He leaned slightly forward to the microphone and

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Unformatted text preview: room and tossed a copy up to the bench. "Take a look at this," he growled. Loopus adjusted his reading glasses, pulled theTimes up high, and sank back into his fine leather chair. He began reading, apparently in no particular hurry. He was a slow reader. At some point my heart began functioning again, returning with the fury of a jackhammer. And I noticed my collar was wet where it rested on the back of my neck. Loopus finished the front page and slowly opened it up. The courtroom was silent. Would he toss me into jail right there? Nod to a bailiff to slap handcuffs on me and drag me away? I wasn't a lawyer. I'd just been threatened with a million-dollar lawsuit, by a man who'd certainly filed many, and now the Judge was reading my rather lurid accounts while the entire town waited for his verdict. A lot of hard glances were coming my way, so I found it easier to scribble on my reporter's pad, though I couldn't read anything I was writing. I worked hard at keeping a straight face. What I really wanted to Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html do was bolt from the courtroom and race back to Memphis. Pages rattled, and His Honor was finally finished. He leaned slightly forward to the microphone and uttered words that would instantly make my career. He said, "It's very well written. Engaging, perhaps a bit macabre, but certainly nothing out of line." I kept scribbling, as if I hadn't heard this. In a sudden, unforeseen, and rather harrowing skirmish, I had just prevailed over the Padgitts and Lucien Wilbanks. "Congratulations," Baggy whispered. Loopus refolded the newspaper and laid it down. He allowed Wilbanks to rant and rave for a few minutes about leaks from the cops, leaks from the prosecutor's office, potential leaks from the grand jury room, all of them somehow coordinated by a conspiracy of unnamed people determined to treat his client unfairly. What he was really doing was performing for the Padgit...
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