“In that case, you had better get you bags packed, and we will take them with us, I will go and suggest the same with Lady Alexandria and Lady Beatrice, as they will have to come with us for the day trip, so they don’t get stranded,” Charles said as he went to organise the rest of the family.
Half an hour later we were all packed and Elizabeth had packed an overnight bag for herself and Charles, in case they cannot get back to the Manor tonight, and we set off shortly after 8 am, heading for the Gordon River, which would take us about two and a half hours.
Elizabeth had packed a picnic basket for us, to keep us well fed for the day trip, and I was looking forward to exploring the famous Gordon River. When we finally arrived at the mouth of the river, Charles slowed the boat down, due to the speed restrictions, and we spent the next five hours cruising up the famous Gordon River, until Charles stopped near the junction of another River.
“This is the start of the Franklin River, and the boat navigations tell’s me that we can only go a short way, but since we have to get back to Strahan before dark. We will just spend fifteen minutes looking at part of it before we will need to turn around,” Charles said to us, as we were just finishing our picnic lunch.
We arrived at Strahan just before sunset, where Charles had booked us all into a hotel for the night, with us leaving first thing in the morning to drive back to Launceston. When we turned the last corner on our way home, I saw that Brad and Craig were sitting on the wall waiting for us to get back.
“You go and spend some time with your friends, we will deal with all of the luggage,” Mum said to me, as we came to a stop in the driveway, “Thanks Mum, your a legend,” I said before climbing out of the car. “Hey you, where on Earth have you been, we have tried calling you a few times, and all we got was that your phone was out of range,” Craig said to me.
“Sorry about that guys, I was down in Strahan, and we went on a few cruises and trips, so yeah, I was out of mobile range a fair bit,” I responded, “Anyway, you are here now, so how was your holidays?” Craig said to me.
“Not bad, I did a fair bit of hiking and camping out, which was great, there are some awesome walk tracks down that way, and yesterday we did a private cruise up the Gordon River, all the way up to the Franklin River, which was amazing,” I replied.
The next morning, Craig and Brad were at my front door as usual, and we walked to school together, but this time we were surprised to see one of our classmates, who is probably the brightest in our year, sitting on the stonewall waiting for our arrival.
“Ok you three, I have had enough of all of this secrecy, what the hell is going here, that has made you three stick like glue for most of the school day, ever since you Edwin returned from Scotland.
Don’t tell me that it is just protection from the bullies, because I won’t accept that, especially after hearing my father and his work mate talking about their interesting weekend down near Strahan,” he said to us, and Craig and Brad looked at me with concern.
“Who exactly is your father, what does he do for work?” I asked, “He is a National Parks Ranger,” Lucas responded, and I groaned, “Your father is Tom?” I asked, “That is correct, so you do know my Dad?” Lucas said, “Shit” I said a little too loudly.
“Crawford, I heard that, come to me at once, and minus your protective squad too,” we heard a teacher call out, and I groaned. “Should I call your Mum?” Craig whispered to me, “No mate I can handle this, but stay within hearing range if I need you, ok?” I replied, “Sure not a problem, Brad replied.
“Ok, what the hell is going on here?” Lucas asked sounding frustrated,” “You can join Crawford, Mr Decker, and move it, I don’t have all day,” the teacher called out as Lucas and I walked down the hall, with Craig and Brad following slowly behind us.
“Get a move on you two, or I will get the cane out on you?” the teacher threatened, “You do that sir, and you will be charged with assaulting a pro…” I stopped short, realising that I had already said too much, “Pro what Mr Crawford that defiantly didn’t sound like Minor, so what were you going to say?” the teacher said, “I can not say sir, as it is confidential,” I responded.
“Confidential, I will give you confidential, now move your backsides to the headmasters office right now,” the teacher said to us, and I glanced back at my mates, who were now following close by, until the teacher stopped. “What are you two following for, go about your business, this has nothing to do with you,” the teacher said.
By now Lucas and I had stopped and turned to see Craig and Brad just a metre away from the teacher, and they were not going to budge. “I am afraid it is their business sir, but I will not reveal the reason why, they will be following me, whether you like it or not,” I replied, before starting to walk again towards the administration building.
I noticed that Lucas was typing madly on his phone, and I watched him as he nearly bumped into a few junior students as he was doing it as walking with me at the same time. When I heard a beep come from his phone, I watched as he read the message and smiled. “Help is on its way,” he whispered to me.
At first I was not sure who he meant, then I realised he must have messaged his father, and I nodded in response, as we entered the admin building. When the teacher attempted to lock Brad and Craig out of the reception office, I suggest that you let them in sir,” I said to the teacher.”
“Mr Decker, I have just had a phone call from your father, informing me that he is on his way, and that nothing is to happen concerning Mr Crawford, until he gets here, would you care to explain?” the Deputy Headmaster said.
“Sir, Lucas is not aware of the situation, only that his father Mr Tom Decker, who is a National Parks Ranger, knows. I admit that I said a swear word, and that the teacher Mr Hunter heard me say it, but he has no right to verbally threaten too cane me, or anything else for that matter,” I responded.
“Did you threaten Mr Crawford with the cane?” the deputy headmaster asked the teacher, “No I did not, that is ridiculous,” the teacher snapped, “That is not true sir, both Craig and I heard him say it as well as Lucas,” Brad said, having managed to get the door open and hear the last part of the statement.
“They are part of Crawford’s trouble maker team, I told them to leave, but they kept following,” the teacher said, “There is a good reason for that sir, but I will not say anything about it in front of him,” I replied, just as I saw Tom coming down the passageway, in his Ranger uniform.
“Mr Deputy Headmaster, if I may ask to speak to you in your office along with Master Edwin please,” Tom said as soon as he entered, and when he said that all eyes were on me.
“Very well, if you think it is that important, this way please, and boys just stay here in reception, until I return,” the deputy headmaster said to Craig, Brad and Lucas. Once in the office, Tom stayed near the door, and a few moments later, he opened the door, and we found the teacher right next to it.
“I suggest you go back to your duties, I will speak to you later, and I do not want to see you lurking around my door,” the deputy headmaster said sternly to the teacher, who was annoyed that he was caught trying to listen in.
I gave a short sharp whistle, and seconds later, Brad and Craig were at the door and they closed it shut. “Sir, if I may reveal to the Deputy Headmaster who you are?” Tom asked, and I saw the deputy head open his mouth to speak, when he realised that Tom was speaking to me.
“You have my permission,” I replied, “Mr Deputy Headmaster, may I present to you, Sir Edwin Crawford BT, Baronet of Wigan, and second cousin to the current Earl of Crawford, Scotland,” Tom announced and the Deputy Head sank into his chair.
“A baronet, in my school? Crikey’s,” the Deputy Headmaster said eventually, and Tom and I both chuckled at this, “Sir, Craig and Brad are my security detail when I am at school, they know about my title, and have been doing very good to keep me safe. Lucas had over heard his father talking about me to his colleague last night, so he only knows that something is up but not what,” I explained.
“So it is true that the teacher verbally threatened to cane you?” the Deputy Head asked, “He did what?” Tom exclaimed in a loud voice, which brought Craig and Brad rushing into the office, with Lucas following behind. “It is ok lads. Mr Decker got a little shocked at what the teacher had said.
“What the… blazers is all this Dad?” Lucas asked, and Craig leaned over and whispered in his ear, and the expression on his face was surprised and shock, with very wide eyes, which made me chuckle. “Holy Cow pads,” Lucas exclaimed; which has us all laughing.
“The less that know about this the better, although I received an email from my cousin in Edinburgh last night, stating that the media in the UK have found about my investiture. That is why apart from family and my staff, as well as Tom and Bill, and now you too Lucas, know about my title.
I have always been a aristocrat, but I only found out about it this year, and now I have this minor hereditary title, which I received early this year during my trip to Scotland,” I said to all present. “So is that why you went to Holyrood Palace?” Lucas asked me.
“Yes mate, my 2nd cousin Robert, the current Earl of Crawford sprung the surprise on me, giving me one of his very minor titles, “ I replied. “From the Queen?” Lucas asked in a squeaky voice, “Yes mate, by Her Majesty the Queen,” I replied, “Wow,” was all that Lucas could say in response.
“Now getting back to the matter in hand, I will be writing a letter to the school board, requesting that this teacher, be disciplined for what he did today, and I suggest that you Master Edwin write a letter of apology for swearing out loud in school?” Tom said to me.
“I am in agreement with you Mr Decker, and thankyou for taking the time to come here today, on behalf of Master Edwin,” the Deputy Headmaster said, as he stood and shook hands with Tom. “Ok boys back out you go, the bell will be sounding shortly,” the Deputy Headmaster said, and we walked out of the office and the administration building, where we saw the teacher glaring at us.
Tom had remained in the office, so we headed to our lockers to collect our books, just as the first bell sounded. “Remember Lucas, not a word to anyone, ok,” Craig said to Lucas, who nodded his head in understanding.
At lunchtime the four of us sat down together in the cafeteria, “What happened to the teacher? I haven’t seen him all morning?” Lucas whispered, “There are rumours that he was suspended from school for what he did to you today,” Craig whispered. “What are you morons whispering about?” the school bully said from close by, Lucas, who is one of the tallest kids in school stood up and faced him.
“None of your beeswax idiot, so be on your way like a good little turd that you are,” Lucas said in response, and they both stared at each other, before the bully walked away, and Lucas sat down with a big grin on his face.
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved July 2020