Three Finger Cove: The Twins ~ Book Four

Chapter Fifty~Three

When the boys began walking down the hill to the house they saw that Mr. Wayne's car was gone. That meant their 'dad was home, so they began to run to the house. They didn't stop in the Kitchen Nook to get their after-school snack, instead, they headed to the Study where they hoped to find Mr. Ken.

"'Dad', 'dad', 'dad'," the man could hear as all four lads called out as they ran to the Study.

"I'm in here, boys," calmly called out Mr. Ken.

"'Dad', you're back," called out Charles, as he ran to his 'dad' sitting behind the big desk and hugged him. The other three Cover lads also joined in the mutual hug.

"It is good to be back, boys. I take it you missed me?" asked 'dad' Ken.

"What makes you think we missed you?" slyly asked Kyle.

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe that you all came running to find me, then you all hugged me when you came into my Study," laughed Mr. Ken.

"Yes, 'dad', we did miss you. But we are also glad you found someone like Mr. Wayne to be with us when you can't," spoke up Robert.

"I'm glad you all like Mr. Wayne. I've offered him a permanent job of being, for now, my 'In-Charge Manager', but I got to come up with a better title. Anyway, he and I will talk some more as he gets his official Foster Parent license," Mr. Ken told the boys.

"A Foster Parent license?" asked Kevin.

"Yes, Ms. Judy wants him to be fully licensed to be a Foster Parent. It will give him more standing with people if you are with him and someone asks him why he has a bunch of boys with him. This way he'll have an identification card that distinguishes him with CPS and the police so they will accept him and you being together," explained 'dad' Ken.

"Boys, why don't you go get your after-school snack and then head up and get your homework done. Then, after dinner, we can talk about my trip," suggested 'dad' Ken.

When the lads left Mr. Ken alone in his Study, the man looked through his messages and started to finish making some phone calls. One call he made was to Jules Diamond, the man who supplies the guards for The Cove. He wanted to know if Gene and George were available for Saturday night to watch the boys from a distance as they 'begged for candy' that night. Jules said he'd ask them and call him tomorrow with their answer.

Ken also called Judy to tell her about his trip and how he felt Wayne made out with the boys and their friends. Judy was happy to hear that Wayne was low key in letting the boys know they messed up and didn't go to an extreme. Judy also was happy that Wayne Mitchell would work out as Ken's second pair of hands and told Mr. Ken that his preliminary background check came back clean.

Ms. Judy told Ken that the background check was the key to her letting the man continue to be around the boys when Ken was not around. Ken was also happy at the positive report since he really wanted Wayne to be his go-to-man when he had to be gone.

After dinner, the boys were anxious to hear about their 'dad's' trip to visit his three amusement parks back east. The boys left the dinner table and headed to the Study, but Mr. Ken stopped and asked them to head down to the Great Room. He told them they don't use that room enough and it is much easier to relax there than in his Study.

As the group got settled, the boys wanted to hear what their 'dad' saw at his properties. First Mr. Ken told the lads about his flight back East. 'Dad' Ken told the boys, with a smile on his face, that they did not let him drive the plane. Kevin and Kyle didn't understand the joke until Charles told them that when he went to Dallas-Fort Worth last August the pilots let him fly the plane. Then Robert said the pilots let him and Eric fly the plane when they flew to Florida before their cruise.

The twins' eyes got big when they heard Robert and Eric went on a cruise and Charles was again left home. Mr. Ken had to remind the boys that Charles wasn't living with him yet and it was just like when they didn't go to Arlington with Charles back in August because they weren't living there yet, either. The twins did their 'twin talk' and Kevin said they both understood.

When it came to telling the Cover boys about his trip, Mr. Ken told them about the ghosts and goblins and the haunted areas and compared them to what they all saw at SeaWorld. He tried to make the lads understand that their budget wasn't anything near what SeaWorld had to spend, but the amusement parks did a wonderful job of scaring the guests.

