Dear Diary

Chapter 22

 

 

Author's Note:

While going through this chapter to correct spelling inconsistencies regarding some of the names, I also took the time to bootbox what I believe to be the most difficult to decipher Cajun dialect.  While translating it, I did not always stick to the exact wording, as I decided that making the message clearer was the point of the bootbox, so I gave the meaning of the phrases I was translating, not just the exact translation.  I hope this helps any of you that are not familiar with the colloquial Cajun tongue.

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Mamee Whatley Wiggins sighed contentedly as her home came into focus around her. "This popping in and out of places isn't so bad sometimes," she thought to herself as she realized just how much she had wanted to get home and rest from her week in Florida, especially after the trauma of that morning. She tried not to think about what had happened to that sweet little Joel because she knew if she did; it would start her crying again.

She smiled as she watched Jessie grab Jason and Philip by the hands while Dixon did the same to Layton and JB so that the younger boys could take the older ones on a tour around their new home. It was so good to see them all together and especially see little Jessie looking happier than she had seen him since she met the boy. "That boy needs a big family, and now he's got one," she mused silently, as she thought about all the new family her little boys had all over the world and even right here in Charleston.

Besides the little doctor boys and the others at the old naval hospital, they had met Nate and Lije Lewis after the big Clan meeting. Mamee had spent the day of the funeral with their mother, as she knew the pain of losing a son. The two women hit it off very well and so had their boys. Nate and Lije had been excited about the work that Dixon, Jessie, Huey, and the rest of the guys were going to be doing. They also thought it was hysterical that every time they saluted Dixon as their commanding officer he would blush fire engine red. Maybe it was the salute Huey taught them to use. It involved walking a few steps while imitating Frankenstein. The Lewis boys didn't understand why that would make Dixon blush, but it sure did. When Huey offered to tell them, Dixon had pushed him into the pool.

Mamee smiled as she remembered the moment Dixon learned that he would be the commanding officer of a completely new division of the Clan. In fact, she was still so proud of him that she had already ordered some stationery and business cards for him with his new title, Director of Intel Field Services. She realized that might be a bit old fashioned, especially given the nature of his work, but she was old fashioned herself, not to mention old enough to do what she jolly well pleased, thank you very much.

Nate and Lije weren't the only members of the Lewis household that would be seen around Wiggins House, though. Their mom, Emily, had been a legal secretary before she lost her hand. She needed a job, Sonny needed a secretary; it was a perfect match. It also didn't hurt that the job would pay much better than the support programs that they were considering. Mamee turned her focus back to the immediate family in the house with her as Pet began talking.

"Land sakes, just look at the dust in this house, I knowed I shouldn't have stayed gone a week," Pet was fussing, but the whole family knew she was happy as could be to be back home where she had more to do. It had been a wonderful vacation for her to be in Florida and have other people and machines do almost everything for her, but Pet was a woman who needed to be busy taking care of her family, just like her mother.

"Well, Pet, it ain't gonna get clean, us just standing around looking at it," Annie Mae told her daughter. The two of them rolled up their sleeves and went right to work while telling everyone else to stay out of the way.

Melvin made his way outside to check the grounds and the garage. Huey followed him just as he had done since he was a small child. It was their time to bond as father and son, even if there was no blood connection between them. The love that was there was just as strong as it would have been had they been biologically related. The week with the Clan had shown all of them how much more love mattered over biology anyway.

Mamee walked slowly into her sitting room and her eyes fell on the picture of Josey and Doug. She sat down on her divan and held the picture, staring for the first time not at her brother's face but at the face of the android he had loved. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she thought of what that sweet boy must have experienced in his final hours at the vicious hands of her father. The old woman wondered if she would ever be able to forgive what Zebulon Whatley had done. She knew that he had acted out of grief, hurt, and she now knew that there was jealousy there as well. She hadn't shared the knowledge of her father's love affair with Annie Mae's father with her oldest and dearest friend. While Annie Mae obviously loved and accepted Huey for who he is, Mamee just couldn't be certain how she would feel about their fathers loving one another and only marrying their mothers for the appearances.

Her thoughts shifted to the present and she wondered if bringing Doug back was truly the best thing to do for him. The little doctor boys had assured her that they could eliminate the memories Doug had stored in his files from the last time that Mamee saw him until he actually went offline. Still, though, how would he handle waking up to find that his friends Amee and Annie Mae were now old women? Huey seemed to have his heart set on bringing the android back though. Mamee had to wonder why he was so anxious. Could there be more than just curiosity and computer geekiness motivating the boy? How would Doug respond if there were? For that matter, how would Annie Mae respond to it? She had made it perfectly clear how she felt about Doug.

Jason, Philip, Layton and JB were amazed as the excited younger boys dragged them through the house. None of the four college-aged boys could get over the size of the house. Jessie and Dixon had already talked to Mamee about the assignment of the rooms in the house, and knew that they wanted Jason and Philip to have the room next to theirs. They also thought it would be nice to have Layton and JB close to them as well, so Dixon decided to tease them a bit when they walked into one of the rooms.

"Layton, you and JB can have this room," Dixon announced happily. "It's right across the hall from mine and Jessie's. Mamee says this used to be my room when I was a baby. That's why it has dolphins all over the wall. I thought you would like that, JB," he added with a giggle.

"Make sure there isn't an intercom connection in this room," Jason suggested. "One couple being broadcast through the house was probably enough."

"OHMYGOSH" Jessie gasped as he and Dixon both blushed intensely. "Who told you guys about that?"

"Will everyone please stop assuming that JB and I are going to jump into bed together as soon as your backs are turned?" Layton asked. "I'd like to get to know my boyfriend a bit before that happens."

"Dat's for shore, when we make love...." JB's voice trailed off as he looked into Layton's eyes. "You called me you boyfriend?"

"You said when we make love," Layton returned.

"Privacy time," Jason announced and gently pushed Philip, Dixon and Jessie toward the hall.

"You really want a homely Cajun like me as a boyfriend?" JB asked quietly.

"No," Layton answered, but quickly continued. "I want the knock my socks off gorgeous, sexy dreamboat Cajun I see in front of me as my boyfriend." JB blushed intensely but grabbed Layton in his arms and embraced him tightly. Layton suddenly giggled and pulled away just enough to look into his boyfriend's questioning face. "I'm sorry I said dreamboat," he apologized sincerely. "I meant dream Pirogue."

"Oh you so wrong for dat, you Yankee," JB laughed and hugged Layton close once more.

The two boys were still laughing a couple of moments later when they opened the door and went to look for their friends again. They found Dixon, Jessie, Jason, and Philip in a large room just down the hall from their bedrooms. The others teased them a little about holding hands as they walked in until JB pointed out that the other two couples in the room were doing the same thing.

"So whose room is this?" Layton asked as he looked around. He couldn't help noticing how the room was laid out perfectly to be a command center for their Internet Predator Patrol Headquarters.

"We were thinking this would make a good room to set up as a computer room for us to work from," Jessie told their head of security.

"I was just thinking the same thing," Layton admitted with a smile. Dixon walked over to the intercom connection and sent out a request for anyone who saw Huey to have him join them in whatever room they were in.

"I saw myself in the bathroom mirror just a second ago," Huey answered with a laugh. "I'll go tell myself to come find you as soon as you tell me where you are," he added.

"Ummm... well..." Dixon stammered. "I don't really know where we are, but we're in the house."

"That doesn't exactly help," Huey scolded lightly.

"What color is the carpet in the room?" Pet asked.

"What kind of paneling is in the room?" Mamee questioned.

"Who's in the pictures on the wall?" Annie Mae contributed.

"This room has a wood floor, I don't see any carpet," Jessie told everyone listening.

"The paneling has a lot of dark spots in it," Dixon added.

"There's a picture of someone's wedding in here, Mamee is standing by the groom, but she looks a lot younger," Philip announced.

"You're in my son's old office," Mamee told them. "Would you like to use that room for something?"

"Yes, Mamee," Dixon confirmed. "If it's ok with you, that is."

"Of course it is, Dixie," the old woman answered. "This old mausoleum will be yours one day, so do what you want with it."

"Dis ain't no mausoleum, Grand'Mere, dis a manoir," JB mused aloud.

"Well there are a lot of men in the house now," Mamee laughed.

"It's about time too," Melvin added.

"Did you have some problem with being the only man around here?" Pet asked.

"He was not the only man, Mother," Huey pointed out, then added, "I'll be there in a couple of minutes, guys."

Just as Huey got to the office, the phone rang. A moment later, everyone heard Pet over the intercom telling Mamee that she had an emergency phone call from Chinquapin Bayou, Louisiana. Naturally, this caught JB's attention instantly. The boys all rushed to Mamee's sitting room to find out what was going on. Meanwhile, Mamee was getting an earful of Cajun dialect.

