Rain Man Chapter 6-9 (2)
Charlie looked at his brother. Suddenly he had an idea. A really great idea to end all his money problems.
'Raymond,' he asked his brother. 'Have you ever played cards?'
The next day they arrived in Las Vegas. Charlie bought new suits for Raymond and himself. He also bought Raymond a television the size of a small clock. Then he showed his brother how to play cards.
'Do you understand how to play now, Raymond?'
'I count cards,' said Raymond.
'Yes, but you must never say that.'
They went into the Golden Casino at four o'clock in the afternoon. They sat down at one of the card tables. Five hours later, they got up from the card table. Charlie was very, very tired, but very happy.
He smiled at his brother. 'Raymond, you have won us ninety thousand dollars.'
Raymond did not look up from the television he now carried everywhere in his hand. 'Eighty-nine thousand, seven hundred and fifty-six dollars,' he said.
And that was only in one visit! 'You're going to make us rich, Ray,' Charlie said.
Raymond looked from his television to his watch. 'Eight minutes to bed time,' he said. 'Eight minutes.'
Charlie smiled. Raymond was still Raymond. 'Ray, we're going to stay in the best room in the hotel here,' he said. 'Tomorrow we're going to come down and enjoy ourselves. Perhaps we'll find you a girl.'
Raymond was watching his television again. 'A girl,' he repeated.
'Yes, why not?'
But first Charlie needed a hot bath and a good night's sleep. And he needed to talk to Susanna again.
There was a knock on the door. Charlie opened it. 'Susanna!' Charlie put his arms round the girl that he loved and kissed her. 'Ray, Susanna's here!'
'How did you know we were here?' Charlie asked her. Susanna spoke softly. 'They told me at the office,' she said. 'I'm sorry they took the cars away.'
'Oh, don't worry about that,' Charlie said happily. 'We have some news to tell you. Ray, tell Susanna what we've done.'
'We played cards,' Raymond said. 'I counted cards and we won money.'
'What?' Susanna asked.
'It's a long story,' Charlie said, pulling Susanna towards the bedroom. 'We'll talk about it later.'
Raymond knocked on the bedroom door.
'Come in,' Charlie called.
Raymond opened the door and stood there with his little television in his hand.
'Six minutes until I find a girl. To dance with,' Raymond said. 'You said ten o'clock.'
'A girl?' Susanna asked.
Charlie was getting out of bed. 'I taught him to dance. Now, we're going to try to find him a girl to dance with.'
'Five minutes,' Raymond said.
They walked round the Golden Casino for an hour. It was very difficult to find a girl for Raymond to dance with. To other people Raymond seemed strange.
Charlie pointed to one of the tables. 'This is where we played cards,' he said. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see two big men in suits.
'The boss wants to see you, please,' one of the men said. He did not smile and Charlie guessed that there was a problem.
Charlie turned to Susanna. 'Can you take Raymond back to our hotel room?'
'Of course,' Susanna said.
Susanna and Raymond took the lift back to their room. Raymond was watching a film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on his little TV.
In the lift, Susanna looked at Raymond and felt sad for him. 'Raymond, have you ever danced with a girl before?' she asked.
'I've danced with Charlie Babbitt,' Raymond said. 'One time. With Charlie Babbitt.' He did not look up from his TV.
The music from the dancing below came into the lift. 'I like this music,' Susanna said softly. 'Do you want to dance with me, Raymond.'
Susanna stopped the lift between two floors. She moved closer to Raymond and took his hand in hers. They started to dance inside the lift. Raymond watched his television over Susanna's shoulder.
The song came to an end. Susanna started the lift again. 'The other girls have missed a beautiful dance,' she said.
Later Charlie came up to the room. He looked very tired. 'We have to leave here tomorrow,' he said. 'They won't let us play cards here again.'
'Why not?' Susanna asked.
'Because we won,' said Charlie, 'and they don't like people winning. I guess Raymond was too good for them.'
They left Las Vegas the next morning, and drove back to Los Angeles. Susanna sat next to Charlie in the front of the Buick. Raymond sat in the back of the car and watched another film on his TV. Sometimes he looked out at the desert they were driving through.
Once Raymond drove the car for a few minutes. The road was empty so there was no danger.
'I'm a... very good... driver,' Raymond said.
Susanna got out at her flat in Santa Monica. Charlie and Raymond drove on to Charlie's house in Los Angeles.
There was a letter waiting for Charlie. It was from Dr Bruner. 'I'm staying here in Los Angeles, at the Hotel California,' the letter said. 'Please come and see me. I think we need to talk.' That night Charlie went to see Dr Bruner at his hotel.
'Mr Babbitt, I want to stop playing games,' Dr Bruner said. 'My lawyer is talking to your lawyer. He is explaining to him... the facts. Raymond will see a special doctor on
Friday. This doctor will decide who gets custody of Raymond. And you are going to lose.'
'I think that is for the doctor to decide,' Charlie said. 'But I have helped Raymond more in one week than you have in twenty years.'
'You think you have helped Raymond!' Dr Bruner said. 'But Raymond is still autistic. He will always be autistic! Neither you nor I can change that fact.'
Charlie turned to go. 'I'll see you on Friday, Dr Bruner.'
'Don't you understand, Charlie?' Dr Bruner called. 'Even if they give you custody of Raymond, you will not get your father's money. I don't have to pay you anything.'
'Goodbye, Dr Bruner,' Charlie said, walking away.
Dr Bruner called after him. 'I'll give you two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to have Raymond back now.'
Charlie stopped walking and turned round to face the doctor. He shook his head. 'I don't want your money, Dr Bruner,' he said, 'I want my brother.'
Friday came. Dr Marston sat at his desk. Next to him was Dr Bruner. In front of him were Charlie and Raymond. The two brothers were both wearing suits.
'There's no easy way to say this, Mr Babbitt,' Dr Marston began.
He did not need to continue. Charlie understood. 'You're sending Raymond back to Wallbrook,' he said.
'They can look after him there,' Dr Marston said. 'They understand Raymond's problems.'
'But Raymond has changed,' Charlie said angrily. 'He has only been seven days with me and already he is getting better. And you don't like that.'
Dr Marston and Dr Bruner sat silently for a minute. Then Dr Bruner turned to Raymond.
'How was your holiday, Raymond? Tell me what you did.'
Raymond held his little TV to his heart. 'I played cards,' he said. 'With Charlie Babbitt. And I drove Daddy's car.'
Dr Bruner laughed. 'You drove a car, Raymond?'
'It was on a quiet road,' Charlie said.
'And I danced with Susanna,' Raymond said.
Even Charlie was surprised at this.
Dr Bruner took a pen from his pocket and wrote something down in a notebook. Then he turned to Raymond. 'Do you want to stay with Charlie, Raymond?' he asked.
'I want to stay with Charlie Babbitt,' Raymond said.
'You see,' Charlie said. 'Raymond wants to stay with me.'
But Dr Bruner did not look at Charlie. He looked at Raymond. 'Do you want to go back to Wallbrook, Raymond?'
'I want to go back to Wallbrook.'
Dr Bruner wrote again in his notebook. Dr Marston also wrote something down.
'But what do you want to do, Raymond?' Dr Bruner asked again. 'Do you want to stay with Charlie? Or do you want to go back to Wallbrook?'
Raymond was now breathing very deeply. He shook his head from side to side, and moved uncomfortably in his chair. 'Wallbrook... Charlie Babbitt... Wallbrook... Charlie Babbitt,' he muttered.
Charlie jumped out of his chair. 'Stop asking him all these questions,' he shouted. 'You're upsetting him.'
Now Dr Bruner looked at Charlie. 'I'm showing you that Raymond is still autistic, Charlie,' he said calmly.
Charlie sat down and put his head in his hands. He saw that they would never give him custody of Raymond. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps they did know how to look after Raymond at Wallbrook.
But Charlie gave Raymond something they could not give him at Wallbrook. Charlie gave Raymond love. And Raymond, in his way, gave Charlie love.
All Charlie wanted was the best for Raymond. Charlie wasn't the loser, Raymond was the winner.
'Ray, they want you to go back to Wallbrook,' Charlie said slowly to his brother. He looked up at the two doctors. 'Can I visit him?'
Dr Marston turned to Dr Bruner for an answer. 'Of course,' Dr Bruner answered. 'We would like you to.'
Raymond took out his photograph. It was a lovely picture of the eighteen-year-old Raymond and the two-year-old
Charlie. Rain Man and Charlie. Brothers. Raymond handed the photograph to Charlie.
Charlie began to cry softly.
'Are you all right, son?' Dr Bruner asked.
Charlie looked up and smiled. Then he turned to his brother. 'I'll come to see you, Ray,' he said. 'And you can drive Dad's car when I visit.'
'I'm a very good driver,' Raymond said.
- THE END -