Family & Friends Series

Sandy & Dan

By Ron Robbins,
edited by Frank Perry

2010 All rights reserved

Part Twenty-five

Dunnlap Manor Conference Room

Sandy, Dan and Murdoch entered the conference once again for the afternoon session and took seats.

"Welcome back, gentlemen," Chet said. "We feel that we have resolved the security issue after having had a chance to review it from all angles. The Dunnlap Manor house and grounds and the Murdoch & Ryan estate will not require any extensive new security equipment to make their security more effective. With the addition of some more sophisticated surveillance equipment and some additional personnel, we all feel that the family and staff will be more secure."

"However, we feel that all three facilities will require guard dogs to patrol the grounds in the evening for added protection. The agriculture farming and livestock compounds of Oakdale Farms will require chain link fencing to create a barrier that will isolate the Manor house compound from the rest of the property."

"Dunnlap Plantation requires a much more extensive program to make the Manor house compound more secure. This is because of the volume of daily vehicular traffic that is required to operate this complex. In addition, to the vast agriculture and farming business, the acreage has hundreds of miles of unsecured borders. The Manor house and its surrounding land are going to need additional surveillance equipment and fences to secure the area. We are including the airfield and the hangar facility as part of the Manor compound. We will minimize the perimeter surrounding the compound itself to keep down the costs of maintaining the secure area for the family and the facility. We will need additional motoring equipment and staff to handle this addition. We will also need to construct a new building to house the additional equipment and staff."

"In the future we will erect gates at all entrances with guards. Only the main gate will be open on a twenty-four hour basis. Inside each gated entrance there will be armored vehicles to apprehend any vehicle that tries to break through our gates. From now on all drivers will require a microchip pass to enter the facility. That will apply to all employees that work outside the Plantation. Of course all employees will be issued individual identification cards. This will be carried out at all three locations."

"If the owners agree to these changes, we will prepare a cost estimate for each location. Mr. Lee and Mr. Lattimore reviewed and approved our plans as well."

Sandy said, "I would appreciate a copy of the final draft you have developed for the Plantation and the plans for the Manor house as soon as possible. Dan, Pete and I will study the plan tomorrow. In any event, I think you should not waste any time in ordering the components you will need to install the surveillance devices. I would also suggest that you contact Alex Savage, of Stonewall and Savage Engineering to construct the new building you will require. I wouldn't waste any time in recruiting the new security people you will need. I think that Mike Lee and Charles Lattimore may be helpful in recommending some candidates for the security employees you need to hire."

"Dan, Murdoch, do you have any questions you would like to ask?"

Murdoch said, "If some of the devices that you require are not off-the-shelf items, I think between Dunnlap Corporation, Templeton and McDonald Industries, we may be able to manufacture the equipment ourselves. We certainly have the capacity to manufacture almost anything that is required."

Sandy said, "I agree, Murdoch. Chet, I think you and your fellow directors should keep that in mind when you are pulling your security components devices together. Well, gentlemen, you've gotten a lot accomplished and I appreciate your taking the time today to resolve our security issues."

"Dwayne, would you have Mike call me after you have had a chance to brief him on the outcome of this meeting?" Sandy asked.

"Yes, sir," Dwayne replied, "I'm sure he will have some news for you."

As Sandy, Dan and Murdoch left the meeting together, Murdoch said, "I feel much more confident now after this meeting. I think they are on the right track. I'm curious about what Mike and Charles are going to come up with regarding Dan's assassination investigation. That's your main problem right now. These vermin cannot be allowed to make any more attempts on Dan or your family."

"I agree with you 100 percent, Murdoch. That is why we are taking this cruise aboard the Danny Boy," Sandy said.

"I spoke with Ryan a little while ago and he is all for the cruise." Murdoch chuckled, "Ryan is ready to pack-up the family and board the ship today."

Sandy said, "If Ryan is that anxious, I sure that Captain Nelson will be accommodating. I talked to him after lunch and he will be ready to board passengers tomorrow."

"Wednesday is just fine." Murdoch said. "Knowing Ryan, he will be ready to fly down the first thing Wednesday morning. He was really shaken up when he heard about the attempt on Dan's life. He is still not completely over the two attempts on his life. I think this trip will be good for him, but he forgets that his security team won't be ready to leave until Tuesday afternoon. Poor Ryan forgets that we have nine children to get ready along with their staff. I don't think Ryan has had time to contact their respective schools to release them for ten days."

