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It was late afternoon, and Charlie decided she wasn't going to wait any longer for Adam to return to the Overholt house. Taking Maggie with her, the two made their way to Adam's home, only to find him kneeling in his vegetable bed, inspecting the base of one of his tomato plant stalks. Placing her hands on her hips in mock indignation, she said out loud,

"I was stood up for a bunch of tomatoes?!"

"Have you been dusting them regularly with the bug powder?" asked Adam, not even looking up.

"No, that's Chad's job," replied Charlie, going to where he was kneeling. "Why, is something wrong?"

Adam ran his finger along the stalk and showed it to her.

"Aphids!" she exclaimed in surprise.

"You said that this was Chad's responsibility?" repeated Adam, thoughtfully.

"Yes, but I guess he's been preoccupied, lately," reasoned Charlie, not ready to lay any blame.

"Oh, yes," sighed Adam, "for a minute, I nearly forgot. I guess everyone's been preoccupied, lately," he said, taking off his work gloves.

"Shirley still doesn't like me, does she?" asked Charlie in a tone that indicated a statement more than a question.

"She just needs some time to get used to the idea," consoled Adam.

It had been a long time since Charlie had seen Adam in those blue overalls. Lately, they had been replaced by designer suits that Melvin thought made Adam look distinguished-- which they did, but Charlie preferred this look, instead. His easygoing and quiet nature seemed to be more at home in faded overalls, than in expensive suits. Charlie sighed when she saw that the back of his neck was already lightly sunburned.

"You should go back to gardening at night," Charlie joked, taking the red handkerchief that was hanging from his pocket and tying it about his neck to shield it from the desert sun.

"I love you," Adam whispered quietly to her.

Their eyes locked, and for a brief moment, they were the only two people on earth.

Unasked, Maggie unwound the hose and watered the garden, as she had done so many times in the past, for she had finally mastered the skill of watering without drowning the plants in large lakes of water. While Maggie worked with the hose, Charlie raked the yellow leaves that had fallen from the large shade tree in the backyard. Adam kept busy with the hoe, turning up the small weed shoots that seemed to be forever trying to infiltrate the vegetable garden. Yard work was a strange way for one to spend a holiday, but for Adam, it was his way of escape. The green peppers didn't ask him for an autograph; the black-eyed peas never looked at him suspiciously; and even though the carrots were often bitter, Adam knew it wasn't personal. Yes, one can find a great deal of peace and solace in a garden.

Fifteen minutes into this tranquil scene, Adam heard a car honk. Putting down the hoe, he went through the garden gate and to the front yard. Nervously, Charlie peeked around the corner of the house. Was it a reporter?

Two alert, businesslike men, got out of a shiny black car. One of the men kept looking about him, as if poised to protect the other man, who was holding an odd looking briefcase. To Charlie's surprise, Adam quickly ushered them into the house, with no words exchanged between them.

"Who is it?" asked Maggie, glancing around the corner just as the men had disappeared into the house.

"Well, they're not reporters, that's for sure," replied Charlie, baffled by what she had just seen.
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