Mr Thornton Takes a Wife – Part Fourteen

Chapter 14 – We have ways and means

Dixon was truly and seriously worried.

Ever since the break-in in the Mill, now two months ago, she hadn’t been able to make up her mind as to whom she should speak about Jane’s curious behaviour. She had been trying to speak to Margaret, but her young mistress had her hands full with the new infirmary. In the evening Margaret was often too tired to be harassed with such tales.

Dixon did not dare to approach Hannah Thornton.

The mistress of the Thornton household – yes, she still was all of that – was a stern and forbidding woman. Dixon herself was not so easily scared but she wanted to be careful for Miss Margaret’s sake. She didn’t want to drive a wedge between Miss Margaret and her mother-in-law. So that was that.

Approaching Mr. Thornton was no option either.

Dixon still had no notion of what to make of the master. He seemed to love her mistress but was that really so? Men did want only one thing, didn’t they?

He was a very hard worker, she had to give him that! To put in so many hours a day, to mix with his workers if need be, even not being afraid to get dirt on his hands if need be. Not many masters did that. But, Dixon realized, the Mill was his life’s blood. The master would do anything that was required to keep his Mill operating. Dixon doubted if he even had any other interests but his cotton mill. So, no, she would not talk about her suspicions to the master.



Nicholas Higgins knocked before he entered his master’s office even though the door was rarely closed. John looked up from his paperwork and smiled.

“Ah, Nicholas, come in, sit down! What’s the news?”

As soon as he saw Nicholas’s face, John knew something was not right.

“Well, master, we might have some trouble looming. There’s a strike at Liverpool Harbour and the cotton is not being unloaded from the merchant ships. If we don’t get our supply by Monday next week, we’ll go out of production.”

“Damn!” John stood and went to close the office door. He didn’t want anybody to hear that, it could raise troubles amongst the workers. He resumed his seat and was lost in thought for a couple of minutes.

“I’ll have to go down there, Nicholas.”

“I’m coming with you, when do we go?”

“No!” John said. “I need you to stay here and look after the Mill. I’m not at all sure the attacks are behind us and I don’t want vigilance to slow down. Besides, if I don’t succeed in bringing some of our cotton with me, you’ll have to deal with the workers and prevent commotion. I’ll take Williams with me, he knows his way around the harbour better than I do.”

Nicholas nodded and stood.

“When will you leave, master?”

“I’ll take the last train tonight so I’d better tell Margaret.”


Dixon was helping Margaret and Hannah sorting out a box of supplies for the infirmary that had arrived that morning, when John entered the parlour.

“My love,” he said “I must leave for Liverpool this instant. There’s a problem with our cotton supply that I must see into. Now, mother’ – he turned to Hannah – ‘Nicholas is to remain here as my substitute. He’s the only one that can keep the workers from getting stirred up.”

“I’ll go and prepare your suitcase, John,”Margaret said quietly and went to their bedchamber.

Dixon, who’d been feeling restless for days over past events, was suddenly very worried. She didn’t know where it came from but she was not happy with the master’s departure, especially at a time like the present. Somehow the master’s tall form seemed to be needed to feel oneself safe.

While she kept working alone now, for both the ladies had left, Dixon fretted about Jane and her doings. Whom could she talk to, who could help her? At some point she walked over to the window, tired of being in the same position so long, and stretched her back. It was then that she saw Nicholas Higgins in the courtyard, giving instructions to a couple of men. And suddenly, Dixon knew what to do.


Fanny Watson stamped her foot and exclaimed, “What? He did what? He rejected you? Oooohhh, what a stick-in-the-mud my brother is! I can’t believe it! Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

Ann Latimer’s eyes smouldered with suppressed rage, even after so long a time. When she thought back of that morning, six weeks earlier, on which she had been so brutally rejected by John Thornton, her fury was brought alive again.

“Oh, do you think it is something I want everybody to know, then? And besides, you were away to the continent until yesterday, Fanny! How was I to reach you, then? It’s not something you write about in a letter to your touring fiend, is it? He humiliated me, Fanny!” spat Ann. Seeing Fanny’s eyes widen with surprise, she smothered down her fury.

