The Morrow Family Saga, Book Three: Laughing, Chapter Sixteen

It had been a fun-filled week in New York City. The girls had loved every minute of every show they had gotten to see. They had gone to every theater that had a show running. The Seville. Broadway. The Royale. The National.

Every show kept both girls spellbound. Michael watched, smiling, as they sat captivated by the action on the stage. He made a mental note to take them to more cultural events when they got back to Des Moines. He only hoped that they would be as enthusiastic with the sights they would see in DC. He knew that Natalia was not a fan of museums or monuments, but she had promised to be respectful to the enjoyment of others while they were in the nation’s capitol.

The week in New York was over now, and they had to go to DC. For him, it was business. He doubted he would get to do much except eat with the girls. Lord, how he dreaded the thought of eight hours of nothing but questions over a week. He hated answering questions. Well, almost all questions unless they dealt with things back at the company.

He knew that Frank and the others involved had already given their depositions. Toffer had probably given his as well. Michael wondered what lies his enemy had told. Had he tried to lie his way out of it all? Or had he done the noble thing and told the truth?

He shrugged the thought off. Who cared what Toffer did? French Industries was headed for destruction and Toffer could only blame himself. It saddened Michael to see one of his competitors on the verge of closing. It meant there would be a hole in the market, especially in the Midwest. He wondered who would fill that hole.

***

Tab Morrow was an excellent pilot. He owned his own plane and flew as often as he could. At the moment, He was flying Michael and his family to Washington, DC.All of Tab’s boys were already in Yale except one and he had gone to MIT. Johnathon had always had an aptitude for technology and had voiced an interest in being at the cutting edge of new discoveries so Tab had agreed to send him to MIT. The other two, Mark and George, had decided to follow they father’s footsteps and go to Yale.

His daughter, Margaret, Had married well right out of high school and had given him his first grand child on her nineteenth birthday. From there, she had given birth to three more, which accounted for all at the moment. All four grands were his pride and joy. He loved being a grandfather.

The Washington National Airport wasn’t that far. It would be a matter of less than an hour and they would be there. Soon, they would be met by Farley Morrow, Tab’s younger brother, was an amazing businessman who knew how to get things done. But, then, every Morrow knew how to get things done.

But Farley’s branch of the family business was newer than Michael’s or Tab’s.  It had been started for Farley, yet he had been able to make it profitable within a year of its incorporation. He was one of five Morrow success stories that had been covered by The Wall Street Journal. It’s near-instant success was unheard of before Farley’s feat, but his success would be followed by his cousins in Baltimore, Savanna, Charleston, Charlotte, and Fort Lauderdale.

Each had become near instant successes. They had wowed the industrial world with a feat that had been thought of as impossible. They had shown that the five-year model wasn’t necessarily right and it rocked the corporate world. But the five-year-plan would continue to control how many small businesses succeeded for decades to come through misinforming entrepreneurs on what to expect and when.

***

Michael’s eyes opened as Tab landed the plane at Washington National. The flight had come to an end so quickly. Both girls seemed to be excited about the trip’s being at an end. He smiled at the bustle.

Valeria had stopped reading, as had Shasta, long enough to check their whereabouts then returned to her reading. Shasta, though, excitedly looked out the window. Natalia was also looking out her window.

After the plane came to a stop, Tab appeared from the cockpit area and opened the door. Turning to Michael and the girls, he smiled. “Washington National. Right on time.” He turned and looked out momentarily, then turned back to his passengers. “We will exit the plane in a few minutes, after they put the stairs up to the door. And the captain thanks you for flying Morrow Air.” He bowed and gave them a crooked smile.

Michael motioned to his family to rise and get ready to disembark. He looked at Tab. “Is Farley waiting out there?”

Tab nodded. “Yup. With bells and whistles.” He grinned. “Seriously, though, he’s out there with his car.”

Michael smiled. “It’ll be nice to see him again. What’s it been…seventeen years?”

Tab nodded. “Yes. Same as your last visit with me. We were kids, then.”

Michael frowned. “Yes. It’s been too long. I am just saddened that this was what it took for me to visit the two of you.”

Tab waved it off, nonchalantly. “Ah, don’t worry about it. Maybe after this, you and the family can take time to come and visit under better conditions.

Michael smiled. “True.”

A clunk let them know that the stairs were finally up against the plane. Tab smiled. “Are we ready to leave the plane?”

The girls cheered, letting the adults know that they were ready to leave. Michael stifled a chuckle. He was amazed at how impatient the girls were, but he couldn’t blame them.  He hated planes too.

Tab ushered Valeria and the girls toward the door of the plane. “Women and children first. Grumpy old men last.”

After Valeria and the girls were out the door, Michael exited as well. Below, Farley waited. Soon, the inquest would begin.

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