"Another consideration is setting up a relay hook-up from the ship to our main computer for any conference calls to our national and international corporations."

Sandy said, "Don't worry about that Murdoch; we have a complete system aboard the Danny Boy with direct satellite communications. Dan and I can tweak the system to configure it any way we want so all we will need from you are the coordinates. Barring that, we have a helicopter that can take you to your aircraft if need be."

"God, you guys have everything figured out. I can see why you can run your businesses from the ship," Murdoch said. "I really appreciate this, Dan. Your other half gave you a nice gift."

Dan smiled, "He sure did. I must confess that I'm still a little overwhelmed about his generous gift and I feel better knowing we can make use this gift for this emergency."

Murdoch said, "Well, men, I have mucho plenty to do before Wednesday, so if I want to keep peace in the family, I'd better get my tail out of here. Thanks again for everything and we will see you gentlemen on Wednesday morning."

After Murdoch took his leave, Sandy said, "Dan, I need to make those calls to the family about the cruise. I think you need to have a nap; I don't want you to overdue things. If you need me I'll be in my office."

Ludlow called Sandy on the house telephone. "Master Sandy, I've notified the staff and your head chef, Jacques Mornae, about your plans for the cruise. I gave him Captain Nelson's telephone and suggested he speak to the Captain about any questions he has regarding the staff and the chef aboard the Danny Boy. Jacques said he would ask the chef to order the ingredients he would need for the cruise. I thought it would save a lot of time if the two chefs were on the same page and if the on-board chef has enough staff to handle the feeding of the added guests, plus the crew and staff."

"Jacques called me back and said he was satisfied that the ship had a more that adequate kitchen staff to handle the load. Jacques didn't want to take any of the staff from the Manor. He has prepared the list of supplies he will need and sent it on to the on-board chef. He is sure that some of the items on his list were already aboard the ship. Jacques also sent a list of supplies to Pete and asked him to have the fresh produce and meat delivered to the Danny Boy tomorrow afternoon."

Sandy said, "I'm glad you had Jacques contact Captain Nelson directly, it will save time. You know, there are advantages to being a part owner of a large farm. From what I can gather Jacques will not need to order much of the supplies from outside sources. Have you had a chance to talk to Margaret about the things she will need to send to the ship?"

"Yes sir, she gave me the list and I assigned one of the staff to make sure it is sent aboard."

"Thank you, Ludlow, I see that you have everything under control."

Sandy walked into their suite. Dan was seated on the sofa typing on his laptop. Sandy said, "I just finished my phone calls to the family. The only family members that can make it are Mother and Dad. The sisters have too much to do and cannot break away. They need to have at least two weeks advanced notice. I told them that we would try to schedule another cruise during the school vacation time."

Dan said, "That would also be a good time to invite my mother and Rodger. Everything is squared away with the school and with Joe. He was able to speak to Mrs. Ward to release Steve for the trip. The boys are excited about the cruise and are deciding what they want to pack. I need to make sure we have spare batteries for their hand held games. I told them to be selective in the number of electronic games they want to take along. I told them to plan to be away for a maximum of two weeks. All four of them are worried about who is going to take care of their horses. I told them that Ed Deamer would make sure their animals are cared for."

Sandy sat down on the sofa next to Dan, put his arm around his shoulder and pulled him to his side, tenderly kissing him.

"You don't know how wonderful it is to have you home and in my arms again. It would kill me if anything happened to you, sweetheart. I will really feel more relaxed when we are aboard the Danny Boy. Only then will I begin to let my guard down. I hate having our household and family upset by those bastards that want to hurt us. These two weeks will allow us to be a family again and also give us the privacy to be lovers once again."

"I feel the same way, Sandy. There is just too much going on all at once. We haven't had much time to think of anything else, being consumed with our safety. I never imagined the logistics involved in taking the family on a little outing. It's not like packing everyone in the van and heading to the ship. Now I know what it must be like to move a large family from the city to the summer house in the country. It's more like preparing to go on a safari into uncharted land."

"I'll admit it has been a hectic week, Danny, but we had little choice. I feel everyone has cooperated and is to be commended on a job well done. We won't know how good they've done until we are aboard the ship." Sandy chuckled, "We better make sure we count the babies and the kids before we sail. Danny, are you sure you feel strong enough to handle all these tasks. You are only out of the hospital a couple of days. Maybe you should take it easy?"

