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Unformatted text preview: onal informant, a reporter with the Coast daily. SINCE THE FAMILY, such as it was, had given blanket approval, as had Patrick, the executor of the estate, the digging up of the grave was a simple matter. Judge Trussel and Parrish and Sandy didn't miss the irony of having Patrick, Clovis' only friend, sign an affidavit granting permission to open the casket so that Patrick could be cleared. Every decision seemed to be layered with irony. It was far different from an exhumation, a procedure that required a court order, after a proper motion and sometimes even a hearing. It was simply a look-see, a procedure unknown to the Mississippi Code, and therefore Judge Trussel took great latitude with it. Who could be harmed? Certainly not the family. Certainly not the casket; evidently it was serving little purpose anyway. Rolland still owned the funeral home up in Wig-gins. How well he remembered Mr. Clovis Goodman and his lawyer, and the odd little wake out there in the county, at the home of Mr. Goodman, where no one showed up but the lawyer. Yes, he recalled it well, he told the Judge on the phone. Yes, he'd read something about Mr. Lanigan, and no, he hadn't made the connection. Judge Trussel gave him a quick summary, which led immediately to Clovis' involvement in the plot. No, he had not opened the casket after the wake, had had no need to, never did in those situations. While the Judge talked, Parrish faxed to Rolland copies of the consents signed by Deena Postell and by Patrick Lanigan, the executor. Rolland was suddenly eager to help. He'd never had a corpse stolen before, folks just didn't do those things in Wiggins, and, well, yes, he could certainly have the grave opened in no time flat. He owned the cemetery too. Judge Trussel sent his law clerk and two deputies to the cemetery. Under the handsome headstone: CLOVIS F. GOODMAN JANUARY 23, 1907, TO FEBRUARY 6, 1992 GONE ON TO GLORY A backhoe carefully picked through the loamy soil as Rolland gave directions and waited with a shovel. It took less than fifteen minutes to reach the casket. Rolland and a helper stepped into the grave and shoveled away more dirt. The poplar had started to rot around the edges of the coffin. Rolland straddled the lower half of the casket and with dirty hands inserted the church key. He jerked and pried until the lid made a cracking sound, then he slowly opened it. To no one's surprise, the casket was empty. Except, of course, for the four cinder blocks. THE PLAN was to do it in open court, as required by law, but to wait until almost five, when the courthouse was closing and many of the county employees were leaving. Five o'clock sounded fine to everyone, especia...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10