Between all of the chaos of moving house, I was thinking about the living situation with Charles and Elizabeth, and I decided that I needed to fix that as soon as possible, so after everyone had left, I pulled out the laptop computer. I did some web searching, and found that the same company that built the manor would be the best option to build two cabins, that are the same dimensions as the two master suites, and having a covered patio area between two cabins, which is also the boardwalk between the jetty and the manor, would be the best.
For the rest of the afternoon, we just did the unpacking at a slow pace, so as too not tire us out, and on Sunday morning, we dressed to go to Chapel with it being a Sunday during term. We were on Invermay road coming into Mowbray, when I received a text message from Craig.
“If you are coming to Chapel today, don’t come, there is a huge media presence outside the school, stay away,” the message read, and I groaned. “What is it dear?” Aunty Bea asked me, “The media, they are outside the school, the news is out that it is me,” I replied. “Right, we will have to go to an alternative, what do you suggest Aunty?” Mum said.
“I suggest we go to the family church, the Church of Scotland, or the one closest to it, which is the Uniting Church, and I suggest the Pilgrim Uniting Church in the city, located on Paterson Street,” Aunty Bea replied. So, we continued on south towards the city, and parked about half a block away from the church and walked the few hundred metres to the church, where Aunty Bea stopped and looked at a bronze plaque and smiled.
I stepped forward to look at the plaque, which caught me by surprise, “A relative?” I asked, “Yes, I think it is way back to the fourth child of the 9th Earl of Crawford I think?” Aunty Bea replied, “Wow, I will have to call Robert later and ask him about it,” I replied, as we made our way inside.
We decided to stay low key, since the media was now on to me, so we sat near the back of the church, and it was a very nice service. At the end, we waited for the minister to walk down the aisle and when he came to near the back, he stopped and gave me a nod of the head, before continuing.
“Looks like someone knows you are here,” Aunty Bea said softly, and I groaned. We waited until nearly everyone had left the church, before we exited, where the minister was greeting all of the attendees on departure. “My Lord, it is indeed an honour to have you here today, I hope you enjoyed the service,” the minister said to me, again bowing his head.
“Thankyou Reverend, but I am not a Lord, I am just a Baronet, so I am addressed as Sir Edwin or Sir. May I present my Great Aunt, Lady Beatrice Petworth, and my mother, Lady Alexandria Crawford,” I responded, and the minister gently shook their hands.
“Please join us for some morning tea in the adjoining church hall,” the minister said to us, “Only if you keep our presence low key, thankyou,” I replied. “Did you have to introduce me like that?” Mum whispered to me, and I smile.
“I am afraid your son is correct, the mother of a Baronet is correctly addressed as Lady,” Aunty Bea responded, “Oh, I did not know that,” Mum said sounding a little shocked. “Alternatively, you can be addressed as The Dowager, Lady Alexandria Crawford,” I whispered to Mum, who screwed up her nose.
“I think not thankyou,” Mum replied, as we approached the door to the hall, and suddenly all went silent, as we entered, and the Men bowed and the Lady’s curtsied to us. “Oh great, that was what I didn’t want,” I whispered, as I nodded in acknowledgement.
“I’m sorry, but it was not possible to keep it quiet, once people noticed that I had stopped to greet you on my way out after the service.
Please may I introduce you to our senior church leaders, who assist me with the running of the parish,” the minister said to me, and for the next twenty minutes, we met most of the people in the hall, and I was starting to get tired, when my phone buzzed with a message.
“Where are you now? Mum and Dad said you can come and stay with us for a while just in case they find your new place, Craig,” the message read, “We attended church in the city, Pilgrim Church,” I texted back, and I showed the message to Mum, who nodded her head in agreement.
“We will have to organise getting some clothes to you,” Mum whispered, before I texted back to Craig, “My Mum said yes, and she will need to organise some clothes for me,” I texted back. “Lucas says he knows the church, as that is the one that his family attends on alternative Sundays, see you soon, Craig,” a message came through.
“Time to go Mum, my transport is on its way,” I whispered to her and we thanked those gathered around us, and we headed for the door, and walked quickly to the car. “I think it would be better if you disappeared into the forest, if you know what I mean?” Mum said to me, so I sent a message back to Craig.
“Thanks for the offer, other arrangements are being made, which means I wont be returning to school, but I will stay in touch,” I texted before making a call to arrange a charter flight… to Melbourne’s International Terminal, and I instructed the company to make the flight without any passengers, as it is a diversion.
“Head for home Mum, I need to pack for a long term holiday away from our new home,” I said to Mum who smiled and nodded, before changing directions. “Just passed your old place behind the school, where there is a big pack of media, LOL, they still think that you live there, Brad,” I received from my mate Brad.
“Yep, so glad we moved when we did, I am going to be away for some time, probably for the rest of the school year, but I will keep in touch. Make sure the three of you keep the next school holidays free, as I am still going to treat you to that holiday that I promised,” I texted back. “You bet, take care mate, see you in September,” Brad sent back.
