Fresh off my latest social disaster, I decided I would review the book which would answer a contemporary mystery.
The book was rare. It was only printed on demand. No local or online book seller had it. No near library held it.
I found my prize at Jelly Fenellie Books in London for the purchase price of $100. I ordered it and it arrived in three weeks…what a surprise!
It was NOT a stogie mimeographed copy or plainly wrapped amateur creation. A hard back. A fine dustcover. A clear library-like protective coat. And more…
This book had the editor’s signature, date, best wishes. This book had the embossed stamp of its prominent owner. Inside, in just the preface and first chapter pages, I found more surprises.
At first, I tried to acquire this book by other methods. I checked the online book brokers. I called a rare book shop in Pennsylvania. I called the publisher, the son of the subject, in Dallas. I contacted the library listed in a universal library search. No luck.
I found this premiumly priced, rare book at Amazon UK site for a high price and ordered it immediately. I waited anxiously. I feared something would happen in transport or delivery that would spoil my self-assessed treasure. Not so.
The book arrived bubble rapped and well taped, though packaging torn, in my mailbox as in the timeframe estimated. I perused it then put it down as if the excitement was over.
When I did cautiously approach the book to read, I anticipated that I would be at first slow to find enjoyment in it followed by boredom followed by drudgery. But that wasn’t the case.
First, I was delighted to see the signature of the author. As mentioned, it was the editor but also the son of the subject. It turned out early that this accomplished military edited amateurishly, but lovingly. He caught the high points the father would have wanted.
Tracing the identity of the embossed stamp, I discovered an author of prodigious works in the area of intelligence and espionage. Also, a colorful politician and public figure, if not an occasional scoundrel. I pursued his trail and found other books and authors to the point I was afraid I would lose my original intent, to review my new rare book.
I reluctantly returned to my expensive find and, after reading only the preface, wondered why I had wandered off.
Great names and events of the mid-twentieth century fell easily on to the preface pages. Fine, precise words. Time lines and lengths of time. Teasers. Resistance to publishing this memoir. A philosophy which I expect will guide this tale or reappear at the epilogue.