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John Thornton Meets Miss Hale, Mill Owner * Chapter 16

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Chapter Sixteen

 

The train coaches were reaching capacity as John assisted Margaret inside.  John sat on an end, with Margaret next to him and Grayson next to her, by a window.  Mark had to settle for another coach but being tired from the week, he was glad for the privacy away from his group.  John removed his great coat because of its bulk and wanting to feel Margaret’s warmth against his body.  Using some pretense, he leaned her way and inhaled her fresh scent of which the sensation would feed his starved emotions.  It wasn’t very long before John found himself standing, hoping to relieve some of the restriction he was fighting but finally gave up and threw his coat over his lap.  He didn’t think he could endure a six hour train ride being aroused the entire time with Margaret beside him.  Priority to that issue would have to find a solution even as pleasant as it was.

Until the coach eventually emptied out, it was noisy, giving John the excuse to lean closer to speak to her.  “Margaret, I want to hold you so badly,” he said almost immediately.  She blushed.  “Oh my, I didn’t know mill owners blushed,” he added.

Now Margaret was laughing.  She looked at Grayson, knowing how observant he always was but he sat like the god Zeus on his throne.  Several people left the coach on the first stop, leaving more comfortable accommodations.  Grayson crossed to the other side and retrieved an abandoned newspaper.  He sat down at the window to read.  Margaret didn’t budge from John’s side.  As soon as Grayson opened the newspaper, clearly hiding his face, John kissed Margaret on the top of her head.

“John, would not you like to put your coat on the shelf?”

“No.  I am fine,” was all he could say.

“I am sorry.”  Margaret said, causing John some anxiety.

What could she apologize for?  “You’re sorry?  For what, Margaret?”

“I am sorry for being the woman sitting next to you making you uncomfortable.  I am glad I am not a man.”

“I am very glad of that, too.  What do you . . . “ John stopped right there.  He didn’t want to ask the question hanging in the air.  Her boldness took him quite by surprise, but he hoped he would never get used to her verbal ambushes.  Margaret could be the cream at the top if she wanted to be, but he saw she preferred the spice of life, and he knew he was falling in love with her zest in all she did.

John whispered in her ear, “Do not be sorry.  I am not, but I am not sure I can physically abide six hours of this coat on my lap.  I may have to stroll the aisles now and again.

Margaret smiled and began pulling notes from her portfolio, getting ready for the coming week’s priorities.  She had to meet with Thane and Sam before they left, although anyone arriving there would be swiftly pulled into the routine being set by Carlton.  She had only one post from Thane and everything was going according to their priority list for the week at Helstone.

John was looking over her shoulder reading the notes while she swapped pages back and forth.  After a while of what looked like her rapt attention to one page, he noticed how she started to list forward, ready to take a tumble onto the floor.  He caught her gently and pulled her back against the seat.  Grayson noticed it, too.  He mouthed to John that she was sleeping.  John nodded an understanding.  It was only a few minutes before she did it again.  This time, after he caught her, John turned slightly in the corner of the seat and settled her back into his arms being very careful how he held her.  His trousers were really restricting him now with her lying against his chest.  John noticed that Grayson still held his stoic face, turning the pages.  “He really is on my side, I do believe,” John told himself.  It was a few minutes later when Grayson rose, collected the papers in his Mistress’s lap and tucked them back into her portfolio.  Finishing, he slid open the door to the coach and strolled out into the aisle, for what John could only guess.  He didn’t miss this opportunity to place both his hands around Margaret and kiss her forehead.  As soon as he did that, Margaret lifted her face for a real kiss, which he happily supplied.

“Why you little devil, you,” John said.  “You have not been asleep at all.”  John’s whole body shook from an internal laugh, trying to keep his voice down.  “Remind me to include that in my documentation.”

Margaret smiled up at him, inviting his lips once more.

This time John held her by the chin and kissed hard, allowing his tongue to find the part in her lips.  Gently he pushed through her resistance, eliciting a light moan from Margaret.  He would not allow it to end and searched all of her mouth, savoring every second of her sweetness.  Margaret lifted her arm to his neck and pulled herself harder against him.  She was now aware of a growing fever in her intimate areas.  She was so caught up in that new sensation that she pulled away quickly, wondering if she was becoming ill again.

“Margaret, What is wrong?”

“John, feel my head.  Do I have a fever?”  She asked innocently.

Worried, John quickly put the back of his hand to her forehead.  He looked at her and saw the flush in her face that had no fever.  He knew instantly what was happening to her but she apparently did not.  This was a more than welcome surprise to John.  Up until now he would not have thought she was still a virgin.  “I am glad to tell you that you do not have a fever.”

“But I feel so warm all over.  Are you sure?”

“Yes,” John smiled into her face.  “I have that same warm feeling, too.  You do not know what that is, do you?”

“Well, I think I am beginning to understand it, because the heat is becoming localized.  Please, do not explain it to me, John.  I think I’d rather perform my own experiments to test my theory.  I am a fairly good troubleshooter,” she smiled.

“Yes, trouble it could likely become.”  John laughed, instantly having a flash of Rose in his head.  It completely dispelled his mood and his restriction problem subsided.  He wondered if it was fair to entreat Margaret with all his love when things could change drastically – so quickly.  Knowing what he thought he knew, he was betraying her.  John felt very selfish, suddenly.  He thought he would tell her everything before the week was out as he said he had always be honest with her.  If she would ever be the woman in his life, it must begin on solid ground.

“I am sorry, Margaret.  I am going to sit you up because I need to find some control.”

Feeling that was a compliment, Margaret sat up but before long was lying out on the padded bench, away from John, really sleeping.

John just sat there agonizing over what may lie ahead for both of them.  He felt like such a coward for leaving all his tangled affairs with Higgins.  Knowing he probably could not look at himself the next time he shaved, he decided to return to Milton and settle everything.  He would stay for two days, see Margaret’s mill and offer any suggestions.  He would then confess his sins and tell her why he was leaving.  His eyes misted over at the thought of bringing this love to a standstill or an end.  He knew he would love her until the end of time.  For the first time in his life he wondered what other gentlemen did in this situation.  Rose was not the type to go quietly away with a fistful of money and John knew he could not let that happen to his child.

During the journey, at the times when Grayson was roaming the train aisles, Margaret felt a marked difference in John’s attention and playfulness.  “What could have happened?”  She assuaged her uneasiness with the fact that he was a gentleman, having manly problems.

