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"Could I see him now?" requested Abby.

"Eat something, first," ordered John, taking her by the arm and leading her down many corridors to the cafeteria. "We'll ask the doctor if you can see him, after you've gotten something into your stomach."

As the two entered the cafeteria, Terry looked up from his meal and smiled at them.

"Look who's wake," he greeted Abby, getting up and helping her into a chair at the table he was at. "I can't say very much for the meat loaf, but their brownies are good."

"I don't think I can eat right now," declined Abby, distracted by everything that was going on around her.

"I'll get you some brownies and a glass of milk," said John, in a firm voice.

Abby numbly nodded "yes," and her father disappeared into the rather lengthy lunch line to get her food.

"Have you seen Jake, Uncle Terry?" she wondered.

"I saw him," soberly replied her uncle. "The pass that Dick brought, enables two people at a time to see Jake for thirty minute intervals. I don't know how Dick managed it, but you can stay in there for as long as the hospital visiting hours permit."

"How did Jake look?" she ventured.

"Jake's been through a lot, Abby," Terry carefully explained. "On top of his two broken ribs, Jake's face is all swollen and bruised; he has a broken finger, and he suffered a dislocated shoulder. Abby, he's on so many painkillers that I don't think he's been conscious since before he was airlifted from the prison hospital."

Just then, John returned with Abby's milk and brownies.

"Dad," she protested, "I'm really not hungry."

"Eat," he ordered her. "Jake isn't going anywhere. Right now, the best thing you can do for him, is to keep your strength."

Reluctantly, Abby did as she was told. It took ages too long, but she finally managed to swallow the last of the over-sweet chocolate squares, and gulp down the glass of cold milk.

"I'll go ask the doctor if it's all right for you to see Jake, now," said John, getting up from the table.

Knowing the way, Terry took Abby down a long hall, to a closed door where Deputy Casey was standing guard.

"I'm really sorry about Jake," Casey apologized to his old fishing buddy.

"Do they know who did this to Jake?" she asked.

Casey looked embarrassed.

"I heard Jake was put into a cell with a convicted rapist who's serving three life sentences," he confided in a whisper. "That's off the record, though. It's only a rumor."

John soon returned with Dick and the go-ahead from Jake's doctor.

"Here's her visit pass," said Dick, handing the paper to Casey.

With a nod, Casey stepped aside and quietly opened the door for Abby.

"Do you want me to come?" offered John.
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