The Mark and The Mole

By E Walk

(Copyrighted by the author)

Edited by Radio Rancher

Chapter 21 - What If?

As we were finishing eating, Chad was very quiet and everyone seemed to intuitively feel that he was thinking and shouldn't be interrupted. It was like everyone was watching him and was afraid to say anything. Chad looked up, "Am I drooling or something? Granddad, after we finish, why don't you take Timmy with a `y' for some more driving experience and Bobby, Billy and Jeremy with a `y' can clear the table."

Chad continued, "The lady twins without a `y' can watch the other boy twins who don't have a `y' in their names while the rest of us take care of the dishes. Grandmother and Dads, would you please join us in the kitchen? I have an idea I would like to discuss with you."

Everyone started to do as Chad directed or requested. Jenny was rinsing the dishes and Jason was loading the dishwasher while Chad was cleaning the work space. He finally started to discuss what he had in mind.

"Dads, how big is the lot that the house is located on, and are there any building code restrictions?"

Mike and I looked at each other not knowing what was coming. Mike answered. "It's a 3/4 acre lot and I have no idea what the building restrictions are. Why did you ask?"

Chad nodded, "You know how crowded the dining room is when we are all seated around the table especially if we have company. Just think what it will be like when Jon and Mark are old enough to sit at the table with us."

He continued, "I was thinking it would great if we could expand the dining room and living room area on the first floor and perhaps make two extra bedrooms on the second floor with a bathroom. This would be in addition to what Grandmother was talking about doing in the basement and the attic. That way Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young can't possibly make space an issue."

Mike looked at Chad, "Son, we'll talk about that when everyone gets here tonight. Now would you stop worrying and go take care of your sons before our guests arrive. I need to talk to Grandmother and Doug. You do realize that we can't make everything happen overnight, I hope?"

Chad started to leave but turned back, "Dads, I know I may be having a pipe dream, but please do all you can tonight to keep it alive. I need to go start working on the thank you notes for the memorial money that we have received. With the price of stamps, now that the price has gone up, we'll probably be broke all the time."

Everyone had left the kitchen except for Grandmother, Mike and me. Mike turned to me, "Okay Doug, who lives an unconventional lifestyle, what are we going to do?"

Grandmother was laughing, "Guys, why don't we discuss Chad's ideas with professionals when they come tonight. They will have a better idea of the merits of Chad's ideas than we could have. Let's let the them see if its even plausible."

We walked into the dining room and Chad was sitting there, with his sons beside him, taking the money and the checks out of the envelopes and making a list of the amount that was in each envelope and the name and address of the donor.

He looked up at us, "This is going to take forever to get all of this taken care of. We need to get this money in the bank as soon as possible. There is no way that I have time to go to Iowa City tomorrow."

Mike and I sat down beside him. I put my arm on his shoulder, "Chad, we will be glad to help you if you tell us what we are to do."

Grandmother was watching as Chad meticulously explained, "We need to get these checks and the money deposited as soon as possible. We shouldn't have all this money in the house. I am just writing down the amount that each person gave us and making sure I write their names and addresses. On the checks, I am writing `for deposit only' and signing my name."

I nodded my approval, "Chad, Mike and I can help. You will need to sign all the checks. Grandmother, why don't you get ready to greet our visitors. You know everyone except Mr. Kelley. He didn't say what time he would be here."

When the doorbell rang, Chad very carefully put things into separate containers and labeled them so that there would be no questions as to what needed to be done. We went to meet the arrivals. The first persons to arrive were Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young. Chad greeted them. He thanked them for coming, and then suggested they might like to check the sleeping arrangements.

Before he could show them around, the architect, Mr. Baldwin, and the construction engineer, Mr. Clayton arrived. They had a portable briefing stand and some drawings with them. Mr. Baldwin spoke for the two of them, "We think that everything Mrs. Walker has proposed can be done and done easily. We would like to show you what we propose."

After Chad shook their hands, he asked, "Gentlemen, would you please wait until all of the children are here? This affects us all and especially the younger children."

I could almost see Mr. Stone starting to bristle, but the doorbell rang and I went to answer it. Mr. Kelley was standing there. I had met Mr. Kelley at the school, so I shook his hand and invited him in. I started to introduce him but Mr. Stone spoke before I could say anything, "Good evening, Gene. I'm surprised to see you here."

Mr. Kelley shook Mr. Stone's hand and turned to Mrs. Young, "Good evening Rosa."

Chad returned with the other children and introduced them. It was like something out of 'The Sound of Music' the way he introduced them and had them sit on the floor. Chad started, "Since Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Clayton were the first to be asked to come, I suggest that they be permitted to go first."

Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Clayton stood to make the presentation and Chad made sure that everyone could see what was to be presented. Mr. Baldwin explained, "We would be able to do everything that Mrs. Walker would like. There may need to be some modifications as we go along, but I think everything will be acceptable to everyone."

Mr. Clayton nodded, "My company is willing to start the work on Monday if everyone is agreeable to the plan. We would ask that you have the two areas cleared of everything that would impede our work by then. We could have the work completed in a month."

