“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 18 (PG): Mrs. Thornton’s First Monday with Lissa and the other Dillard Children, January 13, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #500)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”,  Ch. 18 (PG):  Mrs. Thornton’s First Monday with Lissa and the other Dillard Children,   January 13, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #500)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(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 Pigott-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, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, 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, Margaret, and Fanny visited Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh’s home for tea in London.  Her brother Baird Ogilvy was also present. Fanny enjoyed holding baby Amanda and little Andrew MacIntosh was a spitfire.  But the somewhat outspoken Fanny–who rarely has a thought that she does not express–managed to charm the young Laird Baird Ogilvy and he asked and received permission from John to write to Fanny since his court case might not allow him much opportunity to see her again while she is in London as they are visiting Margaret’s Aunt Shaw and cousin Edith Lennox.  And earlier, Hannah Thornton had begun to nurse the mill worker child, Lissa Dillard.

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 18 (PG):  Mrs. Thornton’s First Monday with Lissa the other Dillard Children

Monday, Dec. 30th, Hannah Thornton had arisen early at five o’clock to write and send a letter by post to her son John–visiting his wife’s relatives in London–regarding the incident at the mill where the four year old Lissa Dillard was purposely injured and sustained a broken arm by her loom weaver jerking a shuttle at her while Lissa was trying to catch the cotton fluff from underneath.  She tells her son that she is nursing the child in their home and that she plans to have the overseer Williams sack the loom weaver.  And Hannah also mentions a few of her reform ideas–with regard to worker breakfasts, moving up opening Margaret’s day nursery project, and working living conditions.   Hannah hopes that John, Margaret, and Fanny will return to Milton swiftly so that they may begin these reforms.  Hannah also realizes that they will need their workers’ willingness and cooperation.

Walking into the mill loom weaving area at half past five in the morning–dawn barely peeking above the horizon filled with mist–Hannah seeks out their Overseer Williams.  Only a few mill workers are ambling about at present.  The bulk of their workforce will arrive soon to begin their six o’clock morning to six o’clock evening shift.
Hannah: “Mr. Williams!”  She calls to him with her hands clenched in front of her.

Williams is startled to see Mrs. Thornton in the mill this early since she usually arrives after the work day has started.  Nicholas Higgins also perks up his head questioningly.

Williams:  Hurrying over to her, he tips his cap to her. “Mrs. Thornton.  Is there something I may do for you?”HigginsisBrendanCoyleinNandSPromo-03Jun0613ranet-croptoHigginsonly_Hi-res-crop2

Hannah sees Nicholas Higgins [(2) right] standing against the wall and she beckons for him to also join their conversation. Williams bristles at Higgins being called over.  But Hannah knows that Higgins has gained John’s trust, and that is good enough for her.

Higgins:  “Mrs. Thornton, Maam.” He tips his cap to her with an expression of curiosity upon his face.  For though Higgins speaks his mind with Master John Thornton, Mrs. Hannah Thornton is altogether another matter entirely.

Hannah:  She nods at both men.  “Gentleman, Were you aware that a mill child named Lissa Dillard was purposely injured by her loom weaver on Saturday?  Her arm is broken.”  Hannah boldly questions them.

Williams:  His brow furrows.  “No, Maam!”  He is speaking the truth, for no one brought the incident to his attention.

Higgins:  He shifts his eyes cagily and nods his head.  “Yes, Maam.  It twere I that urged the Dillards to seek Dr. Ogilvy’s care for their daughter.  My apologies if it intruded upon your plans that evening.”Hannah-inMill-isSineadCusack-inN&S2004epi2-004Nov2913ranet-crop-hi-res-drk-crop2

Hannah:  “Our plans are not your concern!  The child needed medical care … and she is receiving it.”  Hannah hedges [(3) right], not yet wanting to admit that the child is staying with her while she convalesces, lest they think that she has grown soft.

Higgins: “Beggin yer pardon, Mrs. Thornton.”  He back peddles.

Hannah:   Hannah narrows her eyes at Higgins.  “The loom weaver who caused the girl harm must be sacked.”

Both Higgins and Williams eyebrows raise–but for different reasons.

Williams:   “If that is your wish, Mrs. Thornton.”  Williams fails to see how a fluff girl getting injured is the loom weaver’s fault.  But then, he is only the Overseer.  Then he admits begrudgingly.  “But I am not certain which loom weaver this girl worked for.  And I do not want to sack a good worker for nothing.”

Hannah:  “It is not for nothing, as you call it.  The loom weaver waited until the girl’s hand was near the underside of the loom and she jerked the shuttle across, hitting her and breaking her arm!”  Hannah says in disgust.  “That is not to be tolerated!”

Higgins:  “I know which weaver it twere, Maam.” He interjects as he glances at Williams.

Williams:   “Higgins, hold your tongue!  You’re just a worker, and a union agitator at that!”  Williams adds hoping to discredit Higgins in front of Mrs. Thornton. But it backfires.

Hannah:  “Be still!”  She glowers at Williams, then turns to Higgins.  “Higgins, tell us the loom weaver’s name.”

Higgins: “Yes, I am a Union Man. But no child should be hurt.  The loom weaver that hurt the Dillard girl twere Hilda Benton, Maam.”

Hannah: “Very well.  Williams, sack this Benton woman when she arrives–and tell her precisely why she is being sacked. … And I want Higgins to be present when you do it.”

Again, both men’s faces reveal their shock.

Williams:  “Higgins?  Why?  I am Overseer.  It falls to me to fire her, not to him.”

Hannah:  “But Mr. Higgins is one of the union representatives.”

Higgins: “I’m a Committeeman, Maam.”  He corrects her proudly.

Hannah:   “Of course.”  She nods, though she is unsure what his rank means in union hierarchy, she understands that owners must deal with unions now or suffer the dire financial consequences with strikes.  “Williams, I want no one to misconstrue Benton’s sacking.  It should be made clear that worker safety is uppermost in our minds–especially for the children who work here.

Williams:  “Yes Maam.”  He gulps.

Hannah: Then she states what must be stated.  “Oh and Mr. Williams, the little girl’s mother, Mrs. Dillard will be visiting Thornton Manor at break times.  That is allowed.”

Williams:  “Why is that?” He looks at her with incredulity.

Hannah: “Because the little injured girl, Lissa, is under my care for the first few weeks of her healing.  And her older sister and baby brother, will also stay at Thornton Manor with their sister Lissa during the day.”  She rolls her eyes, thinking again to herself that she is mad to do this.  Then she tries to give a logical reason for her largesse.  “The child was injured while working for us and I feel an obligation to make it right.”  That is only partially true, for Mrs. Thornton does have a heart.  “So Mrs. Dillard will visit her healing daughter once or twice a day so the child is made easy by her presence. Then she will collect the other children to go home with her at night.”

Higgins:  With a twinkle in his eye, he asks. “And you say that the older Dillard daughter and the baby are to visit you as well, Mrs. Thornton?”

Hannah:  “Yes.  They will sit with Lissa during the day to keep her company.”  Both men look at Mrs. Thornton with astonishment.  “Well, I cannot sit with Lissa all day long.  I have responsibilities.”  She bristles, even as she tries to look stern.  But thinking about the sweet little Lissa is a tender concern of hers.   “But I do not want this private arrangement discussed.  Do I make myself clear?”  She looks at both men pointedly.

Williams:  “Very good, Mrs. Thornton.”  He nods his head to leave to find the worker to sack.  And Higgins nods his head and starts to follow after him.

Hannah:  “Oh and one more thing.”  Both men turn back to her, waiting to hear her next order.  “Mr. Higgins, we would like to expand the worker canteen to offer a modest breakfast option that workers may pay for if they choose and eat before they start their work day.”  Both men look at her in total surprise.  “Well fed workers produce more cotton fabric.”  She rationalizes to them. “So if Mr. Higgins will consult with his daughter Mary, the canteen cook, about the logistics of starting this venture, and then get back to me about when that expansion might begin, I await your response.  She and the other canteen workers will, of course, have their salaries increased since they will have additional duties.”

Higgins: “Very good, Mrs. Thornton, Maam.”  He bows to her, a head nod seeming not enough for this boon to the workers–and for his daughter.  “I will ask her today and we’ll try to get back to you tomorrow.”

