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"Mike," interrupted Adam, "she obviously doesn't want to answer your questions. Leave the poor girl alone." Mike looked up in surprise at his uncle. Surely, Adam understood their responsibility to return this probable runaway to her family. How could they do that, if he couldn't ask her any questions? Adam gave Mike a firm look and shook his head. Puzzled, Mike turned his attention back to the road and remained quiet. Grateful for the respite, Wendy breathed a sigh of relief.

Seeing his chance to talk to the pretty passenger sitting beside him, Chad pointed out the landscape, giving her a guided tour without leaving the van.

"See over there? That's a Joshua-tree. It means we're really close to home. And over there is some Creosote Bush, Shadscale, Big Sagebrush, Bladder sage, and Blackbush. In the summer months, if you even look at them sideways, they go up in flames," said Chad.

"You know a lot about the desert, don't you?" asked Wendy, impressed by his knowledge of the drab-looking plants. To her, they just looked like tumbleweeds. To Chad, they had names.

"Uncle Adam told me," replied Chad proudly. So Chad continued until they reached town.

"I'm going to have to ask where she wants to be dropped off," whispered Mike, leaning toward Adam.

"Ask her," consented Adam.

"Where should I drop you off, Wendy?" asked Mike.

"Is there a nursing home in Twin Yucca?" asked Wendy. Mike raised his eyebrows in puzzled surprise.

"One-- Mullen-Overholt," stammered Mike.

"Is it too much out of your way?" asked Wendy.

"That's where you want to go? A nursing home?" asked Chad, incredulously.

"It's not out of our way," interceded Adam. Without another word, Mike pulled up in front of Mullen-Overholt and stopped the van.

"Here's your stop," he announced. Wendy eagerly opened the door and jumped out.

"Sure this is where you want to be?" Chad asked, sliding back the side door and handing Wendy her suitcase.

"Thank you for the ride!" she exclaimed, running to the door and disappearing inside. Chad threw up his hands in disbelief and climbed back inside. Now that they're passenger wasn't present, Mike turned to Adam.

"Why didn't you let me ask her about her family?" asked Mike. "We might have been able to contact them for her!"

"Calm down, Mike," replied Adam. "Her family will know she's home shortly."

"How do you know?" Mike asked, astonished at his uncle's confidence in the matter.

"Because that was Charlie Overholt," explained Adam.

"Chuck's daughter?" asked Mike in surprise. "How do you know that was her?"

"Because, ever since Chuck got here, he's been showing off pictures of his daughter to anyone who'll stand still long enough for him to open his wallet," replied Adam. "I'd recognize her anywhere."
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