Taking as many back roads as we could, we finally arrived home, and we were pleased to see that there was no media camping at our doorstep. “How much unpacking did you both manage to do?” I asked Mum and Aunty Bea, “Just the basic so far, why is that, dear?” Aunty Bea asked.
“Because I think we all had better make this long term trip to the jungles, so there is no way of finding us,” I responded, and Mum sighed, “Yes son, I think you are right, we had better start packing all of our clothes, and any precious things we want to take with us for this trip,” Mum said.
We spent the rest of the day packing everything, and over an hour after dark, Mr Ballard and Craig arrived, with a 6 x 5 foot trailer, as I had requested. After attaching it to Mum’s car, they helped to load up the trailer, with all of our belongings, and handing the keys over to Mr Ballard, they waved us goodbye, and watched as we drove off into the darkness.
“Are you sure you are ok to be driving for four hours to get to Strahan Mum?” I asked, “Yes, I will be fine, as long as you keep talking to me, so I don’t fall asleep, and that I stop to stretch my legs every hour to 90 minutes. We need to be in Strahan and on the boat well before sunrise,” Mum replied.
Although the journey was long and tiring, we arrived in Strahan shortly before 2 am, where we went directly to our private jetty in the Cove, where the catamaran was out, but the sports yacht was sitting. “Hello Sir, Lady Beatrice and Lady Alexandria, I am glad that you made it here safely,” Charles said as he approached the car.
As suggested, Mum and Aunty Bea retired to a cabin each onboard the boat, while Charles and I unhitched the trailer and pushed it into the shed, with the car parked beside it, while the luggage was taken onboard.
Once that was done, Charles started the motors and we slowly and quietly cruised out of the cove and down the harbour to King River. When we arrived at the manor, Charles knocked on the doors of the cabins to wake up Mum and Aunty Bea, to let them know that we have arrived, and we helped them off the yacht and down the boardwalk to the manor.
Deciding to leave the luggage until morning, Charles locked up the yacht, and followed me to the manor, where I headed to my suite to get some sleep. When I eventually work up, it was well after 9 am, and I spotted my two suitcases, just inside the door, so I gathered what I needed and headed to the bathroom, to have a long hot shower.
Once done, I dressed and headed downstairs to the dining room, where Mum and Aunty Bea were already seated, and Mum was reading a newspaper. “Good morning dear, you were on the front page of yesterday’s paper, no wonder there was a large media presence at the school,” Mum stated.
Groaning in annoyance, I asked Mum to read it out to me. “Newly awarded the Baronet of Wigan is Tasmanian Schoolboy, Edwin Crawford. Second cousin to the current Earl of Crawford, Master Edwin made a trip to Scotland during the first term holidays, to stay with his cousin and visit some of his family’s former and current homes.
This included Haig Hall, which is now his family seat, located just out of Manchester, Crawford Priory and a small Island in the Shetlands. Master Edwin is also a third cousin to the heir apparent to the Earldom, Alexander Lindsay, who owns and operates Archerfield Estate, in Scotland.
Master Edwin has been a student at Launceston Church Grammar School for the past five years, and is in his second last year of high school studies. It is believed that he resides with his widowed mother and a great Aunt, but their home located close to the back of the school appears to be vacant, so his whereabouts is unknown at the time of printing, but we will continue to search,” Mum said as she read the article.
“They seem to be fairly thorough with their research, thank goodness Cousin Robert purchased the land here under a separate company name registered in Switzerland, so they will have no luck in finding us,” I commented.
“Charles, where is the catamaran yacht?” Mum asked, “Out on a cruise at the moment Ma’am, it will be returning later tomorrow,” Charles replied. Retrieving my phone, I located a number and pressed call, and moments later, it was answered, as I switched it to loudspeaker.
“Tas Adventures, this is Beverly speaking, “Hello Beverly, without saying my name, do you know who this is?” I asked, “Yes sir I do, is your mother with you, as I have seen yesterday’s article,” Beverley responded, “Very good, ok from now on, you are to contact us only if it is urgent, for that specific reason, and also from now on, you should refer my mother as Ms Petworth.
Furthermore, I need you to locate any documentation that has her married surname on it, even if it refers to me, which it should not, and destroy it all, shred it first then burn it. We need to stay low key for as long as possible, so if you need something urgent, call Charles at his place, and he will know where to contact us.
Oh and one last thing, there is a car and trailer in the shed in the cove, we will be leaving it there for the time being, so can you organise a car cover to put over the car. In two days, and no earlier, I need you to contact a transport company to come and collect the trailer and deliver it to Mr Tom Decker at Parks and Wildlife in Launceston, he will know what to do it from there, thankyou,” I said.
Once the call ended, I looked to Mum, “Did I forget anything?” I asked, “No, I think you covered all of it, and I guess this means another late night tonight, to collect the rest of our belongings from the boat shed,” Mum replied. “I am afraid so, yes,” I replied.
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved July 2020