UK ITV Sets Premiere Date For ‘The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher’ Season 3

Category : News, UK News

The third run of ITV’s The Suspicions of Mr Whicher will premiere on Sunday September 7th at 9:05pm, it has been announced.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is based on the real life career of celebrated 19th century detective Jonathan ‘Jack’ Whicher and follows the eponymous character who is an Detective Inspector with London’s Metropolitan Police Service. The drama is produced by Hat Trick Productions and stars Paddy Considine. The executive producer is Hat Trick’s Head of Drama Mark Redhead.

The show’s third run, which consists of 2 two-hour films (Beyond The Pale and ‘Till Death Do Us Part), follows Jack Whicher as he pursues his new career as a private inquiry agent, having left his position with the Metropolitan Police Service. The new films were penned by Helen Edmundson and directed by Geoff Sax and David Blair.

Kill Your Darlings 2013

Kill Your Darlings 2013 GAY Themed

SYNOPSIS

As a young man in the 1940s, poet Allen Ginsberg wins a place at Columbia University in New York City. He arrives as a very inexperienced freshman, but soon runs into Lucien Carr, who is very anti-establishment and rowdy.

After a while, Ginsberg discovers that Carr only manages to stay at Columbia thanks to a somewhat older man, a professor, David Kammerer, who writes all of his term papers for him, and seems perhaps to have been an ex-lover of Carr’s. It appears that Kammerer is still in love with Carr, and is revealed to be pressuring Carr for sexual favors, in exchange for assuring that he cannot be expelled.

Ginsberg soon meets, through Carr, William S. Burroughs, already far into drug experimentation. The writer Jack Kerouac, who was a sailor at that time and expelled from Columbia, also meets and spends time with them. Ginsberg takes part in various extreme escapades with this extraordinary group of people.

Carr eventually tells Kammerer he is done with him, and recruits Ginsberg (who has a crush on him) to write his term papers instead. After a while, Kerouac and Carr attempt to run off and join the merchant marine together, hoping to go to Paris.

There is a confrontation between Carr and Kammerer, during which Kammerer is killed by stabbing (and perhaps also by drowning). Carr is arrested, and asks Ginsberg to write his deposition for him. Ginsberg is at first reluctant to help the unstable Carr, but after digging up more crucial evidence on Kammerer and his past relationship, he writes a piece entitled “The Night in Question”. The piece describes a more emotional event, in which Carr kills Kammerer who outright tells him to after being threatened with the knife, devastated by this final rejection. Carr rejects the ‘fictional’ story, and begs a determined Ginsberg to not reveal it to anybody, afraid that it will ruin him in the ensuing trial.

We learn from Carr’s mother that Kammerer was the first person to seduce Carr, when he was much younger and lived in Chicago. After the trial we find out that Carr testified that the attack took place only because Kammerer was a sexual predator, and that Carr killed him in self-defense. Carr is not convicted of murder and receives only a short sentence.

Ginsberg then submits “The Night in Question” as his final term paper. On the basis of that shocking piece of prose, Ginsberg is faced with possible expulsion from Columbia. Either he must be expelled or he must embrace establishment values. He chooses the former, but is forced to leave his typescript behind. A week or two later he receives the typescript in the mail with an encouraging letter from his professor telling him to pursue his writing.

TIME LINE

Post Edwardian  1944

TOP CAST

Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg
Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr
Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac
Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs
Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer
Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Naomi Ginsberg
David Cross as Louis Ginsberg
Kyra Sedgwick as Marian Carr
David Rasche as Dean
John Cullum as Professor Steeves

TRAILER:

 

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Directed by John Krokidas
Produced by
Screenplay by John Krokidas
Austin Bunn
Story by Austin Bunn
Starring
Music by Nico Muhly
Cinematography Reed Morano
Edited by Brian A. Kates
Production
company
Killer Films
Benaroya Pictures
Future Film
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s)
  • January 18, 2013 (Sundance)
  • October 16, 2013 (United States)
Running time 104 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English


perioddrama.com

 

3:10 to Yuma 2007

310_to_Yuma_(2007_film)

 

SYNOPSIS

 In this gripping remake of the 1957 classic, rancher Dan Evans agrees to help transport captured outlaw Ben Wade to the nearest rail station, where they’ll board a train to court. But all the while, Wade’s henchmen are plotting their next move.

TIME LINE

Western  1884

TOP CAST
Russell Crowe as Ben Wade, a ruthless leader of a band of outlaws
Christian Bale as Dan Evans, a one-legged veteran turned rancher
Logan Lerman as William Evans, Dan’s eldest son, who dreams of being a cowboy
Ben Foster as Charlie Prince, Ben’s right-hand man, undyingly loyal to Ben
Peter Fonda as Byron McElroy, an elderly Pinkerton agent hired by the Railroad to hunt Wade
Dallas Roberts as Grayson Butterfield, an agent of the Southern Pacific Railroad
Alan Tudyk as Doc Potter
Lennie Loftin as Glen Hollander
Gretchen Mol as Alice Evans
Vinessa Shaw as Emmy
Kevin Durand as Tucker
Luce Rains as Marshal Weathers
Luke Wilson as Zeke
Marcus Sylvester as Slick
Carmilla Blakney as Rebbi
Rio Alexander as Campos

TRAILER:


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Directed by James Mangold
Produced by Cathy Konrad
Screenplay by Halsted Welles
Michael Brandt
Derek Haas
Based on Three-Ten to Yuma
by Elmore Leonard
Starring Russell Crowe
Christian Bale
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography Phedon Papamichael
Edited by Michael McCusker
Production
company
Relativity Media
Distributed by Lionsgate Films
Release date(s)
  • September 7, 2007
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English

 

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Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Twenty-One

Margaret_001

 

Chapter Twenty-One

Elinor, my trustworthy sister, took matters in hand in her usual sensible way. I was whisked away by two maids and brought to my room where they assisted me in bathing and changing into my nightdress. I felt suddenly very worn out and had no objection when Elinor instructed me to bed. I had one plea to her, however, before I was ready to surrender to sleep.

“Please, Elinor, make sure Douglas is cared for. He saved my life, several times in fact, and I could not bear to see him slighted by mother.”

“I will do my best, dearest, but now you must rest.”

Lovingly, she drew up the sheets and stroked my hair. I smiled at her and said.

“Thank you, Elinor, for supporting me when I needed it the most. Without your sisterly support  I might have given up on Douglas long before.”

Did Elinor’s face freeze or did I imagine it in the drowsy state I was in?

“Rest now, Margaret.”

 

When I woke up, it was early afternoon. Fully refreshed and very hungry, I jumped out of bed, dressed, and ran down Delaford’s wide staircase to find Douglas. The only person I found was Mother, sitting in the drawing room and working on her needlework. She told me the colonel was out on business and Marianne was resting, the date of her giving birth coming nearer. Elinor had gone back to Edward, and the parsonage and Mr Spencer had gone home.

“Gone home? Mother, that is not possible! He was wounded and exhausted!” I said in exasperation.

“His servant went for his carriage and took him away to Watcombe Manor, I presume, where he can take up quarters now that his cousin is dead. Margaret, I hope you do realise it is only for the best? If it became known what transpired yesterday, you would be irreparably ruined. You have been behaving extremely foolish, child, running into danger like that. You not only jeopardized your reputation but also your life!”

A horrible thought dawned on me and I could not keep myself from voicing it.

“Douglas has asked you for my hand in marriage, I presume?”

“Yes,” Mother answered, her lips pursed in a primly way, “or rather Mr Spencer did inform me of his intension to wed you. He did not ask me, he just told me.”

“Well, after all, I am indeed of age. He does not need your permission to make me his wife, Mother.”

“He was quite emphatic in his pointing this out to me, Margaret. It did not put me in a generous disposition toward him. I assure you his behaviour was not that of a gentleman or of good breeding.”

I had to suppress a smile when I imagined the course of their conversation. Douglas in his usual forthright manner of explaining – telling Mother that we were to be married. Mother’s rising indignation and increasing sense knowing she was outwitted. However, Mother had one ace up her sleeve and said. “When I realised he would not give in and set you free, I appealed to his conscience. I pointed out that he still had the reputation of having raped that poor girl ten years ago and that, if he really loved you, he must not bestow upon you the suspicion of marrying him because he took advantage of you.”

For a moment I was simply speechless with rage, not only with Mother for digging a trap for Douglas, but also with Douglas himself for acting as if he were truly guilty of an act he did not commit. With an effort, I managed enough control to keep silent and, instead, thought hard how to repair this new damage to my wedding plans.

It was fairly clear that I would have to prove to my disillusioned mother that the man I was in love with was worthy of my love.

 

Slipping out of the house, I ventured for the stables where I found my favourite little groom mucking out one of the boxes.

“Johnny, would you do something for me, please? I need you to run two errands, right now.”

“Yes, miss, what are they?”

After I explained to the young groom what I needed him to do I went to find Christopher, whom I had seen entering his study a while before.

“Good morning, Margaret,” he greeted me. “I trust you are feeling better today? You do know Douglas Spencer has returned to Watcombe Manor, yes?”

“Yes, Christopher, and I want to consult you on that matter.”

At that moment the door opened to let Marianne in. She was looking well that morning, though she was suffering from her growing pregnancy, causing her much pain to her lower back. She had gotten into a habit of supporting it with both her hands whenever she got up from a seated position.

“My love, come and sit,” her husband said as he rose to meet her. “You know you should not be on your feet too long.”

“Now, Margaret,” Marianne began as she lowered herself onto the settee, “what is it that you need to discuss with Christopher? Something to do with Douglas Spencer, I have no doubt?”

“Yes, and with Mother too. She has played a mean trick on me, Marianne. With her usual obsession for propriety, she has succeeded in driving Douglas away by appealing to his love for me and pointing out he still has not freed himself from the suspicion of rape. She is very aware of the fact that Douglas is still feeling guilty about Christina Finney and she used his deep love for me to force him away. I believe she wants me to be suspicious in that he indeed raped her. So there is but one thing I can do – I have to exonerate him once and for all from the consequences of his one-time encounter with the wretched Liverpool witch.”

Marianne shook her pretty head in disbelief. “Mother … I am sure she does indeed mean well but she has a strange way of showing it. She has absolutely no insight into men’s nature. Do you remember how she encouraged me to be with that ruffian Willoughby, who charmed her even more than he did me? That man was not worthy of her admiration, yet she did not see it. Nor did I, for that matter. Enough said about that, I think. However, Douglas is a good man but not to Mother. Once she heard the gossip that was bringing him down, she did not look any further and judges him wrongly. How will you proceed in convincing her otherwise, dearest?”

With a smile of satisfaction, I meticulously laid it out for my sister and her husband.

 

That very same night I managed to assemble all persons concerned in the drawing room: Elinor and Edward, Marianne and her husband, Mother, and a very shy Petite-Maman, to whom Johnny had brought my written note. The clever stable lad had coaxed her to come to Delaford with him, a difficulty I had foreseen would arise as soon as she learnt what she was needed for. The only one who did not turn up, was my Douglas, who sent Jack Twinkler to apologize for him.

“The guv’nor says ‘e’s not well, miss. Begs ye to forgive ‘im but ‘e’s sticking to ‘is bed ternight!”

I squeezed Jack’s arm in great concern for that might just have been true!

“Oh, Jack, is he sick? What is wrong with him? Does he have a fever?”

“Nah, miss! It’s just ‘im bein’ stubborn. Says ‘e’s not right fer yer, says ‘e doesn’t want ter be yer downfall an’ all! I scolded ‘im but ‘e just doens’t want ter listen!”

“Well,” I sighed, “there is no point gathering here without him. He is the key person to this mystery.”

I raised my voice to draw the assembly’s attention and they all turned expectantly to me. Mother had a suspicious look in her eyes but I ignored it and looked at the gathered people.

“Jack tells me his master will not join us here tonight so I am afraid we have gathered to no avail since Douglas is the reason I asked you to come. We might as well …”

 

I was interrupted by the door being opened rather forcibly – Douglas stalked into the room, wearing a guarded expression on his handsome face.

“Ah, Spencer!” Christopher exclaimed, “you made it after all! Take a seat, old chap. Our Margaret, once she has made up her mind, is very determined to have her way.”

Douglas nodded a greeting to the persons assembled and strode toward me.

“Do excuse us for a moment,” he said firmly and staring earnestly at the assembly. He then took my elbow and drew me with him into the hall.

“Margaret, I hope you know what you are doing. Your mother is very much against our marriage, claiming you will …”

“Douglas, if you have second thoughts about our marriage, then do not beat around the bush! Tell me this instant before I make a fool of myself trying to exonerate you. I would rather not make the effort, in that case.”

“Exonerate me? And how would you succeed in that, my love? You weren’t even living here when all this happened!”

“You did not answer my question, Douglas.”

 

A multitude of emotions played on that beloved face and my heart hurt for him. For so long Douglas had been an outcast – he could not bring himself to believe in a good outcome any longer. He gripped me by the upper arms and hissed:

“Damned, Meg, you know what I want! Marrying you is my heart’s desire, my life’s blood! Nothing would make me happier, but your mother certainly has a point.”

“Do you trust me, Douglas?”

“With my life, you know that, Meg!”

“Then, sit down and leave it all to me.”

His mouth was on mine in a brief, hard kiss, and then I heard my mother’s gasp of surprise! Unfortunately, the door had been left open and our embrace had been witnessed by all. Douglas, releasing me, whispered in my ear. “Your mother is going to be a handful, is she not?”

“Yes,” I said softly, “but we will not let her. Have you noticed she did not seemed perturbed by your swear word yet balked when you kissed me?”

“You little witch!” Douglas grinned and kissed me again. Mother was beside herself then

“Margaret Dashwood, I insist you behave appropriately as is suitable for a young lady of good breeding. And you, Mr Spencer, will refrain from acting the rake you most certainly are!”

“Oh, Mama, stop it! Do you not see they are in love?”

That was Marianne, the kindest of souls, who never raised her voice – and surely not to Mother – except where emotions were involved!

The latter stared at her with offended pride but Elinor, sensible as ever, laid a calming hand on hers and shook her head in admonishment. To my surprise, Mother yielded with a graceful nod.

 

Douglas and I came back into the room and I cleared my throat before commencing my story.

“After we met on the moors, Douglas and I did not set off well at first. I was convinced he was a dangerous rake, a notion he all too well enforced by acting the part to perfection. However, after I heard part of his story from various sources, I offered to contract a marriage of convenience with him. After my wretched experience with Phineas Wilkinson, I saw no other way of protecting myself from my half-brother’s troublesome meddling. Douglas behaved like the man of honour he is by refusing me but the inevitable had already taken place. We had formed a mutual attachment for each other and …”

“Margaret!” the mocking voice of my beloved interrupted me. “Can you not simply say that we fell in love? You do like expressing yourself somewhat elaborately, do you not?”

He wrapped his arm around my shoulder, drew me to him and continued:

“Margaret is right. We love each other deeply but there is the stain of rape on my character to be reckoned with. Mrs Dashwood, I am fully aware of the fact that I cannot make Margaret my wife without removing it. So we …”

“ … are going to prove that Douglas was not the father of Christina Finney’s child!” I exclaimed hastily and cutting Douglas off. I was prevented from going on further with my story by the united cry of stupefaction from the assembly, including Douglas.

Quickly, before they would all recover from their surprise, I went to Petite-Maman and drew her beside me in front of our audience.

“Racontez tout ce que vous m’avez dit, il y a quelques jours, s’il vous plait? Je traduirai.”

“There is … not a need, Mademoiselle. I … know … to speak … a bit of the English …”

That was enough to make me utter a gasp of surprise but the gypsy closed her eyes for a better concentration and started her story.

“Before ten years, I was working as a … merde, je ne connais pas le mot exacte … a woman for helping les mamans accoucher?”

“A midwife?” Douglas offered.

She nodded vehemently.

“Yes, a midwife! I was asked to help a young woman in Torquay with the accouchement. Her father was en panique because she was having the baby too soon. I was surprised that there was personne d’autre que moi. I was alone there and they were rich people, so that was not normal. Pas de docteur Anglais, vous comprenez? She had a little boy but he came de travers … I do not know the word …”

She clicked with her fingers impatiently.

“A breech delivery,” Douglas supplied.

“Yes, yes, but that was not the only thing surprenant … erm … not normal: the baby was big, pas prémature, vous comprenez?

“Full term …” Douglas whispered, fully aware of what it meant, but Petite-Maman hastened to continue.

La pauvre petite, a lot of blood and I could not save her. Her name, she said, was Christina Finney. Before she died, she gave me a letter and said: ‘Ask Douglas to forgive me’.”

 

 

 

 

 

Starz Renews ‘Outlander’ For Second Season

Starz Renews ‘Outlander’ For Second Season

Category : News, US News

Starz has renewed Outlander for a second season, TVWise has learned.

The size of the pick up has not been finalised, but Starz said that the show’s second season would consist of at least thirteen episodes, down from the sixteen for the show’s freshman run. The network also confirmed that the second season would be based on Dragonfly In Amber, the second book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novel series.

The season two renewal comes less than a week after Outlander premiered to record ratings on Starz. The network said that, across multiple platforms, the series premiere has been watched by more than 5 million viewers. The time-travel epic was developed for television by Ronald D. Moore and is produced on location in Scotland by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining and Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

“The overwhelming support ‘Outlander’ has received from the fans, viewers and critics made the decision for us to go ahead with the second book a very easy one. Diana Gabaldon has given us years of great drama”, said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “With an incredible artist such as Ronald D. Moore at the helm and a cast as spectacular as this, we look forward to continue this spell-binding journey with Claire, Jamie, Frank, Brianna, Roger and everybody over the centuries”.

While Zack Van Amburg, President of  Programming for Sony Pictures Television, added: “Fans of the Outlander books have waited a long time to see this incredible story brought to life on screen, and Ron and his team have delivered a show that exceeds expectations. We look forward to our continued partnership with Starz to present the next chapter of this epic tale to longtime fans and viewers who are just discovering the series.”

Some Facts about Outlander

The Costumes Are as Authentic as Possible—Including What’s Underneath!

No Velcro, no zippers, not a lot of shoes, and kilts are worn as kilts are supposed to be worn – with absolutely nothing underneath. These are true Scots! What’s not authentic are the effects of war and journeying through the highlands. To achieve the look of well-worn clothing, the costumes are attacked with cheese graters, burned with blow torches, and aged by tying them up with string and baking them.


===================================================
Every Single Kilt Is Worn Differently.

“All of our actors wear their kilts just a bit differently from each other,” Outlander’s costumer Terry Dresbach tells us. “They personalize them and make them very much their own. We are talking about 12 yards of fabric that has to be belted and tucked by each actor, and they have developed their own ways of wearing them that belongs very much to them. It is incredibly important that they FEEL like their
character, and helping them to find that place is an essential part of our job.”


===================================================

Sam (Jamie) Finds His Kilt “Liberating.”

“Sam/Jamie wears his with almost a long skirt hanging down the back that swings beautifully when he moves,” Outlander costumer Terry Dresbach says. Sam himself told us that he hates wearing trousers and finds kilts “liberating” and “freeing”…Especially while riding a horse.

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While Scottish dialect has had sort of a revival from being thought of as slang, Scottish Gaelic of the 1700s is very different from anything anyone speaks today. It was not easy for the actors to learn, especially since they had to get used to a whole new set of sounds and had to learn to loosen their throats. One Gaelic word you’ll hear a lot on the show is “Sassenach,” which means “outlander.” It’s supposed to be a slightly offensive term for someone out of place, but it also becomes Jamie’s affectionate nickname for Claire.

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The show is almost entirely shot on location all over Scotland, with very little green screen. “I think when people watch the show, they’ll fall in love with Scotland,” native Scotsman Sam Heughan tells us. “You’ll be amazed.” Caitriona Balfe agrees, saying, “There’s such a harsh climate there, and I think that really affects how people are and the realness and rawness of the story, so I think it was very important to everybody that we have that as an element in our show as well.”

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Things Get DISTURBING.

Violence, torture, rape. Outlander will venture into true Games of Thrones-esque territory (and then some!) before season one is over. The greatest offender, of course, is Black Jack (Tobias Menzies), the ancestor of Claire’s husband Frank. And anyone who has read the books will tell you that what he does to Claire and Jamie won’t be easily erased from your mind. “That character, I would argue, is a study of sadism,” Menzies says of Black Jack. “He’s interested in people’s boundaries, their pain thresholds, what they can handle. It’s a rather sickening investigation.” Bring your Tums. And a shot of Scotch.

Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Twenty

Margaret_001

 

 

Chapter Twenty

“Dobson,” Wilkinson howled, “go back to the crypt! They are still in the passage!”

Meanwhile, I had reached the obstruction resulting from the first cave-in, about twelve to fifteen yards from the outer entrance.

“Douglas, hurry,” I shouted, “they are coming!”

It had the desired effect, for the moonlight was blotted out from the passage entrance when Wilkinson crawled in.

“Where are you, Spencer? You did not think I would forget about your father’s signet ring, I hope? Without it, the documents are no use to me. Come! Surely, by now you will understand it is a useless cause! I am the stronger man, cousin!”

“Hurry, Douglas! Hurry!” I cried again.

Although I knew all too well my ruse would be found out as soon as Wilkinson saw I was alone, it would give Douglas enough head start to flee from his devilish cousin. Wilkinson must have been taken in by my deceit because he proceeded farther into the passage.

 

A yellow light flared up which made me realise he had just lighted a torch. The light did not reach the place where I was, yet it forced me to cringe against the earthen wall like a frightened rabbit in a sudden spell of terror. I bit my lips because I did not want to cry out when I beheld Wilkinson, who had a torch in one hand and a firearm in the other. He crouched forward with a lot of moaning and swearing, looked up and took in the sorry situation I was in. An evil grin spread across his plump face.

“Alone, my dear? So he left you to pick up the pieces, did he not? Never mind, you will do very nicely luring him to me.”

That part of the tunnel was particularly low since it was there that I had been buried earlier on. Wilkinson had to duck so low his chin almost touched the ground. He groaned as he put forth his effort to move forward. Was that what made him lose control over his ability to move? Completely unexpectedly, his gun went off.

The sound of the firearm’s shot was deafening and shuddered sound waves rolled through the passage’s confined space. I covered my ears with my hands and closed my eyes and mouth as a cloud of dust from the collapsing ceiling washed over me. This surely must be the end; once again I resolved myself to die.

 

When the ringing in my ears subsided, I discovered I was still able to breathe. I forced open my stinging eyes and rubbed them. The torch, still burning, lay on the left side of the cubbyhole formed by the cave-in. On the right side, protruding from a heap of dirt, lay Wilkinson’s hand. He was still holding the gun. The rest of him was buried under the earthen debris.

I must have been in a sort of shock, for I could not move. Shaking like a leaf and cold to the bone, I was only able to press myself against a wall, my end of some open space, as far away as possible from my attacker.  After a while, pinpricks of my thoughts began to trickle deep into my numbed mind. Was he still alive under the rubbish? Should I try and dig him out? I recoiled violently from that thought!

Faced with imminent death of suffocation as the oxygen ran out, I wanted to take Wilkinson with me so that he would no longer be a threat to Douglas. Eventually, they would search and find our bodies and then Douglas could destroy the documents he signed in order to save me. It was a fair trade – a life for a life. Douglas deserved to be the master of Watcombe Manor; it was his birth right.

When the torch stopped burning, I closed my eyes again – a useless gesture since I was in total darkness.

 

When I heard voices from somewhere above my head, I was convinced I was dreaming. A heavy pressure on my chest told me that I was still in the underground passage and that the air in my small grave was running dangerously low. It was also unbearably hot and perspiration was running down my face. Or was I weeping? Realising I must have been unconscious for some time, I did not know how much time had passed since I had been cooped up.

Voices again! One voice in particular was Douglas’ deep baritone, calling my name from above!

“Margaret, carry on, my love! Meggie, are you well? Answer me, Meggie!”

“Douglas …” I mouthed his name but it seemed my voice had disappeared. My attempt to speak was instantly punished by a pain in my chest; my lungs, deprived too long for air, started protesting.

I tried to lift my arms and push against the ceiling because, apparently, it was from there that rescue was to come. But it was to no avail, for I had no strength left in my body. Yet, when the shower of dirt that continued to fall on me finally stopped, I was able to open my gritty eyes and behold the terrified face of my beloved rake. I even managed a shaky smile but speech would not come, even though I was longing to say his name. He reached down for me and grabbed my upper arms, then slid his hands under them and pulled me up in one strong gesture.

“There, there … I have you, dearest, you are safe,” he said, his voice gruff with emotion. Burying my face against his chest, I wept uncontrollably until other hands freed my limp body from his affectionate grasp.

 

“Monsieur, laissez-moi examiner Mademoiselle Dashwood! Il se peut qu’elle soit blessée gravement.”

“Yes, Madame, you are right. She might be injured,” Douglas replied in French.

Petite-Maman! Thank God, I was in the gypsy’s capable hands now! Those hands were probing my body and limbs with expert fingers. She then did something very unusual. She pushed me down, straightened my body and, grabbing my arms with considerable force, threw them high above my head, causing me to cough rather violently.

“Qu’est-ce que vous faites, bon sang!” Douglas exclaimed. He was ready to throw himself upon the woman, had not Jack Twinkler withheld him. “What in the devil’s name are you doing, woman?”

“Don’t fret yerself, Guv’nor!” Jack piped. “She’s only tryin’ ter free ‘er lungs from dust and dirt! Ye should be grateful, ye know? The gypsy woman only does ‘er job!”

 

“Jack, dear Jack,” I thought. He had come to our rescue after all. I saw other familiar faces around me. Col. Brandon and Edward Ferrars were looking rather worried and the former, after he witnessed a long talk between Petite-Maman and Douglas, asked:

“Spencer, Margaret will be well, I hope? I cannot imagine what Mrs Dashwood would say if her baby daughter would have come to harm?”

“The gypsy says she sustained no broken bones or serious injuries. We must get her into bed as soon as possible, Brandon!”

Douglas, after glancing at Petite-Maman who nodded to affirm that I was not seriously hurt, gently picked me up and carried me to Col. Brandon’s carriage where he installed me on the bench and covered me with a blanket. He seated himself beside me for support. As the carriage began moving, I leaned back against him, marvelling in the warmth of his body as his arms encircled me. For a few moments, we let ourselves be lulled by the movements of the carriage, revelling in each other’s company.

“Is he … is he?” I tried but I could not make myself saying it.

“He died of suffocation,” Douglas said quietly. “The gypsy woman attempted to revive him to no avail.”

“I could not … I know I should have tried but … I could not …”

“Hush, my heart. Do not trouble yourself. There was nothing you could have done to save him.”

His hold tightened around me and his next words were uttered in a husky voice.

“My darling Margaret, can you ever forgive me for letting him go after you in that passage? I have been such a fool, I should have known he would search for us until the end.”

“I am to blame for that, Douglas, I lured him to me. I wanted you to escape.”

“You little fool … you could have died! Meggie, dearest, loveliest Meg, why do you always act so very rashly? I swear you will be the death of me, some day …”

 

By now, dawn had broken and Delaford’s driveway was golden with reflecting sunlight. A large company of people were waiting for us and at the head of them stood my mother, her arms crossed in a very determined way. Angry, no doubt.

“Listen,” I urged, “you must carry me in your arms, Douglas! I will act as if I have fainted!”

“Why, Margaret, surely …”

“Mother will try to separate us. She does not approve of you so you must appear to have come to my rescue! That is the very truth, after all!”

“We will do no such thing, Margaret,” Douglas said firmly.

When the carriage came to a stop, he alighted and offered me his hand which I reluctantly took; I threw him a furious glance. Douglas guided me toward the waiting group of servants and family – and I spotted Elinor as well – and bowed deeply to Mother.

“Mrs Dashwood, allow me to present myself. Douglas Alexander Spencer, son of the late baron Sir Matthew Watcombe. I must ask your forgiveness for appearing before you in a less than formal attire but Miss Dashwood and I have been in a spot of misfortune.”

My mother darted her eyes from me to Douglas and back. She was speechless but no longer angry. When my charming rake flashed her a dashing smile, she actually smiled back!

“Mr Spencer, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. Do not, sir, concern yourself about your attire. Col. Dashwood already informed us about the past events. Margaret, my child, come with me.”

Before Douglas released my hand, he gave it a little squeeze for encouragement.