I’ve travelled back through time and cyberspace to 1912 to have tea and a chat with the Lynchcliffe Cuckoo series hero Lewis Franklin.
Me: It’s very nice to meet you Mr Franklin. Everyone I meet speaks well of you.
Franklin: Tha can call me Lewis.
Me: Was it love at first sight when you first met your wife Margaret?
Franklin: Aye. The reality of her overpowered any picture I had in my mind. She aroused feelings in me that I had forgotten how to feel and I had never felt them so intense. However it wasn’t plain sailing because she’d been raised a lady and I’m only a servant. From about the age of nineteen I had been in pursuit of an all-consuming passion but it eluded me until Margaret looked into my eyes for the first time and I knew from that moment that, no matter what it took, I would make her mine.
Me: How long have you worked for the Lynchcliffe family?
Franklin: About nineteen year. (Counts on his fingers) Aye. I came here first in 1893 a few months afore Miss Sarah was born.
Me: What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Franklin: Back in Scarborough I once stood up at a funeral and denounced the deceased as a religious hypocrite and wife-beater. If I ever publish my memoirs I’ll make sure they put that bit in.
Me: Who was your first love?
Franklin: If tha means all-consuming romantic love then it is Margaret. I have had dalliances with many women; some of whom I was fond but I can’t honestly say I truly loved any of them. Most of the time it was just that we needed comfort and there was no one else available. I did have a relationship with a young woman named Sylvia but we both knew it would not work out. Although I did love her, I was not in love with her, I did the right thing and set her free to find her own all-consuming passion and I am happy to say that she eventually did.
Me: Are you content?
Franklin: Aye, now I have Margaret I am content. Being falsely accused of indecent assault and fitted up for murder unsettled me somewhat. I am doing a job I enjoy; working for a family I respect.
Me: What qualities do you look for in a woman?
Franklin: Intelligence, compassion, beauty and integrity all of which Margaret possesses in abundance.
Me: How did you pass your free time before you met Margaret?
Franklin: Walking by the lake in the Lynchcliffe Park estate and reading classic novels.
Me: What is your most treasured material possession?
Franklin: The pearl handed knife that was the last birthday gift from a loving father when I turned nineteen.
Me: What factors do you consider vital to the success of a romantic relationship?
Franklin: Trust and honesty are very important because there is nowt without them. A healthy sexual chemistry and mutual respect are also important.
Me: You alluded to writing your memoirs earlier but do you think you will ever get around to it?
Franklin: (Laughs). I can’t see as anyone would be interested in reading them. I have been collaborating in a project for a story entitled Eye of the Storm.
Me: What makes you angry?
Franklin: Violence against women and children is the thing that makes me spark and I despise those who oppress and exploit those weaker than themselves for their own material gain. I also despise cowardice in any form.
Me: Any particular examples?
Franklin: A former employer of mine, Sir Cecil Everett, was a man I admired until I discovered what a coward he truly was. I believe that his cowardice led indirectly to the death of a good friend of mine and that is something I can’t forgive easily.
Me: Who is/are your best friends?
Franklin: Margaret is my best friend now but, looking back in time, I have to say a man named Abraham “Abe” Fleming, a retired sea-man I shared lodgings in London with back in 1881. Abe was loyal, compassionate and a close confidante who once saved my life. I think of him often for he drowned in 1892.
Me: I was sorry to hear that your nephew, Daniel, drowned on the Titanic. What kind of relationship did you have and how did you react to his death?
Franklin: (shivers) That pain is still quite raw. Daniel was more like a son to me as I helped his mam, Alice, take care of him after his father’s death. As he grew up, we became close friends; he was a fine young man and I miss him. I was numb at first and then I got very angry at the tragic waste of it. What makes it worse is that he went on the Titanic to get to New York for his Mam’s funeral and he never made it.
Me: What character in literature do you admire most and why?
Franklin: (thinks for a moment) Sherlock Holmes because the man was intuitive, great at logical reasoning and good at solving mysteries. I just don’t like the fact he took cocaine.
Me: What’s your favourite meal?
Franklin: Lamb stew; it was cooked for me the night before I left Scarborough. Mrs Halliwell also does a pretty mean Sunday roast.
Me: How do you stay in such good physical shape when driving doesn’t allow much exercise and you clearly consume a fair bit of rich food?
Franklin: (laughs) I get a lot of my exercise in bed,if tha knows what I mean (winks) and I try to walk at least a mile a day. I have also been known to do press ups.
Me: Well thank you very much for talking to me,Lewis,and I hope that your life story goes down well.
Franklin : Thank you, it was a pleasure.
LEWIS FRANKLIN LINKS.
Lynchcliffe Cuckoo Vol 1 Kindle
Lewis Franklin @ WordPress
Lewis Franklin Fan Club Facebook group
Franklin’s life story on Authonomy
Eye of the Storm on Kindle.