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Unformatted text preview: Senator Morton, were soon jockeying to lead the parade to get the boy sent back to Parchman. Two weeks after I broke the story, Danny Padgitt was "reassigned" to the state penitentiary. The next day, I received two phone calls, one at the office, one at home while I was asleep. Different voices, but with the same message. I was a dead man. I notified the FBI in Oxford, and two agents visited me in Clanton. I leaked this to a reporter in Memphis, and soon the town knew that I had been threatened, and that the FBI was investigating. For a month, Sheriff McNatt kept a patrol car in front of my office around the clock. Another one sat in my driveway during the night. After a seven-year hiatus, I was carrying a gun again. Chapter Thirty-Two Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, There was no immediate bloodshed. The threats were not forgotten, but as time passed they became less ominous. I never stopped carrying a gun—it was always within reach—but I lost interest in it. I found it hard to believe that the Padgitts would risk the severe backlash that would come if they knocked off the editor of the local paper. Even if the town was not entirely enamored of me, as opposed to someone as beloved as Mr. Caudle, the uproar would create more pressure than the Padgitts were willing to risk. They kept to themselves like never before. After the defeat of Mackey Don Coley in 1971, they once again proved quite adept at changing tactics. Danny had given them enough unwanted attention; they were determined to avoid anymore. They retrenched even deeper into Padgitt Island. They increased security in the wasted belief that the next sheriff, T. R. Meredith, or his successor, Tryce McNatt, might come after them. They grew their crops and smuggled them off the island in planes, boats, pickups, and flatbed trucks ostensibly loaded with timber. With typical Padgitt shrewdness, and sensing that the marijuana business might become too risky, they beg...
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