“judge not that ye be not judged”
“Because I was single, there was a chance I was a homosexual. Because I went to Syracuse, wherever that was, then I was probably a Communist. Or worse, a Liberal. Because I was from Memphis, I was a subversive intent on embarrassing Ford County.”
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“Since most law-abiding citizens had no contact with the parole system, it was not a priority with the state legislatures. And since most of the state's prisoners were either poor or black, and unable to use the system to their advantage, it was easy to hit them with harsh sentences and keep them locked up. But for an inmate with a few connections and some cash, the parole system was a marvelous labyrinth of contradictory laws that allowed the Parole Board to pass out favors.”
“The bankruptcy was called involuntary, as if others had eager volunteers. The pack was led by a print supplier from Memphis that was owed $60,000. Several creditors had not been paid in six months. The old Security Bank was calling in a loan.”
“Baggy and the boys were in the Bar Room on the third floor, not directly under the cupola, but not far from it. In fact, they were probably the closest humans to the sniper when he began his target practice. After the shooting resumed for the ninth or tenth time, they evidently became even more frightened and, convinced they were about to be slaughtered, decided they had to take matters into their own hands. Somehow they managed to pry open the intractable window of their little hideaway. We watched as an electrical cord was thrown out and fell almost to the ground, forty feet below. Baggy’s right leg appeared next as he flung it over the brick sill and wiggled his portly body through the opening. Not surprisingly, Baggy had insisted on going first. “Oh my God,” Wiley said, somewhat gleefully, and raised his camera. “They’re drunk as skunks.” Clutching the electrical cord with all the grit he could muster, Baggy sprung free from the window and began his descent to safety. His strategy was not apparent. He appeared to give no slack on the cord, his hands frozen to it just above his head. Evidently there was plenty of cord left in the Bar Room, and his cohorts were supposed to ease him down. As his hands rose higher above his head, his pants became shorter. Soon they were just below his knees, leaving a long gap of pale white skin before his black socks bunched around his ankles. Baggy wasn’t concerned about appearances—before, during, or after the sniper incident. The shooting stopped, and for a while Baggy just hung there, slowly twisting against the building, about three feet below the window. Major could be seen inside, clinging fiercely to the cord. He had only one leg though, and I worried that it would quickly give out. Behind him I could see two figures, probably Wobble Tackett and Chick Elliot, the usual poker gang. Wiley began laughing, a low suppressed laugh that shook his entire body. With each lull in the shooting, the town took a breath, peeked around, and hoped it was over. And each new round scared us more than the last. Two shots rang out. Baggy lurched as if he’d been hit—though in reality there was no possible way the sniper could even see him, and the suddenness evidently put too much pressure on Major’s leg. It collapsed, the cord sprang free, and Baggy screamed as he dropped like a cinder block into a row of thick boxwoods that had been planted by the Daughters of the Confederacy. The boxwoods absorbed the load, and, much like a trampoline, recoiled and sent Baggy to the sidewalk, where he landed like a melon and became the only casualty of the entire episode. I heard laughter in the distance. Without a trace of mercy, Wiley recorded the entire spectacle. The photos would be furtively passed around Clanton for years to come. For a long time Baggy didn’t move. “Leave the sumbitch out there,” I heard a cop yell below us. “You can’t hurt a drunk,” Wiley said as he caught his breath. Eventually, Baggy rose to all fours. Slowly and painfully, he crawled, like a dog hit by a truck, into the boxwoods that had saved his life, and there he rode out the storm.”
“She died a few days later, and her death buried once and for all the intrigues between the Precious Wife, the Gracious Wife, and all the Imperial favorites. Rivalries and alliances, loathing and attraction had been dissolved. Their existence had been a pointless tragedy, just as the talent of one prodigious poetess had been.”
“If you have a bad feeling about something… If your gut is twisting at the idea of following through with a bad choice… Just say no. Do not be a yes person.”
“In her business, there were many who laughed at honest men, calling them easy pickings. That was a fallacy. Being honest did not make one naive. A dishonest fool and an honest fool were equally easy to scam; you just went about it in different ways. However, a man who was honest and clever was always, always more difficult to scam than someone who was both dishonest and clever.”
“Bad kitty!" Razor buzzed again from Keirran's shoulder. His huge ears flapped as he bounced up and down. "Evil, bad kitty! Shave off fur! Throw kitty off mountain! Burn, burn!”
“The point of a cruise ship is the cruise itself. But an ocean liner’s job is to transport people on a schedule. The”
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