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Unformatted text preview: A.M. I'd been to the Tea Shoppe a couple of times for late morning coffee and once for lunch. As the owner of the paper, I felt it necessary to circulate and be seen, at a reasonable hour. I was keenly aware that I would be writing about Ford County, its people and places and happenings, for years to come. Wiley said the cafes would be crowded early. "Always after football games and car wrecks," he said. "What about murders?" I asked. "It's been a long time," he said. He was right, the place was packed when we walked in, just after 6 A.M. He offered some hellos, shook some hands, exchanged a couple of insults. He was from Ford County and knew everyone. I nodded and smiled and caught the odd looks. It would take years. The people were friendly, but also wary of outsiders. We found two scats at the counter and I asked for coffee. Nothing else. The waitress did not approve of this. She warmed to Wiley, though, when he reconsidered and ordered scrambled eggs, country ham, biscuits, grits, and a side of hash browns, enough cholesterol to choke a mule. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html The talk was of the rape and murder and nothing else. If the weather could cause arguments, imagine what such a heinous crime could stir up. The Padgitts had had the run of the county for a hundred years; it was time to send 'em all to jail. Surround the island with the National Guard if necessary. Mackey Don had to go; he'd been in their pockets for too long. Let a bunch of crooks run free and they think they're above the law. Now this. Not much was said about Rhoda because little was known. Someone knew she'd been hanging around the lounges on the state line. Someone said she'd been sleeping with a local lawyer. Didn't know his name. Just a rumor. The rumors roared around the Tea Shoppe. A couple of the loudmouths took turns holding court, and I was surprised at how reckless they were with their versions of the truth. Too bad I couldn't print all the wonderful gossip we heard. Chapter Five We did, however, print...
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- Spring '10