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With a grin that sent fear into Adam's heart, Lyle flew at him with the pipe wrench. Before Lyle had a chance to land his blow, however, a disgusted Hiram jerked the tool out from Lyle's hands.

"If you're going to fight," contended Hiram, "you'll do it fair and square." Even many of the men who were on Lyle's side, had to agree.

The former Master Plumber swiped his forehead with the back of his hand and spat out the blood pooling in his mouth. "Lyle, you're really asking for trouble," he muttered. Adam leveled his eyes at Lyle with such unspoken force, that every person in the work crew took a step back.

Lyle's form swayed with fatigue, but when he spread his feet and planted himself in front of Adam, it was clear that he didn't consider the confrontation over. With a weakened lunge, Lyle threw a punch at Adam, but was easily thwarted when his opponent stepped aside. Panting, Lyle looked at Adam. To his everlasting irritation, the "old man" was still standing.

"Have you had enough?" Adam's voice was winded, but determined. For all of Lyle's strength, he lacked the endurance he had accused Adam of not possessing.

In a final effort to best Adam, Lyle came at him one more time. Blocking Lyle's punch, Adam sent the man sprawling into the dirt. Not wanting to waste this chance to end the fight once and for all, Adam towered above Lyle and looked down at him with disgust. "If you ever touch my wife again, you'll get more of the same. Get off my property."

Without a single word more between them, Lyle crawled on his hands and knees until he was a few feet away from Adam. When he was sure he was safely out of Adam's reach, he struggled to his feet and stumbled to his van in the parking lot.

With a sense of foreboding, Adam looked at the vehicle Lyle had gotten into. His quick glance at the parking lot earlier, had tipped Adam off, and the musician now watched to see if his hunch was correct. Through the van's window, he could see a dark blanket separating the front seat from the back, and the unmistakable shape of a telephoto lens as it quickly ducked out of sight.

To the loud cheers of the crew, Lyle started up his engine and drove away.

"You okay?" asked Hiram, as Adam leaned forward and placed his hands on his knees to steady his breath.

"Where's Charlie?"


"Thanks for saving my tail," Adam clapped his friend on the shoulder with gratitude. "That pipe wrench would've really hurt."

Hiram nodded.

"For a while there," panted Adam, "I thought we might have a mob on our hands. Thanks for letting me take care of it."

"Crazy," muttered Hiram.

"I know," replied Adam, "but Lyle didn't leave me much choice." He straightened himself and looked toward the mobile home. "I'd better calm down my wife and see if she's all right."

"You do that," Hiram nodded. As he watched Adam walk away, he recalled an old Bible verse his mom had taught him as a child: "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9) Hiram smiled. "I do believe he is."
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