My presence rattled them that night and the wayward

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Unformatted text preview: who knew something about Padgitt. The supervisor refused to answer questions, and I made him sound like a criminal himself. Penetrating Broomfield camp was just as frustrating. I detailed my efforts and tilted the story so it sounded as though all the bureaucrats were covering up for Padgitt. No one at Parchman knew a damned thing, or if they did they were unwilling to Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, talk about it. I called the highway commissioner (an elected official), the warden at Parchman (thankfully an appointed position), the Attorney General, the Lieutenant Governor, and finally the Governor himself. They were all too busy, of course, so I chatted with their bootlickers and made them sound like morons. Senator Theo Morton appeared to be shocked. He promised to get right to the bottom of it and call me back. At press time, I was still waiting. The reaction in Clanton was mixed. Many of those who called or stopped me on the street were angry and wanted something done. They truly believed that when Padgitt had been sentenced to life and led away in handcuffs, that he would spend the rest of his days in hell at Parchman. A few seemed indifferent and wanted to forget Padgitt altogether. He was old news. And among some there was the frustrating, almost cynical lack of surprise. They figured the Padgitts had worked their magic once more, found the right pockets, pulled the right strings. Harry Rex was in this camp. "What's the big fuss, boy? They've bought Governors before." The photo of Danny walking down the street, free as a bird, frightened Miss Callie considerably. "She didn't sleep last night," Esau mumbled to me when I arrived for lunch that Thursday. "I wish you hadn't found him." - --- Fortunately, the Memphis and Jackson newspapers picked up the story, and it took on a life of its own. They turned up the heat to a point where the politicians had to get involved. The Governor and the Attorney General, along with...
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