Sunday, September 27, 2015

Prosecutor to Write Book about the Reverend

The chapter of Blood Cries originally scheduled to post today has been delayed due to a malfunctioning computer.  Look for it Thursday October 1, 2015.

According to an article by Al Benn in the Montgomery Advertiser, a new book about Will Maxwell, better known as the Reverend, is coming our way.

The book is to be a nonfiction account and will be written by E. Paul Jones.

Jones is a District Attorney for the state of Alabama and a former assistant to legendary DA Tom Young.  Jones assisted Young during the prosecution of Robert Burns, the man who shot Reverend Maxwell.  Before that, Jones interviewed Maxwell while doing investigation work for an insurance company.

The book is a guaranteed must-read for anyone interested in the Maxwell story and will make an excellent compliment to my fictional version, Blood Cries.

To read Benn’s story in the Advertiser, go here.  An interview with Jones conducted by David Granger of the Alexander City Outlook can be found here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Blood Cries Chapter 11


Sheriff Maddox crouched beside the open driver’s side door of a white Chevrolet Caprice.  The suspected victim—female, black, approximately 38 years old, slumped against the steering wheel. Cause of death was not immediately apparent.

Deputy Sheriff Ford crowded in beside him. 

“Same as the last one,” the sheriff noted.

“What we’re dealing with here is a brazen son of a bitch,” Ford said.

“Find me some physical evidence this time,” Sheriff Maddox said.

“We’ll do our best, Sheriff.”

Sheriff Maddox stepped into the empty highway and lit a cigarette.  He glanced at the car parked against a tree, watched Ford snap pictures with his camera.  He’d had the same experience once before.  

The last time it was less than a mile from the spot where he now stood and on the same road.  Ford was right, he thought.  They were dealing with one brazen son of a bitch.

The Sheriff flicked his cigarette into the street.  “Pick him up,” he said.

Ford pointed his camera lens at the ground while he processed the command.  “I’m way ahead of you, Sheriff.  I called Alvin on the CB, told him and Tommy to swing by the Reverend’s house, but he wasn’t there.  You want us to set up a stake-out?”

“I want him off the street,” the Sheriff said.

“I’ll have Alvin and Tommy set up a stake-out then,” Ford said.

“That might be best,” said the Sheriff.
3 AM

Inside Melvin’s bedroom, the telephone rang.  Doris reached across her husband to answer the phone.  She placed the receiver on Melvin’s neck, gave him a shove, and collapsed onto her pillow. 

Melvin felt the long plastic arm connecting the speaker and receiver across his neck and opened his eyes.  He picked it up with thumb and forefinger, held it in the air, and looked at it until it came into focus.  Then, he placed it against his ear and closed his eyes again.

“Hello,” he said.  “Yeah…  Uh huh…  Uh Huh… Okay… I’ll be there.”   He hung up the phone.  His breathing settled into a natural rhythm.  

His eyes snapped open.  He turned his head toward his wife.  She opened her eyes.

“I just had the craziest dream,” Melvin said.  “I dreamed Reverend Baxter called me again and told me his wife had died again and he needed a lawyer.” 

“That was no dream,” Doris said.  She closed her eyes again.  “That just happened.” 

Go to Chapter 12

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Blood Cries Chapter 10


The file dropped onto the desk with a heavy thud.  By Louella’s calculation, it was at least three inches thick.  Her hand slid across the desk to pull it toward her, but Melvin kept it covered with his hand.

“Ms. Harper, I hope you don’t mind my asking this, but have you, by chance, decided how you’re going to write this story.”

“The usual way, I suppose,” Louella said.  “With my trusty Olivetti.” 

“I meant,” said Melvin, “have you decided on a hero?”

Louella’s hand slid back toward her lap.  Her eyes traveled around the wood-paneled walls where pictures of various democratic leaders hung alongside those of Melvin’s family.  Sitting beside his desk on a wooden pedestal was a bronze bust of John F. Kennedy. 

“Well, I’m only just beginning the research phase,” she said.

Melvin’s fingers drummed on the file.  “But every story has to have a hero, isn’t that right?” he asked the famous author.

“Most do.  Traditionally, novels have a single protagonist, but not always.”

“Yes, yes,” Melvin said, churning up some excitement.  “You’ll need a protagonist.”

Louella smiled sweetly.  “Do you have one in mind?” she asked.

“May I suggest a genial southern lawyer, one that heroically battles racial prejudice on his quest for…? “

Louella interrupted.  “I was thinking I might use a washed-up old woman writer.”

Melvin just stared.

“Mr. Little,” Louella continued.  “I am aware of your importance to this story.  You are a major link that binds all the other characters.”

“That’s right,” Melvin said, sitting up straight and grabbing his lapels.  “I’m a major link.  I’m like the character in that book you wrote, or Gregory Peck in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’”

Louella studied the pudgy little moon face beaming at her from across the table.  “Well, there is a certain aggressive charm about you.”

Melvin’s face beamed harder. 

“And it’s very generous of you to share your files.” Louella’s eyes pointed like arrows to the stack of papers pinned beneath the lawyer’s hand.

“Yes, yes, of course, the files,” Melvin said.  His hand released the imprisoned folder.  He pushed it across the desk to Louella.

“I was just thinking,” he said, “about this idea I had.  Don’t feel pressured to use it or anything.  I’m willing to defer to your authorial instincts on the matter, but I thought of a good way to begin the story.”

Louella wasn’t already thumbing through the contents of the file.  “Do tell,” she said.

“Picture this.  We open on the bedroom of a mild-mannered attorney and his wife…”

“Mild-mannered, you say?”

“Suddenly, a telephone rings…”

“That is exciting,” Louella said.  Her eyes continued to scan documents.

“On the other end of the phone is the Reverend.  He’s been accused of killing his first wife.  I’m half-asleep.  I mean, the lawyer is half asleep, but he swiftly negotiates an agreement that is fair to both parties.  After that, I thought you might delve into my Scottish heritage.  You know, show the reader some insight into what made me—my character, I mean—into the person I am today.”

Louella closed the file.  “That would certainly be an interesting way to begin the story.”

“I confess I got the idea from reading the opening section of your book.  I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I was struck by how you started with a compelling action—a childhood injury—and then somehow drifted into the history of the town.”

“I thought I recognized your opening gambit.  Now, I realize it was my own. Well, Mr. Little…” Louella stood.  She tucked the file under her arm and stretched out her hand.  “I thank for your ideas and for your generosity in sharing your files, but if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my hotel and start reading through all this material you’ve given me.”

Melvin took her hand as he would a princess.  He offered a slight bow.  “The honor is all mine,” he said.

Louella's face tightened.  "Let's not go crazy," she said.

Go to Chapter 11

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blood Cries Chapter 9


Calpurnia Murphy strutted into the courtroom in a bright purple dress and matching hat.  After the bailiff swore her in, District Attorney Henry Russell began his examination.

“Would you please state your name for the court record and tell us where you’re from?” he asked.

Calpurnia ignored the prosecutor and spoke directly to the jury.  “My name is Calpurnia Barrett Murphy.  I was born in Hartselle, Alabama, but now I live in Yamacraw County.  Down by the highway.”

“Do you know the defendant, Willie Baxter?” the prosecutor asked.

Calpurnia glanced at the Reverend without expression.  “Reverend Baxter’s been my neighbor for nearly ten years.”  A smile formed on her face as she added, “His wife used to do my hair.”

“And did you see Mr. Baxter on the night of June 28, 1969?” Henry Russell asked.

“I did.”

“Would you please describe what you saw?”

“Well, that evening, Reverend Baxter and I attended a revival meeting in Macon County.  We didn’t get home until after midnight.”

Russell, who had strolled over to the jury box, did a double take.  “What’s that now?” 

Murphy looked as pleased as punch.  “I said that on the evening in question, Reverend Baxter and I attended a revival meeting down in Macon County.  I remember I was very excited to go because my ex-husband was a heathen who would probably get struck by lightning if he ever came within a hundred feet of a church, but Reverend Baxter said he would happy to take me.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  I had what they call a spiritual awakening.”

“Wait.  You say you were with the Reverend?  That’s not what you told me before,” said Russell.

Melvin stood.  “Objection, Your Honor. He’s trying to impeach his own witness.”

“Sustained,” the judge said.

