Kent Conwell - Tony Boudreaux 06 - Extracurricular Murder

Kent Conwell - Tony Boudreaux 06 - Extracurricular Murder by Kent Conwell Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Kent Conwell - Tony Boudreaux 06 - Extracurricular Murder by Kent Conwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kent Conwell
Tags: Mystery: Thriller - P.I. - Texas

but the truth is, the fact your contract was not going to be
renewed is a pretty good motive. How old are you, fifty-two?
Past that age, jobs, good jobs, aren’t easy to come by.”
    If looks could have killed, I would have been burned to a
crispy critter. He placed his hands on the table and leaned forward, resting his weight on his stiff arms. His words were sharp
and cold. “For your information, my contract was not going to
be denied. George had decided instead to write a letter of reprimand and put it in my file.”
    I nodded. “That could put a different light on the matter then.
Is the letter in your file?”
    His tone softened. “No.” Wearily, he plopped back down in
his chair. “No. We were going to discuss it after the PTA meeting. He was to put the letter in my file the next day.” He looked
up at me. “I met him in the lobby and walked down the hall
with him to my room, but I had to go to the john. He went on
up to my room. When I got upstairs, I found him sprawled
across my desk.” He paused. “And that’s the truth, honest.” His
last words were almost pleading.
    “Look, Mr. Jacobs, I know this is tough on you, but if you
didn’t kill him, then by being completely honest with me, you
can help find who did murder George Holderman.” I hesitated, hoping my logic would permeate the wall of anger he’d
thrown up.

    He remained silent. I continued. “Now, back to the contract.
I’ve had experience teaching. I know they can’t refuse to renew
a contract arbitrarily. What reason did he give for not renewing,
or threatening not to renew it?”
    He hesitated a moment. “Professional incompetence. In
other words, an ineffective teacher. You see, Mr. Boudreaux, a
superintendent is god in some of these districts. He has all the
records. He can manipulate them anyway he chooses. He
appraised me last spring, and he crucified me. He wrote up a
remediation plan for me, which I fulfilled this past summer. He
came in again last September and literally eviscerated me. That
was the basis for the non-renewal.”
    I stared at him in disbelief. I’d undergone the trauma of
teacher appraisals for three or four years at Madison High, and
they were always done by the teacher’s immediate supervisor,
the principal. “Why did he appraise you? I’d figure Howard
Birnam, your principal, would do that.”
    With a cynical chuckle, he explained, “Holderman claimed he
liked to keep his hand in things.’ In fairness to him, he usually
appraised several teachers on various campuses each year. Said
it helped him keep up with what was going on in the district.”
    “Why would he hit on you and not the others?”
    Perry Jacobs hesitated once again, then shrugged. “He never
liked me. And the feeling was reciprocated.”
    I considered his explanation. Hard to believe, but having
been in the school business, I knew for a fact there were many
vindictive school administrators who would not hesitate to fire
an employee on a whim or in an egotistical display of power.
    For the moment, I dropped the subject and jotted a few notes
in my notebook. “Kim Nally said you saw someone going
down the stairs that night.”
    “Naw. I didn’t.” He shook his head. “I came up the middle
flight of stairs. When I turned the corner toward my room, I thought I caught a glimpse of someone going down the far
stairs. I didn’t think anything about it until I saw George. About
that time, Kim came up. I remembered seeing someone, or
thinking I had. I told Kim to call nine-one-one, and I ran down
the stairs.”

    “Find anyone?”
    Frustration clouded his eyes. “Harp Weems”
    A flicker of hope erased the frustration in his eyes. “But, you
can check with Jim Hawkins. He teaches American History
next door to me. He came into the boys’ room just before I left.
He can back me up that I was in there while George had gone
on to my room.” A pleased smile played over his fleshy face.
    “Did

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