The Mark and The Mole

By E Walk

(Copyrighted by the Author)

Edited by Radio Rancher

Chapter 31 - The Presentation

Everything seemed to be moving along smoothly. Chad had finally gotten all of the funds that the children had received deposited and he had taken the children two at a time to open their individual accounts. The only one of the children who gave him any static was Tim.

Tim was upset, "Chad, look at me, why can't I use the money before I go to college or turn twenty one?"

Chad didn't back down, "Look Tim, the people sent the memorial funds for our college education. Our dads and grandparents will provide everything we need. If we start using the funds indiscriminately, it will be depleted and then we will have nothing. If you want money, get a job."

Tim was not very happy when they arrived back from the bank, "Chad, I might as well quit school now. I'll never be able to go to college with my grades."

Chad grabbed Tim and held him, "Tim, look man, you are intelligent. You just haven't allowed yourself to express yourself fully because of the cloak that our former father threw up around us. Timmy, please trust me. If I have to play baseball, then you sure can get the grades to get a scholarship to a good university."

Tim pushed Chad away, "Look you dummy, your playing baseball and my getting good grades don't equate to the same thing."

Chad pulled Tim close and hugged him, "If you could figure that out, then there is no reason why you shouldn't get good grades. Case closed, you aren't going to touch the money until you go to college or turn 21."

It was Thursday evening and the five musketeers were assembled in the dining room putting the finishing touches on their presentation. Chad, came into the living room, "Would you people please come into the dining room and critique our presentation." The five young people showed Grandmother, Dad, Mike and me to a seat. Chad stood at the front of the table. None of us knew what to expect.

Chad started, "Ladies and Gentlemen of the board, here is our proposal to solve the problems that your business has been encountering." He nodded to Kevin who was running the power point presentation.

I was absolutely stunned by Chad's professionalism. When he finished, he looked at us. "Ladies and gentlemen, do you have any questions?"

Grandmother raised her hand, "Young man, I have a question. What if ...?"

Chad was so calm, "Ma'am, we considered that option but decided it wouldn't be cost effective."

Chad looked at Dad, "Yes Mr. Walker, what is your question?"

Dad was playing the game, "Mr. Walker, if things take as long to fix as you suggest, isn't the competition going to be taking advantage of the time we are getting ready to go into the big time to erode our share of the market?"

Chad thought for a short time, "Mr. Walker, that's a good point. I will discuss the issue with the team."

Dirk stood, "Ladies and gentlemen, time for a snack."

I think the four adults were extremely impressed with Chad's presentation and the presence he displayed. I know I was and wondered what might happen tomorrow. We left the teenagers to finalize their presentation, and went into the living room. Grandmother asked for shot of Drambuie on the rocks, so I fixed four of them.

We were visiting when Jenny came into the room, "Dads, may I go to the Holiday on Ice show with Greg tomorrow night. His parents have given him permission to bring a friend and he asked me. They would like to pick me up at five and take us to dinner before the show if you approve."

Grandmother looked at Jenny, "Look young lady, who is Greg? How old is he? And why did he ask that you go to the Ice Show?"

I guess Jenny had anticipated the questions. "Greg is a 15 year old sophomore and is taking some A.P. courses. He is in three of the classes that I am taking. I think you would like him, and oh yeah and he plays baseball. His last name is Rodgers and his Dad works at some hospital. I think he is an only child. They don't live too far from here because he knows where we live."

Dad looked at Jenny, "Jenny, you're fourteen. Are you sure that you are ready to have a boyfriend?"

"Granddad, I'm not ready for a boyfriend like that. I've never been to an ice show and we are just friends. In fact, I don't even know if he likes girls."

I looked at Jenny, "You may go with the proviso that we meet him and his parents when they come to pick you up."

Jenny looked a little dejected, "Dads, are you ever going to trust us?"

Mike answered, "Jenny, please trust us. We're just learning to be dads. Given what happened to Chad, we don't want anything similar to happen to any of the rest of you. Please call Greg and tell him what the stipulations are and see what he says."

Jenny and returned after what seemed like ten minutes. She had a smile on her face. "Greg's parents are glad that you made it so clear that you would like to meet the three of them. They were trying to figure out a way to check you out too. Could the four of you please be on your good behavior tomorrow when they are here?"

Granddad was laughing, "Okay Jenny, I suppose you would like for me to be dressed in a tuxedo and wearing white gloves when I greet them at the door. Mother, why don't you wear that long purple chiffon gown. Doug and Mike, we'd better hide the other children so they don't embarrass Jenny."

