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Grandfather’s curiousity forced him to repeat his second question.


“And the land, how does that fit in?”


The Esquire continued with his story.


“Madame d’Autremont settled at the asylum in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. While there Tallyrand, the French Ambassador, visited and saw great potential in one of her sons. Tallyrand asked her if she would allow her son to return to France with him. She agreed. While the son was in France he established friends within the legal system. They put an argument forward to the courts. The argument stated that Madame d’Autremont’s land contract was drawn up and signed in France and therefore subject to French Law. She produced a document stating that her portion of the repossessed French Refugee land in Hornby had been paid for. Therefore her land should not have been subject to repossession. The Treat & Morris contract with her had been satisfied even though other French families had not paid in full for their land. The French Courts upheld her claims. The legal case was then brought to New York State Courts were it was also upheld.”


Mr. Juliand took the story from there. “And with my contacts in France and Esquire Garnsey’s contacts in New York we were able to purchase Madam d’Autremont’s three hundred acres. Now this is where the story becomes even stranger. Madam d’Autremont’s contract stated that she could select her three hundred acres from anywhere within a nine mile section along the east side of the Chenango River, starting just above Hornby and ending southward at the confluence of the Chenango and the Tioughnioga Rivers. Some of that land has already been sold but whatever remains of that three hundred acre section of the old Treat & Morris tract will be subject to the original d’Autremont contract which Esquire Garnsey and I jointly purchased.”


“Mr. Juliand and I have made additional concessions to each other,” stated Esquire Garnsey. “I traded some of my land parcels in the Hornby Estate for Mr. Juliand’s portion of the three hundred acres. Therefore I am the sole owner of the d’Autremont land.”


The esquire then laid the groundwork for his sale of land to Grandfather. “Tomorrow we will ride south. We will follow the trail along the eastern shore of the Chenango. You will have your choice of any subdivided parcel that has not been spoken for.”


Grandfather was elated that he would have a selection of parcels, yet awed by the twist and turns regarding the d’Autremont’s fate. It was getting late and Mr. Juliand excused himself. “An early morning of trout fishing has tired me. Please feel free to stay here by the fire and discuss your business. I will wake you tomorrow morning. Do you remember which bedrooms each of you have?”


Both the Esquire and Grandfather responded positively. After a few minutes of silent company they also decided to repair to their rooms; and so, a pleasant evening had come to an end.


© wtomosky