Life in Santa Rita, Texas, 1957: Calm...slow-moving...placid...or it was until that radical librarian and her controversial books came to town. Then the County Judge falls in love with her. And the editor of the local newspaper starts trying to convince the judge that the girl’s a Communist sympathizer. What with the Commissioners in an uproar, two irrepressible teens adding their own brand of confusion, and a menacing midnight caller threatening the girl he loves, Judge Sam Lindley has enough interference in his courtship to sink it. He doesn’t need his old friend the editor poking around to find evidence that Sam’s lovely librarian has Party ties. Trouble is, the newsman just might be right!
"Did you, now, Miss MacKinsey?" Garrett regarded her with a narrowed eye. "Well, I believe I can safely say it's the last edition you'll enjoy, unless you like seeing your own name in print. The people of this good, hard-working little town don't need the salacious tripe you're serving up to our young people. You're on your way out of town before many more issues come out."
He leaned forward on both palms to glare down at Carole. His hooded eyes had nothing of the merry lights of his bohemian daughter. "I'm giving you warning right now, lady. I know you're dangerous. I think you're either a fool or a fellow traveler. Somehow I don't believe you're a fool. All the moronic cartoons in the world won't save you. I promise you'll be out of a job before the school year starts. Out of a job here and anywhere else I hear of you spreading your so-called literature."
He turned his attention to Sam. "You know you can't stop it, Sam, when the County Commissioners demand it. As they will." He wheeled out the door before either Sam or Carole could respond.
The moment crystallized, frozen in time by the cold threat that paralyzed it. Sam finally drew his eyes from the retreating figure to look across the table at Carole. Her cheeks burned with mortification.
"Would you say he was a little prone to fire a cannon to swat a gnat?" Carole tried to ask the question with a degree of irony, but she was shaken. "I don't understand what there is about me that antagonizes that man. I've never met him before."
"Would you like for me to take you home, darlin'?" Sam's voice held gentle concern.
"Hell's bells, Sam, don't call me darlin'," Carole snapped back. "I don't break, and I won't crawl off to a dark corner. No, I don't want to go home. If you won't be ostracized for keeping company with me, I'd rather go dancing."