Someone asked how did Principal Livengood get his Ford out the school and back home again. Well, I put that to Uncle Jep, and he told me I would have to ask my dad about that. So I did. Well, quite forthcoming, he was. "That old Uncle been blabbin' again, hasn't he? Well, it is to be expected. Man's jaw started flappin' before he could crawl and it's not stopped flappin' for two straight minutes in three-quarters a century."
"So what did happen with the car?" I asked. And this is what I was told.
11:30 A.M. Mr. Livengood called all the boys up to the hallway outside his office. "Fine automobile," he says. "But not a magical machine. It did not get here by itself. I would like the persons responsible to step over here next to me, now." Nobody moved.
Duncan, were you a participant in this tomfoolery?"
"Nosir, sir." said Duncan. Duncan spoke truth. He wouldn't have spit on the ground if he had a mouthful, well, you know.
"Frank Erb, did you participate?"
"No, sir. I did not." I could witness in his behalf.
"Fred Erb, were you in on it?"
"Sir, could you get back to me after you've gone around?"
"Very well. Darryl, did you do this?"
"Not by myself, sir."
"Aha! Just as I thought. And your brothers?"
"I'd rather they speak for themselves."
"Tell you what, boys," said Mr. Livengood. "I am going to walk down these stairs, out the front door, and up the street to my abode. There I shall have lunch with the charming Mrs. Livengood. I will have finished lunch in, say, forty-five minutes. When I come out of my house, the car will be sitting right where it was last night before its trip to the schoolhouse, clean, shiny, and ready to roll. When I return to the building each one of you will be in your respective fifth-period classroom, ready for an afternoon of serious business with your studies." Clear?"
Chorus: "Yes, sir, Mr. Livengood, sir."
And so it was.
"Aw, c'mon, Pa. How did you do it?"
"There are things you really don't need to know."
This is a bonus story, an adjunct to the series of tales as told by Uncle Jep. It appears here thanks to reader, Vee, who wanted to know how the car got out of the school. An Uncle Jep tale will appear here tomorrow as scheduled.