Chapter 2 - The Family Grows
It was nearing Christmas Vacation from school and Juan received a notice from the VA (Veteran's Administration) that he was due for a six months checkup at the VA Hospital in Tucson. He thought that would be a fine vacation for the boys, so he made an appointment for the checkup.
They arrived in Tucson the night before and got up early for the appointment.
There was a daycare center that James could stay but Bobby would have to stay with Juan, they didn't think that would be a big problem. Juan's records were updated to include the boys and Bobby was actually a big help in removing Juan's prosthesis and steadying him for the physical.
It all went quickly and they were back at the hotel by mid-afternoon. With some free time, Juan took them sightseeing on the University Campus, as they drove around, Bobby spotted the ROTC Cadets out marching.
Juan did a double take, he saw an officer observing the marching cadets, he was his old Commanding Officer Major Bellingham!
Juan stopped the car and took the boys over to meet the man, only he was now Colonel Bellingham!
Juan introduced Bobby to the Colonel and said that he was in high School JROTC.
The Colonel asked Juan if he might show the boy around, Juan saw no harm and Bobby was flying high.
Once they were out of earshot, the Colonel leaned over and said, "Can you keep a secret?"
Bobby said he could and the Colonel whispered something in Bobby's ear. Bobby's eyes flew wide open. The Colonel reminded Bobby that it was his secret and he was to say something ONLY at the appropriate time!
Bobby rejoined the Family and they returned to the hotel. Bobby kept looking at his Dad and smiling, but he said nothing.
The next morning, they all headed back to Hurley, Juan decided to take the route from Lordsburg up to Silver City and then back down to Hurley.
They had lunch in Lordsburg and then headed out across the desert towards Silver City.
About half way up the mountains Bobby screamed, "STOP!"
Juan jammed on the brakes and stopped the car. Bobby jumped out and ran into the bushes.
Seconds later, he returned dragging an Indian boy by the hand.
Juan got out of the car and walked up to the two, he said, "Son, whatever are you doing out here?"
The boy looked down at his feet and mumbled, "Got nowhere to go."
Juan looked at Bobby, who nodded his head.
Juan picked the boy up, he looked to be about 14 years old but was skinny as a fence post. He put him in the back seat and they started out.
It was getting late, so Juan decided to take the boy to their home and figure it out in the morning.
When they got home, Bobby held onto the boy and led him in the house. Juan sat down and Bobby brought the boy over to him.
Juan said, "Son, who are you and why were you out there?"
The boy began to sniffle and said, "You don't want me here, I am not a good person"
Juan started to get upset, "Why don't you let me be the judge of that, what is your name?"
The boy replied, "Roger Knife and my Dad said to never come back!" Juan screamed, "WHAT?" then he said, "Bobby, go call Uncle John and tell we need him, yesterday!"
Bobby did just that and before he could get back to the living room, squealing tires were heard coming down the street!
John came running into the house, he looked at Juan and the boy standing next to him and groaned, "Do I have to go listen to Gabby Sanchez again?"
The boy began to cry, "You don't want me here, I might infect your son, I think I am queer!"
Juan grabbed the boy and hugged him, "You can't infect Bobby unless he was born that way. I don't want to hear that ugly word again in this house. ever! You might be Gay but being Gay is not a disease!"
He turned to John and said, "I want this boy, make it happen!"
At that, the boy dissolved into sobs, thoroughly wetting Juan's shirt.
John finally got all the information he needed and left, muttering to himself about having to listen to Judge Sanchez's awful stories again.
After Roger was finally cried out, Bobby took him to the bathroom to get cleaned up and found some of his clothes the boy could wear.
Juan and Bobby fixed supper that night, tacos, store bought enchiladas, refried beans and flan for dessert!
Roger drank nearly a quart of milk by himself!
Juan thought to himself, "What kind of home life did this kid have? Any at all?"
It was two days before Christmas, Juan told the boys he had some errands to run, that he would be back in a short time. He rushed to the General Store, the only store in Hurley, and started grabbing things off the shelves.
His cousin, Alfredo, was tending the store and asked, "You got a run on kids?"
Juan just laughed and said, "No, just a new son!"
Alfredo thought it was just a joke, so he laughed. After snatching up an armload of wrapping paper, Juan checked out and headed home.
Roger was exhausted so Juan sent Bobby with him to bed. As soon as everything went quiet, Juan went out to the car and hauled in the presents.
He was busy wrapping when a pair of arms went around him.
Bobby hugged him and said, "Thanks Dad, you're the greatest!"
He then went back to bed. Juan thought, "No son, YOU ARE!"
He then stacked all the wrapped packages under the tree.
Bobby was careful not to notice them, so Roger never realized that the stack had grown.
The next day, Christmas Eve, they were all invited to John and Anita's for dinner. She had cooked a turkey, made pumpkin pies plus all the traditional Mexican foods for Christmas.
The Juan walked in with all the boys, they were overwhelmed with delicious smells.
John handed Juan an envelope and pointed to Roger shaking his head, "Yes". He then whispered, "You OWE me, Bro!"
The boys ate themselves into a stupor, even little James got to gnaw on a turkey bone! It was late when they returned to the house, Bobby steered Roger past the tree and into the bedroom, both boys were out like lights!
James had fallen asleep in the car and was out for the night. At the crack of dawn Bobby and Roger were wide awake, they tumbled into Juan's room and said together, "Is it Christmas yet?"
Juan mumbled and groaned and slid out from under the warm sheets. He dressed quickly and carried James out to the living room.
Bobby was standing there with a fresh cup, of coffee for his Dad, Juan gratefully accepted the offering of the gods and sat in his chair. He told Roger to start distributing presents.
The first one said "Roger" so he put it on the couch. The next one did also and the next and the next! Finally one said "Bobby" and another said James and so on until all that was left was that envelope that John had handed Juan.
Roger carefully brought the envelope to Juan, who held it out to him, saying, "Roger, it has your name on it."
Roger looked at it and opened it up. Inside was a form, as he pulled it out he saw, "CERTIFICATE OF PERMANENT CUSTODY" and below that was his name and then Juan's name!
It took a few seconds for it to register on the boy, then he screamed and leapt into Juan's lap, hugging him as tightly as he could.
After the boy had calmed down, Juan pointed out that he had lots more presents to open! First came a pair of cowboy boots and then a hat. Next was a traditional western shirt and a lariat.
The last box had both his and Bobby's name on it. They opened it together and found a piece of paper in the bottom of the box. It said, "GO OUT THE BACK DOOR"
Both boys tried to scramble through the door at the same time, there, tied to the hitching post were two ponies, one a paint and the other a roan. There were saddles and blankets sitting on the railing!
That was the last Juan saw of the boys until hunger drove them home! With them came Juanito and Carlos on their new ponies!
Juan made them all go take a shower before lunch, they smelled like a horse barn!
The Christmas school vacation was soon over and Bobby was back in class, Juan took Roger and got him registered as a High School Freshman.
Roger asked if he could be in JROTC like his big brother, Bobby and the counselor told him, "No problem."
It was a mild winter and every weekend the boys spent their free time on their horses.
One sunny day in early April, Roger came racing back to the house, his pony all lathered up.
He dropped the reins and ran into the house screaming, "Dad, Dad, come quick! HURRY!"
Juan came into the kitchen and put his arm around Roger, "Slow down son, you are not making any sense."
Roger shouted, "Boy, Boy, HURRY, HURT, BOBBY HELPING, HURRY!"
Juan said, "Slow down son, can I get there in the Scout?"
Roger shook his head, "Yes, HURRY, COME ON, HURRY! LET'S GO"
Juan backed the Scout out of the garage and slipped it into 4-Wheel drive, Roger was back on his pony, waving at Juan to hurry up.
They started off with Roger leading the way at a full gallop!
Juan was hard pressed to keep up with them, Roger and his pony leaped across a small stream and up a rocky hill with Juan bouncing from boulder to boulder trying to keep from losing sight of the boy. As he cleared the crest of the hill, he spotted Roger climbing off his pony and Bobby's pony standing patiently nearby. Juan stopped the Scout and climbed out, Roger took his hand, urging him to hurry.
Bobby was kneeling beside a boy laying on Bobby's spread out jacket.
Another, smaller boy was standing there, crying.
As Juan struggled over the rocks, Bobby called out, "This is Jason, he has fallen and I think his leg is broken.
Juan examined the boy and confirmed what Bobby had told him, the boy's leg was very definitely broken!
Between them, they got the boy in the Scout, Juan told Bobby to sit beside him to keep him from falling over.
He told Roger to ride back to the house, leading Bobby's pony.
He then had the smaller boy sit on the other side of Jason to also help steady the injured boy and they headed back, much slower so not to hurt the boy further.
As soon as they reached the house, Juan called the only doctor in town, Dr. Jefferson, and he said he would come right over.
Bobby and Roger carefully lifted Jason and carried him into the house, using the cross hands chair carry that they had been taught in JROTC a short time before.
While they were waiting for Dr. Jefferson, Juan took the smaller boy and held him, "Son, are you Jason's brother?" The boy replied, "No sir, we are cousins, he was getting me away from my father, look."
At that, the boy lifted his shirt and exposed a black and blue beaten back, blood and pus were oozing out of the welts!
One look was all Juan needed, Juan told Roger to go call Uncle John and ask him to come over fast!
He then went over and spoke with Jason, "Jason, can you tell me your father's name so I can call him?"
Jason started to cry, "NOOOOO, he is worse than Phillip's father!"
Juan thought, "Oh God, not again!"
Just then, Dr. Jefferson arrived, so Juan filled him in on what he knew. Dr. Jefferson was an old country doctor and he looked like somebody's favorite grandfather.
He knelt beside Jason and said, "Son, I need to examine your leg, I will be as gentle as I can."
The boy nodded ok and the doctor started to slide Jason's pants off his hips. The boy screamed, "NOOOOOOOOO" and began to cry in earnest.
The kindly old doctor said, "It's ok, there isn't anything I haven't seen before!" and continued to remove the boy's trousers.
He discovered the boy had no underwear on and when he turned him, so he could examine the injured leg, he saw something that horrified him.
He stood up, his eyes blazing pure fire, he motioned Juan to come with him to the kitchen.
Dr. Jefferson was so angry, he was stammering, "Juan, that boy has been raped! You get Sheriff Casey down here now, before I do something I will regret!"
Just then, John Peters stepped into the house. Juan quickly told him what they had discovered, John's face went ashen white and he grabbed Juan's phone off the wall and dialed the Sheriff's office himself.
Whatever John told Sheriff Casey, he soon arrived with his Chief Deputy under sirens and red lights.
After talking to the two boys, Calvin Casey promised Juan that the jail would have two new residents within the hour!
The two Sheriffs left and Dr. Jefferson took Jason back to his clinic for some x-rays and to set the broken leg. Juan and John took the boys and followed the doctor in Juan's Scout.
Juan said, "About your FRIEND, Gabby Sanchez", John interrupted him saying, "OK, I'm on it! You had better build some new bedrooms on your house if you are going to keep collecting boys!"
The doctor put Jason's leg in a cast and told him he had to stay home from school for a while. He also gave Juan some salve to put on the boy's raw bottom and also on the other boy's back.
They found the other boy was Phillip and both boys' last name was Carson, their fathers were brothers. Phillip was only 11 years old and Jason was 15!
Juan was livid, that anyone would treat two young boys like that. He made himself a promise that ANY boy who suffered so in the future was going have a bedroom in Juan's house.
It had been an exciting and tiring day, Juan made his mother's favorite recipe for hurt boys, chicken soup. With full stomachs, all the boys, including little James decided on a nap.
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