"I feel fine," Dan said, "I've been resting most of the day and I don't feel tired at all. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a cocktail and dinner."

"If you are sure, sweetheart, let's head down to the sitting room and have our drinks and have Joe round up the boys for dinner."

Sandy and Dan walked into the dining room. The boys were already seated at the table. Sandy said, "Good evening, men. I haven't seen you all since breakfast. How did your day go?"

"Great dad," Jeremy replied. "We're all excited about our vacation. We've been spending the afternoon going through everything we'll be taking with us on our cruise. Ludlow said everything had to be ready by tomorrow night."

Lloyd added, "Uncle Dan said our cousins will be going on the trip with us. I think that's super. They are great fun. I'm glad Steve is going as well, it would be a shame to leave him home. He's like one of the family."

"My mother and father will be joining us," Sandy said, "as well as Uncles Murdoch and Ryan with their children. Unfortunately, the rest of the family will not be able to join us because of the short notice. We plan to schedule another cruise with all the family and children during the summer vacation. My parents will be flying over tomorrow afternoon and will be spending the night with us."

Dan said, "I want you boys to plan on leaving the games you are taking on board the ship so that you won't have to take them along every time we take you on a cruise. So make a list of the games you will be taking before we leave and I'll have Ludlow order another set for you to use at home."

"Uncle Sandy," Chip asked, "what time will we be leaving on Wednesday morning?"

"I would like to take off by ten o'clock. Uncle Pete and his family will be here by nine-thirty. That will give the crew a half-hour to load their bags and get everyone settled in. Uncle Ryan and his family plans to arrive at the ship by nine. It's going be a busy morning for the crew. We should be on board to have our lunch at sea."

The boys were all smiles and all excited. They wasted no time in finishing their dinner. It was obvious they were anxious to get back to their packing. Jeremy asked if they could be excused.

"Are you sure you boys have had enough to eat?" Dan asked, with mock seriousness.

The boys smiled and all answered, "Yes, thank you, Uncle Dan"

"Then you may be excused."

When they left, Dan said, "They are such cute kids, I hope they can stay that way."

"We were very lucky to get three wonderful boys," Sandy responded. "Let us hope our other three turn out as well."

Dan said, "I'm sure, with those three to protect them and to teach them, all our children will be perfect angels. I can't believe we have six children already. I never thought a year ago that I would be married and have six children in our family."

Sandy laughed, "I wish we could attribute it to perfect planning, but I can't. I can only say that the circumstances worked out to our favor, and we seized the opportunity. Thank God we have the means and the ability to take on the responsibility of raising a large family. How about calling it a night and heading up to our bedroom to make out after we visit the nursery?"

Dan smiled and said, "That's the best offer I had all day, you lead and I'll follow."

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Sandy awoke at four-thirty and gently slid away from Dan. He showered and dressed and quietly left the bedroom without waking Dan. He headed to the kitchen to pick up the tray with his carafe of coffee and mug and carried it to the library.

Sitting at his computer Sandy began to access his email. Answering the most urgent mail first, he then scanned through the list of other mail. He read and answered Mike Lee's report, asking Mike to call him. He also downloaded the security report from Chet Williams for the newly revised security system. Chet mentioned in his report that an engineer for Stonewall & Savage Engineering had made an appointment for today to discuss the type of building needed and would submit their concept as soon as possible.

Later, Dan walked into the library and kissed Sandy. "Would you like to join me for breakfast? It's almost seven-thirty. The kids will be joining us at eight o'clock."

"Good Lord, I didn't realize the time. No wonder my stomach is growling. You look well rested this morning, sweetheart."

"I'm glad you let me sleep. I feel much better this morning, almost back to my old self again. I think the reason I slept so well was because we were in each others arms. I don't sleep as well when you are not next to me."

Sandy got up from his chair and walked to the dining room with Dan. "Oh, Chet sent the plans for our new security setup. Why don't you take a look at them after breakfast to see if you have any suggestions? They look okay to me, but I'd welcome your input."

"I'll be happy to eyeball them right after we eat."

The boys filed into the dining room with happy smiles on their faces. Lloyd said, "Do we have to go to school today, Uncle Sandy?"

