Branscombe Hall: Part Twelve

This is the twelfth part of a fiction serial, in 755 words.
My thanks to Sue Judd for the use of her photo.

My dad came up with a great idea. Gregg had no educational qualifications as such, but he could drive. We always had need of occasional drivers, so it was not a stretch to create a permanent extra post. We could use him with someone younger to collect things to be sold in the auction house. He would work Monday to Friday during the day, be home with me in the evenings and at weekends, and also paid a decent salary to add to his pension. I thanked my dad for his consideration, and told him I would put it to Gregg when he came home.

There was no call from him while he was staying at his parents’ house, he just truned up out of the blue one evening in a taxi. He seemed cheerful, but still not like his old self. He also wanted to go to bed almost immediately, but not to sleep. After such a long time, I was happy to agree to that. I told him we could eat later.

Over dinner, I spoke to him about the job.

“So you would be my boss? How would that work? After all, I am your husband, not your employee”. I didn’t like his aggressive tone, and said that he would be working for the company, so in effect my dad and me. I was a bit pissed off, telling him if he didn’t like the idea, he was free to seek employment elsewhere. I must have made my point, because after a sulky twenty minutes, he agreed to take the job. He had conditions though.

“I will work for your dad, take my orders from him. I may be a pathetic cripple as a former soldier, but I am not about to let myself be bossed around by my wife”. I told him we would buy a new van the following week, and team him up with Adrian, a school-leaver who didn’t have a driving licence. They were both young and strong, so should have no problem working together. He wanted more. “Make sure this Adrian knows I am in charge tough. I am not about to argue the toss with a teenage kid”. So as not to spoil the evening, I said I would.

Norma sorted out Gregg’s employment details, and told him he would be paid at the end of the month, like all new starters. He was a bit off with her, she told me, but did the first few runs with no issues. Adrian was quiet, according to Norma. She confided in me one afternoon. “Alicia, I don’t want to tell tales, but young Adrian seems to be very withdrawn since he started the collections with Gregg. Perhaps you could mention it? I would hate to think that somehow Adrian feels intimidated. He is a helpful young man, and a hard worker”.

I had no intention of raising that with Gregg. He needed time to settle in.

The next thing Gregg spoke to me about was a car. “I have to hang around until you get back from Branscombe Hall and pick me up. Better if I had my own car, don’t you think?” My old car was paid for, and none of us had company cars. But I agreed to get him a second-hand car from my savings. He wanted to choose it though. “I don’t want some boring runabout, let’s go into Gloucester on Saturday morning and have a look around”. He decided on a Peugeot GTi in bright red, a real boy-racer car. I paid for it, and the insurance for him to drive it, and we collected it late the following Monday afternoon. At least having that cheered him up.

For a short while.

My work at the Hall was progressing well. Both the large attics had been cleared and catalogued. Everything valued under an estimate of five hundred pounds was already starting to appear in our weekly sales. My dad had arranged for some of the more valuable items to be sold in London in the autumn, with a split commission deal. The summer was not much good for our business, with many of the fat-wallet buyers on holiday. I decided to start cataloguing the large amount of family silver, and Gregg had started to get in the swing of his job, coming home most nights in a good mood.

But that all changed, when Julian Branscombe decided to show up.

35 thoughts on “Branscombe Hall: Part Twelve

  1. (1) Alicia’s father suggested creating a permanent post. “We always have need of a driver. Gregg will work out just fine as long as he doesn’t crash the van into the post.”
    (2) Gregg turned up out of the blue one evening in a taxi. So the taxi was blue?
    (3) Gregg always hated that TV show, “Who’s the Boss?”
    (4) Overheard:
    Gregg: “Make sure this Adrian knows I am in charge.”
    Alicia: “You’ll have to work it out with him. He’s a direct descendant of Adrian Dietrich Lothar von Trotha, a German military commander in Africa.”
    (5) Gregg is a pathetic cripple. He’s also impotent. Alicia told her marriage counselor, “On our wedding night, I had no intention of raising that with Gregg. Now that I could use some excitement in bed, it can’t be raised.”
    (6) Gregg decided on a Peugeot GTi in bright red, a real boy-racer car. To quote Shrek, “Do you think maybe he’s compensating for something?”
    (7) Gregg’s mood ring was green, occasionally blue. But when Julian Branscombe showed up, it turned gray, and then black.

    Liked by 1 person

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