Henry Russell stared dumbfounded at the witness.  “Ms. Murphy, are you really gonna sit there and tell me and this jury, that you were with the Reverend that night?”

“Objection,” Melvin shouted.  “That question has been asked and answered.”

“Sustained,” said the judge.

Russell pleaded with his witness.  “What about what you told me before?  That you were alone sitting on your porch that night when you saw Reverend Baxter come out of his house carrying... ”

“Your Honor, please,” Melvin said.  “Mr. Russell is testifying.”

“Sustained,” said the judge.  “Mr. Russell, your remarks are limited to questions only.”

“The prosecutor has no case,” Melvin said.  “I move for a directed verdict in favor of the defendant.”

“He’s got you, Henry,” said the judge.  “Motion is granted.”  He banged his gavel. “Next case!”

Henry Russell kept standing there looking shell-shocked.  As Calpurnia came out of the witness box, he noticed something shiny at the end of her finger.  He’d been so focused on his own presentation that he hadn’t noticed the new diamond encrusted wedding band.

“Now wait just a second,” Russell said.  “Calpurnia, where did you get that ring?” 

“The case is over, Henry,” Melvin said.

“Calpurnia,” Russell asked. “Did you get married?”

Calpurnia stretched out her arm to admire her ring.  She could not contain her smile.

“I didn’t even know you were engaged,” the prosecutor said.  “Who did you marry?”

Calpurnia’s excitement exploded out of her in the form of a long squeal.  “I’m Mrs. William Baxter.”

Russell stood thunderstruck as the defendant strolled passed him to greet his new wife.  Calpurnia jumped into his arms.

Henry Russell turned to Melvin.  “Did you know about this?”

“Are you kidding?” Melvin asked.  “I never would have allowed a wife to take the stand against her husband.  I thought we were sunk.”

The Reverend and his wife continued to celebrate with Melvin and the throng family members who rushed forward to congratulate them. 

Henry Russell stomped out of the courtroom.

Go to Chapter 10

Sunday, September 13, 2015

3 Mysteries Surrounding Harper Lee's Lost Crime Novel

For those of you who haven’t heard about this story yet, here is a quick recap:

In 1978, Harper Lee went to Alexander City, AL to research a nonfiction book along the lines of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which, you may remember, she also helped research.  The Alexander City story involved Willie Maxwell, a murderous preacher—with supposed ties to voodoo—, who allegedly killed off members of his family for insurance money.  He was later assassinated at the funeral of one of his suspected victims.  The Reverend’s lawyer then represented the assassin and won a verdict of not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. 

Some of what we do know about Lee’s research into the case makes for a compelling mystery.

     1) The Reverend had an accomplice.  According to a 1987 letter Lee wrote to the late author Madison Jones, she said, “I do believe that the Reverend Maxwell murdered at least five people, that the motive was greed, that he had an accomplice for two of the murders and an accessory to one.”  

    As of yet, no one has publicly named this suspected accomplice or explained his or her part in the story.

     2) Despite widespread belief otherwise, Reverend Maxwell wasn’t a voodoo man.  According to the same letter, Lee found no evidence that the Reverend was involved in voodoo. “I traced nearly every rumor of that sort to its source, and if you do the same, you will have a surprise.” 

    During his lifetime, the Reverend was feared by other citizens.  The connection to voodoo kept people afraid of him even after he died. So, who started the rumors?  And why?

     3) Why did Lee give up on the manuscript?  Different people provide different explanations.  Some of her close friends have suggested that the success of her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, set too high a standard, and that any other books would suffer in comparison.  One of her friends told me that she feared rumors that Capote had written Mockingbird would “get a life” if a second book wasn’t as good as her first. 

A few pieces of evidence suggest that Lee told different stories to different people.  Her letter to Jones claimed she did not have enough factual information to complete a book.  Attorney Tom Radney, the man who alerted her to the story in the first place and who spoke with her on a regular basis, claimed she was working on the book into the 1990s.  In an article written by a member of the Associated Press, Robert Burns—the man who shot Reverend Maxwell at his adopted niece’s funeral—heard a different story.  “She was telling me she didn’t know if she was going to write the book or not because she would incriminate some people in Alex City.”  

Would this be the Reverend’s accomplice mentioned earlier? Unless her notes or a manuscript turns up, we may never know.

New chapters of Blood Cries, a new novel based on the story of the Reverend, post weekly.  Chapter 1 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What Harper Lee Said About Her Lost Crime Novel

In 1978, Harper Lee went down to Alexander City, Alabama to research a nonfiction book about a murderous preacher.  By early 2009, I was researching the same story, and so I sent Lee a letter requesting information related to the case.  She replied by saying she’d found “a mountain of rumor and tall stories to a molehill of fact,” and kindly wished me luck.

My immediate reaction was something along the lines of, “Hey, I got a letter from Harper Lee!” Time to go frame shopping.  

Soon thereafter, however, the obsessed writer in me kicked in and, I confess, I started to feel a little bothered by the fact that she hadn’t shared anything substantial with me about her book.  I'd heard she had a cache of information related to the story, and I desperately wanted a peak at those materials.  I wanted to know everything there was to know about that story, and she knew more about it than anyone.

Time passed.  My nonfiction book became a novel.  

Last year, when it was announced that Lee was going to publish Go Set a Watchman, a novel written 50 years ago, I started thinking about her other project, and I wondered if The Reverend , as her book was to be called, would finally be published. 

A few weeks ago, I visited the Woodruff Library at Emory University and read a letter Lee had written to the author Madison Jones in 1987.  The letter completely changed my perspective.  The letter detailed the many obstacles she ran into while researching her book.

Madison Jones had apparently approached her with a request similar to mine, and she responded with a laundry list of reasons why writing a factual account wasn’t possible.  She ended by saying, “I hope this letter is sufficiently discouraging.”

It occurred to me then that maybe she wasn’t holding out on me (I know it’s ridiculous, but that’s how I felt) but that maybe she was tired of fielding these kinds of questions from strangers.  My letter came 22 years after the one sent by Madison Jones, which came almost ten years after she started the project.  People were still asking her about an unfinished book from 30 years ago!

Judging by the Jones letter, the research had been somewhat grueling and emotionally exhausting.  She talked how everyone asked her when the movie was coming out and if they could be in the movie.  (Note to people: novelists write books.) Others were only interested in extracting money from her in exchange for their stories. 

Judging by the letter, I don’t think she had much fun, so why would she be interested in helping someone else go through that?  Why would she want to go looking for boxes of research that had likely been thrown out years earlier?

I didn’t know it at the time, but I found out later that she’d recently suffered a stroke and was going through other health problems.  Now I felt bad for even bothering her. 

Despite her health issues, she still took the time to write a letter to me.  And while it wasn’t as detailed as the one she wrote to Madison Jones, her letter to me echoed the sentiment of her letter to Jones.  “I trust time has settled the Reverend’s dust,” she said, just as she had said to Jones twenty two years earlier.  By 2009, I think, it was all she had left to say about the matter. 

Latest novel about the Reverend: About This NovelChapter 1

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blood Cries Chapter 8


Melvin pressed his face between two bars and surveyed a row of prisoners.  “Which one of you is my preacher?” he asked.

Five men sat leaning against the wall of the jail.  Four of them bunched on one side, leaving plenty of room for the fifth.  Melvin zeroed in on him.  The man wore a black suit even though it was the dead of summer.  He sat up straight and crossed one leg over the other. 

“You must be my lawyer, Mr. Little,” the man said.

“You presume right.  Listen, Reverend.  We’ve got ourselves a problem.”  Melvin motioned for his client to come closer.  When the Reverend failed to move, he motioned harder.  Reluctantly, the Reverend stood and strolled over to the row of bars separating him from his attorney.  “The prosecutor has a witness against you,” Melvin whispered. 

“Impossible,” said the Reverend, not bothering to conceal his voice.

“It is possible,” Melvin said.  “And that means trouble for you and trouble for me.  If you go to jail for murder, you don’t collect insurance money, which means I don’t get paid.”

“You’ll get your money,” the Reverend said.

“I hope I do,” said Melvin. 

The Reverend looked his attorney in the eye.  “I did not kill my wife,” he said.

“Can you back that up?” Melvin asked.

“I was at a revival meeting in Macon County when she was killed.  I didn’t arrive home until the afternoon she was found.”

“Well, then, if you could just provide me with a list of names of people willing to testify that they saw you at this revival meeting that would be helpful.”

The Reverend fell silent.

“I didn’t think so,” Melvin said.  “I hope you understand the seriousness of this situation.  At this point, I’ll be lucky to get you a life sentence.”

The Reverend slowly spun around and paced toward the bench.  The eyes of the other prisoners instantly fell to the floor.  “The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance.  He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,” the Reverend said.

“What’s that now?” Melvin asked.

“Psalm 58, verse 10,” said Reverend Baxter.

Melvin checked over his shoulder and then looked at the row of prisoners sitting as quiet as kittens.  “Now you listen here, Reverend.  I’m all for my clients spouting off a good Bible verse.  I’ve even been known to drop a few choice lines in the courtroom myself, but this should be the last time I hear you say anything about bathing in people’s blood, wicked or not.”

“You would have me censor the word of God?” the Reverend asked.

“Be more selective, that’s all.  Pick one that’ll make you look more sympathetic and less like a raging lunatic.”

“Do you believe me when I say I’m innocent?”

“I don’t care when you say you’re innocent.”

“I could never defend the wicked,” the Reverend said.

“Wicked or not, that’s none of my business,” Melvin said.  “We have a system in place that says people are innocent until proven guilty.  It’s my job to provide them with competent counsel, regardless of guilt.  And as near as I can tell, it’s gonna be your job to prevent the prosecutor from finding any evidence that proves you guilty.  Now, do we understand each other?”


“Good.  Now let’s get you out of jail.”

Go to Chapter 9

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Blood Cries Chapter 7


Melvin Little was pleased with the turnout.  Everyone in town, it seemed, including the mayor, the president of the bank, two judges, several high profile doctors, and the President and CEO of the Hunter Mills Textile Company, had showed up at the Willow Creek Country Club to meet and greet the famous author, Louella Harper, and Melvin had arranged the whole thing. 

Already Melvin could sense the event raising his profile among the town’s most elite citizens.  Alexander Turner himself (the grandson of the founder of Hunter Mills) had made it a point to shake Melvin’s hand and congratulate him on arranging a town meeting with the most famous author since God Almighty. 

Mr. Turner carried a copy of Louella Harper’s book under his arm.  He told Melvin he planned to snag an autograph for his daughter after supper.

“Just don’t bother her during the meal,” Melvin said, exuding authority.  “She hates that.”

Mr. Turner nodded profusely and thanked Melvin for the advice.

There were fifty seven tables in the main banquet room overlooking Lake Harris.  Each table was covered by a fine white linen table cloth and set with silver utensils.  The waiters wore tuxedos and brought out food and champagne on silver trays.  For dinner, Melvin had decided on surf and turf.  Of course, the town paid for everything.

Melvin positioned himself, along with CEO Turner, the mayor, the chief of police, and their wives, at the table with the guest of honor.

Louella was a bit taken aback by all the attention.  “Is all this really necessary?” she asked the little lawyer who had picked her up at the train station. 

“Oh, it’s necessary,” Melvin assured her.  “If you’re gonna learn everything there is to know about the Reverend, then you’ll need doors to open for you, and the people in this room can open every door in town.”

“I can open my own doors,” Louella said.  She spun the bacon from the filet mignon onto her fork and ate it in one bite.

The mayor’s wife broke the awkward silence that followed.  “Ms. Harper, I just loved your book.”

“Thank you dear,” Louella said.  She dabbed the meat juice running down her chin with a linen napkin. 

“It must have been so exciting for you when you found out they were going to make the movie.  What’s Jimmy Stewart like?”

Melvin kicked his wife under the table.

“Now, Nancy,” Marry Anne stuttered.  “Ms.  Harper isn’t here to talk about her movie.  She’s here to work on her new book.  She’s here to learn about the Reverend.”

“Oh I don’t know anything about that awful man other than what was printed in the newspapers.  Chief Thompson could tell you more about that.”  Nancy nodded in the direction of the police chief, who was going to town on a plate of hushpuppies and seemed startled by the intrusion.

“What’s that?” he asked.  “Oh, right, the Reverend.  Most of those murders fell under Sheriff Maddox’s jurisdiction.”

“And where is Sheriff Maddox?” Louella asked.

Melvin spoke up suddenly.  “I believe he had a prior engagement.”

“I can’t imagine what,” said Sheryl Turner.  “I know there’s no place I’d rather be.”  She smiled and somehow twinkled her nose at Louella.

“I’m not sure,” Melvin said.  “I think he may have fallen ill.”

“I’m surprised he told you that, Melvin,” Mayor Randall said.  “I thought he hated your guts.”  He let out a cackle.

Melvin redirected the conversation to Chief Thompson.  “Now, Harry, I know you didn’t let Lonnie Maddox have all the glory.  I bet you’re holding onto some useful documentation that you could share with Ms. Harper.”

The police chief shrugged.  “There might be something in the files.”  He looked at Louella and smiled graciously.  “You’re more than welcome to stop by the station any time you like.”

Louella bowed slightly.  “I’ll do that,” she said.

“And of course,” Melvin said.  “The door to my office is always open.  I probably have more files on the Reverend than anyone.”

Mary Anne leaned toward Louella.  “Melvin was the Reverend’s attorney for almost ten years.”

“Hell, Melvin, with all the money he gave you, the Reverend practically built your office building.”  The mayor cackled again.

“Now the people you really should be talking to,” Nancy offered, “are the colored people.  They were the ones most affected by the man.”

“Other than Melvin,” the mayor said before stuffing a chunk of steak into his mouth.

“Were any of them invited tonight?” Louella asked.

Everyone sitting at the table laughed.  Louella sipped her champagne.

Go to Chapter 8

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Blood Cries Chapter 6

Early the next morning, Melvin strolled into the sheriff’s office on the way to meet his client.  It was a fact-finding mission as much as it was a personal courtesy.  Melvin rarely did anything out of simple courtesy.

The office was tiny and furnished with little more than a couple of visitors' chairs and a large black file cabinet. The room was so small the walls seemed to be closing in on the sheriff, who was sitting at his plain pine top desk looking over some paperwork.

“Morning, Sheriff,” Melvin said casually as his gaze traveled over the sheriff’s head and landed on various pictures: the sheriff with the governor, the sheriff at the shooting range, the sheriff with Ronald McDonald at a charity golf tournament. 

The sheriff nodded.  “Melvin.”     

Rather than taking a seat at one of the two empty chairs on the visitor’s side of the desk, Melvin chose to stand.  “Sheriff, do you mind telling me what kind of evidence you have to hold the Reverend?”

Sheriff Maddox looked up over the rim of his glasses.  “Who’s a reverend?” he asked.  "I wasn't aware that I was holding a member of the clergy."

“Baxter," Melvin said.  "He may not have his own church just yet, but he's definitely got his preacher's license."

“I don’t suppose that hurts you any,” Sheriff Maddox said.  “A man of God is more likely to impress a jury.”

“You got that right,” Melvin said.  He decided to take a seat after all.  “So what do you have on him?”

“You mean other than the voodoo chickens?”

“I'm not familiar with the recipe.  I prefer my chicken friend.”

“According to my men, your reverend butchered a chicken and spread the blood all over his doorway.”

“A little late for Passover,” Melvin said.

“It’s supposed to be some kind of voodoo magic.”

“So, you’re holding him based on chicken blood?”

“We also found out he took out a substantial insurance policy out on his wife three months ago,” Sheriff Maddox said.

 “That don’t mean nothing,” Melvin said.  “Circumstantial.”

“What it means,” the sheriff said, “is he had motive.”

Melvin stood to go.  “Well, I hope Henry Russell has more evidence than that if he plans to bring this thing to trial.”

“Oh, our friendly neighborhood prosecutor has more than that,” the sheriff said.  Melvin thought he noticed a twinkle in his eye.  “He’s got himself an eye witness.”

“The hell you say.”

The sheriff leaned back and threaded his fingers behind his head.  “A neighbor saw Baxter loading the body into the car.”

“I don’t believe it,” Melvin said.

“Good luck collecting your half of the insurance money now, Melvin.”  Sheriff Maddox exploded into laughter. 

Melvin fled the room.  “Goddamnit,” he thought.  “This is going to be harder than I expected.”

Go to Chapter 7