They both made their way to the judge’s spacious library. The judge’s housekeeper came in, and the judge asked her to bring them some sweet tea. Judge Masters lived in a southern plantation-style house. The two-level house had two separate veranda sitting areas. In the lower level, the judge had renovated one of the anterooms as his law library and office. The office consisted of a kneehole desk, a filing cabinet, and a writing table in a range of wood finishes, including mahogany and cherry wood.
The old bookcase was an English reproduction style with open adjustable shelves and a side cupboard. An old, vintage-type radio played soft, relaxing music. The entire array of desk accessories included a letter rack, a desk blotter, and a filing tray in a rustic brown hue. An old brass desk lamp with a soft glow stood on the corner of the desk.
Quincy dropped down in the chair.
“So, what’s on your mind, Quincy?”
“I need to find out everything you know about Walter Calhoun and his criminal activities.” He knew whatever he was going to hear
wasn’t going to set well with him.
“Why? Why do you ask?”
“Momma’s been going on about him. I know he’s bad news— him and his daughter. But I don’t know why Momma is obsessing over him.”
“Calhoun is an evil man who has always taken what he wanted. He has so many criminal associates that it’s best to tread lightly when dealing with him.” The judge had seen Walter Calhoun in his court many times for a variety of criminal activity. “He was accused of domestic violence against Madge’s mother,” he told Quincy. “He was also charged with atrocious assault against another woman who refused to sell him a parcel of land in another county. I happened to be friends with the judge who handled that particular case. Calhoun slashed her face with a switchblade. So don’t underestimate Calhoun’s treachery.”
“How can one man get away with so much violence and never go to prison?” Quincy asked. He felt his heart rate going up. The day had been too much. First finding his mother crawling under the porch and then her swearing evil men were lurking around. And now the judge had stated what he’d already known all along— Walter Calhoun was no friend of the Bryce family. And if the man thought there was oil on the Bryce land, which he seemed to think, he’d do anything to get it. “What do you know about him trying to get our land?” he asked.
The judge whispered, “Calhoun hated your father with a passion. He was obsessed with getting the Bryce land one way or another.” Time rested between them. “I’ll give you one guess why.”
“Yes, oil. Everybody around here knows that. You know that. It’s no secret,” the judge said.
“So why do you think Momma’s making such a fuss now? She says Calhoun’s going to make a move.”
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