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For all Chalybeate Springs's lack of cell phones and modern auditory devices, they had the communications situation very much in hand when it came to spreading a rumor. It was almost telepathic, or tele-pathetic, if you will.
In order to test the pipeline at one point, I stated to Mrs. Weems, quite emphatically, that I had discovered the cure for cancer and was keeping it under wraps until I could release the news to the world when I got back to New York-that the whole thing was very hush-hush.
Not a word.
Then I pretended to let slip a small item that I had just maybe, just possibly, probably not, couldn't remember, might have, wasn't sure, but could have, maybe had sex at one point and gotten paid for it, though I had been drinking and possibly performed the act on a dare. The headline in the Chalybeate Springs Times the next day read: mccrae world's biggest whore and drunkard-syphilis sores visible to general public! author found naked in gutter-passed out!