Saturday, January 27, 2007

Drafts: Frog Haven, Chapter 18

Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8 ,Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15. Chapter 16, Chapter 17

Chapter 18: The Plan

“Old Man Williams was supposed to be mean, you said.”

“I heard that somewhere; someone said that. Lyssa, maybe. But I don’t think so. I think whatever killed him killed them. First. Listen. We’d better go home. It’s getting late and I have something important I have to do. I should have done it before I came to you house, but I wanted to see you so bad.”

“That’s okay, I haven’t had any dinner and I am starved.”

“Oh, Garryd, why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because you were so upset about the cabin and I wanted to see what they had done.”

“Well, now we know. I wish I knew what we should do about it,” Sissy said, as they came out of the woods into the pastures. “I’d like to tell my parents what those guys did, but if I tell them, they will know I disobeyed again.”

“I don’t know what to do either. Let’s think about it and then have a blood siblings’ pow-wow.”

“Okay, good idea.”

As soon as Garryd went into eat, Sissy ran over to LeFevres’. She pounded on the door. Guy answered and called Paul. He didn’t even look surprised. Or make any remarks. “I need to talk to you. Can you come out for a little while?”

“Can I, Mom?” Paul asked his Mom, who was washing dishes in the kitchen behind him.

“For a little while.”

They sat on the back fence. Guy came out and walked by, headed for Mancinis’ back door. Sissy looked around to make sure no one was nearby. She told Paul what she and Garryd had seen in the cabin. Then she told him about the graves and whom she thought was in them.

“Listen, Paul, does your father know anything about Garryd?”

“Yes, he does. I heard him talking to Mom about it last night. They thought I went out with Guy, but I had gone into the bathroom, and when I started back out, I heard them talking in the living room, so I stood quietly in the hall and listened. Dad told Mom that social services are trying to take Sven and Garryd away from their parents because their parents are deaf and poor.”

“Oh, no! Really?”

“That’s exactly what he said,” Paul assured her.

Marc ran by, “Paul and Sissy, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” he shouted

Michael ran by, “First comes love, then comes marriage,” he shouted as he ran by.

“Then comes Sissy with a baby carriage,” added Guy as he ran past.

The three boys peeked around the back of LeFevres’ house and roared with laughter.

“Shut up, you idiots,” Paul screamed, running after his brother, snatching him by the shirt, and pulling him to the ground. His face was beet red and he started pounding on Guy.

“Stop it, stop it,” screeched Sissy. “Listen, you guys, social services is trying to take Garryd and Sven away from their parents. We’ve got to help them. I need your help. Come on; let’s see if we can think of something.

Lyssa came around the back of Mancini’s house. “Can I stay over at your house tonight?”

“I don’t think so. We have school in the morning. Besides, we’re trying to figure out what to do about Garryd.” Sissy explained to Lyssa about Garryd’s family and social services.

“That’s stupid, I’m going to go tell my Mommy and Daddy. They won’t let them do that.”

“How can they stop them,” Paul sneered, “they’re not even lawyers or anything.”

“Well, your father is, why can’t he help?”

“Maybe I’ll go in and ask him.”

“Then he’ll know you were listening,” Guy said.

“No, he won’t. For all he knows, Garryd told Sissy and Sissy told me. She was all upset when she came over. He heard how she said she needed to talk to me.”

“I’ll go with you,” Guy said.

“Well, I’m going to talk to my parents; they will know what to do even if they aren’t lawyers,” Lyssa said, heading off across the lawn.

“Let’s go talk to Pa and Mom,” Sissy said to Marc and Michael.

“Paul must have been mistaken, honey,” Papa said when Sissy told them their news and worries. “They don’t do things like that any more. This isn’t the Dark Ages.”

“Can you find out, please, Papa? Go over and ask Mr. LeFevre, PLEASE?”

“Well, okay, if it will put your mind at ease. You guys can come with me and see what he has to say.”

“You may think this is not the Dark Ages,” Claude LeFevre remarked, “but as far as the Dutcherville County Social Services are concerned, it still is. They are definitely trying to take Garryd and Sven away from their parents. They cite the fact that each of the boys was held back a grade for failing to develop proper speech patterns . . .”

“But they talk fine now,” Sissy interrupted.

“They are still behind in their school development, and Social Services insists it’s because both parents are deaf. They also say that their income from Social Security is insufficient to provide an adequate home for the boys.”

“Then Social Security should give them more money,” said Sissy.

“Sissy,” Papa said, “stop interrupting!”

“As far as I’m concerned, Sissy’s right. Social Services should be supportive of the Family, give them food stamps and whatever aid they need, tutors, even, anything to keep the family together rather than tear it apart.”

“Can’t their lawyer help them?”

“They just have Darren Muscovy the Third, a court-appointed lawyer. He’s an old man and a bit of a souse. He’s ready to retire and can’t even stay awake during his own cases. He’s no help at all.”

“What about you, Claude, can’t you help?”

“I can’t just walk in and take over the case. It’s disrespectful and disallowed. Someone has to retain me. It has to be done legally.”

“I’ll retain you, Claude,” Anthony Mancini said, “How much do you need as a retainer?”

There was a knock at the door. Lyssa, Bill, and Dr. and Dr. Taylor were at the door, looking worried.

Claude LeFevre laughed. “Word travels fast around here! Have you come to help pay Knudsons’ legal expenses?” He laughed again and filled them in.

Later, Sissy and Lyssa went door-to-door asking for help for the Knudsons. Everyone agreed to help, even Mrs. Doolittle, who looked disapprovingly at Sissy’s dirty bare feet.

Chapter 19, P365-07W

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