“And I can imagine how he led you into to it, how with almost unnoticeable indiscretion he gestured to you from the side of the green and manicured ballfield where you sat not without interest watching him play the game skillfully and with grace, watched him move with that lusty muscularity and spry agility, that ancestral gift, with which he between the two white bases bent skillfully over, that veined forearm marked by curled black hairs mechanically reaching out to pluck the bald white balls from the neatly trimmed grass and he made you wonder, did he not, looking over to you watching from the stands, not with lust at that moment, no, but with a comforting and almost fraternal glance which from his dark sockets and into your eyes full of virtuous curiosity was as yet a sweet mystery and yet also not uninviting, was it not, Miss Caldwell?”
June Caldwell sat in the hot dry airless trailer office of the high school’s assistant baseball coach, wordlessly listening to his questions. So that she had something to sit upon and so as not to soil further the bottom of her white linen dress the coach had laid out newspaper on the seat of the chair across from his desk.
“And so in his coming to talk to you after last night’s practice he offered to you what was then the conception of the plan in which you and he would go off together the next afternoon, which being next afternoon yesterday then was today, offered to take you in his car to that dark grove in the woods where he and some of the other ballplayers have padded down with the almost hoovelike tramping of their cleated feet a flat clearing amongst the pine needles to drink bottles of beer after games and practices and it was promised to you, was it not, that it would be only fun and you were not disinterested?
“And so you followed him and you were taken today to that clearing in the wood for the execution of the plan which plan had been misdescribed to you as innocence itself and it was revealed to you quickly and with remorseless fury how different your conception of that plan had been from its true execution when they grabbed your arm to pull you with unrelenting force out of the car door because there were more of them already there than you had expected, were there not, already five figures lanky and grinning in their white practice uniforms emerging almost as if they had spawned there in the pool of shadows behind the pine trunks and dragged you toward the heat of that fire already burning in the center of the clearing, that fire somehow prearranged in stark and unreal brightness because it burned there in middle of the day?
“Was it then that truth began to dawn on you, that overwhelming truth being the true implication of that seemingly unnecessary number of baseball bats which had been brought in the backseat of the car to that clearing in the woods?”
She cried without words no that’s not how it happened sitting on the newspaper in the chair across from him the blood is not caused by others and he went on with the interrogation uninterrupted.
“Miss Caldwell, there are certain extracurricular groups who take as their mission the swift execution of social justice and I am asking you now if these events I have just described, events whose apotheosis was the cause of your blood and your pain, if what I have imagined is how it happened, and without your words to deny what I have just described to you as truth, I have no choice but to believe the dark implication I have drawn, no other choice but to take your recalcitrant tears as affirmation and set turning the wheels of justice and I imagine now that after these certain measures have been taken we will be left with no choice after what you have described to me here today but that we will have to cancel next week’s game…”