...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
"I would advise against that one," hesitated Constance. "The estate is twenty acres of sagebrush and gopher holes, and it's out in the middle of nowhere; the grounds are overrun, and the main house has had a series of vagrants living in it. I'm afraid it's a bit of a dinosaur."

"Could we see it?" wondered Charlie.

"It's located north of Drywell," argued Constance, with an annoyed sigh. "I'm sure we can find more suitable homes elsewhere."

"I would like to see it, if it's possible," pressed Charlie.

"If you insist," replied the driver, turning the car northward.

After more than half an hour of driving, Charlie saw the landscape outside her window grow more barren and bleak, as they traveled deeper into the heart of the Mojave Desert. Constance turned up the air conditioner, which had already been going, and commented on the hot June weather, that was so typical of the time of year.

"This is Amboy," announced Constance turning right at a fork in the road.

Amboy was mainly comprised of one store, a railway depot, and a collection of abandoned shacks. As they drove on, Charlie could see vast expanses of dry, parched ground, baking under the summer sun. Vera took out her handkerchief and wiped her face from sweat. Between Amboy and Drywell, was one ghost town after another, with very few remnants of the past to even mark their existence.

Charlie soon discovered that Amboy was a booming metropolis compared to Drywell. It was the most forlorn semi-ghost town she had ever seen. A desolate looking restaurant greeted them as Constance turned off the paved road, and onto a meandering dirt path just wide enough for the car to travel on.

"Villa Rosa is North of here," said Constance, glancing at Charlie's face to see her reaction.

To her surprise, Charlie seemed interested, and even a little eager. In the distance, they could see a one story building that sprawled out to the right and to the left of what looked to be the main entrance.

"It's larger than I expected," muttered the young woman, as they drove up to the building.

"There's no lock on the front door, so we can go inside, if you want," offered Constance, eager to dispel any romantic notions that her young client was entertaining.

"Let me go in and check it out, first," said Kevin getting out of the car, and stepping out into the searing heat. "There might be someone here, who shouldn't be."

Since the air conditioner was off, Constance rolled down her window to catch a little of the warm breeze as Kevin disappeared inside.

"If I remember correctly," said Constance, pulling out something from her briefcase, "this house was built in 1913 by Titus Heartsdale, a millionaire who moved west because of his wife's health. After her death, Titus boarded off all but two or three rooms, and lived there, until his death in 1963. His daughter inherited the estate, but never tried to sell it, until recently, out of financial considerations."

After a few minutes, Kevin reappeared and gave the all clear. The women got out, and Charlie looked about her surroundings. Villa Rosa was an unspectacular building comprised of twelve rooms, placing it closer to the mansion category of dwellings. The roof was flat and unshingled; remnants of red tiles strewed the ground, where the strong prevailing winds had knocked them. Tumbleweeds had gathered around the base of the walls, while tall yellow weeds grew up almost as high as the windows. The front door was arched, with carved stone decorations that were somewhat worn away, but still visible. From her vantage, Charlie was intrigued, and wanted to go inside. Seeing this, Constance led them inside, where even she had never been before.

"Villa Rosa derived its name from the rose colored sandstone that was used exclusively in its construction," said Constance, referring to her notes. "The style is Spanish Colonial Revival, typical of the architecture found here in Southern California. It says here, that there once used to be a garden of succulents on either side of the front door," she noted, looking about for the now nonexistent garden. "Well, so much for that. Let's go inside."

The mansion echoed loudly, as Constance pushed open the heavy weather beaten door. The windows were boarded over, so Charlie had to wait for her eyes to adjust to the darkness.

"This is the entryway," informed Constance, stepping over a pile of debris. "As you can see, weeds have come up through the cracks in the sandstone floor. To our left, are the remnants of the dining room. The kitchen is through an adjoining door. To our right, is the parlor, or in modern terms, the living room. It is here where the late Titus Heartsdale resided."
continued on next page...
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!