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Chapter Three
Old and New Friends

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
~ Proverbs 18:24 ~

Jake didn't come out of his house until it was time for him to walk to work at the Old Mill Camp Ground a few miles down the main road. Abby had wanted to watch from her bedroom window, to try and get a glimpse of his face as he went by, but Jake had surprised her by getting an early start, so she had missed him altogether.

Abby soon forgot the newcomer, however, for today was the day when Terry was to return from the Hong Kong business trip. The Johannes family drove down to the Watertown International Airport and greeted Terry as he walked toward them with his suitcases.

"Hi, John!" Terry exclaimed, shaking his best friend's hand, and then hugging him warmly.

"It's good to have you back, Terry!" said John. "Did you have a good flight?"

"Yup, but my arms sure got tired!" Terry laughed, wearily. "Have you been holding down the fort while I've been gone, Izzy?" he asked, giving Izumi a hug as well.

"The house hasn't been the same without you," smiled Izumi.

"Yeah," teased Abby, "it's been quieter!"

"Oh, it has, has it?!" exclaimed Terry, taking the brim of Abby's cap and playfully pulling it down over her eyes. "Catch any good fish lately?"

As the family walked out to the car, Abby related to Terry a near encounter with a large pike a few days back. Then, she suddenly remembered that she had news to tell.

"Uncle Terry," informed Abby, as they drove back to Three Mile Bay, "you'll never guess what Dad and Mom did! They rented our little yellow house to an ex-con from the state penitentiary!"

"When did his happen?" asked Terry, sitting up in surprise.

"He arrived yesterday," said Izumi. "His name is Jake Murphy, and he's a professing Christian."

"Can he fish?" was Terry's next question.

"I don't know," laughed John. Terry would think to ask that!

"That's not all," continued Abby, "he was in prison for second-degree murder for killing his father! Sheriff Peterson says Jake was raped and tortured by his father when he was a little boy."

Upon hearing this, Terry's face fell. He himself, had been raped by his step-father when he was a boy.

John gave Abby a disapproving look.

"Are you going to tell everyone, that?" asked John.

"It's only Uncle Terry," replied Abby.

"I don't mind you telling Terry," admonished John, "but, you've told at least three others, as well. I wish you would show more compassion, Abigail. How would you like it, if you had been the one who was raped, and someone went around informing others of the fact?"

Abby was quiet. She felt a small pang of guilt, but Jake had been convicted of second-degree murder! It wasn't as if he were innocent, or merely a victim like Uncle Terry!

"Does he have anyone on the outside?" asked Terry, gravely.

"No one but the warden of the prison," answered John, glancing in the rear view mirror at his friend. "Sheriff Peterson is his parole officer, and he's trying to help the young man as best as he can."

continued on next page...
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