A Good Man
“William Benson and Layton Sexton June 7, 1798,” Layton said.
“And read further,” Bernard said.
“June 7, 1799, If a Sexton has no place to call his own he will always find a home here, even if it is 200 years.”
“What is the day, lad?” Bernard said.
“June 7th 1999,” Layton said.
“Now think, think hard,” Bernard said. “Why did you come here?”
“Just before my father died, he said I was named after my ancestor that came to America in 1799.” Layton said. “He told me he had nothing to leave me, but if I found the place of my ancestors I’d find a treasure.”
“And you have, lad,” Bernard said.
“Indeed,” Layton said. “This place is like home to me. I really never wanted to leave. I thought if at least I didn’t try you’d all think of me as a ne’er-do-well. I’m educated and qualified to instruct, but to my detriment I want to be no place but here and now I know why. This place is in my blood. I was meant to return. I was born to return.”
Bernard smiled broadly. “Now sit, lad and I shall go on.”
Layton sat. “I feel the best I have ever felt. We must drink the brandy till it’s gone and stagger the streets of the village like William and Layton must have. So what is it you want to go on about?”
“Layton Sexton left this place 200 years ago with a beautiful lass of the Benson stock,” Bernard said, “William’s sister. She was with child. They had a son in America. That was the last our family heard of the Sexton’s. You see our family owes your grandfather a dept of gratitude. This place was passed down from generation to generation.”
“It seems strange that of all the places I could have found work it was this one,” Layton said. “And I never wanted to go anyplace else. I was satisfied here and now I know why.”
“There is more,” Bernard said. “Let me pour a bit more brandy.”
“Am I related to the queen,” Layton quipped.
“Oh no,” Bernard said. “Not that dirty bunch. Each year, you recall, a percentage was deposited in the trust. It collected over all these years and had collected interest. I suspect it is a handsome sum at this point and it belongs to you.”
“How much is there?” Layton said. “Do you have an idea?”
“It has to be a tidy sum,” Bernard said. “After all it’s been 200 years. There have been some lean times, but it has always been steady. The sum is not mine so I’ve never kept track. “We owned the B & B next door and sold it several years ago to keep this place afloat without going to the lenders.”
“Well,” Layton said. “If the sum is anywhere near what I think it should be we should buy the B & B back. After all we’re partners.”
Bernard smiled. “My ancestors always spoke well of Layton Sexton and I shall not be hard-pressed to pass it on.”