Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 44

Published: 3 Mar 16

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2015
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

Sunday morning, both residents, of Three Finger Cove, slept in. It was well past 10, in the morning, before they joined one another for a late, a very late, breakfast. Momma Maria always kept frozen her great tasting Breakfast tacos handy, for when she wasn't there, and 'dad' and 'son' each got three out.

"You going to reheat all six tacos, at the same time, 'son'?" asked 'dad' Ken.

"Sure, why not. I've done this before 'dad'. Give me a break," teased Robert.

"Okay, just checking. Don't burn them," said the man, absentmindedly, as he already had his face in the Sunday morning newspaper.

Robert just shook his head, at what his 'dad' just said. The preteen knew the man loved reading the morning newspaper and, many times, he got so engrossed in it that his breakfast, but especially his coffee, always got cold. The lad unwrapped the tacos, placed them on a microwave safe plate and set the timer, for nine minutes. He then remembered he needed to feed Chief, so he set out fresh water, and kibble, for her.

"Did we miss anything important while we were away, 'dad'?" asked Robert, through the paper.

"No, nothing special. The school board and hospital board elections are heating up. I supported the people who were elected, the last time, and will support them again, this time around," revealed Mr. Ken.

"Is the School Board President, Mr. Ostrowski running for reelection?" asked Robert.

"Why did you want to know that, 'son'?" asked, a now curious, Ken Thomas.

"Well … wasn't he one of the people involved with the rumors that had us six kids expelled and … and, one of our teachers fired?" replied Robert.

"Oh, Robert … come over here and let me tell you the full story, there," suggested 'dad' Ken.

Robert came over to the table and sat down across from Mr. Ken. The man put down his paper and looked at the boy and said, "'Son', Mr. Ostrowski was there, that day, to find out the reason behind those rumors. I called him as soon as I heard your name was included. He was already there. We did talk, later, and he told me it was the Principal's secretary who started the rumors, with her friends, and it snowballed, from there.

"He told me that the secretary rescinded the rumor, to the women she called, and asked her to call everyone she talked to, etc., etc. What I want you to know, Robert, is that man is a straight shooter and someone of high integrity. Three years ago, Collin and I fought, the then current school board, over their refusal to implement Student and Teachers Handbooks and establish proper rules, of actions, they could take against a teacher, or student. They also refused to establish grievance and redress procedures. I want you to know that Mr. Ostrowski IS one of the good guys."

The microwave bell went off, just then, and Robert got up to retrieve the, hopefully, defrosted and reheated tacos. He wasn't disappointed. He then set three down on a plate, for his 'dad', and three, on a plate, for himself. He then got a glass of orange juice and then sat down to eat.

It wasn't long before Robert was on his third taco but his 'dad' hadn't even touched one, of his.

"Hey 'dad' … your breakfast is getting cold, if it isn't already," teased Robert.

"Oh, okay," simply replied 'dad' Ken.

Robert finished his breakfast tacos, took his dirty plate and glass to the sink, rinsed them off and then placed them into the dishwasher. He scratched behind Chief's ears and noticed his 'dad' still hadn't touched his tacos.

"Hey, 'dad' … can I have your tacos?" teased the boy.

"Sure … whatever you want," replied, a disinterested, 'dad' Ken.

Robert knew the man could 'zone out' when he got into the morning paper and being away, from one, for eight days, probably put the man into withdrawal. He knew he needed to get the man's attention so his 'dad' could eat and then get ready for Ms. Judy, and Eric, who were supposed to arrive by 1 PM.

The lad had never taken drastic action before but he knew had to get Mr. Ken's attention, and get him to eat. Knowing this, the boy went to the front of the paper and began to hit it. Getting no reaction, the first time, he hit it a bit harder, the second time. That went on before he smacked it so hard the paper pulled out of the man's hand.

"Why did you do that, Robert? You know I like to read the paper in the morning," chastised Mr. Ken.

"'Dad' … your breakfast tacos are stone cold and so is your coffee. It is going on 11:30 and you still need to eat and get ready for Ms. Judy, and Eric," shot back Robert.

