Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 23

Posted: 8 Oct 15

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2015
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

Monday morning, Ken called Judy Turner, the local CPS Director, and asked her if she had time to come over to The Cove before Robert got home from school. He told her he wanted to review what she knew about the incident between Robert and Mildred Johnston and wanted to review, with her, the video he retrieved from some of the security cameras. Judy jumped at the opportunity to get more involved with the attack, since Robert had a history with Children's Protective Services and she needed to protect her 'turf'. She told the man to have the coffee brewing as she would be there directly.

After they got settled, Ken asked Judy how much she knew about the incident and if the detectives had given her any copies of their reports, since Robert was one of 'theirs'.

Judy explained all she knew was from what he told her the other night and yes, she did receive copies of the police reports and initial investigation. Intrigued by why Ken asked her over for she asked about the videos Ken had.

Hearing that, Ken knew to call Bill later so he could get a copy of what the detectives sent CPS. He then reiterated the information he told Judy, the other night, just in case he left something out. Then they watched the security camera video which showed Mildred holding the large spoon, high above her head and seemingly threatening Robert. Even though there is audio for the video, Mildred never actually verbally threatens the lad. The two discussed what they saw and then Mr. Ken told Judy he intended to search all of his remaining security cameras to see if he could find any other instances where Mrs. Johnston and Robert's paths had crossed.

Trying to make sense of the dispute, Judy told Ken she couldn't figure out what could have happened to cause Mrs. Johnston to ever do such a thing. She said she didn't know her personally but had heard she grew up being a nanny, to many of the well-off families from the area, and, despite her senior age, her expertise was in watching over children and running a large household such as his. Judy concluded by saying Mrs. Johnston was known to attend church religiously and did lots of volunteer work before she came out of retirement to work for him.

Mr. Ken said he knew all that and that was why he hired her, in the first place, because of her extensive experience with the families for whom she worked. But still, the camera didn't lie and he needed to search the remaining security cameras after only making time to review four of the almost 20 cameras located throughout the inside of the house. Judy then offered to help in any way she could and Ken quickly accepted her assistance. He told her he would explain what to do and how to do it and invited her to use the second of the two computers set up and ready for use.

Momma Maria knew Mr. Ken worked hard, when he stayed in his Study, and would sometimes lose track of the time. But today, she knew Mr. Ken asked Ms. Judy to work on something with him, which she knew had to be real important, so she knew she needed to ensure they had fresh coffee and some sweet cakes to eat along the way.

By lunchtime, Momma Maria hadn't seen either of the adults ever leave the Study. This cautioned Maria enough to know that this had to be awfully significant, so she made them soup and sandwiches and brought them into the Study for them to eat. They each grabbed a sandwich and cup of soup, thanked her for thinking of them and went right back to work.

Over the five hours Ken and Judy worked, they found over 15 different instances of confrontation between Robert and Mildred Johnston, the ex-household manager. Most of them were verbal altercations, but seven showed Mildred Johnston actually strike the lad or physically shove or push Robert that resulted in him falling down to the floor. Continuing to search, Judy came across a possible serious conflict where the two adversary's paths crossed and she called Ken over to view it.

Ken took over the controls and replayed the footage going further back than where Judy thought it began. Both sat still and stared at what the camera caught. There, caught on the garage camera, they saw Robert being shaking by Mrs. Johnston. Not too forcefully, by any means, but Robert was being 'woman' handled by Mildred, none-the-less.

They now had at least eight instances of physical contact of Mildred Johnston on Robert, and Ken Thomas immediately copied that security footage to the master DVD he'd created. At that point, out of frustration over what happened to Robert, Ken let out a sigh of disgust over the disturbing trend of the woman's 'search and destroy' of Robert.

The two instantly returned to the task at hand and doubled their resolve to get to the bottom of what happened between woman and boy. They had viewed fourteen of the remaining sixteen security DVDs leaving only two more to go. The task was easy going, but it was time consuming, even though they only had to review the weeks from when Robert came to live there and Mildred Johnston's arrest. Now, exhausted and tired, Ken mentioned to Miss Judy he figured there shouldn't be anything on those last two security feeds since they primarily focused on Chief's doggie doors.

After reviewing the last of the camera angles, and not finding any more evidence, Mr. Ken had to decide now, on what to do with the evidence they collected off the security cameras and backup DVDs. He told himself 'he failed Robert in the worst way'. Even though the lad never once said anything about the treatment he received from that evil woman, Ken felt that he let the youth down and he didn't deserve to be a foster parent any more.

But, thinking that also made him realize that if he turned his back on Robert, it could possibly destroy him because the boy was so in need of being accepted and loved and in a home he could call his own. Coming to understand what his boy had to endure frightened Ken, and that, coupled with what he learned about himself when he talked to Harry, made him begin to cry.

Mr. Ken's tears didn't go unnoticed. Thinking he was reacting to the scenes he had viewed, Judy went over to him and gently began to rub his shoulders and whispered softly to him to let it out and that things would soon be alright.

Eventually, Mr. Ken got his emotions under control and thanked Judy for her support and especially for all her help in viewing so many back-up security DVDs. He created a master DVD and three copies and was now holding them with a few tears still in his eyes. They were both exhausted, so they decided to take a break and they left the Study and went to the kitchen for something cold to drink.

Maria mentioned to Mr. Ken she made enough and if he wanted to have guests for dinner it wouldn't be any problem. Learning that, Ken asked Judy to stay for dinner and that he'd go get Eric off the bus when the boys returned from school. But, Judy declined saying she'd been away from her job all day and needed to go back and try to get something accomplished. She did agree to allow him to get Eric and feed him and then bring him home, but 'not too late'.

The week seemed to fly by to everyone's thinking. The five friends, Robert – Eric – Brad – Gordon – Charles, became even closer after that weekend's discussions and Mr. Ken's hugs. Eric and his soon-to-be 'boyfriend' had the opportunity to talk alone some more about their feelings and what they'd individually talked to Mr. Ken about. And, Mr. Ken talked to his lawyer about a hiring a new housekeeper and about the DVDs full of incidents he now had amassed between Robert and one Mildred Johnston.

Robert continued to do well in school, in spite of what happened between him and Mildred, and the lad felt really good about how things were going between himself and Eric. He had also overcome his daydreaming issues and participated more in class than he ever had done before. For everyone, Robert, Eric, Brad, Gordon and Chuck, and Mr. Ken included, nothing was going wrong and everything was going as right as they could be.

Unfortunately for Mr. Ken and Robert, they had no idea that the scorned Mrs. Mildred Johnston was planning her revenge. She felt she could win back her position because she had 'right' on her side and that little brat was just telling lies on top of lies and, when she was able to explain herself, she would be vindicated.

Mildred told herself, on the other hand, 'that twit, none other than Mr. Kenneth Richard Thomas, if he didn't listen to reason then she would sue him for millions of dollars and make so much trouble for that impudent, punk of a boy, that Mr. Thomas would want his ass out of his home faster than a speeding bullet'. On top of all that, she felt she had an ace up her sleeve in the form of support from her minister and fellow church members. She was just biding her time.

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