The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane - Part 7

The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane - Part 7
By Barbara Lynn Terry

Chapter 9 - Life returns to normal in Pine Forest.

With Jonah Wilson Carruthers and David Adams gone, the city of Pine Forest returned to its normal operations. Folks were working, store proprietors were selling dry goods and groceries. John Shepard was still at the Village of Pine Woods hardware store. Eileen Shepard was looking through the sewing and crafts section. Jimmy and Kathy Shepard were looking at the toys.

Not the toys you would see most boys and girls playing with, but more sophisticated toys. There were games for the wii machine, and these were the “toys” Jimmy and Kathy were looking at. Hugh Creston was explaing to John Shepard how he orders his supplies from Shepard Hardware, Mid-State, Warehouse. He finally came to the nuts, bolts, screws, hinges, etc., and John inspected all of them. What John Shepard was looking for, was any imperfections in the quality of the hardware. He didn’t find any.

Jimmy and Kathy came over with two games for their wii machine.

“Dad, May I have this basketball game for the wii machine?” Jimmy Shepard asked.

“Of course, son. Basketball is a good game to play.”

“Daddy, may I please have this tennis game for the wii machine?” Kathy Shepard humbly asked.

“Of course, punkin, tennis is a good game to play on the wii. Kathy, Jimmy, how would you two like to learn to play tennis?”

“Only if I can learn how to play basketball,” answered Jimmy.

“It’s a deal, son.”

John Shepard was proud of his children. They have recently moved in to an area that has a transgender child living nearby. John was of the opinion that all people of that sort engaged in unnatural sex acts, but, he found Jay Simons to be decent and caring. His son even protected Jay from a bully. Yes, he was proud of his children, as they became friends with Jay Simons.

Eileen Shepard found an opaque, lacy material for the kitchen windows. Then she found a heavy material for the kitchen windows. This material had fruit prints on it, like apples, bananas, strawberries, and even a slice of watermelon. She felt this would be ideal for kitchen drapes.

For the living room, she selected a sky blue material for the living room drapes. She didn’t need curtains, because the shades they were going to put up, would cover the windows. The drapes would be added security for the Shepard family’s privacy.

In Jimmy’s room, she selected a material for the drapes that had an Iron Man print on them. This would be the drapes for Jimmy’s room. For Kathy’s room, she selected a drapery material that had Disney’s Princesses theme and the Disney castle.

With their purchases in hand, they approached the counter, and Hugh Creston checked them out. Promising to return, the Shepard family left.

“Well,” John Shepard opened the conversation. “Our next stop is Pine Tree, about five miles down the the road from here. I want to check out the hardware store there, too, if they have one. A lot of these rural counties have one hardware store for a few towns.”

“Well, dear,” Eileen stated, not to be left out of the conversation. “Maybe I can find a few things there, too.”

“Mom, you’re always buying things. Me and Kathy have what we want. What do you want to look for?”

“I don’t know, yet, Jimmy. But, I will know it when I see it.”

“Mom, may I help you look for it?”

“Yes, Kathy, you may.”

“Women!” John Shepard muttered under his breath.

“Men!” Eileen and Kathy Shepard said together.

John Shepard and Jimmy looked at each other, as they both smiled. John entered the town limits of Pine Tree, and was looking for the hardware store. As he drove in to the town, Eileen noticed that this town had a Joanne Fabrics store. John found the hardware store at the end of the main street. This wasn’t called main street, though. It was called Highway Boulevard. That is, I guess, because the highway ran right through the middle of town.

John Shepard parked in front of the hardware store, and Eileen said she was taking Kathy with her. Jimmy said he was staying with his dad. There was one good thing about small towns like this; they had a small, but busy business district. John and Jimmy went in the hardware store, while Eileen and Kathy went from store to store.

The town of Pine Tree has fifteen thousand people who live in town and the immediate surrounding countryside. As John Shepard entered the hardware store with Jimmy, he noticed how small the store was. He thought to himself, that the store could be bigger, and maybe he could give the owner a few pointers.

“May I help you, sir?” Said a voice from behind them.

“Yes, I’m John Shepard of Shepard Hardware. I supply hardware stores from coast to coast and in Canada, too. I thought maybe I could talk to the owner about maybe enlarging the store.”

“I’m Pete McDonald, the proprietor of the store. I had wanted to enlarge the store, but, I haven’t gotten around to it, yet.”

