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Unformatted text preview: saw that night. "They saw their mother get raped and stabbed," she said, killing off the first beer. Mine was still half full. The Deece home looked as if Mr. and Mrs. Deece had been asleep for days. We turned into the gravel driveway of what was once the happy little Kassellaw home. It was empty, dark, and had an abandoned look to it. There was a FOR SALE sign in the yard. The house was the only significant asset in Rhoda's small estate. The proceeds would all go to the children. At Ginger's request, I cut the lights and turned off the engine. It was not a good idea because the neighbors were understandably jumpy. Plus, my Triumph Spitfire was the only one of its kind in Ford County and as such was naturally a suspicious vehicle. She gently placed her hand on mine and said, "How did he get in the house?" "They found some footprints at the patio door. It was probably unlocked." And during a long silence both of us replayed the attack, the rape, the knife, the children fleeing through the darkness, yelling for Mr. Deece to come save their mother. "Were you close to her?" I asked, then I heard the distant approach of a vehicle. "When we were kids, but not recently. She left home ten years ago." "How often did you visit here?" "Twice. I moved away too, to California. We sort of lost touch. After her husband died, we begged her to come back to Springfield, but she said she liked it here. Truth was, she and my mother never got along." A pickup truck slowed on the road just behind us. I tried to act unconcerned, but I knew how dangerous things could be in such a dark part of the county. Ginger was staring at the house, lost in some horrible image, and seemed not to hear. Thankfully, the truck did not stop. "Let's go," she said, squeezing my hand. "I'm scared." When we drove away, I saw Mr. Deece crouching in the shadows of his garage, holding a shotgun. He was scheduled to be the last witness calle...
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