jeter announced i stood looked around me saw no one

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Unformatted text preview: rent face—thin, pale, gaunt, topped with grayish hair. I couldn't place it, but I knew it was familiar. The man was seated in the second row from the front, on the other side of the small sanctuary, and he seemed out of touch with the chaos of the worship service. At times he appeared to be praying, then he would sit while everyone else was standing. Those around him seemed to accept him and ignore him at the same time. He turned once and looked directly at me. It was Hank Hooten, the ex-lawyer who'd shot up the town in 1971! He'd been taken in a straitjacket tothe state mental hospital, and a few years later there'd been a rumor that he had been released. No one had seen him, though. For two days after that, I tried to track down Hank Hooten. My calls to the state mental hospital went nowhere. Hank had a brother in Shady Grove, but he refused to talk. I snooped around Calico Ridge, but, typically, no one there would utter a word to a stranger like me. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, Chapter Thirty-Three Many of those who worshiped diligently on Sunday mornings became less faithful on Sunday nights. During my tour of churches, I heard many preachers chide their followers to return in a few hours to properly complete the observance of the Sabbath. I never counted heads, but as a general rule about half of them did so. I tried a few Sunday night services, usually in an effort to catch some colorful ritual such as snake handling or disease healing or, on one occasion, a "church conclave" in which a wayward brother was to be put on trial and certainly convicted for fancying another brother's wife. My presence rattled them that night and the wayward brother got a reprieve. For the most part, I limited my study of comparative religions to the daylight hours. Others had different Sunday-night rituals. Harry Rex helped a Mexican named Pepe lease a building and open a restaurant one block off the square. Pepe's became mod...
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