Chapter 3: Meet The Neighbors
The family was up early and heading to the FBO to meet up with Georgie and Quinn. Lou and Peter brought Katie and the Borden's and Jack arrived all at about the same time. The plane was checked out and ready and the pilot was making his final walk around when they arrived. Jack was talking with Peter, making some last minute plans concerning the Villa. "Now Peter, I want to try to resolve this issue without getting the police involved. I also want to see if I can mend the relationship between Fernando and the folks next door. So make sure you make it very clear to Fernando that we don't want a confrontation. Also, make sure that he has not changed anything in the way he fertilizes the vines. OK?"
Peter, "Jack, I got it. Everything should be good to go by the time you get there."
Jack, "Well then, You guys take care of yourselves and make sure that Shane and Kaleb watch Heartland while we are gone!"
Peter, "Jack, go. Enjoy yourself! You deserve it!"
Ty was eavesdropping on the conversation between Jack and Peter. He pulls Jack aside, "Jack, is everything going to be ok?"
Jack, "Ty, it should. I just don't want to escalate this any more than it has been. I am hoping you and I can settle this down and get some resolution to the problem. Something is happening to their vines, so I think I might try to help them figure it out.
Ty, "So what are you thinking?"
Jack, "When we get there, I am going to go over to their villa, unannounced, and see if I can reason with them about things. I am not going to throw up any walls, just want to see if I can help them to find out what is going on with their vines. Hopefully, they will take me up on the offer and we can find out what is going on and put this behind us."
Ty, "What if they don't want to talk?
Jack, "Then we stake out the vines and catch them in the act of burning our vines. Then, I will play hard ball with the evidence and force them to let us help them find out what is happening."
Ty, "Peter said they are a rough bunch of folks, so we need to plan for the worst and hope for the best."
Jack, "You betcha!"
The family boards the plane and the captain gives some final instructions. "Guys, this is going to be a fairly long flight. We are going to fuel up about half way, then again in England before we head to France. Toulon is in the bottom part of France, so the flight from London to Toulon will be about 4 hours. All in all, we should be in the air for about 14 hours, so settle back and relax. Also, this is a bigger plane, and is equipped with an extra engine just in case we have any problem while we are over water. Also, the bathroom and kitchen are much larger than our plane so you guys should be comfortable. We didn't ask Nancy along, because we thought we could serve ourselves. I want to introduce Jack German. He will be co-piloting with us and has many hours on this plane."
Jack tips his hat and says, "It should be a fairly smooth ride all the way to France."
Steve Simon, the Pilot, looks at Lyndi and says, "So, the last time we met you were just a country girl that worked with troubled horses. Now I understand you are a country and western song writer. And, I believe you, Mrs. Borden and Jack, are part of the trio."
Lyndi, "Can you believe that! Our songs were in the top 5 on the country charts. Matter of fact, that is why we are taking this trip. Sort of a celebration!"
Steve, "Well, Lyndi, I heard those songs and they are some of my favorite!"
Lyndi, "Well thank you!"
Steve, "Well let's settle in and get along the way, shall we?"
Everyone shouted," Viva la France!"
The flight was mostly uneventful except for a few rough spots over the ocean. The kids slept most of the way while Jack, Lyndi and Katie played card games. Quinn and Georgie were snuggled up together in the back with Ty and Amber. Quinn, pulling Georgie in close and kissing here on the cheek, "Look at those two. What a great example of love from those guys. It seems like every year their love gets stronger and stronger."
Georgie, "Yeah, I think it is because they put God first in everything they do. They have been through so much together and they still hold strong to the Truth."
Quinn, "We have that, don't we? I mean putting our spiritual priorities first.
Georgie, "We do, but we have been blessed with favor in our life well beyond what I have ever imagined, and for you and me that is awesome. But when we start having our own family, I think that is when we will really need to put our faith first."
Quinn, "Oh, so you are thinking about starting a family? What about the Olympics, your career?"
Georgie, "You know lately I have. Maybe after the Olympics. And as for my career, I want to be like Amy and Ty. You and me, together, training equestrians. Raising our family."
Quinn, "Well, that my love, sounds like a plan!"
Amy cuddled up to Ty. Looks over at Quinn and Georgie, "What are you two talking about? I see you looking over here."
Quinn, "We were just saying how we want to have the same thing you and Ty have. Faith, family, kids, career. You guys are such an inspiration to us!"
Amy, "Well, just make sure you pray about everything and thank God for it all, good or bad. As our faith grew, so did our love for each other grow. And, that extended to our family as well." After a pause with a big grin, "Kids?"
Georgie, laughing, "Not now, we have the Olympics to win. But maybe after, for sure after!" Georgie looks at Quinn and gives him a long kiss.
Amy, "You better be careful, too many kisses like that and you won't make the Olympics!"
As the plane is approaching Toulon the pilot comes over the intercom. "Guys if you look out to the west we are coming up to your villa. I picked a landing path that will bring us just to the side of your property. Matter of fact if you look now we are just coming up to it.
As everyone took a window, you could see the beautiful rolling countryside along with the ripened vines with rows perfectly arranged. Jack, looking down noticed the charred area on the south corner. "Ty, look there. You can see where the vines have caught fire. That is a pretty large chunk of vines that have been burnt."
Ty., "Wow! You're right! I sure hope your plan works and we can get back to normal."
Jack, taking back his seat, "I sure hope so, too."
The plane Lands and the family disembarks from the plane to an awaiting Fernando and one of the hands. They have two SUVs pulled up ready to bring everyone to the Villa.
Fernando, "Welcome to Toulon! I hope you had a good flight. We have everything setup and ready to receive you guys. We have one of the guest houses setup for the pilots as you requested.""
Jack, "Everything went just fine. We did fly over the Villa and saw where the burnt vines are. They took out a pretty good swatch of vines, huh?"
Fernando, "Yes they did. I hope we can put an end to this as soon as possible."
Jack, "Well, we have a plan. Let's just hope it works."
The family and pilots take the 20 minute trek back to the Villa. As they were pulling into the gates, the twins blurted out, "How awesome is this Tyson. Our family owns this!"
Tyson, "Really, GG we own this?"
Amy, "That is right. This was your GG Lisa's place here in France and when she went to Heaven, she gave it to us to take care of. Remember, when I told you guys on our trip to Marion's lookout, how we have a tradition and legacy in our family that you will need to carry on. Well, this is part of that legacy! What do you think about that!"
TJ, "Mom. I didn't realize that we had this over here. I just thought Heartland was the legacy."
Jack, "Well, Heartland began the legacy, but as our family grew, so did the legacy. Not only is the Villa part of it, but Hill Hearst and Fairfield are now part of it as well!"
Tyson, "That is awesome. So one day we will be running all this."
Jack, "Yes sir, one day you will if you choose to carry on the legacy.
The family settles in the day and decides to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon to catch up. Amy took Katie, Lyndi, and the twins and went exploring around the Villa. Quinn and Georgie decided to sit out by the pool and just relax. Jack and Ty sat on the porch with Fernando.
Jack, "So Fernando, my plan is to go over to the Burns and speak to them about helping find out why their vines are failing. I think if Ty and I went over there first and tried to break the tension, then our next meeting would be with you and we could put our heads together and figure this out."
Fernando replies with a stern voice, "Jack, they are burning our vines, you see the damage they have caused. Why would I want to help those thugs with anything."
Jack, "This is precisely why I want to meet with them first. I think a different approach than confrontational is warranted."
Fernando, "If you say so. But I want to warn you. They are not nice people!"
Jack, "Ty let's go over there now and see if they are willing to talk."
Ty, "Sounds like a plan. Let's do it."
Ty and Jack jump in the truck and head over to the burns. As they are pulling up to the house, Jack says to Ty, "Whatever you do, don't be confrontational ."
They get out of the truck and are met at the door by the oldest son Jonah. "What is your business here!" He barked.
Jack, "We are your neighbors from Canada who own the Villa next door. We have come here to offer our assistance to find out what is causing your vines to die."
Jonah, "We know what is causing our vines to die. You are using fertilizers that are getting into our water systems."
Jack, "This property has been in our family for some time, and our partner manager who you know says he hasn't changed anything over the years. So it has to be something else.
By this time all the boys came outside with their father Felipe. Each son, including the father, were very large people.
Felipe, "Your Fernando is a liar. We know he has poisoned our water with his new growing techniques!"
Jack, "Well, I understand there is some tension here and I have come here to resolve that tension."
Jonah, "Well you can just turn around and go back where you came from. We will handle this our way."
Jack, now getting upset, "By burning down our vines. If you don't want to talk this out, then we will have no choice but to get the authorities involved."
Felipe, "You need proof if you do that and you have none."
Ty leans into Jack and says quietly, "I think it is time for plan 2."
Jack, "This isn't over!"
Felipe, "You are so right! This isn't over."
Jack and Ty walk back to the truck and leave their ranch. Ty, speaking in a deep mocking voice, "Don't be confrontational?"
Jack, "Shut up!"
Ty, "So what is the plan?"
Jack, "Now we stake out the fields. We are going to catch those bastards! They won't get away with this. So much for diplomacy!"
Ty, "Jack, You need to calm down. Remember your heart!"
Meanwhile, Amy and the kids were exploring the Villa and ended up in the barn where they had 6 stalls with horses in them. Amy, "Look, here are our riding horses. I can wait to take these guys out and explore the property." She strokes the head of a beautiful painting, "How you doing boy, would you take me for a ride around the property?
Tyson, "Look mom, there is a horse that looks like Pegasus. I want to ride him."
Amy, "It sure does."
The kids have staked out their horses and decided to trail ride in the morning .
Georgie and Quinn were laying out by the pool and decided to get in. The weather was perfect for a swim. Georgie wraps her legs around Quinn's waist and pulls him close. "Did I tell you how handsome you are?
Quinn, "No, why don't you tell me."
Georgie begins to kiss Quinn on the neck and with a soft voice says, "You are the most handsome, sexy.." she continues to kiss him, "smartest man I know!"
Quinn responds, "Is someone getting frisky here?"
Georgie, "Is that what you want to call this. I would call it..."
About that time Jack and Ty come around by the pool. "Quinn, we are going to need you tonight. It is time we find out who is burning our vines." Jack stampers off leaving Ty.
Quinn to Ty, "I guess his initial plan failed?"
Ty, "Miserably! Did we interrupt something?" As he was heading to the house.
Georgie, laughing, "Yes you did! Bye!"
Fernando was in the house working with the staff getting supper ready when Jack burst into the room. "Those guys, those neighbors are the most stubborn people I have ever met. They don't want to talk this out. They are convinced you have changed something and it is affecting their vines. "
Ty was right behind Jack and walked into the kitchen. "Looks like we are doing a stake out tonight."
Fernando, "I told you! There is no talking with them. So let's catch them vandalizing our vines and then we can force them to bring this to a resolution!"
Amy is coming into the kitchen from the barn as they are discussing the events of the day. "Well, I guess it didn't turn out the way you planned, huh Grandpa?"
Jack, "Those folks next door are going to get what is coming to them!"
Amy, "So much for diplomacy!"
Jack, "There will be forced diplomacy! Once we have the evidence that they are burning down our vines, we will force them to let us help them, or we go to the cops!"
Ty looks at Amy, "We tried to be diplomatic, we really did!"
Amy, "Well then, I am going with you tonight!"
Ty, "No, Amy. Leave this up to the men! You don't need to be out there in case things go wrong!"
Amy, "Ty Borden, you know that I am not going to let you go out there by yourself. So I am going!"
Jack, "Well, if you are going to go, then Ty, you and Amy can cover the south end of the property. Fernando and I will cover the north on the 4 wheelers and Quinn can cover the east."
About that time Georgie and Quinn walk in, "If Amy is going, then so am I!"