Hannah: “Thank you.  Hopefully, Mr. Thornton will return in a day or two and the rest of the arrangements can be worked out with him.”

Higgins: “Other arrangements, Maam?”

Hannah:  “Yes.  Didn’t I mention it?  Mill worker children thirteen years and under will eat for free–at breakfast … and at lunch.”  She looks at them imperiously. “But I want no mention made of this to the workers until the details are worked out to Mr. Thornton’s satisfaction.”

Williams: “Of course, Maam.”  He blanches.  Williams thinks that Mrs. Thornton has lost her senses.

Higgins:  “As you wish, Mrs. Thornton.”  He nods, while trying to stifle a small smile of sincere regard for the formerly dour and stern Mrs. Thornton.

Hannah: “Well?   What are you standing around for? Get to work!  And sack that woman!”  Hannah turns on her heels–her billowing skirt swishing around her as she leaves in a cloud of cotton fluff.


Mrs. Thornton walks out of the loom weaving building and over toward her home, Thornton Manor.  It is about a quarter til six o’clock in the morning.  Mrs. Dillard has just arrived with her six year old daughter Leanna and her baby Timmy.  Mrs. Dillard is still uncertain about this arrangement, but she brings them today to Thornton Manor as Mrs. Thornton requested of her.

Mrs. Dillard: Standing a few feet away from the swiftly walking Mrs. Thornton, Mrs. Dillard calls out to here. “Mrs. Thornton, Maam.  We are here.”MrsDillardandLeanna-inNorth&South-epi2-11h23m27s17-Jan1214GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-bkgrndmanip

Mrs. Thornton turns her head in the direction of the voice and sees Mrs. Dillard and her other daughter [(4) right] and her baby son in a basket on the ground.

Hannah:   “Ah, yes.  Good!   You’re on time.  Follow me.”  She gestures at them to follow her, and they do–right up the front steps of Thornton Manor.  Whereas Mrs. Dillard thought that they might be using a servants’ entrance.

Once inside the Thornton Manor Foyer, they find Maid Sarah stands patiently waiting to assist them as requested by Mrs. Thornton.

Maid Sarah: “All is made ready, Mrs. Thornton.”  She curtsies.

Hannah: “Good.  Mrs. Dillard, my maid Sarah will escort you and your daughter and baby son up to Lissa’s bed chamber.  Though Lissa is probably still asleep, so you might have to wait until lunch time to actually chat with her.  And Sarah will also assist your daughter and baby here in bathing and putting on clean clothes.  I have some of my daughter’s old play day dresses that might fit your daughter.  And we have put up a baby changing area.” Seeing Mrs. Dillard’s wide eyed expression, Mrs. Thornton continues.”   If they are to be in Lissa’s sick room, they must be clean.”  Hannah intones without malice.

Mrs. Dillard:  “Of course, Maam.  Thank you.”  Mrs. Dillard is only mildly chastened.  She had tried to clean up her children as best she could before coming today, but their meager living conditions do not allow for more than their current ragged and slightly dirty appearance. “My elder daughter is Leanna, and my baby boy is Timmy.”  She hugs her baby to her closely.  Mrs. Dillard is a little worried that Mrs. Thornton’s kindness might be masking Mrs. Thornton wanting to take her children away from her.

Hannah:  Seeing  Mrs. Dillard’s worried look, Mrs. Thornton adds.  “We will expect you at midday to take luncheon with your children.  And if you wish, when you come back at the end of the work day to collect Leanna and Timmy, you may bathe in Lissa’s bed chamber’s bathing room.  I have also sorted out an old work dress and coat of my own, from years past, that you may change into and keep.”

Mrs. Dillard:   Mrs. Dillard shakes her head in astonishment for Mrs. Thornton’s great kindness.  “I do not understand, Mrs. Thornton.”

