art-link-symbol-small-on-blue-tile-rev01.jpg Back to page one of current issue

art-link-symbol-small-on-blue-tile-rev01.jpg Link to this page

email yer comments to ol Remus
gradient on blue texture
gradient on blue texture
gradient on blue texture
gradient on blue texture


My Son Victor

Chapter 16

New Friends and Old Parents

Victor and Steevie are waiting outside the Chief's hut while Gar asks for permission to accept the gift of a motorcycle from his friends. They can hear Gar from the outside. “But Daddy, it was a gift. We don't want to hurt their feelings. Please can I have it? Please, please?” Then there was quiet.

Victor whispers, “I only asked like that until I was six .”

Steevie whispers, “If I asked like that I would'a got swatted across the room”

Gar comes out of the hut and says, “The Chief would like to talk to all of us.”

As they sit in front of the Chief they wonder when he will start talking. The Chief is just looking at each one with a stern look of disappointment. He finally says, “You have offered my son a method of rapidly moving about our land, but don't you know we live on many islands. How is he supposed to get to the next island on a motorcycle? Have you given this so little thought that you overlooked that simple problem?”

Victor says, “I'm sorry Chief. We enjoy riding the motorcycles so much we wanted Gar to share in that enjoyment. We did not think of the other islands.”

“You must think of everything, Victor. You are the Chief of Wisdom. We are relying on you to have the proper answers.”

“Should I return the motorcycle, Sir?”

“No. You will teach Gar to ride the motorcycle. You will withdraw some of the money you have supplied us with to purchase a fine motorboat to carry you and your motorcycles to all the islands where Gar can rapidly meet all of the people he will rule when he turns twenty and is hopefully married. Our people will learn to know you and you will learn to know our people.”

“I will purchase the boat tomorrow, Chief.”

“Thank you, Victor”, says the Chief, and leans forward to whisper into Victor's ear, “Keep an eye on clumsy dumbass so he doesn't kill himself. I need him to laugh at his mother's stupid jokes.”

Victor chuckles and looks up to see the Chief with a great big smile.



Victor could not find a standard boat that was both fast and would allow the heavy motorcycles to be put on and taken off easily. He wanted something like the military landing craft where the whole front dropped down and could be used as a ramp, but the landing craft the military used were too big. He asked some boat builders in the city if they could design and build a special boat. All said yes, but the prices seemed unreasonably high. Victor did not want to waste the tribe's money, but knew Gar was the only one who could lift the motorcycles over the side of a standard boat and it was difficult even for him. Victor said to Steevie, “If I was still in that school I was kicked out of I would know how to design it myself now.”

“If you were still in that school in them back-woods you wouldn't need a boat like that. What we need is someone so big he could just reach out like this”, as Steevie stretches out his arm, “reach down, pull it up and swing it around into the boat.”

“That's it, Steevie! All we need is a boom.”

“What's that … a big African guy?”

“No. A crane right on the boat. You gave me the design. You are getting smarter every day.”

“I guess my brain is finally getting ripe, Victor” says Steevie, not sure of what his idea was.

“You know what next month is, don't you, Steevie?”

“Sure. June.”

“It's the end of our school year. We gotta go home for the Summer.”

“Oh shoot, Victor. I don't want to go home. This seems like home now. We won't have nothing to do in Megaville.”

“There won't be a we in Megaville, Steevie. I live a long way from the city and won't be able to get there in the Summer. We will just sit around all Summer, alone, waiting to come back here.”

“What if we wrote a letter to our folks and told them we died”, and then Steevie realizes the problem with that and pushes his forehead himself, and tries again, “What if we said the scholarship didn't include fare to get home for the Summer but paid for food if we stayed.”

“Wouldn't work, Steevie. My parents have some money and would buy our tickets.”

“What if we said we were Polynesians now and we run around in our underpants and would get arrested if we did that home, so we gotta stay here.”

Victor just looks at Steevie with a raised eyebrow.

“What if we said the school said we would forget too much if we sat around all Summer and wanted us to stay here to keep our brains warm.”

“That's stupid, Steevie.”

“Then what's your idea, Chief of all answers ?”

“I don't know, but we have to think of something in the next week. I don't want to go home either.”

“What if we said we were doing so good that the school said we can study in the Summer and graduate a year early, and if the parents want, they can come to visit us ? My parents won't come, so I'm good.”

“My parents might come. We would have to be ready for that. I think I know a way to be ready. Good idea, Steevie.”

“They should'a made me Chief of knowing everything, and pushed your forehead, Victor. I'm getting all the answers.”


The boat crane idea worked well. When the boat could not get close enough to the shore to swing the motorcycles onto land the Polynesians would quickly make a dock to the boat on which the motorcycles could be pushed to land. The bump on Gars head where he fell twice in learning to ride had healed, and his confidence in riding was high. He had been to all the islands before and many of the people he had met were much older now. Everyone knew Gar would be the new Chief and welcomed him to their villages. The only problem for Victor and Steevie was the Polynesian language they had to learn. To even their own amazement, they were able to learn it quickly. Victor wanted to learn all about the Polynesian culture. Steevie wanted to talk to the young girls. Victor won respect from the people because of his knowledge of the business procedures used in the states and because he was made Chief of Wisdom. Steevie got slapped several times by the young girls because he hasn't bothered to learn the culture yet.


“Zeke. We got another letter from Victor. I wish he would write more. This letter says the school thinks he is doing so well that if he stayed there and studied in the Summers he could graduate one year sooner. Do you think that is a good idea?”

“All our chillun seems to grow up faster than other kids, Aby. Guess Victor ain't no different. You gotta decide iff'n ya wants him home for a couple Summers or iff'n ya wants him home a year sooner.”

“This may help, Zeke. He says we can visit him this Summer if he stays. What do you think?”

“Gosh Aby. I gotta watch the farm an' I gotta git work done an' we got other chillun whats needs us too.”

“You don't have to watch the farm, Zeke. The family takes care of it and no one will steal it at night. Josh can do your work, and Pappy would watch the other children.”

“You wants to go, don'cha Aby.”

“It's nicer than the Bahamas , and you know I always wanted to go to the Bahamas .”

“Okay. Set a date to leave, make the arrangements, and write to Victor that we is coming.”

“I don't have to write Victor. We can surprise him. Won't he be so happy to see us just suddenly pop in?”


The phone rings in Victor's house. “Hello? Good Morning, Ed.”

Steevie runs out of the bathroom with only a towel around him whispering loudly, “Who is it? Who is it, Victor? Is it one of the girls wanting to apologize for slapping me?”

“It's Ed from Page Bank. … Sorry Ed. My little brother had hoped the call was from one of his many girlfriends wanting to apologize for slapping him. What can I do for you? … Yes, I can stop in. See you later this morning. Goodbye.”

“Why'd you say that Victor? Why'd you tell him what I said?” asks an angry Steevie.

“Did you want me to lie for you?”

Oh, is it the Mr. Newcome, or is it Mr. Angel, or is it Mr. Marsilvia that never lies?”

Victor's mouth drops. Steevie gets scared, “I'm sorry Victor. I didn't say that to make you mad.”

“I just know my parents will come here this Summer. Everyone here knows us as the Newcomes. My parents will know everything when they hear that. We are toast.”

“Why not say that is just what people call us here?”

“Now why would they call us that, Steevie?”

“Why not say they called us the ‘newcomers' when we got here and then everyone thought that was our name, but someone wrote it wrong and then it became Newcome. We just wanted to study and learn and didn't care what they called us, so we just let them call us the Newcomes. Victor and Steevie Newcome.”

“That's a good idea, Steevie.”

“See. I help you lie, so you can lie for me once in a while, Victor.”

Victor leaves to go to the Page Bank while Steevie hollers, “That's one more answer I hadda give you. I should have a big tattoo saying I'm the King of answers.”


“Thank you for coming down, Victor. I have had a business opportunity offered to me that I would like your advice on. My family owns this bank and we make a meager living at it, but it is something we like to do. You see, with the bank we can help many people that need our help. Well, I got a call from a Martin Cross who is an auditor for the Honolulu Bank. He said he heard I was a good honest banker. He wanted to know if I would like to run the Honolulu Bank. He said the position suddenly opened up.”

“I met Martin, Ed. He called me in to discuss my account. It seems Rodney embezzled four million dollars, two of which were mine. That's why I had two more shipped in and put them in your bank. Martin called me after the meeting and asked if I knew anyone who could take Rodney's place. I recommended you. I told him you were honest and they would never find one penny missing.”

“Thank you for that nice recommendation, Victor. If I took that job I wouldn't be here to run this bank. It would have to be shut down. My family would lose their jobs.”

“Too bad there wasn't a way to push the banks together so you could run both, Ed. You could do so much more with the money Honolulu Bank has.”

“You mean like a merger. That's an interesting idea, Victor. The problem is that Honolulu has one thousand times the assets we have. They could gobble us up, but it would be hard for us to buy them .”

“What are your assets here, Ed?”

“only ten million dollars”

“Wow! That means you would need ten billion dollars to buy Honolulu ?

Ed chuckles, “No, it doesn't work that way. The assets would stay with the bank. We would have to buy out the owners for what the net value of the bank was. I think the net value of Honolulu is about ten million. We have ten million, but it is not ours. It belongs to the customers. Our net value is only about twenty thousand.”

“I would like to help you, Ed, but I only have access to six million. If that will help I would loan it to you.”

“Have you heard of leveraging, Victor? We could use just some of your money and by leveraging it we could pay Honolulu the ten million. You know the best part? We would be a commercial bank that could take business deposits and make business loans. I always wanted to use my knowledge in that area.” Ed looks at Victor and asks, “Would you like me to teach you all about banking so you can make your six million work for you like you had sixty million?”

“I would like that very much, Ed.”


One month later Victor and Steevie are eating breakfast and Gar walks in. “Look at this place. It is a mess. What will your parents say if they come to visit as you said they might. They would make you come home with them so they can clean up after you, and we would be without advisors. You are lucky you have a great friend in Gar who looks out for you. I brought you a housekeeper. Her name is Olaho”, and a beautiful young girl walks in smiling, carrying cleaning supplies.

Steevie looks at her with a stupid smile on his face that Gar recognizes. “That is Maloa, Steevie. She is Olaho's daughter. This is Olaho.”

Steevie looks over and sees Gar standing next to a smiling woman who looked like she was fifty years old and weighed three hundred pounds.

“Olaho knows English, so she can holler at you if you wreck her cleaning job. Let me know when your parents come, Victor”, and Gar leaves with the beautiful Maloa.

“Shoot, Victor. Wadda we got, a Nanny now?”

Alaho smiles and says, “My mother is available if you want a Nanny.”

Steevie almost asked how much her mother weighed, but seen Olaho lift the end of the big couch with one hand to clean under it and decided not to.

The phone rang. Victor answered, “Hello? Hi Ed. It went through? Good. Only two and one half you need? Yes. You can use the two already there. I will be over tomorrow morning”, and Victor looks at Alaho and says, “Ed? I can be right over.”

Steevie looks at Victor with his ‘Take me too, Please, Please Victor' look that looked like it was emphasizing the please and they both leave Olaho to do her work.

Victor is in the new Page Honolulu Bank with Ed while Steevie guards the car. Ed says, “You have a choice of having me draw up a loan with the maximum interest this bank pays or taking one half interest in the new Bank. What do you want for your two and one half million, Victor?”

“Think I can get by with only the one and one half million left, Ed?”, says Victor smiling, and adds, “With what you're teaching me, you realize I will only be able to leverage it to about twenty five million. I may have to cut down on the size of my corn flake breakfast. Yes, Ed. I would very much like to be your partner.”

“You would be more than a partner, Victor. My family would own the other half. That means you would be the biggest single share holder, because the family half is divided among over twenty other people. We would be asking you to be the Chairman and looking to you for whatever advice you can offer, while we would be keeping you informed with all the activities of the bank.”

“What would you like me to do, Ed?”

“I would love to have you be the Chairman. You made this all possible for my family.”

Victor and Steevie return home and are surprised to see how clean the house is, and very surprised to see Aby and Zeke sitting on the couch looking irritated.


Chapter 17


“Momma! Poppa! When did you get here? Why didn't you let me know when you were coming so we could meet you?”

“We wanted to surprise you, Victor”, says Aby, “but we were the ones surprised. No one here ever heard of your school. No one heard of Victor Marsilvia. No one heard of Steevie Borrelli. We started describing you like you were missing children. We finally met someone who said ‘That sounds like the Newcomes'. He told us where the Newcomes lived. We came here and found a woman cleaning this house. She said ‘Chief Victor Newcome will be right back', and then she left. Here we are. Now start explaining.”

Victor, very nervous, says, “When we went to sign into the school everyone said, ‘The newcomers are here'. The people at the door didn't know our names, so they just put a sticky tag on us with ‘Newcomers' on it and told us to go down the hall to sign in. The people there didn't ask us our names. They just thought it was Newcomers from the tag. but they spelled it Newcomes on the tag. When we finished they changed it to Newcome, because they thought we were Newcomes because we were two brothers with the Newcome name. When the Principle seen the mistake he was mad, but he said it was a lot of trouble to change all the paperwork to correct our names. He asked us if we minded being called Newcome and let him just change the scholarship name to Newcome. We didn't care, because we only wanted to learn here. Does it matter what they call us?”

“I wish you told us your name, Victor. We are your parents. We should know your names, and we should be told your name too .

“Sorry, Momma.”

“Who was that woman that was here?”

“A cleaning lady the school supplies. The school doesn't want us to waste time cleaning because it takes time from our studies.”

“So they have you live in her house?”

“This is the school, Momma. Steevie and I live here.”

“Where are the other children that live here?”

“We live here by ourselves. Our teacher comes by in the morning and stays all day a lot of the days.

“We walked around this amazing big house, Victor. It has fifteen bedrooms. They are all furnished beautifully. Only two are being used. We knew which one was yours because we know how sloppy you kept yours at home. We assumed the really sloppy one is Steevie's. You know what we didn't find, Victor? We didn't find books! How do you study without books?”

“We study the people and learn from what they say, Momma.”

“You study the people ?”

Just then Gar comes running into the house and sees Aby and Zeke, stops and smiles. Victor says, “This is Gar, our teacher, Momma. He teaches us all about the history of Hawaii . We are specializing in Anthropology and Sociology. We are studying to be specialists in Polynesian Culture. That is what the scholarship is for. This is Gar, our teacher.”

Gar is not sure what is going on, but tries to be polite. “I am more of a friend than a teacher, Mrs. Newcome. Your son is teaching us about finance and how to handle our money and he is teaching me how to be a Chief of my people. Victor is Chief of Wisdom for my people.”

“Now you are the Chief of Wisdom here? How stupid are these people?”

Hey! ” hollers Steevie.

“Yes. Hey! ” says Gar.

“These are the nicest people in the whole world, Momma. Please apologize.”

“I'm sorry, Gar.”

Victor starts talking in Polynesian to Gar and Steevie. Aby leans forward like if she listened closely or could make them talk slower she could understand Polynesian.

“I told Gar that not everyone from the states is polite. Steevie explained you were from the back-woods and were known as hillbillies where he came from. Gar understands and is no longer offended.”

Aby and Zeke holler, “ Hey! ”, but accept the not-so-subtle insult as though deserved.

“What language were you speaking, Victor.”

“Polynesian, Momma. It is part of our schoolwork. Would you like to visit a Polynesian village and meet the Chief of all of the islands? He is Gars father and our friend.”

“You speak a new language, have been made Chief of Wisdom, are friends of the Chief of the islands and know their customs. My, you have learned a lot. You must be a very good teacher, Gar.”

“Thank you Mrs. Newcome.”

Aby starts to say, “I'm not Mrs. New…” when Victor interrupts and says, “Momma. The Principal said it would be easier to kick me out now than to change all the records. Could you be Mrs. Newcome while you are here?”

“I guess to keep my son, The Chief of Wisdom, happy, I could. Now give me a big hug.”

Zeke says, “Can I go swimming in your ocean, Victor?”

“Sure, Poppa. I had it put in because I knew you would like to swim in it. Race you across it”, and laughs.

-.-. -.-

Victor takes his parents to the Polynesian village, introduces them to the Chief who personally introduces them to the other important people there, shows them how they live, and has a large dinner prepared in their honor with all the young boys and girls dancing. Aby just loved the atmosphere of that village and could not believe the respect they showed her son. He really was some kind of leader there. She didn't think the kind of knowledge he was learning would ever earn him any money, but she thought he could always run a machine for his father to earn money. It was nice he was going to a school he enjoyed. That day went too fast for Aby, and they returned to Victor's house.

The next day they have the breakfast Aby always dreamed about. There seemed to be some of every kind of tropical fruit in the world. She didn't want to mix the exquisite tastes of each fruit, didn't want to fill up on just one kind, yet she didn't want to waste time between chunks not tasting something. She sat leaned over the twelve different bowls, eyeing them as she chewed, trying to decide which to select for her next mouthful. Meanwhile, Victor, Steevie, Gar, and Zeke sit at the other end of the table eating corn flakes, knowing they would risk losing an arm if they tried to take a piece of that fruit.

Olaho comes in to do her cleaning carrying a bowl of a new kind of fruit and sees Aby. She puts the bowl with the others and says, “I like this fruit a lot. I have two pieces every day.” Without looking up, Aby looks at the new fruit and takes a piece, rolls her eyes as she chews and moans with pleasure, saying, “This must grow in heaven”, turns to look at Olaho's three hundred pound body and pushes the bowl away with a whimper.

“Good Morning, Victor. May I come in?” asks Ed from the bank. “I just have a few loan papers and agreements for you to sign and didn't want to ask the boss to come to me.”

Victor is shocked that Ed would show up while his parents were there. He had not considered it and was not ready with an excuse to deal with a banker. “Can I stop in later, Ed?”

“Whatever you say, Victor.”

Aby gets up and says, “Wait mister. I'm Victor's mother. I'm sorry he was rude. You can come in and handle your business. You won't be interrupting anything.” Aby turns to Victor and asks, “Why are you borrowing money from a bank, Victor? If you needed spending money you could have asked us.”

Ed says, “The bank is borrowing money from Victor, Ma'am.”

“I handle the Polynesian account Momma. They are lending the money to the bank.”

Gar smiles and says, “We have two million dollars, Mrs. Newcome. Thanks to Victor”

Victor was getting a sickening feeling in his stomach and couldn't think what to say, and then things just get worse, as Ed asks, “Was I supposed to take two million from the Polynesian account and only one half million from your four million account, Victor? I took it all from your account. Well, we can easily change that right now seeing both the President and the Chairman are right here”, and Ed chuckles.

“Who's the President, Ed?” asks Aby.

“I am Ma'am.”

“Are you the Chairman too?”, and Victor pictures a wrecking ball crashing down on his life when Ed answers, “Your son is, of course, Ma'am”

“Victor is your boss ?”

“He is the Chairman of the biggest bank in Honolulu , Ma'am. I am proud to say he is my boss.”

“Do you know how old my son is Edward?”

“Twenty two, Ma'am”

“My name is Aby, Ed. Please call the mother of my twenty two year old son Aby. My husband and I will go for a walk on the beach while you do business with my twenty two year old son Victor. Come Zeke.”

Victor and Ed sign the papers, and Ed goes back to the bank happy he has met Victor who has changed the life of his family so much to the better. Victor and Steevie sit in the house knowing their life in paradise has come to an end. Gar left, saying, “If I want to be with a grumpy mother I have one home”, while Aby walks on the beach with Zeke, saying, “Where did we fail, Zeke. All we wanted were standard nice children and all we got were really smart ones that earn a lot of money.”

“I never wanted a lot of money, Aby. It jest seem to come into our lives. We got a lot of money now an' live like we don' got it. Victor's got quite a little money, seems to know how to make it grow, but most important, knows how to enjoy it. He's lucky he got that scholarship to learn so much here. He knows how to enjoy life.”

“Victor is my baby. The youngest are the last ones that are supposed to leave home. He is the first to leave, Zeke. He has enough money at fourteen to even buy his own house.”

“He's fifteen now, Aby”

Aby stops walking and puts her hands on her hips, “Age! Money! Scholarship! House! Does he really have a scholarship? Is that house really the school? Or is this one big ruse ?

“What's a ruse, Aby?”

“A scam, a trick, a con, a deception, maybe all just a big lie. Let's go ask our twenty two year old son a few questions, Zeke”, and Aby takes long steps back towards the house.

