Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 67

Posted: 11 Aug 16

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2016
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

Monday was set aside for Mr. Ken to conduct the last interviews of The Cove's Household Manager candidates and then to select one after he discussed his choice with, Bill Jackson, his lawyer. The first interview was set for 10 AM and would continue every 90 minutes until every nominee was talked to. Mr. Ken told his 'son' to join him when he met the applicants, at the Front Foyer Door, so Robert could be introduced and he could get his own feeling, for the person. The first interviewee was punctual and rang the doorbell precisely at 10.

"Welcome to Three Finger Cove, I am Ken Thomas, its owner, and this is my 'son' Robert and beside him is Chief, another main resident of The Cove," was how he greeted all the applicants that day. The candidate did have the opportunity to talk to Robert, some, and greet Chief and, all the while, Mr. Ken observed how they interacted with the other residents, of The Cove.

The first person interviewed was a woman, about forty-five years of age. She was a business major in college and had begun her own small business which fell on hard times, and wasn't able to recover. She said she had taught, for a while, but didn't find it satisfying enough and wanted a bigger challenge.

The second candidate was also a woman. She was about thirty years of age and was smartly dressed and presented herself very well. She asked Robert a few questions, about his likes and dislikes, and then bent down to pet Chief, and scratch behind her ears. Robert smelled a 'rat', there, since she'd never been to The Cove, so how did she know to scratch behind Chief's ears. He'd have to talk to his 'dad' about that.

The third applicant was a man, about forty years old. He, too, was a Business Major and had worked at a number of different manufacturing positions. He told Mr. Ken he moved around so much because he couldn't find a good match for his background and wanted something he could feel comfortable in. Ken talked more with the man about his background than the Manager's job and made a mental note the man might be a good fit in one of Collin's plants.

The last interviewee was also a man, about thirty-five years old, and was a veteran and recent returnee from spending two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The man had a college degree in communications and a minor in computers but explained he never really had the chance to develop his skills before joining the US Army as a Second Lieutenant. They talked about where he lived, and his family and his reason for wanting the position. He was honest and said he needed a position where he would be able to take care of his family but be free enough that he could continue to visit the VA hospital for his continued recovery. The man then showed his artificial leg.

After the last applicant left The Cove, Mr. Ken called Robert into his Study and asked him what he thought about all four people. Robert had a small sheet of paper where he wrote down his thoughts and how he rated the four people. But before he showed his 'dad' his sheet he wanted to ask about the second woman and how did she know how to treat Chief. Even Chief barked her own question.

'Dad' Ken said he noticed that, too, and in their interview she said all the dogs she know almost always liked the area behind their ears scratched. Mr. Ken had nothing else he could tell his 'son' and the lad had to accept her explanation at face value. 'Dad' Ken then used that as an example of how the employers had to shift through, what the person said, and what they could ascertain, from the interview.

The two residents of The Cove talked about all four candidates and when they were finished, Robert asked his dad to write, on a piece of paper how he rated all four people. Then they compared their lists. Robert had rated them 1st through 4th as 4, 3, 1, and 2 last. 'Dad' Ken then showed his grouping as 4, 3, 1, and then 2. They both smiled they had exactly the same person as their first choice and the others rated equally. Robert hugged his 'dad' and thanked him for allowing him to meet the people and present his 'first impression', of them. Mr. Ken then said he needed to call Bill and talk it over with him.

Ken and Bill talked, at length, about the selected applicant and the only negative Bill saw with the veteran was the potential for PTSD, or Post-traumatic stress disorder. Bill said the man had lost a leg, to the war, and was still seeing the doctors at the VA, but he didn't know which Department, and the man hadn't volunteer it. Ken revealed he hadn't even thought about PTSD as the man was sharp, had his act together and that even Robert voted for the man. Bill had to laugh at that when he learned how Robert and Chief were introduced and got their 'first impressions'. In the end, Bill said he would contact the man tomorrow and offer him the position and for him to come in and discuss his compensation.

