Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 42

Posted: 18 Feb 16

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2015
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

The five travelers found a quiet area where they could talk. When settled, Mr. Ken said, "Okay, Colt and Jerry, what's going on? Robert here says there is an older woman and it seems she is stalking or, at least, watching you. Have you talked to Cam or Michele about this, yet?" asked a serious Mr. Ken.

"'Dad', 'dad' let us explain everything, in detail, before you get upset, or mad at us," spoke up Robert. "The four of us talked about this last night, before we got back to the cabin. That was why Colt and Jerry wanted us to meet them after our Lunch with Captain Bill. We've tried and tried to figure it all out but … well, we all decided we needed to talk to you BEFORE we talked to Mr. and Mrs. Davies."

Getting the feeling this was going to take a while, Ken went over to the lovely lady he was enjoying a drink with and apologized for his 'son's' interruption. He explained the boy's friends may be in some sort of trouble and they came to him before they went to their parents. The woman said she understood and asked if they could meet up later that evening. They exchanged room numbers and Mr. Ken herded up the lads and they looked for a quiet corner so they could talk.

Going back to the lads, Mr. Ken said, "Okay … I want Colt to tell me everything, and I mean everything. If he leaves something out just hold up your hand to let me know. I want to take this one step at a time," explained Mr. Ken, as he established the ground rules for their talk.

Colt became the first, but was not the last, to tell his story to Mr. Ken. While each lad spoke, and explained their part of and in the story, Ken Thomas grabbed a few napkins and began taking notes. By the time all four boys had their say, Mr. Ken had twelve large napkins loaded with what looked like a consistent story, all being told by the four boys. Then it hit him and he thought to himself, '''I'll bet this is the woman Chief Cooper was talking to me about. But, for the life of me, I wonder why she'd be complaining about Cam Davies.'''

"Boys," suddenly spoke up Mr. Ken., "I think I know, well, I hope I know, what is going on here." That got the lads' attention so he continued. "Remember when, that man, the Chief of Security, Gerald Cooper stopped and talked to me the other night? Well, he told me about this older woman who made accusations that there was a man hugging these boys and she 'just knew' something wrong was going on there."

Robert and Eric knew what Mr. Ken was talking about but Colt and Jerry, at first, were confused. Then all four lads became animated when they finally considered what the man was saying, especially about their dad.

"What does our dad have to do with hugging us?" first asked Colt. "We both love it when he hugs us. It makes us feel special, since most of our friends no longer get hugs from their dads."

"Yea," broke in Jerry, "dad gives out hugs at our house, to anyone who wants them, and most of our friends take them when they can get them. When we are alone they told us they all feel so special that our dad treats them like they would like their own dad's to treat them. I guess that's why so many of our friends have sleep shorts at our place and we have so many sleepovers."

"Boys, do you know where your parents are right now?" asked Mr. Ken.

Colton told the man he and Robert had last seen his parents up on Deck 9, sunning themselves. Colt further mentioned that it had to have been, at least, two hours ago as it was just past 2 o'clock when they began looking for him. With that in mind, all five looked for the nearest elevator and took it to Deck 9. As soon as the elevator door opened, Colt led the way to where he last saw his parents.

"They were right in this area, weren't they Robert?" spoke up Colt, when he saw his parents were nowhere to be seen.

"Let's call our room to see if they are down there," suggested Jerry.

Ken Thomas found the nearest phone and dialed the Davies cabin. The phone rang about five times before the man hung up the receiver. "I guess they aren't down there, yet, or they could be out on the balcony," Mr. Ken thought out loud. "What say we all head down to their cabin?"

Again, the five looked for the nearest elevator and took it down to Deck 8, where the Davies cabin was located. They all hurried to the cabin and Colt took out his key card and opened the door. Cam and Michele were not in the cabin.

"Where could they be?" asked Jerry, to no one in particular.

"We could have them paged," suggested Robert.

"No, I don't want to alarm them … yet," offered Mr. Ken. "What say we all just wait here for them to return? They have to come back here to change before they go out to dinner, don't they?"

