Sorry to have kept you waiting

From Philadelphia comes word that John Gedge no longer is considered a scofflaw. Police there caught him driving 55 m.p.h. on a road that skirts Fairmount Park, a zone marked for 35 m.p.h., and issued him a ticket for speeding.He was chauffeuring a wealthy employer through the city from New York. And when they reached the hotel in which they were staying that night, he put the ticket in a jacket pocket, and soon forgot about it. But as it happens, Gedge is a proud Englishman, and, as he wrote in a note that arrived with £5 (US$9.11) in cash to pay his fine: "Englishmen always pay their debts, and my conscience is now clear." Not an especially remarkable story, right? It might not be except for the fact that the return address on the note was a nursing home in East Sussex, where he lives now as a retiree. Well, and the fact, too, that he still has that same jacket. The violation, you see, took place in July 1954 – 52 years ago. No, $9.11 wasn't enough to cover his fine, which was $15. But then, even a British pound isn't worth as much as it used to be. Anyway, the Philly cops don't seem to mind. Speaking for the force, officer Mark Focht said, "I'm going to frame the letter and [the £5] as an example to everyone that honesty is the best policy ... even if it's a little late."

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