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    CLJobe
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Salvation - 59. Chapter 58

It took me four days to finish reading that book. I was amazed at what he accomplished. Taking another tour of the house, I could visualize the boys. I never realized that there were people like Carleton. Yes, I felt comfortable calling him Carleton after reading his book.

It was early the next morning when Steven came for a visit. “Robert, I think you have finished the book, right?”

“Yes, Steven, I have finished. Your father was quite the man. I don’t know if you will find a person to take his place. This house is way too big for one man.”

“Yes, it needs to be filled with boys, and based on our research, you are that man.”

“What research? I was looking for a place. I wanted to leave the city, and a condo was too restrictive. I wanted a place in the country where I could walk around and not be bothered by other people. Living in a city is not something I liked. I lived there because of my work.”

“Yes, we know that. When we decided that we needed someone to occupy Dad’s house and to carry on his work, we hired investigators. They provided us with four names, and of the four, we selected you. The other three were placed on hold, pending your acceptance of continuing Dad’s work.”

“But, I own this house, and what if I don’t want to do that?”

“Robert, I think you will want to do that. We know that you have paid for food for the homeless in your city. You have walked through the parks on the weekend, offering sandwiches. You can do this. As for the house, you didn’t buy it. The money you paid is in a trust fund to provide the initial operating costs of setting you up as Dad’s replacement. The papers the county clerk gave you have a clause that if you decided not to continue, your money would be returned to you along with additional funds for any inconvenience resulting from you having to move. Robert, you are the man for this job. Give it a try. We know your heart is in the right place.”

“I don’t know if I can do what your father did. Yes, I offered food to those who were hungry, but I could walk away. If I did what your father did, I couldn’t walk away.”

“No, you couldn’t walk away. When you read his book, did you ever think, ‘I couldn’t leave that boy on the street’?

Robert had to think about the boys in the book. He realized that he couldn’t walk away if he were in Mr. Jeffries’s position, and he had the resources to help.

Steven saw the look on Robert’s face change. He knew they were right in picking this man for his Dad’s replacement. “Robert, let’s take a ride.”

Steven knew he was going to put Robert to the test. Arriving in the city, they went to a restaurant in one of the city’s poorer sections. Walking in, they were met by a young man.

“Hello, Uncle Steven,”

“Hello Alex, where is your dad?”

“He’s in the kitchen on a special project.”

Steven knew that the special project was a boy from the streets being fed. When Dave heard that Steven had found a replacement for Dad, he started to recruit street boys. “Robert, let’s go to the kitchen, I’ll introduce you to my brother who owns this restaurant and is the chef. He’s a graduate of a prestigious culinary school in Europe.”

Walking into the kitchen, Dave was seated at a table talking to a boy about 14 years old. Seeing Steven, he went to meet him, knowing that the man with him was Dad’s replacement.

“Steven, it’s nice to see you, and this is?”

“Hi Dave, this is Robert Barre. He has taken over Dad’s house.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Robert, this young man is Carlos. He’s 14 years old and sweeps the floors here, after we close. He needs a home, Steven.”

They looked at Robert. He was watching the young boy eat. “Carlos, is that good?”

“Yes sir, Uncle Dave always makes good food for me.”

“You eat here often?”

“This is the only place I eat. I don’t have any money and Uncle Dave lets me sweep his floors for the food I eat.”

“Where do you sleep?”

“In the park or some overnight places, if they let me.”

Steven and Dave watched Robert. Robert sat down where Dave was sitting.

“I think he’ll be the first.”

“Yes, I think you’re right. He’s showing interest, but he may need a push.”

“Robert, do you have room for Carlos in your house.”

Robert looked at Dave and then Steven. They were both smiling. “Carlos, let’s go and see where you sleep. Dave, we’ll be back for something to eat in 30 minutes.”

I watched Robert’s face as we followed Carlos. When he showed Robert where he slept in the park, two other boys were sleeping under a dirty and torn blanket. When they saw Carlos, “Did you bring us anything to eat?”

“No, I’m sorry. These men wanted to see where I slept.”

“Boys. Get-up, and I’ll buy you something to eat.” I looked at Robert. “Robert, these boys need you. You have that big house. You have all of those beds. Look into yourself, into your heart, and make the right decision.”

Robert looked at the boys; he saw the faces of hope. He knew he couldn’t walk away. Giving them lunch in the daylight was one thing, but seeing them where they slept and knowing they were hungry was something else. That was the moment he knew he would accept the mantle of Mr. Jeffries.

“Boys, get up. We’ll go and get something to eat and then you can come home with me. I have plenty of beds for you.”

“Robert, I knew we made the right decision. My brothers will contact you when they have a son for you.”

After taking the boys back to the restaurant for dinner, they took the boys home. That night, Steven went to a special place, “Dad, we found your replacement, and he now has three boys living with him.” A soft mist seemed to develop. There were Dad and the young man who was the driving force behind Carleton Jeffries.

This is the end of my story. I know that many of you would like me to continue, but I couldn't do justice to the memory and work of Carleton. He was a unique man, Robert will do his best with the. help of the original boys and Steven guiding him. Stories like this, take something from me. I have seen these boys and talked to these boys, leaving them with a feeling of inadequacy. I wish I was Carleton.

Thanks to all of you, your comments have made this story very special for me and I hope for you. Maybe one of these days, I'll publish this story.

Copyright © 2020 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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God I hate when a story this good ends, Hopefully you can continue it with Robert continuing Carltons work though Robert seems a little leery whether he can do it but I think he can, You are a great writer and hope you continue to write these great type of stories. 

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CL, after reading the last chapter I started dreading you were planning to let this story finish. As much as I’d have loved to read more about this extraordinary family, I see how you managed to leave the story at a very good point. 
Thank you for sharing these really nice stories with us, looking forward for your next gift!

JA

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24 minutes ago, JACC said:

CL, after reading the last chapter I started dreading you were planning to let this story finish. As much as I’d have loved to read more about this extraordinary family, I see how you managed to leave the story at a very good point. 
Thank you for sharing these really nice stories with us, looking forward for your next gift!

JA

Thank you, you are most kind. Stories always have a end and no matter how we hate to see it when we are into a good story, it must follow the rule of life. I couldn't continue this story, it would have become repetitive. 

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19 minutes ago, Gomez Stanley C said:

A great story.  Sorry to see it end, but I know another great story is coming. Thanks for the wonderful characters!

You're welcome. I have several short seasonal stories. Till the next long story.

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1 minute ago, weinerdog said:

There is nothing I can add to all the excellent comments.Thank you for what you do.

Thank you for reading and commenting 

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1 minute ago, chris191070 said:

An awesome story with a great chapter to end it with.

Thanks Chris

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9 minutes ago, Kev said:

Stunning ... Awesome ... Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You are welcome

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Bloody brilliant, this has been one amazing story, it ends where the story started, it was really emotional and very uplifting. Thanks again

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58 minutes ago, Bill Christiansen said:

If only we all could open our hearts and our homes to the boy's of the street and bring them to a safe place. 

If we could perhaps take in one boy, we would be a better place. There will always be boys on the street as long as there are parents who believe in hate instead of love. Those churches that preach this hate, are responsible.

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51 minutes ago, mikedup said:

Bloody brilliant, this has been one amazing story, it ends where the story started, it was really emotional and very uplifting. Thanks again

You are welcome. But I'm not finished with you yet. I have aft more stories that should get your attention. Now some holiday stories before I get to a serious story.

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46 minutes ago, mfa607 said:

What a great new beginning!  Thank you for sharing! 

You're welcome. I enjoy writing but I really enjoy reading my readers comments.

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A really great story, it is now in my top 5 stories here at GA. I do agree with you at the end. I wish I was in a position to do what Carleton did, (or Josh Currie from different story here at GA) Thank You for the story with a great ending.

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29 minutes ago, James B. said:

A really great story, it is now in my top 5 stories here at GA. I do agree with you at the end. I wish I was in a position to do what Carleton did, (or Josh Currie from different story here at GA) Thank You for the story with a great ending.

You're welcome. I don't know if I agree as one of your top five, but I appreciate the rating. I hope my future stories live up to  your rating.

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