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The next padgitt hearing would take place the

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Unformatted text preview: te?" Fargarson asked. In Mississippi, that question really meant "We need to talk and it might take a while." I sat on a bench under one of the oaks. His father rolled him over, then left us to talk. "I see your paper every week," he said. "You think Padgitt will get out?" "Sure. It's just a question of when. He can apply for parole once a year, every year." "Will he come back here, to Ford County?" I shrugged because I had no idea. "Probably. The Padgitts slick close to their land." He considered this for some time. He was gaunt and hunched over like an old man. If my memory was correct, he was about twenty-five at the time of the trial. We were roughly about the same age, though he looked twice as old. I had heard the story of his affliction—some injury in a sawmill. "Does that frighten you?" I asked. He smiled and said, "Nothing frightens me, Mr. Traynor. The Lord is my shepherd." "Yes he is," I said, still warm from the sermon. Because of his physical condition and his wheelchair, Lenny was a difficult person to read. He had endured so much. His faith was strong, but I thought for a second that I caught a hint of apprehension. Mrs. Fargarson was walking toward us. "Will you be there when he's released?" Lenny asked. "I'd like to be, but I'm not sure how it's done." "Will you call me when you know he's out?" "Of course." Mrs. Fargarson had a pot roast in the oven for Sunday lunch, and she wouldn't take no for an answer. I was suddenly hungry, and there was, as usual, nothing remotely tasty in the Hocutt House. Sunday lunch was typically a cold sandwich and a glass of wine on a side porch, followed by a long siesta. Lenny lived with his parents on a gravel road two miles from the church. His father was a rural mail carrier, his mother a schoolteacher. An older sister was in Tupelo. Over roast and potatoes and tea almost as sweet as Miss Callie's, we relived the...
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