John had been deep in thought about the coming two days he had originally thought of staying but it kept eating him inside and he made the decision to return tomorrow.  Knowing Margaret would be interested in her mill while she had been away, he hoped to find some time with her and explain himself.  Fortunately, she had to rest and he prayed for a quiet evening.

Arriving in Helstone at the scheduled time, Margaret’s driver was there to greet them.  Mark said that he would find his own way home, being that he lived close to the depot.  Before leaving he asked Margaret when was their next meeting.

“Mark, I am going to the mill tomorrow morning for no more than two hours.  We will have a meeting at 10:00 in the morning.”

Mark bid his fellow passengers a good evening and started his walk home.

Pulling through the gate at her Helstone manor, Margaret could see relief on Grayson’s face but John looked far away.  “Later this evening, I will find out what has happened,” she fretted to herself.

John forced his attention on the beautiful residence that Margaret, indeed, owned.  The house she had looked at in Milton would very much suit her, as it was slightly larger than what he was seeing now.  The small grounds were impeccable and the building itself had been very nicely preserved over all the years of its age.

Grayson walked ahead to open the door for his Mistress and Mr. Thornton, while the footman went out to collect the baggage.  John smiled to himself . . . not only a butler, but a footman, too.  He sensed that these people had most likely been with the family before her ownership and she kept them on.  People employed by an affluent family were usually there for their life span.

“John, can I show you through the house?”

“Another time, if you do not mind.  I know you are weary, as I am, even though we have done nothing but sit.”

“I think we have done something else during that time, but I do not know what it was.  Would you mind pouring us a drink,” Margaret asked, pointing to the bar as they entered the study, “while I see what cook has ready.”

John strolled over to the highly ornate walnut and marbled-topped bar, with its gleaming silver topped decanters arranged on a silver tray.  Cut crystal glasses were reflecting the firelight as he filled the port into each one, inhaling its aroma as he did so.  He started to pace the room, disturbed over his whole behavior toward this Rose letter.  He was going to find this evening one of the hardest of his life.

 

*     *     *

 

Higgins heard a knock on the door as he was about to leave.  “Enter,” he shouted.  He looked up as the flaming auburn hair hanging waist deep, entered the room.  “Hello again, Miss Hawthorn, won’t you have a seat?”

“Do not ‘hello me’ Higgins, where is he?”

“Mr. Thornton has been called away at the last minute and was unable to meet with you.  He has asked me to speak with you and see if I can settle what is on your mind.”

“Oh, how convenient for him that is.  He knows why I am here and he is running like a scared rabbit,” Rose said with venom dripping from her lips.

“I assure you, Miss Hawthorn, he is doing no such thing.  He is not running from anything.  He will be back within a week or two.  If this is something I can help you with, please tell me what it is.  I could always write to him if this is an emergency.  Is it?”  Higgins asked.

“Higgins, I do not think you want to be the father of my baby, do you?”

“Are you saying that Mr. Thornton is the father?”

“Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.  I have only one more week in Milton and I want to know what he is going to do about it.  Actually, I know what he is going to do about it; I want to know when we are to marry?  I won’t be able to perform much longer and I am going to have an angry manager on my hands.  I need John nearby when I tell him that his free ride, at my expense, is over.”

“Miss Hawthorn.  Mr. Thornton and I are close friends.  I am going to write to him tonight but I must get some information from you which I know he will want to know.  If you do not mind, take a seat and let us get started.

The auburn haired doll with her painted face, red dress, and a range of bracelets clear up to her elbow, flopped hard in a nearby chair.  She sighed with disgust, having to go through this because Johnny was on the run.

“If I were in this situation, I would want to know all the dates of this particular relationship.  I would want to be assured that I am the father in my own mind.  Can you please explain what you know of the timing of all of this?”  Higgins asked, pulling paper and pen from his desk drawer.

“I was here in Milton last October.  I saw Johnny one evening in the middle of my performance.  I can get the exact dates if you need them later.  Last month, November, I was sure I was pregnant and waited until I came to Milton to see a doctor.  I had figured out when I was due and knew the father could only have been Johnny.  I hadn’t dated anyone for several weeks before him.  Being that Johnny has to be the father, I decided to wait until my return trip here to see a doctor, like I said.  I have had an appointment with him a few days ago.”

“So when is the baby due?

“The kid is due in Ju . . .  Juuuuly,” Rose said, having to quickly add a month to her real June due date.  I think That is all Johnny needs to know.”

“I am sorry, just one or two more questions.  Who is the doctor that you saw here in Milton?”

“I believe it was someone called Donaldson.  Will there by anything else?”  Rose said in a huff, rising.

“Last question, is marriage the only agreeable settlement that you will accept?”  Higgins asked, waiting for the backlash.

“How DARE you!!  You cannot think I want to make money off this baby, do you?  I will accept nothing but marriage and that is final.”

“So you are saying that if Mr. Thornton would come to some financial arrangement and keep and raise the child while you went on with your career – that would still be unacceptable?”

That made Rose pause to think.  As much as she would have liked Johnny for the father and perhaps making a home with him, she hated giving up her career most of all.  Besides, Milton was a smoky hellhole as far as she was concerned.  “How would you know that he would agree to that?”

“I do not.  I am going on my own assumptions, and when I give him this information, I would send along any options that were on the table.”

“Well, I might have to think about it now.  If he would take the kid and give a monetary settlement worth my while, I might consider it.  Might, I say.  It would depend on the amount,” Rose said, smiling, beginning to click the wheels in her head.  She hadn’t thought any money settlement would have also relieved her of the child, itself.

“Miss Hawthorn, I am sure if a settlement were to be agreed upon, it would be made official, written into a binding legal document, with you settling for the specified money and total relinquishment of the child.”  Higgins was surprising himself with how official he sounded.

“Yeah, I think I could live with that, but only if I decide to do it.  Maybe another idea will come along.  You write him and see what he says.  Contact me in the next couple of days with his reply.”

“Likewise, Miss Hawthorn, if you come to a fair settlement amount, please let me know.  He may decide to be the gentleman he is always been and do the right thing by you, but if the asking amount is fair enough, he may turn his back on doing the right thing and accept, if he is assured of his parentage to the child.  I just do not know.”

“All right.  You write to him and I will think.”  Staring into Higgins’ eyes using her most feared look, she said, “Good day, Higgins.”

