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Chapter Forty
The Famous Wallace Shipley

"Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken."
~ Proverbs 3:25, 26 ~

Charlie had just been given her engagement ring only a few hours ago, and was now fast asleep. At about two in the morning, she was awakened by a strange noise coming from her window. Stirring from sleep, Charlie sat up in bed and stared at the fully curtained window, unsure if she had only been dreaming. Then a dull bumping noise, followed by a careful but deliberate scraping sound, again broke the silence. A dark shadow moved dimly across her window. Charlie gasped in alarm, when she caught glimpse of the silhouette of a person's head. It was only then, that she realized someone was trying to pry open her bedroom window!

For a moment, Charlie was frozen with fear. Then the Holy Spirit called to her mind a verse from Isaiah fifty-four: "Behold, they [the enemy] shall surely gather together, but not by Me [God]: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake." Now armed with this promise, Charlie mumbled a quick prayer and opened the wooden music box to save her precious engagement ring. As she opened the lid, however, the familiar melodic strains of 'Shades of Love,' filled her bedroom. Charlie looked back at the window. The shadowed figure had frozen still. Not waiting a moment longer, Charlie quickly snatched up her ring and fled to Vera's bedroom, while remembering to bring the satellite phone.

As Charlie passed her father's door in the hallway, she stopped long enough to lock it from the inside. Chuck was sleeping soundly, and was not conscious when his daughter softly secured his bedroom door.

Once inside Vera's room, Charlie secured that door as well.

"Grandma!" whispered Charlie, tiptoeing to her grandmother's bed.

"What?" asked Vera, groggily.

"Someone's trying to get into the house through my bedroom window!" exclaimed Charlie in a hushed voice.

"Call the police!" directed Vera, getting out of bed and going to her window to carefully look out.

"Can you see anything?" asked Charlie, punching the number for the police into her satellite phone.

"I can't see your window from here," said the old woman, "but I don't see anyone."

When the dispatcher answered, Charlie told her that someone was trying to break into the house and to please send someone right away. After a few minutes of being assured that help was on the way, they finally heard a knock on the front door.

"We can't unlock the bedroom door," warned Vera, "even if it IS the police. The intruder might have gotten into the house!"

The women waited with bated breath until Charlie's satellite phone suddenly rang. The noise made both women jump.

"It's the dispatcher," said Charlie to Vera, after she answered the call. "She says an officer is here and is checking out the premises."

Outside Vera's window, they saw the beam of a flashlight, as the policeman carefully searched for the intruder.

"It's all right to come out, now," said the officer, tapping Vera's window pane, for the dispatcher had explained to him where they were. "He never got the window open."

Both women cautiously came out of hiding, and opened the front door to let the officer into the house.

"Someone tried to open your window, all right," affirmed the policeman. "There's scrapes on the window sill where someone attempted to pry it open with what looks like a crowbar."

"Oh, my!" exclaimed Vera.

"I think I scared him off when the music box started playing," said Charlie, rethinking what had happened.

continued on next page...
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