“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 42 (PG-13): Baird Ogilvy Seeks to Win Back His Fiona, Part 1, March 31, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #539)
[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters: 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, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, etc] [(1) story logo]
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 from the previous chapter: Baird Ogilvy’s letters of apology to Fanny and to John Thornton reach John at his Mill Office the latter morning of Wednesday, April 2, 1851. John has to admit that he is impressed with Baird’s humility. John and Margaret give Fanny her letter from Baird to read–the contents of which he can only surmise–and he allows her to read Baird’s letter to John. However, Fanny’s numbed and shocked reaction to both letters–with her walking woodenly to her bed chamber–concerns them both. Once in the privacy of her bed chamber at Thornton Manor, Fanny rereads Baird’s letter to herself while clutching the lovely pale pink rose that was with the letter–and she weeps.
“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 42 (PG-13): Baird Ogilvy Seeks to Win Back His Fiona, Part 1
After a week of the torment of not seeing nor hearing from Fiona/Fanny Thornton, Baird Ogilvy is at his wits end–and he has not had replies from Fiona nor her brother John to his letters to them. Baird knows that he was imprudent and foolish in leaving Fanny standing in the middle of the dance floor at the ball–and then not calling upon her the next day to apologize, nor even sending her a note or his card.
And Baird feels that he should at least apologize to Fiona for his boorish behavior and make amends, even if they will not marry. Or so that is how he rationalizes to himself and to his sister Angharad as to why he will travel to Milton this Wednesday, April 2nd, 1851–first to seek his father, Dr. Cameron Ogilvy’s, guidance, then to speak with John–before Baird hopes to have an audience with Fanny. Angharad merely smiles wanly and hopes that her brother and Fanny can patch things up.
Upon reaching Milton in the early afternoon of Wednesday, April 2nd, Baird leaves the Milton Train Station and he immediately hires a carriage to take him directly to his father’s home that his also his medical practice building. But before he can knock, the large wood paneled front door opens and Baird is greeted by his father’s new medical partner, Dr. Miles Houghton.
Dr. Miles: “Oh! Hello!” He says cordially and inviting the young man before him in. Baird looks at the man curiously–forgetting who he probably is. “My apologies for answering the door directly, but our medical assistant is out with a cold.” Then Dr. Miles [(2) right] says in a jocular fashion as he leans into Baird. “It wouldn’t do to have people become more sick when visiting their doctor. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
Baird: “Indeed.” Baird nods his head in agreement as he studies the man before him. “And you are?” Baird asks pointedly, and a tad impolitely since he did not introduce himself.
Dr. Miles: “Oh! My deepest apologies.” He offers since the man before him–Baird–is smartly dressed. “I am Dr. Ogilvy’s new medical partner, Dr. Miles Houghton at your service.” Dr. Miles bows his head to Baird–still not knowing who he is.
Baird: “I have come to see me …”
Dr. Cameron: Stepping out of his office, Cameron begins to request something of his colleague. “Miles? Would you be so kind as to …”
Father and son stare at each other. Dr. Miles seems a little perplexed with the wary manner of their stares.
Dr. Miles: “Dr. Ogilvy, this young man is here because …” He stops, because Baird did not tell him. So he turns back to Baird. “I am so sorry, I am scatterbrained today. But is there some medical assistance that you require?” Dr. Miles asks, because the young man before him looks perfectly healthy, albeit tired looking due to lack of sleep.
Baird: “I did not say.”
Dr. Cameron: “Baird! I did not expect to see you so soon.”
Baird looks at his father with alarm, but says nothing since they are not alone.
Dr. Miles: “Oh! Do you know this gentleman, Dr. Ogilvy?”
Dr. Cameron: “Yes, Miles. This is my son, Baird Ogilvy. Baird, this is my new medical partner, Dr. Miles Houghton.”
Baird: “Sir!” Baird stretches out his hand and shakes Dr. Miles’ hand out of politeness.
Dr. Miles: “Well, I do say that this is a real pleasure, Mr. Ogilvy.” He smiles cordially at Baird. “I gather from your father that you are an attorney, in London, Sir.”
Baird: “That is so.” Baird says politely, but in a clipped fashion. He is in no mood for polite conversation. “But do not let me detain you. You looked as though you were going out.”
Baird wants to quickly consult with his father about Fanny. Cameron’s scowl deepens, guessing why Baird wants them to be alone. And frankly, Cameron does not know what to tell Baird about the situation.
Dr. Miles: “Thank you for understanding that I must leave you so quickly after having just met you. I am to pay some home visits.” Then he turns to Dr. Ogilvy again, now addressing him informally since they are in the company of his partner’s son. “Cameron, after the Bakers, I thought I would head to Thornton Manor and attend to Mrs. Thornton.” He smiles hopefully.
Baird: “Something is wrong with Margaret or the baby?” Baird asks worriedly.
