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"It's very nice of you to invite us," replied Abby, shaking his hand. "This is my husband, Jake."

"We've heard a lot of good things about your wife from Abe," greeted Jerry, shaking Jake's hand.

For a minute, Jake wasn't sure who "Abe" was. Then he remembered that it was Mr. Winkler's first name, and smiled politely in return.

"I'd like you to meet some of our board members," requested Jerry, leading Abby over to a group of men and women.

As Abby was being introduced, Jake awkwardly hung back.

"Would you care for a drink, Sir?" asked one of the waiters, presenting a round serving tray.

"Sure, thanks," replied Jake. If he was busy holding a glass, Jake figured it would give his hands something to do. He also hoped that it would help hide the fact that he was so nervous.

"So, you're John's daughter," said one of the board members, shaking Abby's hand.

"Do you know my father?" asked the young woman in surprise.

"There's few in Three Mile Bay who haven't heard the Johannes name," replied the man with a kind smile.

Then Jerry showed Abby the pictures on the wall she had seen earlier. Halfway through his narrative of the history of the yacht club, dinner was ready.

The party was taken to the next room, where two large banquet tables were lined with modest linen tablecloths. To Abby, it seemed a little silly that everyone should dress up so formally, when the tables they were to sit at looked so drab and mundane. The napkins were folded very strangely, and there was an overturned commodore's cap filled with sand, in the center of each table.

"It's tradition," whispered one of the wives, seeing Abby's puzzled face.

"Oh," smiled Abby, as though that had explained everything.

AJ found their places side by side at the long table, and were about to sit down, when Jerry proposed a toast to the Commodore. Apparently, this too, was tradition. The toast was a little lengthy, for Jerry didn't just talk about the current commodore of their yacht club, but also paid homage to the previous ones, as well. Just when it seemed like the toast would go on forever, Jerry finished so everyone could drink and sit down.

Abby soon noticed that there were two kinds of table talk: the women mainly discussed the food, or what everyone else was wearing, while the men debated over the fish they had caught, and the rough seas they had seen. Jake was interested in neither of these, so he tried to keep busy with his food and drink, so that few would have the chance to see that he didn't belong.

To the great surprise of Jerry and the other board members, they found Abby a surprisingly fresh face in the midst of their usual crowd; her opinions were informed, her conversation thoughtful, and her enthusiasm contagious. All in all, the men were well pleased with Abby. The women, however, were a tad more distant than their husbands.

As the next course was being served, Jake accepted yet another glass of whatever it was he had been drinking. It wasn't until dessert, that Abby first noticed Jake behaving oddly-- even for him.

The napkins had been uniquely folded, and Jake was unsuccessfully trying to reassemble his to its former state. When Abby saw this, she discreetly pulled it from his hands and gave him a stern look. Needing a new diversion, Jake began to play with the round cookies on his dessert plate, rolling them this way and that with his spoon. By now, more than one person was beginning to notice his antics.

"As I was saying," continued Jerry, doing his best to ignore Jake, "this roof was originally built in 1912, and then later..."

Abby tried as hard as she could to feign interest, for to do otherwise would have been impolite. She nodded and smiled, fitting in an "Oh, really?" or "I see," wherever appropriate. But as the evening wore on, Abby found it harder and harder not to notice the change taking place in Jake.
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