Muriel was awake at dawn so got up quietly she made herself a cup of tea and ate a slice of toast before washing she went to the outside toilet before coming back washing her hands and then going to get ready. She placed a note thanking them all on the breakfast table before slipping out and going to the train station.
This was it she thought; the start of a new beginning for her. Muriel carried the small brown case and held onto her brolly that she had attached to it up the street and along Railway Terrace to the train station.
She bought a one way ticket to Newcastle from the friendly old man in the kiosk who wished her a pleasant journey when she told him that she was going to visit her Aunt in Coventry. She didn’t have long to wait as the station master came out as the train approached. He blew his whistle at two minutes to six.
Muriel got on then sat in a seat with a table. She had placed her case in the rack as the whistle blew and the train left the station. Slowly the train began to pick up speed
She looked out at the farm land on both sides of her as the clackety clack of the trains wheels on the track reverberated around the carriage.
Muriel wanted to open her book but thought that she would wait until she was on the train to Coventry before beginning it so there would be no disturbances.
The Ridges Farm stretched for several miles she thought as she looked at the ploughed land. It was now the 30th of November 1920. Muriel would be spending Christmas away from her family for the first time and her twenty first birthday as well. By the time she reached Newcastle her mother was up and she had read the note from her daughter. She shed a few tears after reading it then cleaned out the grate to put on the fire.’ placing some rolled up newspaper she placed the sticks around it then lit the paper. The kindling took flame and she added small lumps of coal around it until it took hold and she had a fire going. Then she washed her hands and set about preparing the Sunday lunch. Muriel would normally help her but she would have it all to do herself today. She cried again knowing that she was missing her daughter already. She had heard her get up but chose to stay in bed because if she had seen her tears Muriel would not have gone. Muriel was a lot braver than her she thought. It took a lot of guts for Muriel to leave her family and set out on a journey on her own.
She got off the train and went straight to the ticket office and bought a ticket to Coventry. The station was full of people commuting to different parts of the country as she made her way over the footbridge to platform four.
Muriel was extremely nervous and her mouth was dry. She checked the clock for the umpteenth time but it didn’t make the train come any faster. She went to the ladies room where she washed her face and took a drink of cold water before coming out again feeling better. It was seven minutes to seven when the train pulled in and again she boarded it; she placed her brown case in the luggage rack and sat down with her book. This time she opened it and began the first chapter. The noise for the station was oblivious to her as the train began to move. She never looked up from the book until she got to York. Then she went to the dining carriage with her book where she drank a cup of tea before returning to her seat and the story; It told of love, intrigue, and murder as several beneficiaries to a will try to claim possession of Bleak House. The novel meant to provoke satire into the judicial system which finally brought about changes in the law in the 1870’s is a thought provoking novel. Charles Dickens uses his status as a law clerk to enforce strict copyright of all of his books.
Strangely enough the novel is narrated by Ester Summerson who is the illegitimate daughter of Lady Lockheart after she has a lover by the name of Captain Hawdon.
Lady Lockheart believes the child to be dead but she was adopted soon after birth.