Deadly justice, p.3
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       Deadly Justice, p.3

           Darrell Case

  From his chambers, Judge Anthony watched the crowd of reporters disperse. A huge grin split his face

  It quickly became apparent something was seriously wrong. Surrounded by five officers Card had been hit seven times, with no other shots fired by police or the assassin and no one else injured. The last bullet entered Card's right eye and exited the back of his skull, leaving a hole the size of a baseball in it.

  The Hartman County Sheriff's Department assigned Detective Marty Rodgers to the case. He questioned Phil Graham and his wife first. After leaving the courtroom, Mrs. Graham had collapsed. She was still being treated by paramedics at the time of the shooting. Next on his list was His Honor.

  “This is an outrage,” Anthony roared,” I'm a judge!”

  “Yes sir, I'm aware of your position. I still need to ask your whereabouts.”

  “Billy tell this imbecile where I was when some enlightened individual saved the great state of Texas a million dollars.”

  “He was in his chambers, detective” Harrow said, pressing his fingers together to keep his hands from trembling

  “Doesn't the window in your chambers overlook the sidewalk where Card was killed?”

  “And the front steps also,” Anthony said.

  “Did you shoot Richard Card, sir?” Rogers asked his honor. He kept his eyes down while writing in his dime store notebook.

  Anthony threw up his hands. “You got me detective, I confess,” the judge said pointing his index finger at Rogers, “and here’s the murder weapon. I used this finger to shoot Richard Card. Bang!” He winked at the detective.

  “May I have a look at your chambers sir?”

  The judge glared at the police officer. “Billy I'm going home. I'll see you tomorrow.”

  “Good night Your Honor,” Billy said to the judge's back.

  Anthony pulled opened the double doors. Rogers repeated his question. Anthony whirled on the detective, his face beet red. “No you may not sir. What you can do is leave my courtroom. If you want to check my office, you’d better get a warrant. Billy, see our detective to the door.” Anthony walked out.

  Billy shifted uncomfortably. “I'll have to ask you to leave.”

  “It's all right, Billy,” Rogers said, “I'll be back with a search warrant.”

  Drummy burned in his anger for two days. It was bad enough they’d humiliated him by putting him in the same cell as Card. They’d snickered as they watched him plead, whimpering and sniveling like a frightened child.

  Yesterday a video of him in the holding cell appeared on YouTube, then a few minutes later on Twitter. Hundreds shared the video on Facebook It soon grew to thousands of hits. The attorney stopped answering his phone and told his secretary to do the same. Finally, he fled the office and retreated to his ocean front bungalow.

  He met Miguel Gomez on the beach at midnight. He had used the contract killer's services twice before, once for a pesky ex-wife and another for a lawyer who threatened to expose his mob connections. Both died in tragic accidents.

  This time Drummy wanted to make a statement. Anthony had humiliated him before the entire world. He couldn’t even walk down the street without passersby's smirking at his back. Teenagers tittered, adults grinned.

  Judge Anthony lived alone on the ranch that was his father's and his father's before him. His son lived in Dallas his daughter in Huston. His wife had been dead for ten years. The Rocking A was no longer a working ranch. The cattle were long gone with the judge's mare now the only resident of the barn.

  On Friday night, Anthony arrived home at five. After a few drinks to mellow out he popped a frozen dinner in the microwave. He had no interest in cooking. Supper usually consisted of 90 second meals bought from Wal-Mart or a couple cans of stew and vegetables.

  Anthony finished eating and retired to the back porch to watch the sun go down. With few sunsets left, he wanted to take advantage of each one. He felt badly that he hadn’t taken the mare out for a walk. She'd been cooped up in the corral all week. He pictured the assassin's bullet taking out Card. The judge laughed. He made a gun out of his thumb and forefinger and pointed it at a fencepost.

  “Pow! Got you scumbag!” Anthony laughed again. “Sure would be easier if we just took em all out. Then I could retire.”

  He hadn’t been sure how or when they were going to kill Card. The confirmation came from Washington last week. He had waited all through the trial. When the jury found the predator not guilty he came close to doing it himself. Even Billy didn't know the folds of the judge's robes concealed his daddy's old Colt six shooter.

  Drummy's humiliation was just icing on the cake. The look on the lawyer’s face when Card ran his hands over his back was priceless. The judge chuckled. The chuckles became laughter. He laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks.

  “Teach that big city lawyer to come down and try to run over us county folk.” He said to the empty sky. "Good thing Billy knew how to put that video on the internet.”

  The Sheriff had followed Drummy out of town in his personal vehicle. By the time, the lawyer hit the city limits his Jaguar was doing 80. The Sheriff called Anthony to ask if he should stop him for speeding. The judge just chuckled and said let him go, they had something better planned.

  And indeed they did. Two days later the lawyer's performance in the holding cell was all over the internet. He and Billy sat in his office drinking bourbon and watching the hits climb on YouTube. By the time, they finished the bottle the views topped 10,000.

  Hearing his soft snore a man moved out of the faint shadows of the barn.

  Anthony awoke with a start. Something was wrong. He couldn't move. Stroke I've had a stroke. It was the very thing he feared living alone. Terror almost made him faint. He opened his eyes. He couldn't see, then realized the sun had set. His eyes adjusted to the dark. He looked down at the coils of duct tape binding his wrists to the arms of the chair. He tried to raise his arms but couldn't move them even a fraction of an inch. His legs were taped the same way. Frantically he searched the dark. A ghostly figure stood at the edge of the porch.

  “What do you want? Money? I've got some hid out in the barn.” Untrue but at least it would buy him some time.

  The man-for indeed it was a man - not a figment of his imagination - remained silent.

  “Come on, untie me I'll get it you for it.” This man was going to kill him. He could sense it. Hot tears dripped down his cheeks. His voice became whiny. He hated to beg but this was his life. He would do whatever he could to stay alive. “Please, please don't kill me.”

  He began to sob. Gene Drummy stepped out of the shadows and stood in front of the weeping judge.

  “Mr. Drummy. How good to see you.” The judge said smiling through his tears. “Please hurry and untie me. Some fiend has bound me this chair. Please hurry before they come back.”

  “How about that Miguel. He called you a fiend.”

  “I've been called worse.” A large hulky man said stepping out of the shadows.

  “Are you an evil person Miguel.” Drummy said scornfully his face an inch from Anthony's.

  “I can be my friend.” Miguel said.

  Through weeping eyes, the judge saw the Mexican carried a rope. His eyes fastened on the heavyset old man, he looped it into a hangman's noose.

  “Please, please.” Anthony begged, his heart hammering. Miguel lowered the noose over the judge's head until it circled his neck. His eyes bugged out. The Fort Worth attorney took the rope and tightened it. The judge’s pleas became gargled as the hemp choked off his breath.

  On Saturday mor
ning, early risers were greeted with the body of Judge Arthur Anthony gently swaying from a limb of the largest oak on the courthouse lawn. Hanging from another oak nearby with its massive limbs stretching out like a skeleton’s arms was Billy Harrow.

  Chapter 3

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