“Well let’s just say I bought Douglas and the neighbouring farm to the South West, on North Camp Road, as an investment fund, for someone very special” I responded, still looking at Kyle, waiting for him to realise what I was hinting. It was his mother – Annette, who first understood what I was saying and she gasped loudly. Then Tom and Margaret caught on, as they saw me looking at Kyle, who looked confused, “What? Why are you staring at me like that Seb?” he asked.
“I think what Sebastian is trying to hint, my dear son, andthat is Davies Property Investments is you” Annette announced to Kyle and I nodded my head to confirm what she just said. “Hell no…. oops sorry mum” Kyle said when he finally realised, and he ducked to avoid Annette’s hand from hitting him on the back of the head. “You can’t be serious, this is just too much” Kyle said as tears flowed down his cheeks.
“I am very serious my friend, I had no idea what to do with Huon’s share of the company, so I used some of his savings, to buy the farm, when I learnt that Tom and Margaret were retiring and selling the farm. You are the principal shareholder, with a 52% share, the twins, your mum and I, each have 12% shares, so as to keep an eye on the investment.
This means, that you are a landowner on the Falkland Islands, and 50% of the profits have been going back into the two farms for improvements, Annette your share in the company is to ensure that you have a very comfortable retirement, when you decide to slow down from your ministry duties” I said to all gathered, as Kyle stopped crying and tried to smile.
“Thankyou Seb, you really didn’t need to do that, I will be a doctor soon, and I should be able to do well once I have completed all of my training, and I go into private practice. Plus, you have already given Mum and I a wonderful big house to live in, on the banks of the Avon River, plus I have already guessed that it is you that is helping me financially with my university studies” Kyle said to me.
“I am only following instructions, from Huon. When we were living in Claremont, and he came out of Bethesda Hospital the second time, he made me promise that I would take good care of you, if anything every happened to him, so that is what I am doing” I said to Kyle.
Everyone was silent for some time after my last comment, and it was Xander who broke the silence, “He sounds like he was one heck of a nice guy, this dad of mine” Xander said with a huge smile, and we all chuckled at his comment. “After breakfast, if it is ok with Eric to borrow the van, I thought we might all go for a drive out to Douglas, I have already been in contact with the farm manager, to let them know we are coming” I announced.
An hour later, once we had cleaned up after breakfast, with Eric driving, everyone except Mary climbed into the van, and we made our way out to the farm, 90 minutes away. As we passed the first farm, just before the turnoff to the main farm, we spotted a large double gate closed, and a sign at the entrance, “Douglas Farm - Davies Property Investments UK, Do Not Enter Without an Appointment”.
An identical sign was at the entrance of the main farm, but the double gates were open, as we turned into the main driveway, and made our way to the main homestead. As we all climbed out of the van, a man stepped out of the house, with a very annoyed look on his face.
“Let me handle this” Kyle whispered as he stepped towards the man, “Good morning, I am Kyle Davies from Davies Property Investments UK” he said as he held out his hand, which the man shook, “Oh hello, I am the farm manager, Lionel James, it is good to meet you at last, and that sounds like an Australian Accent” came the reply, which made us all smile and Kyle chuckled.
“You are quite correct there, may I introduce Tom and Margaret, they are the former owners of this farm, and are now retired and living in Stanley” Kyle said starting the introductions, and waited for them to shake hands, “and this is Mr Sebastian Wagner, and his twin brothers Louis and Joachim” Kyle continued, “Yes, you own that big ship that came into port, I have heard about you from around the community” Lionel responded.
“This young man is Alexander Devonport, son of Huon Devonport, who use to work for Tom and Margaret during the summer months” Kyle said, “Yes, I have seen your fathers grave, I am sorry for your loss, and sorry I couldn’t make it to the service, I had a few dramas here, as our farmhand Jose, fell off the quad bike” Lionel explained.
“Do you mean Jose Mendoza?” Tom asked, “Why yes, he mentioned that he had worked on this farm before, when I employed him six months ago” Lionel replied, “I see, and do you have a horse by the name of Sophie” Sebastian asked Lionel, “Why yes we do, she isn’t used for farm work anymore, we take her for a ride about three times a week” Lionel replied.
“She is or was Huon’s horse, a gift from Tom and Margaret, regretfully we totally forgot all about her, when Huon had passed away, can we see her please” I said sadly, “Yes sure, she is in her yard behind the stables” Lionel replied, and immediately I set off for the stables, with Xander and the twins following close behind.
As soon as she saw us, she came trotting up to us, and put her head down, recognising me right away. “Oh, Sophie girl, I am so sorry that we forgot about you, I know you miss Huon, but he is gone, and won’t be back to see you any more, we miss him very much” I said to Sophie softly as I began to cry as I leaned into her neck, and wrapped my arms around her, as the twins and Xander wrapped me in a group hug.
Once I had finished crying, I looked down at Xander, “Can you ride horses?” I asked my young cousin, “Yes, I was in pony club for two years” Xander replied proudly, and I lead the way into the stables to retrieve some saddles and tack, so we could go riding. Once outside the stables, I let out a loud whistle, and right away, I heard the sound of horse’s hooves racing towards us.
Behind the individual yards, 5 horses gathered at the fence, and one of them was the horse I rode when we lived on the farm, many years ago, and twenty minutes later, we had six horses saddled up, and Tom, Kyle, the twins, Xander and I were mounted up, and on our way for a ride around the farm.
When we returned to the stables, we hosed and brushed down the horses, gave them some feed, then released them back to their yards. Margaret and Annette were happily chatting to Jose, when we appeared, and I smiled as we approached them, but Jose frowned and walked away, which made me stop for a few minutes, as I watched him head back towards the machinery shed.
When I caught up with the others, Margaret indicated to me to follow her, and together we walked away from the rest of the group, till we were out of hearing range. “I am sorry, but it appears that Jose has not forgotten how you just left him, to return to Australia, with your family, and he had no idea that the farm belonged to Huon’s best friend Kyle. As soon as he found out, he informed Lionel that he is resigning, and that he would be returning home to Chile on the next flight on Saturday” Margaret informed me.
“Oh, I see, maybe you could pass on a message to him for me please, tell him that I am sorry for what I did, and to please reconsider his resignation, as he is a very good farm worker. Maybe let him know that we will be leaving the island tomorrow on the Ocean Explorer, to head back to Australia” I said to Margaret, “I will try my best, but I am not sure if he will listen” Margaret replied, as I turned and walked back to the group, while Margaret headed over to the sheds.
When we left the farm about twenty minutes later, Margaret had managed to convince Jose to stay on the farm, and to continue looking after Sophie for Huon’s sake, and we arrived back ion Stanley just after noon, and I was feeling emotionally exhausted from this whole journey, and after a short talk to and Mary, I packed my belongings, and loaded it into the Landrover and drove down to the main jetty, having decided to spend my last night on the Falklands, onboard the ship.
“Welcome aboard sir” one of the stewards said when he saw me step onboard, “Can you collect my belongings from the vehicle below please, I will be up in the storm lounge or Bridge” I responded, “Very good sir” the steward replied, and I walked up to the nearest inhouse ship phone, and I pressed the number for the Bridge.
“Captain speaking” I heard in the phone when it was answered, “Paul, it is Sebastian, I am spending the night onboard, can you organise for all crew to attend a formal dinner in the guest formal dining room, galley crew and stewards included” I replied, “Very good sir, shall I make it 1800 hours for dinner?” the Captain asked, “No make it 1900, to give the galley more time to be prepared” I answered.
Soon after I arrived in the storm lounge, four stewards arrived with my luggage, and placed it all just inside my suite, and they headed back down stairs, with the head steward, and one of the junior stewards appearing soon after,
“Can I get you anything sir” the head steward asked, “yes some lunchfor just me thanks, I will he staying here tonight” I replied, and they left me to be on my own.
“All officers to the bridge for a meeting right away, that is all” I heard the Captain say on the PA system, once the afternoon tea had arrived, I settled down to watch a movie, choosing “The Guardian” with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher as the main stars. At just under three hours long, the movie kept me from thinking about everything that had happened in the past few days.
When the movie ended I went to my suite to unpack everything, only to find that it had already been done by one of the stewards, so I headed back to the lounge to see Anthony the Chief Steward near the door to the main passageway, “Was that you that sorted my belongings?” I asked, “Yes sir, I hope everything is where you want it placed” Anthony replied, “As far I could see yes, it is good thanks for that, I was dreading doing that” I replied.
“The Captain will be down shortly to speak to you, do you wish afternoon tea for two, sir?” Anthony asked, “Yes that will be good thanks” I replied and Anthony disappeared quietly like he usually does. The Captain and Anthony arrived at the same time, and once the tray was on the table, Anthony left right away, as Paul sat down.
“I have had an email from the travel agency at Albany, requesting permission to allow paying passengers to travel from Cape Town to Albany, as they have received a few requests for ocean travel between the two countries” Paul informed me, as he handed over the email to me, which I read.
“I see no problem with that, is there any more information on the passengers?” I said to Paul, “Next page, sir” Paul replied with a smile, which I was not sure why he did, until I saw the names of the 6 passengers, and gasped in surprise, which made the Captain chuckle. “I thought that may surprise you, sir” Paul said to me as I saw two very familiar names on the list, Dr and Mrs Jai Chakma Patwary.
“Without notifying them in advance, I would like them to be upgraded to one of the executive suites please, as they will be my VIP Guests, and I will be reimbursing their full fares, when they arrive” I said to the Captain, “Very good sir, I will make sure that they are well looked after, Anthony already knows and he was expecting you to say something like that” Paul said to me.
“Now onto another matter, about our little event that took place yesterday, as you know we have six young men joining us tomorrow, for the journey to Cape Town, I am not sure if any of them have any working skills, do you have any thoughts on what duties they can do?” I asked.
“Well sir, Senior Sergeant Glass has emailed me just this morning, he has done some background checking on the six young men in question, as you are aware, only two of them are 18, the other four are 17 years old, so the two older ones we can treat as adults, and both of them do have some work experience in South Africa, Jabulani Harmen, helps his father in the garage, as a trainee mechanic, Lwazi Gawler, helps his father at the college tutoring students in the field of languages, plus 17 year old Thabo Langlands, is a kitchen hand at his parents restaurant, the other three have no work experience at all, and are often up to mischief in their community” Paul replied.
“They sound like Zulu names, yet they are white boys” I enquired, and Paul smiled, “Yes a change of times I guess, those three come from British heritage, and I guess their families liked to integrate with the African community as much as possible, while the other three come from Afrikaans heritage, hence the troublesome background” Paul replied, “Ok, let’s put the two older boys and the kitchen hand in one cabin, and the other three in the other, I am glad they are on opposite sides of the passageway and not right next door to each other” I commented.
“For allocation of duties, may I suggest Jabul, works in the engineering department, Lwazi and Thabo, in the galley, and the other three on deck duties” Paul suggested, “That sounds perfect, I will let the crew know what is happening at dinner time” I said, “I am afraid the gossip has spread like wild fire, most of the crew already know” Paul replied, and I nodded my head in understanding.
A few minutes later as we finished our afternoon tea, Paul stood to prepare to leave, “Its good that you don’t have the blue in your goatee any more, it may have scared the passengers away” I commented, “Or it could be a tourist attraction” Paul replied laughing as he left, making me smile.
After the formal dinner with all of the crew, giving them a briefing on what to expect for the journey to Cape Town, and onto Albany, I headed to a remote part of the ship, which is not visited by anyone very often, that being the landing deck of the helicopter, which is safely tucked away in its hanger, where a small store room has a couple of fold up deck chairs stored away.
I sat on the flight deck, watching the last of the sunlight disappear in the west, and listened to the sounds of the waves in the harbour, enjoying the peace and quiet, totally unaware that Anthony was nearby keeping out of my sight.
Copyright May 2018 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights are Reserved