“May I see what you have on the shelves, and in stock? Maybe I can give you a few pointers to help you?”

“Mr. Shepard, I know about your hardware business, but I order from a different company.”

“Why don’t we sit down, say, over coffee. We can talk about how much you pay for your stock, and how much my company charges. This would not be a new customer one time rate, but, it would be a rate you can afford always.”

“I am willing to find out how I can save money on my stock orders. The company I order from charges me a small fortune.”

“Jimmy, go out to the car and bring my Thermos bottle in. Mr. McDonald and I are going to have a business meeting.”

Jimmy ran out to the car, and found his dad’s Thermos bottle. He quickly took it inside. Pete McDonald went in the back and got a cup.

“Mr. McDonald, I …”

“It’s Pete.”

“I’m John. Mr McDonald, I feel if you ordered from my company, you would see a marked increase in your business. I make sure my hardware is of the utmost quality. I have a few samples with me, if you would like to see them.”

“By all means, John.”

“Jimmy. Bring in my sample case.”

Jimmy ran to the car and got his dad’s hardware sample case. Jimmy lugged it in to the store.

“Pete, I want you to look at these samples, and compare them to what you have now. I think you will find these samples are a better quality than what you are used to buying.”

Pete McDonald took a few samples over to his bins where he had the bolts, screws, nails, hinges, and more.He weighed each one of the samples against the weight of his stock. Pete found the samples from Shepard Hardware was slightly heavier, and looked like A-one quality. After about an hour of testing the samples against his own stock, Pete McDonald went back by John.

“John, I will order from your company. These sample seem a bit heavier than what I have now. This is the kind of quality I have been looking for.”

“Then here is my card. I have a mid state warehouse here in this state. Your orders will come from them. You call the number on the card to set up an account. When you order, the secretary who answered the phone will alert the warehouse. The warehouse then fills the order and ships it out by UPS Ground. The shipping charges are cheaper that way.”

“Thank you, Mr., uh, John.”

“You are welcome. I visit the hardware stores in this country twice a year, to make sure everything is going fine. I think you will find my company a little different than all the others. We also throw a picnic banquet during the summer for all of our customers. You pay nothing except your travel costs. If you wish to bring a dish to pass around, you may.

“Pete, I show my appreciation for the customers I have. I am hoping to have more as I go on my twice a year jaunts.”

“Do you live around here, Mr., uh, John?”

“We live in Pine Forest. We bought the widow Mae Harkins place just this last Friday.”

“Everybody in these parts knows Mae Harkins. She was a lady a person could depend on. If you asked her if she could help you by baby sitting, or helping a wheelchair bound person clean their house, she would. For those who couldn’t, she would cook their meals for them. She never asked for a penny; not one penny. Mae Harkins is called the angel of Addison county.”

“Now I see why Pine Forest puts on all those events in her honor for that scholarship prgram. I regret not having met her.”

“John, every year at Christmas time, we go through the town and sing Christmas carols. It is a tradition we never got rid of. I think you will like that. It is the one event where people in the area actually send money in for the Mrs. Mae Harkins Memorial Scholarship Fund. She has touched everybody in this county in one way or another.”

“Pete, the phone number on the bottom left on my card, will be my home number. If you want, we can get together and have a few at the local watering hole. We can sit and discuss everything from the weather to the infinity of the universe.”

“Do you always treat your customers this way?”

“Yes. I don’t think of them as just customers. I think of them as friends who order quality hardware at a decent price. I think of them as friends, because that is what a stranger is; a friend you haven’t met, yet.”

“My current supplier doesn’t think like that. If I have a problem with the order he sent me, he deducts that from the order amount, but he never calls or comes around.”

“That isn’t a business. That’s a swindle. I never understood companies that did business in that way. I am having a cook out at my house next week Friday. My address is 1734 Ginger Lane, Pine Forest. The cook out, will go from eleven in the morning until midnight. Bring your family and friends and a dish to pass around, if you want to.”

“Where are you going from here?”

“I thought we would take a trip over to Pine Grove. I understand that is where the airport is.”

“Yes, it is a huge airport for these part. It can handle big jet planes, as well as the small private planes and corporate and personally owned smaller jets.”

“Good, because I fly out twice a year to inspect my hardware people and see if they are satisfied with their orders.”

“Excuse me, but what planet did you say you were from? I have been in the hardware business going on twenty years. Never have I ever heard of a big shot from one of the hardware companies ever spending time with their customers, and I never heard of them flying out twice a year to see if we were satisfied.”

“Like I said, Pete, I treat my customers as friends. I want my friends to be satisfied with their orders. If somebody makes a complaint about my hardware product(s), I want to know that, too. I am successful in the hardware business, more so than others. That is because I care about my customers being happy, making their customers happy.”

Pete lightly shakes his head. “Like I said, I have never heard of a hardware business doing anything like this. Your way of doing business in hardware, is not, as they say in jolly old England, cricket.”

“Well, Pete, we have a few more towns to go to yet. We’re just getting acquainted with the area. Our next stop will be Pine Grove.”

“The man’s name who owns the hardware store there, is Jim Bradley. He has had that store for the last twenty two years. He’s a decent man, and he has a wonderful sense of humor. Tell him you stopped by here and that I will be ordering from you.”

“I sure will, Pete. It is nice to have met you.”

“Likewise. I will be ordering from your company. As my current stock dwindles, I will order replacements from you. Drive safe, John, and I will be at your cook out, along with the family.”

“Alright, Pete, you take care, too.”

With that, John and Jimmy left the store, just in time to see Eileen and Kathy coming from across the street. They were carrying bags of something, and Eileen had a bolt of pink material in her hands. The bolt of cloth was heavy, and it was a good thing that Diane’s Fabrics was just across the street.

Eileen and Kathy got to the car, where John took the bolt of cloth from Eileen’s tired arms.

“Let’s put everything in the trunk. Our next stop is Pine Grove. So, if we’re ready, I say let’s go.”

Everybody got in the car, and buckled their seat belts. John Shepard started the car, and backed out of the parking space. They headed due west to the city of Pine Grove.

Along the way, they played their cloud formation game. It was fascinating the shapes the clouds took on. Like there was a formation of the continent of Australia. Another one of Abraham Lincoln’s head. They saw many “cool” cloud formations. Then John Shepard announced they were coming in to Pine Grove. This was the biggest city in the area, and you would think this would be the county seat, instead of Pine Forest.

Pine Forest was built and established in 1802, and was incorporated in 1875. Pine Grove was built and established in 1835 and was incorporated in 1883. When Pine Forest was first built, there was Judge Ephraim Abraham who on a good day would give you life in prison, if you were convicted of a capitol crime such as; horse stealing, murder, rape, attempted murder. On a bad day, he would order you hung by the neck until dead.

It was judge Abraham who, at a town hall meeting, suggested that a two story courthouse be built. The suggestion was seconded and it was passed unanimously. Two and half years later, the Addison county courthouse was finished.

As they drove through Pine Grove, they saw that there was a realty office, two restaurants, several taverns, and a Joanne Fabrics store caught Eileen Shepard’s eye. They passed city hall, where there was a notice displayed on the bulletin board outside. The bulletin Board was encased. On the notice, in big bold letters, it said town meeting this Friday.

There is one thing John Shepard liked about small towns. Everybody in town had a say in how things were run. The mayor in these small towns listened to the people that elected him. John Shepard was to learn a few things about the mayor and the town council.

There was a parking lot in the back of the hardware store, the front being a loading zone. After parking the car, John Shepard and family, went in the hardware store.

“Good morning, folks, may I help you find something?”

“Maybe. I’m John Shepard of Shepard Hardware. I have …” Jim Bradley interrupted John.

“Mr. Shepard, I am the owner of this store, and I order all of my hardware from your company. I have had one compliment after another about the quality of your products. I’m Jim Bradley.”

“I’m John, and I have a message from Pete McDonald in Pine Tree. He says to tell you he sent me. I am having a cook out next week Friday. Bring your family and a dish to pass around, if you want. My address is 1734 Ginger Lane, Pine Forest.”

“That address sounds familiar. There was a Mae Harkins that lived on Ginger Lane in Pine Forest. She was a widow and a very sweet lady. I offered her a cup of tea once, and we sat and talked for about an hour. Then a customer came in and I excused myself. When she left, she had bought a Brinks* padlock and hasp.”

“From what I see here, Jim, is that you have a good supply of everything. Do you remember what hasp Mrs. Mae Harkins bought?”

“Yes, since we’re right here, it is this one.” Jim Bradley showed John the hasp.

“The heavy duty one. That one is one quarter inch thick. It is meant to stand being dropped, thrown, hammered, and what not. She had a good eye.”

“Yes, John, she did. She picked it out herself, without any help.”

“Well, Jim, it was nice meeting you. This Saturday, we’re having a square dance at the community hall in Pine Forest. You are welcome to come.”

“I will certainly be there. I missed the block party this time, because I wasn’t feeling good. I hope I can make the next one. I normally come to all the events, because Mrs. Mae Harkins touched everybody in this whole area of the state in a positive manner.”

“I am just sorry I missed meeting her. It is her cottage I bought just this last Friday.”

“I have been in that house, John. It is huge inside there.”

“Yes, it is, but, I have two children, and they just love the house. It is too late to do any cultivating any more this year, but next spring, I am going to do some planting and landscaping. I want to build an addition to the cottage that Mrs. Harkins would approve of. This addition will serve as my office and file room. Well, we have one more town to visit, so I will take my leave. It was nice meeting you. See you at the cook out.”

“You bet, John, and it was meeting you, too. Drive carefully.”

The Shepard family left the small city of Pine Grove. John Shepard couldn’t help but think that he had had a meaningful conversation with Jim Bradley. They were now on their way back to Pine Forest.

Since moving in on Friday, they really hadn’t had a chance to really look around. So, today, they were going to look around their new home. The Shepard family knew where the hardware store was, but that was about it. It was, after all, the county seat.

On the way back, Jimmy, Kathy, and Eileen, were again playing their cloud formation game. It is really a fun game for any age.

“There’s one that looks like a house. They all looked at it, and sure enough, it was shaped like a house.”

“Kathy, it is your turn to look for a nicely shaped cloud,” Eileen said, noting that it was Jimmy who saw the house first.

Kathy scanned the sky, looking for a familiar shape in the clouds. She found one that was really unique.

“Look over there. That looks like a collie dog,” Kathy told everybody.

“It sure does, Kathy,” Eileen Shepard told her daughter.

“We’re coming to Pine Forest. Let’s go to the business district and get familiar with the stores, city hall, the courthouse, the community center and the Little League baseball diamond.”

John Shepard parked again, in front of the hardware store. Everybody got out, and started with the dress shop right next door to the hardware store. They went from store to store, and found out that the courthouse and community center were not that far from “downtown” Pine Forest.

Eileen and Kathy stayed in the dress shop, because they saw square dance outfits. Eileen Shepard wanted to get an outfit for herself and one for Kathy. This way, they would each have an outfit for other square dances.

John and Jimmy Shepard went in to a men’s clothing store, looking for square dance duds. They found them, s John took a complete set of square dance clothes, and then went to the children’s department to get a complete set for Jimmy.

The mother/daughter and father/son teams met at the rear of their car parked in front of the hardware store. They put their purchases in the trunk and decided to see what other stores they could raid. Jimmy and Kathy were pestering their parents to find an art store because they wanted art supplies and a couple of jigsaw puzzles.

They found Don’s Art Supply and Puzzle store on Oak Avenue, just around the corner from the hardware store. They went in and started to look around when a nice young lady of about twenty came up to them.

“Hello, my name is Brenda. May I help you?”

“Yes, maybe. My children are looking for art supplies and jigsaw puzzles.

“Well, we carry everything from acrylics to inks. We have the finest art paper in this area. We have colored pencils as well as crayons. As for jigsaw puzzles, we carry a wide variety. We carry everything from small toddler puzzles to adult 1,000 piece puzzles. The art supplies are on that far end of the store, and the jigsaw puzzles are on this end, here.

“Feel free to look around, and if you find something you like, I will be at the register, right there,” She said, pointing to where the cash register was.

Jimmy and Kathy went over by the art supplies. Jimmy was looking for acrylics, while Kathy was looking for oil paints. They found several single paint-by-numbers portrait boards, and a lot more paint-by-numbers books. They each selected what they wanted in the paint department, and then turned to the portrait boards and books.

Jimmy found a portrait board with George Washington standing up in the boat crossing the Delaware river. This was going to keep Jimmy quite busy when he wasn’t with his new friends, or doing homework.

Kathy found both a portrait board and two books. The portrait board had flowers, butterflies, bumble bees, birds and a cloudless sky with a brightly shining sun. The paint-by-numbers books she found had different themes throughout each of the books.

Kathy went to get their dad, while Jimmy kept an eye on the supplies they were going to buy. They needed their dad to carry the portrait boards, while they carried the paints and books. Jimmy amd Kathy had easels they could put the boards on.

Jimmy and Kathy did know how to draw, but they wanted something they could do qithout having to delicately taking their time, which is what you do when you draw free hand. Maybe in a few years they will be able to draw like the professional artists do when they make the images for cartoons. In fact, it was the cartoons they watch on the cartoon channel that got the two children interested in drawing.

They took the art supplies and the other purchases home with them, and then went right back out again. The next place they went was to the courthouse. They wanted to know where it was and after getting out of the car, they went inside. As they entered the courthouse, they saw officer Steve Haskins.

“Hello, Mr. Shepard. What brings to theses gloomy walls?” Asked Steve.

“Just getting familiarized with the area. I need the children to know where everything is. Is the community center open, right now?” Inquired John Shepard.

“Yes, Mr. Shepard. It allows the children to do things. They have a basketball court, a separate room where they can play table tennis, a central community area where we hold the square dances, and other indoor events. It also has a swimming pool, where people may go swimming if they want to. Does Mrs. Shepard like to bake?”

“Yes, why do you ask?”

“Well, twice a year we have a bake sale in the community center. The ladies bake some of the most delicious cookies, pies, cakes and breads. It isn’t a contest, it’s just a bake sale. The money from that bake sale goes in to the Mrs. Mae Harkins Memorial Scholarship Fund.”

“It seems,” John Shepard started saying. “That all the events here are in someway connected to the scholarship fund. Why is that?”

“Because we believe that hard work should be rewarded. A student who goes from kindergarten through the twelfth grade, with perfect or near perfect grades, and has been involved in class participation, and has ideal SAT scores, deserves to go to college. Not everyone in this world is rich. So, they go to college on a scholarship program. This way their tuition is paid for.”

“So, all the events you have here, are for the scholarship. My children are fair artists. I was just wondering if you had a picture drawing event, where the children who can draw, would be able to show what they can do.”

“Can Jimmy and Kathy paint freelance?” Asked Steve.

“Well, right for now, they paint by numbers. They can draw fairly well, but not to the point of being professional.”

“John, it doesn’t matter. We could organize such an event. I will bring it up at our next town hall meeting.”

“When is the next town hall meeting?” John Shepard asked Steve Hastings.

“We will meet a week from Wednesday, at the community center. The mayor holds these town hall meetings to get an idea of what the townspeople really want from city government. It is at these town hall meetings that the Widow Harkins came up with her best ideas for quite a number of things we have in our town now.”

“I told one of the hardware store owners that I am sorry I didn’t get to meet her.”

“You would have liked her, John,” Steve said, with reverence in his voice. “Come with me, and I will show you the community hall. I think Jimmy and Kathy will like it there. When they’re not with their friends, or doing other things, they can come here and get involved with a lot of things. Like I said, there is ping pong, basketball, we even have an arts and crafts room. Saturday at the square dance, you will see a lot more of the community hall. At the square dance, you will meet more of the people who live here in Pine Forest.”

“We just came back from having a tour in the other towns nearby. I have invited them and who ever they can bring, to come to the square dance.”

“Good, I hope they can come. The community center can hold five thousand people. If everybody came to the square dance, who liked country music, we would have close to that number. That includes all the children they will bring. So, if the people you invited do come, our square dance will be a success.”

“Well, Steve, I am glad you showed this to me. I am sure that they will come, or at least some of them. I promised my family a picnic, and I think we will go and do that now. Do you any good picnic spots?”

“Yes, John,” said Steve Hastings, answering the newest member of the Pine Forest family. “There is a brook on the south side of town. They have really nice picnic areas there, and the fee is reasonable. The …”

“Excuse me for interrupting, Steve, but how reasonable is reasonable?”

“John, for three dollars, you can rent a picnic area for the day. The brook that runs through there, really has no name; not yet. We will decide that at the next town hall meeting. See, the brook and picnic area I mentioned are within the city limits of Pine Forest.”

“I will have to go and see. Dear, are we ready for our picnic?”

“Yes, dear. I would love to see this brook.”

“I will talk to you later, Steve. There’s still a little familiarizing we need to do around town, yet.”

“I’ll walk back to the courthouse with you. Jimmy, Kathy, from where you live, any place in town is walking distance. But, don’t come this far from your house without someone with you. Ever since that Carruthers and Adams thing, our department is asking children especially, and women not to walk alone. Have someone go with you.”

“We will certainly abide by that, Steve,” John Shepard told the officer. “What do you think about that, Jimmy, Kathy, sweetheart.”

“I think it is good to go to the store with someone with you,” answered Jimmy and Kathy together.

“Well, dear, I am not going to the store, either, without someone going with me. There is safety in numbers.”

I agree, Mrs. Shepard. Well, here we are, enjoy your picnic.”

“Thank you, Steve.” The two men shook hands, and John Shepard left with his family to have their picnic.”

Chapter 10 - Jonah Wilson Carruthers is in court.

In Detroit, Jonah Wilson Carruthers is taken from the Wayne County jail to the 36th District Court, where his arraignment was done by video conference. This was a denial of his right to face his accuser. Then he got the shock of his life when he was assigned Judge Patricia M. Jackson** of the 36th District Court***, Detroit,Michigan. He knew then, that his boat had sunk, even before it had a chance to sail.

David Adams was also assigned to Judge Patricia M. Jackson, 36th District Court in Detroit. He thought to himself, what had he done to deserve a bitch like her. He might as well plead no contest, and give himself to the mercy of the court.

Judge Patricia M. Jackson, was forty two years old, and had been a judge for only fifteen years. She was known as the hanging judge, because if you were convicted in her court, you were given the maximum sentence prescribed by the MCL. Jonah Wilson Carruthers and David Adams were headed to prison for the rest of their lives, without any chance of parole.

Of course, the two criminals would have separate hearings, since their crimes were of a separate nature, involving different circumstances. However, like most suspects charged with heinous crimes, the two men pleaded not guilty, in the hopes of presenting evidence in their favor, thereby “beating the rap”. Jonah Wilson Carruthers would have his hearing first.

Normally, after a suspects preliminary hearing, and the judge finding that a crime has been committed. The judge having found that the defendant allegedly committed the crime, the defendant is bound over for trial. That trial would then be held at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice,**** 1441 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI. However, there is an exception. The trial is held before Judge Patricia M. Jackson, at the 36th District Court.

It would be the same for David Adams. These two men have accused detective Robert Belford of being an egotist. But, the two suspects, now turned defendants going on trial for their very lives, are, in actuality, the egotists. Their egos are so big, they think they can commit a crime and get away with it. We will see.

The two men, having been returned to their cell blocks, are now conspiring to let the sheriff put the two of them in the same cell block. Of course, they can’t come right out and ask to be on the same cell block. No, they would have to be sneaky about it. Thus, begins the conspiracy.

David Adams was to pretend that his life was in danger, and one of the cell mates would make threatening statements to David Adams, in front of the deputy sheriff. David would then plead with the deputy to be transferred off of the cell block and put on another cell block where he would feel safe, but not in a cell block that had single cells. David had to plan this just right.

The deputy for David’s cell block came for a check to make sure everything was orderly.

“Deputy!” Yelled David Adams. “Get me off of this cell block.”

“Yeah, deputy,” said a burly convict. “Get the asshole out of here, or I will strangle the bitch.”

“What’s going on, Adams?” Inquired the deputy.

“This bastard is threatening my life. He said he was going to kill me with his bare hands.”

“McDowell, what is your problem?” Asked the deputy of Connor McDowell.

“We will kill this bitch if you don’t get him outta here,” Connor told the deputy.

“I only have one cell block open, right now. Get your things, and let’s go.”

Connor McDowell was a convicted felon, doing fifteen years for aggravated assault. His language was intolerable. He was back in court trying to get his conviction overturned.

David was taken to the cell block where Jonah Wilson Carruthers was housed. When he saw David Adams being brought in, he smiled. Now, they could really hatch a scheme to win a not guilty verdict. Since both were charged with first degree intentional homicide, there was no bail, so they couldn’t out that way. But, they could have their attorneys convey messages to their friends, who were charged with any crime, and were not convicted felons.

When you commit crimes, it is best to make sure you have friends who can testify in your behalf. These two dangerous men, were now going to start their defense with the help of their attorneys. They were going to write letters to their friends, telling them exactly where they were and that they were being falsely charged with crimes they didn’t commit.

Attorney Jack Polanski represented Jonah. His trial record was oerfect, so far. Jack Polanski has never lost a case. In the interview room, just outside of the cell block, Jonah would slip letters in sealed envelopes, to Jack. Jack Polanski would then be instructed to mail them, being assured that there was nothing in the letter that would indicate an attempt to escape. Jonah’s attorney was due to see him in the morning. He had overnight to write his first letter.

Arnold W. Spencer represented David. Since the two attorneys would not see their clients on the same day, David had time to write his letter. David’s attorney would not be there for a couple of more days. It was disconcerting, to watch these two at work, trying to beat their convictions. They both knew, that without any winesses to give them an alibi, each of them would be found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

They hatched plan after plan, once they were through with their cases. Each one did not know the other, until they were in the Addison county jail in Pine Forest. Since they are wanted men there, they would never go there again. Besides, it doesn’t pay to extradite on misdemeanors. However, unknown to Jonah, the Pine Forest police department placed a felony hold on him almost immediately. So, even if he is found not guilty in Detroit, he still has to stand trial in Pine Forest.

With this unknown to the two men, they continued to hatch their plan to “beat the rap”.

“Dave,” Jonah Carruthers was saying to his friend. “We need to get our lawyers involved in getting us our witnesses. I have a friend, Jeremiah Stevens, who will testify where I was on these dates they have in the complaints.”

“I know Jerry,” David Adams told Jonah. “We’ve been friends for about three years, now.”

“Good, we know at least one person in common. Let’s see who else we both know.”

“Jonah, do you know Ramsey Phillips?”

“No, I never met him.”

“Then, when we beat these cases, I will have to introduce you. You’ll like him, Jonah, he has a very larcenous heart.”

“I probably will. Tell me, Dave, does he know anything about safe cracking?”

“No, he doesn’t, but I have another friend, Joel Greene, who has been cracking safes for the last ten years. He has never been caught.”

Jonah and David were talking in hushed tones, so that others in the cell block wouldn’t be able to hear, unless they were right near Jonah’s cell.”

“Wait a minute, Dave.”

There was another man there who was in jail for the first time. He kept walking up and down the tier, when Jonah gave him a warning.

“Hey you, new guy, come here.”

The man went over by Jonah and David.

“What did you hear, walking back and forth?” Asked Jonah.

“Noth, nothing, Mis, mister Carruthers. I swear, I didn’t hear anything.”

“See that it stays that way.”

“Y, yes, Mr. Carruthers.”

“Quit walking back and forth. You’re making me nervous.”

With that, the man went back to his cell, and wrote what he had heard down to give to the deputy. James Benedict was doing this in the hopes that he and the district attorney could come to some kind of a deal. What he didn’t realize is, that he was charged with first degree sexual assault. The district attorney didn’t make deals with these kinds of defendants.

So, James Benedict kept on listening, and kept writing it down, and kept giving it to the deputy on the cell block.

“Come with me, Dave.”

Jonah Carruthers and David Adams went down to James Benedict’s cell and caught him writing down what he had heard.

“I thought you said you didn’t hear anything, grunt. Then what are these? Letters to mom and dad? You little shit, you had better be off of this tier by morning. If I find you on the witness stand at my trial, and I am convicted, you don’t stand a chance in prison. I will just tell everybody you sexually assaulted a child. We may be crooks, but we also have respect for children and the elderly. If you get called to testify against either one of us, I will make sure you leave prison with a desire to wear dresses. Do you understand me, bitch?”

“Yes, yes, I understand.”

“Good! You had better develop a very bad case of amnesia, really quick. Your ass depends on it.”

That was not a play on words. Jonah Wilson Carruthers meant it, literally. The two men went back to Jonah’s cell to continue their talk. This time, James Benedict was not so obvious. He stood where he couldn’t be seen by the two men, but could hear every word. Also, what Jonah and David didn’t know was, that James Benedict was adept at writing and deciphering shorthand. This way, he got every word.

The next morning, James Benedict told the deputy that his life was threatened by more than one of the prisoners on the cell block. The deputy in charge, moved James Benedict to a different cell block.

“Jonah, do you know what that grunt did, before being put in here?” Asked Tom McArthur.


“He was a stenographer. The man knows shorthand, and was taking down every word you two were saying.”

“I knew there was something about him. Thank you, Tom, we will deal with it.”

Deputy sergeant Tom McArthur, was employed by the Wayne County sheriff’s department to infiltrate prisoner cell blocks, and report anything he overheard. Of course, he wasn’t as obvious as James Benedict, which is why he survived as long as he had.

Deputy McArthur would report what he had overheard, on the way to a coffee break, under the pretense of going to court. Tom McArthur would only be in the jail a couple of months, and then come from “court” and tell everybody he had been found not guilty. Tom McArthur was never assigned to the jail, he was assigned as a freeway/highway officer. However, Deputy McArthur’s cover was on the way out, though, as there were too many convicts coming from the prison, on one motion or the other.

What Jonah Wilson Carruthers and David Adams didn’t know, is that some of the things that James Benedict wrote down, he would give to Tom McArthur, who would then give it to the duty sergeant, on the pretext he wanted to go to the law library.

The 36th District court is the largest court in Michigan and the busiest in the United States. Judge Patricia M. Jackson, when she wasn’t on the bench, liked to play golf at the Dearborn Country Club.***** While she liked to play golf, her scores were always in the low plus side. She always said, “it isn’t what the score is, it is whether or not you’re having fun”.

Being single, Judge Jackson would stop, after she was finished in court, at Dave’s Diner, and have a quick bite before going home. She will never forget the time that she was right in the middle of the back nine holes, when she got a cell phone call, telling her and attorney would like to meet her. She told the attorney where she was, and it would be another thirty minutes before she could get to the club house. She told the attorney that she was on thr 14th hole, and it wouldn’t be too long before she was through with her game.

She took her time hitting the ball on the 14th tee, and got the ball half way down the fairway. This was a par 4 hole, so she had three more strokes to sink the ball in the cup. Her next stroke put the ball on the green. She was now about twenty feet from sinking the ball. The problem facing her was, this was an uphill shot with a ridge right in the middle. She had to plan this shot, carefully.

She hit the ball and it rolled withing five feet of the hole. She had to sink it now to save par. She measured and eyeballed the distance from the ball to the hole. She then hit the ball and it went in. She stayed at plus four. The next three holes were all birdies and she was now at plus one. If she got a birdie on the eighteenth hole, she would break even. Her last shot of a par three hole, broke her score to even.

Seeing she was through, she went to where they sign the cards, so the caddy can get paid. Then she turned her attention to a well dressed young lady, sitting all alone on the patio. She went over and introduced herself. She recognized the assistant district attorney for Wayne County.

She showed the judge the writ she wanted signed by her, demanding that a state witness be turned over to her, so she could depose the witness. Judge Jackson asked the assistant district attorney what was going on. All he said was, that the witness is being kept in protective custody, and said the witness was being held incommunicado, but didn’t say where.

“Mr. Donohue, you will allow Miss Schneider an opportunity to depose the witness. You know better than to keep a witness incommunicado from the defense.”

“Your honor, our whole case rests with this witness.”

“Either allow Miss Schneider to depose the witness, or I will have the sheriff take the witness in to sheriff protective custody. Now, allow Miss Scneider to speak to the witness, or be held in contempt.”

“No, your honor. This isn’t your courtroom, and you can’t hold me in contempt because I failed to abide by your order here.”

“Mr. Donohue, I don’t know what law school you went to, but anytime I conduct official business, the place where I conduct that business becomes my courtroom. Now, I will tell you one more time, allow Miss Schneider to speak to this witness.”

“I’m sorry your honor, but that just isn’t possible.”

“Mr. Donohue, present yourself in my courtroom tomorrow for one more chance at complying with my order. Failure to do so, I will entertain a verbal discovery motion by the defense. Now! Let Miss Schneider depose this witness.”

“No, your honor, I can’t let the defense know our entire case.”

“Very well.” Judge Jackson took out her cell phone and called the sheriff’s department. “Yes, this is judge Patricia M. Jackson, and I need assistance to transport a person to the jail.” Judge Jackson listened for a bit, said thank you, and hung up. “The sheriff will be here shortly. You, Mr. Donohue, are in comtempt of court, and are ordered to pay $100.”

“I’m not in contempt, and I will not pay any contempt fine.”

It was then that two deputies from the Wayne County sheriff’s department came out to the patio.

“Thank you, for coming so promptly. Assistant district attorney Joseph Donohue is to be held in the Wayne County jail for contempt of court. Please take him away. Miss Schneider, I will find out where they are keeping this witness, and I will let you know.”

Next time: The Shepard family at their picnic; assistant district attorney in jail.
*Brinks Incorporated, 1801 Bayberry Ct. P.O.Box 18100, Richmond, VA 23226-8100 U.S.A.

**Judge Patricia M. Jackson, is a fictitious name. I changed it to protect the identity of the real judge who presides over the criminal department of the 36th District Court.

***36th District Court, 421 Madison Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226.

****Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, 1441 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI

*****Dearborn Country Club, 800 N. Military St., Dearborn, MI 48124 - (313) 561-0800.

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