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Just Leaving on a Bus
by Bill Tope

Francis stood at the busstop one Sunday
morning basking in the sunlight, shortly
before the churches let out. He was
dressed in jeans, a really old leather
jacket and a blue stocking cap. He
looked up boredly as a police car rolled
silently up the street in his direction.
Francis heaved a tired sigh.
The policeman behind the wheel of the
cruiser took immediate notice of the
disheveled teen and flipped on his
gumball cherry dome light. Francis
yawned extravagantly at the cop, patting
his mouth with his hand.
He watched the cop speak into his radio,
probably telling his dispatcher where he was
and what he was up to, Francis thought. He
furrowed his brow. Alighting from the vehicle,
the officer stepped up to the young man,
hovering over him daughtingly. When the kid
didn't move an inch, the cop said, "Name."
It ran around in Francis's mind to play the
smartass but then he thought better of it.
"Francis," he replied. "First or last name?" the
policeman asked impatiently. "Yes," answered
the teenager. The cop frowned. "Well, which
is it?" he demanded next.
"First," said Francis, and in response to the next
three questions, he answered: "Bailey; eighteen;
nothing." When the cop gave him that "I've heard
everything" look, Francis acknowledged that he
was in fact waiting for a bus.
"Yeah, where you headed?" asked the cop.
"Aw, but that would be telling," replied Francis.
"Turn around, up against that fence," growled the
cop. "I wanna frisk you." Francis made no move to
turn to the fence.  "You have heard of the Fourth
Amendment, I suppose?" he asked archly. "How
about probable cause?"  The cop hesitated for a
"It's cause I says so," retorted the cop, trying to 
ensnare one of the teen's wrists in his handcuffs.
"And let's no forget unlawful restraint, false
imprisonmet, and..."  The cop stopped dead in his
tracks.  At that moment the bus roared up. "Get out
of here, Kid," snarled the cop. "And to hell with you!"
The youth climbed aboard, calling after the cop,
"The statutes on slander, defamation per se, and
with malice...." as the bus pulled away in a haze of
dust and exhaust fumes..
And thus did future attorney F. Lee Bailey set off for
Harvard College from his home in Waltham,
Massachusetts in the fall of 1951.