Barbara - Chapter 21 to 25
© By Morgan, 1994, 2002. All Rights Reserved

Introduction

The following is a work of fiction regarding sexual relationships. If you feel that it is illegal, immoral, or otherwise improper for you to read this, then Don’t Read It.

NOTE TO MY READERS: This book is being posted now, in spite of the fact that Kathy Carlson is not yet complete. I had intended to add three chapters or so to Kathy, but that’s not the way it worked out. It’s long and getting longer. At any rate, here is another book that - hopefully - will tide you over.

Barbara Copyright © By Morgan, 1994, 2002. All Rights Reserved

Please note the original copyright date. This story was basically written eight years ago. As a result, you will likely find obsolete references. I’m afraid you’ll just have to live with it; it’s too tedious trying to keep up with the latest and greatest.

This book is part of the Ali Clifford saga and in time follows Cynthia Martin by about 5 years. Because of the fact that there are other stories that overlap in time, some readers may find references to events they’ve never heard of. With luck, you eventually will.

More of my works are posted on my site <www.asstr.org/~Morgan> If you like it - or if you don’t - please let me know at <morg105829@aol.com.> My books are also posted on <www.storiesonline.net>.

Chapter 21

When the judge declared the court to be in recess for fifteen minutes, Bobbie took the opportunity to escort Cindy to where her parents were sitting and then all four moved to an unoccupied corner of the room. Bill and Kathy looked at Bobbie expectantly, while Cindy, who Bobbie was holding in her arms, appeared apprehensive.

“I didn’t want to lose a moment to tell you what a delight Cindy is,” Bobbie began. “Furthermore, I can’t tell you how moved I was by her words on the witness stand this afternoon. Looking at you both together, I can tell that she is exactly right. Your trip to Heaven is truly assured.” Looking at Bill she extended her hand and said, “I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I am by what you have suffered for our country, nor how proud I am to be able to teach your daughter. Not that she needs any teaching, though.”

Bill took Cindy from her arms, gave the girl to her mother and then took Bobbie in his arms and kissed her. His kiss of the purest love almost destroyed the girl. When he released her she was dazed, but her eyes were glowing with love. “I didn’t know the half of it, did I? Mr. Cartwright, you’re unbelievable!”

“The name is Bill,” he replied with a grin, “and I’m not nearly as unbelievable as you are! I can’t tell you what it means to us to have Cindy coming home every day with her eyes just dancing with joy. Everything Kathy and I have tried to teach her, you reinforce. Beyond that, though, you introduce her to things that would never occur to us.

“Imagine! Our little girl, only six years old, talking about the City on the Hill. Mrs. Conroy, I cried! And Cindy was right, too. I almost never cry. But to hear my little daughter talking about America as a beacon shining to the world caused my heart to turn over. I never knew those words, but it was exactly why I never gave in! And my daughter understands! There are no words for us to thank you enough, except to say it made all the suffering worthwhile.”

“The name is Bobbie, Bill. And thank you.” Turning to his wife she asked, “May I give you a kiss, too?”

Pretending to be flustered, Kathy’s green eyes flashed and she said, “Kiss? Me? You’re not... one of those strange women are you...?” Then with a yelp she gathered Bobbie in her free arm and gave her a kiss exactly like Bill’s. When she released the girl, she added, “And the name is Kathy, damn it!”

“Oh! Okay, Kathy-damn-it. I’ll try to remember the next time.”

Turning to Cindy, Bobbie held out her arms and said, “Okay, Imp, it’s time for you to go to work!”

With a wink at the adults she carried Cindy back to the table. While she was being carried, Cindy snuggled her face in Bobbie’s neck and told her how much she loved her. Before putting her down, Bobbie lifted the girl up so she could kiss her full on the lips. In an instant Cindy began to work her lips on Bobbie’s the same way Andy did and communicated the same inner purity, love and goodness. “I love you, Cindy,” Bobbie murmured as she set the girl on the floor.

“And I adore you,” the little girl replied with the warmest look Bobbie had ever seen.

Taking seats around the table, all the children sat up straight and looked at Bobbie attentively. The children all had notebooks open on the table in front of them and fountain pens poised ready to write.

Bobbie smiled at them warmly and said, “Kids, first, I want you to know how flattered and impressed I have been by your behavior all day today. You have been perfect ladies and gentlemen.” Then with a grin she said, “But how about if we get back to normal now, shall we? The name is Bobbie.” The children all giggled and looked at Bobbie worshipfully. Then she said, “The subject today is the Constitution. Mike, what was the constitution for?”

With the judge’s permission, the spectators had left their seats and were now gathered in a circle around the table. After hearing what Cindy Cartwright had said, the people had decided that these children were certainly worth listening to.

Mike Morris sat up even straighter in his chair and said, “The preamble of the Constitution says, ‘We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America.”

They could hear gasps from the surrounding crowd at the way a six-year-old boy could casually quote from the document itself.

Continuing, he said, “But really, Bobbie, it needs to be considered in conjunction with the Declaration of Independence. Cindy quoted Jefferson’s words: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Actually, Bobbie, in the first draft it said ‘life, liberty and property.’

“Taking the two documents together, the Federal government was to provide national defense, and security to people and property. What our government provides is rule of the majority while respecting the rights of the minority.”

Looking around at the spectators, Bobbie asked, “What did you all think of Mike’s answer?”

“I think it was terribly incomplete,” Kramer said. “He didn’t talk about equality, for example, except very briefly.

“Perhaps it’s because the documents don’t, either,” Bobbie replied. “In fact, the Declaration says it perfectly: ‘all men are created equal’, but the equality is in the sight of God and under the law. That is the beginning and end of equality.” Looking around she asked, “Anyone else?”

“Yes, Mrs. Conroy,” Judge Callaway said. “Michael Morris, I think it was an outstanding answer... for a college student in an advanced course on constitutional issues. For a boy of six, there are no words to express my admiration for the way you answered the question. Young man, it was perfect.”

Mike beamed at the praise and his mother, Judy, standing behind him whispered, “Darling, you have made your dad and me so proud!”

The little boy beamed at the praise as his mother squeezed his shoulder.

Then Bobbie asked, “The Declaration came during the Revolution and the Constitution was ratified in 1789. What else happened in 1789, Susan?”

Susan Carlson had brown hair and warm brown eyes. But like her mother’s, Susan’s hair was sun-streaked in colors ranging from platinum blonde to brown. It was utterly gorgeous as was the little girl. Quickly she replied, “The French Revolution, Bobbie. That was the year the Paris mob stormed the Bastille.”

“Okay, Sue. We had ours and they had theirs. Were the results the same?”

“No, Bobbie, they were not. Their revolution resulted in the king being beheaded. Following was the Reign of Terror with thousands of people losing their lives. That dissolved into the Directory and then came Napoleon. As late as 1810, there were guillotines in every town square in France with weekly public executions. In those days, to be executed it was only necessary to be denounced.

“A man might be denounced, for example, by someone who owed him money. It was an easy way to get out from under a debt. Even as late as 1800 the whole process would take less than a week. A man would be arrested, tried - if you could call it a trial–pronounced guilty and executed all in less than seven days.”

“Why the difference between their revolution and ours?” Bobbie asked quietly.

“It was a totally different thing. The French Revolution was grounded on the principles of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Noble Savage: the idea that man is naturally pure and good and only governments - or kings - are evil. Our revolution was grounded in the belief that men are flawed - we are not perfect. Since we are not, the Constitution is fundamentally a limitation on the powers of government. Moreover, it is set up with checks and balances among the three principal branches of government: the legislative that enacts laws, the executive that enforces them, and the judiciary, that interprets them.

“In France, because of Rousseau’s legacy - since men were thought to be perfect, restraints were not needed - there was no limit on the power of government and it almost immediately became oppressive. As the man said, ‘All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’” Looking at Barbara the little girl looked forlorn and added, “I am very sorry and I apologize, Bobbie. I can’t remember his name, but I’ll look it up tonight and tell you tomorrow if that’s all right?”

“That will be fine, Sue,” Bobbie said quietly with a warm smile. “Do you want to add anything?”

“Basically, Bobbie, it is as Mike said: the role of the Federal government is to defend our shores from external enemies and take steps to make the land safe for life and property. That’s really all there is.”

“Thank you, Sue,” Bobbie said quietly. Then turning to Callaway she asked, “What did you think, Judge?”

“Wow!” Callaway exclaimed. “That’s what I think: Wow!” Looking at Susan he said, “Young lady, we have not been introduced. Who are you?”

Rising quickly from her seat, Susan, who was wearing a lovely yellow pinafore with a big yellow ribbon in her hair, went to the judge, made another exquisite curtsy, smiled warmly up at him and said, “Judge Callaway, my name is Susan Carlson. I am privileged to meet you, sir.”

“Susan, the privilege and pleasure are all mine,” the judge replied. As he had done with the other girls, he took her extended hand, bowed, and kissed the back of it.

Susan blushing with excitement and pleasure, said, “You are so gallant, sir. I don’t know what to say!”

Callaway looked at the girl closely and realized how incredibly beautiful she was. Dropping to his knees he enfolded the little girl in his arms and gave her a warm kiss. Sue returned it with the purest love. Back on his feet he looked at her with great warmth and asked, “In whose harem do you belong, Sue? Mike’s or Charley’s?”

With her eyes as big as saucers the little girl whispered, “I love Michael Morris, sir.” Then she added, “Is that bad?”

“Are you Ken Carlson’s little girl?” he asked rather than answering her question.

“Yes sir, I am. I am Ken and Kathy Carlson’s oldest child.”

“Are your parents here today, young lady?”

Ken and Kathy moved through the crowd to stand beside their daughter. The judge rose and said to the crowd, “Susan asked if it was bad for her to like Mike Morris. Folks, what you may not know is that, while Mike Morris, Sr., has a Medal of Honor for valor, Ken Carlson has two! Major Carlson is the most decorated military hero in the history of this country.”

Extending his hand to Ken he said, “Sir, you cannot know how honored I am to have you in this courtroom today. I said earlier that I served in Vietnam. I vividly remember all the stories about Carlson’s Rangers.” They shook hands and then he looked at Kathy. “I also remember hearing all the stories about Kathy-grams. You’re Kathy, aren’t you?

“I hope you won’t hold it against me... or my daughter, Judge,” Kathy replied.

He just shook his head and said, “Then there is Katherine Carlson. Aside from authoring Kathy-grams which were letters written in blue ink on blue paper and which inspired the most brilliant performance in military history, Mrs. Carlson personally rescued a man from certain death when a major sewer line ruptured. She did it by swimming in sewage and by using superhuman strength to free his trapped foot. Then she singlehandedly set his broken leg, an act that orthopedic surgeons rate as impossible.”

Then he snapped his fingers and added, “Oh! I almost forgot. Kathy took up the game of golf. Within two weeks of playing her first round she enters her first small tournament - the LPGA Kapalua Open - which she wins by fifteen strokes over the finest golfers on the ladies’ professional tour.”

Looking back at Susan the judge said, “As the daughter of our country’s greatest hero and one of the most remarkable women who has ever lived, yes, Susan, I think it would be all right for you to like Michael Morris. In fact, I think it would be great!”

He beamed at the girl who beamed back and then blushed red as a beet. Turning to her parents he said, “You must be so very proud! I absolutely cannot believe these children. Your daughter’s answer was an ‘A+’ - for a graduate student in comparative governments! What did you two think?”

Ken Carlson picked his daughter up and held her in his arms. As soon as he did she nuzzled his neck and kissed him. “When I first met Kathy I dreamed of holding her in my arms and eventually making her my wife. Then I dreamed of her being the mother of my children.

“Frankly, Judge, never in my wildest dreams did I even dream of fathering a girl like Susan. All I can say is that I love her almost as much as I love her mother. Perhaps you can’t fully appreciate what I just said, but I think Sue does. She knows that for me the sun rises and sets in Kathy... and I love my darling daughter as much!”

“Oh, Daddy, I love you so very much!” the little girl exclaimed. Then with a look of apprehension she asked, “Did... did you like my answer to Bobbie’s question, Daddy?”

At that, to the amazement of everyone, Ken Carlson began to cry. “Did I like it? My darling daughter, I was utterly stunned and amazed! That a daughter of mine could be so smart! Honey, you must have gotten all of your brains from your mother, because I barely made it through school. You couldn’t have gotten anything from me.”

“No, Daddy, I got nothing from you at all,” the little girl said loud enough to reach the corners of the court. “Just honesty, integrity, love of God, love of country and an appreciation for some of the truly incredible things you achieved.

“For example, Daddy, if it were not for you, Tom Conroy might not even be alive and certainly his father wouldn’t. If it were not for you, Karen Chan could not be alive because her mother would have been dead long ago. I could go on and on, Daddy, but I won’t. You’re just the finest father who has ever lived. I love you so very much and I so very much want you to be proud of me, sometimes, too.”

At that comment, Ken began weeping uncontrollably while at the same time holding the little girl tightly. Susan had her arms around his neck and was hugging as tightly as she could. “Be proud of you sometimes?” he cried. “My darling daughter, I’m bursting with pride! You have honored your mother and me so very much. I can’t tell you how proud we are to be your parents. Be proud of you sometime? Darling, we’re proud of you all the time!”

Then pulling her away so he could look into her eyes he added, “Maybe we have both learned something very valuable today, too, Pumpkin. Maybe we should tell you more often how wonderful you make us both feel, how proud of you we really are, and how much we love you.” After kissing her softly he added, “My darling daughter, it would be utterly impossible for me ever to love you more!”

Then Kathy said, “Kenneth, can I get into this act, too? After all, I knew her before you did. She did spend the first nine months of her life in the intimate confines of my belly. May I hold her, too? And kiss her? And tell her how enormously proud of her I am? And tell her that if she loves Mike Morris, she has my permission to continue to see him? May I?”

With a grin, Ken passed Susan to Kathy who hugged the little girl tightly. Then she whispered in her ear, “My darling Susan, I have some warm milk in my tit waiting just for you. I can’t wait to feel your mouth sucking at my nipple and drawing nourishment from my body into your own.” Pulling back just enough to look into the girl’s eyes she asked softly, “Interested?”

“Oh, Mommy! I can’t wait!” the little girl screamed and then dove back to nuzzle at Kathy’s neck.

When the children were assembled again around the table, Mike Morris gave Sue’s hand a squeeze and she melted him with the warmest, most loving smile he had ever seen.

Then Bobbie asked, “What about the second amendment to the Constitution? What does it say and why is it there? Casey, do you want to try?”

“Thank you, Bobbie,” the black girl said quietly.

Then sitting up straight she said, “The second amendment notes that ‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’” Looking around at her friends, she continued, “It’s a very interesting amendment. First, while most of the Constitution provides limits, particularly on Congress–‘Congress shall pass no law...’ - the Second addresses the whole nation: neither Congress nor the states may act.

“The clause is commonly misunderstood due, I think, to a lack of knowledge of our own history. Many people think that its words about militia refer to what we now call the National Guard. That’s not true. The National Guard conforms with what in colonial times was the organized militia. The general militia included all men between the ages of fourteen and fifty who were subject to instant call for military service.

“In my answer to your question, Bobbie, about the Southern campaign, I mentioned Shelby and Sevier. Nolichucky Jack Sevier was a colonel in the general militia. He had been elected by his men who were the people living in the over-mountain lands. The men who wiped out Ferguson and his very well-trained Tories at King’s Mountain were farmers and trappers. They had no uniforms and assembled on Sevier’s call. But they sure got the jobdone!”

