The sun was high in the August sky when the newlyweds left St Wulfram’s church.
A double row of village girls, all dressed in their best Sunday clothes were standing along the path that led out of the churchyard. They were forming a flowered arch over the path, inviting Richard and Manon to pass under it on their way to their carriage. A chorus of happy cheers sounded as the couple ducked and walked under the arch, while a sprinkle of rice rained down on them. Well-wishers shouted their congratulations and children offered nosegays to the grateful bride and groom.
They reached the white-and-gold carriage and Richard ushered his bride in.
Manon settled onto the blue velvet cushions with a sigh of pure, contented pleasure, hooking her hand through Richard’s arm when he sat next to her.
“Well, my love?” Manon asked, delicate eyebrows raised over slightly mocking green eyes. “It seems that the Bearsham villagers are happy with our marriage, do you not agree? We have been concerned in vain, thinking they would object.”
“Yes, we were wrong to do so,” Richard acquiesced, his grey-blue eyes sparkling with unmitigated happiness. “These simple people are far more sensible than my harebrained, spiteful mother.” He sighed. “What am I to do with her, Manon? I had hoped she would settle quite meekly in our household, but it appears that she is determined to be the fly in the ointment of our marriage. I am so sorry, my sweet. I would have given my right arm to spare you the scene she inflicted upon us during the ceremony.”
Manon took his handsome face in her hands, forcing Richard to look her in the eyes.
“Oh no, we cannot have that,” she said, her voice full of mirth. “What use would you be to me with only one arm?”
With a groan, Richard pulled her onto his lap in one swift movement and revelled in her happy gasp of surprise. “Finally, I have you to myself for the first time today, my lady. There is so much I wanted to say after what transpired last night, and so much that I worried over. Did I…have I…oh, God, Manon! I am thoroughly ashamed of the way I so utterly lost control…”
“Yes…”Manon drawled. “Rest assured that I will punish you for torturing me so, my lord husband. I have been wracking my brains for ways to make you suffer for what you did to me, last night, and I have come up with something like this…”
She stood, hitched up her skirts and rearranged herself in his lap, this time astride. Her lips captured his and her tongue teased his while she sensuously wriggled atop of his thighs and onto his already aroused member. Richard groaned into their kiss and pulled her to him in a grip of iron. Their tongues battled as a wave of raw desire swept them along. Gasping for dear life when Richard’s hands slid up her thighs, to slip a finger into her heat, Manon began fumbling with the buttons of his breeches.
A few moments later, they were joined under the wide expanse of Manon’s gown, and a wild dance, old as the world itself, drove them to bliss in seconds.
When their carriage stopped in front of Bearsham Manor, the flushed couple had barely had the time to right their dishevelled appearance. They had a dining hall full of guests waiting to share their wedding breakfast with them. Manon, however, cast a quick glance in the hall mirror before she faced her guests…and gasped. She looked thoroughly disordered! On no account in the world would she present herself thusly.
“Richard, I really must have a moment to myself so that Bessie can restore my appearance.”
She gave him a critical look of appraisal and added, “And you, my love, will want Bright to correct your attire, too.”
“Thornton,” Richard addressed his butler, tongue in cheek, “please ask our guests for patience, just a little more time.”
Rushing up the stairs, they barely heard the butler’s reply. Once inside the master bedroom, Richard shooed away Bessie and Bright, who had come running after them. He kicked the door shut, swept Manon into his arms, and placed her onto the bed. With determined concentration, he then applied himself to continue what they had begun during their carriage ride home. His bride met his demands with eager anticipation. It was, after all, their wedding day.
Much later, when the wedding breakfast was over, and their guests had gone home, Richard took Manon by the hand and led her outside. The balmy August evening had not yet come, but the sun was beginning to make its way downward. Manon wondered where her husband was taking her, but she said nothing and followed him down the terrace and into the secret garden. It was a lovely spot near the edge of the Home Wood, and Manon had always wanted to explore it ever since she had come to Bearsham Manor but had never found the time in the whirlwind of events that had arisen. Now she stood next to her Richard in front of a grave.
“Here rests Father,” Richard whispered, pulling Manon in the circle of his arms while making her face the tomb. “I hope he looks upon us with contentment on this happiest of days, my love.”
“I am certain he does, my dearest,” Manon replied, placing her hands over Richard’s.
It was the perfect time to be here, she reflected. Sir Robert de Briers had always been anxious about Manon and Jéhan, even if he had never known them. He had even stood guard over them all, from beyond the grave, and left them the letter that brought her and Richard together. How Manon wished she had known him! How she would have cherished Richard’s good father!
“We must do something about Mother,” Richard suddenly said, recalling the Dowager’s appalling behaviour during their wedding ceremony. “She is going to be a constant thorn in our sides, my sweet, and I cannot have anything disturbing our lives from now on.”
Manon turned in his arms and looked up to him. “Leave her to me, my darling,” she said, confidence radiating from her lovely green eyes. “I want her to be part of our lives. She is a damaged woman, Richard. Life has not been gentle to her. Together, we will find a way to give her a place at Bearsham Manor.”
And if anyone could accomplish just that, Richard thought, it was his lively, strong Manon. He bent his head to claim her mouth in a kiss that promised the world.
It can be difficult to balance a love story with one of the deadliest wars ever as a backdrop, and some films have done it better than others. The latest to try is The Promise starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale. Set during the heart of World War I, the film will tackle the Armenian Genocide, with Isaac and Bale’s characters thrown into the middle of the conflict. Check out the trailer for the film below.
No release date set
Marvel’s Iron Fist 2017
|Date of Birth||4 February 1987, Manchester, England, UK|
|Birth Name||Lewis Singwah Tan|
|Height||6′ 2″ (1.88 m)|
Lewis Tan was born on February 4, 1987 in Manchester, England as Lewis Singwah Tan. He is known for his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Mortal Kombat X: Generations (2015) and Hawaii Five-0 (2010).
“I like her numbers,” astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) announces after witnessing unheralded NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) crack a previously unsolvable equation. With luck, audiences will echo Glenn’s sentiments when 20th Century Fox unveils the complete cut of Hidden Figures, an inspirational and patriotic drama that the studio just teased at the Toronto International Film Festival.
One of the great things about movies is that they can reveal things to the general public that most never knew before. Hidden Figures does this by shining a light on a part of the space program that most of us never think about. We’ve seen numerous films about some of the first men to go to the moon, but much less so about the people who helped them get there. We knew so little, that we had no idea how many African-American women were part of the program.
Taraji P. Henson plays actual NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who was part of the elite team that helped launch John Glenn on his primary orbit around our planet and, more important, bring him back home. As part of the footage shown, we were introduced to the three headstrong, intelligent and talented women at the heart of Ted Melfi’s historical drama: Johnson; division supervisor Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer); and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). They are big personalities, who made huge contributions to our space program during the race our country held with Russian at the time of the Cold War.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
To call Schindler’s List “a movie” seems like an understatement, as few films have ever presented as effective—or harrowing—an accounting of the Holocaust as Steven Spielberg’s epic retelling of Oskar Schindler, the German business owner who saved the lives of thousands of concentration camp-bound refugees by offering them employment in his factories. While many consider Schindler’s List the film that Spielberg was born to make, the director himself worried that he did not have the maturity to pull off such a massive undertaking, and so it was originally pitched to Roman Polanski, Sydney Pollack and Martin Scorsese (who was officially attached).
But then Spielberg reconsidered. And from the moment he took the reins, he was clear about one thing: the film would be shot like a documentary, which meant that he did not want any stars in the key roles (both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes were still relative unknowns at the time) and that it would be shot in black and white using mostly handheld cameras. It would also be filmed in as many of the actual locations as possible (with the exception of Auschwitz, which they were forbidden from entering). And it’s from these elements precisely that Schindler’s List draws its cinematic power.
Based on True Story
John met up with the day’s presiding Magistrate and told him of some personal issues that had to be resolved. He apologized, telling him to fill his bench time for the next few weeks. John had thought over his resignation from the bench and decided that if he wanted to serve papers against this Captain that it would be better to maintain his Magistrate title. It would lend more weight. Knowing of the whereabouts of Margaret’s brother would not cause him to resign in any event. That particular arrest fell to the Navy as far as he was concerned. But as time grew near for him to seek his own revenge on Hartford, he would consider it a matter of pride to withdraw.
“Branson, take me to the chapel.”
John entered his coach still thinking about his Magistrate resignation. He let out a hearty laugh to himself and wondered why did he care about that so much. What difference would it make if he was going to be found guilty of murder? You can’t work pride halfway. Next in line, was speaking with the minister and persuading him to perform a ceremony at the hospital. He knew he could always get another Magistrate to do it, but thought Margaret would be more agreeable to having God in the ceremonial vows.
John found the minister at his rectory and was invited in.
John’s coach rolled into the mill yard with Adam Bell behind him. He was anxious to get a plan underway so that he could feel free to spend his day with Margaret.
“Good morning, Adam.”
“Good morning, John. By the look at your red eyes, I see you slept very little last night. Have you come from seeing Margaret?”
“No, I had other matters to tend to. I will go to her after our meeting.” John replied.
As they approached the steps, Adam asked, “Have you calmed down any? You were almost a madman, yourself last night.”
“I’m sorry to say, you find me the same, with the same convictions.”
