Gingerly, Vincent continued, "And in the journal, Anna gave you the credit for taking the photographs of her and I.”
With emotion, Peter shook his head astonishingly, and nostalgically recalled, “Yes I did take a picture. It was right after she brought you here, and then I took another one later on.”
Peter with tears welling in his eyes relayed, “She was holding you in her arms. Then about a month or two later, Anna insisted I take another picture of you.”
He looked up at Vincent, and then over to a tearful Catherine, as he asked in an unbelievable fashion, “You didn't find the pictures too, did you?”
Vincent nodded and said, “Yes Peter, and I am most grateful.”
Catherine listened and held Vincent’s hand, as Peter explained, “At the time I took those pictures, John was getting pretty weird, and I had to sneak in a camera, to take them. I will never forget how thankful she was to me. I believe she secretly feared John was going to take you away from her. He was jealous of any one Anna loved, and I had a feeling she wanted those pictures, in case he did separate you from her.”
Peter thoughtfully said, “But in his own twisted way, John seemed to love you too.”
He heaved a mournful sigh, and added, “At any rate, taking those pictures was the least I could do for Anna. Her health was poor, and Jacob and I didn’t know what was wrong with her, or what to do for her. Those pictures meant the world to her. I knew she kept them concealed from John. He would have destroyed them and would have gotten very angry with me, if he had known I took them.”
Humbly, Vincent said, “Peter, thank you for your brave deed. I am so pleased to now have them in my possession.”
Catherine softly added, “Me too Peter. If it were not for those pictures, then I wouldn't have ever been able to see what a beautiful baby Vincent was.”
Shyly, Vincent said, “I will cherish them for always, as they reveal to me how kindly I was loved and cared for.”
In reply, Peter conveyed, “I am glad you found them, because it is true Anna loved you with all her heart, she was a wonderful Mother.”
He smiled, as he added, “But then…we all loved you Vincent. You were always such a happy infant! I think we all felt a protectiveness over you.”
Vincent assumingly asked, “Because of the way I had been abandoned by my birth Mother?”
Peter put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder and said, “No Vincent. Rather by the way you had been found by your adoptive Mother. It was such a miracle Anna found you! And…you gave Anna a reason to believe again.”
Catherine knew Peter was right, because she remembered reading Anna’s entry in her journal, when she wrote of how distraught she had been that night, and said, “She wrote how upset she had been over her own baby’s death.”
Peter nodded yes, and said, “We were all so concerned for her. Finding Vincent pulled her up, and out of her depression.”
As he thought back, he mindfully relayed, “Ah, she was a good woman.”
Looking at his watch, Peter said, “Well I will have to tell you more about Anna another time. It is getting late for an old geezer like me. I have to make rounds early in the morning.”
Catherine smiled, and said, “An Old Geezer? Ah...never Peter.”
She then sweetly kissed his cheek, and hugged him goodbye.
Peter sighed, and teasingly said, “Ah now that is what keeps me going!” He then added, “Well you should have fun with Jennifer spending the night."
Happy that she was, Catherine told Peter, "You are right about that, there is never a dull moment with Jenny."
Peter told them goodnight, and Vincent stood silently for a moment after he had left. He could not stop wondering, what could have been wrong with Anna, that no one could seem to detect?
As Catherine looked at him, she asked, “Vincent?”
He turned to her and noted, “It is puzzling isn’t it? Two gifted Doctors could not find out what was wrong with Anna?”
Catherine agreed and said, “Yes it is. What do you feel it could have been?”
Vincent frowned and said, “I don't know Catherine…I am no Doctor…”
Catherine probed deeper as she asked again, “What do you FEEL it was…I sense you have your suspicions.”
Vincent took Catherine’s hand in his, and as he held it, he looked down upon it and said, “I suppose I do. I have wondered if John was giving her something…some sort of drug in such small amounts, so gradual, it could not be detected.”
Catherine shockingly asked, “You mean murder? You think John would have been capable of murdering his own wife?”
Vincent nodded and said, “From what he had done to you, and the other stories about him…yes I do.”
Catherine was astonished, but had to admit it sounded viable. She looked at Vincent and said, “Oh my God…are you going to mention this to Father.”
Vincent sadly whispered, “Tell him what? I have no proof…no evidence.”
Catherine excitedly said, “Vincent no proof maybe, but your instincts are always so on the mark! I think maybe you should discuss this with him.”
Nodding, he said, “Tomorrow Catherine…for now let us enjoy the company of our good friends.”
He took Catherine by the hand, and led her back to the table. She looked up at Vincent in admiration, that he was able to set this issue aside, and cheerfully re- join everyone.
Vincent teasingly asked, “Rebecca, no popcorn as yet? Maybe you need a new assistant! I don’t seem to recall it taking this long before!”
Rebecca laughed, as she said, “Well you missed out on the first batch, but this one should be ready momentarily!”
Ronald scoffed, “Hey Vincent, patience my man, patience. We promise this batch will be worth the wait!”
After hearing the final kernel pop, Ronald then poured the freshly popped corn into the huge bowl, and as everyone dug in, they raved it was worth the wait, and even Vincent admitted it too.
Lisa turned to Jennifer, and Catherine as she told them, “I have been reading the reports of you two in the paper. I must say I am so impressed!”
Jennifer beamed, as Catherine explained, “Oh Lisa, Vincent saved us that night, and we had to take the credit! Things seem to be getting a little out of hand I think!”
Jennifer added, “It is exciting though!”
Everyone sitting around the table, who had not had access to the newspaper, began asking questions!
Jennifer proceeded to fill everyone in on the newfound celebrity Vincent’s heroic deed, had brought to her and Catherine!
Everyone listened as she told them of the newspaper articles, and offers of TV and Radio interviews. Jennifer pouted a bit as she said, “I am still trying to talk Cathy into doing maybe just one interview with me!”
Vincent turned to Jennifer, and asked, “What does Joe advise about being so public about this case?”
Jennifer said, “Joe hasn’t really said, so I don’t know Vincent.”
Vincent silently sat, and as he looked at Catherine, he firmly said, “Catherine, I believe it would be wise to say no to any public medium that would put you both on display.”
Catherine casually said, “Well I haven’t decided yet. I guess Jen would get a kick out of being interviewed!”
A little more forcibly, Vincent said, “Catherine, I really don’t think it would be wise!”
Catherine began to pick up on Vincent’s angst, and resolutely she said in response, “Vincent, we haven't committed to anything, its just talk.”
He tried to contain his erupting anxiousness over this issue, and Catherine could tell he was upset, and she tried to put her hand on his arm to calm him.
As Vincent pulled away, he bounded out of the Community Chamber. Everyone looked to Catherine for an explanation on why Vincent left so abruptly.
All she could do was shrug her shoulders, and tell them, “I suppose he is just concerned about our safety. I better go talk to him.”
Jennifer apologetically said, “Oh Cath, I am so sorry if I upset Vinny again! Honestly, we don’t have to do any of those interviews. Tell him if he doesn't want us to, then we won’t do them!”
Catherine nodded, and said, “Don’t worry about it Jen. I’ll go talk to Vincent.”
After Catherine left, Jennifer’s chin started to quiver, and she sat silently regretting she upset Vincent so much.
Ronald tipped his head to look through Jennifer’s hair, and asked, “Jenny are you crying?”
Jennifer nodded, and said, “Yes…I always say the wrong thing!”
Ronald put his arm around her, and said, “No, Vincent is just over protective as far as Catherine is concerned. He will be all right. Now come on and cheer up. The world is a much better place when you are smiling.”
Jennifer snuffled a little and said, “Oh thank you Ronny. You are very sweet.”
Lisa felt a little jealous as she was sitting on the other side of Ronald, and she watched as Jennifer received his nurturing attention.
Suddenly she stood and said, “Ah, I am tired. I believe I will say good night to everyone.”
Ronald stood too, and asked, “May I walk you to your chamber Lisa?”
Lisa smiled sweetly and said, “Oh I don’t want to pull you away from everyone, I will be fine.”
Ronald suavely said, “I insist Lisa.”
Lisa put out her hand for him to take, and she said, “Well if you insist…”
Ronald turned to Jennifer, and asked, “Are you all right now Jenny?”
Jennifer summoned up the most cheerful smile she could, and said, “Yes Ronny, go on ahead, I will be fine.”
As Ronald and Lisa walked away, he hesitated a moment and looked back at Jennifer. He then turned to look at Lisa who was talking away to him about an offer made to her, to dance in a new Ballet production Off-Broadway. As he listened to Lisa go on and on, they exited the Community chamber.
Jamie and Laura, who had been watching, saw Jennifer’s face fall as Ronald and Lisa had left. Jamie wrinkled her nose and said, “It stinks uh?”
Jennifer turned to Jamie, and with surprise asked, “What stinks?”
To which Jamie said, “Love…love stinks!”
Laura signed in agreement, and they both made Jennifer laugh. She then said jokingly, “Hey that could be a song title!”
Knowing they were all on the same page, and they knew how she felt about Ronald, Jennifer then seriously said, “Yeah you are right girls, sometimes it does!”
Everyone continued visiting, and they were speculating on what kind of luck Catherine was having finding Vincent. They also wondered if she would be able to calm him down.
As they all cleaned up the table, and started to disperse, Jamie enlisted Mouse to help Laura back to her chamber. She still had one more day to stay off of her ankle, and Jamie was doing her job making sure she did.
Since Jennifer was staying in the guest chamber, she figured she would just go on to bed. Hard telling, how late Catherine would be since Vincent was upset. So she walked back with everyone and found she felt right at home in the cozy little chamber.
Jennifer lit some candles about the chamber, and as she readied herself for bed, she tried to focus on her friendship she had with Ronald, not on what she wished it was.