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"You do look tired," observed Charlie. "Why don't you sit down under the shade tree and rest, while I finish this row of lettuce?"

"Please don't tell me what to do," said Adam, becoming agitated. "First Shirley, and now you. Please, go home!"

"If you don't mind so very much," persisted Charlie, trying to think of an excuse, "I need a friend right now. Because of Daddy's accident, things have been a little difficult at home. Please don't send me away just yet."

Realizing that she wasn't there to feel sorry for him, Adam sat down under the shade tree. After Charlie finished hoeing the row of lettuce, she came and sat down on the ground beside him.

"What's wrong at home?" asked Adam, not realizing that for the first time in days his mind was not dwelling on the fact he couldn't sleep.

"Uncle Jerome blames me for Daddy's accident," said Charlie. "Even though Grandma told him it was her idea for Daddy to clean the gutters-- not mine."

"Why do you think he blames you, then?" asked Adam, yawning.

"Because Daddy is my responsibility," explained Charlie. "Even so, how was I to know he would climb up on the roof?"

"I see," yawned Adam, his eyelids drooping.

"I thought Daddy was at Mullen-Overholt, not on the roof," continued Charlie.

"Uh-huh," said Adam, his breathing becoming regulated and heavy.

"And I don't understand why elephants have flat feet..." whispered Charlie, getting up and tiptoeing away.

"Feet..." repeated Adam, dreamily.

When the plumber awakened several hours later, he found a prepared meal waiting for him in the refrigerator.

It was Valentine's Day and Mike Garner was nervous. After rechecking his pocket for a certain item, he pulled into Sandra Weston's driveway and got out of the car.

Becky, Sandra's little sister, greeted him at the door.

"Sandra, Mike's here!" Becky called out.

"I'll be down in a minute!" Sandra called from upstairs.

"Can you keep a secret?" asked Mike bending over Becky and whispering something in her ear. Becky's face lit up in surprise.

"She will," replied Becky, beaming with excitement. "Can't I tell Mom and Dad?" she asked.

"Not yet," warned Mike. "She might say 'no.'"

"She's been up there for hours trying to find the right outfit," giggled Becky. "I think she already suspects."

"What are you two up to?" asked Sandra, coming downstairs.

"You look great," complimented Mike.

"Thank you," smiled Sandra.

"Have a good time, honey," came a woman's voice from the den.

"Bye, Mom," called Sandra, giving Becky a quick kiss, and departing with Mike.

"On the phone last night, you wouldn't say where we were going," said Sandra, getting into the car, while Mike held the door open for her,"only to dress formal. Is it still a secret?"

"You'll see," grinned Mike.
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