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"She had better not be pretty," warned Charlie, resignedly.

"Oh, Ms. Henderson is not pretty," replied Adam in a playful voice. "In fact, one might even say she's hideous!"

"I'm soooo happy you're in such good spirits," smiled Charlie. "I'm about to walk into the lion's den, without my guardian angel!"

"It's only my little sister!" insisted Adam, with a laugh.

"I love you, too," was Charlie's dry response.

When she hung up the receiver, the young woman broke the news to Vera.

"He said Bill would pick us up," she finished, rearranging her hair in the bedroom mirror.

"But, Adam IS coming after the interview?" asked Vera.

"Don't tell me you're nervous!" exclaimed Charlie in feigned surprise. "According to Adam, we have nothing to worry about!"

"Still," replied Vera, slowly, "I'd feel better if Adam were there. Do you think this cookie tin is enough? Maybe, I should have made a pumpkin pie, or something more Thanksgiving-ish. Oh well, too late now. Are you ready, Kevin? Where is Jerome? We don't want to be late!"

Just then, Jerome came through the Overholt front door, his pencil-mouth drawn tightly.

"Well, let's get it over with," he said, grimly.

"We can't. Bill isn't here, yet," responded Vera.

"What happened to Adam?" asked Jerome, sitting down on the living room couch to wait.

"He's going to be a little late," replied Kevin, putting on his shoulder holster, and checking his handgun.

"Have you ever used that thing?" questioned Jerome, curiously.

"Not in the line of duty," answered Kevin, "but I go to the shooting range to get in practice whenever I can."

"Oh," said Jerome, impatiently checking his watch.

Just then, he heard a car door slam outside the house.

"Bill's here!" called out Jerome, getting up to open the front door.

Vera had dropped Chuck off at Mullen-Overholt, earlier that day. As a favor to Vera, Evelyn Saunders, the Director of Nursing, had volunteered to look after Chuck while the Overholt's spent the day at the Garners' house. Shirley had politely included Chuck in the invitation, but it was widely understood that he would be unable to attend.

"Everyone ready?" asked Bill, as Charlie and Vera appeared from the bedroom.

Kevin got up and followed close behind his client as everyone made their way outside.

"I'm sorry about Adam," apologized Bill, as he helped Charlie into the car. "It's just that Debra Henderson is an important supporter of Wallace Shipley's music."

"Debra Henderson?" repeated Charlie in surprise, for Adam had never mentined the reporter's first name.

Charlie had seen Debra Henderson on television before, and she was anything but "hideous."

"Oh well," Charlie thought to herself, "I know Adam. He isn't ducking out on me to go see some beautiful woman. Well, he is, but not for anything else but business."

Vera was more nervous than she cared to admit. She had known the Garner family for a long time, but relations had been strained ever since Adam had broke the news of his engagement to Charlie. Had Charlie known just how apprehensive Vera was, she would have insisted on going back to the house until Adam arrived.

All too soon, Bill pulled up to the Garner's spacious adobe house on the outskirts of Twin Yucca. Shirley and Thomas came out to greet them as they piled out of the car.
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