Tina's not the only one that wants him too cheer up.
"I was thinkin more like the ice cream parlor," William replied. Bit early for bourbon, don't you think? He turned to Jim. "C'mon 'cousin', we'll show you another technical advancement."
Before they could leave, a man in a large black SUV parked behind them. He got out of the vehicle and walked over to the Randals.
"Hello Mr. Randal," he said to William. "I don't know if you remember me; I'm Sid Collier representing Center Corp. I'd like to talk to you again about buying your ranch."
"I remember," William said in an unfriendly voice. "Told you before, that even if I wanted to sell I couldn't. Eagle's Nest doesn't belong to me."
"We...err...I thought you would contact the owner and let him know about our offer."
"Nope, didn't see any need to talk to him about it. He feels the same way I do," William responded.
"Research shows that a Lewis Randal, your grandson, actually owns the ranch. We've tried to contact him but we can't seem to find him. Would you be so kind as to tell us where we can reach him?"
William's face started to get red with anger. Before he could blow up at Collier, Lewis stepped in.
"I'm Lewis Randal, Collier. What do you want?"
"You are a hard man to find Mr. Randal. We've been trying to find you for several months."
"Didn't know I had to check in with Center Corp. I'm askin again, what do you want?"
"I'm authorized to offer you 3.5 million dollars for your ranch." Collier looked expectantly at Lewis. He took some folder papers out of his inside suit pocket and started to step closer to Lewis.
"No need to get closer Mr. Collier," Lewis said with a grim smile. Collier didn't know it but it was the same look Lewis had when he was fighting off his attackers in Iraq.
William looked at his grandson's face and thought, you better back off Collier. I've seen that same look from his father and you won't like what comes afterward.
Collier saw the anger in Lewis' face and stopped. "But Mr. Randal, Lewis I just wanted to...."
"I know what you want and I'll repeat what my grandfather said, Eagle's Nest is not for sale," Lewis interrupted Collier. "What did my Grandpa tell you when you made your first offer?"
Collier paled and stuttered for a few seconds. "He told me or rather Center Corp to stick the offer where the.... Well, he was very adamant with his refusal."
"I guess that about sums up our answer. One last time this ranch is not for sale; not for three million or ten million or thirty million. We don't need your money." Lewis paused as he stared Collier. "Now if you'll excuse us, we have an appointment at the ice cream parlor."
The three Randal men left Collier sputtering and walked a block to get some ice cream. Jim laughed at the way Lewis had handled Collier.
Walking back to the truck, Jim was licking as fast as he could at his three scoop ice cream cone. He stopped for a few seconds and said, "Now this is one improvement that I really like."
It was ten days before Tom Casey called and Jim answered the phone. "This is Eagle's Nest, Jim Randal speaking. Who's this?" He spoke in a loud, almost shouting, voice. Jim had never got use to the idea that people could hear him just fine. "Hold on Tom, I'll get William," he yelled.
William picked up the phone and Tom told him the check would be ready that day. "I had it made out to Lewis, just like you asked."
Lewis had suggested that the check be made out to him, as the owner of Eagle's Nest. "We can do things with the ranch as a business and get a break on the taxes." After a few seconds he added, "No need to get Jim noticed on the grid."
"Grid?" Jim asked.
Lewis nodded and took several minutes to explain the term. "I don't think you want a bunch of people out here poking at you and asking a lot of questions."
"No, I surely don't. Might make me run back to that cave," he said with a small grin.
William told Tom they'd come to town late the next afternoon and for him to decide where he wanted to eat.