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"Doctor Williams seems to think that Lucky should be allowed to monitor the classes of all the different specialties to give him the chance to develop a working knowledge of several different disciplines." Marsha said seriously, then cautiously asked, "What do you think about that?"
"It doesn't sound bad. But no matter what you decide today, you're going to have to keep going back to be sure that things are going the way you're expecting them to and be willing to make changes if they aren't." Lex said speculatively.
"That would be true, except in one circumstance." Marsha said cautiously.
"If you treated Lucky like everyone else and didn't do anything extra to help him." Lex guessed, more than half sure that he was right.
"Essentially, yes." Marsha confirmed.
"So, what are you going to do?" Lex asked cautiously.
"That all depends. What do you want me to do?" Marsha countered.
"Oh, I see now. You're laying it all out to make us ask for the things we want so it feels like we're choosing what to do next instead of being told." Lex said speculatively.
"I've noticed that students who are doing what they do by their own choice tend to be uniquely motivated." Marsha said informatively.
"If you really mean that, then Lucky is going to have to decide for himself. You, me, Doctor Williams, Paul, not even Dad deciding for him will mean as much." Lex said seriously.
"Yes. I agree with that... to a point." Marsha said cautiously.
"What's that?" Lex carefully asked.
"From what I've read in Lucky's transcript and gleaned from my talk with Doctor Williams, thus far, Lucky has had very little say in his situation. I don't think, right this minute, that he's aware enough of certain things or of the long-term consequences, to make an informed decision." Marsha said frankly.
"So what are you going to do?" Lex asked cautiously.
"I was thinking that we could start off by putting Lucky in a place where he could have some accommodating classmates to help him catch up in his classes and adapt to his new situation. In such an environment, he might even be able to develop friendships that could potentially carry on, even if he decides to change disciplines at some point." Mrs. Bright said seriously.
"Do you really have someplace like that?" Lex asked slowly, feeling that Marsha might be leading him into a trap.
"That depends on whether or not you'd feel comfortable having Lucky attend Sorcery classes with you and G." Marsha said frankly.
"But Lucky doesn't know anything about sorcery, and even when he tries to use it, he rewrites the spells to work in his own private language that only he understands." Lex hurried to explain.
"Doctor Williams cautioned me about that. It is my intention to have Lucky attending the class as an observer, attending sorcery classes as a member of the 'Witchcraft' discipline. Due to that, the teachers in other specialties will know that Lucky is 'visiting' their classes and they won't demand his adherence to their protocols." Marsha said confidently.
"So, we can get Lucky started going to classes with me and G, then later on, once he's used to how things work, he can go out and try other classes to see what he can do there." Lex said speculatively.
"I imagine that he might want to try out Wizardry soon, if for no other reason than to spend time with his other family." Marsha said with a smile at the boy.
"You're awfully quiet, Lucky. What do you think about all this?" Lex asked Lucky curiously.
"The doctor was saying that I'm a special kind of witch that does magic different from regular witches. Is that right?" Lucky asked cautiously.
"Yeah. That's pretty much what he said." Lex confirmed.
"So I'm going to go to classes with you where I can learn how other witches do their magic, so I can try to do what they do and maybe figure out how to do my own. Right?" Lucky again asked to confirm his understanding.
"Yeah. It sounded to me like that's what they were shooting for." Lex said seriously, then looked at Marsha with question.
"That would be one possible outcome and I think it would probably be the most easily accomplished." Marsha confirmed, then added, "The only other reasonable course of action I can come up with at this early stage, would be to assign an educational expert to work with Lucky one-on-one to help him investigate the extent of his different abilities."
"So you'd lock him in a little room and he'd be trying to learn everything all by himself?" Lex asked with concern.
"No. I'm sure it wouldn't end up going that way. But Lucky would most likely lose a bit of his self-determination in that scenario. The structure of his learning would be provided by someone else and he would be expected to conform to it." Marsha admitted.
"So, if Lucky goes to classes with me and doesn't learn anything, then you'll send him to the special ed teacher?" Lex asked bluntly.
"Educational expert." Marsha corrected.
Lex held her gaze, silently standing behind what he had said.
"What's most important is that Lucky be given every opportunity to discover and develop his unique ability. If we try something and it doesn't work, then we'll try something else." Marsha said reasonably.
