The sun was blistering down on a steamy day in August when Sherman my
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The sun was blistering down on a steamy day in August when Sherman my next door neighbor, decided to give me a visit . Sherman was one of those kids who was small for his age and wasn't the brightest crayon in the box. His heart was always in the right place, but his actions weren't always thought out. His dirty blond hair drew your attention to his eyes which were a dark green and away from his torn overalls and dusty white shirt. His family was known for their dirty habits rather than what they had done for the town. His father was a carpenter who moved from place to place, not always home and his mother was a homemaker. But most would call her a home wrecker. Everyone knew that his mother cheated on his father, and her action reflected on both her and her son. Sherman had come over to visit me because for the second time this month I was bed ridden. My heart condition and weak legs makes it really hard for me to go to school.
"Tim, Sherman's here!" my mother yelled to me from our living room. Sherman stumbled in the doorway while eating a sandwich that my mother had given him. I knew then that something was wrong when he looked at me and about cried.
"What's wrong, Sherman?"
With a quiver he began to explain how his mother was brutally beaten by one of the men that she saw behind his father's back. He told me about how the man took a bat and beat her with it in the head. Then how she was thrown down the stairs. How almost every bone in her body was broken and how there was no spot on her body without a bruise. He then went on to tell me that his father was coming home next week and he knew that she wouldn't be recovered by then. He said that he knew that his father would leave, and how he would have no money, shelter, or future.
"What are you going to do?" I asked him.With a serious face he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I'm going to kill the man who did this to my mother."
"With what?" I said.
And with three words he replied, "With daddy's gun."I knew then that he meant it and for some reason I didn't blame him.
Two or three days later he had come back to my room and there asked for my help in killing the man. He first asked me if I was well enough, and then if I was up for it. I told him that I was going back to school the following day and that I was able to do most anything physically. But, when it came down to the question if I could help him kill a man, told him to come back tomorrow. That way I could think about it.
Needless to say, at exactly three o'clock , here was Sherman was standing in my doorway waiting for my answer. That night I thought long and hard about why Sherman would do such a thing. Then it came to me, Sherman was only doing this because if his father knew that the man his mother was fooling around with was dead, he would stay in hopes that his mother had learned her lesson.
I told him to come into my room more and I whispered in his ear that I would help him. Sherman then told me that he knew that the man was going home around one in the morning on one of the back roads of our little city. That I was to walk up to him and try to carry on a conversation with him because Sherman had a bad shot if the target was moving, but couldn't miss if he was standing still. He would be standing behind a tree with the shot gun loaded with only two bullets in it. That was so his father wouldn't realize that they were gone. And lastly that I was to meet tonight at eleven thirty by the road. With a secret hand shake to symbolize that it was a done deal
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William Tecumseh Sherman, Elizabeth Woolcock
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