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"Let's set a date," smiled Adam. "What day in July should it be, Charlie-girl?"

"Not July 4th," laughed Charlie. "I don't think Independence Day coincides very well with a wedding ceremony!"

"Just as long as I'm not independant of you," smiled Adam. "How about the ninth? I've already checked next year's calendar, and it falls on a Tuesday."

"Any particular reason you suggest the ninth?" she wondered.

"I don't get back from the tour until the eighth," explained Adam.

"Isn't that cutting it a little close?" asked Charlie. "After today's experience, your track record for showing up on time is a little iffy."

"You don't expect me to be late for my own wedding, do you?" he laughed, flashing the handsome Clark smile. "I don't want us to wait any longer than we have to."

"All right, the ninth of July it is," agreed Charlie. "But if you're late..."

"I won't be!" promised Adam.

"You had better not leave me standing at the alter," she laughed softly, getting up to go tell Shirley the good news of finding the engagement ring.

With a contented sigh, Adam got down on the floor to refit the pipe under the kitchen sink.

Kevin followed Charlie around, giving her room and privacy when and where needed. But, he could always be found within an easy distance of his client. Because Kevin was so good at being "invisible," Charlie found that she sometimes forgot that he was even there.

A few minutes later, the young woman found Shirley sitting up in bed, still pale as a sheet.

"You're awake," she smiled, going to Shirley's side. "I have good news! Mike found the ring!"

Charlie held up the cleaned engagement ring so Shirley could see it.

"Thank God!" she said, gratefully. "I am truly sorry for the way I behaved."

"It's all forgotten," said Charlie, patting her hand. "Adam and I just set the date for the wedding. It's to be on July ninth of next year."

"So soon after his tour ends?" asked Shirley.

"I know," laughed Charlie, "but he said he doesn't want to wait any longer than we have to."

"How many of the wedding arrangements have already been made?" asked the woman, getting out of bed. "Have you lined up the caterers, picked the wedding gown, selected your bridesmaids, or made the guest list?"

"Nothing has been done," answered Charlie. "I confess, I hadn't really thought of it until now. I suppose that's very naive, but there's been so little time!"

"Of course, you've been busy," said Shirley, understandingly. "I suppose Vera will make the necessary arrangements?"

"I guess so," mused Charlie.

"Could I ask a favor of you?" asked Shirley, with a candid look of eagerness on her face. "Let me help Vera plan the wedding and make the arrangements! I would consider it a privilege, and perhaps, I can make it up to you for the diamond ring incident. Mike got married so quickly that I didn't have a chance to really enjoy the wedding planning process, and even then, the Westons were the ones who took care of most of that. Please say 'yes'!"

"I think Grandma would be happy for some help," said Charlie. "When you run through the list like that, it does sound overwhelming."

"That was only part of the to-do-list," warned Shirley with a smile. "Thank you, Charlie! You won't be sorry! There's so much to do, and so little time to do it in! And it all has to be done properly, for I imagine the press will somehow be involved-- am I right?"

"Most probably," sighed Charlie, "unless we eloped, or something."

"Don't even say the 'E' word!" gasped Shirley. "Our family would so much want to be there."

"Of course," said Charlie, immediately backing off.

She hadn't been serious about elopement, anyway. Shirley promised to come by the Overholt house next Monday, to begin making the wedding preparations. When Adam heard this, he chuckled,

"I hope you don't regret saying 'yes' to my little sister!"

"[Shirley did] works meet for repentance."
~ Acts 26:20 ~

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
~ Proverbs 15:1 ~

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace."
~ Romans 14:19 ~

end of chapter
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