Unformatted text preview: ep in a wooded area, in a converted cattle barn, that Harry Rex had taken me nine years earlier to watch my first and last cockfight. Sometime during the early hours of June 14, a vandal entered Zook's vast equipment shed and partially drained the oil from the engines of two of his big tractors. The oil was collected in cans and hidden among the supplies, so when the operators arrived around 6 A.M. for the day's work there was no sign of foul play. One operator checked the oil as he was supposed to do, saw the shortage, thought it odd, said nothing, and added four quarts. The other operator had checked his the afternoon before, as was his habit. The second tractor ground to a sudden halt an hour later, as its engine locked up. Its operator hiked half a mile back to the shed and reported the breakdown to the farm manager. Two hours later, a green-and-yellow service truck bounced along the field road and maneuvered itself close to the disabled tractor. Two servicemen slowly got out, inspected the hot sun and cloudless sky, then walked around the tractor for an initial look. They reluctantly opened up the panels of the service truck and began removing tools and wrenches. The sun baked them and they were soon sweating. To make their day somewhat more pleasant, they turned on the radio in their truck and cranked up the volume. Merle Haggard could be heard wafting across the soybean field. The music muffled the crack of a distant rifle shot. It hit Mo Teale directly in the upper back, ripped through his lungs, and tore a hole in his chest as it exited. Teale's partner, Red, said over and over that the only thing he heard was a fierce grunt just a second or two before Mo fell under the front axle. He thought at first that something from the tractor had snapped loose in a violent way and injured Mo. Red dragged him to the truck and raced away, much more concerned about his buddy than what might have injured him. At the equipment shed, the farm manager called an ambulance, but it was too late. Mo Teale died there, on the concrete floor of a small, dusty off...
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- Spring '10
- ABC Amber LIT, Joe Namath, Amber LIT Converter, Ford County