by Aubrey Jones
Frank Proctor, a thirty-six-year-old school teacher, is tired of having no authority to counteract crime in his school in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His wife, Connie, is a government employee. When he sees one of his students in a ditch with her throat slashed, he resigns his job, leaves his family (wife and two children), and moves 115 miles away to Union City to become a policeman.
In Union City the only police job is that of an unpaid auxiliary officer. To earn his keep and have money to send his family he takes a job as a desk clerk in the motel where he’s staying. The motel manager allows Frank to work during his off time from the police department. Worried that he won’t qualify with the pistol he’s issued, Frank has a new friend, a black officer, Dexter Griswold, suggest that he get Robbie Moran, a ten-year veteran with the Washington, D.C. Police Department to teach him to shoot. She does and he succeeds in qualifying. As they occasionally work a shift together, he and the beautiful Robbie find they’re strongly attracted to each other. She left D.C to get away from the young girls in her area going into prostitution, and she and Frank realize they’ve come to Union City for similar reasons. Robbie, too, is married with a daughter, and her husband, Leo, runs a body shop. His skills are such that he can always find a job.
Finally Robbie tells Leo that she and Frank are in love. The Morans are Christians, and Leo, while deeply hurt, is a man of deep faith.
One afternoon Dexter and Frank go to the farm of a man who has filed a missing person report on his wife. While Dexter is talking to the man, Frank walks about and sees the woman in a pig sty. He casually walks back toward the two men as Robbie drives up and gets in the conversation. With no warning the man swings the ax he was leaning on, virtually decapitating Dexter. Robbie is in the process of drawing her weapon, but Dexter is knocked into her and her pistol goes flying as she falls. The man swings the ax in a circular motion to bring it down on Robbie’s head when Frank draws and fires two rounds in quick succession. Two blood splotches spread on the front of the man’s shirt as he topples forward across her feet.
Later Robbie and Frank call their spouses to the police department and after Dexter’s funeral they go back to where they were before. Robbie works with girls on the street in her old area and Frank is named Teacher of the Year. The story ends with him placing flowers at the spot where his student once lay nearly decapitated.