The News - Chapter Four
The News - Chapter Four
Coming home to America had been a difficult trip. Besides the fact that it was a long trip on the plane, even though it was a new and adventurous experience for Damian, it had been very trying to say good-by to Rosa, whom he regarded as a second mother, and he had been nagged by a persistent question, that being about his parents. No one had told him anything about what they knew concerning his parents, even though Alfredo knew and had told Rosa before Damian left for America. They felt it best for him to get this news when he arrived home, preferably from his grandmother.
Damian was a worn out little boy when he arrived in New York. He was not expecting what he found when he got there, either, but the newspapers considered him a hot news item. When he walked down the steps of the plane, flashbulbs were going off everywhere. At first, Damian turned around to see who it was that they were photographing. Then, he saw his grandmother and ran to her. She represented home like nothing else he had seen so far...but where were his parents, he wondered?
Grandmother Miller told the reporters that they could call later at a more appropriate time and whisked Damian to a waiting car, whereupon, the limousine sped away leaving a sea of reporters clammering.
“Where’s Mama and Daddy, Grandma?” Damian asked as the car headed for home.
“They are away right now, Dear,” came the reply, “but we need to get you home and let you rest. You’ve had a long trip, and I’m sure you’re tired.” Then, in an effort to change the painful subject, she asked, “Now how was your trip?” Nell knew that she would eventually have to tell him the whole story of how his patents had been found brutally murdered and dumped in the river, but he was young, and she felt most of the details should wait until the appropriate time. Nonetheless, Damian would have to be told some of the awful truth. After all, since the murders were still unsolved, the police would eventually want to question him about what he had seen or knew.
A week after his arrival home, Damian found out why he had become such a celebrity. Along with the sad news that his parents were dead, Damian learned that he had never been given up on by his grandmother. Her continued pursuit of her grandson, who she said was still alive, even after months of no evidence or new leads, made Nell Miller and her search the most talked about gossip item in New York. Thus, when he was found in Rome, every media talk show in town wanted to talk to them both, and no newspaper was going to be outdone in getting a scoop.
There was a different group wanting to talk to Damian today, though. It was the police. Out of deference to Mrs. Miller, they had waited a week to come by and question him about what he remembered of the last time he saw his parents. Part of the questioning involved taking Damian back to the freight ship where he had been a passenger to Rome.
The Aztec, tall and black against the sky, brought back an immediate sense of excitement to Damian, who could think of only one thing...or person...Kim! Racing up the gangplank, away he went. With the police and his grandmother hardly able to keep up, he was banging on the door to Kim’s room.
“Kim!” he shouted, and without waiting for an answer, turned the doorknob and raced in without even looking up, which certainly was a surprise for everyone, because he nearly knocked Kim over as he was preparing to open the door.
Such hugging and merriment as you never saw in your life was going on as the police and Mrs. Miller finally made their way into the room. Kim wanted to know how Little Kim could now talk, to which Damian told him about the night in Rome when his voice had come back. Damian told Kim his real name, and Kim said, “I know. When we returned from sea, the police were here to question us, and when they showed us your picture, I was the one who told them that the last time that I had seen you was just before we got to Italy. You know, I almost thought you had fallen overboard, but I wouldn’t let myself believe that. I was so glad to read in the papers that you had made it home safe.”
Strangely enough, Damian showed no emotional problems resulting from leading the police down into the hold to reenact the night of the murders. Everyone had feared that going back into that room would have been too emotionally wrenching for the little boy, but Damian had been in this room many times when he was on his way to Rome. However, it was the repeated mentioning of his parents and their last ordeal that did have some effect on him. For the first time since coming home, he had asked his grandmother where his mother and father were buried.
Strangely enough, Damian was unable to identify his parents’ killer, or killers. Even though he gave a description of the robes they wore, it seemed that Antonio Vanucci’s face was hidden from waking life and was locked away inside Damian’s occasional nightmare. It was only then that Damian saw his demon and wrestled with him over the necklace that he wore. Damian never told this to the police. Dreams like that just didn’t seem the thing to tell them about. As time went on, though the books were never officially closed on the case, everyone, except for Nell Miller, gave up on it. Who would ever believe it was a bunch of priests? The cops were out looking for a cult of devil worshippers.
If Father Vanucci had been as intelligent as he was clever, he would have taken up reading the papers more, because, as it so happened, all the news of the search for Damian Miller was never brought to his attention. Thus, when Damian was found and brought back to America, Antonio Vanucci was on his way to fulfill an assignment for the Church in Italy...Rome to be exact. What irony! Vanucci was still cursing the loss of the necklace that would have ensured him a higher promotion in his bid for power. But, for now, at least, the necklace with sacred powers was safely around the neck of an innocent little boy in the heart of New York, far removed from the clutches of this priest of death.
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