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There was no time for judicial intervention.

   There was a photo that I had to get.

   Gary’s words echoed in my mind,

   “Whatever you do, Don’t come back without it.”


   Quickly, I fled the courtroom.

   Shrubbery outside the door

   Afforded a hiding place—

   A place to await the cat burglar.


   With my camera poised, he cleared the door.

   Quickly I leaped into action,

   But his manacled hands were quicker than mine.

   Covering his face with his hands, he ran.


   I ran beside him, with my camera ready.

   With luck, he might stumble and fall.

   There was a photo that I had to get.

   “Don’t come back without it,” Gary had said.

   I couldn’t let my editor down.


   Onto the waiting sheriff’s bus,

   The alleged cat burglar leaped.

   I was directly on his heels.

   The drowsy deputy at the wheel

   Was startled into wakefulness.


   “What’s going on here?” he demanded.

   A glance at my camera and notebook

   Told him he was dealing with a reporter.

   I shook my head.  “I give up,” said I,

   And trudged my weary way to my car.


   “You will never know how hard I tried, Gary.

   You will never know what I went through

   In an attempt to get the requested photo.”

                                   Gary shook his head in the negative.

   “You did come back without it!”

         —Carole Emma Mathewson