Unformatted text preview: less artifacts and worthless files and adorned with fake portraits of Confederate generals. I loved the place. When Spot left he took nothing, and after a few months no one seemed to want any of his junk. So it remained where it was, neglected as always, virtually untouched by me, and slowly becoming my property. I boxed up his personal things—letters, bank statements, notes, postcards—and stored them in one of the many unused rooms down the hall where they continued to gather dust and slowly rot. My office had two sets of French doors that opened to a small porch with a wrought-iron railing, and there was enough room out there for four people to sit in wicker chairs and watch the square. Not that there was much to see, but it was a pleasant way to pass the time, especially with a drink. Baggy was always ready for a drink. He brought a bottle of bourbon after dinner, and we assumed our positions in the rockers. The town was still buzzing over the bail hearing. It had been widely assumed that Danny Padgitt would be sprung as soon as Lucien Wilbanks and Mackey Don Coley could get matters arranged. Promises would be made, money would change hands, Sheriff Coley would somehow personally guarantee the boy's appearance at trial. But Judge Loopus had other plans. Baggy's wife was a nurse. She worked the night shift in the emergency room at the hospital. He worked days, if his rather languid observations of the town could be considered labor. They rarely saw each other, which was evidently a good thing because they fought constantly. Their adult children had fled, leaving the two of them to wage their own little war. After a couple of drinks, Baggy always began the cutting remarks about his wife. He was fifty-two, looked at least seventy, and I suspected that the booze was the principal reason he was aging badly and lighting at home. "We kicked their butts," he said proudly. "Never before has a newspaper story been so clearly exonerated. Right there in open...
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