nay, Hannah me dearrr.” He abjures in a hushed tone as he uses her Christian name familiarly. “I have starrrted to tell ye how I feel, and I can na stop now–even though I can scarrrce believe I am finally telling you.” The rum emboldens him to present his case to her.
Hannah: “I do not think this is wise, Dr. Ogilvy.” She leans back from him, even as he still clasps her hands in his.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Norrr do I!” He exclaims ruefully. “But I can na go any longerrr, without telling you of my deep admirrration and rrrespect for you.”
Hannah: “Thank you.” She nods politely at his compliement.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Then do ye consent forrr me to courrrt ye?” He asks hopefully.
Hannah: “Oh!” She looks at him as if she cannot comprehend his question. Then she has a dawning realization that she has a suitor. She, Hannah Thornton, widow for sixteen years, has a suitor! And at her age of fifty years old! “Well, this is a strange turn of events!” She shakes her head. “And here I had thought that you wanted to court Fanny.”
Dr. Ogilvy: “Nay! Yer Laddie John had thought that, too. And Miss Fanny is a bonnie wee lass. But she can na hold a candle to you, me dearrr Hannah.” He brings his hand up to her cheek. “If you would but give yourrrself the chance to get to know me betterrr as I court ye, then if ye rrrefuse me I will at least know that I had given my all.”
Hannah: “Refuse?” She stares at him in utter shock.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Aye!” He smiles at her smoulderingly. . “I love you, me gerrril. And I wish to make you me wife–me countess. Yourrr grrrace and beauty and strrrength of charrracterrr arrre without comparrre. The diamond and pearl Airlie tiarrra could grace none betterrr than yourrr dearrr head.”
Hannah Thornton opens and shuts her mouth several times–at a loss for how to respond to her Scottish doctor suitor. Then her mind snaps into clarity.
Hannah: “Dr. Ogilvy …” She tries to retrieve her hands from his grasp, but he will not release her.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Camerrron. Ye must call me Camerrron. I have na hearrrd me name spoken by one so fairrr as you since my own dearrr wife died five yearrr ago.” Dr. Ogilvy sighs like a lovesick Scottish terrier–and he is about as tenacious as a terrier as well..
Hannah: “Uhhhh! That is just what I was going to say, Dr. …” He raises his eye brow. “Cameron, we … we are both widowed. And perhaps in memory of our late spouses, we should remain friends.”
Dr. Ogilvy closes his eyes, lowers his head, and shakes his head.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Nay! Life is for the living!”
He pulls her more into his arms as they continue to stand underneath the mistletoe. Startled, Hannah puts her hands on his chest, intending to push him away.
Hannah: “Cameron, please! We barely know each other.”
Her hands press flat against his broad expanse of chest–his thin dress shirt not concealing his muscles underneath. And Hannah quickly removes her hands from his chest–as if she were burned. But it is Dr. Ogilvy’s burning heart for Hannah Thornton that is laid bare before her.
Dr. Ogilvy: “And that is my fault–fearrring your rrrejection.” He nods sagely. “I have wasted the time since the Mill incident when I should have been asking you out to dinnerrrs and to concerrrts so you could get to know me betterrr–after yerrr Laddie John gave me perrrmission to apprrroach ye.”
Hannah: “John did what!?!” She looks at him incredulously. Then she begins to understand. “So that is why you have come to tea so often. And you haven’t formed an attachment to my daughter Fanny?” She clarifies.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Nay, me Dearrr, Hannah. My purrrpose in coming was always forrr you.”
Hannah Thornton’s mind is racing back to every conversation that she has ever had with the man, and she now views their interactions in a wholly new light. To say that she is astonished would be to underestimate her response at the moment.
Hannah: “You love me?” She looks at him searchingly.
Dr. Ogilvy: “Aye!” He sighs. “With my deepest and most sincerrre rrregarrrd and admirrration.” He states passionately.
Hannah ponders Dr. Ogilvy’s declaration. A romance? At her age? He waits patiently as he still holds her tenderly in his arms.