Aby grills Victor and gets her answers piece by piece, but they don't fit into a complete explanation, and she asks, “Would you just tell me the whole true story from the start, Victor?”, which he does, which lasts for five hours, amazing both Aby and Zeke with his ability to understand people at his young age and his desire to protect innocent people.

Steevie was crying all through the story. He didn't know the whole story until then and loved Victor even more for doing all that stuff to help him and sticking with him when, if the tables were turned, he himself would probably have left Victor stranded.

“I have many friends here, Momma. I have more friends here than I do home. I want to stay here until I am old enough to come home without going to school at home.”

“But you are not going to school here , Victor. Aren't you breaking the law here?”

“No, because here I'm Victor Newcome who is twenty two.”

“What about Steevie? How old is he here? He can't pass for sixteen.”

“Everyone here thinks he is going to school. They think he is taking a correspondence school course. They think he is a genius because he got all ‘A's and will finish high school this year, a couple weeks from now actually. The law here is that you have to go to school until you are sixteen or graduate from high school or are a native Polynesian. Steevie is not sixteen, but will satisfy the other two.”

“How can he be a Polynesian if he is not?”

Steevie looks at Victor and they both take off their shirts showing their tattoos. “We have been accepted into the tribe. Remember the part of the story where we got those marks at that ceremony? Hawaii recognizes us as Polynesians.”

“That's the sign of the Chief of Wisdom?” asks Aby, “What does Steevie's marks mean?”

“The One with Access to Wisdom.”

“Meaning your friend, right? Well Steevie, you have a good friend. Victor took you from a certain beating in a crummy high school to a life of luxury in Shangri La. What do you do for him?”

Victor answers for Steevie, “He is my friend every day no matter what has to be done or what mood I'm in. He kicks me when I need it to remind me when I need to learn better manners.”

Steevie looks at Victor and tears well in his eyes.

“What would happen to you if we let you both stay here, Victor”

“We would be happy. We just want to stay here for a little while longer. Just until Steevie is sixteen and can go home if he wants to. In the meantime anyone from my family can visit any time of the year they want. We have lots of rooms for them.”

“As long as they know they are from the Newcome family, right Victor?” asks Aby.

“No. They can use their right name. I will just say they are relatives from my mother's side whose maiden name was Marsilvia.

Zeke chuckles until Aby looks at him with a serious face.

“I will discuss everything with your father tonight and let you know our decision tomorrow. Now, which bedroom do we get … the same one we used last night? ”

“You should use the biggest one, of course, Momma. I wanted you to use it last night, but you just went into the first one.”



Chapter 18

A Mother's Wrath


Zeke sits up in his chair, puts his pipe on the side table, and says, “That's the story of my son Victor. My good brother-in-law Bill McMullen said Victor didn't have much school learnin' but had a lot of what he called ‘Street Smarts”. He said Victor learned a lot on the street an' learned stuff better there than what he would have in a school seat. 

I forgot to tell you what happened after that night we popped in on Victor. Well, Aby an' me talked a lot that night on what to do with Victor. Aby was mad that Victor fibbed for two years to her. Aby kept stoppin' talkin' to say, “Oh Zeke, I can't believe how big and how soft this bed is.” Twice she stopped to tell me to look at the sun set. Now I knows the sun only sets once, but five minutes after the first time she said it was the most beautiful sunset she ever saw, she seen it got even purdier. She went to sleep still mad at Victor and said we was gonna take him home. She didn' even move at all that night. She usually bumps me a couple times movin' around, but that night she woke up in the same position she went to sleep … all spread out an' still only takin' half that big bed. I was expectin' to see her grumpy.

Aby woke up and said she never slept so well. She was in a great mood, all smilin' an' kind'a dancin' when she moved. She looked out the open window at the beach an' said, “I love this place, Zeke.” I said, “Too bad we gotta make Victor sell it an' move him home.” I shouldn'a said that, cuz Aby's happy mood was gone soon as I did. She went into her bathroom to shower an' I went into mine. Yup, that big bedroom had two. That big house of Victor's had ever'thin'. Aby got dressed an went to see Victor an' let him know our decision.

We no sooner got to the dinin' room where Victor an' Steevie was settin' all sad like, when Olaho come in with a big bowl of all the kinds of fruit Aby had the day before. Aby was happy again. No one wanted to talk while Aby was enjoyin' that fruit, cuz it seemed like we would be stoppin' a bear from eatin'. None of us was that dumb. When she pushed that bowl away we knew it was time for hearin' hollerin'.

“What will you do when you get home, Steevie?” she asked

“Not go to school, just like before. When I graduate to high school, I'll go to school and get beat up every day until I kill someone with a knife. Then I'll go to jail where I don't have to go to school no more again.”

“That sounds awful.”

“It is awful in that high school, Momma. That's the school I would have to go to. Steevie and I will always be friends. If he stabs someone in self defense and goes to jail the friends of the guy he stabbed will kill me . That's why we aren't going back.”

“You aren't going back? It is not your decision, mister. Why do you think you don't have to go back? Because a few people here think you are twenty two years old? Because you think you are Polynesian?” says Aby in an angry high voice.

“I will always be your son, Momma. I will always love you as I have always done. I will do as you say in all matters that do not hurt me or my friends, but in this case you would be wrong to make us go back to that school, so we are not going.”

Aby quickly reaches for and grabs Victor's arm hard.

Victor stays calm and stern, ready to receive his first painful physical disciplinary action from his parents.

Aby looks at him as though she was looking at a stranger, and softly says, “You are twenty two. I was afraid you might be too young to be here all by your self”, and smiles at Victor, continuing, “A grown man can sometimes withstand the scorn of his mother if he is right and has the strength of conviction, but a child would cave in under all circumstances. I think you are able to handle yourself here. I had to be sure my baby would be okay. I knew if I let you stay here you would have to take care of Steevie until he is a man also. Now I know you will”, and Victor gets a long hug from Aby.

And that's how Victor got to stay in Hawaii . Aby got hold of Steevie's parents an' said she met him while visitin' Victor. Said he was studying hard and looked healthy an' happy. Steevie's parents had a lot of chillun an' seemed to almost have forgotten they even had a son named Steevie, but was proud their boy was doin' good.

Victor's friend Gar did'n get to be Chief when he turned twenty. He wanted to stay a kid for a while more. Victor helped him with his speech, knowin' Gar did'n want to be Chief. Gar got up at the ceremony to make him Chief and said his people should keep the great Chief they gots now, cuz he's smarter than the new one would be. He assured the people he wanted to be Chief when he got older, but his Poppa was the best man for the job right then. Then Victor said he had Gar tell a joke so's to put the people at ease. He had Gar tell one of his Momma's jokes. Only Gar an' his Momma laughed. After that joke all the other people thought Gar was right; he wasn't ready to be Chief yet. Gar was happy, the people was happy, Gar's Momma learned her jokes weren't so funny an' quit tellin' em, and the Chief told Victor he was truly a Chief of Wisdom.

Steevie grew into a fine young man. He now likes to be called Steven. He learned manners and mathematics from Victor, an' now wants to learn as much as he can ‘bout everythin'. He always respected Victor after hearing all he done for em, never kicks em no more an' don't git his forehead pushed no more neither. He is Victor's assistant in everythin' Victor does. They is jest like brothers.

Ed Page made that bank grow even bigger. Him an' Victor got to be good friends an' would go to lunch together whenever Victor would be in the city. Ed taught Victor ever'thin' he knew ‘bout banking, an' Victor was a good student. They is both earnin' lotta money now from banking, investing, an' other money stuff whats they do.

How do I know all this? We are there a lot. Aby said she wanted to visit Victor in the coldest month of the year at our home. We could'n decide if it were January or February. Aby said we should jest go for both months to make sure we is there for the coldest one. Then she said we should go there for the hottest month too. Jest to make sure we is there for the hottest month we are there from mid-June to end of August. Victor is always happy to see us an' we always get that biggest room whats he says is ours now. Aby is good friends with Olaho who taught her all ‘bout the fruit there. Aby gains ten pounds each visit, but wears it off when she gets back home. She learned the dancin' whats them young girls do there, an' sometimes dances for me before we goes to sleep. She loves Hawaii an' never dreams of the Bahamas no more. Her an' Victor gets along real good now. Victor said he always wanted to spend more time with me. That made me feel real good to hear, cuz now I can spend four months a year with him in that wonderful place.

Victor visits home every year to see his brothers an' sisters an', of course, specially Jill. They like each nuther a lot. Wouldn't be surprised iff'n they got married in a few years. Jill would make a nice daughter-in-law. Neither ever knew what them dreams of flyin' in them caves ever meant. Guess it was jest what all dreams mean … only what ya can, or want to, make of ‘em. But it was them dreams what brung them together, so I guess maybe that was their purpose. Victor always brings a different big sea shell to Jill's Poppa, flowers to Jill's Momma, an' a big pot roast to Jill when he visits, an' always sends a fluffy warm bedroom mat to Jill jest before the cold weather comes. Jill's Poppa an' Momma like Victor a lot. Victor told them he entered a contest where the prize was a all expense paid trip to Hawaii for three folks. Said he won, but he obviously could'n use it as that's where he lived. Asked if they would like to take Jill there so they could visit him. They loved it there. They never found out Victor never entered no contest, an' Victor never told them he had a lot of money. Jest told them him an' his friend Steven earned nuff workin' part time at a bank to rent that big house whats he lived in. He jest told them nuff to impress them but not scare ‘em away. He said girls is afraid of men whats got too much money. I never had that problem when I was courtin' Aby. Victor did take them to meet the Polynesians. Jill learned to dance with them young girls real good, an' could'n believe how she was treated like royalty. She liked them Polynesians a lot, an' when Victor seen how she moved her hips when dancin', he … um, …well, let's jest say that's nuther reason why I think they might git married.

Miss Alde knows the whole story ‘bout Victor an' now knows she did the right thin' when she kicked him out. Victor thanked her for changin' his life, an' they is good friends again. Miss Alde slapped Victor hard for makin' her feel bad for them first two year he was gone, then give Victor the biggest hug ever for turning out to be such a good man.

Jab always wants to show Victor his new spaceship designs when he visits back home, but Victor ain't interested in them no more. Victor is always happy to look at them designs, though, cuz Jab is family. Seems Jab ended up with Victor's first love of imagination, but that's nuther story. Victor gave Jab them two nickels he owed him for tryin' to solve that ol' gas problem, an' then gave him a thousand dollars for interest earned on them two nickels, sayin' ‘Thanks for tryin' to do it. Sorry it took me so long to pay you.' That made Jab happy, an' he keeps them nickels like they was the best souvenirs ever.

Victor is makin' lots of money now. He likes to teach others ‘bout that leveraging whats Ed taught him. He said ever'body should leverage so's they can get more than their money can buy. He even teaches how to do that to other bankers. Victor said with ever'body earnin' a lot of money on their house they can afford nice houses like he's got to make them folks happy too. The prices of houses went up a lot, but Victor said that was good, cuz the Polynesians now get a lot of money for their land, an' folks can borrow more money ever year on their house cuz the value jest keeps goin' up an' up. He says he hopes all the houses git to be worth millions so's ever'body can retire a millionaire when they sells them. He said he was even thinkin' of offerin' what he called the ‘perfect leveraging' to all of his bank customers. That's where the customer don' gotta put any money down an' don't even gotta have a job or a way to pay for the house; he jest lets the increase in value of the house pay for the house, an' ever'body knows house prices never go down. Pappy, whats gone through that Great Depression, said it jest don't sound right to him, but what does he know ‘bout money. Ain't like he ever had much of it. Pappy was glad to hear Victor still always carries that big penny he give him years ago an' that he thinks of his ‘Gampa' a lot.

Yup. When Victor's ideas spread around the world, the whole world will recognize him as the greatest banker and will thank em. He will make ever'one in the whole world rich, an' no one in the whole world will ever haf'ta work again.

Oh yes! Fergot to mention somethin'. Remember at the beginnin' of my story where I said “Victor jest wanted to play sports, flirt with girls, an' drive a car to Megaville to drink with his friends.”? He never done any of that. … I was fibbin'. … Victor taught me ‘bout fibbin'. I should'na done that, but thought you would stop readin' iff'n you did'n think that exciting stuff was comin'. Sorry.


The End





Woodpile Report - Stories from outten the hills