“Your brother will pay for this, Fanny,” she said in a calmer voice.

She was perfectly able to conceal the power of her revenge if she wished to. And, oh yes, revenge she would have.

“What are we going to do next, dear Ann? We must do something! I cannot be stuck with the stupid Hale woman for the rest of my days, can I?”

“Well …” Ann Latimer said, “we must raise the stakes a little bit higher, then. Your brother will suffer in a way he’s never imagined and he’s not even going to know it was me who did it to him.”

Struck by the extreme hate she heard in Ann Latimer’s voice, Fanny looked at her in sudden fear now.

“What do you mean? Suffer? Why must John suffer? He will be a little downcast when the Hale woman leaves him but as you will step into her place, he’ll come around sometime, don’t you think?”

Ann Latimer’s cruel little laugh chilled Fanny to the bones.

“Oh, the Hale bitch will leave him alright! So definitively that she’ll be a corpse anytime soon now!”

Fanny stared at her in frightened surprise, not sure if she’d heard right.

“What … what do you mean, a corpse? You can’t mean to say that … oh no, Ann, you couldn’t!”

Ann’s eyes were black as coal when she whispered, “I could, I can and I will, Fanny.”



Knightfall S2


Although the airing time ain’t any time soon (June, 2019) History has revealed the first teaser for the second season of their KNIGHTFALL epic series showing us Tom Cullen as Landry, the leader of the Templars, and

The new season should start this June on History Channel worldwide
Mark Hamill as a battle hardened Knight Templar veteran of the Crusades who survived a decade of captivity in the Holy Land and is tasked with training the new initiates to the Order. He probably won’t agree morally with

New season will have Spartacus: War of the Damned Aaron Helbing as the brand new show runner and executive producer
Landry who impregnated the French queen, even though she was the wife of his best friend the king, and then watched her getting killed by her husband for her treachery and adultery. The sword in the teaser obviously announces a divide within the order.

explore this dark time in history from the Templar perspective, embracing an authentically grittier, darker, and more brutal Medieval period than has ever been seen before. Tom Forbes joins the cast as Prince Louis of France, Clementine Nicholson as his wife Princess of Burgundy, Genevieve Gaunt is his sister princess Isabella of France.


ALITA: Battle Angel


Alita is finally arriving this February!
This one definitely had to go through a very rough and tough way in order to finally get into cinemas February 14th! ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL took more than two decades to be made: James Cameron wanted to direct it himself and it was his passion project for a long time, but he had to give the helm over to Robert Rodriguez because of his commitments to Avatar sequels. Then there was also lots of trouble finding the actors (Jack Lowden, Douglas Booth and many actresses were in the run for the leads). Now the movie is finally here after the whooping sum of almost $200 million was spent on its

Dua Lipa will perform Swan Song, the lead song from Alita Soundtrack
production. Although the first reactions to the movie are positive, it will hardly return even a portion of that money especially after the recent tragic fall of

Rosa Salazar plays the lead role in the movie
Mortal Engines, another world building fantasy epic.

from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz) while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita (Rosa Salazar) becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita’s true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death. ALITA BATTLE ANGEL follows the story of the titular Alita, a disembodied “core”

Oscar winners Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelly star in the film
who awakens with no memory in a post apocalyptic world destroyed by a technological fall. Dr. Ido finds her and gives her a new body. They later

Keean Johnson, right, plays Alita’s love interest in the movie
discover that Alita is more than what she seems and has an extraordinary past. As she navigates her new life, she battles other machines who are empowered with skills.

Based on famous Asian manga, Alita uses CGI to depict the lead character using the ground breaking technique of animation (facial performance capture) within the live action world with all other characters depicted by real

The movie includes almost two thousand visual effects shots
actors. The technology used in the film took more than ten months to be developed and it started back in 2006! Beside Waltz, the cast also includes two other Oscar winners: Jennifer Connelly (as Chiren, ex-girlfriend of Ido,

The film is based on Yukito Kishiro’s 9 volume manga Gunnm!
who escaped with him from the false utopia of Tiphares, but became disenchanted with real freedom) and Mahershala Ali (as Vector, a man who rigs Motorball combat matches. Motorball is a fictional sport that plays a very