*     *     *

 

After all the amenities to John, the wonderful meal prepared for the two of them and the talks they’d been having in front of the fireplace in the study, the hour had grown late.

Grayson entered the study and asked his Mistress, “Will there be anything else this evening, M’lady?”

“No, Grayson, please retire for the night.  And thank you for all the marvelous care you took of me while I was sick and for finding our new home.  I must admit, we should have had more of talk with the property agent before leaving.

With a courteous bow to his Mistress, Grayson left the room.

John immediately advanced toward Margaret and lifted her out of her chair.  Wrapping his arms tightly around her, he kissed her hard, covering her mouth and stealing her breath away.  The onslaught of his kiss was passionate, forcing her to give way and open her lips to his seeking, searching tongue.  Margaret’s knees weakened and he caught her before she could slip through his arms, lowering her back into her chair while he knelt down, never leaving her lips.

Sensations shot through Margaret like a magnet looking for true north.  Her heart was pounding and she was holding onto John with every ounce of strength she possessed.

John gradually drew back, allowing her to catch her breath and him, his.

“I am sorry, Margaret.  I am more sorry than I can say,” John whispered, on the edge of losing himself.  He held her by her shoulders, looking straight into her loving eyes, which now showed fright.  “This is the hardest thing I will ever do.  Margaret, I need to speak with you about a very grave subject.”

 

 

Ecritoire 2

Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Three

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Chapter Three

 

I was surprised when a hint of undisguised sorrow shadowed Mr Spencer’s eyes yet his mouth stretched in a wicked grin.

“I am not in the habit of confessing my crimes to innocent young ladies, Miss Dashwood. You will soon be hearing all the gossip there is about me. Now, help me into the saddle. I must return home and not keep you any longer.”

Suppressing my heartfelt anger, I took hold of his arm with both hands.

“And I am not in the habit of listening to gossip, Mr Spencer! Please do me the favour of answering my question! What is this reputation of yours?” Despite a feeling of tension I looked directly into his eyes. I got my answer right then and there, when he pulled free his arm and used it to grab me in the waist. The same wicked grin was still on his face as he drew me very close, his mouth only inches from mine.

“I am a ravisher, my dainty damsel, and you are very close to being ravished …” His eyes burned into me. My reaction was instinctive. I shoved him hard and he fell full force against Dragon’s tall frame. The horse, however, did not budge, and Spencer’s injured shoulder took the full brunt of the blow. I saw his face grow white, and he slid to the ground gasping in pain.

What had I done? Reproaching myself I knelt beside him.

“Oh, I am sorry! Please, forgive me, Mr Spencer! Come, let me help you up again!” I put my arms around him in a futile attempt to lift him.

“No, Miss Dashwood, it is I who must beg you to forgive me. That was very rude of me and you were right to defend yourself.” For the first time he did look remorseful.

“We have to get you safe, Mr Spencer. Here, step onto this boulder. I will help and put you into the saddle.”

We failed several times but, eventually, we managed to get Mr Spencer back in the saddle. His face was ashen. I could see he was in no state to ride Dragon on his own so I swung myself up on Dragon’s back and situated myself in front of him.

“Sir, hold on to my waist with your uninjured arm. I will take you to Barton Cottage,” I said, turning to look back at him.

“No … please, no! That would be … most unwise. Just … get moving to the north and … I will tell you where to go …” he urged in a voice hoarse with pain.

I kicked Dragon into a walk, and for half an hour we kept going north.

“I fear, my dainty damsel, you must keep me entertained or otherwise, I shall not remain conscious. Pray, tell me somewhat more about you. I find you very interesting,” Mr Spencer’s voice croaked and I grew anxious, so I obliged.

“Very well, sir. Our Marianne is the wife of Colonel Christopher Brandon. She lives at Delaford with her family and her youngest daughter Emily is my goddaughter. She is two and her sister Amelia is five. Marianne is expecting her third child in early fall. My eldest sister, Elinor, married Edward Ferrars, who is now parson at the Delaford parish. They do not have children yet.”

We came onto a narrow country path, which led us over the rim of a hill. We must be nearing Torquay, I thought, but this part of the shire was unknown to me. To my growing dismay Mr Spencer’s health seemed to become worse, and it dawned on me that he had not spoken a word for a long time. His head was lying heavily on my shoulder and his breathing was ragged.

“Sir! Mr Spencer, say something!” I gently nudged him a few times to prevent him from fainting.

“Sir, do not lose consciousness! We are not yet there. Are we going into the right direction?” I asked urgently.

“Yes …” His breath was shallow, laboured.

“Breathe, sir! Do you want me to stop for a while so that you can rest?”

I grew more anxious by the minute! If he was to fall off the horse again, it might well kill him.

To my infinite relief, he replied in a hoarse voice, “No … go on, you are doing very nicely … we are almost there, give Dragon the free rein …”

I clung to the saddle’s pommel for dear life when Mr Spencer’s arm pressed harder around my waist.  The moor had given way to a small wood, and our path was winding through it. Just as I despaired on ever getting to Spencer’s house, Dragon rounded a bend in the road. A clearing appeared to our front, and I saw a small house set against the gentle slope of the hill. Dragon walked through an open gate and into a tiny courtyard, left untidy with overgrowing weeds.

The house itself was in the same state of disrepair but it was nevertheless very charming with its light red brick facade, small, shutter-framed windows and dark brown tiled roof. The woodwork, however, was in sore need of painting, though.

Suddenly the front door was flung open and a tall, gangly youth of some fifteen years came running out.

“Blimey! ‘Ere now, what’s ‘appened to the guvnor? ‘Oo are you?” he shouted in a strong cockney accent.

I dismounted with dignity and faced him with a stern stare. “I am Miss Dashwood of Barton Cottage. Be so good as to help your master, sir! He is injured, and I think it best if you would send for a physician.”

Spencer chose this moment to slide down from the horse and, between the young chap and myself, we barely managed to prevent him from crashing down onto the gravel.

“We must put him to bed,” I urged. “Call for a footman!”

“A what? We don’t ‘ave any of ‘em out ‘ere, lady! It’s just me! You ‘elp me, seems yer doin’ a great job already!”

The youth – he said his name was Twinkler – did not waste anymore time but shoved a shoulder under one of his master’s and clamped a firm hand around Mr Spencer’s waist. I helped him by supporting the man, who was now unconscious, as best as I could. We made our way to the master’s bedroom, which was located on the house’s ground floor. I was greatly thankful for that. There we let our patient down onto his bed, whereupon Mr Twinkler got him out of his boots and coat while I loosened his collar.

