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Frantically, Mike stood by and watched. The young man wanted to do something to help his uncle, but Hiram firmly held him back.

"You'll start a riot," warned Hiram, casting a wary glance at the unruly work crew as they spurred the wrestling men on. Some looked disposed to help Lyle, while others seemed caught between loyalties. Tensions were running high on all sides, and Hiram sensed it wouldn't take much for the entire crew to erupt in an all out fistfight over who was right and who was wrong.

On the ground, Adam continued to punch Lyle, until the man finally released his hold on Charlie. He had only been using one hand to fight Adam, and now that he was no longer at this disadvantage, Adam suddenly found himself confronting a man who was not only younger than himself, but also stronger. Before Adam knew it, he felt a shot of pain, as Lyle whipped his head back with a blow to his right eye.

Dazed, Charlie was still trying to regain her bearings when a pair of hands suddenly lifted her to her feet. She saw Mike's pale face and was numbly aware of being asked a question.

Looking for an opening, Lyle circled Adam. He struck at Adam with a faint to his face, followed by a blow to the stomach. Then Lyle put his whole weight into a blow to Adam's head. Adam blocked the punch, just enough for Lyle to lose his balance, and then countered with two jabs that snapped Lyle's head one way, then the other. Exhausted, they both fell to the ground. The air having been knocked from Adam's lungs, he could hardly breath. Lyle was dazed and literally couldn't see straight. The dust began to settle, as the two men stopped their conflict long enough to pull themselves up from off the ground.

"Is that the best you can do?" mocked Lyle, panting for breath. "You barely even touched me!"

With a disbelieving laugh, Adam shook his head and eyed his opponent's heaving chest. Though Lyle was struggling to catch his breath, so was he. In fact, Adam was no longer sure who was winning. He only hoped he had knocked enough wind out of Lyle, for the man to back off from this seemingly unreasonable rampage.

"Come on, old man!" Lyle challenged him. He quickly glanced at the parking lot with a strange smile, and then shoved Adam in the chest.

"I want you off my land!" Adam demanded. He squared his shoulders and eyed the man with all the authority he could summon.

"You're so weak!" scoffed his antagonist. "You could never please your wife! Why, in bed..." Lyle finished his sentence with a sexually graphic and extremely deriding picture of Adam with Charlie.

Shocked, Charlie covered her mouth in horror. It wasn't true, but the accusation was so despicable and hurtful that she couldn't help the tears as they began to fall.

"Mike, get her out of here!" commanded Adam, as the two men continued to face each other down.

"But--" stammered Mike.

"Do as I say!" shouted Adam.

Numbly, Mike hurried his protesting aunt to the mobile home.

"Lyle," bellowed Hiram, "walk away before someone gets hurt!"

Just then, a crew member tossed Lyle a heavy pipe wrench.

Furious, Hiram glared at the men in the crowd. "Who gave him that?" he barked. "Who did that?"
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