"Amee, you gots to get dem people what help you to help my Popsicle bébésAmee, you gots to get dem people what help you to help my Popsicle bébés ("Amee, you have to get the people that helped you to help my Popsicle babies")," René begged. "I don't care what happen to me, no, but dem bébés can't stood with dey grand-père. He can't turn dem into what he made his sonI don't care what happen to me, no, but dem bébés can't stood with dey grand-père. He can't turn dem into what he made his son ("I do not care what happens to me, but those babies cannot stay with their grandfather.  He cannot turn them into what he made his son")."

"We will get there as soon as we can, René," Mamee told her old friend from her college days as her newly expanded family joined her. She heard a gruff voice ordering René off the phone, and before she could say another word, the connection ended. "I would say it was a fortuitous day that you chose to join our family, JB," she announced to the room full of people. "I think we may need you as a translator," she added with a grin. She then proceeded to tell the boys what little she had learned from her conversation with her old friend René.

The boys had a quick discussion and decided that Huey would stay in Charleston and get Nate and Lije Lewis to help him set up the computer center. Another moment and a transport from Daileass later Mamee, JB, Layton, Dixon, and Jessie found themselves in a small poorly decorated waiting room. There was a young woman sitting in one of the ratty chairs, but she was in no condition to notice their arrival, as she was sobbing and rocking back and forth holding a manila envelope tightly to her chest.

"He can't be gone, he just can't be," she was moaning. "Dat fool was finally gonna to propose tonight." Dixon walked up to the woman and touched her arm softly, asking her what had happened. "My boyfriend he went and got hisself shot to death, dat's what happened," she answered with a sob. "But dat sheriff crazy on swamp gas if he tink I b'lieve Tante René been did dis. I been knowed Tante René my whole life and he ain't never hurt so much as a mouse, except maybe a nutria now and thenBut dat sheriff crazy on swamp gas if he tink I b'lieve Tante René been did dis. I been knowed Tante René my whole life and he ain't never hurt so much as a mouse, except maybe a nutria now and then ("But that sheriff is crazy on swamp gas if he thinks that I believe that Aunt René has done this. I have known Aunt René all of my life and he has never hurt so much as a mouse, except maybe a nutria now and then")."

"What's a nutria?" Jessie whispered to JB.

"Best you don't know, frerBest you don't know, frer ("It is best that you do not know, brother")," was the answer. "You wouldn't want to knowed if you did, I'ma guaranteeYou wouldn't want to knowed if you did, I'ma guarantee ("You would not want to know if you did, I can guarantee")."

"Who would dare suggest that René Brouillard could ever murder someone?" Mamee gasped.

"De sheriff and Old Man Pospisil, dey say dey was just pulling up and seen it wid dey own eyesDe sheriff and Old Man Pospisil, dey say dey was just pulling up and seen it wid dey own eyes ("The sheriff and Old Man Pospisil said that they were just pulling up in their car when they saw it happen")," the young woman answered. "I ain't never gonna b'lieve dat, me no. Tante René might be a tetch centric, and de whole bayou knowed he gay as de rainbow flag, but he ain't no killer. I knowed dat sure as I'm sitting rat hereI ain't never gonna b'lieve dat, me no. Tante René might be a tetch centric, and de whole bayou knowed he gay as de rainbow flag, but he ain't no killer. I knowed dat sure as I'm sitting rat here ("I will never believe that.  Aunt René might be a touch eccentric, and the whole bayou knows he is as gay as the rainbow flag, but he is not a killer.  I know that for certain")."

"You're absolutely right, miss..." Mamee said, leading the young woman into a somewhat overdue introduction. "I am Mrs. Amee Whatley Wiggins and this is my family. René just phoned me and asked me to get help for some children he had been caring for, but he never mentioned his own predicament."

"Dat's Tante René for you, always looking out for everybody else fore hisselfDat's Tante René for you, always looking out for everybody else fore hisself ("That is Aunt René for you, always looking out for everyone else before himself")," the young woman smiled. "I'm Marie Guidry. Tante René could sho use de help bout now. De sheriff gonna had dis town stirred up into a lynch mob fore dis night over, and Old Man Pospisil, he cover tings up wid de state just like he been done beforeI'm Marie Guidry. Tante René could sho use de help bout now. De sheriff gonna had dis town stirred up into a lynch mob fore dis night over, and Old Man Pospisil, he cover tings up wid de state just like he been done before ("I am Marie Guidry. Aunt René could sure use the help about now.  The sheriff will have this town stirred up into a lynch mob before this night is over, and Old Man Pospisil will cover things up with the state just as he has done before")."

"Lynch mob?" Layton asked. "That sounds like something out of the old West, or at least the pre-Sixties South. Vigilantism like that doesn't exist today, does it?" he asked as he looked at JB. The fact that JB was at that moment checking the settings of his weapon answered for him. "There will be no lynchings on our watch," he announced as he too started checking his Phaser.

"Marie, you all right in here?" A man in uniform had walked into the room, but he stopped short when he saw the strangers. His hand went to his side when he noticed the two men holding Phasers.

"You look like an intelligent man," Layton said quickly. "I'm going to put my weapon down and get my ID for you. Don't go crazy and start shooting at us."

"You don't look like no fool either, so you get dat ID real slowYou don't look like no fool either, so you get dat ID real slow ("You do not look like a fool either, so you get that ID real slow")," the local officer told him. When he saw Layton and JB's ID's, and then the clan ID for Dixon and Jessie, he smiled warmly. "Aiieeee, I'm sho glad to seen y'all here, yeah. If anybody gonna straighten dis mess out I reckon you de ones to did it. Wait right here and I get y'all back to see Tante René quicker den ersters down a troatAiieeee, I'm sho glad to seen y'all here, yeah. If anybody gonna straighten dis mess out I reckon you de ones to did it. Wait right here and I get y'all back to see Tante René quicker den ersters down a troat ("loud noise of joyful greeting.  I am sure glad to see you all here.  If anyone is going to straighten this mess out, I believe you are the ones to do it.  Wait right here and I will get you all back to see Aunt René more quickly than oysters slide down a throat")." Within minutes, Mamee and her boys were staring at René through the bars of his cell.

"I knowed you wouldn't waste no time getting here, Amee, but I declare I don't know how you gets here so fastI knowed you wouldn't waste no time getting here, Amee, but I declare I don't know how you gets here so fast ("I knew you would not waste any time getting here, Amee, but I declare I do not know how you got here so fast")," René told his dearest college friend. He reached through the bars weakly to grasp her hand. "You ain't got not a single day older since de last time I seen you, chèreYou ain't got not a single day older since de last time I seen you, chère ("You have not gotten a single day older since the last time I have seen you, dear")."

"You haven't changed a bit either, René," Mamee said graciously.

"When you took to lying, chère?  I look like sumptin dey done drag out de bottom of de bayou and dat's for sho. Dat's probly where I'm gonna end up pretty soon, tooWhen you took to lying, chère?  I look like sumptin dey done drag out de bottom of de bayou and dat's for sho. Dat's probly where I'm gonna end up pretty soon, too ("When did you start lying, dear? I look like something they dragged out of the bottom of the bayou and that is for sure.  That is probably where I am going to end up pretty soon, too")," René contradicted her with a dismissing wave of his hand.

"I knowed your name sounded familiar when Mamee said itI knowed your name sounded familiar when Mamee said it ("I knew your name sounded familiar when Mamee said it")," JB suddenly exclaimed. "You probly don't 'member me, but I met you once at a family reunion when I were just a young’unYou probly don't 'member me, but I met you once at a family reunion when I were just a young’un ("You probably do not remember me, but I met you once at a family reunion when I was a young child")."

René stared into the young man's face for a moment, then his eyes brightened. "Jean Baptiste Dolfis, is dat you all growed up and handsomeis dat you all growed up and handsome ("is that you all grown up and handsome")?"

"Dis me, Auntie René. I didn't knowed I was gonna be coming to help kinfolks, but I'm sure glad I amDis me, Auntie René. I didn't knowed I was gonna be coming to help kinfolks, but I'm sure glad I am ("This is me Auntie René.  I did not know I would be coming to help family, but I am sure glad I am")," JB answered with a grin. He turned to the family and started explaining. "I ain't seen Auntie René since I was ten eleven year old. Dis my cousin on my momma's side.  You 'member me from dat fam'ly reunion, Auntie RenéI ain't seen Auntie René since I was ten eleven year old. Dis my cousin on my momma's side.  You 'member me from dat fam'ly reunion, Auntie René ("I have not seen Auntie René since I was ten or eleven years old.  Do you remember me from that family reunion, Auntie René")?"

"How I'ma forgot dat bare butt of yours streaking troo de middle of a fam'ly reunion wat dey was holding in a Baptist church screaming like you dying, so erbody dere get a good look at you all you got from belly to toesHow I'ma forgot dat bare butt of yours streaking troo de middle of a fam'ly reunion wat dey was holding in a Baptist church screaming like you dying, so erbody dere get a good look at you all you got from belly to toes ("How could I ever forget that bare butt of yours streaking through the middle of a family reunion which was being held in a Baptist church screaming like you are dying, so everyone there got a good look at your body from belly to toes")?" René asked with a laugh.

"Oh I have got to hear more about his bare butt streaking through a family reunion, at what age did you say?" Layton teased.

"He nigh onto leven year old, but he de city boy, so when he gots told dey ain't indoor plumbing in de church house, he look like somebody shoot his dog rat in front his face, but he go on back to de outhouse, cept he ain't gone not tree or two minute afore he come tearing through the auditorium of de church not a stitch on his hide betwixt his tee shirt and his socks and he screaming snake to de top of his lungsHe nigh onto leven year old, but he de city boy, so when he gots told dey ain't indoor plumbing in de church house, he look like somebody shoot his dog rat in front his face, but he go on back to de outhouse, cept he ain't gone not tree or two minute afore he come tearing through the auditorium of de church not a stitch on his hide betwixt his tee shirt and his socks and he screaming snake to de top of his lungs ("He was nearly eleven years old, but he was a city boy, so when he was told that there was no indoor plumbing in the building, he looked as if someone had shot his dog right in front of him, but he went out back to the outhouse, except he was not gone for two or three minutes before he came running through the auditorium of the church with no clothing on between his shirt and his socks while screaming the word snake very loudly")," Auntie René recalled as JB turned more and more red.

"Ain't nobody told me dey had snakes what crawl up in dem outdoor batroom to scare a kid half to death, so I ain't thought about my pants when I see one coming rat for me as I'ma sot dere doing my bidness.  I jest get out dere fast I could and run for my daddy so he could shot dat snake deadAin't nobody told me dey had snakes what crawl up in dem outdoor batroom to scare a kid half to death, so I ain't thought about my pants when I see one coming rat for me as I'ma sot dere doing my bidness.  I jest get out dere fast I could and run for my daddy so he could shot dat snake dead ("No one told me that there were snakes that would crawl up in the outdoor bathrooms to scare a child half to death, so I was not thinking about my pants when I saw one coming directly toward me while I sat there on the toilet.  I just got out of there as quickly as I could and ran for my daddy so he could kill the snake with his gun")," JB explained further as he continued to blush.

"It's so good to seen you again. I heard bout you Momma and you Poppa after it happen, but I don't knowed how to got in touch wid you to told you how sorry I was. How you come to know my old friend AmeeIt's so good to seen you again. I heard bout you Momma and you Poppa after it happen, but I don't knowed how to got in touch wid you to told you how sorry I was. How you come to know my old friend Amee ("It is so good to see you again.  I heard about your mother and father after it happened, but I did not know how to get in contact with you to tell you how sorry I was.  How do you know my old friend Amee")?" Auntie René asked him once the giggles had settled down some.

"We can talk about that after you tell us what has brought you here," Mamee interrupted. "Who are the children you said needed help?"

"My Popsicle bébés," René moaned. "You got to found a way to help dem bébés, chère. They can't stay wid him. He gonna turned them sweet bébés into the same monster he made his own boyYou got to found a way to help dem bébés, chère. They can't stay wid him. He gonna turned them sweet bébés into the same monster he made his own boy ("You have to find a way to help those babies, dear.  They cannot stay with him.  He will turn those sweet babies into the same monster he made his own boy")." He gasped suddenly. "Dat's it!!! Dat's how y'all can get them bébés away from him. He admitted to me that he knowed that no count so and so weren't his own blood kin. Dat means them bébés ain't his to keepDat's it!!! Dat's how y'all can get them bébés away from him. He admitted to me that he knowed that no count so and so weren't his own blood kin. Dat means them bébés ain't his to keep ("That is it!!! That is how you can get the babies away from him.  He admitted to me that he knew that no account so and so was not his own blood relative.  That means those babies are not his to keep")."

"Excuse me, Ma'am... sir... umm.... Well, who is this he that you keep talking about?" Jessie stammered, trying to figure out what to call the old man, who was still wearing the antebellum gown that he had been forced into when he was taken from his home. Of course, it was one of his favorite dresses, but it clearly looked out of place in the cell.

"You sweet younguns all call me Auntie René," the man replied with a gracious smile that would have looked just as appropriate if he were welcoming them to his plantation home instead of sitting in the parish jail. "Dat is Guidry Pospisil I told you about. He de meanest man in all de bayous in Loozana, but he weren't always like that. When we was about your age, little man, he was ever bit as cute as you, and I was plumb swamp gas crazy for him, yeahDat is Guidry Pospisil I told you about. He de meanest man in all de bayous in Loozana, but he weren't always like that. When we was about your age, little man, he was ever bit as cute as you, and I was plumb swamp gas crazy for him, yeah ("That is Guidry Pospisil that I told you about.  He is the meanest man in all the bayous in Louisiana, but he was not always like that.  When we were about your age, little man, he was every bit as cute as you, and I was completely in love with him")."

"This is the man you told me about that night in college?" Mamee asked. René nodded sadly.

"Truth be told I never did stop loving dat man, no matter how mean he got," he confessed and wiped a tear. "I always tink to myself he jest need to calm down and be hisself and de whole parish be more better offI always tink to myself he jest need to calm down and be hisself and de whole parish be more better off ("I always thought to myself that he just needed to calm down and be himself and the whole parish would be better off")."

The man who had let them in to see René suddenly came running into the cell area. "Y'all promise me you going to keep Auntie René safe if I turn him loose to you?" Before they could answer, he continued. "He gots to get out of dis here jailhouse right now. De sheriff he done worked him up a mob and it's fixing to get powerful hot in hereHe gots to get out of dis here jailhouse right now. De sheriff he done worked him up a mob and it's fixing to get powerful hot in here ("He has to get out of this jailhouse right now.  The sheriff has worked the crowd into a mob and it is about to get dangerous in here")."

"I think you mean that people may be coming here to try to hurt him," Dixon said. "In that case, I hereby place René Brouillard in protective custody of Clan Short until such time as a hearing can be arranged to determine his future." He looked through the cell bars at the old man and shrugged sadly. "You're a grownup, so I'm kind of limited to what I can do for you. I promise to help you all I can, though."

"It's too late to help me, sweet boy," René told him. "You just took care of my Popsicle Bébés."

"I'm not sure who the Popsicle babies are yet, either, but I'm sure they will be happier to see me if you are with me," Dixon responded. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his communicator. "Daileass, this is Dixon Wiggins, again. Can you transport us again?"

"Of course I can, Dixon," came the friendly answer. "Who's going with you and where do you want to go?"

"There's six of us now, but one of the people is a prisoner in a cell approximately two feet from me. He is in my custody for the time being," Dixon explained. "We are going to his home." He looked at Auntie René questioningly, and then a moment later repeated the address into his communicator.

"Who dat?" René asked, but before he could get an answer he was standing in his own parlor. "MON DIEUX!" he gasped and sank into his favorite chair.

"Auntie René!!!" Everyone looked up to see two identical bolts of white lightning launch into René's lap. They were followed into the room by an older man who did not look happy at all.

"How de hell you got outta dat cell, René?" he demanded.

"I will thank you, sir, to not use profanity in my presence or that of my great-grandsons or these two adorable little ones," Mamee said coldly.

"I'ma thank you to mind you own bidness," the man snapped back. "I'ma go down to dat jail and I'm gonna...."

"De first thing you gonna did, Guidry Pospisil, is apologize to my friend Amee and her family," René said firmly. "She a true lady and you gonna treat her right, or cancer or no I'm gonna get up from dis chair and smack you down like you Momma used to do."

"René Alexandrè Brouillard, you couldn't smack me down when we was younguns and you ain't gonna did it now," Guidry retorted.

"I didn't smack you down when we was younger because I was fool enough to been in love wid you, Guidry, but you ain't never insult my oldest and best friend in de whole world," René told him. "If'n it weren't for Amee Whatley, I wouldn't never been alive to come back to dis bayou and fought wid you for sixty years."

"Dat's another ting," Guidry yelled. "You telling me you been in love wid me all dem years, but you been fought wid me like a coon and dog ever since you get back from dat fancy Yankee college you went off to."

"Yankee?" Mamee snapped. "Sir, your language was tolerable if rude and uncultured, but I will have you know there is nothing Yankee about any university in South Carolina, least of all the one we attended. I demand that apology here and now, you uncouth piece of bayou filth." Dixon almost felt sorry for the old man at that point. He had never seen Mamee look so angry at anyone, not even the crazed man who had tried to kill them the weekend before. He noticed that the two little boys had seen it too. He motioned to them and they scooted over closer to him. They were clearly starting to get upset by all the adults yelling at one another. They slipped their little hands into his, one on each side, and looked up at him nervously. He smiled at the two adorable boys and squeezed their hands reassuringly.

"Amee Louise, I love you like you was a sister, but Guidry, he ain't no filth," René told his old friend. "He work hard as a field hand his whole life to been something better den his family and he done did it too. Guidry, he de richest, most respected man in all de bayouHe work hard as a field hand his whole life to been something better den his family and he done did it too. Guidry, he de richest, most respected man in all de bayou ("He has worked as hard as a field hand his whole life to be something better than his family and he did it too.  Guidry is the richest, most respected man in all of the bayou")."

