Angus threw himself into the project, working with first and last daylight. The depressing bleakness of November, then December days matched his mood. And his own body, bogged down in the mud, seemed to blend with a landscape needing to wrest lose from its stagnate streams and rooted marsh. But alas the toilsome soil delivered the land and seed was planted.
In early March the Drayton overseer came to fetch his darkies home after a long winter at Ashley Loche. He was met in the road by Lucas. They chatted. After awhile, Lucas stopped chatting and sauntered down to the dock where Angus stood watching Duncan supervise the nailing in place the last planks of the dock.
"What did he want?" He asked Lucas.
"The widow stayed the winter at Drayton Manor, and needs her darkies to do the spring planting."
Angus felt ashamed and uneasy. His own feverish work had kept him from checking on her. "I meant to go..." he said. "I suppose I thought that she would return to Charleston with her friends."
"That woman, Miss Winship is with her. You best go and see if Mrs. Drayton still retaineth her jewels."
"You still do not trust Miss Winship, do you, Lucas?"
"Does the jaguar shed it's teeth?"
Angus frowned and wrestled with the idea of visiting Drayton Manor. He was in no mood to change his suit of clothes for a proper visit. He walked slowly towards the house.
"Are you going to the widow's place?" Lucas called after him.
"Yes, I am going!"