The boys turned on the TV and searched the channels for something interesting to watch. There were lots of Disney® cartoons, on most of the channels, but those didn't interest any of the boys. Looking for something to do, Jerry looked out the sliding glass doors and went to it and opened the door to the balcony and walked out on it. The other three lads followed right behind.

It was close to 5 PM when Cam and Michele arrived back at their cabin. They were totally surprised to find Mr. Ken there and the four lads sitting out on the balcony.

"What do we owe this surprise meeting to, Mr. Ken," asked Cam Davies.

Ken then filled the couple in on what he learned from the boys earlier in the afternoon. He then called the lads back into the cabin, so they could retell their story about Charlotte Schwimner. It took another twenty minutes for all four boys to tell their part of the story and to add anything the others missed.

Cam and Michele Davies sat there stunned, after hearing what the boys related to them. The question they now needed to ask was, what did that all mean. The three adults discussed their options. The first was to confront Charlotte Schwimner. The second was to wait until she made a move, on either the boys, or Cam. The third option was to call the ships Chief of Security, Gerald Copper, and get his full take on what they just heard. They all opted for door number three.

Ken picked up the phone's receiver and punched "0" for the operator. When she finally came to the line, Mr. Ken asked to be put in touch with Gerald Cooper. The operator was reluctant to bother the man and told Mr. Ken any other Security person could assist him. When Mr. Ken insisted to be put in touch with Captain Bill the woman got flustered and inadvertently did dial the Captains quarters.

"This is the Captain," answered Captain Bill.

"Captain, this is Ken Thomas. I sure hope I'm not disturbing you," offered Mr. Ken. "You see that situation Gerry Cooper talked to you about, and I eluded to this afternoon, has possibly come to a head. I initially called to talk to Gerry but the operator refused to contact him for me and I then insisted I speak to you," explained the man. "That is how this phone call got directed to you."

"Mr. Thomas, I am sorry the operator treated you the way she did but I am very happy that she indeed called me. I will make sure Gerry contacts you within the next five minutes. Let me hang up and get the attention of the Security Division," replied Captain Bill. "Where are you so that Gerry can meet up with you?"

Mr. Ken told him he was in the Davies cabin with Cam and Michele and the four boys. He then said his Goodbyes to the Captain and hung up the phone. "That was the Captain. He said he'd have Gerry Cooper contact us within five minutes."

Four minutes later the phone in the Davies cabin rang and Ken Thomas answered it with a "Hello Gerry?" … "Yes, we're all here and you need to come here and listen to what these boys have to say about one Charlotte Schwimner." … "Oh, that is the name of the person who made the complaints. That means the boy's story does check out that she has been following them. They said she was 'stalking' them. … Okay, we'll wait for you here. Bye."

Ten minutes later, Gerry Cooper and two other security men appeared at the Davies cabin. After being let into the room, Gerry introduced the two other men to Mr. Thomas and the Davies and then the boys. He explained they would like to take the boys statements while everything was still fresh in their minds. He asked them if it was okay to use the room or would everyone like to retire to the conference room. He did say that no one else could be in the room while the boys told their story.

Ken Thomas vehemently objected to either of his boys being subjected to any sort of questioning without him or a lawyer being present. Then Cam Davies seconded that statement. The group sort of found themselves in a stalemate. Gerald Cooper then turned and conferred with his two associates. A few moments later he offered, "How about we let everyone to get cleaned up, changed and off to dinner. Then, when everyone has had a chance to relax some, how about we all meet in the conference room. You all do remember where the conference room is," now teased Gerry Cooper. Gerry then did say the parents would be allowed to sit in when the boys give their statement, but only one boy at a time would be allowed in the room.

The adults agreed to what Gerry Copper offered and before the man left the cabin Mr. Ken asked him, "Now, where is that conference room, again, Gerry?" Gerry gave a hearty laugh and said he would be happy to escort them there after dinner. The three security men then left the room.

The seven friends decided it would be too late, after they all got cleaned up, to be seated for the dinner meal. They then all agreed to go to meet at the Beach Blanket Buffet at 7:30 PM for dinner, since evening meals there were served as a sit-down, too. This meant both groups now had almost 90 minutes to get cleaned up, dressed and up on Deck 9. The clock was now running.

Robert and Eric beat Mr. Ken to the Beach Blanket Buffet, but not by much. They cheated; they ran. They were not surprised, though, to find the Davies were 'missing in action'. Ten minutes later the four Davies did arrive with Cam apologizing for his wife who took the most time. She then countered saying 'we girls need more time to primp.' That got all seven laughing before being seated in the dining area.

The seven discussed the situation they supposedly found themselves in. They replayed the actions of the woman, Charlotte Schwimner, and what the boys remember about the woman. As they sat and ate, the boys thought back to when they were hugged by their dad, so, if that question came up, it would be something they could recall for Gerry Cooper.

None of the seven had big appetites that evening. The events of the past four to five hours were at the forefront of their collective minds. While they sat there, picking their food, Mr. Ken's cell phone rang.

"We can get cell coverage out here?" asked Jerry.

Ken quickly answered by saying, "If you can afford the almost five dollars a minute they charge for this distance you can!" Jerry quickly sat back, in his chair, knowing when he should 'put a sock in it'.

The remaining six table mates listened to the one-sided conversation Mr. Ken was having with someone on the other end. While Mr. Ken talked on his cell phone, Robert told everyone that his 'dad' made a call while they were getting ready and that it must be the return call. They all just waited until the man was finished with his phone call.

"That was a very informative phone call. I wonder if I will have to use any of that information before the evening is over," revealed Mr. Ken, after he had finished his call. The man then, nonchalantly, went back to eating his dinner.

It was a little past 9 PM when the seven friends headed off to meet up with Gerry Cooper. Chief Cooper told them where he'd meet them, so they all headed towards the bow of the ship. The adults took the Forward Elevator to Deck 8 while the four lads walked down the one flight of stairs. Chief of Security Gerald Cooper and his two assistants were waiting in the Elevator Lobby for the group of seven to arrive.

The boys hurried down the steps and arrived first and said 'Hello' to Mr. Cooper and his associates. While that was going on, an elevator opened and out walked Charlotte Schwimner. Then, as she began to address Gerald Cooper, the elevator with Ken, Cam and Michele arrived and they not only heard Charlotte loudly yelling at Gerry, they saw she also had a hand on each of Mr. Ken's boys.

"What is the meaning of your touching my boys?" demanded Mr. Ken.

"Your boys?" countered Charlotte. "These boys are Colton and Jerry Davies and belong to that man there. But why did you lie to me boy and say he was the CEO of Wilkinson Enterprises?" now demanded Mrs. Schwimner. "And, that must be it. I knew there was something fishy going on between that man and these boys. I often saw him hugging them, whenever they were together, and their dad was nowhere in sight. Security, arrest that man!" yelled Charlotte, as she pointed at Ken Thomas.

"Now wait just one damn minute," countered Mr. Ken. "Those ARE my boys!"

"Yea, so you say," snickered Charlotte Schwimner. "You told me to find 'definite proof' Mr. Cooper, and there you have it. He just said those boys are his and I know for a fact that Colton and Jerry belong to Cameron and Michele Davies. Are you going to do your duty and arrest that man, or not?" pressed Mrs. Schwimner.

The boys and Cam and Michele Davies just stood there watching and waiting for something to happen. The elevator lobby began to get crowded with other passengers arriving to see what the commotion was all about. No one had any idea where this confrontation was headed.

It was then Gerry Cooper was pulled aside by one of his security men. A few moments later Gerald Cooper, Chief of Security announced, "We will all move to the conference room and continue this conversation. If you are not a part of this debate then I ask you all to move along. The rest of you please follow me."

The Chief of Security, and his associates, led the eight people down the hallway towards the bridge. Once there, he entered his security code and the door opened. He directed the eight people to the conference room and then headed off to find the Captain.

