In a way, all of ‘The Passing of Tulee Main’ is about integrity. As you read it, you’ll probably see that. But one example in the story may stand out – Jimmy Brown’s innocent honesty.
“Now, as the unusually warm, late June sun broiled Bullins’ tear down slab, Jimmy Brown went slowly through the vehicle for the ‘loose goods,’ . . .
Jimmy works at an auto salvage yard – a junk yard in North Carolina. A certain vehicle, one that will be critical to the story’s resolution, has been dumped there – hopefully to hide its involvement in murder.
Should have worked – it was a good idea. Would have worked – except for Jimmy Brown.
“. . . a paper and, oh, oh, a sharp looking, apparently new, laptop under the passenger’s side front seat.
How ’bout that? Buggy will sure love to see this! Jimmy thought. He took a break to show his find to Buggy, sitting in the office.”
Not for an instant does it occur to Jimmy Brown to quietly tuck the laptop in a paper or cloth from the trash he’s cleaning out, put it in his own vehicle and take it home to use or sell. Not Jimmy Brown. His only thought is to take it to the boss. It’s not even clear that Jimmy expects to be rewarded – (although Buggy does give him a ten for the find, Jimmy doesn’t know that on the way into the office, and, as we get to know Buggy a little better, it looks like there was good reason for Jimmy to not be expecting much.)
This is such a little thing, a common thing; doing what’s honest in a hum-drum everyday activity. But Jimmy’s small act will snow-ball as the tale goes on and, soon, will become one of the critical actions allowing the TBI and Tyson County Sheriff over in Tennessee to bring peace to Tulee’s family.
So, is Jimmy’s act looked up to, appreciated? Guess not. There’s a few minutes of activity before this next thought’s recorded in Buggy’s mind:
“That poor dumb Jimmy boy has to be an idiot to work out on the slab in this heat. Gotta be an idiot. Wouldn’t catch me there.” That’s Buggy’s view.
What about the criminals when they figure it out. Do they see themselves as overtaken by the ‘forces of good’. Guess not. Here’s what they say:
“… You’d think the joe taking the car down would just stick it into his toolbox . . . Must have some real honest or some real stupid workers down there.”
It’s not ever brought out in so many words, but it seems obvious that ‘real stupid’ is the favored assessment.
If you ‘Google’ “integrity”, you’ll get a response indicating that around 19,300,000 entries are available concerning the subject and it took .23 second for Google to discover that. The .23 second seems about right – I have no idea about the 19,300,000 number, I looked at maybe a dozen of them.
‘Integrity’ is talked about a lot these days. Thank God for humble folk such as Jimmy Brown who don’t have to ‘Google’ the term to understand and practice it.
Jimmy Brown – one of ‘the few good people’.
Comment at will.
(This post is intended to complement the narrative and views expressed in “The Passing of Tulee Main”. To learn more about the book, press the ‘Main Site Home Page’ link at the top of this post. (Beyond the on-site material there, the Nook, Kindle and Amazon links have sample chapters available to view.)