Tough Times In Lincoln County – Part V

“Just how the hell you think you going home with your car not running? Or are you up to something that you trying to hide from us?” asked an increasingly suspicious James McDowell. Jacob Dinkins was now in trouble. Why hadn’t the Green Boys popped up out of the bushes? “Don’t matter none. I’M HEADING HOME!!!” yelled an extremely agitated Jacob Dinkins. He no sooner yelled his intentions this time when up came the Green Boys from the bushes with guns pointed at James and Isiah McDowell. “Get your hands up high so’s I can see you got nothing in them,” ordered Ethan Green. Both McDowells did as as ordered. “What in the sam hell is this about Jacob Dinkins? You boys gonna pay for this. We ain’t got but just a few dollars between us. That’s it. You stop this now, and I’ll pretend it never happened. You have my word as a Christian on that,” replied James McDowell. Ethan and Luther Green didn’t flinch. “Your Christian word, McDowell? Ha! Is it your Christian word that takes you down to fuck that whore down Bogue Chitto way every Sunday night? You know, like tonight? Is it your Christian word that makes you scare, steal and rob every family in the county? IS IT YOUR CHRISTIAN WORD THAT MADE YOU MURDER ROBERT COMPTON!?!?” asked an increasingly angry Ethan Green. James and Isiah McDowell, looked at each other.

“We don’t know what in the sam hell you are talking about! Everybody knows Robert Compton up and ran off from his family ’cause he was tired of his crazy damn wife. We cheated some folks, we roughed up some folks, we did more than our share of taking advantage of times being what they are. But, none of our family be murderers. You can call me a thief all you want. But, I am not a murderer. My son ain’t either. So, just put those guns down and let us go. You boys done barked up the wrong damn tree now.,” said a very somber James McDowell. Jacob Dinkins was suddenly having second thoughts about the whole affair. Could James McDowell be telling the truth? Yes, they were thieves, yes, they were making life incredibly difficult for folks in Lincoln County. But, is that worth killing someone over? However, the Green Boys were in no mood for second thoughts now. “You be lying your ass off, James. If you truly believe in God, it best you start making your peace with Him. NOW,” said Luther Green. It suddenly dawned on both James and his son, Isiah, these men intended to kill them. Jacob Dinkins was about to tell both the Green brothers to calm down when Isiah, known for his impulsive and violent behavior, lunged toward Luther Green’s gun. “BOOM” In a blink of an eye (or in the report of a .38 S&W in this case). “PA!!! I BEEN SHOT, PA! I’M…I’M BLEEDING. HELP ME PA! HELP ME!!!” screamed a fading Isiah McDowell. “ISIAH! HANG WITH ME BOY! WE GET YOU FIXED. JUST DON’T LET GO! ISIAH! ISIAH!!!!!! yelled James McDowell. Isiah had been shot squarely in the chest. There was no way he was going to last over a minute. James McDowell continued to try to help his son. But, it was too late. He was gone. Jacob Dinkins stared in stunned silence, as did both the Green Boys.

James McDowell stood up with his son’s blood all over his Sunday best and looked at both Green Boys with a look of hatred and anger of which they had never seen before. “Mark these words. All three of you sonsofbitches gonna pay for this with your lives. You kilt my boy, my Isiah. He only did what I told him to do. I’m the one that should have been shot. Not him. You might as well kill me now. Because this I promise you, I will find each one of you. EACH DAMN ONE OF YOU. And I will take my time killing you. Then, I will burn your houses down, I will kill your wives, you chil….” BAM! Another gunshot. Only this time, it was from Jacob Dinkins. Jacob Dinkins did have a specially made handgun like the Green Boys. When James McDowell said he would kill their respective families, that was more than Jacob could take. “Jacob…you should have let one of us kill that ornery bastard. The sheriff may be able to trace your gun now,” said a suddenly stunned Ethan Green. “Nobody will ever trace this gun back to me. I bought it from the same gun dealer you boys bought yours from up in Tupelo,” Jacob quietly said. Both McDowells were now dead. They had to follow the plan and sink them with chains and scrap metal in the swamps nearby. Ethan had his boat ready. It was half past eleven. They needed to get going.

Both James and Isiah were carefully wrapped in heavy chains with heavy scrap metal attached to both to better sink them down in the swamp. That swamp mud has a way of ripping off decomposing flesh quite easily. All identifying information on both men were taken off of their person. But, the county coroner would be able to ID James McDowell because he had broken his leg falling off a barstool a few years back. Both men were dropped carefully into the middle of the swamp land. The muddy water quickly swallowed both men to their eternal resting place. Only Jacob and Ethan Green could get in the boat as it was heavily weighed down with four men. As Ethan paddled his way back to shore he ran into what the assumed was a tree stump. Ethan started to paddle around when Jacob told Ethan to stop. Jacob looked carefully at the obstruction and dipped his hand into the muddy, dark water. Jacob pulled up a human skeletal skull…with a bullet hole in the right temple. The red cap that floated up with the skull was one that supervisors at the local mill wore…the same mill Robert Compton had worked. Both Jacob Dinkins and Ethan Green both looked at one another in absolute astonishment. “I reckon that be Robert Compton, Jacob,” said a quiet Ethan Green. “Yes, I’d say that’s a fairly safe assumption, Ethan. I’d say we have to let him rest in peace here. His murderers be just a few yards from him now. I should have known James McDowell was lying” said Jocob. They both said a silent prayer for what they now believed was the final resting place of Robert Compton. It was time to go into to town and await what aftermath there would be. But, any lingering doubts Jacob Dinkins had about killing both McDowells vanished as he watched the skeletal remains of Robert Compton sink back into the muddy abyss of the swamp.

EPILOGUE:

There was much debate amongst the McDowell clan of where James and Isiah had gotten themselves into. Inquiries were made on Bogue Chitto and the prostitute that James was known to favor. But, nothing other than guarded accusations were made by the McDowell clan about what had happened to the father and son. Mrs. McDowell was strangely ambivalent. James had cheated on her his last time. No word or physical evidence was ever found of the two missing men by the county sheriff. The McDowells suspected it was the Green brothers. Maybe Jacob Dinkins also. But, the McDowells decided it best not to take on those men with so many others ready to defend them. After six months, the search and the accusations died down. The McDowell family slowly imploded without the leadership of James McDowell. They all slowly moved away and were never heard from again.

In 1975, some civil engineers and surveyors were in the swamp covering details of the new highway through. As the swamp was being drained….three skeletal remains were finally revealed that solved the mystery of three missing men so many years ago.

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