The Cup Bearer

by DJ

Chapter 73

Monday 6 th January. 1996

Adams looked up, startled, as Edward Grafton and George Sherbourne walked into his office. He rose from his desk to greet them but the cold expressions on their faces hinted that this wasn't a friendly visit. "Mr. Adams," Edward began, "I have been instructed by my client, Mr. Manuel Diaz Lupino, to investigate a case of professional misconduct regarding your treatment of his son. We would like to examine any tapes or records you have regarding Gypsy Diaz O'Riley. Where are they?"

Adams took a step backwards and pulled himself up to his full five foot eight "I'm sorry. I'm not handing anything over without proper authority."

"Don't play clever," George growled at him. "Just hand them over."

"You have no authority here," Adams retorted. "This is the UK, not the USA. You're not licensed to practice over here which is why you delegated the task of treating Gypsy to me."

"A move I very much regret; but you're wrong, Bryn; I got my training the same way you did and was doing your job at the Rosscroft while you were still in diapers. I can practice in the UK any time I want to. Now just hand over the tapes and we'll leave you alone, till we find out what you've been doing, to MY patient, that is."

"As I've said before. I can't give you the tapes unless the owner says I can."

"And just who is the owner?"

"Mr. Rosscroft senior."

Edward turned and went to the door and poked his head out into the corridor. "I think it's time you made your grand entrance, Percy."

Adams' face blanched as the elderly owner of the clinic entered the office. Walking up to Adams he spoke in a clear voice that belied his eighty years. "Bryn Adams, I brought you straight out of medical college as a brilliant young graduate and nurtured you here in this clinic the same way I did Mr. Sherbourne. I opened many doors for you and granted you many privileges you would otherwise not have enjoyed as a mere junior doctor. I did it because I thought that one day you would make a top psychotherapist. It seems you have betrayed my trust. I don't know what your game is or who you're in league with, but if these gentlemen are correct and you have harmed a patient, you will pay the severest of penalties. Now, Mr. Adams, you will give Mr. Sherbourne the tapes and then you will clear your things from this office and vacate this building within the next half hour. No doubt the police officers waiting in the main foyer will want to have a word with you before you leave. If Mr. Grafton's suspicions are confirmed, you may find yourself facing a charge of grievous bodily harm, perhaps even murder if the boy dies, besides being struck off the medical list."

Adams smiled triumphantly. "There's nothing on the tapes. I've wiped them."

George's smile was equally triumphant. "So you admit you made some incriminating tapes. Let's have a look at the files on your computer then." The computer sat on its own table to the left of Adams' desk. Adams made a dive towards it but George, for all his bulk, was faster and blocked his way.

"A guilty move if ever there was one," Rosscroft commented.

Adams struggled to get past George but the American wagged a finger in his face. "Don't try anything you might regret, mister. You're in enough trouble as it is, you and that fairground hypnotist friend of yours."

They produced a similar reaction when they went to see Horace a few minutes later, but this time the tapes weren't in the office. They were at Horace's home among his private collection, which Edward and the police searched and found other interesting tapes. Those dealing with Gypsy were brought back to the clinic and George and Percival examined them together in the privacy of Percival's own office. They spent an hour in there before they came out and hurried to Gypsy's room. Both men wore expressions of deepest worry.

In Gypsy's room, they found Manuel sitting with his head bowed, deep in prayer and it wasn't until Percival touched him on the arm that he realised anyone was there. He looked up and watched George walk to Sandy's cassette player. Picking up the empty tape case lying beside it, he examined the contents list, rewound the tape and pressed the play button. It was a selection of classical piano pieces played by Sandy himself. Once the music filled the room, George turned down the volume so that it played in the background then asked Shana if she wouldn't mind letting him use her chair. He sat down as close to Gypsy's head as possible and began to talk softly. "Can you hear me, my precious Ganymede? Just concentrate on the music and my voice."

Shana gave a gasp of alarm and Manuel shot to his feet, ready to fling himself at George. Two pairs of hands grabbed him from behind and pulled him away from the bed. "Calm down," Edward said quietly, "he knows what he's doing. After all, it was your idea."

"What?" Manuel stared at him blankly.

"Come out into the corridor and we'll explain," Percival said. "You too Miss Royle."

Manuel resisted them, wanting to know what George was up to and unwilling to leave his son's side. Finally Edward had to push him through the door and hold on to him while Percival ushered Shana out and closed the door.

"The next time you see Sandy Roberts," Edward said, "thank him for saving your son's life. He was right to suspect Horace of some dirty work. Adams was in league with him."

Manuel stared open mouthed at him and Percival nodded. "We just hope George is not too late to reverse the damage they've done to your son."

"I got in touch with George at the earliest opportunity." Edward explained. "It didn't take him long to trace Don through that post code and Don explained how the hypnosis worked. George decided he had better come over and try and sort things out himself. Every day since Gypsy was brought in, Horace has had a session with Gypsy, and where everyone thought he was helping in the efforts to bring Gypsy round he's been using the hypnosis to take him deeper into it, with the intention of making sure he never woke up. Why, we may never know. We've just heard from the police that Horace took his own life about ten minutes ago."

"How?" Shana asked; her eyes wide with shock.

"One of the oldest tricks in the book," Percival said. "Rudkin and his team were giving his house a thorough search and Horace asked to go to the bathroom. He must have had some powerful pills ready for such an occasion. By the time they broke down the door he was dead. They tried to revive him but it was too late."

"Didn't they search the bathroom before they let him in?" Manuel asked him.

"Oh yes, but the tablets were well hidden; behind a loose wall tile. We found the tile in pieces on the floor, and a two inch wide cavity drilled into the wall; enough to hide a fair number of tablets with the tile held in place with sticky-fixers. We'll know what he took when Rudkin gets the autopsy report from the path lab. And by the way, there will be no medical fees to pay for your son's treatment and recovery Manuel. It's the least I can do, as it was two trusted members of my staff who used their positions to betray a patient. I only wish Gypsy's complaint about his treatment while being examined last year had been investigated deeper. At first I thought the three suspended staff were working with Adams and Horace in a private little paedophile ring of their own. But now I've heard the tapes for myself, I'm inclined to believe they are connected in some way to the same much larger network that ensnared Gypsy in the first place. As it is, after consultation with Rudkin, I am suspending the use of this clinic as a child abuse centre until such time as all members of staff have been thoroughly questioned about the matter, and the place guaranteed safe for abused children. Rudkin himself will lead the investigation. I'll see you later, Manuel." Manuel was too shocked to say anything and stood shaking his head as Percival went off down the corridor to the nurse's station. At last Manuel whispered, "Sandy Roberts you've done it again!"

Edward took Manuel back into the ward and they sat down to wait for George to complete his therapy. A doctor and two nurses came in, obviously at Percival's request, and stood ready to attend to Gypsy. At last George stopped talking, rose to his feet, and switched off the cassette player. His expression was one of defeat as he turned to face Manuel. "I'm sorry Manuel; I guess I'm too late. Those bastards did a really good job on him and put him in a catatonic trance I can't bring him out of. He's gone too deep."

Manuel sat frozen by the bed, unable to think of anything but the fact he was going to lose his beautiful son. The doctor moved to the bed with the nurses and after checking patient and monitors, the doctor shook his head sadly. "Mr. Lupino, I think it's time his family came to say goodbye." In tears of grief, Manuel dropped his head into his hands, leaving Edward to make the call to Mrs. Cole's house.

Fifteen minutes later the Gomez children walked solemnly into the ward and Manuel thought his heart would break as they gathered round to say goodbye to their brother. Only Jose stood back from the bed, his face set in a look of ….was that triumph Manuel saw? At his request, the life support system and all the life giving tubes had been removed. The nurses had dressed his son in the pyjamas his siblings had bought him and placed Gypsy at the edge of the bed so that Manuel could cradle him in his arms. As tears ran down his face, he rocked his son against his chest. His son looked so small and delicate now and he pretended desperately that Gypsy was just sleeping and would wake up and smile up at him with those dark expressive eyes of his. Each of his siblings leaned over to place a kiss on his face, and drew back in tears.

Perquita beckoned to Jose and tried to draw him closer to the bed, but Jose shook off her hand. Backing away towards the ward door, he shook his head and said coldly, "I'm glad he's dying. He made Mama die and now he's killed my dad; I hate him." He turned and ran from the room in tears and Perquita made to run after him, but Manuel stopped her.

"No, Perquita, leave him, it's all right. Your place is with Gypsy now. I will talk to Jose later.

The tape of Sandy Roberts playing his piano was being played. At the very moment Beethoven's Piano Sonata number fifteen opus twenty-eight reached it most tender section, Manuel thought it very fitting. Gypsy would have sat enthralled had he not been sleeping.

Gypsy?

"Go away?"

Do you hear the music? Is it not wonderful?

"Don't want to. Want to sleep."

You have such a lovely family; do you not want to talk to them?

"Don't remember. Sleep now."

Gypsy, do you remember the command I gave you? You must not go to sleep; you have a task to perform for Me.

"Warm here, warm and dark."

"You are no longer in your dark hole, or in your mother's womb. You are here in the palm of My hand, just as you were when I showed you the magnificence of My world. Look, Gypsy; that light in the distance, can you see it? It is the light which leads to My Father's throne in Heaven. You can only see the light because of your faith in Me; that is where your mother is, and Aida is with her. You cannot go there yet, it is not your time, but I will let your mother speak with you, just this once. Only I can do this, because I am the Lord your God."

"Gypsy?"

"Mum?"

"Yes, Gypsy. It isn't time yet, my lovely son. Aida is here with me and she wants you to remember the message she gave you. We love you, Gypsy, and we will be waiting for you."

"When will I see you again? Please Mum, don't go, I need you."

"Goodbye, Gypsy."

"Mum? I can't see the light any more. Where am I?"

"Gypsy, I am the Lord your God. You cannot see the light because you are in the Light. See it all around you? I am that light and the Light can be in you, if only you will accept me and believe in me."

"No, I don't believe you. Let me go. Let me sleep."

"Put your trust in me. Just call on My Name and I will be with you always. Then you will always walk in the Light."

"Afraid."

"Of what?"

"Voices."

"There are no voices to be afraid of any more, only George who is trying to reach you, to bring you back out of your black hole. You do not have to stay there anymore."

"No. Go away."

"Listen to your family, Gypsy. They are saying goodbye."

"Goodbye?"

"Yes, My child. Your father is there too. He is breaking his heart at the thought of losing you. You must go back and show your family you are not going to die. You must be there for Jose. He is going to need you a short while from now if he is to be steered away from the wrong path."

"How can I go back there now? I don't know the way."

"Listen to someone very close to you, she will lead you back."

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