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"As you might already be aware," continued Mr. Nelson, "we are currently setting up a new fly casting program at the club. The members of the board, myself included, are considering you for the job of main fly casting instructor-- that is, if you're interested. I know Abe Winkler wants you, but you might find our salary more agreeable."

"I don't know what to say," hesitated Abby.

"If you're willing to consider the idea," offered Jerry, "the board of directors would like to extend an invitation to you and your husband, to attend the Commodore's Dinner, this Wednesday. It's a black tie affair and is held at the clubhouse. It'll give everyone a chance to get to know each other before making any final decisions. What do you say?"

"Thank you, we'd love to come," replied Abby, as Jake shuddered when he heard the "we" in her response.

After she hung up, Abby smiled widely.

"We are invited to a formal dinner party," she laughed in delight.

"Why did they invite me?" hesitated Jake. "I'm not the one being considered for the job. I can't even fly fish!"

"How would it look if they only invited the wife," explained Abby, "and not the husband as well? I've got to go tell Uncle Terry!"

Terry, however, wasn't as excited as Abby had thought he'd be.

"You're a good fly caster, Abby," he explained, "but you don't have any experience as an instructor yet. Be careful not to get your hopes too high."

"I understand," conceded Abby, "but the fact that they're even considering me, is encouraging."

"It is," smiled Terry. "When's the formal dinner being held?"

"This Wednesday," she replied.

"So soon?" asked Izumi, in surprise. "Why, that's the day after tomorrow!"

"I guess they're thinking that if you want the job badly enough," speculated John, "then you'll show up, no matter how short of a notice they give."

"They're right," smiled Abby.

Later that evening, Abby went through her closet, trying to find something suitable to wear for the dinner party. Jake sat cross-legged on her bed, sketching quietly, as always.

"I don't own anything so formal as an evening dress," she sighed, rejecting yet another outfit. "Mom does, though." Abby poked her head out from the closet. "Are you listening to me, Jake?"

"Yeah," mumbled the young man, "you can't find anything to wear."

"I don't suppose," said Abby, hanging the garments back up in her closet, "that you happen to have a tuxedo in that duffel bag of yours, do you?"

"I don't have to wear a monkey suit, do I?" he asked, dropping his pencil in semi-horror.

"This is a formal black tie dinner," insisted Abby, "and they're not monkey suits! Don't worry, we'll rent one for the occasion."

Jake was grateful to the yacht club for the job opportunity they were considering Abby for, but he was uneasy. If this club was as exclusive as everyone had thought, then why would they hire someone who's spouse has a criminal record? For the most part, Abby had yet to be discriminated against because of her association with him, but Jake knew that it was only a matter of time before she would be. However, any misgivings that he had concerning the invitation, he tried to conceal from Abby. Jake knew he was from the wrong side of the tracks, but Abby wasn't. Her family was held in high regard in Three Mile Bay. Maybe, things would go all right for her, after all.
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