"Angus, it is lonely here without a woman. It is time ye considered marrying. We could use a woman's hand with the house servants and to entertain us with social events."
" I hath no inclination for that."
"But the plantation is too large now to operate without a woman. I enjoy the company of Mrs. Drayton and Miss Winship. Tis ia pleasure to hear the sound of women's voices here in the house."
"Yes, I thought so," Angus said grinning. "Mrs. Drayton has ye dapper, but tis time to put off ye dapper clothes and concentrate on the crops. I am returning the ladies to Drayton Manor tomorrow."
Duncan looked disappointed. "I should think that three weeks of their chatter is sufficient to satisfy any man's craving for conversation."
"Ye are too rigid, lad. Mrs. Drayton said that we no hath a single servant who can sew or administer medicines and that a plantation of this size needs a char woman and a butler. We are lacking in the disciplines of country living."
"I hath no time to go hunting for a wife."
"What about Miss Winship? Tis true that she is somewhat older than ye, however, she possesses all of the refining elements of a lady and could turn this house into a place of laughter and joy."
Angus groaned. Here it was again. The haunting remembrance of his standing on her porch and being rejected. He had nothing to offer her then and now that he did, was not inclined to win her approval because of Ashley Loche. "I plan to host the Thanksgiving hunt this year and if I must, will
choose from among the daughters who attend."
"Aye, from now on everyone will come to Ashley Loche and be entertained in the great hall."
Duncan grinned. "We shall require flower gardens, foot paths, trellis' and the like; a place to stroll in the late afternoon.....and court the young daughters after the hunt breakfast."
"Who presented that idea?"
"But first we plant rice."
"Yes, tis a great place, this Charleston, where a man can plant his dreams and make his fortune too." Duncan was also thinking of attending Mrs. Drayton's afternoon tea parties. His desire to be charmed andm ottle-coddled by the ladies would be satisfied.