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"You'll forgive me," sighed John, "if I hold to the opinion that his need is greater than yours."

"I agree with you, Dad," informed Abby, matter-of-factly. "No matter what Jake can or can't teach me, he does need me more than I need him. Even if my art career fails, and I have to do something else for a living, I want to go through with the arrangement. I know I can help him. If you and Mom and Uncle Terry agree, I'd like to talk to Jake's parole officer and psychiatrist about this, as soon as possible."

"Just hold on," cautioned John. "I don't want any of us to make hasty decisions."

"It's getting very late," observed Izumi, glancing at the living room clock. "I think we should sleep on it tonight, and resume the discussion, tomorrow."

"That's fine with me," said Abby, with a small yawn. "Oh, I almost forgot," she suddenly remembered, "did you hear that Mr. Winkler hired Dennis Beckman to be the main fly casting instructor at the tackle shop? He's supposed to be here next Monday. Well, I'm going to turn in. Good night, Mom, Dad, Uncle Terry!"

The three watched as Abby went to her room and calmly closed the door behind her.

"I think she's completely flipped," muttered Terry. "Our Abby just became engaged to an ex-convict-- one who was convicted of killing his father with a kitchen knife, mind you, and she talks about fly fishing!"

"This whole affair is pretty cold-blooded, if you ask me," argued John. "I can remember the night Izumi and I got married, and a marriage in name only was the furthest thing from our minds! Do you really believe that Jake Murphy is going to keep his hands off of our Abby?"

"He'll have the right, if she's his wife," reminded Izumi.

"You're taking this pretty calmly, yourself," observed John, turning to Izumi. "Somehow, I had the impression that you weren't overly surprised by Abby's announcement!"

"John," asked Izumi, "have you ever seen our Abby being gentle with any of her friends?"

"What kind of question is that?" wondered John.

"I mean it," pressed Izumi. "When was the last time you saw our Abby show compassion or gentleness to any of her friends?"

"There was the time David caught a fly on the back of his neck," recalled Terry. "Abby whipped out her knife and carved that sucker right out, in no time flat!"

"I confess," admitted John, "that nothing else comes to mind. That doesn't mean, however, that she has to marry the first man she feels sorry for!"

"She'll hear you," whispered Izumi, trying not to embroil the entire family in a debate so late at night.

"Maybe she should hear this!" exclaimed John. "I don't know why we even have to discuss this any further! She's too young to get married, in the first place!"

Terry cleared his throat, and shook his head in disagreement.

"I hate to burst in on your illusion," he said, "but Abby and Jake are the same ages as you and Izzy were, when you were married."

"That's not possible," debated John. "Why, Izumi was much older than Abby!"

"Sorry, Dear," smiled Izumi, contradicting her husband.

"You know," said Terry, "I just realized something else. The room Abby has right now, was the same room Izzy had when she first came to Three Mile Bay."

"Yeah, so?" asked John.

"Don't you get it?" asked Terry. "The window in that room faces the little yellow house-- the same house you and Izzy honeymooned in."

John stared at him, with a "Who's side are you on?" expression.
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