By E Walk

(Copyrighted by the author)

Edited by Will B.

Chapter 35 - Just Call Me Sir

This is Brian.

When I came out of the bathroom, Jaime had his arms wrapped around Matthew and there were signs of new growth so I quickly dressed in my jogging clothes and went downstairs. Shamus and Rafael were already having a cup of coffee.

Shamus looked at me, "Where are your roommates?"

I started to giggle, "I think they are getting prepared to play the hide and seek game."

Shamus started to laugh, "Brian, you are absolutely evil. No wonder every man, woman and child is trying to take advantage of you."

Any more levity was interrupted by the arrival of Ben and Grant. They were dressed to run, as were Shamus and Rafael. We went out the backdoor and went to the park where we were met by Minister Smyth, Rupert and Philip. We started to run and I adjusted the pace to Philip, but he was in better shape than Shamus and Rafael. Rupert was having a ball just running with us. It was as if he didn't let us out of his sight.

When we returned to Minister Smyth, he collected Philip and Rupert and left saying, "We'll see you shortly."

When we got back to Uncle Hank and Uncle Rod's house, we were greeted by Jaime and Matthew with the funniest grins on their faces. Jaime announced, "We have to leave now, we have an errand to run. We'll be back in about an hour. Why don't you gentlemen have breakfast and wait until I return to get dressed. We will have some special things for you to wear."

I looked at Ben, "Do you have any idea what is going on? Why is everyone being so hush hush? I am beginning to get a little anxious about what is happening that is causing everyone to be so mysterious? Are they going to hang us in the London Tower or something?"

We were joined by Uncle Hank and Uncle Rod. They were dressed as if they were going to a funeral. After breakfast where we had tomatoes again of course, they suggested that we go take our showers and get ready for a busy day. "Jaime will be returning with you outfits shortly."

I was getting frustrated, "If it weren't only August, I would be suspecting that they are out buying Halloween costumes. Am I going to be Frankenstein or Jack the Ripper when they're finished dressing me."

That broke everyone up, but Aunt Bea answered, "Honey, they figured you would make a good Romeo so you and Miss Vicky can get together."

I looked at everyone, "You're all against me. I'm not going to kill myself like Romeo did. I hope they dress me like Tom Jones or maybe Tiny Tim."

I went to my room and was coming out of the bathroom drying myself when I saw Jaime standing there with two outfits. The first looked like a tuxedo and the second was a dark jacket of some sort. He looked at me, "Brian, you might want to put on a pair underpants. I don't think it would be wise if you walked around without something to restrain you."

"Is that all you ever do? Gawk at my body?" I pouted.

Jaime laughed, "No it is not all I do, but it sure is fun to do. Now, let's get you dressed. Shamus and Rafael are assisting Grant and Ben."

I shook my head, "I hope they are not getting their eyes poked out. Where's Matthew anyway?"

Jaime's eyes twinkled, "He went home to get properly dressed. He will be meeting us later. Now let's get you dressed so I can get dressed properly, too."

Jaime started to hand me the clothes to put on. I almost choked when he handed me a starched white shirt with French cuffs, "What are you trying to do suffocate me with this stiff collar?"

Jaime shook his head, "Is that all you know how to do? Complain, complain, and complain. It will loosen up shortly. Now here, put this tie on. Do you need me to tie it for you?"

"No thank you, I can do it myself."

After I had tied the tie, Jaime came and straightened it and handed me a pair of black dress socks and then the trousers to the suit. After he was satisfied that I looked good, he handed me a pair of shoes and got ready to leave, "I'm going to go change. Why don't you fix your hair while I'm gone. I'll meet you downstairs. I need to see if the Dads need anything."

I was sitting in the parlor when Grant and Ben appeared. They were dressed almost identical to me. The only small difference, I could see, was a small difference in the pattern of the ties. I started to giggle, "Well, if we don't look like the three morticians. I guess they must be taking us for a filming of The Addams Family."

Grant looked lost, "Brian, what are you babbling about?"

Ben snickered, "Never mind, I'll explain later. Brian, do you have any idea why everyone is being so mysterious?"

I shrugged my shoulders, "Guys, I haven't a clue. I guess this is just the way these Brits are. It's like the entire trip was something out of a fairy tale. I guess we need to be ready to roll with the punches."

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Uncle Hank and Uncle Rod. They were wearing similar apparel to what we were wearing but I guess they wore these types of clothes routinely. They were followed shortly by Jaime and Shamus who were impeccably attired also. Jaime announced, "Our limousine is waiting outside the front door, sirs."

I frowned at Jaime, "Knock it off, Mr. O'Rourke."

Jaime talked to the driver as we crawled into the limousine which could easily seat the seven of us. I finally had enough of this cloak and dagger stuff, "Would someone please tell us where we are going and why we are dressed like monkeys?"

Uncle Hank threw up his hands, "Okay, we're going to the Westminster Palace where you are going to meet some important people. We thought it would best if you were appropriately dressed."

I was confused, "Why would we need to get dressed like this to go to some dumb dirty palace even if we are going to meet some important people?"

Jaime and Shamus were smirking but Uncle Rod was very calm, "Brian, just trust us. You will better understand a little later."

We arrived at the front of this humongous building and we crawled out of the limo. Uncle Hank led us to the entrance of the building. He approached the security guard and talked very quietly and a young lady approached us, "If you gentlemen will follow me, I will escort you to Westminster Hall. Your friends are already there."

I looked at Ben and Grant and they looked as confused as I was if not more so. The young lady showed us to the front of the hall and I noticed that most of the assembled people were wearing outfits similar to what we were wearing. The young lady stopped, "I believe that your seats all have your names on them, so if you would please take your seats I think the proceedings are about to commence."

I looked around and the Montoyas, the Masons, Minister Smyth and Philip's parents were seated with us. Oh yes Rafael and Matthew were there as were Maria and Inga and Philip and Vicky. My mind was going a mile a minute. `What's going on? I must have missed something along the way.'

A gong sounded and everyone stopped talking, and a gentleman came out and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present Baroness Hayman, Lord Speaker of the House of Lords, and Mr. Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons. They are joined today by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown."

Mr. Brown came to the speaker's station, "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here today. We are indeed honored to have some very important people among our midst today. We are especially honored to have with us today" He paused and he and then said, "Her Majesty the Queen."

After another pause, he announced "His Royal Highness, Prince Harry."

Everyone stood and curtsied and bowed as they appeared. I looked at Ben and Grant and they just slightly bowed their head so I did likewise.

When the Queen and the Prince were seated in their places of honor, I realized that he was the person I had told that he was not playing his best game at the polo match and accused him of playing croquet on a horse.

My attention was drawn back to the Prime Minister who was speaking, "Ladies and gentlemen. I know that this meeting was called on very short notice, but because of things that are going to be happening the next several days, this is the only way we could present the awards in person. When Her Majesty was told what was happening, she informed me she would present the awards in person, assisted by His Royal Highness."

Mr. Brown turned around and bowed, "Your Majesty"

The Queen went to the speaker's station, "My lords and ladies, minister and gentlemen and ladies, I am truly honored that I can be here today. We are here to honor some young people that have made this a safer place for all of us to live, especially the young people of our country. I am just that amazed that three visitors from the United States of America were the persons who solved some of our problems. I am going to ask Prince Harry to handle the proceedings while I present the awards."

Prince Harry approached the platform, "I would ask that the following people please approach Her Majesty, Jaime Timothy O'Rourke, Shamus Eric O'Rourke, Matthew Henry Lawler, and Rafael Manuel Ortiz."

I watched as our four bodyguards went forward and Prince Harry proceeded with his presentation. "These four gentlemen exemplify that they care about the young people that they were involved with in these cases and took risks that would have caused many people to turn their backs. They are being presented the Order of Merit by Her Majesty. They will be able to put the symbol of O.M. behind their names. Well done, Gentlemen."

After the four guys received their medals, they were directed to the area behind the Queen. Prince Harry went back to the platform, "Now I would ask that Maria Teresa Montoya and Ingrid Elena Sandberg come to the platform. These young ladies have distinguished themselves by placing their lives in jeopardy. Her Majesty will also present them with the Order of Merit medal."

After the award had been presented, Maria and Inga were also directed to stand behind the Queen. Prince Harry started to speak again, "Now we would ask that Miss Victoria Elizabeth Mason and Mr. Philip Andrew Littleton come forward."

Philip and Vicky went to the platform and Prince Harry continued, "These two young people are members of the Queens's Commonwealth, it is with great pleasure that the Queen bestows on them the rank of Dame Victoria Elizabeth Mason and Sir Philip Andrew Littleton and they are now members of the Order of the Bath. They will also be receiving the Order of Merit"

I watched as the Queen gently laid a sword on their shoulders. The applause from those seated in the hall continued until Prince Harry put up his hand. He continued, "At this time I would like to ask Mr. Benjamin Jeffrey Benson and Mr. Grant Gregory Garrison to come forward."

I was now sitting by myself and feeling a little upset. Prince Harry continued, "These two young men have unselfishly put themselves at risk to help apprehend some of the notorious people who have been kidnapping young teenagers and selling them as slaves. Her Majesty is pleased bestow on them honorary knighthoods in the Order of Bath and they will also be receiving the Order of Merit. Although they may not be addressed as `Sir," they are due the respect that goes with the title.

