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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Life on the Swan - 9. Swan Chapter 9

When I returned to the terrace on the upper deck, there was no sign of Sebastian and Lewis, so I headed down to the main deck, where I found them seated at the dining table, with a laptop computer open in front of them both. “Come and sit, we have a few family matters to discuss,” Seb said to me when he saw me approaching.

I hesitated for a moment, before doing as asked, wondering if this was to do with what happened at school. “Now, we need to finalise our actions in regards to the school, for what you went through, do you have any suggestions?” Seb stated, to start up the meeting, and I thought about this question for a good amount of time before responding.

“Well, I don’t really want to go back to that school for one thing, and in regards to punishing the school for their lack of action, how about we just cancel the finances to assist the school with building a new senior school at Mt Claremont, and leave it at that” I stated.

“That is exactly what I was going to suggest,” Lewis said in response, “Yes, I am happy to do that, so that is a unanimous decision then, also I will be allowing the school to keep its lease agreement for the Prep school. I will pass on the bad news to the headmaster shortly after we have ended this meeting.

Next, we need to discuss your future, and you still have some schooling to complete,” Seb said. “Well, I was hoping to take a little bit more time off school, so as to relax a little bit, and cruise up the coast in my new toy,” I said in hope, and both Seb and Lewis chuckled at this.

“I will allow that, we don’t have any set plans for the next 8 days, so we may just tag along, to make sure you don’t get up to any mischief” Seb announced to me, “I think I can deal with that, but I am staying in the master suite, oh and also I have suggested to the Cooper boys that they move into one of the twin guest cabins, since we don’t have any guests onboard” I responded.

“That sounds fair enough, and you are spoiling them too much, they already get a huge generous wage, for having to put up with us all the time, you don’t want to overdo it” Lewis said to me, “Well just this one time at least, since it is just family onboard, and especially now that the boys are working separately and a fairway apart” I said.

“Ok, hey how about we invite their Aunt to join us, I believe she hasn’t seen her nephews in a while, even though they talk on the phone almost daily” Lewis suggested, “Good thinking dear, I will do that right away” Seb said as he retrieved his phone and pressed a button for speed dial.

“Hello Coop, this is Sebastian speaking, Lewis and I are in Perth at the moment, well Rottnest actually, we bought a new toy for Xander, and we are going to sail up the coast for a week, and we would like to invite you to join us, since we have both of your nephews with us” Sebastian said when the call was answered, and switching it to speaker.

“Hello Mr Sebastian, Sir Lewis and Master Xander, yes I would love to join you, I have missed you all so much since I retired to this lovely home in Claremont” Mrs Cooper responded. “Good to hear Mrs Cooper, we have a lunch appointment today with the Governor here at Rottnest, so we can collect you from Fremantle.

We are friends with the management of a warehouse, at 6 Rous Head Road, so if you can get there by 2 pm, we can collect you from there, as they have a good-sized jetty there” Sebastian said. “Very well, I will get packing right away, thank you, Sebastian, I really do appreciate this” Mrs Cooper said in reply, before ending the call.

“Who is it that we know at that address?” Lewis asked my cousin, and Sebastian chuckled, “Actually no one, I bought it as an investment, and so we have a place for mooring when need be, the jetty is only 54 metres long, but it has a depth of over 6 metres, so even my bigger toys would be able to come in” Sebastian responded with a cheeky smile.

At that point, Xavier entered and went up to Sebastian, “Sir, I have a telephone message from His Excellency, with is deepest apologies, he has to cancel today's lunch engagement, as he has had to return to the mainland on urgent business” Xavier announced.

“Well that isn’t too bad, we can go into Fremantle early and do some shopping and have lunch at the Fisherman’s harbour” Lewis responded, as Xavier left. “Good plan dear, I will head up to the bridge… actually, on second thoughts, Xander here can do that since it is his yacht, tell him to head for Rous Head, he knows the jetty to go to” Seb said.

After informing the captain of the slight change of plans, we were soon setting off for Fremantle, and I remained on the bridge the whole time, enjoying the view during the journey. When we pulled into Ruos Head, it was not long before I spotted a large sign on the end of the shed, ‘Wagner I C” and I smiled as I watched the Captain expertly manoeuvre the yacht to beside the jetty.

Once back on the mainland, Sebastian led us inside the Administration area, which is fairly bare of furniture, with just the basics in the reception area, and there are a number of offices, a board room, staff lounge, staff bathrooms and two storerooms, plus a passageway entry into the shed next door.

“This is yours to use whichever you want, the main shed next door is currently being leased out for storage purposes, while the small building facing the jetty, will be made available to the yacht and crew, for stocking supplies and as a recreation space for the crew” Sebastian announced to me, and he handed me the keys to the building.

After a bit of shopping, so I could brighten up my suite on the yacht a bit, with some new paintings and other bits and pieces along with an X-Box Games system, a bigger television and a selection of movies, we dropped off the items on the yacht, leaving Wyatt and Xavier to deal with it, while we went for a pleasant lunch, returning to the yacht just ten minutes before Mrs Cooper arrived.

Once Mrs Cooper was settled into her queen guest suite, we set off out of Fremantle heading north to our first overnight stop of Lancelin, which the Captain informed us would take 4 ½ hours to reach. Provisions had been organised in Fremantle for the whole journey north to Denham, where we would be dropping off Sebastian and Lewis, as well as Xavier and Mrs Cooper.

It would take us a total of 3 ½ days to reach Denham, with overnight stopovers at Lancelin, Port Denison and Kalbarri, with a short lunchtime stop at Jurien Bay tomorrow, with fairly calm weather for the first half of the journey. By the time we arrived at Lancelin, it was very late afternoon, as the Captain anchored in the sheltered bay, 100-metres East of Lancelin Island, and 450-metres west of the mainland and town of Lancelin.

The last half an hour of the journey north was a little rough, with a strong south-westerly wind creating a bit of a swell, that made it a difficult journey, but once inside the reef, we were all fine. After a short walk through parts of the town, Sebastian, Lewis and I returned to the yacht, in time for dinner, and Mrs Cooper stated that she was very thankful to be spending time with her nephews.

After a restful sleep, and an early breakfast, we set off again, leaving shortly before 8 am, with our next stop being Jurien Bay for an early lunch at Noon, and leaving no later than 1 pm, we would arrive at Port Denison at around 5.30 pm, depending on the seas.

Mrs Cooper spent as much time as possible with her nephews, so much that she was assisting with Xavier and Wyatt’s duties, which hadn’t gone unnoticed by Sebastian. “Coop, you are supposed to be retired, let the boys do that, and you come and relax and enjoy the trip with us,” Sebastian said to her, when she came in with a tray of drinks for us, just before lunchtime.

“Don’t be silly, this is the only way I can be with my lovely nephews, so hush now” she replied, before placing the drinks on the table and rushing off. “Interesting, that is the first time ever that I have heard her tell you off like that,” I said after Mrs Cooper was out of sight.

“Believe me, was very bossy when she was working in London” Sebastian replied, and Lewis chuckled and nodded his head in agreement to this.

Once again the winds had picked up in the afternoon, creating a swell so we had to slow down a little because of the waves, and it was late afternoon when I estimated that we were only about an hour out of Port Denison, that I borrowed the binoculars from the bridge, and headed up to the sundeck.

With just narrow beaches and some sand dunes visible, I turned out to sea, and almost right away I spotted an orange object in the water, and I adjusted the binoculars a little to get a clearer view, and soon saw that the object was a life-raft and that there was a person inside. I raced downstairs to the upper deck, and forward towards the bridge, not bothering to knock, I raced into the bridge.

“Captain, life raft in the water, approximately at 10 o’clock portside, roughly 500 metres,” I said urgently, and I handed the binoculars over to him, so he could see. “Yes, I see it, good spotting Mr Xander,” the Captain said, as he adjusted the direction of the yacht, before picking up the radio.

“Attention all crew, life-raft in the water, prepare for rescue,” the Captain said into the radio, and the 1st officer soon appeared and grabbed the binoculars from the bench, where the Captain had placed it, he searched and found the life-raft, then dashed outside to coordinate the rescue, and I quickly followed him.

As we came up to the life-raft slowly, we saw that there was just one person on board, a teenage boy by the looks of it, and he didn’t look too good. Without any instructions, I stepped into the life-raft and placed a hand on the boy's forehead, he was hot, and he looked badly sunburnt and dehydrated.

Carefully, I picked him up in my arms, and carried him back on board the yacht, and up the stairs to the main deck, with the first officer watching me carefully, as I headed towards my cabin.

“Lang, can you ask the Captain to get to the nearest mainland hospital as soon as possible, we also need to get this boy hydrated and cooled, so some cold towels and fresh water as well,” I said to the first officer, who dashed off to do as I had asked.

The boy stirred a little as I gently placed him on my bed, and I dashed to my bathroom to grab a towel and dampen it a little, so as to cool him down. When I returned, the boy's eyes were open and he frowned then smiled at me. “Am I in heaven?” he asked softly.

“No my friend, you are on board a luxury yacht called the MV Toodyay, you were lucky that I was on the sundeck with binoculars, or we would have sailed right past you, just rest now, we are on our way to get you medical help” I replied, as I felt the yacht turning and speeding up.

A few minutes later, Langley returned, “The Captain had notified the hospital, and an ambulance will meet us at the Port Denison main jetty,” he informed me, as he placed a jug of water on the bedside table along with a drinking glass and a straw.

I half-filled the glass and assisted the boy to sit up a little so he can drink. “Just very small sips at first, or you will just bring it all back up again,” I said to the boy, who looked to be about 12 or 13, as he was short, skinny and very pale. As I continued to help, I realised that the boy was holding onto my left hand, and he would not let go, so I stayed where I was and didn’t try to release the grip.

“When we get to shore, there will be an ambulance waiting, to take you to the hospital so you can be looked after,” I said to the boy, and he nodded his head in understanding, just as Sebastian entered. “Xander, come e lui? Ha gia detto qualcosa?” (Xander, how is he? Has he said anything yet?) Seb asked me in Italian.

“No, ma ha capito tutto quello che ho detto finora” (No, but he understood everything I have said so far) I replied, and Sebastian nodded his head and left my suite. When I felt the yacht slowing right down, and it gets much smoother, I put my right hand on the boy's shoulder to get his attention, as he appeared to be snoozing.

“We are almost at the harbour, are you able to walk, or would you like me to carry you again?” I said to the boy, “Portami per favore, Xander,” (Carry me please, Xander) the boys replied softly in perfect Italian, which surprised me a little.

I carefully lifted him into my arms and carried him out of the suite, through the saloon and out onto the deck and down the stairs, before stepping onto the jetty and up the short flight of steps, where two ambulance officers were waiting, and I placed him on the stretcher.

When I tried to back away, he grabbed me around the neck, and would not let go, as his eyes showed fear, and he began shaking. So I grabbed his hand in mine and gave it a light squeeze. “It appears that he wants me to go with him,” I said to the ambulance officers, and they agreed to let me go.

When the ambulance officers asked the boy some questions, “I translated them into Italian, even thou I knew that he fully understood English, and he replied to each question in Italian.

For the short journey to the hospital, I learnt that his name is Louis Devereaux and that he is 15 years old, that he is half Italian and half Australian, and he was born in Fremantle and attends Wesley College in South Perth, but I didn’t reveal that information to the Ambulance officers, just his name and age.

When I asked where his parents are, the boy Louis went silent and he looked at me sadly before closing his eyes and softly started crying, “I just asked where his parents are” I explained, and the officer nodded his head in understanding, before taking down some more notes.

When we arrived at the small hospital, I continued to hold Louis’s hand, as he was wheeled through to the emergency department. “I am sorry sir, but you will have to wait out here,” the nurse said when she blocked my way, which broke the hold on Louis, and immediately he began screaming and crying.

“I found the boy, and he only speaks Italian, which I am fluent in, so unless you have a translator on hand…” I said to the nurse, who hesitated, as she thought about it, before letting me follow her, and I quickly rushed to Louis’s side and grabbed his hand again, and he immediately stopped screaming and sobbed quietly.

I was quickly and forcibly put into scrubs, including a funny hat and things that covered my shoes, before I could stand next to Louis again. “Dr, my name is Alexander Devonport, but I prefer Xander. I found the boy – Louis floating in a life-raft, and he won’t let go of me since I carried him on board the yacht we were in.

I am fluent in Italian, which appears to be all that Louis understands, his last name is Devereaux, he is 15 years old and he is an Australian and Italian citizen. I do not know his parent's whereabouts, as when I asked he became visibly upset,” I explained.

Copyright July 2019 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights are Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Awesome chapter. What adventures have you got Xander involved in, who is Devereaux. Looking forward to finding out more about Devereaux and how how Xander saves him.

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32 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Awesome chapter. What adventures have you got Xander involved in, who is Devereaux. Looking forward to finding out more about Devereaux and how how Xander saves him.

It is Louis Devereaux

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Interesting chapter, definitely a strange turn of events, why does it seem that there is more to this than meets the eye, 

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Awesome chapter. It’s a good thing that Xander was up on the sundeck and spotted the life raft otherwise the young man might’ve been still in the life raft. After finding the boy that Xander found out was 15 years old and his name is Louis Devereaux, he is half Italian and half Australian. Louis is dehydrated and very sunburnt and the only way to get Xander to stay with him Xander had to say that he only spoke Italian and unless they had a translator he was going to stay with him so that he could translate what they said even though Xander knew that Louis understood English just fine. I hope the diagnosis is going to be good news and that he would be able to get the help he needs on the yacht where Xander could be able to be available to help him. I wonder if Louis lost his parents in some kind of accident while they were on the ocean which is how he ended up in the life raft?  

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I have enjoyed all the stories you have posted with these characters and learned so much about Australia and the various places traveled.  It has provided me with a vicarious vacation, for sure!  This story is wonderful and is showing much more warmth of the characters which I find appealing. 

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