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M for the days work there was no sign of foul play

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Unformatted text preview: alking across fences, a rowdy basketball game under way down the street. A gang of ten-year-olds became infatuated with my Spitfire, and Sam finally ran them off. It was only the second time I had been there after dark. "Is it like this every night?" I finally asked. "Yes, when the weather's nice," Sam said, anxious to talk. "It was a wonderful place to grow up. Everybody knows everybody. When I was nine years old I broke a car windshield with a baseball. I turned tail and ran, ran straight home, and when I got here Momma was waiting on the front porch. She knew all about it. I had to walk back to the scene of the crime, confess, and promise to make full restitution." "And you did," Esau said. "Took me six months to work and save a hundred and twenty bucks." Miss Callie almost smiled at the memory, but she was too preoccupied with Lenny Fargarson. Though she hadn't seen him in nine years, she had fond memories of him. His death truly saddened her, but it was also terrifying. Esau fixed sweet tea with lemon, and when he returned from the inside of the house he quietly slid a double-barrel shotgun behind the rocker, within his reach but out of her sight. As the hours passed, the foot traffic thinned and the neighbors withdrew. I decided that if Miss Callie stayed at home she would be a very difficult target. There were houses next door and across the street. There were no hills or towers or vacant lots within sight. I didn't mention this, but I'm sure Sam and Esau were having the same thoughts. When she was ready for bed, I said my good nights and drove back to the jail. It was crawling with deputies, and had the carnival-like atmosphere that only a good murder could bring. I couldn't help but flash back nine years to the night Danny Padgitt was arrested and hauled in with blood on his shirt. Only two of the jurors had not been found. Both had moved, and Sheriff McNatt was trying to track them down. He asked about Miss Call...
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