where do you guys get all those strange ideas? I find it only makes sense to handle the deleted flag as part of the file format specification that matters only for the part of the implementation that deals with the file directly rather than passing around deleted records.
I had B & S version 2.3.2, and the method signature in DBMain was public String read(int recNo). I got 24/40 for the GUI and 100 % for the rest (96 % total).
I think that you would not want to pass the deleted flag back to the client. Logically you would never send a deleted record to a client, so that flag would have no meaning to the client.
Or, to look at it from a different perspective, consider the following from the instructions:
Data section. Repeat to end of file: 1 byte "deleted" flag. 0 implies valid record, 1 implies deleted record Record containing fields in order specified in schema section, no separators between fields, each field fixed length at maximum specified in schema information
The "deleted" flag is mentioned separately from the "Record" data. So it would not be included.