The Old Cape Teapot
was little. By the following day, I was singing the songs. It got her to stop crying. Eventually she just watched me, listened, and swayed to the melody.”
    He sat down on the pile of cement bags. I sat next to him. “At the end of that week, little Mariel was reaching for my hand and then my face. Finally, she let me pick her up and we simply hugged.”
    His face grew serious. “No one in the hospital was pleased that I was making progress with her behavior. They got even angrier when I started asking questions about how they did things and about the care in general at the hospital. They didn’t like it at all. And then I couldn’t believe the people over me in the Corps told me that I shouldn’t get involved, especially with the politics of the local government and their social service programs.”
    “They didn’t appreciate what a good man you are.”
    We sat a few seconds in silence, both of us savoring the progress of the orphanage.
    “Who designed all of this?” I asked.
    “The plans were donated by a Peace Corps engineer working on St. Martin’s. Next week some carpenters from Martinique are coming over and we’ll start raising the roof and installing hurricane clips.”
    I patted him on the back. “It looks like it’s all coming together for you.” I picked up a little yellow wildflower from the field; it was just a simple weed. “When you told me that some disabled children on the islands are looked upon as a curse and are either abandoned or left to die when they’re born, I was shocked.”
    “Mom, if these kids make it past the age of six or seven living in the hospital ward, they’re then housed in a section of the local prison.” Brian shook his head in disbelief and looked one more time over the foundation he’d built and then jumped into the jeep. “It’s funny, now that the project is started, everyone wants to become involved and help out.”
    “I’m glad you stuck to your ideals and persevered, even in adversity.” I glanced at my watch. “We should get going. John is going to close his shack soon and I don’t want to miss him.”
    “Okay, but we better stop at the office first.”
    I sat in the jeep, waiting while Brian went in to find out if he should call the police. He re-appeared after only a few minutes.
    “According to protocol, as nothing was taken or broken, they said I should just lay low for a while. They told me to keep the doors locked and watch my back. If any more suspicious things happen, they recommend that I find a new place.”
    “That’s it?”
    “Yes. The least involvement with the police the better.”
    “Maybe you should move.”
    “We’ll see.”
    John was moving a large trash can towards the front of his stand. As he looked up, he saw the jeep and waved. Brian tooted the horn and pulled alongside the curb. We got out.
    “Good Morning, mon,” John said, then he greeted me with a tip of his baseball cap, “Good Morning, Brian’s Mom.”
    I walked over to him. “I met your son last evening at the restaurant where he works.”
    “Yes, he told me.”
    “Did he mention that I had a necklace resembling a pair of earrings your wife keeps in a locked box?”
    I took the necklace out of my purse and cradled it in my fingers to show him. “What do you think?”
    John leaned over the counter and looked at the delicate piece hanging from the silver chain. “It is similar to the earrings, but I see them so few times a year, it’s hard to tell.”
    “Didn’t Brian ever tell you about what I’d discovered?”
    Brian interrupted me, “I never mentioned anything. I need to keep a low profile as a volunteer.” He stood with his feet apart and rubbed the side of his face. “I’m no braggart, Mom.”
    “I know…and you also never caught the connection between your friend John here and the treasure that I’d found.”
    The word ‘treasure’ spiked John Julian’s attention, and he stopped filling the plastic containers of onion,

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