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"That's what Mike guessed," smiled Adam.

"Are you going to play chess with Jerome, tonight?" asked Shirley.

"I guess so. Why?"

"Could I come? I want to visit Mom," asked Shirley.

"Sure," replied Adam.

Jerome Overholt eyed the chess board, methodically. After some deliberation, he moved his queen diagonally across the board, capturing Adam's remaining knight.

"Your move," said Jerome. Adam advanced a pawn by one square and leaned back. Jerome looked at his opponent in surprise. It was the seventh move Adam had made without saying a word. Jerome was not accustomed to this. "What," asked Jerome, "no complaints from the residents to report? Could this be?" he mocked.

"Now that you mention it," replied Adam, "Mr. Fox would like an extra blanket. The nights are getting colder and so is he."

"Love thy neighbor," quoted Jerome, coldly.

"As thyself," finished Adam. Jerome moved his knight four spaces, capturing one of Adam's bishops.

"Your move," replied Jerome. Adam suddenly moved his queen out from behind two pawns.

"Check mate," said Adam. Jerome looked closely at the board, realizing that he had just walked into a trap. The plumber had purposefully sacrificed his bishop to make a point. Adam rarely ever pressed his advantage in chess-- a quality which made Jerome willingly put up with his "interference" with the residents of Mullen-Overholt.

"Everyone receives appropriate bedding when it gets colder, you know that," said Jerome, vindictively.

"That wasn't the point," replied Adam, getting up.

"Then what was this little demonstration of your skill about?" asked Jerome, as Adam met Shirley in the doorway to drive her home. Adam turned around to face Jerome.

"You said it yourself, Jerome. 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'"

"What was all that about?" asked Shirley, as they walked to Adam's van.

"One of these days, Sis, Jerome's granite heart is going to change-- don't ask me how, but it will happen!" declared Adam, fervently.

"... the violent take it by force."
~ Matthew 11:12 ~

"His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone."
~ Job 41:24 ~

"A new heart also will I [God] give [Jerome], and a new Spirit will I put within [him]: and I will take away the stony heart out of [his] flesh, and I will give [him] an heart of flesh."
~ Ezekiel 36:26 ~

"Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."
~ 2 Corinthians 3:3 ~

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