Looking at Bobbie she said, “The answer to the last part of your question - why is it there - is, to me, the most interesting. The first thing an oppressive government must do is disarm the citizenry. As long as they are armed - and the amendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed - they represent the ultimate defense against a tyrannical government.” Sitting up straight she said, “That’s why I think so many of our gun-control laws are unconstitutional... as well as being dumb. Let’s face it: guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Then she grinned and added, “It’s always been pretty interesting to me that in Switzerland the rate of crime - particularly against property and households, like burglary - is practically zero. Personally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Swiss have universal military service for all men eighteen to fifty. And every man has an M-16 rifle with 100 rounds of ammunition in his home. The Swiss aren’t too kindly disposed towards a man breaking into a house at night. If a guy did and got gunned down by automatic weapons fire - the M-16 will fire on full automatic - not only would nothing happen to the homeowner, it wouldn’t surprise me if he could successfully sue the dead man’s estate to recover the cost of cleaning up the mess!”

With concern in her eyes Casey looked at Bobbie and asked, “Bobbie, was that answer adequate?”

“I think it was outstanding, Casey,” Bobbie replied warmly. “And I am so happy that your grandparents were with us today to hear you. I’m sure they are very proud!”

“I think that was the most ridiculous answer I’ve heard in my life!” Kramer interjected. “Why... why, it’s the far side of sheer insanity! Any student in a public school giving such an answer would immediately be sent to the principal and probably suspended!”

“Rather than suspending the students who bring guns to school?” Callaway asked dryly. “That does sound about right, though. Suspend a student who dares to mention constitutional guarantees but ignore students who are breaking the law.”

Raising his voice he added, “Casey Jackson’s answer was absolutely perfect! Her answer with respect to the militia and an armed citizenry being the ultimate defense against tyranny is also precisely correct.” Smiling warmly at Casey he said, “That’s the second ‘A+’ answer for you today, young lady. Congratulations!” The girl, totally ignoring Kramer’s comments, just beamed with pride.

The discussion of the constitution, the French Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence continued. To his surprise, Callaway found Casey Jackson defending the pragmatic approach in the Declaration that failed to condemn slavery while Susan and Mike fought for the idea that slavery was evil and should never have been condoned.

Late in the discussion Casey said, “Please remember what Benjamin Franklin said to John Adams who was fighting to keep the slavery point in: ‘We are mere men, John, not gods. We are trying to give birth to a new nation, something that has never been done before in history. The document is not perfect, but let us hope it will be good enough.’”

Tears were flowing as she looked at Bobbie and added, “And it was!” Looking around the table with tears in her eyes she added, “And we must remember the rule under which the Congress was operating when it considered the Declaration: it could only be adopted without a single dissenting vote! Franklin was right, of course. There is no question that, had the slave reference been included, Edwin Rutledge and South Carolina would have voted no, and North Carolina would have, too. There would have been no Declaration, and there would have been no United States. The colonies would probably have responded favorably to peace overtures. Then where would we have been?”

Then she said, “Mrs. Conroy, earlier, when we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, we said, ‘one nation, under God, indivisible...’ Well, I believe that the reason we became the City on the Hill that Cindy described so beautifully is because we were conceived as a nation with God’s help!

“How could it be otherwise? Do you realize what happened in Philadelphia in June of 1776? There were three men: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. These three men were engaged in a common purpose: writing the Declaration. Again, our lack of knowledge of history catches us up. These men, each, was equivalent to a Winston Churchill, a man of a century! And yet here were three of them, in one place, at one time, doing one thing. The probabilities of its occurrence utterly blow the mind! It had to be divine intervention.

“That’s how this country got started, and it’s why I love it so,” she concluded quietly, then dissolved into tears.

Bobbie rushed to the girl’s side, took her in her arms and held her tightly saying, “Casey, I don’t know what to say! In spite of what your ancestors suffered, to feel the way you do is unbelievable. It is also an enormous tribute to your parents... and to your grandfather who gave his life in defense of our country. My darling, I can’t tell you how proud of you I really am!”

The spectators were silent as they observed the scene. Then Callaway said, “I really don’t believe what I am seeing. I am seeing small children - only six years old - with the most incredible depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding of our founding documents and how they came to be. I am absolutely certain that we wouldn’t find nearly this knowledge if we tested college students majoring in history.

“Mrs. Conroy, I am overwhelmed! And Casey Jackson, you have done it again! I am utterly stunned and amazed. Another ‘A+’!” Looking at Bobbie he added, “Frankly, I think I’ve seen enough. I am a judge and have served for over twenty years. Yet I feel humble in the presence of you and your students. Thank you so much.”

Glancing at her watch Bobbie saw that it was four-fifteen, and said, “Okay, kids, you all heard Judge Callaway. I guess that’s enough for today.” Then she smiled warmly and added, “And kids: I can’t tell you how proud of you I have been today. No teacher–ever, anywhere, throughout history - has had a class as good or as dedicated as you are. Thank you all so very much. And I love you all!”

Looking up at Callaway she asked, “Is there anything else, Your Honor?”

“Yes, Mrs. Conroy, as a matter of fact, there is. But first... Ms. Kramer, do you or your attorneys have anything else to add in this case?” Kramer looked at the attorneys and shook her head dejectedly. “I thought not,” the judge said. “I will announce my decision when we reconvene tomorrow morning at ten o’clock.

“However, I have one favor to ask of all of you here who are not connected with this case. I’ll ask the clerk and the bailiff to pass out slips of paper to you. On this paper I want you to indicate your decision: should this school be allowed to continue? All you need to do is write yes or no. Yes means it should be left alone; no means it should be shut down. Would you all do that for me, please?”

The people dispersed back to their seats, took the small pieces of paper, wrote a word and turned them in. Then, while the bailiff and clerk were counting the slips a woman stood up. She was heavy and very matronly but with a very kind and interesting face. Her hair was auburn with a lot a gray in it, her eyes were a startlingly brilliant green, and her features were very regular. “Your Honor!” she said loudly to be sure to get Callaway’s attention.

Looking up from his desk Callaway replied, “Yes, ma’am. What can I do for you?”

“Sir, I would like permission to address this court,” the woman replied.

“Of course you may,” he replied. “Please come on up.”

With that the woman made her way down the center aisle, through the gates separating the spectators from the participants, and then up to the bench. “Your Honor,” she said, “could I be sworn?”

“Of course,” he replied. Then he nodded towards the clerk who put down her small stack of responses, picked up the Bible and swore in the witness.

“Please state your full name.”

“My name is Mildred Flaherty, but everyone calls me Millie.” Turning to the judge she said, “Your honor, I was a teacher in the Los Angeles schools for over thirty years until I retired a few years ago.” Turning back to the spectators she continued, “I’m here to talk about Barbara Conroy, while your people count the slips representing the people’s opinions.

“Judge, Barbara Conroy is the finest teacher I have ever seen. She may be the finest teacher who has ever lived. What I saw today was something I never even dreamed in my fondest dreams: a group of children so motivated that they are in love with learning! What I saw was the most brilliant teacher on the face of this earth.”

Turning to face the judge she asked, “Did you see the look on her face? And the looks on those children? Sir, she loves them. Honest to God, she does. And they utterly adore her!

“What I observed was unbelievable! It was as if Barbara Conroy was reaching into the heads of bright children - incredibly bright children - and stretching their brains. There is a love of learning here! The children want to learn. What we saw was not rote memorization. It was knowledge! I thought I would die hearing children discuss details of the Declaration of Independence - without even having the document to refer to! They know it! They know it by heart! When I heard that beautiful black girl, Casey Jackson, arguing for pragmatism and for the continuing slavery of her own people! I cried!

“But there is so much more! Every child is distinctive. Did you see how Mrs. Conroy handled that class? She drew every child into the discussion. They were all involved! Here were six-year-old children debating the Constitution of the United States! They know so much more about it than I do, too, yet the few things I do know agree totally with what they were saying. I almost bawled. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t dream of ever seeing that happen.

“But it was so much more! It was as if we were watching knives being sharpened by being honed on a sharpening steel. The knives are the children’s minds. The steel is Mrs. Conroy’s. Judge, I heard you say that she is only nineteen years old. She is the most brilliant person and most incredible teacher I have ever seen or heard of. This woman knows everything!

“Your Honor, I respectfully urge you to continue this school in operation. Moreover, I urge you to issue a permanent injunction against the Department of Instruction ever again having direct contact with this school or Mrs. Conroy. Rather, any communication to the school from the Department should come through this Court.

“Sir, Barbara Conroy and her students are an utterly priceless asset! They are a national treasure. Listening to these children, suddenly, for the first time in years, I felt good about the future of the United States. For as sure as you’re sitting there, these will be our future leaders - both male and female. If they are - and I pray that they will be - our country will be in very good hands. It will be in the hands of the smartest, best-educated people on the face of this earth. Moreover, they will be people who truly understand this country and what things made it great. They recognize the importance of God and the family in our society. And I am utterly delighted to see that this small class of only ten students has two Orientals and a black.

“But it is so much more! Barbara Conroy takes children who have had the finest upbringing I could possibly imagine and reinforces the lessons their parents have been teaching. When that little girl, Cynthia, told about asking Mrs. Conroy for a spanking, I cried! Honest to God, I did! Here is a child, born of two parents who suffered incalculable pain, asking to be spanked! Then I learn that these children are born of parents who include the greatest military hero in the history of our country; children whose parents are among the wealthiest in the world; yet children of the most loving parents alive in the world today.

“These are children whose love of God is real! Sir, do you know what I felt awhile ago? I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit! I really did. When Barbara Conroy prayed for God’s blessing on her students, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. I look at them all and do you know what I see? I see the purest goodness on the face of this earth! I see small children overflowing with God’s sanctifying grace! I see children in whom God is actively working to help them develop and learn. It is said that we use only 10 percent or so of our brains. Well, maybe we do, but these kids don’t. And Barbara Conroy certainly doesn’t.

“And, sir, it all begins with their teacher! As I said, I was a teacher for over thirty years. On my very best day I couldn’t get close to what she is! She motivates, teaches, inspires and loves! It’s as if she opens their heads and stretches their brains. You do know, sir, that these children utterly adore her? They do! And, damn it, she deserves it! Judge Callaway, all I can say is that Barbara Conroy is the very best teacher alive in the world today and possibly the finest teacher who has ever lived! And that includes John Dewey and Socrates! Please... please, Your Honor! Let Barbara Conroy continue to teach. She is a national asset of the first rank.”

Then, with the warmest smile the people had ever seen she added, “Of course, when she has children of her own... With the incredible love she has for her husband... With her unbelievable beauty... Sir, aside from being the best teacher alive, Barbara Conroy is the most beautiful woman alive! Her children will be taking over from these imps! And when they do, we will be in very fine, loving and capable hands.”

With that, Millie lowered her head and left the witness box while the spectators jumped to their feet applauding and roaring their agreement with the things Millie Flaherty had said.

Looking up after reflecting on the woman’s comments, Callaway found the clerk waiting for him. “Your Honor,” she said, “here are the results of your poll.”

Looking out at the spectators he said, “Ladies and gentlemen: your attention, please! The results of our little poll: Yes–keep the school open - 187; No - close the school - none! That’s zero, nada, nothing.” With the elation obvious in his voice, Callaway repeated, “The vote was 187 to zero: Keep the school open! Thank you all for expressing an opinion. The court is now adjourned until ten o’clock tomorrow!”

Leaving the bench, Callaway caught up with Bobbie as she was gathering up her things. “Bobbie, could you do me a favor?” he asked.

“Of course, Judge. Anything.”

“Could you come in a little early tomorrow? Perhaps meet me in my chambers at nine-thirty? And would you please bring those two little imps, Andy and Ken, with you?” he asked with a very warm smile.

Then he added, “I can’t tell you how much I love those two children. But Bobbie, your whole class...! They are the most perfect little people the good Lord has ever put on this earth.”

Then after looking around to see that they were not being overheard, he added, “And, even though this is a matter at issue, I agree completely with Millie Flaherty: You’re the finest teacher alive in the world. I am truly honored to have met you. As well as looking forward to being alive for more than a week or so.”

With a warm wink he turned towards his chambers.

Chapter 22

When the gray Clifford limousine pulled into the circular driveway of the Cartwright mansion in Beverly Hills, Andy was waiting outside with her mother. While Bill Clifford remained in the car, Ken jumped out as soon as Fred Clark opened the door. Ignoring the others he took Andy in his arms and melted his lips to hers. Then Ali got out carrying her youngest, Kristin, who was just over one year old.

After kissing Connie warmly, Ali raised an eyebrow and looked at her daughter skeptically. “Are you sure you can handle it? Is your milk going to be good enough? After all,” she said archly, “Kris is used to only the very best!”

Replying in kind Connie said, “Oh? What about poor Andy? Are you sure she won’t be poisoned at your tit?” Then dropping the pose she took Kristin in her arms and loved and kissed her. “Nursing your own sister! I mean, Mom, really! Isn’t this really... a bit much?” Then with great warmth in her eyes she said, “Mom, I love you so very damned much!”

Looking over to where Andy and Ken were still locked in each others arms she said, “God, Mom! I feel so badly for poor Andy and Ken. Would you please look at them. If you were to mention those two to any outsider and say they were in love, they would think, ‘How cute!’ But those two are truly in love in the most adult way.”

Looking into Ali’s eyes she said, “And after what I saw this afternoon, it looks like it’s spreading. Did you see Sue Carlson and Mike Morris when court adjourned? He gently squeezed one of her ass cheeks and she just turned and melted into his arms.” Then she glared at her mother and said, “You run the damned firm.

Why didn’t you plan better? Why did you allow so many of us to have girls as first children?”

“Darling Connie,” Ali replied blithely, “I can’t do everything by myself. After all,” she continued airily, “I did have a little boy!” But then she looked at Ken and said, “I really can’t wait, though. We both know that our kids are not ordinary.

Their children are going to be utterly spectacular. And by the way, daughter, for a first effort, you really didn’t do too badly with Andy.”

The women warmly embraced again and then Ali gave Kristin a kiss causing the little girl to just beam happily. Dragging Ken and Andy back to the car, they were off. As they moved down the driveway, Ali looked at her granddaughter and said, “Andy Cartwright, I don’t know about you.”

With her eyes wide the little girl replied, “What did I do this time, Kenny’s Mommy?”

“Well...” she responded, drawing out her words, “for openers, you put our lives at immediate risk.”

Ali’s words were stunning. The little girl’s eyes widened and tears came to their corners. “How did I do that?”

“Andy, what did you do when you finally came over to the car?” The little girl thought but couldn’t think of anything. She had just gotten in. “Darling,” Ali said, answering her own question, “you extended your hand to Fred who was holding the door and said, ‘Good evening, Mr. Clark. Thank you so much for driving us to the circus tonight.’ When you held up your arms, he picked you up and you kissed him.

“Andy, you nearly knocked him down. Now that you’re getting older you have to understand that your love - undiluted - is really far more than most people can take. Now look at him. I’m afraid poor Fred is still in a daze - but he’s driving the car. Heaven knows, Los Angeles traffic is dangerous enough as it is without being distracted, let alone trying to handle it in a daze.” With a grin she concluded, “Now do you understand?”

Andy who was riding facing backward in a forward seat opened the window separating the limousine’s two compartments and said, “Mr. Clark, I think I should apologize for kissing you the way I did. Gram is afraid you’ll lose control or something.”

Fred adjusted his rear-view mirror to be able to see her without turning his head and spoke into the tiny microphone he used to communicate with the passenger compartment. “I’m not at all sorry, Miss Andy. When Ali said we were picking you up this evening the first thing I thought was, ‘Oh, boy! Maybe I’ll get one of Miss Andy’s kisses.’ And I certainly did! Young lady, your kisses are in a class by themselves. I do have a question for you, though: When are you going to do something productive?”

“Productive?” she responded, puzzled. “What do you mean?”

“Productive. You know: useful. Like marrying young Master Kenneth back there. That would be useful! It would get him out of my hair and you can just fry each other’s brains with your kisses instead of using them to destroy the world. You two have to get married, you know. I am certain that there are no other people your ages alive who could survive the intensity of your love.

“And even though I’m a lot older than you two, I’m certainly not blind. The most wonderful thing is to see you kiss one another and see the incredible level of passion you possess flowing between you. And this is on top of the purest love I mentioned earlier. Young lady and young sir, with anyone else, you would be dangerous menaces! But together?” Clark just slowly shook his head and let out a long low whistle.

“Oh, in that case...” Andy turned towards Ken sitting beside her, reached out her arms and in seconds was enfolded in his. They spent the rest of the trip just locked in each other’s arms with their lips together, separating very seldom and then only to breathe.

“My, what a wonderful idea!” Ali exclaimed. Turning to her husband she said throatily, “Bill Clifford, I need you!” As he turned toward her he saw her unbutton her blouse and peel it back to expose her perfect breasts now refilling with milk. She had nursed Kris just before dropping her off. They locked in a passionate embrace while Bill just gently ran his fingers over all of her perfect body that was within reach.

Nearing the Forum, Clark announced, “Folks, we’re almost there. You can break it up now.”

Andy and Ken eased apart with sighs. Seeing his parents locked together he couldn’t resist. “Mom and Dad, what are you doing?

Good grief! Don’t you realize there are impressionable young children around?”

Easing away from Ali just enough to speak Bill Clifford replied, “The answer to your first question is that your mother and I were necking. That’s because there wasn’t even time for a quickie–it’s all I could do. As for the second part about impressionable young children... Who? Where?”

Andy and Ken just giggled at his reply while Ali ostentatiously put her clothes back together.

Bill and Ali Clifford were one of the world’s wealthiest families and he was quick to give her incredible investing skills credit–or blame - for most of it. He constantly teased her about bombarding the family with ever more money when they couldn’t put a dent in what they already had. With total assets of more than $10 billion, the family investments were necessarily widely spread. One of them was the entertainment conglomerate that controlled the circus; the Cliffords were, by a wide margin, the largest single shareholders. As a result, when Bill had called his office and told his secretary he wanted four tickets to the evening performance, it was a simple matter for her to call the office of the CEO of the entertainment company, introduce herself, and explain what was wanted.

As they pulled up to the main entrance, there was a delegation of senior officials from the circus waiting to greet them. When introductions were made, a very well-built man with flowing blonde hair was introduced. It was Gunther Gabel-Williams, renowned as the foremost wild-animal trainer in the world. Of particular note was the fact that he was almost alone in the world in working with tigers as opposed to the far more tractable and less ferocious lions. Recognizing him, both Ken and Andy were wide-eyed as they were introduced. Again the Cliffords were so pleased and impressed as Andy made a most graceful curtsy and then extended her hand. In the finest continental manner, he kissed the back of her fingers bringing a blush to her cheeks. Ken bowed and then shook hands. Already Gabel-Williams was very impressed.

Because arrangements had been made to show the Cliffords around backstage, they had arrived well before the evening performance was scheduled. After a tour, they ended at the cages where the tigers were kept. Earlier Gabel had ordered ten of the big cats to be placed in a training ring available for him backstage so he could give the children a private demonstration. With the cats in the cage, while he was preparing to enter he saw something he had never seen before in his life: As Andy and Ken stood near it, the big cats all came over to them and just looked at the children lovingly. Then he saw something truly remarkable: The tigers were seated back on their haunches and looked exactly like house-cats - they even wrapped their tails around their forepaws. The two children had started at one end of the line and apparently were introducing themselves. Incredibly, it appeared they understood the tigers and the tigers understood them.

“Good evening, Prince,” Andy said softly. “My name is Andy and this is my lover, Ken. We are both so happy to meet you!” The response was a sound that Gabel had never heard: it sounded like a purr! The giant cats - averaging about 600 pounds apiece in weight - were purring! Of course, given their great size–they were all males - it was like no sound Gabel had ever heard, but it was undeniably a purr. Moreover, the names the children were using were in several cases names Gabel used, but more often they were names he had never heard. It appeared that the cats actually had names. In addition to Prince there was Rudy, Will, Fred, King, Charles, James, Ferdie, Sasha, and - remarkably–Lester!

Finally, when the introductions were complete Andy turned to Gabel and asked, “Could Ken and I go into the cage? They so much want us to and we would like it very much.”

Turning to Ali and Bill, Gabel shook his head and said, “I really don’t know what to say. I am seeing something I have never seen before in my life! You see the way the cats are sitting? I have never seen them do that. Never! You, perhaps, overheard Andy introducing the cats by name? Prince, King, and Sasha are names I use. The others? I have never heard them before. It seems that those children are actually communicating with tigers!” Shaking his head again he continued, “Twenty minutes ago the idea of small children going into a tiger cage - _and coming out alive! - would have seemed utterly ridiculous. Now? I’m confident the cats will not hurt them. Will you permit it?”

After talking to the children and getting their immediate agreement that they would do absolutely everything Gunther told them to do instantly, Ali and Bill reluctantly approved. As the door was opened, Ali moved backward against Bill’s body and whispered, “Darling, please hold me tight! I’m so scared!” Bill put his arms around her waist and held her tightly against his body.

Gabel was going to lead the way but Andy told him that it would probably be better if he remained outside. He could remain by the door and give them instructions through the bars. Remarkably, when the cats heard what Andy said, they seemed to visibly relax so Gabel-Williams did what she asked. The two children entered the cage and the door was closed behind them.

“Okay, guys,” Ken said, “let’s shake hands. Okay?” One after the other, in the same sequence beginning with Prince, the tigers came up to the children, sat down on their haunches and then extended a giant paw. Because of their great size, the children needed both hands to shake it, but they did.

When they got to the last cat, Lester, and had shaken hands, Andy cocked her head, looked skeptical and said, “Lester, are you sure?” The cat nodded its great head and seemed to smile. “Honest?” she repeated. Again the great head nodded. “Well... okay, I guess.” With that Andy went close to the giant animal, wrapped her arms as far around his great neck as she could reach, hugged and then kissed him. When she released him, but before Ken could do anything, Lester dropped flat on the ground and actually covered his head with his forepaws!

“Oh, it’s not so bad, Lester. You don’t have to be so embarrassed. Hasn’t a girl ever kissed you before?” The huge animal removed one of its paws which had been covering an eye. After looking at Andy for a moment, he quickly shook his head.

Ali and Bill were standing well back from the cage beside Gabel and watching. Gabel was awestruck. “That is absolutely unbelievable!” he whispered. “Can you imagine? That cat actually asked your daughter for a kiss and then covered his head in embarrassment when she gave him one!” Turning to the Cliffords he added, “I can now give you my personal guarantee that no harm will come to those children. In fact, you could consider them to be safer than in church. Those tigers love those children and would guard them with their lives.”

Andy and Ken were having a wonderful time. Dropping to her knees, Andy dove at Lester and kissed him again saying, “You big sissy! It’s not so bad, is it?” This time the cat rolled on its back and just extended its paws in the air. Again looking at him skeptically, Andy said, “I don’t know...” Then she shook her head and said, “Mommy wouldn’t like it, I’m sure.” Then she smiled warmly and said, “Oh, Lester, please don’t cry! Okay, we’ll do it.”

While the cat continued to lie on its back they went to the door and quickly stripped off all of their clothes except for their shorts. Andy explained, “Grandmom, he wants us bare but I told him he would have to settle for this. Okay?”

Ali, who was completely stunned by the events, could only shake her head. Now stripped down to just their shorts, the two children went back to the tiger, climbed on its stomach side by side and embraced each other. Then, with the most incredible tenderness, the huge animal wrapped its forelegs around them and just purred.

“My God!” Gabel-Williams exclaimed in a whisper, “I didn’t know the half of it. First, a tiger will never get into the position that one is in. Never! He has intentionally made himself completely vulnerable and totally defenseless. Now look: he is holding those children to his breast - and utterly loving it! As far as I know, this has never happened. Ever!” By this time all of the circus people who could were crowding around the cage and watching in stunned silence.

When they got off Lester, all of the other cats insisted on doing the same thing. Finally, when they were finished, Andy put her hands on her hips and in her most imperious six-year-old manner declared, “Well, this is a fine thing! We come to the circus to be entertained. Instead, you guys have us entertaining you! Now why don’t you get off your dead rear ends and do something amusing.”

It was as if she had cracked a loud whip. First Prince, using a huge ball that is used as a part of the elephant act, jumped on top of it and carefully rolled it in circles around the perimeter of the round cage. When he got off, the children were laughing with glee and Andy gave him a warm kiss.

Then four of the cats got to their feet and stood close together side by side. Three more carefully and gracefully got up on their backs followed by two others. Now there was a 4-3-2 pyramid, missing its apex. Prince was the last tiger left and he looked at Andy wistfully.

“You’re sure you can do it?” she asked. The animal nodded its head rapidly up and down. With a lovely little grin Andy said, “Well, okay, but you better not drop me!”

With Prince lying down on the ground, Andy climbed up on his back and straddled his shoulders. The big cat then climbed up the first, then second, and finally the third layer of tigers. Because the animals are very large - nearly four feet high at the shoulders - with them standing four high, Prince’s great head was well over sixteen feet above the ground; he was far above the top of the cage which only extended ten feet up. When he stood still at the top of the pyramid, Andy stood up on his back and extended her arms proudly.

Instantly there was thunderous applause from all of the circus people surrounding the cage. As experienced as they all were, they were seeing something that had never been done before, beginning with the creation of the pyramid itself. But it wasn’t over yet. At the top, Prince slowly backed up as far as he could and then extended his forepaws in a bow leaving his haunches up in the air. Then the two below did the same thing, followed by the three below them and finally the four at the base. Because of the angles downward, by the time the last tigers were in their bow Prince’s back was nearly vertical and Andy was sitting on the back of his head with her legs around his neck.

“Unbelievable!” Gabel-Williams murmured, “Simply unbelievable.” Then turning to the Cliffords he asked, “An idea has come to me that seems almost ridiculous, but I must ask you anyway. Would you allow your children to perform tonight in the ring? You see, what we have been seeing is a first in history. No person–ever - has seen what we have just seen. It’s never happened.”

Then with a warm smile he added, “I guess I’ve been in the circus too long. We always think of our customers. If we could let the customers see your children and the great cats... It would utterly blow their minds! Would you? Please?”

“Oh, shit!” Ali muttered and then with a broad grin replied, “Mr. Gabel, I have a confession to make. You see, I was a motion picture actress, so there’s more than a little ham in me. And since Kenny’s my son, he could have caught it, too. The answer is yes if the kids are willing.” Turning to Bill she asked, “Do you agree, darling? Or am I being completely crazy and stupid?”

Bill took her into his arms and whispered in her ear, “My darling, we’ve known for a long time that those two are not ordinary children. They have extraordinary powers - I guess we’re seeing more of them tonight. I agree, darling. We’ll let them.”

By this time the tigers, after first straightening up in the reverse of the way they had bowed, had slowly and gracefully dismantled their pyramid. When Gabel-Williams asked the children, they were utterly overjoyed. When Andy told the cats, it was apparent that they were delighted, too.

After cocking her head and listening, she just shook it, muttered, “Big babies!” and asked Gabel for grooming brushes. “They feel they have to look their best so Ken and I agreed we would brush their coats. May we?” After some scurrying around, large wire-bristle brushes were found and the two children carefully groomed the giant cats who just lay flat on the ground and purred while the children worked.

By this time the huge Forum was filling for the evening performance. After the opening music, the ringmaster introduced Gabel-Williams. The trainer, now dressed in a glittering outfit of spangled white, stood in the spotlight and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the circus! Tonight, we are not going to do our regular show. Instead, you are going to see something never seen by anyone, ever! You are going to see two small children, Andrea Cartwright and Kenneth Clifford, work with ten Bengal tigers right here before you using the full scope of this circus floor. Frankly, I don’t even know what they will be doing. I do know that earlier this evening those two children had the cats doing things I have never seen them do before in my life!

“There is one thing I can guarantee: you will be entertained! However, for your safety, because the tigers will be running free, there will be riflemen spotted around the entire ring with orders to protect the spectators at any cost.

“Finally, a few words about the cats: First, the Bengal tiger is, with the exception of the very rare Siberian tiger, the largest cat in the world. The tigers you will see are all males and weigh, on average, 600 pounds apiece. Since I doubt if either of the children weigh even forty pounds, you will see about three tons of ferocious cat being handled by about 75 pounds of human. Since we do not know what the children will do, we cannot use an announcer. Accordingly, I will also be your announcer this evening. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Andy, Ken, and their big cats!”

Gabel-Williams was sitting at ringside with the Cliffords. Ali clutched Bill’s hand as the band struck up a quick march and the spotlight moved to the corner of the ring. There were Andy and Ken with their golden bodies nearly bare but with their arms out-thrust in greeting. The two kids sprinted across the floor and then did a series of incredibly rapid somersaults as if they were trained gymnasts. After making a complete circuit of the circus floor to the wild applause of the crowd they ended up back at the entrance.

Andy took a tiny microphone and said, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! I am Andy and this is my lover, Ken.” In spite of their youth and small size, there was something about the two together that prevented any snickering at her comment about Ken being her lover.

“Now I would like to introduce the real stars of this show: the tigers. First, this is Prince.” The huge animal came out, made a bow and began to trot slowly around the huge ring. She continued the introductions with Rudy, Will, Fred, King, Charles, James, Ferdie, Sasha, and Lester.

By this time the cats were all trotting in a circle and Andy and Ken moved to the center of the ring. When Andy called them, Prince led them over to the center where they formed a huge circle around the children and then simultaneously on her order, sat back on their haunches like house-cats. Again, they neatly wrapped their tails around their forepaws and just looked attentively at the children.

Gabel announced quietly, “I have never seen what you are now seeing before tonight. They look exactly like house-cats, don’t they? But they are anything but! They are, in fact, perhaps the most powerful and dangerous animals on the face of this earth. Now listen!” he exclaimed softly. “I am going to ask that all music and noise cease at once. I want you to hear something no one alive has ever heard: the sound of ten full-grown Bengal tigers purring! Listen!”

There were gasps from the crowd as they realized what the incredibly deep sound they were hearing was.

Meanwhile, in the ring Andy grinned at the cats and said, “Okay, guys! Now it’s time to entertain the paying customers. What are we going to do?” She cocked her head and said, “Okay, that sounds good.”

Ken grinned at her and dashed off. A few moments later he was back followed by roustabouts rolling ten of the huge red balls. Fearfully, they positioned the balls evenly in a circle around the ring. Ken ran back, snapped his fingers and the ten great animals rose as one and fell into line. He then ran around the ring. Each time he reached a ball, the first cat in line moved aside and sat looking at the ball. When all the cats were positioned, he returned to Andy’s side at the center of thering.

She signaled to the bandleader who struck up a merry clown tune. Instantly the cats jumped up on top of the balls and began to roll them at increasing speed around the ring. Andy and Ken then ran around the inside of the perimeter of tigers encouraging each one by name. The animals seemed very excited and pleased.