At dinner that night, Mr. Ken told Collin and Robert that Bill would offer the Household Manager position to the veteran and if they can come to agree on a reasonable compensation package they should have a new member of the household, by the end of the week. Mr. Ken then told Collin about the man who had a Business Major and had worked at a number of different manufacturing positions. Mr. Ken said the man told him he moved around because he couldn't find a good match for his background and wanted something he could feel comfortable in. Ken told Collin he would consider the man for a temporary position and see how he works out. He continued and said the man could be a 'diamond in the rough' for CWE, Inc...

Bright and early Tuesday morning, the carnival operator knocked on The Cove's front door. Mr. Ken was already up so he didn't have to run and get dressed because someone was at the front door. The carnival operator asked for permission to begin setting up the rides for the Picnic. Mr. Ken knew the man, from the past two years, and told the guy to go ahead, and begin setting up. He told the operator he'd be out later that morning, to talk to him, and check out how he was doing.

At breakfast, Mr. Ken told the boys to be careful outside, that day, as the carnival operator would be bringing lots of heavy trucks, and rides, onto the grounds, and they didn't need a bunch of kids running around, and getting in the way. Then 'dad' Ken specifically addressed Robert and stressed upon him to keep his friends, only, at the ramps and to tell them if they are caught on the grounds they will be asked to leave. Robert said he knew, exactly, what he was saying and he would make sure his friends stayed put.

Around noon. Mr. Ken walked outside, to the open field, next to the house, and sought the owner/ operator, of the carnival. When he found him, the two talked over the positioning of some of the rides and a few adjustments were able to be made because the ride hadn't been offloaded, yet. They also discussed next year's Picnic and what the cost might be. The owner smiled knowing the negotiations had already begun. Internally, he liked this young man as he'd proven himself to be fair and a good negotiator and didn't play games.

Later that afternoon, Mr. Ken heard from Bill Jackson who informed him the new Cove's Household Manager, Mr. Christopher 'Chris' Dominions, and he had come to an agreeable compensation package. Mr. Ken was happy to hear that and wondered aloud when the man would begin the job. Bill said he would like to bring the man, and his family, over, tomorrow, so he could meet with everyone and that way the wife, and kids, would have an idea of where their dad was working, and for whom. Ken was agreeable with that and asked if 11 AM was, too, early.

At dinner that night, Ken told Collin and Robert that Mr. Christopher 'Chris' Dominions was hired and he and his family would stop by tomorrow, at around 11 AM to officially meet with me, Robert and Chief. 'Dad' Ken asked Robert to be dressed in nice clothes, like clean shorts and a polo shirt, or school clothes whichever he preferred. Mr. Ken told Collin he could do whatever and if he was around when they come by him he would be introduced as his 'first' foster son. Collin didn't have a problem with that.

When they were finished eating the three diner's decided to walk around outside and see how the grounds were looking. The rides were all set up but hadn't been tested yet and the owner said he'd do that first thing, in the morning, and if the boys were available they could help test them. Robert looked at his 'dad' with open and hoping eyes.

As they continued to walk around they saw some of the church groups had already placed their canopies and tents where they were supposed to go. Mr. Ken was happy to see that they listened to his directions and would not be penalized next year. The three continued to walk around and check out the rides and look out over the lake where the fireworks barge would soon be. Robert told his 'dad' he was getting real excited over what he was seeing and he hoped things worked out like Eric explained it to him. Ken and Collin had to laugh at the youngster's exuberance.

Later that evening, as the teens watched a movie in the Theater, Ken worked in his Study. He decided he had to double check, over everything, which needed to be done, for the 4th's Picnic, just in case he accidently missed something, because of all the projects he'd been juggling as of late. As he reviewed the folder, he took a phone call from Ms. Judy.

The two first talked about the hiring of Chris Dominions and how Robert got to meet the candidates prior to Mr. Ken's final interview, with them. Judy then said how interested she was about the final Picnic plans, how the carnival ride setup was progressing, the barge for the fireworks, and finally she agreed that Eric would be spending the night before and other sundry topics.

