In his youth, their family doctor went by the name of Bud Willard. Their mother called him Doctor Willard, but Duncan recalled her once mumbling something under her breath to the effect, “Bud is an improper name for a grown man, and most especially for a professional, such as a doctor or a shoe designer.” His older brother made up new names every time they had appointments at his clinic.
“What do you think Bud is short for? Budinal, Budrew, Buddington, Budiddly, Budman, Budhead, Buddeliah, Buddlesworth?” and on he would go with his list. Duncan was too young to know if Steven was being serious, and he took terrible advantage, once telling him that Doctor Willard had been forced to marry Mrs. Willard after he got her pregnant. It did not occur to his naive mind that it was rather unlikely for a teenaged patient to be a party to the details woven into his lurid exposé. Duncan never thought to inquire how his older brother knew that Mrs. Willard, who he referred to as Esther although her initials were S.W., had seduced Bud when they were working on the catering staff at the Butlin’s Holiday camp in Cape Coed near Aberystwyth, in Wales. The youngster listened wide-mouthed and open-eyed, and sometimes vice-versa, as Steven explained how she had pushed her breasts against Bud in a provocative manner as they bustled about a hot kitchen, until he was lost to her womanly charms. The phrase meant nothing to Duncan, but he managed to connect the concepts of breasts and pregnancy with embarrassing consequences in a Biology class eight years later.
Steven’s story was somewhere between a joke strung-out over several tellings, and a full-blown psychiatric experiment. He went into ever more specific detail as he plumbed the depths of a five year-old’s gullibility, treating him as if he were some experimental bird or butterfly trapped under a laboratory glass.