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 42  

We Need Help


We made our way to the cabin with me in the lead, the five boys following me, and Hank following them, to make sure nothing happened to the boys.  When we arrived at the cabin, I almost couldn’t get the door opened because it had been so long since anyone had opened it.  I finally got the door open, and the five guys went inside.


Cam came to me as I was looking around, “Dad, did you really live here?  Was it always this dirty?  It’s hard to breath in here.”


“Guys, I promise you that when I was growing up, it was always so clean that you could almost eat off the floor.  I’m ashamed that I have allowed it to become like this.  I had actually forgotten all about it until I was talking to the fifth graders at your school.”


Hank stopped the conversation, “We’ll just have to clean out the growth, and make the cabin so we can stay here again.  Let’s go see if we can find some animals that will talk to us, since Dad Steve says he can talk to the animals.”


I made sure the cabin was secure and found the remnants of one of the old trails that I cruised as a boy.  I turned to the boys and Hank. “If I hold up my hand, I want you to stop moving or making a sound.  See if you hear any strange sounds.”


The first time I put up my hand, there were only a few sounds.  I moved on and the second time I stopped, we could hear movement around us and the birds and other animals were making sounds.  When we started again, Randy asked, “Daddy, are the animals checking us out?”


“Randy, it’s been a long time since any people have been here, so they are probably concerned.  Hunters aren’t permitted to hunt here.  My Dad had this land posted many years ago.”


When I stopped the next time, there was a fallen tree, “Guys, sit down on the tree, but don’t sit too close together.  I’m going to give each of you some fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts.  “Put these things on the ground in front of you, and see what happens.  You need to sit very still until the animals know us, and know that we aren’t going to harm them.”


I even gave some treats to Hank to put in front of him, even though he thought I was blowing smoke.  The boys had been sitting quietly for almost five minutes and I realized that was about the extent of time that they were going to be able to sit still.  Fortunately, a big white tail buck appeared and stopped in front of me.  He sniffed the air and started to move toward me.  I looked at him and quietly said, “Is that you, Lonzo?”


He shook his head up and down, and put his head on my shoulder.  I asked, “Don’t you want anything to eat?’”


He shook his head no and took off.  I was wondering why the magnificent beast left so quickly.  He returned with two little fawns. The fawns were very cautious at first, but they quickly realized the guys had food in front of them and they started to eat.  I looked at Lonzo, “Tell your sons to go tell the other animals that the boys aren’t going to hurt them, and that they have food for them.”


Lonzo went and nuzzled the two fawns and the three of them dashed away.  The boys and Hank were looking at me, wondering what was happening when Lonzo and the two fawns returned with some smaller animals.  Lonzo finally ate an apple and was content to let other animals eat the rest of the food.  When the food had disappeared, I petted Lonzo.  “We’ll be back soon and bring some more treats.”


As the boys, Hank and I were walking to the car, there was a stream of animals following us.  Hank looked at me, “You really can talk to the animals, can’t you.  It will be interesting to see if they are here the next time we come.”


As we were driving back to the ranch, Cam remarked, “Dad, we really need to get that place cleaned up.  It would be fun to come here even if we have to sleep in the attic.  We’ll probably all pee our pants, though, because there’s no bathroom.”


I wanted to turn around, but I was driving, “Cameron, I lived there for fourteen years, and no one ever laughed when I peed wherever I was.”


When we got to the ranch, Ellie had dinner ready for us and the guys were regaling Grandpa Tibideaux and her with stories about their adventures.


When Hank and I were in bed, he looked at me, “Steve, it’s incredible that a full grown white tail deer would come up to you and you could communicate with him.”


“Lonzo and I were friends for several years, before I got too busy to go to the cabin.  I’m surprised that he is still alive and also that he remembered me.  We used to spend a lot of time together.  If his fawns are anything like him, the boys will have lots of friends.”


Hank changed gears on me, “Steve, I would like to see the deed to the land that you own.  After we drop the boys off, in the morning, why don’t you go get the deed from your safe deposit box, so I can take a look at it.”


On Monday morning, the boys were raring to go.  I took the three young guys and Hank had the two older guys.  When we arrived at the Academy, there was a television truck sitting in the parking area.  I got out to walk the three boys to the front door and we were accosted by a reporter.  “Mr. Michaels, how is it that you claim to reside in the district that you are going to represent when you haven’t been at the residence this past weekend.”


I sent the boys on to the door of the school.  I turned to the young man.  “For your information, I have several properties.  Yesterday, we went to my childhood home.  I can’t live in three places at one time.  I’m guessing that you are being fed information by some of the school board members and Superintendent White and his incompetent staff.  It is the school board members and the Administration Staff that you should be worried about, and not me.   I’m only a temporary appointment, but I plan to make a difference in the short time I’m going to be on the school board.”


I walked away from the young man and started back to the car.  Hank came up to me, “After you get the deed to your property, go back to the ranch.  Don’t go near the house on the hill.  There are media people camped outside.  I just talked to Wayne and he said they have been bombarded by people wanting to talk to you.”


I went and got the deed out of the safe deposit box, and went to back to the ranch, making sure I wasn’t being followed.  ‘Why am I letting these people make me paranoid?’


Hank arrived just before lunch.  As we were eating, he handed me a packet.  This is just for starters.  The State Board of Education has been provided a copy as well.  This will prove that some of the state board staff is covertly involved in what has been happening in the public schools in the district.  Additional information will be ready this afternoon, and there will be even more, tomorrow. 


There are a lot of people going to be eating crow before this is done.”


When Hank departed, he took the van so he could pick up the boys.  He took the deed to the parcel of land, so he could check it out.  As I watched him pull away, I was thinking, ‘It will be interesting to see what he finds out about the land.  I guess I had better read the information he gave me, so I won’t have so much to read at one time.’


When I finished reading the information, I thought, ‘Why isn’t Hank releasing this information to the media?’


It was almost two thirty when the phone rang, “This is Steve Michaels.”


“Steve, meet us at the house on the hill and we’ll spend the night there, so that people can’t say you never spend time in the school district.  Bring a change of clothes for the boys.  When you arrive, make sure the media people see you, but do not release any of the information that you have so far.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”


Hank continued, “Steve, I have some great news that I hope will make you happy.   I’ll see you about three thirty.   Let me talk to Ellie.”


I arrived at the house on the hill and had two suitcases full of clothes in the trunk.  I pulled into the garage and deliberately walked to the front of the house to see if there was any mail.  There was, and as I was walking back to the garage, a television person approached me, “Are you Steve Michaels.”


“I was when I got up this morning.  Why do you ask?”


“We’ve been trying to get in touch with you all weekend.  Is it true that you don’t really live here?  You haven’t been here all weekend?”


“As a matter of fact, we spent the weekend at a retreat I own.”


 The man kept pushing, “Where is the other residence located?”


“Sir, I fail to see what the location of the weekend retreat has to do with anything.  I think maybe you and your cohorts should be focusing on the issue of the problems in the school district, rather than to refute the fact that have the right to be on the school board.  Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go start dinner for my family and friends.”


I walked away from the man.  I thought he was going to try and follow me into the house.


The first to arrive were Chad and Damon.  When Chad saw me he asked, “To what do we owe the pleasure of your company?”


I laughed, “We’re putting up a smoke screen to throw the enemy off.  We’re going to be spending the night here.”


Chad giggled, “I guess I’d better go get my stash of porn from the master bedroom.  You and Mr. Rodgers really do need to update your porn library.”


I frowned at Chad, “I guess we’ll need to check the sheets for stains before we go to bed.”


The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Hank and the six boys from the academy.  He had made arrangements with Wayne to pick up Terry.  Mrs. Granger arrived with Len.


Hank suggested, “Why don’t you guys go for a swim before dinner.”


Cam asked, “With or without?”


Hank grinned, “That’s up to you guys.”


There was a unanimous shout, “Without.”


I pointed to Chad, “Mr. Martin, it appears that you’re the designated lifeguard, while Cowboy and I go see what we can fix for dinner.”


Damon grinned, “I’ll help you.  Chris usually leaves us instructions as to what we should fix.  He’s extremely organized.”


Damon was correct.  Chris had left a note saying what was to be done, and when.  It was as if he knew that there were going to be extra people for dinner.


After dinner, Hank and I went to our bedroom and he handed me the deed to the property, “Mr. Michaels, you own an extremely valuable piece of property where you go to talk to the animals.  Do you realize that it is over two thousand acres?  I’m surprised that you have the taxes paid on the property, seeing as how you had forgotten about it.”


I started to laugh, “I thought I was paying an awful lot in property taxes, but I was always too busy to check into it.  I guess I need to be more attentive about what checks I write and what they’re for.”


“Looks and sounds to me as if you need a money manager.”


“But Cowboy, I thought that was what I married you for.”


“Stevie, lest you forget, I’m just a Cowboy, who creates computer games and now, I’m a part-time Dad.”


Cam came into the room, “Dads, there’s a gentleman downstairs who is wanting to talk to you.”


I looked at Cam, “It isn’t one of those television people, is it?”


Cam shook his head no.  “No, he said his name was Mr. Smart and that he had some information that you requested.”


Hank stood, “Good, let’s go talk to Max and see what he has for us.”


After the introductions, Hank took Max and me into the small office on the first floor, “Thanks for responding so quickly, Max.  If these papers are as juicy as the earlier ones, the school board meeting tomorrow night could turn into quite a circus.”


Mr. Smart laughed, “Hank, I think I can assure that it will turn into the biggest circus of all time.  We’ll work all through the day, tomorrow, to see what else we can come up with.  What time is the board meeting?”


I answered, “It is scheduled to start at seven.”


“Good, I’ll deliver any new information that we collect here by five o’clock tomorrow afternoon, so you can digest it.”


Cowboy and I were reading the information that Mr. Smart had brought and Hank commented, “This is even more convoluted than I imagined.  It will be interesting to see what Max comes up with, tomorrow.  I think we’re all going to be busy tomorrow.”


That was the understatement of the century.  After breakfast, I loaded the six guys into the van and took them to school.  I didn’t walk them in, because I wasn’t in the mood to meet any media people, in case they were lurking about.”


When I arrived back at the house on the hill, Hank was making copies of the two sets of information that had been collected.  He was talking on the phone, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying.  When he hung up, he turned to me.  I made a second copy so I can take them to the office and make copies of the information for tonight’s meeting.  Why don’t you pick the boys up and take them to the ranch after school, and I’ll meet you here at five and we can go over any late breaking news that Max might have for us, then we can catch some dinner, before you go to your meeting.”


“You mean you’re going to let me face this mess all by myself?”


“Not on your life, Stevie.  I’ll be there, as will many others.”


After Hank departed for wherever, I sat down and started to take notes on the information in the two packets.  I stopped for a sandwich at lunch and worked while I ate.  I finally finished at three o’clock and went to pick up the guys at the Academy.  All six boys came out, so I took Terry home with the guys, since I had to go back to meet Hank at the house on the hill, anyway.


When we arrived at the ranch, I went to change into a suit.  As Terry and I were leaving, Ricky asked, “Daddy, are you going to be coming home, tonight?”


“Ricky, I’m sure Dad Hank and I’ll be home tonight.  I just don’t know what time.  You guys will be, or should be, asleep when we arrive.”


Terry and I arrived at the house on the hill a little after four forty five.  Mr. Smart and Hank were talking when we arrived.  Hank handed me another envelope, “Steve, you might want to read these before the meeting.  They are, indeed, very interesting.”


I sat down and started to read.  When I finished, I looked at Hank, “You must hate me.  These people are going to crucify me.”


“Steve, it’s the adversary who is going to be stoned, and perhaps some of them will be enjoying the amenities at the local detention facility.  Let’s go get something to eat before you have to face the wolves.”


To be continued...


Editor's Notes: I wonder If Max will be making an appearance at the meeting.  I do hope that the meeting doesn't turn into complete chaos, and that somehow Steve and Hank can keep some sort of control of things.  If I were them, I would be very careful using public phone booths.


I can hardly wait for the next chapter.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 07/16/10