“Well first news first, Johnny Crabtree and Jason Eves broke out of the Federal pen in Bryson the day before yesterday. They’re on the run. A few radio stations in Memphis have reported it but no one else has said a peep. The television news channels in Memphis are so preoccupied with local politics in Shelby County. They don’t have time to report on little rinky-dink stories like jailbreaks anymore. And the newspapers here in Glover County are hush hush about it because Johnny’s a Crabtree and still has cronies and friends here who would have a fit if they did report it,” Popeye informed.
“Wow! Are you sure, Popeye?” Jo asked.
“Oh, yeah. They broke out and split,” Alvin confirmed, “The word is that they were seen in Little Rock, yesterday morning. Though the sighting hasn’t exactly been confirmed.”
“I’m not surprised people are so quiet about it,” Brielle said, “The Crier is owned by the Winchesters, Rita’s dad owns that paper! And the Winchesters are in cahoots with the Crabtree’s, the Lindsay’s, and the Poston’s. The Crabtree’s are bigtime farmers and have a little bit of money. Rita’s family is even richer and it’s the only reason Bobby married her in the first place, because of her father’s millions! Her mother’s side of the family are the Poston’s, who are political figures in this town, so Rita and Bobby have a lot of pull in this town.”
“Yep! And Johnny, he married Corrine Poston and had Stephen, then she died of pneumonia when Stephen was a baby. So, Johnny had to raise the boy by himself and he was pretty tough on the kid, from what I hear. That’s why he was such a danged old bully,” Alvin added.
“So, who’s raised him after his daddy went to prison?” Brielle asked.
Some Background on the Crabtree’s
“Bobby and Rita,” Alvin answered, “The boy is in college now.”
“Do they know where Johnny and Jason might be headed? And does Bobby know about it?” Jesse asked.
“Oh, Bobby knows about it. He’s just keeping a tight lip. Do you think that crooked bastard would ever turn his brother in? Hell to the no!” Alvin said.
“But do they know where they might be? Or might be headed?” Atticus asked.
“I don’t know. But I’ll see what I can find out when I work my shift at the prison tonight. We usually get a lot of scuttlebutt about the goings on in Bryson from coworkers who have friends working at the Federal Pen,” Malcolm answered.
“Well, I don’t know how true it is, but I was told they were headed west. Maybe to Mexico. There’s a big manhunt underway. But so far, they haven’t found a trace of those two turds.” Popeye said.
An Unsolved Murder
“That’s scary. For all they know, those two could be hiding out right here under our noses,” Eartha said.
“That’s certainly possible. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Bobby was hiding them out. He’s that crooked! The nepotism runs deep in that family,” Kim said.
“Possible but not likely. Those two are too smart to stay here. Chances are, they’re out of the state by now!” Popeye said.
“Oh, it gets worse. I’ve heard many stories about when that Mark Bridges boy was killed years ago, after he got into it with the Conrad boys and the Dix Brothers down at Bulldog’s Bar in the bottoms. A week or two later, they found his body in the trunk of a car they pulled out of the River,” Raina mentioned.
“I remember hearing about that. But wasn’t Mark Bridges almost blind, and kind of slow. Some thought he was mentally disabled,” Brielle said.
“He was. That’s why those boys fucked with him every time he and his friend went to Bulldog’s Bar. The guy was only there to have a good time with his buddy. And because he was different, those Conrad’s and Dix’s was all the time messin’ with him, and finally they killed him. I’ll bet they were the ones who killed that boy. But no one in this county will dare even breathe a word about it. It’s all hush-hush. The whisper is that the Crabtree’s were either involved in the murder, or they knew about it,” Alvin said.
“So, they think Johnny and Jason are headed west, do they?” Grandma asked.
“Yep. That’s the whisper,” Popeye said.