A lone redcap's day job (questions on HoH:TL + C&G)

Redcaps are supposed to spend two seasons/year in service to the Order -- delivering messages and performing similar tasks. This is apparently compatible with a mercantile occupation without any extra loss of time; City and Guild states that the Redcap virtue may substitute for any of the various mercantile social status virtues (Merchant, Merchant Venturer, Factor and Capo) with Redcaps changing roles "at the whim of their House". However, it's not clear at all how this interacts with the Wealth & Labor points rules from City and Guild.

Can a Redcap who has set aside enough labor points to become a Wealthy merchant enjoy all the benefits of the Virtue except he must still work two seasons/year to avoid House censure? I'd say yes.

And what about Lone Redcaps from HoH:TL? According to HoH:TL, these are more independent Redcaps who do not report frequently to the Mercer houses; they do not receive magical items or longevity rituals and have a poor reputation, but being a Lone Redcap is only a Minor Virtue -- and Lone Redcaps who take the Wealthy Virtue are required to spend only a single season in service to the Order.

Can the Lone Redcap Virtue substitute for mercantile social status virtues? I'd say no.

Can one take a mercantile social status virtue (e.g. Merchant Venturer) in addition to Lone Redcap, with the seasons spent as a merchant counting for Redcap service (basically, as the character travels to deliver messages, he can trade)? I'd say yes, since the same can be done by ordinary Redcaps.

If a Lone Redcap merchant earns enough wealth to become Wealthy, can he cut down his work seasons from two to one without suffering censure, as if he had taken the Wealthy virtue at character creation? I'd say no; "Wealthy" for Lone Redcaps means something different than it does for merchants -- more than a measure of affluence it's a measure of how much "free rein" they have within the Order (whether because of past service, personal connections etc.). But I'm conflicted about this.

Keep I'm mind that the mercantile social status virtues suggest elements of social class. You won't, IMO, find issues of class in the House itself. So the roles adopted for a particular venture are flexible.
I also think Wealthy shouldn't necessarily be applied to Redcaps, unless and until they retire from service or risk being classed as a Lone Redcap, losing easy access to their magic items.

"Sorry Antonio, your service records indicate you are no longer eligible for a longevity ritual. You must provide 5 seasons of service in addition to your compulsory 10 over the next 5 years to qualify. Yes, you have enough Vis to pay for one, that isn't at issue."

In short, I see the House freezing assets of Lone Redcaps and the Lone Redcap is eking out his own living. He might deliver a letter for a magus, but he is looking to find the best score independent of the House. He doesn't work so much for the House as himself and he does just enough to skate by. Whether is is independently wealthy or otherwise.