Doc, who had stayed at the clinic with the boys rather than attend the town meeting, in seeing Montavier come out of the town hall, hurried outside and called out to him. “Jonathan! Could I please have a word with you before you go?” Doc, after having talked to the Sheriff, knew that he wouldn’t investigate any possibility of abuse between Montavier and Jarrel, so he decided to take matters into his own hand and question the man. He didn’t know if it would reveal or resolve anything, or perhaps make matters worse, but he felt it his duty as a doctor to report the suspicion, which he had and follow up on it since the Sheriff was refusing to.
Montavier paused, a bit irritated at the interruption, but the doctor at least was one of the few people Montavier respected in the town. So, he walked over to the clinic, his car not too far from the in-home clinic. It was a small town and everything on the Green was close within walking distance. “Let’s keep this short, Doc, I’d like to be out of town before you call the authorities, or before they come on their own. I want nothing to do with this mess. I did tell Lance that I’ll be paying for whatever medical care the boys need and as soon as I get to the City, I’ll find the best specialist I can for Luke’s leg.”
Doc nodded. “Thank you, Jonathan. That’s very generous and kind of you, and it kind of makes me uncomfortable to be bringing this up now but I find I can’t in good conscience just let it go. Yesterday out of the blue Jarrel mentioned that your father used to abuse you and him. That he used methods that left no visible marks or made you stand in painful positions for long periods of time, and that he was very overbearing and demanding. He was talking to Luke. I believe trying to find some common ground with him. He went on to say that you achieved the success your father wanted and so he left you alone when you turned an adult, but that he was never satisfied with Jarrel, feeling he fell short of what he could achieve and that he continued to be abusive with him into adulthood. He then in an off-hand comment, more to himself than to anyone else said that you were a lot like your father, and based on the context and the current discussion, I asked him if you were abusing him. His response was to put a finger to his lips and smile and say, ‘loose lips sink ships’. So, I am asking you outright. “Are you abusing your brother like your father did?”
Montavier raised an eyebrow at the doctor’s brazen question, but then he let loose a long sigh and shook his head. “I am very much like my father, and it is true that my father was very strict in regards to discipline with both of us growing up, though I’m not sure I’d call it abuse. Though I suppose according to modern day standards it would be seen that way. He was very strict, very domineering, and he pushed both of us to succeed, but he loved us and meant well. It was just his way of ensuring that we did well in life. There was no malice involved. He saw it as a discipline and necessary in order to ensure we were well off and independently wealthy. It’s also true that our father continued to discipline Jarrel into adulthood. However, I am not continuing my father’s legacy of abuse with Jarrel.”
Montavier sighed again. “Doc, my brother is insane, most likely due to the pressure my father put on him, maybe the physical discipline too. I really don’t know to what extent that developed into Jarrel’s adulthood. I stayed out of it, but something made my brother’s mind snap, and one aspect of his dementia is that he believes that I am abusing him like our father did.
I won’t deny that I don’t often lose my temper with my brother and even have gone so far as to grab his arm, squeezing it and giving him a bit of a shake to snap him out of one of his rantings, or boxing or tweaking his ear to get his attention. But that’s as far as it goes in regards to being physical with my brother. However, he sees me as being much more severe than that with him, so much so, that he goes into a state of what his doctor told me is ‘hysteria’. Where he’s so convinced that I’ve beaten him that he even takes on the pain of it. Of course, there are no visible injuries and even sonograms have been done to prove there were no injuries, though he insists that I whip him with a rubber hose or use other methods our father used to use on us. My father was always a man of appearances, and he never wanted to leave any bruises or marks behind when he disciplined us. Jarrel sees and experiences things that aren’t happening, doctor, yet believes them to be true, and there’s no convincing him otherwise.
If you feel you need to do further investigation in the matter then do so, and I understand that you are only acting according to your oath as a doctor, so I take no offense. His psychiatrist’s name is Dr. Lipkin. I can give you his number, though he’s in the book. If you feel the need to contact him, I will speak to him about allowing you full disclosure into Jarrel’s case and files. I have nothing to hide.”
The doctor shook his head. “No, that won’t be necessary. The fact that you offered is enough to convince me that you are telling the truth. Again, I’m sorry. I know this had to have been very awkward. It has been for me as well.”
Montavier nodded. “A bit, but at least I know that you’re looking out for my brother. Which reminds me. I told the others that he’s currently locked in his mad room. I felt that was the best place for him to be until all of this blows over. Trust me, you don’t want the authorities questioning him. He won’t lie. He’s incapable of it. Always has been. Even when it was for his own good to do so. I have to give him grudging respect for that, though, in reality, it’s quite foolhardy and totally impractical in the real world. There simply are times where you need to bend the truth, or even outright lie, or at the very least keep your mouth shut, none of which Jarrel is or ever has been capable of. So, for all of your sakes, keep him locked up for a time. He’s got plenty of food and entertainment, but just check in on him and maybe give him some company. He gets lonely when I have to lock him up like that. Oh, and he might be in one of his hysterical states when you check in on him. I was a bit irate with him when I arrived as he hadn’t contacted me last night like he was supposed to so that I know he’s okay and I was worried sick. So, I did tweak and lightly box his ear and raised my voice with him, but that was the extent of any physical interaction I had with my brother. However, that’s usually all it takes to trigger an episode. He was okay when I left, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t go into a state of hysteria afterward. It doesn’t usually happen with me standing there, but after I leave the room or area. So, if you have some time today to check on him… I know you’re tied up with the boys right now but later, I’d appreciate it. That or perhaps send someone else.”
Doc nodded. “I’ll check on him personally after I get the boys sent off to the City hospital. I’m just waiting for the say so from Lance before I call the authorities and ask for transportation. So, it’s probably best you go now if you don’t want to be seen here. Thank you for your time and understanding.”
Montavier nodded again and then turned to leave, having nothing more to say.