The Mark and The Mole

By E Walk,

(Copyrighted by the author)

Edited by Radio Rancher

Chapter 17 - That's Final

We followed Chad into the kitchen and he started to make himself a sandwich and Tim did likewise.

Chad finally sat down with his sandwich, a glass of milk and a sweet roll. "Okay, what is it that I won't buy into?"

Dad explained that he would be taking Chad and Tim to Iowa City in the morning and that they would be staying overnight at his and Grandmother's houses. The rest of us would come for the viewing and the funeral service. Grandmother and Kendra would stay here and take care of Mark, Jon, Jeremy and Jason.

Chad looked at us, "So what am I not going to buy into?"

Tim was surprised, "I rather thought that you might insist that the twins go with us."

Chad surprised everyone with his strong response, "Listen please, I know I am acting like a wimp, but I don't want Jon and Mark near Iowa City. I wish we didn't even have to take the three girls, Bobby and Billy. Dads, you don't need to go to the viewing and funeral. You already have done too much. Please, just promise me that if something should happen to me, that you will take care of my sons and the rest of the children."

He took his empty dishes to the sink and loaded them into the dishwasher. "Come on Tim, let's go to bed. We are going to need every ounce of strength that we can muster to get through the next two days. I wish this ordeal was over."

The two guys hugged us and disappeared up the stairs.

Grandmother was frowning, "I can't believe that Chad is this mature and it looks like he is thinking ahead. Bryce, you'd better make sure that nothing happens to the two boys tomorrow, or I'll have your behind."

Grandmother, having said that, announced, "I'm going to bed, since I have to watch the screaming brats tomorrow."

That caught Mike's and my attention. "Grandmother, what are you saying? Do you want us to hire a babysitter?"

Grandmother countered, "I'm not worried about Mark, Jon, Jason and Jeremy. I am worried about their Granddads. Now you two professionals go to bed and let tomorrow evolve naturally."

Mike and I went to our room and neither of us felt like doing anything after our shower. I think we were both emotionally drained.

The sleep that finally came was interrupted by a frantic Chad, "Dads look at the news, we can't go to Iowa City. Everyone will be watching us."

He flipped the television on. "I'll bring you some coffee as soon as it ready."

The news broadcaster started:

"And now the latest on the Iowa City murder case involving Mr. and Mrs. Harmon. The Iowa City Police Department reports that there is firm evidence that two unknown assailants were involved in the shootings. Captain Peter Jackson reports that he has met with the Harmon's two eldest sons and he reports that the children are all fine."

"The Harmon visitation will be held this evening at the Gussler Funeral Home from 6:00 to 7:00. The memorial service will be tomorrow at 10:00 am at St. Patrick's Church in Iowa City. Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation to the seven children's education fund is asked to send their donations to the addresses on the bottom of the screen. And now for the other news of the day."

"Dad Doug, that is your station. Please make them stop talking about this. They are drawing attention to my brothers and sisters and me and it is scaring me."

I pulled Chad down on the bed with Mike and me, "Chad, by tomorrow, everyone will have forgotten about you all. Some other story will take the spotlight. Son, just be strong for everyone until then."

Chad suddenly started to laugh, "Are you two old men trying to seduce me or what? Now get your old bodies out of bed while I make sure everyone else is up. I'll bring your coffee and check to make sure that you aren't making a mess in the shower. Better there than on the bed, I guess."

Mike looked at me, "I think Tim was correct. Chad is a survivor."

Mike and I went to take a shower and we did indeed make a mess of the shower. When Chad returned with our coffee, I was standing at the dresser looking for some clean briefs to wear. Chad looked at me, "Oh shucky darn, I missed the ashes on top of Old Smokey again. I guess I'll have to catch a glimpse the next time it erupts."

I turned and threw a pair of socks at him. Chad slumped on the floor, "Help, I have been hit by mortar fire. I guess I won't be able to go anywhere ..."

Chad stopped in mid sentence and had tears in his eyes, "I guess I shouldn't be saying anything like that in light of what has been happening."

I went and hugged him even though I was wearing only my briefs. "Chad, sometimes being silly is the best way to get rid your frustrations and anger."

Mike had come into the room, "Honestly, I guess I can't leave you two alone for a minute."

Chad started to laugh, "Dad Mike, I guess I missed the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius too. How come I always miss all of the excitement?"

When Mike and I got downstairs, Grandmother, Dad, Frank, Chad, Tim and Kevin were sitting at the table talking. Frank looked up at me, "I understand that you are going to be bringing the other children later this afternoon. Why don't you bring Kevin and Kendra with you, so they can help take care of the children? Elaine will be here to help your Grandmother until Mike gets home. I'll drive my own car and when we have taken care of everything that I need to do, I'll return to Des Moines."

The phone interrupted any more conversation. Chad went to answer, "Oh, hi, Mrs. Young, we were just sitting here making our plans for today. ... It looks like Granddad is going to take Tim and me shortly and then Dad Douglas will be bring the rest of the children to the visitation. Uncle Frank is going to go with us to help with the legal matters. ... Oh, so you and Mr. Stone will be going too. ... Okay, I'll tell everyone that we are to meet at the church at 11:00. See you then."

Poor Chad had just hung up and hadn't even had time to sit down again when the phone started to ring. "This is Chad Harmon Walker, how may I help you? ... Oh hi, Captain Jackson. ... Yes, we are planning to meet at the church at 11:00 and go from there. ... What exactly are you saying, Sir? ...

Oh there has been some suspicious activity around the Harmon's house. ...

You mean that Detectives Taylor and Detective Frazier are going to be accompanying us wherever we go? ... Yes sir, we thought we would spend the night at Granddad's and Grandmother's houses. ... Okay sir, I'll tell everyone that you think we should leave as soon as we can after the visitation. ... You are going to have a patrol around the funeral home and they will escort us out of town this evening. ... Captain Jackson, you are scaring me. ... Okay, goodbye sir."

Chad came back to the table, "We are not staying the night in Iowa City. Captain Jackson wants us to leave as soon as the visitation is over. He said the police psychologists who studied the tape, think that the two unidentified persons on the tape are planning to eradicate the seven of us children so they can get what they think belongs to them. Come on Tim, let's go get our blazers and clothes and then we can go and do whatever it is that Uncle Frank and Granddad want us to do."

What a bummer. I think everyone was feeling guilty that they were making Chad and Tim handle this affair, but we had no legal authority yet. If only we had reacted sooner. At least our grandsons, Mark and Jon, and our newest sons, Jason and Jeremy, would be out of harms way.

Chad and Tim left and came back with two garment bags, containing the clothes they would be changing into. Chad looked at Kevin, "Kev, you make sure that the boys are dressed properly and bring their blazers. They don't need to wear a tie tonight. Grandmother, you make sure our sisters are properly dressed and don't let anything happen to the other four boys. Come on Granddad and Uncle Frank, let's go and get this over with."

Chad was determined, "Granddad, come on. I'll drive the Camry. Tim, you ride with Uncle Frank to keep him awake."

The four of them left and Mike looked at me, "I think I had better cancel my appointments for this afternoon. We should probably leave by two. Chad will be in a tizzy if we aren't there on time for the children to be at the visitation. The children are going to need something to eat to hold them through the hour. To be quite honest, Chad is scaring me. He is beginning to act like an old man. He is so protective. We have to help him be a teenager."

Kevin had been listening, "Uncle Mike and Uncle Doug, Chad will never be able to be a normal teenager. Just think what he has been through in the last year. It's a wonder that his hair isn't turning white or gray."

I had to leave for the station so I could find someone to cover the evening news for me, as well as the noon news tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in the car, Chad and Grandfather were discussing what they were going to do with their houses in Iowa City. Dad was thinking, "Chad, I have a feeling that you are going to be a very busy young man, if the will that we found is going to be deemed to be the latest will that your parents had made. You should also be receiving a significant financial settlement from the insurance company from the policies we found yesterday."

Chad wanted to look at Dad but didn't, because he was driving, "Granddad, there is no way that I will be able to go to school and still take care of everything that needs to be done. Now, I am not only responsible for my two sons, but I am going to be responsible for my three brothers and three sisters. We have to do everything in our power to keep us together."

Meanwhile, in the other car Tim was having doubts too. "Uncle Frank, you won't let them separate the seven of us, will you?"

Frank put his hand on Tim's knee, "Tim, I'll do everything I can to keep you nine people together. If I don't, my son and daughter will divorce me. I am afraid of what Granddad Walker and Grandmother Walker might do to me if we don't keep you together. Grandmother would make sure that I would only be able to sing soprano."

Tim started to laugh, "Grandmother wouldn't do anything like that, would she?"

Frank shook his head, "I don't know, but I know I don't want to take a chance, either."

When the two cars got to the church, Mr. Stone's car was already there. Frank led the party into the church where Father Lawlor was waiting. He hugged everyone and took them to the meeting room where Father Leahy was talking to Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young. Since everyone knew everyone, Father Leahy looked at the boys, "The latest revelation makes it so much easier to prepare for the service now that they were both apparently murdered."

Father Leahy continued, "Chad and Tim, I would recommend that you have a very simple grave side service so that you and your brothers and sisters can bring closure to this unfortunate event in your lives. I know that the two of you feel no love for Mr. and Mrs. Harmon, but I think that later in your lives you would look back and say, 'if only'."

Chad looked at Father Leahy, "Father, we will yield to your request, but don't expect any tears from the seven of us. Please keep it brief and simple, because Billy and Bobby are still very young. Also, Captain Jackson of the Iowa City Police Department thinks that we need to keep as low a profile as we can, because the police experts think the unknown persons involved in this incident will stop at nothing to get what they want."

Mr. Stone looked a little upset, "Why weren't we informed of these new developments?"

Chad stood firm, "Mr. Stone, Captain Jackson called this morning, right after I had spoken to Mrs. Young. Quite frankly sir, it never entered my mind that I should call you, since I already knew that we were scheduled to meet this morning, and didn't see what you could do to stop any problems from arising in Des Moines."

Mr. Stone sucked in his breath, "Chad, you are probably correct. There isn't much we at the state level can do to protect you and your brothers and sisters. I apologize for getting my hackles up. Chad and Tim, the state is prepared to pay the costs to provide your parents a proper burial."

Chad interrupted Mr. Stone, "Sir, that won't be necessary. It seems that Mr. and Mrs. Harmon had prearranged and prepaid for their funerals. Tim and I took the liberty of simplifying the arrangements, and Mr. Gussler said that there were sufficient funds to cover any auxiliary costs."

Frank spoke up, "Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young, when we were at the Harmon house yesterday, we found wills and other documents which give us reason to think that Chad, Tim and their sisters and brothers will not be wanting for funds to live comfortably. Mr. Harmon was retired from the Air Force; the young people are entitled to some military services. My father-in-law, Mr. Pete Long, who you met, is checking into that matter, probably as we speak."

Mr. Stone was a little irritated, "Well, why weren't we consulted on any of this before now."

Chad was getting frustrated, "Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young, we only found out yesterday, and since you state employees were on holiday and doing who knows what, while we were here, how do you expect us to have let you know? Now, Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young, I am going to say this only once; we seven children are going to stay together with my two sons, and that's final. If you try to separate us, I'll take every legal means that I can to insure that we aren't separated."

"Mr. Douglas Walker and Doctor Michael Long are willing to take care of us unconditionally. Just because they are gay, doesn't mean that they wouldn't be good parents and role models for us. Besides, Grandmother and Granddad will be there to see that nothing out of the ordinary happens."

Any further conversation was interrupted by the secretary, "Father Leahy and Father Lawlor, there is a call from Mr. Gussler on line one. He would like to talk to either Chad or Tim Harmon."

Tim looked at Chad, "You take it. I'm on overload."

Chad picked up the phone. "This Chad Harmon Walker, how may I help you, sir? ... They what? ... The VFW wants to provide an honor guard to be the pall bearers and then do a seven gun salute at the cemetery. ... Oh and they have a flag that they would like to drape over Mr. Harmon's casket? ... Just a minute, sir. Let me talk to the Fathers and the others here."

Chad turned to the assembled groups, "This funeral is growing by leaps and bounds. Father Lawlor, had you made arrangements for pall bearers?"

Father Lawlor shook his head, "You told me that you wanted to keep the service as simple as possible, so I thought we would let the funeral home personnel take the coffins to the front of the sanctuary."

Dad spoke up, "Chad and Tim, I think that you should permit the VFW persons to do this, since they are obviously paying their respects to Mr. Harmon. Not only will it make them feel better, but it might divert some attention away from you and the children. I think that you seven young people should not be together during this experience in light of what Captain Jackson said."

Father Leahy held up his hand, "Please listen to me, everyone. I agree with Chad. The Harmon children need to be placed together. The younger ones would be totally at a loss if they not only lost their parents, but their older siblings. While I do not condone the lifestyle that Mr. Hall and Mr. Walker have chosen, I think it would be in everyone's best interest to have the children all placed into their custody."

Mrs. Young interrupted, "I agree, but there is no way that their house can accommodate all of the children that they have there, even though it is a six bedroom house, especially with all of the other adults living there."

Chad held up his hand, "We have handled it for two nights even with the two extra children that no one knows about. My sons and I will move to the basement and Tim can live in the other room in the basement that we are going to make down there. We will make it work. Now, can we get on with the things that we need to take care of?"

Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories you might want to visit

Editor's Notes:

Things are certainly jumping quickly. I know that I am a bit worried for the children, considering the threats that were made on their lives. I also hate the way government busybodies seem to think it is up to them to decide what conditions are good enough for children and whether families should be split apart, just because some little rule is not met to the exact degree that they have set into place. My goodness, shouldn't the children's happiness come first? My mother was the youngest of seven children and her family all lived in a four bedroom house, three of those bedrooms were upstairs where there were no heat registers just the warm air from downstairs. Why is it any different as to how many rooms are needed to take care of children that you love, no matter whether they are your blood relatives or not?

Oh dear, I got on my soap box again didn't I? Well, you will have that from time to time.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher