Camp Little Eagle

Chapter 8

THIS STORY IS COPYRIGHT © 2002-2019 BY MULTIMAPPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTING ON SITES OR NEWSGROUPS, DISTRIBUTION AS PARTS OR IN BOOK FORM (EITHER AS A WHOLE OR PART OF A COMPILATION) WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, OR DISTRIBUTION ON CD, DVD, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. YOU MAY DOWNLOAD ONE (1) COPY OF THIS STORY FOR PERSONAL USE; ANY AND ALL COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS REQUIRES THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. THE AUTHOR MAY BE CONTACTED AT: multimapper@gmail.com

"What is the meaning of this?" A stern female voice asked into the pre-dawn light.

Jerico blinked his eyes and looked around, then realized that he and Paul were snuggled together in the living room floor.

"I'm sorry Aunt Joce. We must have fallen asleep while we were watching 'Gilligan's Island'." Jerico said as he blinked his eyes, trying to get them to focus.

"Are you sure that's all?" She asked firmly.

"Yes. I got called out to Camp Little Eagle last night and when I got there I needed one of my notebooks so Paul brought it to me. It took a while to get everything taken care of so we drove through McDonald's on the way home. When we got here we ate while we watched an episode of 'Gilligan's Island' that Paul had recorded and... I guess we fell asleep." Jerico said unsteadily.

"Alright then. It just looked a little strange to see you two cuddled together in the living room floor like that." Aunt Joce said seriously.

Jerico finally came awake enough to realize what she was insinuating.

"I thought you trusted me." Jerico said in a small voice.

"I want to trust you. But I've talked to your parents and I have some idea of just what you can be like." Aunt Joce said seriously.

Jerico was about to try to defend himself when he realized that she was right.

Given his history, she would have every right to be suspicious of him.

"Okay. I can understand that. If I were to go off the deep end again, I might end up doing something like that... even to Paul." Jerico said quietly.

"Good enough. Wake up Paul so he can help me with breakfast." Aunt Joce said seriously.

"He was up late helping me. Would it be okay if we let him sleep a little while longer? I can help you." Jerico offered quietly.

"That's very nice of you Jerico. Wash up, then get to slicing potatoes." Aunt Joce said as she left the room.

Jerico looked at Paul who was still sound asleep and gently brushed a stray strand of hair off his forehead.

"Enjoy your morning of sleeping in." Jerico whispered, then got up to start his day.

* * * * *

"I was just kind of curious about something." Devon said carefully.

"What is that?" Uri asked casually as he straightened the spread on his bed.

"Well, I'm not sure if I understood what you were saying last night about eating the Kosher food. But now that Simon said that he forgives you, does that mean that you don't have to eat the special food anymore?" Devon asked cautiously.

Uri stopped all motion as he considered his answer.

Devon quickly continued, "I was just thinking that if you were eating that, um... pure food because you were feeling, um, well... dirty, I guess. I just thought that if that's why you were eating it to begin with and now that Simon said he forgives you, then you don't have anything else to prove or make up for or anything like that."

"To answer your question, I will continue to eat the Kosher food. Not because I feel that I need to be purified or due to some imaginary 'bargain' I made with God. But simply because I feel that it is the proper thing for me to do at this point in my life. In my mind, following these requirements of my faith is a way of honoring my God. It is not so much a sacrifice as a symbol of my obedience of the laws that were set down for my people to follow. It is difficult to explain. I just feel that it is the proper way." Uri finished introspectively.

Devon considered the words for a moment, then said, "I think I get what you're saying. And I can really understand and respect that. Are you ready?"

Uri looked around to see that everything was in it's proper place, then said, "Yes. And thank you for understanding."

"Sure. Anytime."

* * * * *

As Simon walked into the bathroom, he noticed Dylan standing at the mirror, cautiously pulling the gauze pad away from his face.

"Good morning Dylan." Simon said shyly before retreating into a bathroom stall.

"Good morning Simon." Dylan said absently, still focused on his image in the mirror.

Dylan finally eased the gauze pad back into place, then proceeded to wash the portion of his face that was exposed.

After relieving his bladder, Simon moved to the sink beside Dylan's and started the water.

"How are you feeling this morning?" Simon asked casually.

"A little tired. I feel like I was up every few minutes all night to go to the bathroom." Dylan said honestly.

Simon glanced at Dylan in the mirror, then said, "You look like you lost about ten pounds since you arrived last night.

Dylan chuckled and said, "Yeah. You should have seen me when they rescued me from the hospital. I was all bloated and looked like something that had been dead for a week."

Simon looked at Dylan with concern at the statement, not knowing what had been done to him.

"Simon, I want to say something to you but I don't want you to get mad at me." Dylan said seriously as he met Simon's gaze in the mirror.

"Okay." Simon said hesitantly as he felt a spark of anxiety ignite within him.

"When I saw you in those movies, I always liked you. It wasn't about how you looked or about how good you... um, performed. It was you that I liked." Dylan said with difficulty.

"Thank you Dylan. I think I know what you're saying and I appreciate it. I've just spent the past month or so trying to forget about all of that and start a new life. When you called me Stephen, it kind of brought it all back to me."

"I'm sorry if I'm bringing back bad memories. But maybe instead of trying to forget Stephen, you could try to accept him. He's part of you and I think once you get to know him, you might like him. I always thought he'd be the kind of person that I'd like to get to know."

"You mean the kind of person you'd like to screw." Simon said bitterly.

"Actually, no." Dylan said without offense, then turned and continued, "I don't know what it is, so I can't really explain it. But when I would watch you, there was something about you that was... I don't know, gentle. I just got the feeling that you were the kind of person who would never hurt me."

Simon looked into Dylan's eye, unable to think of any way to respond to the statement.

Dylan smiled at Simon's flabbergasted state and said, "Don't worry about it Simon. I'm not asking for you to like me or trust me or anything like that. I just wanted to tell you so you'd know where I'm coming from."

"Okay." Simon whispered uncertainly.

"Please just don't give up on Stephen. He wasn't a bad person, he was just someone in a bad situation." Dylan said gently.

"Okay. I'll think about it." Simon said with difficulty.

"Hey guys! How are you doing this morning?" Arlo asked cheerfully as he walked into the bathroom.

"I'm good." Simon said as he quickly dried his hands.

"I didn't sleep well and my face is starting to hurt." Dylan said frankly.

"If you're not in too much pain, you can tell Mr. T during homeroom and he'll make sure you get to see Doc Austin." Arlo said casually as he walked to the urinals.

"I think Doctor McCoy mentioned something about me seeing him today." Dylan said as he finished drying his face and hands.

