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Chapter Thirteen

Karen Troulson sat alone on the front porch swing she used to
share with Victor before he passed away. As the neighbors one-by-
one shut off their lights and went to bed, Mrs. Troulson listened
anxiously to the local radio station for news of her son and her
grandson. The cordless phone--that new-fangled miracle she didn't
quite understand but had recently learned to use--sat idly next to
her now, where Victor used to sit. Most of the friends from the Hall
had gone to bed, or at least figured that she may have, and so the
flood of phone calls earlier in the evening had slowed to a trickle and
finally stopped. Even the talk show on the radio had ended, replaced
by soft music appropriate for the hour. And Karen Troulson was glad
no longer to be listening to that horrible man, the talk show host, who
had said such terrible things about her son and daughter-in-law and
about her religion.

She turned down the radio when the cordless phone next to her
suddenly began chirping.


"Oh, Karen!" Her daughter-in-law began sobbing on the other

"Ruthie, is that you?"

"Yes, Karen. I'm sorry. The police arrested us. They were
waiting for us in the motel room. We are each being allowed one
phone call, and Ralph used his to call Brother Sturgis and ask him to
get us a lawyer."

"Oh, you poor dears! Where is Tommy?"

"The police must have stopped Joe Fontaine's car and taken
Tommy into custody along with Joe and Larry. There's no other way
they would have known where to find us."

"You don't sound certain, though."

"No. They won't tell us anything. They just kept asking
questions--until Ralph said something about a lawyer. Then they
stopped and said we could use the phone. But now they're signalling
me to get off."

"You poor dears! And poor Tommy!"

"I have to hang up, Karen. But I wanted you to know what
happened. If you call brother Sturgis in the morning, he may have
more news then. Bye!"

Tears filled Karen Troulson's eyes as she sat there, the phone still
in her hand. Looking up at the night sky she prayed silently.

"This just in folks!" the diskjockey interrupted the post-midnight
program of music and called Mrs. Troulson back from her prayers. "A
WCAZ Instant News update: New Hampshire state police have
apprehended four fugitives alleged to have kidnapped local youngster
Tommy Troulson from Memorial Hospital earlier this evening. But the
child kidnap victim disappeared into the woods during the arrest of
his captors, and a search is now underway. WCAZ reporter Sophie
Laphorne is on the scene and has this live report:"

"This is Sophie Laphorne reporting live for WCAZ Instant News
from a rest area on the northbound side of Route 93 near Manchester,
New Hampshire. A short distance away is the site where, moments
ago, New Hampshire state police apprehended North Bridgewater,
Massachusetts, residents Joseph Fontaine and Lawrence Hickman.
State troopers allege that found with them in Fontaine's car was
eleven-year-old Tommy Troulson, who had been scheduled to receive
a court-ordered blood transfusion against his parents wishes, but was
kidnapped from Memorial Hospital. However, police say that the
youngster disappeared into the woods during a scuffle that broke out
as Fontaine and Hickman were being placed under arrest. A search is
underway for the boy, with state police using this highway rest area
as their temporary base of operations. Meanwhile, the youngster's
parents, Ralph and Ruth Troulson also of North Bridgewater, have
been apprehended at a motel in Gossville where they had allegedly
conspired to meet the men transporting their son. The Troulsons, who
object to blood transfusions for religious reasons, are members of the
Jehovah's Witness sect. The boy's condition is believed to be stable
right now but could become critical if he does not receive the
prescribed transfusion within the next few days. Tommy Troulson is a
slim eleven-year-old, about four and a half feet tall, with curly brown
hair and suntanned complexion. The search for him continues. This is
Sophie Laphorne reporting live from Route 93 in New Hampshire for
WCAZ Instant News. Now back to our studio."

"Oh, my God!" Karen Troulson exclaimed. "Oh, my God!" She stood
up from the swing and walked to the porch railing, peering into the
darkness as if searching for Tommy. "Oh, my God!" she kept repeating,
"Where is the boy? Where is the poor little boy?"

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