Tyler is flustered about an employee problem and ponders how to proceed.
Tyler had not meant to be abrupt with his grandmother. She had picked up on his surly mood and was trying to get him to open up to her. After her second attempt at questioning him he snapped. He told her he needed to be alone to think. Not bothering to finish his meal, he picked up his glass of Viognier and stomped his way to the library. Lucky for him there were no guests at the manor that evening. He was in no frame of mind to be cordial to anyone.
Setting his glass on a table by one of the chairs facing the windows, he stood there and watched the storm outside. The weather beyond the leaded glass matched his mood. Echoes of thunder bounced off the Blue Ridge Mountains while lightning flickered in the clouds. It was mild for a storm, considering the heat and humidity earlier in the day. Picking up his glass, he took a sip as he watched the storm make its way eastward to the D. C. area.
“A mild storm, “ he said to himself. “I wish that was my only problem.” Turning around, he flopped down in the chair replaying the events of the day in his mind.
Guests were not scheduled to arrive until the weekend, so it had given him time to accompany Anne and meet the farm hands that helped her with the sheep herds. Andrew Lyall was the manager and it was evident that Anne had complete faith in him. The Redmonds and the Lyalls had been raising sheep for a long time. Both of the families were very close. Outside of getting a bit tongue tied, as he always seemed to do around Andrew’s daughter Catriona, it had been a very good morning.
It was his afternoon that started setting off alarm bells. He had come across one of the new tasting room employees snooping around one of the old outbuildings on the estate. Tyler found him trying to get into the old well house. It had been in use during the Civil War period. The building itself was constructed of stone and logs and mortar. The large plank door on rusty hinges was padlocked once the well went dry. It was a picturesque little building. The family, rather than tear it down and fill in the well, kept it for its charm. It had been part of the history of the estate and they saw no need to demolish it. When Tyler confronted the young man, his excuse was he had just wanted to check out the old well.
Tyler accepted the hasty, half apology from the young man and warned him that the family did not want their personal space trespassed. The snoop had the grace to flush with embarrassment and hurried back to the tasting room.
Later that afternoon, Tyler was giving a lift to both Catriona and one of his employees into town. Catriona had a delivery to make to a local yarn shop named The Blue Ewe and the other to the local garage to pick up a car in for repair. As they were pulling out of the lot, he saw the same person he caught snooping in what appeared to be a heated argument with Arlen Bishop.
“Well, would you look at that? What is he doing here?” Those questions were echoing in his head.
Tyler had glanced in his rearview mirror, watching the two men in question. Neither Tyler nor Catriona said anything else about it while the other employee was riding with them.
Errands completed, Tyler and Catriona made their way back to Alnwick. He told her about his encounter at the old well house. She had asked him if he believed the guy and if he thought the two incidents were connected. Tyler admitted that he had given the guy the benefit of the doubt at the well house and had not even considered that there might be a connection.
It was her next question that was causing all of his torment now.
“What are you going to do about this?”
It was clear keeping this to himself was not a viable option and ignoring it would not work either. He had been berating himself most of the evening for his lack of experience. Maybe he had bitten off a lot more than he could chew by deciding to jump into the family businesses. What did he know about judging people?
The one thing he did know was he needed to swallow his pride and ask for help. When he was studying for what he thought would be a teaching career, his professors had told him to be prepared for a lifetime of questions. No student will ever learn if they don’t ask questions. You won’t always have the answers, but that is fine. There are others who will be glad to tell you what you need to know. It will be up to you to recognize that situation when it arises.
Catriona had asked a rather pointed question, one that he had no answer to at the present moment. It was time to find out who could help him find the answer, but first things first.
Draining the last of the Viognier, he stood up. He had to go find his grandmother and apologize for being such a grump.