Okay, need help. Lately, I've been thinking about the man who had been raising Amos (protag of my Colonial mysteries) since the boy was three: Mister Charles Wilkins, owner of the Colonial Eagle Tavern. I know who he is. He's a man racked with disappointment and regret; he's bitter and angry at the world, etc. The issue is...how can I get Amos to get out of the tavern and do detective-y stuff without Wilkins (who, deep down, actually cares about the boy) getting involved? Plus, the story demands Amos to eventually end up living with a plantation-owning family who admires his skills and takes him in. I have thought of removing Mister Wilkins from Amos' story, and giving him his own story (ie, he's a diner owner in 1940s Georgia, or something), but that still leaves me with the problem of the tavern owner. I want to avoid the bland, abusive tavern owner who is just there to treat Amos like crap, yet I want to give Amos a desire to defy this guy, and want to live with this new family instead. If this tavern owner doesn't care about Amos, then I wouldn't have to worry about the guy berating Amos for almost getting himself killed over something that should be none of his concern. For some reason, the story somehow flows a bit better if the tavern owner is not a nice person to Amos. It makes Amos want to escape, and lets me come up with a way to have him escape. Thoughts???