Hannah: Taking Mrs. Dillard’s rough hewn hand in hers, Mrs. Thornton says softly.  “Mrs. Dillard, Your family’s plight has opened my eyes to many things–and reminded me of when my own family struggled in difficult circumstances.”  Mrs. Dillard gazes at her questioningly.  “We have not always lived as we do now.  When my husband … died sixteen years ago, we lost everything.   No one would help us and we were reduced to living little better than you do now. That was when my daughter Fanny was your daughter Lissa’s age now of four years.” Hannah’s face saddens as she remembers the early years after her husband killed himself and they barely survived–but for her own self denial and her son’s diligent work ethic.  Mrs. Dillard is astonished to hear such a revelation. Then Mrs. Thornton smiles warmly at Mrs. Dillard.  “So, as mothers, we must band together and help each other.”

Mrs. Dillard: Tearing up, Mrs. DIllard says softly. “Thank you, Mrs. Thornton.”  For in Mrs. Dillard’s not quite thirty years, she has seen little kindness from others above her station.

Hannah:  “You are welcome, Mrs. Dillard.”  She smiles at her, then turns to her maid. “Sarah, Please show Mrs. Dillard and her children up to Lissa’s bed chamber, then assist the children in bathing and changing before their having breakfast with Lissa.”

Maid Sarah: “Yes, Maam.”  She nods.

Mrs. Thornton turns and leaves to go to the breakfast room for her early morning breakfast as usual–thus also giving the Dillard family some private time together.


Maid Sarah:  She curtsies to the Dillards and smiles cordially.  “I’m Sarah.  This way, Mrs. Dillard and children, if you please.”

Mrs. Dillard:   “Thank you.”  She smiles warmly.

Shifting Timmy to her other hip, Mrs. Dillard and her daughter Leanna walk up the stairs to Lissa’s third floor bed chamber.  Mrs. Dillard was in this fine house yesterday and remembers its beauty well.  But for Leanna, she is awestruck.

Leanna:  “Mama, this home is so pretty, it is like a palace!”  Leanna stares in wonderment at the finely polished wooden banister railing on the stairs, the woven hallway floor runner, the gaslight wall sconces illuminating the hallway, and the gilt edged pictures lining the hallway walls.

Mrs. Dillard: “Yes, it is a very fine home.”  Mrs. Dillard nods in acknowledgement.

Sarah:   “Mrs. Thornton has only the best furnishings.”  Maid Sarah states pridefully–as one who maintains those furnishings.  “Here is Lissa’s bed chamber.  But she is still sleeping.  So we need to be quiet.”  She puts her finger to her lips.

They walk into little Lissa’s pink walled bedchamber.  Lissa sleeps soundly on one side of her queen sized bed–with her splinted broken left arm lying on top of the covers.   Mrs. Dillard hands Timmy to her daughter Leanna and she walks over to the sleeping Lissa, gently brushing the hair from her eyes.  Then Mrs. Dillard leans down and kisses her daughter’s forehead.  Lissa’s sleepy eyes flutter open.

Lissa: “Mama.”  Lissa sighs delightedly upon seeing her mother’s kind face.Lissa-on-pillows-recuperating-Jan0514MSOfcClipArt

Mrs. Dillard:  “I’m sorry to wake you, Love.  But I have brought Leanna and Timmy to keep you company today.”  Mrs. Dillard smiles.  “And I will see you again at lunchtime.”  Lissa smiles brightly to have her family around her again [(5) right].

Sarah: “Mrs. Dillard, I’ll just go fetch Miss Lissa’s milk so Mrs. Thornton can put her medicine in it while you chat with Lissa for a few minutes.  Then after the children have their baths, I will also go fetch their breakfasts and bring them up for them.”  Maid Sarah curtsies and leaves.

Leanna:  “Mama.   Did she say she was bringing us food?”  Leanna asks hungrily.  For though her Mama had given her some porridge to eat this morning, it was very little.

Mrs. Dillard:  “Yes she did, dear.”  She caresses her daughter’s face.  “Now you be good and do as Mrs. Thornton and Miss Sarah say.”

Leanna: “I will, Mama.”  She nods obediently.

Mrs. Dillard:  Gingerly sitting on the edge of the bed–not wanting her dress to soil it–Mrs. Dillard asks her daughter Lissa. “How are you feeling today,  Lissa?”

Lissa: “My arm hurts.”  She pouts.  “But when they give me some medsin, it doesn’t hurt so much for a little while.”  Then Lissa scrunches up her nose.  “Mama, I have to use the chamber pot.”

Leanna:  Leanna looks around the room.  “I don’t see one.”

Mrs. Dillard: “It’s in the bathing chamber. I’ll help you.”  She smiles and gestures to the adjoining room.

So, Mrs. Dillard assists Lissa getting out of bed and they all troop into the bathing chamber and Mrs. Dillard lifts Lissa up onto the toilet chair.  Leanna looks on stupified as her little sister Lissa calmly sits on the toilet chair and pees into it.

Lissa:   Lissa  points down at her legs to explain to her sister.  “It has a chamber pot under it.”  She smiles as she swings her legs to and fro happily as she pees.  For although they have a chamber pot at home, the one here gets emptied more often.  So there are less stinky smells.  In fact, Lissa had been so used to stinky smells–including people’s body odor–that she didn’t know what nice smells were until she came here.

Afterward, Lissa wipes herself with a thin paper disposable sheet from a pile on a table next to the chamber pot like she had been shown to do, and then she drops the soiled tissue into the chamber pot.  Fanny Thornton had read about such tissues being used in China, and it was the one innovation that she suggested that her family found agreeable and adopted [(6)].

Leanna: “Well I never seen such like as this!”   Leanna marvels.

Lissa: “It’s nice.”  Lissa smiles.   “But the chamber pot chair is too high for me to get up there by myself.”   She shrugs her shoulders.

Then Lissa’s mother helps her wash her hands in the wash basin and guides the children back to the bed chamber. And Maid Sarah returns with Lissa’s milk mixed with some medicine powder for her to drink.

Maid Sarah: “Here we are.” And she helps Lissa sip her milk.

Mrs. Dillard: “Well, I’d best be getting to work.”  She kisses each of her children’s foreheads.  “You have a good morning and do as they say.”  She admonishes Lissa and Leana.

Her children nod obediently to her.

Maid Sarah: “We’ll take good care of ‘em for ya, Mrs. Dillard.”  Sarah smiles warmly.

After Mrs. Dillard leaves to go to the mill for work, Maid Sarah helps Leanna bathe and then they both bathe baby Timmy. Both Leanna and Timmy Dillard are put into fresh clothes that Mrs. Thornton found packed away from days gone by.  Sarah leaves the children to themselves briefly as she attends to some of her duties.  Leanna walks over to Lissa sitting up in bed and she sits on the bed while holding Timmy.

Leanna:  “Lissa, are we dreaming we are in heaven?   Or are we really here?”

Lissa:  She smiles.  “I like this dream, now.”   She says cryptically.  “The lady in black is very nice to me.” She is referring to Mrs. Thornton.

Leanna: “And to us.  Mama is happy, too.  It is ever so nice to see her smile.”

Lissa:  She nods her head.  “Uh huh.”  Then she bites her lip.

Leanna:  She squeezes her sister’s hand. “What’s wrong, Lissa?”

Lissa: “I’m glad Mama came to see me today.”  She looks hesitantly at her sister.  “I thought Mama had given me away–like the Tilson Mama did with her new baby.”  Lissa pouts as tears brim in her eyes.

Leanna: “Now, now, Mama didn’t give you away.  You’re just here with Mrs. Thornton to get better.  And the Tilson’s had six children already, they couldn’t feed another one.  So they gave their baby to a family who had no babies.”

Lissa:  “Still.”  Lissa’s lip trembles as her eyes tear up.

Leanna:  “Now don’t you worry.  Mama and us will see you every day.  And when you’re better, you’re coming home.”

Lissa: “Promise?”

Leanna:  “I promise!”   Leanna smiles and gives her little sister a big hug.

Lissa: “Good!   Then I’ll get better fast.”  Lissa smiles.  Little Lissa is grateful for Mrs. Thornton’s care.  It is just that Lissa’s home is where her Mama is.

Maid Sarah returns a half hour later with Mrs. Thornton who sits with the children while they eat breakfast of toast and jam, eggs, and milk–Mrs. Thornton even holds Timmy and feeds him while Leanna eats her breakfast.  Then the three children remove their outer clothes and they are bundled into bed with Lissa for a morning nap after Mrs. Thornton animatedly reads them part of a story by Hans Christian Andersen, called The Princess and the Pea [(7)].   They had never heard the like of such a fairy tale before.Hannah-sewing-isSineadCusack-North&South-epi3-019-Jan1214ranet-crop-sized-hi-res-clr1-bkgrndmanip

Then during the mid-morning as the children nap, Mrs. Thornton sits at their bedside doing her needlework [(8) right] smiling contentedly to herself–she is definitely getting in grandchildren practice.


At lunchtime while Mrs. Dillard eats lunch with her children in Lissa’s bed chamber, Hannah has luncheon with Dr. Cameron Ogilvy in the dining room after he examines Lissa.   Dr. Ogilvy walks into the Thornton dining room smiling.

Hannah:   “And how is Lissa doing, Cameron?”  She may use his first name since they are alone.

Cameron:  “Ach!   The lassie is fine.  She has a rrrosy bloom on herrr cheeks and though herrr arrrm is sorrre frrrom the healing bone brrreak, she is bearrring up well.”

Hannah: “I am glad to hear it.”  She smiles pleasantly at him.  “I have written to John about the situation and begun to make some preparations for some of the mill worker initiatives.  Though John will no doubt wish to make some alterations.”

Cameron:  Taking her hand gently in his hand, he kisses the tops of her fingers and asks besottedly.  “And what of our prrreparrrations, Hannah me Dearrr?”

Hannah: “Our preparations?”DrOgilvy-isGrahamMcTavish-asDougalMacKenzie-inOutlander_Dec2513outlanderwikia2-sized

Cameron: “Forrr ourrr marrriage.  I trrravel to me Airrrlie Castle estate in Marrrch.  It would be lovely to have a Sprrring wedding  in the Highlands.”   Cameron [(9) right] states matter of factly.

Hannah: “March?  Two months from now?”  Hannah blanches.  She is only just warming to the idea of having a suitor, when she becomes engaged to him.  And now a wedding?  “Isn’t that a bit … precipitous?  Would not the Summer, or even next Autumn be more suitable?”

But Hannah’s delay tactics will not work on her betrothed.

Cameron: “Nay, me Dearrr.   I mean to have you as me wife–as soon as ye can get yourrr drrress made.”  He grins broadly.

Hannah: “But Cameron!   Why such haste?   We are not young and in love–eager to begin our lives together.”  She purses her lips primly.

Cameron:  Cameron looks at her horrified.  “Ach!  But I am eagerrr.  And though you may only feel fondness for me now, I am in love with ye Lass.”  He stands up from his chair, then he kneels by her chair side and lightly puts his arms around her.  “We have both been alone too long.  I wish to be a comforrrt to you.  And I wish to have your comforrrt.”  He smiles adoringly at her.

Hannah:   She breathes deeply at seeing the tender way that he gazes at her.  “Yes, but Cameron, you agreed that we would be a friendship marriage.”  She reminds him gently, but tartly.

Cameron:  “Aye.  But therrre are many forrrms of frrriendship.”  He smiles seductively.  He will win her heart yet–even if it takes the rest of his life.

Hannah: “Be that as it may, you should really sit down in your chair and eat your meal.  What if a maid comes in and finds you thus?”  She blushes.

Cameron: “They won’t come until ye call forrr them.”   His eyes twinkle.  “Now!  May I have a kiss beforrre we rrresume our luncheon?”

Hannah: “Really Cameron, your request for daytime kisses is quite unusual.”  She demures.

Cameron:   “Oblige me?”  He winks impishly at her.

Hannah:  Hannah rolls her eyes with amusement.  Then she leans in and kisses his forehead.  “There!   Now sit down.”

Cameron: “Ach!   I’m not yourrr bairrrn, I’m your betrrrothed.”  He tilts his head as he leans in to kiss her on her lips.

Hannah:  She tilts her head obligingly.  “Shall we marry in Autumn?”  She negotiates.

Cameron:   His lips are inches from her lips.  “Marrrch.”

Hannah:  Her lips are mere breaths away from his lips.  “Summer?”  She counters.

Cameron:  “Marrrch!”  He counters.  Then he leans in and kisses her tenderly for several moments, embracing her and stroking her back.  Hannah returns his kisses.

Hannah: “March.”  She sighs.  Then they kiss some more before returning to their luncheon.  For all of Hannah Thornton’s dissembling about the nature and depth of her feelings for Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, he is making progress in endearing himself to her.

At the end of the work day, Mrs. Dillard collects her children.  Though reluctant at first to be an imposition upon Mrs. Thornton’s hospitality, Mrs. Thornton renews her invitation for Mrs. Dillard to bathe herself in Lissa’s bathing chamber.  So, Mrs. Dillard relents and bathes herself and then puts on Mrs. Thornton’s old work dress and coat that she gave her which is much warmer than what she had before.  And Mrs. Thornton has also set aside some old but clean and sturdy bed linens, towels, soap,  and such that she gives to the Dillards–with Mr. Dillard and their older boy Roland helping Mrs. Dillard carry it all home.

When they reach home in the Princeton District, the Dillards clean and scrub their one room home as best they can before using the new towels and linens.  Mr. Dillard and their son also wash up more thoroughly than usual.  Then  they enjoy a meal of stew vegetables with a hint of beef made from the food donations they received from Dr. Ogilvy’s home on Saturday when he first tended Lissa.  That night, the Dillards go to sleep mostly clean, well fed, and more contented than they have been in a long time.  All they need to be a completely happy family is for their daughter Lissa to return home to them when she is well.

And for Thornton’s Marlborough Mills, all that remains is for John to return to pick up the threads of Hannah Thornton’s hoped for mill worker reforms when he returns from London with Margaret and Fanny.  However, Fanny might have a different plan.

To be continued with Chapter 19

“N&S:  JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 18 References, January 13, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #500)

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

2) Nicholas Higgins image (cropped) was portrayed by Brendan Coyle in the BBC’s 2004 drama “North & South”, image found http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/NandSPromo/album/NandSPromo-03.jpg

3) Nicholas Higgins image (cropped) was portrayed by Brendan Coyle in the BBC’s 2004 drama “North & South”, image found http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/NandSPromo/album/NandSPromo-03.jpg

4) Mrs. Dillard portrayed by Emma Ashton and her older daughter Leanna (uncredited) in North & South epi2 (11h23m27s17) Jan1214 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized-bkgrnd-manip

5) Image representing Lissa Dillard propped up on pillows recuperating at Thornton Manor is an MS Office Clip Art image (with the right side of the pillow manipped to not be washed out) Jan0514 Gratiana Lovelace

6) Toilet paper history was found at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper

7) A Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales book published in 1837 contained the story, The Princess and the Pea and other eight other tales found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen ; and for more history on Children’s literature visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_literature

8) Hannah Thornton image sewing in Lissa’s bed chamber (color, background manip) was portrayed by Sinead Cusack in the BBC’s 2004 drama “North & South”, image found at  richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-019.jpg

9) 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

Link to Previous Ch. 17

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
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3 Responses to “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 18 (PG): Mrs. Thornton’s First Monday with Lissa and the other Dillard Children, January 13, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #500)

  1. Kitty says:

    Love you bit about Lissa healing more quickly b/c she gets to see her mother. A friend of mine who, when he was very young, had quite an extended stay in the Shriner’s hospital while he recovered from surgeries on his arm. His mother was not allowed to visit during his months there. He felt her absence to the point of pain. I am sure there were many patients back in the day who would have recovered or even survived had their family been allowed to sit w/ them and care for them.


    • Hi Kitty,
      Thanks for your lovely note! Children need TLC from loved ones as much as they do medicines–or “medsin” as Lissa calls it. I can’t imagine a hospital today that would prevent a parent from visiting or even staying with their child–even if the parent has to be garbed up like a hazmat worker so as not to transmit germs. The power of the loving parent-child bond transcends the science to explain it.

      I had a several days to a week stay (I don’t recall) in the hospital after a bladder surgery when I was about 5 years old. Happily, I was in a room with another little girl–who had sadly broken her leg, crushed under a tractor when she was playing where she shouldn’t have been. So one or both mothers were with us most of the time. And despite receiving excellent care by the nursing staff, I was ever so glad to get home.

      Love & Hugs! Grati;->


  2. Pingback: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 19: Some Return Home to Milton, Some Stay in London Part I, January 15, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace Post #501) | Something About Love (A)

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