What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 12
Slow Down, Man


It was after one o’clock, so I fixed a sandwich and was eating it  when Hank finally arrived.  “Hank, I’ll fix you a sandwich.  Sit down and tell me what took so long?”


While I was fixing his sandwich, Hank started, “Thank goodness, we got to that dive when we did.  That Omar person was just about ready to leave.  The police searched the things in his car and he had a bill of sale saying he had paid $10,000.00 for the boys.  He also had the boys’ birth certificates and even their social security cards.”


“The man had a passport from Iran, another from Turkey, and a third from South Africa.  He had plane reservations for him and the two boys to leave from San Francisco next Sunday for Hong Kong.  Steve, I don’t have time to eat anymore.  We have too many things to do, and I want to fly to New Orleans to make sure the two boys’ stepfather gets what he has coming to him.”


“We need to go take care of a million things.  I’m going to call the ranch and make sure the five youngest are okay.”


Hank went to the phone, “Hi Tad, how are the five boys doing? … They’re what? … Tad, why don’t you and Ramsey take them so they can get Tony and Andy cowboy boots.  Perhaps you could help the boys water proof their boots.  Tell Cam to stop being so bossy.  We’ll be back at the ranch in time for dinner, I think.  If we we’re not there, go ahead and start eating without us.”


Hank and I climbed into the Hummer.  Hank was thinking out loud, “First stop is at the church so we can make arrangements for Justin’s memorial service.  Then we need to go the newspaper and place an obituary.”


We stopped at the church and checked to see if the celebration of life could be held on the second of January at ten o’clock   The arrangements were made, and we stopped at the newspaper office. Hank submitted a partial obituary so people would be alerted to the fact that the service would be on the second of January at ten in the morning.


After we left the newspaper office, Hank announced, “Now, we need to go to the police station and get the documents that belong to the boys and a copy of the bill of sale, because we’re going to New Orleans tonight to put Mister Albert Cornier on ice for a long time for selling two minors.”


I was caught by surprise, “Hank, don’t you think that perhaps I should stay here?  I know that we have all the sons home, but what if something should happen to anyone, especially the five young boys.  There’d be no one with the authority to take care of them.”


Hank sighed, “I guess you’re right.  But I was hoping we could have some fun in New Orleans.”


We stopped at the police station and got the copies of the papers that Hank wanted, so he could take them to New Orleans with him.  It was 5:30 when we got home and all five boys had cowboy boots on.  Cam stopped any questions, “Yes, Dads, Tad and Ramsey helped us water proof the boots.  Tony wears the same size clothes as Randy, but they need more.  Andy can wear Ricky’s and my clothes.  Both boys need warmer jackets.”


Hank bowed down, “Yes, Master Cam.  I understand, Master Cam.  Dad Steve will take care of the problems tomorrow.  Is there anything else that you need, Master Cam?”


“Dad, you’re being silly.  We’ll talk more when you aren’t being silly.  We need to go set the tables.  There are so many people here that we can’t all eat in the dining room.  Grandma Ellie fixed sloppy Joes and home made French fries and some other stuff.”


Hank went to the computer to see what kind of flight connections he could get to New Orleans.  There was a flight leaving at ten o’clock leaving for Dallas/Forth Worth with a connecting flight to New Orleans that would have him arriving in New Orleans at six in the morning.  He booked it and went to pack a bag with the things he would need for an overnight trip.


As we were eating, we could hear the five young guys in the kitchen, eating with Tad and Ramsey.  They were giggling and it was apparent that the two newcomers, Tony and Andy, had no trouble accepting what was happening.”


We were just about finished eating when the phone rang.  Cam answered and brought the phone to Hank, “Dad, Uncle Wayne wants to talk to you.”


“Hi, Wayne, have they finished the autopsy? … I’m surprised that hadn’t been detected before. … It’s probably just as well that I decided to not schedule the Memorial Service for Justin until the second.  I figured that would give you more time to get everything done.  Okay, we’ll see you on the thirty-first.”


Hank started to take the phone back to the kitchen when the doorbell rang.  We heard Cam say, “I’ll get it.”


