19
Dez 11

Por Catherine Winchester (autora de Northern Light, a sequela de North and South): She met Mr John Thornton for this interview soon after his marriage to Miss Margaret Hale.

 

Catherine Winchester  (CW): Mr Thornton, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I know you're a busy man.
John Thornton (JT): It's my pleasure, Miss Winchester. What can I do for you?
CW: Straight down to business I see.
JT: [Abashed smile] Generally speaking, I don't have much time for small talk.
CW: No, of course not. So, [Looks at notebook] you and Margaret Hale are married. I have to say you surprised a few people with that one. 
JT: Not least myself. From the first time I met Margaret, I knew she was special, too special for the likes of me but by some miracle she grew to care for me.
CW: That's putting it mildly.
JT: [Polite smile]
CW: Sorry, moving on. You and Margaret seem to be doing wonders here for your workers. Can you tell me what, exactly, brought about this change in you?
JT: It was a hard change to make, I admit. I've been in the cotton industry for quite some time now and I learned to view the business as masters verses hands. To be honest, until Margaret came into my life, I hadn't even thought to look at things a different way.
CW: What did she do to change your mind, exactly?
JT: [He smiles. When he answers his voice is warmer than usual] Margaret is a strange creature, I've never encountered anyone quite like her before. Her manner is that of  lady and yet, probably thanks to her father being a minister, she's just as happy mixing with the poorest of the poor as dining at the Ritz. Her morality also gives her a strength that is uncommon among her sex. Those things combined means that she was able to challenge me and put to me a point of view that was previously unknown to me.
CW: So Margaret is the reason for this change in your priorities?
JT: Margaret was the catalyst, yes. [He pauses looking slightly uncomfortable] I confess that there were times when her views seemed idealistic and even simplistic but between us we have been able to find a way to improve our hands lot and keep a sustainable business.
CW: So you're not a bleeding heart liberal then?
JT: Definitely not! [He smiles slightly] No, Margaret was able to appeal to my sense of justice and fairness. Higgins carried on where she left off and the workers were no longer a group of hands, they were real people, just trying to do their best for their families.
CW: I have to say, you're doing very good work here.
JT: Thank you.
CW: I'm curious about your relationship with Margaret though. Would you mind answering some questions about her?
JT: Of course not.
CW: Your opposing points of view, especially when you first met, meant that sparks frequently flew between the two of you. Is your marriage smoother now or do the sparks still fly on occasion?
JT: [He smiles] I confess, there are sparks on occasion but on the whole we're a team now. If we disagree with each other, we both talk things out and find a compromise. And of course, since we married, Margaret has also come to see the masters point of view a little better, so she is not so innocent as she once was.
CW: I hope you don't mind me asking, but how does Margaret get along with your mother?
JT: It was difficult at first, I won't deny it, but Mother is a sensible woman, she knows a good thing when she sees it. I knew she'd come to like Margaret in the end. Truth be told, it was really only her desire to protect me that caused any friction with Margaret.
CW: Come now, Mr Thornton, we both know that your mother disliked her 'southern airs and graces'.
JT: Aye, perhaps. But I can hardly go saying that to another southern lady, can I?
CW: [Blushes at his charming manner] Um... Right... where was I?”
JT: My mother.
CW: Right, yes. Sorry. So, what does she think of your ventures?
JT: She's proud of me. Of both of us. She wants the best for me, she thinks the whole world should know how great I am and of course, this project had brought people like yourself here to interview me, which means that I am becoming known as a humanitarian as well as a business man. She's thrilled.
CW: Well, I don't exactly work for The Times.
JT: You want to tell my story though, don't you? Something about you tells me you'll be fair and impartial and I'm usually a pretty good judge of character.
CW: Right... [Blushes] Is it hot in here?
JT: Not unduly, I believe. Did you have any more questions for me?
CW: Do you have a brother?
JT: Excuse me?
CW: Nothing, sorry. That was for another interview. [Coughs] Right, just one more question, if I may.
JT: Of course.
CW: If you could teach the other mill masters one lesson, what would it be?
JT: To listen to their workers. This confrontational attitude we have to relations with our workers doesn't do either side any good. There will always be one or two bad apples, of course, but on the whole the workers are just trying to look out for their own. Only by understanding one another can we ever hope to put an end to strikes and move this industry forward.
CW: Thank you for your time, Mr Thornton.
JT: [Smiles] It was my pleasure, Miss Winchester. I think I have time for a quick tour if you would like to see around the mill?
CW: [Giggles like a school girl] Yes, I think I'd like that.
publicado por Sandra F. às 19:07

Dezembro 2011
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