Dr. Cameron: Explaining to his son. “Baird, Margaret was overdoing it and had a fainting spell last weekend. She is on bed rest.” Then he turns back to his medical partner. “But she seemed fine this morning when I left her, Miles.” He emphasizes his medical partner’s first name with a measure of distaste. Cameron is old school–and prefers formality, despite his casual attire [(3) right] today since he had no patients today–him still being on his wedding trip. “Though I was not able to return there for lunch due to discussions with the painters and wallpapers.”
Dr. Miles: “Yes, you saw her this morning.” He says disappointedly, for he has an ulterior motive for wanting to go to Thornton Manor. Then he brightens. “But that was over six hours ago. So, I think that I will just pop in and check on her.” He pauses. “And I thought that I would see if Miss Fanny’s spirits have improved since last night.”
Baird stares daggers at Dr. Miles, but says nothing–not knowing what this man does or does not know.
Dr. Cameron: “I could not tell you.” More to the truth is that he will not tell him.
Dr. Miles: “I wonder if a bouquet of flowers might cheer her?” He looks earnestly at Cameron.
Baird: “Are you acquainted with Miss Thornton?” Baird asks through gritted teeth.
Dr. Miles: “We have only just met. But she is delightful, and so kind, and compassionate. Why she saved Mrs. Thornton’s life when she fainted!”
Baird: “What?” Baird looks at his father suspiciously.
Dr. Cameron: Cameron gives the short versions of what happened. “When Fanny returned home from … well, from London last Friday, it was she who found Margaret feeling unwell at the Mill School and who insisted John take her home and that Margaret seek medical attention.”
Baird: “Of course. That is like her.” He nods his head, thinking that Fiona’s flight from London–and from him–had at least some positive outcome, her helping Margaret.
Dr. Miles: “Yes you would know of her gentle nature since Miss Thornton is now your sister with your father’s marriage to her mother.”
Baird’s face is becoming redder as he listens to this Dr. Miles spout views about his Fiona. Cameron tries to avoid any unpleasantness by practically shooing his medical partner out the door.
Dr. Cameron: “You had best be on your way, Miles–seeing to your patients.”
Dr. Miles: “Of course. But if I were to take Miss Fanny some flowers to cheer her up, Cameron, do you have an inkling what she would like?”
Baird: Without thinking, Baird replies. “Pink roses. That is what she likes.” Then he silently curses himself for revealing it.
Dr. Miles: “Oh? Well, thank you. You are most helpful. I hope that we get a chance to know each other better, Baird.” He says politely, then he nods to both Cameron and then Baird and leaves.
Baird sneers at his father after Dr. Miles leaves.
Baird: “He seems rrratherrr smarrrmy!” Baird spits out testily.
Cameron: “Miles is alrrright. And he is a good doctorrr.” Cameron rolls his eyes. “Come into my office.” The father and son walk down the hall and sit in the two chairs in front of Dr. Ogilvy’s large desk. “Why are ye herrre, Baird?”
Baird: “Fatherrr, I am herrre to see Fiona.” Cameron stares at his son. “Have John and Fiona not rrreceived me letterrrs?”
Cameron: He shakes his head. “No. At least, not as of this morning when I left Thornton Manor after breakfast.” Baird looks at him quizzically. “The renovations to our private quarters upstairs are not complete. So Hannah and I will stay at Thornton Manor for a few days.”
Baird: “Ah!” He nods his head. But he is not concerned with his father’s and stepmother’s living arrangements at present. “But what of Fiona? That man said that she had low spirits.”
Cameron: “That man?” He raises is eyebrow at his son’s fit of pique.
Baird: “What is he to Fiona?”
Cameron: “I do not know–other than that he has expressed interest to John in inviting her to a musical concert.”
Baird: Seething, Baird balls his hands into fists at his side. “He admires her.”
Cameron: “Yes. Did ye na think that others would like Fanny, just because you disliked something she said?”
Baird: Baird shakes his head and sighs. “Don’t remind me, Fatherrr. I have been an idiot! I let my grrrudge about our titles not being rrrecognized in England cloud my judgement.” Baird looks up despondently at his father. “Have I lost Fiona forrreverr? Will she na take me back?”
Cameron: “Ye arrre asking the wrrrong perrrson. You should speak to John, and see if he will allow you to see Fanny.”
Baird: “That is my intention. I sent my letters last Friday to John and to Fanny, stating my plan to return to Milton today–and to hopefully have an audience with Fanny.”
Cameron: “Then ye had best get to it! Leave yourrr bags herrre– you may retrrrive them laterrr beforrre you check in at the Milton Mayfair Hotel.” Baird looks at his father–and his seeming lack of hospitality questioningly. “The painting and wallpapering fumes are still dissipating in our apartment above, and ye can na stay at Thornton Manor either.”
Baird: “Yes Fatherrr.” Baird nods his head resolutely to his father. He will see Fanny today.
After leaving his father, Baird decides to walk to Marlborough Mills–to further clear his head. However, Baird does not want to run into that Dr.Miles attending to Margaret at Thornton Manor, and having the presumption to admire his Fiona. Baird hopes to find John at his mill office, so that they may have a discussion about Baird’s needed apologies to Fiona/Fanny. Baird is announced to John Thornton at his Mill Office.
Clerk: “Mr. Baird Ogilvy, Mr. Thornton, Sir.” John Thornton’s assistant announces.
John: John stands and stiffens as he speaks slowly and deeply. “Baird. I was expecting you. Please sit.” John motions to the chair in front of his large desk. Then John sits in his desk chair behind his desk [(4) right]–putting both literal and figurative distance between them.
Baird: “Thank ye for seeing me, John.” Then Baird blurts out. “How is my Fiona? I hear from Father that she is sad.”
John: John abruptly pushes away from his desk and stands up, gripping the edge of his desk as he growls at Baird–all pretence of civility gone. “You astound me! You treat my sister as if she is an errant child–humiliating her in front of all of London Society, so much so that she calls off your engagement understanding? And you think that she would not be sad? You disgust me!”
Baird: In shock for John’s unusual outburst and tirade, Baird sputters back. “But … but I apologized in my letters. I know I was wrong. It was my fault.”
John: “And are you going to debase yourself in front of London Society to make amends to Fanny? I doubt it.” John snorts disdainfully.
Baird: Baird hangs his head in shame. “I will do whatever I can to make amends to Fiona. I love her. She is my life.”
John: “A pity you didn’t feel that way a week ago!” John fumes. “Fanny has been depressed and weeping nearly the whole time since she returned home–except when she is tending to Margaret or helping at the Mill School in Margaret’s stead.”
Baird: Baird nods his head in apology. “I know about Margarrret’s fainting, Fatherrr told me when I stopped at his medical offices on the way herrre. I’m sorry to hear that. I should have asked strrraight away how she was.”
John: “Hhhhh!” John sighs deeply. “She is resting and improving. But she has given me quite a scare.” Now the additional reason for John’s anger comes out as he adds more quietly. “I would not know how to go on without her, were something to happen to Margaret and our baby she carries.” John is ashen faced from the strain and worry he has been under the last five days.
Baird: “But she is faring betterrr?” He asks solicitously.
John: “Yes. Thank you.” John’s shoulders that had become so tense when he was shouting at Baird, now relax a bit. Then John reveals a further complication. “Baird, we only received your letters late this morning, just before lunch. I gave them to Fanny to read after lunch, some two hours ago.” John pauses.
Baird: “Oh! How did Fiona rrrespond to my apologies?” Baird asks beseechingly.
John: “Not well. Fanny maintained her composure in front of Margaret and I, but only just, before she went to her bed chamber. I do not know if Fanny later joined Mother at the Mill School this afternoon, or if Fanny remains secluded in her bed chamber.”
Baird: “I know that I can na expect Fiona to forrrgive me. Though I still hope that we will rrrresolve this and be marrrried, I will do whateverrr Fiona wishes. But at least I must heal the injurrry that I have done to herrr.” Baird says dejectedly as he looks [(5) right].
Baird wants to rush over there to see Fanny, but John urges restraint. Then John and Baird have a heart to heart talk where Baird further assuages John’s concerns–and Baird asks John’s permission for him to ask Fanny to marry him. John is cautious–knowing how his sister can be, and knowing how Baird can be. So John clearly lays out his version of his sister’s sensibilities–while also mentioning that she seems slightly changed, matured during the last few months, possibly due to Baird’s influence. But that Fanny has been a spoilt girl all of her life–and that she will probably expect to continue to be spoiled somewhat. Though John believes Baird’s and Fanny’s recent schism is 75% Baird’s fault and only 25% Fanny’s fault–but John acknowledges to himself that she is not entirely blameless in this matter.
John: John stands up straight and puts on his suit coat. “As long as your intent is to apologize to Fanny–and not to cause Fanny further pain–I will allow you to see her. But if you so much as make an excuse or a rationalization for your behavior–or if you blame her in any way–I will throw you out of my mill myself!” John warns sternly as Fanny’s protective older brother. Baird nods solemnly. “Very well. Follow me, and we will first see if Fanny is at the Mill school.”
Baird: “I only want to see my Fiona happy again.” Baird nods and follows John through the Mill building passageways. Baird has surmounted one hurdle–John Thornton. Now, Baird must appeal directly to his Fiona.
To be continued with Chapter 43 (On Wednesday, April 2nd)
“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 42 References, March 31, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #539)
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) Dr. Miles Houghton image is Jeremy Northam as George Knightley in 1995’s Emma found at http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/9100000/JAH_Mr-Knightley-Jeremy-Northam-jane-austens-heroes-9172974-1024-567.jpg
3) Dr. Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish in an interview with TORN’s Greendragon found at http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/01/04/86069-graham-mctavish-talks-exclusively-to-theonering-net/
4) John Thornton is Richard Armitage in North & South epi4 (22h46m08s1) Dec2813 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-manip-sized-brt-clr
5) Baird Ogilvy image (masked background, sized) is Simon Woods as Charles Bingley in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice found at http://image.hotdog.hu/user/Angelinna/magazin/Pride-and-Prejudice-2005-pride-and-prejudice-2005-32212524-264-400.jpg