Maegan paced around the study, Jed farmer was about to arrive to discuss plan’s for the expansion of his farm. She knew Jed would expect to see Christopher so not only did she need to convince Jed that she could speak for her husband but she needed to do it all without raising his suspicions the whole Vaux reputation was riding on no-one knowing that Christopher was missing.
Christopher had been gone since the summer and Maegan had become accomplished at doing his paper work and forging his signature on documents. As a family they had avoided the winter celebrations saying they had come down with a sickness and so far no-one’s suspicions had been raised.
They had been blessed so far in that Thomas’s attention seemed to be elsewhere and hadn’t asked to many question’s because if word got back to the king that Maegan and not Christopher was in charge of the Hallow’s there would be hell to pay least of all because Thomas would see Christopher’s actions as disrespecting his wedding vow’s to Maegan.
Maegan owed most of her success to her mother, Kaitlyn had been beside her the whole time helping her along with the paperwork and helping her negotiate often tedious political situation’s.
A knock on the door alerted her to Jed’s arrival. “Come in” she called watching as the farmer entered. Jed was by now the largest farm owner in Grimstead having moved to the Hallow’s the previous summer. “Good Morning” she smiled heading around the table and offering her hand out.
Jed took her hand and nodded respectfully “I was expecting to see Lord Vaux” he smiled uncomfortably referring to Christopher.
“Unfortunately my husband has been called away” Maegan replied “Urgent business up at the castle you understand?”
“Of course, should I come back another day?” he asked warily.
Meagan felt a little flutter in her chest, scared that he’s see right though her “No it’s fine, my husband has fully authorised me to deal with his affair’s while he is away” He was giving her ‘that’ look, one she’d seen a number of times since she’d been in control of Christopher’s estate. Unsure as to which bothered him most the fact that she was a woman or the fact that she was in his eye’s at least a child.
“Aright!” he said finally after a short pause “It’s a simple matter really. On the back of my farm there is some woodland filled with fruit bushes, I was wondering who owned the land there?”
“We do” she replied.
“Well I’d be interested in perhaps purchasing it, the local baker has agreed to buy the fruit for pies and I thought it would be an interesting little side venture”
“You only took control of your farm last summer are you sure you can handle the work?” Maegan asked.
“Yes milady, I believe so. The fruit bushes are wild they don’t need much tending to just harvestin when ready and pruning when the season’s done. Besides I took on two new farm hands this winter, the Osmund boys do you know them?”
“Lynette’s sons” Maegan nodded.
“Aye, good lad’s hard worker just seem’s a shame to have all those bushes going to waste, local kids pick them sometimes but most of the fruit rot’s on the bush or the birds get it”
Maegan nodded “Well I’d certainly consider selling you the land, but after buying the farm can you really afford it?”
“I think so, it will be a stretch I won’t deny but if we don’t take the risk on the land now, it will be too late to tend it ready for the next harvest. But I was hoping his lordship would consider letting me work the land now but pay for it next autumn after the harvest”
“That’s quite a respite in payment” Maegan noted.
“Aye your ladyship I know, but I’ve been good tenant’s I think, always paid our rents and tax’s on time and then we bought this farm outright, so I was hoping”.
Maegan smiled she’d spent the best part of the morning trawling though Orrick’s paperwork for information on the farmer family and what he said was true. Freemen they had the option of living on any estate but had chosen to settle and stay within the Vaux’s Holding’s for the past 20 years. “I don’t see a problem Jed” she nodded “Work the land and pay us in the fall, just remember it isn’t your’s till were paid in full is that understood?”