The Favor: The Kennedy Family wanted to know just how close and involved Sinatra was to the Mob! And would his involvement with the presidential candidate be a burden or a good thing...
A personal note:
The self-satisfaction was almost like a physical presence in the theater lobby, a distinct mélange of aromas exclusive to the halls of power—high-priced perfume and expensive hors d’oeuvres, top-shelf liquor and freshly minted cash. It all billowed into a rich toxic cloud that made Charlie Marder’s throat constrict. Charlie generally prided himself on his ease in social settings, but tonight he was on edge, feeling oddly exposed while he waited for Margaret to return from the powder room.
As a professor at Columbia, he’d given countless lectures, lectures, attended dozens of professional functions, and even made a few TV appearances when Sons of Liberty, his book on the Founding Fathers, hit the bestseller list four years before. Tall and broad-shouldered with piercing blue eyes, Charlie had found it easy to navigate the worlds of academia and literary celebrity. But he felt out of his element here, surrounded by political and press powerhouses drinking and smoking and chortling among themselves. He rubbed the back of his neck, scanning the room for any sign of Margaret. The crowd, of course, couldn’t have cared less about his anxiety, busy as they were with their own competing agendas. He ambled around the auditorium to pass the time; bits of conversations flew by his ears: Let’s just say my respect for the congressman knows bounds. If the court rules to desegregate, it’s going to get ugly. No, I don’t hate musicals. I just don’t understand them. Why would people break out in song? And even suspending disbelief, the songs are seldom any good. No kids. She’s a work nun. Has anyone actually gotten a look at the naval records of PT-109? I’ll say it: If Ike was as weak against the Krauts as he is against McCarthy, we’d all be speaking German right now. Did you see it? First issue came out last month. Naked Marilyn Monroe. No, when I said they were bums, I meant the baseball team the Senators, not actual senators. We still have troops in Korea, darling. We’ll have them there forever.
Miserably self-conscious, Charlie gulped his martini, swallowed wrong, and coughed loudly just as Senator Jack Kennedy made his entrance. Heads turned as the handsome senator glided past Charlie, glamorous new wife in tow. Charlie caught a strong whiff of bandages and ointment. He wondered which of them had recently sustained an injury. From his earliest days, Charlie had possessed an abnormally keen sense of smell. He did not consider it a gift. He gave his empty glass to a passing waiter and watched the celebrity couple as they made their way across the plush maroon carpet to join the senator’s brother Robert. The younger Kennedy was deep in conversation with Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Republican from Wisconsin currently about to start the fifth consecutive year of a reckless smear campaign designed to drive the threat of Communism, real and imagined, from every corner of American society. Charlie knew that Robert Kennedy and McCarthy worked together on the committee McCarthy chaired, and from all appearances, they were pals as well.
Charlie’s pondering of their seemingly odd friendship ended when Margaret reappeared. Even after nine years of marriage, Charlie still felt his heart jump when he saw her. Her blond hair was swept off her forehead; a simply cut emerald-green dress made the most of her athletic frame, its color highlighting her kelly-green eyes. Eyes that betrayed no sign of the frayed nerves Charlie felt, he noticed, although she was just as new to this scene as he was; they had arrived in Washington, DC, only three weeks earlier, after Charlie was appointed to fill a congressional seat that had suddenly become vacant.
I like Jack Tapper as a CNN political world star and I was curious about his writing style... Publishers Weekly spotlights his intimate knowledge and proceeds to encourage those who are interested in well-researched historical fiction to read the book. While I agree, I found my own reading quite difficult. For a number of reasons...
While the novel takes place in the 1950s, I couldn't help but wonder if and how our present House minority leader is connected to the real-life character Senator McCarthy in The Hellfire Club. Many of you remember, right? Joseph McCarthy, the Republican from Wisconsin currently about to start the fifth consecutive year of a reckless smear campaign designed to drive the threat of Communism, real and imagined from every corner of American society. Charlie knew that Robert Kennedy and McCarthy worked together on the committee McCarthy chaired, and from all appearances, they were pals as well. Charlie’s pondering of their seemingly odd friendship... Especially given the many leaked emails/messages from the present House member McCarthy that reveal the two-faces of a leading republican now in congress...
Tapper creates an "outsider" to congress at that time, by having an appointment made upon the death of a former congressional member. He and his wife her very close so, fortunately, she became an anchor for Charlie as he was dropped into the political scene that literally "blew his (and my) mind..."
Soon, he was caught, he was found in an accident where a young woman was dead... He had no memory of what happened and could not even be sure that he had not caused the accident. He was scared, not knowing to whom he could...or...should go.
But somebody came along and took care of everything... put the body into the driver's seat, and then set fire to the car! Then drove Charlie out of the area... Soon, he knew one thing--"they" owned him...
About that time, I was having problems continuing to read the book. But I finished it and thankfully good won out for the main character... and democracy...
But, I wonder, how did our democracy survive what was happening at that time. While Tapper has dramatized much, there was still, for me, such a comparison to what we had seen during the last four years of the presidency of our former incumbent, that I became too caught up in realizing just how bad it could be... Drinking, sex parties and more... Surely we've been having many politically-related encounters in our present lives...
And I had to ask, just how many of our elected officials are also caught up in the exploitation that could occur if an individual even attempted to present opposition. Surely we all saw what happened when Liz Cheney and then another republican voted to impeach the president. They were literally stripped of their duties, just for doing the right thing! But not the republican political party's wishes...
Tapper did include a reference in the back of this fictional book to help readers tell what is true and what was dramatized and includes reference for further information. I have to say that it was necessary because the story became so real that anything that was happening could be actual historical events. That makes it a good book for lovers of history. But, for me, I just became more and more frustrated, hoping that this new, young appointee could get himself and his wife free from all the terrible actions happening around them.
With the continuance of disinformation, lies, sexcapades, and attacks against anybody who is not white...and now, anybody who supports anything that republicans do not, we are all facing a bleak future. Especially, as Putin continues his one-man autocrat attack on a democratic nation... yet nothing has changed the actions of the republican campaigns against women, gays, and non-white races--anybody else they can think of. like Disney! Or even math books!
I admit that I've begun to wonder--Like the autocrat Putin, fighting just because he wants the power, isn't that what the republicans are doing within America? Voting changes are being made across republican run states, books are being banned indiscriminately, especially by Black writers, and religion is being used as both a weapon and an incitement of fear... Tell me, isn't this just the same, since it appears that Trump's Big Lie is being used--an autocrat... working against the American democracy that now is under attack?
I did not enjoy reading this book, but I can attest to its being well-written, thought-provoking, and an excellent reality look of what may be happening within Washington, even today. Only a very few republicans are willing to stand to meet the needs of Americans. Instead, incitement of prejudice, fear, and expansion of disinformation is spreading without restraint, it seems...
Will the majority have to fight to retain the democracy of America? Ukranians are doing a wonderful job, working together and with other nations. I applaud their efforts... But I fear the division of America still looms over our future...
Funny, how the communists played such a big part of politics in the 50s...and has again come alive within America during the last five years... Consider reading this book if you want to see how manipulation routinely occurs when people lie to get or retain power...
Why do these bad dreams keep coming? he thought. This has been going on nearly every week since I started the invention. This last one was by far the worst of them all. Funny how it happened the same week my revolutionary device became operational. I could introduce it to the company and become one of the richest citizens of San Antonio. Plus, I’ve always wanted to make scientific history, like the ones who have inspired me––Darwin, Einstein, Hawking, even my dad. And now I could. However, could something like the dreams become reality? Could my contraption fall into the wrong hands and cost more lives than I can count? Of course, it could.
Why have I wasted so much time on this scientific path? What was I thinking? I was thinking only about my future? What about the world’s future? Why have I never thought of that? The world’s future affects my future. If not mine, my kids’, if I ever have any. And what about my niece and nephews? Why did it never occur to me that anyone who would travel with a cloaking device, such as a chopper pilot, would never do so, unless…their intentions were evil?
This can’t happen. It just can’t! I will not be responsible for any dark realities that are even remotely similar to those ghastly events haunting my dreams. As sad as it makes me, my goals of early retirement, making scientific history, and impressing my father will have to be forgotten. I’ll have to give those weaker projects at Envisiocom a shot instead. He got out of bed and went straight to his garage. When he flipped the light switch, fluorescent bulbs buzzed as they lit up the room, with his tan Toyota Corolla on one side, worktable on the other. Scattered about the table were science-related notes and tools that had aided his creation of the apparatus. Fastened to the old car’s hood was the cloaking device, an odd-looking stack of circuitry the size of a shoebox. The name of Trey’s creation was the VV1––Veiler, Version 1.
I have to end it now. I can’t take any more of those nightmares. A mallet was taken from a toolbox atop the table. He approached the Toyota with it, wanting to see the miracle gadget perform one last time. His hand felt its way through the multicolored wires for the correct switch and flipped it. A few scarcely audible bleeps could be heard as lights twinkled through the circuitry. After forty seconds, the red READY light came on. He flipped the second switch. Yellow radiance hummed, coating the entire Toyota. Then–– ––all signs of the vehicle were gone...
Next, Trey recalled the first eighteen years of his life. He’d been raised by good parents who’d brought him to church every Sunday. The church had constantly emphasized how important it is to love people. It’s so hard to love when there is so much to hate.
First, let me say that these books will not be for everybody. Language and violence are the hallmark of many of today's criminals--they are truly presented in these books! On the other hand, both of the main characters come to accept God as their Savior... And are often saved or act in accordance with His guidance... Given the issues confronting each of us in these days of chaos, prejudice and violence, I find I enjoy reading about how good always reigns over bad... So, you decide because I do recommend them as exciting sci-fi, action adventure stories mostly on bikes of all kinds, which will thrill you as every form of travel is exploited and used practically on every page!
Readers enter into the lives of two characters--one a former member of a biker gang and a genius scientist being hunted for his invention. Trey had created something that would definitely change the world. He almost immediately, even though he'd worked diligently to achieve his dream, realized how criminals could use it for evil and decided to destroy it! He knew he'd done the right thing but that didn't mean he was safe. For his former fiancée was furious when she learned that he had destroyed the invention which would have made them all the money they would ever need. When she immediately left him, Trey realized that she had only been in it for the money...
Problem was, she had reappeared when Trey had been running from the evil group that knew what he'd built. And that's when the two main characters meet--Sonya had attempted to help this man who she immediately thought was cute...a good sign for the future! But even after many thrilling attempts to lose the enemy, both had been swept up into space by something that then disappeared, and taken into the secret location of a criminal group which was widely causing havoc all over--The Chrome Falcons.
This is an unbelievable futuristic criminal group who had already created a teleportation field. If they had Trey, they would make him recreate his invention through persuasion...or otherwise! And I don't think it is giving away too much when he learned that his "ex" was a member of the group and already involved with someone there and carrying a briefcase full of money and precious diamonds...
Sonya, who had escaped from the Screamon Demons Motorcycle Club immediately left town. Her grandmother, Iza had coincidentally (God Incident?) called and Sonya set out for home, living there for three years, staying even after her grandmother had died. Sonya had begun taking Iza to church and had finally heeded God's call... She now sought God's guidance in all things.
But that did not eliminate the danger that she had left behind when she was called the "old lady" of the leader of a dangerous and increasing murderous club. When her good friend risked her own life to call her, Sonya got on her low rider bike and soon was on her way...back into danger, but with God now as her co-pilot...
Sonya Radisson—formerly Sonya McCall—woke with a gasp. She was in her dark bedroom, not a parking lot. Instead of soaked blacktop, she was reclined on her soft, memory-foam mattress. Putting her sweaty hand between her breasts, she thanked God there was no shotgun hole there. Her racing heart was still intact and safe inside her rib cage. Her skull was not cracked, either. That’s not what happened last spring, she thought, annoyed. The rainy day in Fraser replayed in her head. When Levi was astride the police bike, he’d not been armed. Also, her flying kick had broken his neck.
Where’d that awful dream come from? Her head spun to the clock on her bedside table. It was 5:51 A.M. She turned the other way, relieved to see she’d not wakened Trey, her husband of three months. They were married two weeks after she’d defeated Levi North. Levi was more than her vile ex-boyfriend; he was also the president of a lawless motorcycle club. They called themselves the Screamon Demons. Last December, the crime ring had disbanded after Sonya had spilled most of their secrets to the Feds. No one in the posse ever found out she was the rat—except Levi. Moreover, he was unlikely to find a chance to tell anyone who’d be a threat to his ex. Very few members of the MC had evaded arrest, but they’d stopped caring where Levi was and what he wanted. Sonya wondered if Levi was still alive. If he was, he probably wished he was not. Nova Krenshaw, Sonya’s friend in the FBI, had assured her and Trey that Levi would never be found. He would never be a free man, either. Being paralyzed from the neck down, he’d no chance of escaping from wherever he’d been locked up.
Still disturbed by the dream, Sonya swept the blankets aside, baring muscular limbs and washboard abs. Her ivory skin starkly contrasted with her lacy lingerie, as gloss-black as her curly, mid-back-length hair. Feeling a slight chill in the room, she got off the bed and covered her shapely form with a fleece robe. Then she kicked into her slippers and strode from the room. The dark hallway led her to the great room of the spacious chalet-style house, located in the home rule municipality of Winter Park, Colorado. She flipped a switch, turning on a gas fireplace, and plopped down on an L-section sofa of soft gray leather. She faced a wall made mostly of large windows. The stunning, twilit view of the pine-cloaked Rocky Mountains was a vast improvement over the dull, flat scenery of Artesia, New Mexico, where Sonya had grown up. She sporadically told herself to return to the small town, someday. She could chat with old friends and set flowers on the graves of Derrick McCall, her late father, and Iza Gibbs, Derrick’s mother. She’d not seen Iza’s house for nearly a year, but had heard the Screamon Demons had torched it. Frank Giles, the pastor of the church she’d grown up in, had given her the bad news about the home. Last January, Sonya had called him to confirm all her friends in Artesia were extremely worried about her. Frank was more than happy to honor Sonya’s request of letting the church know she’d not gone missing. One night, almost a year ago, she’d had no choice but to leave town—without telling a soul. She’d had no intention of coming back, either.
Days later, her friends and coworkers had grown concerned. They’d feared the worst once word got around of what had happened to her house. She’d had no time to think things over—not since that night Becky Lugo had called, warning her that Levi’s gang was coming to Artesia to look for her. Again, her brain reran the nightmare of her ex. Before heading to the kitchen to get hot coffee, she musingly eyed the majestic scenery for another minute.
Was God trying to tell her something? Was someone with a grudge against her still out there, somewhere? Did the stench of Levi North still, somehow, linger in the world? And was it coming for her?
By the time of the second book, Trey and Sonya were in love and had married three months before. Once again, she had heard from her friend Becky, and needed to leave... Only to wind up in a hospital for the insane--and being called by another name and a complete history of that woman. But Sonya knew her real life, even though she'd been injured... Indeed, Sonya was soon to find out that she was not the only one who had been placed in that hospital under false names. There she met Judy and when it was time to escape, Sonya and Judy were helped by Judy's biker sisters.
Hoping to calm her frazzled nerves, Sonya turned on the radio. The selected station played “Hey Brother” by Avicii. The song helped swap her anxiety with a sense of triumph over her escape. But the feeling didn’t last; for ten more miles, her rearview mirror showed a single headlight a quarter mile behind her. Sonya was convinced she had a tail. She would need to somehow take her tail’s ride and ditch the crippled SUV. If she waited too long, either the steaming engine would die, or the vehicle’s damage would draw a cop’s eye. Either scenario would end badly for her. Seconds later, she grasped the best way to make her need a reality. With one of the switches on her door, she opened the front-right window. Then she tapped S-O-S on her “wristwatch,” activating the veil. Once the two-minute countdown started, she hit the brakes, pulled over, put the vehicle in park, and killed the engine. Without turning off the outer lights, she climbed out the open window, took the tranquilizer pistol, and waited by the front-right tire. As she’d suspected, the headlight belonged to a biker—one interested in the Outlander...
In both books, a connection had been established with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. In the first book, Trey and Sonya helped to bring down the Chrome Falcons. In the second book, Judy's MC had also been working with a local FBI agent. Sonya was honored to take a temporary membership in the Night Mares MC... who were helping gather evidence and then providing it to the FBI agent for legal actions...
But Sonya still did not understand how and why she had been placed in a hospital for the insane... Her greatest nightmare was yet to be revealed...
The two books are so action-packed that readers will be boggled by just how much havoc can be made by criminals in their search for revenge...or power and wealth!
And when most needed, prayer by those who are fighting evil, will be spoken and in miraculous ways, all that seems impossible is made possible...
The houses began to get closer together as we approached Sidney, typical of a small town. Bobby pulled up, parked in front of a quaint steel diner shaped like an old RV with a red and yellow neon sign that flashed Eat at Millie’s. Square glass tiles curved around the corners meeting the bright red roof at the top. “Here we are,” Bobby said, getting out of the car. “Millie serves the best eats south of the Mason Dixon. It’s no Varsity, but I promise Atlanta’s got nothin’ better.”
When we walked in, I felt like I was sucked into an old-fashioned movie set. The classic jukebox played Ezio Pinza’s “Some Enchanted Evening” Really? That song was way older than I was. Mother had loved South Pacific and after she died, Daddy had played the old vinyl incessantly on his antique record player. It was a perfect accent to Millie’s retro ambiance, though. Formica topped counters surrounded a soda fountain bar lined with red-leather cushioned stools on steel bases. The entire restaurant oozed with authenticity.
“Say Millie, how’s the special today?” Bobby asked the woman behind the counter.
“Bobby Reynolds, do you need to ask? Now, sit yourself down. Fried chicken just came out fresh and hot, so you and your lady friend relax in your booth, and I’ll bring out a couple of plates.”
“What a gal.” Bobby grabbed a newspaper from the bar. “And what do ya know? Today’s paper, too.” He walked over to one of the booths and sat down. “It’s pretty hard to eat standin’ up, Maddie. Come on over here and take a load off. I promise I won’t bite.”
Carefully sliding across the red cushioned seat, I looked around for a menu but couldn’t see one anywhere. I crossed my hands on the Formica tabletop. “This place must have cost a fortune to reproduce. Everything is so realistic.”
“I’m not sure, but wait till you taste Millie’s fried chicken. It’ll melt in yourmouth, and her mashed potatoes are the cat’s pajamas.”
“The cat’s pajamas, huh?” I smiled, playing along with his slang. “It smells delicious, but honestly, I don’t eat fried foods very often. The cholesterol is over the roof, and mashed potatoes destroy my waistline. Do you think I could see a menu?”
He looked at me with a perplexed stare. “Sorry, Maddie. Today’s menu is fried chicken. But I’m sure Millie would rustle up a hamburger and fries or a hotdog if you prefer.”
Before I could answer, Millie stood at the table holding two large plates filled with fried chicken and okra, mashed potatoes with gravy and hot biscuits smothered in butter. She had two huge slices of cherry pie balanced on her forearm. The aroma was amazing, but I could almost feel my arteries harden and the pounds roll onto my hips.
“You dig in. I’m gonna jazz this place up.” Bobby bounced out of the booth toward the jukebox. “Any tune you’d like to hear?” “How about some Doris Day or Ella Fitzgerald?” I replied, keeping in the retro spirit. “Oh, why not be adventurous and throw in some Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift.” He shrugged, turned, and began sifting through songs on the jukebox.
Biting into Millie’s chicken took me back to my childhood, sitting in Grandma’s kitchen, my feet swinging back and forth beneath the seat, chicken leg grasped in one hand, biscuit slathered with butter in the other. Grandma called it comfort food, when the aroma and flavor brought back wonderful memories. And the fried okra and mashed potatoes only added to the mood. I practically inhaled the first few bites promising myself that when my body healed, I’d work out extra hard to make up for my splurge. I’d just taken a big gulp of Coke when I glanced down at the newspaper Bobby had brought to the table. I read, choked, and spewed soda across the booth. He’d said today’s paper, but the date at the top of the Sidney Gazette read: Sunday, November 6, 1949.
|First in Series|
“God got us here safely,” Rachel told Matt.
“God is—” Matt waved his hands in the air. “Cool it with that religious routine, Rachel. I've told you once and I'm telling you again: I don't believe in your God or your Jesus.” Matt looked at Rachel. “I thought you were really cool, you know? But ever since you let those religious nuts brainwash you...” He shrugged his shoulders. “I don't know...it seems like you've changed into a zombie.”
Rachel looked at the thick white gloves covering her hands. “Jesus saved me, Matt. He can save you, too. I was dead, but now I'm alive.”
“Saved you? From what?” Matt asked in a cynical voice. “Rachel, you're the most honest, kind, noble person I know. What did you need to be saved from?”
“My sins,” Rachel answered in a sincere voice. She raised her eyes to look at Matt. “While I was dead in my sins, Jesus died for me. We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.”
“There she blows!” yelled a twenty-year-old red-headed guy named Fred Walker. He pretended that streams of water were coming from his mouth. “Rachel is preaching again, ladies and gentlemen! Let's all get down on our knees and listen to her brainwash us!”
“Knock it off, Fred,” Jacob Andrews said, slapping his friend on the back of the head. “Rachel has the right to believe what she wants. Just because we're not Christians, we don’t have the right to discriminate against her.”
|Second in Series|
Rachel wasn't sure how to answer Jacob. She was still a new Christian herself and she was struggling in her daily walk with Jesus. How could she explain the mysteries of a loving God who loved justice to a person who had attended church only once? “I guess in time God will reveal to you what I feel He has been whispering to my heart.”
“I think God brought us together,” Jacob told Rachel, smiling into her eyes. “I think God controls our destiny and that we're meant to be together. I...felt that we belonged together the first day I saw you. I remember you were wearing a pink dress...you knocked me for a loop. Your hair was in a ponytail and you were wearing a perfume that smelled like roses...and...fresh rain.”
“You remember all of that?” Rachel asked, amazed.
Jacob nodded. “Yeah, I do. I know...I'm a hopeless romantic, right? I resemble a linebacker and can get a date with any girl I want, but when I'm alone I listen to sappy love songs and think about what love...well...could be, I guess.” Rachel listened to Jacob talk with a heart that was quickly falling more in love. “My parents divorced when I was a kid,” Jacob explained. He shook his head slightly. “My mom passed me off to my dad and disappeared for a while. I didn't mind. I liked our farm. The only thing I did mind was seeing my dad date one woman after another. He never remarried or even got engaged...he just drifted from one short-term relationship to another.”
“And that's what you're afraid of, isn't it?” Rachel asked, squeezing Jacob’s hand.
“Yeah, I guess I am,” Jacob confessed. He stared into Rachel's beautiful, caring eyes. “Rachel, I want more than what my dad gave himself. I want more than what my mom gave herself. I want...everything offered by all those songs I listen to. Man, that sounds sappy.”
Rachel smiled. “No, it doesn't,” she promised. “But Jacob, the love you're searching for must begin with God. God must be your first love. Then and only then can a man love a woman the way he is supposed to. When you make God your first love, that's when you truly fall in love and find real love. I hope that makes sense.”
“Not really,” Jacob confessed. “How can I make God my first love? I mean, that sounds kinda...sissy.”
“Was Jesus a sissy when He died on the cross?”
“No way,” Jacob answered immediately.
“Exactly,” Rachel told Jacob. She squeezed his hand again. Jacob stared at Rachel. His heart slowly began to understand what she was trying to relay to him. “I...think I get it.” “Good...”
|Third in Series|
Jacob looked down at his hands and spotted leftover worm goo on his fingers. “The kid with the tangled-up line...he told me that his dad used to beat him with a stick.”
“Henry Bates is his name,” Rachel told Jacob. “Henry's dad is currently serving a very long prison sentence for child abuse, terrorist threats, assault and battery, and attempted murder...all against his son.”
“Yes, it is,” Rachel agreed. “But Henry is a good kid. He's living in a foster home with a family that takes in a lot of kids, which makes the home more of a swinging door than a residence of stability.”
“Yeah.” Jacob sighed, spotting the administrative cabin. Sheriff Lansbury and Mrs. Turner were nowhere in sight. “Poor kid.”
“God will work miracles for these children, Jacob. I'm sure of that. You saw Henry. He wasn't standing around feeling sorry for himself. He was laughing and joking with the other children.”
“True,” Jacob said, walking Rachel up to the cabin. “Still, I wish that kid was mine. I'd spoil him rotten.”
“I know.” Rachel smiled into Jacob's eyes. She saw goodness there. “You're going to make a really great dad someday.”
“Someday,” Jacob emphasized. “Not now. I'm still learning to pray, remember?”
|Fourth in Series|
Rachel walked her eyes around the jungle. The sun was beginning to lower in the sky.
“Call me Lei,” Lei insisted.
Rachel smiled. “Lei, I have something for you.” Rachel handed her walking stick to Jacob, reached her right hand into her left pocket, and retrieved a white envelope. “This is the check Mr. Davidson sent us to give you.”
Lei stared at the white envelope. “Glory to God,” he said as tears began falling from his eyes. “The people in my village will be so happy. The days of their sorrows are quickly coming to end.”
Jacob shifted from one foot to the other. He didn't know what to say or do. He had never seen a grown man cry out of nowhere before. In his past, most of the guys he hung out with had been tough. “Uh...yeah,” he managed to say in an uneasy voice.
“Jacob is a new Christian, Lei. He's learning to walk...but right now, he and I are both still crawling.”
“When one learns to walk too quickly, he falls,” Lei told Rachel. He took the check from her. “I learned that truth the very hard way when I first became a Christian. I wanted to start preaching and leading people to Jesus. I was on fire for the Lord. The only problem was...I didn't have an understanding of the scriptures and I ended up falling flat on my face.”
“What do you mean?” Jacob asked. “You were just doing what the Bible tells us to do, right?”
“In a way, yes,” Lei explained. “But I failed to be taught by a Christian man who was taking his meat and walking on firm legs. I was sipping from a baby bottle.” Lei shook his head. “I thought I had all the answers and knew everything. And then I got into a debate with an atheist who knew the Bible better than I did. The guy tore me up. A preacher was standing nearby and watched me get kicked into the street. That preacher took me under his wing and began helping me learn the truth. So, let me advise you both to walk when the Lord orders you to walk; otherwise, you will fall.”
“Thank you, Lei,” Rachel said in a grateful voice. “That's wonderful advice.”
Jacob nodded. “Sometimes it's easier to think we can do things on our own. I've always been like that.”
Rachel took back her walking stick from Jacob and smiled into his eyes. “I think you're coming along just fine.”
Lei saw love shining in Rachel's eyes. He looked into Jacob's eyes and saw a special love—one that soaked into Rachel's heart. He smiled.
“The village isn't far. You two must be hungry.” “Starving,” Jacob admitted. “What's for dinner?”
“Snail guts and snake brains,” Lei said. Jacob's face turned pale. He swallowed. “Really?”
“No.” Lei laughed and slapped Jacob on the shoulder. “For dinner, we’re having canned beans and fried bread.”
“Better,” Jacob said. He laughed. “Much better.”
|Final in Series|