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 52 

Show and Tell


When Dan and I were walking up the stairs, a body came out of Ryan’s room.   “Sirs, I know it’s late, but can we talk while the guys are asleep?  I have some questions about what happened tonight.”


I nodded, “Erik, come into the bedroom.  I’m not sure we understand everything that happened tonight, either.  Why don’t you sit on the bed?  Would it bother you if we got undressed and took a shower, one at a time, while we’re talking, to save a little time?”


Erik chuckled, “I’ll cover my eyes with my hands, but I won’t promise that I won’t sneak a peak.”


Dan and I started to undress, “Erik, why don’t you start with what it is that you don’t understand.”


Erik nodded, “First, I don’t like Mr. Kean, at all.  Why was he so interested in the affairs of Belle Monte when my brothers and me have nothing to do with Belle Monte?”


I sat down beside Erik, “Erik, you weren’t the only person who noted Mr. Kean’s interest in Belle Monte.  I plan to discuss Mr. Kean’s interest in the financial affairs of Belle Monte, with Mr. Holloway, in the morning.”


Dan came out of the shower and went to get a pair of briefs.  “Erik, talk to Dan while I take a quick shower.  It’s been a long day.”


When I came out of the shower, Erik asked, “Doesn’t it bother you to parade around naked, in front of me?”


I asked, “Why should it bother us?  You have the same equipment that we have.  Ours’ is a little older and perhaps larger than yours.  Your equipment is still developing and hopefully isn’t as worn out as ours is.  You didn’t come here to talk about sexual appendages.”


Erik snickered, “That was an unexpected freebie.  My other question has to do with Miss Minnie.  I get the feeling that she is not as she came across tonight.  Granted, her charade got the young guys to respond.  Is she going to try to take us away from here?”


I hugged Erik, “Son, I can almost guarantee that she is not going to try to take you away from here.  I suggest you take your developing appendage and get some rest.”


Erik hugged us and as he was leaving, he turned, “Dads, I hope everything works out so we can stay here.”


Dan and I were awakened by a new knock, “Dads, we have your coffee for you.  Erik says you are to get your old used bodies out of bed.”


I looked at Dan and started to laugh, “Come on in, Stefan.  We only bite if someone wakes us before daylight.”


Stefan entered and sat the coffee on the dresser, “The guys want to know if you would like scrambled eggs and bacon.  That’s what we’re having.  I probably won’t be hungry until dinner tomorrow night.”


Dan climbed out of bed, “Tell the guys we’ll have what they’re having, as soon as we can get these old bodies moving.”


When we arrived in the eating area, Eric went and got us a plate with steaming hot scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, “I apologize if things are a little overdone.  I’m a little new at cooking real food.  I’ll have to ask Shane and Shawn what I need to do,”


I watched the four young boys shoveling the food into their mouths, “Eric, the food can’t be to be too overdone.  The boys will probably be trying to steal our food at the rate they’re going.  You’d swear they hadn’t eaten anything, yesterday.”


When I dropped the four young guys off at the house, I went to talk to Bruce.  Bruce looked at me, “Kirk, I’m already on top of why Mr. Kean is so interested in the finances of Belle Monte.  Ginger and Dottie called me after they got rid of the jerk, last night, and told me the kinds of questions he was asking.  A person in the Children’s Protection Agency has no need to know information like he was asking about.”


I was working in the office before going to the seminar.  Sandy came in, “Dr. Richter, I just had the strangest call.  It was from Miss Minnie.  She said you were to announce to your class that you would be having some visitors today.”


“Did she say who those visitors were going to be?”


Sandy shook her head, “No, she hung up before I could ask her any more questions.”


I moaned, “Sandy, I’ve lost control of my life.  You might want to come to the seminar class and watch what’s going to happen this morning.  I don’t know what they’re planning, but I’m sure it will be different.”


Sandy walked with me to the room where the seminar was held.  When we walked in, she looked, “Dr. Richter, this classroom is absolutely jammed.”


I shook my head in disbelief. “Sandy, they’ve even brought in more chairs.”


I looked at the clock.  I stood, Ladies and gentlemen, we need to get started; I have no idea what’s in store for us, since I’ve only just now been informed that we would be having some visitors.”


I was interrupted by the sound of voices, “Honestly Minnie, I don’t know what this world is coming to.  College students think that just because they pay tuition, they don’t have to do any work to get their degrees.”


“Yeah, Viola, I’ve heard that the professors practically are speaking to the blank walls, because the students are playing computer games or some other games that we probably shouldn’t talk about.  Do you suppose there will be anyone in Kirk’s class, today?”


I looked around the room and no one was moving.  Minnie walked in, “Viola, this must be the wrong place.  We must be at a strip joint.  There aren’t any empty seats.”


Ginger entered as Viola Swamp, “By glory, Minnie.  You must be right.  You don’t suppose Dr. Richter is doing anything illegal, do you?”


That caused to the class to laugh.  I stepped forward, “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me a great pleasure to introduce Miss Minnie from Minnesota.  She’s head of the Children’s Protection Services for the State of Minnesota.  As you would suspect, she is here to find out more about the four young gentlemen we discussed on Tuesday.”


“The lady with her is Ms. Viola Swamp.  She is one of the Children Protection Agency people here in our fair city.  She was responsible for making it possible for Nathan and Ryan to be my adopted sons.”


“Let’s give them a big round of applause, to show them that we appreciate their taking time out of their busy schedules to come visit with us.”


After the welcoming, Miss Minnie stepped forward, “I’m sure that you’re asking why the disguises.  Over the years, the disguises have helped us break down barriers, and children and young people weren’t so reluctant to share information with us.  Better yet the young people were probably reluctant to try to hide anything under the mattress, so to speak.”


“We’ll answer your questions after you meet some visitors.  Men, front and center.” 


The four youngest guys from Belle Monte came in, with Ryan calling cadence this time.  They stopped in front of Miss Minnie and did an about face and Ryan started, “Ryan Holloway, reporting.”


After the guys had introduced themselves and relaxed, I helped them so they were sitting on the edge of the lecture table.  One of the student’s asked, Ryan, where is your bother, Nathan and the other two younger Sorenson boys?”


When we left Belle Monte, they were working on their Math Times Tables.  They’re having trouble learning the sevens and eights Times Tables.  We had most of our classes early this morning and we’ll have reading after we have lunch with Quinn’s Grandmother Young.”


A young lady stood, “I think it is ironic that two of young men couldn’t talk when Dr. Richter first came in contact with you.  Quinn, can you speak okay now.”


“I can talk just like anyone else, now.  I’m still not supposed to yell and scream.”


A young man asked, “Quinn, how does it feel now that you have been adopted by two men.”


Quinn looked at me, “Mister, my daddies haven’t adopted me, yet.  They are taking care of me better than most dads take care of their kids.”


The next question was directed at Dieter, “Dieter, what’s going to happen to you.”


Dieter answered without hesitation, “We’re going to be living with Ryan and Nate’s Dads.”


The next question was, “Are they going to adopt you?”


Dieter looked at me, “Daddy, I don’t understand what the lady wants to know.”


I was saved from answering by the arrival of Erik, “Guys. Uncle Vince and Uncle Alex are ready to go.  Say goodbye to the people.”


The students stood and applauded as the four young guys walked out.  Erik turned to me and whispered, “Dad, these people were asking some inappropriate questions, of the young guys?” 


Miss Minnie heard his comment, “Erik, that’s a very valid point.  Why don’t you introduce yourself to the seminar students and explain that they need to be aware that they should be asking age appropriate questions.”


Erik went and stood facing the class, “My name is Erik Sorenson.  I’m the oldest of the four boys who Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton have taken into their home.  I’m sure that Dr. Richter has explained to you how it is that we were dumped on his and Doctor Thornton’s laps.  They, and everyone at Belle Monte, have been more than gracious to us.  The four of us would welcome having such loving parents as Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton.”


A young man stood, “Erik, thanks for reminding us that we should be thinking with our brains rather than our emotions.  Do you have any idea what’s going to happen to you and your brothers?”


Erik shook his head no, “I know that Miss Minnie is working to find the best possible situation for us, given our background.”


A young woman stood, “Have you met Miss Minnie and Ms. Swamp when they’re not wearing their costumes?”


Erik grinned, “I had not met Miss Minnie until last evening.  I hadn't met Ms. Swamp until today.  I think I may have met her the past two evenings when she looked like a grandmother.  Am I correct Ms. Swamp?”


“Erik, that’s very astute of you.  You did indeed talk to me the past two evenings.”  Ginger started to take off her makeup as did Miss Minnie.


“Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mrs. Ginger Belton.  I’m sorry, but I’ve never been introduced to the other lady except as Miss Minnie, so I am not sure how she would like to be known.”


After Miss Minnie had taken her makeup off, Erik grinned, “Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that we are privileged to have Dr. Dorothea Frank in our midst.  I have seen her on television when we lived in Minnesota, and she doesn’t take any guff from anyone.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to get back to school so I don’t miss any more algebra classes.  I’m so far behind these hick farm kids that I may never get caught up.”


Lanny Lane stepped forward, “Erik, take my card and give me a call if you need help with your algebra.  Just ask for Deputy Sheriff Lane.  This is the least I can do to repay Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton for what they did for me.”


