PERILOUS JOURNEY - 20
Copyright 2012 by Carl Mason
All rights reserved. Other than downloading one copy for strictly personal enjoyment, no part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except for reviews, without the written permission of the author. However based on real events and places, "Perilous Journey" is strictly fictional. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Further, as in real life, sexual themes unfold gradually. Comments on the story are appreciated and may be addressed to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
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This story contains descriptions of sexual contact between males, both adults and teenagers. As such, it is homoerotic fiction designed for the personal enjoyment of legal, hopefully mature, adults. If you are not of legal age to read such material, if those in power and/or those whom you trust treat it as illegal, or if it would create unresolvable moral dilemmas in your life, please leave. Finally, remember that maturity generally demands safe sex.
(Revisiting Chapter 19)
"Hold a minute," Robbie continued. "Is it ok if I bring Dr. Hodges in here and ask him for his opinion?" Andy grunted...which Rob took as an ok. Within minutes, Dr. Hodges appeared in answer to the signal. Before anyone could say a word, the good doctor, his eyes squarely upon his patient, enthused, "Mr. Cooper, you are feeling better!" Out of pure habit, he immediately took over, checking Andy's chest and blood pressure. Inexplicably embarrassed - for he realized he had been naked pretty much since his
arrival - Andy mumbled, "Yep, I am, doc...thanks to you and this hospital. I owe yuh plenty." Whirling on him, Dr. Hodges affectionately placed both hands on top of the young man's massive shoulders. (Scottie couldn't restrain a dry snicker. It looked as if the doc's hands were resting on a enormously thick beam forged from steel, the ends of which morphed into beautifully polished stainless soccer balls!) "If that's correct, there's only one way that men can truly repay such debts," Hodges observed in his accented English. "Love your young man, love yourself, and take one more chance on suffering the pain that periodically afflicts those who love life." Turning slightly, he observed the two young men gazing deeply into the eyes of the other...and smiling.
(Concluding Our Story)
Rob's declarations were a big factor in Andy's deciding to go up to the Camp. To some extent, he was also beginning to wonder if Miller had taken him in. Even if that had happened, he realized that his subsequent behavior as Miller's "apprentice enforcer" still carried a heavy burden of responsibility. After three investigations had taken place over several years, however, the Grand Jury refused to indict him for any crime. Andy would not allow the matter to rest which, in due course, led to a jury trial. The judgment of his fellow citizens did not change. Andrew Cooper was held to be without responsibility for the injuries suffered by citizens when he was under the control of Hank Miller and associates. Speaking for a united citizenry, the jury added that the young New Yorker had personally suffered horrors that could not be recompensed, too much blood had been spilled in this nation's "Tunguska Event" to add his, and that notice had to be taken of Cooper's behavior before and after the "Event". Finally they advised the Governor that a "life sentence without parole" of service to his fellows would be entirely appropriate... insofar as it was legal.
Andy's recovery provided a long and difficult, but ultimately successful story. True, he received solid professional help for both physical and psychological problems. In some ways, however, it is also true that the High Peaks healed him. In others, responsibility clearly lay with the boys and young men of Camp Thayer. They all idolized him and vied to perform small services that inestimably increased the quality of his life. As Scottie gradually failed - never fully recovering from the concussion and other injuries he had suffered in Timothy - and as Andy grew stronger, he slowly assumed his place as his married partner's #2 at the Camp. (Long before Scott passed, Rob learned that the State of New York answered the plea his father had formally laid before the Legislature some years before. [Author's Note: The State's lawmakers passed legislation making it possible for his adopted son, Rob, to inherit his interests in the High Peaks. A copy of their action was given to Scott for his records. Evidently, he had simply placed it in his strongbox at the bank and forgotten about it.] When Thayer and Cooper money supported the founding of an outstanding school in Lake Placid, Andy's long tenure as Coach and, later, as Athletic Director endeared him to the entire region. Family money also ensured that no Adirondacks youngster who desired and earned education beyond the secondary level...vocational or collegiate...had to go without.
Neither Andy's parents nor the parents of most lads at Camp Thayer were ever found. In the years immediately following the American Tunguska Event and the years during which our nation's Northeastern heartland was rebuilt, many thousands of youngsters came to Camp Thayer. Rob, Andy, and an excellent staff provided a home that was as loving and supportive as ever has been found. In their later years - when Camp Thayer returned to being more of a Adirondack "camp" and less of a long-term "home" - the waiting lists for both camp sessions and open slots at the Scott Thayer Memorial Academy in Lake Placid always seemed to be never ending.
(A Brief Personal Word in Closing)
Admittedly, it's nothing more than a truism to say that the reader takes what he will from each story that he or she reads. (A little light is always welcome as we navigate our way through this life, a journey not without its perils.) Nevertheless, if I may, I would offer a few words earlier put in the mouth of the good Dr. Hodges in Chapter 19. Speaking of how we might best react to the great debts that each of us incurs in the process of living, he wrote,
. . . "There's only one way that men can truly repay such debts," Hodges observed in his accented English. "Love your young man, love yourself, and take one more chance on suffering the pain that periodically afflicts those who love life."