May God Have Mercy on Your Soul, by Jenkins, Jack
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- ISBN: 9781456795313 | 1456795317
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 9/27/2011
Jim's first day in Buffalo was spent in rest and reflection. Total exhaustion made a few cat-naps possible. Alice's face was ever before him, but he was not ready to have her memory dim or be out of his thoughts. Beginning to forget her had not even occurred to him. How could he consider doing anything that would damage her loveliness, and how it filled his mind? Who killed Alice? Reginald Phillips. He didn't know Alice; he only wanted her money and car. Was it really necessary to kill a person just for the money one might have on her person? What about the myth of the victimless crime – smoking crack cocaine only hurts those who use it, right? Was this really a social problem that we should expect? A certain percentage of our population will be dope fiends, forced to steal, rob and kill to support their habits. Is this all Alice's death was about? What would've been said if Alice had carried a pistol; if when assaulted, she'd fired three .45 slugs into Reginald Phillips – over the less than $200.00 she'd had in her purse? Maybe Alice would be in jail, charged with murder – but she would be alive. There are those that would say Reggie was just a poor dope fiend from a broken home, kicked out of school as soon as the law allowed – that it was society's failure. The outcry for mercy for people like Reggie is loud and long. This view usually ignored the facts. He was a gutter-smart varmint that had done time in the State Pen twice for violent crimes. Every tub sits on its own bottom. Is not the individual responsible for his actions and their consequences? Would there be an outcry for justice for his Alice? Was there anybody else in this country that was as sick about this as he was? Would anyone out there demonstrate at the Court House with signs that said 'Justice for Alice Renfro', 'An Eye for an Eye' and 'Put Reggie to Death'? Who would be outraged at Alice's brutal death? Who would rise up and smite this murderer and others like him? Who would stand up on his hind legs, and bring down the wrath of God on this maker of death, this destroyer of life? The State of Texas had a reputation for killing killers. Texas has more executions than any other state in the United States. Of course, it usually took about 15 years or so, once all the appeals were filed. Alice didn't get an extra 15 years. The penalty itself did not deter Reggie; he'd felt no real threat. He still formulated his plan to go out into the night and take money from others. If they resisted, he'd just pull the trigger. And he kept on pulling that trigger until Alice was dead. Jim's anger was not directed at God, or the State of Texas, or the City of Houston, or Harris County or the United Sates. His focus was on Phillips and would stay on him, until there was no more Reggie. Jim was concentrating on how this might be best accomplished. He would urge the Harris County District Attorney's Office to pursue the case with haste and vigor. Maybe he should join one of the Victims' Rights groups he'd heard about. Would a support group, where people met to share their feelings and pain with one another, be of any help? Maybe there were some positive ways that Alice's death might affect future victims. Justice had to prevail, one way or another, didn't it? The next morning, Jim ordered the same breakfast before taking a stroll around town. He stopped in a small gun shop and looked over their pistols. He'd never owned a hand gun, any type. The old guy behind the counter was somewhat crusty and rough-talking. He was direct and asked, "Who you lookin' to kill, anyway?" "Nobody in particular. I'm just looking for something for protection," Jim answered. "Protection from who?" the clerk persisted. "I live in Houston," Jim explained. "'Nuff said," the old man blurted. "I'm Jed and own this shop. I know about guns, and I sure understand about big cities. A man needs an arsenal to protect his home, property and his own ass from the crooks down there. You need a good 12 gauge pump for your home, and a little somethin' to tuck into your belt when you're out and about. Somethin' that'll give you a nice secure feeling like a 1911 Model Colt .45 automatic. Yes Sir, ain't nothin' better. These new-fangled plastic pistols ain't worth the plastic they're made of." The owner walked down the glass case where the pistols were displayed and unlocked a door. He pulled out the pistol he had described to Jim. He dropped the empty magazine out, jacked the slide back until it hung, looked down the barrel and laid it on a pad in front of Jim. "There she is; not a better piece made far as I'm concerned – good for close work. Learn to shoot it and keep it clean. Load it up with good hot, hollow-point ammo, and you'll have an even chance against them thieves and killers down in Houston. You can even get a permit to carry it. Best thing the State of Texas ever done – allow us to defend ourselves against murderers and hijackers. I been carrying a pistol for 50 years, even when there were no permits. I still carry one, still ain't got no permit, and ain't figuring to get one. I'm from the old school; I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6." "Aren't you afraid you may get into legal trouble?" Jim asked. "Not a bit. I know the Sheriff and the Deputies, the Highway Patrol and the Judges in our County. They know I tote a pistol, like everybody around here; they know I ain't gonna shoot nobody that don't need to be shot," Jed said.