Autumn 1951 – High Marks in Rage and Bloodshed


Mrs. Pugmire squinched up her face. She said, “The Landers boy has always had difficulty fitting in. He tends to keep to himself and you know that doesn’t sit well with other children. They like joiners not loners. My sons tried to get him to participate in football, baseball, anything really, but he just turned up his nose. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did have something to do with that girl’s disappearance. I don’t like to point fingers but sometimes there’s only one direction for them to be point in.”

I nodded and said, “Thank you, Mrs. Pugmire. One more question. I’ve been hearing stories about an incident between Landers and a boy named Dusty Coombs. I’ve heard that you were there. Can you tell me what happened?”

If the woman had looked to be sucking on lemons before, now she looked as if she had swallowed curled milk. She said, “I think it’s time for you to leave.”