the golden mystery (part seventeen)

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"I have a question, Dad," Ron said. "I thought you said not to get upset when you're on a case."

"That's right."

"You looked kind of upset when you were talking with Corey."

"Well, the case was already solved at that point."

"Oh." She nodded. "That makes sense." Then, to my surprise, she threw her arms around me and hugged me. Then she ran off to her class.

Corey and Audrey left also, but Dan stopped. He could tell that my employer wanted to talk to him. "Will there be any repercussions from the Golden breaking Corey's arm?" she asked. "Miss Tumolo looked like she might start something."

He shrugged. "She may. If she does, I don't think it will go anywhere, because I'm sure Corey doesn't want to accuse them. He doesn't want quite that much discussion of how he treats girls. And he will probably be suspended for stealing the answers anyway. We'll have to take that up at the next staff meeting, though, since usually when answers are stolen it's to cheat on the test, which wasn't what happened here. Do you want to be informed?"

She shook her head. "Ron will tell us, and it will be in the regular reports. That's plenty. But wait!" she said sharply, stamping her cane on the floor. He had moved away slightly, but he turned back quickly. You didn't have to know her as well as I did to know that she was very serious. She was gripping her cane so tightly that her hand was nearly vibrating.

"Screw the test answers," she said. "What I do want to hear about is your plan for dealing with the fact that you have a student who apparently molests every girl he sees, or tries to. I'm far more interested in that than I am in stolen test answers, no matter why they were stolen."

He hesitated. "Well, we'll have to take that up at the next meeting, too, but none of the girls have been willing to–"

"Ron will speak up," I said. "I'll talk to her tonight. When is your meeting?"

"Tomorrow. We usually get together around ten."

"Can you make it later? Maybe eleven or noon?"

"We can do it at noon, I guess. People can bring their lunches."

I nodded. "Ron and I will be there."

"Listen," Jan said. "Not every girl can defend herself as well as my daughter can. Not every girl has two brothers to help her, as Sharon does. And the longer this goes on, the more clearly you're telling Corey that this is okay, and you're giving the same message to every other boy and girl here. And that is not an acceptable lesson in our school.

"And I will tell you this. If there's another student, bigger and stronger, who sees how you let Corey get away with this, in plain sight, again and again, and if that student tries to touch my daughter and she is not able to defend herself, then I will swoop down on this school like an avenging angel, and that is not something you will want to experience. Good day." She turned on her heel and I followed her out.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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