“Ye said yer wanted a physician, miss, but I don’t know of one ‘ere abouts. There’s a gypsy woman that dwells not far from ‘ere an’ ‘as knowledge of ‘erbs an’ sicknesses the like. Shall I fetch her?”

“Yes, Mr Twinkler, that is fine. I will stay with Mr Spencer.” I turned and looked at the injured man; he seemed to rest comfortably, despite the bullet wound.

Thus I was left alone with my new acquaintance. The impropriety of it all was staring me in the face but there was nothing I could do about it. Mr Spencer’s condition seemed too precarious to leave him unguarded. His shoulder bandage was soaked with blood and drops of perspiration formed on his ashen face. The only thing I could do was wipe them away with a clean cloth I found upon inspecting the chest of drawers beside the bed. My patient opened his eyes, they were moist which indicated the beginning of fever.

“Miss Dashwood … you are still here? You should not be … you must go home. You are compromising yourself if you stay without being no longer needed.”

With his low, raspy voice he tried to emphasize his plea yet the plea in his eyes belied the curtness of his tone.

“You must leave that decision to me, sir. I am old and wise enough to make it for myself.” Again I felt defiant. A naughty grin curved the large mouth as Mr Spencer scoffed, “Is that so? How old are you, then?”

“Twenty-one, since last May.”

“Remarkable … I would not have given you more than sixteen …”

“You are teasing me, sir. Now, lie still. All that bustling about has opened your wound. Let me see what I can do.”

Gently I loosened the blood-soaked bandage but, despite my cautious gestures, I inflicted pain on Mr Spencer. Yet not a word of reproach nor a cry of pain passed his lips. He lay there with closed eyes while I examined the wound.

I had read quite a number of books on medicine so I knew the bullet would have to be removed, the damaged blood vessel had to be cauterized, and the wound sewed shut. The patient could not properly heal otherwise. Of course, I had neither the skills nor the proper instruments for such a task, but I could attempt to reduce the bleeding until the servant returned with the healing woman.

“I am very curious about Mr Twinkler, sir. He could not have been in your service for long, he seems so young,” I said in a casual tone while I worked on him.

“Twinkler is my friend, Miss Dashwood, not my servant. He followed me from London of his own free will. His real name is Jack but I named him Twinkler because of his bright green eyes. They remind me of stars.”

“Just Jack? No surname?”

“No. Jack was one of the many orphans London is crowded with. His mother was a …”

He stopped himself and turned his head away.

“A prostitute? You need not be embarrassed, sir. I have done my share of reading and I know of the existence of such unfortunate women.”

My patient stared at me with stunned eyes.

“Extraordinary …”, he murmured, “Miss Dashwood, you do know, I hope, that it is very improper for a young woman of your class to have this sort of conversation with me?”

“Mr Spencer, who is ever to know we had such a conversation? If you do not tell, I will not either. La, your wound has stopped bleeding. I will bandage it.”

Mr Spencer watched me with curious interest and it made me feel a trifle uneasy.

“Do you not care about your reputation, Miss Dashwood? So far, you have violated every rule of propriety. You have been alone with an unmarried man and you have touched him, intimately, to say the least. You have even entered his home without being chaperoned and at the moment, you are at his bed site. If this becomes public, you will be ruined beyond repair, my dainty damsel.” A slight but intimidating smile broke on his lips.

The words had come out in a very impudent, taunting tone, but that was not what disturbed me. It was his smile that did – a wicked, almost cruel smile – that infuriated me most. I could feel my cheeks burn with anger, yet I checked myself, although with difficulty. Giving Spencer the satisfaction of seeing me lose my temper would only prove the veracity of his words.

“Mr Spencer,” I retaliated, but with dignity, “I thank you for your concern but I would like you to understand to the fullest that I am an independent woman, with a mind of my own. If you should know the circumstances I am faced with, you would find me well suited in dealing with any difficulty that arises.”

His black eyebrows rose with what looked like appreciation.

“Well said, Miss Dashwood! Pray, enlighten me about those circumstances, if you do not deem it too impudent of me.”

“It is impudent but I do not care. After my father died, we were left in dire financial circumstances. My mother was forced to leave the estate to my half-brother John and his family, and it was a cruel blow to her already weak health. She was used to the opulence of Norwood Park and has been in low spirits since then. We had to resign ourselves to being very frugal, though this proved to be hard on Mother. After my sisters married, seven years ago in the summer of 1811, Mother and I got the full benefit of the 500 pounds from Fathers’ will on which we lived. But, as you will be well aware of, my lord, that is not at all a substantial sum. My task is to keep Mother from spending it on frivolous items in order to have something left for food and coal.”

Mr Spencer chuckled, his eyes sparkling.

“Frugal, hey? I know that feeling well enough, my dainty damsel. It is how I have been living for the past ten years. It seems we are both poor as church mice, then. I lost my baronetcy of Watcombe to my cousin after I made some bad mistakes in my ill-spent youth.”

“Oh, dear!”

It was my turn to chuckle.

“Poor and titled! That is even worse, My Lord Watcombe!”

“No, Miss Dashwood, you have it wrong. I might not even come into the title before August 22th of this year …”

At that moment we were interrupted by the opening of the bed room door.

 

 

 

salem-wgn1

Salem * April 20th

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Salem

“Salem”, which is picked up by WGN America, is set in Massachusetts in the 17th Century. WGN America’s new president, Matt Cherniss describes that “Salem” will revolve around the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts and that a great adventure full of supernatural, romance, and action awaits the viewer.

“Salem” is being developed by “24″ and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” vet Brannon Braga and Adam Simon (“The Haunting in Connecticut”). Thirteen episodes have been ordered for the series, which will be an hour-long entry. (Source: WGN America)

Episode Info

Next: 1×01 — The Vow (Apr/20/2014) [Special Airtime: 09:00 pm]

John Aiden discovers upon returning from war that the woman he was seeing is now married to someone else. He also discovers that his hometown of Salem is in a state of panic, with locals convinced witches live amongst them.

