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Chapter Fourteen
A Black Tie Affair

"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
~ Proverbs 4:18 ~

Abby's victory at the fly casting tournament created a mild sensation in the small community of Three Mile Bay. When Abby went to the marina on the Monday afterward, she was warmly greeted by Mr. Winkler's broad smile.

"What did I tell you?!" he exclaimed, shaking her hand and then accepting a hug. "You have a gift and a great career ahead of you!"

"I'd be satisfied to just make a living at it," Abby replied with a modest smile.

As Abby had predicted, the old man asked to see her three gold medals from the tournament. She pulled them out of her pocket and endured the I-told-you-so's that inevitably followed.

"Jake," asked Mr. Winkler, looking up from the medals to where the young man was working in the back room, "didn't I tell you our Abby had greatness in her?"

"Yes, Sir," smiled Jake, before going outside to sweep the dock.

"That young man," commented the shopkeeper, "is a hard worker. I'll be sorry to let him go after the season is over. I suppose money will become tight this winter. Maybe, you could go west for the winter months where the coming snows won't stop you from being an instructor."

"I will if I have to," replied Abby, "but, Mom will be confined to bed rest with the triplets, and is going to need all the support she can get. I'll save it as a last resort. Besides, I have a little time this year before the fishing season is out."

"That leads me to my news," smiled the old man, sitting Abby down in a chair near his fly tying table. "I was going to offer you a job here for the remainder of the season, but Jerry Nelson just stopped by to pick up a new reel, and he mentioned to me that you were being considered for their new fly casting program as nothing less than their main instructor. The yacht club would be a good opportunity for you, Abby."

"Mr. Nelson is considering me?" she asked in surprise.

Jerry Nelson was an influential man, operating the oldest, and therefore the largest, yacht club in all of Upstate New York. Unlike the Boaters' Club, where locals would hang out and swap stories, the yacht club was not open to the general public. Just to gain entrance into their clubhouse and exclusive docks, you had to be invited by another member.

"Why would they consider me?" she asked in puzzlement. "I don't know anyone there."

"You forget," smiled Mr. Winkler, patting her hand, "you are the first woman to ever gold medal in all three fly accuracy events with a perfect score. Be prepared to hear from Jerry."

"Thanks, Mr. Winkler," smiled the young woman, "but I'd be shocked if they picked me."

Abby didn't have long to wait. When she and Jake got home after work that day, she had a message on the answering machine from Jerry Nelson.

"I'd better return his call," she said, picking up the receiver as Jake listened, nearby.

"Hello, Mr. Nelson?" said Abby, tossing the jeep keys onto the coffee table.

"Mrs. Murphy," said the man in a pleasant voice, "I wanted to congratulate you on your recent victory! It's quite an accomplishment!"

"Thank you," replied Abby, politely.

continued on next page...
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