Story was written for The Trust Challenge

A Lot Of Trust Is A Wonderful Thing

By JeanneZ84

McCormick was outside on a pretty clear fall day doing some raking of leaves. The judge had given him a hard time about getting done for the last few days and finally McCormick decided on his own that this was the day to get started on it.

Mark headed for the garage to find the rake so he could get started on his task.

He put the rake down just for a brief few minutes so he could go to the gatehouse and get in to his work clothes.

He found a half torn t-shirt and a pair of old jeans that had holes in the knees.

After getting in to these clothes he headed outside to do his chores.

He decided to do the raking first and get it out of the way.

About ten minutes into it though Mark McCormick put the rake down against a chair out in the yard and left it standing up so he could pick up some of the leaves with his hands and just toss them in the wheel barrel.

It hadn't been two minutes later when Hardcastle came barreling out of the house and he wasn't watching where he was walking.

All of the sudden Mark heard a thump and he quickly turned to see what had happened. He saw the judge laying flat on the ground with the rake against his head. Then he noticed the files the judge had been carrying were scattered everywhere on the ground. He wasn't as concerned with that though. He was much more concerned with Hardcastle laying there unconscious.

Mark quickly ran into the house got a blanket to cover the judge up. While he went in the house to get the blanket he told Sarah Wicks, their housekeeper in residence, what had happened and to call 911 right away.

Sarah did as she was asked by Mark and called and then came outside quickly to tell Mark the ambulance was on its way.

Mark said thanks Sarah. He went on to tell her, I don't know exactly why this happened but I am sure he is gonna be alright. He has to be doesn't he Sarah?

Sarah smiled and said, yes young man I'm sure Judge Hardcastle will be just fine.

Mark knelt beside the judge talking to him and trying to crack some jokes but they fell flat and he knew it.

Mark thought he had to do something it was either that or just simply go crazy over the whole incident.

He blamed himself for it. He started thinking, geez judge if I would only have just done what you told me to do the other day this would never have happened.

Mark finally spoke out loud but it was in a whispered voice in the judge's ear. I'm so sorry judge. I never ment for any of this to happen.

The ambulance made it there within minutes and loaded up the judge and Mark told Sarah he was going to go with him. Mark then of course got in the back of the ambulance.

Mark held on to the Judge's hand all the way there and he said a quiet prayer that everything would be alright for the judge and that he would regain consciousness soon and he also promised God that when the judge got better he would from now on do as he was told when he was told with no complaining and that he would be more careful where he put things so nobody could get hurt again.

The ambulance with Hardcastle in it quickly arrived at Cedars hospital where they quickly wheeled him off to the Emergency Room to be examined. He still hadn't regained consciousness yet and they wouldn't allow Mark McCormick to go in with him.

Mark sat in the waiting room for what seemed forever and then a doctor came out of the ER. She was very serious looking. She walked right up to Mark and said, Mr. McCormick.

Mark had been sitting in the waiting area praying but he immediately looked up when he heard his name called.

The doctor started to speak and said I'm Dr. Reiner I understand that you were in the ambulance when Mr. Hardcastle was brought in to the ER.

McCormick stood and said, yes I was doctor. How is he? Is he conscious yet?

Dr. Reiner said he has come out of unconsciousness for a bit and is now sleeping.

I just wanted you to know that I have ordered a CT scan for him and they will be taking him there soon. I want to just make sure that there isn't any major damage

Mark stood silent for a few seconds then asked when can I see him? Dr. Reiner told him he could follow her in to the ER and see him a few minutes before they take him down for the CT scan.

Mark went in and as soon as he did he was greeted by the judge's smile.

Mark asked him how he feeling and he told Mark, uh well my head hurts a bit but it's no big deal kiddo.

Mark said, I'm so very sorry judge. It was all my fault this happened to you. I should never have left that rake right there.

The judge gave McCormick a glare then he said, McCormick I was the one who wasn't watching where I was going barreling outta the house like that.

McCormick said, well judge I'm just glad you are alright.

The judge raised a hand to stop any more mushy talk and said in a bit of a gruff tone, alright already that's enough of nonsense now kiddo.

Just then the orderly came in and said are you ready for us to take you down for the CT Mr. Hardcastle?

Hardcastle said, as ready as I'll ever be. Lets get this over with so I can go home and he looked at McCormick and said give Frank a call we are gonna need a ride home.

Then they wheeled him away.

About an hour later the doctor came back up to McCormick and said, Mr. McCormick the CT scan is all clear but I want to keep him over night just to make sure everything is fine.

Mark sat there thinking and wondering how they would break the news of staying over night in the hospital with Hardcase Hardcastle. He knew it wasn't going to be pretty. Finally he said to the doctor, have you told him yet he has to stay over night?

Dr. Reiner said, yes I have and he isn't in the best of moods at the moment. We are getting his room ready and he will be in there soon so you can go in anytime maybe you can cheer him up. It's on the third floor room 321 and I will be in later to check on him.

McCormick said thank you doctor and he took the elevator and headed up to the third floor room 321. Mark walked in to a room that had a judge lying in bed who looked very grumpy.

McCormick said, uh it's a nice room in here judge I bet they gave you the best room in the hospital. You'll be treated like a king in here.

The judge looked at McCormick with a very stern expression and said, knock it off will ya McCormick I'm mad enough as it is.

Mark said, sorry judge I was just trying to lighten up the mood. Oh by way while you went down for the CT scan I called Frank and told him what happened and he came to the hospital and he took me back home to get my car.

The judge said with a scowl on his face, that is just great McCormick. I'm stuck in here all night and you got your car here with you to run around as you please that's just wonderful.

McCormick looked up at the ceiling briefly and left him to carry on with his ranting a bit longer. Then he said, will you wait a minute judge.

Judge Hardcastle stopped talking immediately

McCormick continued, what I was trying to say judge is that the car is here already for you to go home in the morning when the doctor gives the ok. I'm staying right here as well. I told Sarah everything that is going on and that it will all be alright.

The nurses kept coming in every hour on the hour to make sure everything was fine with Judge Hardcastle and there was no bad head damage at all.

The next morning they sent a nice breakfast in to Judge Hardcastle it consisted of scrambled eggs and toast with strawberry jelly and orange juice and coffee. He kept complaining of a headache so Mark slipped out while he was eating and told the nurse about the judge's headache and then headed back to the judge's hospital room.

A few minutes later Frank Harper called Hardcastle to see how everything was going.

Mark answered the phone with saying Hardcastle's room.

Frank spoke up and said, hello Mark. How is he doing?

Mark said, well Frank he is still having the headaches but other then that he is still about "The biggest donkey in America" Mark saw Judge Hardcastle give him a very stern glare as Hardcastle said, give me the damn phone McCormick and he yanked the phone out of Mark's hand.

After Hardcastle was done talking to Frank he hung up the phone on the cradle and then Nurse Nancy came in. She had blonde hair down to her shoulders. She came in wearing a sweet smile and said, Mr. Hardcastle, Mr. McCormick told us down at the nurse's station you are still having headaches.

Hardcastle looked over at McCormick and McCormick smiled and said, well judge I had to tell them. I wasn't gonna just let it go and take you home without get the headaches checked out first could be serious.

Nancy interrupted and said, well anyway Mr. Hardcastle, Dr. Reiner ordered another CT scan and if you are ready I will have an orderly come and get you.

Mark McCormick spoke up and said as he cleared his voice, um Nancy if it wouldn't be against hospital policy I could take him right there for The CT scan if it's ok?

She looked at Mark and smiled and said, well Mr. McCormick you can do the wheeling down and back I suppose but to make it official the orderly still has to be there.

Mark said, ok I understand I wouldn't want to go against policy.

Hardcastle gave a little sarcastic laugh out loud and said, since when kiddo.

Mark just looked at him and said, very funny judge.

Nancy sent the orderly in with a wheel chair to take Hardcastle down to get the CT scan and Mark helped the judge in the chair.

Hardcastle said to the orderly, maybe you better drive this thing. This kid here likes to drive like a maniac and then he glanced at Mark and said, can you drive the speed limit there in this hospital sport?

Mark smiled and said, come on judge you know I'm a good driver I promise to be on my best behavior.

Hardcastle finally gruffly said, you damn well better.

Mark got in the elevator with Hardcastle and the orderly and the orderly pushed two for the second floor. When the elevator came to a stop they got off and headed in the right direction. There was a very steep but little ramp there. It was in a new section of the hospital just recently fixed up.

The orderly told Mark they needed to go down this ramp and turn left.

Mark said, ok no problem.

Mark said alright judge here we go down this nice little ramp.

Hardcastle glared up at him and said, you better watch it McCormick.

McCormick smiled sweetly at him and said, now now judge I already promised you judge you gotta learn to trust me. Mark put a tight grip on the back gripping of the Wheel Chair as he wheeled the judge down to prove to him everything was fine. They arrived there safe and Hardcastle was in there getting the CT scan done.

Within forty-five they were done and Hardcastle was safe back in his hospital bed after allowing Mark McCormick to do the wheeling of the wheel chair both thereand back..

Fifteen minutes later Dr. Reiner came in to Hardcastle' s hospital room and told him everything was still in great shape and that he just needed to take Tylenol and it would help for the headaches. She also told him he was free to leave the hospital and that she would sign the release papers and have Nurse Nancy bring them in.

Well Hardcastle got dressed with some assistance from Mark and here came Nurse Nancy with the wheel chair yet again to escort Hardcastle out of the hospital. She was just about to wheel the judge out when suddenly Judge Hardcastle said, uh Nancy, McCormick can go ahead and wheel me outside in this wheel chair. Nurse Nancy smiled and said sure Mr. Hardcastle no problem.

Mark McCormick glanced over at Judge Hardcastle and smiled back at him and said, well judge I'm touched you actually finally trust me.

Judge Hardcastle said in a bit of a gruff tone McCormick was very used to, Lets get the hell out of this place, ok kiddo?

They got in the car safely and headed home and when they arrived home Sarah had a big ham dinner waiting for them.

That evening they watched a John Wayne Double feature "True Grit" and "The Quiet Man"

The rest of the night was just as peaceful.