Saturday, December 31, 2011
Open For Business~Part 1
Finally Looking Back Antiques opened for business under new management. Everyone in town was happy to see the shop taken over by Emma and Lily and couldn’t wait to sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy the freshly baked brownies and delicious confections. The Antique store was a huge success. Word started spreading quickly and before long folks from the neighboring towns and eventually from nearby cities started frequenting the antique shop. The Fulbright farm was finally sold and Jonas and Ethel moved to Camden Corners. Jonas was happy to be on hand in the antique shop to great customers and point out the beauty of each item in the store. Nobody realized how much old Amos had stored. There seemed to be a never ending supply of goods for Jonas to work on. Ethel loved being near her daughter and grandchildren, she was making friends quickly and enjoyed acting as hostess occasionally in the tea room. She wrote to Nettie Dawson excitedly telling her all about the shop and tea room. Nettie missed her dear friend and in a blink of an eye, she was on the train on her way to Camden Corners arriving just in time for tea. Nettie was a perfect match for the now bustling tea room. She was full of chatter and advice to all the patrons.
Emma, Lily and Jonas were working feverishly preparing the last of Amos’ collection before the busy Christmas season began. They discovered there were very few pieces that couldn’t be repaired or cleaned and sold as a valuable antique. Nettie and Ethel were delighted to find a huge crate filled with Tiffany lamps. They spent hours cleaning and shining each and every lamp while they talked about all of the Christmas celebrations they were looking forward to. Their first Christmas in Camden Corners was going to be a very happy one.
One afternoon, the Vicar Willard Duesenberry came into the shop to purchase a lace tea cozy for his faithful housekeeper, Mrs. Schrum. He saw her admiring it in the window one day last week and thought it would make a nice Christmas gift for her. Emma was having a difficult time opening Amos’ old cash register and the Vicar offered to take a look at it to see what the problem was. He discovered there was a tiny key that was lodged in the drawer. Emma couldn’t understand why she didn’t discover it when she so painstakingly cleaned and polished it. She took the key and set it aside wondering what the key fit and what it was doing inside the cash register. Another customer was inquiring about a Queen Anne sofa and Emma forgot about the key.
Harvey Wallace was sitting as his usual spot in the old general store cheating at checkers with his cronies. They knew he was cheating but also knew that if they called attention to it old Harvey would throw his considerable weight around and make trouble for his chums. The general store just wasn’t the same now that Amos has passed on and it had been taken over by Harvey. The townspeople of Greensboro often traveled the distance to nearby Kendall to purchase their groceries and supplies at Silas Warren’s store. Harvey did like to make a profit and didn’t notice that he was losing customers one by one. George Whitfield had just returned from Camden Corners and was telling the group how busy the antique store was that Emma Patterson and Lily Kramer bought and how well they were doing selling Amos’ things. Harvey’s ears perked up.
“Excuse me gentlemen I have a little matter of thievery to check into. I do believe the junk Miss Emma stole out of this building was mine and I have the documents to prove it.”
The small group was dumbfounded. This was low even for Harvey.
Emma and Lily were beginning to make a small profit in their antique business and finally had enough extra to bankroll them for their first scavenger hunt. They were anxious to start their journey before the heavy snows came. They took off leaving the shop in the capable hands of Jonas and the women. Susanna offered to pop in occasionally to check on things for them. The first time out they hit the jackpot. The hotel in Porterboro was going to be completely renovated and they were able to salvage almost a wagon full of treasures from there. They stopped at a farmhouse on the way to the next town and found many more items. With a few stops on their way back to Camden Corners they had filled their wagon to the brim and were giggling and laughing as they opened the door to their antique shop.
They were met with tearful eyes and worried faces and standing right smack in the middle of their store was Mr. Harvey Wilson with his smarmy lawyer, Caspar Dewitt standing next to him. Both were smirking as Caspar served the girls with a cease and desist letter demanding they lock the doors of the shop pending a lawsuit for ill gotten goods. Lily was fit to be tied and ready to flatten Mr. Caspar Dewitt but Emma’s cooler head prevailed. She knew they would not be able to fight this fight in the middle of their store and accepted the papers asking them to leave and locking the door behind them.
Will Harvey Wilson and his greed win out? Check tomorrow to see what happens next. This and all Camden Corners stories are available on smashwords.com; Kindle & Nook.