Privately I had made another request of the Lawyers, to draw up documents of offers to buy the 25% share of MPI that are currently held by the station managers who work for MPI. At a very generous amount, $500 thousand per share, totalling $12.5 Million. These offers would be sent to each of the non-family shareholders by mail, with the request for an email to be sent directly to the Chairman of MPI with a reply of acceptance or rejection of the offer.
During the next two weeks since returning, I was kept busy in the office, catching up of paper work, plus working out the mustering programme for this season. During this, time I received emails from all the non-family shareholders, all of them accepting the offer, making me a 45% shareholder in MPI.
It was while eating breakfast one morning when the radio news caught everyone’s attention, “Pilbara Pastoralist –Mr Michael Edgerton, his wife Elizabeth and daughter Miranda, where killed when their plane stalled and crashed, just 15 kilometres south of Port Headland last night.
It is believed they were on their way to see Mr Edgerton’s grandson, who had fallen sick and was rushed to Hospital via RFDS a few hours earlier. The grandson, a result of a failed relationship between Miranda and an unknown man, is recovering from his illness. He’ll be released into the care of relatives in a few days.”
“They obviously don’t mean you, so who are they talking about?” Natalia asked her son. “I guess they mean Elizabeth’s younger sister – Margaret, she and her husband live in Broome. I met them at the wedding, they seem to be nice people” I replied.
I got up and made my way to the office to make some enquiries. When I came back to the kitchen for a cuppa about half an hour later, Natalia was still there and asked, “Did you find any more information?”
Shrugging my shoulders, I sighed “It’s all very complicated. I have received an email from the Edgerton family lawyers stating that the will of the late Michael Edgerton clearly stated that in case of his death or that of his wife or daughter, Kyle Edgar Edgerton is to be placed in the care of his great aunt, Margaret Lenswood.”
I continued, “I have asked my lawyers to get in touch with them, and point out that a recent court judgement overrides any such statement in the Will of Mr Edgerton, so I am waiting to see what happens with that outcome. I just don’t know what’s going to happen, I might have to fly back up to Broome for another court hearing, and hopefully I can bring Kes back with me. I want my son home, with me”
For the next few hours I just lounged around the homestead, reading a book or sitting on the verandah. When the telephone rang shortly after lunch time, I sprang up of the couch to answer it, and listening carefully to what I was being told.
“OK, thanks for that, I will be there as quickly as I can, Bye,” I said and hung up the phone. “Well looks like another court hearing in Broome, I have to get there as quickly as possible, as the Lenswood’s have managed to get a court hearing for tomorrow. If I’m not there they will get the judgment in their favour” I shouted, as I dashed off to pack my gear. Within an hour I was on my way to Kalgoorlie, estimating I would get there at about 2am.
Natalia said she would arrange for a ticket on the next flight from Kalgoorlie to Broome, and a phone call from her later that evening was to confirm that I was on the 6 am flight, arriving in Broome at 9.30 am. Managing to get a motel room, thanks to Natalia thinking ahead. I managed to get three hours sleep, before getting up, showering, changing and dashing to the airport to catch the flight to Broome, where I managed to get another two hours of sleep.
I was reasonably refreshed when the plane landed at Broome airport, and took a taxi straight to the courthouse; I arrived just a few minutes before 10 am, just in time for the hearing. Looking at the court listing, I was pleasantly surprised to see the magistrate hearing the case was Martin Davidson. With a smile I straightened my tie, and walked into the courtroom, where a very unhappy Margaret and her husband where already seated, along with their legal representatives.
When the Magistrate entered we all stood, well everyone except Margaret. Once told to sit, one of her legal team stood and started proceedings, requesting that their application for full custody be granted, as per the wishes of the grandfather in his will. When he sat down the magistrate looked over at me
I stood, clearing my throat, said “Your honour, please excuse my appearance, as soon as I found out about this hearing at 2pm yesterday, I packed a bag and I made the ten-hour drive to Kalgoorlie, plus the 3½ hour flight to Broome this morning. I will accept whatever ruling you decide, hoping it is similar to the one you made a few weeks ago” I said and I sat down.
The magistrate looked down at his paper work and smiled when he remembered the previous case a few weeks back in Port Hedland. “The ruling I made nearly three weeks ago is still valid, and if you were not informed of that Ms Lenswood, then maybe you shouldn’t be so sneaky, trying to get a fast court hearing and not bothering to inform the other parties concerned”.
He continued, “My ruling still stands, and since the other parent is now deceased I hear by grant full custody of Kyle Edgar Silverton, Kes I believe you call him, to his father – Bryce Silverton. Furthermore, I find Ms Lenswood contempt of court for failing to stand when I entered, and for failing to provide correct information on a court document, the fine is $500, Case closed”.
Everyone stood and I bowed, as I did, I noticed that Margaret was fuming and was still seated, Mr Davidson also noticed, going back to the bench, “Ms Lenswood I am now doubling that fine for once again failing to stand, do you want me to keep raising it, or would you prefer to spend some time in the lockup?”.
Finally, Margaret stood up, bowed her head slightly and whispered “What a Wanker”.
“I heard that, bailiff, take Ms Lenswood into custody; she is to serve two days in the lockup and another $5000 fine” Mr Davidson said, storming out of the courtroom, slamming the door behind him, which made everyone jump.
About five minutes later with court documents in hand, I went to the hospital to see how Kes was doing. When I reached the Paediatric Ward door I pressed the buzzer to request entry.“How may I help you?” came a voice over the intercom.
“My name is Bryce Silverton, I have come to see my son Kyle Edgar Silverton please” I said in reply.
“I’m sorry sir, there was a Kyle Edgerton, but he was released into his great Aunt and Uncle’s care at 9.30 am this morning”.
Without hesitation I dashed out of the hospital and back to the courthouse, where I found a police officer, explaining the court ruling and what I had just been told at the hospital. The officer called on his radio, asking for assistance to locate the whereabouts of Mr Jacob Lenswood, possibly with a minor named Kyle Edgar Silverton, possible location either his Broome home or the airport.
I decided to check out the airport, since that is where my luggage was in a locker. I hailed for a taxi and asked them to rush to the airport, while doing this I checked on my phone for what flights that are leaving Broome in the next half hour. I looked at the departures information, one flight leaving for Perth in twenty minutes, one flight leaving for Darwin in fifteen minutes and one flight leaving for Denpasar in ten minutes.
Calling the Broome police station, told the officer, “Jacob Lenswood is probably fleeing to Denpasar, Bali. A flight is leaving in ten minutes, and he might be illegally taking a child with him.” hanging up, I returned to the airport.
Looking at the departures list, I found the right departure gate. When I got there the doors where closed and the aircraft was moving away from the walkway. Turning to a staff member of that flight, “Miss, please, if there is a Mr Jacob Lenswood on that flight and has a child with him, if so, he is kidnapping that child.
Here is a court order from the Broome court awarding custody of the child to me, his father. The police are on their way now, please stop the plane from departing” I said hurriedly, making sure she saw that the document I had was the real thing. She looked at the passenger list, then dashed to the desk and made a phone call.
As the plane started to make its way down the taxi way to prepare to take off, it suddenly stopped. After a few moments it made a turn, heading back to the airport building, just as I heard police sirens approaching. Inside the plane, two male stewards held Jacob Lenswood down, while a stewardess picked up young Kyle taking him to the front seats. I watched from the windows, as the plane stopped short of the building, a staircase vehicle approached the plane and stopped at the forward door hatch. Once in place, the door opened, and two police officers dashed up the stairs.
Once they were inside, a stewardess came down the stairs with Kes holding her hand, following close. When they finally came through the security door I could see Kes recognise me. Breaking free of the stewardess he dashed towards me. I knelt down, with open arms took hold of him and gave him a nice soft hug.
“I missed you daddy, I really did,” Kes pronounced, giving me a kiss on the cheek.
I stood up with Kes still in my arms, and the stewardess was standing nearby talking to the staff member I spoke to before. They both smiled, passing me Kes’s hand luggage and waved good bye. We made our way back out of the building, collecting my luggage from the locker on the way.
Booking into a motel, I decided we needed to have a little nap before lunch and I was out like a light as soon as I hit the pillow. I was woken up by Kes shaking me, “Daddy, I’m hungry”.
When I looked out the window and saw that it was nearly dark, realised I had slept most of the day. “I bet you are young man, we missed out on having lunch didn’t we” I smiled.
Sitting up I grabbed the room service menu and then called room service. Ordering a child’s serving of chicken nuggets, with chips and salad, also a rump steak, well done, with chips and salad, too, plus a chocolate milkshake and a strawberry milkshake.
After hanging up the phone I told Kes “I’m going to take a shower, why don’t you go watch some cartoons, till dinner arrives and I’m out of the shower, but do not answer or open the door. I will do that”.
Kes nodded, and whispered, “Okay, daddy”. Then running over to the TV, shouting, “Yippee”! He sat by the television, with cartoons already showing on the screen. I smiled and made my way to the bathroom for a nice hot shower, and a change of clothes. Just as I came out of the bathroom still rubbing my hair dry with a second towel, there was a knock on the door.
Just as a precaution I asked “Who is it?”, “Room service, Sir” came the reply.I wasn’t happy with that, so I thought for a moment then asked “What do you have?” and waited for a reply.“Some fresh towels and a restaurant menu”.
Janurary 2016 Preston Wigglesworth, All Rights are Reserved