The boy then grabbed the cold tacos and placed them back into the microwave, to reheat them. He then got a fresh cup and poured hot coffee into it and took it to his 'dad'. The microwave dinged and the lad got the freshly reheated tacos and placed them next to the hot coffee. He then took the newspaper out of the man's hands and said "Eat!"

The man could do nothing but laugh. Then, he pulled the boy into his arms and said "Thank you!" Then he kissed the lads forehead and smacked him, on his bottom, as the boy was walking away.

"I'm going to get my shower. You better eat and get cleaned up yourself," called back Robert.

'Dad' Ken, still in a playful mood, replied, "Yes, dad."

Robert took a long shower. He needed to get rid of all those built up juices he accumulated, over the past few days. Sure, he and Eric and Jerry all got off, that one afternoon, but he could feel 'the need' so he took care of his 'boy toy'.

The lad got downstairs, at about 12:30, and went looking for his 'dad', in his Study. Not finding him there, he looked in the Kitchen Nook, where he last saw him. Not finding him there, he went and looked in the man's en suite. Finding him, in the shower, he walked to the entrance, like he had done, a bunch of weeks prior, and told the man he had less than thirty minutes before their guests arrived. The lad then whistled, at the man, who threw soap suds, at him, and told him to greet their guests, if he wasn't ready, yet.

'Dad' Ken came out of his bedroom, in plenty of time, to greet his guests. But, what he did first, was to grab his 'son', in a big hug, and then thank him for fixing breakfast and checking up on him, to make sure he was ready. He again kissed the boy on his forehead. Robert just glowed, for the second time, that day, from the 'special' attention his 'dad' gave him.

Judy and Eric were on time, but before they went to Ken's Study, they all stopped in Momma Maria's Kitchen to get the cold or hot drink they wanted. Mr. Ken then placed some of Momma Maria's famous 'sweet treats' on a platter, and the four retired, to the Study.

"Eric told me more of what happened, with this Schwimner lady," started Ms. Judy. "I can't believe a woman who, supposedly is so connected, in the Hamptons, would do such a thing! My only guess is she thought her shit didn't stink and, since she got away with it, so any times before, she thought she was invincible. I just hope she tries something against Eric. I'll crush her!" now fumed Judy Turner.

Eric and Robert looked at each other over Ms. Judy's reference to '… she thought her shit didn't stink ….' Then, they began to giggle like the young boys they were.

"Why don't you tell us how you really feel, Ms. Judy," smiled Mr. Ken, as he looked at the woman then over to the giggling lads.

Judy just sat there, at first, but after seeing the man's smile and then replayed in her mind what he just said. Then, remembering what she had said, she began to laugh, along. Before long, the more she thought about it, the louder her laughter got which was when Mr. Ken joined in. The boys didn't have a clue, as to what was happening, but smiled at the 'actions' of the supposed 'two adults', in the room.

"Thank you, Ken … I sure needed that. I guess I got so wound up over what she almost did, to you and the boys, that, I went overboard. Thanks for bringing me back to reality," offered Judy.

The four sat there, in the Study, and talked about the Disney® Cruise. Eric and Robert had much more to say about their excursions, so they took center stage

"Mom, what we did, with the dolphins, was beyond belief. I never knew you do so much, with them, and them acting like they were your pet, or something. At the end, we got to feed them the foods we helped prepare, when we first arrived. I had a blast! Thank you, again, Mr. Ken, for including me in Robert's trip," finished Eric.

"Eric, that cruise was for you, too. I had been wanting to take you somewhere, this spring, and with Robert's arrival, everything fell into place. Remember, you are one of my 'lil brothers' and I need to spoil you, before you're all grown up, and are no longer the 'fun boy' you are, today," the man explained to the preteen.

Eric just blushed, at what the man just said, but he also had a great big smile, on his face, for being thought of, in that way.

"Robert … how about you telling me how you enjoyed the dolphins?" asked Ms. Judy.

