It was true: Wayman Tucker came by, with an armed deputy, as if Sam constituted a material threat to them, and maybe even to the town. But Sam had never kept weapons on the premises. He didn’t have to; even at his age he could manhandle most troublemakers who came his way. And Tucker did drop a few not-so-subtle threats during their conversation. Sam smirked at them and, for the third, fourth, and fifth times, he calmly told the chief that he hadn’t been selling alcoholic beverages, that a few friends had dropped by, and that they’d gone to Lake Martin for catfish.
Lu had wanted to stay for the confrontation, but Sam wouldn’t hear of it. Minutes after the front door to Sam’s Place closed behind Tucker, the phone rang.
“He tried to rile me a time or two,” Sam told Lu, “but I didn’t bite at it.”
“Then everything’s all right? No charges made?”
Sam chuckled. “He pointed one of them fat little fingers of his at me, said, ‘Your time’s coming, Witherspoon. You keep it up, and I’ll see you in my jail. No, better’n that, I’ll see you in the state pen.’”
Sam imagined her slowly forming smile, just before her soft, tentative laughter tumbled out. “I’ll bet that stubbornness of yours sent his blood pressure sky high.”
“Don’t doubt it.” Sam said with an oversized grin. “‘Fore he left, he turned – almost tripped over that deputy of his – and he said, ‘You never know where your next batch of trouble is gonna come from.’”
Lu said nothing to that.
Sam’s grin faded to jaw-jutted sternness. “I started to tell him trouble just might jump up and bite him on the butt, too. But I didn’t.”
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