North and South Screenplay by Sandy Welsh (Ep3 of 4)

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Episode 3 – Chapter 1

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by LookinGood
( Germany)

[Street in front of the Hale’s house. Door opens, John Thornton comes out, gazing down, then stopping in the middle of the hustle and bustle on the street.]

[Margaret Hale, picks up John Thornton’s gloves from the coffee table]

[John Thornton, continues walking through the streets of Milton without acknowledging anyone, including Boucher and Mr. Bell, who greets him but does not get a reply.  John Thornton walks up a hill through the cemetary.]

[Inside of the Higgins’ house. Margaret Hale and Bessie Higgins sitting on Bessie’s bed, looking at bobbin-lace.]

Bessie:   And what would I be doing w’ som’thin’ so grand as that? [puts lace on her head]

Margaret:   Please, Bessie. I wore these when I was a child. Not fit for darning.

Bessie:   [giggles and coughs] all right then, I’ll keep just this one. Only to look at, mind.

Margaret:   Where’s Nicholas?

Bessie:   Oh, he’s been brought so low b’ the way the strike’s gone. He were a committee man, here. He thought they stood a good chance, this time.

Margaret:   Has everyone gone back to work?

Bessie:   They lost their spirit after the violence at Marlborough Mills. Fools. What w’ they thinking of, throwing stones at a woman.

Margaret:   I’m sure it wasn’t so very bad, whatever was done.

Bessie:   ‘t was enough! [coughs] An’ Father, when he’s that angry with the men who broke the strike, he…..You see, I wish I knew where he was. [starts crying] I’ve never seen him like this, Margaret. I’m worred about what he might do…

[Mill yard of Marlborough Mills, seen from first floor window.  John Thornton standing at a different window, looking out]

Hannah Thornton:   Well, at least we’ve got the machines goin’ again.

Thornton:   [nods absently]

Hannah:   And the Irish?

Thornton:   They’re settled. They’ve had a good meal, and… I sent for the Catholic priest, Father Patrick, he seemed to calm them down. I’ll have to send them home, got workers clamouring to come back.

Hannah:   [continuing her embroidery] Serve them right if we kept the Irish workers…

[Thornton walks across the room behind the chair of his mother, putting a hand on the backrest.]

Thornton:   By the way, I was right, Mother.

[Hannah looks up, expectantly, and with a slightly worried expression]

Thornton:   Miss Hale will not have me.

[Hannah sighs and slumps a bit in her seat. John Thornton bows and kisses his mother on the forehead]

Thornton:   No one loves me. No one cares for me but you.

[Thornton starts walking away. Mrs. Thornton holds him by the sleeve of his coat and pulls him to squat beside her. ]

Hannah:   [stroking his face] A mother’s love holds fast and forever. A girl’s love is like –a puff of smoke. Changes with every wind.

Thornton:   I knew I wasn’t good enough for her… And I think I love her more than ever.

Hannah:   I hate her. I’ve tried not to, when I thought she would make you happy.

[Thornton looks at his mother in surprise and walks away from her ]

Hannah:   I’d give my lives blood for that!  Who is she that she dares to reject you!

Thornton:   No!

Hannah:   It’s no good John.  Your sorrow is mine.   And if you won’t hate her, then I must.

Thornton:   She does not care for me, and that is enough.  The only thing you can do for me is never say her name again. [turns and faces his mother]  We will never talk of her again.

Hannah:   With all my heart. …  How I wished that she and all her family would be swept back to the place they came from!

[ The Hale’s house. Living-room with Mr. and Mrs. Hale, Mr. Bell and Margaret. On the table a bowl of fruit, most prominently freshly picked red currants.]

Mrs. Hale:   How kind of Mr. Thornton!

Mr. Hale:   Most splendid fruit I’ve ever seen. Best in the county, I shouldn’t wonder.

Mrs. Hale:   And a card. Written in his own hand! He has always been most civil and thoughtful, but I wouldn’t have thought that he’d have the time. He’s had so much trouble with the rioting. [coughs into a lace handkerchief].

Mr. Hale:   It shows his high regard for you, my dear.

Mrs. Hale:   Margaret, you must visit Marlborough Mill, and ask after Mrs. Thornton, and thank Mr. Thornton for this most gracious gift.

Margaret Hale:   [looking up from the book she is reading] I am sure a note would do as well, Mama. [returns to reading]

Mr. Bell:   I saw Thornton in the street today. He didn’t seem quite so in control as usual.

Mr. Hale:   Really?

Mr. Bell:   He seemed very distracted this morning. I thought he might have been visiting, it was just nearby.

Mr. Hale:   Margaret?

Margaret Hale:   Excuse me. [gets up and leaves the room, climbing upstairs]

[Mr. Hale and Mr. Bell get up and watch her leave.]

Mr. Bell:   Has it ever occurred to you there might be something between Thornton and your daughter?

Mr. Hale:   Good Lord, no! Certainly not. Well… I suppose it’s possible on his side, but for Margaret, it’s quite out of the question, she’s never liked him, poor fellow. Pray, he doesn’t get his hopes up.

[Mr. Bell looking thoughtful.]

[Street outside the Higgins’ house, then to the inside of the house. Nicholas Higgins, Boucher and Bessie Higgins]

Nicholas Higgins:   Hide you? You’ve got a nerve!

Boucher:   You wouldn’t give us up!

Higgins:   Wouldn’t I?  [grabs him by the shirt and shoves him against the wall]  You’ve ruined the strike!

Bessie:   There’s no use in fighting!

Higgins:   What’ye think you were doin’?  Violence at Thornton’s, half killing a woman, my god, a woman!

Boucher:   ‘t were Thornton’s fault, he’d been hin–

Higgins:   No goin’ against the law, that was the iron rule! We’re in the right. We could’ve taken everyone with us, but you… You had to act like a senseless, crazed animal as they think we are. You want me to hide you from the police?! They’ll think I’m one of the ringleaders. I’m a committee man, a union man, people trust me! Trust my word!

Boucher:   … Ye said two weeks. The strike weren’t workin’, when it were gonna end? It’s all right for you, your wife and children ain’t starving.

Higgins:   And neither would yours!  I gave you my word and I keep my word!

[Boucher starts crying, doubling up on his chair]

Higgins:   God, you disgust me. You’r’ pathetic.  You could’a been born with a king’s fortune, you still would’a failed them.  You’r’ only in this world to bring us all down, your family, your friend, the union…

[Boucher lounges at Higgins’ throat.  Higgins pushes him away, flinging him onto the ground]

Higgins:   I’ll be telling the police where you are.  I’ll tell them where you are!

