The next morning, Andy Marshall and Ken Thomas were sitting in Mr. Ken's Study when the phone rang.
"Hello," answer Mr. Ken.
"Bro, what did you do to Collin?" hurriedly asked Ryan.
"Hello to you too Ryan, how can I help you little bro?" said Mr. Ken in a kidding manner.
"Bro, it isn't me who you can help, it's Collin. What did you say to him yesterday, man? He's been walking around school all morning saying something about not having fifty million dollars, or something like that."
"Slow down there Ryan, and tell me what's happening!" said Mr. Ken and at the same time he put the call on the Speaker Phone, so Collin's Uncle Andy could hear the conversation.
"Bro, I had to bring him down to the nurse's office; he wasn't making any sense. He's been mumbling in his classes and everyone is scared something is wrong with him. Even I am scared for him, since he's had so much happen to him, and now this. It's as if he 'lost it' or something. And what does this mysterious fifty million dollars have to with anything, Bro. I totally do not understand," exclaimed Ryan.
"Ryan, can you stay with Collin until his Uncle Andy and I can get there?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Yeah, I think I can. Even the nurse doesn't know exactly what to do with him, yet. She's been talking to Mr. Stanley about sending an ambulance for him and taking him to the hospital," replied Ryan.
"Okay, Ryan, you tell them that I am on my way there, and not to do anything with Collin until I get there. And, if Mr. Stanley says anything about not going to wait for me tell him that ... that if he values his job ... wait that's not for you to tell him that ..."
"Why not, bro? That would be so kewl to tell him that and then see his face, AFTER WHAT HE DID TO ME" laughed Ryan.
"No, Ryan, just tell him that I would like to take Collin where he will be better administered, to. But only say something if he plans on calling for an ambulance. Otherwise, just stay there, as my representative, and I should be there in about twenty minutes. I've got to get going now Ryan, and thanks for the call," finished Mr. Ken
Mr. Ken then hung up the phone and grabbed his coat and headed out the door to get in his car and hurry to the high school. Andrew Marshall was fast behind him, even at his much older age.
Exactly twenty-five minutes later, Ken Thomas, along with Andrew Marshall, hurried into the high school and asked at the main office where the nurse's office was. Getting the directions, the two quickly sped there to check on Collin.
Entering the room, labeled First Aid Station; Mr. Ken saw Collin and immediately went to his 'little brother'.
"Collin, how are you doing son?" asked the man.
"I ... I guess I'm ... okay," stuttered out the teen. "I just don't know where I'm going to get all the money I need,"
"Collin look at me. Do you know who I am?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Yeah, you're my ... my Big Brother. Are you going to lend me the money I need to pay the tax man? Wwwwill they put me in jail if I can't pay it? I'm ... not even working yet and they want so much money," stated Collin, but his eyes were unfocused and his hands were cold.
"Mr. Stanley, Ms. Gracey, I am going to take Collin home and have our family physician look at Collin, and then decide what we'll do then. I wouldn't expect him at school tomorrow for sure, and depending on what the prognosis is, and maybe not for the rest of the week." Mr. Ken told the high school principle and School Nurse. "Come on Collin, we're going home."
"Thank you for calling me Ryan. I'll call you later tonight and let you know how Collin is doing. Andy can you help me guide Collin to our car? This way Collin," indicated Mr. Ken to his charge as the three of them walked out the door and towards the front of the high school, were the car was parked.
"Andy will you use my cell phone and call Doctor Powers? His number is listed under ..." Mr. Ken began but was interrupted when Andy spoke up.
"Okay, found it!" said Andy Marshall. "What do you want me to tell him?"
"Explain what we know and ask him if he can come over to the Cove as soon as he is available. I think our little man here is in shock, of some sort, because of what and how we told him about all the taxes due last night. I guess we should have taken it slower and explained it better to him. It sounded like he thought he was going to have to pay the entire tax bill all by himself. That was our mistake Andy. We let him go to his room before we explained how the taxes were figured and why, and then how we were going to help him pay them off," stated Ken Thomas.
When the three arrived at the Cove, Mr. Ken took Collin to his bedroom and got his school clothes off, put in him in his bed and told him to go to sleep. Then he asked Chief to keep watch on her boy and to come get him if Collin began to thrash or speak out. Chief let out a few 'Woof's' and then lay down at the foot of her masters bed and closed her eyes.
"While you were taking care of Collin," began Andy as soon as Mr. Ken entered his Study, "Doc Powers called and said he'd be here about 1:30 and he was bringing one of his friends, a Doctor Jennings, with him. Do you know who Doctor Jennings is Ken?"
"Yes, Dr. Jennings is Collin's Psychologist. Collin worked with him to help him deal with the death of his parents, and all the other issues surrounding his kidnapping. Collin was very happy with the way the man worked with him. I think his coming will do a lot for Collin, in the long run. It might be that all Collin needs is a good nights' sleep and then us sitting down with him explaining everything, the way we should have.
"I feel like I have failed him, Uncle Andy. The time he needed me the most; I didn't do what I normally do for him. I hope he will forgive for that," lamented the man.
"Ken, you are not the one to blame, here. It was I who convinced you to allow me to tell him about the taxes. I saw how he was acting more and more like his father and I did the unthinkable. I treated him as I would have James and told him straight out. He's only sixteen and I treated him as if he was a forty-five year old man. If anyone is to blame for what has happened to him it is I, Ken, not you. Me!" bemoaned Andrew Marshall.
About an hour later, Chief came hurrying into the Study, and as soon as the two men saw her they immediately got up and rushed up the stairs, to Collin's room. They saw the teen thrashing under the covers and calling out that he didn't have the money. Mr. Ken sat down, on the bed, and pulled the lad to him and began to gently hold him. The man then talked lightly to the boy, who slowly became awake and aware he was home and not at school.
Collin, at first, looked around some. He saw his Uncle Andy was there and Chief and then he looked into his Big Bro's eyes and said, "Mr. Ken, I'm so sorry if I caused you any trouble." Then the boy began to cry.
"Collin, my little bro, you did nothing wrong. It was we who failed you last night. We should have explained it better, about the taxes and everything, before allowing you to go to bed," stated Mr. Ken. "This morning, I thought you might have been overwhelmed about what we told you last night, but I didn't bother to ask you about it. Can you forgive me for not taking good care of you, over this, my little brother?"
Just then, Doc Powers and Doc Jennings knocked at the bedroom door letting the people in the room know of their presents. Startled, the three residents looked in their direction and then motioned them into the room.
"Sorry for intruding, but Momma Maria told us she heard you running up the stairs, and she said you never let anyone run up or down the stairs, so it was probably very important if you did that, yourself. She told us to go on up; so, here we are. We did hear what was said, so that makes it a lot easier for Doc Jennings," explained Doc Powers.
"I take it Collin's bewilderment today was over some taxes and he thought he was expected to have to pay them all. Is that the jest of why Collin was acting the way he did at school and what I just heard?" asked Doctor Doug Jennings.
"Yes, doctor, and it was entirely my fault for not explaining the process at all to Collin," spoke up Andrew Marshall.
"Okay, I see. Why don't we let the boy get dressed and then, if he is agreeable, he and I can talk some before we join you down in your Study, Mr. Ken. How does that sound Collin? You up to talking some and then talking some more with your guardian and uncle?" suggested Dr. Jennings.
"Yes, Doctor Doug, that would be okay with me," replied the teenager.
The men all exited the bedroom and closed the door to allow Collin some privacy to get dressed. Three minutes later, the lad opened the door, dressed in the clothes he wore to school that morning.
"I'm ready any time you are, Doctor Doug," said the teen.
The doctor and the teenager went into another of the bedrooms, and closed the door. The three men left standing there knew they were dismissed, for the time being, so they made their way down to the Study. While the men got comfortable, Mr. Ken called Maria and asked her to bring some hot coffee and some snacks for them. Fifteen minutes later, Momma Maria brought a cart full of her famous sweet cakes and hot coffee and cups and some cokes for Collin and a couple of doggie treats for Chief.
Upstairs in the bedroom, Dr. Jennings and Collin had a good discussion about the tax problem, and the way it was handled. For the most part, Collin explained he wasn't mad or anything about that but he related how he was initially overwhelmed about the amount of money he had to come up with, and the more he thought about it the more he let it bother him. Collin also commented that he didn't sleep much last night, and what little sleep he did get was full of dire consequences, if he didn't pay the taxes.
Down in the Study, the three men discussed the happenings of the previous evening. They agreed that there was a better way, but that what happened happened and they hope Dr. Jennings could set thing straight with Collin, while giving him some guidance as to how to handle those bungling, but well meaning, men in his life.
After forty-five minutes, Dr. Jennings and Collin joined the men in the Study, and the five of them rehashed the talk about the taxes. Mr. Ken and Andy explained more in depth the reason for the corporate taxes being what they were. They also explained the highlights of federal tax law that caused the taxes to be assessed, in the first place, and the fact that the State of Texas had a Franchise Tax, that added to the assessment. Before moving along to Collin's Personal Income Taxes, the four men made sure Collin understood that he was not personally responsible to pay those taxes but that Wilkinson Enterprises would pay them, as part of doing business.
Satisfied that Collin understood that corporate taxes were a big part of doing business and that his only responsibility was to, over time, begin to understand how they were assessed and calculated. The men then moved on to explain why Collin had such a high personal Income Tax.
"Collin, when you inherited all those monies, from your father and mother, there was only so much that we could legally keep from being taxed," began Andy Marshall. "It was unfortunate that both your mom and dad passed on at the same time otherwise the tax bill wouldn't have been so much," continued Collin's Uncle Andy. "We were able to legally deduct almost half of what you inherited but the federal government doesn't let anyone, no matter their age, to avoid paying taxes. Even all those young kids, you see working in Hollywood, have to pay taxes on what they earn when they star in a movie on in a television show," further explained Uncle Andy.
"So, you're saying that everything my parents left me is being taxed?" asked Collin.
"Not exactly, Collin, you see we were able to deduct certain things before doing the calculations, but they weren't enough to offset all of that money, so you will have to pay taxes on what were couldn't shelter," answered Andy Marshall.
"And how much was that Uncle Andy?" matter-of-factly asked the rich teenager.
"Collin, I'm not sure you want me to tell you that in front of all these men do you?" asked Collin's uncle.
"No, I guess not, but will you use round numbers for me to sort of get the jest of the process?" requested the lad.
"Sure, I can do that Collin ...," answered the older man, but before he could go on any further Dr. Powers and Dr. Jennings both stood up and said they needed to get back to their practices. They thanked Mr. Ken for taking good care of his 'brother' and then told Collin to give them a call anything he finds himself in the same situation he did that day.
After seeing the two men out, the three came back to the Study.
"Okay, Collin, you still want to continue talking about your own personal income tax and how we arrived at the very large figure?" asked Uncle Andy.
"Yes, please, I need to know these things, because, one day, I will have to take care of doing this, whether or not I have someone, such as you Uncle Andy, to do them for me," answered Collin.
"Do you want me to use exact figures now that there isn't anyone here outside of 'family' that will know how much you are personally worth?" again asked Uncle Andy.
"Yes, Uncle Andy, tell me everything and how you came to that final total," responded Collin.
"Okay, my lad, here it is all on paper for you to follow along with me. Let Mr. Ken watch over your shoulder and, if you have any questions, either he or I can answer them. Remember, Mr. Ken also has to file these blasted Income Tax Papers so he is well aware of what I am telling you. Okay, to begin at the top there, the beginning figure. That $65,783,293 is what was left to you in cash and bonds and personal property from both your dad's and mothers personal estates.
"We will subtract your personal exemptions and then the maximum inheritance tax we can. Then, since the properties were not fully paid for, the federal tax law allows us to pay off those mortgages with those monies. Then there was the executor fees you can deduct and a number of state transfer fees etc., etc. Since you had no outstanding debts to pay, nor did you owe any monies to anyone, since you were a minor, we were then left with the gross amount of $35,750,550. Then we go to the tax table and we pay tax on the first $357,700 and then 35% of what remains. Unfortunately, that brings your total tax liability to that staggering $12,495.359." Uncle Andy finished up by saying, "Okay, let's stop here and see if you have any questions."
Collin asked a few questions and then when Uncle Andy showed him the full tax filing paperwork, with all the figures filled in; Collin could follow the money trail. He saw the beginning $65,783,293 and then watched as the deductions whittled that number away until it read $35,750,500. Satisfied he asked one last question.
"Uncle Andy, since it says here that mom and dad's house was now fully paid for, along with the vacation houses and boats and the rest of the stuff, will I ever have to pay any more taxes on them?" a wondering very rich teenager asked.
"Yes, my lad, every one of those items had to be paid for free and clear. That is how they came to the final conclusion of your total worth to begin the taxing process. But, now that you own them, you will only have to pay property tax on the homes where they are located. The boats and things are not located in a Property Tax State so you won't have to pay any tax on them unless you move to a State that has those taxes, such as Virginia, then be prepared to pay for the privilege of ownership," teased his Uncle.
