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Unformatted text preview: were rapes and murders or corrupt acts by public officials. It was bold, gutsy, and downright brilliant. The townsfolk were on my side. It was, after all, theTimes versus the Padgitts and their Sheriff. We were taking a mighty stand against bad people, and though they were dangerous they were evidently not intimidating me. I kept telling myself to act brave, and I really had no choice. What was my paper supposed to do ignore the Kassellaw murder? Take it easy on Danny Padgitt? My staff was elated with the editorial. Margaret said it made her proud to work for theTimes. Wiley, still nursing his wounds, was now carrying a gun and looking for a fight. "Give 'em hell, rookie," he said. Only Baggy was skeptical. "You're gonna get yourself hurt," he said. And Miss Callie once again described me as courageous. Lunch the following Thursday lasted for only two hours and included Esau. I actually began taking notes about her family. More important, she'd found only three errors in that week's edition. - --- I was alone in my office early Friday afternoon when someone made a noisy entrance downstairs, then came clamoring up. He shoved my door open without so much as a "Hello" and stuck both hands in his pants pockets. He looked vaguely familiar; we'd met somewhere around the square. "You got one of these, boy?" he growled, yanking his right hand out and momentarily freezing my heart and lungs. He slid a shiny pistol across my desk as if it were a setof keys. It spun wildly for a few seconds before resting directly before me, the barrel mercifully pointing toward the windows. He lunged across the desk, thrust out a massive hand, and said, "Harry Rex Vonner, a pleasure." I was too stunned to speak or move, but eventually honored him with an embarrassingly weak handshake. I was still watching the gun. "It's a Smith and Wesson thirty-eight, six-shooter, damned fine firearm. You carryone?" I shook my head no. The name alone sent chills to my feet. Harry Rex kept a nasty black ci...
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- Spring '10