A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 132: Wheeling and Dealing

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Edited: nnpdad 10 May 2021

Monday morning found me at the servants table. Everyone else was still asleep and a sleepy cook brought me breakfast after Amos roused her to feed us. I had given up on the dining room and was eating with Amos, when a sleepy Sheriff eventually found us.

I was up early because time wasn’t on my side and I wasn’t waiting around for the sleepyheads to get with the program, Amos was up early because he was just that good. We were just finishing stuffing our gullets with bacon, eggs, and grits, when Sheriff finally showed. I mopped up quickly with a last bit of toasted bread, slammed my coffee, and took Amos to tour the grounds. I mostly ignored Sheriff’s apologies with a gruff, “Hurry up,” before heading to the stable. I wasn’t harsh to the poor guy but it was early morning, Amos and I usually operated silently together in the early mornings.

It was a quick inspection and evaluation. I didn’t want to waste too much of my busy day on this particular property opportunity. We toured the estate’s agriculture compound and I ran through my mental list: the flocks looked to be in decent shape; they seemed to have enough birds to provide eggs for 10 people a day; the small herds had plenty of pasture for the milk cows. Surprisingly, they even had a few sheep which was good because I liked lamb. The barn needed some work but was fairly sound. The tool shed contained mostly light and yard tools but they all seemed fairly well-kept. The wood pile however was mostly empty, which indeed pointed to hard times. I was sure all of the feed bins would show the same need.

Amos and I discussed all this as we rode along in the morning sun. We also talked about the possible needs on a yearly basis and what we might need to add. We slowly made our way back to the main house after about an hour, where, on foot, we toured the back garden and exterior of the house. I really didn’t have time to get into the wells and septic, I simply assumed they would need maintenance soon as well. All that was actually enough information to make my decision so I headed in for a cup of coffee and hopefully to work an agreement with Mrs. Langdon.

Sheriff was there to greet us with a guilty smile. Naturally we chided him but I full well understood his decision not to hurry behind us. This was probably the first decent morning he had experienced since he time-twitched into a Louisiana swamp. My arrival had been a cakewalk by comparison. We joined the ladies in the sitting room for coffee while Amos went to look after his lady friend. I was curious about that situation, yet I knew he’d share about it when it was time. I did decide that she would remain here with the ladies today and begin to learn manners. We’d want to see that she would also be properly dressed.

Over coffee, I learned that the dressmaker would visit that morning. I took care to remind her that we were leaving very soon, so we would immediately take whatever was available and could be made to fit. We would call in the future for there to be made dresses. They could be stored at our warehouse awaiting the next boat run. I asked for a short private conversation, so we excused ourselves and she led me to the study. There I advised her that I would be meeting with the bank today and that I would set up an account for the house to make drafts upon. I would advise her of the details when I returned for supper. With that being accomplished, I took my leave and hurried to complete the busy day. We were scheduled to leave on Wednesday and I wasn’t eager to stay any longer than was necessary.

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