13 Episodes  WGN (US)

 
Follow Salem:
http://facebook.com/salemwgna
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http://witchesarereal.tumbl…
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salem02

CharlesDickens_iPod

Period Drama iPod – Charles Dickens

PeriodDramaIPOD

 

 

 

CharlesDickens_iPodCharles Dickens’ iPod
Broadcast on BBC Radio 4
Saturday 25 December 2010 12:00-12:30

Charles Dickens wrote and performed songs all his life. As a little boy, his mother stood him on the table in the local pub to sing; as a successful writer he sang to his guests after dinner. He also wrote the libretto for an opera.

Recorded on location in Dickens’ drawing room, with biographers Claire Tomalin and Michael Slater and actor and writer Simon Callow. With singers Gwyneth Herbert, Thomas Guthrie and Laura Crowther.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

captured from iPlayer, 128kbps 44Khz, runtime 28:03

Minnamurra 1998

Minnamurra 1989 (aka) Wrangler


Underrated leading man Jeff Fahey carries most of the dramatic weight of the Australian Wrangler. Fahey plays a handsome, athletic businessman who vies for the hand of rancher’s daughter Tushika Bergen. Our hero must not only contend with his romantic rival, a dashing but dangerous cattleman (Steven Vidler), but also with a villainous creditor who craves the land left to Bergen by her late father. By nature of its plotline and setting, Wrangler can’t help but invite comparisons to the popular The Man From Snowy River. Still, the stars and director Ian Barry keep up the appearances of freshness and originality.

Genie’s POV: I really enjoyed this film and tend to watch at least yearly. I own this film. The nice thing about watching period dramas is that they don’t age.

Minnamurra 1998

Phil-Davis-200x300

Poldark Reboot adds names

Phil Davis, Jack Farthing & More Join BBC One’s ‘Poldark’ Reboot

By Patrick Munn - April 11th, 2014 @ 10:50 am UTC
Category: News / UK News

BBC One has rounded out the cast for their upcoming 8 episode Poldark reboot.

Phil Davis (Whitechapel), Jack Farthing (Blandings), Kyle Solder (Anna Karenina), Warren Clarke (Red Riding), Beatie Edney (Poirot), Alexander Arnold  (Skins) and Robert Daws (Holby) have all boarded the drama; while Robin Ellis, who played Ross Poldark in the original 1970s series, is also set to appear in two episodes in a recurring role.

Poldark is set in late 18th century Cornwall when Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. But Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it in the wild but beautiful Cornish landscape.

Davies has been cast as Jud, Ross’ lazy manservant Jud; Farthing as ambitious banker George Warleggan; Solder as Francis Poldark, Ross’ cousin; Clarke as Charles Poldark, Ross’ uncle; Edney (Poirot) as Prudie, Jud’s wife; Arnold as Jim Carter, Ross’ farm hand; Daws as Dr Choake; and Ellis as Reverend Halse. They join a cast which also includes Aidan Turner (Being Human) as Ross Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson (The White Queen) as Demelza, Ruby Bentall (The Paradise) as Verity and Heida Reed (Silent Witness) as Elizabeth.

This new 8 part series, based on the series of novels by Winston Graham and the 1970s television series, is being adapted by Debbie Horsfield, directed by Endeavour helmer Ed Bazalgette and produced by Mammoth Screen. Eliza Mellor is serving as the series producer; while Polly Hill, Debbie Horsfield, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer are executive producing. Production on Poldark is now underway in Cornwall and Bristol, with BBC One eyeing a 2015 premiere.

“We’re so thrilled by the Poldark cast, and we feel particularly privileged that Robin Ellis has agreed to join this  stellar line-up – it’s a great tribute to Debbie Horsfield’s scripts”, said Executive Producer Karen Thrussell. “Robin is looking forward to returning to Winston Graham’s world, and we will be welcoming him with open arms! We can’t wait to start shooting next week and begin this epic journey in the stunning Cornish landscape.”

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John Thornton Meets Miss Hale, Mill Owner * Chapter 15

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Chapter Fifteen

 

“Yes, that is quite agreeable.  Let us take Grayson back to the hotel.  I would like to see your operation and have a small bite to eat.

By the time Branson had dropped Grayson at the hotel and arrived back at Marlborough Mills, John could see that Margaret was wilting.

“The office,” John hollered to Branson.

“Margaret, I feel like I should carry you back to the surgery right now.  You look very tired.”

“I am a bit tired but not too bad.  I wish to push myself just a little more today.  I do think I will decline to see your operation until another time but a small sandwich sounds tempting.”  Margaret said with a bit of pretended strength.”

“I will make a deal with you.  Since my home stairs are much higher than my office steps, I will take you to the office and I will have a light lunch sent to us.  I still feel though that you should be taken back to the surgery.”

“I cannot abide that place much longer even if I am ill.  I am thinking of asking to go to the hotel.  Grayson will be there for anything I need.  If you wait for me when I return to see Dr. Donaldson, perhaps you could drive me to the hotel.”

John was resigned to the fact she wasn’t going to budge and agreed.

Seeing John almost carrying Miss Hale up the office steps, Higgins raced to the door to open it for them.  He pointed to his own chair which was closest for John to place her.

“Is she all right, John?”  Asked a worried Nicholas.

“Yes, she is just tiring but I could not convince her to return to the surgery just yet.  We’re going to have a small lunch and then I will take her back.  Watch her for a moment, Nicholas; I want to get the lunch started.”

John trotted across the mill yard to his home and was back within five minutes.

“Miss Hale, is there anything I can do for you?”  Higgins asked in an anxious tone.

“Yes, you can call me, Margaret,” she laughed.

“Very well, then.  Nicholas, to you, Ma’am.  Pleased to meet you again.  You sure have had poor luck this week.  I hope you are mending well.”

“Yes, I am doing very well so says Dr. Donaldson.  I want to thank you for taking the time in helping Carlton locate sleeping quarters.  He is not one of my managers but a very highly regarded dependable worker.  He is in line for promotion down the line.  I am fortunate that he had no ties to Helstone and was able to move here so quickly.  Very soon some supplies should start to flow in.  Would you know of a place that a horse and wagon cart could be rented?  He will need something.”

“I know just the place.  I will have one for him next Monday; would that do?  Or would you want more than one?”  Higgins asked.

Margaret spread her fingers counting to herself and then looked off into the distance.  “One on Monday would suit, a second one the following Monday and a third the Monday after that.  That should get us through until we fire up some of the iron.”

“Iron?”  Nicholas thought to himself, she knew the real mill owner vernacular.

John returned saying that lunch would be ready in about ten minutes.

“John, Nicholas is going to help me rent horse and carts until ours get here with whatever way you have not told me about yet,” she laughed.

He just grinned.

“That is two to one, you know?”  She asked John looking him square in the eye while Higgins sat on the corner of his desk enjoying the conversation.

“I am sorry.  Two to one, what?”  Honestly not remembering what she was talking about.

Seeing John’s bewildered look, she said, “I have only one thing to tell you later while you still have two things to tell me later.  Is that not how you count it?”

“Oh . . . YESSSS . . . quite true.  What you are holding back is something about me between you and Grayson.  That sounds much more interesting that what I have not said.”  John smiled at her with a smarmy look.

Nicholas could see this budding relationship was coming along nicely.

“Nicholas, do you see John giving many smarmy looks to people?”

John bolted upright in his tipped back chair with a look of surprise on his face that she should ask such a question.  And if the expression on his face wasn’t incredible enough, Nicholas was making up for it.  John let out a laugh swirling his chair with his back to Nicholas.  He didn’t want to see his face but was anxious to hear what he would say.

“You have me at a disadvantage Miss.  I do not know what a smarmy look is on John.  Either he is never done it or I have not recognized it as such,” said Higgins, trying to come out of this on top.

“Well, I should not be surprised that you two would stick up for each other.”  They all saw the humor she was imparting and laughed together.  Lunch was brought in by Jane.  Surprising Nicholas, a third plate was present.

They all ate their sandwiches and talked about her coming priorities.  Having finished his sandwich in no time, Nicholas excused himself to go to Mill 2 for no other reason than to give them a little privacy.  That had not skipped John’s notice.  But what was he going to do with privacy?

“John, I have been thinking about your documenting our information with this move.  I agree.  It does appear to be a subject that could benefit others in the future.  I was agreed to that from the outset, I just have not mentioned it.  Now . . . the next thing I am going to say might not meet with your approval, but I have thought it over, talked it over with Grayson even, and would like to extend lodging to you at my home during this move.  Before you jump to saying no, due to protecting my reputation or some gallant act such as that, I want to tell you that that also has been discussed.  My people know me and are likely to be the only ones to even care.  The town’s people, I could give two wits about but I’d like to raise an eyebrow on my way out the door.  I’d like to do more than that but there still resides in me a certain degree of decorum.  Would you please at least consider it?”

John rose from his chair and began to walk around to Margaret.  “Come on, you are failing fast.  Let me get you back to bed.”  John said caringly.

“Won’t you at least think about it?”  Margaret said with hope in her voice as she started to rise.

“I do not have to.  I accept,” he said, with no hesitation.

John helped her to her feet, as she said, “You do?”  Incredulity was in her voice that he didn’t have to be convinced.  She placed both of her hands on his chest and stared into his eyes as he lifted her out of the chair.  He looked down into her porcelain face as he lowered her to her feet.  The moment hung between them like the cobra eyeing the bird before it strikes.  Margaret slowly slid her hands to his neck as John followed, clasping his hands around her waist, drawing her to him.  He slowly tilted his head down to touch her lips with his pausing to gauge her acceptance of him.  She reacted by lifting up on her toes to engage him.  The nearness was not only reaching his loins but his whole body and heart.  These were so much stronger emotions than any other time in his life.  He didn’t want to kiss her with his lips, he wanted to kiss her with his whole being.  And he thought she was feeling the same way.

“Should I apologize for what I have done this early in our friendship?”  John uttered quietly.

“Yes, apologize for making me wait,” Margaret whispered.

He met her lips softly, pulling back to see how she was reacting and finding her eyes closed, wanting more.  John could not believe the fierceness in his own passion and he covered her lips with his trying to savor all of her senses.  He licked her lips with his tongue and rubbed her back, controlling his hands from wandering.  Margaret pulled back the second time as John placed a stray lock behind her ear.  He looked into her face and smoothly traced his hand down her cheek and back up again, letting her silken texture reverberate through him.  John felt her knees weaken and caught her.  He sat her on the desk edge, sorry that the moment was passing, while he retrieved his coat and hers.  He didn’t have words for what just happened but he didn’t need words.  He wrapped Margaret in her cloak after donning his own.  Turning her to face him, he lifted her in his arms to his chest and walked towards the door.  As he was trying to get to the doorknob, Margaret said, “Stop.”

She put her hands on the side of his face and pulled him to her for a final kiss.  He kissed her hard and held her hard, wanting to pull her into himself so that she would always be a part of him.  He stopped kissing her when he heard she was opening the door.

He sat next to her riding to the surgery holding her hand now.  “I . . . I do not know what to say Margaret.  I do not think I am willing to say I am sorry because I am not.  I do know that just knowing you for a few days has really caused a stir inside that I have never experienced and I have plenty of experience but things with you keep me dazzled.  I want to say, whatever this . . . this . . . I do not know what to call it, yet . . . wherever this leads, I will be honest with you through everything.”

“Thank you, John, for saying that.  That is most important to me.  In the past I have not experienced much honesty.  Men think they know me but generally they find that I am not all they want me to be to them in their life and that has gone both ways.  Let us just see where this takes us.  I can only wish it takes us where I hope because I know I care a lot for you.  I just have not sorted out what this is exactly either and I do not want to mislead you but I do not want to scare you off, being new to these emotions.”

As the carriage stopped, John leaned over and gave Margaret a light kiss before Branson was at the window, opening the door.  “Are you still going to ask the doctor about the hotel?”

“Yes, would you mind waiting?”

“Try and stop me,” he said smiling over at Branson who was smiling back.

 

John carried Margaret’s satchel into the hotel, walking to the registration desk.  The hotel Manager, Mr. Cribb walked past and said hello to John.  “Can I help you with something, Mr. Thornton?”

“Yes, I hope so.  Miss Hale,” he said indicating Margaret standing beside him, “is in need of a room on this first level.  She has just been released from the surgery and is in a weakened state therefore I would like to ask if you could have her butler moved next door to her, also?  They will check out Friday morning.”

“There will be no problem with that, Mr. Thornton.  Would you care for a complimentary cup of tea or coffee in the dining room while we arrange that for you,” said the manager reaching for Margaret’s bag from John.

After they both ordered coffee, John asked, “Would you have dinner with me here this evening?  I will be tied up tomorrow for most of the day with meetings but I would like to have breakfast with you and your lads,” he laughed, “and dinner with only you tomorrow evening.”

“I would like that very much.  Do not you have much to do to prepare for all of this absence?”