As Erik was leaving, he received a standing ovation. The seminar went long, as normal, and when Dr. Frank and Ginger exited, there was another standing ovation.  The students turned in their papers as they were leaving.  The young man who had accused me of making up the cases looked at me as he handed me his paper, “Dr. Richter, you’re probably going to be laughing your butt off when you read these papers.”


I looked at the name on the paper. “Jon, even I am not sure what is happening, anymore.  See you Tuesday, and maybe we’ll have some final results by then.”


As Sandy and I were walking back to the office, “Dr. Richter, you should be charging admission to your classes, if they are all like that.  I expect a full report on all the cases that were discussed, on my desk in the morning.”


The afternoon went as scheduled and when I pulled into the Belle Monte parking area, Dan’s parents’ car was there.  My attention was diverted from the extra cars by nine approaching horses.  They stopped in front of me.


Nathan waved, “We took Mrs. Frank on a tour of the ranch and exercised the animals.  Have you said hello to Grandpa and Grandma Thornton?  They’re going to be spending the weekend.  Granddad and Grandmother Richter are going to be arriving soon.  We’ll be back as soon as we take care of the horses.”


When I walked into the house, I hugged Dad and Mom Thornton, “Why do I get the distinct feeling that there is going to be another hearing, tomorrow, that I don’t know about?”


Dad Thornton laughed, “You and Danny have been too busy collecting kids to worry about hearings.  Are you sure that you and Dan are up to taking care of six more boys?”


“Dad, the operative question is, are the six boys going to be able to handle two babbling dads.  We’re just now learning to know the four boys.  Erik and Dieter have already identified with Dan and me.  The other two seem unfazed by everything that is happening.”


Mom Thornton grinned, “Don’t be too sure that’s the case; when we arrived. Stefan made it known that you and Dan were going to be his and Karl’s new dads.”


The horse people returned and Nate directed, “We guys will go to Ryan’s and my rooms and wash our hands.  Mrs. Frank, you can use our Dads' bathroom and the big guys can go to Jacob’s room and wash their hands.  We need to hurry so we can see if Mrs. McTavish needs some help.  It’s going to take us a long time to set the table for all of us.”


Dan arrived with my parents.  Dan and Dad were each carrying a suitcase. I hugged my parents, “Is there anything else that we need to get out of the car?”


Mom shook her head, “We can only stay for tonight and tomorrow night.  Your Dad has a wedding to perform, Saturday night.  Where are the new grandsons?”


We had been joined by Mrs. Frank when Ryan and Chase arrived with a tray of hors d’oeuvres. Ryan announced, “Mrs. McTavish says that dinner will be in thirty minutes.”


George fixed those of us who wanted one, a cocktail.  Dad had just asked, “When are we going to meet these prospective grandsons?” when Nate arrived with the four guys.


He pointed, “These are going to be our new brothers.”


After the introductions were finished, Dieter went and sat between my parents.  He looked up at them, “Granddad and Grandmother, you won’t forget about us, like our old grandparents did, will you?”


Dad picked Dieter up and held him, “Dieter, I can assure you that we won’t forget you.  We don’t live near here, but we will come to see you, as often as possible, and you need to make your Dads bring you to see us.”


During dinner, it was interesting to note that Nathan, Stefan and Karl were clustered around the Thornton’s and Dieter, Ryan and Quinn were seated near my parents with Mrs. Frank.  I whispered to Dan who was sitting next to me, “Someone manipulated the seating arrangement.”


Dan squeezed by thigh, “Don’t blame me.”


As we were about finished eating, Mrs. Frank announced, “Everyone needs to be in courtroom 3, at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon.”


Ryan complained, “Why do we gotta go back to court, again?  Are some more people going to try and take us away?”


Bruce shook his head no, “Ryan, this is not about you and Nate.  I think it would be nice if you would be with the Sorenson guys and Quinn, tomorrow, so you can explain what’s happening.”


“Oh, okay.”


It took us a while to get the guys settled.  After Dan and I were settled in bed, Dan asked, “Kirk, what’s happening.”


“Dan, I honestly have no idea.  I guess Bruce and Mrs. Frank are in cahoots.  They’re the experts, but why did they deem it necessary for our parents to be here.  Not that I mind and the parents seem to be enjoying the boys.  They must be expecting fireworks that we aren’t privy to.  Let’s get some sleep.  We may be in for a rough day, tomorrow.” 


To be continued...


Editor's Notes:  It looks to me, as if things have been arranged so that the new boys will officially become part of the family, very soon.  At least that is what I hope will happen. 


I also hope that that nasty Mr. Kean is put squarely on notice that he needs to butt out completely and leave the kids alone.


I don't know if you know it or not, but I don't like him, one little bit.


I am ready for another chapter, soon, I hope!


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher 


Posted: 08/06/10