James divided the proceeds from the fire sale three ways. Grace had no need for her share, but accepted it anyway as of right while James invested his third in the stock market hoping to generate a flow of cash sufficient for the term of their natural lives. Helena and Michael purchased a piece of land one small step above Park Lane, and akin to moving from Old Kent Road to Whitechapel Road. It was also like decamping to the countryside since the parcel was a good twelve minutes out of town. A market gardener no longer able to compete with the conglomerated farmers association had subdivided the tree-less area and christened it Woodlands, retaining a manageable slice for himself to prolong his only known subsistence.
The agent who sold the plot to Helena and Michael assured them, with his hand placed firmly across his heart, that the cabbage patch adjoining the rear boundary of their property would be redeveloped before the paint dried on their new home. In any event, he claimed, the sewered, mustardy odour that rose forth would not be carried in the direction of their back windows due to the propensity of the wind to blow a more favourable course. Extending this logic, he assured them that the accompanying nettlesome bush flies would also be kept at bay due to some implied inability to travel against prevailing breezes.
Helena kept Dorothy apprised of the land purchase and construction plans, hoping to hear her confirm at some point that she would relocate with them as was Michael's fervent wish. She was frail with bones protruding in her collar that made each menial task an onerous one. Dorothy loved her son and her grandson, but Helena feared this would not be enough to incise roots that had coursed through the earth at Park Lane for nigh on fifty years. They had their own family to think of now, and it was time for a rebirth and liberation from Michael's stigmata that seemed inextricably linked to his childhood in Park Lane.