I’m home on furlough, and still up reading when Clovis Civils, the Bates County Sheriff, raps on the door. “Is your grandfather still up?” he shouts through the glass.
“I’ll see.” I said, letting Clovis in as Grandpa emerges from his bedroom, pulling on his trousers and blinking in the living room light.
“Fred, would you ride down to the Woodfin Cemetery with me?” the sheriff asked.
“Of course, what’s up, Clovis?” Grandpa asked, heading for his bedroom to fetch his shotgun.
“It’s been reported that someone is calling for help from the cemetery. I thought I’d be okay to handle this alone, but during my twenty miles ride I grew uneasy.
Without asking, I hopped into the back seat of the 1957 Ford squad car and rode there with them. Clovis parked his car between the gate posts and we got out. We were met with silence. The cemetery was a quiet as a…graveyard..
Clovis slowly swung his 5-cell in an arc, illuminating the headstones. Nothing. No movement. Not a sound.
“THIS IS THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE. IS ANYBODY OUT HERE?” Clovis shouted.
There was no response. No movement. No sounds. Nothing.
After a minute or two Grandpa asked Clovis to shine his light up into the elm trees. The beam illuminated a half dozen peacocks perched in the upper limbs. They stirred the moment the light hit them. One cried out HEEEELLLP. Then another chimed in. As if they were following the directions of an orchestra conductor, they were all soon crying in unison, the sound of their voices carrying a great distance, perhaps a mile..
“It’s those peafowl. They must have wandered down here and decided to stay the night. Something disturbed them. Probably an owl resenting someone infringing. They are territorial, you know. That’s what triggered a phone call,” explained Grandpa.
“Makes sense,” replied Clovis.
He dropped us off and then he headed back to town.