Ken soon realized that Ms. Judy was talking about topics that she wouldn't normally be interested in. Ken Thomas began to think that something wasn't right and that it possibly may have something to do with Robert. That was truly something he didn't want to hear that he was going to lose the boy after they'd made so many great strides together. He began to worry and thought he better ask what that was all about, but before he could ask her, Ms. Judy hit him with something he later told her he would never have seen coming.

When the adults hung up, that evening, Mr. Ken wasn't sure what he should tell his 'son'. He didn't want to worry the lad, but, at the same time, he didn't fully know anything about what Ms. Judy wasn't too sure about, herself. The man also didn't want to hold it back from his 'son' because it would potentially affect him, directly. Ken Thomas decided to sleep on it, and went to bed a very concerned man.

The next morning, the boys could tell Mr. Ken had something very big on his mind. The man participated in their morning breakfast conversation but they could tell he wasn't really concentrating on what they were talking about. When the lads left the Kitchen Nook, Mr. Ken reminded them not to get in the carney's way and went back to thinking about what Ms. Judy told him last night.

But Collin and Robert did search out the carnival owner to ask him if he was serious about them helping test the rides, that morning. The man said he was and personally took them, to the rides. He made sure the ride operator had first done the required inspections and had put the ride through its paces, a few times, before allowing the boys to enter and test it out. Their first ride was the Banzai. It took them for a giant 55' upside-down loop with nothing below their feet. They were securely strapped in their floor-less seat with over-the-shoulder restraints. Their next ride was the Cliff Hanger. It was billed as the closest thing to being "Superman" and lifted them 30ft into the air and let them feel as if they were soaring through the sky. They then walked over to the Ocean Trip which was a family-rated flat ride, shaped as a boat that went in a full 360 degree circle with its riders sitting in what looked like a big boat.

They visited the Gravitron next. They stood against the wall and as the ride began to rotate, they become plastered to the wall. After getting off that spanning ride they wanted something to settle their stomachs, so the carnival owner took them over to Ghoul City. They found it to be a spectacular two-story dark ride stocked with plenty of ghouls and creepy spirits. From there they went to the Trapeze that features 32 free swinging swing seats that swung outward while the tower tilted at 15 degrees. They next tried Crystal Lils which was another two story attraction featured a glass and mirror maze on the first level and fun trick mirrors on the top level. They then moved onto the Scooters and crashed their cars into one another and finished up on the infamous Tilt-A-Whirl.

They thanked the man for letting them preview the most intense rides and then decided to walk around and take a look at the kiddie rides. They saw the standard Ferris Wheel, the Rockin' Tugs - a spinning tug boat ride that slides back and forth, then some friendly Dinosaurs, followed by the Frog Hopper which was a mini-drop tower, the Motorcycle Jump featuring a collection of cool motorcycles that pop wheelies and go over jumps, the Tea Cups, and, finally, a ride called Bees for the very small kids.

Collin and Robert went back inside to ask Mr. Ken if they could take the WaveRunner's out and if he would join them. Mr. Ken told the teens he would love to but he was waiting on a call, from Ms. Judy, and he couldn't miss it. The boys proceeded, to the dressing room, and changed into their wet-suits. Half an hour later, the eighteen year old, and thirteen year old, began their fun in the sun, on the lake. The thing they forgot to do, before they went out on the PWCs, was to check the gas level, in the machines. They did get to ride for almost two hours before Collin's Yamaha quit. They didn't have any idea why it stopped but they needed to get back to The Cove. Robert got behind Collin's machine and began a slow push. They rounded the bend and could see The Cove and it was then Robert's machine quit, too.

The teens found themselves stranded but within sight of their final destination. Then, Eric showed up and walked out, on one of the 'finger' islands, hoping to see his friends riding the WaveRunners. The stranded teens yelled to Eric and, after a number of tries, Eric noticed them out on the water. At first, he couldn't figure out why they were staying where they were but finally he figured they had run out of gas. He took out his new cell phone, an identical one to Robert's that Mr. Ken had given to him for his thirteenth birthday, and called Mr. Ken, to tell him what was happening. It was while the lad was talking, to the man, when Todd came along and the new teen told the man he'd get Todd to help.

