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Where There's A Will, There's A Way

THE CONTINUATION: "Where There's a Will, There's a Way"
Jason — 19 Sep 1998, 7:33 PM

TIMELINE: A continuation of "Miss Kathryn's Blast From the Past".

Young Tom rushed in to house as fast as he could, clutching a piece of paper tightly in his fist that he'd brought in from outside as he entered the Delta Q ranch's kitchen, where his mother, Ranch hand Chakotay and Kes sat.

"Ma, this letter was outside the door." Tom said, breathlessly. He handed it with urgency to his mother and Kathryn read over it with great intensity.

"It's from the 'Lady' Templeton. She wants to meet with me." Miss Kate said firmly.

Her daughter, Kes, who'd just arrived from town to speak with her mother sensed her mother's concern. "Are you going to go?" she asked.

Miss Kate thought, before responding: "She's not going to leave these parts until we put this to rest. I reckon I'll have to go in to town to talk to her."

Kes shook her head, "Mother, I came in to warn you that I heard in town that Templeton was trying to enlist some mercenaries."

"Was she successful?" Chakotay inquired.

"I don't know. That's all I've heard. I came to tell you."

Chakotay looked to Miss Kate and said "You can bet that if the Krenim Gang caught wind of what Templeton is up to, they've already signed up. If Mrs. Templeton is paying them enough, there's no telling how far she could go."

Tom shook his head. "We've got more allies we can count on in town than Templeton. If she thinks that she can barge on to our homefront and push us around, she's got another think coming."

Kes shook her head. "I'm not so sure about that. I saw Templeton in town and she had a murderous mood about her. I heard that Undertaker Suder was trying to ask her out on a date. She's dangerous."

At Kes' warning, Miss Kate stood from the table and silently walked to the kitchen window, looking out at her land, her stables... all that she had managed to built for herself at the Delta Q ranch after leaving the Burleigh Estate. Despite all the adversity Miss Kate had met in her life she'd always triumphed and overcome it, with her family and ranch to show for her hard work. Kes was right-- Templeton *was* dangerous, and it shook Miss Kate deeply.

Her family looked at her with concern.

"Ma," Tom said, breaking the deep silence. "How exactly do you know Lady Templeton?"

Miss Kate turned and faced her family. "I know Templeton alright, but when I met her, she was no Lady."

"Impressive." Said Chakotay. "Not even Doc Holliday can perform that type of surgery."

Miss Kate shook her head. "No. She was a woman alright, but had no claim to thinking herself anymore than a servant. Certainly she wasn't a woman of independent means."

Tom was still confused. "So what happened?"

Miss Kate sat down, sipping at the tea she'd started before Tom came in and continued her story. "You know already that I worked at the Burleigh Estate. So did she. The Burleighs were a wonderful family. The Lord Burleigh was a recently widowed father of two children. A very lonely, but kind-hearted man. Mrs. Templeton was his housekeeper, and I was the governess to Lord Burleigh's two children, Beatrice and another boy whose name I frankly don't remember."

"That's nice, ma." Tom retorted.

"Mrs. Templeton was adamantly opposed to my addition to the household. She was opposed to the way I raised the children. She wasn't ready for my liberal style of child rearing. Matters only got worse when the Lord expressed feelings for me."

"Where There's a Will, There's a Way", continued
Jason — 19 Sep 1998, 7:38 PM

"You were involved in a relationship with him and you still called him 'Lord'?" Chakotay asked.

"Naturally. And I'd expect that if there were anyone under my employ with whom I would be having a relationship with to call me ma'am, as well." replied Miss Kate.

Chakotay quickly behaved himself, and did not question Kathryn for the rest of her story.

"If it's going to get more explicit, may I be excused?" inquired Tom, trying hard to sound good natured about it. "Hearing about my mother's sex life-- it's not my idea of a casual family chat around the dinner table."

"You'd probably rather hear about it somewhere else." said Kes.

Brushing off that awkward moment, Miss Kate continued on with her tale: "In any case, as I came closer to the Burleigh family, the Lord told me that he was going to change the provisions in his will to include me. If anything happened to him, I would split the money in the Burleigh Estate with his two children. In the event that the children met an untimeley fate along with their father, I'd be rewarded nearly 90% of all of the Burleigh's assets."

"Sounds like Lady Templeton wasn't as much a valued employee." Chakotay noted at her evident exclusion.

"She'd get the other 10%. In fact, until he planned to change his will, it was Mrs. Templeton that would be awarded the bulk Burleigh Estate in the event of his death. The Lord valued her work and loyalty-- but wanted to share his wealth with those close to him-- in a more personal sense."

Kes was listening intently to her mother's story: "I can see the conflict between you. But why did you leave the Burleigh's Manor?"

"Well, the next day after the Lord promised to include me in his will, both he and his children disappeared-- never to be heard from again. The only ones that were left in the house were Mrs. Templeton and I. We never knew what happened to the Burleighs."

Miss Kate reconsidered her wording-- "At least, *I* never knew what happened to the Burleighs. After they disappeared, Mrs. Templeton inherited nearly all of the Burleigh Estate. The existing will specified that 10% be awarded to other employees, and I used that money to start a new life. Shortly thereafter, I met your father and came to Voyager City to start over, never to return to the Alpha Q and never to find out what happened to the Burleighs. But you can see why Mrs. Templeton's arrival here means trouble."

Chakotay was utterly intrigued. "So, you think that Templeton did away with the Burleighs to get their money?"

"Templeton has the entire assets of the Burleigh Estate behind her. Who knows how far she is willing to go to support her vendetta?" Kathryn said. She re-read the letter again, but she knew what she was going to do. "Saddle up, boys..." she said authoritavely, "Momma's goin' to town."