Mr. Ken told his 'boys' the employees made the scare zone as good as it was. The man explained the employees got into their characters and did a wonderful job of making the guests enjoy their experience and he heard many saying they couldn't wait until next year to see what they did then.

Robert asked about the rides and if his 'dad' rode any of them. He wanted to know if the cooler weather, changed the characteristics of the rides, especially the roller coasters. 'Dad' Ken told the teenager that he did ride the coasters at the different parks, but it was during the early evening as he wanted to walk around and watch the people and characters. Mr. Ken said the ride was a bit chillier due to the cool wind on his face, but he thought it added to the uniqueness of the Spook-Tac-U-Lair.

The five Covers talked about the three amusement parks with Charles and the twins asking more about the layout and what there was to do. Hearing that, Mr. Ken asked the boys to wait just there and he went to his bedroom. When he returned, he'd brought back some brochures that showed the layouts for all three amusement parks for the boys to look over. They each took one and looked through it focusing mainly on the rides and the flow.

When one boy finished looking at the brochure he had, he bugged his 'brothers' to trade so he could look at a new one. It took the three lads about ten minutes to look at all three brochures and then more questions were asked. The three lads, who'd never been to the amusement parks, just had to know how tall they had to be to ride some of the amusements. They also wanted to know how expensive the foods were, and how many restrooms there were.

Mr. Ken answered all of their questions, but the one he had the hardest time answering was Charles'. The pre-teen asked his 'dad', one more time, if he could take them to visit his amusement parks over their Christmas vacation. Mr. Ken explained how busy they will be over the Holidays, with all three parties The Cove gives, and it might be difficult to plan to get away for even a few days. The man told them he wasn't saying no, but he also wasn't going to say yes, just yet. He told the four Cover lads they had lots of time before their Holiday vacation to look at what they could work out. All four lads wore big smiles after hearing that their 'dad' would at least look into taking them to visit his amusement parks.

At bedtime, Mr. Ken went up the stairs to visit with all four lads before they lay down to sleep. He told them each how proud he was of them, that they gave Mr. Wayne a chance to be their 'Charge Manager' while he was gone. Charles and the twins told their 'dad' they liked Mr. Wayne and hoped he'd be with them again if he had to be gone.

When 'dad' Ken entered Robert's room to talk to him about Mr. Wayne, Robert told the man he was sorry they didn't wait for Mr. Wayne before running to the Go-Kart Track entrance. Mr. Ken sat down on Robert's bed and told the teenager that he must have said he was sorry about a half dozen times by then and that he needed to move on from the experience.

Mr. Ken told the teen that making mistakes and learning from them made him a better man for the future. He told him that he needed to look at how his actions affected the people he was with before deciding to do what he had planned. 'Dad' Ken told his 'son' that Mr. Wayne has moved on and he didn't dwell on what happened to him when he arrived home.

"'Son' ... Mr. Wayne knows you're sorry for not waiting for him at the Go-Kart Track. What I'd ask you to do now is to forget about doing it ... but don't forget the lesson. 'Son', try not to make too many mistakes and the ones you do make, I hope you'll see why they are wrong and you'll understand the right from the wrong of it. None of us are perfect, 'son', but we need to try to do our best in everything we do. Can you work with me on this?" finished Mr. Ken.

"Yeah, 'dad', I understand what you're saying. It's just ... that I know you want Mr. Wayne to be your go-to-man when you can't always be here with us. I just ... I just feel bad we did that. I ... I don't know why we didn't wait for him, we just didn't, 'dad'. I guess Mr. Wayne's letting us think outside the box got us all so wound up knowing we were going to do something totally different than what we usually do on a Friday night, that we just ... well, we just didn't think this all through," lamented Robert.

"Robert, put this incident to rest. Don't think about it anymore. Move your thoughts to the future, like going begging for candy this Saturday. And speaking of going out Trick-Or-Treating, I called Jules Diamond about having Gene and George keeping a watch on you four, from a distance, mind you, as a safety precaution," explained 'dad' Ken.

"What kind of precaution 'dad'? Why would we need to be watched? Is there something you're not telling us, 'dad'?" immediately asked Robert.

