Sam Peebles is the main protagonist in the third story in Four Past Midnight, The Library Policeman.

The Library Policeman

Sam is a real estate and insurance agent in Junction City, Iowa.  He is a member of the local Rotary Club.  He pays Naomi Higgins to work as a temporary secretary for him once a week.  The two had gone on two dates a couple of years prior to the events in The Library Policeman, with Naomi backing away from the romantic aspect of their relationship without explanation, although amicably.  She continued to temp for him afterwards and was the one to recommend he go to the library to prepare for his Rotary Club speech, which begins his (and her) ordeal with Ardelia Lortz.  Later, as Sam and Naomi prepare for the fight against Ardelia, the two begin to fall in love.  Sam lets "Dirty" Dave Duncan collect his old unwanted newspapers for recycling.

Early life

Sam is originally from St. Louis.  As a child he loved red licorice.  After checking out the book The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson from the local library, Sam took too long reading it when he tried to return it, it was overdue.  Upon arriving at the library to return the book and pay the late fee, he was stopped by a man calling himself the "library policeman", who took Sam into some nearby bushes and raped him.  The man then told Sam his late fee wasn't fully paid, and if Sam were to tell anyone about the experience, the policeman would find him and make him pay the full fee by killing him.  As he left the library, Sam left the book on the steps and forced himself to repress the memory of the entire ordeal.  He had been eating licorice immediately prior to the event and the association caused him to hate licorice from that point on.


Needful Things - Leland Gaunt, the villain in Needful Things, moves to Junction City at the end of the novel.  He moves his business into Sam's old office, since Sam and Naomi had married and moved away at that time.

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