So, this is a story I started writing a while ago, but it was alot diffrent from what it is now. I decided to pimp it up and post it here.
Thanks Pheonix-on-fire for urging me to do it! This one's for you!
Enjoy, I hope you all like this. Let me know what you think
Milton, England, 1854
The Hale household
How had such a pleasant conversation about Arkwright’s inventions turned into such a fiery conversation about the indecencies of Milton? Come to think of it, how had my attention turned so swiftly from Mr Hale to his daughter? Ah yes, I remember. I was captivated by the way she was giving her opinion so openly and blatantly. Captivated? Since when have I been captivated by anything other than the figures I write in my ledgers? Or the date the next batch of cotton had to be shipped?
I thought back to just a few weeks ago when the father of this most intriguing girl had first come to Milton. He was looking for a house to stay in with his wife and daughter, and after being recommended to see me by our mutual friend Mr Bell, he had come knocking on the door to my office. To tell the truth, I was surprised he had made the effort to see me, for the atmosphere in the air of my Mill was not pleasant at all. Bits of fluff from the machines are rife in the air, and many of my workers found it difficult to breathe. So for Mr Hale, one who had lived for many years in the countryside, it must have been awful.
Although I was busily occupied in discussing deliveries of new machinery with my over-seer, I promised the elderly man that I would show him potential houses that day, and ensure that he and his family settle in comfortably. A few days later, I had gone to their house on the outskirts of Milton to see that they had everything they needed and that they were settling down well in what must be a vastly different place compared to the idyllic countryside they had only just left.
As I walked into the house, I noticed two women who I assumed must both be maids walking around settling little homey items around the room. But Mr Hale had stopped in his conversation to introduce me to his daughter, who remarkably was one of those women. I was taken aback by the energy she had in scurrying round the room. She was certainly not what I had imaged his daughter to be. She had the most perfect complexion that I assumed must have been from all the fresh air in her old home. It was a shame to think that the smokey, polluted air of Milton might take away its glow.
I was just as pleasantly surprised by the manner in which she had said “Ah, Mr Thornton It’s nice to meet you”. She had such confidence, none of the giddiness that girls usually had. And I was sure she was not more than 18 years of age. What a maturity of mind she had. It reminded me of my no-nonsense Mother.
Beautiful as she may be, I was pulled back to the present after noticing that the room had suddenly grown silent, and my mind registered the accusation that had just been hurled my direction. I set my tea cup down on the table next to me. My expression became stern and dark as I prepared my defence.
“We Masters are not all the same, Miss Hale, whatever your prejudices against Milton men and their ways”.
“Oh I have seen the way you treat your men. You treat them as you wish because they are beneath you –“
“No I do not –“
“You have been blessed with good luck and fortune, but others have not”
“I do know something of hardship”
The words slipped out before I even knew what I was saying. I never spoke of my past with anyone. The topic had not even come to light with Mother. But something about the sharp, direct answers of young lady sitting in front of me compelled me to say something in retaliation. Something, anything, to hang onto the dignity that I felt had been slowly slipping away this evening.
|Richard Armitage||as John Thornton|