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That evening, Maggie didn't eat dinner. Even the fried onions that Charlie had made knowing that it was her favorite, wasn't able to tempt her away from thinking about what was going on at her house, probably at that very moment.

"I'm not hungry," she said, pushing her plate away. "What time is it?"

"It's one minute since you asked the last time," replied Charlie, gathering the dinner dishes from the table.

"Do you think Adam will call?" asked Maggie.

"Adam didn't say he would call," answered Charlie, patiently, "he said he would COME."

"What if he doesn't?" cried Maggie, half frantic.

"He will come," assured Charlie.

Even if Mr. Downen said 'no,' Charlie and Adam could still see each other, albeit with Vera or another friend present. Maggie, however, would not be able to see Jeff at all, unless Adam's idea was accepted by her father. Because of this, the latter was much more anxious than the former. To Maggie, years seemed to pass before she heard a car door slam in front of the Overholt house, announcing Adam's arrival.

When the door opened, Adam stepped inside. To Charlie's amazement, Maggie suddenly became quiet and shy, when she saw that Jeff had come, also.

"It's all settled!" declared Adam, triumphantly.

Jeff was all smiles and grins as he and Adam came into the living room and sat down across from Charlie and Maggie. Vera had already put Chuck to bed, and was knitting in her favorite chair, wordlessly watching the little drama unfold.

"What did Mr. Downen say?" inquired Charlie, knowing that Maggie wanted to know the same thing.

"He said I could see Maggie, as long as Adam and you are present," answered Jeff, smiling in Maggie's direction.

"Vera," said Adam, turning to the old woman who hadn't wanted to intrude by adding her two cents, "has Charlie told you my idea?"

"She has," nodded Vera, in approval. "It's all right with me. I've always trusted you-- I think you know that."

"I just wanted to be sure," confirmed Adam, gratefully. "Is it all right if we go out, this evening? I'll have her back by ten."

"Since it's not a school night, you can make it eleven o' clock," allowed Vera.

"Why don't we stay here and watch a movie?" suggested Charlie.

"You would think of that!" chuckled Adam. "Now that we have the liberty, let's go somewhere-- even if it's only a walk to the edge of the desert!"

"Isn't it kind of cold, outside?" pointed out Charlie, putting on the coat Adam had just handed her.

"A walk sounds good to me," replied Jeff, helping Maggie on with her coat. "Maybe, then we could stop by Dairy Cream for something cold."

"Ice cream! In this weather?" exclaimed Maggie, laughingly.

"Well, Maggie," sighed Charlie, smiling, "I think it's clear they want us to go with them!"

"If I freeze to death, you're going to have to explain it to my father," Maggie joked to Jeff, as the four stepped out into the chilly Southern California November night.

It wasn't that cold outside, but it was cool enough for their noses to turn pink. It was too late for them to go anywhere special, (Gary once joked that Twin Yucca rolled the sidewalks up at nine o' clock), but both men were so eager to take the girls out, that even a nippy November night stroll was inviting. It was a chance to get away, to talk about the future, reminisce about the past, and to simply enjoy each other's company. In short, they were acting like men in love.
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