Retired from piracy (of the financial kind), Thaddeus George I moved to Sunset Valley to found his dynasty. He bought the old Goth mansion, even in its burned-out state, because he likes a challenge and loves big old houses.
It took him all day to travel there, arriving late at night - but that didn't bother him. He called a maid straight away and for an extra fee, she started to clean the house immediately, at 11pm.
A young firewoman came to the house the next day to greet him, and to explain that there might have been some structural damage as the fire had been so intense.
"Don't worry," he told her. "I've had it properly surveyed. The house is so strongly built that only the flooring was damaged. The rest is just cleanup. But it was good of you to come out to see me. Can I make you a cup of tea?" Her name was Lilian Gore.
"Our theory is that the house was so dry because there had been no rain for weeks. You do know the fire was arson, don't you?"
"Yes, the estate agent told me. Sounds like a real nasty business."
"It was. The police are investigating but it could take a long time. The police are finished here: any clues must have been destroyed by the fire of course, it was so hot."
"What about the people who lived - well, died here?"
"There was a little family: Gunther, his wife Cornelia and their little boy Mortimer. The Goths had lived here for many years; it was the family mansion. The wife's sister was here at the time but was out all evening. By the time she came back and called us there was nothing we could do except wait for it to go out. She has taken their ashes to bury in her home town, as they have no more family in this district, and she sold the place because of the horrific experience she had of watching it all burn, knowing they were inside."
"How terrible. If it was arson, do they have any idea who it was?"
"I can't tell you, sir. The police say they have some leads toward organised crime, and that's all I know."
Thad was keen to start travelling, but he knew that, to begin with, the house would take quite a lot of work. One of the things he had always wanted was a cellar full of nectar. In spite of the Estate Agent's assurances that it had everything, this house didn't seem to have one. But that could come later.
Meanwhile, to work. The first stage of the renovation was to install his bath. It was a very special, modern, steam bath, a kind of spa. It fitted, with a few minor alterations to the walls, into the lower inner conservatory room, where Agnes had played chess for her sister's life. He found this a very pleasant room and spent a lot of time there.
The next job would be to look for work. There were courses on in the town too, those would be worth a visit. While he had enough money to get started on the house, he knew it would soon be used up. Large houses took a lot of maintenance even when they hadn't had a major fire.
He took an angling course (for no special reason except that it was on special offer) and a logic course. Might as well learn how to play chess, since he had a lovely chess-set that had somehow survived the fire in his new home.
He noticed the obituaries in the local paper. It was really too bad how those people had died, he thought. But he had no feeling of the house being haunted at all. It felt quiet and peaceful. It was in a lovely spot too, well out of town and with great views.
In between all this, he called Lilian and they had a few dates together; she even agreed to hot tub with him.
Of all things, he landed a job as a Tarot card reader! Things were looking up! He had never been very sensitive about ghosts, and decided the job was more about the acting out of the card reading than anything else, and, as a natural performer, he could easily do that. At the interview he learned that he was expected to act as a local Ghostbuster as well. That was cool. He liked the "gun" they gave him.
He was due to start his new job soon, and as it involved working mostly at night, he would need a pleasant place to be undisturbed during the day, so the next room to be renovated would have to be his bedroom. He took the large rear bedroom. A beautiful vibrating bed, columns and some custom beaded curtains which would keep out any mosquitos generated by the rather swampy garden.
He went to a chess exhibition at the bookstore and met Lilian. It turned out she also liked chess.
"Lilian, I have something I have been meaning to give you!" Thaddeus was not the most socially skilled Sim on the planet - but it worked!
She was delighted.
He felt her mind was not altogether on her game, and beat her easily.
He threw a small wedding party and he and Lilian were officially married in his house, in front of witnesses who looked as though they took it very seriously. Or maybe they were thinking about the Goths and their murder.
Lilian and Thaddeus made plans for a trip to France to celebrate.
To be continued.