Growing Up In Public (part IV)

Chapter IV

In a secret meeting with the other Hired Hands of the Estate, it was decided that there was no true grounds from which the Farmer Boy could be rightly discharged. Though all agreed that the Farmer Boy was something of a nuisance himself (and that none of them liked the idea of a Farmer Boy growing anything on his own time), they would find different ways and means through which to make his time at Bilkington so distressing that he would quietly leave of his own accord…

Busybody sudden lurched forth into the assembly, screeching that the Farmer Boy should be summarily banished and brought up on charges: “Let him be punished for daring to grow his own flowers, that he would even think to challenge the way things are and should be!” she continued, her voice rising to a fever pitch as the other Hired Hands subtly shuffled away into the reprieve of their own domains.

The Hired Hand of Bilkington listened to Busybody`s rantings with a practiced patience – among the many skills of a man in his position was the ability to hear such irrational protestations with a countenance that seemed to show concern and interest… when, in reality, both were wholly absent.

Holding up his hand to quiet the prattling Busybody, he explained that the Farmer Boy was protected under certain provision of the County Law and if he were released under the current circumstances the gentlemen private landowners would rise up in defense of the Law – a dread that even old man Bilkington feared.

Busybody knew nothing of these matters, neither did she know or understand much of the gentlemen landowners but she seemed to sense that this foray was at an end.

Nodding grimly to the Hired Hand, she left… contemplating what new trouble she might bring against the Farmer Boy, or perhaps others like him.


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