Episode 1 - Chapter 3
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Chapter written by Thomas591
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[Margaret entering the mill courtyard, Williams coming after he pays the cab at the gate. They face a large house alongside the factory.]
Margaret Hale: Does Mr. Thornton live here?
Williams: Aye, but he'll be at work. [He leads her to an office.] Stay here, miss. I'll find Master.
[Margaret looks out the windows at the workers, around the room, at the clock which reads 3:37. She looks at the ledger on the desk, then out the window again. Now the clock reads 3:52 from where she has seated herself while waiting. She gets up and walks purposefully down the passage past workers, coughing when the white lint in the air gets in her throat. She gets to a large door, the particles in the air ever thicker, and slides it open. To her astonished eyes is revealed a huge room filled with clanking machines weaving cotton into cloth, the white fluff clogging the air around the workers who are overseeing their operation. As she walks further in, her eyes are drawn to a tall figure dressed in black, standing on a raised walkway watching the work being done. Then...his expression suddenly changes.]
John Thornton: [shouting] Stephens! Put that pipe out! [The man Stephens looks back, then starts running as he stuffs his pipe in a pocket. Thornton pursues, coming down the stairs shouting] I saw you! Stephens! Stephens! Come here! [Thornton catches up to Stephens when he falls. Thornton pulls him up off the floor, pinning him against some cotton bales with his arm to search Stephens pockets with the other hand.]
Thornton: Smoking again.
Stephens: I wasn't!
Thornton: Where is it?
Stephens: I wasn't smoking, I swear!
Thornton: [Producing the pipe from Stephen's pocket.] Still warm. I warned you. [He grabs Stephens by the collar.]
Stephens: No! No! Please, sir! [as Thornton lands his first punch] Please don't...Please! [More beating from Thornton.]
Thornton: You stupid idiot!
Stephens: Please, sir! [Thornton is hitting him in the face.]
Thornton: Look at me! Look at me! [as he bloodies Stephen's nose]
Margaret: [She has followed the chase, and sees the horrible sight.] Stop! [Thornton kicks Stephens as he falls to the floor.] Stop! Please, stop!
Thornton: Who are you? What are you doing in here?
Margaret: My name is Margaret Hale.
Williams: Miss Hale! I'm sorry sir, Mr. Thornton, I told her to stay in the office.
Thornton: Get her out of here! [to Stephens] Aye, crawl away on your belly and don't come back.
Stephens: Please, sir...I have little ones. [as he grovels on the floor, a kick from Thornton]
Thornton: You know the rules!
Stephens: My children will starve, sir.
Thornton: Better they starve than burn to death. Get out before I call the police! [turning to Williams] get that woman out of here! [He turns and leaves.]
Williams: Please, miss. [we see Stephens crawling off, and the camera rises to Bessy Higgins and some other girl workers watching.] Miss. Miss, please! Miss, please, miss...Please! [Margaret cannot take her eyes off Stephens as she is led out of the mill. Bessy watches Margaret and Williams go.]
[Margaret emerges out into the mill's courtyard, her handkerchief to her nose, heading for the gate as workers move cotton bales. She spots a movement at the house window. Mrs. Hannah Thornton is standing there looking as Margaret leaves through the gate.]
[Edith sits next to a colorful bouquet at a table writing a letter to Margaret]
Edith: [Narrating] My darling Margaret, we are back at last from our honeymoon in Corfu. We've been away so long I'm almost fluent in Greek - or so the Captain says. But you know, everything he says is always so agreeable. Oh, dear Margaret...now I'm going to say something that will make you very angry, but I can't help it. What was uncle thinking of taking you all so far away from home? What on earth are you doing in that awful place where they make cotton, when no one who is anyone wishes to buy it? I'm sure we'll always wear linen.
Margaret: [sitting at her desk writing back to Edith] Dear Edith, I'm pleased to report that we've replaced the horrible wallpapers with altogether more agreeable colours. Dixon has only - if you think this possible - grown in energy. She has set herself the task of engaging an under-maid, but as yet there isn't anyone within a radius of at least 50 miles who is remotely suitable to wait on us hand and foot.
[The Kitchen of the Hale's home]
Prospective Maid: I'll sit, if you don't mind.
Dixon: Hm. You'll be expected to be well up before the family to light the fires.
Prospective Maid: I'm sorry, I'm not getting up at five in the morning. And I'm not working for those wages. I can get four shillings as a piecer up at Hamper's. Anyway, if you don't mind me asking, where's money coming from to pay for me? This house must be costing thirty pound a year, and there's not much coming in from what I've heard.
[Dixon's hand setting down a pitcher forcefully...Then we see Margaret at the top of the stairs coming down, the outraged prospective maid coming from the kitchen below, Dixon following.]
Prospective Maid: I'll come and go as I please! And I don't need no bossy, jumped-up servant to tell me what's what and how to think and how to behave! You can keep your rotten job! [Leaves, banging the door shut]
[Margaret hurries back upstairs quietly smiling. She sits down with her mother as Dixon is heard stomping upstairs with a vase of flowers. As she enters and sets the vase down...]
Dixon: Me, a servant, indeed! I don't know what the master was thinking of, subjecting us to all this gossip! [She goes out again]