Prologue: Early June
Sarah stood looking at the mansion. It was over 150 years old and her father had just bought it for them to live in. Her mother had been buried a month ago and her father, not wanting to stay in Detroit, had been transferred to Springfield Missouri to run the corporations business and production complex there. The large insurance policy of three million dollars on her mother, an author of children’s books, had a double indemnity in case of accident. The drunk that ran the red light and broadsided her mother’s car, killing her instantly, qualified her death as an accident and her father had received a check for six million dollars a week ago. That check had resulted in the purchase of this 2.5 million dollar house. Her father had come to Springfield to assume his new position two weeks ago but Sarah had stayed in Detroit with her grandparents until school had ended last Friday. Now she was here, looking at the new house with her father. Her father, Mark Green, had a pair of blue jeans and a white T shirt and his right arm was across his daughter’s shoulders as he held her, checking out the new home. Sarah had white crop top and black ‘Daisy Duke’ shorts on her 5′8 125lb 36D-24-35 body. Her blonde hair was in a pony tail that ended just above her ass as her blue eyes took in the two story house.
“Did you really need to buy such a large house, Daddy?” she finally asked.
“Honey, you know of my interest in studying the Civil War, so this house was something I had to have. It was on the market and I had the money so now I have it. You have your own bathroom off your bedroom and the bedroom is twice the size of the one you had in Detroit. Don’t worry, you’ll love it honey, I promise. Let’s go check it out before the moving van gets here and starts cluttering it up with the furniture,” he replied and started walking her to the house.
“Well at least I’m a senior and I’ll graduate in a year. Then I’ll go to college and not have to live here anymore,” Sarah thought to herself. As they walked up the stairs to the veranda which extended across the front of the house and down both sides, 3 moving vans and a furniture store delivery truck all pulled up the driveway.
“Dad, what’s with all the trucks?”
“The furniture from Detroit went into storage when it arrived here, until I had a house to put it in. I guess it took 3 vans to haul what the semi brought down. The furniture store has new furniture for the bigger house, including a 60 inch flat screen for our family room and 2 42 inch TV’s for our bedrooms.” He replied. So instead of checking out the house, Sarah was busy with telling the men where everything went because her father had been called into the plant. That evening when he got back home and surveyed the house, he told Sarah what an excellent job she had done in arranging everything and that they would have to go shopping for window treatments and the other things to make the house a home. Her dad had brought take out Chinese home so the two sat at the kitchen table and ate supper before retiring for the night. Over the next several weeks Sarah took charge of arranging the house into a livable condition as Dad took charge of his new responsibilities running the production and sales complex of the corporation. Her father had bought her a red three year old Mustang convertible as a reward for her work on the house and she would spend her mornings cruising around and learning the town. She visited the Wild Animal Safari Refuge, Meramec Caverns and other area attractions. In the afternoon she worked on the house until she was satisfied with the main floor. The Family Room had the 60 in flat screen HD TV with Blue Ray Disc player and Satellite. A surround sound speaker system completed the entertainment center. A pit group set of sofas was the main furniture in the room although six easy chairs were arrayed on a wall to be put in use if needed because of company. Sarah had gotten heavy black drapes for the windows so that by closing them, even in the middle of the day, the room was as dark as a movie theatre. The living room had a sofa love seat and easy chair as its most prominent furniture, but two recliners were in front of the fireplace for use on cold winter nights. The drapes were dark brown to match the furniture and offset the desert sand brown walls. The formal dining room had a huge table with seating for twelve, a china hutch against the west wall between two windows with floor length maroon curtains to offset the cherry wood furniture. The kitchen was all chrome appliances and wooden venetian blinds on the window. A table with four chairs sat in the middle of the room for family meals. The last room, the study, had walls covered in bookcases as old as the house, except for an alcove on the west wall where an 8′ long, 3′ deep writing desk sat. On the desk was a desk top computer. On the south wall was a fire place with two easy chairs before it. There was a half bath tucked in between the study and Family Room.
Upstairs was three guest rooms, all done in off white so as to be gender neutral and a bathroom to be shared by them. Sarah set it up in green, green towels, wash clothes, shower curtain etc. She thought her dad’s bathroom was in blue but he had set his bedroom and bath up, so she wasn’t sure. Her room was her pride and joy. A pink comforter and throw pillows covered her bed and pink curtains were at the windows. Although the windows were inoperable, she loved them as they ran almost floor to ceiling. There was about two feet above the window to the ceiling with about six inches from bottom to floor. The reason for the large space above the window was because of a shelf that ran along all four walls and there, on three walls, sat Sarah’s collection of stuffed animals while the fourth wall shelf held her collection of porcelain dolls. The room was painted white to go with her favorite color of pink; she was a girl after all. Her bathroom was also done in white with pink shower curtain and towels. It had taken Sarah half her summer vacation to get everything the way she wanted it and dad had been right, she loved the house. Now that it was set up maybe she could check out the fifteen acres that came with the house. From her bedroom windows she could see foundation of several old buildings scattered about out back and wondered if there had been a barn, tool shed granary or what; maybe exploration would lead to the discovery of what they had been. She finally found that 2 bunkhouses, a cook shack, barn and blacksmith building was the makeup of the building foundations as this had been the headquarters of a 100,000 acre ranch in the 1870’s and 1880’s, she had found all of that at the Greene County Historical Society’s Museum and had also found actual photos of the ranch and the inside of her home from that period.