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"Dad," Abby excitedly whispered to her father, "Jake spoke to me! He said he couldn't go with Jesus!"

John smiled sadly at his tired daughter. Surely, she was under too much strain. Realizing that he didn't understand, Abby kept the remainder of her joy to herself. She knew that Jake knew, and that was more than enough.

While John searched the dimly lit room for the second chair that he knew was around somewhere, the door opened, and Dick's excited face appeared.

"Could I trouble you both to step outside for a minute?" he asked in a loud whisper.

With a heavy sigh, Abby tore herself from Jake's bedside and followed her father into the hall.

"You won't believe who I just had a phone call from!" cried Dick, running a hand over his balding head. "Governor Smith!" he continued, not waiting for anyone to guess.

"'Governor Smith'?" repeated John in surprise, as Terry and even Casey stepped forward to hear what was being said.

"Governor Smith called to pay his condolences to you and your family, Abby," he related, "and to inform you that the parole board has recommended that Jake's sentence be commuted to 'time served'! The governor is approving Jake's commutation, this very day!"

"I don't understand," replied Abby, struggling to comprehend his words. "What does that mean?"

"It means, Abby," said Dick, taking her hand and shaking it wildly, "that Jake is a free man! He won't have to go back to prison! In a few short hours, Jake will be as free as you and me!"

"Do you mean," asked Abby, more dazed than ever, "that Jake won't have to spend seven more years in that place?"

When the young woman saw Dick, John, Terry, and even Casey broadly grinning back at her, Mrs. Abigail Murphy passed out.

"He [God] hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem."
~ Psalm 102:19-21 ~

"If the Son [Jesus] therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
~ John 8:36 ~

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