Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 108

“Teresa is practically a member of my family,” Señor Bovio said. “So?”

“I’m happy you feel that way about her. Apparently, she feels the same way about you,” Mr. Simon said. “Teresa, I know this is difficult for you. You made that clear to Mrs. Dallas, but you see where it’s all taken us. Please, tell Mr. Bovio what you have told Mrs. Dallas.”

Teresa looked up at Señor Bovio.

“What is it, Teresa?” he asked.

“It’s Mrs. Newell, sir,” she said. “She was the one who put the drug into Delia’s body.”

It was as if thunder had clapped in the library.

Señor Bovio stared at her, and then he smiled and shook his head. “No, Teresa. You’re mistaken, I’m sure.”

“I’m not, sir. I’m sorry. I saw her on a few occasions add some tiny portions to the nutritional drink she prepared for Delia right before she suffered the near-miscarriage.”

“It was probably one of those nutrients she said Delia needed,” Señor Bovio told her. “You wouldn’t know, Teresa. I’m—”

“No, sir. Normally, I wouldn’t know, but I thought she was keeping this stuff in an odd place.” She looked at Mr. Simon. “I clean her room as well as Adan Jr.’s, you see. I was making her bed, changing the sheets, when I lifted the mattress a bit, and the packet fell out of the bedsprings. I wouldn’t have noticed it, but I always dust under the bed after I remake it. Naturally, it frightened me to see it hidden like that. I recalled seeing her sprinkle powder from a packet just like it, and as you said, sir, I assumed it was something to do with the special concoction she made for Delia. Who was I to question that?”

“What did you do with it?” Mr. Simon asked.

“I was very frightened. I put it back where it was, squeezed in the bedsprings.”

Señor Bovio just stared at her and then shook his head slightly. “Why didn’t you come to me with this story?” he asked.

“I thought about that, sir, but you were so…dependent on Mrs. Newell. You thought so highly of her, and I saw how having Adan Jr. here had given you a new lease on life, as they say. I didn’t have the heart to destroy your happiness and…” She paused. “I didn’t think you’d take my word for anything against her.”

“Why would she do such a thing?” Señor Bovio asked, pulling his head back, still very skeptical.

I thought Teresa would retreat in the face of Señor Bovio’s determination to discredit her report and keep his faith in Mrs. Newell, but she held her ground and even strengthened it.

“For one thing, she’s still here, sir. She wouldn’t have been if Delia was looking after her son, now, would she?”

“That’s—”

“I’ve seen some other things that bothered me from time to time,” she quickly added, and looked down again as if she were the one who should be ashamed.

“What other things?” Señor Bovio demanded, pressing his palms against the table so hard I thought he would snap his own wrists. “What other things, Teresa?”

“There were times I caught her trying on Delia’s maternity clothes.”

No one spoke. Señor Bovio’s mouth opened slightly.

“I wouldn’t have thought much about it, but I had heard some stories about her. Even so, I wouldn’t dare be the one to spread new rumors, and I didn’t know how to tell you about such a thing, Mr. Bovio.”

He shook his head. “This is blatantly ridiculous. Why would you come forward now with this, Teresa?”

“I can’t say I’m proud of myself for not coming to you sooner, sir, especially after you sent Delia away like that. I know Mrs. Newell was plea

sed, and you looked very pleased as well.”

She continued, looking to me now, “I never had a child of my own, but I could only imagine what it was like having your baby literally ripped out of your body and then your arms. It got so I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about it, and then, when this happened…well, I can’t say I wasn’t rooting for you, Delia. As soon as I heard you and your cousin were arrested, I went to Mrs. Dallas.”

She told Señor Bovio, “I was still afraid to go to you, sir. You were so angry now, I didn’t know what you’d do or say. I didn’t want to lose my position here, but it was like swallowing something sour, sir. I couldn’t hold it down anymore. I’m sorry. I truly am.” She said that more to me than to him.

“This has got to be some sort of misunderstanding,” Señor Bovio insisted.

“Then you’re telling us you know nothing about this?” Mr. Simon asked.

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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