The Crossing

The Crossing

by Gerald Darnell

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Tammy continued to work through her 30th week of pregnancy; then she spent the next 6 weeks in bed. It was an extremely difficult delivery, and the baby, a boy, lived for only two days. According to the doctor, the baby was born with a serious heart defect, which could not have been prevented. He assured Tammy that her work, activities and personal care had nothing to do with the death of the baby – she didn’t believe him. Neither did Sonny.
That was the end for Tammy and Sonny. They never forgave themselves and they never forgave each other.
Tammy’s job at Alton Box was gone and now she needed something to keep herself busy and away from Sonny. Her brother, Richie, told her that ‘Skeeter’s’ in Jackson was looking for some inside and outside waitresses, and Tammy couldn’t get there fast enough to complete an application. ‘Skeeter’s’ is a restaurant similar to Chiefs, except they don’t offer rooms or cabins for rent. They do offer inside dining, a bar and outside curb service – just like Chiefs. What they offered Tammy was a way to get away from Sonny, Humboldt and the bad memories. What it also offered was an opportunity to meet other people, lots of people. For Tammy, it was also a chance to meet other men, and she did a lot of that.
It was two days before anyone reported Tammy missing. Sunday and Monday were her days off and she always spent Monday visiting with her parents. When she missed her Monday visit, her father, Thomas Whitmore, called her house all day – no answer. He finally reached Sonny that afternoon, and Sonny told him that she had changed her work schedule and was working. Her father didn’t accept that answer, and Mr. Whitmore called the sheriff’s office to report Tammy as missing. The sheriff’s office collected information and made the usual and necessary calls. However, when she didn’t report for her shift at ‘Skeeter’s’ on Tuesday, her boss called her father to inquire about her absence. That’s when her father learned Tammy had definitely not worked on Monday, and in fact, had not worked since the previous Saturday.
Tammy had not been seen by anyone since finishing her shift at ‘Skeeter’s’ at 1:00 AM Saturday night; however, it didn’t take long for the sheriff, Leroy Epsee, and his deputies to find Tammy.
Crossing Rexall Drug Store, owned by Dr. Parker Williams and Dr. Whitley Johnson, is just around the corner from ‘Blue’s Pool Room’. ‘Blue’s Pool Room’ is a popular hangout for many of the residents of the ‘Crossing’, and many of the male colored citizens of Humboldt grew up inside the walls of ‘Blue’s Pool Room’. While the poolroom and the drug store don’t have much in common, they do share a trash dumpster located in the alley area behind both businesses. It was here where they found Tammy.
Jack Cooley, better known as ‘Jack the Rack’, worked at ‘Blue’s Pool Room’ as a rack boy and ‘step and fetch-it’ for most of the patrons. It was his weekly responsibility to make sure all the trash was placed in the alley garbage dumpster for Tuesday’s collection day. Behind the dumpster, among all the discarded boxes and trash, is where he found Tammy Blurton. She was naked, except for an extremely bloodstained, short sleeve, blue work shirt with ‘Henry’ on the red name label above the left pocket. Tammy had been beaten, strangled, stabbed and presumably raped. It would be four days before the coroner could determine the exact cause of death.
Leroy’s crime scene investigators did a good job and eventually located a large knife among the scattered trash bags. It was an eight- inch, butcher-type knife and had what appeared to be bloodstains on the blade. They also found a small slip of paper in the pocket of the shirt Tammy was wearing; it contained a name and phone number.

Henry Walker SUnset 4 – 2031.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940151838245
Publisher: Gerald Darnell
Publication date: 03/14/2015
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 221 KB

About the Author

AUTHOR’S BIO -Gerald W. Darnell A Florida native, Gerald grew up and attended high school in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee. Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, he spent time in Hopkinsville, KY, Memphis, TN, Boston, MA and Newport, AR before moving back to Florida – where he now lives. Gerald worked as a Senior Manager with several Fortune 100 companies, before officially retiring in 2007. His non-fiction book, ‘Don’t Wake Me Until It’s Time To Go’, is a bio-narrative including humorous stories and events spanning his life from pre-high school to retirement. His fiction books are what he calls ‘Fiction for Fun’. They use real geography and include pictures and characters some readers might recognize. The ‘Carson Reno Mystery Series’ are adventure mysteries set in the early 1960 time period, with the primary geography being Memphis and small southern towns. Core characters continue through each book, along with new and unique characters for each story. During the early 70's the author worked from an office in the Memphis Peabody Hotel, so many of the events about the hotel in Carson Reno’s stories are real, as well as many of the characters you meet. His books are available at selected bookstores, gift shops, on-line and through Amazon and Barnes and Noble . e-books are available at Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook formats. Carson Reno Mystery Series Written by author Gerald W. Darnell, the Carson Reno Mystery Series currently contains 12 adventures. The main character, Carson Reno, is a private detective with an office located in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The setting is the early 1960’s, and while the many adventures take Carson around the country, most of the stories are centered in West Tennessee and the Southern United States. Carson is a tough, hard drinking and womanizing private detective – but the author blends humor and character involvement to make the stories an easy read for all ages. Many of the characters continue through each book, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy them in any particular order; each is standalone in story and content. Real geography is mixed with real time events, reflecting the dangerous and turbulent times of our country in the 1960’s. Books are lightly illustrated with real pictures (when available), and they are all rated PG-13 – minimizing language and graphic violence. Most books are offered in both hard and soft cover, and ebooks of all adventures are available in Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook formats. Six books have already been created as audio books - these can be found on, and iTunes. Additional books are currently in audio production. All Carson Reno Mystery Series books can be purchased on,,, selected bookstores/gift shops and through the author’s website – ‘Life is cheap, make sure you buy enough’ ®

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