THE WOLF FOLK SERIES
THE ADVENTURES OF JEREMIAH TATE
A STORY OF A BOY COMING OF AGE IN AN
Charles W. Bird
Charles W. Bird
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.
From Book 13; As soon as they arrived at Bairro Novo, the Wolf Warriors gave their burdens into the hands of the servants and they ran off into the surrounding woods howling in anger and frustration. One little girl asked Tosco in a very broken English, "Why he run me from, he me hate?" Tosco held the small child and caressed her back, "No child, he runs because he does not want you to see him cry." It was hours before all the Warriors had returned, their emotions still tortured.
It took several days for the Wolf Warriors to regain their equilibrium. John had gathered the small wolfling he had carried out of slavery, and kept him close. The boy, Paulo, would not let John out of his sight. Tosco saw what was happening and he contacted his Father, Jeremiah, back in Charlotte. Jeremiah told Tosco to hold John's hand and he sent to them both, "John, Paulo is, in truth, your son, the papers will be completed before the two of you are ready to come home." "Congratulations Papa John and Tio Tosco!"
The title, "Tio" hit Tosco unexpectedly, he sat down and thought hard about it. With tears forming in his eyes, he went to find the little boy and hugged him. The boy looked at him and Tosco said, "It is just me, Tio Tosco, your Papa is standing over by the door looking for you." The little boy ran over to John and called him Papa, John thought it was the most wonderful word he had ever heard!
Jonal, Tomas and Tosco made plans to round up the fringe elements of the drug bandits. Tosco had stripped the information about those involved with the drug factory from the bandits' minds before they died. Night after night, the Warriors roamed the countryside, paying surprise visits to supposedly honest citizens. They left their signature on the dead bodies, a bloody wolf paw print on their naked chest.
Fear ran amok among the "silent" partners of the drug syndicate, they hired guards, protectors and even banded together. It made no difference. Each criminal had his or her throat torn out and their bodies left in a pool of their own blood.
No one made the connection between the strange stray dogs wandering around and the deaths of supposedly honest businessmen. The huge bloody footprint on the dead man's chest and his throat ripped out convinced them everyone that the men were being attacked by wild animals.
The more simple folk were beginning to whisper about "demons" of the night. They had more the right of the matter.
With each death, the warriors collected papers and documents that named even more partners in their crimes. They began marking those individuals on a map to plot where the trail led. A pattern began to develop, it led to a small town on the Brazil/Paraguay border, Mourtinho.
They had cleared out all the major players in the narcotics syndicate in and around Bairro Novo, so they decided to carry the war to the next level of the Narco Business. After checking with their charts and flight guide, they discovered there was a landing strip nearby that belonged to a Paraguayan Company, Mercados de Las Frutas, Ltd.
Jorge had a business contact with that company, so they got on the telephone and, after many misdirected contacts, reached an official who could give them permission to use the landing strip. He told them, however, there was no fuel or services available. Chief Pilot Harley Myers checked the fuel level in the plane's tanks and decided they had sufficient fuel to fly to Mourtinho and then fly to Montevideo to refuel before heading anywhere further.
Little Paulo had overheard the adults talking and he was sure his new Papa was going to abandon him, he ran to their room and flung himself on the bed, sobbing uncontrollably. John came in their room and found him, he held Paulo and soothed him, "No, my son, you are not going to be abandoned, you are coming with us. Look, my own Papa has sent us the papers and your documents, you are now Paul John Tate, AMERICAN!"
He held out a brand new blue American Passport and helped Paul read it. The little boy went flying around the house, showing anyone who would stand still long enough, his new papers! He even showed them to the dog, Peter. The child was startled when the dog replied in his mind, "That is wonderful Grand Nephew!"
The fact that the child could hear him so easily, told Peter the boy was wolf and would likely be a powerful one at that. After Paul came to understand who and what Peter was, the two became almost inseparable.
Jonal asked Tomas for 20 of his Warriors and they made ready for the flight to Mourtinho. The Warriors from Bairro Novo had never been in an airplane, let alone flown in one. Their excitement was running at fever pitch as the plane rolled out onto the grass and gravel strip, Pilot Harvey Myers slapped the throttles to full power as they began to race down the runway. At rotation, the Bairro Novo Warriors were gripping the armrests of their seats with clenched knuckles.
The plane rose into the air and Harvey began to back off on the throttles. It would be a fairly long flight, their destination was on the border with Paraguay and they needed to conserve fuel. They still needed enough fuel to get back to a "gas station"!
The local warriors had their noses pressed against the window glass, as did a little 9 year old boy and an adult wolf, as they watched in fascination as the jungle slid beneath them. That "little boy" was heard by all aboard the plane, they all knew that he would grow to be a powerful mind-speaker! They had no idea just how powerful he would become!
They reached the landing strip at Moutinho in the late afternoon, Pilot Harvey Myers made a pass over the strip, he felt the strip was a little short and he was going to have to use reverse thrust to stay out of the trees at the end of the strip. He finally got the plane down in one piece and with his passengers only mildly terrified.
Jonal left 6 warriors to guard the plane and they departed for the small town. He had them break into small groups and look around; they all knew the names of the men they were looking for and before dark they knew where all the narco players lived. At about 1 am, the moon had set and they began making their moves.
The next morning, there were 32 "respected" businessmen hanging from their own front porches by their heels, their throats ripped out and were very dead. The only clues for the policia were large, bloody dog prints on the porch floor.
The warriors missed some of the minor players in the organization and by noon, those had disappeared and were never heard from again. Those who had hurt Clan Domingo were no more, they were either dead or had fled in terror.
It was time to return to Bairro Novo and help them return to a functioning condition. Jonal was convinced Jorge Domingo was not the man to lead the clan.
After they had returned, Jonal called a meeting with Peter, Tosco, John and Tomas to discuss the situation. John was proud to be part of that discussion and it was he who came up with the idea that would leave Clan Domingo with their honor intact.
Two days later, after everyone had rested, Jonal and Tosco called a meeting of Tomas, Alberto, Jorge, John, Jonal and Tosco. As the grandson of the Lord of Ced, The Senior Family Line on the planet, Prince Tosco would moderate the meeting. The three of them, Jonal, Tomas and Tosco had already decided what needed to be done and they all agreed before the meeting. They all sat in the office, Jorge looked relieved when Tosco started talking about a Regency for Alberto. When Jonal nominated Tomas as Regent, the man actually smiled.
Alberto sat in the corner and said nothing, until there was a pause and he asked, "Could I have a companion, a friend to be with me?" Tosco understood immediately. The wolf kind had no hang ups about those who loved another of the same sex. He said kindly to the young wolf, "Do you have anyone in mind?"
Alberto replied, "Yes sir, err Lord Prince, his name is Roberto." That name rang a bell with Jonal, it was the young teen who impressed him when they raided the local drug ring. Jorge started to say something with snarl on his face and Jonal's face began to cloud with anger, the man suddenly decided to keep his mouth shut.
Tosco decided to change the subject, he asked, "You are Family Met, how long has it been since you have heard from the Lord Alpha of Family Met? Jorge replied, "Not in my lifetime, I am not sure if we heard from them in my Father's time." Tosco then asked, "Where were they in the last records you have?"
Jorge went into the other room and brought out a large ledger. He opened and started turning pages. At last, he replied, "Hacienda Lobos de Neuquen in Neuquen Province, Argentina." Tosco thought for a while and then smiled at Jonal. Jonal sighed, "Yes, Prince Tosco, give me a couple of days to prepare."
Tosco looked at Alberto, "You and Roberto plan coming with us, bring your best clothes with you." That finished the meeting and everyone headed for supper. Alberto was almost too excited to eat and, as soon as the meal was ended, he went in search of Roberto. When Alberto finally found Roberto, he hugged him fiercely. Roberto looked around fearfully. Alberto said, "It's OK, Prince Tosco said we can be together, my love, we don't have to hide anymore."
The two boys hung on each other, each glad they no longer had to hide their affection for each other.
Jonal collected all his Warriors and detailed 6 of them to stay as security for those remaining behind. He then selected 20 of Clan Domingo Warriors to accompany them as they went in search of Family Met. When all was ready, they all climbed on board the Red Wolf, leaving John in charge this time. Peter joined them on the plane, he was going to be needed in searching for the remnants of Family Met.
