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The rossettis were treated like royalty as they

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Unformatted text preview: ver seen Miss Callie so preoccupied. We were eating fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Esau had not made it home for lunch. "How can I judge a man I know to be guilty?" she asked. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html "First, you listen to the evidence," I said. "You have an open mind. It won't be difficult." "But you know he killed her. You all but said so in your paper." Her brutal honesty hit hard every time. "We just reported the facts, Miss Callie. If the facts make him look guilty, then so be it." The gaps of silence were long and many that day. She was deep in thought and ate little. "What about the death penalty?" she asked. "Will they want to put that boy in the gas chamber?" "Yes ma'am. It's a capital murder case." "Who decides whether he is put to death?" "The jury." "Oh my." She was unable to eat after that. She said her blood pressure had been up since she received the jury summons. She had already been to the doctor. I helped her to the sofa in the den and took her a glass of ice water. She insisted that I finish my lunch, which I happily did in silence. Later, she rallied a bit and we sat on the porch in the rockers, talking about anything but Danny Padgitt and his trial. I finally hit paydirt when I asked her about the Italian influence in her life. Over our first lunch she had told me that she learned Italian before she learned English. Seven of her eight children had Italian names. She needed to tell me a long story. I had absolutely nothing else to do. - --- In the 1890s, the price of cotton rose dramatically as demand increased around the world. The fertile regions of the South were under pressure to produce more. The large plantation owners in the Mississippi Delta desperately needed to increase their crops, but they faced a severe labor shortage. Many of the blacks who were physically able had fled...
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