BRAWLEY, SC - According to sources, local woman Jane Allen, who had missed the previous Sunday's service at Brawley Reformed Church, was thoroughly interrogated by the church's staff Wednesday after being called in to explain her unexcused absence.
"Have a seat," church elder Guy Brown said as Allen entered the dark, musty interrogation room.
Standing under the sole light bulb in the room, church elder Guy Brown reportedly puffed on his cigar silently for several minutes "to make her sweat it out a bit." Finally, Brown broke the silence.
"Where were you on the morning of August fourteenth?" Brown asked coolly as he consulted the church's attendance records in a manila folder.
"I - I was just - caring for my sick toddl - "
"Do you think I'm stupid?!" Brown snapped, slamming his fist down on the desk. "Cut the crap. We have eyewitnesses placing you at Walmart around 10:30 a.m. - right when you were supposed to be helping with the children's choir."
When Allen tried to explain that she was simply picking up medicine for her ill daughter, Brown snorted derisively. "I've heard all the excuses, lady. That's the oldest one in the book."
"We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way. It's your call."
At publishing time, Brown had brought in an associate elder to pull off "the ol' good elder/bad elder routine."