#2 in the Christmas Gifts Series
This a follow up to my 1st story for our 2021 Christmas Calendar, “A Gift For Murdoch”. Thanks to all who wanted to see a sequel. No beta. All mistakes mine.
Word count: 655
Gifts were exchanged as the family sat near the tree. They laughed at Johnny’s boyish antics. Christmas celebrations were new to him. He enjoyed the giving and receiving of gifts. He was searching beneath the tree for a gift not yet given.
“Hey Boston. I thought you said ya’ had a present for Pa too. Change your mind?”
Smiling, Scott spoke. “No Johnny. I have it right here. Merry Christmas, Sir.” Scott handed his father an envelope.
Johnny and Teresa looked at each other, confused. Johnny shrugged as they waited for Murdoch to open the gift Scott was so secretive about for weeks.
“Thank you, Son. And what do we have here?” Murdoch stared at the unopened envelope.
Johnny was growing impatient. “Well, open it. what’d you get?” He and Teresa left their seats and joined Scott near Murdoch’s chair.
Smiling at Johnny’s outburst, Murdoch opened the envelope. The smile left his face as he stared at the contents of the envelope.
“Don’t keep us waiting. We wanna see what big bother got ya’.”
Sill silent, unshed tears were forming in Murdoch’s eyes. With his two youngest ‘children’ growing concerned, he spoke.
“Thank you Son, but you shouldn’t have. This must have cost you quite a bit.”
“You are most welcome, Sir. You deserve it.”
“Come on, Pa. What’d Boston get for ya’?” Johnny was standing on tip toes trying to see what the envelope held. Teresa swatted him, admonishing her ‘brother’.
“Johnny, behave! Murdoch will share when he is ready.”
“Scott has given me an all-expenses paid trip to my home land. It looks like I will be going to visit Scotland.” Although the tears now fell, Murdoch’s smile returned.
“Wow! That’s great, Pa. Ya’ did good, Boston.”
Teresa moved to Murdoch and hugged him. “That is wonderful. Now you can visit all those beautiful places in your book. I am so happy for you.”
“This is a perfect time to leave, Sir. It is not very busy at Lancer. We can handle things until you return.”
“But Scott. That’s an awful lot to put on you boys. Neither of you has had too much experience in handling the business end of running a ranch. You boys will be responsible for everything it takes into running a ranch this size. The books will need to be kept up, and any little issue that arrives will need to be handled. Perhaps I should wait a bit before leaving.”
“No, Sir. You will not delay your trip. We’ve learned a lot since we got here. You already taught me your system with the books, and we have Cip here too. He can help as well on what we don’t know.”
“Yeah, Pa. We’ll be okay. Don’t worry about us. Lt. Lancer can call th’ tune.”
Scott turned to Johnny and tried to give him a stern look. He was failing miserably.
The young people went off to their rooms for the night. Murdoch stayed in the great room, having a nightcap. He began to reflect on his life. He was robbed of the chance to see his sons grow into the fine, capable men they are. They will someday run Lancer together. He was proud of his accomplishments since coming to America. He endured heartache and obstacles to build Lancer into the ranch it is today.
Murdoch never regretted leaving home to come to America which offered many opportunities. However, he did, at times, miss home, knowing he would never see that green country again. Now he has the chance to revisit the land of his birth.
‘This has been a wonderful day. I feel blessed I have everything I wanted in my children. Now, thanks to my oldest, I will be able to visit my home land again. It has truly been a Merry Christmas.’
Murdoch finished his drink, and headed to his bed to dream of returning to visit Scotland.
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