The $200 million movie was originally, apparently, planned with an even bigger budget
important part in the story)! Ed Skrein is Zapan, a cyborg tasked with tracking down and killing Alita. Jackie Earle Haley is huge cyborg Grewishka! Keean Johnson is Hugo, Alita’s love interest who also teaches her to play a gladiator-style game called Motorball. Michelle Rodriguez is

The film was first scheduled for July 2018, then pushed to December and February
Gelda, a cyborg warrior from Mars who trained Alita. Eiza González is Nyssiana, a cyborg tasked with tracking down and killing Alita. Lana Condor is Koyomi, an orphaned teen and freelance photographer. Casper Van Dien appears as Amok!

Mindhunter 2017


Circa 1977


Set in 1977 – in the early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the Federal Bureau of Investigation– Mindhunter revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who originate the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit within the Training Division at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how they think, with the hope of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases.

I found this fascinating series on Netflix in 2018.  I’m now binging it for a second time, waiting on the second season.


Valentine’s Day Massacre

The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre is the name given to the 1929 Valentine’s Day murder of seven members and associates of Chicago’s North Side Gang. The men were gathered at a Lincoln Park garage on the morning of Valentine’s Day, where they were made to line up against a wall and shot by four unknown assailants. The incident resulted from the struggle between the Irish North Siders and their Italian South Side rivals, led by Al Capone, to control organized crime in the city during Prohibition.[2] Though the perpetrators have not been conclusively identified, former members of the Egan’s Rats gang, working for Capone, are suspected of a significant role as are members of the Chicago Police Department who are said to have had personal revenge as their motive following the killing of a police officer’s son.

Mr Thornton Takes a Wife – Part Thirteen

Chapter 13 – A woman scorned

John stood rooted to the spot, feeling as if he had been kicked in the stomach!

He felt the blood draining from his face as he stared at the face of this … well-educated accomplished female he’d supposed was coming from a decent family of bankers. She was … offering herself to him! He must have misunderstood! This was so absurd, or … maybe it wasn’t after all?

Still reeling from the shock, he saw how she brought her pretty face nearer to his. She was taller than Margaret. She had also beautiful brown eyes, fit for a man to be drowned in their depths, and he couldn’t help himself looking at her full rosy lips. The next second, she had thrown her arms around him, and he felt the curves of her body plying against his in an incredibly intimate way. She slowly moved her pelvis against his and pressed her mouth onto his. The instant she was inserting her tongue into his mouth, he came to his senses and violently pushed her away. She hadn’t foreseen that and bumped into one of the looms with a cry of pain.

John’s gentlemanlike disposition forced him to take her arm and steady her.

“Miss Latimer, for God’s sake, take care! You’ll hurt yourself!”

He hadn’t finished his sentence before he was being slapped hard in the face by this wretched girl.

“You will come to regret what you did, John Thornton!” she spat, “I’ll never forget that you rejected me and doubted my sincere love for you! Be sure of my retaliation!”

Ann Latimer turned on her heels and stalked away, leaving him baffled to the extreme.


“This is your next assignment, Leonards. I’m very pleased with the way you handled the previous one. You’re sure nobody saw you when you left the courtyard?” the gentleman in the carriage said in his cold unmoving voice.

“No, sir,” Leonards assured. “This should be very easy and very to my liking too! It will be the ultimate revenge on that Hale woman!”

“Then go and prepare yourself. There will be guards around the Mill now, I know Thornton, he’ll not take any risks.’”


When John entered the parlour, Margaret’s heart tightened.

He was nearly beyond exhaustion, his face pale and drawn, his mouth a thin rigid line, his eyes drained of everything but extreme weariness. She and Hannah jumped to their feet simultaneously to ease him down on the settee. Margaret withdrew in favour of Hannah, who she knew was dying to help her son. Instead she went to the small table loaded with glasses and a decanter of sherry. On reflexion she poured him a generous glass of whisky and was rewarded by a look of profound gratitude when she handed it to him. She and Hannah resumed their seats.

“The damage?” Hannah asked, her voice only slightly trembling.

“Bad enough, but we’ll be able to make repairs. What troubles me more is, that there’s been a deliberate attempt to ruin my Mill. To make me go bankrupt again! I … God! It’s obscene, criminal even!”



Margaret bend over to touch his hand. “Steady, my love …”, she urged. “Everything is under control. We will conquer this, if we all work together. Have you posted guards?”

“Yes, and not only by night, also by day. Higgins has drawn up a roster for the guards to be on a four hour shift on ten different locations about the Mill. We have notified the Milton Police Department and they agreed to give us support.”

Hannah, who had kept silent until then, softly said,                                                        “Margaret, he’s at the end of his wits. Help him to go to bed.”

“Mother, I’m not …”

“Come …,” Margaret said and eased him up. They retreated to their bedroom.

“John?” Margaret said gently, “do you wish to go to your former boy’s bedroom so that you can sleep better?”

John turned to her and his eyes scanned her face. “Margaret, my sweet love, I’m not going anywhere. I need your presence, I cannot do without you, sweetheart …Come …”

With a happy sigh Margaret went to him and was instantly in his arms.

“So how are the injured lads doing?” John asked.

Margaret noticed how tired he must be for his voice gave way with fatigue and emotion over the children’s fate.

“They’re stable, thank God. Jimmy, the one with the broken leg, has gone home already and Tommy is at the hospital for an operation. The poor boy has his pelvis broken and Dr Donaldson has promised to tell me if he has any news. Oh John! The damage to the Mill is bad enough but it‘s nothing compared to what happened to the children! Tommy’s mother is a widow with five children and only Tommy is old enough to work. Luckily Jimmy has two older brothers but even so it will be a huge loss of income for his family when he’s not working!”

“Shhh, shhh! Don’t worry, darling, I’ve asked Higgins to see to the needs of the two families and to the cost for the boys. We’ll help as best as we can. But Margaret …”

He lifted her chin so he could see into her eyes. “It is because of you, my precious one, that I’ve come to realize the need my workers and their families are in. Before I knew you, I had no knowledge of it and nor did I care. You have made a better man of me, darling, and for that, I thank you.”

Margaret smiled and laid her hand against his cheek. John involuntarily winced when she touched the spot where he was slapped.

“John! What happened? You have a bruise!”

“Ah, yes … well, darling, brace yourself for I have something to tell you, something quite unbelievable.”







Victor Hugo (series)

Victor Hugo is a four episode mini series

One of our favourite production companies Beta Film has a new historical series VICTOR HUGO! 1848, Paris under Siege: Victor Hugo (Yannick Choirat) is torn between his family, his mistresses and political turmoil – never mind finally completing his classic novel Les Miserables. Although Hugo is a confirmed Royalist, he supports the Republic and Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (Stefan Konarske), who is soon to become president, convinced that he will initiate social reforms. But when the new government is formed and Hugo is overlooked for office, he realizes that he has been used. Furious at the

The series aired last November in most of the French speaking countries

deception, he and his sons launch a daily newspaper to give the people a voice. Nor is it less chaotic on the home front, as he is juggling his love life between two mistresses and his long suffering wife and mother of his children. When

The full title of the series is Victor Hugo Enemy of the State

Napoléon seizes power and his sons are jailed for insurrection, Hugo insists that his wife and daughter leave Paris, where he remains, devoting himself wholeheartedly to the resistance. Openly denouncing repression, he is declared Enemy of the State and has to face disgrace and exile.



While he’s busy at NBC preparing The Guilded Age epic drama, Downton Abbey’s creator Julian Fellowes will turn his novel BELGRAVIA into

Jamestown director is helming the new series

another series for ITV. It is set in the 19th century when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders the emerging industrial nouveau riche. The story itself begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when the Duchess of Richmond throws a party in Brussels for the Duke of Wellington. Among the guests are James and Anne Trenchard, who are living on the profits of newfound trading success. Their young daughter Sophia has caught the eye of Edmund Bellasis, the son and heir of one of the richest and most prominent families in England. Twenty-five years later, when the two families are settled into the newly developed area of Belgravia, the events of the ball, and the secrets, still resonate. Carnival Films will produce.