Again Gabel-Williams announced, “Cats can’t do what you’re seeing. At least, I have never seen or heard of it ever being done. Could we have some applause? They are really doing a wonderful job!” The applause burst like thunder as the tigers were now racing around the ring with their paws going backward on the balls so fast they were now only yellow blurs.

“Okay, guys, that’s enough,” Andy called quietly. The animals slowed the balls, stopped them and very gracefully dismounted, returning to their circle at the center of the ring. When they were again seated, Andy went from one to the next, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him, thanking him for the performance. Now the purring was so loud it drowned out all other noises.

“I don’t know if they are so happy because of what they did or because of the kiss Andy just gave each of them. Incidentally, I am sure you have all seen those TV commercials, often involving cars, with the super, ‘Professional Drivers - Don’t Try This at Home’.

“Well, Andy and Ken are not professionals - or they weren’t until tonight - but let me beg you: Please don’t ever try this with a tiger. Any of those animals could easily cut that little girl in half with one bite. But they won’t because, believe it or not, these animals absolutely adore these two children. Why? I have no idea. But they do, and I’m sure you all agree.” Then he called out louder, “What’s next, kids?”

Again Ken went offstage and returned a few moments later, again followed by roustabouts. This time they positioned what appeared to be a huge teeter-totter to the side of the center ring and then brought out a large tub of water, about the size that an elephant might stand on. It was about four feet in diameter and about three feet deep. When the materials had been positioned, he just grinned at Andy and winked.

The animals then recreated their pyramid. When Prince lay down for Andy to climb on his back, there was a gasp from the crowd. It continued as he slowly but gracefully climbed to the top with Andy on his back quietly encouraging him. Finally in position, Andy stood up on his back and extended her arms. There was a huge burst of applause as she smiled at the crowd. Then she called for a drum roll.

Ali, who had been watching Andy, was amazed and impressed by her aplomb. When she called for the drum roll, Ali looked around and saw that Ken was now positioned on the lower end of the teeter-totter. The high end was closest to Andy. Her hand came up to her mouth and she gasped as she realized what the children were planning to do. Before she could do or say anything, Andy leaped from Prince’s back while sixteen feet in the air. Her arms were upraised as she dropped.

The instant her feet contacted the board she bent her knees very slightly just enough to cushion the landing but not enough to dissipate her downward force. As the board came down, Ken was catapulted into the air. To his mother’s total astonishment, he did a perfect two-and-a-half backward somersault, stretched out, then rolled into a ball just before hitting the water in the tub.

Landing like a cannon ball, he sent nearly half the water flying from the tub in an enormous splash. An instant later he leaped from the tub and extended his arms.

That was followed instantly by enormous applause and by Andy hurling herself into his arms. “My darling,” she whispered, “You were utterly spectacular!”

The two melted into a passionate kiss, disregarding the fact that Ken was soaking wet, and held it while the tigers dismantled their pyramid and then gathered in a tight circle around the embracing children. At one point, Andy moved back in the circle of Ken’s arms just enough to use her fingers to comb out his hair. With a grin she said, “Now you’re handsome again. And you can go back to kissing me. Aren’t you lucky?”

This time the tigers’ purring became so loud it drowned out all of the other circus noises.

“Utterly unbelievable!” Gabel-Williams exclaimed into the PA mike. “Please remember, ladies and gentlemen, that these two are only six years old! They are not professionals. As far as I know they have had no acrobatic training of any kind, and yet... That was as good as any of our professionals could do. Furthermore, that pyramid of tigers is a first. It has never been seen in public before and is only the second time it’s ever been done. The first time was just an hour ago right before this show. Aren’t they wonderful!?”

Ken led the tigers back to the center of the ring. This time Andy grinned at Prince and said, “Okay, big guy. Let’s do it!”

The huge animal lay down on the ground and began to roll. He was followed by a second, a third and a fourth. Then he rose and leaped back across the bodies of the tigers rolling towards him and got to the end of the line. What followed were leaps of increasing distance as two tigers began to roll for each one that leaped, increasing the width to be covered by about five feet each time. Prince, who had begun, also had the longest leap, covering nearly fifty feet in the air from a standing start across all nine other tigers rolling rapidly in his direction. After that, he and each successive tiger joined the children so each remaining tiger leaped across an ever-diminishing distance.

“My heavens!” Gabel-Williams murmured appreciatively. “I hope you understand what you have just seen. You have seen a 600 pound tiger leap fifty feet from a standing start. To put it into perspective, the human record for the running broad jump is just over thirty feet.”

The tigers were now loping around the entire ring in a great circle to the now-thunderous applause of the audience. While they were moving, Andy came over to Gabel Williams and whispered something. “They want what?” he exclaimed. Andy just grinned and nodded, then returned to the center.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Gabel announced, “there will be an intermission, with our famous clowns to entertain you while the tigers get some rest and - believe it or not - a snack! Andy has ordered hot dogs and lemonade for all of them!”

The big cats arranged themselves in a tight circle around Andy and Ken in the center of the ring. Because the workers feared the great cats, Ken went to the corner and juggled a large tray and a big bucket. Returning to the center he put down his materials just as Andy said, “Now wait a stinking minute... You guys are going too far!”

Then she just cocked her head and raised an eyebrow. The tigers appeared to be laughing while nodding their heads. On the tray were twenty hot dogs along with mustard and relish. There were also very large pans similar to the water dish for a very large dog. Ken put one in front of each cat. Then he and Andy started moving around the circle in opposite directions, first fixing the animal’s hot dog with the amount of mustard and relish it wanted, then carefully feeding it to him. After feeding the hot dogs, Ken carefully filled the dishes with lemonade from his big bucket. He had to get two more buckets before the cats had all been served.

As Prince was being served his lemonade, another tiger moved in his direction. Andy, seeing the movement, exclaimed, “Rudy! Get back where you belong and wait your turn! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

The animal dropped flat on the ground and covered his head with his forepaws. Little Andy just looked at him with her hands on her hips and then said softly, “Please don’t cry, Rudy. You’re forgiven. I still love you!”

With that she went to the animal, lifted one of its paws off its head, kissed him and then rubbed the back of its head. With Rudy purring again, she returned to feeding the tigers, and eventually feeding Rudy. Because he had tried to steal Prince’s lemonade, he was the last one to be served.

“Now I have seen everything,” Gabel-Williams announced. “Did you see what that little girl just did? She bawled out a tiger! But that’s not all. The poor animal was so upset and embarrassed, he covered his head with his paws. I have never seen that, ever! Is that all? Oh, no! Andy then lifts his paw from his head - a paw with claws so big and so sharp they could cut her in half - and then kisses him, hugs him and says he’s forgiven!

“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know what we are seeing but I can assure you it has never been seen in the world before and may never be seen again! You’re watching history being made tonight before your very eyes!” Although the clowns were performing around the entire ring, the attention of the audience remained focused on the children and the tigers.

With a warm grin at Andy, Ken said, “Since I cooked tonight, it’s your turn to do the dishes!” The little girl laughed merrily, kissed him lightly on the lips and then gathered up the tray, the pans and the buckets and carried them back to the corner.

By the time she returned, the clowns had left the arena so she said, “Okay, guys! What now?” Again she cocked her head, listened and yelped. “Sounds good! Let’s do it.”

Again Prince led the way. The tigers formed a line well spaced out and began to trot around the perimeter of the huge arena. When they were spaced evenly around it, Prince, moving from one corner, cut diagonally across the arena floor. Reaching the far corner he looped around the corner and then headed diagonally across again, intersecting the moving line of tigers. When he was about to reach it, he leaped across, continued to the corner again and moved up. Now the tigers were moving in a huge figure eight. Once formed, they began to run faster until they were bounding at great speed and leaping across the line at the appropriate instant.

Andy and Ken were now standing inside one of the circles and Andy again had a tiny microphone. “Do you like it folks? It was my friends’ idea. If you do, could we hear a warm round of applause for some great guys who are trying their best to entertain you.” There was another tremendous burst of applause.

Again the tigers formed their circle in the middle of the arena and again Andy listened. This time, though, she shook her head and gave them her idea. The tigers all grinned and nodded, then all rose to their feet except for Prince and Sasha who both lay down flat. Andy got on Prince’s back and Ken mounted Sasha. Prince led while Sasha positioned himself as number six in the line of ten. The tigers began to just trot around the perimeter of the ring with the children on their backs.

After one full swing the two children rose and stood on the animals’ backs as they ran faster and faster. Ignoring the precariousness of their perch the children then stood sideways on their animals facing out towards the audience and extended their arms. Then Andy began to blow kisses to the audience.

Ali, still clutching Bill’s arm whispered, “Darling, aren’t they utterly unbelievable? They are so good! And it’s not because it’s my son and granddaughter, either.” Then she kissed him lightly and asked, “What do you think of having your granddaughter as your daughter-in-law, anyway?”

“My darling, I couldn’t be happier! There is not a finer girl alive in the world today than Andy Cartwright! Besides,” he added with a warm grin, “I know how much my darling wife is looking forward to her first grandchild also being her first great-grandchild!”

“Sure am!” she agreed, giving him a passionate kiss.

In the meantime, the formation in the ring was changing. Every second tiger moved up until he was alongside the one ahead. Now they were racing side by side in pairs. Andy and Ken each straddled a pair so that they had one foot on each tiger. Remarkably, the animals moved in synchronized strides so to the children it was just a wider but very stable back. Then they moved to three abreast, then four, and finally five. With five abreast, the two sets were exactly halfway around the ring from each other. This time there were huge cheers from the crowd as Andy just dove across the backs of the great cats and ended propping her chin on her elbows while she was sprawled across the backs of three of the cats - that was the limit of reach of her small body, and only the tips of her toes reached the third cat–just grinning at the audience as she sped by. For his part, Ken just stood with his hands on his hips howling with laughter.

The five with Andy moved back to the center of the ring while Ken’s group continued to run. Now he was back on Sasha and the other four dropped back. They then were in echelon with each cat to the side of, and about five feet behind, the next ahead.

Again Ali’s hand came to her mouth as she had a premonition. Clutching Bill’s arm she softly cried, “Darling, Ken’s not an acrobat!”

“I know that, darling,” he replied softly, “and you know that. The question is, does Ken?”

Just then, they learned. After ensuring that all the cats were in the appropriate position, he launched himself up in the air, did an incredible back double somersault and landed perfectly on the back of the trailing tiger, Rudy. He did it again, and again, and yet again to increasing cheers each time. Now positioned on the trailing tiger he said quietly, “Okay, guys! You know what to do.”

The last tiger, Lester, moved up on the one ahead and at the same time moved towards the inside of the ring. Soon all of the tigers were abreast with about five feet separating each one. Now Ken cheered them on to move even faster. The animals were really flying around the ring now. Ken knew where his parents were sitting and measured it off perfectly. They were sitting at the arena midpoint so, while just coming out of the curve ahead of them, Ken leaped to the next, then ran, jumping to the back of the third, to the second. Then he launched himself into the air, and, while leading Sasha perfectly, did another somersault and landed with his feet planted along the animal’s back. Ken had timed it perfectly. He extended his arms just as he passed his parents. In the instant of passing it looked like his mother was crying in relief.

For their finale, the animals formed another pyramid in the center of the ring. Only this time, when Prince lay down both Andy and Ken got on his back with Ken sitting behind his love.

Reaching the summit, the people began to applaud but then stopped as they realized that the act was not yet over. This time the bottom four tigers began to walk in a measured pace towards the edge of the giant ring. Then they began to walk along it and as they did they began to move faster and faster and faster. Soon the four bottom tigers were bounding around the full perimeter of the ring while their mates just stood in position quietly.

When they were running at full speed, Andy and Ken stood up. Instead of waving at the crowd, though, he took her in his arms and the two melted in a kiss as they made another lap around the ring. Then the tigers carefully slowed their pace until they were again walking. In that manner they returned to the center of the ring and stopped facing Gabel-Williams and the Cliffords in their box.

Only then did Ali notice a small trampoline of the type used by college cheerleaders. It was round and only about three feet in diameter.

After accepting the cheers of the crowd with his arm around Andy’s waist he whispered. “I love you so much, my darling! Good luck!”

She kissed him, gave him a quick wink and jumped. Landing on the trampoline from her great height, she landed with terrific force.

Catapulted into the air, she did a triple somersault with a twist and then landed perfectly with her knees bent and her feet planted. In gymnastics it would have been a perfect 10.

Then she extended her arm toward Ken who did the identical thing.

When he landed, without her moving an inch, he was standing by her side. Again the two melted together in a kiss. This time the arena was shaken by an enormous simultaneous roar from all ten huge cats.

Again Gabel-Williams picked up the mike and said, “Unbelievable! Earlier I said Andy and Ken were not acrobats. Well, obviously I was wrong. They are, and great ones! I want you all to know what you’re seeing. You’re seeing two young people who are incredibly in love with one another, and ten huge tigers who love them, too. That’s how they could do what they did.

“Now I want you to know why what you have seen can never be duplicated: Tigers don’t get along with one another, let alone with anything else. They are lone hunters and range over huge individual territories. Unlike lions, they never range in packs.

I have never known a tiger to like anyone or anything. But they adore these children. Because of them they have done things tonight - that running pyramid, for example - that after thirty years of working with big cats I never even dreamed of. Could we hear it for wonderful people and a wonderful show?”

The applause thundered around the arena. When it began to die, the cats were still in position. Again Andy picked up a mike and said, “Please thank them individually, while the tigers take their bows. I, for one, think they deserve it. First, at the top of the pyramid, is Prince.”

Looking up at him she said, “Darling, I love you! Now take your bow.” Again Prince did what he had done earlier in the cage: With his haunches still high he lowered his forebody and rested his chin on his paws.

“Then we have Rudy and Will,” Andy said quietly. “Rudy is on the left. And Rudy, I have forgiven you and still love you.” Before dropping his forepaws, Rudy gave a little roar of acknowledgment to the cheering of the crowd. When they were in position, Andy continued, “From left to right we have Fred, King and Charles. Aren’t they great?” Now only the bottom tier were standing upright.

Andy said, “People, please give a particular cheer to these guys.

Can you imagine running in step, at top speed, with about 3,600 pounds spread on your backs? That’s exactly what these wonders did for your amazement. Please give a huge cheer to, from left to right, James, Ferdie, Sasha and Lester! Guys, I love you all!”

This time the roof of the Forum shook at a level even beyond the Lakers winning the NBA Championship. The building rocked. When the cheering died down, the tigers began to dismount. When they were all back on the ground the band began to play exit music, but the tigers just sat upright, again back in their tight circle.

Then Andy cocked her head again, put her little hands on her hips and asked, “What is this, guys? Blackmail?” With a little grin she said, “Oh, okay!” Turning to Ken she said, “And this includes you, you know.”

With that they went over to the first tiger, Prince. All of the animals were again sitting up straight with their tails so neatly arranged over their forepaws. When the children reached the big cat he rolled over on his back with his legs in the air. After the two children climbed on his chest Ken wrapped his arms around his sweetheart and their lips merged in a torrid kiss. From beneath their bodies they could feel as much as hear the incredibly warm purring as the animal wrapped his huge forelegs carefully around the children. Breathlessly they eased apart and felt each other’s warmth along with the body of the cat. They were lying on the silky-smooth pure white belly fur of the animal and delighting in the sensation.

Ken and Andy grinned at each other, wriggled up on Prince’s body and kissed him on opposite cheeks. With apparent reluctance, he spread his paws to release the children who scrambled off him. Then Prince got to his feet and trotted off the arena floor towards the exit after first kissing the children’s hands. Then Ken and Andy repeated the process with every animal until the arena was clear. When they dismounted from Lester, the two children were reeling, as much from the power of their kisses as anything else.

Although the audience had been in the process of leaving, when they realized what was happening, most stopped and just watched the incredible display: The tigers refused to leave the ring until they had a chance to hug the two children while they were locked in passionate embrace. Moreover, they seemed actually to be kissing them back - before leaving each animal had put his mouth to the hand of each child.

When the last tiger left, Ken took Andy in his arms and kissed her again saying, “My darling Andy, I love you so much!” Andy’s eyes were just glowing with her love as she squeezed his hand. Then hand-in-hand they walked over to where Gabel-Williams and their parents were waiting.

“Was it any good? Did you like it?” Ken asked eagerly. Andy’s eyes were just wide as if she expected to hear the worst.

“Words fail me!” Gabel exclaimed. “Andy and Ken, as you know, I am retiring in just a few days. If I had an ounce of sense I would retire right now, tonight! What I have seen this evening is the high point of a career of over thirty years spent with the big cats. Nothing like this has ever been seen before nor will ever be seen again! Nothing! All I can do is thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the priceless experience of my lifetime.”

He vaulted the railing, dropped to his knees and took Andy in his arms. When he kissed her, the power of her kiss of the purest love almost knocked him down. He could feel the girl exquisitely working her warm lips on his and he just hugged her tighter.

When he finally released her he looked into her incredible green eyes and almost drowned in the incredible depth of warmth, love and purity that was flooding from the girl’s soul. “My God!” he breathed, “No wonder! Those animals recognize the power of God Himself come to earth!” Then he kissed Ken and received the same feeling. He was literally rocking from the shock.

Then he heard Andy quietly say, “May the good Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His light to shine upon you and keep you safe from harm until He welcomes you into His arms in Heaven. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and our divine Savior. Amen.”

Looking at her he began to cry. “This is unreal! You actually asked Almighty God to bless me? My darling, I’m just an animal trainer who’s very lucky still to be alive. Why me?”

“Because you’re a very fine man and I like you very much,” Andy replied simply. “But I didn’t mean to hurt you and I certainly didn’t want you to cry...”

Getting back on his feet, Gabel returned to where Ali and Bill had been silently watching and said, “You’re blessed to a degree beyond any family on the face of this earth! To have children like this is to be signally blessed by God Himself. Thank you.”

Then he shook his head and added, “I hope you noticed one thing: With thousands of people watching these two kiss, there was not a single snicker. They must marry! The power of their love would kill anyone else alive. I think what we are seeing is the mutually reinforcing power of God Himself concentrated in these two children. These kids verge on being divine, and they may, in fact, be. Thank you.”

Finally, Ali said, “Kids, you were absolutely marvelous. Now do you think you could get some clothes on? Good grief! You both have spent the whole night in just your underpants. And you, Andy, didn’t even have the decency to wear a bra!”

With the cutest grin Andy stuck out the tip of her tongue and said, “Kenny’s Mommy, I don’t have any tits yet and probably won’t for at least six more months! I think I’m still okay.” Ali returned the grin and also stuck out the tip of her tongue causing her granddaughter to laugh with glee.

When they were dressed and getting back in the car Ali asked Bill to ride backwards. “Darling,” she said, “I’m going to sit in the middle and have one of these urchins on each of my tits. My poor boobs are about to explode!”

Very casually Bill replied, “You should be happy, then. You have always complained about being small on top. Now...”

Ali just giggled and climbed in the car. She was in such a hurry that she was ripping off her blouse at the same time. Ken got in on the other side and lay across her lap with her left breast in his face, while Andy lay the opposite direction. “Oh, boy!” he exclaimed, “Mom, this is absolutely the greatest! I have a whole tit of my very own!”

In just a moment Ali felt what was, to her, the finest feeling in the world. While she held the two young heads she could feel them filling up with her milk and all of her love that was in it.

Chapter 23

It was almost eleven o’clock and Bobbie Conroy was in agony. Now she realized that she had made a disastrous mistake at dinner that night when with great glee she told Tom the story told about Connie and Chip Cartwright and his efforts to ensure that her body was well warmed up before entering her. Tom had just nodded at the story and grinned. Only now he had been doing it to her! Her body was writhing on the bed in unfulfilled passion and all Tom did was grin.

“Darling, what an incredibly wonderful idea this was!” he exclaimed, feigning seriousness but with his eyes gleaming with suppressed laughter. “I have been taking you for granted for so many months. Now I better appreciate the feminine perfection sharing my bed. Darling, you’re exquisite!”

Bobbie suddenly screamed as Tom’s rough fingers contacted her tit that was now so unbelievably sensitive to his touch. Continuing to look thoughtful he said, “Gosh, you’re really getting closer, Honey. Your nipples are almost firm enough already.”

Again Bobbie screamed uncontrollably. In fact, her nipples were as hard as little pebbles and were distended from her tits to a degree she had never experienced in her life before. When she suddenly jumped from the bed and headed for the door, Tom looked astonished and asked, “Where are you going?”

Stopping, she turned on her heel and put her fists on her hips. Tom thought he had never seen her look more beautiful than she did at that instant. Her body was golden perfection as she stood, as usual, with her shoulders back and her glorious breasts so proudly upthrust. “I’m going to get the knife I had on our honeymoon,” she replied in a flat tone of voice.

“What for?” Tom asked, puzzled.

“To cut off your cock so I can ram it in myself!” she exclaimed. Then she looked pensive and asked, “Tom, do I need to cut off your balls, too? I mean... Won’t I need them for the glorious spend to flood my insides at the end...” Smiling brightly she said, “Yeah, I guess I’ll have to cut them both off.” Turning on her heel again, she started to open the door.

“But honey!” Tom protested, “what will you do tomorrow? I mean...”

“Damn it, Thomas Gardiner Conroy, I don’t give a damn about tomorrow!” she screamed. “If I don’t do it, I won’t live till tomorrow!”

While they were having their exchange the phone had begun to ring. Normally, when they began their nightly lovemaking they ignored the phone and let the machine answer it. On the occasions when they forgot to activate it - as they had tonight–they just let it ring until the caller gave up.

Tonight it just continued to ring so Bobbie answered it. After saying hello she heard, “Bobbie, it’s Connie. I don’t give a damn what you and Tom are doing but, for God’s sake, turn on the tube and watch the Eleven O’clock News on Channel 4!” Before Bobbie could say a word she heard a click as the line went dead. She just looked at the receiver, shook her head and put it back on the hook.

“What was that?” Tom asked. “Some crank call?” He had noticed that the only word Bobbie had spoken was her initial hello.

“It was Connie Cartwright,” she replied thoughtfully as she retrieved the TV remote. “She said to watch the news tonight on Channel 4, regardless.” Activating the set, she climbed back on the bed. Tom had gathered up all the pillows and put them on the bottom of the bed so they could lie on their stomachs and watch.

When she lay down beside him, he put his arms around her and kissed her warmly saying, “Bobbie Conroy, you are my life, my darling. Can I apologize now?”

Before she could reply they both heard the headline news announcement that preceded the eleven o’clock commercial break and the news show itself. The anchorman, Jack Johnson, on camera, said, “Tonight’s news focuses on some incredible happenings today involving two small children and ten tigers, as well as some remarkable events at the courthouse. Please stay tuned!”

With the cut to commercial, Bobbie’s eyes widened and she exclaimed, “Oh my God! Tom, Ali and Bill were going to take Andy and Ken to the circus tonight! You don’t think...?” She began to weep but through her tears stammered, “If anything happened to those two angels...”

Tom held her close and whispered that he was sure everything was all right. He pointed out that Connie would have told her if anything bad had happened.

She was reassured somewhat when the news show came on and she saw that the anchorman seemed to be happy as he said, “In our top story the people attending the circus at the Forum tonight saw things never before seen by man in history. Two small children–first-graders, only six years old - performed with ten mature Bengal tigers. This footage is so incredible, I’ll just let it speak for itself.”

“It’s Andy!” Bobbie screamed as the first shot showed Andy coming out into the spotlight followed by Ken. She watched, thrilled, as the children bounded across the circus floor. Then they saw Andy introduce the giant Bengal tigers by name. Following were some quick scenes: Prince leaping fifty feet across the rolling tigers, then the end of the living pyramid, with Andy standing proudly on top of the tiger’s back. Bobbie gasped when Andy leaped and then watched as Kenny did his incredible backward somersault into the tub of water.

“Can you believe that?” the anchor said with the incredulity obvious in his voice. “Those children are only six years old!”

Then he said, “Fear? What for? Just watch this and see a terribly frightened little girl...”

The scene that followed was the point at which the tigers were running five abreast. The announcer continued, “Those tigers are bounding around the ring at nearly thirty miles an hour! And they are in a perfectly synchronized stride so their backs make an almost unbroken platform. Now watch...”

Tom and Bobbie laughed as they saw Andy take two steps and then flop across the tigers’ backs. The last shot in the scene was a tight close-up of Andy’s face. Her chin was on her hands and she had the most adorable grin as the tigers beneath her flew around the ring.

“Now,” the anchor asked as the camera cut to him, “isn’t that a picture of the most terrified little girl you have ever seen? I mean, after all, wouldn’t anyone be frightened to be on the backs of 3,000 pounds of Bengal tiger?”

The show cut to commercials and Bobbie said, “My God! What happened, do you suppose? But aren’t they cute?” She kissed Tom warmly and said, “Darling, I cannot tell a lie. I love those two little imps nearly as much as I love you. They are darling.”

Coming off the break, the anchor was on-camera again. “Was that all?” he asked rhetorically. “Oh, no! Now watch this:” They cut to the scene of the children feeding the tigers and the anchor continued, “Believe it not, these small children are feeding giant tigers, by hand! Good grief, these animals are so big and their teeth are so sharp they could easily bite off a whole arm! But watch! You see the tiger on the left of the picture start to move towards the other animal’s bowl. Now look!

There is that little girl with her hands on her hips bawling out the tiger! Does it work? Watch. What you are seeing has never been seen before: that tiger is covering his head with his forepaws. He’s ashamed! Look! The little girl lifts his paw off his head - a paw with claws so long, strong and sharp they could cut her in half, by the way - and kisses him! It appears that she is forgiving the animal! Have you ever?”

The anchor continued: “We never have nor have any of the experts we were able to reach before we went on the air tonight. In fact, we couldn’t do as much as we would have liked because it was so hard to get the experts to believe we weren’t drunk, insane, or fools.

“The universal reaction from the experts was that this is utterly impossible. They unanimously confirmed what Gunther Gabel-Williams said at the Forum tonight: The Bengal tiger is the most feared animal on the face of the earth. Moreover, the tiger does not like anybody or anything - particularly including other Bengal tigers! In their natural habitat they roam - alone–hunting prey over large stretches of land that is theirs. Yet here we see ten full-grown male tigers, all in their prime, moving together with a level of coordination that is truly unbelievable.

“But there’s more. When we go to the circus and watch the wild-animal trainer, what is the impression we get? Why are we there?” On camera the anchorman, Jack Johnson, continued, “Deep down inside we are wondering if the animal is going to perform... or attack his trainer. The impression this reporter carries in his memory is seeing a big cat glaring balefully at his trainer and then - usually - performing, but with great reluctance. It’s being coerced.

“Now watch this! This is near the end of the show.” The tape rolled and showed the tigers in their moving pyramid starting to run faster and faster around the ring. The anchor said, “This is an all-time first. What you are seeing, in the opinion of every single expert we consulted, is absolutely impossible! There are ten tigers, with the four on the bottom carrying 3,600 pounds of tiger on their backs running at nearly full speed. That means each tiger is running while carrying a 900-pound load - about 50 percent greater than his own weight!

“Now look at those animals! Do they look baleful? Do they look reluctant? No! They look happy, excited, and proud. Now catch this! Can you believe it?” The shot was at the end with Andy in Ken’s arms with their bodies melted together in a passionate embrace. The camera showed Prince turning his huge head to look up at the children on his back and smiling. “Those children are kissing and the tiger they’re standing on is smiling! I know tigers can’t smile, but that is what this cat is doing.”

Then they cut to the end of the show with the tigers in their pyramid. Andy and Ken, arms around each other’s waist, were waving their free arms to the crowd. “Have you ever seen such an incredible display?” the anchor asked. “Such incredible self-assurance? Now watch, but please remember that these children are only six years old with no training in gymnastics or acrobatics at all. Incidentally, the tape you’re about to see has been reviewed by a couple of gymnastics experts, but more on that in a moment. Watch!”

The tape rolled with their last quick kiss and even showed Ken patting Andy’s bottom. Bobbie gasped as she saw Andy’s jump to the trampoline, the aerial movements and the perfect landing, then stayed on her so they could see Ken land exactly by her side without her moving an inch from where she had first landed. “Folks,” the anchor continued, “those movements were graded as perfect tens if this were an Olympic competition. The moves were utterly perfect!”

The anchor reappeared on camera and said, “This last scene was greeted with derision by the experts to whom we described it.” Johnson grinned and interjected, “Boy, are we ever going to have fun when we make them watch the tape and eat their words.” Continuing he said, “We described tigers lying on their backs with their paws in the air. ‘Utterly impossible,’ the experts said. ‘It is a position of total exposure and submission. No tiger could or would ever be in such a position, least of all voluntarily.’ Well, we’ll see. This tape was the very end. In fact, the show was over and each of the cats had taken his bow. But they refused to leave the arena floor! Just watch!”

“Oh, Tom!” Bobbie exclaimed, “this is so beautiful! Can you believe it?” They watched as the children climbed on the belly of a tiger, embraced, and were then wrapped together in the tiger’s own embrace. They watched the children kiss the tiger, saw him kiss each child’s hand and then happily trot off the floor.

The announcer was silent as the tape rolled. When the segment concluded, he was on-camera again shaking his head. “Can you believe it? What you have seen are two small children, madly and passionately in love with each other, who are loved, in turn, by Bengal tigers! Tigers who so much want to share the love these two have for each other that they want the children to embrace while lying on the animal’s chest! Then to seal this love the animal uses his enormous forelegs to embrace the children!”

Looking at the camera the anchor said, “What you have just seen was repeated ten times! The children had to do the same thing on each of the animals. Did you see the tiger actually kiss the children? He did. But finally - and in stark contrast to the baleful behavior I’m used to - did you see how happy the animal looked as he trotted out? Did you?” The anchor shook his head and said, “But there is so much more! We’ll be back right after this break.”

“Darling, can you believe it?” Bobbie asked Tom as she faced him and snuggled in his arms. “Can you?” Then she grinned and said, “Tom Conroy, if you really loved me, you would take me on the chest of a tiger. Will you?” Her grin was the cutest thing Tom had ever seen as she added, “It’s really such a small thing to ask, after all.”

“Uh uh, no way!” Tom replied with a little grin. “Did you see those animals? Do you want to create jealousy? Hell, we would have to do it on each of them and who do you think I am, anyway? Superman? Ten times? Impossible!”

Pretending to cry Bobbie sobbed, “But Tom, I thought you loved me?” Then gently cradling his heavy balls in both of her hands she said, “And you really are pretty well... loaded.”

When they broke the subsequent passionate embrace, Johnson reappeared, this time with a female reporter, Joyce Collier, beside him. Turning to her he said, “Joyce, I understand that your investigation turned... interesting.”

The camera went in close on Collier and she said, “Jack, it certainly did! This has been the most incredible story I have ever worked on. The more we dug, the bigger and more amazing it became. Let me start at the beginning. First of all, those two children are Andrea Cartwright and Kenneth Clifford. They are truly beautiful children, too. The story isn’t ordinary, but the children are like the kids next door, right? Wrong!

“Jack, it turns out that Ken is the son of William Harrison Clifford and Allison McGrath Clifford. ‘So what?’ you ask. So they are just your normal garden-variety billionaires! That’s with a B! No one knows for sure, but their net worth is somewhere north of ten billion dollars! And some people we talked to think it’s substantially north! They may be the richest people on earth and that little boy is their son! Here’s a picture we caught of them at the circus tonight sitting with Gabel-Williams whose big cats the children were playing with.”

The scene was at the very end of the night and showed the children joyously embracing Ali and then Bill. It showed Ali’s beauty perfectly. “Is that all?” Collier continued. “Oh, no! Not nearly. Now we come to the little girl. It seems she is the daughter of Charles and Constance Cartwright. Who are the Cartwrights? Well, they’re poor.” The woman grinned and added, “Comparatively poor, anyway. We haven’t found anyone who thinks their net worth is much greater than two billion dollars! But there is hope,” she added with a grin. “You see, Connie Cartwright is also the adopted daughter of Bill and Ali Clifford so they might inherit some real money someday.”

The camera pulled back to a two-shot. Joyce Collier looked at Johnson and asked, “Jack, can you believe it? Those beautiful little children playing with their little cats are from two of the richest families on the face of this earth!” When she swung to face the camera it came in tight on her again.

She grinned and said, “But it gets better and better! You see, there is a case being tried in Los Angeles Superior Court right now. Those two kids are among ten students in the school that is under attack by the state Department of Instruction. Ann Henry was at the courthouse this afternoon and has more on that story. Ann?”

The camera cut to a pretty brown-eyed brunette. “Thanks, Joyce. Although I missed the spectacular show at the Forum tonight, I saw one of my own at the courthouse this afternoon.”

The camera came in tight on the girl as she continued, “This afternoon I was given a comprehensive education in our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, the relationship of our Revolution to the French Revolution of 1789, and the meaning of our flag! The educators were ten children, all six years old. I have never had such a moving experience in mylife!

“I saw a beautiful young girl bring tears to the eyes of every single person in that courtroom as, after proudly holding our flag while her classmates recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Star Spangled Banner, she told the court of the flag’s meaning to her. Incidentally, it was the most heartfelt recitation and singing I have ever experienced.

“But this little girl, Cynthia Cartwright, described how her father was held prisoner by the North Vietnamese and tortured continuously for fourteen years to make him renounce our flag. She told how her mother, as a very young girl, was forced to watch as the man she had come to love was tortured day after day after day for three years in her presence. How, when her father was moved to a prison in Hanoi, her mother made her way naked through the jungles of Southeast Asia and swam ten miles to reach Hong Kong. Her destination was America, because any country that could inspire a man to endure what that man suffered had to be a wonderful place.

“The little girl described how her parents were reunited and were married almost immediately.” Tears were in the reporters eyes as she continued, “I saw a tall man hold this little girl tightly and tell her how she had just made fourteen years of suffering worthwhile.”

The camera pulled back to include Joyce Collier in the picture as Ann Henry continued, “Joyce, I saw the most beautiful couple together I have ever seen with love flowing among them so strongly you could almost see it. Joyce, that man is Bill Cartwright who was awarded the Medal of Honor, our country’s highest award for valor in combat. He is also the brother of Chip Cartwright, Andrea’s father. Cindy Cartwright and Andy are cousins - and in the same class.”

The girl grinned and added, “And it is a small world, too. You see, her mother, Kathy, is also an adopted daughter of Bill and Ali Clifford. Like his brother, Chip, Bill is struggling along with only about $2 billion of his own.”

The camera came in tight on Ann Henry again as she continued, “But there is more: I said earlier that I had an emotional experience. Possibly as moving as Cindy Cartwright was a beautiful black girl, Casey Jackson. I listened to that little girl quoting Benjamin Franklin at the Continental Congress defending the failure to condemn slavery in the Declaration of Independence. She quoted Franklin talking with John Adams, telling him that they - the members of the Congress - were men, after all, not gods. That the document was not perfect but it was a start. That their task was to create a new nation, something that had never been done in all of history.”

Looking directly into the camera she said, “That little girl, whose own ancestors were slaves, told us all how our country has grown and developed and improved. She also referred to something Cindy Cartwright had said earlier. She referred to William Bradford on the Mayflower writing about their new settlement as the City on the Hill, a beacon shining out to the whole world to proclaim freedom!”

The camera pulled back again to include Collier as Henry continued, “Joyce, it was utterly unbelievable! Those small children - none over six years old - have the most incredible knowledge I have ever encountered. Incidentally, Casey Jackson is a very interesting person, too. Her grandfather, John Smith, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers. Her grandmother, Mary Smith, is the richest woman in Chicago. Her father, Ron, is the perennial All-Pro safety for the Bears and a shoo-in to make the Hall of Fame himself. Her mother, April, is now executive vice-president of a bank that - guess what? - the Cliffords recently bought here in Los Angeles.

“It also turns out that the parents of these ten children have no less than four Medals of Honor among them. Remember, please, that it is the highest award for valor our nation can bestow! Four medals and ten children. Just imagine!

“Oh, one more thing: Where is this school, you wonder?” With a grin she answered her question, “On the premises of Clifford & Jamison, attorneys at law. It is perhaps the only major all-female law firm in the state and possibly in the whole country. Managing partner?” she asked. “Who else? Allison Clifford!” The camera pulled back again and she commented, “It is a very small world, isn’t it?”

With the camera back tight on Ann Henry she continued, “But now we get to the question of who runs the school. That is fascinating, too. You see, the woman who teaches that school, the woman who has instilled a level of knowledge and understanding in these children that boggles the mind, is Barbara Conroy.

“Who, you might ask, is Barbara Conroy? Well, she is nineteen years old and the most incredibly beautiful blue-eyed blonde I have ever seen in my life, with a body any man alive would kill for. However, she is also loved... No...! worshiped by these children. She is their inspiration, motivation, and I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that the love of the students for their teacher and her love for each of them was a marvel to behold. But back to Barbara Conroy.

“We’re still assembling details, but this is what we have so far: First, her name is Barbara Bradley Conroy. So what? So she is the daughter of Evangeline and Edgar Bradley whose net worth rivals the Cliffords! Actually,” she said with a broad grin, “Some of the people we talked to didn’t think the Bradleys have even reached ten billion yet, but all agreed their money was growing and growing very fast.

“Her brother, Ken, is the perennial All-Pro wide receiver for the Bears and another shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. Her sister, Cathy, Ken’s wife, was the woman featured on Bob Costas’ famous Super Bowl show the year the Bears utterly destroyed our Raiders.

She starred in the Pro Bowl that year and was its MVP as well, while becoming the first woman ever to play professional football. Then we have her other sister, Kris Bradley, the singer.”

The camera pulled back to the two women and Ann said, “Joyce, can you believe this? The interrelationships among a handful of the most extraordinary people in this country?”

The camera pulled back further to include Jack Johnson who shook his head. Then the camera came in close on Johnson who concluded, “Folks, that’s about all we have for now. But I have to agree with what Ann Henry just said: We have witnessed some incredible behavior from some truly incredible people... And the show continues tomorrow morning at the courthouse! Now stay tuned for the sports and weather following these messages.”

Bobbie reached out and used the remote to silence the set. Snuggling closer in Tom’s arms she wondered, “I guess the shit is really going to hit the fan tomorrow, isn’t it?”

Tom just shook his head and said that he was going to go down to the courtroom later in the morning himself. Then with a frown he added, “Oh, hell! Now I have to start all over to get you warmed up. And I was really getting close, too...” He was startled as Bobbie slipped out of his arms and headed for the door. “Where are you going now?” he asked.

“To get that damned knife, you fool!” she exclaimed.

“Oh, hell!” Tom said dryly, “I guess I’ll just have to take you while you’re dry. I mean, it is getting late...”

With a yelp, Bobbie dove from her position near the door all the way to the bed. In an almost continuous motion she rolled on her back, spread her legs wide and said in a deep, sexy voice, “Well...?”

Chapter 24

As Bobbie made her way through the corridors of the courthouse, it felt wonderful to have Andy on her right and Kenny on her left, both holding her hand tightly. The thought of these two incredibly brave and resourceful children holding on for protection was amusing. Knowing them, though, Bobbie was certain they were doing it because they knew that she liked it and it made her feel good to hold their hands.

Finding the door to Judge Callaway’s chambers, before knocking she dropped to her knees and hugged the two children closely. “I love you two so very, very much,” she whispered.

Without saying a word, Kenny wrapped his arms around her neck tightly and began to kiss her. She could feel his warm lips moving on hers and felt again the tremendous power of his love. Easing aside, he made room for Andy who did the same thing. Finally, while still encircled by Bobbie’s arms, Ken took Andy in his arms and kissed her. Bobbie just slowly shook her head as she saw the same love, but now coupled with an extraordinary level of passion, flow between them.

Finally easing out of their embrace, Andy looked at Bobbie with her brilliant green eyes shining and said, “Bobbie, there are no words to describe the way Kenny and I feel about you. The best I can do is to say we utterly adore you, but even that isn’t very close. Do you believe me?”

“Yes, my darling,” Bobbie replied. “But you two make me feel so humble! I can’t be worthy of the love you feel for me, but God, I love the feeling!”

“Bobbie, you’re so incredibly good,” Ken interjected, “you have no clue how good you really are! It’s a stinking shame,really.”

Bobbie just shook her head, got to her feet and knocked on the door. Hearing a response from within, she opened the door and stuck her head in. John Callaway was sitting on his sofa with a vibrantly beautiful young woman sitting beside him.

Seeing Bobbie, he jumped to his feet and rushed over to greet her. “Bobbie, I’m delighted!” he exclaimed. Then he saw Kenny and Andy hand-in-hand diffidently entering the office. Taking them over to the sofa he said, “Kelly, it’s my great pleasure to introduce Andrea Cartwright. Andy, this is my love, Kelly Callaway.”

Kelly was stunned at the incredible beauty of the little girl standing before her. Today Andy was wearing a lovely white blouse with a green pinafore in emerald green that exactly matched her eyes. She made a beautiful and graceful curtsy, extended her hand and beamed saying, “Mrs. Callaway, it is a real honor and privilege to meet you.”

Kelly took the little girl’s hand and was amazed at the strength Andy had in the grip of her small hand. Then she reached out, pulled Andy close and kissed her.

Coming on the heels of nightlong lovemaking with John, the incredible power of Andy’s kiss was more than the woman could take. She felt an unbelievable flow of the purest love through her body and then it was as if her circuit breakers overloaded and all tripped at once. The next thing she knew Andy was kneeling on the sofa beside her with her arms around her neck crying. Kelly opened her eyes, shook her head to clear it and then asked dizzily, “What happened?”

“Andy Cartwright happened, darling,” Callaway replied. “I warned you about the power of her kisses, but I guess our vocabulary is inadequate. I said her kisses were powerful, but I guess there’s powerful, and powerful, and *powerful!* Isn’t she something?”

“She is utterly unbelievable!”

Andy had stopped crying when Kelly revived. Now kneeling on the sofa beside the seated woman, Andy held Kelly’s head between her hands and turned it so they were face to face. Then, without a word, she stared into the woman’s eyes.

Kelly stared back and was initially frightened by what she was seeing. She was looking deep into the most incredible depths of purity, love and goodness. It was as if she was seeing the purity of the child’s soul. She remembered hearing the phrase, “drowning in a person’s eyes.” For the first time in her life she understood what the phrase really meant.

Finally, Andy pulled back and her eyes lost their staring look. The little girl looked so happy as she said, “I’m so happy for you, Kelly... Oh dear!” the little girl exclaimed. “I’m so sorry!”

“For what?” Kelly replied, genuinely surprised and startled.

Andy shook her head sadly but then brightened and said, “Bobbie will give me my spanking before we go into court so I guess it will be all right. Please accept my most sincere apologies, Mrs. Callaway.”

All Kelly could do was to shake her head in utter bewilderment. She had no idea what this beautiful little girl was talking about. Recognizing the problem, Andy explained, “I called you by your Christian name, Mrs. Callaway. For a small child to call an adult - a widow and the mother of two beautiful children - by her Christian name is utterly unforgivable. I promise never to do it again!”

“I told you, darling,” John Callaway explained. “These people live by a set of standards that are truly unbelievable. If we can’t talk her out of it, before we go into the courtroom this morning you’re going to see this adorable little girl take down her pants - very pretty, feminine ones, too, I’ll bet - go up to Bobbie and ask her please to give her ten spanks, very hard. Then she will pull up her skirt to bare her lovely little bottom, lay over Bobbie’s leg and wait.

“When she has received ten hard spanks without making a sound–and believe me, Bobbie is very strong - she will climb down, kiss the hand that Bobbie spanked her with, express the wish that Bobbie didn’t hurt it on her firm bottom, and then thank her for helping her to be a better little girl. There will be tears rolling down her little cheeks, but she will climb up and kiss away the tears flowing from Bobbie’s eyes. Then Bobbie will hug her, kiss her, tell her that she loves her and express the hope that she never has to do it again - it hurts her too much.” Turning to Bobbie he asked, “Right?”

With a very warm smile Bobbie shook her head and said, “Judge, you’re a very perceptive man. You have our little script down perfectly.” Then looking warmly at Andy she added, “And you can’t believe how painful it is to spank a little angel!”

Kelly looked into Andy’s eyes and said, “Darling, I am going to ask for a very big favor. Please? The young woman who saved the life of the man I love - who, with God’s intercession, eliminated a lethal malignant brain tumor - can call me absolutely anything she wants. Anything! But I would be overjoyed and filled with pride if I could believe that the young woman likes me enough to be my friend and call me Kelly. You see, Andy, I owe you my sanity if not my very life itself. Could you, please? Could you bring yourself to call me Kelly?”

Andy was bewildered and looked at Bobbie for guidance. “Darling Andy, you heard Mrs. Callaway. She very much wants to be your friend and friends do call one another by their first names. Honey, I’ll speak to your mother, but I’m sure it will be all right. And honey, I really can’t spank you today. I just can’t!

Please?”

Andy wheeled around again and beamed at Kelly. “Oh, Kelly, I’m so happy! You make me feel so... so adult. It’s so great!”

Kelly was looking at her and slowly shaking her head. Then she said, “Now, darling Andy, you were starting to say something when you interrupted yourself. What was it?”

“Last night was so great for you, wasn’t it? Such utterly spectacular lovemaking!” And shaking her head slowly she added, “And your body! The judge played it like the keys on a piano, didn’t he? And enter you? Were you pleased that you had the last of your virginity to give to him? I’ll bet you were. Kelly, I’m so happy for you!” Then the girl’s expression changed and she said, “But you’re not going to thank me in the end, though!”

Now it was Kelly’s turn to be puzzled. “What does that mean?”

“It means that Jack was looking down on you two from Heaven last night! You made him so utterly, exquisitely happy! You can’t believe how miserable you have made him, seeing you suffer so much night after night after night. Darling Kelly, Jack shared your torments. He desperately wanted to communicate with you, but couldn’t.”

Kelly’s eyes had widened in amazement. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Then she asked, “But what does that have to do with not thanking you in the end? I don’t understand.”

“It’s simple, Kelly,” Andy replied with her eyes wide but full of suppressed laughter. “You’re going to spend eternity between Jack and John. When one finishes the other will take you, and it will just go on and on and on.” Shaking her head in feigned sadness she added, “Your cunt is going to be terribly sore! And eternity is a very long time.”

Kelly appeared thoughtful but then brightened. “I know! I can be the meat in a sandwich. I find I adore being taken in my rear, so...”

She grabbed Andy in her arms and hugged her while the girl and the woman laughed merrily at the joke. Then she pulled Andy away and pretended to glare, “But you’re only six years old! You’re not supposed to know about things like that!”

Ignoring the comment, Andy asked, “What did Kirsten and Jamie say when they found you in their grandfather’s bed this morning? I’ll bet they were happy!”

“Jack,” Kelly asked, “is there anything this little girl doesn’t know? Anything at all?”

“If there is, it can’t be too important,” he replied. Then to Andy he said, “The answer to your question was that they were delighted. I had just taken Kelly again and we were lying naked on the bed with our bodies still slick with sweat. My hand was cupping her gorgeous tit when the two girls came in. At first they were frightened because they had gone to Kelly’s room and found the bed hadn’t been slept in. When they asked Kelly how she felt, this sexy little witch stroked her slit a couple of times and replied, ‘Marvelous!’ Now, young Miss Nosy, does that answer your question? Or do you need a blow-by-blow account?”

“Oh, Judge!” Andy exclaimed feigning exasperation, “of course not! Kelly can give me a blow-by-blow account any time in the next day or two. Besides, we don’t really have the time now for her to give me all the lovely juicy details!”

Everyone howled with laughter at Andy’s reply. Then Kelly asked, “Jack, how old is Andy, anyway? Six going on sixty?”

Then Ken, who had been sitting quietly asked, “Is it my turn yet?”

When Kelly looked at him, Andy moved away and Ken stood before her, bowed and said, “Good morning, Mrs. Callaway. My name is Kenneth Clifford and I am truly delighted to make your acquaintance!” When Kelly lifted him up beside her and kissed him, even though he tried to reduce the power of his kiss, it was still too much for her and knocked her out again.

When she revived, Jack was shaking his head in amusement and said, “Darling, you’re doing at least one thing right. When you kiss these kids you’re sitting down so at least you don’t fall on the floor and hurt yourself. And you know what? I am absolutely certain that Kenny tried hard to reduce the intensity of his kiss. You did, didn’t you, Ken?”

“Yes sir, I certainly did. But not enough, obviously. Mrs. Callaway, I apologize. I certainly hope I didn’t hurt you in any way. Will you forgive me?”

“No!” Kelly replied flatly. “I will not!” She saw the look of hurt in the boy’s eyes and could see tears in their corners. Then with her warmest smile she added, “I won’t until you call me Kelly! And keep calling me Kelly.” Looking at him with love in her eyes she said, “Can we please avoid a repeat of all that garbage I just went through with Andy? Please?”

“Kelly Callaway, I love you very much,” Kenny said. Then he asked, “May I look into your eyes, too?”

When he did she felt a repeat of the sensation she experienced with Andy. The only difference was that this time the eyes were as blue as the Pacific Ocean. When he stopped staring he beamed and looked ecstatically happy. “Kelly, I am so happy and pleased for you both! You are going to have such a marvelously happy and long life together. And Kelly, with all that you have suffered since Jack’s death, it couldn’t happen to a finer person.”

Glancing at the clock Jack found it was five minutes before ten. Now he was sitting on the sofa with his arm around Kelly and asked, “Darling, now we come to the important question. It’s why I wanted them to come in this morning and wanted you to be here, too. Darling, what can we do for two little imps who, in less than twenty-four hours, literally saved my life and created the indescribable level of happiness I found in your arms. What can we do?”

Looking at the children Kelly’s eyes were wide as she said, “Jack, it’s simple, really. What do you children want? My right arm? A tit? Both of them? A steak cut from my bottom? It’s pretty trim, by the way, with very little fat. What would you like?”

Then tears appeared in her eyes as she continued, “The truth is, darlings, we will give you anything or do anything for you that is within our power to do. Do you understand? Absolutely anything! Now what would you like?”

The two children looked at each other. Andy nodded and Ken said, “You have already done enough. Andy and I see the joy you two share and the love you feel for each other. That’s enough and more than enough. You can’t know how wonderful we both feel to have been able, in a very small way, to help you. Thank you for providing the opportunity.” Andy just nodded vigorously in complete agreement. “However, there is just one small thing...” Ken added.

“What is it? Anything!” Kelly replied.

Looking at Callaway Ken asked bashfully, “Sir, could we watch you kiss... Kelly? Please? Could you?” Dropping on the sofa the judge pulled the girl to him and began to work his lips on hers. Kelly’s love for him and her instantly-aroused passion were so obvious.

When they finally parted, both were breathless. When Callaway’s breathing had returned to normal he said, “That reminds me! I have a bone to pick with you two imps!” The children instantly looked upset and asked what they had done. “You caused me to be burned on my thigh! Badly burned, too. I’ll bet the burns are at least second-degree.”

Andy saw the gleam of suppressed laughter in the judge’s eyes so she was no longer upset, but she played the game. “How did we cause you to get second-degree burns, sir?”

“Andy Cartwright, have you ever heard a woman referred to as a hot cunt?”

To his surprise Andy vigorously nodded her head and said, “Of course! It’s the way Dad refers to Mommy all the time.” Then with the cutest little smile she added, “I tell Ken about it, too. Just because I’m a platinum blonde doesn’t mean I can’t be passionate. My hair is the same color as Mom’s and she sure has a hot cunt.” Then she grinned again and added, “But yes, sir. I have heard the term.”

“Well,” Callaway continued, “I have heard the term, too, but until last night I never knew exactly what it meant. You see, between rounds of lovemaking we would fall asleep. Kelly always slept with my thigh in her crotch. The pain from the fire in her cunt always woke me up and then we would go at it again. But this morning I have burns all over my thigh. Now what are you going to do about that?”

“That’s easy,” Andy replied. “But it’s not us, it’s you. The only thing that can keep that fire under control is an awful lot of warm cum flooding Kelly’s love box. Ideally, it should be stuffed full all the time. It’s even good for making her constantly wet and slippery to take you inside. Now what’s the problem?”

Suddenly, Kelly dissolved in tears. Spinning on the sofa she hurled herself into Jack’s arms and cried inconsolably. Like most men, Callaway was useless in the presence of a woman’s tears. Bobbie jumped from her chair and sat on the sofa next to Kelly. Using her strength she pulled the woman away from Jack and pulled her to herself. Placing Kelly’s head on her shoulder, she gently stroked the woman’s shoulders while she crooned in her ear.

Callaway was utterly amazed to see Bobbie literally wiping away the stress from Kelly’s body. He could see her slowly relax, kiss Bobbie’s neck and then lift her head. When she did, Bobbie was about to kiss her when Kelly recoiled and said, “You stay away from me, Barbara Conroy! I’ve been unconscious twice already in the last thirty minutes. And Jack warned me that the power of your kisses is at least twice as great as the two kids! Now that I’ve experienced their power I know damned well that your kiss would literally kill me!”

“No, it won’t,” Bobbie replied casually. “You heard Kenny: You two are going to have a long and happy life together. You’ll survive.” With that she brought the woman’s mouth to hers.

For Kelly, it was almost unbelievable. Although she was resisting, she found that Bobbie was so strong that she just felt her lips on hers. The kiss was the most unbelievable thing she had ever experienced. Obviously, Bobbie was controlling her own power. But at the same time she felt the most incredible depth of the purest love she could ever imagine. Then as the kiss continued, she could feel her body filled with the purest joy!

She felt ecstatic as Bobbie relaxed and let her draw away. “I think that will hold you until you get Jack in your bed tonight,” Bobbie said softly. “Then you’ll feel the same joy but coupled with the ecstasy of your cuming together. The feel of his glorious cum pulsating into your throbbing vagina! Oh, Kelly, I’m so happy for you!”

Kelly slumped back against the sofa and let her head loll to the side. “I’m sorry, Jack,” she said weakly. “I give up! I have just had the most incredible experience of my life! Can you believe it? This woman just filled my body with the purest joy. She honest-to-God did! But how?”

“By being one of the most extraordinary people alive in the world today,” he replied with a grin. Then extending his hands to help her up he said, “Come on! We have to get this show on theroad!”

As Bobbie, accompanied by the children, left the office, she was surprised to learn that Kelly was coming, too. The woman said that, since she was desperately in love with him, it was only appropriate for her to find out what he did for a living. When she asked where the two girls were, Kelly replied that they were spending the day with a neighbor.

“It was really funny this morning,” Kelly said with a grin. “When I went over to ask Doris if she could look after the girls, she just looked me over carefully. Then she shook her head and said with a wonderful gleam in her eyes, ‘Kelly, you’ve been a bad girl!’ She shook her head and continued, “Bobbie, I don’t know what’s come over me, either. Before today, if anyone had said what Doris did I would have turned as red as a beet and gone to hide in the corner.”

“What did you do today?” Bobbie asked.

With a wonderfully lascivious smile Kelly replied, “I told her, ‘On the contrary! I have never been so good in my life. Jack never had it as good as John did last night!’ Wasn’t that an awful thing to say?”

“Why was it awful?” Bobbie asked blandly. “It was true, wasn’t it?”

Kelly laughed gleefully and followed them into the courtroom.

Chapter 25

Bobbie and the two children were sitting at the same table when the bailiff called for them all to rise promptly on the stroke of ten. John Callaway emerged from his chambers and went to the bench, but did not take his seat. Instead he made an announcement: “Last night there was quite an exchange of phone calls among my colleagues of the judiciary, including a rather elaborate conference call. The result of all this discussion has been a decision that, effective immediately, we are going to begin our court sessions in a slightly different manner than we have done in the past.

“All sessions of the Superior Court of the State of California will now open with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.”

Coming down from the bench Callaway walked in front of it and looked out over the crowd. As he expected, while Bobbie, Andy and Ken were together at the table, the rest of the children were standing in a row immediately behind them. He said, “I would now like to request Miss Susan Carlson, Miss Cynthia Cartwright, and Master Michael Morris, Junior, to please come forward!”

Looking apprehensive the three came forward and stood in front of the judge. As he fully expected, the two girls were exquisitely dressed, and Mike looked extremely handsome. He suppressed a smile when he noticed that Sue Carlson’s hand was being held tightly by Mike.

Addressing the spectators Callaway said, “We are very fortunate today to have with us three children with rather extraordinary parents. Those of you who were here yesterday know all about it, but for the benefit of the newcomers, I would like to introduce these young people to you.”

He asked them to face the audience and he introduced each by name. Then he said, “Why did I invite these three children up here this morning? Because, you see, the fathers of each of these children has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in combat our country can bestow. In the case of Susan Carlson, her father, Kenneth, has been awarded two!

“I think it only appropriate, therefore, to ask these children to lead us in the recitation of the Pledge to the flag their fathers fought for so bravely and so well. Following the recitation, I am going to ask all of Mrs. Conroy’s students to come up here and join in singing our National Anthem. While this is not an ordinary part of our new procedure - most of us can’t sing - I know that these children can sing, and they sing beautifully.” Looking down from the bench he asked, “Kids, are you ready?”

Tears came to the corners of his eyes as he watched the small children wheel to face the flag in the corner of the court and, standing at strict attention, place their hands over their hearts. Then in unison in voices that carried to the farthest corner they began, “I pledge allegiance to the flag...” To his pleasure, Callaway could hear the voices of what sounded to be everyone in the room pick up, “...of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Then the remaining students joined with Bobbie standing behind them. They began, “O say can you see...” Callaway was amazed again at the incredible beauty of their singing and the fervor they put into the words. Many of the spectators joined in, although not nearly as many as had recited. Finishing the first verse the children swung immediately into the fourth. Now they were the only ones singing - no one else knew the words.

When they finished he said, “Could I have a round of applause for a beautiful, heartfelt recitation and lovely singing. Most impressive to me personally, though, is the sense that, to these children, neither the Pledge nor The National Anthem are merely words. They are words that these children know and believe in. Would that there were more of us that did!” The spectators cheered as, blushing, the children returned to their places and sat down.

After returning to the bench and calling the court to order he asked if there were any last comments before he announced his decision. Roberta Kramer rose from her seat and said that the State would like to call one witness: Barbara Conroy. Callaway was surprised at the move, but agreed.

Bobbie was surprised as well but rose from her seat, was sworn and took her seat in the witness box. After stating her name to the clerk, she waited attentively for the first question. Now sitting on the raised platform, she had a good view of the courtroom for the first time. She noted that, first, every seat was taken, and second, the back of the room and side aisles were thronged with what appeared to be news reporters and other media people.

Kramer began her questioning with a series regarding the business practices of the little school, including paying bills and writing checks. Bobbie had no idea where she was going or what point Kramer was trying to make, but she answered the questions. She said that to the extent there were any business matters, she took care of them personally.

Hearing the answer she was waiting for, Kramer pounced. “Mrs. Conroy, do you know you are guilty of criminal behavior? You are, you know. And did you also know criminals cannot teach? They cannot! Mrs. Conroy, I am delighted to tell you that you’re through and the school is closed. That’s the end of it!”

Seething with scarcely-suppressed rage Bobbie asked as calmly as she could, “Would you kindly explain how you came to that remarkable conclusion?”

“You failed to pay withholding taxes on your salary, Mrs. Conroy!

You did not pay the school’s portion of the taxes, either. Mrs. Conroy, that is criminal behavior! You’re finished!” Kramer triumphantly returned to her table and sat down.

At that point Sandy Benson jumped to her feet and came forward. Bobbie was still sitting in the witness chair at a total loss with respect to what to do next.

Standing before the judge Sandy said, “Your honor, the state has accused Barbara Conroy of criminal conduct. Under the circumstances, it appears that she needs professional representation and I would like to appear on her behalf, if I may?”

“Miss Harris,” Callaway said using Sandy’s professional name, “I think that would be a fine idea. And from personal knowledge I can only say that you are the finest, most highly-qualified lawyer in the state of California to do it.”

“Thank you, Your Honor, for your very kind words,” Sandyreplied.

Then to Bobbie she asked, “Bobbie, may I be your lawyer? Please?” Bobbie was so upset all she could do was to nod vigorously. “I have some questions of the witness on cross-examination, Your Honor,” Sandy continued. Callaway just nodded.

“Bobbie, how much are you paid as the teacher of these children?” she asked softly.

“I am the highest-paid teacher alive in the world today, Sandy,” Bobbie replied, proudly sitting up straight in her chair. “No one receives more than I do!”

“What is your compensation?” Sandy asked softly, yet in a voice that carried to the corners of the room.

“I have ten of the best, the most wonderful students in the world. Every morning, when I enter the classroom I see children who are alert, intelligent, totally prepared and so eager to learn, it causes my heart to flip! I have a group of students who individually and collectively I adore! I have students who like me...”

Looking the expressions of utter shock on the faces of the children she shook her head and changed it, “Who love me!”

Looking at Sandy she continued, “You were here yesterday, Sandy. What is it worth to hear Casey Jackson citing Benjamin Franklin in the Continental Congress in 1776? (And doing so perfectly, I might add.) What is it worth to hear Susan Carlson brilliantly compare our founding with the French Revolution? Sandy, it is priceless! It is utterly priceless! I am the highest-paid teacher in the world,” she repeated proudly.

“How much are you paid in money?” Sandy asked quietly.

“Money? What money? What on earth would I want money for?” She looked at Sandy and shook her head. “Sandy, you know me better than that. As a matter of fact, I have a bone to pick with Aunt Ali!”

Looking at Sandy she grinned and added, “Would you believe it? I got a call from my mother last night and it seems that she and Dad worked out some dumb merger deal or other with Bill and Ali. Anyway, somehow Ali is now my mother’s sister and Bill is now my father’s brother, so now she’s my aunt and he’s my uncle.” Then she grinned and added, “Isn’t that neat? I think that might make Andy and Ken my nephew and niece, but I’m not really sure.

“Anyway, the reason I’m teed off at Aunt Ali is that she’s been shooting off her big mouth to Mom. Now she is doing to me what Ali’s been doing with her sons and daughters for years: Every few weeks she’ll wire in another ten or twenty million dollars to my bank account. Sandy, it’s very frustrating - particularly when I’m only nineteen and don’t handle big numbers very well.”

“Why is it frustrating?” Sandy inquired.

“Oh, I guess it’s not really - particularly now that I forget about trying to balance my checkbook. Now all I do when the statement comes is to look at the final balance. If the number has eight digits in front of the decimal and its first numeral is a five or larger, I just throw it away.” She grinned at Sandy and said, “I withdraw my comment.”

“Bobbie, how much money are you paid to teach the school?” Sandy repeated.

Looking puzzled, Bobbie replied, “Sandy, I already answered your question: nothing. I’m not paid a penny.” Then she grinned, “Isn’t that neat!”

“It sure is!” Sandy agreed. Then turning to Kramer she asked, “Since you are our resident expert, Ms. Kramer, what is the correct withholding on compensation of zero dollars?”

“Before answering that question, Your Honor, would it be possible for me to ask the witness a few more questions?” Kramer replied.

Bobbie agreed so Sandy moved aside and took the chair at the table where Bobbie had been sitting. Looking at Bobbie, Kramer asked, “Let me go over a couple of points. I’m confused. First, what are you paid as the teacher of these children?”

“I already answered the question once, Ms. Kramer, but I guess we have already seen that you’re a slow learner. I am the highest-paid teacher in the world. Let me show you what Imean.”

Turning to where the children were sitting she asked them to come forward and stand by the judge’s bench in two rows. When they did and were looking at her expectantly, Bobbie continued, ”That is my compensation. Just look at them! Never in history has a teacher had students as wonderful as mine. Have you ever seen such eagerness? Have you ever seen children whose appearance and behavior so reflect the work of loving and attentive parents? Parents with deep values - belief in God and our country - that they have worked so hard to instill?

“It is so incredibly wonderful! It begins with two wonderful people who love each other passionately and deeply who merge their bodies to create a new life. It continues with the woman bursting with joy as she feels the tiny new life ripening in her body. Following the birth, there is the nursing and nurturing of the infant, training the tiny child to walk, to talk, and then to read. At the earliest age, the child is taught to love and serve God! Then after years of selfless work to mold and shape the child, the finished product - a beautiful six-year-old - is delivered to me! Can you imagine? I am entrusted with not just one. I am given ten at one time!

“Look at them, Ms. Kramer. Just look!” Bobbie demanded. “These children are mine! They are given to me to educate and develop, building on the foundations their parents created. Every day I come in and see these shining faces. Has any teacher in history ever had such a remarkable group of young people to work with? I don’t think so. They give me such incredible joy!

“Kramer, how do you suppose I felt yesterday afternoon? I was hearing from my students a depth of understanding of what we have been doing. I can’t tell you how wonderful I felt. And do you know what? They do it for me! Honest to God they do.

“You know, one thing has been troubling me. How do these children achieve at the levels they do? As we both found out yesterday, their achievement is remarkable. Well,” Bobbie said, with the warmest smile anyone had ever seen, “I think I know. It was a comment Millie Flaherty made yesterday about the Holy Spirit. As I reflected on it, I realized that she was exactly correct. It comes back to the children and their families, though. They are so pure and loving and full of Divine grace that when we ask God for his support and guidance, He hears us!

He really does.

“And He sends down the Holy Spirit to work among us. I need not tell you about the infinite powers of Almighty God, the Creator of the whole universe. God does rain his blessings down on these children! No wonder they accomplish what they do. With the direct help of Almighty God, it’s easy.

“But back to compensation. These children - the utterly magnificent creatures that they are - are my compensation, Ms. Kramer, and I am rich! I have the love of not just one child. I have ten!” Bobbie grinned and looked around the room. The expressions on the children’s faces were ones approaching adoration: they utterly adored her.

Then she continued, “I don’t stop there, though. I keep on top of the women at C&J to keep rounding those bellies to keep me provided with raw material. Since every morning the place is full of women whose tails are dragging but who have looks of ecstasy on their faces, I have to believe they are really trying their best.”

Then looking at Kramer she asked, “But don’t you think that if they made love often enough that they could sort of shorten the time of pregnancy?” There were howls of laughter that were concentrated among the children’s mothers as well as other Clifford & Jamison staffers in the audience. “I mean, after all...” Bobbie continued, “If a single episode of lovemaking can produce a child in nine months, shouldn’t nine episodes produce a child in one? I mean... The arithmetic is pretty simple.

“But to state it again, these darling children who I adore are my compensation, and I’m grossly overpaid!”

“But... but what about the bills? What do you live on?”

Bobbie raised her eyebrows and shook her head in exasperation. “Ms. Kramer, I have to agree with something Cindy Cartwright said yesterday: you don’t know anything! Let me keep it simple: In answer to one of Sandy’s questions I said that my bank balance has eight digits and the first is a numeral that is a five or larger. To make it more simple, that’s a sum of money greater than fifty million dollars. At just 4 percent - and I do a lot better than that - it produces two million dollars a year or nearly $40,000 per week! Now how much do you think Tom and I can spend? After all, a person can eat only so much.”

Then she giggled and added, “You know, it does get funny, I guess. You see, Ms. Kramer, my husband and I were married in February and immediately left on a six-month honeymoon. The night of our wedding - in fact, while the party was still going on - we were dropped off a boat lying off a small island in Hawaii. We were both completely naked as we swam ashore with a few matches, three knives, some fishing line and a couple of hooks.

“There we stayed for the next six months. If we couldn’t find it, catch it, or make it, we didn’t have it.” With a warm smile she added, “You know, there is no better way to start a marriage.

Tom and I know absolutely everything there is to know about each other. It’s funny, now, sometimes. We’ll be together communicating for a half hour or so and suddenly start to laugh when we realized that neither of us had spoken a word. We’re so attuned to each other, we really don’t need to.

“But back to my point. When we returned a couple of months ago, I learned that we had made far more than a million dollars on interest alone. There we were, completely cut off from everything, but we made over a million dollars anyway. Isn’t that neat?

“To anticipate your next question, Clifford & Jamison provides all the facilities to me free. Beyond that, anything I want–books, or equipment, or computers - I buy. What’s the big deal?”

Kramer was in a state of shock. She could only murmur, “A million dollars? In only six months?”

“Ms. Kramer, unlike some of the other families you learned about, Tom and I aren’t rich. But we have all the money we need to do what we want to do. Besides, we proved to ourselves that we can not only survive, we can thrive, on no money at all - on just our own hands and brains. So I guess that’s our security.”

At that point Sandy rose from her seat and returned to the witness stand. Picking up where she had left off she said, “Ms. Kramer, I have established that Mrs. Conroy’s salary is zero and she has explained it in detail. You previously stated that she is guilty of criminal behavior because she failed to pay the Federal government and the State of California the taxes on her salary. Since her salary is zero, I am asking you again what the correct withholding taxes are on a salary of zero. It’s a simple question. Why don’t you consult that pile of documents on the table behind you? I’ll bet you’ll find the answer in there somewhere.”

The children had retaken their seats and Bobbie suppressed a smile as she saw Laura Benson wriggling on her chair in glee. She had learned that Laura’s favorite form of entertainment was watching her mother take apart a hostile witness. And it was clear to Laura that Kramer’s blood was going to be all over the floor very soon.

“I’m waiting, Ms. Kramer,” Sandy reminded her testily. “We don’t have all day. What is the withholding on a salary of zero dollars?”

“Nothing,” Kramer murmured.

“I can’t hear you,” Sandy said. Then she turned to the judge and said, “Your Honor, would you please instruct Ms. Kramer to speak up so that the clerk can record her answer to my question.”

Callaway did and Kramer nearly shouted, “Nothing!”

“Gee!” said Sandy. “What do you know about that? Having listened to Mrs. Conroy’s earlier answers - she paid nothing in withholding taxes - it is now clear that she is in full and complete compliance with the law. The law asks for nothing and that is the amount she has paid.”

Now glaring at Kramer, Sandy continued, “Ms. Kramer, you will be receiving papers from my office this afternoon. This has gone far enough! All day yesterday you were impugning my client. This morning you publicly called her a criminal! That is a slander, Ms. Kramer, and this time I will not allow my client’s kindness towards you - for what earthly reason she displays such kindness, I don’t know - to stop me from pursuing this case.”

With a devilish grin Sandy added, “And you know what? It’s going to be great fun! You see, Ms. Kramer, you have just made a disastrous mistake. When you deal with Barbara Conroy you’re dealing with the kindest, sweetest, most generous, most giving person on the face of this earth! But I am the total opposite, Ms. Kramer, and from now on you will be dealing with me! I can hardly wait!”

Turning to the bench she said, “I wish to apologize to the court, Your Honor. My preceding comments were out of line and out of order. Please accept my sincere apologies.”

“The court heard nothing for which an apology is indicated, Miss Harris. All the court heard was a brief and factual recital of what is in store for Ms. Kramer.” Then, seeing Kramer crumpled at her table in fear, he turned to Bobbie and said, “You are excused, Mrs. Conroy. Thank you.”

Turning back to the court as Bobbie went back to her seat at the table he asked, “Does anyone have anything further to add?” One of the state’s attorneys shook his head as did Bobbie.

“Since there is nothing further, this court finds for the defendant, Barbara Bradley Conroy and the Clifford & Jamison school. The California State Department of Instruction is hereby permanently enjoined from any direct contact with the school or with Mrs. Conroy. Any communications to them are to be sent in care of this Court. Only if we determine that whatever is requested is absolutely essential to the State will such communications be forwarded.”

Glaring at the state’s table, he asked, “Do I make myselfclear?”

Although one of the attorneys acknowledged, Kramer had not given up. Rising to her feet she said, “Your Honor, we will move for a stay of your order pending our appeal to a higher court. The Department cannot allow such an order to stand!”

At that point a man who had been seated in the far corner of the room rose to his feet and declared loudly, “The Department can allow it to stand and it will!” Coming forward to the barrier separating the parties from the spectators he said, “Judge Callaway, my name is James Perkins. I am the new Superintendent of Instruction of the State of California. I respectfully request permission to address the Court.”

“Welcome, Mr. Perkins,” Callaway said. “You are most welcome to speak.”

Turning toward the crowd while standing in front of the Judge’s bench, Perkins was amused to see Roberta Kramer looking very ill.

He began: “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jim Perkins. I am the Superintendent of Instruction in this state. And, I regret to say, I am the boss of the department in which Ms. Kramer is employed.

“Yesterday and this morning I witnessed the most egregious case of bureaucracy run amok I have ever seen or heard of in my entire professional career. I cannot tell you the embarrassment I suffer knowing that this persecution was done in the name of the organization I head. All I can do is humbly apologize.”

Turning to Bobbie who was again seated at the defendants’ table he asked, “Mrs. Conroy, will you please accept my deepest and most humble apologies for what my unit has been trying to do to you?”

“Of course, sir, but there is nothing to forgive. As I’m sure you heard, I learned a great deal myself, and I think my kids did, too. But thank you, Mr. Perkins, for your kind words.”

Turning again to face the crowd Perkins was shaking his head, “My department was trying to close Mrs. Conroy’s school. Well I, for one, agree totally with what Millie Flaherty said yesterday afternoon: Barbara Conroy is certainly the finest teacher alive in the world today and may be the finest teacher in all of history! I saw the most incredible academic performance from some of the most remarkable young people I have ever had the good fortune to encounter!

“Never have I been so inspired! The understanding that these children display is unbelievable. And I stress the word, understanding, because isn’t that what education is really all about? It’s not learning names and dates and places. It is understanding what happened and the significance of what happened.

“To hear what I heard from six-year-old children made me want to cry.” Looking around the room he said, “Is Millie Flaherty here today? If she is, would she please stand?” The woman was present and stood up.

Grinning at her, Perkins said, “Damn it, Millie, you’re much too young a girl to be retired! I need someone who knows what teaching is really all about working with me in Sacramento. Could I persuade you to give up your flowers for a few years and come to work for me? You would be replacing Ms. Kramer and would be in charge of the curriculum for the California schools.

“I heard what you said and I liked what I heard. I agree that we have become tied up in multicultural garbage. Can you imagine trying to teach children about the Hindu culture, for example, when they don’t have the first clue about their own? Ridiculous!

And some of the books!? Daddy’s Roommate and Heather’s Two Mommies in a first-grade reader!? Homosexuality and lesbianism in the first grade? What utter insanity.”

Smiling now he continued, “Millie, I know we’re not like Barbara Conroy and our students aren’t like hers, but we have to make do with what we’ve got. And frankly, I am appalled at how little we do have. Do you know what’s so funny? I’m going to say something that will get the NEA on my back in an instant: It’s not money. We have tons of money! It’s how we spend it and what we spend it on. Millie, I need your help. Will you help me? Please?”

Tears were flowing down the woman’s cheeks as she stood there looking at Perkins but she just nodded her head continually. When he finished she said, “Sir, the answer is yes. In fact, it’s hell yes! But I hope you will permit me to consult with Mrs. Conroy - hell, consult with Bobbie. Bobbie Conroy is the very best there is! We both know it and maybe she can help.”

Then she raised her head proudly and said, “However, Mr. Perkins, you may want to reconsider your offer. You see, sir, because of all of the help provided by the ACLU and people like Ms. Kramer, we cannot even mention God, let alone ask for his support. Sir, unless we can find a way to get around that, I think I will have to support a voucher system: Give the parents money to be used to educate their children anyplace they want. It may be the only answer.”

“And you may be absolutely right, Millie,” Perkins agreed. “That may mean that you and I develop a voucher program.”

Then he turned back to Bobbie, smiled warmly, and said, “And, Bobbie Conroy, I agree with something you said this morning: You certainly are overpaid! My God! To be able to come into class in the morning and see children like these! To be able to watch them grow and develop. To see their joy, to hear their laughter... yes, and to kiss away their tears! It’s far too much.

“But is that all? Bobbie Conroy, what about the love? What value do you place on the adoration of these children?” He shook his head and exclaimed, “Damn it, Conroy, you’re the most overpaid teacher in the history of the profession! What do you have to say to that?”

Rising to her feet and facing the crowd, tears were streaming from Bobbie’s eyes but they were tears of happiness. “Mr. Perkins, what can I say? It’s absolutely true. Fair compensation might be about two minutes of love in a year’s time from one of these imps. But being drowned in a constant flow of love, all the time, from all ten? You’re right, sir. It’s far too much.”

Then looking at her students she said, “My darlings, thank you. You make me the happiest person on the face of this earth!” Then with a grin she said, “Now how about if we blow this dump? I’ll even spring for ice cream.”

The entire crowd was on its feet cheering the outcome of the trial and Bobbie. While this was going on the children pressed around her and, one after the other, she picked them up, kissed them, loved them, and thanked each one.

Continue with Barbara - Chapter 26 to 30