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Unformatted text preview: t in the witness chair. I fired a look at Harry Rex as if to say, "Nice work, lawyer." A bailiff stood in front of me and said, "Are you armed?" "What?" I was beyond nervous and nothing made sense. "A gun. Do you have a gun?" "Yes." "Can I have it, please?" "Uh, it's in the car." Most of the spectators thought this was funny. Evidently, in Mississippi, one cannot properly testify if one is armed. Another silly rule. Moments later the rule made perfect sense. If I'd had a gun, I would've begun firing in the direction of Lucien Wilbanks. The bailiff then swore me to tell the truth, and I watched as Wilbanks began pacing. The crowd behind him looked even larger. He began pleasantly enough with some preliminary inquiries about me and my purchase of the paper. I managed the correct answers, though I was extremely suspicious of every question. He was going somewhere; I had no idea where. The crowd seemed to enjoy this. My sudden takeover of theTimes was still the source of interest and speculation, and, suddenly, there I was, in plain view of everyone, chatting about it under oath and on the record. After a few minutes of niceties, Mr. Gaddis, who I assumed was on my side since Lucien certainly was not, stood and said, "Your Honor, this is all very informative. Where, exactly, is it going?" "Good question. Mr. Wilbanks?" "Hang on, Judge." Lucien then produced copies of theTimes and passed them to me, Gaddis, and Loopus. He looked at me and said, "Just for the record, Mr. Traynor, how many subscribers does theTimes have now?" "About forty-two hundred," I answered with a little pride. When the bankruptcy hit Spot had squandered all but twelve hundred or so. "And how many copies are sold at the newsstand?" "Roughly a thousand." Roughly twelve months earlier I had been living on the third floor of a fraternity house in Syracuse, New York, attending class occasionally, working hard to be a good soldier in the sexual revolution, drinking prodigious amounts of alcohol, smoking pot, sleeping until noon anytime I...
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- Spring '10