Inside the conference room, Charlotte Schwimner began to castigate Mr. Ken. "You are pathetic! Did the rest of you know that? Hugging those sweet little boys behind Mr. Davies back. You should be ashamed of yourself! I hope they throw the book at you and you never see the outside of the prison they will surely send you to!"

Ken Thomas usually took things in stride and with Mrs. Schwimner's accusations, he knew to be outright falsehoods, he just bided his time. He let her rant and rave knowing he would soon have his say and she wouldn't know what hit her.

Chief Cooper and the Captain arrived just as they heard Charlotte say 'you never see the outside of the prison they will surely send you to'. This startled both men and they knew they had to take control of the situation and especially of Mrs. Schwimner.

When Charlotte Schwimner saw Captain Bill standing there, she went over to the man and invoked her 'full' standing as a multiple, Platinum Castaway Club member. She then began to berate Gerald Cooper, to the Captain, as the one who refused to take her charges seriously and how he now refused to arrest the man who was seen by her accosting the two boys she then pointed out. She continued to describe the hugs the man gave, the two lads, and the said the boys were the sons of Cameron and Michele Davies. She then implored him to have Mr. Ken arrested and summarily fire Gerald Cooper.

When Charlotte didn't hear the Captain say anything, she went into another rant and accused the Captain of collusion between the man, for whom she still not know his name, and Gerald Cooper and loudly proclaimed she would talk to her friend the CEO of Disney Management at the first chance she had. She kept on by saying she would make sure the Captain never captained another ship, of any kind, when she got through with him.

"Ma'am, are you finished?" calmly spoke Captain Bill. "I sure hope so as I will not have anyone make any accusations against anyone, particularly, when they do not have ALL the facts!"

"Well, I never," huffed Charlotte Schwimner.

"And it's probably about time, then, don't you think?" offered a serious Ken Thomas.

"Are you going to let that man talk to me in that manner?" challenged Mrs. Schwimner.

"Why, yes … yes, I am … because I agree with him. And that man, by the way, does have a name, don't you Mr. Thomas? Ms. Charlotte Schwimner, let me introduce you to Mr. Ken Thomas, the CEO and COO of Wilkinson Enterprises, or is it CW, Inc., now? Well, whatever, and these boys, you so wrongly associated with Mr. Davies, and his lovely wife, are actually the foster sons, Robert and Eric, of Mr. Ken, as he is so affectionately called by many and also by the Governor of Texas, no less."

"That man, he … he's too young and can no way be any CEO or COO of any such large corporation. I remembered after hearing the lad say his dad was the CEO of Wilkinson that I actually knew both Dennis Clarke and Frank Hale of Wilkinson. Knowing them, there is no way either of them would support nor would they hire a wet-behind-his-ears scoundrel, such as that man.

"I know, for a fact, that the last time I talked with them they both assured me they each were in line for big promotions. Whoever this creep is he has you all fooled. But not me!" the self-assured Charlotte Schwimner touted.

"Captain, can I have access to a computer and the internet? I want to show this so-called woman, with which I use the term lightly, some REAL Facts. Captain?" asked Mr. Ken.

With a look from the Captain, Gerry Cooper hurried out of the conference room and returned a few minutes later with the Captain's personal laptop. Ken Thomas asked everyone to take a seat while he accessed some information, '''Miss Priss, over there, thinks she knows'''. A few minutes later, Ken Thomas had access to the Austin Herald newspaper accounts of the sentencing phase of the trials of Dennis Clarke and Frank Hale. He asked the Captain to read part of the article.

Captain Bill began, "Dennis Clarke was found guilty of two counts of murder, two counts of murder for hire, two counts of attempted murder and fifteen other counts by a jury of his peers last week. Yesterday, at the sentencing phase of his trail, the same jury sent down the following sentences. On the charge of two counts of murder, Death by injection. On the two counts of murder for hire, Death by injection, and on the two counts of attempted murder, 45 years to life.

