Paul and Mary sat in the yellow Adirondack chairs on her front porch, a plate of peanut butter cookies and two glasses of lemonade sitting untouched on the table between them. Condensation from the glasses formed small pools and ran between the tiles of the table’s mosaic top. Both started out at the street where neighborhood kids ran through sprinklers or whizzed by on skateboards as if they could find answers in the chalk marks on the pavement. Faces scrunched in concentration, they were trying to decide what, if anything, they should do about the scene they’d witnessed at the mine.
“I still think we should tell someone Mr. Adams is in trouble” Mary said for the fifth time in as many minutes.
“Yeah, and how do we explain what we were doing there in the first place?” Paul snapped, wishing she’d give the subject a rest. He didn’t want to admit he was concerned for Mary’s safety if the people who ordered Adams’s incarceration in the mine learned there had been witnesses. He had no idea who these people were or what they were doing, but the armed guard was a pretty good sign they were not people he wanted to cross. He wouldn’t admit to Mary he was scared spitless of attracting their attention any more than they already had and putting her in danger.
“For all we know,” he continued, failing to keep the anger from his voice “he got what he deserved! You can be darned sure whatever he was doing wasn’t for the good of the town like he’s been trying to pawn off on everyone. What I don’t get is why nobody thought twice about the top-of-the-line Mercedes he’s been flaunting lately. He sure couldn’t afford it on a school principal’s salary. Selling out your own town must pay well these days. If you ask me, he deserves to be flogged in the town square…if we still had one.”