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"You have eight minutes to complete two rounds," explained the judge, holding his clipboard in readiness. "You must complete each round in progressive target order. If you miss a target, you must recast the entire round. When you step onto the casting platform, your time will begin. Start when you're ready."

The nervous coach went to her awaiting family and explained to them what was going on.

"At the beginning," said Dennis, "you start out with one hundred points. For each target you miss, and each mistake you make, demerits are subtracted from your total. The idea is to complete the event with at least eighty-five points intact. If she goes lower than that, then it won't matter how well she does in the other two events, for she needs to score well in all three."

Abby looked out at the water. Five differently colored target rings were spread out before her, just as in practice back home in Three Mile Bay. As the young woman stepped onto the platform, she remembered Jake, and the courage he had shown that day. She raised her rod and made a fluid back and forth, back and forth motion, measuring the distance from the target with each false cast. On her second backcast, Abby's line shot towards the first of the five target rings.

"Wait for the judge, Abby," Dennis pleaded under his breath.

"Score," said the judge, and she moved on to the next target.

As Abby cast each of the remaining targets, the crowd around the lake began to cheer at each successive hit.

"She's got good tight loops," Dennis observed to Jake, while the rest of her family moved in closer to hear their daughter's coach. "Thank the Lord, she's got her form back! That's the Abby I know! Look! So far, she's hit every target dead on! Good girl!"

The second round began, and Abby gracefully completed it with the skill of a veteran. As the last target was cast, the crowd broke into applause.

"What happened?" asked Jake, sensing that something good had just occurred.

Dennis smiled broadly and excitedly clapped Jake on the back, momentarily forgetting that the man didn't like to be touched.

"It's a perfect score!" cried the coach. "Abby scored a perfect hundred, her first time out!"

As the young woman made her way back, she was stopped and congratulated by several of the spectators and even some of the guys competing in the mens division.

"That was some beautiful fly casting," said an elderly gentleman, his voice betraying curiosity. "May I ask who your coach was?"

"Dennis Beckman," replied Abby, as her instructor picked his way through the crowd to get to her.

"Not bad, for your first tournament!" exclaimed Dennis.

"You should be proud of your student, Denny," said the elderly gentleman, who had flown in from Pittsburgh to attend the tournament. "She has promise."

Dennis looked at him in surprise and accepted the extended hand that the old man offered him.

"Thank you, Dad," said Dennis, gratefully. "I'm glad you could make it. I know how busy you are. Abby, this is my father, Archibald Beckman, one of the greatest fly casters in the world. Dad, this is the woman I was telling you about."

"Denny was right," said Mr. Beckman, "you have potential. Let's see what you do with the rest of your life."

"Thank you, Sir," said Abby, surprised at this new revelation of Dennis' heritage.

After the old gentleman walked away, Abby turned to Dennis as her family rushed forward to congratulate her.

"Dennis, you never told me Archibald Beckman was your father!" she exclaimed in shock, as Terry enthusiastically hugged her.

"Dad's a hard act to follow," replied Dennis.
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