"Well, then he probably already knows that you're coming." Arlo said while emptying his bladder.

"I'd better get dressed, it's just about time for breakfast." Simon said quietly.

Dylan looked down at the jumpsuit he had been wearing the day before and said, "Obie mentioned that they have some other clothes around here. Maybe I could get something else to wear."

Arlo walked to the sinks and began to wash his hands as he said, "Yeah. I think that if you go to homeroom with us, Mr. T will arrange all that. Homeroom is kind of when we make all our plans for the day so everyone knows what's going on."

Dylan nodded that he had heard.

"But first we need to get some breakfast. I'm starved." Arlo said as he dried his hands.

"Sounds good. I can't even remember the last time I had a decent meal." Dylan said earnestly.

"Then we'll meet you in the common room in just a minute." Arlo said happily as he started walking toward the door.

Dylan nodded and noticed that Simon was walking to join Arlo.

"And you may need to wake up Obie. I don't know if he's used to getting up by himself or if he's used to his brother waking him up in the mornings." Arlo said before walking out of the room.

Simon followed Arlo out, leaving Dylan by himself in the bathroom.

* * * * *

"Can you still talk?" Mouse asked timidly.

Luke cracked open one eye and looked at him with question.

"That stuff with the 'Chosen One' and the 'Anchor'... that really happened didn't it. Cause if it didn't I had the weirdest dream ever last night." Mouse said as he sat up in his bed.

"It was real." Luke said quietly, feeling funny being able to talk so freely.

"Oh wow. That is so kewl." Mouse said with a grand smile.

"I'm glad you think so." Luke said, drawn in by Mouse's happiness.

"What do you think we're going to do? I mean, about all that spiritual warrior stuff?" Mouse asked as he quickly returned to his normal energetic state.

"I really don't know. I guess we'll just do things like normal for now until someone tells us what we need to do next." Luke said as he slowly got out of bed.

Mouse got a distant look as he thought about Luke's words.

Luke was surprised by Mouse's unusually serious expression.

Finally, Mouse said, "I don't think it works that way."

"I don't get what you're saying." Luke said cautiously.

Mouse thought for a moment longer, then slowly said, "I think that if we wait for someone to tell us what to do, this isn't going to work."

Luke looked at Mouse with question, falling back into the familiar habit of being silent.

Mouse noticed his expression and continued, "This isn't like being in class. This isn't something we're being told to do. This is something that we're doing. That means that it's up to us to decide what needs to be done next, and then to do it. If we wait around for someone else to take charge and figure everything out... we'll fail. We won't be ready when the Clan needs us."

Luke thought about the words, then slowly nodded.

"So what do you think we should do next?" Mouse asked as he seemed to snap out of his trance-like state.

"I think we should talk to the others at breakfast to get them thinking about it. With all of us working together, we'll probably be able to come up with some kind of plan." Luke said slowly.

Mouse nodded, then suddenly seemed to remember something that he had forgotten.

"I've got to pee." Mouse said quickly as he dashed out of the room.

Luke smiled to himself, then walked at a reasonable pace to follow Mouse to the bathroom.

* * * * *

"You said that you talked to my parents... did they say how Jeremiah is doing?" Jerico asked hesitantly.

Joce placed a small corn meal cake into the hot skillet before saying, "He's not any better. And he's not going to get any better."

Jerico nodded as he turned his full attention back to slicing the potatoes for breakfast.

After a long, uncomfortable silence, Joce asked, "Why did you do it?"

Jerico thought about all the ways he could answer the question, and finally said, "Because I could."

Joce turned away from the skillet and looked at Jerico with concern.

"I had all these powers. I could command people. I could tell them what to think, what to remember... anything I could imagine. And they would do it." Jerico said distantly.

"And you took your brother past the point where he could deal with what you were making him do." Joce said speculatively as she turned back to her cooking.

"Yeah." Jerico said as he felt tears beginning to well in his eyes.

"That's why I don't trust you around Pauley." Joce said as she took a griddle cake out of the skillet and put the next one in.

* * * * *

"Five more minutes." Obie grumbled into his pillow.

Dylan smiled down at the sleeping boy who was usually so energetic.

"If you sleep much longer, you'll miss breakfast." Dylan said quietly.

Obie's eyes popped open.

"I thought that would do it." Dylan said with an amused smile.

"Dylan? Oh wow. For a minute I thought you were Mike." Obie said as he sat up in his bed and blinked.

"Sorry." Dylan said as he turned quickly away to hide his smile at Obie's hair sticking up in every direction.

"Ever since I can remember, me and Mike shared a room." Obie said as he turned and looked at the clock.

"That must be nice, always knowing that you have someone there." Dylan said while he worked.

After a moment to consider, Obie said, "Yeah. I guess I never really thought about that before."

Dylan stopped and looked at Obie with question.

When Obie noticed, he said, "I'll be okay. I just have to get used to it. I know Mike is just a few cabins away if I need him."

Dylan nodded with sympathy as he remembered Johnny.

Even though they never considered themselves brothers, more often than not, they would end up sleeping in the same place and would take care of each other when everything else in the world seemed to be going against them.

"Did you sleep okay last night? I thought I heard you get up a few times." Obie asked curiously, but before Dylan could answer, he continued, "Sometimes I have trouble sleeping for the first few nights when I'm in a new place. Back when me and Mike lived with my mom we used to move around a whole lot. I don't think we ever lived one place or a whole year... ever."

Dylan smiled at the younger boy's ability to ramble, then when he was fairly certain that Obie was either finished, or had run out of breath, he quietly said, "I'm pretty used to sleeping in new places. In fact, sleeping in the same place for more than a few weeks is probably going to take some getting used to. The reason I kept getting up last night was because I needed to use the bathroom a lot. Besides that, I slept fine."

"Be right back." Obie said quickly as he hopped out of the bed, then scurried out of the room.

Dylan felt an involuntary smile come onto his face at the sight of Obie's little butt clad only in white cotton briefs.

After a moment to finish smoothing out the blanket on his bed, Dylan looked around to see that nothing else needed to be done before he left to begin his day.

* * * * *

The occupants of the cabin came by ones and twos into the common room and were in various stages of wakefulness when there was a knocking on the door.

A few curious looks went around the room since it was unusual for anyone to visit so early in the morning.

Uri went to the door and peeked out the peephole before opening the door and standing aside.

"How are you doing Obie?" Mike asked as he dashed into the room.

Rather than answer, Obie ran to his brother and hugged him tightly.

"Did you sleep okay?" Mike asked as he held his brother and seemed to be fighting down his tears.

"Yeah. I slept fine. How about you?" Obie asked into his brother's shoulder.

"I had that dream again. You know the one." Mike said quietly.

"I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I know that always makes you feel rotten." Obie said quietly.

"It's okay. I just feel like I didn't get enough sleep." Mike said quietly.

"Is it something we can help with?" Dylan asked, not wanting to intrude, but feeling that Mike was really bothered by it.

"I just have this dream sometimes. It's stupid." Mike said dismissively.

"Why don't you tell us about it while we go to breakfast?" Simon asked cautiously, not feeling entirely comfortable with Mike.

"Sure. I guess so." Mike said, then shifted Obie around to his side and draped one arm around his shoulders.

The rest of the boys took that as a sign that they were ready to go and started walking toward the door.

"I had a twin brother named Amos, but he died. Sometimes I have dreams about him." Mike said, trying to sound like it didn't bother him.

"What kind of dreams?" Dylan asked curiously.

"I guess they're like, what he would be like if he had lived. The one last night wasn't as bad as some of them. He was just kind of depressed and feeling alone." Mike said distantly.

"When did he die?" Mouse asked in thought, then received a disapproving look from Luke for asking about something that obviously bothered Mike.

"Um, It was about six, maybe seven years ago. I don't remember it very well, I was still pretty young." Mike said distantly.

"How did it happen?" Mouse asked, then looked at Luke with a serious expression to convey the message that he had a good reason for asking.

"I don't know, I was just little and mom wouldn't talk about it. She'd get really mad if I asked." Mike said as he hugged Obie a little tighter to his side.

"You don't think..." Simon asked suddenly, then caught himself at Mouse's look of warning.

"Think what?" Mike asked curiously as he looked at Simon.

"Nothing." Simon said slowly, then continued, "Will you sit with us at breakfast this morning?"

"I can't. I'm working on a big report for class and I need to talk to Kole and Ryvan about what we've got to do today." Mike said with regret.

"We've got some stuff to talk about too." Mouse said seriously as he looked around the group.

"I guess we'd better get to it then. Remember that you're having dinner at my table tonight Obie." Mike said as he gave his brother a final squeeze of his one armed hug.

"Yeah." Obie said as the hug broke, then watched his brother go to the cabin three table.

* * * * *

"Why didn't you wake me up?" Paul asked sleepily as he scuffed into the kitchen.

"Jerico said that you were up late and deserved some extra sleep." Joce said to her son with a gentle smile.

"Oh, um, thanks." Paul said semi-coherently.

"Go wash up. Breakfast will be ready in a few minutes." Joce said as she turned frying potatoes in a cast iron skillet.

"Did you tell mom about what happened last night?" Paul asked Jerico curiously.

"No. I was waiting for you." Jerico said reluctantly as he watched for his aunt's reaction.

"What happened last night?" Joce asked as she looked at Paul with eyes that seemed to bore into his soul.

"We just... I, um..." Paul stammered, then turned to Jerico and looked at him with helplessness.

Joce turned her gaze on Jerico and waited for an answer.

"The potatoes are going to burn." Paul whispered, afraid to upset his mom as she stared at Jerico.

"Fuck the potatoes. What happened last night?" Joce asked firmly as she stared Jerico in the eyes.

Paul was shocked to hear his mother swear, but rather than stop to stare at her, he ran behind her and started turning the fried potatoes.

"I'm waiting." Joce said to her nephew with a hard stare.

"Camp Little Eagle offered me a job as their Shaman..." Jerico said cautiously.

Joce didn't give any indication that she had heard as she continued to stare deeply into Jerico's eyes.

"...and they want Paul to come with me." Jerico added in a quieter voice.

"No." Joce said firmly.

"But they need me." Paul said as he moved the skillet off the burner.

"Need you for what? Pauley, you're just a child." Joce said as she turned to look at her son.

Paul took in a deep breath, then looked his mother in the eyes and said, "I'm not *just* a child. I'm a person. I have my own thoughts and feelings and I have dreams that are all my own, whether you think they're important or not."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Joce asked in a voice that was increasing in volume as well as pitch.

"I'm talking about my future." Paul said simply, and seemed to be confident of his answer.

Joce shook her head and said, "I don't need to be hearing about your crazy adolescent daydreams. You're not going anywhere with *him*. That's final!"

Jerico knew that when his aunt made a declaration like that, nothing would change her mind.

"Great Spirit, please help me." He said in a sincere plea as he looked upward.

Joce looked at Jerico with aggravation, but before she could say any more, the phone started ringing.

Paul rushed to the phone and answered, "Foote residence."

"Hi Uncle Aubrey!"

"Yeah, she's right here... but there's some stuff I need to tell..."

"Oh, okay. Here she is." Paul said, then held out the phone to his mother.

"Yes?" Joce said cautiously.

Jerico looked at Paul with question and received a shrug as his only response.

"But Uncle Aubrey, I can't let Pauley..."

"...but..."

"...but..."

Finally Joce gave a sigh of resignation and said, "If you're sure."

"Yes. He's right here." Joce said, then held out the phone to Jerico.

"Uncle Aubrey?" Jerico asked cautiously.

"Listen well. I have been receiving omens and portents since I left yesterday and they all pertain to you. The demon, the monster you fear, has been contained but not controlled. That is a weakness that will be exploited. The time has come for you to face it. In the end you will either dominate it or submit to it." Aubrey said in a diminishing voice.

"But the last time I fought it with everything I had and still lost. How can I possibly win?" Jerico asked helplessly.

"With faith, hope, truth and love." Aubrey said frankly.

Jerico froze at the words, remembering having heard them the night before.

"Think about what those words really mean to you and you'll know what needs to be done." Aubrey said frankly.

Jerico nodded absently, then suddenly thought to say, "We found out last night that Paul is an anchor."

"Of course he is." Aubrey said with a chuckle.

Jerico was confused by the reaction and asked, "You knew?"

"No. But I suppose I should have." Aubrey said with humor obvious in his voice.

"Why?" Jerico asked curiously.

"What other reason would the Great Spirit have for instilling such a burning desire into a boy to follow the path of the Shaman without giving him one speck of talent for doing the job?" Aubrey asked in a fond voice.

"I guess that makes sense." Jerico said cautiously as he looked at Paul, who was listening intently to every word.

"Talk to your aunt now. The signs are telling me that there are many things that need to be done, and you need to get started." Aubrey said seriously.

"Okay. Thank you Uncle Aubrey." Jerico said as he considered the words.

"Remember. Faith, hope, truth and love."

* * * * *

The boys walked to the serving line as a group and made their breakfast selections in silence.

As soon as everyone was seated, Jose said, "You think that their mom sold Amos like she tried to do with Obie."

