BBC has released the trailer! New period set series VIENNA BLOOD is coming November 18th to BBC Two and will air on Monday nights with three ninety minutes long episodes based on the best selling Liebermann novels by British writer Frank Tallis. Starring Matthew Beard and Juergen Maurer the new mini series is set in 1900s Vienna: a hot bed of philosophy, science and art, where a clash of cultures and ideas play out in the city’s grand cafes and opera houses. This unique, ambitious and compellincrime drama, set in glorious Vienna during an extraordinary period in its history, also stars Conleth Hill, Charlene McKenna, Amelia Bullmore, Jessica De Gouw and Luise von Finckh
The series starts this Monday on BBC2
Most of the series was shot over in Austrian capital Vienna
A Student Of Freud’s
Max Liebermann (Matthew Beard) is a brilliant young English doctor, studying under the famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Max is keen to understand the criminal mind and begins to observe Oskar Rheinhardt (Juergen Maurer), a Detective Inspector in the Vienna Police Department, who is struggling with a perplexing case. Max’s extraordinary skills of perception and forensics and his deep understanding of human behavior and deviance help Oskar solve Vienna’s most mysterious cases.
Matthew Beard is a middle class British-Jew who moved to Austria in his teens. He is now a junior doctor but has fallen under the spell of the new science of the day and is studying neurology. Fixated by the idea of analysing psychopaths at close hand, Max convinces the Viennese police to let him observe their work.
Juergen Maurer is a Police Inspector Oskar, more a doer than a thinker. Despite being occasionally irritated by Max’s discursive approach to crime-solving, Oskar is savvy enough to know that Max’s intuitions will help his career prospects.
Chapter Fifty-Five – Most Cherished List Item: the Babies
“If I do not survive this, then you must not grieve me forever, John.”
John, on hearing those soft-spoken words, found himself prey to many different feelings, of which rage was the most powerful. “Margaret, no! I forbid you to speak like that!”
The cheer vibrant fury in John’s voice startled Margaret. Her eyes grew moist and she pressed his hand strongly.
“John, John, forgive me, I did not mean …”
But John turned her so that she now faced him.
“Margaret Hale Thornton, do not ever say such a thing again or I … I … oh, I do not know what I will do but … Lord, Margaret! We cannot even think of you not being here to raise our children together with me!”
“John, I’m sorry. I … I had a moment of weakness and it will never occur again, my darling. I am sure that I can succeed in this with you by my side.”
“Exactly, you are not alone, my darling. I will be there every step of the way. Now, you must rest. Come, let me help you to get comfortable.”
Long after her husband had fallen asleep, Margaret lay awake, staring at the silver rectangle of the window. She was really afraid of the ordeal awaiting her. The pregnancy was beginning to wear her down, more so than she would have liked and not only physically.
John came bursting through the parlour door, a huge grin on his handsome face and blue eyes shining with pleasure. Behind him, Margaret could see the figure of another man, a tradesman by the look of it.
“Darling, this is Mr Topplewaite. He runs a furniture shop in one of Milton’s finest neighbourhoods. I asked him to come and show you some of the drawings of the furniture he has in the shop. Nursery furniture, that is!”
“Oh!” Margaret’s face flushed with pleasure. She had been worrying about the nursery for some time now. Hannah showed her the room when Margaret’s pregnancy was certain and the mother-to-be hadn’t been happy with it. Situated on the top floor of the house, it was a gloomy, oppressive place and too far away from their own bedroom, to Margaret’s taste. Thus, she was relieved to see John take this problem out of her hands.
“Now,” John said, “Crispin, Justin, take your places. Come, darling, fasten your seatbelt. Here, let me help you.”
Margaret had to fight herself not to ruffle her husband’s black hair while he kneeled before her to help with the belt. Dear, sweet John …
C & J wheeled her chair, not toward the stairs, but to their bedroom door and then beyond, to the room John occupied before their marriage.
“John, what is this? I don’t understand …”
“This,” John said as he threw open the door, “is to be the nursery. Look what I have done with the place.”
Margaret’s chair rolled into the room and she gasped with surprise. The whole space had been cleared, the wallpaper had been stripped, the carpets removed, the curtains unhooked. What had been John’s former bachelor room, upholstered with the appropriate subdued browns and dark greens, was now a spacious, light and airy children’s room. The wall were a soft sky blue, the ceiling pure white and the floor had been decked with new boards, painted in dove grey and polished to a gleam. The windows were hung with dark blue velvet curtains from top to bottom.
“Mr Topplewaite, do your magic, if you please? Margaret, you are to assist Mr Topplewaite and choose the right furnishings. When you are ready, Mr Topplewaite, I would be obliged to you if you would step into my office, later? Thank you.”
With that the Master left the room, still grinning with delight.
Margaret spent the next two hours choosing two cots, two small wardrobes, a large chest-of-drawers with a marble top, destined for the babies’ toilette, and a comfortable rocking chair. She picked out a small bath tub and a few stuffed animals and toys. Also needed was a bed, wardrobe and dressing table for the nursery maid – and, Good Lord, she had yet to find one!
This pleasant chore finished, the four of them were sipping at a much needed cup of tea, when Hanna and Nicholas came in. They had been overseeing the work going on in their new house and were glad to drink a cup too.
“What do you say, chaps?”, he grinned at the men present, “How about something a bit stronger to accompany the tea? I myself could stomach a brandy!”
The other three eagerly nodded in agreement and Hannah pointed at the sherry bottle.
Margaret and Mr Topplewaite then began explaining what they had been up to and the newcomers examined and approved of it all.
After tea, Mr Topplewaite and the two men excused themselves and Margaret told Hannah and Nicholas about her wanting to find a nursemaid.
“You know, Margaret,” Nicholas said, “I might have just the lass for you.”
“Oh?”, Margaret asked, smiling at him.
“Yes, her name is Letty Monroe and she is Mary’s cousin. Her father is my late wife’s brother.
Letty is … well, she had an accident when she was ten, lost a foot at Henderson’s mill. As a result, she cannot work in a shed any more. When she has to stand on that leg, despite the wooden foot, she tires easily. But, Margaret, she is a bright girl, taught herself to read and write and she is awfully good at drawing. You should see her drawings.”
Margaret kept her face bland but she was having doubts about Letty Monroe. A poor girl from the worker’s class was not what she had in mind as a nanny for her children. Yet, she agreed to receive the girl the next day and talk to her.
“So, you have found yourself a nanny, then?,” John asked, that night. He had just helped his wife into bed and was now undressing himself.
“I don’t know, John, I have to see her first. I confess I am a bit apprehensive. She is an uneducated girl, John, and she has a wooden foot, Nicholas said. She lost a foot in an accident at Henderson’s, as a child.”
John retrieved his shirt and asked. “When was this? I seem to recall something of the kind, five or six years ago.”
“I do not know. Nicholas is sending her here tomorrow.”
Hearing the sound of doubt in Margaret’s voice, her husband was surprised.
“Margaret, what is this? You seem … somehow prejudiced against this girl! That is not like you! Normally, you have no qualms about members of the working class.”
Margaret bowed her head in a sudden consternation. “Oh, I’m sorry, John, it’s just that …”
She looked up at him, tears in her beautiful eyes. Her voice was very small when she whispered. “I’m so afraid, John, I’m terrified …”
With a grunt of deep concern, John took his wife into his arms and hugged her.
“Margaret, my love, do not lose heart? I’ll move heaven and earth to help and protect you. I promise you that everything will be alright. I will not leave your side, Margaret! You and I, we will bring this baby business to a good end.”
But, Margaret was softly sobbing, her face hidden into his shoulder and, not for the first time, John Thornton, strong man that he was, had dire forebodings about the weeks to come.
A+E Network‘s MISS SCARLET AND THE DUKE 19th century drama has new pictures from the sets featuring lead stars Stuart
As far as I’ve heard the series will also hit PBS sometime next year
Martin and Kate Philips as 19th century London’s first female private detective! The six episode series will also star Ansu Kabia, Andrew Gower, Matthew Malone, Simon Ludders. You can also check out the first trailer
Stuart Martin and Kate Philips in lead roles
featuring a scene in which she hits a policeman in a disgusting example of violence against men which is, I’m guessing, supposed to be funny. It is not. It is a despicable and vile example of hypocrisy and double standards.
London’s First Female Detective When Eliza’s (Kate Philips) father dies, he leaves her penniless in a time where marriage is her only option for financial security. But the headstrong Eliza is determined to find another way. Luckily, she has an ace up
Stuart Martin returns to period set drama after Medici and Jamestown
her bonnet – her father’s business – a private detective agency. Eliza knows all the tricks of the trade but as a genteel 19th century lady she’s never been allowed to put them into practice. To operate in this man’s world, she needs a partner. Step forward Detective Inspector William Wellington (Stuart
The first season will consist of just six episodes
Martin) of Scotland Yard, who is also known as “The Duke;” drinker, gambler and womaniser. Eliza and The Duke strike up a mismatched, fiery relationship that will crackle and smoulder with sexual tension as they team up to solve crime in the murkiest depths of 1880’s London.
Disney is ready to launch its own streaming service Disney + with its own tentpole science fiction series THE MANDALORIAN which has the honor to be their first program ever when they hit the streaming space this Tuesday, November 12th! It also has the honour of being the first-ever television series in the Star Wars franchise bringing Jedis to the small screens after they’ve populated only the big ones for four decades! It is expected that Disney + will quickly take over the leading spot in the streaming service business as they will not only have all the Disney’s classics, but also Star Wars and Marvel movies and series. Disney has already renewed THE MANDALORIAN for the second season created and produced by Jon Favreau. The first season of the $120 million expensive series has eight episodes directed by different people among which is also Hollywood star Bryce Dallas Howard whose father Ron Howard directed the highly unsuccessful Han Solo stand-alone Star Wars movie. But unlike other streamers, Disney + won’t give you all episodes at once, but will stream them one by one each week which means the last one should air two days after Christmas.
Gina Carano and Karl Weathers will also star in the new series
A Lone Gun FighterThe lead role has been given to Pedro Pascal who plays a lone gunfighter and bounty hunter with advanced combat skills and questionable moral character in the outer reaches of the galaxy from the time after the Empire has fallen in Return of the Jedi, and before the rise of the First Order in The Force Awakens which means it is a time when lawless chaos ruled in certain parts of the galaxy. He will be joined in the series by other characters that you can see in the posters in today’s spotlight: former Rebel Shock Trooper turned mercenary Cara Dune (Gina Carano), bounty hunter leader Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) who hires the Mandalorian to track a valuable asset, lethal bounty hunter droid IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi), and an alien character whose name is Kuiil (Nick Nolte). Giancarlo Esposito will appear as Moff Gideon, a former governor under the Empire whose life changed after the Rebels destroyed the second Death Star.
Pedro Pascal is The Mandalorian
The series will also have droids and strange new alien creatures in the cast
Two hours later, Kip returned to the rear of Parliament to find his father. He walked to the steps and waited. Finally, his father exited the building.
As they approached Kip’s coach, his father asked, “Where’s your driver? Has he run off?”
“Father, your driver, is here,” he said as he took the wheel peg and lifted into his box with a broad smile.
Shocked but laughing, Earl Caldwell said, “Are you not supposed to open my door?”
“Have you forgotten how they operate, milord?”
Lord William Caldwell climbed in, astonished at what just occurred. He remembered his son had written that he was a coachman, but never did he think he’d see the likes of such doings. He thought how someone of his prestige would be embarrassed to have a son in that chosen trade. There were too many hurts in the family’s past to give that weight. He still had hoped, if he didn’t push, that Trevor would return to their home, the land with its people and his obligations. Sadly, he thought how the death of his daughter had forced his son’s forbearance from nobility and life in general. He was most happy to see him looking better.
As they arrived at the fine-dining area within the elite hotel, Kip allowed the hotel’s footman to exit his father. He parked the team around back and entered through a side door. His father was already seated.
When he came to the table, his father stood and readily shook his son’s hand.
“And how are you, milord?” Kip asked.
“Trev, none of that. ‘Father’ it will always be to you and your brother. Perhaps in the company of others, I will permit it but never when it is just us. I am . . . I guess I should say, I am taking what the world gives me. My heart is not in Parliament any more, but the alternative is worse. You look rather well. That is a fine coach, and your team is exquisite. I see you haven’t lost your love of the Friesian. You seem to have taken to your chosen path with great flourish.”
“Father, it is what I needed. I still need it; in case you are wondering why I had to see you. I cannot say when I will return, but I believe ‘never’ has left my words. How is Augustus?”
“He is finally starting to take an interest in life again, too. He has a young lady whom he is seeing, now. She lives here in London. Any day I expect to hear him tell me to find him a flat. Where are you living, son?”
“I am here, in London. I have been since I left home.”
“All this time? Where?”
“I have a very nice stable and small flat on the edge of London. I rent two holding stalls in the center of town where drivers can keep their teams and coach in the city if the job warrants it. Mostly, I go to my flat. Father, I like my anonymity and want to keep it that way.”
“If you wish. I will say that you are not an embarrassment to me as you are, and never will be, no matter your decisions in life. I know you would have well thought it through. Happiness is all I want for my boys. Although the honor of the family heritage and name is significant, it can never be more consequential than our loved ones. My, how those thoughts have changed over the last year.”
“Was there ever any news on Mary’s killer? I watched the papers for a long time.”
“Trev, I wanted to believe that the assailant was someone whom we knew was there that night. The police were confident he was not because of the missing eye. Inspector Marshall was there for a week or more. He found a boot print that did not match anyone there. It was not a gentleman’s shoe, either. It was quite fresh. However, hidden in the dirt from the ice house floor, he discovered a human eyeball. The detective said it had to be the killer’s, as it was recently removed.” His father hung his head. “The detective felt your sister fought bravely and gouged his eye out.” Tears welled in both their eyes. It was unbearable to think of the struggle she had endured.
“Yes, I knew that much when I last talked to him as I was leaving. An eye. An eye! It now makes sense!” Kip exclaimed.
“What are you talking about, Trevor?”
“In her final moments, Mary gasped out the word ‘I.’ I thought she was trying to tell me something that she did. She would have started with ‘I.’ I don’t think she was totally conscious at the time. I spoke with her, trying to get her to talk to me. I listened to the rattle in her throat but heard nothing further. An eye. She was trying to tell me he had one eye. Is this detective still at the Met?”
“Yes, he lets me know from time to time that nothing has been uncovered.”
“This murderer may have gotten a glass eye. I’ve since stopped looking for only an eye patch on someone. Father, I will never give up. I hear more than people know in this trade. This is why I had to talk to you.”
“Yes, yes. Go on.”
“Do you know a Lilith Caldwell?”
“I remember hearing about the birth of a daughter long ago. I have no idea how she would be related. It is some distance from you or me. Why?”
“She may have disappeared last night. She was attending a ball. Two men escorted her there. I was hired to drive her cousin, Lucy Blevins, niece to Sir Thomas Blevins. My rider was to meet her cousin and be introduced to the second gentleman. Miss Blevins felt that there were some harsh words between Lilith and her gentleman. I had been asked to stay for an hour to see how Miss Blevins thought she would enjoy her evening. An hour later, she came looking for me. Her cousin, Lilith Caldwell, and the two men left. Shortly, I will go to the police and tell them what I know, which is nothing. I never saw the men or the coach, although I think a friend, another driver, may have noticed the coach and coachman. We, the coach drivers, are investigating that. I have been worried about the fact that this is a second Caldwell woman to … well, I don’t know what will be the outcome. I find it difficult to believe that this may be a coincidence. I have to ask you is there anything in our family’s past that could lead to these horrendous crimes against our family? I wonder if you were or are being blackmailed.”
Lord William Caldwell looked stunned.
“What is it, Father? Tell me.”
“No, son. I am not being blackmailed. We cannot have another tragedy in this family. She must be found. I will see her uncle today. I will also talk with the Metropolitan. It does sound hard to not be coincidental.”
“They are aware of it, of course. I do not know if they know of your connection with that family. I believe there are other Caldwell’s in London, who are not of us. Miss Blevins was trying to explain, and even she does not know how she is exactly related to Lilith but knows there is an Earl in her lineage.”
Lord William Caldwell pulled a bit of paper from his brief and wrote his address on it for Trevor. “I want to know what you know.”
“As I, you. Father, if we meet in some type of gathering, please do not recognize me. I am called Kip. I used mother’s surname of Kipling. My friends think I am Trevor Kipling, and they call me Kip.”
“I say . . . are you Kip, that coachman?”
“You’ve heard of me?”
“And handsomely, I might add. You have been recommended in my company several times. Of course, I have our driver Briggs. I am proud to know of the gentleman of honor that you have remained. Thank you, son.”
“Flicking a card out of his jacket and handing it over, “Father, I have heard about you, too.”
“Rumors of me? Under what circumstances?”
“I believe you have a lady friend. I am happy for you. Shouldn’t you make an honest woman of her?” Kip grinned.
“My God, my son, a driver, knows of my romantic interests. Is there nothing sacred?”
“Among drivers, no. However, we are a brotherhood, and it never goes beyond our own boundaries as gentlemen.”
“I met this widowed woman when I was very low after Mary’s death.”
“Father, I understand more than you know. I do not need for you to tell me. As for your reputation in secret liaisons, you are very low on the interest list. You are a gentleman widower; she is a widowed lady. There would be no interest at all if you were not an Earl. I wish you the best and hope you find some happiness, yet, in this life.”
“How about you, Trev? Any lady in your life?”
“There is one who I have recently met. I am quite smitten, but we’ve only just started to speak.”
“Son, don’t lose a chance to be happy. We do not know when it will be taken from us.”
“Thank you, Father. I think I know that all too well. I must return you to the realm. Tell Augustus I am in good health, and in London. I do not know how well he could keep my secret, so I doubt I will tell him. I really have the best of two worlds, Father.”
“He knows what you are doing. I told him when you wrote. Neither of us knew you were here. If he moves to London, he will have his own driver as well. I will talk with him.”
Kip and his father finished their lunch with a bit more news to each other before he was driven back to the House of Lords. They promised to stay in touch.
Arriving at the Metropolitan, Kip entered the building and spoke with an officer at a front desk about the Lilith Caldwell investigation. He was told that the detective was not in and to seek him in the afternoon. Leaving, Kip decided to ride by the Blevins home, checking whether the detective was there.
He knocked, and the door was opened. “I am not expected. I do not wish to intrude, but might the detective be here? I could not catch him at the Met.”
Lucy asked him to enter, and she would find out if he could be seen.
“Let me ask, Kip. The detective’s name is Marshall. He and Uncle are talking. I have had my interview. Please wait.”
“Marshall? Very good, miss. Wait …, please. Can you tell me if either man with your cousin that evening wore an eye patch?”
“Yes, one did. How did you know? I only remembered it this morning.” Lucy disappeared for a moment and returned with her uncle.
“Kip, this is fortunate timing for the inspector. Do come in. I think he was about to find you next.”
Kip handed his top hat and gloves to the footman and followed Sir Blevins into his study.
Introductions acquitted; everyone sat but Kip. He could feel the eyes of the Inspector recognizing him. He wondered if he was being looked at as a suspect. Please don’t ask me if I am Lord Trevor.
“Do sit, Kip,” said Sir Blevins.
“I prefer to stand, Sir.”
Kip felt his father would meet the Met detective and find that the same man was on Lilith’s case, as on Mary’s. He would not bring it to light now. Kip wanted to speak with the Inspector alone.
“Kip, is it?” The detective began, squinting.
“Yes, sir. Excuse me but is it detective or inspector?”
He smiled and knew exactly who he was talking to, but why was he using the name, Kip? Why was he dressing as a coachman? “It’s actually Detective Inspector Marshall. Tell me in your own words anything you witnessed that relates to this case.”
“Sir, I witnessed nothing at all. The only person that I had a brief occasion to see was Miss Lilith Caldwell. I did not see either gentleman with her. Upon learning of a potential mystery about two hours later, I asked the other drivers to speak with each other about the driver or coach. I will be seeing them sometime today and will let you know if we have anything.
“Sir Blevins has given me your address should I need anything further. Thank the drivers for any support they can offer. We shall speak again.”
“Indeed. Good day, then.”
Kip passed up several hailings as he headed just outside of London’s center to The Coachman’s Box. It wasn’t near lunch yet, but he needed a pause in time to collect himself. The eatery was nearly deserted. The long trestle tables waited to be occupied, smells wafted from the kitchen, and men were rolling in barrels of ale. He picked the smallest table in the darkest corner after ordering from the bartender, who he knew. Kip set his hat beside him and placed his head on the table. Countless images were vying for his attention.
“You, alright there, lad?” asked the bartender setting two pints in front of him.
“Just a headache, Liam. I think these will fix me up,” Kip lied as he picked up the first mug.
“It should be quiet in here for another hour. Take your time, son.” Liam walked away.
Mary was clamoring for attention. The man who attacked her was making his presence known through her eyes. It was frightening. A chill ran down his back, causing stomach cramps. He didn’t know if the next visions were going to be from her eyes, as he rutted atop her. Kip slipped out the back door and vomited. Bent over, hands upon his knees, drool spilling from his mouth, Mary was back again, happily picking her flowers. She was speaking to him. He knew that now. He wasn’t going mad. All the images, until now, were ones he could have seen when she lived. This one was new, and he knew it was an image only she could project. Mary, you are with me.
Finally, a breath of fresh air carried him back into the eatery on the wings of a small white dove with dimples. Squeaks was visiting at his insistence. Perhaps she was coming to his rescue. He thought he was a whole person until he met her, but virtues, he hadn’t thought about for a long time, were peeping their head above the parapet since he first talked with her. Virtues such as prudence, tenacity, and humility. However, her world was going to collide with his someday; he could feel it.
Martin Simmonds (Tim Roth and Gerran Howell in younger years) has been haunted throughout his life by the mysterious disappearance of his “brother” and extraordinary best friend, a Polish Jewish virtuoso violinist, Dovidl Rapaport, who vanished shortly before the 1951 London debut concert that would have launched his brilliant career. Thirty five years later, Martin discovers that Dovidl (Clive Owen and Jonah Hauer King) may still be alive, and sets out on an obsessive intercontinental search to find him and learn why he left.
The movie opens this Christmas
The movie was directed by Francois Girard as Canadian Hungarian production
Hannah’s and Nicholas’ wedding day was approaching rapidly and Margaret wanted it to be as lovely as could be for the pair of them. John, who first had been reluctant to see them wed, had changed his view under Margaret’s gentle guidance. He knew all too well that his mother had been lonely after his father’s death, although she never let it show, even to him.
John was still slightly astonished how an attachment between the two had possibly managed to grow but, when he saw them together and watched how they looked at each other, he had no more doubts about the depth of their mutual feeling. After all, Nicholas had become a capable and decent man with a suitable salary to keep his wife in a station that was due to her.
So, he helped Margaret to make the necessary arrangements.
There was a particularly tricky matter to settle, one that would require all of Margaret’s diplomatic talents. Hannah and Nicholas needed a house to live in after their marriage.
Hannah did not really wanted to leave her present house but she realised all too well that she couldn’t go on living there indefinitely, now that John and Margaret were to become parents. They would need all the space they could get, as soon as the children were born. So, she agreed upon inspecting Milton’s house market with Margaret and her two attendants, albeit reluctantly.
Nicholas, however, proved to be the hardest to convince. He was used to and fond of his small house on Princess Street, where he lived since he married Bessy’s and Mary’s mother. Apart from being rather dank and far too small, the dismal little house had as good as no amenities whatsoever and could not possibly be thought suitable for a lady like Hannah Thornton.
After a long time – and a good deal of convincing – it was Mary who brought her father to reason. She stated very simply that she had too much to do at the Infirmary to have some time to spare for looking after the Boucher children. After their parent’s death, two years before, Nicholas had taken in the three boys, Thomas, Christopher and Harold and the three girls, Jemima, Louisa and Tabitha.
Tom was now almost nine and working with John at Marlborough Mills. His sister Jemima, eight, who first worked as a ‘scavenger’, was now helping Mary at the Infirmary. The four younger siblings still needed a lot of looking after and also, a lot of space. A bigger house, Mary said to her father, was just a question of good common sense.
Thus, one beautiful day at the end of May, Hannah and Nicholas agreed on signing the contract of sale on a house in the suburbs of Milton, with five bedrooms and a large garden. Margaret and John were very pleased with the acquisition and promised to help with the move.
After that, there was only the ceremony to prepare and the date of the wedding to come.
“It feels awkward,” John whispered one evening. They were in bed, exhausted from a very long and tiring day.
“What, darling?”, Margaret asked.
“Mother leaving this house. I … I had it built, especially for her, you know. It was my first big expenditure after two years of substantial profit. I could scarcely afford it but I wanted mother and Fanny out of the bleak, shabby rooms we occupied at the time. Mother knew we had not yet enough money to spare on the mill’s expenses but she never said a word. She acknowledged my need to honour her for her troubles and hard work.”
Margaret laughed softly. “Mother always seems to know what you are thinking or feeling, sometimes even before you do yourself.”
“Yes, that is so. As I do with her. I could never have succeeded without her, Margaret.”
“I know. John …”
Her husband’s arms were around Margaret’s heavy body, cradling it soothingly in his warmth.
“John … I once made a vow that … that I would never come between you and Mother. I hope I succeeded in that?”
“Oh, my darling Margaret, of course you did! Yet, should I ever be forced to choose between the two of you, I would not know how to deal with it. That is why I love you so much, my sweetheart, you have made it very easy for me by loving my mother as if she were you own. I will never have to make this choice.”
Margaret nestled herself deeper in John’ arms. How good it felt to be held by him …
“Sweetheart …”, she breathed, her heart pinched all of a sudden.
“What is it, darling?”
“John, you must promise me this, please? If … if I do not … survive this …”
“If I do not survive this, then you must not grieve me forever, John.”