Thrift Stories

The Confidential Clerk gave me a $150 cash bonus!

confclerk

While out thrifting yesterday, I happened upon a US First Edition of T.S. Eliot's play, The Confidential Clerk.  At first glance, I thought it might be a Book Club Edition (BCE) due to its small size, but a quick inspection showed a price on the inside flap and a First Edition statement on the verso.  The book was fully intact and minimally marked with a few slight flaws that are forgivable considering its age.  I riffled through the pages.  Something green flashed past my eyes, probably a bookmark.  I flipped to the end of the book, then went back through it in reverse.

This time, the green revealed itself to me.  It was not a bookmark.  It looked like cash money.  Not wanting to pull a bill out of a book in front of any other customers, I slipped it into my basket and found a secluded area of the store and conducted a more thorough inspection.

chaching

It turned out to be more than the $20 I saw at first glance.  I picked up the wad and counted it out: five $20 bills and one $50 bill for a total of $150.  Ethically, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads.  Should I take the money?  Should I tell the store?  No matter what, I was buying the book for its intrinsic collectible value.  I have found many bookmarks and other things in books that I have purchased, and I have always kept them.  Apples and oranges, bookmarks and cash.  After a few moments of indecisiveness, I decided to keep the cash for myself.  The former owner probably died and the relatives packed everything up for the thrift store without a thought of looking through an old book for cash.  Fortune smiled upon me.  I checked a few other books in the vicinity where I found The Confidential Clerk, but none contained any treasure.

Finding cash in a book was a first for me.  We've all heard of hollowed out books tucked away as inconspicuous vaults shelved between volumes in plain sight.  I doubt I'll be so lucky again, but I will continue my routine inspections of prospective purchases and see what shakes out.  As for the book itself, I expect it to fetch between $50-100 on the market.  All told, it may have been the best 75 cents I've ever spent.

THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK 1954 1st American Edition TS Eliot HC DJ VG+
THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK 1954 1st American Edition TS Eliot HC DJ VG+
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK 1954 T S Eliot Stated First American Edition 1ST
THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK 1954 T S Eliot Stated First American Edition 1ST
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The Confidential Clerk T S Eliot TRUE First US Edition 1st Printing Org DJ
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK A Play by TS Eliot 1954 1st US Ed in DJ
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK A PLAY by T S ELIOT 1st American Edition
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1st Edition THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot FIRST PRINTING Play Drama Nobel
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK a play by TS Eliot 1st 1st 1954 HCDJ VG+ 300
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