Shirley was watching Tom’s face and knew that something dreadful had
happened. She braced herself for the worst. Tom listened to a few
details and said thank you and good-bye.
When he hung up the phone, he said, “Pete was murdered this morning.
He opened the hardware store at seven, as usual, but someone was waiting
for him, evidently to rob the store. They shot and killed him.
Everything is under investigation.”
“Oh my God!” Shirley cried out.
“Robert said that Elizabeth is with Denise. He thought you might want
to go over there as well.”
They were both shocked by the news and could not even think clearly for
several minutes, but then Shirley said, “I’m going to get dressed
and go to Denise’s.”
Tom sat there with his head in his hands for half an hour, wondering how
this could have happened to his friend.
Finally, Shirley came out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, dressed
and ready to go. She had been crying, but she had that look of
determination that Tom knew so well. It was a good thing that she was
going to be with Denise.
After Shirley left, he sat there feeling as if part of him had died with
Pete. It happened so fast, and it gave him a gut-wrenching feeling to
think that his friend had been defenseless in the attack.
He no longer felt hungry but fixed himself a cup of coffee. When he
finished it, he decided to take a shower and get dressed. He didn’t
know if he would be going anywhere, but he was going to be ready just in
Shirley pulled up to the Allens’ house at about noon. The minute she
stepped out of her SUV, she couldn’t help but think about the first
night they were invited out there. Pete had come out to the driveway to
welcome them. She thought, My God. He’ll never do that again.
Shirley rang the bell, and Lucy opened the front door. She was wiping
her eyes with a handkerchief, and Shirley gave her a quick hug. Lucy
said, “They're right there in the parlor Ms. Shirley.”
Excerpted from "High Society Down" by C.R. Moore. Copyright © 2014 by C.R. Moore. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.