Edward left Soranus Pharmaceuticals much later than expected. His meeting with the Board of Directors had gone smoothly and by the end of the day he had signed a six-month contract. He found his luncheon with Jagdeep, on the other hand, strangely unsettling. From the moment of their meeting, it did not escape his attention that Jagdeep appeared nervous and generally out of sorts. By the time lunch arrived, Jagdeep had finished three vodka martinis and had ordered a fourth. His slurred chatter throughout their time together centred on the murder of the previous owner of the company, Jerome Kesterson, and the business-related consequences for Soranus. At the end of lunch, he had poured Jagdeep into a taxi and sent him home to sleep it off.
It was with a sigh of relief that Edward turned into his drive and passed the Pine Meadows sign. He and his late wife, Karen, had made it shortly after they bought the property. Heh. After he parked, he stepped out of the vehicle and peered back at the sign.
“Something wrong, Edward?” Charlotte called out. She grabbed her woolen jacket, closed the door to the house, and came along the flagstone path toward him.
He pointed toward the sign. “This morning when I left it didn’t look like that. Did you buy a new one?”
“Not exactly.” She zipped up her jacket and took his arm and with a tilt of her head the two walked down the drive. “The other sign was too weathered to do anything with it. So, Morris made you a new one.”
Morris McAlistair and his wife Susan had been close friends with Edward since childhood. They had agreed to oversee the property while Edward and Charlotte were in Ottawa.
“What did he do with the old sign?”
“Not to worry, it’s safely tucked away in our basement.”
Hand-in-hand, they walked back to the house. He surveyed the rail fencing, five high, that lined the front of the property and along the drive. Pine and cedar stood tall on both sides of the route. “I see he also fixed the barn boards.”
“That was done weeks ago, you just didn’t notice,” she replied.
“That’s not like me.” He stopped to take in the grandeur of the hundred-acre property. “It seems strange without the horses.”
“We could always move back, Edward, and change all of that.”
“I guess we could.”
She opened the door and entered the house. “How did your day go?” She unzipped her jacket and hun...