This was good. Jenny was enjoying being the center of attention for a change. She looked at us, "Could everyone be their normal selves when the Rodgers are here. We all know that this is a different household and that Chad and Grandmother are in control. Grandmother, what should I wear to dinner and the Ice Show?"

Dad started to laugh, "Just like a woman, always worrying about what she should wear."

Jenny had tears in her eyes, "Granddad, I've never done anything like this before, and I really don't have very many dressy clothes. This is all new to me."

Grandmother looked at Dad, "Bryce, chill out. Jenny, let me contemplate about this tonight and we'll decide in the morning. I don't think what you wore for the funeral would be appropriate."

Jenny hugged us all and disappeared up the stairs. Dirk, Kevin and Kendra came out of the dining room . Dirk turned back, "Chad, stop worrying everything will be fine. Take care of Jon and Mark and get a good night's sleep."

The three teens waved to us and Kevin announced, "We're leaving now before our parents come looking for us. Chad is pretty good isn't he?"

Chad brought the twins in and handed them to Mike and me, "Dads, hold the boys while I fix their cereal. Why don't you bring them into the kitchen and you can feed while I finish cleaning the kitchen? That way they can spit all over you if this doesn't work."

We went into the kitchen and placed Jon and Mark in their seats. Chad handed us the cereal for the twins. After the first bite they were both like hungry goldfish waiting for food. They finished the small portion that Chad had fixed for each of them and Chad handed us a bottle for each of them. Jon and Mark finished them in no time at all. After the twins had been burped, Chad looked at the two of us, "Dads, please go check on the other children while I put the twins to bed. I'm exhausted."

When we looked in the room where the four youngest boys were sleeping, we heard Jason say, "Guys, maybe we can get the Dads to take us to do something fun tomorrow night. Like go to another movie or roller skating. They have been so busy with everything that they haven't had time to spend with us. Maybe after Chad and the twins are gone, they will have more time to spend with us. Wouldn't it be fun to go camping with them? We could go fishing and maybe they would even let us drink a beer."

We stepped back and knocked to let them know we were there. We hugged the four guys and made sure they were okay. When we got to our bedroom, I hugged Mike, "I guess we just got our butts chewed on by one of our nine year old sons. It's too bad I have to work this weekend or we could take the guys to our cabin up at Storm Lake. We'll have to remember that idea for later. I'll check around the station tomorrow to see what people can recommend for us to do with the guys. Remember, I will be leaving the house at five in the morning. I have to do the seven o'clock news."

I set the alarm for 4:15. When the blasted thing went off, I wanted to throw it out the window. I took a quick shower and dressed for the day. I kissed Mike and as I passed Chad's door I heard the twins stirring. Chad opened the door in just his briefs. "Dad, where are you going at this hour?"

He followed me downstairs dressed as he was and started to fix two bottles. He looked at me, "Do you want me to make you some breakfast?"

I shook my head no, "I'll grab some coffee and a roll at the station and then after the news broadcast at seven, I'll grab breakfast at the diner that is close to the station. I should be home about three."

He hugged me as I left. On the way to the station, I kept thinking about how handsome he was. No wonder everyone likes him. He's not only handsome to look at he is such a caring person.

I guess the fun started at breakfast time. Dad, looked at Tim, "Tim, I want you home as soon as possible after school tonight. We have an errand to run and bring Kevin with you. Chad, you need to pick up Deanna and Dianna today. I'll get Jason, Bobby, Jeremy and Billy and bring them home."

Grandmother took over, "Jenny, what are your classes this afternoon?"

Jenny had a funny look on her face, "After lunch, I have algebra and we're having a quiz. After that I have a study hall and then chorus."

Grandmother smiled, "Great, I'll pick you up right after algebra. I'll call the school and tell them you have an appointment."

Chad tensed, "What kind of an appointment?"

Grandmother smirked, "Chad, my laddie, that's for me to know and for you to find out. Only the Grandmother knows. Now let's get this mess cleaned up before the workmen come. They are pretty sure that the initial project is going to be completed today."

Everyone's day was going fine and Grandmother picked Jenny up at 1:15. Poor Jenny had no idea what she was in for. They stopped at a hair salon and Grandmother had made arrangements for the owner to style Jenny's hair. The next stop was Limited Two and then The Gap and Grandmother found just what she was looking for and had Jenny try on an outfit. After several tries, they finally found an outfit that they both agreed on. They got home before Granddad had to go pick up the four elementary students.

Meanwhile at school, Chad's team was getting ready to cause a mutiny. They were indeed the first team scheduled to make their presentation. The team took their lunch period making sure everything was set and working properly. When the seventh hour started, Mr. Parsons announced, "The first company to make their presentation will be The M and M Company. Mr. Walker will be making the presentation for the company."

Chad had been standing outside the door waiting for Mr. Parsons' introduction. He casually walked into the room wearing a tie and a blazer. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the board, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you with some of the problems that your company has been experiencing. We have examined the issues and here are our recommendations."

Chad made his presentation and the entire class sat there with their mouths open. It was like they were transfixed. Chad concluded, "Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes my presentation. Are there any questions?"

A young man in the back stood, "Mr. Walker, you have to be a ringer. There is no way that a high school student could make such a professional presentation."

Chad looked at the young man, "Mr. Rodgers, I believe. I assure you that I am just a dumb high school student. I hadn't been to school since last June until this semester started. I am the father of two infant sons. To top everything off, Mr. Parsons came to Tim's and my home and threatened to give our entire team an F if we didn't play baseball."

Chad looked at the clock, "Ladies and gentlemen, our time is up."

The Rodgers person asked, "Mr. Parson's did you really threaten to give Chad's team an F if he and Tim didn't play baseball?"

Mr. Parsons had a silly smile on his face, "Yes, I'm afraid I did."

A young woman asked, "Chad, if you have two sons, where is your wife?"

Chad was looking a little piqued, "My wife died after the twins were born from problems other than giving birth to my two beautiful sons."

A silence swept over the class as Dirk went and put his arm around Chad and led him to a seat. Mr. Parsons took a couple of deep breaths, "Class, now that you have seen the type of presentations that you need to compete with, I'll give you the rest of the class time today and on Monday to polish your presentations. The M and M Company Team will still be receiving an F if Tim and Chad don't show for baseball practice on Monday."

The teams started to assemble and Mr. Parsons announced, "M and M team, I would like to visit with you at the conference table immediately for your critique."

When everyone was seated Mr. Parsons began, "Kendra and guys, I have been teaching this course for ten years and I have to tell you that this was the best presentation that I have witnessed. You realize that you have set some rather lofty standards for the other teams. They are going to be out to outdo you. I'm giving you and an A+ but I will change it to an F if Chad and Tim don't show for baseball practice on Monday."

The bell rang and Chad looked at Kevin, "Kev, why don't you take Tim home. Granddad has something he wants Tim to do. I need to go pick up Deanna and Dianna. Kendra and Dirk, do you need rides?"

Dirk shook his head, "Kendra and I have a meeting to plan the Junior/Senior Prom for this year. We'll see you at your house about five o'clock."

When I got home, Grandmother was sitting with Jon and Mark. She looked at me, "Doug, I'm exhausted. Take care of Jon and Mark and see if you can find a snack for the rest of the children. Bryce has gone to pick up the four younger boys and then he and Tim are going to go do something. I need to rest for a little while. It's been a long day."

I was concerned; this wasn't like Grandmother. My mind was thinking all sorts of thoughts when Dad came in with four starving young guys. I gave them a dish of ice cream and a cookie. The guys were eating when Kevin and Tim came in and announced, "Where is Granddad, he said we had to go do something? Are Grandmother and Jenny here yet?"

Tim looked at me, "Dad, wait until you talk to Chad about what happened today."

Dad came in, "Come on guys, time's awasting. I'll buy you a snack on the way."

I was sitting there thinking, "What is happening? It's like I came back and I have been in a time warp. Everyone has been doing things or done things that I don't know about."

My train of thought was interrupted by the arrival of Chad, Dianna and Deanna. Dianna started, "Dad, we have been asked to go to a party tonight. Chad, talked to the mother of the girls who are having the party and he says we can if it's okay with you and Dad Mike. Someone will need to take us but the girls' parents said they would get us home before 10:30."

That crisis was solved when the foreman of the construction crew came up from the basement. "Mr. Walker, you can have your family move into the newly renovated spaces. We have just a few minor things to take care of. We'll come back Monday while most of the occupants are at school. Would you like to inspect the results?"

I went with the gentleman and he showed me what still needed to be done. Chad had joined us when we were downstairs. "Dad, this is so great. You should see what they did to the third floor. The guys are going to be in hog heaven up there. I need to go start dinner while the boys are sleeping."

The workman had left and Chad was fixing dinner when Mike arrived. I looked at the clock and it was only 4:30. He never got home this early, especially on a Friday. I started to get concerned, "Michael, are you okay?"

Mike looked at me, "My last two appointments canceled for today and I decided to come home and watch the fireworks when they go off."

What does everyone know that I don't know? I was beginning to get a little concerned. No, actually, I was getting angry.

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


Editor's Notes: I'm with Doug here. What is going on that we don't know about, or am I just not paying enough attention? I usually catch on to these things.

Let's hope they are going well in the next chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher