a Sultry Land

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In a Manor of Speaking

Eight-

Not wanting the Master of the mansion’s sanity to slip away as most of his happiness had, Enid Rae wanted Gordon to set the script for a housekeeper. When Dane left distraughtly over the way his relative’s picking, plucking, asking, and nagging for things out of his home they’d never been a part of, bewildered him, and so he needed to get away. Enid, and Gordon wanted to restore the house, and Dane’s sanity, having also heard how old Uncle Nathaniel crooked him because of his deceased brother Denim. Nathan ordered the mansion dissolved.

He mixed up time, and Dane with Denim, because he didn’t want to see the estate go down in the hands of Denim, (who’d been dead the better part of twenty years). The elderly housekeeper, and Enid Rae could not do repairs, or keep the mansion, and were devastated, no one could maintain the manor, after the ruins of Nathan’s funeral reception. Their guest’s left a mess, and stayed too many days long. Dane hadn’t known his uncle wanted to waste the estate which he did not help to create, or maintain, at the hands of the town.

Dane’s lawyer, and best friend Ruben heard talk of the town’s ability to use, or level the grand manor to the pristine property, or let it as a bar house, and no doubt the chamber suites for whoring.

“Why not turn the manor into a motel, or an orphanage?” But no, because those thoughts were too decent. It was obvious the sleepy town would settle for the excitement of a bar turned brothel, even if, “It would do more harm than good,” were Gordon’s thoughts as well, and considering how Denim died, the last thing Dane would see them do. Dane would rather level the property, than let the town make his family estate, a flop, and whorehouse.

Dane was a great person who kept traditions, and never had to work a day in his life. He pursued different ventures because he was a tycoon. Dane liked his work as an engineer in agriculture, and loved to work with like minds to make a difference. Before his grandfather at a young age, finished paying off the deeds for all the property he owns, and their home, he acquired yearly supplies to rebuild his home for his family, and called it d’Anise Manor. He, and his family sold their corn, potatoes, and other crops to grocery stores, and warehouses for over a century, and continues to distribute resources to any, and all those in need.

Farming vegetables was hard work, but necessary if they wanted to survive. Dane was ten years old when his father’s investments made the d’Anise’ enough money to make good sound decisions. Dane’s father caused them to never have to till the soil again-they hired various people, and have long since relieved themselves of livestock when he was a child. Denim d’Anise II, met Sheridan when he was fifteen. She passed away one sultry land winter from a viral pneumonia she couldn’t shake, after Denim’s death, and with hers, the town saddened for them. Sheridan d’Anise was very well liked, honored for her gala charitable events, and without her, the mansion, and everything became ordinary.

Her husband Denim was a businessman who used to enjoy their three story green houses, on either side of their great mansion home, but he could no longer enjoy it in the same way without his wife by his side. Dane always knew where to find his parents in the spaciousness of peace, and solitude. They enjoyed the rest of their lives richly, until Sheridan died, and when the family stocks soared higher, and their already good assets tripled. Dane’s father was not ill, but passed away within a few years of Sheridan, in his sleep, of loneliness for his wife, and son.

Dane was only twenty seven years old, achieved his own money by then as well as what he owned in the vault, but as of late, had no heir, or a woman for that matter, before Ruben could argue all the document’s states. Ruben needed to get the false documents reversed as the name was incorrect, but it could take time, especially since the town was greedy for cheap. Dane had little time left before Nathan’s comrades, and the town put pressure on Dane, and Gordon, to sell his estate, before the state took it, but he would not budge. It was the principle of the matter.

Dane’s other uncles were wild in their lives too, but were still a God fearing family, and very gracious to the community, Meridian will see, and learn how this Uncle Nathan was a grouch. He was snide, ungracious about things, none of his business, gruff for no good reason, not giving his own daughter’s after they married, a hand out when their families needed it. Nathaniel had money at the time to help, but would not, even with two of his married daughters expecting babies who should’ve made a nice gesture of money to help since he knew one of his son-in-laws lost his business, and they lived in an adjoining home.

Dane’s father Denim wrote a check for his nieces which much sufficed. Their uncle Denim was a good man, and loved them. Nathan’s children would never need to ask him for another penny once he heard demises. Nathan’s wife could never understand why he was such a miser, the reason she left him after twenty-five years of unhappy marriage, and he ended up at his father’s estate, after teetering from place to place. Nathan’s children sobbed when uncle Denim passed away, and could no longer work.

His son-in-laws long since needed any help, and made it on their own, and when Nathan went knocking for a place to stay, they were advised by their Uncle Denim not to take him in. He asked them to steer him his way, and so Nathan’s girls, and their husbands cherished their uncle Denim’s generosity, and explained to their father, they could put him up in a nursing home if needed. Nathan turned his back, and as long as they knew he went to the sultry lands for rest, they were satisfied. but ultimately devastated when their sweet aunt Sheridan passed away.

Nathan ended up back at his father’s mansion, whom he despised, very alone, and with no claim to the premises, and Dane could not help all his relatives’ ways. Most of them were a happy bunch, but Denim’s death took a tremendous toll on everyone, including most of his uncles, friends the most, and for Enid Rae, and Sheridan ,they were ill, and badly grief stricken. Dane watched his father sob a great sob as any man for a son, and his mother for a child. When Sheridan had gotten sick, Denim staged his exit from Arizona, and for his presence back home, but his death came swift, and hers just as swiftly, and so Dane, and her husband suffered greatly.

The manor was dark enough after Denim passed away, and Uncle Nathan moving in was no help. Even though he was the oldest brother, he was lazy, and useless, but Dane’s father would not refuse him. Sheridian’s funeral after the sorrow, was a beautiful celebration of her life, and love, even through the years Dane’s uncles’ bickered. They pulled his father apart, but he let them go at it, until it was out of their system, but not when Dane was in the house, or if the subject was Denim, and then what hurt Dane most, is how his father never stopped grieving for his mother, Sheridan was a rock for everyone.

With all their hearts, Dane’s parent’s were devoted. Uncle Nathan outlived all his younger brother’s, and finally passed away some years later than Sheridan, and both Denim’s, yet was the sickest, evilist, and plotting. Nathan drank his kidneys to failure, while it broke Dane’s heart how his relatives took his father’s, grandfather’s, and great grandfather’s work for granted. After Nathan’s funeral, his relatives, and in-laws too, came to the rich mansion, and meant to eat, and drink the manor dry, and would’ve stayed as long as Dane kept them accommodated.

Ruben knew how to ward them off. Relatives were asking Enid Rae for keys to see beyond the mansion’s locked doors, why she reported their behaviors to Ruben, Dane, and then Gordon as well, so to keep Dane from flipping out, Ruben stayed at the mansion, and in charge. Dane had already opened four suites on two floors, to accommodate guests, relatives or not, and each suite was furnished, and had two bedrooms, four beds, living rooms with television, full bathrooms stocked with soaps, towels, and toiletries had gone missing.

After two days, Dane wanted everyone gone, as he realizes his brother Denim would have been the rightful owner to the d’Anise fortune had he lived, and so all the proceeds would go to Dane, and Gordon for that matter. He will never need a place to stay, little did uncle Nathan know that the d’Anise mansion is his home, but Dane never wanted him to know why. Before Dane’s father died, he did not know Nathaniel would do them dirty. Nathan acted as executor to the mansion since Dane’s father died, but in fact, wasn’t.

Dane let Nathan assume the role if it made him feel better. He knew Nathan was dysfunctional, so what harm could he do? He thought Dane was Denim, punishing Denim from his grave, and hurting Dane instead. Nathan was a weasel before Dane’s father passed away, and too far gone in his mind, and managed to screw things up a bit. If nothing else, soon Dane’s personal business will be public knowledge, and with the uproar at the mansion, Ruben suggested they phoned reinforcement. He told Dane to take off, and Ruben stayed at the mansion.

Gordon went away to finish graduate school. Cook, Enid Rae, or the two servants they used could not handle all the people situated in the manor. After reading what Nathan did, Dane took off before he shot someone, and was completely done with all of it. He had more than enough money to build a mansion twice the size, on his remaining property, but Dane felt overrun by what Nathan did, so Ruben would get to the bottom of it. As long as the cameras rolled, Ruben could watch everything in full surveillance, and Dane left, his first cousin’s prissiness, imid sentence.

The disrespect of her little children, and the dim she was, was enough to make him feel as violent as they ran, and headaches they gave. His first, and second aunt’s, from either family tree, were worse, since Sheridian died, and his cousins did not make matters better. He wanted a few times, to draw his rifle, shoot in the air, and call, Everyone OUT! A few of Danes relatives arrived drunk.Other relatives asked too many personal questions, and especially around wandering ears. Dane didn’t know half the people that came with his relatives.

None of his business referred to anyone that came to Nathan’s funeral, had he lived with anyone else, there would not have been such a turn up. Not Dane, Cook, nor Enid could tolerate them slamming pool sticks everyday, or disrespecting the entire house, their suites, the alcohol offered, the help, and them crying hungry again. Enid, and Dane graciously gave space to the fatigued travelers, but were not up for all who would not leave almost the fourth day, and meant to be boozed, and fed. They drained Dane with Sheridan, was there anything he didn’t know?

Ruben’s silent advice of Denim heeded, and on day two, Ruben assured Cook, and Enid Rae everything would be okay. He sent for an array of donuts, two types of bread, peanut butter, cold cuts, tea, and coffee. Cook picked fruit, and supplied water, milk, and cereal. By no means was he going to give a choice menu, so there was a method to Ruben’s madness.

“Watch how they start to remember things at home,” he said. Over the telephone, Gordon shook his head, and Enid snickered. Ruben started locking up the poolhouse, and turned the lights off Cook’s kitchen.

They were to use the bathrooms of their suites, and basically left a great spread in the outer dining room, and eastern wing tearoom. Everything else was closed, closing, or were off limits, to suites only. Ruben created a slight deterrent, but some of Dane’s first cousin’s partied anyway, and not one of those people were Enid Rae’s relatives. In fact, no one was a kin to Gordon whatsoever, and his plan worked. If needed another day, Ruben could support the elders’ comforts.

Gordon was glad Ruben elected Dane to take off. He informed auxiliaries. They agreed that Dane was in the worst place he could be, and in just overnight, Ruben had never seen the manor in such a state. He was a guest in the manor ever since the second grade when he, and Dane met. Gordon spoke to Enid, surprised how long people were planning to stay after Nathan’s funeral. They’d come with suitcase’s, and luggage, and all Dane, and Ruben wanted to do was make sure of their flights home.

They mistook Dane leaving- as business, and since Ruben had control of the premises, he turned on only one of the huge screened televisions. Gordon felt better knowing Ruben guarded Enid, but surprised Dane put up with all those people driving him crazy, especially since no one particularly cared for the spirit of Nathan’s life, in the first place. As things sounded, Dane could have used that break for his safety, and God help anyone if Enid had to call Ruben from within the house. To take control over the estate meant that Ruben was coming with a private, auxiliary force, and heavy artillery.

The mansion was worth millions, and as Dane got older, he traveled, and still has a lot of money in his dowry. In a lifetime, Dane is unable to spend all of his assets if he wanted to. Dane had all he would need to survive, yet from a young age, had integrity towards the needs of others, and after all, was especially sensitive about his brother’s tragic ordeal. The town had gotten over the misfortune of the d’Anise’ demise of Denim years ago. One by one, the rebellious crew of Denim, and his band of young swindler friends, dwindled into jail, or pain of death.

Now, besides Enid, no one could bring Denim’s name up to Dane, and even then they’d better have something nice to say. He missed Denim something awful, and didn’t want to hear bad mention of his character, because Denim was good to him, and his tragedy was unclear, and his death devastated him, and his parents, yet Gordon is as close to Dane, as Denim was to him, and extremely happy Gordon returned home. He completed his studies, and spent a little time on his own in the world, but enchantingly. his naivety got the best of him, and hIs plans won’t cease until he puts his wheels in motion.

Over the years, women competed for Dane’s attention, but all Gordon got was mud in the eye. Ruben was digging up details of Nathan’s insanity, because they could rebuild, but Dane, Ruben, Gordon, and Enid wanted the place to live in, they remember since childhood. Ruben had a lot to do, and if all else failed, he’d prove uncle Nathan’s documents of insanity, in sorts. Dane thought he could trust his uncle Nathan. He let Nathan roam free in the estate, and in the meantime sought to make better lives for people, and even if his estate was taken, he could afford to buy it back, so Ruben coaxed him before he returned to try to enjoy life, since they both knew he’d only have two adversaries.

One, Victor Cache’, Dane’s least favorite person from high school through college. Tall, skinny, funny looking Victor, unambitious, and tried to compete with Dane but could not. Agriculture was Dane’s main course of study. Dane did just as his father, and father’s father’s, and minored in business economics, and engineering in which Dane too, succeeded. It was uncertain whatever Victor studied. He certainly was not an overachiever. Dane, and Ruben put effort in their work unlike Victor, Dane, and Ruben had accomplishment reason’s of their own.

Dane had integrity, and knew he had choices in life, so he wanted to make the right decisions. Victor named himself Victorious, but was not. He was just a jerk barely passing his college courses, and a clown who couldn’t compete. Victor was lousy at sports, and anytime he could throw a wrench in Dane’s ecosystem, but Dane was no chip off the block, therefore, Victor had many enemies, and Ruben was never crazy about him, or the people he associated with. Ruben played college softball, studied law, minored in business economics too, was not as tall as Dane, or muscular.

Runen was very good looking, and a little over six feet tall. Ruben grew tall, dark, and handsome, and dated Nicole Bigman, who also studied law, and supported Dane through football season, Victor didn’t make the cut. He played basketball with Dane, but wasn’t any good at it, and profiled, because he sat on the bench, the players didn’t like him either, his clownish ways, or his friend, and two, Nicholas Benjamin. Over him disrespecting a woman Dane stood up for, and like a bull, Nicholas charged Dane for defending her honor, and they tussled.

Nicholas lost the fight in college, as Victor had in high school, and they learned the value of not bringing rocks to fight a boulder. Dane helped the girl with her situation, and later in life, he, Gordon, and Ruben had a laugh at Victor. He posed as a businessman, and wanted to be a partner in Dane’s businesses. Ruben knew he had to protect everything Dane owned, and in a hurry. Dane’s home, and businesses because of Nathan, and Dane’s 35th birthday, all his business would be made public, and there was Victor, after many years, not having any money, or collateral.

He’d asked Dane to front him so that he could become a part in Dane’s new business development, and actually said he could help. Victor was troubled, but Dane agreed to meet with him, the guy could have gone legit. It was a matter of Dane keeping his enemy close. How had Victor known so soon of Dane’s development? Dane smelled a rat named Nicholas. He was adversary number two. Especially after Denim’s death, Miss Enid hadn’t goals, dreams or ambitions, or goals in life, even at a young age, but from the love of Sheridan, who dibbled in their lives, made fantasy, and dabbled in the fact that she, and Sheridan favored one another.

Who would have known, or even thought that Enid Rae would marry into a family estimated in the billions, where she used to have a blank stare, and shrugged her shoulders as a child, unknowing what she was to become as an adult. Enid Rae was the type you could lead to dirty water, and she would drink. Enid was Enid, and who couldn’t love her? Enid Rae’s two younger siblings excelled her, and now, twenty years later, her demeanor is slightly unchanged. She gets to do what Enid wants to do, or not, and by no means unpleasant, and stands 5ft, ten.

Sometimes slumps slightly, a position which justified her lazy youth, missed Denim, when he was gone, and then, for forever, and taken by God. Enid was the only person he told he was coming, and she expected him. She couldn’t say what happened yet, but knew who Daisy was, and as long as she made money for Denim, how could Enid complain? Denim, and Enid loved each other in their own way, and put the murder scene together herself. The new car in Denim’s name was parked how he parks it, and she’d come up right, once the police, forensics, secured evidence.

They found money, and Enid’s name on paper, with the sum of money written on it, and the woman’s fingernails torn through both, and they recorded what the neighbors said about the woman. At Denim’s time of death, Enid knew she’d somehow be alone, and felt a bout of loneliness like never before, he not only was late, he left the earth. Even if Denim were alive, there was a void she couldn’t shake. Enid grew older, and gained common sense, but after Denim’s death, and the way he had to die, Enid let her appearance fade, and had almost become an average looking woman.

Enid’s hair is sort of long, dry as a bone, showing sprigs of gray, and if she needed her hair cut, she’d gather it from anywhere, and scissor it. Enid cut her hair across the bottom. Enid trimmed her bangs the same way, and wore her hair up. It was uneven, and shampooed with soap, the cause of it being thin and tattered looking. She wore cotton house dresses around the manor, and no longer cooked, and Cook did not need her help in the kitchen. Enid was accident prone. She wore white crew socks most of the year, laced an expensive pair of Rockports, or Cobbie Cobbler.

After Denim died, Enid hardly used lotion to soften her skin at times, dry, and scaly. It was she, and Gordon, the baby of her dead husband Denim’s dead mistress. They were close, and very well loved. Through the years they’d meet in the kitchen, for in between meal snacks, and Enid started looking older. Her tall frame became too frumpy for a pretty lady. She stared at her favorite television shows all week long, and no one could really tell what was on her mind. It was good to see her most Sunday’s wearing one of the suits, hats, dresses, shoes, purses, hose, or handbags.

Miss Enid walks with the title of Mistress of the manor before Sheridan passed away. She takes a brush to her frizzy hair into a barrette. She bathes, wears perfume, whether from her, or Sheridan’s great collection. Miss Enid Rae picks tailored pieces of clothing from her closets, and may use mascara Sunday’s, with a shade of crimson lipstick, sometimes lip gloss to church. Enid faithfully says a prayer for her in-laws, and the only person Dane allowed in his parents’ suites, he knew she was trustworthy, and how well they were all so very close.

Enid was the daughter they never had, and all through Denim’s excursions, and past his death, she, and Gordon had come to live in the mansion, because her in-laws wouldn’t have it any other way. Enid was faithful, and loyal. She was known by the d’Anise since she was a child, they favored her, she was a good listener, an excellent learner, gentle person, and later on, Gordon was a delight. Enid Rae took care of the gifts Sheridan gave to her, even when she was child. She cherished Sheridan as a mother, as with everything she inherited, she kept her in-laws’ rooms a shrine.

It seemed Enid’s purpose in life was to make Sheridan amused, and Denim doing well. Enid loved her in-laws with all her heart, they loved her too, and even kept her sane until the day they died. It was sometimes a battle being Denim’s wife, and before Sheridan died, she made sure Enid Rae would be taken care of, and as financially secure as they made Gordon. Denim had his quirks, and the d’Anise had to be certain that she, and Gordon had an increasing dowry, and of Denim’s too. Enid was in no way materialistic, but eternally grateful, and always humble.

Dane had to never worry about Enid, and she never had to ask him for anything, or complained. Enid mourned for some time after Sheridan passed away, and lost it again by the death of her father-in-law too. Enid’s father, and sibling’s are all still alive, and she followed in Sheridan’s good ways, who she misses each day, and was thankful for the d’Anise, and was by no means neglected.

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