I will return to the subject of money tomorrow...but let 
me finish my story. It illustrates a little of small 
town life and the way people organize themselves around 
hidden protocols.
Most of life is governed, not by laws written by 
legislatures, but by these invisible rules of order. 
They are written down nowhere, but respected almost 
I told you about my conversation with Dominique and her 
husband, Yves.
Yves gets up to mischief from time to time. Such as the 
time he went looking for the lost puppy.
He loaded his son, Jean, in the car and began driving 
around. The little town was almost deserted. It is a 
small town anyway...where people leave their cars 
running in the middle of the street and go in to get a 
loaf of bread...
Besides, he was concentrating on looking for the 
dog...so he did not notice that they had changed the 
street signs on one of the tiny little side streets. Nor 
did he notice that the police had stationed themselves 
across the street.
So the police stopped him, since he was going in the 
wrong direction.
"Did you notice that this is a one way street?" they 
asked him.
"No...when did you change it?"
"Just last week...Can we see your papers, sir?"
"I'm sorry," said Yves, "but I just hopped in the car 
because Jean's puppy ran away. We were just out looking 
for him."
"You know you are required to have your papers with you 
at all times when you are in a motor vehicle," the 
police replied officiously...
"I know, I know...but my son was upset...I just didn't 
think about it."
"What is your name...?"
Yves was beginning to get annoyed.
"Of all the pettifogging nonsense," he began to say.
Surely, the local constabulary had something better to 
do than harass an innocent man...driving around town at 
5 mph looking for a missing puppy.
This took place, I should point out, a couple of years 
ago. At the time, a man names Jacques Delire, or 
something like that, was the most wanted man in France -
- a consequence of his habit of kidnapping children and 
murdering them.
So Yves replied:
"I'm Jacques Delire...and I just kidnapped this boy in 
the back seat!"
The police, of course, knew that this wasn't true. They 
may not have known Yves personally, but they probably 
had some idea of who he was. And they certainly knew he 
wasn't Jacques Delire.
But they didn't like being trifled with. So they 
arrested him and took him to the local jail.
"This is ridiculous," said Yves, informing them of the 
They were convinced that they should charge him with 
something -- but they couldn't decide just what. So they 
consulted their superiors.
But when the chief of the local gendarmes came into the 
guardhouse, a look of recognition quickly passed over 
his face. Yves, too, recognized the policeman. For this 
was one of the men who had been using Yves' driveway as 
a lovers' lane.
"What are they doing?" little Jean had asked his father 
when they spotted the car in the driveway. They were 
clearly doing something, because the car was rocking 
gently. Jean didn't know what it was. And Yves had told 
him not to go and look.
"They're probably fixing the radio," he had replied.
But Yves had a better idea what Mr. Bougeon, the police 
chief, had been up to. And he also knew with whom he had 
been up to it -- a young woman also on the police 
payroll, whose name was not Madame Bougeon.
And now the police chief recognized the face before him 
as that of the farmer who had seen them.
Suddenly, the look on Mr. Bougeon's visage changed -- 
from one of annoyance to solicitude. The change was so 
abrupt and so complete it startled his subordinates.
"I hear you have lost your puppy," he said to Yves. "Can 
we help you find it?" Moments later, Yves was a free 
man...and the two policemen who had brought him into the 
stationhouse were driving around town, looking for a 
lost puppy.
Your correspondent,
Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning