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 43 

Who’s He?


We stopped in Dan’s office and his receptionist looked at me, “Dr. Richter, Doctor Thornton and the others are awaiting your arrival in the conference room.”


I led Doctor Richfield to the conference room,  Bruce, Dan and two other people dressed in white jackets, whom I didn’t know, were sitting, talking.  When we entered, I started, “Hi, everyone.  Sorry we’re a little late.  I’d like to introduce Doctor Nelson Richfield from the Mayo Clinic.”


Bruce took control, “Holy Cow, Nels, you don’t look any older than when we were in high school.  You look great, man.”


Nelson laughed, “Bruce, tell my body that after I’ve been on my feet for eight hours a day.”


After the introductions, the team of physicians and radiologists went over the tests and were talking about things totally out of my league.  I stood, “I’m going to check on Quinn.  Is anyone with him?’”


Bruce nodded, “George and Ryan are with him. Tell George that I’m ready to go, since I don’t understand the gibberish that these medical people are talking.  You can take Ryan home and Dan can bring Nels to Belle Monte.  Nate and Alex are going to be coming to see Quinn after dinner, since Vince spent most of the day here.”


When I walked into Quinn’s room, Ryan was sitting on Quinn’s bed.  He was saying, “When you get all better, you’ll probably be living at the big house with Uncle Vince and Uncle Alex.  They don’t have any little boys to keep them company.  We’ll have to get you a horse so you can go riding with us.  We’ll probably get you a pony to start with, since you’re kinda small yet.”


When Ryan saw me he asked, “Hi Daddy, did you have a good day?”


“Thank you for asking, son.  I had a very good day.  How about you?”


“We had a good day.”


I looked at George, “George, Bruce said that he was ready to leave.”


George shook his head, “That man has been on the phone all day long trying to take care of things.  I need to take him home and tie him to the bed.”


Ryan giggled, “Why would you tie him to the bed?”


“So he wouldn’t be able to use the phone.  I’ll see you back at the house after you get Quinn taken care of.”


After Quinn’s food arrived, Ryan cajoled him into eating, even though it didn’t really look very appetizing to me.  I thought, ‘I need to talk to Dan about the food that they serve.’


When Ryan and I arrived at the house, we were met by Nate, “Where have you been?  We have company and me and Uncle Alex are in a hurry to go see Quinn and take care of him.”


As we were finishing dinner, Nate asked, “Doctor Richfield, are you going to be spending the night here at Homebase or the Little House with our Dads and us?”


Nelson looked at Nate,  “What is the Little House, and why would you want to sleep there rather than at this beautiful house?”


“Because that's where our animals are, and it’s small so we can be like a family.  Besides, me and Ryan are afraid that we’ll break something that costs a lot of money if we stay here.”


“Nathan, I’ll let you know what I decide when you and Alex get back from taking care of Quinn.  I need to talk to your Dads and Uncle Bruce about some things.  I really would like to get to meet Quinn.”


Nate looked at Bruce, “May I be excused, so that I can take my dishes to the kitchen before we leave.  Doctor Richfield, if you’re going with us, then you need to do the same thing.  Quinn will think we’re not coming if we don’t go now.”


Dan stepped in, “Nate, you and Alex go ahead.  We’ll bring Doctor Richfield when we come, and Vince takes Ryan to take care of the animals.”


Vince pretended to pout, “Come on, Ryan.  They keep thinking that you and I are the slaves around here.  We’ll show  them.  We’ll go rustle some cows while everyone is away.”


The three teenagers, Evan and Chase helped the guys clear the table and Dr. Richfield looked around, “I can’t believe that no one complained about having to do some work.  That wouldn’t happen at our house.  Maybe I should take these young people home with me to teach our sons some lessons.  The only time they touch water is when they’re taking their showers or baths or going swimming.”


After Alex and Nate had departed, Nelson commented, “I’d really like to go observe Quinn before we do the endoscopy and the ultrasound in the morning.”


Bruce reacted, “Isn’t Quinn a little young to be having an endoscopy and why would you be doing an ultrasound.  He certainly isn’t pregnant is he?

Nelson frowned, “Quinn may be a little young to have an endoscopy but it may be the only way we can determine why he is having difficulty speaking.  It would be one thing if he hadn’t spoke but he has said enough that people can understand him.  Ultrasounds are used for many more reasons than during a woman’s pregnancy.  They are useful in finding problems in the interior of the human body.”


When Dan, Nelson and I arrived at Quinn’s room, Nathan was lying beside Quinn reading to him.  Not only was he reading, he was reading a story about Viola Swamp.  Nelson went and crawled on the other side of Quinn. 


Quinn looked at Nate and tried to say, “Hoo he?”


“Don’t mind him.  He’s a doctor and he’s going to be staying with Ryan and me while he fixes you so you can talk.  He seems like a nice guy.  His name is Doctor Richfield.  I guess he’s lonely.”


Nate continued reading and Nelson interrupted, “Excuse me, sir.  But you missed an entire sentence.  You need to read the whole page again so it makes sense.  I guess I need to talk to your Dads about getting you glasses.”


“Don’t mind him, Quinn.  When people get as old as him, they start seeing things.”


Alex started to laugh so hard that he had to go out of the room.  After the story was finished, Nelson looked at Quinn, “Son, I want you to get a lot of rest tonight.  We’re going to be doing two more tests on you tomorrow.  They won’t hurt, but one of them will make you pretty sleepy.”


Quinn looked at Alex, “Da.. You be here?”


Alex hugged Quinn, “Either Vince or I will be here.”


As we were driving to Belle Monte, Nelson asked, “What is it that is so special about Vince and Alex and why would Quinn call Alex, Dad?”


Dan answered, “Alex and Ryan are the two who found Quinn lying in the ditch in front of our house.  Alex held Quinn the entire time we were going from Belle Monte to the hospital.  Besides they are Ryan and Nate’s designated babysitters and have been with them through all of the ordeals that the two boys have had to endure.  In addition to everything else, they’re the foremen who keep Belle Monte running smoothly.”


When we arrived at Belle Monte, Ryan and Nate cornered Nelson. Nate asked, “Doctor Richfield, have you decided if you’re going to sleep here or at the little house with us?”


“If you don’t mind, I think I’ll spend the night with you at the Little House to make sure you don’t get into trouble.  That way your Dad Dan and I can go to the hospital, so I can check on the tests that they’re going to be doing on Quinn in the morning.”


When we were going to the Little House, Nelson was wide-eyed to say the least, especially when we went through the security gate.  When we got to the house, Nate pointed out, “Doctor Richfield, everything that you can see belongs to Belle Monte.  People think me and Ryan own it, but we don’t.  It belongs to the cooperation.”


We unloaded Nelson’s luggage and when we entered the house, we were surrounded by the animals.  Ryan made the introductions and the boys went to make sure the animals had everything that they needed.


Nelson was looking around and asked, “Why would you choose to live here rather than at the Big House?”


Dan answered, “This is where the boys wanted to live, because it seemed much more like a home to them.  The felt that the big house was too much like a hotel.  They just wanted to live here like a family.”


When the boys returned from taking care of the animals, Ryan put his hands on Nelson’s thighs, “You can sleep in Nate’s room.  Are you going to take a shower tonight or in the morning, like our Dads?”


Nelson didn’t know what he was in for, “I feel like I need one tonight.  It has been a long day.”


“Good, then you can shampoo Nate’s and my heads to make sure we don’t have fleas.  Dads, we need to get some more that flea medicine for the animals.”


After Nelson had given the boys their shower, he reappeared in his briefs, “I was informed that this was all that you people wear at nights.  I can’t get over the fact that it didn’t seem to phase them that I was an adult.”


I grinned, “Nels, if you we were to make a fuss over the boys seeing us naked, then they would think something bad was happening.  The only time we do anything they shouldn’t see, we do it behind closed doors, and they have been told to knock.  We usually leave the door open so they don’t have to let their imaginations run free.  Would you like a beer or a night cap?”


Nelson nodded, “If you have any brandy, a short glass would be great.  This is the first night that I’ve been away from Lars and the boys in three years.”


I fixed Nels a glass of brandy, and Dan and I split a beer.  We were sitting in the living room, and I decided to ask some questions.  “Nels, if you haven’t been away from Lars and the boys in three years, why would you decide to come to our fair city?”


“Do you want an honest answer, or a bunch of baloney?”


Dan answered, “If we’re going to trust you around Quinn and our boys, I think it would be advisable to tell us the truth.”


“Over the past month or two, I’ve had the feeling that Lars and especially his four sons have been using me.  Not only are they living in my house, but they have decided that since it’s my house that it was my responsibility to take care of it.  The boys would never have dreamed to do the dishes like the young people did here tonight.”


“I love the four boys and Lars, but they don’t seem to have any respect for me, or what I do.”


I asked, “What does Lars do and why doesn’t he take an active role in the parenting of his four boys?” 


“Lars works for the biggest television station in the Minneapolis area.  He is the head news anchor.  We live far enough away from Minneapolis that he has to travel long distances each time he goes to work or comes home, so we rarely see him once he leaves in the morning until late at night.”


Dan shook his head, “Nels, it appears to me that you have let yourself get trapped into a very undesirable situation.  It seems to me that Lars is using you.  Are you sure that he’s being faithful to you?”


“Now that you mention it, I’m not at all sure.  He refuses to pay any of the house payment, and we split the utilities and food bills in half.”


I interjected, “Excuse me, that doesn’t sound very fair.  Especially since there are five of them and only one of you.  I don’t understand how you could let yourself get into such an arrangement.  It’s apparent that this Lars person has been using you big time.”


I stood, “We really need to get to bed, especially since you two need to be at the hospital to take care of Quinn in the morning.  We can’t do much about Lars and his sons right now, since they’re over five hundred miles away.”


When Dan and I were in bed, Dan commented, “Kirkie, you were a little strong tonight.”


“Perhaps so, but Nels opened the door when he started about this being the first time in three years that he was away from Lars and the four boys.  I was amazed when Bruce informed me that a doctor from Mayo was coming here.  I don’t care if the doctor grew up in this area.  I was fully expecting that we would be paying for Quinn to go somewhere.”


I was just about asleep when there was a knock on the door even though it was open.  Both Dan and I sat up.  I called out, “Come in.”


Nelson entered, “I just had a call from Erik, who is Lars’ fourteen year old son.  The boys are beside themselves because Lars isn’t home.  They have eaten all the things they know how to fix and Erik wanted to know what they should do.”


Dan asked, “What did you tell him?”


“I told him to get some food out of the freezer and do what the directions told him to do,”


I looked at Nelson, “If Erik is fourteen, how old are the other three boys.”


Stefan and Karl are eight and Dieter is almost five.  Dieter reminds me of Quinn.  Guys, I tried to call Lars’ cell phone and there was no answer.  I’m concerned.”


I shook my head, “Nelson, there aren’t any flights to Minneapolis until about nine tomorrow at the earliest.  Surely Erik can take care of the boys until you or Lars gets home.  Go back to bed.”


The next morning the boys were already up when Dan and I went downstairs.  Nate looked at us, “Dads, did you make sure Doctor Richfield was up.  I don’t think he got much sleep.  He was talking on the phone an awfully long time last night.  He sounded really upset.”


Nelson took that opportunity to appear, “I’m sorry I’m late.  What can I do to help?”


Ryan shook his head, “We have everything ready.  Sit down and drink your juice while we bring the rest of you food.”


Nate was dishing up plates of food and Ryan was serving them and Nelson looked at them.  “Did you really make this breakfast by yourselves?”


Nate shrugged his shoulders, “We had a lot of help from Snitch, Snatch, Hodge and Podge telling us what to do.”


Nelson looked around, “Where are the animals?”


Ryan grinned, “They know better than to come into the kitchen when we’re eating or they know they’ll be locked out and they hate that.  They just sit there and try to make us feel sorry for them.”


We were just about finished when Nelson’s cell phone rang, “This is Doctor Richfield.  … Erik, you guys are going to have to walk to school.  I’m not there.  In fact you should probably stay home today and take care of Dieter since you don’t have a way to take him to his babysitter. … Erik, I can’t send you money.  I’m five hundred miles away.  Where is your Dad? … He never came home last night? … The television station doesn’t know where he is either? … Erik, I’ll be home as soon as I can.  You just need to make sure your brothers are okay until I get there.”


To be continued...


Editor's Notes: It looks as if Lars has taken off somewhere, and basically left his sons to fend for themselves.  I think this Lars person is not a very nice person.


I suspect that, given a chance, the four boys could turn out to be pretty good kids.  It might be a good idea to let the boys come and have a nice visit at Belle Monte. It might be time for Nels to take the boys, get rid of the house, and maybe move near Belle Monte.


He, at least, needs to have a nice long talk with Lars, and figure out just what to do. It might turn out that Lars has that rambling gene and needs to fly away and be away from his boys and husband, maybe permanently.


I hope we find out what is happening, next time.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

Posted: 05/28/10