Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 20

Published: 17 Sept 15

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2015
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

Robert felt the happiest he had ever been in his entire life and that included all the time he had ever spent with his family. He spoke with Eric that Sunday night and calmed him. Then Monday, at school, he got him to totally relax after he fully explained what transpired after he and his mom went home that night. Both boys became closer 'best' friends that week as well. They never spoke about what they did together, the weekend before, but the unsaid nods and smiles between them spoke volumes.

On the other hand, Ken Thomas watched for any signs from Robert that might indicate that what happened last weekend between him and Eric was not yet over. He suspected the lads had some sort of sexual encounter together but was reluctant to confront Robert over it. Both youngsters were just that, young! He remembered when he was that age, between eleven and maybe a young fourteen, that, he too did some experimenting with sex with like-minded boys. He couldn't fault Robert for what he too had done and what he considered the vast majority of men had done, as well, when they, too, were those ages.

So, 'NO!' he told himself, he wouldn't do that to the pre-teen lad. He sensed, no, knew, he was beginning to feel something for the boy. There was this inner feeling of a love of kinship and maybe something more for Robert, and he, in his own words, had expressed that even more to him, when he expressed the desire to call him 'Dad'. This wasn't new to Mr. Ken as he had felt the same with Collin but it sure was different as the boy was still quite young as compared to the fifteen year old Collin when he arrived.

As time moved along, the 'after school' encounters between Robert and Mildred Johnston continued, unbeknownst to Mr. Ken. Robert knew Ms. Johnston didn't like him from early on and the feeling was mutual. From their first meeting, her showing him to his room; the next day's slap across his face and argument and then continuing through the past five or six, or so, weeks of verbal encounters and, sometimes, light slaps only solidified Robert's total disdain for the very old woman.

But lately, Mildred Johnston also added, to her treatment of Robert, some physical pushing and shoving resulting, occasionally, in forcing him onto the floor where she then proceeded to kick him. All these actions cemented his belief of how much she actually 'hated' of him. He often thought he should tell his 'dad' all the things she did to him, but he knew how much Mr. Ken appreciated her work. He felt it was worth aggravation and he didn't want to cause any problems between the old woman and his 'dad'.

From the start, Mildred always felt the responsibility for Robert should be hers, and hers alone, and she told that 'stupid' man the same. She kept telling herself that she … 'was the MOST qualified to take over the boy's handling and training and that she was the one with the most experience and the know-how in dealing with kids who should be 'seen and not heard'. She abhorred the amount of freedom the lad had and despised the fact that she could not control the child's actions in the house and who he allowed to visit the Cove.

She 'just knew' the lad would lead to trouble one day and needed to be taught his place around adults. Over the past weeks, she slowly began taking control of the boy by intercepting him after school and indoctrinating him to 'her' way of thinking, she thought to herself. Since that 'stupid man' never said anything about her 'taking charge' she perceived she was within her 'rights' to handle or mishandle the 'boy' whichever way she deemed necessary.

Then one Wednesday, Ms. Johnston decided to finally have it out with Robert. The lad just returned from school and, as he walked through the kitchen door, Mildred met him and immediately lambasted him about his lack of respect for her and her position. She immediately proceeded to tell Robert that from now-on she would be the one who he would be responsible and that he would go to her for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING he wanted, PERIOD!

As Ms. Johnston berated the lad, she wielded a long-handle stainless steel spoon, in a threatening position, high above her head. She backed the boy up all throughout the kitchen as she disclosed to him that she was NOW his 'foster parent'.

"No, NO you aren't! You ARE NOT my foster anything," screamed Robert. "I don't believe you as my 'dad' didn't say anything about that to me today, or even last night. I know he would have told me if that were true."

"You're 'dad' … that's a laugh. He can barely tie his own shoes without me helping him and YES … I am now taking over his responsibility for you. You HEAR me … BOOOY! There's not going to be any more of this coming and going whenever you want and having those filthy boyfriends of yours coming over here anymore. From now on, YOU'LL do as I say and obey me. You GOT that … BOOOY!" yelled Mildred, as she continued to back him up all through the kitchen.

While this was going on, Robert wondered where Momma Maria was and then he remembered she had a dentist appointment, that afternoon, and Mr. Ken told her not to come back afterwards. That, he figured, had to be why Mildred waited for him at the kitchen door when he returned from school. There was no one there to see what she was about to do. He silently wished he now knew where his 'dad' and Chief were.

