The Adventure Begins
William’s ride from the industrial complex dropped him off at the guest-house of the Braxton estate.
Before they left him, they promised to pick him up again on Monday, but would leave him alone for the weekend to let him get settled in.
He’d been in meetings for three days as they’d learned what he had to teach them, and he needed to rest and recuperate.
He’d intended to fly out after the first evening but they had needed him for longer. Then, there was an airline strike that forced him to stay where he was. He had a change of underwear and socks which he always carried with him when he went more than a hundred miles from home, and here he was, more than five hundred and stuck out in the country.
His one day became three, as they had thrashed out what to do. He was dog-tired and needed his sleep. So did his exhausted hostess, Mrs. Braxton, who had organized the entire thing. She had offered to put him up with her grown family, having had him stay much longer than either of them had intended. He thanked her for her offer and explained that he needed quiet and rest, as well as time to work on the plan they had settled upon.
She sympathized with his need for peace and quiet and had given him the guesthouse they owned by the shore, some five miles away from their home. Her house would be too noisy with teenagers in and out at all hours. He would be the only one where he was, all weekend. It had all the facilities he needed to look after himself; washer, dryer, and a kitchen; well stocked for those who intended to raid it to go sailing, or out in the powerboat. He could sleep as late as he liked and spend the entire weekend recovering. He looked forward to some rest. They would meet again on Monday. He would have two complete days to himself, and intended to get a lot done.
When he was dropped off, it was after nine in the evening and still just light enough to see things with the help of a moon, which might not be there for much longer from what he could see of the gathering clouds moving in, but at least it was warm.
A sloping meadow led from the house down to the grey, foreboding sea, a hundred yards away. The open grassy slope was dotted with scattered clumps of trees growing in small rock-pile accumulations cleared from the open area. He let himself in with the key that he had been told about, and replaced it outside and under the plant pot before he closed the door behind himself.
He put all of the lights on and explored. The lower part of the house consisted of a large open living room with fireplace, a large kitchen, adjacent bathroom, and a garage area, also used for storage. A stable, empty of any animals, adjoined the house with a connecting door, which was locked. The upper floor was set up for at least one guest, with a large and modern open bedroom whose windows over-looked the sea, and with an adjoining large bathroom and a shower.
He made himself a snack from the store of canned and dried food. He would explore the freezer in the garage later. He settled in, deciding that he would have an early night, except he couldn’t find the bedding that he’d been told about. That, must be in the boat-house down on the shore as he’d been warned might be the case. He would get it later. The family had planned a boating trip that weekend, but it had been cancelled with that storm, so he could recover what he needed from the boat later.
Before he retired for the night he decided to go for a walk around the point, even though the wind was blustery and the waves were beginning to pick up in height and intensity. He could see well enough, and the path was well marked with white cobbles at the edges, and chips of white quartzite for the surface. A storm was coming. He’d heard something of it during breaks in their discussions, but they'd been too busy with everything else to worry about that. He would risk it. The area was deserted so there was no point in locking the house up.