|It had been an awful process, digging into both of their lives and finances to try to prove themselves worthy of investment and support. They went through so many periods of feeling it must be fine, to despairing that they would ever get the loans and registration of interest organised. Jem was used to funding everything himself, or using property as security, but as one banker bluntly said, property in England only had so much value over here, it was just too hard to enforce a claim if they defaulted and left the country. Jack had found the questions especially hard, as the investors seemed determined to show that he could never cope with the demands of a large family at the same time as a new venture. He was tired of explaining that the dates of birth of his first three children were correct, and yes their first names were all Mary. He objected to being asked all this detail anyway, for he considered his children to be separate from his work life. But the processes seemed to be necessary for them to be able to check who he was, and build a profile of him. Jem had at least been in Canada for enough time that he was considered less of a risk, and his age and reputation helped. Jem felt awkward when he thought about how much of Jack's work had gone into the papers he had built his own reputation on, but the younger man having been out of academic and medical circles during the war and was acting against him now.|
Something else that neither of them had considered was the fact that from the perspective of the Canadian bankers, Austria was a Nazi state, and it seemed that over and over they had to explain what was, to them, basic geography and politics, and to justify their having lived in Austria at all before the war.
Finally they submitted everything, did every interview, and there was nothing more they could do. The wait for the results was full of mixed feelings, for they were both starting to realise just how complicated it would be, running two Sans so far apart from each other. Madge and Joey were struggling with it all too, having enjoyed so much time together, and being worried about first Joey's twins arriving and then Mollie's illness. Jack was on edge all of the time, having seen hope in this possible solution to his money worries, but becoming more and more afraid that the personal cost would be too high, that his family would end up returning to the UK and he would be stuck in Canada. Jem was himself realising just how much work Kevin and Kester were starting to be, and unsure how Madge would feel about relocating permanently if Jack couldn't convince Joey to stay or cope alone.
At last it was time for the decision. And it was... Not a definite no - but a lukewarm response, at best. The bankers were trying to rebuild and encourage their own people after the war, and enthusiasm for helping a couple of English Doctors wasn't high. Jack and Jem were aware this might happen, and knew that they could push it, resubmit the proposal, but it just seemed that too many things were working against them in this plan. Reluctantly they decided to shelve the idea for the time being and return to the UK.
"It's probably for the best" Jem said sadly, as they looked at their proposals for one last time before filing them. "It would have been hard to keep properly in touch with each other's progress over such a distance."
Jack agreed. He was struggling to deal with the mixed disappointment and relief. Just for a moment he had seen himself as head of his own Sanatorium, building his own reputation. He cast around for something to look forward to now, but it was hard to get excited about returning to a job he could do in his sleep. It was a pity that Austria looked so unlikely to be possible, for if they couldn't do Canada, the Alps really would ideal for their type of Sanatorium.
Jem agreed. He would ideally have liked to go back to the Sonnalpe, but couldn't see how they could return for many years, the way that things were politically.
"Of course." He mused, as he tied the papers up to take with them just in case. They had done too much work to feel that they could just burn the papers. "There's other parts of the Alps we could consider. Switzerland maybe. It would be so expensive though."
Jack laughed. "More expensive than the amount of trans atlantic flights we would have ended up with with our wives and offspring needing to visit each other?" He said, with a grin. Jem smiled, and acknowledged the point. But a little flame of hope had started up again, in those few words.
For now they had enough to deal with, returning from their time away, and catching up on all of the news, but the tiniest germ of an idea at least had a chance to grow. Jack rolled the idea around in his head whenever he had a spare moment, day dreaming about his own little house, and a San in the mountains, a healthy environment for his family.
It wasn't that likely to happen really, setting up a new San in Switzerland when they had just failed to get the funding in Canada.
It wasn't a real, likely plan. It wasn't something that he could really do, really manage to fund even with more backing in the UK. It was a daydream, wasn't a real future.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Now this was going to be the end, but the bunnies are debating whether it might be added to at some stage, so I'll just say it's the end for now :-)