Hannah: Her voice softens. “Will you unhand me, Sir?” She requests politely–with no rancor, nor malice. “Our dinner is getting cold.”
Dr. Ogilvy: “Aye!” He sighs dejectedly, heartbreak evident on his saddened face. But he summons all of his dignity to bear her rejection as a gentleman should when a lady has made her choice known to him. “Then all that rrremains is forrr me to have the privilege of escorrrting ye to dinnerrr, Madam.”
With the utmost gentility, Dr. Ogilvy offers Hannah Thornton his arm, and she lightly places her arm around his arm. And they walk with heads held high out of the parlor and toward the dining room down the hallway. Hannah’s mind is still a jumble of conflicted emotions. As they reach the entrance to the dining room, John and Margaret look up to see the stone faced Dr. Ogilvy and the impassively serene countenance of Hannah Thornton. Then Hannah Thornton turns to Dr. Ogilvy and says graciously.
Hannah: “Dr. Ogilvy, Cameron, if you are otherwise not engaged, we would be pleased to invite you to share Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our family as an overnight guest again.”
Hannah Thornton is warming to the idea of having someone admire her. She has been so focused on others–John and his redemptive rise to prominence and also her daughter Fanny’s welfare– that she has had little time to think about herself. It has been a long time since Hannah was first courted by John’s late father–over thirty three years ago when she was but seventeen. And she finds that upon reflection, she is not wholly opposed to the idea of having a suitor now that John has his wife Margaret and Fanny will marry in due course.
A small glimmer of hope shines in Dr. Oglivy’s eyes with Hannah Thornton’s invitation–and the small smile curling up at the corners of her lips as he gazes at her wistful countenance.
Then Dr. Ogilvy looks up and spies another clutch of mistletoe hanging above their heads over the doorway. It seems that the newly married Margaret Thornton situated several such mistletoes around Thornton Manor to give her ample excuse to kiss her husband–whether they were in their bed chamber or not. Hannah Thornton looks up and she also sees the mistletoe above them–and she looks at Dr. Ogilvy with surprise–partially for him, but certainly about herself. John and Margaret are spell bound, smiling at each other, wondering what will happen next.
And Hannah Thornton smiles radiantly back at Dr. Ogilvy [(9) right].
To be continued with Chapter 13
N&S: JT Love Lessons, Ch. 12 References, December 26, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #489)
1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitageas 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) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish in the role of Dougal MacKenzie in the Starz tv series Outlander found at http://outlander.wikia.com/wiki/Dougal_MacKenzie
3) Thornton Christmas Tree is a manip of:
a) Victorian Christmas Tree (masked) found at Eastlake Victorian Blogspot at http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2522/4199407242_253178195d.jpg ; and
b) North & South, Epi 2 Masters Dinner Gratiana Lovelace Cap Dec2213 (22-17h10m27s28)
4 Information about the Earls of Airlie, of the Scottish Clan Ogilvy of Angus Scotland may be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Ogilvy
5) Airlie Castle in Angus Scotland is the ancestral home of the Earls of Airlie, of the Clan Ogilvy, image found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airlie_Castle
6) Dr. Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish at the 2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey London Premiere found at http://i2.cdnds.net/12/50/618×829/movies-the-hobbit-uk-premiere-10.jpg
7) Hannah Thornton is Sinead Cusack in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South Dec2413GratianaLovelaceCap (17h03m28s183)-Manip1-crop-brt
8) The traditions of kissing under the mistletoe are believed to be of Scandinavian origin as far back as 1808. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe ; the mistletoe ball graphic was found at Mistletoe-Kissing-BallDec2013GinaWellborn-resized-manip found at http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Ujq_oE9QKI/Ulc-U_w3AFI/AAAAAAAACFo/97KIPQFtWrk/s1600/Kissing-Ball.png, and it turns out that Ms. Wellborn is a romance author whose website is http://www.ginawelborn.com/
9) Hannah Thornton is Sinead Cusack in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South Dec2413GratianaLovelaceCap (17h03m28s183)-Manip1-crop-brt