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 46 

The Missing Are Located


As we were going back to Belle Monte, Ryan and Nate were in the back,  Ryan asked, “Doctor Richfield, are you sure that Quinn is going to be okay.”


“Ryan, I’m ninety nine point nine percent sure that Quinn will be fine.”


Nate asked, “Why aren’t you a hundred percent sure?”


Nelson stopped and thought before he answered, “Guys, only God knows everything for sure.”


Ryan started to talk to Nate, “We’ll have to really say our prayers good, so that God hears us.”


When we arrived at the big house, the Sorenson guys were waiting for us, or I should say, for the guys.  Erik asked, “Are we going to spend the night at the little house, or what?”


Nate looked confused, “We’re going to the little house, since we need to take care of the animals.  If you want to stay here, that’s fine.”


Dieter put his arm around Ryan, “How was Quinn?”


“He was fine and he didn’t try to talk.  He looked really good when we left.  He’s excited that someone his age might be here for him to play with when he comes home.”


Jacob came into the room, “Come on, guys, we’re going to make some homemade ice cream.  We need your help.”


After the young guys had vanished, Bruce took a deep breath.  “We have been able to locate the elusive uncle, Keith Hightower and he sounds like a real work of art.  He started to accuse us of kidnapping his nephew.  When I told him Quinn was the victim of a hit and run accident and was in the hospital, he started to sing a different song.  He said there was no way he was going to pay for the mute’s hospital bills, since he wasn’t even a blood relative.  He sounds like an asshole.  Anyway, he will be arriving on Sunday to see what has to be done to get Quinn’s bills paid.  He claims he has to work on Saturday and Monday.  I have the distinct impression that he may not be working anytime soon, when we get done with him.”


Dieter came in from the kitchen area, “The ice cream is ready and the big guys say we have to eat it in the dining room.  They want to know what you want to drink with your ice cream and the brownies we made while Ryan and Nate were at the hospital?”


As we were eating our homemade ice cream and brownies, Nelson’s cell phone rang.  “Excuse me, I’ll take the call in the parlor so it doesn’t bother anyone.”


When Nelson returned he didn’t look so good, “Guys, we need to leave.  Your Dad is in the hospital in critical condition and is in the Intensive Care Department at the Lutheran Medical Center.  We need to get your things and leave.”


Dieter put his arm around Nelson’s leg, “Dad, please don’t make us go.  There is nothing we can do for Daddy.  You’re the doctor.  You go make him better.  I want to stay here.”


Erik stood, “Dad Nels, I think it would be best if the three young guys stayed here if the people here at Belle Monte will let them.  If we’re going to be driving, it is going to take at least nine hours if it’s just you and me.  If we take the younger guys, they’re going to need to stop and go to the bathroom.  They shouldn’t have to ride for nine or ten straight hours to sit there and be bored.”


I looked at Nelson, “Nelson, I happen to agree with Erik’s evaluation.  Let the three youngest guys stay here.  We have enough people around who can make sure they don’t get into too much trouble.  You and Erik could leave immediately.  Surely you have enough clothes at your house in Minnesota that you can survive without the clothes that are at the house on the hill.”


Everyone was watching to see what Nelson would say, “I’ll agree, but the guys can’t live here indefinitely.  They aren’t your responsibility.  I do have a medical practice in Rochester that I need to take care of.  I need some time to figure out what to do,”


Shane and Jacob had disappeared and returned with two thermos and two paper bags.  Shane announced, “Hopefully the coffee and the coke will keep you awake.  We have some snacks for you to munch on so you won’t get too bored.”


Nelson was overwhelmed, “Thanks, guys, it will save us a bunch of time.”


He went to pull out his wallet and Bruce stopped him, “We’ll take care of anything the three guys need, while your gone.  You need to leave now so you can get a couple of hours rest before you go to the hospital.”


Shane, Shawn and Jacob practically kicked us out as soon as we had finished eating, saying they would take care of the dishes.  Jacob frowned, “I can hear Snitch and Snatch howling and Hodge and Podge are screeching.  You need to go take care of them.”


We had lots of room, since there were only seven of us going to the little house.  When we arrived, the young guys took care of the animals and then went to take their showers.  Ryan came on the balcony, “Dads, me and Dieter are going to sleep in my bed and the other three guys are going to sleep in Nate’s bed.  That way you can stay up late, if you want, since it’s Friday night.”


