CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-EIGHT
“Saul never touched a penny of that money,” Delphie said. “Even though that meant that he needed to get a job to pay for football, his clothing, and anything else he needed. Saul gave the entire sum to their mother. She used it to care for Silas. But Saul wouldn’t take a dime.”
“Why?” Nash asked.
“He wanted his mother to have it,” Delphie said. “Saul didn’t mind getting help from Seth. He just knew that his mother has no other way to make money. He was young and strong and …”
“That’s how he ended up in Special Forces in the early war in Vietnam,” Delphie said.
Unable to continue, she nodded.
“What happened to him?” Nash asked.
“It’s a good question,” Delphie said. “Most aren’t sure.”
“But you know,” Nash said with surety.
“Yes,” Delphie said with a sigh. “They told his mother that he was ‘lost,’ MIA. That’s what they told a lot of people, but I was Maresol’s good friend.”
“You and Maresol go back a long time,” Nash said. “Maresol worked here then?”
“As soon as Seth had any money at all, he hired someone to help his mother with this big house,” Delphie said. “Maresol was little more than a girl. Her husband had been killed and she had four children to care for. She leapt at the chance to work here.”
Delphie nodded and fell silent.
“What did they tell Seth’s mom about Saul?” Nash asked.
“I… uh… ,” Delphie said. “Well, the military had told her that he was ‘lost.’ I will tell you that it nearly killed her to ‘lose’ him. Day in. Day out. It started to wear her down, so Maresol brought her to me.”
“And?” Nash asked.
“For the longest time, Saul was hiding in the jungle,” Delphie said. “He was cut off from anyway of getting home. He just endured and survived. Nearly a year and then he was picked up.”
Delphie nodded and fell silent again.
“You had to tell his mother that?” Nash asked.
“I couldn’t,” Delphie said. “Seth was out of the Army by then. Mitch, too. His mother had kept this situation from Seth while he was in Vietnam.”
“Tunnels of Chi Chui,” Nash said.
“When Seth got back, he … well, he just did his Seth thing,” Delphie said with a chuckle. “He shook hands until he found someone with the connections to help him look for Saul.”
“General Hargreaves,” Nash said.
“Now you are not supposed to know that,” Delphie said.
“Sensei Colin told me,” Nash said with a shrug.
“Seth doesn’t talk about what happened or how he found Saul,” Delphie said.
“Did you help him?” Nash asked.
“As much as I could,” Delphie said. “But he had to do a lot of the groundwork while he was in Vietnam, in the middle of a war. It was dangerously crazy.”
“He wasn’t able to bring his brother’s body back because of the war,” Delphie said. “He paid the Buddhist monks to cremate Saul’s body. The military had already put up a grave for Saul at Arlington. So Seth brought him home.”
“So he could have his brother close to him?” Nash asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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