Adam had little he could say. No one could ever get John Thornton to change his mind. What would Margaret think when she came to find out? There was a fact that possibly Thornton had overlooked.
The two walked up the stairs as Nicholas came behind them. John had tea brought to the dining room table and Branson eventually appeared up the kitchen stairs.
Adam opened. “I guess we’ve all been giving this some thought since we were here last night. Let me start by saying that Frederick should be receiving my initial warning letter today or tomorrow. So, we do have that going for us. I had told him of Margaret’s coercion,” Adam saw John twist in his seat, “to marry this man for Frederick’s safety. I didn’t spare any words. I explained that I didn’t feel his word was trustworthy no matter Margaret’s decision, as I felt he was after her coming inheritance.”
“I’m sorry, Adam, but you have mentioned this inheritance from you, several times. I’m afraid to ask; is this something forthcoming anywhere in the near future?”
“Nicholas, although there is some concern, a man does not have to pass on to endow someone else with a gift, which I plan to do. I promised Margaret’s father, over a two years ago, that I would see that she was taken care of in the event that he went before I did. He had been quite concerned about her being alone.”
“Thank you for explaining that. Please, go on.”
Again, everyone noticed John’s discomfort.
“John, I know your plans for Margaret, and I know some of your worth, but that will not change my gift. I have no one else in my life to benefit from me.” Adam paused, and John never spoke.
“As I was saying, Frederick will shortly be aware of his situation and make his move. I advised him that I was going to speak to you about how we might help him. He is to respond immediately and let me know of his new situation. If there is someone lurking about, he will be more vigilant. I don’t think we can move as a threesome for another couple of days until I hear from him, but we can plan ways to get him out of the country and perhaps disable those watching him.”
“I’ve talked with my wife and needless to say she is overcome with grief for her friend, Margaret. She has no arguments as far as my involvement is concerned, no matter how long this takes.” Nicholas added.
Branson continued with, “I’m ready where I am needed. I have several weapons and will carry them. I do not have a wife or a wife-to-be, and I am looking forward to this. I’d like to get a little dirty,” he smiled.
That caused half a smile from John. Day in and day out he thanked his stars when he found Branson. The young man was fearless among all of his other fine attributes. He was wasted as a driver, but Branson would have it no other way.”
“How about the running of the mills?” John finally spoke out.
“That’s already been taken care of. I have our trusted foremen in charge for the next three weeks, and they know you will be around for major questions.”
“I’m not so sure of being here all the time, Nicholas. Pick one of them; pick Charles and one of the accountants to have joint spending rights. Neither one can spend money without the signature of the other. I will be here for awhile, but as Margaret improves, I expect to have other issues to dispatch.”
“Guv, do you want me here? You can’t drive that coach,” Branson jested.
John smiled. “Branson, I can harness the small buggy, but I will preferably use a single horse.”
“If I could begin to detail a plan, I’d like opinions and suggestions,” stated Adam. What I see as a logical step is for me to remain in Paris, meeting privately with Frederick, while Nicholas and Branson scout a route and destination for Fred.”
“Adam,” replied Nicholas, “I can do that on my own. Let Branson stay with you because you are more likely to run into anyone keeping an eye on Fred. Like Branson said, he’s got the weapons.”
“We will have to write each day somehow, or pay for a rider between locations.”
“I shall pay for the rider,” John interceded. “Time will be of the essence. Perhaps, two riders will be needed.”
“I will scout around Paris to find someone who speaks English,” spoke Branson, “and set something up where one is waiting in between two locations and other is on the end waiting to take the missive. I can talk among the driving services there. There should be plenty who would want to earn more than what they do as a cabby.”
“Branson, see me for the money before you leave,” John said. “So where does that leave us right now. Nowhere, I assume until we hear from Margaret’s brother.”
“Yes, that’s correct,” Bell added. “I have also, just this morning, have written to the Shaw’s about Margaret’s whereabouts. I think I was as delicate as I could be, saying little. I feel, perhaps, I shall follow it up with a second letter today asking them not to reveal Margaret’s location to anyone. It will spark questions in their mind, but does that sound like the best alternative?”
“Yes, Adam, do that. I don’t think I want Hartford to follow her here, although that may make things easier, but I will enjoy it less. I do not want my time with her interrupted.”
“I’ll see to that as soon as we are done here.”
“Men, I thank you for your help in this. I hope none of you finds difficulty along the way. I guess we should all prepare to leave at a moment’s notice.”
“John,” said Nicholas, “we do this for Margaret as well as you. There is no thanks needed. What kind of men would we be if we did anything less for a friend?”
“Thank you, Nicholas, and the rest of you. If you will excuse me, I will be at the hospital.”
John left Nicholas and Adam talking to each other as he nodded to Branson for a trip into town.