Chapter 52 – A Trustworthy Family
“Ah!”, Nicholas exclaimed, “I knew this was going to stir him out of his whining!”
“Whining? I am not at all whining. I’m just aghast that you … Good God, Nicholas, it’s just … the completeness of this list only emphasizes its enormous importance! We must indeed do all this to keep Margaret safe and the babies to be born healthy. Thank you, my friend, thank you all. Now, what will be my part on this list? I see you have not rounded it out yet?”
Nicholas, under Hannah’s gaze full of concern for her son, placed his hand on John’s shoulder.
“You, my friend, have the most difficult task of all. You must convince our Margaret that there is only one rule for her to obey: she needs to rest as much as she can. You, John, must be the most vigilant of all because you are her husband and you are close to her. Now, listen, what I have in mind.”
At breakfast the next morning, Margaret was presented with a full delegation of friends and family.
Her husband, eyes shining with mirth, did the talking.
“My dearest, we need you to listen to what we have to say. First of all, we all love you dearly, Margaret. Look at us all, here we are, your servants, all of us.”
Margaret’s gaze went around the company and rested for a while upon them all, one by one.
There was Mary, her very best friend and co-worker, smiling shyly at her, and Dixon, her faithful servant and friend, her ruddy face beaming with affection. There was Dr Donaldson, tall and trustworthy, nodding reassuringly at her. There were Nicholas and Hannah, hand in hand, towers of strength, both of them. And then, there was John …
Tall frame and broad shoulders erect but eyes sparkling with love, so deeply it brought tears into her eyes. She reached out for him and he instantly came and took her into his arms. He kissed her on the top of her head and lifted her face to his.
“Margaret, my love …”
His voice broke as he continued.
“You are the most precious person in all our lives now. We want you to be safe and whole so please, listen to us?”
He led her to the settee and sat her down gently.
Nicholas handed her the List, as it would be called from now on and, after the first shock of surprise, Margaret began perusing it attentively. Her eyes gradually widened as she began to comprehend what was written down in so many details.
“But … but, John, Nicholas, am I to be … in bed … all the time, then? How could I possibly supervise all these projects when I am not there? I do want to rest, surely, but how could I if I am not allowed to be bodily present?”
John saw tears in her beautiful blue eyes and he squeezed her shoulder in support.
“Be calm, my love, Nicholas has it all covered.”
Indeed, the big union man smiled broadly and clapped his hands. Two sturdy fellows came in, one of them pushing the most comfortable wheel chair ever seen!
“Margaret, this is Crispin.”
The man in question was about thirty, at least six three and very massively built. His dark eyes shone with humour and his broad, ruddy face beamed with affability. He bowed to Margaret and said, in a deep bass voice:
“At your service, Ma’am, all day long!”
“And this,” Nicholas went on, “is Justin.”
Same built and height, but Justin was fair-haired and had beautiful hazel eyes which had a touch of shyness in them.
“Your humble servant, Ma’am, at your beck and call.”
His voice was soft and deep, as if he wasn’t used to much talking.
Margaret was extremely puzzled. She liked the two men instantly but she did not understand why they were here. Nicholas explained.
“From now on, my dear young lady,” he said in a mock stern voice, “you are not going anywhere but in that wheel chair. Crispin and Justin here are your attendants. They will wheel you around the mill yard and the house, even up the stairs, whenever and wherever you want to go. Have I your word that you will employ them as intended?”
“Margaret?”, John chimed in, eyes serious.
They all stared sternly at her, even in a very immovable fashion, as if they would not take ‘no’ for an answer. Margaret quickly pondered all that was laid before her. They were right, of course, and they were brilliant! This ‘List’ made it possible for her to be everywhere she wanted to be and her two attendants would provide her with the means to do so without endangering her babies and her health.
She let her gaze wander to all those loving faces and answered:
“Dear friends, thank you for your love and concern. Yes, I will do as you suggest and follow my ‘List’ faithfully. With the support of all of you, I am sure nothing can go wrong.”