Earlier, when Mike arrived at Wade's office he found a nice looking gentleman standing there. Wade introduced them, "Mike this is Harvey Wells. Harvey, this is Mike Pace with our Sheriff's Department." The two exchanged greetings and sat down in front of the desk at Wade's invitation. "Mike, Harvey is here to see Vivian. Harvey, you can better explain the situation."
"Mike," said Harvey,"the children Vivian is caring for are my niece and nephews. It was my brother and his wife who were killed in the accident."
"So you want to see them?" Mike asked.
"No, I want custody of them. I am their closest relative."
Mike thought for a second, "Why now? Why didn't you want them when your brother died, why wait more than a year later?"
Harvey looked him straight in the face,"I didn't know about the accident." Before Mike could say anything, Harvey added,"I have been on a 2 year stint in the Amazon with Doctors without Borders. We were so deep in the jungle, we had no contact with civilization. The last time I talked to my brother was a week before he died. Naturally all was well. Then one the first occasion I was able to, I called home and learned what had happened."
Harvey looked at Wade. "It took me a month or 2 to get home. Then when the reality of it all hit, I knew it was my responsibility to raise those kids."
"But what about Vivian? She is very dedicated to them. And, as far as I can see, she is doing a great job."
"That's the sticky part. No doubt she is. I was shocked when I learned she took them on. She is a very special young lady. And was so close to my brother and his wife. Given what she went through growing up, I can imagine her dedication."
Wade finally weighed in, "So why are you talking to us?"
Wade and Mike exchanged looks. Wade responded, "Tula? What does she have to do with this. I know she is Vivian's mother but what does she have to do with the children?"
"Tula is my aunt. She was my Daddy's only sister. So she is the Great Aunt of these children."
Mike looked at Harvey,"I cannot imagine Tula wanting to have anything to do with those children. Heck, I doubt she has gone to visit her daughter yet."
"No doubt. It's not the children. It's the money."
"Money?" said both Mike and Wade.
"My brother, thank goodness, planned ahead." Then Harvey explained the details of the trust. "I'm fortunate enough to have the resources without the trust to raise them. I have the time and I owe it to my brother. After all, they are all I have left of him."
Wade just shook his head. "They are 3 lucky children to have family who care about them. What can we do to help?"
"I just wanted to make you aware of the situation with Tula. If something gets ugly, I wanted to make sure the truth was out before I had to haggle with her."
Wade looked at Mike, "So that explains your showing me all the papers." Wade paused, "Harvey showed me all the legal documents and identification. There is no doubt in my mind what he is saying is true." He looked at Harvey, "Well, let me take you to see Vivian. She's right down the hall."
Harvey looked a little surprised. "Well, you could have told me that earlier."
"No, not until we knew this was all on the up and up. In Gallagher, we watch out for everyone." Wade said with a wink as he got up and moved around his desk to take Harvey to Vivian's office.
When they walked into Vivian's office, she looked surprised, but smiled and jumped up to give Harvey a big hug. "I thought you were in the jungle? Why you here? Oh, the children will be so happy to see you." Before he could answer, Wade and Mike had quietly left the room.
As they walked down the hall Wade looked at Mike, "3 hours at most."
Mike laughed,"If that, I bet she is already on the way."
Mike said he needed to get back to the station and left. Wade went to Della's desk. "Do me a favor, if Tula calls or drops by, you do not know where Vivian is or what she is doing. Nor have you ever seen Harvey." He paused,"Or, how to get in touch with Vivian."
"OK," laughed Della.