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Two mysterious strangers in brown suits appeared right when my husband and I needed rescue from a dangerous situation.

Continued from page 1

“Not that one. The one over there.” He pointed to the far end of the shelf and cackled. Hugh walked over and had just started to take the vase down when the thug said, “Old man, can’t you get anything right? I meant the red one, back there.” This time he pointed to another shelf.

The other two stood close by me. No way they’d let me make it to the phone, let alone the front door. The sun was down now. It was completely black. Please, God, show us a way out of this.

Hugh raced around the store, the three toying with him. They laughed harder and harder. Hugh got winded, disoriented. It seemed to go on forever. Suddenly Hugh stopped and shouted. “Enough! I’ve had enough!”

No, Hugh! Just do what they say.

“What do you mean ‘enough’ old man?” the leader shouted. “We’re just startin’ to have fun, aren’t we?” Suddenly all three converged on my husband. I ran to the phone.

At that moment the front door opened. A rush of cold winter air blew in. The thugs looked up. Two young men entered the shop. Both were neatly dressed in brown suits and hats. Each carried a briefcase. One of them walked over to the near-empty display case. The second walked up to the counter. Neither of them said a word.

In the silence, I felt a presence. My eardrums pounded form the overwhelming presence of strength and goodness. I glanced over at Hugh, untouched by the thugs. They seemed spellbound, frozen in mid-attack. They couldn’t seem to take their eyes off the two mysterious young men.

Then I saw Hugh react, as if some power had struck him. He puffed up before my eyes. “You guys don’t want anything,” he yelled. “Quit jerking me around and get out of here!”

The thugs looked at Hugh, then at the two newcomers, who stared silently back. The tables had been turned. The menace in the hoodlums’ eyes vanished, and was replaced by fear. By sheer terror! They bolted for the door and disappeared back into the night.

I tried to collect myself, thanking our two saviors again and again. They didn’t look identical, yet I could not help but think of them as twins.

“Do you have a white rose?” one asked. “Do you have a white rose?” repeated the other.

“I’m so sorry, no,” I said. “Could I offer you a red one instead?”

They shook their heads no, said thank you and turned to leave.

Hugh followed them to the door, locked it behind them, then switched off the overhead lights. He reached out to me and I hugged him close, still trembling. It was a along time till I finally broke the silence. “Those young men…”

“Never saw them before in my life.” We knew everyone in town, all right, but it appeared that there were a few guardian angels we hadn’t yet met.

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