"I guess if it was just going to be me and Lucky doing this, that might worry me. But we're going to have Paul and G and probably all their friends helping us before it's all over." Lex said frankly.
"Uncle D and Aunt Beth will help us too." Lucky quickly added.
Lex nodded, then said, "Even though I've only been alive a couple days, I made a few friends of my own on the work-study. I know that Corabeth and Miss Oaken would help us if we needed something."
"It sounds like you've got a nice support network in place." Marsha said pleasantly, then added in a more serious voice, "Good. You're likely going to need it."
That caught both Lucky and Lex's attention.
"You're some of the youngest students here. We don't have classes structured for your age group. Not only are you going to be taking classes that are more advanced than you may be prepared for, but you're also starting in the middle of the school year." Mrs. Bright said ominously.
Lex looked to Lucky to see his reaction.
"My old school was boring. It was all talk." Lucky said distantly, then focused on Mrs. Bright and continued, "They told us things. They didn't teach us to do anything. When I wanted to do something, they threatened to curse me."
Lex and Marsha were equally surprised by the venom behind Lucky's words.
"If you'll teach me how to use my magic, how to do things, I will learn." Lucky said seriously.
Mrs. Bright glanced at Lex to see his reaction.
"Yeah. I'll help him." Lex stammered.
"Then it sounds like we've got the beginning of a plan." Marsha said as she began to type on her computer.
A moment later, she finished typing and said, "We'll see how this works for you, and if you notice that you're having any problems, let me know and we'll make adjustments if necessary."
Lex and Lucky waited silently to be told what to do next.
"I would normally send one of the staff with you to introduce you, but we seem to be having a bit of a rush in business at the moment. Lex, since you already know your way around, would you mind going to Mrs. Sondheim's office so that Lucky can meet with her?" Mrs. Bright asked hopefully.
"I don't mind, but I don't know who that is." Lex said honestly.
"She's the senior professor of Witchcraft. She doesn't interact directly with the students very often, she's more of an administrator. But she's ultimately in charge of quite a few of the subjects that you'll be taking and she's the best person to streamline the process of integrating you into the existing classes. I've sent her a message so that she'll know what's expected. Just introduce yourselves and she can see that Lucky has everything he needs, from an academic standpoint. Here are your class schedules." Marsha said as she handed each boy a small stack of papers.
"I don't know where Mrs. Sondheim's office is." Lex reluctantly admitted.
"It's just past the Sorcery classroom, next door on the right." Marsha said simply.
"I don't think I ever went past the Sorcery classroom." Lex said honestly.
"Not many people have reason to." Mrs. Bright said frankly.
"What about Lex? He doesn't need to talk to her at all, does he?" Lucky asked cautiously.
"Not really. This has to do with classes that he's already familiar with and presumably has an aptitude for. He should be able to pick up right where G left off before the work-study." Marsha said seriously.
"Since you want for me to make decisions for myself, do you think it'd be better if I went to see Mrs. Sondheim alone?" Lucky asked uncertainly.
"No. As soon as you've finished with Mrs. Sondheim, you'll be going to meet with Professor Woo." Marsha said seriously, then looked directly at Lex and continued, "I believe you know who that is."
"Yeah." Lex quietly confirmed.
After a moment, Lucky indignantly said, "Well I don't know who it is."
"He's the senior professor of sorcery." Lex said seriously.
"That's right. You can meet with Professor Sondheim to get Lucky's regular classes ironed out, then you can meet with Professor Woo to get the sorcery taken care of." Marsha explained.
"So should I tell Professor Woo what I am and where I came from?" Lex asked cautiously.
"You will need to get into the habit of determining how much a given person needs to know, and how much you're willing to trust them. Knowing Professor Woo as I do, I probably would share with him as much as he needs to know to do his job in regard to me. You'll have to decide for yourself what you're going to do."
"What about Mrs. Sondheim? What should I tell her?" Lucky asked curiously.
"I've already told her that you're a full-fledged magic mimic. Knowing that, she'll see to it that you aren't held to the same requirements as the students with specialized magical gifts. I would expect her to instruct Professor Bielecki to tell his teachers that you won't be held to the same standards as the other students in spellcasting. Successful completion of the spell will be your objective while the rest of the class works on developing the proper form." Mrs. Bright said carefully.
"But that just applies to Lucky? I still have to perform all my spells perfectly to get a good grade?" Lex asked to be sure.
"Yes. Unless there's some reason that traditional spell structures wouldn't work for you." Marsha said simply.
"No. I just wanted to be sure what's expected of me." Lex said quickly.
"I don't see any reason that who and what you are should make any difference in the educational opportunities that you're provided. Until I'm presented with evidence to the contrary, I plan to treat you exactly the same as any of the other students." Mrs. Bright said honestly, then thought to ask, "Would you have me do otherwise?"
"No... I mean, I kind of thought that me being an elemental might be kind of a big deal." Lex said frankly.
"We have other elementals attending this school. Most of them prefer to keep it to themselves and continue on like any other student." Marsha said frankly.
"I know about Dex. I never thought about there being others." Lex said honestly.
"There are a few..." Marsha was saying when a beep from her desk phone interrupted her.
"Yes?" Marsha asked cautiously.
"Mr. Darroch is here to see you." Janice said cautiously.
"Please send him in." Marsha said pleasantly, then released the intercom button.
"What's dad doing here?" Lex asked cautiously.
"You'll have to ask him." Marsha said frankly.
Both boys turned in unison at a gentle knocking on the office door.
* * * * *
"Janice said that the boys were in here. How did things end up going?" D asked as Marsha ushered him into the room.
"I have their academics scheduled and I was just about to send them on their way to meet with their senior professors." Marsha said as she gestured for him to join his sons by her desk.
"What did the tests say about Lucky?" D asked seriously.
"Why don't I step out for a moment and let the boys explain that to you?" Marsha suggested as she walked toward the door.
"If you think that's best." D said hesitantly.
"I actually have a few things that I need to do just this moment. If you'll step out and find me when you're done, I'll answer any questions that you still have after you've had your talk." Marsha said before slipping out the door.
Lucky ran to D and hugged him firmly.
"How are you guys doing?" D asked gently as he returned the hug.
"I think all my stuff was pretty much like we expected, except that I turned out to be a little more powerful than I thought in my half-transformed state. That might take a little work to master." Lex said frankly.
"I think that G and I can both help you when it comes to that. Even though our abilities aren't all the same, they're all based in air and have similar mechanics behind them. If we put our heads together I'm sure that we can come up with something that will work for you." D said confidently.
"I can't wait to try." Lex said quietly, sounding to be a little choked up.
"What about you, Lucky? What did Doctor Williams have to say?" D asked as he held the boy close to his side.
"He said that I'm a child of the sun." Lucky said simply.
There was a long silent moment before D finally said, "Although I've heard the phrase before, I don't recall it having any particular magical meaning."
"From the way it sounded to me, regular magic, the kind you and me have, is kinda like a tree, all up and down, where everyone can reach the base, but only the very best can reach the top. Paul and Beth's magic is another tree and just about everyone else's magic is like that. Sorcery is one grove of trees, wizardry is another and all the rest of the different kinds of magic are all different kinds of trees, they're all growing up as tall as they can."
"Okay. I think I can visualize that." D said slowly.
"Our magic is up and down. Lucky's is side-to-side." Lex said simply.
"So he can jump from tree to tree?" D asked cautiously.
"I think him jumping from branch to branch, tree to tree, is what it's like when he's mimicking. I'm not sure how the whole 'child of the sun' thing works into that part of it, but it's the best way I could visualize what Doctor Williams was telling us." Lex said seriously.
"No. That's fine. You've at least opened the door on my understanding. I'm sure that we'll all discover more about it as time goes on." D said seriously, then asked, "Did Doctor Williams have anything else to say about the child of the sun?"
"It's really rare." Lex said as he thought over all that they were told.
"He said that I'm going to have to choose the kind of magic that I'm going to want to have when I'm older because I'm only going to get to keep the magic that I use the most." Lucky tried to explain.
"He also said that you would be able to mix magic together that other people can't and the more you use your special magic, the stronger you'll get with it. You may not end up with a lot of different spells, but you'll have one or two really big ones that no one else in the whole world can cast." Lex said seriously.
"Did he say anything about the gods being involved in this?" D asked cautiously.
"No. He never mentioned them. Why?" Lex asked curiously.
"It just sounds like something that they'd do." D said frankly.
"Anyway, since Lucky has monkey-branching magic that isn't like anyone else's, Mrs. Bright is making sure that the teachers know that he can't cast spells the regular way." Lex said seriously.
"It sounds like she's done the groundwork so that you'll have everything that you'll need to get by at this school." D said speculatively.
"Yeah. And if things aren't working for some reason, I feel like we could come here and tell her and that she'd actually listen and maybe even do something about it." Lex said honestly.
"Well, if that doesn't work out, just remember that you can always come to me. I do have some influence." D quietly offered.
"It looks like Mrs. Bright is setting it up so that we can do things for ourselves. That way, if she has to help someone else for a while, things aren't going to fall apart for us. We'll be used to taking care of things on our own and won't be standing around waiting for someone to tell us what to do next." Lex explained.
"I knew there was a reason that I wanted my kids to go to this school." D said with a smile, then added more seriously, "Try to keep in mind that one of the things you're here to learn is how to be adults, not adult-aged dependent children."
"I don't think my old school agrees with you." Lucky said frankly.
"Actually, that was an elementary school. They're supposed to treat you like kids and tell you step-by-step what to do. But once they've taught you the basics and given you the tools, you come to a school like this one to use what you've been taught to develop skills for your adult life." D said simply.
"They threatened to curse him if he used his magic." Lex said frankly.
"Oh. I didn't hear about that part." D said quietly, then continued, "Forget what I said about your old school then. If they're teaching you to be ashamed of your magic or threatening you for being what you are, then they're WRONG. Now that you're here, use the tools that you've been given and do your best. Try to learn the things you need to know when you're in charge of your own life and thinking about starting your own family."
"Me?" Lucky asked with surprise.
"Remember why your mom sent you here. It's so you can have a chance at your best life." D said frankly.
"I thought she sent me here because she didn't know what else to do with me." Lucky said honestly.
"If your mom wanted you to keep going to your old school, you'd be there right now. Nobody tells your mom what to do." D said seriously.
"I guess that's true." Lucky reluctantly admitted.
"So that means that you're here because it's what your mom wanted for you. She thought it would be the best way to give you a decent future." D continued.
"You don't think she was just trying to get rid of me?" Lucky hesitantly asked.
"No. If she were, there are far easier ways that she could have done that, and she likely would not have gotten me involved." D said as he met Lucky's gaze.
"Think about it, Lucky. She could've just let them curse you." Lex added.
At Lucky's curious look, Lex explained, "It wouldn't hurt you and it'd keep you out of trouble. You were already there, so it wouldn't cost her any extra time, trouble or money. Leaving you where you were would have been the easiest thing in the world for her to do."
"But it would have been wrong." D said emphatically. "Your mom swallowed her pride and asked me to do her a favor. You know how independent your mom is. That had to have nearly killed her."
"Yeah. She doesn't like owing anybody anything." Lucky confirmed.
"I can respect that." D said seriously.
"By the way, what are you doing here? Did you come back to check on us?" Lex asked curiously.
"Actually, I'm back to interview a candidate for a job opening." D said reasonably.
"For a job in Brynnhollow?" Lex guessed.
"Yes. How did you know that?" D asked cautiously.
"We overheard Doctor Williams talking to Doctor Coker about it. Michael said that he'd take the job, but he's nervous about not being prepared for it." Lex said carefully.
"Do you know this Michael person?" D asked seriously.
"Yeah. He helps out in Doctor Williams health and healing classes. Sometimes he teaches the class, when Doctor Williams is busy with other things." Lex said frankly.
"How do you think he'll do as a teacher in Brynnhollow?" D cautiously asked.
"I think he's a good teacher and a good person, so I hope that he'll do a good job for you. But I don't know if he'll be able to handle being somewhere without electricity and Internet." Lex said honestly.
"I'll be sure to tell him about that, so that he can base his choice on realistic expectations." D said seriously.
"If you want to go now, we can walk out with you. We're going to talk to Mrs. Sondheim about starting the gen ed classes in the middle of the year." Lex said frankly.
"Do you think you're up to it?" D asked cautiously.
"Yeah. We got this." Lex said confidently.
"Good. Then let's go." D said as he gave Lucky one final squeeze of a hug before releasing him.
The trio walked as one toward the door, ready to face the challenges that lay before them.
* * * * *
The boys were quiet after leaving D at Doctor William's office. They were more preoccupied with reviewing their conversation with D than with their impending meeting with the senior professor.
Lex guided them through the maze of hallways, unerringly to Professor Sondheim's door.
Before he could develop a case of nerves about it, Lex led the way through the open doorway.
"Lex and Lucky?" The woman behind the reception desk automatically asked.
"Yes." Lex answered for both of them.
"Professor Sondheim is waiting for you; down this hall, second door on your left." The woman said as she gestured in the direction that they needed to go.
"Thank you." Lex said quietly before leading the way.
* * * * *
Lex gently knocked on the closed door and heard a woman's low voice bid him to enter.
Lex and Lucky cautiously walked into the room that looked as though it might have fallen through a time warp, directly from the 1940's. A sweet and spicy aroma permeated the air which added an 'exotic' quality to the overall space.
"Please, come in and have a seat." An elderly woman said in a husky voice. She wore a woman's version of a three-piece suit appropriate to the era the rest of the room seemed to be taken from.
Lex and Lucky did as they were told and sat down side by side on the formal settee, adorned with lace doilies on the arms.
"Turkish delight?" Professor Sondheim asked as she gestured toward the coffee table where a silver platter with gelatinous cubes dusted with powdered sugar was prominently displayed.
"No, thank you." Lex said uneasily.
Lucky shook his head to indicate his refusal.
"Mrs. Bright tells me that you two are going to be starting classes today, and that one of you is going to need some special accommodation." Professor Sondheim said seriously.
"Yes ma'am. Lucky's style of magic is different from most peoples. He can do just about any spell that he tries, but he can't use his magic the same way other people use theirs. He has to change the spell to be able to use it." Lex struggled to explain.
"Mrs. Bright said that he was a mimic. I have to admit that I don't have much experience with such things, but I have read a few case histories. As I recall, a result oriented grading strategy has been known to yield favorable outcomes."
"Yeah. If you can keep the teachers from jumping on Lucky about his technique, then he should be able to keep up with just about anything magical that they throw at him." Lex said seriously.
"What about you? Your name is Lexington, right?" Professor Sondheim asked cautiously.
"Yes, ma'am." Lex hesitantly answered.
"Mrs. Bright didn't tell me more than your name and that you would also be starting classes today. Can I take it that you're not another mimic?"
"No ma'am. I'm an air elemental." Lex said timidly.
"A sylph? In human form? Living among witches as one of them?" Professor Sondheim asked with surprise.
"Yeah. There's a whole lot to it, but basically, I was created from an illusionary portrait. Since the illusion was human looking, so am I." Lex said uneasily.
"If that's the case, then I suppose that you're rather fortunate. Things might have turned out a multitude of other ways and in most of them you wouldn't have an opportunity to lead a productive life as a participating member of a society." Professor Sondheim said speculatively.
"I guess I am fortunate. The 'society' that I'm a member of is our family. It's the best thing in my life." Lex said frankly.
"So, you're going to be starting classes along with Lucky?" Professor Sondheim asked curiously.
"Yes. But it's like I've been here all along. I was created with a lifetime of memories from the person who made me." Lex said honestly.
"So you remember someone else's life as if it were your own?" Professor Sondheim asked uneasily.
"Yes. But that works out for us, since I'll be able to help Lucky find his way around until he gets used to things."
"Mrs. Bright said that Lucky would be listed as a practitioner of witchcraft. That will give us the latitude to allow him to experience a variety of specialties." Professor Sondheim said slowly.
"I kinda thought all of it, all the magic, was witchcraft." Lex said honestly.
"Different people use the same terms to mean different things. For our purposes, witchcraft doesn't encompass 'everything' so much as it includes 'everything else'. It works well for people who are aware of magic but have little or no talent or for people with abilities that are so specialized or dangerous that they can't practically be used." Professor Sondheim explained.
"So that's why Lucky was put here, because he doesn't fit into one of the other magical specialties?" Lex asked curiously.
"I think he could probably make his way decently well in one of the specialties if he tried. But that very well might limit his opportunity to discover how to use his abilities." Professor Sondheim said reasonably.
"They said that because he's a mimic, he needs to be around a lot of magic so that he can try different things out." Lex carefully explained.
"Yes. That sounds reasonable." Professor Sondheim agreed, then asked, "What about you, Lexington? What specialty will you be enrolled in?"
"Sorcery, I think. It should be listed here on my class schedule." Lex said as he quickly looked at the top page.
"Since you haven't attended any classes yet, it's the perfect time to evaluate your situation and challenge a few of the assumptions that you've made." Professor Sondheim said seriously.
"I'm an air elemental. What could I do besides sorcery?" Lex asked cautiously.
"That's the question now, isn't it? Have you tried to do anything else?" Professor Sondheim asked persistently.
"No. As far as I know, there's nothing else that I can do."
"While sorcery is most commonly associated with air, the truth of the matter is that quite a few of the disciplines of wizardry use it too." Professor Sondheim said carefully.
"I thought Wizardry used fire." Lex said honestly.
"They can use fire to open doorways, but portals of air aren't unheard of. I believe the celestials are known to frequently make use of them." Professor Sondheim said speculatively.
"Paul would have a fit if I started using angelic magic." Lex chuckled to Lucky.
"Pardon?" Professor Sondheim asked curiously.
"He's my adoptive brother... or cousin. I haven't got it all worked out yet, but we live together and have the same last name." Lex said frankly.
"And he's a demon." Lucky quietly explained.
"A half-demon." Lex quickly corrected, then abruptly added, "But he's really nice. He's a fantastic brother and a good person besides."
Lucky nodded his whole-hearted agreement.
"But he would be 'displeased' if you specialized in the use of celestial magic?" Professor Sondheim asked curiously.
"No. I mean, yes. If I chose to study celestial magic Paul might look at it like I'm against him because it goes against what he is and it's something that can seriously hurt him." Lex said honestly.
"It was just a thought. Besides, there are several specialties that use air that are quite infernal. Those that summon through ether usually have a significant air affinity." Professor Sondheim said frankly.
"Someone I met, her name is Corabeth, she's in wizardry and she has an air affinity. I even worked on casting an air-based spell with her." Lex said in realization.
"Are you trying to get Lex to change from sorcery to wizardry?" Lucky asked curiously.
"No." Professor Sondheim said with such assurance that Lucky immediately believed her.
After a moment for that to sink in, she quietly added, "I simply wanted for the two of you to look at the opportunities that you have before you. You're in a position to explore your interests and develop that which drives your passion. You don't automatically go where the 'air' practitioners go. Try a few things while you've got the chance, then, once you've had a good look around, choose something that suits your talents and your interests."
"So what are we supposed to do next?" Lex asked uncertainly.
"If you're interested, I could make the change to your records to reflect that both of you are in the 'Witchcraft' specialty, under my direct supervision." Professor Sondheim said with a serene smile.
There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence before Lex realized that she was waiting for a response.
"Yeah, I mean, yes, thank you. I think that we'd both like a chance to try things out and decide what we want to do." Lex said quickly.
"Is that how you feel, Lucky?" Professor Sondheim asked curiously.
"It sounds like what I was going to do anyway, but it'll be nice if Lex can go with me and won't get stuffed into classes that make him be like regular witches. If he's an elemental, then he can probably do things that other witches can't. But he won't want to if he's trained to be just like them." Lucky said seriously.
"You're very insightful for someone so young." Professor Sondheim said cautiously.
"I just know what it feels like when someone tries to make you be like everyone else when you're not. I don't want that for me or for Lex either."
"So, when we've figured out what we want to do, should we come back here to you and let you know?" Lex asked cautiously.
"Yes. I think I'd like that very much." Professor Sondheim said with the beginning of a smile, then she added, "Whatever you decide, be prepared to defend your decisions."
"Yeah. I think I'd like that too." Lex said with a little surprise at the admission.
Lucky nodded his agreement to the arrangement.
I love this story more and more, with each new chapter!
It looks as if both Lex and Lucky are going to be given the chance to use their personal abilities to their own best advantage, instead of being boxed into a "normal" lesson plan.
Both boys are very bright and very flexible. They will both be allowed the opportunity to develop independently and won't be challenged when they try to go beyond the expectations of their teachers and anyone else who might normally object to someone jumping in a different direction.
I bet Paul wouldn't be upset if Lex were to use celestial magic, as long as he were to do so without doing it where it could hurt Paul.
In any case, thank you, MM, for another wonderful captivating chapter of this wonderful saga.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher