And Baby Makes Three
Chapter 11

Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

"Well," Evans began. "I don't know what to do."

"Well, that's a good point to start from, but is this general or specific?" I asked.

"Wise guy! No. When Willy was shot, I wanted to go out and kill off every one of those bastards, and figure out where they were from and destroy their whole island. Or whatever. You know, my wife was killed by a drunk nearly four years ago, and Willy's taken care of me since then. No, I don't mean like that. Then, when I saw her in the hospital – tubes running into her, pale as anything – I realised I loved her. Then I talked to you ... and I did what you said. And I told her again the next morning when she woke up. But now I don't know what to do."

"You marry her and live happily ever after," said Weena.

"Impossible."

"Why?"

"The Navy wouldn't let us. Oh, we could get married. But Willy couldn't work for me anymore. More likely they'd keep me here in Western Australia and station her near Brisbane or Melbourne."

I got up to get more drinks.

"What if one of you gets out?" Weena asked.

"Hard to know. Willy's got just over five years, I think. Depending on how they count, I've got 20 or 23."

"Why the range?" I asked.

"I enlisted right out of secondary school and the Navy put me through University and OCS. So they might count from date of commission or from date of enlistment."

I looked at him. "So you could retire."

"Guess so."

"If you could live anywhere, where would you go?"

"Maclean."

"In New South Wales?"

"Yes. On the Clarence, near the Pacific."

"I've driven past it on highway 1. It's a Scots town."

Maclean is 667 km north of Sydney where the southern and northern parts of the Clarence River meet. It has a population of around 3000, and is the southern-most sugar cane region in Australia.

A large number of Scottish settlers originally came here and established shipbuilding and agricultural industries. Maclean is a major fishing centre (the Clarence River supplies around 20% of NSW's seafood), and is the centre of the sugar-growing area along the river.

"Is your family there?"

"I've no family." He sounded really sad.

"What about Willy?"

"Somewhere near Adelaide. Riverton, I think."

Weena asked: "You've not called her parents?"

"Couldn't do it."

"Do you have their number?"

"Yes."

"Captain!" Weena's voice changed. "An officer not only commands; an officer has responsibilities. One of your junior officers was wounded in action. If you can't call her parents, you'd better take your pension. There's a phone in there, use it!"

He looked up. "Thank you, Weena. Thank you." He went into my study and closed the door. I got up, gathered the four empties and picked up Weena's glass and took the load into the kitchen. I brought Weena another glass.

"Thanks, but I've got to go pee."

Evans emerged before she got back. "That's a fine girl you've got there."

"I know."

"She must be hell on the junior nurses. She's really got that command tone down."

"She hardly uses it. But she thought that you needed it."

"I did. I'll wait till she's back."

"Dinner out?"

"Sure."

"What would you like?"

"Meat. A lot of meat. I've had everything except lunch in the hospital caf for three days!"

"Poor underfed lad."

"Watch that, Lieutenant!"

"Right. You'll dock my stipend. Give me extra duty. Court-martial me."

"Don't tease him, Gordy." Weena had returned. "Was it bad?"

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