He came into the dining room, “There are two mean looking guys here to talk to Chase and Fred.  I guess they mean Uncle Chase and Uncle Freddie.  They said they were here to see about a job.  Are Uncle Chase and Uncle Freddie going to quit?”


Freddie chuckled, “We weren’t going to quit, but if you keep being so bossy, we may decide to do so.  Please tell the two gentlemen that we’ll be right there as soon as we take our dishes to kitchen so you can do them.”


Cam moaned, “You’re as mean to me as everyone else.”


Cam took Hank’s and my plates and pouted, “Dads, you better go make sure that the visitors aren't stealing our Christmas presents.”


Freddie and Chase were laughing as they accompanied Hank and me to talk to the two visitors.  Hank and I were totally unprepared by the sight that greeted us.  Two very nervous young me were sitting on a sofa with their legs were moving.  Hank walked to the two young guys, “I’m Hank Rodgers, my son said you were here to apply for a job.  I don’t suppose you would care to tell us who you are?”


The young African American stood first, “I’m Lamar Alexander and this is my friend Jordan Jacobs.  Fred and Chase said that you might be interested in hiring us to work on your rinky dink ranch here.  I don’t know if we can work for anyone whose six year old son told us he was the boss, and we had to do whatever he wanted us to.”


The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Cam, Tad and Ramsey.  Cam started, “Dad, give Tad one of your cards so we can go get some coats for Tony and Andy.  They’ve never lived where it was this cold.”


I intervened, “Cam, your Dad is going to be leaving for the airport shortly, and is going to need his cards for the trip to New Orleans.”


Cam picked up on what was happening, “Dad, you’re going to make it so Tony and Andy can stay with us, right?”


“Cam, I can’t promise what might happen.  I need to be leaving for the airport.  If these two young men think they would like to work here, we’ll hire them.  And yes, they will need to be able to take orders from our young sons with a tongue in their cheek.”


Cam looked at Tad, “What did our Dad just say?”


Tad was laughing, “Let’s go do what we have to do and stop and get a snack on the way home so we don’t have to do dishes again.  Go get the other four guys and we’ll take the van.”


Hank stood, “Mr. Alexander and Mr. Jacobs, it was a pleasure to meet you.  Mr. Michaels will take care of the rest of the interview.”


I thought to myself, ‘Gees, thanks, Hank.  Why am I going to be interviewing the two young guys?’


Kevin and Cyndi came into the room and Kevin started to speak, “Dad, Jake and Gisele, Chris and Michelle, Tim and Denise and Cyndi and I are going to catch a flick.  I’m going to spend the night at the house on the hill.  Hi, Lamar and Jordy,  what are you doing here?”


Lamar laughed, “It appears as if we’re being interviewed to see if we can take orders from the boss’ son and his friends.”


Kevin laughed, “Guys, I thought you were going to college.  Did you graduate early?”


Jordan shook his head no, “I still have a semester to go but cash is a little tight since my parents have had some major unexpected bills that have them strapped for cash.  I don’t want to put myself any further in debt than I already am, so I decided to try to find a decent job and maybe go to school at night like Freddie and Chase are doing.”


Lamar added, “I’m pretty much in the same boat.  My parents lost their farm and are looking for someplace to work, so they can no longer help me financially.”


Kevin winked, “There are a lot worse places than here at this run down ranch to work.  We’ll talk to you tomorrow.  Dad, please don’t forget to call Mrs. Wright.”


I looked at Chase and Freddie, “Guys, please take Lamar and Jordan and show them around the facilities and explain what they would be doing.  Make sure that you show them your apartment and then you should probably take them to the Summers’ ranch so they would be able to see where they will probably be living.  Make sure you introduce them to Dusty and Mimi.  Bring them back so I can talk to them after they’ve seen what they would be doing and where they would be living.”


I went into the kitchen to talk to Ellie, “Ellie, are you okay?  There have been a large number here.  Do you need to get away from all this hubbub?”


She looked surprised, “Steve, these people all pitch in and help.  They’ve been no trouble at all.  In fact, I'm enjoying getting to know the young adults.  What’s going to happen to Andy and Tony?  Cam is going to be very upset if they don’t get to stay here.”


I shrugged my shoulders, “Ellie, your guess is as good as mine as to what‘s going to happen to the two boys.  I need to call Cynthia Wright.”


I called the Wrights and Cynthia answered.


“Cynthia, it’s Steve; Kevin and Cyndi said you wanted me to call.”


“Thanks for calling, Steve. I wanted to talk to you about two things.  First, what have you done about finding someone to replace Chris, now that you booted him upstairs.  His presence will be sorely missed and I really would like to retire after the kids’ wedding.”


“Cynthia, let me talk to Chris and Dusty and see if they have any ideas about whom we should hire for the two positions.  We just wound up with two more young boys.  We have added a total of four young boys to our family in the last two weeks.”


Cynthia chuckled, “Yeah, Cyndi and Kevin have been telling us what’s been happening.  It is going to be a big adjustment for Cam.”


“Cynthia, this is hard to believe, but he’s turning into a mother hen protecting his chicks.”


Cynthia changed subjects, “Steve, whose idea was this to have all four weddings on the same day?”


“Cynthia, I’m not sure.  Do you have a problem with it?  If you do, you need to talk to Cyndi and Kevin about it, because Hank and I have had nothing to do with the planning.  We decided to sit back and support what the four couples decide to do.”


Cynthia continued, “I’m just afraid that it is going to seem so impersonal.  Aren’t people going to think they have to buy gifts for each of the four couples?”


“Hank and I expressed our concerns about that same thing and they assured us that they would make sure that was not the case.  I suggest that we let the young people see what they can come up with.  After all, they are all intelligent young people.  They’re not going to get carried away with something wild.  We’ve met Denise’s parents and they are very nice people.  Gisele was a surprise, so we have not met her parents since they went home to Argentina for the holidays.”


Cynthia laughed, “There are four young couples arriving.  They have Michelle’s parents with them.  I guess they want to talk to us about the wedding plans.  Steve, I’ll talk to you later.”


Ellie had disappeared, so I assumed so she had gone to her room.


I was sitting in the family room when the dam burst.  It was as if everyone arrived at the same time.  The first to arrive were Jeremy Phillips and Brent Farway.  I had just gotten them seated when Mimi and Dusty arrived with Chase, Freddie, Jordan and Lamar.  I had just completed the introductions when the back door burst open and five young boys, Tad and Ramsey appeared.


Cam came and stood in front of me, “Dad, we found Andy and Tony these really neat coats and they were on sale.  They can be like all weather coats.  The lining comes out and it can be worn, when it’s not too cold.  The outside coat is heavier and can be when it is colder.  When you put the two layers together the man said it would keep the boys warm up to 30 degrees below freezing.  Does it ever get that cold here?”


I hugged Cam, “It can get that cold here, but not very often.  I trust that you stopped for snacks like Tad and Ramsey threatened?”


Randy answered, “Yes, and they made us eat these awful hot fudge sundaes that had whipped cream, those red cherry things and peanuts.  They said we had to eat all of it if we wanted to be real men.  They ate theirs so fast that I was sure they were going to have another one.  Instead they bought us each a chocolate shake to drink on the way home.  They said they needed their protein.”


Tad turned bright red and the visitors were trying to stifle their laughs.  I decided to intervene, “It’s time for five young guys to get in bed, now that you’ve had your protein.  Tad and Ramsey, please take these guys and get them ready for bed.  I think they need to have a shower and they need to brush their teeth good, to get the gunk out of their teeth.  I’ll come tuck them in when they’re ready.”


I still didn’t know why Mimi and Dusty and Brent and Jeremy were here.  There must be a reason.  I hope there aren’t problems that I don’t know about.  ‘Where is Hank when I need him?’


To be continued... 


Editor's Notes: Well, I think that Hank is either on a plane or getting ready to get on one that will take him to New Orleans. There are important things that need to be done there.


Yes, I know that was a rhetorical question, so big deal.


This story is doing very nicely, in continuing the saga of the Santa guys.


Of course, I am eagerly waiting for more chapters.


Thank you E Walk for all your wonderful stories.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 11/06/09