And that's the way it went that afternoon. Ms. Judy would ask about how the lads saw their excursions and then the cruise itself. The lads would tell her and then add something later they later thought of. The four enjoyed one another's company, along with Maria's sweet treats, and refills of their favorite drink.

It was four o'clock when Ms. Judy decided she, and Eric, needed to get home and settle down, for the rest of the day, as her boy had school, the next day. Mr. Ken tried to convince her and Eric to go out to dinner, with him and Robert, but she begged off. She did tell him she'd take a 'rain check', though.

After watching the woman, and her son, drive off, Mr. Ken and Robert donned their coats, got in the F-150, and went to Four Corner's for dinner. They took their time and when they returned they sat together and watched a movie, down in the Theater. By nine o'clock, Robert began to yawn, over and over, so the two decided to call it a night. They shared a hug and then proceeded to their respective bedrooms. Both slept a very sound sleep.

School, the next day, was mayhem with everyone telling their Spring Break stories. It got so loud at lunch, from all the kids talking, over one another, the teachers had to ask them to 'quiet it down' some. That lasted for a few minutes but the excitement, from all the stories, got the best of the kids, and they began to loudly talk again.

"Hi, 'dad'. Did you have a good day?" asked Robert, as he entered the man's Study.

"I sure did. That vacation, 'son', was what I truly needed. I didn't dwell on the hotel, or office building, or the contract negotiations, all that much, and my mind today felt refreshed and clear. How did your day at school go?" a smiling 'dad' Ken asked.

"Boy … you should have heard it, at school, today. Anytime we had some free time all the kids could talk about was their Spring Break Trip. Kids were talking over one another that I never really did get the full stories of my friends' trips. I hope tomorrow we can sit down, without all the girls butting in, oh … I mean, in a quiet corner, and share each other's adventures," fully explained Robert.

"So, the girls, I take it, didn't give you guys anytime to talk to one another," simply stated Mr. Ken.

"You got that right. They made sure we heard all about what they did, but they would never let us guys get a word in, edgewise, at times. They talked so much, and over each other, that I can't remember which girl went where, or did what," seriously said Robert.

"I thought after the issue with Trevor, and the girls," started Mr. Ken, "that they began to treat you boys better? My guess is, it didn't last long, now, did it?"

"It wasn't all the girls, 'dad'. Most of the girls are still talking to us, and all. It's just the girls whose noses are up in the clouds, most of the time. Their parents are very 'well-off', they call it, and they like to tell anyone, who would listen, about all the clothes they bought, or they went to such-and-such a place, and, of course, what they did on their Spring Break. What a joke! Theirs were just better than anyone else's. Just ask them! 'Dad' … I don't get it. Why do girls act the way they do, most of the time?" a very serious Robert asked.

"Robert, 'son', that is the age old question men have been trying to answer, since the beginning of time. The women, well, the girls in your case, just feel very superior, to men, and they let them know it. You will see many different actions and attitudes from the girls, as they grow into young women. Just watch, and learn, is all I can strongly suggest you do. Watch how they act during, and after, different scenarios. See how seriously they take jokes, and gentle ribbing, as well as disappointment.

"Watch how the girls treat each other and how they treat certain, and, sometimes, all boys. Observe them in the groups, they invariably form, and how those 'cliques', as they are called, work to drive the conversation, or which boy should like a certain girl, or, even, how they get their way. Learn it all now, my boy, or you will be trying to figure them out for a very long time, to come," Mr. Ken tried to explain.

"You mean when they all conspired to get Trev in trouble?" asked Robert.

"I'm not too sure they ALL conspired there, but their actions were sure suspect. I don't think they've fully developed those 'cliques' yet, but the way some of the girls acted sure shows they are beginning to follow a 'leader' and that may very well be Emily.

"Watch for the girls who think for themselves. Those are the ones who are open minded and will be easier to be around and talk with. But, that is just my opinion. That is why I said to watch and learn. Once you do that, for a while, then we can have this discussion again," said Mr. Ken, as he tried to further explain girls to his 'son'.

At school on Tuesday, the boys finally got their turn to tell each other what they did for Spring Break. The lads indeed did go find a 'quiet corner', as Robert said they would, but that didn't last long. The girls sought the boys out and listened in, to the lad's stories. They would sometimes make snide comments at what they heard the boys say they had done.

It wasn't until Eric began to tell, his buddies, about his Disney® Cruise, that some of the 'clique' girls began to openly ridicule him, saying, 'there was NO WAY he could have ever gone on such a 'special' cruise. Eric tried to ignore the girls and continued to describe his excursions, to his friends, but some of the girls added the comment that 'he probably watched it on the Disney® Channel'. Then they would all laugh.

Robert sat there and watched all that was happening. He recalled what his 'dad' was trying to tell him the previous evening, and it was then he began to see what Mr. Ken meant. He took notice how a few of the girls 'pushed' their way into their private conversation and began, to try, to take over their talk.

Robert also saw there were a few girls, who stood back, and were not a part of the instigators. It looked to him like they just wanted to hear what Eric had to say. He saw their low key demeanor and non-aggressive body language and, he thought, he could see, what his 'dad' tried to explain, to him, that they were probably the girls he might be able to talk to, and probably trust.

While Robert thought through what his 'dad' told him, the night before, he also heard the way some of the girls were treating his Best Friend, and he soon had enough.

"You girls, you're just jealous … jealous that none of you could ever afford as awesome as a trip as Eric had," blasted out Robert.

"And how would you know? You were there too, I suppose!" snidely remarked a girl named Joanna Schwimminger.

"As a matter of fact, YES, I went, too!" calmly replied Robert, not wanting to antagonize the snobbish girl.

"Yeah, RIGHT!" chimed in Kaelyn Farlow. "I'll bet you two watched the same show over and over, again, during the week." Then, she and Joanna and a few other girls loudly laughed.

"You know what, Kaelyn, I don't really care what you think, or say. Eric and I were on the Disney Wonder®, for Spring Break, and the things Eric said he did, I did, too. You think that you, and Joanna, over there, are the only ones who can afford real nice trips. I didn't hear you say any snide remarks about Brad's real nice trip, to Disneyland®, or even Chuck's trip, to Port Aransas, in their 5th wheel.

"And, what about Cody's cruise. He went on the Carnival Magic®, but you and Joanna didn't have anything to say about his cruise. It was only Eric's cruise you had snide remarks to say about! What gives with you girls?" Robert wanted to know.

"Women! We are women," said Joanna. "You best keep that in mind, when speaking to us!"

"Yeah, right," immediately jumped in Logan. "You're NO more a Woman than I am a Man. I'm thirteen and have gone through puberty and that doesn't make me a man. And, it doesn't matter if you're through or even into puberty, you sure are NOT a woman!"

Joanna and Kaelyn got very indignant, at what Logan had to say, and Kaelyn quickly replied back to him, "We are, too, women. We both can have babies and that qualifies us as women! So, there!"

"Whoa … if being able to make babies qualifies you to be a so-called 'woman' then, since I can make the fertilizer, which is used to start that baby, then I MUST be a 'man'," laughed Logan.

"Come on girls. Let's leave these … these 'young boys' … to tell each other their tall spring break tales," called out Joanna Schwimminger.

"See, she doesn't know what she is. She calls her friends, girls." added Brad, who then began to laugh, along with a few of the other lads.

"Uuuoo, I'll get you two for that," yelled Joanna, as her and Kaelyn, and three other girls, left in a huff.

"Claire and Alice, aren't you coming?" angrily yelled Joanna.

Claire and Alice looked towards the boys and mouthed a "We agree with you!" and then said loudly, yes Joanna, we're coming.

Just then the bell rang. As the boys got up, to go into the school, Robert said to the boy who spoke up, "Thanks, Logan, for standing up for us, but … well … I think I could have handled her. But thanks, anyway!"

Logan smiled at him and replied, "Remember, I've grown up with those 'witches' with a 'B' and I know what they are up to, most of the time. I know how to keep them off guard. But... you're Welcome." smiled Logan, who then continued to walk towards the school entrance.

