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"I see you've had success, even in this weather," he said, seeing the cleaned fish she had wrapped in newspaper.

Abby grinned confidently.

"I don't discourage easily," she laughed.

"Tell your parents I've brought Jake," instructed the Sheriff.

Abby nodded and disappeared inside the house, not getting any glimpse of their new neighbor.

"Leave it to Abby to go fishing in weather like this," chuckled the Sheriff, rolling back up his car window.

"Who's she?" asked Jake.

"Who? Abby?" asked the Sheriff. "That was John and Izumi Johanneses' daughter-- the ones who are letting you rent their yellow house. Now remember, be polite," repeated the Sheriff. "They're good Christian folks."

"I'll remember," replied Jake, with a sharpness that he hadn't intended.

Years of prison life had molded his speech into what others would term, defiant. Even when that wasn't what he was feeling, his words came out the same way.

"Mom!" exclaimed Abby, breathlessly running into the kitchen where Izumi was preparing dinner.

"Abby!" Izumi cried in dismay, "how many times do I have to remind you to wipe your feet off before coming inside? Just look at my floor!"

"Sorry, Mom," said Abby, seeing the puddles she had tracked into the house. "It's raining outside."

"And yet, you still caught your fish," sighed Izumi, seeing the folded newspaper in her hand. Then she noticed Abby's clothes. "Sweetheart, you're soaking wet!"

"Mom," repeated Abby, "the Sheriff's out front with Jake!"

"I'll go tell your father," said Izumi, immediately taking off her apron and going to the office down the hall.

Abby stood there, stupidly dripping more water onto the floor, until her parents came down the hall and went to the front door.

"Sweetheart, go change into dry clothes," instructed Izumi, before John opened the door.

"But," protested Abby, "I want to see what he looks like!"

"Now!" ordered John.

Disappointedly, Abby went to her room. From her bedroom, she heard the front door opening, and her parents asking the two to come inside from the rain. Abby could hear her parents company manners, as they exchanged hellos, and talked about the weather with Sheriff Peterson.

"Yeah," said John, "the jet stream is playing with our perfect weather. Summer is usually the quietest time of the year."

"That's a fact," agreed the Sheriff. "Well, if it's all right with you folks, I'd like to take Jake to the yellow house and get him settled in."

"I'll go with you," volunteered John. "I've had the utilities turned on..." here the voices trailed off until Abby heard the front door close, indicating that the men had left. Abby stuck her head out. Izumi was walking back to the kitchen.

"Well?" asked Abby, buttoning her blouse. "What was he like?"

"He barely said two words together, Sweetheart," replied Izumi. "From the little I saw of him, he seemed nice."
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