I had no idea why or how he could ask Señor Bovio such a thing, but he had his lawyer’s motives and sounded stronger and more like a prosecutor now. I also understood what Tía Isabela had meant when she explained why she wanted a lawyer at the table.
“What? Giving her drugs? Are you a total idiot? Do you think I would endanger my grandson like that?”
“I hope not. I don’t imagine most people would believe it, but in a courtroom—”
“Well, you can plainly see that these events change things, Mr. Bovio. There was, whether you were aware of it or not, obvious coercion here. This young woman was maneuvered into signing over custody of her child.” He pointed to the document on the table. “Following that injustice, she came here as any mother might and took her baby back, and now she’s about to be charged with kidnapping. If she was coerced into signing over her child, there’s no kidnapping charge. She might have grounds for her own lawsuit, and I’m sure the district attorney would have interest in all of this.”
Señor Bovio was quiet for a moment. He looked at all of us and then at Teresa before addressing Mr. Simon. “I still don’t believe any of this. Just because you have a maid’s impressions of some ingredient…the girl was just involved in a drug incident in Los Angeles, wasn’t she?” he snapped back, now sounding more like someone grasping at straws.
“Fani Cordova will admit to providing the drug to my daughter, and my daughter will admit to getting it from her,” Tía Isabela said. “She will testify that Delia knew absolutely nothing about it. In fact, she realizes she’s alive today because of Delia’s quick thinking. I guess Edward would say his sister’s begun to grow up.”
“This is all just confusing the situation,” Señor Bovio insisted.
Mr. Simon turned to Teresa. “When was the last time you changed Mrs. Newell’s bedding and dusted under that bed, Teresa?”
“Today, sir. This morning.”
“And can you tell us anything about the item you found and put back in the bedsprings?”
“It’s still there, sir. Last I looked.”
“Well, we have no search warrant, Mr. Bovio, but I would think you would want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as we do,” Mr. Simon said. “It would also go far to prove you weren’t part of this.”
Señor Bovio looked at us and at Teresa. We were all staring intently at him.
I held my breath. Would he tell us all to get out, or would he do what Mr. Simon asked? Was Mrs. Newell’s grip on him and his happiness so strong that he would blot out the truth?
He saw a tear escape my eye. I wiped it away quickly, but he nodded and stood.
We all rose and followed him out slowly. Our march to the stairway and the slow climb up was so somber I could feel the weight of all of the darkness I had gone through on my shoulders. In my heart of hearts, however, I believed Adan was walking up those stairs beside me.
Mrs. Newell heard us coming and stepped out of Adan Jr.’s room. She held him in her arms. He was asleep. “And what’s this?” she asked.
Señor Bovio paused. “Maybe nothing,” he said. “Maybe everything.”
He nodded at her bedroom, and Teresa opened the door.
“What are you doing?” Mrs. Newell asked, stepping forward.
Adan Jr. squirmed in her arms but didn’t awaken.
We entered her bedroom. The lights were on. She came in behind us. I stood beside her, watching Adan Jr., dying inside to reach out and take him from her arms but deathly afraid to do anything to interrupt.
Teresa went to the bed and got to her knees. She looked under the bed and then up at Mr. Simon and nodded.
“What is this?” Mrs. Newell demanded now. “This is my bedroom!”
“For the moment,” Señor Bovio said, nodding at her, “let Delia hold Adan Jr.”
“Just do what I ask, Mrs. Newell.”
She turned to me, but I didn’t think she was going to relinquish my baby. I moved forward and reached for him. She hesitated, tightened her grip, and then relinquished him. I held him closely.
Edward moved forward and lifted the mattress. Mr. Simon shook the bedsprings, and then Teresa reached under and brought out the packet.