Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The blond youth Madman was holding back shouted, “Hey, don’t touch my son! What meningitis? It’s just cold and fever, we’ve seen the doctor!”
Sophie turned around in anger. “A quack! A disease such as newborn meningitis is invisible! Come on, get him to the pediatric. The next step is cerebral palsy, irreversible nerve damage! Quick!”
The man stared at her and said, “Don’t frighten us. Don’t try to do anything fishy…”
Sophie stamped her foot angrily. “What’s wrong with you? I’m a doctor! I’ve treated over fifty cases of newborn meningitis! Get him to the hospital! One hour! Two hours at the most!”
“It’s meningitis,” cried the mother. “The doctor said it might be meningitis. You are the one who thinks he was exaggerating…”
“But how could we get to Phoenix in two hours? How is that possible?” The strong young man was worried. Phoenix was at least five hundred kilometers away.
He struggled with all his might, but Madman held him tight. Seeing this, Brother Wolf shook his head. Madman then let go of him, and he hurried towards his child.
“We have a helicopter. Children’s hospitals can land helicopters,” said Li Du.
“The helicopter will be right off. We’ll be in Phoenix in twenty minutes,” Brother Wolf said firmly. “Driver, go to Big Ivan. Vampire, call Big Ivan and have him launch the helicopter!”
Driver wiped his forehead and said, “Okay!”
Li Du shouted, “Why are you still staring? Aren’t you the father of this child? Take the child and follow him!”
The vigorous young man looked at the middle-aged man, and Li Du couldn’t help shoving him. “Damn, you are an idiot! Don’t you care about your child’s life?”
The young man picked up the child at once and ran after Driver.
As soon as the door of the Ferrari was closed, the car roared, spun around in an almost 180-degree circle, and sped along the dirt road, the dust billowing in its wake.
When the dust fell, the Ferrari had already disappeared.
The middle-aged man next to Li Du said, “Oh, this is a fast car!”
The leading man swallowed his saliva and murmured, “You won’t do anything, damn it. It’s all rubbish, you don’t frighten us!”
The young woman looked anxiously at her watch and clutched Sophie tightly, looking terrified.
A group of people stood on the grass near the farm, and the atmosphere was grave. Castro came to bark twice, and someone aimed a kick at it. It was scared and ran with its tail between its legs.
Six or seven minutes later, the Ferrari returned, and Driver said, “It’s on its way. The helicopter has taken off.”
They waited on the grass for an hour and a half. The middle-aged man’s mobile phone rang. When the call came through, the young man’s voice said, “Father, its newborn meningitis. Damn it, it’s not some just some fever… it’s a lot more serious!”
The middle-aged man said, “OK, speak calmly, so what did the doctor say? How’s the baby?”
“He’s in emergency care! Oh, f**k! They want me to sign a bunch of things! God, this says that if Chuck dies, the hospital would not be held responsible. How would Chuck die…”
Big Ivan snatched the phone and soon made things clear. “The child has been sent to the emergency room in NICU. He was diagnosed with newborn ear meningitis, and the doctors have a hopeful prognosis, but there may be unexpected developments, so the hospital asked the guardian to sign an agreement.”
When the call was over, the young woman cried.
Sophie comforted her and said, patting her on the back, “It will be fine. The Phoenix children’s hospital is very good. The baby will be OK.”
The young woman looked at the middle-aged man through her tears. “Dad, will Chuck become like Barbara?”
“Shut up! Don’t be ridiculous, he won’t! Barbara never had f*cking meningitis! Calm down!”
The man nearby said, “Brother, let’s go back to the house. Today has been a mess. We need a time out.”
The middle-aged man silently nodded. He led the way, and the rest of the group of people went into the farmhouse after him.
The living room was very big, clean and tidy. It was furnished in a very basic rustic style, with tables and chairs that looked like they were made of logs.
The woman with the blond ponytail stayed at the door and waited for them to enter. Then she whispered to Li Du, “How is Chuck? What were you doing?”
“Chuck? The kid? He has gone to the hospital. If you are curious, why don’t you go out and see for yourself?”
She shook her head with a mournful expression and said, “Daddy won’t let me join the fun. Oh, do you want coffee? I just made some.”
After sitting down, the middle-aged man was still silent.
Li Du said, “Don’t you want to introduce yourself? I am Du Li, and I don’t know who you are, but you know that Hans Fox, whom you have imprisoned, is my best friend.”
Another middle-aged man said, “I’m Ken Bryan, and this is my brother, Victor Bryan.”
Li Du said. “Now, can I see my friend?”
“He’s gone with my other nephew to herd cattle,” said Ken Bryan sheepishly. “I’ll let you meet him when he comes back, and you can take him with you if he wants to go.”
Li Du repeated, “If he wants to go? What the hell is going on here? What did my friend do that annoyed you?”
Victor Bryan slammed his coffee cup down on the table. “Wait until you ask him! This son of a bitch… if I had met this bastard when I was young, I would have shot him, I swear, I’m not kidding! F**k!”
The woman with the blond ponytail came out from the kitchen smiling. “Daddy, Mom says you can’t use swear words! Now, I made some good coffee, so don’t waste it.”
Victor Bryan silently picked up his coffee cup and began to drink with a sullen face.
The atmosphere became awkward again. More than 40 minutes had passed before the phone rang. Victor Bryan quickly answered, and the young Jay Quinn’s voice was heard. “They just let Chuck out! The doctor said he was sent in just in time. He’s going to be OK, but they have to continue monitoring him and he will need to stay in the hospital for at least one week.”
Victor Bryan breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay, you stay there. I’ll have Leah come to you and you take care of Chuck. God, how did he get meningitis? Is there any infection on the farm?”
Jay was not sure. Sophie said, “Rest assured, this has nothing to do with the farm. Meningitis is mostly caused by E. Coli. The infection must have started from the passage in the birth canal.”
The Bryan family looked at her in bewilderment. Li Du said, “Keep it simple.”
Sophie shrugged. “The delivery was not sanitary. The baby was not sterile when he was born. He was infected through his mother’s body.”
The young woman Leah cried when she heard this. Sophie said helplessly, “It has nothing to do with you. Our own body, our environment is full of bacteria and viruses, but we have antibodies, and –babies… what, you don’t even know these things?”
The Bryans looked down, embarrassed.