The Haunting of Estate Estremita: Introducing Larry Otis - Chapter 3 - Part 1
Recap of The Haunting of Estate Estremita: The Tour - Chapter 2 - Part 4
In The Haunting of Estate Estremita: The Tour - Chapter 2 - Part 4, the Grayson family has spent its first night in their inherited home, located on Estate Estremita. It has been an uneventful night.
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The morning air felt refreshing and cool, as Bob stepped onto the front porch of the house, and the sun made the house and farm seem much friendlier than it had when they arrived. As he walked to the east end of the porch, Bob saw the barn for the first time. It fit the house and the property. It was a large red structure, traditional in every way, for the time that it was built. The lower four or so feet was laid stone, and the rest was wood; the roof was tin. The structure needed a lot of work.
Bob looked forward to fixing up the house, the barn and any other part of the farm that needed work. The money that his wife's uncle had left them would give the family a good nest egg to buy materials, farm machinery, and livestock, which would be needed to make the farm functional again. Karen had even mentioned that he should hire a farm hand to assist him, since he hadn't lived on a farm since he was a child, and thus; he had a lot to learn. At first, Bob had disagreed with Karen, but he had just changed his mind. The realization of what he saw needing repairs, and the enormity of it, made him decide to try and find some local person to assist him.
"Are you trying to soak up all the morning by yourself?" A voice said, behind him, "or is there some left for me?"
"Good morning darling," Bob replied, as he turned and gave his wife a good morning kiss. "I think there is plenty left for both you and the kids."
"The only thing missing from the morning is a good cup of coffee, and I think we need to get the kids up, go into town and get some and a good breakfast," Bob said.
"That sounds like a wonderful idea since we had potato chips and soda for dinner last night," Karen said, as she turned around and went back into the house, to wake up the kids.
The drive back into Summersend didn't seem nearly as long as the trip out to the farm and the family was actually seeing other people out and about, as they entered the town limits. As everyone took in the sites, Karen also spotted "Bo's Diner," a small eatery, near the service station where they got gas the day before.
As the family got out of the car, Bob remarked, "I hope the reception here will warmer and less weird than what we received yesterday."
The Grayson's were delighted with what they found inside. It was a neat little place, dressed in the style of the country, with farming tools and pictures of barns, adorning the walls.
"Good morning," Bob said as they walked past the waitress, who was wearing a black apron and held a small order book and pin.
"Good morning sir," she replied politely, "Y'all can just sit anywhere, and I'll be with you in a minute."
Bob chose a table near the back of the small establishment, where he could get a good view of the room and the people seated there, having their breakfast. They all seemed human enough this morning, he thought, as he ordered coffee for Karen and himself, and milk for the kids. The waitress, whose name tag identified her as Jan, handed the family menus and told them she would be right back with their beverages.
"What did you expect hon?" Bob asked.
"Oh, I don't know; it's just that our welcome into town yesterday at the service station was far from hospitable," Karen reminded him.
"The old man at the service station was probably just having a bad day," Bob tried to reassure her.
When the waitress returned to get their orders, Bob asked if she knew of anyone who might want a job on a farm and her he was willing to pay top wages. She said there might be a couple of people interested and asked Bob where his farm was located.
"It's the James Haulstead Place, "Estate Estremita;" I inherited it," Bob said.
At the moment Bob had said Estate Estremita, the diner became silent. The patrons even stopped eating, and the waitress almost dropped her pen and pad. Then the whispering began among the other diners, and the waitress tried to regain her composure.
"Sir, did you say Estate Estremita?"
"Yes, that's right; I am James' nephew; step-nephew, that is. May I ask what causes the strange reactions from everyone when I mention Estate Estremita?"
The waitress hesitated, but finally asked, "You haven't heard any of the stories about the place and its strange happenings?"
"I haven't heard anything, but I am very interested," Bob went on to say.
"I think you probably need to talk with Larry Otis," Jan said. "He helped your uncle on the farm up to the time that Mr. Haulstead died. He can tell you about the place better than anyone, and he might be willing to work for you. Mr. Otis is getting up there in the years, but he is still healthy, she added.
"That's interesting," Bob said. "Is he the same Larry Otis that works at the service station on the edge of town?
"The one and only," Jan said.
After finishing breakfast, the Grayson's headed toward the service station.
"Do you think this is a good idea, Bob?" Karen inquired.
"I don't know, but we'll soon find out," Bob said.
Bob dropped Karen and the kids off at the town square so they could look around and he drove to the service station to talk with Larry Otis.
A Handyman is Hired
When Bob arrived at the gas station, the lot was empty and Larry Otis was sitting on a bench near the gas pumps.
"Good morning, son," Larry said cheerfully; "did you find Estate Estremita yesterday?"
"Yes, sir I did. You gave me good directions, but why didn't you tell me you used to work for Uncle James?" Bob inquired.
"Well, son," the old man replied in his slow southern drawl, "I don't reckon you asked me?"
Bob smiled at the man's response and held out his hand. As the men shook hands, Bob told him the waitress at the diner had informed him about Larry working for James and asked if he would be interested in working for him.
"Well," Larry pondered; "it is a strange place, but I'm not crazy about checking oil and cleaning windows. If the pay was right, I might be game," he said.
After hearing that Bob would double what James had paid him, Larry agreed on one condition. He informed Bob that the barn on the place had a living quarter in the loft, where he used to live, and he asked if he might move back in. He said he had been living with his widowed sister, and she was about to drive him crazy.
Bob eagerly agreed to Larry's terms, and the two shook on it. The old man told him he could start the next day and that it wouldn't take him long to get moved back into the barn.
When Bob returned to the town square, Karen and the kids were just coming out of Summersend General Merchandise, and Karen was carrying several bundles of cloth.
"It didn't take you long to find a place to shop," Bob said as he opened the trunk of the car.
"That is the neatest store I've ever been in!" Karen replied; "They have everything from groceries to bear traps."
"Bear traps!" Bob said smiling; "now that's something I hope we don't need."
Conclusion of Chapter 3 - Part 1
Join us next time in Chapter 3 - Part 2, as Danny has his first near-death experience in the house, as the cloaked figure returns with a companion.
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© 2018 Gerry Glenn Jones