Dream of: 02 June 2012 (2) "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

Even though it may not seem to be in your nature, at least consider the truth as a possible solution to the bondage of dishonesty.

I had a thick copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin which had come from the library of Portsmouth High School (whence I graduated in 1970). A little sticker right inside the front cover attested to this fact, as well as the little white call-number tag on the book's binding. I wasn't completely sure how I had acquired this book, but I thought I might have simply walked out of the library with it - that I might have stolen it. It also seemed, however, that someone else might have stolen the book and given it to me. At any rate, I knew the book had been stolen from the library.

Since I knew that Portsmouth High School was supposed to have a play which was going to be based on Uncle Tom's Cabin, I had somehow let it be known to the principal of the school that I had a copy of the book and that I was going to give it to the school. Now that I was aware of the the identifying markings on the book, however, I realized that I had made a mistake by notifying the principal of my intention to turn over the book. But I saw no way out of it. I was already walking on my way to the school. I began trying to think of an explanation which I could give for my having the book. The best solution that I could conceive was to simply say that I had found the book.

I started thinking of places where I could say that I had found the book and I imagined several different spots around Portsmouth High School. I thought I might simply say I had found it on the street. I also knew of one place where there was a bench and I thought I might say that I had found the book on the bench. Then I thought I might say I had found the book near Grant Junior High School (where I attended grades seven through nine), but it seemed to me as if Grant had been torn down, although I couldn't remember for sure. I would have to verify whether Grant even still existed. To make my story plausible, I wanted the place which I chose to be somewhere on the route which I would normally take when walking to or from school. At least a half dozen possible places crowded into my mind.

I continued walking until I reached the rear of Portsmouth High School on Ninth Street. There I saw a bench with two people sitting on it. One was the principal, portly Angus McSwain (who died in 2011 and who had actually been the dean of the Baylor Law School when I had gone there), and Roger Anderson (a long-time denizen of Portsmouth with whom I attended high school).

I handed the book to McSwain and we began talking. Finally the subject arose of where I had obtained the book. He hadn't known that the book had originally come from Portsmouth High School, but after he noticed the markings on the book, he had become curious. I prepared to tell him my fabricated story of where I had obtained the book.

Copyright 2012 by luciddreamer2k@gmail.com