"On the remaining fifteen counts Dennis Clarke received anywhere from ten to fifty years in prison, for each offense. In Texas, the death penalty gets an automatic review by the Texas Court of Appeals and then the Texas Supreme Court. So, it may be many, many years before Dennis Clarke gets his comeuppance and gets his final injection," finished Captain Bill.

"Do you want me to have the Captain read part of Frank Hale's trial?" simply asked Mr. Ken.

When he didn't receive an answer from Charlotte, he continued, "Don't you want to hear how Frank Hale was convicted of misleading investigators in the killing of James and Charlotte Wilkinson? How he conspired to have their young child, Collin, killed? Or, how Frank Hale hired a rouge FBI agent to finish the job when the four original men failed? … I guess not … as you know these men, so well.

"I did a check on you, Ms. Schwimner," began Mr. Ken, "and I was able to find out more than you ever would want people to know. I'm told … you actually bullied your way into the Schwimner Family by claiming your husband-to-be did unwanted things to you before said marriage. Those accusations were never proved to be true, were they? That you then bullied your servants, over the years, that at least one of them committed suicide, and it is suspected in another.

"I found out that you purposefully look to find something you can draw people's attention to and then take all the credit when 'you rally the people' to the 'cause'. That you actually despise children and hate to see any of them enjoying themselves. You then try to disrupt the family by claiming to see 'forbidden' interaction between an adult and the child. Should I go on, Ms. Schwimner?"

When he didn't get an answer, Mr. Ken pressed the woman. "Ms. Schwimner, do you wish that I go on? … I asked you IF YOU WANTED ME TO GO ON!"

"NO! … No, I don't," yelled Charlotte towards Ken Thomas. "Just leave me ALONE!"

"Why? So, you can go on to ruin many more lives like you tried to ruin mine and these boys? No, Ms. Schwimner, I will not leave you alone. You deliberately chose to harass these boys and then, to top it off, you got their names all wrong. How did a resourceful woman, such as yourself, ever manage to do that? Huh? … I think it's because you don't have your minions about to help you dig out half-truths and find some questionable tidbit you can use to get the authorities thinking your way.

"Gerry, what did Ms. Schwimner say to you that made you come to me about someone 'hugging two boys'?" quarried Ken Thomas.

Gerry Cooper first looked at the man who asked the question and then at the woman who made the charge. He then gathered his thoughts and replied, "Ms. Schwimner … she told me that I WILL take action against a man who she said she saw constantly hugging these two lads. She complained that there was no way that the man was related to either of the boys nor was he their father.

"Then she insisted … that I take action to remove this unidentified man from being with those boys and that I WAS to do it NOW! She said she knew for a fact that the man was molesting the two boys onboard this ship and she wanted it stopped. She even signed a sworn statement to that fact. When I told her she could not go around and make accusations about someone without one iota of proof, she threatened that if I valued my job I'd take her observations as PROOF of what she saw. I was to make an arrest and remove that 'man' from influencing those boys.

"She also told me that, in no uncertain terms, when she had the opportunity she would contact her friend, the Vice President of Global Security for Disney, and that she would use her influence to have me fired, if I didn't take action right then and there. I told her I did not take kindly to her threats! That she was a paying passenger on this ship, like any other passenger, and, even though she may have been a Platinum Castaway member, it didn't give her any more privileges than any other paying guests and, especially, she didn't have any authority over me, or how I perform my job.

"I additionally told her, that until she had definite proof of what she claimed to have occurred, I didn't want to hear another complaint from her about this unidentified 'man', and the boys. It was then she said she knew the names of the boys and told me their names – Colt and Jerry. I asked her if she was positive and she said she heard their parents call to them out in the Jamaica terminal.

"When I told her that I actually knew the boys in question, I told her that the boys were with their mother and father and if their dad decided to hug them, I wouldn't be the one to put a stop to it. Now, tonight, out in the forward elevator lobby, on Deck 8 Ms. Schwimner caused a scene and demanded I arrest Mr. Thomas. She even claimed that Mr. Ken's boy's names are Colton and Jerry when, in fact, I know the boys names to be Robert and Eric. Ms. Schwimner has fabricated this entire scene and even got the names totally wrong. That was when I brought everyone in here," finished Security Chief Gerald Cooper.

