When Dade had opened the door and led me into his home I had thought, my house was big, but I could have fit it into one wing of this place. Hardwood floors gleamed in the large foyer where a round mahogony table stood in the middle of the room with a huge centerpiece of fall flowers. A brilliant crystal chandelier sent prisms of dancing light down over the yellow, rusts and creams of the bougquet. He led me through a sitting room done in creams and beige. Davanports and stuffed chairs were set in groups through out the room and soft colorful accent rugs were scattered in each setting.
"Here, sit down," Dade offered as we went into another wing of the house. "This is my favorite place," he said then. Carmel leather furniture and shelves of books lined the walls. Soft cream colored carpet covered the floor. The room had a woodsey smell from the burning fireplace.
"I see Sarah has chilled a bottle of champagne for us." He said then.
I sank into the satiny leather chair, hopefully appearing relaxed. And hell, I thought, I could have had luxury like this if I still had my money!
That familiar hopeless feeling washed over me again that someone else had what was mine. But---maybe not! I though again of that stop in Oklahoma City. It had been a clever idea and pretty devious. And my craft with a needle and thread came in handy then as I had painstakenly sewn my fortune into the backrest of the passenger seat in the BMW. Maybe just maybe! I put a smile on my face then as Dade turned from the bar and handed me a crystal flute of the bubbly.
"Have you always lived here," I asked him.
"I was born and raised here Lindy, my grandaddy started the place and then my dad took over. He died four years ago and then my mother went, but my granddaddy is still alive but retired of course."
"I'm sorry, " I said to him as he leaned on the bar across the room in an alcove. But I really I couldn't feel very sorry for someone who was left with all of this. "Do you have cattle out here?" I asked then.
He walked over and sat across from me on a couch. "That's what I do, I raise beef cattle and palomino horses."
Being from a farm tons of years ago, I wondered what a cow was worth now, or a horse? But I sat demurely and made pleasant conversaton. "I didn't see any neighbors, don't you have any?" I asked curiously then.
He had a smug look on his face as he answered. "I don't have any, I bought up all the land for hundreds of miles around." Then a steely gleam flashed through his eyes as he went on. "Because I wanted to get rid of the trash."
I took another sip of the champagne and looked away, and uneasy feeling darted across my chest. I got up then and walked over to the large patio door and looked out where the view was breathtaking. A plush green lawn sloped down to a pond and was bordered on the opposite side with birch and pine trees. Ducks swan lazily around in the softly rippling water.
Just then a lady came into the room and announced that lunch was ready. "Follow me," Dade said and picked up the glasses. "Sarah is the best chef in Texas, so I know she put together something enticing."
And the meal was sumptuous.
The champagne had finally relaxed the knots of tension in my stomach so I ate with relish. And I couldn't help wondering how I would feel living there and being a part of this kind of life. I certainly wouldn't have to worry about where my money was then, would I!
However, Dade also wondered if she would fit in! And the booming voice of his attorney still vibrated in his ears at last night's meeting as he had shouted, '"Dadelyn, my boy, you've got until the first of the year to straighten out your life. Give up the boyfriend and find a wife, that's a female, or according to your daddy's will, you are out without a cent and everything goes to charity!"'
Dade smiled at me then for some reason, as we ate our dessert.