Glances flashed around the table as Obie looked at Jose with shock.

"I think it's possible." Mouse said frankly.

"What?" Obie asked as he turned his puzzled gaze on Mouse.

"I wasn't going to say anything to you because I didn't want to get your hopes up, but... yeah. We should at least try to find out." Mouse said cautiously at Obie's disbelieving stare.

"When the Clan guys get here we should tell them so they can do their thing." Arlo said thoughtfully.

"No." Luke said firmly, then froze.

He knew that it was too dangerous for him to say more.

Everyone looked at Luke with question, wanting to know the reason for his objection.

Luke leaned over to Mouse and began to whisper.

All the boys around the table waited to see what Luke was worried about.

Finally, Mouse nodded then sat up in his chair as he seemed to be considering what Luke had told him.

"What did he say?" Jose asked seriously.

Mouse smiled at the younger boy, then slowly said, "Luke thinks that this is part of our reason for being here."

Glances of confusion went around the table, all of them wanting to know if anyone understood what that meant.

"Okay... The Clan rescued most of us, so we have a pretty good idea of what they can do." Mouse said cautiously.

"And..." Devon prompted in a voice filled with frustration.

"And we're rescued now. We've had a chance to rest and get comfortable. I think all of us know that we're safe here." Mouse said carefully.

"Um, do you think you could just spit it out? My face is hurting and I'm not really up to playing guessing games." Dylan said in a pained voice.

Mouse looked at Luke, then turned to the group and said, "The Clan rescued us and gave us this place to stay. But if something happens and the Clan needs us, we'll be no use to them the way we are now. We can't run to the Clan guys whenever we face a problem and expect them to do everything for us. We've got to start learning how to do things for ourselves."

Silence fell over the table as everyone considered what Mouse had said.

Finally Trent stuttered, "How c-can wwwe dddo that?"

"I think we need to do as much as we can on our own, then if there's something that we can't do by ourselves, we can talk to the Clan guys and get their help. But just think about it, the Clan may have really amazing people like telepaths and stuff, but we have special people too." Mouse said frankly.

"All we've got is Luke and Arlo, and they don't even know how to use their special abilities yet." Simon said slowly, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings.

"Right. But even if they knew how to use their abilities, what kind of help would that be finding Obie's brother?" Mouse asked as he looked around.

"I guess you're right." Simon said reluctantly.

"I think we already have what we need to get started." Mouse said carefully.

"What's that?" Arlo asked cautiously.

"Right now we have a couple of really good computer nerds who can probably find out most of what we need just by looking for it." Mouse said frankly.

Devon and Arlo both smirked at Mouse, knowing that they were the computer nerds he was talking about.

As Mouse was about to continue, he noticed a dark look on Dylan's face... like he was feeling left out.

"And I think Dylan needs to be in charge." Mouse said before he could think his statement through.

"Me?" Dylan asked with surprise.

"Why Dylan?" Simon asked, not disagreeing, but simply out of curiosity.

Mouse thought for a moment, then smiled as he said, "Because Dylan doesn't know what we can't do."

"What?" Arlo asked in confusion.

"All of us who have been around for a while have an idea of what we can and can't do. We know the rules and the limits. But Dylan is new here so he doesn't think like that yet. I think that if Dylan is in charge, he'll probably come up with stuff that none of the rest of us would think of." Mouse said as he looked around the table.

"That actually does make some kind of sense." Simon said absently as he considered the words.

"Yeah. We've all got an idea of what it means to be Clan and what it means to be Camp. Dylan doesn't have that yet so he's free to consider all the alternatives." Devon said reasonably.

"Didn't I just say that?" Mouse asked Devon with a playful grin.

"You really want me to be in charge?" Dylan asked before Devon could answer.

"Yeah. But don't freak out about it. We'll tell you our ideas about what we should do, and you can kind of coordinate things so we're actually working together." Mouse said frankly.

"It's like we'll all be out looking for pieces of the puzzle. You'll be looking at the pieces we find and trying to fit them together to make one big picture." Devon said as he looked Dylan in the eye.

"I just said that too." Mouse said to Devon playfully.

"I said it better." Devon said, then on impulse, stuck out his tongue at Mouse.

Obie broke into giggles at the action, drawing everyone's attention.

The serious mood at the table was unable to stand up to Obie's laughter.

"Thanks for helping me and Mike. I really hope you're right and that Amos is still alive." Obie said as he looked around the table.

Mouse looked Obie in the eyes and said, "I hope so too Obie... We all do."

* * * * *

"What did Uncle Aubrey say to you?" Paul asked his mother with concern.

Joce appeared not to have heard his question as she busied herself, gathering the completed breakfast items and taking them to the table.

Paul looked at Jerico with question but found him lost in thought.

"Call your sister down for breakfast." Joce said without turning her attention away from the food on the table.

"Mom, what did Uncle Aubrey say?" Paul asked in an urging tone.

Joce stopped all movement, then slowly turned to face her son and said, "He told me that today you will be taking your first step on the path to fulfill your purpose in this world and become the man that you were meant to be."

"Wow." Paul gulped.

"...or you won't. He said that if I choose to hold you back from your first, best destiny, you will never get another chance at it." Joce said with pain in her voice.

"Oh." Paul said in a whisper.

"I'll protect him." Jerico said quietly to his aunt.

"You had better, because if Pauley gets hurt, there is no force in heaven or on earth that will stop me from hunting you down!" Joce said as she looked Jerico in the eyes.

"Mom! Don't say stuff like that. Jerico would never let me get hurt." Paul said urgently.

"Go get your sister. The food's getting cold." Joce said as she continued to look Jerico in the eyes.

Jerico held his aunt's gaze, then gave a slight nod, silently sealing his vow to his aunt and accepting her terms.

* * * * *

"Good morning everyone. I hope you all slept well." Mr. T said as he walked to the table.

"Dylan had to get up an go to the bathroom all night." Obie said, then realized that he probably shouldn't have shared that.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Would someone like to take Dylan to the admin building to pick out some clothes before homeroom?" Mr. T asked as he looked around the table.

"I'll do it." Obie offered quickly, hoping that Mr. T wouldn't think he was too young for the job.

"Actually, I think we're going to need your help Obie." Simon said as he looked at Mr. T with caution.

"I would be happy to take Dylan to the administration building." Uri offered quickly before Mr. T could ask about Simon's statement.

Mr. T glanced at Simon curiously, then said, "Thank you Uri. We're going to use the first part of the day as unstructured study time, so you won't need to rush."

Uri nodded that he understood.

"Oh Dylan, Doc Austin will be here sometime this morning to check on you." Mr. T said seriously as he looked Dylan in the eye.

"Thank you." Dylan said cautiously as he reached up and felt the bandage on his face.

"I'll be in the classroom as soon as I've had my breakfast if you have any questions or concerns that I can help with." Mr. T said with a kind smile.

"Okay. I'll remember that." Dylan said in an even quieter voice.

Mr. T nodded, then walked away from the table and to the serving line.

* * * * *

"I thought we'd be having some study time soon. The Clan guys have been really busy lately and are probably behind on their stuff." Arlo said casually.

"I was thinking the same thing." Devon said thoughtfully as he began to gather his dishes.

Jose looked at Dylan and said, "Instead of helping the Clan someday, what if we helped them today? You know, to get caught up and stuff."

"It's not the same thing Jose, we were talking about helping them kind of in the same way that they helped us." Devon said carefully.

Dylan noticed Jose's expression wilt as his idea was rejected, then he turned to Devon and asked, "Why?"

"What?" Devon asked in confusion.

"Why can't we do like Jose said and help the Clan guys get caught up on their lessons?" Dylan asked seriously.

"Well, we *could*. But I was just saying that it wasn't the same thing we were talking about." Devon said carefully.

"As far as I can see, it's exactly what we were talking about. I don't know the Clan guys like you do, but if they're as amazing as you make them out to be, then they don't need us following behind them, trying to become just like they are. We need to work at really helping them when they need it and the way they need it. If Cory didn't get to do his homework last night because he was busy saving my life, then this is something I can do that might really help him." Dylan said frankly.

Devon nodded slowly as he thought about the words.

"So helping the Clan isn't something that we're going to do someday. It's something that we're doing, starting right now." Mouse said with a conspiratorial smile at Luke.

"Mouse was right Dylan." Simon said seriously to draw Dylan's attention, "I think you're the perfect choice to be our leader."

Nods of agreement went around the table.

"If you are finished with your meal, we can go to the administration building and get you some new clothing." Uri said as he stood.

"Yeah. The food was good." Dylan said as he picked up his glass and plate.

"We'll take care of that for you. Go ahead and get Dylan's clothes." Devon said seriously as he reached out to accept both Uri and Dylan's plates.

"Thank you Devon." Uri said with a gentle smile.

"Yeah, thanks." Dylan said shyly, then hurried to walk to Uri's side.

* * * * *

"Jerico, did you move my car last night?" Lucy asked curiously as she took her seat at the breakfast table.

"Oh, that was me." Paul said quickly before Jerico could answer.

"You drove my car?" Lucy asked slowly in a low, menacing voice.

"Yeah. You know how Jerico got called out to Camp Little Eagle last night? Well, while he was there, he needed a notebook and since I was the only one here... I kind of borrowed your car... but I took really good care of it and I was really careful." Paul finished in a rush.

Lucy glanced at Jerico and received a nod to confirm that Paul was telling the truth.

Paul looked at his sister apprehensively, waiting for her reaction.

Finally Lucy said, "Well, as long as it was for something important, I guess that's okay."

"It was very important. Paul saved some people considerable pain and suffering by bringing my book when I needed it." Jerico said honestly.

"I did?" Paul asked with surprise.

Jerico looked around the table to see that his Aunt Joce and Cousin Lucy were waiting for an explanation of the statement.

"There's kind of a lot to it, but basically, I was called over to the camp to help a boy they thought was possessed." Jerico said slowly.

"Wait. You mean, like in 'The Exorcist'?" Lucy asked uncertainly.

"Yes. The same basic idea, though the spirit wasn't nearly as bad as the one the movie portrayed." Jerico said to Lucy seriously.

"So you're saying that last night you exorcised a demon?" Joce asked carefully.

"Well no. Not really. To have any hope of casting a spirit out, I would need to know the type of spirit I was dealing with. Some require special handling, and in the case of the one last night, he actually needed to be helped." Jerico said quietly.

"You *helped* a demon?" Joce asked darkly.

"No, he helped the spirit of a scared little boy." Paul answered quickly.

Joce looked at her son, then at Jerico with question.

"It's complicated. But thanks to Paul bringing my notebook, I was able to determine what kind of spirit I was dealing with and then had a better idea of how to deal with him when everything started to come together." Jerico said seriously.

"So is that why Pauley was asked to go to the camp? To fetch and carry for you?" Joce asked as she looked Jerico in the eyes.

"I'm his anchor." Paul answered before Jerico could think of what to say.

"His what?" Lucy asked cautiously.

"That could really take some explaining..." Jerico said reluctantly.

"We'll wait *right here* for as long as it takes." Joce said firmly.

Jerico flinched at the icy tone in his aunt's voice.

"Jerico has a gift... or maybe a curse." Paul said seriously.

Joce and Lucy both turned to look at Paul with surprise at the statement.

After a moment to consider what he wanted to say, Paul continued, "He has this really great ability and can help people who need it... but he can hurt people too."

"So you have some kind of mysterious power?" Lucy asked cautiously.

"It's not that mysterious. From a scientific standpoint, what I have is a sort of telepathy, except that I can speak directly to the subconscious... I guess you could describe it as telepathic hypnosis." Jerico said simply.

"That's it?" Lucy asked with surprise.

"Think about what it would be like if you could hypnotize anyone... everyone that you spoke to. They would believe every single thing that you told them and do anything that you asked... anything at all." Jerico said as he looked into his cousin's eyes.

Lucy thought for a moment, then began to get some idea of the power that Jerico was talking about.

"So is that why you're learning to be a Shaman?" Lucy asked slowly.

Jerico was surprised by the question and had to consider for a moment before he answered.

"No, not really. I suppose there will be times when my gift will be of use. But I think the real reason that I chose the path of the Shaman was because of Uncle Aubrey. I saw everything he went through to save me and protect me from my gift... I respect and admire him. I think he's the best person I know and I suppose I want to be just like him someday." Jerico finished shyly.

"What does any of this have to do with Pauley?" Joce asked while Lucy began to look at Jerico as if seeing him for the first time.

"That hypnosis stuff he was telling you about..." Paul said, drawing his mother's attention.

"...it doesn't work on me."

Jerico nodded his agreement to Paul's statement, then said, "Not only that, but once he's had a little training and practice, Paul will actually be able to negate my ability. As long as he's around, I wouldn't be able to use my ability against anyone, even if I wanted to, unless Paul allowed it."

Lucy looked at Jerico with surprise at the statement, confused that Jerico would want to give Paul that control over him.

"Lucy, think about the story of King Midas who dreamed that all he touched would become gold... it's the same basic thing with me. The hypnotic ability can be useful at times, but to have it every day, all the time, makes the dream become a nightmare." Jerico said honestly.

"So is that why you stay in your room all the time?" Lucy asked in realization.

Jerico gave a weary smile as he nodded.

"He was trying to protect us." Paul said in a sympathetic voice.

"But now you're going to help him so he doesn't have to do that anymore?" Lucy asked her brother curiously.

"That's right. And on top of that, we're going to be living at Camp Little Eagle so Jerico can be their Shaman." Paul said happily, then proudly added, "And I'm going to get to help him."

"You're moving out?" Lucy asked with surprise.

"Yeah." Paul said with a grand smile.

"I'm not sure when they'll be ready for us to make the move, but from the way they were talking last night, it could be as soon as today." Jerico said cautiously, watching for his aunt's reaction.

"Mom?" Lucy asked as she looked at her mother with an urging expression.

Joce took in a deep breath, then reluctantly nodded.

Lucy smiled, then said, "Pauley, do you know where Mom and I were last night?"

Paul thought about it for a moment, then slowly shook his head.

"I found this new car at the car lot that I really really love and I spent most of last night trying to convince mom that I need a new car." Lucy said, nearly bubbling over with excitement.

"I couldn't talk her into letting me have the car, but she said that when you were old enough to want to move out on your own, then I could give you the Fiero and I could get a new car for myself... I thought it was going to be years!" Lucy said and seemed to be on the verge of bouncing right out of her chair.

Paul looked at his sister with surprise, then at his mother with hope.

"I'm sure that if Uncle Aubrey were here, he'd say that this was the Great Spirit's way of providing both of you what you'll need. I've lived with him long enough to know not to stand in the way of something like that. Lucy, when you get home from school, I'll take you to get your car." Joce said with a resigned smile at her daughter.

"Thanks Mom!" Lucy said as she bounded out of her chair and hugged her mom firmly.

When Lucy had finally settled down enough to move back to her own chair, Joce turned to Paul and said, "As soon as Lucy gets home from school and clears her things out of the Fiero, it's all yours."

"Thanks Mom!" Paul said, and hugged his mother with every bit as much enthusiasm as Lucy had.

Jerico waited for Joce to glance at him, then whispered, "Thank you Aunt Joce."

Joce  gave Jerico a gentle smile and nodded, then suddenly said, "Look at the time! You two had better get a move on or you're going to be late!"

"Hurry up and get dressed Pauley and I'll drive you to school." Lucy said as she hopped up from her chair.

"Aunt Joce, would it be okay if Paul stayed home from school? As soon as we get moved, he'll be going to school at Camp Little Eagle and we really have a lot of things to do between now and then." Jerico asked quickly.

Everyone froze in place as they waited for Joce to make her decision.

"I suppose so. I'll call Pauley's school and let them know what's going on. But you two had better not make me regret it." Joce said with warning.

"Right. Let's get changed into some fresh clothes and get going. We need to get to the Camp." Jerico said seriously.

"I need to help Mom with the dishes first." Paul said as he looked Jerico in the eyes.

Jerico looked at Paul with surprise, but quickly hid it as he thought about what he had expected Paul's reaction to be.

"That's fine Pauley, I can take care of it." Joce said with a smile at her son.

"No Aunt Joce. Paul is right. In fact, if you would like, we could do the dishes for you." Jerico said as he looked at his aunt.

Joce smiled and said, "I'm not going to turn down an offer like that. I'll be in the living room if you need me for anything."

Jerico nodded, then began to help Paul gather the empty dishes from around the table.

* * * * *

"Good morning Mrs. Crow. Dylan came to the camp last night and is in need of clothing." Uri said formally.

"Good morning Uriah. It's a pleasure to meet you Dylan. If you'll come with me, we can get you a few changes of clothes. You're in luck, we just restocked the shelves day before yesterday." Mrs. Crow said happily as she got up from her desk.

"Nice to meet you." Dylan said shyly as he self-consciously felt the bandage on his face.

"Right this way." Mrs. Crow said as she led the way out of the room.

* * * * *

"They're new." Dylan said in surprise as he looked around at the racks and shelves of clothes.

"I too expected to be given second hand clothing when I arrived. But I have been told that some people equate being given second hand clothing with being second hand people. Although I do not believe that it would have occurred to me to feel that way, I agree with the sentiment that people arriving at the camp should be made to feel welcomed and worthy of new clothing." Uri explained as he casually looked through the shirts on one rack.

"I can't even remember the last time I had anything new." Dylan said as he stood, staring at a shelf of pants.

"Do you see anything you like?" Mrs. Crow asked tenderly.

Dylan blinked, then said, "Um, yeah."

"Just pick something, there is a privacy curtain over there if you want to try anything on to make sure it's the right size." Mrs. Crow said as she gestured toward a free standing partition at the side of the room.

"Uri, do you think this will look okay?" Dylan asked as he cautiously picked up a pair of pants.

"If you are as I was when I arrived, you should take two or three sizes of whatever interests you. I was unsure of my proper size and had become accustomed to wearing clothes that were too small." Uri said honestly.

"Oh, um. Yeah. I'll do that. Thanks." Dylan said as he picked up two other pairs of pants.

"While you are trying those on, I will choose some shirts that you may like." Uri said as he moved to another rack of clothing.

"I hear someone out in the office so I need to go. Remember to stop by the desk on your way out." Mrs. Crow said as she walked to the door.

* * * * *

"What's wrong?" Paul asked curiously as he accepted a plate from Jerico and rinsed it in the sink.

"Nothing." Jerico mumbled distantly.

"Come on. Ever since we came in here you've been lost in your own little world. Did I do something wrong?" Paul asked as he placed the plate into the dish drainer.

Jerico stopped and turned to face Paul before saying, "I didn't realize it before, but my ability has been getting away from me."

"It has?" Paul asked cautiously.

Jerico nodded, then continued, "When I told you to get changed so we could leave, I expected you to just do it. When you said that you needed to help your mom do the dishes... it really surprised me."

"I don't get it." Paul said with concern at Jerico's mood.

"Paul, I thought that I was controlling my gift. I thought that I was 'safe' to be around people. But what just happened made me realize that I've been controlling people without meaning to." Jerico said in a softer voice.

Paul thought about the words for a moment, then nodded that he understood.

"I'm scared Paul." Jerico said honestly.

"Then it's time to start my training." Paul said gently.

Jerico looked at Paul with uncertainty.

"Camp Little Eagle needs you. The Great Spirit has given you everything you need to be able to help them and do what you're supposed to do. It's time to do it." Paul said frankly.

Jerico nodded, then gave Paul a reluctant smile.