"Don't forget she had a good hold of both Robert's and Eric's shoulders and had no reason, what so ever, to touch either boy," added Mr. Ken.

It was Jerry who spoke out of turn and loudly proclaimed, "She even followed us the past three days. And, last night … in the arcade … I think she fell on purpose, so she could meet us to make sure she knew our names. When we helped her off the floor, she called Robert, Colt right off the bat. We figured it out earlier, she was watching us, but we didn't know if it was Colt and I, or, Robert and Eric."

The Captain then asked Gerald Cooper's associates, who were actually investigators, to take one lad at a time, along with a parent, and get their statements. He then asked Chief Cooper to take individual statements from the adults. After giving those orders, he said he had a ship to run and left the conference room.

As soon as the Captain exited, Ms. Schwimner went ballistic. "I'll make damn sure, now, that man never captain's another ship of Disney, or any other cruise line. He'll be lucky to get a mates position on a tramp steamer, when I get through with him. And, as for you, whoever you are, who gave you permission to obtain personal information about me? I've never been so insulted in my life. You all will be hearing from my lawyers and when I get through you won't have a penny to your names!"

Eric saw the quiet and mostly low key Ken Thomas had had enough. The lad had been around his 'big bro' long enough to know that when the man got mad he knew what he was doing. The lad just sat back and watched.

"Miss 'high and mighty' Schnitzinnger, Schimmer, or whatever your name is, you sure are full of yourself, aren't you?" began Ken Thomas. "From just these awful few minutes, of being with you, I'd bet my bottom dollar you badgered and bullied you way into the hearts of many a person.

"You've threatened the ship's chief of security, you even challenged and threatened the ship's Captain. You throw all these names, of your so-called high placed friends, around like you'd throw bird seed to the wind. And, I'll bet, these high placed friends have no idea you use their names, to badger and bully, to get what you want in any Disney venue!"

"Now you listen to me…" started out Charlotte.

"No,, I will NOT!" broke in Mr. Ken. "I am sick and tired of your yelling and taking over the conversation. Now, let me tell you what I am going to do. I not only WILL call these people, you claim to know, I will, at first, ask them, point blank, if they know you; and second, I will ask them if they knew you use their name to badger and bully people including Disney personnel, namely a Disney ship's Captain, into acquiescing to do what you demand."

"Huh, that's a laugh. You can barely tie your own shoes and my friends, they will never allow you to get within their office complex let along to speak with them. I'm sorry, Mister, what's your name, but I will still have the last laugh!" now laughed Charlotte Schwimner.

It was then an investigator brought in Colton and asked that either Robert or Eric and Mr. Ken go with him. Mr. Ken held up a finger, indicating he needed a minute or two, and then let the stones fall where they may.

"The one thing you do not know, yet, is that I actually know those two people you mentioned," now smiled Ken Thomas. "You see … I am a 5% owner of Disney stock. And since you, who are from the North Hamptons and whose name is synonymous with the entertainment industry in the New York theater district, the music industry, and who owns a recording studio should actually know what that means. If you don't, and for the benefit of those present, I will tell you and them. What a five percent stake in a major company, such as Disney, means, is that I have DIRECT access to all the high placed people including the CEO and, if need be, the VP of Security.

"Believe it or not, I really am the CEO and COO of Wilkinson Enterprises, actually CWE, Inc., now. Mr. and Mrs. Davies can vouch for me, there. And, I actually have already met those distinguished people whose names you flaunt and throw around. But there is one thing you also do not know … I have their names and personal contact cell phone numbers and private email addresses in my iPhone. And lastly, everything that has been said, since we met out in the elevator lobby, has been recorded on it. Think about that for a while, Miss whoever you are, while Robert, my foster son, by-the-way, and I talk to the ship's investigator."

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