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"What time is it?" asked Charlie, not wanting to take her eyes off the traffic.

"Five thirty," replied Adam. "We have plenty of time."

By six o' clock, Jerome's car had found the crowded parking lot at the large Spencer Arts Cultural Building in Palm Springs. The bustling parking lot was lined mostly with expensive cars and limousines. People dressed in formal evening attire made their way to the entrance of the center. Charlie's first thought was to make a silent prayer that she not bump into any of these costly vehicles the way she had with the dumpster in the empty parking lot back in Twin Yucca.

"There's a parking space," pointed out Vera.

Before Charlie could maneuver the car into position, a sporty red car took it, instead.

"There's another spot," pointed Adam. This time, Charlie was able to easily park the car. She breathed a sigh of relief.

"Well," replied Adam, "whether this concert is a success or not, you did a fine job of driving," he complimented.

"Yes, you did very well," chimed in Vera.

Adam got out of the car, first opening the driver's door, and then Vera's. He escorted the ladies inside, each accepting an arm.

The Spencer Arts Cultural Building was a circular amphitheater covering 24,000 square feet. Inside, tiered rows of seats gradually rose outward from the center, encircling an area featuring a large grand piano. The threesome presented their tickets, and went down the tiered steps to the appropriate row their seats were on. Vera sat to Charlie's left, while Adam was to her right.

"These are excellent seats, Adam," observed Vera. Charlie counted, and discovered that they were only four rows away from the center stage!

People were still finding their seats, when an announcer entered the stage, holding a microphone.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please find your seats. The concert begins in five minutes!" he announced.

"Have you ever seen Edward Johnston perform?" asked Charlie, addressing Adam. He shook his head.

"No, this will be a first," he smiled.

"I'm glad I brought these," said Charlie pulling out a pair of stage glasses. "I want to watch his hands."

The lights were dimmed, and a spotlight shone on the stage just a few feet in front of them.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," said the announcer, his voice filling the amphitheater, "the Friends of the Spencer Arts Cultural Building are proud to present to you tonight, the exceptionally gifted talents of Edward Johnston, in his first season here at the Spencer Arts Cultural Building of Palm Springs. Please give a warm welcome to Edward Johnston!"

A slightly balding man in a black tuxedo entered the spotlight, while everyone clapped. He bowed and went to his piano. The applause hushed, and Edward Johnston began to play. Charlie put the stage glasses to her eyes, trying to calm the excitement she was feeling. Here she was, watching Edward Johnston perform just a few feet away, while sitting next to Wallace Shipley! It was an irony that was not lost on her.

The first presentation was one of Edward Johnston's signature pieces, which was met with instant applause. After it was over, he began another, which Charlie quickly recognized to be an altered arrangement of one of Adam's compositions.

"Adam," whispered Charlie into her companion's ear, "what has he done to your song? It sounds awful!"

"At least I'm getting royalties for it," Adam grimly smiled.

Song after song poured from Edward Johnston's hands, until Charlie was quite sure she was dreaming. At intermission, the lights came back on, and everyone streamed into the dining hall where linen draped tables scattered the room. A waiter showed the threesome to their reserved table and took their order.

"How long is the intermission?" asked Vera.

"An hour," replied Charlie.

"Good, then I'll have time to use the rest room," said Vera, leaving the table.

As Charlie was taking a sip of water, an older man approached Adam.
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