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 36 

Round Two


As we were leaving the courthouse, Ryan was complaining, “Daddy, I don’t understand what’s happening.  Why are people trying to take us away from you and Dad?  I thought Judge Winston said you were our Daddy.”


I picked Ryan up, “Son, I don’t understand everything that’s happening either.  I guess everyone is greedy and wants more money.  Here, take this and take everyone to lunch.  I need to get back to work.”


Dan walked with me to the parking lot.  He asked, “Kirk, what do we do now?”


“Danny, me boy, I guess we’ll be doing whatever your Dad and Bruce tell us to do.”


The afternoon went well at the office, so I should have guessed that the evening wouldn’t go so good.  When I arrived at Belle Monte, Ryan came to greet me, “Daddy, I don’t want to have to stop talking again, but I will if they take me away.  Me and Nate will runaway again.”


Nate ran into the room. “Daddy, you gotta come see the news.  They’re talking about what happened today.  They have a picture of Uncle Vince and Uncle Alex wearing those silly sweat shirts that said Cows and Bulls can be Friends.”


The reporter asked the young man who had taken DNA samples of Alex and Vince, Mr. Nolan, “Mr. Nolan, why did you refer to sweat shirts that the misidentified Nathan and Ryan Richter were wearing as being obscene?  Is there a problem with cows and bulls being friends?”


Mr. Nolan blushed, “I said what I did because of something the two gentlemen had said when I was doing their tests.  I realize now that they only wanted to make sure that I could identify them as the persons who were tested as Nathan and Ryan Richter.”


The reporter asked, “Did you receive any money from the people for testifying as Mr. Mercer testified that he did?”


“No, sir.  They tried to pay me, but that wouldn’t have been ethical.  I resent the fact that I was made to look like a fool.  I’d like to punch the phony Nate and Ryan Richter in the mouth.”


I hadn’t heard Dan come in.  Dan chuckled, “Uh oh guys, you made another enemy.”


Jacob came into the room, “Mrs. Thornton and gentlemen, your presence is required in the dining room.”


Ryan jumped down, “Why couldn’t you just say dinner was ready so we would know what you meant?”


Jacob didn’t skip a beat, “Okay, get your bottoms into the dining room; the food is getting cold.”


Nate giggled, “Why didn’t say you that in the first place and save us all some time?”


It was evident that everyone was trying to keep Ryan's and Nathan’s minds away from what was happening.  Jacob started, “We’ll take you to the little house tonight, after we do the dishes, since tomorrow isn’t a school day.  The Bulls and Cows can be friends people have to work tonight.  That way, the old people can do whatever it is they need to do.”


Dad Thornton pouted, “Young man, I resent being referred to as being old.”


Jacob grinned, “I wasn’t referring to you and Mrs. Thornton.  I didn’t identify anyone here as being old, did I?  Uh oh, I'm getting the evil eye from my Dad.  I’ll be quiet.”


I looked at Vince and Alex, “Gentlemen, I’m curious as to why you own a monogramming or silk-screening operation?”


Vince grinned, “It started as a lark, we had this friend and his wife who needed work.  So we got together with them and worked out a deal.  They manage the business for us.  It started as a mom and pop operation, but has expanded to the point that we now have twelve employees.  Paul acts as the manager and we rarely get involved in the business.  Charles handles the accounts and keeps us advised of how things are going.”


Dad Thornton started to laugh, “It sounds to me as if you two are money hungry.”


Alex looked at the two boys, “We were thinking of taking Nate and Ryan and kidnapping them so we could get some more money, but then we decided that their Dads probably wouldn’t pay us anything and we would be stuck with them.”


Nate threw his napkin at Alex, “Uncle Alex that was mean.  You shouldn’t even talk like that, especially after the way everyone is trying to take us away from our Dads.”


The rest of dinner was subdued.  As we were leaving the table, Alex hugged Nate and Ryan, “Guys, I was trying to be silly and it didn’t work.  Please don’t be upset with me.”


Nate fell against Alex, “Uncle Alex, please don’t try to be funny again.  Me and Ryan are scared by everything that is happening.”


When the guys finished the dishes, Dan and I loaded the three teenagers and four younger guys in the cars to go change clothes at the little house, so we could return to Homebase for a strategy session.


When Dan and I were changing into some casual clothes, there was a knock on the door and Jacob was standing there.  I opened the door even though all I had on was my briefs and sweat shirt.  “Jacob, is there a problem?”


“Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton, I feel that all the things that are happening to Nathan and Ryan are my fault.  If I hadn’t found my birth certificate, none of what’s happening would be happening.”


I sat down, “Jacob, look at it this way.  Maybe your finding your birth certificate was meant to be.  Believe me, Jacob, no one is blaming you for what’s happening, just be positive with Ryan and Nathan until this is resolved.  They’re both frightened by what’s happening.”


As Jacob was leaving, he turned to us, “May I say something, sirs?”


Dan was pulling on some jeans, “Of course.”


Jacob blushed, “You two, sure do have big cocks and balls.”


Dan looked around, “I didn’t realize that there were any rooster or tennis balls in the house.”


Jacob giggled, “You know what I meant.  You have big penises and testicles.”


Dan wasn’t going to give in, “So you been checking other people out have you?”


Jacob started to leave, “Now that you mention it, I’ll have to take up an observation position in restrooms and report my findings.  Let me know when you go to the restroom the next time.”


Dan grinned, “We’ll let you know.  Just make sure you bring a twelve inch ruler and a large pair of calipers.”


 When we arrived at Homebase, people were waiting for us.  Bruce started, “Guys, I’ve had no luck trying to find out who the people in court this morning were.  I don’t think that any of them are going to be claiming to be the boys’ surrogate mother, but it smacks of an attempt to get custody of them and their money, which the boys can’t touch.”


Dan asked, “Do we have any idea when the hearing is going to be?  Kirk and I do have jobs that we need to take care of.”


Dad Thornton sighed, “The notoriety that this case is getting is going to bring out some weirdoes looking to make some easy bucks.  We need to be ready to protect all flanks.  I’m guessing that you’ll be receiving a subpoena at the latest by Sunday.  I’m concerned as to why Judge Smiley insisted that he hear the case.”


I answered, “Dad, Judge Smiley is the person who unknowingly signed the court to have the boys’ DNA samples taken.  I’m guessing he is feeling a little bit of remorse.”


Bruce added, “Judge Smiley is one of the judges that goes by the books.  As you saw this afternoon, he doesn’t cotton to people trying to take advantage of other people.  He or Judge Winston would be the two judges that I would request be involved.”


We couldn’t do much strategy planning, since we didn’t know who we were up against.  When Dan and I arrived at the Little House, everyone was sleeping.  We were awakened the next morning by a knocking on the door.  I told whoever was there to come in. 


Nathan entered with two mugs of coffee, “Dads, you need to get dressed.  Homebase called and they have some things they want to talk to you about.”


I looked at the clock.  It wasn’t even eight o’clock.  ‘What could be so important at this hour on a Saturday morning?’


When we arrived in the downstairs area, the seven young men were eating, Shane looked at us, “You’re to report to Homebase, immediately.  Alex is going to bring the Belle Monte Express to pick us up when we have our mess cleaned up.”


Dan and I both took our cars since we needed to go to our offices to take care of the things that had piled up.  When we arrived at the big house, there was a big Lincoln Continental parked in front of the house.


George greeted us at the door wearing white gloves, “Good morning, sirs.  There are some visitors waiting to talk to you.  They’re seated in the parlor.”


George announced, “Mr. and Mrs. Leach and Mr. Roach, this is Nathan and Ryan’s father, Dr. Kirk Richter.  The gentleman with him is Doctor Dan Thornton.”


As Dan and I were shaking their hands, I spoke to George, “George, would you please invite Mr. Holloway and Mr. and Mrs. Thornton to join us, so they can hear what these people are here to talk about?”


George returned immediately with Bruce, and Dan’s parents. After the introductions, Mrs. Leach looked around, “We would like to talk to our two grandsons, Nathan and Ryan.”


I shrugged my shoulders, “Nathan and Ryan are not here, since they don’t live here.”


Mr. Roach got a little huffy, “We demand to see them, we have a subpoena that says they are to be in court at two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon.  We also have a subpoena requesting a complete listing of the holdings of Nathan and Ryan and the accounts for the farm.  We’d like to take a trip around the farm to determine what the Leachs might do with it.”


Dad Thornton stood, “First, we have no proof that the Leachs are the grandparents of Nathan and Ryan.  You have no legal  right to any records before the trial.  In case you didn’t recognize us, Mr. Holloway and I are the boys’ attorneys, and I guess we’ll be seeing you in court at two on Tuesday afternoon.  It was interesting meeting you, but we would like you to leave, now.”


Mr. Leach growled, “You’ll pay for not cooperating.  You’ll be evicted from this house after Tuesday.”


Bruce smirked, “I wouldn’t count on it.”


As Dan was showing the visitors to the door, Charles was carefully putting the coffee mugs that the visitors had been drinking coffee out of into plastic bags.  Bruce snickered, “First stop, the police lab, to see if these three people are who they say they are.”


Dad Thornton shook his head, “I don’t understand why people have to be so greedy.  Everyone’s priority needs to be to keep Nate and Ryan’s mind off of what is happening, we shouldn’t even mention the trial to anyone else so it doesn’t slip out inadvertently.”


Dan and I left for the office and when I arrived back at Belle Monte at noon, the four young boys were eating a sandwich.  Nathan looked up as I entered, “Daddy, can we have enough money to go to the movie with Evan and Chase?”


“Who’s taking you?” 


Ryan grinned, “Uncle Vince and Uncle Alex are going to take us.”


I looked around, “Where are the teenagers?”


Evan giggled, “They left smelling like they dumped a bottle of that smelly stuff on them.  They were going to a birthday party for a girl, where they were going to dance.”


Nothing else of note happened on Saturday or Sunday, until my parents arrived.  The boys greeted them and told them what was happening.  After the boys had told their version of what was happening, Dad took me aside. “Son, do you know who you’re up against?”


“Dad, Bruce and Dad Thornton are taking care of the case, since legal stuff is not my forte.  We’re trying to keep the boys in the dark as much as possible.  The people who were here yesterday, claiming to be the boys’ grandparents and their lawyer appear to be formidable opponents.  You’ll have to talk to Dad Thornton and Bruce, to see what’s happening.”


We were just getting ready to go to the little house when the door chimes rang.  Nate and Ryan froze.  Charles answered the door and we heard a voice, “Good evening Mr. Fort, we came to see if my two favorite brats are here.”


As soon as Ryan and Nate heard Lanny’s voice, they went running into the entryway.  When Dan and I arrived, Lanny was holding Ryan, “Guys, I brought my roommate so he could meet you.”


We watched as Ryan wriggled down, and went to look at Lance who was sitting in his wheelchair.  “Uncle Lanny said you were ugly.  Daddy, make Uncle Lanny get some glasses.  Mr. Lance, were you attacked by aliens, too?”


Lance was laughing, “Nope, I was attacked by my skis when I was trying to jump off a runway.”


He had the boys’ attention.  Ryan was leaning on the arm of Lance’s wheelchair.  “That seems so silly.  Why would you want to jump off a platform so your skis could attack you?  Isn’t that dangerous?”


Everyone was waiting for Lance’s response, “I was trying to win a medal for how far I could jump down the hill; when I jumped, big wind started to blow and I lost control.  You can see what happened.  Hopefully I’ll be able to start using crutches to get around instead of a wheelchair, next week.”


After Lance and Lanny had departed, the boys said goodnight to everyone and we went to the little house to take care of the animals.  After the boys fell asleep talking, Dan and I decided to watch the news.”


We were sitting on the sofa drinking a beer.  It was so nice to be able to cuddle.  Our attention was drawn away from what we doing by the news broadcaster, ‘Ladies and gentlemen.  Here is the latest on the Nathan and Ryan Holloway story.  We have just been informed that there will be a hearing on Tuesday to have the two boys and their assets turned over to the control of their maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Leach.  Their attorney, Mr. Roach, says they have an open and shut case.”


The intercom sounded and Bruce’s voice came on.  “Guys, were you perchance watching the news?”


Dan went to intercom.  “We were watching the news.  The opposition certainly is going to great lengths to state their case.”


Bruce laughed, “Judges don’t like this type of grandstanding.  I can see it now.  The paper will have a headline story about the boys.  Better arrange to keep them away from the press.  We’ll talk to you tomorrow.”


When Dan and I arrived home on Monday night, my Dad announced, “Bruce, Charles and Don are busy doing whatever.  You’re to take Nate and Ryan to the little house, as soon as we eat, until the hearing tomorrow.”


I looked at my Dad, “Dad, I have a class in the morning that I need to teach, and Dan has a hospital to run.”


Dad interrupted, “Vince and Alex are going to take care of the boys in the morning, and will bring them to the courthouse when the time is right.  They are even going to get them sweat shirts to wear.  Everything is under control.”


Now even my Dad is controlling me.  ‘Gee whiz, I’m 32 years old.  Why doesn’t anyone give me any credit?’


To be continued...


 Editor's Notes:  I was always referred to as, "my boy," by my mother until the day she died, and I was in my fifties.  She was ninety.  I don't think most parents ever completely think of their children as being grown ups.


I have confidence in the two lawyer guys.  More than that, I have confidence in Judge Smiley. Let's hope that I am right.


I am ready for another chapter, soon, PLEASE!


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher 


Posted: 04/09/10