He was a legendary old warrior who ruled with an iron

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Unformatted text preview: f a sudden, one-time special promotion effort. According to Wiley, it was the first murder in eight years. It was a Padgitt! It was a wonderfully sensational story and I saw it as my golden moment. Sure I went for the shock, for the sensational, for the bloodstains. Sure it was yellow journalism, but what did I care? I had no idea the response would be so quick and unpleasant. - --- At 9 A.M., Thursday morning, the main courtroom on the second floor of the Ford County Courthouse was full. It was the domain of the Honorable Reed Loopus, an aging Circuit Court Judge from Tyler County, who passed through Clanton eight times a year to dispense justice. He was a legendary old warrior who ruled with an iron fist and, according to Baggy—who spent most of his working life hanging around the courthouse either picking up gossip or creating it—was a thoroughly honest Judge who had somehow managed to avoid the tentacles of the Padgitt money. Perhaps because he was from another Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html county, Judge Loopus believed criminals should serve long sentences, preferably at hard labor, though he could no longer order such. The Monday after the murder, the Padgitt lawyers had scrambled around trying to get Danny out of jail. Judge Loopus was preoccupied with a trial in another county—his district covered six of them—and he refused to be pushed into a quick bail hearing. Instead, he set the matter for 9 A.M. Thursday, thus allowing the town several days to ponder and speculate. Because I was a member of the press, indeed the owner of the local paper, I felt it was my duty to arrive early and get a good seat. Yes, I was a bit smug. The other spectators were there out of curiosity. I, however, had very important work to do. Baggy and I were sitting in the second row when the crowd began to assemble. Danny Padgitt's principal lawyer was a character named Lucien Wilbanks, a man I would quickly learn to hate. He was what was left of a once prominent clan of lawyers and bankers...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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