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"Mom?" said Abby, sticking her head into the master bedroom where Mrs. Hopkins was talking to her mother. "We're leaving now."

"Speak from your heart, Abigail," reminded Izumi. "I'll be praying for you both."

"Tell Jake the entire congregation is praying for him," added Mrs. Hopkins.

"Thank you," Abby smiled gratefully, "I will."

On this particular drive, John decided to take his own car, instead of cramming themselves into his daughter's four-by-four. John and Terry sat up front, while Abby sat in the back seat, busily trying to think out what she was going to say to her best friend.

John had never been to Dr. Jacoby's home office before, and it required some directions from Abby until he finally located the correct house. As the vehicle came to a stop, John looked in the rear view mirror at his little girl.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"No," she answered candidly, opening her car door and getting out.

The two men walked with Abby to the front door, where Dr. Jacoby readily accepted his guests.

"No, he hasn't called yet, so you've missed nothing," he quickly informed Abby, seeing that the question was on the very tip of her tongue. "I've canceled a few appointments, just to be sure that I could be there to take the call. Come, we can wait more comfortably in the living room."

Dr. Jacoby led the three into a modestly furnished room, and everyone sat down. The telephone was placed on a small glass table in the center of the room, and for awhile, everyone just stared at it.

"A watched pot never boils," observed Terry, after a few moments of silence.

"Have you thought over what you're going to tell Jake?" inquired the therapist.

"I don't know," hesitated Abby. "Mom said I should speak from my heart."

"That sounds like excellent advice," nodded Dr. Jacoby in approval.

The group sat in silence for a few minutes longer before the doorbell rang.

"Excuse me," said the doctor, getting up to answer his door.

Back in the living room, Terry had gotten up to get a better look at the ship painting on the wall, while John bravely smiled at his daughter, who was unsuccessfully trying to remain calm.

"Look who came!" exclaimed Dr. Jacoby, as he led Sheriff Peterson and Richard Doyle into the room.

"Is anything wrong?" cried Abby, sitting up in alarm.

"You know as much as we do at this point," Sheriff Peterson assured her. "Dick and I just wanted to be here-- that is, if it's all right with you. We're not trying to impose. We'd simply like to help, if at all possible."

"Abby," said Dick, cautiously approaching the young woman, "I understand if you don't want to be here-- especially after what's happened to Jake. Henry called me, but I wasn't sure if I should come." When Abby didn't turn him out of the house, Dick pulled up a chair and placed it across the room from her. "I can't tell you how sorry I am that I got Jake to testify at the commission," he continued. "I knew there was a chance that he could be sent back, but I didn't see it. All I saw was the opportunity to do some good. People tried to warn me that I was forcing Jake to testify, and, God forgive me, I should have listened. I blame myself, entirely."
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