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The Weird Circle: The Old Nurse's Story (Radio Show)

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(Old Radio Show)

The Old Nurse's Story

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The Old Nurse's Story (online text)

"The Old Nurses Story" was written by Elizabeth Gaskell in 1852. The Weird Circle's dramatization of the story begins with the sound of the wind blowing through the branches of an apple tree, causing them tap against a window pane. This prompts an old nurse named Hester to cast her mind back to a time when it was not just the branches of a tree tapping against the glass of one of the windows at Ferdale Hall, and Hester recalls that, at that time, the master's daughters Maud and Miss Grace were the two prettiest girls in the area.

All the trouble began when their father, Lord Ferndale, invited a musician to stay as his guest at the hall. His Lordship never dreamt for a moment that the young man would betray his trust and make love to both his daughters. But that is exactly what he did and by the time Lord Ferndale discovered the truth it was too late and Miss Grace had secretly married the scoundrel.

Lord Ferndale was so angry about this that he kicked Grace out of the house, but six years later she returned, accompanied by her young daughter, Angelica. It was a cold winter's night,  but Lord Ferndale's heart was colder and he sent them away, telling Miss Grace that he only had one Daughter, Maude, who married well. His other daughter is dead. Sadly his harsh words proved to be prophetic because Miss Grace and Angelica became lost in a snowstorm and froze to death in the meadow behind the hall.

Not long after this Maude and her five-year-old son Robert returned to the hall for a few months, while her husband was working away.  Maud was never told of the recent tragedy, but soon  Robert began asking her about the little girl that kept knocking at the window: "She's awful cold, she just shivers and shivers."

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