[Boucher moves towards the door, opens it and runs out.]

Higgins:   [at the door] I am giving you up, John Boucher!

Bessie:   [on her bed] Stop!

[Bessie starts wailing and coughing, Nicholas sits down beside her and takes her into his arms, and sighs]

[Street scene somewhere in Milton. Mr. Bell walking along the pavement,  Mr. Thornton can be seen on the other side of the street, approaching]

Mr. Bell:   Thornton! Thornton!

[John Thorton touches his hat.]

Mr. Bell:   Congratulations! ……On handling the strike.  I trust everything’s back to normal?

Thornton:   Well, business is a bit more complicated than that.  It’ll take a while.

Mr. Bell:   Ah!  You know the Latimers of course.

Thornton:   Of course. [touches his hat]

Mr. Bell:   Ah, Margaret! Over here! [waves her over]

[John Thornton turns slightly]

Mr. Bell:   Now look at this!  What luck!  Two of the prettiest girls in Milton.  You remember the Latimers, Margaret?  My banker and therefore a very important man.  [Mr. Latimer touches his hat.]  And this is Ann, recently arrived home from Switzerland, I believe, and very much finished.  [John Thornton looks at Margaret from under his hat.]  Now, where’re you off to, my dear?

Margaret Hale:   Nowhere.

Mr. Bell:   That’s all right, you can have your little secrets.  All young women must have their secrets, isn’t that one of the joys of life?

Thornton:   I wouldn’t know. Good day.  [touches his hat and leaves, with Ann Latimer at his arm.  Margaret follows him with her eyes.]

Mr. Latimer:   What’s the point in spending a fortune on education, if you have to spend another on the wedding, once they’re back?  [turns towards Margaret, then joins Mr. Bell in laughing]

Mr. Latimer:   Good day, Miss Hale. Bell.  [touches his hat and leaves]

[Mr. Bell still smiling, then catching Margarets look]

Mr. Bell:   I am sorry, my dear?

Margaret Hale:   Mr. Bell… I am grateful for the friendship you give my father.  Goodness knows he’s felt alone in Milton, but–

Mr. Bell:   –but you wished I would mind my own business and stop being so damned facetious.  You are absolutely right, my dear, and it will stop immediately.  But you know, I do take an interest.  I would like to think, if you were in need of help I would be the first you’d call upon.

Margaret Hale:   You’ve my word, Mr. Bell.  You’ll be the first.

[Mr. Bell offers her his arm and they walk away as Margaret turns her head and looks after Thornton and the Latimers.]


Episode 3 – Chapter 2

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by Thomas591
(from Western USA)

[Thunder rumbles. Mr. Hale is standing and staring. Margaret comes into the room behind him.]

Margaret Hale:   Father. You’re back early.

Mr. Hale:   Yes, er…one of my pupils cancelled our appointment, and I came back looking forward to Mr. Thornton’s lesson, only to discover that he also fears he might find himself too busy to read this evening. [holds out Thornton’s note to Margaret]

Margaret:   It has been a busy few days.   No doubt Mr. Thornton will resume his lessons when things quieten down.

Mr. Hale:   No doubt.  No doubt. [resigned]  Maybe I’ll write him a little note of encouragement, hoping he can come later.

[Margaret looks expectantly at the letters in her father’s hand]

Mr. Hale:   Margaret, are you expecting a letter?

Margaret:   No…Yes.  Father, I’ve got something I have to tell you.  I’ve written to Frederick. I-I know that I shouldn’t have.

Mr. Hale:   [gravely]  Because of your mother.  And…you think he needs to come quickly?  [Margaret nods affirmitatively, and he looks frightened.]

[Sitting now at the table together in candlelight]

Margaret:   Please say I did the right thing, Father.  Is the danger to Frederick so very great?

Mr. Hale:   Oh, yes, my dear.  I’m afraid it is.  The government MUST take harsh measures against those who set themselves up in opposition to its authority, especially at sea, where the captain must expect extra support so far from home. [thunder]  There is still a large reward out on Frederick.  [Margaret stares down worriedly.]  Maybe we could get the letter back.  When…when did you post it?

Margaret:   Several days ago.  [Mr. Hale sighs deeply]  But surely everything happened so long ago.

Mr. Hale:   The navy spares no expense. They send out ships specifically to hunt the seas for the guilty men. It’s as fresh and vivid a crime as if it happened yesterday. And nothing but blood…will wipe it clean.

Margaret:   But Fred’s innocent! Surely there is justice. We must trust that he’ll be…

Mr. Hale:   No. [definitely shaking his head]

Margaret:   If only I hadn’t written. [thunder] Supposing I have only encouraged Frederick to come back to a court martial? That would kill Mother for sure.

Mr. Hale:   No, my dear, you did well. You acted from the heart. You were brave for your mother’s sake. [his hand on her cheek] I’m glad you didn’t tell me, for I might have stopped you.

Margaret:   [at her desk writing] Dear Edith, I hardly know how to begin. There are things I SO want to talk to you about…[looks up introspectively] but I can’t find the words. [Decisively crumpling up the paper, she gets up to go, taking her shawl from the back of the chair.]

[Margaret hurries down the street to Bessy’s house, and knocks swiftly at the door. It’s opened by Mary Higgins, tears running from her eyes.]

Margaret:   I came for a chat with Be-

Mary Higgins:   Oh, miss…[She lets Margaret in, and Margaret removes her hat when she sees Bessy lying so still on the bed. Bessy is holding the scrap of lace Margaret gave her at her last visit. Mary is crying when Nicholas enters the door attracting their attention. He is silent as he comes closer to the bed, but his face grows sorrowful and tears form in his eyes. He touches Bessy’s hand looking down at her.]

Nicholas Higgins:   Were you with her? [looking at Margaret]

Margaret:   [shakes her head, no] I’m sure it was peaceful. Look at her face, Nicholas. There’s no more pain.

Nicholas:   [breaking down] She’s-she’s not supposed to go before me. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not the natural way of things. You sure she’s dead, she’s not in a faint or something before?

Margaret:   No, Nicholas. She’s dead.

Nicholas:   Ah! [Crying he sits to gather Bessy in his arms. Margaret comforts Mary beside him.]

[Boucher limps down the cloth-hung street towards two men talking.]

Man:   …how long it’s going to take us to get back on our feet? [Seeing Boucher, they leave quickly. Boucher’s smile turns to a resigned look and he limps on.]

[A funeral carriage sits in the street. Business bustles on as usual around it. Inside the Hale’s home Nicholas Higgins sits with Margaret and Mr. Hale at the kitchen table.]

Nicholas Higgins:   [sitting with Margaret and Mr. Hale at the kitchen table]
My poor Bess. She lived the life of a dog. Hard work and illness. She never had one moment of rejoicing.

Mr. Hale:   She may not have had an easy life, but she will find comfort in the next.

Nicholas:   [laughing ironically through his tears] I’m not saying I don’t believe in your God, but I can’t believe he meant the world to be as it is. The masters ruling over us, the rest of us…left to live a half-life in the shadows.

Mr. Hale:   He gave us the world and our wits and intelligence to discover the grace and beauty in others…

Nicholas:   [getting up] And I’m to believe that he gave some more than others, and that was his will?

Mr. Hale:   It’s our duty to make peace with others. It’s a pity that you seem to think in terms of…war and strife. I know there’s suffering, and I know there are cruel and greedy masters, but surely it would be better for people of goodwill on both sides to sit down and share ideas of how to do God’s will, to live together in peace and harmony. Wouldn’t you think a man like…like Thornton would be open to ideas?

Nicholas:   [incredulous] Thornton? He’s the one that brought in the Irish that led to the riot that broke the strike! Even Hamper would have waited, but Thornton, he’s got no deceit about him. And now, just when we needed him to be hard, to hunt down men like Boucher and men who betrayed us, what does he do? he says HE’S the injured party. He won’t press charges. They’ll not get employment, they’re well known. That’s punishment enough, he says. I thought he’d have more guts.

Margaret:   Mr. Thornton was right. I know that you’re angry with Boucher, but even you must see that anything more would look like revenge.

Nicholas:   [sighs sitting down again and weeping as he remembers Bessy] My poor Bess. She said the strike would be the end of her. And it’s all because of WEAK men like Boucher!

Margaret:   Not everyone is as strong as you, Nicholas. To last out the strike for so long…

Nicholas:   People of the same trade must stick together. If they don’t…men have ways and means.

Margaret:   Ways and means?

Nicholas:   Aye, ways and means. We can cast a man out, pretend he doesn’t exist. No one will look at him or talk to him…

Margaret:   [sad and disturbed] You talk of the tyranny of the masters, Nicholas.

Nicholas:   [rises abruptly in anger, scraping back his chair] Now don’t worry, Mr. Hale. I haven’t forgotten who’s lying dead at home and how much she loved your girl. I’ll just say this. Being in the union…it IS like being in a war. And with a war comes some crime. [quietly]   But it would be a greater crime to do nothing. [Nicholas gives a straight look at Mr. Hale. Mr. Hale’s glance falls first. Nicholas leaves.]

[Mr. Thornton quickly climbs the stairs crowded with merchandise to arrive at the Hale’s street. He stops when he sees Margaret standing with Nicholas Higgins at the Hale’s doorstep, holding his hand at parting on the steps.]

Margaret:    Look after yourself. [Nicholas turns and leaves. Margaret notices John Thornton standing at a distance watching them. Her face shows concern for John, but he glares back and goes back the way he came.]

[Margaret comes downstairs at home with an armload of books. She heads for the shelves to put them away, passing her mother and Dixon who are sitting. Dixon is carefully administering a drink to Mrs. Hale as her mistress reads a letter.]

Dixon:   Doesn’t the mistress look well today, Miss Margaret? She’s done a good two inches of needlework, and she’s read her post.

Mrs. Maria Hale:   More letters from your Aunt Shaw, inviting us to the Great Exhibition. Oh, I do wish I could go. [to Dixon] Don’t worry I know I shouldn’t. But you could go, Margaret. It sounds so exciting. With bears and elephants and exotic people and inventions from all over the Empire.

Margaret:   I can’t go to London. Not when you’re…Not until I know you’re feeling better. [putting books up]

Mrs. Hale:   Yes, but…if you went, you could tell me all about it and maybe bring me something back. And that would give me something to look forward to.

Margaret:   [smiling] I’ll think about it. [Dixon smiles, too, and gets up to do something at the table.]

Mrs. Hale:   You’ve written Frederick, haven’t you? [A look is exchanged between Dixon and Margaret, Margaret nods a yes to her mother. Dixon sits again with Mrs. Hale.] Now I think about it, I’m afraid of him coming…in case he should be taken. After all of these years that he’s kept away and lived safely.

Margaret:   [comes to kneel by her mother’s chair] There is a risk, but we will be careful. If we were still at Helstone, people would know who he was. People would remember. While here, nobody knows or cares for us to notice what we do.

Mrs. Hale:   I suppose there is some virtue in being uprooted and friendless. [chuckles with Margaret]

Dixon:   I’m glad that Miss Margart wrote. I was thinking of doing so myself.

Margart:   And Dixon will keep the door like a dragon, won’t you?

Dixon:   They’ll have to be clever to get past ME! [Mrs. Hale leans back in her chair.]


Episode 3 – Chapter 3

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by AnothaFan
South Island, New Zealand

[The large exhibition hall is filled with crowds of people. Margaret is walking and looking around at the exhibits with great interest.  She is accompanied by Aunt Shaw, Captain Lennox, Cousin Edith, and Henry Lennox.]

Aunt Shaw:   I suppose it’s only right that we’ve invited people from all over the Empire, even if some of the exhibits are a little exotic.

Margaret:   [smiling]  I think it’s wonderful.  It seems as though all the world is here for us to see.

Captain Lennox:   I was impressed by the machinery. I have to say, I never realised the power of it… and the money to be made from cotton.  [turning to Henry]  Maybe we should go into cotton.

Henry:   [blandly]  I should think it takes a deal more energy than you have, Maxwell. And we don’t need heavy machinery to make money in London. [Looking directly at Margaret] Nor do we need to suffer the Northern climate. Do we, Miss Hale? [Margaret turns to look at him, as he continues.] I ask the expert amongst us.

Margaret:   It’s true. The air is not so clean in Milton.

[Margaret wanders away from the group.]

Edith:  [to Henry]  Margaret has always had a mind of her own, Henry.

[Margaret is walking amongst the exhibits. There is machinery clonking in the background. John Thornton is heard making a speech.]

Thornton:   You’re all here to see this fine machinery.  [Margaret’s attention is caught by Mr Thornton.] Technologically, we’re the envy of the world.  [She moves to stand at the back of the group.]  If only there was a mechanism to enable us all to live together, to take advantage of the great benefits that come from industry. But that will be for future generations.  We can bring back marmosets from Mozambique, but we cannot stop man from behaving as he always has.

Man:   Don’t you think we can bring about an end to strikes?

Thornton:   Not in my lifetime… but with time and patience, we might try to bleed them of their bitterness.  [John notices Margaret.]  Miss Hale here knows the depths we men in Milton have fallen to.  How we masters only strive to grind our workers into the ground.

Margaret:   I certainly do not think that… as Mr Thornton could tell you, if he would know me at all.

[Margaret turns away from the group, Mr Thornton goes through it to follow her.  He catches up with her in a couple of easy strides and turns to face her.]

Thornton:   I presumed to know you once before and have been mistaken.

[Fanny and Miss Latimer approach them.]

Fanny:   Miss Hale! [said flately] How delightful!

[Mr Thornton looks slightly irritated.]

Margaret:   [to Fanny]  You’ve managed to come to London at last.

Fanny:   Mother allowed it only because John was coming, and Miss Latimer of course, who she approves of greatly.  Seems to think is far more sensible than me.

[Henry Lennox approaches them.]

Margaret:    Henry.  Do you know Mr Thornton?

Henry:   [taking a look at Mr Thornton]   Mr Thornton. All the way from Milton.

[Mr Thornton gives a slight nod.]

Henry:   My brother is interested in dabbling in cotton.

Thornton [disdainfully]:   I’m not sure I’m the one to speak to.   I’m not sure I’d know how to dabble.

[Henry smirks.]

Thornton:  [abruptly]   I must go.  You may enjoy the machinery like an exhibit in the zoo.  I have to go and live with it.  I must get back to Milton today.  [He turns away.]

Henry:   Give our regards to the Hales.  [somewhat smugly]  You must tell them how the London break is suiting Miss Hale.  Don’t you think Thornton?

[Mr Thornton looks back at him, with a glare.]

Henry:   Doesn’t Miss Hale look well?

[Mr Thornton holds his look at Henry, then glances at Margaret.]

Thornton:   Good day. [He turns away.]

Margaret:   [looking suddenly after Mr Thornton]  Tell Mother I’ll be home soon, with so much to tell her.

[Mr Thornton pauses but doesn’t turn around, he then walks away.]

Fanny:   Ooh! John is such a stick-in-the-mud!

[Fanny turns away, Miss Latimer follows her.  Mr Latimer approaches Margaret and Henry from one direction, Aunt Shaw from the other direction.]

Aunt Shaw:   Who was that?  Is it anyone we should know?

Mr Latimer:   Poor Thornton. I tempted him down here to try to raise finance for Marlborough Mills.  And he’s had to face all kinds of inquiries.  Starry-eyed Londoners who think they only have to snap their fingers to make a fortune in cotton.

Henry:   I’d hardly have thought a manufacturer would’ve appreciated a show like this.

Margaret:  [earnestly to Henry]   No, you’re wrong. I’ve heard him talk often with my father.  He’s very interested in the world.  Really, I know him to be.


Episode 3 – Chapter 4

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by AnothaFan
South Island, New Zealand

[Walking through the busy mill yard, Mrs Thornton makes her way to the Hales.]

[Dixon and Mrs Thornton are standing at the bottom of the staircase, at the Hales residence.]

Dixon:   The missus is sorry for keeping you waiting, Mrs Thornton.  Would you please come up.

[They make their way up the staircase and enter Mrs Hale’s room. Mrs Thornton sits down beside the bed and Dixon leaves. Mrs Hale is lying in bed, quite unwell. She reaches out her hand to Mrs Thornton. Mrs Thornton looks perplexed, then hesitantly takes Mrs Hale’s hand.]

Mrs Hale:  [weakly]  My daughter Margaret… [wheezing slightly] I will be dead soon…. I want you to look after her…. My own sister, she travels, often… Margaret has no woman’s guidance.

Mrs Thornton:   I’m sure your daughter makes her own choices. I cannot make her change her mind.  She has already made her decisions… [becoming haughty]  I’m surprised she’s not here, as you’re not well.

Mrs Hale:   I made her go. I.. I was feeling a great deal better, but… [swallowing]  I wish you to be a friend to Margaret.

Mrs Thornton:   I’m afraid it is not in my nature to show affection… even when I feel it.  [softening towards Mrs Hale]   But I promise that if Miss Hale should ask me for help, or if… or should I ever hear of her doing something that I see as wrong…

Mrs Hale:   But Margaret never does anything wrong.

Mrs Thornton:   I will counsel her as I would my own daughter… [smiles slightly]  I promise.

Mrs Hale:   I pray to God to bless you for your promise, to be kind… to my child.

[Mrs Thornton nods her head in acknowledgement.]

[Margaret is looking out of the train window. The train whistles and moves along the track.  Later, Margaret is seated beside Mrs Hale’s bed. Dixon enters the room and stops a little behind Margaret.]

Margaret:   [remorsefully]  I should never have gone, Dixon.

Dixon:   She wanted you to go.  She was happy for you.  This last turn happened very suddenly.

[The doorbell rings from downstairs.]

Dixon:  [sighing]  Oh, who’d come visiting at this hour? [turning slightly]  I’ll get the master.

Margaret:  [rising from the chair]  No, I’ll go.  Don’t disturb him.

[Margaret leaves the room. Dixon sits down in the vacated chair.]



Episode 3 – Chapter 5

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by mhjtbh

[Margaret descends the stairs in the dark holding a candle. A knock is heard at the door as she places the candlestick on the table. She unlocks and opens the door.]

Low voice:   Is Mr. Hale in?

Margaret Hale:   [whispering]  Frederick!  Come in!  Frederick!

[Margaret pulls Frederick inside quickly as he takes his cap off.  They hug one another joyously.]

Frederick Hale:   Mother?

Margaret Hale:   She’s still alive.  She’s as ill as she could be but she lives.

Frederick:   Thank God

Margaret:   Father ….

Frederick:   [cutting her off]  You did expect me, didn’t you?

Margaret:   I knew that you would come but we’ve had no letter!

Frederick:   No, I travelled before it… but you knew I’d come…

Margaret:   Of course.  I didn’t dare think it would be so soon!

Mr. Hale:   [calling from the top of the stairs]  Margaret?  Did I hear the door?

[He stops at the bottom as he sees Frederick.  Frederick and Margaret turn to look at him.  Frederick and Mr. Hale walk towards one another.  Mr. Hale takes Frederick’s face between his hands.]

Mr. Hale:   My dear boy!  You’ve come home!  [They embrace.]

[On the following day, Mr Thornton is standing on the front step of the Hale’s house holding a basket and a book. Margaret comes out of the front door and closes it behind her]

John Thornton:   Miss Hale?

Margaret Hale:   Mr. Thornton…

John Thornton:   I’ve only come to return this book to your father and I’ve taken the liberty of bringing some fruit for your mother.

Margaret Hale:  [taking the book and basket]  Thank you…

[Mary Higgins ascends the stairs to pass Mr. Thornton.  Margaret hands her the basket and book.]

Margaret:   Oh, thank you Mary, please take these through to the kitchen.

[He takes off his hat as Margaret turns back once more to face him]

John Thornton:   You must excuse me.  I thought that I would still be welcome here despite our…… despite what’s passed between us….. as your father’s guest at least.

Margaret Hale:   Indeed.  You are welcome but………

[He looks past Margaret into the hallway and sees a man’s hat.]

John Thornton:   I’m sorry, you have company already….  [He turns to leave.]

Margaret Hale :   No! Indeed we do not!  There is no one here!

[He stops and turns to look at her as laughter is heard from an upstairs room.]

John Thornton:   Good day Miss Hale.  [He turns to leave, puts on his hat and begins to walk away. She calls after him.]

Margaret Hale:   Mr Thornton, please….  My mother is ill!  Things are not as they seem!  Please believe me that I mean no discourtesy towards you and that you are most welcome…..

[John walks away from her down the street.]

[Margaret walks into the drawing room carrying Mr. Thornton’s basket. Frederick is seated in an armchair]

Frederick:   Who was that?  The same tradesman that came earlier?

Margaret:   Mr. Thornton?  He’s a manufacturer.

Frederick:   Tradesman; manufacturer…it’s all the same.  What did Father mean by coming all this way and placing you in the company of these people ….

Margaret:   [interrupting him]  Mr Thornton is …. he’s a gentleman, Fred….  And has been very good to us…

Frederick:   I’m sorry…. [sighing]  …who am I to criticise….  I’ve neglected you and Mother all these years…  you don’t know how much it pains me not to be able to thank those who have been kind to you.  Your life and mine must always be separate…  unless I run the risk of court martial……  [smiling]  or if you should come to Spain….  You know, I have a good position there, and ah…….

Margaret:   ..and?

Frederick:   The girl I wrote to you about….  Dolores….  I only wish you knew her..  You would love her!  You and Father and Mother.

Margaret:   Tell me about her.  We could do with talking of lovely joyful things.

[Dixon enters the room, looks at both of them and nods solemnly.]

[In Mrs. Hale’s room.  Mrs Hale is propped up on the pillows.  She appears to have difficulty breathing.  Margaret and Frederick sit on either side of her holding her hands.  Mrs. Hale looks at first Frederick, then Dixon and finally Margaret.  She closes her eyes and breathes out, losing consciousness and dies peacefully.]

Frederick:   [his voice full of emotion]  She’s not gone?

[Margaret looks at him with tears in her eyes.  Dixon begins to cry.]

Frederick:   Margaret?

[Frederick begins to cry.  Margaret turns to see Mr. Hale looking in from the doorway.  He walks into the room as Margaret bows her head and cries.]

[View of the Milton graveyard with Milton in the distance.  Boucher stumbles up the hill through the graves]

[Mr. Hale in his wife’s bedroom]

Mr. Hale:   [speaking to his wife as if she were still alive]   … and then I’m to go to Croxley to read with the Smithers boy.  He’s a diligent lad; hardworking but slow…  I don’t think he’ll make much of a scholar…

[Dixon dressed in mourning clothes watches Mr Hale from the doorway.  She bows her head.  Mr. Hale kneels at his wife’s bed.]

Mr. Hale:   …but his parents hope that with enough help, he can get a decent education.


Episode 3 – Chapter 6

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by SearchyGirl
California, USA

[Leonards walks down a busy street in Milton.  Dixon is walking in the opposite direction.]

Leonards:   Miss Dixon?

[Dixon turns to see who is speaking with a blank look of barely veiled mistrust.]

Leonards:   Well, fancy seeing you ‘ere.  Maybe you’re not a Miss Dixon no longer.

Dixon:   [imperiously]  I’m still Miss Dixon to you, young Leonards.  Though I’ve had my chances, I’m sure.  And you.  Still up to your old nonsense are ya?  What you doin’ all the way up here in Milton?

Leonards:   Well, Helstone’s not exactly an up-and-coming place, is it?  Besides, this is where all the money is.  I got myself a fine fiancée now, an’ all. [Dixon nods]  She works for one of those big ‘ouses up there.

Dixon:   [with a nod]  Hmm . . .

Leonards:   Anyway, what are you doin’ all the way up here, Miss Dixon?  You still workin’ for those Hales?  [He takes a step towards her, scrutinizing her face.]  Wasn’t there some sort of, um…some sort of scandal involving that boy?

Dixon:   [expressionless]  I’m visiting my sister’s family.

[Leonards is standing very close to Dixon, examining her face for several seconds after she answers.  Then he smiles, nods and turns to continue on his way down the street.]

Leonards:   [with a wave]  Cheerio, then.

[Dixon nods her goodbye.   Leonards jumps on the back of a horse-drawn cart.]

Leonards:   I’m sure I’ll see you again soon, eh?

[In the Hale’s kitchen, Margaret paces back and forth in agitation as Dixon unpacks her basket of goods.]

Margaret Hale:   Oh, Dixon.  Do you think he knows about Frederick?

Dixon:   The mutiny was a very big story.  It was in all the newspapers.  And there IS still a big reward.  We certainly don’t want ‘im poking his nose in around ‘ere.

Margaret Hale:   [stopping by the window]  Frederick must go.  Before the funeral.  Have you talked to my father about arrangements?

Dixon:   [looking sad]  He said Mr. Bell will come from Oxford and arrange everything.

Margaret Hale:   Mr. Bell.  Of course.  He will help.  But Frederick must leave before he comes.   No one else must know he’s here.

[Margaret ascends the stairs, leaving Dixon looking very worried in the kitchen.  Upstairs, Frederick paces as he talks to his father and sister.]

Frederick Hale:   [perturbed]  I wish I’d met this Leonards.  I don’t see why I should have to run away before the funeral.  I’ve a good mind to face it out and stand trial.

Richard Hale:   No, you must go, Fred.

Frederick Hale:   If only I could find witnesses and defend myself, so everyone knows what a monster Captain Reid was.

Richard Hale:   Oh, you think a court martial is somewhere justice is administered.

Margaret Hale:   Fred has never tried to defend himself.

Frederick Hale:   How can I now?  I can’t send out the town crier.   I can’t commission a pamphlet, even if anyone would bother to read it.

Margaret Hale:   [eyes lighting up as a pleasant idea strikes her]  What about a lawyer?  I know a lawyer who is honourable.  And clever I think.  I’m sure he would if I…  Well, if we asked.  [She rises quickly from her chair to approach her father and take his hand.]  Mr. Henry Lennox, Father.  You remember.

Richard Hale:   [pleading]  Do what you like.  Write to Henry if you must, but do NOT keep Frederick in England!

Frederick Hale:   Henry Lennox.  Is that Edith’s brother-in-law?

Margaret Hale:   Yes.

Frederick Hale:   He… He might be all right.  I… I could write to him all the details of the crew and about the ship.

Margaret Hale:   You must leave tomorrow by the night train.  You can see Henry in London and then take a boat on from there.


Episode 3 – Chapter 7

This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by genie-49
from Florida, USA

[Frederick and Margaret arrive late at night at the train platform. Margaret is seeing him off and they are standing and talking before Fred boards. Few people are around.]

Frederick Hale:   Only a few minutes more.  I don’t know when I’ll see you again.

[As Margaret and Fred embrace, Margaret sees over Fred’s shoulder that John Thornton is standing several coach-lengths away under a gaslight. Thornton is staring her way, so she knows he recognizes her.  In fact, he can’t seem to take his eyes off Margaret in the arms of a stranger.  Fred notices his sister’s reaction and looks in the same direction that has Margaret’s rapt attention.  John Thornton watches the pair a moment longer then moves away.]

Frederick:   Who was that?

Margaret:   Mr. Thornton.

Frederick:   What a scowl that man has…….  A very disagreeable fellow, I’m sure.

Margaret:   [looking sorrowful]  As with most men, something has happened to make him scowl, Fred.  Don’t judge him harshly.

[Fred and Margaret move toward the coach door.]

Fred:   I’ll write soon.

[From a short distance away a familiar voice calls to Frederick.]

Leonards:   Hale?!!!!

[Frederick and Margaret turn around to see Leonards, intoxicated and slurring his words, come toward them.]

Leonards:   It is you, isn’t ?  Look at you…..  I thought I recognised you.

Frederick:   I’m not Hale.  Get off!

Leonards:   What’s all this, then?

[A scuffle ensues between the two men.  Leonards is insisting he’s Hale and Frederick is denying it.  Margaret is almost caught in the middle of everything.]

Margaret:   Stop  [The scuffle continues.]

Leonards:   Where you been hidin’, Mr. Hale?  Huh?

Frederick:   Get off!!

[The scuffle becomes a little more violent and with an effort Frederick pushes Leonards away.  Leonards steps back and loses his balance, falling halfway down the concrete platform exit stairs.  In the background you can hear the call for “boarding”.  Frederick is watching Leonards recover from his fall and stagger further down the steps.]

Margaret:   You must go now, Fred…..Go!  [The guard blows the whistle to board.]

Margaret:   [following Frederick to the coach door]  Go!

Frederick:   God bless you, Margaret.   [Out of breath from the struggle Frederick kisses his sister through the open coach door window as the train starts to move and the distance between them grows.]  Goodbye!   [Frederick is saddened to leave Margaret this way and watches her as the train continues on.  Margaret turns and leaves the station.]

[A boot lies on it’s side in a rushing stream. The water is purple. Boucher stares at the water and rocks back and forth. He seems lost.]

[Inside a large church, Maria Hale’s funeral is being held.  Mr. Hale sits in front, leaning against the end of his pew.  Margaret and Mr. Bell sit next to him and Dixon is behind.]

Margaret:   [speaking softly to Mr. Bell]   If we had been in Helstone chapel it would have been full ……. of Mother’s friends.

Mr. Bell:   [whispering]  Yes, but ….. look   [Mr. Bell turns towards the back of the church and encourages Margaret to see the Higgins family seated further back.]

[Margaret turns to see Nicholas and Mary in attendance.  A faint expression of gratitude appears on her face. Across the aisle John Thornton has been watching Margaret and turns to see who she has been looking at.  Margaret, absently, never looks in his direction.]

[The service ends, Margaret, Mr. Bell and Mr. Hale leave the chapel as a bell tolls.  Mr. Bell escorts Mr. Hale who is very grief stricken and cannot function without help.  Margaret takes her father’s arm once they’re outside and guides him herself.  Mr. Bell stops just outside the doorway.  All three of the Thorntons come out after Dixon and then Mary and Nicholas Higgins.  Mr. Thornton stops in the doorway to speak with Mr. Bell, as the others offer their condolences to the Hales.]

Thornton:   How are they?  Miss Hale and her father?

Mr. Bell:   As well as can be expected.  Don’t worry, Thornton, they have many people to look after them.

Thornton:   If there’s anything I can do………  [John looks solemn]

Mr. Bell:   Everything’s taken care of.  Well… not a great turnout, to be sure.  The aunt is traveling in Italy, unfortunately.  I’m surprised Lennox didn’t turn up, though.

[John, hearing the name Lennox, unknowingly holds his head high and assumes a very stiff, upright and assertive posture.]

Mr. Bell:   Henry Lennox.  Closely connected to the family.  He’s a lawyer.  I hear he takes an interest.

[John deflates his posture and becomes downcast.  This change in posture has not escaped Bell’s notice]

Mr. Bell:   But you can be sure I’ll let you know if your help is needed.

[Mr Bell and Thornton begin to walk away from chapel.  John is interrupted by someone calling his name. He stops and turns back to see who it is.]

Inspector Mason:   Mr. Thornton?

Thornton:   Yes? Mason, isn’t it? How do you do?

Inspector Mason:   Sorry to disturb you, sir, but with your being the local magistrate ………  [Hannah Thornton looks on at her son’s conversation with the Inspector.]

[Inspector Mason escorts Thornton to a mortuary room, where a dead body covered by a white cloth is lying on a marble table.  The room is very dim, only a few oil lamps light the room.  Mason pulls back the white cloth so Thornton can see the dead man.  It is Leonards]

Inspector Mason:   This fellow was found along the station embankment two days ago.  Died in hospital this morning.  He’s not from these parts.  We’re trying to identify him.  Find out who killed him.

[Nicholas Higgins is seen standing, looking out his window. He sees Margaret and her father approaching. They enter the house.]

Mr. Hale:   We thought we’d find you here around dinner time.

Higgins:   You’re pretty sure of finding me here any time.  Please sit down, Master.  [Mary is busying herself with dishes on the table.]

Mr. Hale:   Thank you.

Margaret:   You’re out of work still, because of the strike?

Higgins:   I’m out of work because I choose not to work.

Margaret:   Have you asked for work at your old mill?

Higgins:   Well, Hamper knows I’m a good worker.  He’d take me back.  But there’s a new rule, we’re not allowed to pay into the union.  We pay into the union so we can have a strike fund so we can pay a shilling a week strike pay to those in hardship.  Their thinking is, if we’re not allowed, there’ll be no strikes.  We’re not asking Masters to fund a strike.  We’re not that simple.  But where’s the crime in giving to your own out of your own wages, freely earned?  I mean …… you earn a wage don’t you, Mr. Hale?

Mr. Hale:   Yes… Yes, I do.

Higgins:   The people who pay you don’t tell you how to spend your money, do they?

Mr. Hale:   No……no…they …. they certainly don’t.

Margaret:   Do all the mills operate this new rule?  Remember Boucher saying the union was a tyrant?

Higgins:   [Higgins sarcastically chuckles as he moves about the room to a chair away from the table.] Well…. sometimes the union has to force a man to see what’s good for him.  Boucher was always a fool.  He never knew what was good for him.

Margaret:   So he did the union harm?

Higgins:   We had opinion on our side till he started rioting and breaking the law.

Margaret:   Wouldn’t it have been better to leave him alone?  He did the union no good. And you drove him mad.

Mr Hale:   [Mr. Hale interrupts quietly and politely]  Margaret!

Higgins:   No, no, no.  She speaks her mind, I like that.  She doesn’t understand.  The union is a great power. The union is our only power.  I’d best not talk about it.  I can’t help feeling angry at Boucher because there’s no end to his mischief.

Margaret:   Still?

Higgins:   Oh, yeah.  First of all he starts a riot, then he goes into hiding.  Thornton doesn’t prosecute, so he slinks back home, and what does he do? He goes off to Hamper’s beggin’ for work, even though that’d mean forsaking his union dues.  To be fair to Hamper, he didn’t listen to Boucher.  He drove him away.  Even though they say he cried like a baby.  [Higgins is downcast after his last remark.]

[A bare foot and a booted one are sticking out of the covering over a body being carried down the street by policemen on a stretcher.  A crowd gathers, Margaret and Mr. Hale among them, having just left Nicholas Higgins’ house.]

Local Man 1:   I found him in the canal beyond Ashley.

Bystander 1:   Canal?  [Margaret and Mr. Hale look on, gravely.]

Local Man 1:   Aye.  Determined to kill himself, all right.

Local Man 2:   It’s Boucher. He’s drowned himself.

Higgins:   [Hearing the commotion outside and the comment about Boucher killing himself, comes outside and walks toward the stretcher.]  It can’t be Boucher.  He wouldn’t have the nerve to drown himself.

[The policemen bring the stretcher to a stop, so that Higgins can see if it is Boucher.  A policemen courteously removes his hat and pulls back the cover.  Higgins sees the face of Boucher, eyes wide open, staring into nothingness.  His face is stained purple from the dye in the stream where he drowned.  Higgins doubles over with sorrow and disbelief.  He is grief stricken.  Other onlookers have stoic faces as they view the sight before them – including Boucher’s young son, Tom]

Young Tom:   Why’s my daddy’s face purple?  [Margaret pulls Tommy away from the body.]

Policeman:   [speaking to Mr Hale]  Water from the dying vats goes into the canal.

Policeman:   Higgins.  You knew him.  You must go and tell his wife.  Do it now, man.  We can’t leave him ‘ere.

Higgins:   [weeping …. almost with an effort to whisper…]  I can’t …….. I just can’t do it.

Margaret:   [hoping her father could help at this point … ] Father?

[Mr. Hale clearly does not feel he can cope with this, so soon after his wife’s death …..  he shakes his head, no, and takes a step back.]

Margaret:   I’ll go.  [takes Tommy with her]

[Within a short time Mrs Boucher stumbles towards her husbands’ body.  She is in great despair and crying.]

Mrs. Boucher:   No…. No…  he loved us all.  [heart wrenching sobs] ….  and we loved him….. [Higgins with tears running down his face]  and I spoke such terrible words about him only a moment ago………. What are we to do?  [hugs the body]

[Several days later, Higgins and Mary and young Tom stand at a grave site in the cemetery which overlooks the town.  Margaret stands a few feet behind them]

Margaret:   [narrating]  Only a few days after,…. Mrs Boucher followed her husband to heaven, leaving their six children orphans.  We buried them high above the city in the fresh air, their worldly struggle and cares over forever.  [Higgins is quietly saying a prayer]  How much harder now for those of us who are left behind to mourn.


Episode 3 – Chapter 8


This script is provided by the dedicated fans of North and South at the North and South Forum
Chapter written by SearchyGirl
California, USA

[At the Hale’s house, Margaret gingerly places her mother’s clothes in a trunk, lost in thought. Dixon comes up the stairs and knocks on the open door.]

Dixon: ‘Scuse me, miss. It’s a police inspector. [Margaret turns towards Dixon in surprise.] I…I told him to go away, but I didn’t want to disturb the master.

Margaret Hale: Did he say what he wanted?

Dixon: No, miss. I’ve let him in and shown him to the master’s study, but it’s you he wants to see.

[Inspector Mason is looking at a book as Margaret enters the study.]

Inspector Mason: I beg your pardon, ma’am, especially at such a time. My duty obliges me to ask you a few plain questions. A man’s died at the infirmary, following a fall, we think, after a fight at Outwood station between the hours of eleven and twelve at night on Thursday the 26th. Erm…at the time, the fight didn’t appear to be of much consequence. The doctors think the man had a bad drinking habit and some internal complaint. There will have to be an inquest. The witness, a grocer’s assistant, stated that the fight was precipitated by some drunken impertinence to a young lady who was walking with a man at the station. There is some reason to believe that that young lady might be you, ma’am.

