20. Peter's Choices [II]

The quill in Dr. Costello’s hand paused in its movement, and, in one smooth turn, the man had swung himself round in his dark leather writing-chair.

He stared down Peter through his round spectacles, but transferred his gaze to Phillip’s bandaged arm just as fast.

“What have you done now? I told you to keep our family name clean. Peter, I forbade you-”

“Father,” interrupted Phillip, softly, but massively, “Don’t take this out on Peter, it wasn’t his fault. In fact, he has been the one always giving great help to me. If you gave him a chance, he could become a doctor.”

“Phillip, don’t…” Muttered Peter.

“Peter? Nonsense.” Their father replied, “We all know that a medical profession is out of the question for someone with his ailments. And I suppose you’ve come to me for help, then?”

“Father, please-”

Suddenly, there were hard footsteps heard running down the corridor, and the door to Dr. Costello’s study burst open noisily.

Ryan stopped, slightly out of breath, and his expression morphed into a cloudy scowl when he noticed Phillip and Peter taking up the company of their father.

“Oh, you’re here.”

“Hello, Ryan,” Phillip said calmly, but not without a little contempt.

“Ryan,” Dr. Costello instantly turned his acute attention to the older son, “What can I do for you?”

Ryan eyed his brothers before actually moving to talk to his father.

“I have a lovely piece of information for you, father. I was out discussing ways to keep those vermin from across the sea out of our precious country (I am closely acquainted with the Sergeant in charge of home securities), when we heard rumours that the grassland had just been sold. Imagine that! So, I made some inquiries- it’s great having an eclectic range of contacts in our country’s vital industries, like the local housing and building companies. Anyway, it turns out that, yes, that patch of bare, grassy land has been sold to a rich scientist couple. What they’re going to do with it, I don’t know, but I suppose that they have found a new way to convert the harsh, natural shrubs into some kind-to-man building foundations.”

Phillip leant back and, after rolling his eyes, closed them. He hated to admit it, but Ryan’s ramblings intrigued him; if only his brother had not been there purely to gain profit and attention from the information.

Dr. Costello processed the information slowly, and rested his head on his pointed fingertips thoughtfully.

“Thank you, Ryan. I’m sure there is a plausible explanation, as there is for everything that makes the world spin at high velocity.”

“Like the situation which involves those two being here?” Ryan sneered.

“They came to me,” Dr. Costello was as quick to reply as he was to judge, “And I still have the duty to care for all my sons. Please excuse us, Ryan.”

“Father, I say that we should talk. The newcomers at the grassland could bring good profit.”

“Good day, Ryan.”

Ryan narrowed his eyes at Phillip and Peter, but said no more, only sulkily storming out of the study, just like a child would.

The End

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