the rock band mystery (part fifteen)

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We walked for a block or so, the three of us, and I noticed that Ron had her hands jammed deep in her jacket pockets and her shoulders were hunched. It wasn't that cold, so I knew she was wrestling with something.

She looked up at Jan. "Mom?" she asked.

Jan looked startled. Her thoughts had been far away. "Yes, dear?" she asked.

Ron looked around for a moment, then looked up again. "What's wrong?" she asked.

We had to conceal our surprise. It was the first time she had ever asked either of us about anything to do with our feelings.

"Oh, it's..." Jan said, and then her voice trailed off. She put her arm around Ron's shoulders and squeezed as we walked. "I was about to say, 'Oh, it's nothing,' but that would have been far from accurate.

"To tell the truth, Ron, I'm rehearsing an argument that your father and I are going to have later this evening."

"A disagreement," I amended.

She nodded. "A disagreement."

"About what?" Ron asked.

"About the fact that a murderer is now in custody because he was... you would have to say he was tortured into confessing. And that is wrong. Always."

Ron thought about this, then she looked at me for my side of the disagreement.

"You're not complicit if your life is under immediate threat," I said. "What was done was wrong, sickening to watch, and morally indefensible, but we didn't have any options. We were not in control of that situation."

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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