Margaret Hale: [without changing expression] I was not there.

[Inspector Mason looks down at his notepad as he continues.]

Inspector Mason: The witness said the lady was remarkably handsome. [glances up at Margaret] He er…he identified the lady as a Miss Hale from Crampton whose family frequent the shop. You are the only Miss Hale from Crampton.

Margaret Hale: Why, I…I don’t know. Inspector, much as I would like to own up to being…remarkably handsome, I’m sorry that I have to repeat that there has been some mistake. I was not there.

Inspector Mason: I see.

Margaret Hale: Do you have any more questions for me, Inspector? [maintaining her glassy gaze]

Inspector Mason: [shakes his head] No, madam. [Looking somewhat confused, he turns to leave, but turns back.] I have your absolute denial that you were that lady?

Margaret Hale: I’m sorry that he…that this man…is dead. But I was not there.

Inspector Mason: It may be that if my witness insists that it was you at Outwood station at that time and place, then I may have to summon you to an inquest, to provide an alibi.

[Now he goes for the door again, turning back once more.]

Inspector Mason: I hope you’ll forgive me for seeming impertinent. I have to do my duty.

[Inspector Mason takes his leave and Margaret is left looking stunned at this turn of events.]

[In the Princeton District, Mr. Thornton is about to descend the stairs.]

Inspector Mason: Mr. Thornton!

John Thornton: Ah, Mason. What’s new?

Inspector Mason: The man we saw at the mortuary.

John Thornton: [Pausing on the stairs and removing his hat, turning to talk to Mason] Yes. Leonards, wasn’t it? Well, he was a drunk obviously, but he met his death by violence almost certainly. I believe one of my mother’s servants was engaged to him. She’s in great distress today.

[Thornton continues down the stairs and Mason follows.]

Inspector Mason: Am I right in thinking you are acquainted with a Mr. Hale, sir?

John Thornton: Yes, indeed. What of it?

Inspector Mason: It’s just that that this man Leonards death is mixed up with Miss Hale, sir. [Thornton stops walking and turns slowly towards Mason, listening very intently now.] I have a very secure chain of evidence that a gentleman walking out with Miss Hale at the station was the same that fought with Leonards and may well have caused his death. But the young lady denies she was there at the time.

John Thornton: Are you sure?

Man on the stairs: Good day to you!

[Thornton and Mason both glance up the stairs.]

John Thornton: I mean, are you sure the man she was with is connected to the death? What evening was this? What time?

Inspector Mason: Between eleven and twelve. Thursday the 26th. [Thornton gazes past Mason, lost in thought.] Sir?

John Thornton: Miss Hale denies she was there?

Inspector Mason: [nods] So… [Thornton slowly begins stepping down the stairs with Mason following.] Well, you can see my problem, sir. I have a witness who’s pretty positive he saw Miss Hale, even though I’ve told him of her denial. [Thornton stops, gazing away from Mason.] There’ll be a coroner’s inquest. Disputed identifications are very awkward. One doesn’t like to doubt the word of a respectable young woman.

John Thornton: She denies she was at the station?

Inspector Mason: Twice. Very emphatic about it. I did tell her I’d have to ask her again. I thought if you were a friend of the family…

John Thornton: Quite right. Don’t do anything until you see me again. I will look into it.

[Thornton shakes Mason’s hand and Mason leaves up the stairs.]

[At the Thornton’s house, Hannah Thornton works on paperwork at the table to the mechanical throbbing of the machinery in the mill working full tilt. Sobbing is heard from Jane the maid upstairs.]

John Thornton: [Sighs] Can’t we give Jane the week off? Better off without that scoundrel Leonards, you know.

Hannah Thornton: You know what the servants are saying about Margaret. Out after dark with a gentleman.

John Thornton: [decidedly] I do not know or care what they say, Mother. And nor should you.

[Looms clatter as Thornton gazes out the window pensively.]

[Late that night, at the Hale’s house, Margaret enters the study to meet Inspector Mason.]

Margaret Hale: You’ve come very late. Well?

Inspector Mason: Sorry to have kept you waiting, ma’am. I’ve had other people to see before now, otherwise I…would have been here sooner. There is, after all, to be no inquest in the Leonards case.

Margaret Hale: So there is to be no further investigation?

Inspector Mason: [Sounding restrained] Here. I have Mr. Thornton’s note.

Margaret Hale: Mr. Thornton?

Inspector Mason: Yes. He’s a magistrate in the case. He’s also an acquaintance of mine. [Margaret unfolds the note.] I told him of the difficulties.

Margaret Hale: [reading the note aloud] [Mason’s expression shows his discontent with the case being ended.] “There will be no inquest…not enough medical evidence. Take no further steps. I…take full responsibility.” [Addressing Mason] Thank You. Mr. Thornton, he…understood that I wasn’t there? [Mason appears puzzled at this question.] At the station?

Inspector Mason: Yes. Of course. I’m sorry to have seemed to have doubted your word, ma’am. The witness was so positive. But now he knows he was mistaken. He hopes he hasn’t caused offence. So…good evening, ma’am. I’ll be on my way now.

[Margaret sees Inspector Mason out of the house. She walks back into the study and Dixon enters, looking concerned.]

Margaret Hale: It’s all right, Dixon. The matter has been resolved. It’s over.

Dixon: [Sighs in relief.]

[Thornton walks through the busy mill as cotton fluff swirls around him. Later that day, he walks up to the Hale’s house.]

Margaret Hale: Father is waiting in the sitting room. [Thornton moves towards the stairs.] Mr. Thornton? [He pauses in the doorway.] I have to thank you.

John Thornton: [He turns to look her straight in the eyes.] No. No thanks. I did not do anything for you. [He takes a couple of steps towards her and her eyes fall under his piercing gaze.] Do you not realize the risk that you take in being so indiscreet? Have you no explanation for your behavior that night at the station? You must imagine what I must think.

Margaret Hale: Mr. Thornton, please…I’m aware of what you must think of me. I know how it must have appeared, being with a stranger so late at night. The man you saw me with, he…the…the secret is another person’s and I cannot explain it without doing him harm. [She hopes for understanding from his stony stare.]

Richard Hale: [From the top of the stairwell.] Is that you, John? Come on up.

John Thornton: I have not the slightest wish to pry into the gentleman’s secrets. I’m only concerned as your father’s friend. I hope you realize that any foolish passion for you on my part is entirely over. I’m looking to the future.

[Thornton goes to Mr. Hale, leaving Margaret dejected.]

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