Clop, Clop, Clop was the first sound Troianne heard as she slowly came to. Trying to open her eyes, she sat straight up and looked at her surroundings. Lightning flashing, she tried to get a look at her dark surroundings.
"Where the heck am I?"
She realized she was not in the taxi anymore. Seeing tiny little windows with red velvet tassel curtains, a scream bubbled up in her throat. Her first thought was that she was dead in a coffin.
"Oh, dear God, I have died and gone to hell!" Giving a frightened giggle, she realized she was in some kind of carriage. The vehicle seemed to be moving forward, swaying back and forth. She clutched her stomach as a strong pain hit her. An ear splitting scream bubbled up from her throat as she pounded on the roof of the carriage.
Slowly, the vehicle came to a stop, and she yelled, "Help." The little door to the carriage opened. Mr. Gilford stood there, wringing his hands. The rain was pouring heavily, running in rivets down the old man’s face.
"Mr. Gilford, help me! The baby is coming!"
"Milady, we have just arrived at Cusworth Hall and I am going to see if I can find someone to help. Please give me one moment to go fetch someone."
"Oh, please hurry," she croaked out as another pain hit.
She watched through the little window while the man approached a mansion. Raindrops marred the window, not allowing her a clear view. Another clap of thunder, followed immediately by the brightest bolt of lightning she has ever seen. Clutching at her gown and praying for help, she watched as the man pounded on a big door.
Pounding as hard as he could, Mr. Gilford yelled, "Help, help please, someone help."
Through the crashing thunder and flashing lightning, he doubted at this hour if anyone would be about to answer the door.
Just as he was ready to turn back to the carriage and the screaming young lady inside, the door opened. Standing there was a very tall man with a fierce grimace on his face.
"My good, man, what is the meaning of this? Why do you pound so on my door at this late hour?" Throwing up his hands, he continued, "And in this horrid weather?"
"Milord it is, sorry that I come to your home so late in the evening, but you see, sir, I have a lady there in my carriage and she is ready to give birth right in your drive. I have no idea how to deliver a child."
“Oh, sorry, milord, my name is Gilford...Marvin Gilford at your service.” Bowing slightly.
"Hmm, yes, well, it seems I am at your service tonight, Mr. Gilford."
“It is mightily thankful to me that you be, milord.”
"Now please show me to this caterwauling female and let’s see what we have."
They both ran to the carriage, hearing her screaming through the howling wind and rain.
The tall man needed to assess the situation. Yanking the carriage door open, he entered the carriage, barely able to fit in there with the young lady sprawled out between the two bench seats.
He stared at the woman before him. Can this be?