He was in uniform with his standard toothpick in his

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Unformatted text preview: loaded onto a gurney and placed in an ambulance, Sheriff McNatt came over and leaned on the pickup next to me. "Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?" he said. "Yep." "Can you find me a list of the jurors?" Though we had never printed the names of the jurors, I had the information in an old file. "Sure," I said. "How long will it take you?" he asked. "Give me an hour. What's your plan?" "We gotta notify those folks." As we were leaving, the deputies were beginning to comb the thick woods around the Fargarson home. - --- I took the list to the Sheriff's office, and we looked over it together. In 1977, I had written the obituary for juror number five, Mr. Fred Bilroy, a retired forest ranger who died suddenly of pneumonia. As far as I knew, the other ten were still alive. McNatt gave the list to three of his deputies. They dispersed to deliver news that no one wanted to hear. I volunteered to tell Callie Ruffin. She was on the porch watching Esau and Sam wage war over a game of checkers. They were delighted to see me, but the mood quickly changed. "I have some disturbing news, Miss Callie," I said somberly. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html They waited. "Lenny Fargarson, that crippled boy on the jury with you, was murdered this afternoon." She covered her mouth and fell into her rocker. Sam steadied her, then patted her shoulder. I gave a brief description of what happened. "He was such a good Christian boy," Miss Callie said. "We prayed together before we began deliberating." She wasn't crying, but she was on the verge. Esau went to fetch her a blood pressure pill. He and Sam sat beside her rocker while I sat in the swing. We were all bunched together on the small porch, and for a long time little was said. Miss Callie lapsed into a long, brooding spell. It was a warm spring night, under a half-moon, and Lowtown was busy with kids on bikes, neighbors t...
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