"'Son', with that man Julian wanting to get access to the twins ... I don't want to take any chances that he won't try to get them again. You'll be out and exposed and even with houses around, your screams, if someone is trying to take you away will go out as part of the Trick-Or-Treating. No, I'm not going to take any chances. If Gene and George are available they'll be stationed in front of you and behind you as a safety guard. You'll have your cell phone and so will Charles and if you feel something's wrong you'll call them; not me!

"Robert, I don't want you to say anything about Gene and George to any of your 'brothers'. I don't want to alarm them, but I will tell them what I have planned just before you guys go out begging for candy," chuckled Mr. Ken, in trying to lighten the conversation.

"I understand 'dad'. Thank you for talking to me and telling me about Gene and George. I better get to bed," said Robert, who then reached out to 'dad' Ken and hugged him.

The Covers all had a good sleep that night.

Breakfast was a bit livelier Tuesday morning as compared to Friday. The boys were much more animated and talkative about the weekend's coming Trick-Or-Treating. Mr. Ken asked Charles to coordinate with David as to what time he wanted him over here. The man suggested 5 so they could get something to eat, dressed, and ready to go out begging for candy. The owner of The Cove also asked his 'son' to find out what sort of costume he was wearing. Before long the lads all got ready to head up to catch the school bus.

The talk at school was still about the weekend when a few boys from different grades got to spend a night at The Cove. A few of the boys who still haven't garnered an invite to Three Finger Cove were still miffed at being either ignored or shunned totally. A few made their voices heard and it finally got to Sam, so he spoke up.

"Listen you, twerps, maybe if you tried to become friends with Kevin or Kyle, instead of bitching and moaning that you never get asked over, you might get an invite over to The Cove someday. All you ever do is bitch about not getting to go over there. You better believe that if I'm tired of hearing you constantly complain you never get to go over and ride the ramps you best better believe Kevin and Kyle hear it too. And if it were up to me ... you'd NEVER get to go over there," loudly voiced Sam, as he let out the steam that was building up inside him over all the testy, peevish and petty comments that were being made ever since the twins arrived at their school.

Dan Chassen wasn't one to miss much that happened out in the schoolyard and he didn't miss Sam's outburst to the boys and some girls who repeatedly lamented the fact they never got to go over to Three Finger Cove. The man agreed with Sam Symons. He'd watched how the kids went about trying to win the twins as friends by speaking out and not trying to get to know either one of the twins. The man just stood back and inwardly smiled at the naiveté and immaturity of some of the eleven-year-olds.

Mr. Ken got back to work and started by checking on his new buildings going up out next to the lake. He quickly called his foremen to get a status update and then to his architect group about the status on the new apartment complex he hoped to start building right after the Holidays.

The man learned that with the weather staying mild and with no rains to speak of the hotel now had its roof fully installed so the interior completion was proceeding on time and on budget. The foreman told the man he should be able to start selling rooms around the beginning of May, if not a few weeks sooner, depending on furniture arrival and placement and the reservation system being up and working.

Mr. Ken's call to his architect about the hotel wasn't so positive. The owner of The Cove learned there was some hold up due to some negative public input. The chief architect told his boss there were people now speaking out against the proposed location and there was a Commissioner's Court hearing scheduled for the first week of November, which happened to be next week. The architect told Mr. Ken that practically all of the plans have been approved through the Planning and Zoning Committee and the utilities are all in place and ready to be hooked up.

The man told Mr. Ken they only needed the final go-ahead from the Court and with that, they could sign the construction contracts and start the building process sometime after the Holidays. Mr. Ken told himself there was nothing he could do about the public's input, but he could attend the hearing, answer their questions and concerns and defend their placement.

The lads went directly to Momma Maria for their after school snacks. They knew their 'dad' was back home, so they didn't have to run to find him when they first came home. They did stop by the Study, though, before going up to their rooms to get their homework done before dinner.

After dinner the lads couldn't stop talking about wearing their Halloween costumes. 'Dad' Ken told them to get them and put them on to make sure they had everything they needed for Saturday night. The boys ran out of the Study to get their costumes and put them on. Mr. Ken knew they'd run up the stairs, too, so he yelled for them not to Run up those stairs, but it was too late. He just smiled knowing that's what boys did when they were in a hurry.

Halloween Mad HatterTen minutes later all four Cover lads came to the Study wearing their costumes. They each walked in separately to show off their outfits to their 'dad'. Kyle went in first wearing is Mad Hatter attire. The lad had a big smile on his face as he strutted into the room and turned around as he did so. The lad wore his tall and oversized top hat, orange hair, a loud plaid jacket with a checkered shirt and vest, white gloves and multi-colored socks. Mr. Ken said all the lad needed was a teacup and saucer, but he didn't know how he could carry that and all the candy he'd been begging for.

Halloween Clown Kevin walked into the Study next. The older twin wore his clown outfit with its top hat, orange hair, big red nose, white shirt, long multi-colored tails jacket, long plaid pants, big oversized shoes, white gloves and a large lollipop. Kevin turned around as he walked in front of Mr. Ken's big desk and the man applauded him. Mr. Ken told the twin he looked great in that costume and it fit him to a 'T'.


Halloween Grim ReaperCharles walked into the Study next. Mr. Ken didn't recognize who it was, at first, but as the lad walked in and turned around in front of his desk the 'dad' knew it was Charles. The pre-teen wore a long black robe with long sleeves that were made to look like ends were frayed. There was also a hooded cape that also covered the lad's shoulders that also had the frayed ends. Charles additionally carried a scythe, made of plastic for safety, and a mask that the eyes faded in and out that made the boy look like the man who came to collect souls.


Halloween Psycho ClownThe Psycho-Clown came into the Study last. Robert wore a black and white striped long shirt and pants with a black, cape-like cover that had clown tails with bells on them. The teen also had on white gloves and a mask with a large psycho smile, partially bald head and orange bushy hair.

"You all look awesome in your costumes, boys. I don't think the Psycho-clown needs anything but maybe a bloody knife. The Phantom and the Clown are complete, I'd say. I don't see anything they need to augment their costume. As for Kyle, I already told him that his Mad Hatter costume could use a teacup and saucer, but he'd need both his hands to carry all that begged for candy. But now that I look at him, I think he needs some white face paint. And maybe some for Kevin, too. You other two have something to cover your face while the twins don't," offered 'dad' Ken.

"'Dad' ... maybe we can find an old cup and saucer and glue them together for Kyle to carry. I also agree with you that he needs white face paint to complete the look. I also bet Kevin's costume would look much better if he had white face paint on, too," spoke up Robert.

Mr. Ken looked at his watch to see what time it was and seeing it was almost 7:30 he decided it was too late to go out and buy the things the lads needed to make their costumes complete.

Robert saw his 'dad' was thinking about something, so he asked him what it was. Then learning what the man had in mind, the teen told his 'dad it wasn't all that late and it shouldn't take more than an hour to go out and get the few things they needed. The other three boys joined in saying they wanted to go and see what extras there were out there that they could add to their costumes.

After a few moments of pleading, the man thought that he and the boys hadn't done anything together for a few days and this would be a good outing for them all. He told them to go up to their rooms and take off their costumes and get back into their school clothes and meet him down in the Foyer in ten minutes. The boys ran out of the Study, but this time Mr. Ken followed and yelled to them not to run up the stairs. They did slow down some as they went up to their rooms.

The five Covers drove over to one of the big box stores that carried Halloween costumes and accessories. The boys looked at the costumes that the store had on their racks but 'dad' Ken told them they already had their outfits. He then reminded them they came there to add a few things to what they were going to wear, so the group walked over to the shelves where the accessories were displayed.

"'Dad'," called out Kyle, "there on the top shelf. There's some face paint stuff on the top. See?" said Kyle, as he pointed to where he saw the face paint kits.

The four other Covers looked up and saw what Kyle was pointing at. There were a few different face paint kits there, so Mr. Ken took one down at a time and read the descriptions in order to decide which one he wanted. While he did that, the boys walked around looking for a teacup and saucer for Kyle.

It was Charles who suggested they look over in the toy section and see what they had there for girls to hold their tea parties. The lads all walked to that section where they found a plastic teacup and saucer but they had to buy a four pack. They took one back to where their 'dad' was still reading through the descriptions on the face paint kits.

"'Dad', we found what Kyle might need to add to his costume, but ... well, you have to buy four of them," said Charles.

Mr. Ken stopped what he was reading and looked at the package Charles was holding. He then looked at the cost and figured it was best they had something plastic that when dropped wouldn't break, so he told them to hold onto it. Then, he told them to find some superglue to add to their buggy.

In the end, Mr. Ken took the face paint kit that had more white in it than the other colors. The kit included a brush but it looked flimsy, so they walked over to the crafts section and looked at a few more small paint brushes. The man chose three of them to add to their cart and they then walked towards to the checkouts.

The boys had hoped they'd stop at DQ on the way home, but Mr. Ken told them they had snacks at the house and it was getting late. When they arrived home, even Chief was hoping for a dish of ice cream and was disappointed when she didn't get one.

It was after 9 PM when they returned home. The lads thanked their 'dad' for taking them out shopping and getting them the last few things that will make their Halloween costume the best. They also told him it was fun when they did things together like that and hoped they'd do more.

Since it was getting late, Mr. Ken sent the lads up to their rooms to settle down and get ready for bed. He told them 6 AM came early, since Kyle still needed time to get ready because of his cast, and they needed their rest.

The breakfast table was lively again that morning. The boys couldn't help but talk about their Halloween costumes and the additions their 'dad' got them last night. They thanked Momma Maria for making them their breakfast, and they were soon off to catch the school bus.

Later that morning, Mr. Ken called up Wayne Mitchell and asked him to stop over so they could talk about what he was going to hire him for. When Wayne arrived, they went to the Study and the two talked about the past weekend and then they finally got around to talking about the position Mr. Ken wanted Wayne to fill at The Cove. They eventually talked about compensation and benefits. Wayne asked about the amount of time he would be needed, and how often, and if he would be allowed to continue his education while the kids were in school.

The two men worked out an agreement that would allow Wayne to continue his education but that his first allegiance was to Mr. Ken, The Cove, and the boys. Wayne understood that he was going to be paid to take charge of the boys when Mr. Ken had to be gone for whatever reason. Wayne would also accompany them whenever they went on a trip and would continue to be paid while there. Wayne accepted an annual salary with the same benefits that Mr. Chris had and would also be given access to a close–in apartment when the new apartments were finished.

Mr. Ken finished their conversation with the caveat that this was all predicated on Wayne's passing his background check and he also became a certified Foster parent. Wayne readily accepted knowing there was no reason he should not pass the background check nor fail to be certified. He'd already filled out the forms Ms. Judy gave him and he was just waiting on the next Foster parenting class to begin.

Later that afternoon, Jules Diamond called Mr. Ken and told him that Gene and George were available to work Saturday night and all the twin security men needed to do was agree on the time they should arrive at The Cove. Mr. Ken said he thought 5 PM would be a good time. He explained that way they could have dinner with the boys and get to meet and know the twins some before they all headed out begging for candy. Jules laughed at what Ken Thomas's called Trick-Or-Treating and said he might just steal that saying from the man.

The rest of the day was almost exactly like any other day at The Cove. The lads came home from school and got their after-school snack from Momma Maria. They then talked with Mr. Ken before going up to their rooms to get their homework done. They all ate dinner together at 6 PM and then they retired to the Study to talk about their day and what was planned for the rest of the week.

"Boys, it's Wednesday and before you know it Saturday will be here. I know you're all anxious for Saturday night to hurry up and get here. One thing I want you to tell your friends is that since you are going out begging for candy we will be eating early that night. That means your friends will have to be gone by 5 PM. I'll bet many of them are going out begging for candy, too, and will probably leave early anyway," counseled 'dad' Ken.

"'Dad' don't forget David is spending the night on Saturday," said Charles.

"Yes, and he is going out with you and the twins and Robert and Eric, right?" replied Mr. Ken. "Have you all decided who will be going with whom?"

Robert spoke up and told his 'dad' that he and Eric planned to take one of the twins and have Charles and David take the other. The teenager told the man that they would stick close together but would go to the house one group after the other. The teen told 'dad' Ken that he hoped they could walk both sides of two streets before coming home and dropping off their begging's before going back out to do at least one more street.

"You guys sure you can do all that? I mean, the streets outside the estate are quite long and ... and to do both sides of two streets sounds very ambitious, don't you think? Maybe you should drop off your begging's after one street," laughed 'dad' Ken. "And speaking of begging for candy, what do you four intend to use to hold your hard begged for goods in as you walk from house to house?" asked 'dad' Ken with a smile.

The twins looked back and forth to one another and then they looked to their older 'brothers' for the answer. Robert and Charles talked back and forth and they asked their dad if they could use a pillow case. 'Dad' Ken thought about it for a few moments and told them he'd have to ask Mr. Chris if he knew of any extra pillowcases lying around.

Mr. Ken then told the lads if Mr. Chris didn't have any ideas he'd go out and buy them a large pumpkin like he's seen other kids use in the previous years. The boys then asked if he could wait for them after school and they could all go out as a family again. Mr. Ken saw the hope in their faces, so he agreed he'd take them out right after dinner. All four boys smiled real big after hearing that.

It was Kyle who asked if their 'dad' had enough candy for the boys and girls who would come to The Cove Trick-Or-Treating on Saturday night. 'Dad' Ken told the boys that he usually handed out the candy at the Foyer Door, but now with the guards, he'd probably be at the Main Gate passing out the candy there. But Kyle persisted and wanted to know if he had enough candy. 'Dad' Ken asked the boys to follow him. He led them to the pantry and opened the doors.

All four boys got wide-eyed at seeing 20 huge bags of candy. There were all types of candy there and it seemed to go on forever for them. It was Kevin who asked if they could try some in place of their before bed snack. Mr. Ken thought about it, but then said he'd better not as he didn't want to suffer from Momma's wrath by opening a bag, especially if it opened, and all its contents fell all over the floor for her to clean up. The lads looked back and forth to one another and then they agreed it was best not to upset Momma Maria and they could wait until Saturday night to taste any of the candy. Then all five Covers laughed at being afraid of Momma Maria.

Everyone slept very well Wednesday night. At breakfast, Thursday morning, the Covers talked about going out after dinner later, to find something the boys can use to hold all the candy they hoped to get Saturday night. Momma Maria just smiled as the boys talked about going Trick-Or-Treating this coming Saturday night.

Before the boys left for school, Mr. Ken reminded the boys to tell their friends who are coming over on Saturday they have to plan on leaving by 5 PM because they have an early dinner scheduled. Mr. Ken asked Charles to talk to David and find out if he is bringing his stuff with him when he comes there early in the day or will his parents bring his costume and change of clothes later in the day. With that, all said the lads hurried up to the Bus Stop.

Later that day, Detective Joel Carrier called Mr. Ken. He told the owner of The Cove that there was a lot of visitor activity at Parker Parchsons' hospital room the past few days, but they had no idea of what it was all about. The detective told Mr. Ken they had his hospital room phone and cell phone tapped, but there wasn't anything suspicious being said over the phone lines.

Detective Carrier said he wanted Mr. Ken to know he was still investigating both Parchsons and that he had talked to three of the lads Kevin had identified and had given all the information to his District Attorney and that it was now in his hands.

Mr. Ken thanked the detective for his call and asked him to let him know if and when they finally arrest the Parchsons. He told Joel Carrier he wanted the advanced call so he could find the right time and method to tell the Parchsons twins. The Bandera County Detective said either he or his partner, Jose Cortez, would call him when they had the arrest warrants. The two men hung up.

Ken immediately called Dan Fischer to tell him about the phone call. He also told the Sheriff's Lieutenant that he hired Gene and George, the twin security guards he'd used before with Collin, Robert, and Charles, to shadow the boys when they went Trick-Or-Treating Saturday night. Mr. Ken explained to Dan that he wanted Gene or George to be in front of and the other behind the boys to sort of be a safety guard. Ken told Dan that with Julian Hankers still out there, and possibly wanting control of the twins, he wanted to be safe, rather than sorry.

Dan Fischer agreed with his friend's thinking and then told Mr. Ken that it would be all hands on deck as far as the Sheriff's department was concerned on Saturday night. The lieutenant said he would be on duty Saturday and he would try to patrol in his area. Ken thanked the man for that information and said he'd talk to him if he learned anything more about the Parchsons.

After the two men finished their conversation, Ken called Judy Turner to tell her what he had planned for Saturday night, but also to tell her about what he learned from the conversations he had with Joel Carrier and Dan Fischer. Judy was happy to hear that Parker Parchsons would soon be arrested and maybe more men involved with Kevin, and possibly Robert, would be found and arrested right along with him.

The boys came home from school with an upbeat attitude that day. They stopped to see Momma Maria for their snack before stopping by the Study to talk with Mr. Ken. The four wanted to make sure they would still go out shopping after dinner. 'Dad' Ken heard the hope in the voices and he reaffirmed to them that they would indeed go out to the bigger stores to see what they could find for them to hold their candy in. The lads then went up to start their homework.

After dinner, Mr. Ken asked the boys to freshen up. Kyle asked what he meant by that and Charles told his 'brother' he needed to wash his face and his hands up to his elbows. That brought out a round of laughs, including Mr. Ken.

The Covers stopped by the usual stores that might carry containers with handles the boys could use to hold their candy in. They found some plastic orange jack-o-lanterns with black faces and some small metal buckets painted with many Halloween scenes. They saw some spider web baskets but they didn't have handles. They came across some plastic white skull buckets with black faces painted on them and some black plastic cauldron treat buckets with no design. There was also some plastic pumpkin buckets that were more whimsical than scary.

"'Dad', which one do I get?" asked Kyle.

"Well ... why don't you get the one you think will match or go with your costume. I like the black cauldron for Charles. His costume is virtually all black so it should work with him. Robert has the Psycho-Clown costume that is black and white so either the cauldron or the skull would work for him. Kyle, your Mad-Hatter costume, with all its colors, could use a more whimsical bucket so let's find one with lots of color to it. Kevin, your clown outfit has the orange hair and shoes so the orange jack-o-lantern would work for you unless you want one of the others," explained 'dad' Ken.

While walking around some, Robert found a black plastic bucket that had dancing skeletons all around the outside so he took that one. Charles took the black cauldron and Kevin took the standard orange jack-o-lantern. Kyle wanted to look a bit longer and after they searched the store, the twin found a plastic bucket that had the Cheshire cat on it so he took that one.

The boys all left the store happy and the only thing that would make them even happier would be a stop at DQ. Mr. Ken listened to their pleas and said he'd stop, but that he thought they were eating way too much ice cream, as of late, and they could only get a sundae or a large cone. The boys said they were just happy they got the soft serve instead of the hard hand-dipped ice cream from the carton back home. Mr. Ken just laughed at their reasoning as he ate his medium cone.

When the Covers returned home, Chief could tell they'd stopped by the ice cream store and was wagging her tail like she knew her master had something for her behind his back. After he asked her to 'sit', and she did, Mr. Ken brought out a dish of vanilla ice cream for her and she devoured it in no time and then licked Mr. Ken's face for bringing her that treat.

The group retired to the Study and Charles told his 'dad' that David would bring everything he needed for Saturday night when his parents dropped him off around noon on Saturday. Robert then reminded his 'dad' that Eric was spending the night as well. Mr. Ken then remembered that was why David was sleeping over. The twins didn't ask if they could have a sleep-over. They were just happy they were going out Trick-Or-Treating.

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