Raven sat alongside his mother at the kitchen table while Agent Robert Foxx went to great lengths to convey the seriousness of the illegal activities that Raven and his cousin, Kenny, had been committing over a period of several months. “Ms. Cane, Raven has been wiretapping phone lines, and although he is a minor, the Bureau cannot overlook his illegal activities.” Sherrill Cane’s response was pretty much what Agent Foxx expected from a full-blooded Native American female; nothing more than a slight nod of the head.
The truth of the matter is that Agent Foxx had no intention of trying to prosecute Raven and Kenny. In fact, he would not even report the incident. He had been leisurely looking in on Raven’s activities for a year or more. His true objective was much more long-term. Now that Raven was twelve years old and appeared to have pretty much all the prerequisites needed for his own career objectives, Agent Foxx decided the day had come. He confronted Raven while he was laying in the ditch at the telephone junction box, listening in on the blonde, blue-eyed neighbor girl, Nikki, having her latest telephone conversation with her boyfriend. The confrontation was the first and most important test Agent Foxx would give Raven. It was a make or break trial. If Raven failed, Agent Foxx would have to admit to himself that he was wrong about Raven.
Agent Foxx built up the most intimidating posture he could when he leapt out of his government owned black sedan and grabbed Raven by the arm. Kenny was well down the roadside and over the fence when Raven stared into Agent Foxx eyes with his soul-searching eyes and poker face. Raven did not withdraw or try to run. He did not flinch. His only reaction was an almost imperceptible shrug of his shoulders. It was then that Agent Foxx told himself “this kid was born to be a spy.” Raven had passed his first test.
After entering the Crane home with Raven in tow, Foxx was pleased to see Raven position himself at the far corner of the kitchen well away from any exit; standing with crossed hands from dangling arms; his eyes watching every move of the agent. Only when Sherrill Cane had seated herself and motioned for Foxx to take a seat across from her did Raven move from the corner. He took a seat beside his grandmother, staring intently at Foxx. He was not listening to Foxx. He was learning. He was exploring Robert’s soul.
Foxx was not a dummy. He was a seasoned field agent and he too had grown up in the North-Central Alabama area of Jefferson County rich with tales of murder, moonshine and manitous. He knew Raven’s grandfather, Melvin, had not been seen for months which meant he was hidden away making moonshine. He also knew that Melvin’s dad was at this very moment bound for New Orleans on a black snake. He thought to himself “there could not have been a better day to test this kid.” Chancing a flirting glance at Raven he was convinced the kid was wearing a mask, the false face of the Indians. Raven had passed his second test. Again Foxx had what he had come for – confirmation that Raven Cane was born to be a spy.