The Sheriff ran into a bit of a hitch when he returned to town and confronted Jarrel about moving him and the boys to his mad room, explaining that he wanted the boys out of the media frenzy which might occur should the authorities show up regarding Lloyd. Of course, he had to fill Jarrel in on what had occurred at the town meeting, though he left the part off about locking up Hank, Doc, Aberly, and Buford in the mad room.
Jarrel, however, adamantly refused to leave his post. Just even moving the boys he felt to be a failure on his part to keep them safe until they awoke. Lance would normally just have simply forced the issue as he had done with the others, except that Jarrel’s situation was a bit more complicated, as his brother was a very wealthy and powerful billionaire who did much in regards to supporting the town and keeping it financed and in the red. If he were to injure Jarrel in any way or lock him up without good cause, there could be dire repercussions from Montavier.
The Sheriff pulled his brother aside as the realization came to him that he couldn’t simply shoot Jarrel in the foot as he had threatened to do with the others, nor really even feasibly lock him up. The Judge shook his head in disagreement. “Montavier would agree with our decision. He doesn’t want or need a scandal any more than we do. Though he had no part in the decision on the boys five years ago, he was aware of the situation. So, he’s just as complicit as the rest of us.”
Lance frowned. “Maybe so, but he has high priced lawyers and there’s no way we can prove that he knew. All he has to say is that he had been unaware of the situation and that is that. It’s not like he lives here in town. He only visits from time to time to check in on his brother. So, what do you recommend? I can’t shoot him in the foot. Montavier would have a cow and my head.”
Peter thought a moment. “Sedate him then. Doc has that emergency syringe for when Jarrel gets out of hand, in that little joke, “break the glass in case of emergency” box on his wall in the examination room. Go get that, go back to talk to Jarrel and while I distract him, stick him with it. If Montavier complains we can simply say he got out of hand and we had to sedate him and put him in his mad room.”
Lance frowned. “I don’t know. This is starting to become more complicated than I thought it would. Damn, Hank Olsen!” He said out loud this time. “Why couldn’t he have just gone along like everyone else? We had Doc and Aberly convinced until he spoke up. We can’t really keep them locked up forever, Peter.” Peter quickly spoke to reassure his brother. “They’ll come around in time after the dust settles. A few days locked up should clear their heads a bit. Just calm down and don’t start panicking now. Go get the sedative like I said so we can get this done before the authorities come. We don’t want to be caught in the midst of moving the boys, and it’s already been several hours since you called the fire in. It’s only a matter of time before they send someone here to question you personally.”
Doc was quick to hurry over to Buford as he came down into the mad room after seeing Lance backhand his son and then pistol whip him in the head. “Are you okay? Let me have a look at you.” Buford pulled away, however, angry. “I’m fine, Doc. Just pissed.” Doc frowned. “Your father and Peter have gone off the deep end on this. Are they honestly going to keep us locked down here forever in order to keep us silent? I’m a bit concerned at this point in how far they are willing to go to keep us quiet. Do you think they’re capable of…”
Aberly interjected. “It’s not going to come down to that Doc, because I’m not staying down here. I’m going to wait a few moments to let Lance and Peter time to get back to town. It’s going to take them some time to get the boys transferred here and the equipment. Then I’m going to bust that door down and call for help from Jarrel’s house phone and put an end to this fiasco. It’s going to cause a huge chaotic mess in reporting it, but I can see now that it needs to be done. I thought at first this could be handled in-house, but Hank is right, the boys need professional help and care… No offense Doc.”
Doc shook his head. “None taken, and you’re right that we have a little bit of time to attempt an escape. Jarrel is guarding the boys and is taking his task seriously. He’s not going to come willingly in his state of mind. So that should delay them even longer, but are you sure you can bust that door open. It’s steel and locked from the other side Aberly? I know you’re strong, but…”
Aberly grinned. “I’m even stronger than I look, Doc. Trust me. That door won’t keep me in. It’s why I agreed to come willingly before Lance shot one or both of you in the foot. I could see it in his eyes that he wasn’t bluffing. He and Peter are the ones most at risk in this situation due to their positions of authority, though I believe all of us will be paying the consequences in some way or another. It’s going to be a right mess for sure either way, but if it saves Luke’s leg and those boys get the mental help they need then that’s what’s important.”