"Oh, there is one thing I did fail to tell you, but it won't come into play until your 25th birthday. Hopefully, by then you should be pretty good at figuring out tax loopholes and shelters. A good amount of your money was placed into Trust Funds for you by your parents. Because they are frozen assets you do not have to pay any tax on them, today. There is a BUT here, and that comes into play the day you begin to take any money OUT of those Trust Funds. As soon as you do then the tax man will be there to take his share, whether you like it or not."
Collin sat there for a few moments, thinking through what his uncle just told him. Shaking his head he said, "Okay that sounds like a plan. The money is gaining interest, I hope, and if I invest what I have now and will get as the CEO of CWE Inc., I shouldn't have to ever to break into them. This gives me nine years to decide what to do, and how to do it."
Then before his Uncle Andy or Mr. Ken could comment on what he just said he said, "I guess I have one more question Uncle Andy. Once I pay that twelve million plus dollars, the rest, everything then, is mine to do with, as I so choose? I can invest it or sell the properties or rent them, anything?" asked Collin.
"Yes, my lad, you can indeed do any or all of that," was the answer he received.
"Okay, Uncle Andy, what about the corporate taxes that has yet to be paid? That money comes out of the corporate coffers, as you said, but is there a way we can sell off a division or two to create that cash flow so we don't have to reduce our ready reserves?" asked the teenager.
The question was a very astute one and as he spoke both Mr. Ken's and Andrew Marshall's eyes went wide open. They weren't going to bring that point up and now that Collin brought it himself they figured he knows something about the cash flow of Wilkinson, so it should be easier to explain what they had in mind.
"Collin," began Mr. Ken, "now that you brought that subject up there ah ... is something I would like to talk to you about. There is a factory, which your father just recently acquired, that I would like to purchase from Wilkinson Enterprises. I can't legally sell it to myself, since I am the acting CEO and COO of Wilkinson, but I wanted to talk to you about it, and if you were okay with it, then I would tend an offer and let the Board decide. It will be above board and everyone will know what I am doing. If I am allowed to buy this small plant, Wilkinson will receive the cash it needs to pay the tax man, and things will go on as before."
"But, what do I have to do with it," asked Collin. "Why ask me, since I can't run CWE Inc. until I am at least eighteen."
"Collin, I didn't want it to look like I did something behind your back. This acquisition will be out of the mainstream of what I am mainly going to focus on," replied Mr. Ken.
"What is the name of the company or plant you want to buy Bro?" asked Collin.
"It is a small upstart electronics plant that is working on the miniaturization of all sorts of measuring devices and tracking devices. I see its potential for robotic inspection devices to check rollercoaster tracks for cracks and bad alignment and in the future the production of small human tracking devices that can be monitored from space. It is a whole new idea of identifying your kids and then being able to track where ever they are. Collin, if that device was available when you were kidnapped, and you had one on you, they would have found you in less than 12 hours," an enthusiastic Ken Thomas was telling his young 'brother'.
"But wouldn't they have known about it and thrown it away?" asked the teen.
"Yes, but maybe no. I mean, that depending on how it is advertised, most people probably wouldn't know about them. But this isn't something that I will advertise. It will be word of mouth to families who have kids they want and need to protect. It will be a Top Secret device known only to a certain group of trusted people. Collin, I see the device small enough to be weaved into a belt or a shoe and then, later on, small enough to ... to be implanted into the person," a now widely smiling Mr. Ken sat there looking at both Collin and Uncle Andy.
The three sat in the Study so long discussing the pros and cons of Mr. Ken's 'special project' that Maria brought their dinner to them, so they wouldn't have to lose their train of thought.
Then the phone rang and Collin picked it up, "Hello" ... "Oh, hi there Ryan. ... Oh, he did, did he? ... Well, I am doing great. Doc Jennings and Doc Powers came to see me and, well, I now feel great. ... How come? ... Oh, you meant how come those two to be here, well it was Big Bro who came to the rescue. ... Yeah, I should be there tomorrow. ... The short answer is they have to file my mom and dad's final corporate and personal tax papers and I just didn't understand them too well and I took it as I would have to come up with all that money they owed, myself. But after Doc Doug talked to me and Uncle Andy explained in detail all about them, I now know it was foolish for me to have acted that way. ... Okay, I'll tell them. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye!"
The three of them had a good laugh at Ryan being pissed because Mr. Ken hadn't called to let him know how Collin was doing. Then they continued to talk about the tax ramifications of dying and Mr. Ken's desire to purchase that one and only plant. They all went to bed early that evening with the understanding that Collin, would from now on, ask questions instead of saying he understood when he didn't and that Mr. Ken could go ahead and plan to purchase that plant, lock, stock and barrel.