“Is it worth keeping, or would it be best to sell the Island?” I asked my cousin, “Lets wait and see when we get a good look at it, I will set aside a few days so we can go and visit the island,” Robert suggested.
“I used to watch that television show, Monarch of the Glen a few years ago; do they still call property owners the Laird of the Estate?” Mum asked.
“Yes they do, but because I have a title, that take precedence over being called the Laird,” James replied, “Do you have a wife and family?” Mum asked, and I saw Aunty Bea gasp, and looked worried at Robert.
“It is ok Bea, they should know anyway. I was married, my late wife Elizabeth was killed in a car crash some 18 years ago now, and we didn’t have any children, so when I pass, my younger brothers oldest son, my nephew will become the next Earl of Crawford,” Robert explained.
The following day, I went to school at the normal time, and as soon as I entered the quadrangle, I could tell that the news was out. “Hey Crawford, is it true? Are you the son of a Bastard?” one senior boy called out; and I turned and walked up to the smart arse senior, stopping just inches from him and smiled.
“You really thing you are smart making comments like that, one of these days a comment like that is going to bite back. For everyone’s information, my second cousin is in town on a surprise visit from the UK,” I replied to him, before taking a step back.
“Yeah! Who is he the? The Mayor of Mars?” the same senior boy said to me with a snarl, and as I saw a teacher approaching, I took a step forward again, “If you must know, he is the Earl of Crawford, in Scotland, I am spending the holidays with him on his estate,” I replied, before turning and walking away.
Once I had collected the books I need for the first two classes from my locker, I headed to the library, until the bell sounds for first class. By the end of second class, with a fifteen minute morning break, the news was all around the school. “Hey Edwin, is it true? Are you going to Scotland for your holidays?” one of the boys who I saw as a reasonably good friend, asked me.
“Yes mate, and although he is the Earl of Crawford, I don’t have a title, as I am only his second cousin,” I replied, “Oh well that really sucks, but still knowing someone who has nobility in his family is really cool,” he added, and I just chuckled at his comment.
A number of friends provided me with a barrier of security from anyone that tried to approach me for any reason, and I felt safe, which I was pleased about. At the end of the day, I said goodbye to my friends and wished them a great holiday, before I walked for home, only to be stopped at the back gate of the school by the same smart arse senior from before, along with some of his friends.
“What do you want Davies, I have no time for your antics,” I said to him, stopping a few metres before him, so I was still standing on school property. “You think you are smart standing inside the school grounds, too afraid to approach us, you little chicken shit,” Davies said to me.
“No I am just being sensible, as long as I stand here, if you do anything to me, you and your little gang of morons will be suspended or even expelled from school,” I said smiling, and Davies made a motion to approach me, and they grabbed me and carried me away from the school grounds, before dropping me on the road, which forced all the wind out of me, and I struggled to catch my breath.
While I was, they snatched my backpack and tipped all my books and stationary out onto the road, and laughed at me. “See you later dipshit,” Davies said before he walked down Joffre Street. As I stood up, I noticed James standing at the front of my home, and he turned and said something, before Mum appeared beside him, as I collected all of my things and walked the short distance home.
“Do you know those boys who picked you up and carried you off the school grounds and dropped you on the road?” Robert asked me as I arrived at the front gate, “Yes, but leave it, they are just trying to act high and mighty, I can deal with them” I replied.
“Are you hurt son?” Mum asked me sounding concerned, “I am ok Mum, no broken bones, just had the wind forced out of me when I landed on my back from waist height,” I replied, and James cleared his throat, “More like shoulder height, I saw the whole thing cousin, so if you want to lodge a complaint to the school or the police let me know,” James said.
“No, leave it, things will get worse if I report it, but thanks anyway,” I responded. “I don’t like bullies, they should not get away with it,” James stated, as he followed me into the house.
“James has booked a room for you at the hotel, so you don’t wake us up at an awful time, so go and get changed out of your uniform and into some neat casual gear ready for the start of your journey,” Mum announced to me, so I headed to my room.
When I returned to the main living room, I was surprised to see the school headmaster talking to James and Mum. “Hello Edwin, is this true that some senior boys picked you up and carried you out of the school grounds and dropped you at shoulder height onto the road, before dumping the contents out of your backpack?” the Headmaster asked me.
“It is sir, but I would prefer to handle it in my own way please,” I replied, “So you won’t tell me the names of the boys involved, even though I have a good idea who they are already, as they gave you a hard time earlier in the day, which a teacher reported to me,” the headmaster said.
“Yes sir, same boys and same ring leader, but please sir let me deal with it when I return from the UK,” I asked nicely. “Ok, but only till the second day back from holidays,” the headmaster said to me sternly, and I nodded my head in understanding.
After checking that I had everything, I said goodbye to Aunty Bea and Mum, before I followed James out the front where the Limo had just arrived. “Do you always travel this way?” I asked, “Only the best way to travel for safety and security reasons mainly, the gent sitting up front with the driver is my personal butler and body guard,” James replied.
“Oh, shame he wasn’t here earlier, he could have dealt with those bullies,” I commented, and James laughed, “Who do you think alerted me to the them hassling you, they were parked at the other end of the street,” James replied, as I loaded my luggage into the boot and followed James into the back of the Limo, and a short while later, we pulled up outside the hotel where we had dinner last night.
“Good afternoon Lord Crawford, here is the key for Master Crawford, on the same floor as your suite,” the receptionist said as we approached the reception counter, with the butler carrying my luggage. “I can take that off you thankyou, err…” I said to the butler.
“My name is Hunter sir, and I shall carry them to your room,” the butler replied. “I wouldn’t argue with him, as he will win every time,” James whispered and I saw the butler smile broadly as he bowed his head and headed for the elevator.
I moaned, “Sorry, it’s going to take me some time to get used to this sort of thing,” I said to my cousin who chuckled, as we followed Hunter, and a few moments later we stepped out onto the 6th and top floor, where Hunter stopped to await the key, which I had in my hand.
“Wow, this is huge,” I commented as I stepped into my hotel room, “Get used to it cousin, that is all you are going to get for the next two weeks, first or business class all the way,” James said to me from the doorway, “Oh boy, this is so strange getting so much luxury, I would have been happy with a usual small hotel room,” I commented, “There are only suites and mini suites on this level, so that is what you get.
Now once you have had enough of where you are sleeping tonight, with a very early start in the morning, we have a few hours spare to do a little bit of shopping, before we have an early dinner and retire early, as we have to leave the hotel at 8 am to get to the airport,” James announced.
Half an hour later we walked into a Apple Mac Store, “What sort of phone do you have and do you have a laptop computer?” James asked me, “I have a second hand I-Phone 6, I can’t afford another one, and I have a five year old laptop, I just use the computers at school,” I replied.
“Right, no arguments, we are going to get you updated with a new I-Phone, laptop and maybe a I-Pad too,” James announced, and I tried to protest, but James wouldn’t let me argue, I guess I just have to shut up and put up with it,” commented, and James chuckled and nodded his head.
I walked out of the shop with three brand new items, a 16 inch Mac Book Pro, and an I-Phone 11 Pro Max, which was over $2,000, but James did not seem to mind about the price. Next we went into an upmarket Men’s store, where I was fitted with two new suits, including ties, belts, socks, shoes, and a selection of shirts. After that we headed back to the hotel, where I had to work out how to fit my new clothes into the suitcase.
“Leave them out, and Hunter will sort it all out for you,” James said when he saw my already full suitcase, and when we returned from dinner, I had an extra suitcase for all my new clothes, plus a computer briefcase for my new laptop.
The next morning, I was awoken by knocking on my room door, and reluctantly I climbed out of bed to answer the door.
“Good morning Master Crawford, you have twenty minutes to shower and dress, before we leave for the airport, and we will eat when we get there,” Hunter said to me, before leaving, and I quickly had a shower and dressed in my new suit but without a tie, and I was out my door with a few minutes to spare.
“Good morning Edwin, Hunter tells me he had troubles getting you up,” Robert said to me smiling, and I just groaned, as I followed them to the elevator, and after handing in our key cards at reception, we climbed into the waiting Limo, while Hunter took care of all the luggage.
“I will give these to you, it has all of your travel documents from here to Edinburgh, so don’t loose them,” James said as he handed me a small pouch folder, and I looked inside, and saw the group of tickets, but what really caught my attention was the plastic card, in a clear pocket inside.
“What is this for?” I asked pointing at the MasterCard, which had my full name on it, “Especially don’t loose that, it has a credit limit of ten thousand British Pounds, in case we get separated during the journey, for emergency use only, you better sign the signature strip now, while you have it out,” James announced to me.
“What is that in Australian dollars?” I asked as I carefully signed the back of the credit card. “Oh about 18,000 or there a bout’s,” James said casually. “Crikey,” I commented, as I put the credit card into my wallet, and then into my inside jacket pocket.
It was a fairly short trip to the Launceston airport just south of the town, and after checking everything in, except my briefcase, we headed to the waiting lounge for our flight, and James informed me that we are in a smaller plane for the one hour journey, so they only have a limited number of business class seats, with Hunter having to travel in Economy.
When we boarded, the seats were a lot narrower than I expected, so it was hard to get comfortable, but knowing that it was a short trip, I didn’t complain, and I spent that time transferring the few phone numbers onto my new phone, which was set on flight mode.
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved July 2020