At the back of his farm Asher had a large shed clad in corrugated iron. He’d stored hay in there, all year round.
Asher had a reputation for being a good farmer. At least his cattle and his farm machinery implied that he was doing very well as a farmer, thank you very much. His farm tractors were not the cheapest available, and his breeding bulls were top of the range.
Of course no one knew, but the front of his stacked hay bales was merely a façade. Behind the wall of bales was an empty space. Well, to be honest, not exactly “empty”. It was where he stored the stolen goods: electrical and computer equipment, kitchenware that included large chest freezers, vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers, a wheel barrow or two along with spades, hoes, and forks, and a good number of fuel run hedge clippers and weed eaters. Microwaves occupied their own corner. And parked down one end of the shed was the truck he used to collect the items when the home owners were away.
He worked a range of several hundred miles which included many holiday resorts where the owners of houses were away for most months of the year. Even some shops in some of the villages opened only in summer time when customers abounded.
That is why he could afford the most expensive farm machines and the highest quality livestock. He hardly did a scrap of work himself. Most farming was left to Joshua, the farm manager. Joshua drove the truck for him and helped with any heavy lifting.
When Asher died suddenly – some say it was murder – Joshua took over the farm entirely. These days he’s helped by Aaron who used to be the local policeman. He knows the area like the back of his hand.