“That is been taken care of for the next few weeks.  I plan on this first week for you to introduce me to your mill and then I will keep you in bed; assuming your duties for you during the day.  We will talk each evening; you may visit the mill once a day for an hour.  That is all I will allow for this coming week,” he said smiling into her beautiful blue eyes.

“You know, John.  I have never taken orders before, from a man or from anyone really.  I bet you know few women who can say that.”

Smiling, as he waved Grayson to the table, “I am quite willing to negotiate but not where your health is concerned and here comes an advocate, I do believe.”

Margaret looked up and laughed as Grayson approached.

John stood for Grayson’s arrival and shook his hand, an action Grayson was not used to seeing except by the under servants.  By the smile on John’s face, Grayson could almost feel his gentleman was in the planning stages.

“Madam, I am joyful to see you returned to us.  What are the doctor’s instructions?”

Margaret opened her mouth to speak but John’s words came out, “She is to stay rested in bed for the next five days.  She tired today.  I am sorry to uproot you from your room but was sure you would want to be next to your Mistress.”

“Indeed I would, sir, thank you.”

“Grayson, Mr. Thornton has agreed to be lodged at our manor.  He took a lot of convincing but I think he likes your company.”  John and Margaret looked at each other and smiled.

“As I do his, Madam.”

“Somehow, I feel like I will lose equal footing in my own home.”

“Never, Madam.  I owe you my total allegiance.”

“Why do I not believe that like I used to?”  John and Margaret both laughed.

Grayson was pleased to see his Mistress smile; the most important person in his life was on her way to finding happiness.  She had laughed and smiled more this week then he could ever recall.

 

The meals with John came and went too fast for both of them.  There was never an opportunity for a kiss or hand holding but the anxiety grew and the dreams began.

 

Thursday evening John returned to the office to have some final words with Nicholas before leaving for Helstone early in the morning.

They’d finished their business talk when John remembered the note from Miss Hawthorn.  He decided to get it handled and out of his life.  Reading the note, he felt sick to his stomach.  He didn’t know what she wanted but anything with her could possibly find its way into his new found happiness.  “Nicholas, I really hate to ask this of you.  I have had this note from the famous Rose Bud for several days, not wanting to read it.  I do not like what she says but it looks like there may be a deadline.  Could you contact her and tell her that I am away and won’t be back until next Friday.  She can talk through you to me or she can write me but I’d better resolve it before she comes storming back into my life.

“Sure, John,” Nicholas said as he was handed the note.  He walked to his chair and sat down to read it.  “Oh, I do not like the sound of this.  Do you have any idea, John?  You know what it seems like she is going to say, do not you?”

“Yes, I know what you are thinking.  I’d say that is not likely.  I cannot say impossible but highly unlikely.  It tells me that she lied to me either now or then.  Excuse me a moment.”

John ran down his office stairs and stepped to the side of the office building unleashing his entire meal.

Higgins was almost feeling as bad for John as John was.  Returning to the office, John said, “This has got to be impossible, if it’s what I think I am expecting.  This could ruin everything.  I can lose Margaret.  I would have to do right by Rose, if it comes to that but how can I, when I dislike her this much.  Maybe, I should forgo the Helstone trip and get this resolved.

“Look, go to Helstone.  Let me work on this for a bit first.  I will speak to her tomorrow after you are gone.  I will see what I can find out and what can be done or negotiated.”

“Thank you, Nicholas.  I should take this on myself, but having one more week with Margaret until all is known is what I want to do.  It’s not going to be like it could be though but it may be the last of the happiness in my life.  I will just live this coming week as if it’s something else Rose has to say.”

 

John and Margaret, Grayson and Mark, boarded the morning train while Nicholas sat down to write a note to Miss Hawthorn, inviting her to the office any time today.

 

 

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Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Two

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Chapter Two

 

Honesty compels me to confess I hesitated a little before I dismounted.

I was not like the few of my female acquaintances – that is to say – the ones who grew up in a normal household and were brought into Society without so much as a close look upon a man. I was not afraid of men for I had not been formally presented to any. I was not afraid of men, period. Of course, I knew they were not all of them as gentle as my two brothers-in-law, Colonel Christopher Brandon and Edward Ferrars. They were the rare treasures among their kind. I was aware that there were also dangerous specimens roaming society for innocent, gullible damsels.

This man was unknown to me so I attentively studied him before I dared come closer.

He was lying on his stomach, his face covered by strands of long dark hair, black as a raven’s wing.

A puddle of blood formed under his body and I was concerned. He seemed to be seriously injured, his face very pale.

I knelt beside him and, reaching with a trembling hand to one of his wrists, I was relieved to feel a strong pulse. That gave me the courage to try turning him onto his back, not an easy task because he was a tall, muscular fellow. He did not regain consciousness when I involuntarily caught him on the left shoulder, as I turned him. He was bleeding rather copiously from what appeared to be a bullet wound in that shoulder. The fine fabric of his dark green riding coat was stained with blood which was spreading to his white linen shirt and staining his waistcoat of moss green silk.

The sight of the blood prompted me into action.

I searched my bag for something that could serve to stop the bleeding wound but found nothing. To my relief, the man’s coat pockets produced a large white cotton handkerchief which I crumpled into a ball. Pressing it to the small hole, I began untying the man’s cravat of buff coloured silk, to allow him easier breathing.

He stirred and gave a weak, throaty moan.

I felt a surge of relief from this sign of life. I secured the handkerchief wrapping the man’s chest with the cravat. Not an easy task as I was forced to pass my hands over his body several times. I became aware of his warm hard strength and it allowed me to examine him more closely for other injuries. There were none I could find except for a shallow gash on his brow which had already stopped bleeding. I carefully cleaned it with a tip of the cravat.

I drew a deep breath and leaned back, satisfied with the efforts I had done so far. For the first time in several minutes, I could again take stock of the situation. Here I was, alone on the moors, with an unconscious, injured man, and I was somewhat at a loss to what I was to do next.

Should I go for help? Where to? Barton Cottage was out of the question; my mother would have a fit of the vapours if I arrived there in the company of an unknown gentleman without a chaperon, an injured one at that!

My patient was indeed a gentleman, judging by the quality and fabric of his dress and the exquisite cream-coloured buckskins, which hovered above the finely crafted, black leather Hessian boots. His hands, long fingered and strong, bore no calluses and his nails, though not manicured, were nevertheless cut and clean. He sported no jewels, not even a signet ring, which was rather unusual for a gentleman of means.