Eric told Todd that it appeared the Runners had run out of gas. Todd laughed because that was why he was there, to top off the gas tanks. Todd and Eric quickly got their wet-suits on and grabbed a piece of rope and jumped on the Jet Ski. The two headed out to Collin and Robert so they could tow the Yamaha's back to the beach.

"Boy are we glad to see you two," called out Robert. "It looks like we ran out of gas."

"That's why I came over," said Todd. "I figured you guys would use them, but since I didn't stop by, yesterday, I guessed they would be low on fuel. I guess I was right," now laughed the new Beach Master.

Eric threw the rope to Robert, first, and they towed him and his WaveRunner back to the beach. Almost fifteen minutes later, they towed Collin back, too. By that time, Mr. Ken stopped down by the beach to ask the boys what happened. Robert began to explain, but Collin stopped him and took all the blame. He said he should have checked the fuel level before they took off. He then apologized to his Big Bro. Todd was afraid he'd get into trouble but Mr. Ken told the lad he didn't know they'd use the half empty machines before checking the gas levels. The four teens then fueled the three PWCs and went out for some more fun.

It was now late in the afternoon, and while the lads were having fun, out on the lake, Mr. Ken finally got the long awaited phone call, from Ms. Judy. What had been eluded to, the previous night, would now come true. Ken asked her when he could expect she would be over, so he could prepare Robert. Judy told him she had to finalize a few pieces of paperwork but she should be there about 6:30, or so. After they hung up, Mr. Ken didn't know what he was going to say to Robert, the lad he'd been calling 'son' for a little more than six months, now.

The teens returned about 4 PM, and immediately refueled the PWCs. They all learned their lesson, that day, and they vowed they'd never forget to check the fuel again. The teens headed to the dressing room to change but Robert asked if they wanted to swim first. Eric got a smile on his face and after he took off his wet-suit he jumped into the pool, sans a bathing suit. Robert followed his Best Friend and that left Collin and Todd to decide to join them, or not. They opted to join them and they too jumped, naked, into the pool.

It was almost dinner time and Mr. Ken wondered where the lads were. He saw the water-craft were secured on the beach so he wondered where they could be. He walked out to the carnival midway and searched out there and not finding them there he figured they would be swimming. When he opened the pool deck door, he got an eye-full of bare assed, naked, teenagers running around chasing one another. Todd saw the owner of The Cove, first, and quickly dove into the pool. When he surfaced, he saw the other three talking, to the man, and laughing.

Mr. Ken came over, on the pool deck, opposite to where Todd was standing, in the pool, and said to the teenager, "So, I see they've corrupted you, too!" Then he laughed. "Todd …don't be too concerned about skinny-dipping. It seems I've created a monster here … the lads can't seem to want to swim with their suits on, anymore. I don't mind if they swim naked … but I don't want them to tease or force anyone, to do it. Not all boys want to show their 'equipment' to everyone else. Some are probably afraid their dangly parts might cause them to be a bit embarrassed if it decides to stand tall, if you know what I mean?" Todd just smiled at what the man just revealed to him.

"Guys, it is time to get ready for dinner, and you know how upset Momma Maria is when we are late. Todd, you're welcome to join us, there will be plenty as Ryan is due to arrive any time," explained Mr. Ken. Then, just as he finished, they thought they heard the doorbell ring. It appeared Ryan had arrived.

Momma Maria was thrilled she had so many 'men' eating her meal that evening. She'd prepared sizzling' beef and chicken Fajitas cooked in red and green bell peppers and thinly sliced red onion, She served them with refried beans, Mexican rice and Guacamole and then presented her 'men' with fluffy homemade flour tortillas, and her special salsa. The guy's mouths were watering before they even got their first taste.

