Please note well: In case you were wondering, even though November is over, I will be publishing the rest of this book here, section by section. But if you can’t wait to see how it ends, you can order this book in hard copy, and the link for that is here. In addition, audio chapters are being recorded and released on the new Canon App.
Epilogue/Ends and Odds
Steven Lee was now safely under arrest, and the federal prosecutor had just decided that it might be easier to go through all the statutes and toss out the ones that wouldn’t involve a legitimate charge. Martin Chao was at his cousin’s house in Indonesia, and was going to be pretty hard to find, and Leonid Ravinsky was at his cousin’s house in Crimea, and he would be a little bit harder. It would take a while to track them down, and then it would take an even longer while to figure out how to extradite them. And their argument would be that they should not be extradited over a mere disagreement about the weather.
Larry and Jill had a short engagement, and a small family wedding on the eastern shore of Maryland, where the families from both sides met for the first time, and got along famously. They were still getting along famously, and did so for several days, after the couple flew off to their honeymoon. That honeymoon was located on the dream parcel that Larry had bought near Kalispell. “I have to teach her how to chop wood,” Larry had joked to the minister at the reception. Jill laughed and flirty-flared at him, saying, “Yeah, well, I have a few things to teach you as well.”
“Well, okay, then,” Larry said.
It took Cody and Helen a bit longer to get to that place of marital happiness, although they did come to Larry and Jill’s wedding as a couple. They had to navigate the whole thing very carefully—dating without dating. Cody was calling it evangelism, after which it morphed into something like apologetics and worldview training. The whole time Helen thought he was trying to bring her to the point where she would agree to be baptized, but then discovered, after she finally got to that place, that Cody was a Presbyterian who had been teaching at a Baptist university, and that he didn’t think she needed to be baptized again at all. She had been baptized when she was twelve, and her whole family was still baptist. She was worried about how that was going to go over, but she needn’t have worried about it. Her family was a pretty balanced group, and were more than willing to trade an atheist for a Presbyterian. It was like losing a pawn to take a queen.
So that chewed up a couple of months. Even though she had been an atheist for many years, she had been a baptist atheist, and the idea of her atheistic interlude not affecting her baptism took some getting used to. But she really wanted to be on the same page with Cody, and so they had a pretty intense series of Bible studies. After she made her peace with that, and had finally repented of her whole framework of thought, she surprised Cody one Sunday by taking communion with him. She had been attending church with him for some months, but this time when the bread went by, she took a piece. Cody stared at her momentarily, but then reeled it in and got his mind back on the hymn they were singing.
But that was all he had been waiting for, really, and he had the ring hidden in glove compartment of his car. He decided on the spot to take her someplace nice for lunch and propose there, which he did. Helen laughed out loud, and said of course, stood up to come around the table to give Cody a hug, and then the wait staff figured out what had just happened, and they gathered around to applaud.
The warning shot to Cody’s rear windshield was a puzzler and mystery for about six months. It turns out that the warning shot had come from Sommerville’s brother-in-law, an old school redneck from the hinterlands of Virginia. At a family gathering that afternoon, he had heard his learned kin breathing out fulminations over Cody’s refusal to pull the article earlier that afternoon, and because he had four beers in him already, it was a small matter to add two more beers, and head on down the road to the Windshield Doctor to see if he might tail Cody from there. The whole thing came out at another family gathering six months later, when numerous beers were again involved, at which time Sommerville called the cops, and wrote Cody the handsomest apology that Cody had ever received.
Without saying anything one way or the other about the presidential election, Del Martin and Gina were very happy together. Gina was converted about six months after Del had been, and it was almost entirely on the basis of how different and entirely changed he was. The fact that he had surrendered his presidential ambitions was the central thing that Gina just couldn’t get her mind around. The old Del would not have done that kind of thing, not in a million years But Del had actually done that, had gone and put that on the altar, and had actually seemed eager to do so. And then he had just been given a veep slot again.
His past infidelities had really hurt her, deeply, but she was also astonished at how rapidly his transformation had put all of that into the shade. After a few years under new management, their own earlier marriage seemed to her like a crummy movie they had seen once.
Billy Jerome served one more full term as senator, in which time he spent a lot of time establishing connections for his son Thad. They had hit off like a . . . well, like a long-lost father and son. The man who succeeded Billy Jerome in the Senate made a frightful hash of it, and after six years of senatorial malfeasance, misfeasance, and unfeasance, Thad challenged him in the primary, and won handily.
Trevor and Eve Smith moved out west somewhere and, contrary to her expectations, they continued to hunt together. One year Eve even got a buck before Trevor did.
Montenegro Cash was arrested about two years after all these events on a charge of securities fraud, and was sentenced to ten years.