You Ain’t Santa Claus
by: E Walk

(© 2009-2010 by the Author)

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

Chapter 24

The Heat Is On


I was awakened the next morning by Ryan, “Daddy, Jacob is missing.”


I grabbed Ryan and pulled him on the bed, “Why are you so worried about Jacob?”


 “Daddy, Jacob doesn’t know what’s going to happen to him, and he’s scared like Nathan and me were.  Is Jacob going to be staying with us?”


I hugged Ryan, “I’m sure that your Uncle George and Uncle Bruce aren’t going to let anything bad happen to Jacob.  You wake your other Dad while I go check on Jacob.”


When I walked into Nathan’s room, Jacob was lightly snoring but more importantly there was a big tent in his briefs.  I gently touched his arm and he looked up at me, “Where am I?”


“Son, you’re in Nathan’s bed, and you might want to go take care of the wood that is growing in your briefs before Ryan arrives.  He’s terrorizing his other Dad right now.”


Fortunately Jacob was in the bathroom when Ryan arrived, “Where is Jacob?”


Jacob yelled from the bathroom, “I’m in the bathroom taking a leak.”


Ryan giggled, “Does that mean your pee is coming out in little drips.  Do you have to raise a leg to go to the bathroom like Snitch and Snatch do?”


Jacob came into the bedroom, “Ryan, it was more like a water fall than little drips, and no, I didn’t have to raise my leg.  Let’s get dressed and go help the other guys.”


Ryan hesitated, “We don’t gotta get dressed.  All the other three guys are wearing are their briefs.  As long as there aren’t any girls around, it’s okay to eat breakfast in our briefs, right, Daddy?”


I nodded in the affirmative, “As long as it’s here at the little house.”


I went back to our bedroom; Dan was getting dressed and I told him what had happened.  As I was getting dressed, Nathan arrived with two mugs of coffee, “Breakfast is going to be ready in ten minutes.  We need to get some more things to eat.  We’ve used the last of the eggs this morning.  Shane says we can get meat from the freezers at the big house and bring it up here if we need it.”


Dan and Nathan departed and I was thinking, ‘Ever since Nathan came to see what it would be like to talk to Santa Claus, Dan’s and my lives have been going head over heels, nonstop.’


As we were finishing breakfast, the intercom was activated, “Little House, this is Homebase.  How soon until you be able to rendezvous?  We have things we need to take care of.”


Nate went to the intercom, “Homebase, we’ll be there as soon as we can get these teenagers dressed and the animals taken care.”


George’s voice continued, “Little House, don’t dilly dally, Commander Holloway very much dislikes to be kept waiting.”


“We’ll do our best, sir.  Over and out.”


Dan looked at the five young guys, “You guys get dressed and take care of the animals, while Kirk and I take care of the dishes.”


While the guys were exercising the dogs and kittens, Dan and I were taking inventory of what groceries we needed.  As we were getting ready to leave, Nate went to the intercom, “Homebase, this is Little House, we on our final descent.”


Bruce’s voice came back, “It’s about time.”


When we arrived at the big house, Bruce and George were sitting in the living room. Bruce looked at the five boys, “It’s about time you got here, my wheelchair is growing roots.”


Nate went to Bruce, “Uncle Bruce, what do we gotta do that’s so important?”


Bruce sighed, “We thought maybe you five guys would want to do something fun, like go to a movie.  What would you like to do?”


Ryan answered, “We need to get some food for the Little House.  We’re just about out of everything.  We need to go to a pet supply store and get some treats and leashes for our animals.  They want to go outside, but we have to keep them under control or they’ll run away and get hurt.  We don’t need to do anything special.  Me and Nate don’t have or need any money.  People keep buying us things.”


Jacob responded, “If I’m going to spend tonight here, then I need to go to the Bates’ house and get some good clothes so someone can take me to church in the morning.  I’m the speaker for the Youth Service.  Besides, like Ryan and Nate, I don’t have any money.”


George had a funny look on his face, “Jacob, are you saying that you already spent all of the money we sent you at Christmas?”


Jacob had tears in his eyes, “Dad, as you know, our mail is delivered to a post office box.  As soon as I would receive a check from you, Mr. Bates would have me endorse it telling me that I was too young to handle that amount of money.  He said that he was putting it into a college fund for me.”


I could almost see smoke coming from the ears of Bruce and George.  Bruce remained cool though, “Guys, here’s what we’re going to do.  Doctor Thornton is going to take Shawn, Shane, Ryan and Nathan and get the pet supplies and the groceries that you need for the Little House.”


The rest of us are going to go with Jacob to get some of the things that he will need for church and probably school on Monday.  We’ll meet back here at Homebase at eleven thirty and decide where we want to go to eat, since Tessa and Ian have some things they want to do today.”


Thus the plans were made for the morning.


Bruce waited until Dan and his crew had departed, before he started his tirade, “I thought that the Bates’ treatment of you was strange.  Jacob, did you ever see any of the money that your Dad sent you?”


Jacob shook his head, no, “Not really, I always had to endorse the check and he would take care of it, or so he said.  I would get the same amount of money as the other children for the things that we needed at school.  Heaven forbid if we were to ask for any extra money.  I would have to endure an hour’s lecture on how irresponsible and ungrateful I was.”


Bruce and George were visibly shaken by what Jacob had said, “Kirk, why don’t you drive the van to the Bates’ residence so we can get to the bottom of this matter?”


When we arrived at the house, Jacob opened the door and turned off the alarm system which I hadn’t seen him set the day before.  Bruce asked, “Jacob, is the safe still open?”


Jacob shrugged his shoulders, “Mr. Holloway, I was so upset yesterday that I can’t remember if I closed it or not.  I have the combination written down if I did close it.”


The safe was still open and the documents were on the desk.  Bruce was very thorough, “Jacob, do you happen to have any rubber gloves that we could wear so we don’t leave any finger marks when we look at the documents that were in the safe?”


Jacob left and returned with a box of latex gloves, “Will these do?  I wore them when I had to clean the bathrooms.”


Bruce grinned, “Jacob, these will work great.  Why don’t you take your Dad and pack as many of the things that you want to keep because I don’t think you will ever be coming back to live here again.”


After Jacob and George had departed, Bruce looked at me, “Kirk, there’s a briefcase in the back of the van.  Please get it for me.”


I went to do as I was asked.  I handed the briefcase to Bruce.  He looked up at me, “Kirk, this is even worse than I imagined.  We need to take care of Jacob, because he is George’s son.  We need to try to protect Jacob’s mother and Jacob’s step brothers and sisters.  Mr. Bates is a total control freak.  I have the feeling that there is something that we‘re missing here.”


Jacob and George returned, and Jacob announced, “Mr. Holloway, we got everything I would need, even my school things.  What would you like me to do?”


Bruce looked at Jacob, “Son, do you suppose you might call me something other than Mr. Holloway?  After all, I am married to your Daddy.  How about you putting the paperwork back in the safe so we can bust out of this joint and rescue Doctor Thornton?”


When we arrived at Belle Monte,  Dan was talking to Vince and Alex.  The young guys were nowhere insight.  When we exited the van, Jacob asked, “Doctor Dan, where are the other guys?”


“They’re at Little House training the aliens they found, you’re to call them when you return to Homebase.”


I took Jacob to show him how to operate the intercom, “Little House, this is Homebase, we’re ready to roll as soon as you get here.”


Shawn’s voice came on the system, “Homebase, we’ll be there as soon as Ryan and Nathan finish taking care of the aliens.”


It was approximately ten minutes later when we saw two golf carts coming down the hill from the little house.  The only problem was that Ryan and Nathan were sitting on Shawn and Shane’s laps looking as if they were driving the carts.


Both Dan and I breathed a collective sigh of relief when we saw that the two young guys were strapped onto Shawn and Shane’s laps.  I was going to reprimand them but Shane beat me to it. Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton, the boys weren’t really driving and it was probably safer for them to be strapped onto our laps than to be sitting in the adjacent seats.”


Jacob came onto the porch, “Did you guys get lots of food?”


Ryan grinned, “Yep, we bought so much that we almost didn’t have room to put everything away.  We got the kittens and puppies collars and leashes.  When we left, they were trying to get the collars off.”


Nathan giggled, “We bought them some treats and we learned real quick that we need to only give them a couple each time or they’ll eat them all.  Hodge and Podge were trying to eat Snitch and Snatch’s chew sticks.  They can’t decide if they're cats or dogs.”


Shane asked, “Jake, did you get your clothes and things?”


Jacob nodded yes, “Yep, now I just need to decide where to put them?”


Ryan asked, “Why can’t you take them to the Little House?  You can always put them in my room.”


Jacob shook his head no, “I don’t think my Dad would like that idea.  I’m sure he wants me to sleep in the extra bedroom in their apartment. 


Shane chuckled, “You could always use the extra bedroom like a locker and use it to change clothes in.  There’s nothing that says you have to sleep there.  Let’s get your things into the room, so we can go get something to eat.”


Dan, the boys and I hadn’t been into one of the apartments before.  If they were all as nice Bruce and George’s, no wonder everyone enjoyed living and working here at Belle Monte.  When we went into the bedroom that was to be Jacob’s, Shane grinned, “Jacob, this room is twice the size of Shawn’s and mine, since ours are directly over this room.”


Shawn giggled, “And you won’t have to share a bathroom with a slob who leaves messes on the shower walls.”


I decided to stop anymore talk like that, since Nathan and Ryan were present, “Guys, let’s get the remainder of Jacob’s things, so we can get something to eat.”


As we were going to the van, Shawn apologize, “Doctor Richter, I apologize for saying what I did in front of Ryan and Nate.”


“Shawn, it’s okay.  I decided to stop the conversation so they wouldn’t start asking questions.  Besides, you probably make as many messes as Shane does.”


Shawn snickered, “Probably more, sir.”


The guys had just taken the last of the things to Jacob’s room when George exited the office, “Where are the guys?”


I pointed, “They just took the last load of things to your son’s bedroom.”


George went to the door of the apartment, “Guys, Commander Holloway is getting hungry; he gets cranky when he’s hungry.  We need to take him and feed him.  He wants to know where you want to eat?”


The guys were talking as they were coming out of the apartment and Shawn answered, “Old Chicago has a nice lunch buffet and it’s close by at the shopping center, or Valentino’s always has a nice buffet but it’s further away.”


Ryan spoke up, “I would rather go some place not too far away.”


George grinned, “The boss has spoken.  Old Chicago it is.  Go to the bathroom, and we’ll depart in ten minutes.”


We took Bruce’s van and my van and went to the shopping center, Fortunately, we arrived at a good time, because the early crowd was leaving.  George was able to find a handicapped parking space right in front of the entrance.  I was able to find a space not too far away.  As we approached the entrance, we saw Ryan and Nathan talking to Bruce.  I should have guessed what they might have been discussing.  When they saw us, Nathan started on us, “Dads, this place costs too much.  We need to stop spending so much money.”


Shane put his hands on Nathan’s shoulder, “Nate, let’s eat here today.  We big boys are really hungry and it says it’s all you can eat.  Besides, you and Ryan will get a special rate since you’re under ten years old.”


Nate frowned, “Okay, this time.”


After we were shown to a table, I watched as the teenagers helped Ryan and Nathan through the line and wondered if they were going to be able to eat all the food they took. Shawn and Shane chided, “Look, try it and if you don’t like it, we’ll eat it for you.”


Ryan and Nate finished everything on their plates, but chose not to go back for seconds as the three older guys did.  As we were finishing, Bruce looked at the guys,  “We need to take Jacob to get some things for his room.  Who would like to go with us?”


Nathan answered, “Uncle Bruce, me and Ryan would rather go home and take care of our animals, if that would be okay?”


Bruce nodded, “Nate, I fully understand.  Your Daddy hated to shop too.”


Shawn announced, “I’ll go with Nate and Ryan.  The two old men can go with you.”


Shane took exception, “Look, punk, you’re the person who spends money like it’s pouring out of a spigot.”


George laughed, “Guys, let’s bust out of this place.”


When we pulled up at Belle Monte, Vince and Alex appeared, “Hi, guys, do you want to go for a ride on your horses?”


Ryan and Nate took off in a golf cart with Vince and Luke.  Shawn opted not to go, saying, “I need to see what we can have for dinner.  The parents aren’t going to be here until later this evening, they went to Newburgh to visit some old friends.”


I was surprised by his comment, “Why didn’t you and Shane go with them?”


Shawn grinned, “First, we didn’t want to go.  When I said old friends, I meant chronically old.  They live in a retirement home.  Dad and Mother try to go to visit them about once every other month and take them to dinner.  Second, Uncle Bruce thought it would be good if we were to help get Jacob settled.”


Dan and I both grabbed one of Shawn’s arms and Dan growled, “Okay, Chef Shawn, let’s go see what kind of grub we can find around this shack.”


Shawn decided the easiest thing would be to fix a pot roast which was defrosted in the refrigerator.  Shawn was very methodical and everything was ready to be fixed for dinner at the appropriate time.  I asked, “Shawn, is Shane as well versed in the art of cooking as you are?”


Shawn had an evil glint, “Shane is much more organized than me.  He would be writing down what time each thing had to be done.  I just do what strikes me as being the thing to do.”


Dan shook his head, “Shawn, you two guys continue to amaze.  You’re both so laid back.”


“Doctor Dan, your sons' estate provides Shane and me a very adequate allowance each month for helping around the house and the farm.  We aren’t hurting for anything and our parents have instilled in us that we need to act like your normal hick farm boys, so people won’t try to take advantage of us.”


I hugged Shawn, “I’m glad that you’re going to be around to help our boys grow up.  I’d be proud if they could be like you and your brother.”


Our conversation was interrupted by the sound of the phone.  Shawn went to answer, “Belle Monte, this is Shawn speaking. … Hi, Uncle Charles, what’s up? … Okay, I’ll tell everyone.  Will you be here in time for dinner? … Tell Evan and Chase we’ll make sure that we have enough puppy chow to feed them.  See you tomorrow.”


Dan had walked out on the deck off the kitchen which looked up at the little house.  He opened the door, “You need to come see this.”


Shawn and I went to see what he was looking at.  We saw two horses coming down the mountain road from the little house.  Shawn went to the kitchen and returned with a pair of binoculars and handed them to me.  I looked, and Nathan was riding on his horse in front of Vince, and Alex had Ryan with him.  I handed the binoculars to Dan.  “I guess our sons are destined to be farm boys.”


To be continued...


Editor's Notes: As I write these notes, it is Tuesday 29 December, 2009.  I wrote that the way everyone in the world writes it, other than those of us who live in the United States.


I hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous 2010 and every year from now on.  I hope it won't be too long before we see the next chapter of this wonderful story.  Things are moving pretty fast, and I hope everything works out all right.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 01/15/10