A brief moment from the seventh Mrs. Hawking story. It takes place two years after Mrs. Hawking and Mary have a fight that makes them go their separate ways. Here Mary returns to London on a case, and she runs into Mrs. Hawking totally by surprise when she’s working the same case. Their reunion is not what Mary would have hoped.
Again, this scene is kind of abrupt and cursory, but I’m just pushing to finish. TWO DAYS TO GO!
Day #29 – “After Two Years”
From Mrs. Hawking part 7
By Phoebe Roberts
VICTORIA HAWKING, lady’s society avenger, early fifties
MARY SWANN, lady’s society avenger, early thirties
NATHANIEL HAWKING, Mrs. Hawking’s assistant, mid thirties
London, England, 1890
(MARY pulls down her hood so that MRS. HAWKING can see her face. They stare at each other for the first time in two years.)
MARY: Hello, Mrs. Hawking.
MRS. HAWKING: Miss Stone.
MARY: It’s Mrs. Swann now.
MRS. HAWKING: Of course. You’re back in London.
MARY: I’m on a case.
NATHANIEL: The same case we’re on, it seems.
MRS. HAWKING: Indeed.
MARY: It’s been so long. How— are you well?
MRS. HAWKING: Well enough, though quite busy. I wish you luck in your work.
(She turns to go.)
NATHANIEL: But, madam—
MRS. HAWKING: We’re finished here, Nathaniel.
NATHANIEL: (Sighing) I’ll be along then.
MRS. HAWKING: Mrs. Swann.
(She exits. NATHANIEL turns to MARY.)
NATHANIEL: Perhaps now you see what I mean.
MARY: She looks… so strained. All bowstrings drawn too tight.
(MARY breaks down.)
NATHANIEL: Oh, now, Mary, please, it’s all right.
MARY: She can’t stand the sight of me.
NATHANIEL: I’m sure it’s not so bad as that!
MARY: After two years, that’s all she cares to say to me?
NATHANIEL: It’s all a shock to her. She may have been at a loss, with you turning up out of the blue. Still, I had hoped, with some time, that things… might be repaired somehow.
MARY: I don’t know if I can bear to hope anymore. It’s too painful.
NATHANIEL: I understand. I can’t bear not to.