My gaze wandered to his sun-tanned face and I lingered there, revelling in its attractiveness. His face was not really beautiful since it was too strong-featured. He had a broad brow bearing a few shallow lines. A long, thin nose set above a pair of wide sensual lips rounded out his features. The firm, well-defined jaw, covered with the shadow of beard as if he had shaved in a state of hurry, was very becoming and I found myself touching that jaw just to know the feeling of it. It was rough yet at the same time, soft and warm. My hand quivered with an unknown tingle; I hastily withdrew it. I touched his thick black hair as I did so. So thick, and so silky soft … and a trifle too long for propriety’s sake.

This was a man born into Society, but not a willing member of it? He clearly lacked the touch of finesse acquired for Society gatherings as if he was somehow reluctant to participate with people in them. His appearance was appropriate, but nothing more. However, compared to my sisters’ husbands, the handsome Edward and the manly Brandon, this man definitively was even more attractive – in a slightly dangerous way.

Who was he? I was fairly certain I had never seen him around here, nor had he appeared at the small country gentry gatherings in this part of Devonshire, so I reckoned he must be staying with relatives or friends who lived in the vicinity somewhere. But where? To my knowledge no one had a guest staying with them at the moment.

He must have spent a considerable amount of time abroad, I mused. His skin bore the golden tan of someone who lived a long time in a climate with much more sun than was found in England. I sighed. So many questions were spinning in my head!

The stranger suddenly let out a low, deep  grunt, then opened his eyes – bright blue eyes.

“What the devil … hell and damnation!” he exclaimed in a forceful voice, eyes darting side to side.

The blasphemy came when he tried to sit up and his shoulder wound must have caused him considerable pain, hence the expletives. I put a constricting hand upon his chest and raised my voice in a forceful manner.

“Do stay where you are, sir, or you will only injure yourself even more!”

His fierce blue eyes bore into mine but with a scowl that could have scared the Devil himself.

“Who are you? What have you done to me?” he growled.

The voice was a deep baritone and the tone, though refined enough, was a clipped one. It was enough to render me speechless with indignation.

“Well?” the stranger barked. “Are you going to sit there like a stone statue? Help me up, you silly wench, or I will give you a taste of my riding crop!”

I was beginning to enjoy the situation so I smiled sweetly.

“I am sorry to say so, sir, but you seem to have lost your crop when you tumbled from your horse. I also want to point out that I am no mere ‘wench’ but a respectable woman. I must insist you treat me with the respect I am due.”

With as much dignity as I could muster, I rose to my feet, placed my hands on my hips and looked down at him.

“My name,” I said, “is Margaret Dashwood of Barton Cottage and my mother is a relative of Sir John Middleton of Barton Hall. Kindly tell me your name, sir, or I will leave you to your fate this instant.”

“Upon my word! A ‘respectable lady’ disguised as a peasant girl. Please forgive my mistake, my dainty damsel, but you must admit that it was only natural, given the dishevelled nature of your appearance.”

That statement was accompanied by an impertinent stare that raked my body, head to toe. All of a sudden, I became very uncomfortably aware of how I must appear to him in my old muslin dress and scuffed walking boots, my hair escaping its confinement and my face flushed with anger. I could not bear this embarrassment for more than a second so I grabbed my bag, turned on my heels and stalked away as dignified as I could.

“Wait … Miss Dashwood, please? I would be very grateful if you would consent in assisting me.”

He had spoken in a gruff tone yet he had not managed to conceal the pleading in his voice. Immediately I grew concerned again and scolded myself inwardly for my selfishness. After all, this man was injured and had lost quite a lot of blood.

“Put your right arm around my shoulders, sir,” I said and, kneeling once again beside him and sliding my arm around his waist. After a few failed attempts, we finally succeeded in getting him to his feet.

He towered over me and seemed to be too weak in the knees to stay upright; I had to tighten my grip just to keep him upright.

“Careful, sir!” I panicked a trifle when his head fell onto my shoulder and the warmth of his breath caressed the skin of my neck. I felt the hardness of his muscles under my hand, and the assault of his heady but not unpleasant scent was enough to rattle my usually calm composure. All of a sudden there seemed to be not enough air to breathe …

Finally the stranger stirred and lifted his head, his back muscles tightening under my touch.

“Good Lord, but this has affected me in a rather serious manner! Do forgive me, Miss Dashwood. I seem to have outdone myself more than usually in my rude behaviour.”

He took a step away from me and gave me a little bow. “Douglas Alexander Spencer of Watcombe Manor, at your service, Ma’am!”

He had overrated his abilities and I grabbed his arm when I saw the dark, nasty shade of grey that suffused his countenance.

“Sir, we must seek help. You are too weak to …”

At that moment the black stallion came trotting towards us, whinnying softly, which made Mr Spencer stare at me with disbelief.

“Dragon? He galloped away from me after I fell. How come he is here now?”

“I found him in the ring of standing stones and it was he who led me here, sir. Once I got into the saddle, he knew exactly where to go.”

“He … he allowed you to mount him? Impossible! Dragon does not accept orders from anyone but me. Even I sometimes get bitten when he is in a foul mood. Come here, boy.”

Dragon snorted and nudged Spencer’s outstretched hand, who then stroked the soft silken nose with tenderness.

“So you have deserted me for this pretty little chit, have you not? You devil! I should whip you, but I cannot blame you. She is very pretty, indeed.” The stranger then looked at me and I blushed.

The horse tossed its head upward and whinnied.

“Mr Spencer, I must insist on two things: first, I will bring you to Barton Cottage where I can summon a physician. Secondly, I must demand respect from you. I do not wish to be called ‘a chit’ which I find a most offensive word for a woman.”

Spencer’s blue-eyed gaze raked over me once more and his mouth widened into a sardonic grin.

“Oh, but you are indeed a woman, my dainty damsel, no doubt about that!”

His hand reached out to tidy a lock of my hair behind my ear and I had to suppress a sudden shudder.

“I have known many fair-haired, blue-eyed dolls, my dainty one, but none like you. You are not afraid of me and you have not recoiled in horror upon hearing my name. Why is that?”

“I have never heard of you, sir, so why should I be afraid? What have you done besides indulging in the usual eccentricities gentlemen of your type permit themselves?”

 

 

~ Remembering Times Forgotten through Period Drama ~