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"Why, thank you," replied Charlie in a surprised voice.

"What are you going to do," the girl asked, mockingly, "push him up the aisle in a wheelchair?"

Charlie could hear snickering from some of the other students.

"Only if I have to," smiled Charlie, stoutly.

Just as Charlie was hoping that the day's onslaught at school was about to end, she was called to the auditorium. Principal Strickland was there, as were a few teachers, and all the members of the school board. Charlie was even more surprised to find Jerome and Vera present. Vera's concerned face was only equaled by Jerome's annoyed countenance. He had been called away from Mullen-Overholt, and was impatient to get back to work.

Principal Strickland lost no time in getting straight to the point.

"It has come to this school's attention that one of our students, Charlie Overholt, is intending to marry someone old enough to be her father. While we can't find anything morally wrong with this situation, it is certainly not a desirable one. Charlie is setting a bad example for the other girls at Galilee. We don't wish to expel her, but we respectfully request that Charlie leave Galilee, and complete her education elsewhere. I speak for Galilee and all the members of the school board."

"Not all members of the school board, agree," pointed out a Christian woman who had voted against Charlie's removal from the school. "It's a crying shame that while we find no moral objections, that we should turn away one of our best students-- one that has consistently shown a Christ-like character, simply because she's marrying Adam Clark-- who I will remind everyone, is an upstanding Christian, himself! There are others here who feel as I do, and I will further point out, Principal Strickland, that your wife happens to be one of them!"

Murmurs went through the school board. The principal glared disapprovingly at Mrs. Strickland, who was one of the teachers at Galilee.

"That is correct," confirmed Mrs. Strickland, braving her husband's displeasure. "If we carry through with this 'non-punishment,' as you called it, we will have failed not only our students, but God also. Galilee stands for Jesus Christ-- it's in His name that this school was founded! No student should be punished for NOT doing anything morally wrong! As the Patriarch Abraham said in the Holy Bible, 'Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?' If Charlie is forced to leave, then so will I."

A gasp spread throughout the room. The spirit-filled words of his wife, pricked Principal Strickland's conscience. Upon calm reflection, he had to admit that it DID sound two-faced. The mortal enemy of every Christian is to not abide in the love of Christ. "If ye keep My [Christ's] commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." (John 15:10) These words were brought to the principal's remembrance by the Holy Spirit.

"I must change my vote," he announced, penitently. "My wife is right, and I apologize to Charlie and her family for putting them through this unnecessary meeting. Charlie has done nothing wrong, and should not be punished. While this upcoming marriage did catch us off guard, it's no excuse for sin. I've always prided myself in being a fair man, but it seems as though I was more concerned with what others would say, instead of doing what I knew was right."

"She should not be allowed to stay at this school!" disagreed one of the teachers. "Why, it's like encouraging our girls to marry old men!"

"Adam Clark is hardly an old man," spoke out Vera.

"Do you know what some of our pupils were saying on the playground, today, Mrs. Overholt?" asked the upset teacher. "That what Adam couldn't get from Constance, he's getting from Charlie! I don't think I have to tell you what they meant by that!"

Charlie shut her eyes in embarrassment. Even though it wasn't true, the shooting looks some of the teachers were giving her, made Charlie feel guilty. The fact that she was underage had made this discussion even more serious. It was not impossible that one of these teachers could report Adam to the authorities, if they felt she had had sexual intercourse with an adult.

"That accusation is completely and entirely, untrue!" denied Vera, indignantly.

"Is this line of questioning necessary?" asked Principal Strickland.

"I must be satisfied that the law hasn't been broken," replied the teacher.

"Very well, continue," said the Principal.

"Do you deny that you and Charlie went cross country to be with Adam Clark, in Raleigh, last weekend?" asked the teacher.
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