Chapter 1:

On a cloudiness afternoon in spring Cora and her „three chicks" as she called her daughters lovingly were going the town to do some shopping. Since things between Matthew and Mary had gotten better in the last week they were in a good mood chatting and joking about unimportant stuff. Sybill trying to flirt with Branson which earned her unambigiuous glances from Cora.

When they were coming to town unusually many people were on the streets and they realized it was election day. Cora was concerned instantly.

„Well maybe we should turn around. It is not safe in town on election day!"

„Why that mother?", Edith asked.

„Now for one reason the working class makes trouble and this year the discussion of women's rights just give them more reasons to fight. Moreover…"

„Mama the working class consists not only of trouble makers , they are people like us just not that stuffed with money!", Sybill interrupted her.

Branson just smiling about Sybill's open minded point of view and thinking that he even adored this girl more every day, suddenly stopped the car.

„What is it Branson?", Mary asked concerned but with a spark of curiosity

„Well I think your Ladyship was right about troublemakers. Look at the riot right in front of us. There is no way of getting through with a car. I believe it is safer to turn around and find another way"

He started to turn the car around when some tough looking guys wiht dirty clothes and beer bottles in their hands saw them. Cora saw at once that they were not friendly with the aristocraty and urged Branson to hurry up while trying to calm down her daughters.

„Mother maybe you were right about the working class…", Sybill said anxious while clunging to here mother trying to get as much space as possible between the open window and herself

„I am scared", Mary said.

„Who is not, right now", Edith snapped at her sister

„Girls everything will be allright but that is definitely not the time for quarrel!", Cora tried to sound brave but she could not really hide the fright and concern in her voice

Branson managed to turn the car and speed up but it was too late. The troublemakers were nearly on the same level as the car and one of t hem threw a bottle at the car. „Down", Cora screamed and tried to shield Edith and Sybill who were sitting on either side of her, with her body. A light cry emerged from the opposite seat and when Cora looked up she saw that Mary has been hit and lay unconcious on the seat with blood streaming down her face. Cora turned pale and a noise which was a mixture of sobb and scream emerged her mouth but she could not do anything now. First they had to be safe.

Another bottle flew and hit Branson on the head, he cried out but luckily for them he stayed conscouis and kept driving on full speed out of town.

The sound of angry shouts and the heavy footsteps oft he men chasing them got more quiet and after a while fainted away. However Cora told Edith and Sybill to stay down after making sure they were allright and changed the seat so she could be with Mary. She held her eldest daughter who was still unconscious and tried to stop the bleeding with her handkerchief, some oft he blood dripping on Cora's dress.

Branson kept driving for some more minutes before stopping the car moaning and holding his head.