Jackie was real excited when we left and I wondered what had happened while I was talking to his uncle. I told him we would be coming back in a couple of days to work for his uncle. He informed me that his cousins tried to bully him around, but he stood up to them. My goodness, I was so very proud of him and told him so. I asked him what had changed.
"Well, AnnieBee, I took a look at myself in the mirror this morning, and gave myself a pep talk. I looked at how tall I am and how big my body is, with broad shoulders and muscles in my arms and I just decided I could take them on, at least one at a time, and maybe both of them at once if I needed to. Ya know, they are not any bigger than I am."
I nearly fell over, I was that surprised by his answer... and proud! My Jackie was maturing (and about time) in his thinking. I suppose with all the stuff that had happened in his life, it was making him take a long look at his life and where it was heading. He certainly was not dumb, even though he gave that appearance. His naivete made people think he didn't have much in the upstairs to work with, but be not fooled, my friends; he was quite quite intelligent. I was just beginning myself, to see how smart he was.
"That is wonderful, Jackie, my boy! I am so glad ya finally realized that ya don't have ta let them bully ya around! Good for you!" Now let's go share your good news with Pastor Joe and we might even stop in and see Lieutenant Shannon on our way. Come along, Clancy! We need ta make tracks!"
Clancy trotted along beside us and every once in awhile he would run over to the trees along the way and sprinkle them generously, then run back to us. I kept him on a long enough leash, so he could feel kinda free. It wasn't long enough for him to get run over by a car, though. I couldn't stand it to lose my little buddy.
The day was a little cloudy, but warm, and it looked like more rain might be in the offing. After all, it was summer in the South and rain was always a real possibility. Looking up at the sky, I noted the low clouds over to the west. We quite often got our rain after it hit some of those states.
"We'd better get a move on, Jackie, who knows when the rain might begin ta drizzle on us."
We hurried on and soon reached the police station. I was curious to see how the case Jackie had been involved in was coming along. We went up the steps and into the station. Walking over to the desk, I hailed the sergeant on duty.
"Hey, Sgt. Hamilton, how's it goin'? Caught any criminals today? Oh, I reckon you can't since you're stuck behind that desk. Ha. Jist a jokin', don't cha know! Is Lieutenant Shannon in or is he out on a call?"
"Hi, AnnieBee, hello, Jackie. Yeah, he's upstairs; I'll call up and see if he can talk to you right now. He's with somebody else." Picking up the phone, he buzzed the Lieutenant's office. "There's some citizens down here wanting to see ya, Lieutenant. Yeah, you know who is champin' at the bit to talk to ya. Okay, I'll give him time to get out before I send 'em up."
Sgt. Hamilton stood up and looked over the edge of the desk. "Hey, Clancy. Ya caught any criminals lately? Ha ha!"
Clancy just looked up at him and yipped.
I was wondering who the Lieutenant had been talking to that he didn't want us to see. Must be one of his undercover men; I figure whoever it was would be going out the back door into the alleyway. Oh well, it couldn't concern us, anyway.
We heard footsteps coming down the stairway. The Looie came around the corner and said, "What can I do for you all? AnnaBelle, you recovered from your 'undercover' work? You look a little rested up from what your protective replacement reported to me this morning. She said you looked like you'd been pulled through a knothole."
"Well, I ain't as young as I useta' be, ya know," I grinned. "But I'm doin' okay, now, I reckon. We was wantin' ta know about the case against Gloria Simmons. When is it goin' ta trial?" (to be continued)