Ken Thomas and Chief were in the Study where they could be found most week days. But the location of the Study, from the Kitchen, was such that you could not hear what was going on there, unless an unruly noise or racket was made. As for Chief, well she'd spent a good part of her day out chasing birds and rabbits and was in the Study sound asleep while keeping her first true owner company.

Robert had told himself, when he first arrived at the Cove, he would defend himself against anyone who would try to do anything to him; no matter who they were. And now that Mildred had attacked him, as she held that huge metal spoon above her head, he decided he was not going to allow her to hit him anymore, as she did over the past few weeks. He told himself he would defend himself and would no longer allow her to hit or beat him, especially with that big, long-handled metal spoon she now held threateningly above her head.

"NO! I don't have to listen to you, you're … you're just the housekeeper or whatever it's called and don't you even try to hit me with that spoon or … or you'll be sorry!" yelled Robert, as loud as he could, hoping Chief or Mr. Ken would hear him and come running.

"So … I'll be sorry will I," Mildred snapped back with a sinister laugh. "We'll see about that …!" And with that, Ms. Johnston rushed forward, swinging the spoon at Robert, and began to hit him about his shoulders and occasionally on his head.

"Stop … stop HITTING me," loudly yelled Robert, as he tried to fend off the hard metal spoon.

It was then the lad tripped or some-how fell down against some pots and pans. With the lad now down on the floor and not able to run away, Mildred Johnston began to hit him over and over again with the heavy metal spoon.

The loud noise that Robert made, as he slipped and fell, caused Chief to wake up and take notice to something that was totally out of the ordinary. Her hackles raised, she jumped up barking and rushed out of the Study with a purpose. Her quick response to something she heard and her incessant barking immediately got Mr. Ken's attention and he ran after her to find out what had 'spooked' her.

The man followed Chief as closely and quickly as he could as they both headed towards the direction of the kitchen. Chief obviously arrived in the kitchen first and immediately took an offensive stance. Two seconds later, when Mr. Ken finally arrived, he found Chief growling and baring her teeth and had Mildred backed up against a wall.

At first, the man couldn't figure out why Chief would do such a thing but then he noticed it. There stood Mildred holding a bloodied, long-handled stainless steel spoon and was swinging it at his dog as if to protect herself. Then, out of the corner of his eye, something else caught his attention. Amidst a number of scattered pots and pans lay Robert. He could see the lad all bloodied and crying and holding his head.

Ken Thomas quickly ran over to the woman and had a difficult time prying the spoon out of her hand and away from her. He then told Chief to keep her where she was. He immediately went to the obviously injured boy to try to assess his injuries. Thinking the lad needed medical attention; he called his friend Doc Powers and asked him to come to the Cove as his foster son had just been attacked.

The doctor arrived pretty quickly, since he lived fairly close, and on his heals came a speeding Sheriff's car, lights and siren going full blast, carrying Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer.

Ken told Chief to continue keep an eye on Mildred and then went to the front door to let Rick in and found Deputy Fischer there as well. He explained what he knew as they hurriedly went to the kitchen to check on Robert and find out what it was all about.

Doc Rick promptly went to Robert as Ken showed the bloody metal spoon to Deputy Fischer and told him he had found Mildred holding it. The Deputy looked at the spoon and saw what looked like blood on it and then called for some detectives.

Doctor Powers got Robert to settle down enough to allow him to check the boy over. The man found the lad had some small cuts about his head and neck and upon looking under the shirt found numerous small welts beginning to form from the neck area down the middle of the back.

"Robert … are … you going to be okay, 'son'?" Mr. Ken asked. That question got his foster son jumping into his arms and lap and hugging him.

"She beat me, 'dad', she beat me," cried the boy. "I didn't do anything to her but …but she beat me with that big spoon. She said she was now gonna be my foster parent and that I had to do what she wanted. Tell me that isn't true, 'dad'. Please tell me that isn't true," cried the boy, as he hugged his new 'dad' tighter than ever.

Deputy Dan Fischer heard the boy's accusation and, seeing the injuries on the boy and the blood on the spoon, placed handcuffs on Mildred Johnston pending the detective's investigation. He read her rights to her and then took her out to his patrol car. He then bagged the spoon and held it for the detectives who arrived about thirty minutes after his call.

Robert had calmed down some more and was sitting with his 'dad', on a kitchen chair, when Deputy Fischer asked the boy to tell him, in his own words, what happened there in the kitchen.

The doorbell rang as Robert told his story so Doc Rick answered the door for Mr. Ken. The detectives followed the man back to the kitchen and herd the last part of the boy's story. The policemen knew The Cove's owner and said their 'Hello's' and then talked amongst themselves for a few minutes.

When Robert finished telling his story, Deputy Fischer explained to Mr. Ken he would take Mildred Johnston to the station and process her and file the initial charges against her. He then said the detectives would need to interview the boy before they left.

"Ken,' began Doc Powers, "I think the lad will be okay. Those cuts are minimal but those welts are going to need some ice or something cold to help keep down the swelling. I'll get that started for you while you and the lad talk to the detectives. Is that okay with you?"

"Sure, Doc … please … and thank you," replied Ken Thomas.

Brandt Matthias, a County Detective Sergeant, introduced himself to the lad and then introduced his partner Detective William Roberts. The man first explained what they were there to do, then told the lad to try to focus on what happened and tell them everything that happened to him. The Sergeant also told Robert that it didn't matter in what order he told it but to try and tell them everything he could remember and then they'd put it onto perspective.

"But first, I need to ask some initial questions," said Detective Matthias. "What is your name?"

"Robert Arthur Harrison," replied Robert.

"And you're relationship to Mr. Thomas?"

"He's my da … ah, he's my foster dad."

"How long have you lived here, Bobby?"

"It's Robert … not Bobby," corrected the lad. "And I've lived here since right after the Holidays."

"I'm sorry, Robert, most kids are, well, you know," smiled Brandt.

"Yes, sir, I understand, but Mr. Ken explained … that I have a chance to start a new life here, at Three Finger Cove, and that by asking people to call me Robert … it helps me move away from my other life as it was," fully explained the boy.

"Thank you, Robert; I knew it had to be something such as that, knowing Mr. Ken here. He's a good guy, you know, and I'm sure he'll take good care of you. He did a great job of it with Collin, as I'm sure you'll learn over time. Now … how about telling us what happened and if you think of something out of sequence, tell us, then go back to your story. Okay?"

For the next forty-five minutes, the detectives had Robert retell his story over and over and asked him questions to make sure his answers were the same each and every time. When they finished, they thanked the boy, and Mr. Ken, for their time and said they would be in touch. They then told the man that the County District Attorney would probably call within the next day or two. Then the men were gone.

Doctor Powers held the icepack as best he could during the investigation. When the detectives were through, and about to leave, the doc renewed the ice in the pack and gave it to Mr. Ken to administer then said his 'good byes' to the man and boy. As the doctor left the residence he told Ken he'd call him later.

Ken and Robert moved to the Study after showing the detectives and Doc Rick out. Ken sat first in one of those soft, leather chairs and offered Robert to sit down in his lap. Chief sat down right next to the chair.

"Robert … why didn't you tell me Mildred was accosting you after school most days, son," asked 'dad Thomas.

"Well … I didn't want to cause you any more trouble between you and Ms. Johnston. I knew how much you relied on her and so …. I just decided that if I said anything she'd make it out to be I hated her and then I'd be the one who had to leave and not her," explained Robert.

"Oh, Robert … we could have worked it out, my 'son'," said Mr. Ken. "You should have given me that chance."

"Well … the stuff she said or did before wasn't anything like what she did today. That was the first time she had that big a spoon and said that she was now gonna be my foster parent. That's when I argued with her and she began to chase me around the Kitchen," Robert tried to explain.

"But why didn't you try to run towards the Study?" asked Mr. Ken.

"Well, the way she kept after me, she never let me get close to the doorway. She kept herself between me and that hall. But, well, I wasn't too scared at first because before we just yelled at one another or she slapped me. She never came after me like that until today. Boy was I ever scared of that big spoon. I never knew they made them that big … and it hurt too when she hit me with it. I bet my back will be black and blue tomorrow," said the lad, and then snuggled into his 'dad'.

"I wonder why Maria never said anything about you two having those 'spats' when you came home," wondered Mr. Ken.

"Well, she was never there to see them. Most days she was making her grocery list or checking the pantry so she was too busy to know what was going on and Mildred, she would sometimes take me back out into the garage. Nothing ever happened out there so that's why I wasn't too worried today, at first. Then we argued and then she started to chase me and then she began to hit me over and over and then I tripped.

