Th boys stamp their feet on the rubber mat as they enter the Maxwell house. They take off their outerwear and head into the dining room with their mail. Colleen is dumping a large bowl of chopped vegetables into a steaming soup pot.
"Our O.P.P. letters are here mom."
Kyle calls into the kitchen as he takes a seat in the dining room, which is just off the kitchen. David follows suit.
"Oh good. You boys have been so anxious to get those letters. The two of you have gone through so much this summer just to qualify to apply! The soup won't be ready for half an hour, so you might as well open them now."
The boys nervously open their letters. Kyle gets his open first and quickly scans the first page. Then he jumps from his chair a dances around a bit.
"I did it, I did it, I got in! Listen to this.."
He reads aloud from the letter.
"Dear Mr. Maxwell. You have successfully met all of the criteria necessary to enter the Ontario Provincial Police Cadet Program. You will begin Orientation on January 2, 1970 at the Police College at Orillia Ontario."
David opens his letter and scans it quickly.
"I got in too, yahoo..! "
He hops off the chair and hops around waving the letter, almost colliding with Emily, who is entering the dining room from the living room. Joanie is right behind her.
"Wh..? Watch where you're going!"
She exclaims as she steps out of the way. She snatches the letter out of David's hand in mid wave.
" I'm guessing by all the hooting and hollering that these are the letters you guys were waiting for."
Kyle nods and grins as David snatches the letter back from Emily.
"We both got in. We go for orientation for a week in Orillia, then we'll each be partnered for a year with experience coach officers."
Emily frowns. She is not thrilled with David and Kyle becoming cops. She has had to worry about the violence facing her dad every day of her life, and now she had to worry about David and Kyle too.
"Will you get guns?"
Joanie piped up from behind Emily.
"Not till we get sworn in. Until then we'll be like apprentices learning a trade. We'll be doing lots of things the sworn in cops do, we just won't have any real authority until we complete training."
As the young people are talking, the wall phone rings shrilly in the kitchen. Kyle reaches around the door frame to answer it.
"Hello? Oh hi, Mrs. Larson. Yes, David is here. I'll get him."
Kyle holds the receiver out toward David.
"It's for you David, your mom."
David takes the receiver and speaks into it as he leans against the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The siren of an ambulance screams in the distance, getting louder as it gets closer.
"Yeah, hi mom."
David drops the receiver suddenly, and it dangles from the phone on the wall. He staggers and sits abruptly on the floor as though his legs have given out. His face is as white as paste as tears stream down his cheeks.
"D.d.dad just had a heart attack. The ambulance we heard is at our place now."
Emily bursts into tears and goes to sit on the floor beside David. She hugs him fiercely. Colleen strides purposely toward the front door as she gives the young people rapid instructions.
"Girls, I'm going over to be with Estelle until the paramedics get Mark into the ambulance. Turn off the stove and put away the vegetables. Kyle, you can bring the girls to the hospital later in our car. David, I'll drive you to the hospital in your dad's car. I imagine your mom will go in the ambulance with your dad."
David gets his coat on in the foyer and follows Colleen out the door, as Kyle and the girls start to follow her directions.