"De richest, oh yeah, but I ain't de most respected me, noDe richest, oh yeah, but I ain't de most respected me, no ("The richest, yes, but I am not the most respected")," Guidry said dismissively. "Might be a lot of people scared of me for good reason, but you de one dey all respect, even wid you crazy dress wearing.  I been run dis parish like I say thirty forty year or more and erbody let me did jest what I want rat up till I try and bring you down.  Dey fight me like a bear for you ertime, but I got you dis time. You gots to need me nowMight be a lot of people scared of me for good reason, but you de one dey all respect, even wid you crazy dress wearing.  I been run dis parish like I say thirty forty year or more and erbody let me did jest what I want rat up till I try and bring you down.  Dey fight me like a bear for you ertime, but I got you dis time. You gots to need me now ("There may be a lot of people scared of me for good reason, but you are the one they all respect, even with your crazy dress wearing.  I have run this parish the way I wanted for for thirty or forty years or more and everyone let me do whatever I wanted right up until I would try to bring you down.  They would fight me like a bear for you every time, but I have got you this time.  You have to need me now")."

"You been mean as a old black bear for 60 years just because you want me to need you?" René asked him. "You knowed how I felt about you, all you had to did was to told me you loved me too."

"I couldn't love you, René," Guidry told him. "You know what would have happened to both of us if we had both come out as gay back then. I know you done told me nobody would have knowed, but if I had ever been wid you de way I wanted to be, I couldn't held my peace, me no. I would have been hollering it all up and down de bayou, but you never needed meI know you done told me nobody would have knowed, but if I had ever been wid you de way I wanted to be, I couldn't held my peace, me no. I would have been hollering it all up and down de bayou, but you never needed me ("I know you had told me that no one would have known about us, but if I had been with you the way to be, I could never have kept quiet about it.  I would have been yelling about it up and down the bayou, but you never needed me")."

"You old fool, I ain't never needed nobody but you.  I told you dat when we in my room fore you lock me upYou old fool, I ain't never needed nobody but you.  I told you dat when we in my room fore you lock me up ("You old fool, I have never needed anyone else but you.  I told you that when we were in my room before you had me locked up")," René snapped. "But needing tweren't nuff, I want to been wid you cause we both want to been, and you still ain't told me why for you in my houseBut needing tweren't nuff, I want to been wid you cause we both want to been, and you still ain't told me why for you in my house ("But needing was not enough, I wanted to be with you because we both wanted to be, and you still have not told me what you are doing in my house")," he pointed out.

"[bootbox_start[Those babies raised such a fuss over some stuffed animal doll that they said they left here that I could not take it anymore.  I brought them over here so we could find that da... stupid thing and give me peace in my house[bootbox_break]Dem bébés raise such a fuss over some stuff animal doll dey said dey done left over here I couldn't took it no more, me no.  I bring dem over here so dey can found dat da.. stupid ting and give me peace in my house[bootbox_end]," Guidry answered. He had clearly been about to say something else but he saw Mamee glare at him, and changed the word quickly.

René turned to face the two little boys who suddenly decided to hide behind Dixon's back. "You bébés ain't brought no toys wid you," he told them. "What you younguns up to?"

"NuffinNuffin ("Nothing")," the twins answered in stereo, but they both giggled suspiciously.

Before anyone could say anything else, Dixon's communicator started chirping. He let go of one twin's hand and answered it. "Dixon here, go ahead."

"Dixon, I thought you should be aware that I am detecting a large group of people closing in on your position," Daileass reported.

"I will go check it out," JB announced and slipped quietly out of the room. A moment later he came back to report that there was indeed an angry mob being led to the house apparently by the sheriff.

"Dat damn fool," Guidry griped. "I told him not to make no more trouble rat now."

"Well, maybe he don't listen so good no more, Guidry," René sneered. "Ti-Jean he told me dis morning at de jailhouse dat you handpicked sheriff, he got plans to took over from you. He ain't de fool you thought he was, GuidryTi-Jean he told me dis morning at de jailhouse dat you handpicked sheriff, he got plans to took over from you. He ain't de fool you thought he was, Guidry ("Ti-Jean told me this morning at the jailhouse that your handpicked sheriff has plans to take over from you.  He is not the fool you thought he was, Guidry")."

"We'll see about dat," Guidry snorted.

A loud noise drew everyone's attention outside suddenly. Layton carefully checked out the window and turned back to say that the barn was burning. To everyone's surprise, René just laughed.

"Dey can burn dat old barn. It wasn't safe anymore anyways. Dey just save me de trouble to knock it downDey can burn dat old barn. It wasn't safe anymore anyways. Dey just save me de trouble to knock it down ("They can burn that old barn.  It was no longer safe.  They are just saving me the trouble of tearing it down")," he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. Just as he said this, they heard glass break somewhere in the house, then a second later they heard it again and then a couple more times.

"Everyone get down," Layton yelled. "They're breaking out the windows."

Jessie lunged over and, sweeping his arms out, managed to cuddle the twins and his beloved Dixon onto the floor. JB helped Mamee and René onto the floor. Guidry however stood up straight and stormed toward the door of the house.

"Lafayette Cousineau, you showed youself to me rat now!" Guidry bellowed as he flung open the front door of the house.

"Mr. Pospisil, I didn't knowed you was here," the sheriff laughed nervously as he stepped out of the sugar cane field.

"It shouldna matter if I was here or not.  I told you not to mess wid René no more. You getting too big for your britches, Lafayette. I think it's time I gots myself a new sheriffIt shouldna matter if I was here or not.  I told you not to mess wid René no more. You getting too big for your britches, Lafayette. I think it's time I gots myself a new sheriff ("It should not matter if I was here or not.  I told you not to mess with René any more.  You are starting to think you are more important than you really are, Lafayette.  I think it is time for me to find myself a new sheriff")," Guidry snapped.

"You hear dat, folks? Didn't I told you there was something going on between Old Man Pospisil and dat pervert what stole his grandkids? Dis here de proof. He wants us to leave dat disgusting dress wearing sickopath loose to get at more younguns round hereYou hear dat, folks? Didn't I told you there was something going on between Old Man Pospisil and dat pervert what stole his grandkids? Dis here de proof. He wants us to leave dat disgusting dress wearing sickopath loose to get at more younguns round here ("Did you hear that, folks?  Did I not tell you that there was something going on between Old Man Pospisil and that pervert that stole his grandchildren?  This here is the proof.  He wants us to leave that disgusting dress wearing psychopath loose to steal more children around here")," the sheriff yelled. In a whisper, he told Guidry Pospisil, "I think it's time for a new boss in this parish, and I think that boss is me."

Guidry Pospisil drew his gun, but the younger sheriff wrestled the weapon away from him. As they struggled, the gun went off striking the butane gas tank near the house. It exploded instantly, the fire quickly spreading to the antebellum home. The centuries-old wood caught fire quickly. Screams could be heard from inside the house as the fire began to consume the structure. Guidry let go of the gun, allowing the sheriff to think he had won, but only for the seconds of time before Guidry's hunting knife plunged into his heart.

"Nobody crosses me and lives to told about it, you damn fool," Guidry sneered as he spit in the dying man's face. He turned and ran into the burning house, where he saw Layton and JB trying to help René out the window away from the fire. Actually, they were dragging him out as he was fighting to stay and try to save things. Guidry locked eyes with his lifelong nemesis. He crossed the room and grabbed René in his arms and kissed him passionately. "I been loved you my whole life and was a damn fool for not leaving these bayous wid you 60 years ago so we could been together. I was too chicken shit scared to go after the one thing I wanted the most, and tried to destroy you life instead of sharing it. Forgive an old fool and remember me wid some compassionI been loved you my whole life and was a damn fool for not leaving these bayous wid you 60 years ago so we could been together. I was too chicken shit scared to go after the one thing I wanted the most, and tried to destroy you life instead of sharing it. Forgive an old fool and remember me wid some compassion ("I have been in love with you my whole life and was a damned fool for not leaving these bayous with you 60 years ago so we could have been together.  I was too afraid to go after the one thing I wanted the most, and I tried to destroy your life instead of sharing it.  Forgive an old fool and remember with some compassion")." With that he turned and ran up the stairs of the house.

"GUIDRY!!!" René screamed. "CUSS YOU YOU BACKSTABBING OLE SO AN SO!! You can't kiss me like dat after 60 years and then run off!"

At that moment, the gas stove in the kitchen exploded. René stumbled enough that JB was able to get his kinsman out the window and away from the house.

"RENÉ!" Everyone looked up to see Guidry leaning out one of the upstairs windows. "Took care of dem bébés for me. I love dem most as much as I loved youTook care of dem bébés for me. I love dem most as much as I loved you ("Take care of those babies for me.  I love them almost as much as I loved you")." He tossed something down to René just as the second floor of the house collapsed in a huge ball of fire. René looked down to see the baseball in his hand, and then collapsed.

 

 

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