As the lads filed into the school, Mr. Chassen stood there with a 'thumbs up', to each of them.

All the girls in the 7th grade could tell Joanna was really pissed. She didn't have classes with Kaelyn, nor Robert and Eric, but she did with Logan who she kept throwing spit-balls at. Logan just took it in stride knowing he shouldn't lower himself, to her petty actions.

"Ms. Joanna Schwimminger," called out Mrs. Randall, their teacher, "What do you think you are doing, young lady?"

"Nothing, Mrs. Randall," came back Joanna.

"So … throwing spit-balls is nothing, is it?" challenged Mrs. Josephine Randall.

"Sorry, Mrs. Randall," responded Joanna. "I won't do it again."

"That may be, Ms. Schwimminger, but I will not tolerate that type of display from someone who thinks she is a 'woman'. Now … get over there and pick EVERY one of those 'balls' up," demanded the teacher.

Joanna got out of her seat, knowing everyone in the room was staring at her. She got to Logan's chair and, thinking Mrs. Randall couldn't see her, she smacked Logan on the back of his head.

"That will be ENOUGH!" declared Mrs. Randall. "I'm sending you to the Principal! MaryAnn, would you please accompany Ms. Schwimminger, to the office. And, please give the Principal this sealed note. Go on!"

"I'm sorry, Logan, for what she did, to you, and I want to apologize, to you, for not stopping her, sooner. If you need to visit the men's restroom, to clean up, I will understand. Class, you know you are all old enough to know how to act, and where. I know you young ladies and young men have differences of opinion, at times, but the classroom is definitely NOT the place to settle them. I like to think we've all gotten along, very well, so far this school year, let's not ruin it by acting out, in here. Please!" calmly offered Mrs. Randall, as she talked to her students.

Joanna and MaryAnn arrived at the administrative office and MaryAnn asked to see Principal Chadwick, saying she had a sealed note, for her. Ms. Andrews asked for the note but MaryAnn refused to give it to her. Joanna stood there smiling thinking MaryAnn would get in trouble, too. But, that didn't happen as Ms. Chadwick came out of her office and MaryAnn asked her if she could give her a sealed note from Mrs. Randall. Principal Chadwick took the note, and quickly read it.

"Thank you. You can go back to class, now," said Principal Chadwick, to the chaperone.

Then, to Joanna, Principal Chadwick said, "In my office, young lady! Hold my calls, Ms. Andrews."

At lunch, the boys all got together to finish telling, one another, about their Spring Break trips, but Logan had a much better story, to tell. The boys all ate quickly and hurried out to their regular meeting spot.

When all the boys were there, Logan began to tell his story. "You heard Joanna say she'd get back at us, well in class Ms. Joanna 'woman' Schwimminger threw spit-balls, at me, and when she got caught she was told to pick them up. Then, thinking Mrs. Randall wouldn't see her, she smacked me on the back of my head. She got caught doing that, as well. MaryAnn was asked to take her to Principal Chadwick, and we haven't seen Joanna since."

By the time he finished, many of Joanna's 'clique' girls were standing close by and listening. Logan saw them and asked the girls, in the room with Joanna, if what he said was true. The girls reluctantly agreed, with his story, but Kaelyn began to defend Joanna, and her actions. A loud shouting match then ensued.

Mr. Chassen and Mrs. Polk were walking around, outside, and heard the commotion going on, between the girls and boys. They quickly headed in that direction. They arrived just in time to hear Kaelyn say, "You're lying through your teeth, Logan. And, if she did it, then, you deserved it." They, then, saw Kaelyn reach into her bag, take something out, and throw that something directly at Logan.

Whatever it was, as soon as Logan got hit, he went down. Hard. Mr. Chassen and Mrs. Polk rushed over to the young man and found he was breathing, but unconscious. Mrs. Polk then told someone to get the nurse. Mr. Chassen thought it was much worse than that, so he pulled out his cell phone and called 911.

The school nurse got there within five minutes, of the altercation, and found Logan had still remained unconscious. She raised his legs and asked if anyone had called 911. No sooner had she asked that question, she heard the sirens headed, she hoped, in their direction. Four minutes later, the ambulance crew had dismounted and began to triage Logan. By that time Principal Chadwick arrived, at the scene, and seeing Logan was still unconscious, she made a phone call of her own.

"Who all saw what happened here?" asked the Principal, a bit louder than she had intended.

A number of hands went up and she asked them all to remain, at the scene, when the afternoon bell had rung. All the kids saw Logan loaded onto a gurney and placed into the ambulance and the vehicle go screaming off the school property, headed to the hospital.

Just then, Steven Zuckerman came over to the Principal. He said he thought he saw the item Kaelyn had thrown was lodged under the chain-link fence. He then pointed to the place he meant. One of the girls started to go and retrieve the item, but Principal Chadwick told the girl, "Leave it where it lies. The police will want to take that as evidence."

A number of kids looked shocked after hearing what the Principal just said. One girl, in particular, quickly called Kaelyn's mom to tell her what just happened.

"Mr. Chassen and Mrs. Polk … will you both be so kind as to take the names of the boys, and girls, who saw what happened, and leave the list with me, when you're through. Have the kids then go back to their classrooms. I'll talk to the police when they get here." Ms. Chadwick then went inside to call Logan's mother.

There were at least six boys and as many girls who were sitting there talking or standing and listening when they saw Kaelyn throw something, towards Logan. They waited to give their names, to the teachers, and then proceeded to their classrooms, and waited to be called to the Principal's office.

After school that day, Robert didn't go for his snack, as usual. He decided to talk to his 'dad' about how the girls acted that day. But, the lad got a surprise when he entered the Study.

"I understand you had a bit of excitement at school today, 'son'. Can you tell me all about it?" simply asked 'dad' Ken when Robert came into the Study.

"How did you find out about it this quick?" a surprised Robert asked, his 'dad'.

"You have to remember, 'son', I've been here a number of years, now, and I do know a large number of people. Plus," began a smiling 'dad' Ken, "Principal Chadwick called me to let me know the police will want to interview you about what you saw, or didn't see, at the school during lunch time, today," now laughed Mr. Ken, as he grabbed Robert and hugged him.

"What was that for?" asked a suspicious Robert.

"What… can't a 'dad' hug his 'son', when he sees him?" teased Mr. Ken.

"Oh … in that case let me give you one then." Robert then hugged his 'dad' back.

"Okay, Robert … how about telling me what you saw but, beyond that, what precipitated it. Can you do that for me 'son'?" queried 'dad' Ken.

"Do you want to wait for when I tell my story to the police? Or, do you want me to tell you first?" solicited Robert.

"Well, 'son', my bet is you've been playing it in your mind, ever since it happened, but you haven't actually used the words out loud, yet. This will give you some practice, for when the police stop by, and you won't stumble, too much. This is similar to your possible testimony at your parents' trials. If you get to hear yourself telling your story it will be easier for you, to verbalize it, when the time comes. So … do you want to try it with me, first?" inquired 'dad' Ken.

Robert took about twenty minutes to tell his 'dad' what he saw and how he saw it all come down. Robert did hear himself stumble some and go back, and clarify, what he said. As he did, all that, he understood what his dad tried to explain to him about telling it and being used to saying the words. When he was finished, the lad went to the Kitchen Nook for his 'after school' snack.

It was during dinner the front door bell rang. Maria went to answer it since the two residents of Three Finger Cove were eating.

"Mester Kens … theres someones here to talks to Master Roberts," said Momma Maria. "Theys be waitsing at the fronts doors."

Ken and Robert went out to the Foyer and saw it was Sheriff Deputy Detective Sergeant Brandt Matthias and Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer who dropped by, to talk to Robert. The four then retired to Mr. Ken's Study, to conduct the interview.

"Hello, Robert," began Detective Sergeant Matthias, "we meet again, but under different circumstances, fortunately. We understand you witnessed the altercation that happened between Kaelyn Farlow and Logan Anderson, around lunch time, today. As you probably know, we are conducting interviews of all the kids who were there, and saw what transpired, today. We know you were there and are listed as one of the witnesses, so, we want to hear, from you, what you saw. Can you do that for us?"

"Sure, there isn't all the much to tell you. Kaelyn yelled at Logan and picked up something, out of her bag, and threw it at him, Logan. I never saw what it was until Steve Zuckerman pointed to a large red apple lying next to the chain-link fence," matter-of-factly said Robert.

"Great, now can you tell me what they were saying, to one another, before Kaelyn allegedly threw the object, at Logan Anderson?" asked Sergeant Matthias.

"There's NO allegedly about it. Kaelyn did throw an object, that was probably an apple she kept in her bag, at Logan. Everybody saw her throw something and Logan went down, fast," described Robert.

Over the next hour, or so, Detective Sergeant Matthias asked Robert a number of questions designed to elicit the same response from the lad. He'd asked a question one way, and then turned it around, and ask it another way. He did this to make sure the witness maintained his composure and this to determine that the story was unwavering.

After asking all his questions, the sergeant then asked Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer to take over, and ask his questions. The overall effect was to make sure the lad told the same story, no matter what. In the end, the Sergeant and the Deputy Sheriff thanked Robert for his cooperation and adding to the overall investigation.

"Sergeant Matthias, do you know anything about how Logan is doing? I mean, well … I wanted my 'dad' to take me to go over to visit him but … well, you know, you guys stopped by. So … do you know how he is?" asked a very concerned pre-teen.

The two men looked at one another before Deputy Fischer said, "Robert, from what we heard, Logan was still ah … ah at five this afternoon he still wasn't awake. Now, that doesn't mean anything because it is well past seven, now, and things could have changed. But, to be honest with you, we just don't know, right now."

"Thank you, Sheriff Fischer, for being straight with me. I really appreciate it," replied the lad.

With that the two men from the County Sheriff's Office departed Three Finger Cove.

"'Dad' … do you think if it's too late to … ahh, go over to the hospital, so we can check on my friend?" a hopeful Robert asked 'dad' Ken.

Ken Thomas thought about it for just a few seconds but remembering how Collin reacted to any of his friends, in the hospital, and how he'd would want to be there, 'dad' Ken said, "Get your coat!"

The two residents of The Cove arrived just as visiting hours were ending. But, Mr. Ken hoped he had an ace-in-the-hole with Nurse Kirby. So, he went to the Emergency Room and asked, the receptionist, if the woman was working that night. A few minutes later, Joanne Kirby came around the corner to see who was asking for her.

"My word, Mr. Ken, what a pleasant surprise," voiced Joanne Kirby. She then hugged the man.

"And, who do we have here?" asked Nurse Kirby.

"Joanne … I want you to meet my new foster son, Robert. He didn't come to me the same way Collin did, just so you know. Ms. Judy Turner, from Child Protective Services, thought that since I did such a good job with Collin … she asked me to work my 'magic' with Robert, here," explained Mr. Ken, as he messed the lad's hair.

"Well, Bobby how do you like living with Mr. Ken, here," quickly asked Joanne.

"I love living with my new 'dad', but please ma'am … please call me Robert. That other name … that's the OLD me," respectively asked the lad.

"Sure … I'm sorry if I offended you there, Robert. I'll make sure I remember the next time we meet, Okay? Now, Mr. Ken what can I do for you. I figured the only reason you'd seek me out is to find out some information about one of our patients. Am I correct in my thinking," smiled the ER Nurse.

"You know me so well, Joanne, and, yes, one of Robert's classmates was brought to the E.R. right after lunch time today. Robert is concerned about his friend and would like to know how he is doing. You see … Robert was there when the lad was attacked. He saw the whole encounter," summarized Mr. Ken.

"Something like Eric did, is that his name, when he saw his 'big brothers' injured at the water park a few years back?" innocently asked Joanne.

