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 18

One Step At a Time


As Hank was driving, he asked, “Steve, what are we going to do about Chad?”


Cam spoke, “Dads, we like Chad.  Why don’t you make him be our big brother?  Call Uncle Chris and Uncle Chase’s mother and tell her we wanna keep him.  He’ll be the only brother we have after the other brothers all go back to college.”


I could tell that Hank wanted to look around, but he was driving, “Cam, it won’t be that easy.  Chad’s parents are still living.  They might not want to let him go.”


“Daddy, please check.  If his parents wouldn’t want to let him go, why would they send him away?”


I turned around, “Cam, let your Daddy and me see what can be done.”


Cam took a deep breath, “Okay, Dad, but please try.  Dads, how soon can you fix the houses so Grandpa Tibideaux can come to live with us?”


Hank answered, “Cameron, we’ll check into that once the holidays are over.  We won’t be able to do anything about it until after Monday.  We promise, we’ll make it so Grandpa Tibideaux can visit or stay with us if he would like, as soon as possible.”


Cam relented, “Okay, Daddy, I just don’t want him to have to be by himself in that city for very long.  We need a Grandpa to help take care of us.  We need to get him to our home so we can take care of him.”


Fortunately, we arrived at the next rest stop and the boys were out of the car faster than a lightening bolt travels through space.  Hank. Chad and I followed the boys into the restroom which was empty.  We watched as the boys relieved their bladders and went outside.  Hank and I went to relieve ourselves after the boys had gone, but Chad hung back.  I turned, “Chad, it’s okay to look at the sexual equipment of other men in public places, but it’s not okay to try to take advantage of anyone.”


When we went to the picnic area, Cam was yelling, “Tony, you’re cheating.”


We looked at what was happening and the two eight year old boys were playing soccer against the three six year olds. Tony was really quite good, but Cam solved the problem and tackled Tony, took the ball away and was running and kicking the ball toward an imaginary goal.  He stopped and yelled, “We win.”


Tony jumped up, “Cam, you would have been carded for that tackle and ejected from the game.”


Hank yelled, “Load up the cars, buckaroos.  Exchange video games before you do.  Chad, I’ll the drive Camry and lead the convoy.  The next stop will be the motel.” 


It was almost seven o’clock when we pulled into the entrance of the Holiday Inn in Plano, Texas.


The boys hopped out of the car and went with Hank to check in.  Chad looked at me, “Mr. Steve, I’m overwhelmed by what is happening.  What’s going to happen when we get back to Colorado?”


I hugged Chad, “Son, I haven’t the faintest idea what’s going to happen.  I have no idea what the Cowboy is planning.  I can assure you that it won’t be nice for your Father.”


“Mr. Steve, I’m really concerned about what’s going to happen to my three younger brothers when my Father finds out that I’m not being reprogrammed.”


Cam returned with a young man with a luggage carrier, “Dad and Chad, Daddy said you’re to park the cars after the man gets the luggage.  Here’s a key to our suite.  It’s on the top floor.  Daddy’s checking the restaurant to see what kind of food they have.  We’ll meet you in the suite after you park the cars.”


Cam went back into the lobby, and the young man started to laugh, “I don’t think the young man took a breath the entire he was talking.  He certainly is articulate for a young boy.”


When Chad and I were getting off the elevator, we met the young man and he was laughing, “Chad, Cam has decided that you’re going to sleep in the room with his two dads and the five young guys are going to sleep in the other room.”


The five boys were lying on the floor watching television when we walked into the room.  Cam looked up, “That’s your bedroom over there.  Daddy’s going to the bathroom.  Hurry up and get ready, we’re getting hungry.”


Hank was coming out of the bathroom as we walked into the bedroom.  “Chad, you can have your choice of beds.  The young bellhop recommended that we go to the Beef Barn for dinner since they have somethings that will keep the boys occupied.  He said they had some of the best steaks in the Dallas area.  He also recommended the prime rib of beef.”


I had gone to the bathroom and we were waiting for Chad when Cam come in, “Dads, how soon are we going?”


Chad answered, “As soon as I wash my hands.”


The fun began when we arrived at the restaurant which was within easy walking distance from the motel.  When we walked in, there was a live band playing  and the place looked packed.   Several people were sitting as if they were waiting to be seated.  Cam looked up at me, “Dad, I think there’s people waiting for tables.  I hope we don’t have to wait very long.”


Hank went to talk to the host who announced, “Gentlemen, if you will follow me, I'll take you to your table.”


Cam asked the young man, “Sir, how come we’re getting to sit down when there are people waiting.”


The young man grinned, “They’re waiting for some friends to arrive.”


The host handed us menus and announced, “Wrangler Jake will be the cowpoke who’ll be caring for your needs.  I gotta warn you though, he’s a mean critter.”


Cam giggled, “Don’t worry, mister, we’ll have him tamed before we leave tonight.”


A very handsome young man, who looked to be in his late teens, arrived and slammed down a glass of water in front of each of us, I supposed you city slickers want some food.


Cam looked up at him, “I beg your pardon, Wrangler Jake, but we live on a ranch.  I bet you’re more of a city slicker than we are.  How many horses do you own?”


The young man laughed, “Heck, I ain’t nevah seen a horse.  We only raise bison on our ranch.  Watcha be wantin to drink?”


Tony decided to get into the act, “We be wantin a beer.”


Jake started to write, “Would that be birch beer, root beer or sarsaparilla?”


Chad answered, “Wrangler Jake, why don’t ya be bringin us two of each so we’s can decide which we like best.”


Jake came to Hank and me, “What would ya ole men be wantin to drink?”


Hank laughed, “I’ll have a Texas draw.”


“Would that be regular or red, suh?”


Hank nodded, “I’d like a red one.”


I looked at the young man, “I’ll have a regular one.”


Jake left and returned almost immediately with two baskets of hard thin bread stick looking crackers, two bowls of cheese salsa and two of a dip that looked as if it was a spinach dip.  “Just sos you farm boys knows how to eat.   You take these straw thingies and break them in half an' dip um in the sauces.  Here’s Calamity Jane with your drinks.  She be called Calamity Jane cause she spills everything she touches.”


The young lady served Hank and me our beers, “Just let the brat know if you would like anything else.”


The look on the six young guys faces was priceless when Jake set three juice glasses of soda in front of them, “I decided it wouldn’t be sanitary for you horsey persons to be sharin' drinks sos I brought youse a sample so youse can be decidin which ya like best.  Now what can I brang youse to eat?  The special today is prime rib of beef.  It must be okay, cause we ain’t had anyone die from eatin it tanight.”


Cam looked up, “That’s what I’d like, Wrangler Jake.”


Jake was writing, “Would that be a Farmer’s Daughter cut, a Farmer’s cut, or a Farmer’s Son cut?”


Cam shrugged, “Since I be a son, I’ll have the Farmer’s Son cut.”


“Dude, I hate to tell you this, but even I can’t eat that much meat.  I would recommend that you go with Farmer’s Daughter cut.”


The pretense of being a hic vanished, Cam looked at the Jake, “Okay, I have the Farmer’s Little Son cut.”


Jake started laugh, “Okay, I know when I’ve been put in my place.  One Farmer’s Little Son cut it is.  Would you like a baked potato, French fries or hash browns?


“French fries.”


“Would you like green beans or corn on the cob?”


Cam didn’t hesitate, “Corn on the cob, please.”


Jake was writing, “Would you like a tossed salad or coleslaw?”


Cam answered, “I have a tossed salad with house dressing on the side.”


“Very good, sir.”


Andy was next, “I’ll have what Cam’s having.


The other three boys responded before Jake could ask, “I’ll have the same.”


Hank was next.  “I’d like the Farmer’s cut and the only thing different I’d like would be that I’d like the hash browns instead of French fries.”


I responded, “Ditto.  I’ll have what Cowboy is having.”


Chad grinned, “Me too.”


Jake tore off the sheet, “Let me double check to make sure I have it correct, that’s one Farmer’s Little Son cut with French fries, corn on the cob and a tossed salad with the house dressing on the side.  One I’ll have what Cam’s having, three I’ll have the same, one Farmer’s cut with hash browns and two dittos.”


A young man had arrived with eight steaming bowls of something.  Jake handed the young man the order and started to put the soup in front of the boys.  Tony looked at Jake, “Wrangler Jake, I don’t remember ordering soup.”


Jake continued to put the soup in front of us, “I guess it’s so bad the cook is trying to get rid of it.  Actually, everyone who comes is given a bowl of it when they order a dinner.  You’d be surprised how many people come in for just the soup, especially at lunchtime. It's called jumping bean soup  He put two baskets of warm rolls on the table. 


“I’ll be right back, I need to check on my other tables.  They’re finishing their dinners.  The other young man brought our salads with little containers of the house dressing on the side,  Cam asked, “I guess you don’t have a name.”


“Yep, my name’s Jared.  I’m Jake’s little brother, but don't tell anyone.   I better go keep and Jake out of trouble.”


The soup was really excellent.  When Jacob and Jared were clearing the empty soup bowls, Cam complained, “Wrangler Jake, I have a complaint.  Tell the cook that one of the beans jumped out of the soup went up my nose and is stuck there and I can’t breathe.”


Everyone was laughing so hard that I thought that Jake and Jared were going drop the saucers and bowls.


Our food arrived almost immediately after the soup bowls had been cleared away.  It was piping hot.  When Randy saw how big his piece of meat was, he giggled, “Remind me, that the next time we need to order the Farmer’s Baby cut.  This is more meat than our old family had to eat at a meal most of the time.”


Jake and Jared heard the comment and it caught their attention.  Jake wanted to ask a question, but Cam asked, “What's this white stuff in the little cup?”


Jake answered, “Cam, it’s horseradish.  Some people like to put a dab on their roast beef.  Be very careful, though, because it has quite a bite to it.”


As we were finishing an excellent meal, Jake checked on the table, “Gentlemen, is there anything else I can get you.  I see that you’ve all done a very credible job demolishing your food.  We’ll be right back to clear the table.  The two guys came back, and Jared took the dirty dishes away.  Jake asked, “Are you sure that you wouldn’t like a piece of the Texas cheese cake to take home with you.”


Cam frowned, “It would probably spoil by the time we get it home since we live near Denver.  We have two more days to go. We’re staying in the Holiday Inn.”


Hank stopped the conversation, “Hombre Jake, could you bring the check, so we can get the young boys in bed.  They can be rather irritable if they don’t get enough sleep.”


Cam took exception, “Daddy, that was downright mean.”


Hank handed a card to Jake, and when Jake returned, Hank signed it. I watched as he added a gratuity of $100.00.”


We were putting on our jackets and getting ready to depart when we were met by Jared and Jake.  Jared handed Cam a box, “Guys, I kinda a figured that you might need a bedtime snack, so I snuck eight small pieces of the Texas cheese cake in here.”


Jake looked at Hank, “Mr. Rodgers, if you and your family ever get back this way again.  Please stop in and ask for us.  We’ll probably be here if we aren’t in school, since our parents own this restaurant.  It has been a real pleasure serving you.”


As we were walking back to the motel, Hank nudged me, “I think that will be one experience the boys won‘t soon forget.”


When we were settled in the room, Cam opened the box, “This looks yummy.  Look, Jared even put in some plates and forks.  Let’s go take our showers so we can have our dessert before we brush our teeth and go to bed.”


Chad looked at Hank and me, “I’ll go make sure they get clean.”


Hank and I were sitting on the sofa in the sitting area, Hank sighed, “Steve, what are we going to do about the 20 young men who were in the reprogramming facility?”


“Hank, shouldn’t we let the authorities handle that problem.  We have no idea about the young men.  We certainly can’t have them at the ranch around our young sons.  What are you thinking of doing?”


“Steve, I don’t honestly know, but we need to do something.  There aren’t very many families who would be willing to take young men like that into their homes.  Who knows what psychological damage those bastards have done to the young men.”


“Hank, let’s get home and get the Memorial Service out of the way.  We need to think about taking care of own sons, first.  We now have Tony, Andy and Chad to worry  about.  Chad is concerned about what might be happening to his brothers, especially when his Dad finds out that Chad isn’t in the reprogramming facility.”


Hank leaned back, “I guess you’re right.  We need to take this, one step at a time.”


Chad came out of the bedroom where the five young boys were going to be sleeping, “That’s the last time I’m going to give all five of them a shower at the same time.  I need to get out of these clothes so they dry before tomorrow.  I’ll take my shower now, so you can take yours after you get the boys in bed.”


The five young guys came out of the room, they would be sleeping in, in their briefs.  Cam went to the refrigerator and retrieved the cheese cake and was dishing it onto the plates.  Andy and Ricky brought Hank and me each a piece, and it was indeed delicious.  We were just about finished eating when Chad returned dressed only in his briefs, “Mr. Rodgers and  Mr. Michaels, we need to get me some pajama bottoms.  I can’t go walking around like this.”


Cam looked up, “Chad, you look as good in your briefs as our big brothers do, so it’s okay.  No one is going to laugh at you.  The only time we need to wear pajamas is when there is a woman around other than Grandma Ellie.  She doesn’t want us to wear pajamas, because they’re just something else she has to wash.  Here, eat your dessert while we go brush our teeth.  Dads, you can come tuck us in in a couple of minutes.”


When Hank and I returned from saying goodnight to the five young guys, Chad was finishing his dessert.  He started, “Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Michaels, I’m really concerned about what’s going to happen to my three brothers, when my Dad finds out what happened.  My Dad isn’t a very nice person.  He has relegated our Mother to a role of a servant.  I’m surprised she hasn’t killed him or something.”


Hank took a deep breath, “Chad, how old are your brothers?”


“Mr. Rodgers. Damon just turned fifteen and that’s what scares me.  It was right after I turned fifteen when my Dad started to make me do things with him.  My Dad had the filthiest mouth that you can imagine.  He used to brag about how he had banged all of the women around.  He was proud that he probably had more illegitimate children than anyone one else in the state of Colorado.”


I decided to interrupt, “Chad, how old are your other two brothers?”


“Gaylen is twelve and is in middle school; Terry’s eight.  He’s in third grade.”


Hank looked at the clock, “Guys, we need to go to bed.  Tomorrow is going to be our longest day.  Come on, Stevie, let’s take a shower together to save time.  Chad, we’ll try not to embarrass you.”


Chad giggled, “Go ahead and embarrass me, that way I won’t have to sneak around trying to see what real men do when they love each other.” 


To be continued...




Editor's Notes:  Chad is a very nice young man. I like him a lot. He is also very smart.  I am worried about his three brothers.


I feel really sorry for the twenty boys in that reprogramming place.  I wonder what is going to happen to them. 


I have a strange feeling that they are going to come out of all this smelling like a rose, so to speak.  Of course, that is just a guess.


Somehow, I have a feeling that neither Steve or Hank could let those boys suffer any longer, if they can possibly help it.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 12/18/09