Family Lies Chapter 15: Brother

Drawing of a partly-built brick wall with a sign saying: "Under construction." Caption reads: "Work in progress."

Family Lies Chapter 15: Brother

Detective Carstairs called. 

The man arrested at the house was Emily’s half-brother, Henry Clark Henderson. He was alleging  Emily had stolen his half of an inheritance of family money left by their father.

“So he knows for sure my father is dead?” Emily asked.

“He believes so,” the detective answered. “We still haven’t found any record.  Has your solicitor found anything?”

“Not that I know of.  I’ll call her after I speak to you. Why does he think my father had money.  He was a primary school teacher, at least when my mother knew him.  They don’t make that much money.  Although if my father met up with his mother after leaving mine, he probably knows more than me about that.”

“He seems to believe that his father stayed with your mother.”

“Well, then he’s sadly ill-informed about that, about any money from my father, and about anything else.”

“He says he doesn’t want to speak to us any more, but will only speak to you.”

“Do you want me to talk to him?”

“Are you willing to?”

“Can I talk to Jessica before I make a decision?” 

“Go right ahead.  Get back to me when you make up your mind.”

Emily called Jessica, and gave her an update.

Jessica advised that a wider search of records still hadn’t shown anything further about Henry senior.  “It’s as if he just dropped off the face of the earth. Maybe he did die, but if he did, there’s no record.  Maybe he left the country.  There’s just no way to tell.”

“So do I talk to Henry junior or not?”

“Have you considered telling him how you made your money? Explaining that you don’t know anything about your father?”

“Anyone who really wanted to research would have found there was a five hundred million dollar lottery draw and days later I was rich.  But that’s not the whole story of my wealth.  I’ve more than doubled that with careful investments. All my daughters have used some of it as seed money for their businesses.  The win was just a starting point, it’s not a whole story.  If I’d still been married to Jack, the story would have been very different.  Some people can begin with a fortune and end with a larger one. Other people can begin with a fortune and end with nothing.”

“Well, I would recommend you talk with him anyway, maybe if the police can monitor the conversation, you can at least get a confession from him for the threats and the fake bomb, and everything, so he can go behind bars where he can’t hurt you.  And since you mentioned Jack, let me tell you, he has found a solicitor.”

“Who has convinced him he’s being stupid?”

“Sadly, no. I supplied the information.  The solicitor tells me he has advised Jack they can’t win, and Jack has instructed him to go ahead with the suit anyway.”

“I ought to be impressed.  I’ve never known Jack to be this committed to anything.”

“I know you don’t need this in the midst of everything else, but we’re going to have to go to court.  I’m waiting for them to put their application to the court to find out when it will be.  Family court is usually not allowed to be published, but since people know who you are, it might get out.”

Emily sighed, and said, “Well, I’ve got nothing to hide, but can we avoid having the girls involved?  They don’t need that.  They’ve already been scared by a bomb threat, and had our regular get-together cancelled.  Is there any way we can avoid disrupting their lives further?”

“They’re witnesses.  Their evidence can prove you had absolutely nothing when he left, the way you all struggled for years.  They can explain that he gave you nothing to support them, and what their lives were like as a result of you trying to support them working part time so you could be a parent, and what it was like when you first got sick and couldn’t work. The court will need to hear that.  I hope we can just get statements from everyone, have the judge look at it and get a decision without everyone being called, but you never know.”

“Is there any way we can avoid court at all?”

“Not if Jack’s determined to go.”

“Can we just pay him off, so I can deal with everything else that’s happening?”

“You want to give him half your money?”

“Oh I don’t want to waste that much.  I know Jack. He doesn’t understand money, and he doesn’t really understand how much money I have, just that I have money and he doesn’t.  Make it a million, even make it five million, if that’s what it takes.  Enough that sounds like a big number. But to get the money he has to sign something official to say I don’t owe him anything, and he’s not going to try this again.  Oh and please, please, for the love of everything holy, please have him agree to never contact me again.  Put some penalty in it if he breeches that. I don’t want to give him money and then have him calling a week later asking for money for some other stupid thing. Is there any way we can do that?”

“Do you really want to give him that much money?”

“No.  But really don’t want my daughters to have to go to court and give evidence against their father either.”

“So to protect them, you would pay him, even though it’s obvious he owes you?”


“We might have to have some face-to-face meeting to sign everything.”

“If that means I never hear from him again, I’m fine with that.”

“How often does he call you now?”

“Two or three times a week.”

“Do you mind if I add in a clause that says he has to go three months without contacting you before he gets the money?”

“Oh that is a good idea. Yes, absolutely add that in.”

“Do you want me to come with you to the police station to talk to your half-brother?”

“Would you?”

“Of course.  I’ll call Detective Carstairs and make the arrangements.”

Chapters of Family Lies

Note, this is the first draft. What eventually is published as a book (if it is published as a book), will be edited, rewritten, and re-edited, and may not have much in common with this first draft.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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