The audience in the hall applauded and again the Queen made the presentations.

Prince Harry watched his Grandmother and she nodded. The Prince began, "We were to have one more presentation today; the person, who is to honored, told me that I didn't know how to play croquet on a horse when I was playing polo. I advised Her Majesty that she should not present this person."

Everyone in attendance was rather stunned by that comment, but the Queen smiled at Prince Harry and shook her head no.

Prince Harry glared at me, "Will the real Brian James Benson please come forward?"

I don't remember walking forward, but I guess I did because the next thing I heard was "Mr. Benson, you are being made an honorary Knight of the Order of the Bath. You are also going to receive the Order of Merit and The George Medal for your heroic efforts in the short time you have been here in our country."

The Queen took the microphone, "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to show this young man how much we appreciate what he has done for the people of our country in the short time he has been here. He helped us take some kidnappers off the street, then he saved a young boy's life by rescuing him from the ocean and he finished by catching some misguided people who were misusing some of our young people. We need to show this young man how much we appreciate everything that he has done."

Everyone in the hall was standing and applauding. Prince Harry stood at the podium again, "We have one more award to give today. Will Rupert please come forward?"

There was a gasp from the assembled people as Rupert came bounding toward the platform. I gave him a hand signal and he walked up and sat in front the Queen. Prince Harry read, "This is a first, but Rupert is being awarded the Order of Merit. It seems Rupert was instrumental in the capture of the kidnappers and protecting Sir Brian. We are also proud to announce that he is being retired and will be living with his new master Sir Philip Littleton."

The assembled people were still standing and Rupert turned to them with his medal around his neck. The Queen left and motioned for those of us on the platform to follow her. When we were sequestered in a receiving room, she started, "I would like to invite you and the others who are with you to Buckingham Palace for a light lunch. I think it would be a real kick to talk to some people who look at me as just another person."

This is Ben.

I have to take over this story. Brian is out of control. Brian looked at Her Majesty, "I need to check with my social secretary to see if I'm available. If Prince Harry is going to be there, I probably won't be able to come."

The Queen was enjoying Brian, "I'll tell you what `Sir' Brian, if I make Prince Harry behave himself, would you condescend to coming to our humble domain with your friends?"

We had been joined by the rest of the adults in our party and I thought they were going to have a stroke from the exchanges between Brian and Her Majesty. Prince Harry was having a difficult time not laughing.

Brian put his hand on his chin, "I guess that is the least we can do to help better relations between you Brits and us Yanks, but do we have to wear these ties and jackets? I feel like I am suffocating."

Prince Harry answered before the Queen could, "Why don't you all go get comfortable and wear something that you could ride horses in. After lunch I am going to teach young Master Brian what it is to be a real horseman."

As we were leaving, Brian, being his own normal self kissed the Queen and hugged Prince Harry. "We'll see you in an hour."

I think that Uncle Hank and Uncle Rod might have been upset but Minister Smyth and Minister Mason were laughing so I wasn't too worried. When we got back to Uncle Hank and Rod's house the explosion happened. Brian started it, "Why didn't any of you tell us what was going to happen? You must have had some inclination of what was going to happen."

Uncle Hank spoke for everyone, "We knew you were going to be recognized, but we had no idea that the Queen and Prince Harry were going to be there. How could you possibly talk to them like they were your equals?"

Brian was totally frustrated by now, "Uncle Hank, I am not a British subject or a member of the commonwealth. I do not recognize any sovereign person as being in control of me, and I certainly don't think of Uncle Mickey, who just happens to be the President of the United States, as having any special power over me. The Queen and Prince get up in the morning and put there underwear on just like the rest of us. Now if you will excuse me, I suggest we all get comfortable. You heard what Prince Harry said."

This is Jaime.

I think everyone was in shock by what Brian had just said. I know Dads Hank and Rod were in a state of disbelief.

Ben and Grant were smiling, but I was sure of Matthew and Shamus didn't know what to think. To be honest with you, I was proud of Brian for standing up for his rights. I may not agree with him one hundred percent, but he is an amazing young man.

I guess I need to go and put on some casual clothes.

To be continued:

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

Editor's Comments: What a chapter! Pomp and Circumstance at the Palace of Westminster and then pumpernickel and cucumbers at Buckingham Palace! Um-um! Cecil B DeMille couldn`t have staged this better.

Darryl's comments:

Thank you Uncle E for another wonderful chapter. Brian certainly says what he thinks. I am also pleased that he took the opportunity to take a little stuffing or stuffiness out of the proceedings. I am certain that the Royals were more than happy to be able to converse with people that thought of them as human instead of putting them on display all the time. This was indeed a Royal Romp!

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher