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Getting to her feet, Charlie lingered at the window, waiting for him to appear outside. After a minute or two, Adam went out to be interviewed by the press, flanked on either side by Gary and Bill. Camera flashes flickered, as the press flocked around Adam. Melvin was already outside, handing out the press packets, and talking to his acquaintances in the media.

After question and answer time, the team headed to the limousine. Adam had wanted a lower profile vehicle, but Melvin insisted they had an image to maintain. So a limousine it was.

Before the vehicle pulled away, Adam looked up to the window where Charlie was standing, and waved good-bye to her. The black limousine pulled away, soon disappearing down the street. Some of the press followed in their vehicles, to get some pictures of him boarding the plane, while others stayed behind to interview the neighbors, and to see if they could get any comments from the family.

An hour later, the reporters gradually dispersed. When everyone had gone, Charlie came out of hiding from the music room. She closed the windows, locked the doors, and secured the house for the night. As she walked home, Charlie wondered when she would see him next.

The next two days, Charlie didn't hear any word from Adam, save for an article in the paper about his arrival in Philadelphia. She had cried herself to sleep both nights, and fully expected to do the same again that night, when a mysterious parcel came to the Overholt house. The medium sized box had been over-nighted from an address in Vermont. Surprisingly, it was addressed to Charlie.

"I think it's from Bill Paulson," observed Charlie, opening the box. "His office is in Vermont." Inside she found another box, and an envelope addressed to her. Charlie opened the well-typed letter and read it out loud.

"'Dear Charlotte, My name is Lisa, Bill Paulson's secretary. Mr. Shipley instructed me to send this parcel on to you, in the hope that you would use it. If you need anything, please call me directly at 555-7832, extension 2. I'll be in Twin Yucca on the twenty-third, to take care of the bills and to give you your check and household allowance. I look forward to working with you.' It's signed, 'Regards, Lisa,'" finished Charlie.

"Open the package, Pumpkin!" urged Vera.

Charlie opened the box, and was puzzled to find a satellite phone. Taped to the back was a telephone number. Charlie was curious. She dialed the number and nervously waited to see who would answer.

"Hello, Charlie, is that you?" asked a familiar voice.

"Adam?" asked Charlie in surprise.

"Guess where I'm talking from," laughed Adam.

"I don't know. Where?" replied Charlie.

"Oh, come on, guess!" coaxed Adam, obviously having fun at her expense.

"You're on a yacht in Palm Springs," guessed Charlie, taking a stab in the dark.

"Wrong! I'm in Philadelphia, and at this very moment, I'm looking at the Liberty Bell! Aren't these satellite phones great?" he asked.

"Adam, I don't understand," replied Charlie.

"I wanted a way to keep in touch with back home wherever I go," he explained. "Since you're the keeper of the house, I thought you might as well be keeper of the phone, too. Do you mind?"

"No, I don't mind," smiled Charlie, happy to hear his voice, once more.

"These phones are great," Adam continued. "I could be in the Congo, and could still call you. You have my number, right?" he asked.

"Yes, it's taped to the phone," replied Charlie, gratefully.

"I have to go now," Adam said in a hushed voice, "the tour guide says other people are trying to hear her. I'll catch you later!"

Charlie set the phone down. That was perhaps the strangest call she had ever had.
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