Our old town’s Main Street business district was less than a mile long. It was intersected by First, Second, and Third Avenues, and many businesses had come and gone in its decades of history. Aside from the Post Office, there was one that remained in memory, and indeed it still occupied its rarefied space. Its plate glass window had once been destroyed by an angry but cowardly man, and had been renewed with a double pane of “safety” glass. This had a slight tinge of greenness, and was curiously embedded with many crisscross strands of wire. Brand new letters of gold leaf had been applied to its inner pane, reading “LAW OFFICE- H. BLIGH”
Herman, after the first shock, and having to wait for the repairs to be effected, decided it would be a good time to “update” the office a little, and so he brought in painters, carpenters, and carpet layers. He was not long settling into the new place when he was called to represent the Crown in a case of armed robbery in a neighbouring village. It was one of the Baker Boys, whom he knew (and detested) from his younger days. Mark Baker was not one of the actual triggermen, but it was alleged that he had driven the getaway car. Evidence was largely circumstantial and the outcome was in doubt until Herman, who was very well connected within the town, managed to drum up two credible witnesses who would testify. In the end, Mark was sentenced to five years.
Three days later, as Herman was locking up after a long night at the office, he was shot to death through the safety glass of his office window. Several tenants had remarked on the dark pickup that had sat in the rain that night, but they could not give a positive i.d. of the attacker.
Howard Baker had been very careful. He knew that Herman had earned a few enemies in the county, and he knew also that he himself would be a prime suspect. To that end, he had stolen a pickup from a nearby farmer who was away at auction, and had waited in the dark downpour until Herman had decided to call it a night. He wore dark rain gear with a hood that shaded his features, and with his leather gloves, slip-on rubbers, and the heavy silencer on his .38 , he thought to leave little evidence of his presence that night.
When the deed was done, he drove off into the darkness, ditched the truck in a wooded area, and, using the bike he had brought with him, pedalled through the rain to complete the nearly ten mile journey to his house.
It was not long before he had a visit from the law.
To be continued…