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Unformatted text preview: One frigid day late in January, shots rang out somewhere around the square. I was sitting at my desk, peacefully typing a story about Mr. Lamar Farlowe and his recent reunion in Chicago with his battalion of Army paratroopers, when a bullet shattered a windowpane less than twenty feet from my head. A slow news week thus came to a sudden end. My bullet was either the second or the third in a fairly rapid sequence. I hit the floor with all sorts of thoughts—Where was my pistol? Were the Padgitts assaulting the town? Were Trooper Durant and his boys after me? On my hands and knees I scrambled to my briefcase as shots continued to crack through the air; they sounded like they were coming from across the street, but in the horror of the moment I really couldn't tell. They sounded much louder after one hit my office. I emptied the briefcase and then remembered the pistol was either in my car or my apartment. I was unarmed and felt like such a weakling for not being able to defend myself. Harry Rex and Rafe had trained me better. I was scared to the point of not being able to move. Then I remembered Bigmouth Bass was in his office downstairs, and like most real men in Clanton he had an arsenal close by. There were handguns in his desk and he kept two hunting rifles on the wall, just in case he got the urge to run out and kill a deer during lunch. Anyone trying to get me would encounter stiff resistance by my staff. I hoped so anyway. There was a pause in the assault, then shouts of panic and chaos on the streets. It was almost 2 P.M., normally a busy time downtown. I crawled under my desk like I'd been taught in tornado warning drills. From somewhere below I heard Bigmouth yell, "Stay in your offices!" I could almost see him down there, grabbing a 30.06 and a box of shells, ducking into a doorway in great anticipation. I couldn't imagine a worse place for some nut to start shooting. There were thousands of guns within arm's reach around the Clanton square. Every pickup had two rifles in the window rack and a shotgun under the seat. These people couldn't wait...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10