"What do we need to do first?" Paul asked, then glanced down at the dishwater.

Jerico followed Paul's gaze, then started to wash the next dish.

"Well, there's no list of instructions on how to train an anchor, but I think the first thing we'll need to do is to get you to recognize when I'm using my abilities. Once you can detect that, we'll move on to teaching you control."

* * * * *

"How does this look?" Dylan asked as he walked from behind the privacy curtain wearing the new black jeans.

He was barefoot and shirtless as he walked to stand before Uri.

After a moment to consider, Uri said, "I believe you should try the next larger size of pants. Although those do not look bad, a more relaxed fit might be more comfortable."

"Oh, um. Yeah, I'll give it a try." Dylan said shyly as he turned.

"Here, I have selected some shirts that you may like." Uri said as he held out three hangers with shirts on them.

"Oh, thank you Uri." Dylan said as he accepted the shirts.

"Do you know your shoe size?" Uri asked casually.

"9 1/2." Dylan said as he walked back to the partition.

"I will get you some socks and a pair of shoes. This weekend we will go into town to buy you more clothing." Uri said casually.

Dylan chuckled as he said, "No one ever took care of me like this before. I've always been told that being in a group home is worse than any nightmare you could ever have. But this place is alright."

"I have heard the stories of many people here. Some of the child care facilities are indeed worse than anything you or I could imagine. We are just fortunate that a place such as this exists and that the Clan found us and brought us here." Uri said, then asked, "Do you have need of undergarments?"

"Oh, um. Yeah. I guess I do. I've kind of gotten used to going commando." Dylan said shyly.

"If you will tell me the size of the pants that fit you correctly, I will get some for you." Uri said simply.

"24." Dylan said quickly.

"Do you have a preferred style of undergarment?" Uri asked casually.

"Huh?" Dylan asked as he walked out from behind the privacy screen wearing black jeans and a sky blue t-shirt with the word 'Dream' written across the front in white letters.

"That looks very good on you." Uri said seriously, then continued, "What I was asking is if you prefer boxers or briefs."

"Oh. Well, what I really like is boxer-briefs. But if they don't have any of those, briefs will do." Dylan said, then accepted a package of socks and a pair of cross trainers from Uri.

"If you will put on the shoes to see that they fit, I will return in a moment." Uri said as he walked away.

Dylan looked around and found a chair beside the shelf of shoes.

* * * * *

"We do have boxer-brief undergarments, however we only have this 'olive' color." Uri said in an apologetic voice.

"That's okay. I like this color." Dylan said as he accepted the package of boxer-briefs from Uri.

"Would you like to look through the shirts for some different selections?" Uri asked curiously.

"No. I think the ones you picked out are great. What do we do now?" Dylan asked as he looked around.

"We will stop at Mrs. Crow's desk so she can make note of what we selected, then we will go to the cabin so you can put your new clothing away." Uri said as he held out his hands, silently offering to help carry some of the clothes.

"Why does she want to know what I got?"  Dylan asked as he looked around to see that he hadn't forgotten anything.

"Mrs. Crow will make sure that the clothing you selected will be replaced, so the next person who arrives that is your same size will have as many selections to choose from as you did." Uri said as he led the way out of the room.

* * * * *

The sound of crying caused both Dylan and Uri to be cautious as they entered the outer office.

"Oh baby, we're going to take good care of you. Please stop crying." Mrs. Crow said gently to a sandy haired six or seven year old boy that she was holding in her arms.

He didn't show any sign of hearing her words as he continued to cry.

"Is there anything we can do to help?" Uri asked as he cautiously approached the desk.

"I don't know." Mrs. Crow said with frustration, then continued, "The police just dropped this boy off with me and are in talking to Chief Tecumseh right now. All he's done is cry since he arrived, he won't even tell me his name."

The door by Mrs. Crow's desk opened and Chief Tecumseh looked around the room before saying, "Mrs. Crow, will you please get this young man settled in. It may take a while to gather all the official documents, but he *will* be staying."

"Yes, I'll take care of it." Mrs. Crow said quickly.

Chief Tecumseh nodded, then retreated into the office.

"Uri, Would you please go to Mrs. Sixto's classroom and see if she can come here? She's good with the younger kids and this young man obviously isn't taking to me." Mrs. Crow said in a sullen voice.

"Yes. Of course. I will return in a moment." Uri said as he sat down the clothing he had been holding, then dashed out of the room.

Dylan watched the boy crying and was at a loss as to what he should do.

He had never been around young children and had no experience in dealing with them.

Finally the boy noticed Dylan and stopped crying.

Dylan stared at the young boy.

They young boy stared right back.

"Who hurt you?" The boy finally whispered.

"Some bad people." Dylan said as he sat down the clothes he had been carrying, then quietly walked to Mrs. Crow and held out his arms.

Once the boy was transferred to Dylan's arms, he laid his head on Dylan's shoulder and whispered, "My mommy hurt me."

Dylan felt a lump form in his throat as his eye began to well with tears.

He was at a loss for what to say to comfort the boy in his arms, when an idea suddenly came to him.

"Do you know what?" Dylan asked gently.

"What?" The little boy asked curiously.

"Those bad people that hurt me, they can't get in here. This camp is a safe place where no one will hurt me... or you." Dylan said as he pulled back to look in the boys eyes.

"Really?" The little boy asked cautiously.

"Really. I'm new here, just like you are. I got here last night. Everyone's been really nice to me." Dylan said honestly.

The boy searched Dylan's eye for a moment, then laid his head back on Dylan's shoulder.

"My name is Dylan, what's yours?" Dylan asked in a soothing voice.

"Teddy." The boy whispered in return.

The sound of the door opening made Teddy raise his head.

"This is Mrs. Sixto, she'll be in charge of your cabin." Mrs. Crow said quietly.

Teddy clutched onto Dylan with fear and looked as though he were about to cry again.

"Mrs. Sixto, I'm Dylan and this is Teddy. Would it be okay if we go to the cabin where Teddy is going to be staying and look around?" Dylan asked as he looked at her imploringly.

"Of course, that sounds like a wonderful idea." Mrs. Sixto said in a cheery voice.

"I will take your clothing selections to your room and await you in our cabin." Uri said quietly.

"Thanks Uri." Dylan said with a smile.

"Thanks Uri." Teddy parroted.

"Your welcomed." Uri said to Teddy with a gentle smile.

* * * * *

"Teddy, do you see that cabin over there? That's cabin two. That's where we're going." Mrs. Sixto said as she slowly led the way.

"That one over there is mine." Dylan said as he pointed.

"You live there?" Teddy asked seriously.

"That's right. Mine is Cabin One. I moved in there last night." Dylan said with a smile.

"Is it nice there?" Teddy asked curiously.

"Yeah. I think it is. You're going to be staying in the cabin right next door to mine, so we'll be neighbors. We'll probably be able to visit each other all the time if you wanted to." Dylan said as he shifted Teddy a little to hold him more comfortably.

"Here we are... you'll need to watch your step when we go in. The boys are working on a project that seems to be taking up quite a bit of floor space." Mrs. Sixto said as she opened the door.

When Dylan stepped into the room he nearly broke into laughter.

There was a complicated track that was working it's way around the majority of the floor.

Not only were there toy cars, trucks, and motorcycles at various points along the track, but there were even some buildings and a few bridges.

"The boys have been working on this all week. I think they're doing a pretty good job of it." Mrs. Sixto said with pride.

"They don't get in trouble for leaving toys in the living room?" Teddy asked quietly.

"No no. Toys are for playing and the living room is for living. Besides, this creation of theirs needs to be out here where everyone can enjoy it. Come on Teddy, would you like to see your room?" Mrs. Sixto asked gently.

Teddy reluctantly nodded, but at the same time, tightened his grip on Dylan.

"You'll be sharing this room with a boy about your age named Jason... Actually, we call him Jason K since we have two other Jason's here." Mrs. Sixto said as she led the way into the room.

"Hey Teddy, your room is the same as mine." Dylan said gently.

"It is?" Teddy asked curiously.

"Yeah. It's the one right next to the bathroom." Dylan said frankly.

"This will be your bed." Mrs. Sixto said gently.

Teddy looked at the bed, then up at Dylan with indecision.

"Now if you'll come with me, my room is right down the hall." Mrs. Sixto said as she walked past Dylan and Teddy out of the room.

Dylan followed her out of the room and down the hall.

"Whenever classes are out, either me or my husband will be here with you." Mrs. Sixto said, then stopped.

"That's good. Then you never have to worry about being left alone." Dylan said gently, hoping that he was helping to ease some of Teddy's fears.

"Okay Teddy, there is one rule that I'm going to ask you to remember. That is to respect a closed door. If someone has their door closed, then knock and wait to be invited in." Mrs. Sixto said seriously.

"What if I forget?" Teddy whispered in a frightened voice.

Mrs. Sixto leaned close and smiled as she whispered, "Then I'll tell you again."

Teddy nodded that he heard, but seemed uncertain.

Mrs. Sixto opened the door at the end of the hall and said, "This door leads into my apartment. If the door is opened, you're welcomed to come in any time. If the door is closed, just knock."

"That sounds pretty easy. What do you think Teddy?" Dylan asked gently.

"I'll try to remember." Teddy whispered in a worried voice as he clutched even tighter to Dylan.

"Now that you've seen the place, let's go to my classroom so I can introduce you to the other boys. I know Jason K will be anxious to meet you." Mrs. Sixto said warmly.

"Will you go with me Dylan?" Teddy asked hopefully.

"Sure thing." Dylan said, then started to follow Mrs. Sixto back down the hall to the living room.

* * * * *

"Here we are. We're doing arts and crafts this morning." Mrs. Sixto said as she led the way into the classroom.

Most of the boys in the room stopped what they were doing to look at Dylan and Teddy.

"Boys, may I have your attention. We have a new student who will be staying in our cabin. This is Teddy." Mrs. Sixto said with a smile.

"Is he gonna be in my room?" A small boy with jet black hair asked as he ran up to Dylan.

"That's right. Teddy, this is Jason K." Mrs. Sixto said with a smile.

"Hi." Teddy said in a whisper.

"Hi. I'm Jason K, that's 'cause there's two other guys named Jason in our cabin." Jason K said happily.

Before Teddy could respond, Jason K continued, "There's no one else named Teddy in our cabin... I bet there's no one else named Teddy in the whole camp."

"Maybe you'd like to show Teddy what you're working on this morning?" Mrs. Sixto asked Jason K gently.

"Yeah. Come over here. I'm finger painting." Jason K said happily, then held up his paint covered hands as proof.

"Maybe you could help me if you wanted to." Jason K said, then took off running to the other side of the room without waiting to see if Teddy was going to join him.

Dylan sat Teddy down and said, "Why don't you go over and see if you can help him?"

Teddy looked over at Jason K, then back at Dylan with indecision.

"I'll be right here." Dylan said with assurance.

That was all the encouragement that Teddy needed. He took off running to follow Jason K to the other side of the room.

"Thank you for your help Dylan." Mrs. Sixto said quietly.

Dylan smiled and said, "I'm glad that there was something I could do."

"Would you mind if I bring Teddy by your cabin every now and then to visit for the next few days until he can get settled in? He seems to trust you." Mrs. Sixto asked hopefully.

"That would be fine. Like I said before, I'm staying in Cabin One. I don't think any of the other guys would have a problem with Teddy visiting... in fact, I'm pretty sure my roommate Obie will really like Teddy." Dylan said as he watched Teddy being drawn into finger painting with Jason K.

"I know Obie and I think you're right. He's such a sweet boy." Mrs. Sixto said with a warm smile.

"I guess I'd better get going. Uri is waiting on me in Cabin One." Dylan said with regret.

"I think that if you'll go over and let Teddy know that you'll be right next door if he needs you, he'll probably be alright." Mrs. Sixto said speculatively.

Dylan nodded, then began walking across the class room.

* * * * *

"Hey Teddy, I've got to go to my own class now, but Mrs. Sixto said that she'll bring you over to Cabin One to visit me later today." Dylan said as he crouched down beside the table where Jason K and Teddy were working.

"Really? She said that?" Teddy asked hopefully.

"That's right. And if you wanted, I bet you could even bring Jason K with you so I could introduce you both around." Dylan said gently.

"Do you wanna?" Teddy asked Jason K hopefully.

"Yeah. That sounds like fun." Jason K said with a smile at his new friend.

"Just remember Teddy, I'm going to be living here at the camp, just the same as you. So if you ever need me, I'll be here."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

It is really nice to have a new chapter of Camp Little Eagle. Everyone there is special and has had a lot to deal with.  It will be nice to see how Teddy does as he gets used to being there and finding out that people will treat him with love and concern.  It was very nice that Dylan was able to show Teddy that he didn't need to be afraid of being hurt.

I think Jerico and Paul will be really good for each other, and somehow I am sure they will be able to work together and be able to help a lot of people.

I know this is going to sound strange, but it is so nice to have a visit with all my friends at Camp Little Eagle. It is like getting to visit with family members that live in a different town and you don't get to see them all that often but when you do, you have so many things to catch up on and talk about.  

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher