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Robert J. Allison
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"Yes, sir, I’m pretty busy. Crime doesn’t take a vacation you know."
The old man looked at Todd with admiration in his eyes and said, "I still can’t believe I gots a nephew that’s a policeman. When I was your age, I never even dreamed of no black man getting to be a policeman. Them was white jobs, us black folk did the jobs the white folk didn’t want to do."
Todd had heard this speech many times before and though he appreciated his uncle’s admiration, he had other things on his mind this day. This wasn’t a social call and he responded, "Times have changed, Uncle."
"Don’t I knows it," the old man now said. "Why I remember when I had to beg to go to grade school and you got all the way through college. Got yourself a fine job and..."
"Uncle Burrell," Todd cut him off gently and continued, "it’s about college. I came to talk about college and some other things. Okay?"
The old man stopped and stared carefully at his nephew’s face and asked, "Sure, son, what’s a bothering you?"
Todd smiled and said, "You always could read my mind."
"It comes from rais’n a young’n. You get to know them so much you almost become them. You raise ‘em up to do what you couldn’t do and along the way you become part of them and they part of you. Ain’t no magic to it, son, it’s just natural. It’s just family. Some families is closer than others. We was always close, you an’ me, we had to be to survive them days."
Gently leading his uncle back to the topic he was interested in, Todd asked, "Uncle Burrell, you remember when I started college..."
Burrell cut him off and said with a smile, "You bet I do. It was the proudest day of mine and Ginney’s life, that day was. Except for maybe when you graduated."
"Yes, but what I mean is… do you remember how I had the money for college?"
"Sure, I told ya it was from the fund. I told you about the fund. Don’t know where it came from, it was just there. Different places from time to time, but always there, just when you needed it. It was the answer to my prayers for you to do better than me and better than your folks, God bless their souls."
"Sure, I remember you telling me, but I want to know if you remember how much money was left each time for the fund."
"How much?" the old man questioned and wrinkled his brow in thought before continuing, "Wasn’t no reason to really add it up. I just puts it in the bank whenever it came. I never used a dime of it for’n myself. It was for you, from God. I don’t know how much, but it was always enough. When you needed school clothes it was there, when you needed books and a car for high school, it was there, just like for college, it was always there."
"Yes, but do you know how much was left each time?" Todd asked pointedly.
"Lands sakes no! I just puts it in the bank. I didn’t count it, the bank took care of that. It was more’n I ever seen."
Boring in, like his uncle was a witness to a crime, Todd continued, "Was it a hundred, two hundred, four hundred and how often was it left?"
The old man was beside himself. His memory was not what it used to be and besides he really never had counted it. It wasn’t his money so why count it. It was for Todd, let the bank count it. He did sort of remember when it was left though and answered, "I seems to remember it was almost always there after Communion on Sunday."
Todd thought about that for a minute, realizing that his uncle tracked time differently than most people, hill folk had their own ways of tracking time. Finally, he said, "Communion was always on the first Sunday of the month."
Smiling, the old man responded, "Yep, still is. First Sunday of every month, only have Communion oncet a month at our church. You know that, you still come, but not like you used to," the old man ended, in a gentle scolding tone.
Todd let that roll off and asked, "Was the money there every first Sunday or just some?"
"When did it start? What year?"
Robert is an attorney who has been practicing law in Central Illinois for over 20 years. In the 1970s he served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman and later was a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp, Army National Guard. Robert draws on his life experiences in his writing and melds his experiences with his characters to give them a realism that draws the reader into their lives.
The First Suitor: When Jack Allen, an entry-level computer analyst working in his fourth floor cubicle at the NSA, receives a phone call from his boss, little does he realize what is in store. Jane Marshall, the daughter of the President, is having problems with her computer and Jack is sent to fix the problem... Be sure you have a supply of tissues handy by the time you near the end of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will be looking for more of Robert Allison's works in the future. All lovers of romances will want to read The First Suitor. --Robert H. Goss, Roundtablereviews
Matters of Faith: I cannot begin to tell you the depth of this story, but I will tell you that’s not a run of the mill work. You will be taken on a read of a lifetime and will be elated at the ending of this outstanding book. Just who was behind the kidnapping of little Pamela and is she still alive? Will Elizabeth ever come out of her coma? ....The answers await you in this remarkable read. We have tragedy, murder, deceit, unspeakable evil and love, and faith, working through characters that will become more real to you than your next door neighbor. The story is complex and totally engrossing as author Robert Allison craftily intertwines events and people, building a pyramid of mystery and suspense, yet touching the very core of faith, loyalty and love. The emotions that are stirred during this read leave you convinced that this life saga is not a fiction tale but a journal of real-life happenings. Good job! I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Every element for a wonderful read is nestled between the pages. A gift to you the seeker of a great read by a very talented writer. -- Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review
Matters of Faith is an in depth book that really takes hold from the first page... Robert Allison has blended a terrible tragedy, along with murder, fraud, with a mixture of love and faith throughout the characters as they work together to find much needed answers to the problems surrounding them. Each story is captivating as it creates events that build up to a thrilling conclusion that causes an adrenaline rush.
Robert Allison is a gifted writer who has taken words and made them into a suspense filled book that delivers. He weaves the characters into different stories allowing the reader to feel the emotions that they all must endure...His writing grips and holds you to the last page. I cannot stress enough about this mystery. I really found this book a great read. Matters of Faith will be available at Wings ePress January 2006 in e-book and paperback. Be sure you pick up a copy and be prepared for a heart-racing thriller. -- Linda, Romance at Heart Magazine
Fairway Fatality: I have to say Robert James Allison is a master at his craft. He has learned how to take the reader down one road that appears to have the ending and then quickly take you on a turn that whips around and totally disorients you, leaving you to wonder what happened. Who done it, and why, is never known until the ending and this story is no different. Complex, yet simple, this book has it all; mysterious characters clamor for your attention as years of hidden secrets are played out in a top-notch conclusion. Hats off to you Mr. Allison, you did it again. Don't miss this one folks; a real winner. -- Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 347
Paper Weight (lb): 14.5
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