Saturday, February 03, 2007

Drafts: Frog Haven Chapter 24

Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8 , Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15. Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23

Chapter 24: The Right to Remain Silent

“You are under arrest,” Maroni repeated, “for the malicious vandalism of this property.”

Sissy stared at him, her lips quivering, trying to hold back tears of outrage. She wanted to scream her innocence, but repeated to herself, You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. And, she thought, I have the right to make one phone call.

“What were you doing here. Did you find anything?”

Sissy said nothing. She kept her lips tightly pressed together.

“Do you know something? Have you seen anything?”

Sissy stared at the fat cop. He had a big red pimple on his chin. His eyes were little and black and beady, like a pig’s. No, not as nice as a pig’s.

“Say something, kid,” Maroni said, shaking her, hard.

“I have the right to remain silent,” Sissy said, her voice coming out high and squeaky. Se hoped she didn’t cry.

“Shut up, kid,” Maroni said. He smacked her hard and she fell to the floor.

“Let’s see if we can make her talk, Maroni,” the skinny guy said. He picked her up and twisted her arm behind her back. Sissy screamed, more in rage than in pain, and bit the skinny man on the arm.

He bellowed and boxed Sissy across the ear with the open palm of his hand, hard. Sissy head rang and her teeth rattled. She staggered and grabbed the desk to keep from falling.

“Hit her again, Lynch, she’s resisting arrest,” Maroni laughed nastily.

Sissy’s skin was burning and her ears were ringing and she felt dizzy. Lynch hit her on the back of the head and she started to sag a little.

“Stop that!” yelled a voice. It was Paul LeFevre. He and Marc were charging into the room, fists flying. Paul attacked the fat cop and Marc attacked the skinny guy who was holding Sissy. The skinny guy dropped Sissy’s arm to ward off Marc’s attack. Sissy stomped on the skinny guy’s foot and bolted for the door. Before Sissy could make it, the fat cop slammed the door.

“Accomplices,” he said. “I see the big picture now. A whole gang of you has been wrecking the cabin. Well, you are all under arrest.”

“No,” cried Marc, “we didn’t do it!”

“Don’t say anything, you guys, don’t say anything at all. We have a right to remain silent. We have a right to a phone call. We have a right to counsel. Zip your lips. Anything you say can and will be used against us.”

“Good grief, Sissy, you sound like a recording of a TV show,” Marc commented sarcastically.

“Come on, you kids, march. You’d better cooperate, or we will add resisting arrest to the charges.”

“You can’t do that, we’re only children,” Paul said, looking very small. Paul was really a tiny kid.

“Oh yes I can, watch me.”

Sissy gave Paul a sharp look. Maroni shoved the kids out the door. He kept pushing them, shoving them through the pasture away from where they lived and out toward Goode Street. A rock suddenly pelted the side of Lynch’s head. He screamed and clutched his head. A half-second later, one hit Maroni in the neck. He bellowed in anger and whirled toward the woods.

“Scatter,” screamed Sissy. Maroni whipped out a gun and fired three shots over their heads. The children stopped dead in their tracks, even Sissy. She didn’t want to be shot.

Lynch had disappeared into the woods. By the time Maroni had the three kids marching down the road again, gun in had, Lynch reappeared holding Garryd under his arm, kicking and biting. “Cut it out, kid,” Lynch said, throwing him to the ground and kicking him. Garryd leaped up flailing fists and feet, but Lynch smacked him down again.

“Good fight, Garryd,” Sissy said, ‘Thanks, thanks a lot! But you’d better just come along before they really hurt you bad.”

Garryd got up and ran over next to Sissy, “You better not touch her,” he hissed at Lynch, or I’ll kill you.”

“I’ll kill you first, brat.”

“Garryd, shh. We have a right to remain silent. Anything we say can and will be used against us. We have a right to a phone call we have a right to cou . . .”

“Never mind remaining silent, kid, just SHUT UP!” Maroni hollered.

“But you haven’t read us our right,” Sissy objected.

“I said shut up!” Maroni shouted, slapping Sissy across the face. Her face stung and burned. She clamped her mouth shut.

It was a long, long walk. Finally, they were shoved, not into a patrol car, but into a windowless van with beer bottles rolling around on the floor. It smelled like pee and really dirty clothes.

“Are you going to take them in? Maybe we could just beat them up and give them a really good scare. That would be fun.” Lynch rubbed his hands together.

“Naw, let’s let them take the rap for wrecking the cabin. No one will believe they didn’t do it. They admitted they were there. Even that goody-goody partner of mine heard them say that.

The kids hunched together in the back seat, not daring to talk for fear they’d be overheard. Both men started to smoke and Sissy started coughing violently.

“Shut up, kid,”

“She can’t help it, cigarette smoke always makes her cough,” Marc said.

Sissy threw up.

“Riding in smoky cars always makes her sick. She has to sit in front with the window open,” Mac continued, without pausing.

Sissy threw up again. The van turned into the police station and jerked to a stop. Maroni yanked Sissy roughly out of the van.

“You’re going to pay for that, kid!” Sissy stared at him, shooting daggers of anger out of her eyes. “Get out here, you little punks,” Maroni growled. Marc, Paul, and Garryd jumped out and stood beside Sissy.

Inside the station, the man behind the desk said, “Who are these kids and why are you here off duty?”

“I caught these kids vandalizing the old Williams cabin.”

“Why were you there off-duty?”

“I got a lead . . .”

“You should have reported in and gotten into uniform or better yet, let someone on duty take the call.”

“But Sarge, they might have gotten away . . .”

“We would have gotten them eventually, with fingerprints and all. Well, I guess now that you’re here, you may as well fill out the paperwork and call their parents. Sit them down over there and go get into uniform. It’s almost time for you to go on duty anyway.”

“I want to go home first.”


“Yes, sir!” Maroni walked out of the waiting room into the back of the police station. A few minutes later, Officer Harrison came in the front door. Sissy ran over and tugged his sleeve.

“Those guys have been wrecking the cabin, Old Man Williams’ cabin. They are trying to blame it on us, but we didn’t do it. You’ve got to get over there before his accomplice destroys the evidence. We watched through the window, we saw everything. They wrecked stuff, and they left their fingerprints all over everything, so you can prove it. His name is Lynch, can you go over and stop him. He might not be smart enough anyway. But just to be sure.”

“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute . . .”

“Oh, please, please Officer, there is not time to lose. Please go, and hurry.”

“Don’t worry, kiddo, if those guys really did what you . . .”

“They DID!”

“Then there is no way they could destroy all the evidence, short of burning the cabin down. You don’t suppose they’d do that do you?” he asked, more of himself, than of Sissy.

Maroni returned to the room dressed in his uniform. It didn’t fit well, and bulges of fat and black hair were showing between the buttons of his shirt.

“Is that girl feeding you a line of bull? We caught her RED-HANDED vandalizing the cabin.”

“Just how stupid do you think I am?” the blond cop said.

The front door burst open and Sissy parents, Mr. And Mrs. LeFevre and Mr. And Mrs. Knudson walked in. Guy and Michael bust in behind them.

“That’s the man, that man right there,” yelled Michael, pointing at Maroni. “He was hurting Sissy.”

“Yeah,” agreed Guy, “We saw him. Only he wasn’t wearing his police uniform. He had another man with him, a skinny guy. They were wrecking the cabin and said they were going to blame it on Sissy. They twisted her arm hit her a lot and tried to make her tell where some treasure [MNS1] was.”

The Sergeant who had been standing behind the counter walked out and said, “All right, all right, what on earth is going on here?”

“This gang of kids has been vandalizing Williams’ cabin and is trying to put the blame on me,” Maroni said, angrily.

“He’s lying,” screamed Paul. “He’s saying it exactly backwards.”

Paul’s father walked up to Sergeant McNair. “Hello,” he said, formally, extending his hand. “My name is Claude LeFevre. I am an attorney with LeFevre, Barnes and Tate.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card, handing it to Sergeant McNair.

“I will be representing these children and pressing charges against Officer Anthony Maroni here,” waving his arm toward the fat cop without bothering to look at him. “Can we sit down and discuss this in a civilized manner?”

Sergeant McNair led them to a large conference table. “You, too,” he said to the fat cop.

“Let’s start at the beginning. Maria, can you tell us everything you know about this case?”

Sissy started at the beginning, telling Sergeant McNair everything she could remember, except about the treasure and the will. She wanted to talk to Paul’s Dad about that first in private. Almost at the end of her story, Officer Harrison came in with lynch, the skinny accomplice, in handcuffs.

“I found him at the cabin with a T-shirt trying to wipe fingerprints off stuff. I gave him a good scare and he admitted wrecking stuff, looking for some treasure Officer Maroni told him was there.”

Sissy gave Garryd a quick sharp look and Garryd nodded.

“Well, I guess that settled that, as far as the children are concerned. Is that right, Officer Harrison? Sergeant McNair?” Mr. LeFevre asked.

“Why, yes, of course. The children are free to go. They should, however, stay away from the Williams’ property. Trespassing is still against the law,” said Officer Harrison, looking steadily, first at Sissy and then at each of the other children. Garryd was signing frantically to his parents and they were nodding solemnly.

“Okay, kids, go home and go to bed. And stay out of trouble.” Sergeant McNair said.

[MNS1]I don’t think he ever actually said this. Maybe it should be deleted from here (or added there?)

Chapter 25, P365-07W

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