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+
$78.00
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The Confidential Clerk T S Eliot 1st American
The Confidential Clerk T S Eliot 1st American
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERKA PLAYTS Eliot1st EdDJ
THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERKA PLAYTS Eliot1st EdDJ
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot 1st Printing UK HC DJ NF NF
THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot 1st Printing UK HC DJ NF NF
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T S Eliot THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK 1st dj THE FAMILY REUNION First printing
T S Eliot THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK 1st dj THE FAMILY REUNION First printing
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TS Eliot The Confidential Clerk 1st UK Edt H C D J 1954
TS Eliot The Confidential Clerk 1st UK Edt H C D J 1954
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1st Edition CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot PLAY Nobel Prize FIRST PRINTING Drama
1st Edition CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot PLAY Nobel Prize FIRST PRINTING Drama
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1st Edition THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot FIRST PRINTING Play Drama Nobel
1st Edition THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK TS Eliot FIRST PRINTING Play Drama Nobel
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THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK Eliot  T  S  First Edition 1st Printing
THE CONFIDENTIAL CLERK Eliot T S First Edition 1st Printing
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The Confidential Clerk by T S Eliot Harcourt Brace NY1954 1stAm ed
The Confidential Clerk by T S Eliot Harcourt Brace NY1954 1stAm ed
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