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Top End Doctor - 26. Dr Chapter 26

One day when we arrived at the community centre after school, we were surprised to see Uncle James there, talking quietly to Tim. “Hey boys, how has school and home life been going?” Uncle asked us, after not seeing us for a week.

“Good Uncle James, where is the yacht, I didn’t see it in the bay?” Toby replied, “No, and it isn’t at the boat ramp or at the home jetty, it is still in Cullen Bay, I managed to catch the ferry over here, while the crew and medical team prepare for the next trip in four days time,” Uncle James responded.

“We will talk some more tonight, will you take the boys home, I will be a few hours yet, come and collect me at 6 pm,” Tim said in a tone that didn’t sound too good, as we said goodbye to Tim and followed Uncle James out and to the vehicle in the car park.

Once in the car, Uncle James looked at us in the back seat, how is the collection of birds at home, have any of them left yet?” he asked us, and Toby shook his head no, “They are still all their, and they come and greet us every time we go and visit them, one even landed on Toby’s head the other day,” I commented, smiling at the memory of it.

“I wasn’t to happy about that, its claws digging into my head,” Toby said, “I had to encourage it onto my shoulder instead, and I am sure there are a heck of a lot more birds than before, as we have seen more Rainbow Lorikeets, plus some owls and cockatoos nesting in the trees now,” I added.

“Interesting, I will have to go and have a look for myself. Have you been taking any photos of them?” Uncle James asked, “No, Tim won’t let us, after we accidentally dropped it once,” I explained. After Mrs Kennedy had given us some afternoon tea and we had changed out of our school clothes, Uncle James took us to the Gazebo to have a look at the birds, and he brought the camera with him.

“Wow, I see what you mean, there are definitely more birds,” Uncle James whispered as we walked along the boardwalk away from the house, “Tim helped us set up feed trays and nesting boxes along the entire boardwalk,” I replied. “I see, that may explain why there are so many birds around here,” Uncle James said.

That evening at dinner, it was unusually quiet during dinner, which had me a little worried, that something was going on between Tim and Uncle James. “Why are Uncle James and Tim angry with each other?” Toby asked me while we were cleaning our teeth before heading to bed, “It is adult stuff that we probably will not understand, just try and ignore it,” I replied to my little brother.

A few days later, Uncle James set off on another Medical mission, this time he would be away for twelve days, and we kept to a routine of going to school and hanging around the community centre, until Tim was ready to head home at the end of the day, which usually meant just on going dark, so we couldn’t go exploring around the jungle garden.

A week later, with Uncle James due to return home in a few days, we headed for Tim’s office as we usually do after school, and we stopped at the top of the stairs, when we heard Tim shouting at someone, with his office door slightly open.

“No James, I have had enough, this has to stop, you come home after this trip and we will discuss this, but you will not be going on another mission until we have finished talking properly about this… No James, I have said no… I am not your personal nanny, you need to come home and look after your nephews, they are your responsibility, you have to come home and talk this out…” we heard Tim say and I motioned for Toby to follow me back downstairs.

“Hey boys, has Tim sent you down to me to keep an eye on you?” one of the community centre staff asked me, and I shook my head no, “Tim is angry with Uncle James, on the telephone,” Toby said.

“Oh I see, well in that case lets close up here, and we will go and see what how things are going in at the bakery, maybe we can get you both a treat,” the lady said to us, and we both agreed to that suggestion. Two days later the sound of the yacht horn, made Toby and I jump in fright a little before we dashed downstairs and down to the jetty, where the lads were securing the yacht.

“Hey boys, did you miss us?’ the lads asked, “Hi Lance, hi Dean, good to see you, is Uncle James onboard?” I replied, “Yes, he was talking to the captain, when we last saw him,” one of the lads replied as we jumped onboard and headed up to the bridge.

Uncle James gave us both a big hug when met on the owner’s deck, and we told him that we heard Tim shouting at him on the telephone the other day, and we asked if we are going away because he and Tim are not happy anymore.

Uncle James led us to the upper lounge, and we sat down, and waited for Uncle James to explain. Twenty minutes later, we knew that there would possibly be some changes happening soon, and that we were not sure if we would be staying on the yacht or if we would be staying at Dundee.

Uncle James suggested that we pack up anything that belongs to us that are on the yacht, and take them back to the house, just in case there are some changes. That evening, Uncle James informed us that Tim would not be coming home, as he would be staying in town.

Sometime during the night, the yacht quietly slipped away from the home jetty, because I noticed that it was not their the next morning, which was a Saturday, and Uncle James said that we would be missing morning school today, and that we would be staying home, so Toby and I went into the jungle garden to keep ourselves busy.

At lunch time, as we sat down, Uncle James turned to us, then asked Mrs Kennedy to join us for a family meeting. “As you have probably noticed, Tim and I have been having a few problems, and well last night Tim announced to me that he wanted a divorce.

He has collected all of his personal belongings, and will be staying onboard the yacht, and all future Medical missions have been cancelled. Tim and I have agreed on a suitable arrangement in regards to shared property. I get to keep this house and property, the Land Rover, the twelve residential units and the seven commercial properties, plus the community sports, recreation and education facilities in town.