"I don't think it was as dramatic as what happened to Ryan, with all the blood everywhere. This boy was struck with a large, round, hard object that rendered the boy unconscious," replied Mr. Ken.

"I'm sure glad it wasn't anything like that. This ER was a zoo during that time. Okay … what's this lad's name? I'll see what I can do for you," requested Nurse Kirby.

A few minutes later, Joann Kirby came back to The Cove's residents and told them what she knew. When she finished explaining the medical situation, she told them she could do them one better, and for them to follow her. A few minutes later, Robert and his 'dad' found themselves entering Logan's room.

Ignoring the people in the room, Robert hurried directly over to his friend and said, "Logan … you're awake. I am so happy that you are," exclaimed the lad. As he hugged Logan, his tears began to fall. The boy was so happy for his friend.

"And, who may you be?" asked a startled Mrs. Anderson, Logan's mom.

"Oh, oh, I am so sorry ma'am, I … I … when I saw my friend Logan awake I … I just had to go hug him," stammered Robert. "And, my name is Robert … and this man is my 'dad', Mr. Ken.

It was Logan who then asked the unasked question, "How did you get up here? I'm so glad you did but … well, they said they didn't want me to have too many visitors."

"You can blame me, for that, Logan. I tried to use my influence to get some information, for my 'son', here, he was so worried about you after he saw you go down, and not get up," filled in the man.

"So … you saw what happened, to my son, in the school yard … Robert, is it?" said Mrs. Anderson.

"Yes, ma'am, I did … along with about a dozen other kids. Mr. Chassen, he's one of our teachers, got to Logan first, before any of us kids could think to respond. Then, Mrs. Polk, another teacher, sent for the nurse. But, Mr. Chassen made the decision to call 911 to get the ambulance there as fast as they could get there. Everything happened so fast. I saw what happened, but … I guess I couldn't believe what I saw," got out Robert.

Then, Logan had a few questions he wanted to ask, so he called Robert over to his bedside. "Robert, do you know what … what she hit me with? All I can remember is … is seeing her reach into a bag for something and the next thing, I know, I am lying here, in this bed."

"Logan, to be honest, I never did see what she threw at you. But, I know she did throw something. Steve Zuckerman pointed out an object, over by the chain-link fence, to Principal Chadwick and told her he thought, for sure, that was what Kaelyn threw. She wouldn't let anyone touch it. She said the police would take care of that evidence," explained Robert.

"Do you know what it was? You know, the thing by the fence?" Logan wanted to know.

"Yea … it looked like it was a red delicious … an apple," was how Robert described it.

"So, that's what did it! It sort of figures, that something, that hard would knock me out. … They say I have a concussion and I have to stay overnight for observation. I can't wait to get out of here. This is the first time, I can remember, ever being in a hospital," revealed Logan.

As the lads continued to talk, Mrs. Anderson directed her attention to Mr. Ken. "I thought Collin was your foster son, Mr. Ken? Is this another lad you are now helping out?"

"Yes, Mrs. Anderson, Robert is my new foster son, but Collin, well, he was sent to live with his grandmother, quite some time ago. You would not have known that unless you had a student in Collin's classes. I still hear from the teenager. He'll graduate from high school, this May, and will be headed off to college, in the fall. That is IF he can choose between four different colleges," laughed Mr. Ken.

"I want to thank you for making the effort to come visit my Logan. You helped him out, back a few years ago, and I knew then, that you were 'good people'. Tonight, now, I definitely know you are 'good people' as you did what you needed to do to find out how my son was doing, for your new charge. I want to thank you, again, for doing what you've done for my Logan," the teary eyed woman said, to the owner of Three Finger Cove. Then, she hugged him for all she was worth.

When the residents of Three Finger Cove returned home, the first thing Robert did was to hug his 'dad' for taking him to see Logan. The lad was overjoyed his friend would be okay, and he got to see him, for himself. Since it was getting late, they both decided to turn in for the night. They exchanged one last hug and then they each departed, for their own bedroom.

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