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And throughout that evening’s conversation each man learned and understood a lot about the other.

 

The evening by the fire progressed very smoothly. Grandfather updated the Esquire on several families back in Salem.

 

The Esquire told Grandfather about various parcels of land that were available. Grandfather made mental notes about each parcel and, at times, asked questions or offered comments about them. They agreed to look at three specific parcels.

 

Timothy appeared in the doorway. Esquire Garnsey commanded him to “Fetch me another sherry!”

 

Grandfather was taken aback by the terseness of the direction that the Esquire had given Timothy. There was a noticeable silence in the room as Grandfather took stock of Esquire Garnsey’s manner and Esquire Garnsey sized up Grandfather.

 

Then the Esquire asked, somewhat bluntly, “Well Mr. Birdsall, what would be your vision if you had your pick of any parcel in New York?

 

Grandfather’s mind abandoned his thoughts regarding the esquire’s treatment of Timothy. His thoughts leapt to those grand estates along the Hudson River. He blurted out “A parcel with both highlands and lowlands, a slope on which to pasture my animals, flat rich river bottom where my family can grow crops, and a section of good timber from which we could build..”

 

AND THERE IT WAS. Before Grandfather realized it he had led Esquire Garnsey to his deepest of dreams. It was the vision he held for his whole family. He felt somewhat tricked and ashamed that he had blurted it out without too much prodding.

 

“Well, then, Mr. Birdsall, – – – you shall have it – – but without many neighbors” said the Esquire. He continued “It lays farther south than the other parcels so we will make it a two day trip with an overnight at Mr. Juliand’s in the village of Hornby. Mr. Juliand is a friend with who I sometimes do business.

 

“Hornby?” asked Grandfather.

 

Oh, excuse me,” replied the Esquire, “I still call it Hornby, it was renamed Greene last year.” He then directed indentured Timothy, who had returned with the Esquire’s sherry, to prepare overnight packs and foodstuffs for the ride to Hornby/Greene.

 

After some preliminary discussion the Esquire specified the various portions of the trip and what obstacles they would likely encounter. The two men then agreed to get some rest.

 

Grandfather slept very well that night. So well, in fact, that indentured Timothy had a dreadful time awakening him the next morning.

 

© wtomosky

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