"I realize you would like to stay home and finish up some last minute packing, but don't you boys think it would be a good idea to attend classes today since you will be absent for the next two weeks?"

Dan said, "The principal said that your teachers would be giving each of you assignments for the class work you will be missing. Don't forget you will be taking your final exams after you return in two weeks. I know you guys are already ahead of the other students in your classes but if you do this work you will receive higher marks on the tests."

"Uncle Murdoch said that he is taking two of his children's tutors along to keep up with their classwork, and he said he would be happy to let you boys sit in on those lessons. I think that will work out because his children are the same ages as you guys, and I'm sure your Aunt Penny will want her children to take advantage of that offer, too. I'll to speak to Uncle Murdoch and Aunt Penny to see if we need to take along an additional tutor for those of you who don't fit into any of those classes."

"But don't worry children, the classes will only be a few hours a day and won't spoil your vacation. Uncle Pete said it is all that he can do to keep the twins, Pete Jr., and Sandy away from their books. They enjoy playing sports, but they get more pleasure learning as much as they can. I'm astounded at their knowledge of so many things. You guys can learn a lot from them."

Sandy, Lloyd and Chip left the dining room. Jeremy stayed behind asking Dan if he could talk to him.

"Of course, son, what's on your mind?"

"Dad, the twins are geniuses. They are only ten years old, yet they are years and years ahead of us. I don't think we could ever catch up with them even if we tried."

"It's true, son, they have the capability and the brain capacity to absorb and store a great amount of information, but, at their age they don't always understand a subject and are not always able to use the information they absorb. When they reach a subject they find interesting, they must stop and research it until they understand that subject before it becomes useful to them."

"For example, they may read about an automotive engine and they learn how it moves the automobile. However, they can take that one step further; they can research the engine and learn how the engine works from the inside out. They are capable of researching and learning how the internal combustion engine is designed and how it works mechanically from the piston, valves, crankshaft, combustion and ignition of the gasoline in the chambers of the engine itself."

"It may be painstakingly detailed work for us, but for them it is exciting. In the end, they can explain the entire process and do so accurately. Their brains work differently then ours. That is why they will succeed in any field they elect to work. You should not feel intimidated by their above average intelligence. They also have their problems. They must be guided down the right path and not be allowed to spend their waking hours absorbed in their desire to learn. They need to interact and socialize with other children and become involved in sports and other leisure activities. That is why Uncle Pete and Aunt Penny make sure they don't become too wrapped up in their thirst for knowledge."

Jeremy said, "I like them very much and I enjoy spending time with them. They are very down to earth and bend over backwards to make sure they are not trying to impress me with the superior knowledge. They are very careful to explain any subject to us that they are studying."

Dan said, "Your Uncle Pete and Daddy Sandy are also twins and are geniuses just like their namesake."

"Wow," Jeremy said. "That's hard to believe. Uncle Pete is so much fun and so easy going, yet Daddy Sandy is more serious, but is a great dad. I love them both."

"Daddy Sandy and I are very proud of you and the way you helped your cousins. You're a big brother to them and you have helped them a lot. Uncle Pete and Aunt Penny feel the same way."

"I love you and Daddy Sandy very much. You've given me so much love and respect. My life began again when Daddy Sandy found me sleeping in his office. I'm thankful I have a loving family and aunts and uncles that really care about me."

"We all love you very much, son, just keep on doing what you are doing and everyone will be happy." Dan pulled Jeremy into his arms and hugged him and kissed him on the forehead. "You'd better get ready for school, we don't to keep everyone waiting, do we?"

"I love you, Dad."

"I love you too, son."

Dan walked down to the library and Jeremy took off to his bedroom suite.

Sandy was seated at his desk when Dan walked in. "Is everything okay with Jeremy?"

"Everything is fine with Jeremy. I case you didn't know it; we have one sharp, intelligent and loving son."

Sandy chuckled, "Tell me something I don't already know. Why, what did Jeremy say to impress you once more?"

Dan smiled and related the conversation he had with Jeremy.

Sandy said, "Our Jeremy is a very sensitive young man and he is very perceptive. I have to chuckle, so Jeremy thinks I'm the serious one."

"Well he is not that far off the truth on that point," Dan said. "He is right, you are the serious one, but you are also the one I love." Dan walked over and kissed Sandy. "And that's why I married you"

"I love you very much, my Danny Boy."

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To be continued
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