Tim will have the ownership of the community centre buildings, the light industrial buildings, including the airfield buildings, and of course the yacht, plus the house in Darwin, which has not sold yet.

I know this is a little hard for you boys to understand, but these things do happen, and once the Community Association has become a Community Council, Tim will be moving permanently to Darwin, where he will continue his life independently,” Uncle James announced.

“I am glad that we are staying here, I like it here,” Toby announced, “Yes, and I enjoy living here too nephew, so hopefully we can stay here for a long time, which I think will be highly possible,” Uncle James said.

“Will you have enough income to support the family and keep me on too?” Mrs Kennedy asked, “Yes, I hope that you will stay and keep looking after us,” Uncle James replied.

“I would like that very much,” Mrs Kennedy said. “Good, now with my small medical practice and the current leases of the commercial properties and the residential units that are currently leased to local residents, we should be able to survive financially, but for now we will just stick to essentials, and no splashing out of treats or anything expensive,” Uncle James said to all of us.

During the next two months, we saw Tim only a few times, as he continued with his work commitments with the committee, and he was now living on board the yacht, with the crew, with the yacht moored next to Bill’s fishing vessel in the bay, and he was using one of the yacht’s small dinghies to get to and from the yacht.

Toby and I would go and visit Angela at the store when she was there, and we often saw Dean and Lance patrolling the town in two quad bikes that the community has provided for them to use. After school, Uncle James would usually be waiting for us in the car park, to take us home, and Mrs Kennedy would be waiting for us with some newly baked cookies for us to try out.

On the last day of second term of school, we came out of school and noticed that the yacht was no longer in the bay, as we headed to the car. “Where is the yacht?” Toby asked as we climbed in. “Tim, Angela, Tracy and the yacht have headed back to Darwin, as Tim has finished his work with the Community Association.

Dean and Lance have elected to stay in Dundee, and have moved into a residential unit, as they keep working for the Community as gardeners and rangers, and Declan is working for Mr & Mrs O’Donnell in the bakery,” Uncle James responded, “who is running the store?” I asked, “Mr & Mrs Old have taken over running the store for me.

We also have two new businesses starting up, with a newsagency located behind the surgery, which is good news for us, as there are now only three vacant shops in town,” Uncle James replied.

“So, we are not very rich any more?” Toby asked, “No Toby we are not rich any more, but we are not very poor either. You see the commercial buildings that we own, like the bakery, the general store, and the newsagency, have to pay rent for using the buildings, and they pay that to us, as we own the buildings,” Uncle James explained as simply as possible for Toby to understand.

“Do the people who live in the units pay rent too?” Toby asked, “Yes they do, and that includes Dean and Lance, but we do not charge very much, just enough for us to cover our own costs. When you get older, you will start to understand how things work, but until then, don’t you worry about anything like that, I will make sure that I take good care of you,” Uncle James said.

“Are you divorced from Tim yet?” I asked, “Yes nephew, it was all finalised three weeks ago, and Tim has made arrangements for the Community to buy the buildings in town that he own, so he won’t need to come here any more,” Uncle James replied. “I’m sorry that you and Tim separated and divorced. Was it our fault?” Toby asked.

“No, it was never your fault, Tim and I had different goals in our life, that have lead us in different directions, and now he and his yacht had sailed to Queensland for a new life,” Uncle James said to us. “With Angela and Tracy too?” I asked, “as far as I know yes, but that may change once they get to where ever they are going in Queensland,” Uncle James replied.

After lunch, we all climbed into the Land Rover with Mrs Kennedy included, as we were going to take a trip into Darwin, to purchase a second vehicle, so Mrs Kennedy could get out and about instead of been stuck at the house all the time, but we had to stop off in Dundee first.

As we passed the community centre, we saw the lads installing a new sign out the front of the community centre, ‘Dundee Community Council’. “Well it looks like it is official now,” Mrs Kennedy commented, “Yes it does,” Uncle James responded as we continued down the main road of town, and turned left to head for the lodge, and as we parked outside the lodge, we noticed a sailing yacht anchored in the bay.

“I wonder who owns that yacht,” Uncle James commented as we climbed out of the car, and approached Bill Hunter and George Harcourt who were chatting. “G’day James, I was just about to give you a call,” Mr Hunter said to our uncle.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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Sh#t I was afraid of this happening, but such is life it has to carry on, I hope for some good news soon

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Well sad things happen in life, but Uncle James and his nephew's will have to carry on with life without Tim. 

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Well not that I'm glad about Tim and James divorce, it was bound to happen though never being together. I'm still very worried about them though as that prisoner is still on the loose and not captured and possibly happening to James and / or the boys.

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4 hours ago, James B. said:

Well not that I'm glad about Tim and James divorce, it was bound to happen though never being together. I'm still very worried about them though as that prisoner is still on the loose and not captured and possibly happening to James and / or the boys.

You missed that bit, he was captured at Crab Claw Resort.

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21 hours ago, quokka said:

You missed that bit, he was captured at Crab Claw Resort.

Damn how did I miss that ? Gonna have to re-read I guess.

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Dean and Lance seem to like their jobs in the new town and seem to be joined at the hip...so to speak.

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