As the guys were eating, the doorbell rang and Mr. Ken got up and said he'd get it. He told them that he was expecting a 'special' package that evening, as he walked out of the Kitchen Nook. When he answered the door, Ms. Judy was there. He invited her, and the person accompanying her, in and took them to his Study. The three talked for some time and when the decision was made, Mr. Ken sought out his 'son' and found him in the theater, with the other guys, watching a movie.

"Robert …" called out Mr. Ken. "Could I see you for a few minutes?"

The two walked out into the Great Room and sat down, together, on one of the sofas. The man didn't know how he was going to tell the lad about the 'special' package and what Ms. Judy was doing in his Study. He figured it would be best to just tell the boy, out right, and get it over with.

"Robert … when that doorbell rang … earlier, it was … Ms. Judy. She and I talked about you … earlier this week, and she asked me … well, it concerns you, but I didn't want to say anything until … until I knew for sure what … was going to happen," poorly explained Ken Thomas, what he wanted to tell his 'son'.

Robert became afraid that what the man was going to tell him was he was being moved to, yet, another foster home. Thinking that, he started to cry. 'Dad' Ken, saw the tears begin to fall, and went to the boy and pulled him close to him and hugged him tight. They sat that way for a few minutes, hugging one another, when Mr. Ken asked Robert to follow him, up to his Study, where Ms. Judy waited for them both.

Robert was frantic that he was going, to be moved, the day before the huge 4th of July Picnic. He had missed the Holiday Parties and now he figured he was going to miss out on all the rides set up out on the grounds and Eric. That was it; it came to him. Ms. Judy found out about him and Eric and she was moving him so they couldn't love one another, anymore. That final thought brought Robert to cry out loud.

'Dad' Ken grabbed the boy and hugged him close. He didn't know what caused the new teen to cry out but he had to calm him down before he went into his Study.

"Robert … it won't be all that bad," began 'dad' Ken. "Ms. Judy brought someone with her tonight whose presence will affect you and me, both."

"But, I don't want to go, 'dad'" cried Robert. "I just got here and … and everything is going so good for me now, and I have friends, and people who love me, and I don't want to be sent away!" the boy cried even harder.

Ken Thomas just held the distraught lad. He got him calmed down enough to direct him towards his Study.

As the two walked towards the man's Study, 'dad' Ken said, "Robert … Ms. Judy and I aren't sending you away."

Robert looked up into the man's eyes to see if he was joking as Mr. Ken continued to direct his 'son' towards the Study.

"What I've been holding back on telling you was something Ms. Judy didn't know could or even would happen. It wasn't until earlier today that the decision was made," calmly said Mr. Ken, as he led the new teenager into his Study.

"Robert … I want you to meet your new … brother," said his 'dad', while he pointed to the boy siting in the far chair.

Hearing what his 'dad' just said, Robert looked up and over to the person sitting in the chair.

"Charlie!" yelled an excited Robert, who then ran to the lad and they both hugged one another.

A Note from the Author

There you have it. The final chapter of Robert's story. The story wasn't as long as Collin's but Collin's story introduced a lot more about Three Finger Cove and the people primarily associated with it.

I truly did appreciate all the emails I received from you as the story unfolded, but I know a number of you wanted to write but never found the time. You can email me anytime at:

Now that Robert's story has concluded, I would greatly appreciate all of your comments as to how you saw the story develop and what about the story you enjoyed or didn't. I would also value any 'problems' you saw within the story that may identify where I messed up time lines and/or facts.

Writing TFC – Robert was a lot of fun coming up with the scenarios and new friends and the lad's interaction with Mr. Ken. His story was originally supposed to be first but you all probably know by now that I switched over to writing Collin's story first. To be honest, I'm glad I did write Collin's story first as it has set the stage for more Three Finger Cove stories.

Now that I made mention to possibly more Three Finger Cove stories, I wonder if you can guess what the title of the next Three Finger Cove could be.

Thank you again for reading my stories and I ask you to continue to watch Castle Roland for any new TFC stories which may or may not be in the works.


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