I looked up at Ryan, “Tell the guys we’ll be there to say goodnight to them shortly.  Your Dad and I are kinda tired, too.  We have a busy day tomorrow,”


“What do we gotta do?”


“Well, for starters, Dad Dan needs to go check on Quinn, and the rest of us need to go buy some things to eat so we don’t have to bother the people at Homebase all the time.  I’m sure that you and Dieter will want to go to check on Quinn.  Quinn will probably insist that he have his bedtime story.”


“Maybe one of his Dads could read him a bedtime story.”


Dan reminded Ryan, “Ryan, tomorrow is Saturday and Quinn’s Dads probably have to work at their other job tomorrow night.”


“Dads, you need to tell them that they need to stop working all the time, now that they have a little son who needs their love.”


“Ryan, go to bed.  Your Dad and I will be there as soon as we lock up.  Are the animals with you? 


“Podge and Snitch are on my bed with me and Hodge and Snatch are in Nate’s bed.  They’ll be fine.”


When Dan and I went to bed after saying goodnight to the five boys, Dan commented, “I think that the Sorenson boys have had a lack of people loving them in their lives.  I wonder what their lives must have been before Lars and Nelson hooked up.”


Dan and I took the opportunity to play some big boy games since everyone seemed to have settled down.  The next morning we were awakened by a knock on the door which didn’t sound like either Nate or Ryan.  I went to the door, Dieter was standing there, “Ryan’s daddies, Ryan needs your help.”


I hunkered down, “What’s the problem, Dieter?”


“He can’t open the new can of coffee so he can make coffee.”


I grinned, “Tell him, we’ll be there as soon as we put on some clothes.”


“Why do you gotta put on clothes?  Me and Ryan only have on our underpants.”


“We’ll be there shortly.”


I turned to Dan, “I guess we’re creating a semi nudists colony.  We need to go help the guys.”


Ryan apologized, “Dads, I just wasn’t strong enough to get that metal cover off.  I guess I need to do some exercises.”


Dan picked Ryan up, “You’re just fine the way you are.  I think the coffee companies spend hours trying to figure out how to make it harder to open a new can of coffee.  Where are the other guys?”


Dieter answered, “They’ll be here soon.  They were talking about what they wanted to do today.”


After breakfast, Dan decided to go to the hospital to check on Quinn.  Nathan went with him and I took the other four boys shopping which was a big mistake.  The three Sorenson boys wanted to buy some of almost everything we saw, but Ryan prevailed and we had a reasonable amount of food when we got back to Little House.”


Dan and Nate arrived as we were putting the groceries away.  Karl was asking, “Why didn’t we buy any meat or eggs?”


Ryan was trying to explain, “We have a big freezer at the big house that has all kinds of meat in it.  We can get all the eggs we want from the chickens.”


I looked at Nathan, “How's Doctor Dad’s patient?”


Nate giggled, “Quinn is counting the hours until he’s allowed to talk with his voice.”


Dan added, “I think it might be good if you and Ryan didn’t stay too long when you go this afternoon, or he’ll damage his vocal chords.  He really wants to come home.”


Ryan approached where Dan and I were talking, “Dads, the guys want to know if we can go for a ride on the horses?”


Dan pointed to the intercom, “Call Homebase and see if there is anyone there who can help you.  If Shane, Shawn and Jacob are available, there shouldn’t be any problem.”


“Homebase, this is Little House are the teenagers up?”


Jacob’s voice answered, “We ain’t getting up today.  You guys wore us out yesterday.”


“Shucks, we were hoping you could take us riding.”


“We’ll take you riding, but it’s going to cost you lunch, so we don’t have to do dishes.”


“Dads, do we got enough money to take the big guys to lunch?”


I nodded, “Yes, Ryan, as long as they don’t stuff their faces.”


Shawn came on. “Ryan, tell your Daddy that he’s going to pay big time for that comment.”


We had just arrived at the big house and the young guys had headed toward the Belle Monte Express so they wouldn’t have to walk to the stable.


Dan and I were talking to George and Bruce when my cell phone rang.  “This is Kirk Richter.”


“Kirk, it's Nels.  The situation here is really grim.  Lars has been charged with manslaughter, but that’s not the worst of it.  I should never have brought Erik with me.  He just about flipped out on us when he found out that his Dad was involved in a prostitution ring and was working in the making of pornographic films.”


I shook my head, “Where are you now?”


“We’re still at the hospital.  Lars’ condition has been upgraded to serious, but he will be spending considerable time in jail as soon he is physically capable of doing so.  The only bright spot out of this entire mess is that he has assigned me to be the temporary guardian of the boys.  I have a favor to ask.”


“Go ahead and ask, I’m sitting here with Dan, Bruce and George as we’re speaking.”


“Could I please put Erik on a plane and have him spend the time there with you?  The case has become the biggest topic in the news around here, because of Lars’ public image.”


“Nels, we’ll be glad to have Erik come and stay with us.  If he’s there, let me talk at him.”


“This is Erik.”


“Erik, it’s Kirk Richter.  We’d be glad to have to you come and stay with us, but there will be several stipulations.”


“Lay them on me.”


“First, you will be going to school with the farm boys around here, and secondly, and more importantly, you will keep your dick in your pants unless you’re going to the bathroom.”


Erik started to laugh, “Dr. Richter, I promise you I won’t embarrass you and Doctor Thornton.  I mean after what we’ve heard about our father, I sure as heck don’t want to be like him.  Here’s Dad Nels.”


“Kirk, we’ll call you when we know Erik’s arrival time.  I need to find some way to make it so that one of you has power of attorney to act on the boys’ behalf if I'm not available. There’s more to the story.  I’ll talk to you later.”


I was explaining the call to Bruce, Dan and George when ten guys arrived in the parlor.  Nathan started, “Dads, we’re sorta getting hungry.  You did promise the big guys that you would take them to lunch.  We’ve already washed our hands and we’re ready to go.”


Bruce laughed, “Tell you what we’re gonna do.  We’ll take the Belle Monte Express so we don’t have to take so many cars.”


I interrupted, “I’ll take my vehicle, since Ryan, Dieter and I will be going to the hospital to visit Quinn, after lunch.”


After lunch at a neat restaurant that had a great buffet with pastas, pizza, salads and Mexican food, there was no reason for any of the boys to be hungry.  We had just finished eating when my cell phone rang.  I excused myself and went outside to talk.


“This is Kirk Richter.


“Kirk, it’s Nels.  Erik will be arriving at nine tonight.  He’s a very angry and confused young man and is striking out.  He heard some things that he wasn’t meant to hear.  I’m not sure what to expect, since I’m a novice at raising children.”


“Nelson, we’ll do the best we can.  The other three boys seem to be adapting well.  We’ll call you if there’s a problem.”


We had a problem all right.  When Dieter, Chase, Ryan and I arrived at the hospital, Quinn sat up and very clearly asked, “Who are they.”


Ryan climbed on the bed, “If you’ll be quiet and not talk too much, I’ll tell you who they are.  Chase and his brother Evan live at Belle Monte where you’re going to be living.  Chase is six years old like me.  Dieter is visiting and for right now is staying at the little house with me and Nate and our Dads.  He‘s four, just like you.  If you promise not to talk too much, we‘ll bring back a game tonight and we can play.”


“Ryan, why can’t I talk?  It don’t hurt.”


“Quinn, Doctor Richfield said you shouldn’t try to talk too much, right away. He’s afraid that you might hurt something and make it hard for you to talk again.  Please just rest until we come back after dinner.”


“Okay, but I think you’re being mean to me.”


I hugged Quinn, “Son, they aren’t being mean to you.  They’re just showing that they love you.”


To be continued...



Editor's Notes:  I had a feeling that Lars was up to no good.  I didn't know what he was doing, exactly, but I kinda figured he was not a nice person.


I hope that Erik will be all right. He has had quite a shock, for a young person.


I think the younger boys will do better.  They don't really understand what has happened to their father, except to know that he has done something that got him in trouble.  I think they realize that Nels loves them.


Let's hope that things will improve for everyone concerned, with the possible exception of Lars. Maybe he should have thought more carefully, before he started doing the things he was involved with.


I am ready for the next chapter!


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 06/18/10