Epilogue to 'Legacy'
‘I think I owe you an apology.’
The words took Murdoch Lancer entirely aback. They were not what he had been expecting Scott to say, at all, when his older son had come quietly up to the big desk and politely and rather formally, requested ‘a few minutes, if you can spare them.’
He had mentally braced himself for questions. Questions that he really did not want to answer. Not for his own sake, but for his sons. Scott would not like the truths he thought he should be given.
So the quiet but firm statement took him by surprise and brought his head up, from the figures on the page, which had been giving him a hard time on this unsettled morning, to meet his son’s troubled eyes.
Scott kept his gaze steady as he spoke, but his slight flush betrayed his true feelings at the admission. ‘The other day—I asked you for an explanation that you thought you weren’t free to give me. And I was rather –rude about it wasn’t I?’
‘Oh—that’. Murdoch closed the ledger firmly and gave his elder son his complete attention. ‘Well—I don’t think any of us were exactly behaving very well were we. Your Grandfather is-----------‘
’My Grandfather!’ Scott propped himself on the corner of his fathers desk and crossed his wrists against his left thigh, turning his head to the left so that he could meet his fathers slightly sardonic gaze. ‘Is selfish and manipulative.’ The words came out on a bitter edge. ‘I suppose he used the same sort of tactics, with you, when I was a child, as he used last week,—and last month with Julie, and those Deegan brothers. We must get them released’ He added, as an aside. ‘I’m not going to press charges.’
‘Now Scott—they tried to kill you, and your Grandfather---------‘.
‘And THAT was his fault too.’ Scott said rather drearily. ‘He made them greedy, waving his money bags at them I daresay--offering them the kind of money they could normally only dream of. If he had left them alone they would never have come any near the place or tried to kill anyone.’
‘Well—you’re the one that got shot—so I’d say that it’s your decision.’ Murdoch was no longer interested in the Deegans. He was not sure whether he should be sad or glad that Harlan Garrett had shown himself in his true colors, to his grandson, but he certainly did want to know HOW. ‘But what do you mean—used the same sort of tactics with ME? What did he tell you?’
‘Something he let slip I think.’ Scott uncrossed his wrists and clasped his fingers against his chest, dropping his chin to study his knuckles. ‘He was—angry, with Julie, when he overheard her telling me just WHY me why he dragged her out here—to “lure me back to Boston’’. A romantic decoy she called it.’ His tone was one of utter distaste. ‘-- and I think he said more than he meant too. But—well—just before he produced the Deegans out of thin air…’ He made a stage magicians gesture and a tiny smile lightened the serious slate blue eyes for a brief moment. ’He said, and I quote. ‘When you were a child, your father presented something of a threat to me’.
He came to his feet and stood, tall and straight before the desk, looking down at his father out of troubled eyes. ‘I needed to know what he meant by that—I asked him about it, on the drive into town. He didn’t want to explain himself of course, but I---well—I think I was rather rude to him as well—but he told me that —well—you DID come for me, didn’t you—and he made you leave me behind.’ It was a statement, not a question.
‘Yes’. Murdoch could scarcely bear the hurt he saw in those smoky-blue eyes. Hurt caused, he knew, not by him—but by Harlan Garrett’s selfish perfidy. ‘I did come—and I am ashamed to say that I allowed him to send me off, with my tail between my legs.’
‘But you did want me?’ The normally controlled, even tones broke slightly and Murdoch wondered, heart-brokenly, what lies THIS son had been told about him. But HIS feelings were not important at the moment. It was Scott’s bruised heart than needed solace now.
‘Oh Scott—of course I wanted you. I always wanted you. But—there were—things to be considered’. Murdoch pushed his chair away from the desk and came to his feet on slightly shaky legs. He wasn’t sure that he was ready for this. ‘Lets sit down somewhere comfortable Son. And I’ll try to explain---’