John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 21

Chapter 21      John’s Alarm   The rest of the week, John and Higgins went over some serious planning for the probability of purchasing Slickson’s mill.  John needed to make some people moves for the strategic positions, and Higgins needed a replacement, as overseer.  It was determined that three overseers would be instituted, one for each mill.  The organizational format was going to have to change with having three mills and Higgins in a whole new capacity.  John wanted all the training started immediately because he was sure Slickson’s mill would be his.  He understood very well that he could … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 20

Chapter 20      A Dinner and a Rose   The following week, John visited Slickson to talk about the rumors of his retirement from the cotton business. “John, I admit that I’ve been giving it some thought and somehow a rumor has spread that I’m getting ready to sell.  That part is not exactly true because I’ve not made a firm decision.  However, my wife is in a state of health that will not allow us to travel for many more years. “I’m very sorry to hear that.”  John said. “Thank you, I know that you mean that, John.  Over … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 19

Warning: Adult Content, this chapter Chapter 19      More Then Joy   Finding John unwinding from the excitement of the day, lounging across the couch, Margaret curled up beside him. “Today was so wonderful.  I can’t think of any other day in my life that I have enjoyed more.  Sadly, I think I shall have to be going home tomorrow.  John, thank you for these past days; they’ve meant more than you could know.  They have been the loveliest and happiest days of my life, ever” “Do not thank me.  I need no thanks from the one I love.  I … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 18

Chapter 18      The Gift   Hearing Dixon coming through the door downstairs, John and Margaret grabbed their clothes and scattered to their own rooms, laughing hilariously, like school children putting a frog in the teacher’s desk.  John quickly dressed and returned to the parlor, just as Dixon came up from the kitchen. “Hello Dixon, I didn’t think you would be back this early.  Did you have a nice time?” “Yes, I did.  Master, I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s snowing again, not nearly as hard as before, but I thought I’d better get back in case it … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 17

     Christmas Eve Day and  Night   The first rays of the sun were glistening off of the re-frozen snow crust.  Christmas Eve day dawned brightly with no apologies or explanations or new edicts expected.  Coming out of her room, Margaret inhaled a wonderful pine scent, and found John standing in front of the tree.  He was looking at the cranberry strands, which now stood out as red swags, in the sunlit room.  She watched him as he leaned against the back of a chair, long legs crossed at the ankles, arms folded, looking at the tree without knowledge of … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 16

Chapter 16      A Sensual Moment   Margaret woke with a start, suddenly conscious of the fact that she didn’t have a holiday gift for John.  She didn’t have anything for anyone.  She was sure it wasn’t expected of her this year, but she must talk to John to ensure he wasn’t going to purchase a gift for her. Finding him dressed for the day, already reading his paper, Margaret said, “John, I want to talk about gift exchanging.  I know there is a Thornton Proclamation, in effect, but I would have liked to have gotten you a small gift, … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 15

Chapter 15      Sacrificial Altar   As the evening grew late, they both said goodnight in the parlor and went their separate ways, with John striving to treat Margaret as a guest.  Morning was much the same; a casual conversation about Margaret’s plans for the day and John being her ride and guide.  A big part of her furniture was due today, and she had promised to visit the Professor’s staff with Dixon at her side.  John was starting to realize how difficult it was going to be to step back from Margaret.   This was my idea, and I’d … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 14

Chapter 14      A Gentleman’s  Agreement   Margaret strolled over and closed the door to his library, forbidding even the warmth in the room, while she read the letters.  “Why am I doing this?” she wondered.  “This would not have happened with the old Margaret,” she told herself. Sitting down, she pulled out the little pile of letters from the drawer, all addressed to her.  She noticed a mixture of dates and wondered why John had never sent them.  Two were before their London meeting on the veranda, and the rest were after that day.  None of them were finished.  … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 12

Chapter 12      Welcome Home,  Margaret   The London station platform was filled with people, but at least she had missed the early surge of London workers.  Margaret had ensured that her baggage was properly stowed onto the huffing train and glanced down the long line of coaches on the track, recognizing that they led to paradise, to her destiny once left behind. Booker’s family said good-bye to her and had just left the station.  It was a sad time, for she liked them very much, and they loved her.  They promised to come visit her and asked her to … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 10

Chapter 10      The Cottage   They walked arm in arm down the tree-lined street, towards the cottage that John hoped someday would be Margaret’s.  He was thrust into the feeling of incredible contentment welling up inside of him.  He didn’t care to analyze it; he just wanted to hold this tender sensation inside him forever.  John noticed  the little house several times on his courthouse days.  He was still finding it hard to believe that they were strolling toward a possible residence for Margaret’s return to Milton.  John suspected she might like it.  Its appearance seemed to be well … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 9

Chapter 9      John and Margaret’s Reunion   Maxwell and Edith Lennox took Margaret to the train station to meet the Professor for their visit to Milton. “You know, Margaret,” Edith teased her, “it is quite scandalous of you to take off to Milton so early in your bereavement, but I must say that I envy your courage.  We’re very happy to see you settle into something that you really will enjoy.  You’ve been unhappy for so long.  I think you have found a very agreeable place working alongside the Professor.  I’ll miss you so when you move to Milton … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 7

Chapter 7        She’s Not the Margret, We Once Knew   As the large crowd milled outside, talking, John made his way through to the chapel steps and entered the church.  He seated himself near the front, across from where Margaret was likely to be.  The organist began to play and the assembly filed inside, quickly filling the pews, until there was standing room only.  Searching through the mass of people, John finally noticed Margaret, walking down the aisle.  She was accompanied by a man and woman, who could only have been her husband’s brother and sister. John thought.  … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 4

Chapter 4      Maybe Someday   It had been two years since he’d heard that soft, lovely voice, now, depressingly fading to a whisper in his heart.  Hardly believing the moment, he slowly turned around, and she was there, standing off to the side on the veranda.  Margaret was pulling all the air from his lungs. John audibly inhaled as he took in Margaret’s vision which had been captured in his mind since he first met her.  Was there any beauty on earth to match hers?  . . .  He didn’t think so.  Margaret, once his entire future, stood before … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 3

  A Visit with Dixon 1853 summer Upon discovering that Margaret had married, John spent the next few weeks trying not to sink through the hole in his heart, until he could visit Dixon and discuss the content of her letter.  Still determined to understand the meaning of her statement about why Margaret married, he wrote, requesting a few moments of her time on the day he planned to be in London. In addition to losing the greatest love of his life, John now feared the loss of his mother.  She was growing weaker and more staid, appearing increasingly deficient … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me – pt 2

Chapter 2      Abandoned Hope   Over the next year, John Thornton became a shell of the man he once was: a thinking human being with no central core, little constancy, adrift in his own life.  In an effort to keep his company from failing, he worked long hours, trying to lose himself in his mill.  Margaret’s words, on the day of the riot, continued to haunt him.  He recognized that consideration for the human condition of his people was the road to the mill’s salvation, but how to accomplish this remained an issue for him and all the cotton … Read more

John Thornton, Look Back at Me pt 1

     Lost Love 1851 winter, Milton, N.W. England “Look back ………………. look back at me.” John heard his thoughts slip from his mouth, as he stood and watched the coach bearing Margaret away forever.  Unknowingly, she carried his heart, his soul, and his future dreams. Inside the carriage, Margaret dwelled deep within her own misery of lost family, drowning in the solitude she thought her life to be, too absorbed to give a backward glance. On that snowy day, John’s soul froze over; all of his passion fell dormant.  With her coach out of sight, he felt nausea sweep over … Read more

I Killed Him – pt 30 Final Chapter

Chapter Thirty Three thirty arrived, and John escorted Margaret down their steps. He lifted her into the carriage. He pitched his top hat on the opposite seat and gently lifted Margaret onto his lap. “You know I’m going to hate it when you don’t have to sit like this anymore.” “I know. I feel the same way.” John reached for her head to kiss her. “I am carrying you into the courthouse. You will exhaust yourself walking that far. “All right. I love being in your arms.” “Margaret, before you go in there, I should tell you something.” “Do you … Read more

I Killed Him – pt 29

Last Chapter next week Chapter Twenty Nine Nicholas sat for a while reading the paper. He decided to fix himself a drink, but there was no whisky which was the first time he’d ever known that to be missing from John’s bar. He settled for a scotch as his nerves were shot, too. He walked over to Margaret, wondering if he should find something to cover her. As he looked down, he noticed something coming from her mouth. “Not again,” he said out loud and hurried to a policeman in the yard. “Fetch Dr. Donaldson and be quick about it.” … Read more

I Killed Him – pt 28

Chapter Twenty Eight John never returned from his office. Margaret and Branson departed from the stable area and never passed where John could see she was riding on top. “You know where we’re going, right Branson?” “I know exactly where we are going and which cottage. We will park the team at some distance, Miss, so he will not know we’re coming. I will enter first with my pistols in hand. If he goes for a weapon, I will shoot at his toe. I want you to be able to talk to him and give him your doctored whisky. However, … Read more

I Killed Him – pt 27

Chapter Twenty Seven John and Frederick talked into the night, finalizing plans. Both agreed the pressure and anxiety were reaching an alarming pace, but nothing would stop them now, except death – for someone. They would have a meeting early the next day with the others; tell them all they knew and set the last plans of participation. Everyone would meet at the office around ten in the morning, including Branson. As the plan seemed laid out, all the men would meet in the morning. Afterwards, Frederick would continue to scout Hartford. At four in the afternoon, everyone would meet … Read more