Episode 3 - Chapter 4
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Chapter written by AnothaFan
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[Walking through the busy mill yard, Mrs Thornton makes her way to the Hales.]
[Dixon and Mrs Thornton are standing at the bottom of the staircase, at the Hales residence.]
Dixon: The missus is sorry for keeping you waiting, Mrs Thornton. Would you please come up.
[They make their way up the staircase and enter Mrs Hale's room. Mrs Thornton sits down beside the bed and Dixon leaves. Mrs Hale is lying in bed, quite unwell. She reaches out her hand to Mrs Thornton. Mrs Thornton looks perplexed, then hesitantly takes Mrs Hale's hand.]
Mrs Hale: [weakly] My daughter Margaret... [wheezing slightly] I will be dead soon.... I want you to look after her.... My own sister, she travels, often... Margaret has no woman's guidance.
Mrs Thornton: I'm sure your daughter makes her own choices. I cannot make her change her mind. She has already made her decisions... [becoming haughty] I'm surprised she's not here, as you're not well.
Mrs Hale: I made her go. I.. I was feeling a great deal better, but... [swallowing] I wish you to be a friend to Margaret.
Mrs Thornton: I'm afraid it is not in my nature to show affection... even when I feel it. [softening towards Mrs Hale] But I promise that if Miss Hale should ask me for help, or if... or should I ever hear of her doing something that I see as wrong...
Mrs Hale: But Margaret never does anything wrong.
Mrs Thornton: I will counsel her as I would my own daughter... [smiles slightly] I promise.
Mrs Hale: I pray to God to bless you for your promise, to be kind... to my child.
[Mrs Thornton nods her head in acknowledgement.]
[Margaret is looking out of the train window. The train whistles and moves along the track. Later, Margaret is seated beside Mrs Hale's bed. Dixon enters the room and stops a little behind Margaret.]
Margaret: [remorsefully] I should never have gone, Dixon.
Dixon: She wanted you to go. She was happy for you. This last turn happened very suddenly.
[The doorbell rings from downstairs.]
Dixon: [sighing] Oh, who'd come visiting at this hour? [turning slightly] I'll get the master.
Margaret: [rising from the chair] No, I'll go. Don't disturb him.
[Margaret leaves the room. Dixon sits down in the vacated chair.]