AUGUST  2017


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Wednesday, August 16, 2017


I hate misplacing things. No matter what you have misplaced, the cost of finding it is always double. First there is the cost of the thing. Then because you go crazy looking for the thing, you lose your train of thought about the other thing you were thinking about before you lost the first thing.. As anybody with OCD will tell you, it quickly becomes more about the crazy than either of the things. I think it's better to avoid the crazy entirely and just assume I lost the thing years ago and it will eventually turn up on its own. I learned this lesson from John Paul Jones, the pugnacious and self centered Scotsman who founded the American Navy, and Teddy Roosevelt, the pugnacious and self centered American President who found Jones after he got lost.
John Paul had the first requirement for greatness; luck. While serving as third mate on board a merchantman in 1768, both the captain and the first mate died of yellow fever, instantly promoting him. Over the following years Captain John Paul acquired a reputation for brutality. And just when the bad press had brought his career to a a screeching halt, luckily, his brother in the colony of Virginia dropped dead and left him a small fortune.
Having made the voyage to collect his inheritance, John Paul decided to stay in Virginia.  And to confuse any hounding lawyers Jones added a third name to his moniker. And when, luckily, the shooting started in Boston, Captain John Paul Jones packed up his resume and offered to fight for his new country as a privateer.
At first he did most of his fighting just to get a ship. But when he finally did, flying the American flag while sailing out of France, he at last justified his luck. He raided British ports. He captured British merchant ships in full view of the English coast. He lashed his ship to an English warship and fought it out until both ships were sinking. Offered a chance to surrender, he responded, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Then the British warship surrendered to him.
When that war was over John Paul Jones was out of work. So, with congressional approval, he hired on as an admiral with the Russian Navy. But that did not work out. Jones was pushy, and the Czarina did not trust pushy men.. "Catherine the Great"  told the American admiral  to "go mind your own business."
So in May of 1790 Jones returned to Paris, and took a third floor front apartment at #42 Rue de Tournon (above).  And it was here, over the next two years, that the self assurance and self promotion that served Jones so well in obtaining a ship and winning battles, now isolated him.  The Marquis de Lafayette, once an admirer, could no longer tolerate his "colossal egotism.". And the American Minister to the Court of Louis XVI,  Gouverneur Morris, grew so weary of his badgering demands, that after tending to the Admiral's pneumonia,  Morris retreated from Jones' sick bed for a dinner appointment. It was when he reluctantly returned 2 days later, on the afternoon of 17 July 1792,  that Morris found the 45 year old admiral lying face down on his bed, his feet still on the floor, but dead as a door nail.  Jones' servants and few admirers pickled the hero in rum, packed him into an iron coffin, and buried him in the old Saint Louis Cemetery, set aside for foreign protestants. The expectation was that he would be transferred home to America, as quickly as funds could be raised.
Unfortunately, three weeks after John Paul Jones was laid to rest, a mob descended on the Royal Palace of Tuileries, and captured the King and Queen. To achieve this, they first had to butcher his Swiss guard, which the mob did with relish. During the cleanup their bodies were dumped into a common grave,  right next to Jones' resting place. What with the revolution and the Napoleonic wars, by 1815 when peace finally broke out,  the cemetery was long abandoned and forgotten.
Over the next century,  John Paul Jones floated in rum and slowly pickled while the mundane world continued on with out him.  In time the land atop John Paul Jones came to be occupied by a grocery, a laundry, an apartment house (above) and their attendant backyard sheds, toilets, cesspits  and wells.
And there John Paul Jones might have stayed had not a lunatic shot and killed American President William McKinley in September of 1901.
That lunatic made Vice President Teddy Roosevelt (above), at 44, the youngest man ever to take the oath as President of the United States.
And when Teddy decided to run for his own term, in 1904, he was opposed by Republican National Chairman Mark Hanna (above), who portrayed his fellow Republican Teddy as a wild eyed lunatic, and called him  “that damn cowboy”. What Roosevelt needed in 1904 was anything that would make him look like a stalwart defender of tradition. Luckily, he found what he needed when his ambassador to France pointed out that one of our greatest Revolutionary War heroes had gone kissing in Paris  for over one hundred years. So the order went forth in typical Teddy Roosevelt fashion, “Dig up John Paul Jones! Whatever it costs!"
General Horace Porter (above) was a civil war hero and now the American ambassador to France.  And in 1897,  after reading a new biography of Admiral Jones, Porter had become obsessed with finding his body. After three years of research through old maps and confusing government records Porter found the cemetery where Jones had been buried, now adjacent to the Rue de la Grange aux Belles - or in the more prosaic English, Street of the Beautiful Barn.  Because of all the new buildings, the only way to recover Jones was to tunnel into the graveyard -  not a pleasant occupation, but a great plot for a horror movie.
Before he could dig, Porter had to get the current owners’ permission. It took him two more years to negotiate for a 3 month contract with all the local land owners. At the same time President Roosevelt submitted a special appropriation to pay the $35,000 estimated price tag to dig up John Paul Jones’ corpse. John Paul would not have been surprised to discover that a hundred years had not made the American Congress any more rational. On the evening of Friday, 3 February, 1905,  Mr. Porter started the work, on his own dime. Congress had tabled the President's request.
Heading the project was M. Paul Weiss, who had been trained as a mining engineer, and he was going to need all that training. Weiss sunk the first shaft 18 feet straight down in a back yard. It wasn't long before he hit his first corpse. That meant that luckily,  the bodies had not been moved.
Unfortunately, despite the construction over the graves, the ground was not well compacted, and a great deal of time and money would have to be spent shoring up the shafts, and supporting the walls of the buildings above.  Or at least that's what Ms Weiss told Ambassador Porter when he presented the bill.  Noted Porter, “Slime, mud, and mephitic (foul smelling and poisonous) odors were encountered, and long red worms appeared in abundance.”
Wrote Porter, “Two more large shafts were sunk in the yards and two in the Rue Grange-aux-Belles, making five in all.  Day and night gangs of work men were employed…Galleries were pushed in every direction and ‘‘soundings’’ were made between them with long iron tools,…so that no leaden coffin could possibly be missed."
The wooden coffins had long since corroded away and for the last century the bodies had been slowly decaying in the soil. Now the miners working for Ms Weiss (above)  had introduced waves of fresh air accelerated that decay. The stench was often overwhelming. Three lead coffins were found, the first on 22 February, 1905, and the second a month later. Those two had copper plates identifying their occupants. Neither was John Paul Jones.  Shortly there after they found King Louis' Swiss Guard, in their mass grave, stacked one atop the other. And now Weiss knew he was on the right track.
On 31 March, 1905, the miners hit a third lead coffin, this one without a copper plate The crew decided they needed more fresh air before they opened it. It was a lucky thing they did.
On 8 April, 1905 they finally pulled the coffin loose from the soil, and while still in the tunnels pried open the coffin lid. Ambassador Porter (above, left) was there,.as was Ms. Weiss (above, right) , to catch by flickering candle light the first glimpse of  the great hero since 1792.  The body inside was wrapped in tin foil. The stench of alcohol filled the tunnel. Rolling back the tin foil, they gazed upon the face of John Paul Jones, a physical connection with the American Revolution. His nose had been bent by the weight of the coffin lid, but the face was still recognizable. It was John Paul Jones. After a hundred years he needed a shampoo, but that was to be expected.
Doctor J. Capitan performed an autopsy and determined that the heart and liver were normal, but the left lung showed signs of “small patches of broncho-pneumonia partially cicatrized” He wrote that he had come to the conclusion that “the corpse of which we have made a study is that of John Paul Jones”.
Teddy Roosevelt ordered up a fleet of 11 battle ships to escort Captain John Paul Jones back to America, and the French threw in a few battle ships of their own.
On April 24, 1906, he was placed in a temporary tomb (above)  at the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland. It was temporary tomb because Congress had yet to pass the appropriation to even pay the cost to recover the body. They never did.
When the hero arrived home, Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech, in which he barely mentioned John Paul Jones. Instead Teddy talked a lot about his plans for the future of the American navy.
By now, Teddy had been re-elected without serious opposition in part because, luckily for Teddy, his Republican foe Mark Hanna had died of typhoid fever in February of 1904. So the the entire effort to rescue John Paul Jones from anonymity to save Teddy's political future,  had been unnecessary. And Teddy had already lost interest in the dead hero. It turned out Teddy's entire effort to recover John Paul Jones had been about Teddy - in much the same way that John Paul Jones efforts to create an American Navy had been about John Paul Jones.  And Congress never did pass the authorisation to pay for the effort because the members of Congress were under the impression that it was all about them.. Poor General Porter had to take up a collection. But at least, at last, the body of John Paul Jones had been found and was home.
I told you John Paul was lucky.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017


I can't help wondering why so many politicians keep calling for a new approach to politics  Aren't the same politics we've been using for the last 10,000 years good enough?  Maybe the real problem lies not with the lying, two faced, double dealing, back-stabbing, opportunistic, insincere politicians we have, but with the idiots who vote for them: i.e. us.  Check my math, please: politicians lie, politicians get elected. Could there be a connection?  Let me give you a little example from ancient history, so nobody feels insulted.
James K. Polk (above) was America's eleventh President, serving from 1845 to 1849. He was, until Richard Nixon, our most secretive President. He did not even tell his own cabinet members what he was thinking. He was a Jackson Democrat,  and no matter what your history books tell you he did not campaign on the phrase "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" – that came up later. During his actual campaign for President, Polk was most famous for insisting he did not brand his slaves. And trust me, this smear was so good they still haven’t figured out who did it.
The story was first published in the 21August, 1844 edition of the Ithaca New York "Chronicle". It was a a Whig Party newspaper. And the story claimed to be a letter to the editor, quoting a three paragraph extract from an unpublished book, titled “Roorback’s Tour Through the Western and Southern States…” The extract claimed to detail Baron Von Roorback's conversations with a group of slave traders on the Duck River in Tennessee. “Forty of these unfortunate beings had been purchased, I was informed, by the Honorable J.K. Polk…; the mark of a branding iron, with the initials of his name on their shoulders, distinguishing them from the rest.”  Now, even in 1844 the idea of branding human beings, even those treated as slaves, was appalling to many people...even in places where the economy had been built on slavery.
Which was why the story was picked up by the "Albany Evening Journal", and other Whig newspapers, particularly in the 1844 “battleground states” of New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Many voters in those swing states were outraged that a man standing for President would do something so despicable as to brand human beings the same way you brand cattle. To Whig politicians the story from "Roorback’s Tour" was almost too good to be true.  And almost as quick as Republican bloggers caught Dan Rather, the Democratic press found out there was no such book and no such Baron. The details about Polk had been inserted into a real travel book, of a run in with some slave traders on Virginia’s New River. Polk’s farm was in Tennessee, so the inventor of the smear had shifted the scene to where it would do the most good. Besides, it was not common practice to brand slaves. Like whipping scars, branding tended to reduce their value as property,  since it indicated this slave had a tendency to escape. Slaves were certainly whipped and branded because in 1844, most Americans still believed black slaves were property and would have been equally offended if some government official tried to tell them how to treat their horses or how to slaughter their hogs.
Still, embarrassed at being caught repeating what was so obviously a fabrication, the Whigs pinned the whole thing on William Linn, a lawyer and a Democratic operative in Ithaca. But why would a Democrat smear his own candidate? Well, if I were a believer in conspiracy theories, I might say that this kind of allegation against Polk was actually a fairly safe charge to make. Polk did own slaves, but his Whig opponent in the election, Henry Clay, owned even more slaves than Polk did.  And it has been suggested by some historians that the “Roorback” story was a case of nineteenth century “wedge” politics. Abolitionism was still a minor issue in 1844, but abolitionists formed a solid voting block in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, those key battleground states. Convince enough abolitionists in those states that the Whigs were lying to them, and they just might choose the Democrat Polk over the Whig Clay as the lesser of two evils. And the letter to the Ithaca Chronicle had been signed, “An Abolitionist”, thus adding insult to the injury.
Well, maybe....And maybe that theory implies a level of sophisticated conspiracy that did not exist in the simpler culture and times of 1844 – and certainly would not have existed in Athens in 415 B.C., when Alcibiades was accused of vandalizing statues of the god Hermes.
You see Hermes was the mythical inventor of fire, and "...a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates....who protects and takes care of all travelers, miscreants, harlots, old cronies and thieves and injured athletes".  Each Greek home had an anatomically correct statue of Hermes standing on its front lawn, and it was common practice for visitors to pause at the stature and stroke his stone phallus for good luck before knocking on the front door. And when the owner left the house for the day or a business trip, they would also give the statue a tug for good luck.  And that was why it was so shocking that on the morning that Athens was launching a massive naval assault on Sicily, the city awoke to discover that every home statue of Hermes had its phallus knocked off during the night.  
It sounds to my modern ears as if the neighborhood kids had been drinking sour wine on the street corner and started smashing phalluses as a prank. But to the devout in Athens (and there were many who believed in the gods) it was also sacrilege. And rumors began almost immediately that the person responsible was the golden boy politician who was heading the expedition, and known for his past sacrilegious opinions, Alcibiades (above). Of course Alcibiades had his own theory. He thought it had been the work of his chief political opponent and co-commander of the Sicilian expedition, Nicias.  Two thousand five hundred years later, it is impossible to know who the phallus hackers really were and why they were whacking off in the dark.. But whether they planned it all or just took advantage of the situation, the one thing we know for certain is, that the people arguing both sides of the scandal were politicians.     
The point is, politicians have been gaming voters since voting was invented. And voters have been playing along, else the game would not have remained so popular for so long. And that is why when a politician tells me he is selling something new, especially when it is something I want to believe, my first reaction is,  “Pull the other one.,”  When the American political system works  (which it has not been doing recently)  it is been based upon pragmatism, as it was in the 1844 election.  Polk won 49.5% of the popular vote to Clay’s 48.1 %, and part of that razor thin margin was victories in New York and Pennsylvania - by less than 6,000 votes in both states.  Those two states gave Polk 62 Electoral Votes, out of his sixty-five vote margin of victory (170 to 105). It seems that if the Roorback story was a double blind trick, it worked.
Oh,... and remember the phrase “Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!”? That was not used in the 1844 election. Well, it was actually invented by Ohio Senator William “Earthquake” Allen, known for his thundering speeches, and he used it well after the election. The number was  the Southern border (54 degrees & 40 minutes of latitude) claimed by Russia when they owned Alaska. A simple glance at a modern map will confirm that the modern border between America and Canada,  agreed upon by President Polk, was (and is) the 49th parallel. So much for the “…Or fight!” part of the slogan. Have you noticed how often politicians don’t actually mean what they seem to say? You might say they make a career out of it.  And always have.  And we keep buying what they say.  Kind of makes people who complain about lying politicians seem like the naive ones, doesn't it?
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Monday, August 14, 2017


I would say that never have so many labored so hard to obscure what was so obvious to so many as during the spring of 1944. Every school child in Europe knew that sooner or later the allies were going to hurl themselves against the Atlantic coast of France. 
And there were only two places with beaches close enough for unlimited air support from Britain and wide enough for major military operations - the Pa de Calais, just 20 miles across the channel, and 75 miles away, in Normandy. But it was vital the 400,000 German defenders not know which of these two spots was the eventual target, or exactly when the invasion would occur. The planned date and location of the invasion was maybe the second biggest secret of the 20th century.
It would take 1 ½ million military personnel, and probably another 2 million civilians to prepare and launch the invasion. And 4 million people can not keep a secret. So the invasion was divided into pieces, each given a code name to disguise how it fit into all the others. 
The over all plan was code named “Overlord”. 
Misinformation fed to confuse the Germans was code named “Bodyguard”.  Bombing to isolate the beaches was code named “Point Blank”. 
Naval operations were code named “Neptune”. Operation “Tonga” was the code name for the British parachute and glider attacks behind the beaches. 
The British beaches were “Gold” and “Sword”, the Canadian beach “Juno”, and the American beaches “Utah” and “Omaha”. 
Architectural drawings for the two floating harbors built in England and towed across the channel were “Mulberry”.
And the flexible gasoline pipeline rolled out and laid down under the channel after the invasion was named “Pluto”.
Out of the millions of documents generated for “Overlord” - the 9th Air Force's plan for the airborne troops parachute  drops alone was 1,376 pages and weighed 10 pounds - ranged from shipping bills of lading to company rosters. Only a few thousand of these referred to the actual time and place of the invasion. But almost all of them hinted at one or both. 
Besides being stamped with “Top Secret” and "Eyes Only", these few documents also had the word “Bigot” stamped on them. Only a few thousand people with an absolute “need to know” were allowed to handle or read “Bigot” papers. These people were given special security clearances, and were described as “Bigots or “Bigoted”.
There were, of course, slip ups. In March a U.S.sergeant accidental used “Bigot” papers as packing for a present sent to his sister. When the package broke open in transit, workers in the Chicago Post Office were put under FBI surveillance. Some wind and an open window forced British staffers to spend two hours recovering 12 copies of a “Bigot” memo from a Whitehall street.  An abandoned briefcase containing “Bigot” papers was turned in to a train station master in southern England. And several officers were reduced in rank and relieved for talking too much at cocktail parties. But the British domestic Military Intelligence Service - MI 5 - thought all the leaks had been plugged.  At least until they picked up a copy of a London newspaper on 2 May, 1944.
The Daily Telegraph - “The Largest, Best, and Cheapest Newspaper in the World” - started out as a penny tabloid in the 1850's.  By the 1930's it had built a circulation of almost 1 million readers by assuming its audience was intelligent, middle class and progressively conservative.  The Telegraph helped make Winston Churchill Prime Minister in May of 1940., and in late 1941 the paper printed an offer to donate £100 to charity for each person who could solve the paper's crossword puzzle in less than 12 minutes. Winners were then ordered to report as code breakers to Beletchley Park, home to the Twentieth Century's ultimate secret. 
And then on Tuesday, 2 May, 1944, a “Bigoted” officer was solving the Telegraph crossword and stumbled over the clue for 17 across - “One of the U.S. (4 letters)” 
The next day the paper published the solution -  “Utah” - one of the intended American invasion beaches (above).
It was most likely  a coincidence. Right? Well, paranoia being an occupation hazard for intelligence officers, this hyper vigilant one decided to look closer.  And ominously,  a review of solutions to April's crosswords turned up more invasion beaches - “Gold”, “Sword” and “Juno” 
Well,  gold and sword were common crossword words, and even if Juno was unusual it was decided an investigation might draw too much attention  And for ten days the Telegraph crosswords were clueless, as least as far as military intelligence was concerned. 
And then on Monday, 22 May, 1944, the clue for 3 down - “Red Indian on the Missouri (5 letters) – led to the obvious solution published on Tuesday, “Omaha”. -  the other intended American invasion beach (above). And now that their suspicions had been aroused, in the same puzzle the word “dives” appeared, which might refer to the Normandy river named Dives, at the eastern edge of the invasion target area. And also in the puzzle there was the name “Dover” which did not have any special importance to the invasion, but which, at this point just sounded suspicious. MI 5 decided to assign two agents to investigate.
It didn't seem the newspaper itself could be responsible. The owner and editor-in-chief, William Berry, was so trusted he had briefly served as the Minister of Information. But agents learned the crosswords were written ahead of time not by a staffer, but by a 54 year old freelance “compiler”, a legendary amateur football player and “stern disciplinarian” headmaster of the Strand School for boys, Mr. Leonard Sydney Dawe (above). And the agents had questioned Dawe once before about his crosswords and a security breach.
On Sunday, 17 August, 1942, a puzzle composed by Mr Dawe contained the clue “French Port (5 letters), and the answered confirmed on Monday, 18 August, by the word “Dieppe”. At 5:30 in the morning of Wednesday 19 August, 1942, 5,000 men from the 2nd Canadian infantry Division, 1,000 British Commandos and 500 U.S. Army Rangers landed on the stone beaches of the French harbor of “Dieppe” (above). Their objective was to seize and hold the port for 24 hours.
But the Nazis were waiting as if they had been forewarned. Less than 6 hours after landing the Canadians had suffered 50% causalities (above) and the surviving men had been withdrawn. MI 5 had interrogated Dawe for several hours then, and come to the conclusion that the word “Dieppe” had been “a coincidence”. But as they say in the intelligence game, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice and you are in BIG trouble.
The puzzle published on Saturday, 27 May, 1944 was the final straw. Almost as if Dawe were taunting officials one of the clues to that day's puzzle was “...some bigwig like this...”(8 letters)”, which led to the solution on Sunday, 28 May of “Overlord” - code name for the entire invasion! .Leonard Dawe was arrested at the school's temporary home in Effing and brought in for questioning. As he had two years earlier, Dawe denied having any inside knowledge, and kept denying it  “They turned me inside out,” he said later. “But they eventually decided not to shoot me after all.”
Meanwhile Dawe's crosswords kept indicting him. Tuesday, 30 May the clue was “This bush is the center of nursery revolutions”. The answer, printed on Wednesday 31 May  was “Mulberry” - the name for the floating artificial  harbors. And then on Thursday, 1 June the clue for 15 down was “Britannia and he hold the same thing.” The solution published on 2 June was “Neptune” - code name for the naval operations within Overlord. It seemed to some that disaster was certain. But shortly after that the Daily Telegraph crossword didn't matter anymore.
Just fifteen minutes into Tuesday, 6 June, 1944 the first paratroops landed on French soil. At 5:45 in the morning the Operation Neptune bombardment began. And at 6:30 troops began landing on the American beaches of Omaha (above) and Utah . An hour later the British and Canadians followed. 
By 3:00 that afternoon the first sections of a Mulberry harbor breakwater were sunk off the beaches. By nightfall, the allies had landed 156,000 men along 50 miles of Normandy coast, and penetrated up to 6 miles inland. The invasion was a success, so far..
On Wednesday, 7 June, Leonard Dawes was released by MI 5, and after reporting to the schools managing board - who were close to firing him - the first person he wanted to see was a 14 year old student named Ronald French.  Having called the boy into his office, Dawe immediately, “...asked me point blank where I had got the words from. "I told him all I knew...” And what young Mr. French knew would have sent the spooks from MI 5 into a faint.
According to Roland, the school's temporary home was surrounded by Canadian and American military camps, filled with young soldiers, most no more than four or five years older than him, all in training for the invasion.  ”I was totally obsessed about the whole thing. I would play truant from school to visit the camp. I used to spend evenings with them and even whole weekends...I became a sort of dogsbody about the place, running errands and even, once, driving a tank.” 
He explained that the soldiers talked freely in front of him... "because I was obviously not a German spy. Hundreds of kids must have known what I knew.". Bryan Belfont, another  student recalled, “The soldiers were obviously lonely...they more or less adopted us. We’d sit and chat and they’d give us chocolate.” But just how much did these children know?
Everyone knew the outline of the invasion plan and they knew the code words”, said Roland. “Omaha and Utah were the beaches, and these men knew the names but not the locations. We all knew the nickname for the operation was Overlord....Hundreds of kids must have known what I knew.” As proof Roland showed Dawes the composition books he had filled with diary like notes. According to Roland, Mr. Dawe “was horrified and said the books must be burned at once.” And while  the book burned, Dawes lectured the boy on national security, and war time censorship. “He made me swear on the Bible I would tell no one about it.” Roland was so traumatized he stopped doing crosswords, even though he had enjoyed them up to this point.
So there was the great leak, the hole in the allied security net. Thousand of young soldiers talking to other young soldiers, overheard by boys.  It was to be expected.  It was even allowed for. Knowing the code words would tell the Germans almost nothing essential. But after 6 June 1944 the invasion was no longer a great secret. Why did Leonard Dawe insist the boy swear never to reveal the details? The answer was that Dawes was protecting  his own “Butt” (1 down, 3 letters) . Because Leonard Dawes was a bit of an “ass”.
Dawes had created more than 5,000 crosswords for the Telegraph since 1925, and over the following decade had stumbled upon the easiest working method. He would lay out the crossword grid on a sheet of paper pinned to his wall. There were no letters in the grid, just empty squares with some blacked out for random aesthetics. And he would then invite his students to fill in the blocks, telling them it was a to improve their “mental discipline”.  In truth it was to improve his income. Dawes would then write clues to match the words provided by his 14 and 15 year old wordsmiths. In their naivety they considered him “...a man of extremely high principle.” But if the truth had come out the newspaper would have fired him for plagiary, and the school for lying.
Leonard Sydney Dawe died in January of 1963.. But Roland French, like the other adolescent wordsmiths, kept his school master's secret for another two decades, finally revealing the the truth in an interview in 1984. And only then did Roland French feel he could start enjoying solving crossword puzzles again..
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