There was a small Municipal Airport at Neuguen, the guide book had a frequency number and call sign for it. As they approached Neuguen, they made contact with the base operator and received landing instructions as an official United Nations Atmospheric Survey Mission. Tosco worked his mental magic on the Argentine Officials and they were made welcome. There was fuel available in Neuguen!
RESTORATION OF MET
Jonal and his Warriors spread out in the small town, searching for traces of Family Met. Peter stayed with Tosco and the two young men, Alberto and Roberto. They spent time in the Municipal Hall of Records, where they found their first clue about Family Met. They discovered a tax notice for Casa de Familia Met. It included an address and was dated the year prior.
Tosco contacted Jonal and let him know where to meet them, then the three men and their "dog" headed for the address shown on the tax notice. Jonal was not about to let those he cared about enter a possible dangerous situation without himself and his Warriors backing them up.
Both parties arrived at the indicated address at about the same time. It was a large, imposing mansion although somewhat rundown and seedy. A faded sign told them it was Casa de Familia Met. Tosco and Peter went up to the door rang the bell. They could hear movement inside and, finally, a shabbily dressed man answered the bell. Tosco could detect the man was wolf, the man started to say, "Go away, we do……"
Tosco interrupted him, "I am Wolf Prince Tosco Jeremiah Tate, son of the Lord of Family Ced. I and my companions wish entrance and to speak with a member of Family Met."
The man blinked and stammered, "My Lord Prince, we have great troubles and wish to be left alone." Tosco, in a more gentle tone, replied, "Yes, we suspect you are troubled, that is why my Father has sent me. Please, admit us, perhaps we may assist you and your folk."
The man opened the door to allow them to enter; Jonal assigned his Warriors to surround the house, before entering with the rest of them. Tosco introduced the rest of his party, Prince Jonal, Chief Warrior of Ced, Prince Peter Tate, brother of the Lord of Ced, Lord Alpha Alberto and his Companion Roberto of Clan Domingo, House of Met"
The man identified himself as Carlos, Major Domo to Antonio Valedario, Prince of Family Met. Tosco raised his eyebrows, "There is a Regent?" Carlos replied, "No, Prince Tosco, the Peronistas nearly wiped us out, our cash reserves are depleted, and our Lord is a boy of but 11 years. His Grandfather died saving the boy's life from the Peronistas several years ago. We have nothing, we are nothing any longer. We fought the Revolutionistas, then the Peronistas for three generations. We are done for."
Alarmed, Tosco exclaimed, "This shall not be!" Have you your bank records here? Who should be Regent?" Carlos said, "Lord Prince, I care for Prince Antonio, I am the illegitimate son of Antonio's Grandfather. I am also the keeper of the records and books."
Tosco turned to Jonal, You and Peter stay here with Antonio, guard him well Prince of Warriors" He continued, "Carlos, have you an automobile?" Carlos replied, "Yes, Lord Prince, but it is nearly empty of petrol." Tosco said, "No matter, bring your bank records. Let us go NOW!"
The two left the house in an ancient automobile, Tosco paid to have the fuel tank filled with a Black American Express Card. Carlos' eyes nearly jumped from his head.
Next, Tosco told him to take them to the main branch of the Bank of New York. The bank officials started to give the old man and young boy the "run around", until Tosco pulled out a letter from the President of the International Division of Bank of New York, suddenly, the two men were given the "Royal" treatment. The Managing Director himself came to wait on them. Tosco handed the man the Banking Records that Carlos had brought and said to the Director, "I want $50 million transferred from my Father's account and placed in this account, TODAY. We will wait while you accomplish this."
The Director's mouth opened and closed, with no sound coming out.
Tosco asked, "Did I say something you did not understand? Perhaps I need to make a telephone call to the United States?" Tosco was in mind speak contact with Jeremiah while he was speaking with the Director and it was all he could do to not burst out laughing at Jeremiah's comments!
The Managing Director scuttled into his office like a sand crab and in less than 5 minutes, he returned pasty white. The man did not say so, but Tosco knew that he had received a royal reaming from the corporate offices of the bank for jeopardizing their business with the largest account holder and the principal stockholder of the bank.
Carlos' head was swimming, he was barely able to drive the car back to the mansion. When they got back inside, Tosco said, "I would like to meet with young Prince Antonio."
Carlos went to fetch the boy, he was dressed in shabby clothing and his shoes were several sizes too small. Tosco asked Jonal to assign a Warrior to be the "Duty Driver" and to take them to the nearest major department store. NOW! Antonio was a bit frightened of this outgoing Norte Americano, not much older than himself, who was changing everything he had ever known.
Warrior Percy drove them to a large, upscale department store, where Tosco plunked down his Black American Express card and proceeded to purchase a complete new wardrobe for the young Prince. From shoes to a new haircut! Play clothes, school clothes, dress clothing and formal wear. The boy had never even seen a tuxedo, let alone had he worn one! He came out of the dressing room carrying the cummerbund, trying to figure out what the thing was for!
When they got back to the house, Tosco told Carlos to call a Family Met Meeting. He was not sure there were sufficient wolves to call Conclave.
The meeting room held about a hundred wolves, most of them were elderly and less than 20 were Warriors in their prime. Tosco called the meeting to order, "I am Wolf Prince Tosco Jeremiah Tate, son of Lord Jeremiah Franklin Tate, the Lord of Family Ced, Heir to the Most Ancient of lines and Principal Family of our kind."
He looked around the room, the younger wolves were beginning to squirm in embarrassment. They knew they had not performed their duty to Clan and Family. Tosco continued, "This disease, this FAILURE of WOLVES ends NOW! I have put this Family on a firm financial footing, I DEMAND you do your share. WHO shall lead the Warriors?"
A tall and muscular Wolf stood, "My father was Chief Warrior and I trained under him before he was killed." Tosco replied, "Fine, take 10 of your fellows, you are apprenticed to Warrior Prince Jonal, NOW!"
He sent for Antonio and when the Wolfling arrived, he held his shoulders and asked those remaining in the room, "Who shall be Proxy to Lord Antonio?" He looked around the room and spotted a young Wolf. He flashed the boy's mind and saw a superior intellect and a quick mind. The young man smiled, he knew he was being scanned. Without Tosco asking, he stepped forward, "I am Corsa, son of Warrior Raymondo. I will stand Proxy to my Lord Antonio."
So it went until all the functions were filled. The records were brought out and businesses and farms that had once been the livelihood of Family Met were given new managers who were told to MANAGE, NOW! Tosco stood, saying, "There is one final thing, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ILLEGITAMATE WOLF. PRINCE CARLOS, HENCEFORTH YOU SHALL IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS THE UNCLE OF THE CURRENT LORD OF FAMILY MET!"
As Tosco closed the meeting, there were newly determined wolves headed to their assignments, eager to please this young Wolf Dynamo. Before the month was out, cash started flowing into the Family coffers, and wolves who had fallen by the wayside were asking re-admittance to the Family. By the third month, the Family Met was a going concern, albeit a bit shaky, but they now had 50 Warrior Wolves and 30 youngsters in training.
Carlos came to Tosco and bowed, "Lord Prince Tosco, you have saved my Family and my Grand Nephew's life. How can we ever repay the generosity of yourself and your Lord Father?" Tosco replied, "Honored Prince Carlos, you may repay us by gathering in all your Clans under your Family Met shield of protection, reclaim your place in the society of which you are a part. Guide young Prince Antonio, that he may take his place as Lord of Family Met, among the other Wolf Families of this world. Let not the evil ones route you, but rather you destroy them! THAT is the only repayment we need."
The old man hung on to Tosco, tears flowing down his old face, "Young Prince, the Great Lord of Wolves, Above Us All only ever made a few as yourself and we have been blessed to have you come among us. Know that you and yours will always be welcome in this house and any other of Family Met."
They spent another two weeks touring the Family Met businesses and farms. Tosco took the young Lord Antonio with them, letting him see and be seen by all the local Wolves. He insisted that Prince Antonio and his partner, Roberto accompany them on the tour. Alberto was gaining a new perspective on his place among Wolf Society and, as they left a large dairy complex, he took Tosco's hand in his, "Lord Prince and Friend, you have shown me my purpose, please, when we return to our home, show me how to be a Wolf and a Clan Alpha to my Folk."
Roberto was standing next to Antonio, "I shall be Proxy to my Antonio and shall assist him to become all that he can be. Together, we shall return Family Met to its proper place in Families of the Wolf Folk."
There is much work to be done before Family Met and its Clans are fully restored, but with new and dynamic leaders such as Alberto and Antonio, progress is assured.