"I guess that's what Chief heard and came running. Boy you should have seen her come into that room and go after Ms. Johnston. I wonder why Chief didn't attack her. Do you think it was because of the size of the spoon 'dad'?" finished Robert.

"Well, Son … I think Chief saw that no one was being hurt, at the time, but knew Mildred was dangerous because of the spoon. Believe me, she knows the difference, 'son', so my bet is since you weren't being hit at the time she just made sure she couldn't do it anymore," explained 'dad' Thomas.

"'Dad', now that Maria is off for tonight, what are we going to eat? I'm hungry," teased the lad.

"Yes, 'son', I'm hungry, too. What say we go down to Four Corner's Restaurant for dinner and then come back here and get your homework done," said a smiling Mr. Ken. "See … I can tease, too, you know," laughed the man.

"Let me make a phone call or two while you go upstairs and get cleaned up and ready. You may want to change that shirt; it got a little dirty from the floor and all that blood, and then wash your face and maybe put on some of that cologne I gave you. I'll call you when I'm ready to go. Give me about thirty minutes, okay?" explained Mr. Ken.

"Yes, sir, I do feel a bit grungy and I need to comb my hair. I'll wash-up and wait for you to call me. Come on Chief, let's go up to my room," called out the lad, and then left the Study for his bedroom.

As soon as the boy left the Study, Mr. Ken called his lawyer, Bill Jackson. He related how Mildred attacked Robert and then explained what he knew happened in the Kitchen. He told Bill that he called Doc Powers to come over and check out the lad but the Doc also brought Dan Fischer who ultimately arrested Mildred. After Bill asked a few pointed questions, which Ken could answer, the Cove's owner asked Bill to prepare a formal termination letter for Mildred and to send it to her address, 'Return Receipt Requested'.

Then, Mr. Jackson asked Ken, "Did you check to see if any of the inside cameras caught any of the altercation. It would be good in case she tries to turn everything around and claims the lad attacker her."

"Damn, Bill, I never even thought about that. Thanks for reminding me. Robert and I are going out for dinner and when I get back I'll check them out. I'll send you a copy if I find anything," replied Ken Thomas. "Do you want me to send a copy to the detectives if I find anything? … Okay, I'll let you do that then."

The two men talked for a few more minutes and then hung up. Ken then went to his en suite bath to get cleaned up and ready to go out to dinner. When the time came to go for dinner, Mr. Ken called his 'son' on the telecom, a mix of telephone and intercom, to see if the lad was ready and if so to come on down so they could go out to Four Corners.

Mr. Ken had a number of different means of transportation at his disposal and that night he decided to use the Ford F-150 four-door truck. Robert liked that one because he got to sit up higher, than in some of the other vehicles, as he enjoyed being able to see more. It definitely was a 'boy' thing.

Entering the restaurant, Mr. Ken asked for the back corner table, like he usually did. The acting Host/Waitress told the man that he couldn't have that one as it was reserved. Mr. Ken said it looked like it hadn't been used and that he wanted that one. The woman quietly explained he couldn't have it and she would show him to a different table. Ken then became a bit loud, stating he wanted the peace and quiet that corner table would be sure to give him.

The waitress became flustered, at this, and called over one of the waitresses who had been there longer for some help. Then, no sooner had 'help' arrived, in the name of Sally Tattinger, she immediately took Mr. Ken and his 'son' to the table he asked for. Already knowing what they both wanted, Mr. Ken and Robert ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger with a mix, the mix being half fries and half onion rings, and a coffee for 'dad' and a coke for 'son'.

The Hostess lady became visibly upset over what just transpired. First; they were seated where she knew they shouldn't be, and, secondly; they weren't allowed to order something from the menu that she knew was NOT there. Not liking what just happened, she went directly to the manager, told him what had just taken place and demanded he fix it before she got into trouble from the person that table was reserved for. The manager had no idea Mr. Ken had come in and then taken to 'his' special table. He told her he would be out there directly and straighten it all out.

Going out into the dining room, Mr. Henry immediately saw who it was and apologized profusely for the misunderstanding. He clarified, for Mr. Ken and his guest, the Hostess was new and she didn't know any better. He left the table area and took the lady with him and told her just who that man was. He then told her she better treat him like a king if she wanted to keep her job. Then, he left her standing there with her mouth wide open.

Robert had been in this place a number of times and the two of them always sat at that table. Looking back over the past ten to twelve minutes he felt baffled over the actions of the Hostess and other waitress and the man he knew as the manager. He couldn't figure it all out so he asked his dad to explain it to him. Just then, Mr. Henry came back to the table with their drinks. He again apologized and remarked, "Boss, I am truly sorry for what happened. I told her about your table but I forgot to show her your picture. I am very sorry. Please, tonight, the meal is on me!"

Laughing, Mr. Ken acknowledged the man saying, "No problem Ed. I figured as much when she fought me for my own table. She did good, by-the-way, a little rough around the edges but she stood her ground and she did the right thing. She got you to fix it. So, don't be too hard on her. And … what is this you're giving away food?" Ken said smiling, at the flustered man. "How can I make a living if you give it all away for free?!" And, with that, both men cracked up all to the dismay of the youngster sitting there looking at them like they were crazy.

Noticing the puzzlement on his son's face Ken spoke up. "Robert, I own this place! Didn't you know that?"

"No 'dad'. You never mentioned it at all the other hundert times we were here before," teased the boy. "When we entered before, the other ladies brought us directly here. I thought we were always lucky to get his great table."

Still chuckling, Ken told him, "I am sorry for not telling you. I guess I forgot." And with that both men began to snicker at one another and then they broke out in a laugh over the word 'forgot'.

"Robert! … I not only own this place, but the amusement center next door and the Go-Kart track at the other end and the miniature golf place. I am really sorry,' son'. Please don't be mad at me," came from Mr. Ken, who was still chuckling a bit.

"I'm not mad, dad. I may be a bit disappointed at you for your actions …," and that was all the lad got out before this deep laugh escaped his throat. Mr. Ken too began to laugh some more knowing what Robert meant. The two of them had water in their eyes they laughed so much.

Not long after, their dinners arrived. The evening had begun with a bang and 'dad' and 'son' enjoyed each other's company. For Robert, things seemed to continue to get better for him as he basked in those feelings of belonging and from the 'love' he felt coming from his mentor, 'dad' Ken. On the other hand, Ken sat watching his 'son' eat and remarked to himself that Robert was truly becoming more and more settled down, despite what happened earlier between him and Mildred. The laughter tonight and the joke between them made him feel accepted by the boy which made him all that much happier inside. But, especially happier for the lad!

As they sat there eating, Ken thought he recognized the man who just entered the restaurant and motioned to the Hostess to show them over to the table next to his. She said something to the people and they remained there as she went back over to Mr. Ken. She explained to him she couldn't do that as they weren't ever supposed to be connected. All Mr. Ken did then was look up at her and told her to 'just do it'!

Being told to do something that the manager 'told' her not to do, she got really pissed. But she did put the two tables together and motioned to the group to come that way and be seated. Harry immediately recognized his 'new' friend from the pizza place, and held out his hand as he approached. Mr. Ken stood up and took the extended hand and they spoke to one another as though they were long lost brothers. All this time the lady, and the boys with Harry, as well as Robert, looked on while hearing their interesting conversation.

"Ken, I want you to meet my lovely wife, Carol, and my two sons, Trevor and Terran," Harry extended to his new friend. And for his part, Ken introduced Robert to everyone as well.

Robert and Trevor were in the same class, but different rooms, and so knew each other from school and talked openly. Occasionally, the adults could hear the word 'terror' and then the small boy saying to stop calling him that. The older boys laughed and continued to chat. The parents were getting annoyed at Trevor because he knows how much his little brother hates that name.

Terran's parents explained to Ken that the youngest son's name, Terran, was very easy for his older brother to antagonize him with by just turning it around and calling him 'Terror', as in Little Terror! Of course, when he did that, he got the expected reaction. The adults laughed some over that and Carol told Trevor to 'can it' and to let them have a nice evening out for a change.

The still pissed-off Hostess, now working as their waitress, came over to take their order. Harry and Carol both noticed what Ken and Robert were eating and said they'd like the same. Their two boys both chimed in and agreed. This flustered the lady to no end. Tonight was just not her night. The other waitress, Sally, who seated the boss earlier, heard the commotion and went over to try to help.

Ken explained everything to Sally and she went and did it because, as the Boss, he got whatever he wanted. Even though the French Fries and Onion Rings mixture wasn't on the menu, they did it for him all the time. Ken explained it would be the same as if one got the fries and the other the rings and shared. So that is why he ordered it that way.

Soon after the new order came to the table, Mr. Henry came back as well.

"Boss, now more and more people want that combination. They see you get it all the time but never said anything, but tonight … tonight they see your friends getting it too and they want it as well! Now … what do you want me to do?" cried Ed.

"Ed, Ed, just go with the flow. Go up to the chalkboard and make it a 'Special' for tonight. Half & Half Mix call it and give it a price," replied Mr. Ken.

'Boss', the four new people could be seen saying with their faces. Robert saw their expressions and told them, "Yea, my 'dad' owns this place. Kewl, huh!"

"Congratulations, my friend!" came from Harry. "Hmmm, 'dad' is it … I see you figured things out since the other night. I am very happy for you, Ken!"

The stunned boys and Carol looked on as the two men talked over some strange topics that didn't make sense to them and for that the guys were happy. The men's conversation continued while Robert tried to explain to the boys and Mrs. Fletcher about the circumstances surrounding his calling this very young man his 'dad'. Finally, they said they understood but obviously Carol got a bit dismayed over it all. She said to herself she'd 'talk' to her husband after they got back home that night and get a better explanation - she hoped!

The small group had a wonderful time talking and getting to know one another better. As the time was getting on, and as he was beginning to make his exit, Mr. Ken asked his 'son', out of the blue but loud enough that the entire party herd, if he'd ever invited Trevor over to swim.

Now, that was an awkward moment, if there ever was one. As soon as Ken said it, he knew he had done something wrong, but it was too late. But without missing a beat, Robert quickly yelled at Trevor he'd talk to him at school about it.

The restaurant wasn't too far from their home and dad and son didn't talk about their little incident at the restaurant as they drove home. Ken was a little concerned about Robert. That maybe he entered his son's turf without asking and was now getting the silent treatment. They entered the house still in silence.

"Robert?" Ken asked.

"Yes, 'dad'?" was the reply with no emotion or indication of malice.

"Did I do something wrong over at Four Corner's?" Ken wanted to, needed to know.

"No, not really," was all that Robert offered.

"Come on now, 'son'," Ken began, "How can I learn how to act around you, and your friends, if you don't 'learn' me," he said jokingly. "I'm always telling you how to be and what to do when you've been with me. It is only fair that I know how to act around your friends. I don't want to embarrass you as I think I did a few minutes ago back there. I did, didn't I?

Robert looked up into Ken's eyes as his own eyes began to leak. Feeling the tears, Robert ran to Ken and hugged him and told him he was sorry for acting that way. He told him that he was just upset that's all and that he didn't know why until his dad asked him. It was then it dawned on him what he just did that he began to understand that what he did was wrong. He hugged his dad even more and just cried some more while Ken hugged him back and told him it was okay and that things would be okay! As things settled down, Ken asked Robert to sit with him and to explain how he saw it, and how he should have dealt with that situation.

Over the next 20 to 40 minutes, or so, 'dad' and 'son' talked over things and came to realize this was the second time they hadn't been really talking or listening to each other. They came to the conclusion they both definitely needed to set aside a Day and a Time each week that they can use to sit down and talk to one another. After discussing the Pluses and Minuses of each day of the week they decided that a Tuesday would work best and they would get together right after dinner.

They also decided there would be, No phones, No friends, No interruptions, at all, so they could talk about their week and use that time to get to know one another better. They left feeling good about the talk they just had. Each was relieved they were talking to one another and most of all listening. That was what made it for Robert. He could hear Mr. Ken asking to clarify things for him and he'd repeat stuff to make sure he understood. He knew 'dad' was trying his best to make things work between them and he felt exhilarated, over that, when he went to bed that night.

Ken, too, went to bed feeling very relieved that he was beginning to understand his twelve year old 'son'. He found out tonight, from the questions he asked Robert, that he had been going through the motions, just as he thought, when he had his talk with Harry. That talk was his 'wake-up' call to get with the program and begin taking care of Robert come hell or high water.

Then Ken remembered what Bill Jackson asked him and feeling a bit worn over what happened to Robert and his just completed talk he decided to check the video cameras in the morning seeing they would contain the same information then as they would now.

The two slept sound that night and both had good dreams they still remembered the next morning.

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