Ask Sam

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Chapter 11

“Sam would you please stop pacing. You are wearing a hole in my carpet.” Joanna glanced at her watch. “In thirty minutes, I am going to take a shower, so either tell me what is on your mind, or plan to come back another day.”

“I have been trying to decide how much to tell you and how much to keep to myself.”

“Since when did you start weighing your words? I will not keep Judy Malone waiting, so your time is slowly ticking away.”

He shook his head. “Okay. Okay, but keep in mind that I am biased when street drugs are involved. The buyers are playing Russian Roulette, and the sellers are scum.”

“You must have been shadowing Logan’s young friend Chip Singleton.”

“Selling is a game to him, Joanna. He likes the cloak and dagger aspect of committing a crime.”

Joanna winced. “He sounds like another bored rich kid. Has he recruited other young men and women who are in Logan’s church group?”

“No, but that could change if his source puts pressure on him. There might be serious repercussions for Logan if he gets involved. If justice is to be served, he should do time. I doubt that he will. Because of his parents money and their standing in the community he will in all likelihood get a slap on the wrist. If Chip’s name is mentioned unfavorably in the media, his parents could conceivably blame Logan. Logan will have to decide if an intervention is worth the risk to him.”

Joanna shrugged. “The decision to act or not act should be Logan’s. Do you have information about when and where Chip sells the drugs?”

“He meets his buyers at 1:00 am at the corner of Liberty and Ninth Street on the second and fourth Monday of each month.”

“I will pass the information on to Logan.”

“When you speak to him, I would like for you tell him about a situation at the shelter on Brownlee Ave. There is a young woman and a child in her care living at the shelter. The child’s name is Katie. If the woman is her mom, she must have been little more than a child when Katie was born. Yesterday she took Katie to the park for most of the day. The only thing she fed Katie all day was a popsicle. The woman skipped lunch. Katie’s little cheeks were bright red and the clothes she was wearing were wet with perspiration. Unless some organization or individual steps in to help, I suspect that Katie will become dehydrated. If that happens, she could end up in the hospital or worse.

“I realize that Logan probably doesn’t handle family situations, but I assume he could relate the information to the senior pastor at St. Matthews.”

“Did you get the mom’s name?”

“No, and I can’t give him any other details other than what I have already shared.”

Joanna said, “If the pastor needs a temporary home while the church searches for a permanent solution, I’ll bet Aunt Polly would take them for a few days.”

“Your aunt is seventy-five, Joanna. Having two people in her home might be more than she wants to take on.”

“I will only ask her if the pastor can’t find someone else to take them temporarily. You do have a heart for children, don’t you Sam?”

“Every child should have the opportunity to see the good side of life. You don’t find that by living on the streets.”

“Chip Singleton isn’t a child. Why does the situation involving him bother you so much more than other situations you have run across?”

Sam shrugged. “I see red every time I hear a delinquent youth described as a nice kid or a poor kid who steals or sells drugs because he or she is hungry. There is nothing nice about a person who will sell questionable drugs on a street corner. If an impoverished kid needs a hot meal, he can get one at a homeless shelter. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. So many of the teens today have been brought up to believe that the world owes them. It is always someone else’s fault.”

“That my friend is not an issue we have time to discuss. What else do you have, Sam?”

“I’ll save the particulars for another time, but the short version is that Rhonda West and her husband are separated.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me? No wonder she is in a snit. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with her marriage issues.”

“I would like to think she will back off, but you would be wise not to become complacent.”

“Point made. Anything else?”

“Not anything that won’t keep.”

“Alex McCord asked about Matthew Rogers. One of the folks he met at Aunt Polly’s mentioned him.”

“What did you tell him?”

“The basics.”

“What do you know about Alex’s background? His family? His education? If you are going to spend time with him, don’t you think you need to know more about him?”

“I am not seeing him, Sam. But if that changes, please don’t tell me that you will start shadowing him.”

“Did I interfere with your relationship with Matthew?”

“No.”

“It is not my place to tell you who to date or not to date. As your friend, I will advise you to do your homework.”

“I know that look. Sam, do you have information about Alex that is negative?”

He frowned. “Why do you always assume that any information I have is negative?” He did not wait for her to respond. He turned and walked out of the room.e turnehe e

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