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    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Very Small town in Illinois

    The Sparrows Whisper - Chap 18

    The next morning Doctor Padalino got Lacy Beth on her feet and she was able to walk across the room twice before she gave out. After he took a look at me, Doc said that barring any setback that he would probably release both of us the next day.
    A.J. had just walked back in from having breakfast in the cafeteria. “The Mayor tried to see you last night, but the Doctor had left orders for no visitors, so they wouldn't let him come up. One of the nurses came and got me, so I went downstairs. Carl was a little upset that they didn't seem impressed that he was the Mayor of Jubal, and told me to change their minds. When I told him that nobody could change the Doc's orders, he threw a gasket. Ordered me to return to Jubal immediately. Said my duty was protecting the town, not you and Lacy Beth. When I told him that I took my orders from you, he turned red and told me I was fired. I just smiled at him and told him that I'd take firing from you and nobody else. He went storming out, leaving behind a string of cussin like I haven't heard since my Marine Corps days.”
    I laughed and said, “Well one things for sure. When this investigation is over, and if Carl is cleared, you and I are going to be in need of a job, for he will get his revenge.”
    I reckon so, but I never intended to stay at this for very long anyway”, answered Albright.
    You have been up all night, so why don't you go grab some rest. In fact, I'm a lot better. I can take care of things. Why don't you go on home and rest there?”
    Thanks John David, but if it's all the same to you, I'll finish what I started. I'll be napping in the other room if you need me.”
    A little later that day, Lacy and I had just finished lunch and were talking about how much we were looking forward to getting back home, when there was a light knock on the door and in walked Cindy Mae. She walked over and first touched Lacy's arm, then mine. “Hi Lacy Beth, Hi John David... I'm so glad to see you both doing well. I tried to come up two different times, but they would not allow visitors. When I called this morning, they told me that the Doctor had dropped the restrictions, so I drove over as soon as I could.”

    She looked down at her hands and said, “I feel somewhat responsible for your getting shot. If I hadn't asked you both to walk over and talk to me in the park, then maybe you wouldn't have been almost killed. I came here with the intent of telling you something. All the way from Jubal I've had an argument going with myself as to whether I would be right or wrong in doing so. It's just that...” Cindy took a deep breath and continued, “Well... Oh damn it, I still don't know if this is the right thing to do or not... Look, after seeing you both laying on the ground, perhaps dying, I promised myself that I was not going to stick my head in the sand any longer. I can't bring myself to believe that Uncle Carl is guilty of killing Emma Roberts, or for shooting the two of you. However, there are a couple of things I can't continue to ignore.”
    She walked over to the window, looked out and said, “Uncle Carl was having an affair with Emma Roberts. Cash told me about it when I came to visit the last time before I moved here, but I refused to believe it. He's always been a self-serving liar. However, I woke up one night and started downstairs to fix a sandwich when I heard Uncle Carl and Aunt Donna arguing very loudly. She obviously knew about the affair and was demanding that he break it off.

    I didn't want to hear anymore and quickly went back to my room. A couple of days later, Uncle Carl sat me down and told me about it. He said that he didn't know what to do, that Aunt Donna was demanding that he stop seeing Emma. On the other hand, Uncle Carl had apparently told Emma at one point that he was going to divorce Aunt Donna, and Emma, tired of living in the background, was insisting that he make good on his promise. He wanted Emma, but knowing how small country towns are, he knew that his funeral home would lose a great deal of business if he got a divorce. It was also clear to him that he could forget any chance of being re-elected as Mayor.”
    Turning from the window and looking into my eyes, she continued, “ After I went back home, I got a phone call from Uncle Carl. He begged me to come back and talk to Emma for him. She was refusing to budge from her demands, and was making threats about going public about their affair if he didn't go thru with the divorce. Uncle Carl thought that perhaps she might be more willing to listen to reason if it came from another woman. I told him that I didn't want to be involved in this in any way, but he begged me to help, and finally started crying. At that point, I just couldn't turn my back on him, and agreed to talk to her.”
    Cindy pointed at the water pitcher and asked, “May I?”
    Sure go ahead”, I answered and waited as she took a drink of water.
    Uncle Carl told me to tell Emma than she had to understand that if he got the divorce and married her, that it would wreck them financially and politically. He said to tell her that he would give her twenty thousand dollars to tide her over until he could establish a business in a larger town far away from Jubal. Once that was done, he would go thru with the divorce and marry Emma as promised. I came into town late at night, then called her at the office the next morning, and asked her to meet me in the theater that night. Uncle Carl wanted me to keep a low profile, so I wore some old clothes, and a dark wig. We talked for a long time, but no matter how many times we went over it, Emma refused to budge. She was either going to be Mrs. Elliot, or she was going to come out of the shadows with their affair. Family aside, I really sympathized with her feelings, and it was a relief when I knew it was pointless to continue. I wished her well, and she started crying as I left. Uncle Carl and Cash were standing outside the funeral home when I drove by on my way out of town. I slowed down and nodded my head “no”, then left town. It wasn't until the following Monday that I found out that Emma had been killed that night.”
    Thanks Cindy” I said. Actually I was pretty sure of most of that, but your verification is helpful. Will you testify in court and repeat what you have told us today?”
    I truly don't want to” she answered, but if it's necessary, yes I will. Going against family is terribly difficult, but, on the other hand, if I had spoken up sooner, perhaps you and Lacy Beth wouldn't have been shot, altho I don't have any proof of that either way. It's been a terrible tug of war between the part of me that wants to protect my family, versus the part of me that wants to do the right thing as a person. That conflict became more intense the longer it went on. Actually, that's what led to my ugly conduct in the Cafe the morning of the shooting. I just wanted to lash out at everything and everybody. Later I told Uncle Carl about it, and about how awful I felt for the way I acted. He said he understood, and suggested that I find you both in the park and apologize. Now, I must tell you that my asking you to come to me in the park, was not his idea.
    He just asked that I keep my apology as private as possible, in keeping with his desire to anything that might reflect badly on the family out of the public eye. I really don't believe he was the one that shot you.”
    Too large for this forum. Full chapter can be read

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    Last edited by barnburner; 06-06-2011 at 09:16 AM.
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