Uncle Moses: Your sins will find you out

By Noble Johns

I was at the Chattanooga city council meeting last Tuesday to complain about the non-enforcement of the city's noise ordinance. What made my visit to the city council meeting insulting was the chairman of the council was perhaps the most hated man in the Black community; Moses Freeman.

One of the craziest things to happen in Chattanooga in that past thirty-years was the change in the city government from an at-large system to a councilmatic form of governance that gave Blacks equal representation.  The very person who tried to prevent the change in governance is the very person holding the gavel — that rotten Moses Freeman.  To know what a horror he was to students at Howard High School is to know that Moses Freeman is perhaps the vilest person living in Chattanooga. That in and of itself made me regretful about coming to the city council for anything. But, I was there for the moment to use the five-minutes the council gives citizens to vet their frustration about city services.  My time to vet was after a lady who was caring a sign of a young boy.

I saw the woman in the halls of the city council building; she was crying uncontrollably. So when she got to the podium to speak to the council, she held up the picture she was holding, and started to speak while pointing a finger a Moses Freeman.

“Its been over thirty-years since my “Billy boy” died and you Moses Freeman was the last person to talk to him at that Howard High School.  You killed my son as if you pushed him into the shit creek by yo’self.  You and the rest of them freaks at Howard killed my Billy boy,” the woman at the podium claimed. “You killed my Billy boy and I hope you rot in Hell!”

The woman then threw the picture at members of the council, at that point, Moses called for order and asked the city police officers to remove the woman from the meeting.  Two young white cops got up and grabbed the woman by the neck and arms and forced her from the council meeting.

When they got her outside, the two white cops kicked her down the concrete steps and she fell of her face’ bleeding profusely. Me and a couple of men helped the woman to her feet, and I told the woman that I knew Billy boy and I was with him the day he drowned in the creek.

We walked to Miller Park and sat down then I began to tell the story of what happened that horrible day at Howard High School. As I recalled, three friends and I were in the bathroom smoking cigarettes when Moses Freeman and Irvin Overton came into the bathroom and caught us smoking.

“What in the Hell are y’all doing?” Moses Freeman asked. “Noble you have been shooting hooky for weeks, and you aren’t allowed on this campus.  So now, we are going to see principal Murphy and he’ll know what to do with y’all. When we got to Mr. Murphy office, I heard Moses say; “I hope he’s not drunk again.” Then, Mr. Overton left while Mr. Freeman when into the principals’ office.  I don’t know what he told Mr. Murphy, but he came out of the principals’ office and took us straight to his office. Your son Billy boy had nothing to do with us smoking; he was just an innocent bystander.

‘What happened next?” the woman asked me.  I was ready to hold back because I felt she couldn’t take the truth of what happened to Billy boy that day. ‘What happened to my son Billy boy?” she begged me.

Well when we got to Mr. Freeman’ office, he made us sit out front while he took Billy boy back into his office.  We could hear Billy boy crying; “I don’t want to do it; that nasty!”

“It’s not nasty; it's fun just let me put your dick in my mouth.  It won’t hurt; it will feel good to you — ­just let put your peter in my mouth ­— it won't hurt. What Moses was saying made us looked in horror at each other hoping we wouldn’t be next.

Moses came from his office and told us we could go back to class, but I had to stay because I was going to be expelled from school because my absentee record was too high.  He went back into his office, and called the assistant principal for the middle school; a Mr. Noland Maguire, a known pervert and child molester.

“I just got that cherry, and I’ll bring him to you so you can finish him off.  He’s a little timid but he will do anything you tell him to do.  Just save some more for me.” Moses said and started to laugh.  Then he came out of his office with Billy boy in tow.  Billy boy was crying and pulling up his trousers while walking behind Mr. Freeman.

They were headed up to Mr. Noland Maguire office on the third floor.  Most students knew what was going on in Mr. Noland Maguire office, but dared not tell.  Moses was scolding me for missing school when we heard a scream, and saw Billy boy running across the parking lot heading for the creek.

Moses jumped from his seat and went after Billy boy while I followed behind.  “Billy stop; stop Billy!’ Moses was yelling for Billy to stop, but he just kept running.  When Billy boy got to the edge of the creek, I saw me jump in.  Moses tried to stop him but it was too late, Billy boy was under the water.

Moses turned to me and said, “you better not say what you know about this or you’ll find yourself in that creek like Billy.” 

“You hear me, Noble Johns?”

“Yes sir I hear you!" I answered back afraid to mention what happened for over thirty-years ago.

“What did Mr. Noland Maguire do to my Billy boy?" the woman asked. 

“I don’t really know!” I said, not wanting to tell her the horror and details of what happened that day at Howard High School.  But, what really happened is when Billy boy got to Mr. Noland Maguire office instead of oral sex like Moses had done to the boy, Mr. Noland Maguire sodomized Billy boy because  I saw what I thought was blood running down his legs.

“Did my Billy boy suffer?” No, I don’t thing he suffered. I lied to keep her pain form growing worse. “What will happened to Moses Freeman?” she asked me.

I don’t know what to tell you because I have kept this secret for over thirty-years, and for me it’s a relief to get this crime out in the open, because for Moses Freeman and all the other freaks at Howard, “One day, your sins will find you out!


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