Chad stood and started to look at the plans and it was like his mind was going a mile a minute. He started to ask some very pertinent questions. "Sirs, since there will be some plumbing details that will need to be taken care of, how much, if any, will that activity disrupt our daily routines."

Mr. Clayton looked at Chad and smiled, "Chad, that is an excellent question. We will need two days to take care of things that would affect your normal activities in the house."

Chad took a deep breath, "Is there anyway that the work could be done over a weekend since nine of us will be attending school? If you could do it over a weekend, we have three houses in Iowa City where we could spend a weekend."

I think everyone in the room was amazed at the insight Chad had. Grandmother interrupted. "I am sure that the cost of having your workers work over a weekend will raise the price, but I will gladly pay if we can get the work done as quickly as possible. I vote we proceed immediately. Since I'm paying, I win. Chad, why don't you explain to Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Clayton what you were talking about earlier tonight."

I think Chad caught everyone by surprise when he stood and very eloquently told everyone what he was thinking about. "If we extended the dining room and living room areas we could also add two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second level."

"If you could make the roof lines similar to the existing roof line, it would look as if the sections had been built at the same time. The only walls that would need to be removed would be the ones here on the first floor since there is already a hallway in the second floor that would provide access to new addition."

Chad looked at Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young and added, "That would provide two additional bedrooms."

Mr. Baldwin started to laugh, "Okay, Mr. Walker, when would you like to start to work for me?"

At first Chad looked surprised, "As soon as they let me stop going to school. I'm sure that Mr. Kelley is here to tell me that I will be spending the rest of my life in school. Now sirs, is what I suggested even feasible."

Mr. Clayton answered, "Chad, it is feasible, but I will need to check the ordinances and make sure that there aren't any structural problems. A project of this magnitude could be rather costly. Are you sure you want to pursue it?"

Dad answered before anyone else had a chance, "We want to pursue it. When you have a plan in mind and the cost involved, we can meet again to discuss the plan."

Chad stood, "Thank you for coming gentleman, we will have the areas ready for you on Monday. We need to get the younger children in bed. Dads why don't you get these people whatever they want to drink. Chad and Tim carried Jon and Mark up the stairs after Chad had fixed their bottles.

Mr. Kelley was shaking his head, "Chad is even more complicated than I thought. He didn't tell me he had two sons and dozens of brothers and sisters."

Mr. Clayton and Mr. Baldwin left just before Chad and Tim returned. Chad looked around, "Shucks, I wanted to ask Mr. Clayton another question. Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young, why don't we let Mr. Kelley tell me how stupid I am before we visit with you? He doesn't need to hear what you want to do to our family."

Chad turned to Mr. Kelley, "Okay, Mr. Kelley, lay it on me."

Mr. Kelley was a little surprised at Chad's abruptness. "Chad, I only asked to meet with you tonight because I am so confused why you haven't been in school. You are a very intelligent young man."

Chad answered without thinking, "Mr. Kelley, I screwed up big time and got a young woman pregnant. She delivered the two beautiful little boys you saw earlier but she died shortly after the boys were born from other health problems. Her parents had insisted that I quit school so I could help to support the family. When Jody died, they literally threw us away. My parents had already told me I was the devil's son."

Chad changed gears, "Mr. Kelley, I apologize. I shouldn't have vented like that. If it weren't for Mr. Walker, his Grandmother and Mr. Long, the three of us would probably be dead by now. They have not only welcomed us into their home, but they have included my six siblings who you saw tonight an that does not include Dad Mike's two nephews. Now, what was it you wished to speak with us about?"

Everyone was surprised by Chad's aggressive attitude.

Mr. Kelley took a deep breath, "Chad, you don't leave much to the imagination, do you? The only reason I asked to meet with you and your family tonight was to explain the class schedules that I had arranged for you, Jenny and Tim."

He continued, "My family and I are going skiing first thing in the morning and we won't be back until late Sunday night. I spoke to the people at Tim and Jenny's previous school and they will be continuing on in their courses right on schedule. You are a different matter, and that is the reason for the extra tests. When you start classes on Monday, you will be enrolled in four AP classes and three required courses. You won't have any study hall periods. So, you'd better come prepared to work your fat butt off."

Chad interrupted, "Mr. Kelley, if Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young have their way, we may not even be attending your school on Monday."

I was surprised. Dad got up and put his hand over Chad's mouth. "Chad, you are going to only antagonize Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young more with talk like that. Please listen to what they have to say."

Chad pulled Dad's hand away, "Granddad, I am so frustrated with the bureaucracy that is trying to control my life and those of my siblings that I really don't care anymore. As I said before, I will fight the State of Iowa the entire way to the Supreme Court. Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young, I have a copy of a letter that I am prepared to send tomorrow should you try to separate any of us."

Chad pulled out two copies of the letter he had written to The Des Moines Register. He handed one to Mr. Stone and the other to Mr. Kelley.

Mr. Stone turned white as a sheet of paper. He handed the copy to Mrs. Young and she turned an ashen color. Mr. Kelley offered his copy to anyone who hadn't read it. Dad read it and started to smile. I had forgotten that Grandmother hadn't read it.

When Grandmother read the letter she looked up, "I'll finance the punk's case the whole way to the Supreme Court. Chad, I'm glad that you plan to send a copy to the governor and the State Supreme Court. They will have a heads up when the state gets hit with a law suit."

Mr. Stone was now ready to pounce, "Chad, this amounts to extortion. Our hands are tied."

Chad stood, "Mr. Stone, it is your job to get your hands untied. It would be much better if you did it yourself rather than the judicial system. Now, if you will excuse Tim and me, we need to get to bed. I'm sure my sons will have me up before it's even light, and I have been requested to attend some arraignments in Iowa City tomorrow."

Poor Mr. Kelley was clueless as to what was happening. Dad quickly gave a synopsis of what had and was happening and Mr. Kelley was incensed. Okay Jerry, Chad has a very good point. I remember very well how you thought my wife and I couldn't handle four problem children. We did fine and we have adopted all four of them. I suggest that you do as Chad recommended and get the regulations changed or I will follow his letter to the editor with an even more scathing letter."

Mr. Kelley stood, "Please tell Chad, Tim and Jenny to report to me first thing Monday morning and I'll introduce them to their homeroom teachers."

Mr. Stone and Mrs. Young stood and left shortly after Mr. Kelley. It was like they had nothing more to say.

After they had departed, Grandmother came and sat between Michael and me, "Doug and Mike, you need to make sure that your son keeps his anger under control. He is worse than a mother hen. Fortunately I agree with everything that he has said and done or I might smack him along side the head. We need to make it so he doesn't feel that his sons or his siblings are threatened. I'm going to bed. You guys clean up. After all I am babysitting again tomorrow."

Dad looked up, "Yeah, and you are totally enjoying bossing everyone around."

Dad and Grandmother went to their rooms while Mike and I cleaned the living room and made sure everything was secure. Mike put his arms around me, "So much for non-stressful days.

We had no more than entered our room than there was a knock.

Mike asked the person to enter and Chad stood there in his briefs, "Dads, I really screwed up big, didn't I?"

Mike pulled Chad onto the bed where we were sitting still fully dressed. Mike started, "Chad, I was so embarrassed by your actions tonight that I am going to recommend that you get put in the stocks naked and Jon and Mark can sell water balloons to passersby to throw at the thing between your legs that has been entrapped in the stocks. Don't worry your little marbles will be behind the stocks."

Chad thought a short time, "Wait a minute, do you mean to tell me that you have been checking the size of my chicken eggs and you're jealous. I demand equal time. Seriously Dads, I don't feel very good about what happened tonight."

I leaned back onto the bed and pulled him beside me, "Chad, you were a bit strong tonight, but you know what, Mr. Kelley supported you 100% and threatened to write a letter to the editor and the appropriate authorities that would support you. Between the two of you, you certainly got Mr. Stone's and Mrs. Young's attention. Now get your little robin eggs to bed."

Chad pulled himself away from me, "Wait a minute, you must need glasses. I'm surprised that you hadn't noticed the ostrich eggs between my legs." Chad kissed both Mike and me, "Thanks for everything Dads; I'll try hard to make you proud of me."

It was like he was a puff of smoke and he was gone. Mike and I decided to take a shower together but we were both so emotionally exhausted that there was no extracurricular activity. We were walking into the bedroom when there was a knock on the door. It couldn't be Chad again, we quickly put on our robes and I called out, "Come in."

Tim entered dressed in only in his white briefs. It was evident that he was not as well developed as Chad in the sexual department but he was adequately endowed.

Mike looked at Tim, "To what do we owe this visit, sir?"

Tim was beginning to sound more like Chad as he answered, "Oh, your Royal Highnesses, Sir Kevin has requested the honor of my presence at his humble abode tomorrow night. I came to seek your permission and to inquire as to what restrictions you might impose on us sleeping together."

Mike answered, "Sir Timothy, since you are our son and Sir Kevin is my nephew, I want to remind you, that you are just getting to know each other, so for the time being, I think it would best to limit any activity to cuddling and kissing."

"Dad, you sure don't allow much leeway do you?" Tim pouted.

Mike pointed, "You got it young man, now get your virgin bottom to bed."

As soon as Tim left, I started to laugh, "Okay, Father Long, where did that come from."

Mike glared at me, "From years and years of experience, now let's get into bed before some else comes calling."

To say that I had a difficult time going to sleep would be a massive understatement. I reviewed the events of the night over and over in my mind and kept thinking about all of the horrible things that could happen in Iowa City in the morning.

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

Editor's notes:

Well it looks like Chad has taken the bull by the horns, doesn't it? I think he will get a lot of support in his desire to keep his family together. We all love the people in E Walk's stories. It will be good to have a new chapter very soon.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher