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´╗┐Title: Wild Justice
Author: Sprague, Ruth M.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wild Justice" ***

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Wild Justice


Ruth M. Sprague

Wild Justice--Ruth M. Sprague Copyright @1993 TX 3 608 425


The court and the EEOC said sex discrimination!

Belmont U. terminated her anyway!

Belmont University had always looked upon faculty misdeeds such as
child molestation, sexual harassment or record falsification with a
tolerant if not blind eye.  Strange then that the entire administration
mobilized to aim its big guns at Professor Diana Trenchant--or was it?

The inner workings of administrative jingoism are exposed as a popular
teacher is given a termination hearing where the presiding officer is
the accuser, the prosecutor and the judge, and the testimony in her
defense is ignored.

"WILD JUSTICE chronicles the outrages of one woman's experience with an
engaging mix of humor and indignation.  The use of fictitious names
underscores how the problems are systemic and not merely rooted in the
particular persons involved in this 'witch hunt'.  I hope it will be
widely read--both for its own sake and to encourage the kind of
struggle that redirects higher education to serve the people and social
justice, however wild!"

Professor Willard Miller, University of Vermont.


Published by T'Wanda Books, P.O.B. 1227, Peralta, NM 87042

Copyright @ 1993 by Ruth M. Sprague

Cover artist: David O'Vitt

1. Publisher's Cataloging In Publication Data

2. Sprague, Ruth M.

3. Wild Justice

4. 1. Fiction. 2. Sex discrimination.  3. University policy and
procedures. 4. Feminists.

5. LC#: 93-060721

6. ISBN 1-883889-05-7 Softcover


It is no accident that women continue to earn less than men.  Nowhere
is this more evident than in the testosterone temples of academia.
Here, the ceiling is made of plexiglass.

Although more women are allowed in the classrooms and even into the
board rooms, decisions are still made in the men's rooms.

More women obtain advanced degrees and achieve faculty positions, but
few are allowed into the highest administrative positions.  Rather,
they are found in greatest numbers in the lower paying, most labor
intensive positions.

Civil Rights laws connecting compliance with federal grants are
blatantly ignored or creatively circumvented by many institutes of
higher learning.  The courts and the EEOC, weakened to the point of
extinction by the regressive administrations of the eighties, are about
as effective as warm spit in enforcing compliance.

Using the double edged sword of coercion and harassment, these
institutions of "higher learning" continue to maintain their status
quo.  This book portrays a few of the artifices they employ.
Characters, descriptions and locations are fictional, created from the
right side of the author's brain.


  In fondest memory of


  this book is dedicated to all


  who refuse to accept the definitions and limitations

  imposed by ancient conquerors.


Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D., a native Vermonter known to hundreds of her
former students as Dr. Ruth, is retired after many years teaching
nursing and medical students.

She has published several scientific papers, teaching tutorials and one

"Revenge is a kind of wild justice."--Francis Bacon



Ruth M. Sprague


"You can't be serious," exclaimed Diana Trenchant, leaning toward the
man sitting behind the desk.  "Incredible!  Why on earth would I want
to fill out and turn in student feedback forms in my own course?  All
of my semester student evaluations have been excellent."

Dr. Lyle Stone, Chairman of the Nutrition, Embryology and Radiology
Department, relished the power of his position as fervently as he
detested the acronym, NERD, that had been irreparably attached to it.
He passed a small pile of forms across his desk to Diana.  "Obviously
you wanted to cause harm to the two other instructors in the course,"
he replied smugly.  His expression and demeanor suggested a small boy
torturing a bug and extracting the utmost enjoyment out of it.

"Harm them?"  Dr. Trenchant laughed scornfully and sat back in her
chair scanning the evaluation forms.  "You claim I wrote these five
which are derogatory toward them and the course.  Five!  Over two years
and hundreds of feedback forms?  How could there be any harm attributed
to these particular forms when you know that both of those instructors
have consistently received derogatory evaluations from the students
since they started teaching the course?" Diana held the offending
papers out in demonstration toward Lyle, indignation rampant in her
gesture.  Lyle ignored her question and picked up two other papers from
his desk which he handed to Diana saying accusingly, "Besides those
five, here are copies of two you also wrote concerning the nutrition
course.  Together, these constitute repeated acts of dishonesty which
are grounds for termination for cause.  However...." Lyle tried for a
kindly expression and failed, "we are prepared to forget these charges
if you resign."

"Oh, that's the game, is it?  No way.  I'm going to talk to the faculty
ombudsman about this and find out what steps to take," returned Diana,
hotly, rising from her chair and starting toward the door.

"You can't."  As Diana turned back to look at him, Lyle continued with
some desperation, "You have no recourse, no appeal.  The entire
academic council have met and decided already on this course of action.
If you do not resign on your own, you will be terminated."

"But not without a hearing certainly--according to the faculty
handbook.  Or are you suspending those rights along with my access to
the ombudsman?" Grabbing up the copies of the forms, Diana left the

As the door closed behind her, Lyle reached for the phone and dialed
with considerable agitation.  "Henry, she won't resign.  She's gone to
see Jonathan and intends to make a public mess of it," he babbled

"Calm yourself, Lyle.  I've already spoken to Jonathan and if it comes
to a hearing, well--don't forget, I select the hearing panel and chair
it.  Her public mess be damned, all our hearings are closed to the
public.  Get a grip and stop blubbering."


Chapter 1

It was going to be a perfect June day.  Already a cloudless, azure sky,
promising no hint of rain, arched over a shimmering campus.  All shades
of green were represented and so was every color in the flowers that
lined the walks and burst forth from the beds.  In perfect compliment,
the lovely old brick and stone buildings sat around the campus,
complaisant and secure, full of pride and tradition.

The library building, squat and solid, redolent with the collected
tomes of the ages, stood as a testament to humanity's progress.  Works
of ancient poets and philosophers, sinners and saints filled the
shelves co-mingling with the more recent and modern books.  Here were
the records of man's highest achievements and his inhumanity to man but
as yet, this building cataloged few, if any, records of woman's highest
achievements and man's in-humanity to woman.  The former being seldom
recorded or remembered; the latter too usual and customary to remark

Whistling softly to himself, Jonathan Bambridge, Professor, Ph.D.,
Faculty Ombudsman left the sidewalk and entered the administration
building.  He proceeded directly to the Vice President's office and
entered through a door already open.

"Jonathan, good of you to come on such short notice," greeted the
Academic VP, waving Jonathan toward the inner office.

One wall of the office was devoted to 'art'.  The entire grouping
reminded Jonathan of different aspects of the same road-kill.

"On a day like this, it is a pleasure, Henry.  Looks like the weather
is cooperating for graduation this year."

"Well, it's about time.  Two years in a row we've been rained out.
Drop your bag, grab a cup of coffee and sit down."

Henry Tarbuck, Academic Vice President picked up his own cup from his
desk and went to the conference chairs arranged for conversation in the
office alcove.  From here he eyed Jonathan reflectively.  Good man, he
thought.  Saved us a batch of trouble by coming to me right off.

Tarbuck adjusted his six foot two, rather heavy-set frame more
comfortably in the chair.  Young for his position, barely in his
thirties, he directed seasoned professors twice his age and experience.
This along with his imposing height and bulk had caused some resentment
but Henry just ignored it.

As first assistant to the president of Belmont University, he reveled
in power and position and firmly believed that those that can, do (like
him) and those that can't, teach (like faculty).

He covered this attitude with a hearty, down-to-earth, back slapping
manner that fooled no one but himself.

Bambridge joined him in the alcove, holding his coffee cup out ahead of
him like an offering.  "Damn good coffee, Henry.  Must have made it

At fifty-five, Henry Bambridge figured he'd seen it all and most of the
fight had gone out of him.  Physically, he was the opposite of Tarbuck,
slight in build and not quite five ten but looked shorter.  His
features were finely drawn, almost feminine in contrast to the dark,
craggy, nearly simian countenance of Tarbuck.

"Let's get down to it."  Henry Tarbuck radiated impatience as visible
as the steam rising from newly deposited excrement on a frosty day.
For a time, the men went over the schedule of events slated for the

"Everything seems to be in order," Jonathan suggested.

"Right, it's a go.  I want to tell you, Jonathan, you've done a damn
fine job so far."  Henry gestured expansively.  "By advising Diana
Trenchant to attend her termination hearing without an attorney, you
saved us all a great deal of trouble."

The ombudsman acknowledged the compliment with a nod.  Jonathan knew
his job was to provide just such a service to the administration.  He
understood that the ombudsman's function was ostensibly created to
provide the faculty with a neutral source to handle complaints.  Most
times the illusion of impartiality was well maintained, but the reality
of the position was otherwise--it was the administration's ear and eye
on the faculty.

"Just followed your suggestion," Jonathan replied, preening
self-consciously.  Feeling himself in the good graces of the VP, he
continued.  "What's the story here, Henry?  Why is this being handled
so harshly?  Her transgression is fairly innocuous and I'm surprised
it's even coming to a hearing panel.  Why not slap her down or suspend
her?  Hell, it would be less trouble to retire her, she's been here
nearly twenty-five years!"

Henry twitched with ill-concealed indignation for an instant then
answered calmly but with some passion, "Between you and me, Jonathan,
the bitch needs a taking down.  You know how we've adjusted to federal
and state mandates that women be accepted, even encouraged to work and
matriculate here.

"All in all, it hasn't been a bad deal for us.  Sure, we've had to
raise some salaries but, well, give the devil her due, most women do
seem to work hard and get a lot accomplished.  They are usually fairly
easy to control.  Most are scared stupid of being called a lesbian and
petrified at the thought that this accusation might be spread around
among people they know.  Or, if they are married and obviously
straight, plant the suggestion that it might get around that they are
promiscuous.  It turns them to jelly every time."

Henry laughed delightedly as he stood up and assumed a lecturer's pose,
unwittingly mimicking the profession he disparaged.  As he warmed to
his subject, he walked back and forth across the office, adding
punctuation to his lecture with his body.  Jonathan watched him

"Then there are the most enjoyable ones.  They're on the make for any
man who is looking for an easy lay.  They trade their ass for any glory
that may fall their way through association.  As workers, most aren't
worth shit but they do as they're told.  Have to watch them though
because if someone higher than you in the pecking, or ha ha, pecker
order, comes along, they leave you cold.

"Now, so-called liberated professionals, feminists, may become a focus
for women's groups on campus.  They get a name for being champions of
women's causes.  However, jerk their chain and they are a hodgepodge of
insecurities.  They have worked so hard to attain their position and
the prestige and power that goes with it, that they are our best allies
against women's movements and demands for equal wages, in short, any
kind of problem we may encounter."

"How can that be, Henry?"  Jonathan was finding the impromptu lecture
not only informative, but very interesting.

"We just put them on committees or hearing panels such as the one
coming up.  In appearance, we are being fair by having women
represented, not just women, but women who are vocal regarding their
movement.  Actually, because they want so much for themselves, they are
easy as hell to buy.  We provide perks that make them feel important.
They get invited to presidential teas, trustee cocktail
parties--anything that puffs them up, makes them feel good--that's the

"The committee chair lets them know how to vote and how well pleased
their dean will be with them and voila!  Believe me, they well know how
bad it can get if they fall out of favor with the boss.  If this isn't
convincing, just indicate to them that they can be made to appear
mentally unstable or morally deviant--that's the stick.

"Very few women fight back or quit a committee even if they become
uncomfortable with what it is doing.  Most just keep their heads down
and hope nobody finds out how they voted.  I've appointed three women
to the Trenchant hearing panel.  Two of them are younger women hot to
trot up the academic success ladder which I just happen to be holding."
Henry paused, preening himself with obvious relish.

Eager for more of this fascinating information, Jonathan queried, "What
about Diana Trenchant?  She doesn't appear concerned that everyone
would know she committed a crime.  She refused to quietly resign
claiming that the accusations are false and apparently is going to put
on a defense at the hearing."

"Defense!  Ha!  It won't amount to bug dust.  I chose the panel and I
shall chair the panel and the panel will vote to terminate her." Henry
was becoming very agitated.  His pacing was now fast and choppy.

"She's one of those trouble makers who do so well in their job that
it's hard to find a reason to get rid of them.  It is vital that we
hold this hearing and terminate her.  We must provide an example."
Turning back toward the table, Henry started to shuffle the papers
busily.  "We've gone over most everything in the handbook on procedure
and as far as I can see, everything is proper.  What do you think?"

Jonathan, who was holding a copy of the faculty handbook and studying
the tip of his left shoe, shook his head in agreement.  "It all appears
to be absolutely correct so far."

"Fine.  Now I'll expect you to be available during the hearing in the
waiting room.  This is just for appearance, for extra insurance.
Things have a way of getting screwed up where she's concerned."

Hoping to reopen the informative flood gates with a  smattering of
devil's advocate, Jonathan observed slyly, "You know, Henry, her
personnel file was rather impressive.  She appeared to have been an
capable technician, an excellent teacher and received high performance
evaluations.  No complaints for being late or absent from work, no
reports of drink or drugs...."

Again the VP became agitated.  This time he grabbed his cup and went to
the coffee maker.   "She gets people stirred up.  That's where problems
arise from--those unexpected, unknown sources.  No administrator can
prepare for those kind of events.  For instance, a few years ago a
student under her influence embarrassed Jimbo Jones--he was NERD chair
before Lyle--and put the department in an uproar...."

Jimbo Jones, chairman, six NERD faculty members and two graduate
student Teaching Assistants occupied the conference room at the weekly
departmental meeting.

Over the general murmuring and grumbling of a discontented faculty,
Peter, the departmental mouth said, "We ought to get a higher
percentage raise, Jimbo.  Every year you tell us the same thing.  Times
are tough, the legislature won't spring for a decent appropriation.
The dean can't...."

"I know that and I've been thinking how I could cut the roster and have
a little more to share among the rest of us.  If you agree, I think
it's time we let Diana Trenchant go.  Last year I had to give her a
whopping raise while the rest of us had to settle for the usual 3%, and
Ted at the Affirmative Action Office says we've got to give her more
again this year and then still more until she catches up to or
surpasses Fred's paycheck.

"Of course, it means that you will have to share Fred, our only other
technician, do your own research or get a grant and hire your own

Most of the people in the room moved uncomfortably in their chairs
looking down at the floor or out the window.  Looking anywhere but at
each other or Jimbo.

"It's settled then, we let her go?"  Jimbo broke the silence.  "No one
opposes? All right then, it's....

"I don't know too much about these things," came a hesitant voice from
the back of the group.  Everyone turned around to look at the young
graduate student, Holly Preston, who had spoken.

In a voice getting stronger all the time, she continued, "As I say, I
don't know much about this, but I thought when someone was fired that
there had to be cause.  That is, that they were not doing their job
properly or whatever.

"Since I've been in the department, I have been impressed with Diana
Trenchant's hard work and knowledge.  I've gone to her often for help.
What reason will you give for firing her, Dr. Jones?"

A taut silence descended upon the room like a malignant fog.  Then, an
angry, red-faced Jimbo Jones glared at Holly, declared the action
tabled and adjourned the meeting.  The NERD faculty Judas goats
shuffled out sheepishly, having been well and truly sheared by a lamb.

Chapter 2

VP Henry Tarbuck closed the file folder then shifted his bulk to place
it on a nearby table.  His expensive chair started to groan in protest
then as if remembering how much it cost, only murmured quietly.  "We
must be careful that this hearing gives all the appearances of being
completely fair, especially after the disaster in Lyle's office."

Jonathan leaned forward and deposited his now empty cup on the stand
beside him.  "Yes, I heard about Lyle bungling that one.  First he
yelled at her so loudly that the secretaries in the outer office left
in embarrassment and then was stupid enough to tell her in front of
witnesses that the hearing panel was only a formality and that she
would be terminated anyway."

The VP shrugged, obviously irritated.  "Admittedly, he pushed too hard.
It came as a shock to him that she would refuse his demand that she
resign.  He lost his cool and tried to bully her into it.  He's new to
this, taking over as he did such a relatively short time ago from

"Well it does appear that he had problems with her.  I do see that she
appears to have a propensity for causing discomfort, but other women,
and men too for that matter, have been troublesome.  Why the excessive
anger toward her?"

"First off, Jonathan, the anger is not excessive, it is justified,"
Henry retorted testily.  "Yes, we've had critics, annoying critics, but
when we offered them some redress, they were grateful.  She, on the
other hand, considered every concession we made as 'a day late and a
dollar short'--utterly maddening!  And what really frosts everyone's
ass is that she is just as recalcitrant when she argues on behalf of
someone else.  Who the hell is she to care if someone feels unfairly
treated by us?"

"Well, of course I'm still using the only frame of reference that I
have which is her personnel file and from what I can see she was as
much 'sinned against as sinner'."

"That might have some validity up to the point where she openly and
publicly challenged the president of this university," retorted Henry
waving the file he was holding in Jonathan's face for emphasis, "but
not anymore."

"You mean she picked on The Pope, Henry?"

Chapter 3

John T. Pope had been president of Belmont University for nearly twelve
years.  Because of his belief in his own infallibility, he soon became
referred to as The Pope.  He greatly increased the senior
administrative staff which now occupied one whole wing of the
administration building.  This wing was known as the Vatican and when a
person spoke of kissing the Pope's ring, it was well understood what
part of the Pope's anatomy they were referring to.  The slew of vice
presidents, associate vp's and assistant vp's around the president were
soon called the Vee's.  Most people believed Vee was short for vice
president but insiders knew it really stood for vestigial virgins.

He located the personnel office close by the Vatican.  It was the
administration's muscle and the buffer between it and the so-called
support staff.  Patterned after the military, it was directed by, and
key positions held by former military men.  The military analogy
persists throughout the university structure.  Upper administration and
faculty are designated as officers.

In order to insure staff cooperation, President Pope had created a
company union called the Staff Association.  To keep tabs on the
members, he appointed the director of personnel an ex-officio member.
The current director, Greg Harrison, attended every meeting, answered
questions, directed staff activities and channeled them into acceptable

"Yes, I do," Henry continued glowering.  "A year after Trenchant got on
the Staff Association, she was elected its chair and that body turned
from being a very convenient rubber stamp into a cohesive,
confrontational group of people.  She was reelected unanimously for a
second term and during those two years she managed to upset nearly
everybody in the Vatican--especially, The Pope.  It seems, from what I
was told when I was appointed academic vp, that during this time a
great deal of energy was directed toward damage control.

"Nothing worked with her.  All the tried and true methods of threat or
blandishment had no affect.  She didn't seem to notice or understand
that if she played ball she would become more important than the staff
she represented.

"She and the Staff Association encouraged the rest of the staff to
bring problems to their office.  We had almost daily calls from the
Attorney General's Office because she advised women to make complaints
if they were discriminated against or harassed.  She even boxed in
Mark, the university attorney, and just four years ago, she made a
shambles of personnel by kicking Greg, the director, out of the Staff

"And that's not all.  Under her direction, the Staff Association
started to by-pass personnel altogether.  They investigated several
grievances and represented the grievers they felt were abused by the

"They started a staff newsletter to inform everyone about their
rights--especially concerning sex discrimination and sexual harassment.
The staff was told to stay away from the affirmative action office,
which was described as a tool of the personnel department, and take
their complaints directly to the Attorney General--they even printed
her phone number, for Christ's sake....  Trenchant and a committee met
with a federal EEOC investigator.  He was presented with a list of
staff and faculty positions with a notation of the total number and how
many were held by women.  The investigator was here to make sure the
university was in compliance for a million dollar federal research

Surprise suffused Jonathan's face.  "How did she get that information,
Henry?  I thought that was one of our better kept secrets."

The Vee exploded.  "We were exceedingly careful never to publish
anything like that.  Members of the Staff Association went through the
campus directory to compile the list.  Took a lot of time, but they
kept at it."


"Yeah," agreed Henry.  "Lyle gave her a faculty appointment to get her
out of staff politics.  He had her teaching every semester with the
hope that she'd be too busy to cause anymore trouble.  Next thing we
know, she's threatening to sue the NERD for plagiarism.  You know the
rest and we have just time enough to get ready.  Use the facilities if
you need to."  He pointed in the direction of an adjoining washroom,
then opened a closet door and removed his cap and gown which he laid
across the table.  Jonathan opened the case he had brought with him.

As both men donned their robes, Jonathan asked, "why is the Trenchant
hearing being held so soon after graduation?"

"We wanted to wait until the students left, of course.  They've been
pestering us with petitions in support of her and we sure don't want
them around during her hearing.  Also everyone wants to leave as soon
as possible for summer vacations, Jonathan.  We want this mess cleaned
up before we leave."

"Well, my station for the grand march is west campus.  Yours?" Fully
garbed in medieval academic splendor, Jonathan paused by the open door.

"My department forms up in front of the library.  See you next week."


The two men left the office together then separated at the founder's
statue to reach their appointed destinations.

What a farce, ruminated Jonathan as he made his way between the
colorful plantings bordering the walk.  Shakespeare would have loved
it.  Much ado about nothing and a tempest in a teapot.  What a hoot,
making all this fuss about seven student feedback forms.  Nobody ever
pays any attention to them yet suddenly they are so important.

Hard to figure a valid reason for such violent reactions from the Vee.
Just a couple of years ago, Professor Beand was convicted of child
molestation.  He was suspended for a few months but they took him right
back with no loss of pay or position.

And then there was that dean in the History Department who altered
faculty promotion papers.  Nothing happened to him.  I remember one of
the Vee's saying at that time that he shouldn't be disciplined for it
because other faculty had done far worse things and were not punished.
That's sure true. I remember several incidents involving students,
alcohol, drugs....all swept quietly under the rug.

It's obvious what is going on here.  Lyle needs to pull the chestnuts
out of the fire for those two new faculty he took on so they can be
reappointed and tenured.  If he can pin some of their negative
critiques on Diana Trenchant, he can argue that all the years of bad
critiques are suspect and nullify them.

And, of course, Henry and the rest are going along with it out of
revenge--they are just plain pissed off because they couldn't win her
over with snob appeal.  She scorned them, their exalted positions and
their offerings.  That's it, I bet anything that's it.  Silently
apologizing to William Congrave, Jonathan paraphrased, "Heaven has no
rage like love to hatred turned nor Hell more fury than a good 'ol boy
scorned."  The medical student that wrote the open letter to The Pope
was right--this hearing is an administrative gang bang.

Jonathan was soon joined by others in brightly colored or richly black
gowns.  Peacocked with the educational badge each had attained and
crowned with a mortar board which got its name from a board used by
masons to hold cement.  How appropriate that it is worn on the head.

Commencement--a colorful, glorious grouping traditioned by time.  All
nicely covering the decay and tarnish of some of its stewards.


Chapter 4

"The hearing?  Oh yes, that is being held in this room right here,"
advised Lorraine Debeau, head custodian of Howard Hall.

Diana Trenchant and her witnesses had arrived early.  One of the
witnesses asked Lorraine where the group might wait.

"There are two rooms I was told to open.  This is the best one right
opposite the hearing room," she offered, walking ahead of them into the
room, proud as a general leading the troops to battle.  "I'll give you
guys the best one since you are here first and because of what you are

As she turned to leave the room, she put her hand on Trenchant's
shoulder.  "Hey, good luck.  You know, you are the only person that
ever tried to help us custodians get a fair shake.  When you were head
of the Staff Association, you made those guys in administration treat
us decent."

The six witnesses and Trenchant spread themselves out comfortably on
the plush sofas and soft rug as individual preference dictated.  Good
feelings washed over them, mixed with pride and determination.  It was
as if their cause, their righteous quest, had been anointed by a high

"It's nice to have friends in high places," commented Andrea, looking
around appreciatively.  They were in a large, rectangular room
outfitted as a lounge.  At the front facing the entrance hall, the
walls gave way to glass, so it was something like being in a fish bowl.
Someone suggested shutting the curtains but Helen objected.

"No, don't.  I want to watch for them to come in.  I'm going to take
their pictures."

There was general laughter at this and Andrea slapped her on the back,
"go gittum, Helen."

Roz advised the other witnesses not to be intimidated by the panel.
"Hey, I've known most of them for years and they are no better than we
are." She had held a full time job at Belmont for nearly two years.
Roz had been around and was no spring chicken so the group nodded and
took comfort from her.

She, like some of the other witnesses, was also taking courses in the
nursing school.  One of these courses was taught by Diana Trenchant.

"Look, here they come now,"  Helen yelled as a group of men came into
the hall through the open front door.  She grabbed her camera and shot
out of the room.

One of the men broke from the group and came into the witness room
saying loudly, "Who are you and what are you doing in here?  This room
is reserved."

"We were told this was a witness room and we are witnesses," said Roz,
flatly.  "Who are you?"

Glaring at Roz and throwing his entire body into an intimidating pose,
the man said angrily, "I am the Academic Vice President, Henry Tarbuck,
and I reserved this room for the university witnesses."

"That's OK then," said Roz cheerfully and completely unimpressed.  "We
are university witnesses."

Diana stepped forward.  "Is there a problem?"

"Oh, it's you.  You were supposed to go to a room upstairs."

"We asked and we were directed here," interjected Roz.  Smiling up at
Henry innocently, she continued in a child's sing-song voice, "finders,

"Well. We'll see about that," was the disgruntled, graceless retort.

As he turned to leave Trenchant stopped him.  "I have requested an open
hearing which you have denied me.  I again ask that the hearing be

"No, absolutely not.  The hearing is closed."

"A closed hearing is to protect the rights of the accused.  As the
accused, I waive that consideration and again request that the hearing
be open and that any person who wishes may attend."

"No."  The Vee closed the door of the witness room behind him with a
indignant slam.

"Now there's a sweetheart," murmured Roz.  "Hey, did you guys notice we
got our own phone in here?"

An obviously annoyed Henry Tarbuck sought out the custodian, Lorraine.
"I ordered that downstairs room to be held for the university's
witnesses," he barked at her.

"Not me, you didn't.  I was told to open two rooms for the hearing
witnesses.  That's all."  Lorraine, all four feet of her bristling,
stood up on her toes and duplicated the Vee's tone, jaw to jaw.

Always outmatched when encountering any female who did not smile,
cringe, grovel or otherwise conform to his 'typing', Henry turned away
from her and fumed his way to the hall phone booth.

Reaching his secretary, his tone took on the whine of a young boy.
"Lynn, something terrible has happened.  That woman took the good room,
the one with the good chairs and the telephone.  I'm using the booth in
the hall!  How could this happen?"

"I don't know, Henry.  I told the custodian over there to reserve the
two rooms as you directed me.  I don't recall that you gave me specific
instructions as to which room was for which group."

"I assumed th...."

Henry broke off as he caught sight of the dean and two medical school
faculty coming in the door.  "I'll get back to you and get this
straightened out.  Got to go.

"Right this way, gentlemen.  We've had a slight mix up in the waiting
rooms and I apologize in advance for any inconvenience it may cause.
I'm going to have a phone put in soonest and some decent chairs!"
Still talking, Henry led the men upstairs.

Downstairs, Helen returned from a self appointed scouting mission,
breathless and amused.  "Oh," she panted, "you should see the room they
have.  It's a lecture hall--hard chairs and blackboards all around.  We
sure lucked out by getting here first."

"We sure did but our luck was in having Lorraine as custodian in
charge.  Obviously, we were supposed to get the upstairs one and I'll
bet you dollars to donuts that it's been bugged," asserted Roz.

Helen had recovered her breath by now and readily agreed.  "Yeah, I
bet.  You know that Vee, Jimbo, was so threatening.  I took his picture
and he came right up to me and demanded to know my name and what I was
doing there and...."

"Oh, he's a pain in the ass all the time," Roz interrupted.  "He was
bad enough when he was chair of NERD but now that they kicked him up to
a Vee, he's insufferable.  Drinks like a fish.  Did you tell him?"

Helen laughed.  "No, I just yelled, 'Press', at him and got the hell
out of there.

"Just a moment ago, outside, I got a good shot of three guys that were
just coming in.  I think one of them was Dean Broadhurst.  One of the
guys with him saw me and covered his face--just like you see the crooks
do on TV when they're taken to court."

James, the one male witness, came in with Jean and Andrea.  They were
laden with Dunkin' Donut bags, coffee cups, milk and soda.

It was well past the time set for the commencement of the hearing and
the six women and one man good naturedly sat down to await the pleasure
of the Vee.  Noblesse oblige never had functioned at Belmont and they
didn't expect it to start now.

Upstairs, things were gradually getting sorted out.  Harried custodians
had removed or stacked most of the student chairs and brought in plush
seats.  A phone had been located trailing a long, snake-like extension
cord that stretched out the door and back along the hall to the office
it had been liberated from.

The university caterers had brought in a coffee, tea and Danish service
which was in the process of being depleted by the administration's
witnesses.  Henry Tarbuck worked the room, spreading ersatz charm like
a bee pollinating from flower to flower.

Chapter 5

The door to the hallway opened suddenly and Henry strode in.  He looked
at Diana Trenchant and gestured toward the hearing room.  "We're ready
for you now," he announced with all the smarmy triumph of an
interrogator leading the way to the torture chamber.

The accused stood up.  In silence, the seven witnesses grouped around
hugging her and each other.  The Vee watched, disgust thick as mildew
around a neglected sauna, covering his face.

Disengaging, Trenchant started for the door.

"Here, take this with you just in case you lose your perspective and
need to find it," urged James.  He shoved an 8 x 10 inch piece of white
cardboard into her hand.

On it, printed in large letters, was the legend: BEAM ME UP SCOTTY.

The hearing room was about 30 feet square with no outside windows.  The
front, facing the hallway contained the door.  The rest of the front
wall was glass, similar to the neighboring witness room, but here the
curtains were tightly closed as if the room was ashamed to reveal what
was to take place inside.

A large table nearly filled the room, and seated along the far side of
it, nearest the front of the room, sat four members of the hearing
panel.  At the head of the table, with his back to the blinded glass
wall, Henry had enthroned himself.

Diana was curtly directed to a seat also on the far side of the table
at the back of the room.  There were several chairs between her and the

Across the table from the panel sat Janet Parks, the court reporter,
with her back to the door.  She was accessorized with a recording
machine beside her and a backup tape recorder on the table.

Janet, as her profession demanded, tended to fade into the woodwork.
Dress and manner were subdued to the point where she became nearly
invisible--but not to Diana.  She saw kindly eyes surrounded by a round
face that wanted to be jolly and laughing.  She saw a possible relief
from the dominant accusing eyes.  Not an advocate perhaps, but at least

An empty chair sat drawn up to the table beside Janet and there was
another empty chair further down the table opposite Trenchant.

The entire setup of the room was intentionally choreographed to promote
psychological terrorism.  Diana Trenchant and her witnesses would be
interrogated by the panel while sitting in the chair beside the court
stenographer directly across from the panel.

The administration's accusers would sit in the chair which was directly
across the table from Diana Trenchant.  Except for when she would be
testifying, Diana was seated at the place most distant from the door.


Diana Trenchant sat down in the assigned seat and arranged her note pad
and documents for easy access.  For the moment, the panel was huddled
together whispering so she took the time to organize her thoughts and
chill out the mounting apprehension.

Here she was, sixty years old, twenty five of those working at Belmont,
with never even as much as a traffic ticket citation, facing a
university hearing panel.  Here she was--accused of forging seven
student feedback forms.  The lump in her stomach and the one in her
throat were trying to join together and drag the rest of her down into
a black, empty tunnel of fear.   Resisting the pull, she looked around
the hearing room and met the eyes of the stenographer who smiled at her

Janet Parks had attended many hearings.  Her job was to faithfully
record every spoken word on her transcription machine.  Most of the
time, she plied her trade in the courts but occasionally she was called
out into the private sector.  She had seen a lot of people on trial and
her observant eyes took in every detail.

The configuration of the hearing room had not been lost on her so when
she met the eyes of the accused, Diana Trenchant, she felt a tug of
sympathy.  She noted Diana's pale, drawn features and erect bearing.
Here was a woman, thought Janet, who would never use makeup or any
other cover up.  She has such a direct, honest look it's hard to
believe that she is the one in trouble here.  As Diana's eyes returned
to her notes, Janet looked at her more closely.  Not terribly well
groomed, she thought, noting the slacks with casual blouse and jacket.
Janet recalled that Diana was wearing jogging shoes when she walked in.
Obviously, she wore her cloths for comfort, not for adornment.  Janet
continued her inventory: mousy brown hair--no style, blue eyes.  Tired
blue eyes.  Lots of wrinkles, those badges that life awarded to
survivors.  Must be pushing along into the sixties.  Wonder what she
sounds like.  Hope she's not one of those squeaky kind.  Oh, oh, the
head cheese is about to start--get ready.

Henry Tarbuck consulting his notes then stated that the dean had
accused Diana Trenchant of creating and submitting fictitious student
feedback forms.

"Responding to the dean's charge, this committee was formed and I will
now introduce them.  On the end is Mr. Frank Anuse, director of the
Informational Studies Unit."

The Vee looked fondly at Frank who nodded his bald head in
acknowledgement.  A tall gangling bean-pole of a man.  His head, devoid
of any sort of demarcation between face and pate, appeared to float
above his body like some sort of alien spacecraft.

They had gotten together over drinks the day before and decided that
they would play good cop, bad cop at the hearing.  He, as chair, would
affect neutrality while Frank could go after Diana and her witnesses
hammer and tongs.

If anyone on this hearing panel was more anxious than himself to smash
this woman, it was Frank, mused Henry.  He had good reason.  It was
about three years ago that....

Affirmative Action Officer, Kevin Goodman, sat in his office reading a
letter that had just come in the campus mail.

Kevin, a black, realized that he had been awarded this position because
of his permanent tan.  He had thought when he agreed to take the office
that he truly would be allowed to enforce federal mandates.

Now, two years into it, the bubble had long since burst.  His office
was there, it appeared, only to satisfy the law that such an office be
maintained.  However, deans and directors of departments seldom did as
he directed and if he went to the Pope, well, he found out pretty
quickly that did no good.

He was actively seeking another appointment at a more enlightened and
humane university.  Enough was enough, but while he was still here, he
would do the best he could or was allowed to do.

He smoothed the pages of the letter flat and reached for the phone.

"Professor Anuse?  Kevin Goodman here.  Affirmative Action Office."

"Yes.  What can I do for you?"

"I have a complaint regarding your hiring process that I'd like to
discuss with you at your earliest convenience."

"Now's fine.  What's the problem?"

"It's alleged that you will not interview or otherwise consider males
for positions in your division," Kevin said, carefully.

"Can't interview or consider anyone who doesn't apply for a position,
can I.  Shit!  Men just aren't interested in the jobs in my unit."

Kevin blinked and cleared his throat. "Ah, well, I called the personnel
office and they informed me that they had sent you a file of a male for
the last two positions you posted.  I was told that you did not
interview him."

"Could be, I suppose.  Probably he didn't qualify."

"Personnel says that he is very well qualified."

Frank Anuse made a face at the telephone.  The supercilious bastard, he
thought.  Who is he to check up on my hiring?

"They do, huh."

Frank's predilection for hiring only women, preferably young, was well
known throughout Belmont.  He laughingly referred to himself as the
sheik and the girls as his harem in conversations with his male
colleagues.  His girls referred to him as Jack the Ripper.  Turnover in
his department, in all senses of the word, was active.

"Yes," Kevin continued.  "In light of this complaint, my office will
have to review the records of all of your hiring for the past two
years.  Would you please have this material ready for my assistant to
pick up tomorrow?" Kevin spoke firmly, looking down at his crossed

"All those files?  Christ, you think I've got nothing better to do
than....  Who in the hell made this complaint, anyway?"

"The letter came from the chair of the Staff Association, Diana
Trenchant.  Evidently several complaints have been brought to her

"She can go to Hell and you too, for that matter.  What business is it
of yours who I hire?"

"Federal law prohibits discriminatory hiring practices.  This
university has to comply to receive federal grants.  My job is to see
that the university is in compliance."

"Bull, everyone knows that just applies to women and spa...., er,

"That is incorrect, Mr. Anuse.  Anti-discrimination laws apply to
anyone who is being discriminated against.  Please have those files
ready for pick-up," said Kevin and firmly hung up the phone.

Frank looked at the phone for a beat and then walloped it to get a dial
tone.  He punched in the number for Mark Rogers, the university

Reaching his party, he said, "Mark, what do you know about the bitch
chairing the Staff Association?"

Chapter 6

...."and sitting next to Ed is Esther Rondell, agriculture."

Frank beamed at Esther who simpered in return.  A large woman, Esther
wore her white hair in an old fashioned pug at the back.  She had been
at Belmont longer than anyone could remember.  She dressed
conservatively and was always on university committees.

Esther was at the forefront of every woman's movement on campus.  She
was quick to rush to any woman's defense and agree that yes, they were
badly treated.  This allowed her a podium to broadcast how badly she
was used by the university.  With all her experience, with all her hard
work, she was shafted at every turn, was her cry.

Any serious group of women who might band together to effect change
were usually derailed by her and the administration loved it.  An
unsuspecting woman who confided in her thinking she was a fellow
sufferer found to her sorrow that Esther was only out for Esther.  Any
confidence given her was nearly always violated.  This queen bee just
shrugged and stung them to death.

A cinch, thought Henry.

"Then Professor Jane Astori, physical therapy."

Beside Esther, tiny Jane appeared almost doll-like, even though she was
only a little shorter than average.  Her blond hair was worn long and
fastened with a barrette at the back.  It swished like a horse's tail
whenever she moved her head.

At 42, she had attained her goal of becoming a professor and now had
her sights on the department chair.  She was adept at playing the
system.  A political pro.

"Last, but not least, here beside me, is Annette Pringle, zoology,"
finished Henry.

Annette nodded in recognition of the introduction and then turned her
eyes again to the stack of papers in front of her.  She was scared.  It
was her first committee assignment since her appointment as assistant
professor at Belmont and she didn't want to be here.  Everything was
wrong about this hearing.  It was plain as could be that Trenchant was
being railroaded.  Nobody at Belmont ever considered student feedback
forms anything more than an exercise in futility.

What a nothing, inconsequential charge--yet here she was with the rest
of the panel who all appeared to think this was the most serious crime
since the Holocaust.

Annette hadn't dared to refuse Henry's request after the way the Vee
had questioned her.  He had come unannounced to her office to ask her
to serve on this hearing panel.  He explained to her how important
serving on university committees could be and how they beefed up a
curriculum vita.

Then, right out of the blue, apropos of nothing he had said, "I
understand you and your friend, Joan, live together." It could have
been just an innocent remark, but Annette, with years of suspicion and
threats to remember, didn't think so.  He knows, she thought and the
thought stuck in her throat and choked her with fear.  Her weak
protests that she really didn't think she had experience enough yet to
qualify for the panel had been swept aside and here she was.

Henry's thoughts were similar.  He smiled in triumph.  It really paid
to check people out carefully.  You could find out the damndest things.
Things people were afraid of getting out.  Things Henry could used to
control them.

Still smiling, he turned to the papers before him and in rapid order,
introduced into evidence, Medical School Dean Broadhurst's letter of
charges, a memo from the Chairman of NERD, Dr. Lyle Stone, and the two
files containing the material sent out from Belmont to the document

"These are the items," the Academic Vice President and Chair of the
hearing panel committee asserted, holding up the files, "that the
hearing is about."

"We will commence by having the university's witnesses sworn in by the
court stenographer.  The committee will then examine each of the
witness, then the accused may cross examine them.

"After all our witnesses have testified, Trenchant may examine her
witnesses and the committee will cross.  Are there any questions?"

"Yes."  Diana said firmly.  "You have said that the witness are to be
sworn by the court stenographer and I have no objection to that.
However, I want it in the record that I was told both by the ombudsman
and by you, Mr. Chairperson, that this would be a typical
administrative hearing and that witnesses are generally not sworn.
When they are, it is done by one of the hearing committee.

"I was further told that recording of the hearing would be by tape
recorder.  I find that neither of these two things are true.

"In addition, I want it recorded that I have requested several times
that this hearing be open, and the chair has refused.  The Attorney
General's Office has asked to be allowed to send an observer to this
hearing.  Their request was denied, but they were promised a complete
transcript of it."

"OK," Henry brushed aside Diana's observations as if they were of no
import, and continued, "we'll call our first witness." Henry rose and
went to get the Lyle Stone, chair of the Nutrition, Embryology and
Radiology Department--NERD.

Lyle was seated directly opposite Trenchant and was sworn by the
stenographer.  Under questioning from the committee, he gave his name
and position.

Dr. Lyle Stone was a man totally driven by ambition.  He treated people
on two levels.  If he needed something from you, he was most decent,
even kindly; if not, he ignored you.

Quick to anger, he rarely checked facts.  He took good care of himself,
and at the age of 58, he regularly worked out at the gym and was seldom

He was, however, short.  Shorter than the average man, he tried to make
up the height with bluster.  This gave him not only a Banty rooster
approach to life but also may have been why he resembled one.

"How did you become aware of the issue that this panel is
investigating?" Henry continued.

Lyle testified that two years previously, Dr. Randy Fecesi had come to
him with two medical student feedback forms which he had found.
"Students are required to fill out and bring to the NERD office a
questionnaire type form that critiqued each of the faculty in each
course and the course itself," he explained....

Student Feedback Forms were initiated at Belmont in the middle sixties.
They were designed to allow the students to evaluate faculty and
courses in response to student demand that they have a voice in their
education.  Although the professors of each course at Belmont routinely
handed the forms out and collected them, they were never taken
seriously by any department or dean unless they were uniformly
derogatory to a course or professor and sometimes, even then, they were

Mostly, they were treated as a joke by the departments and a lost cause
by the students who never saw any changes made as a result of their
suggestions.  The joke was propagated further when some wag arbitrarily
added MUR between the S and FF, creating the adjusted acronym, SmurFF,
from Student Feedback Form.  From that time on, the forms were printed
on blue paper.

"....Randy said that he had found a SmurFF for the radiology course
this year and one from last year that didn't look right to him.  He and
Dr. Heathson, who teach the course, wanted me to send them for
handwriting analysis because he thought they had been written by

Lyle went on to explain at some length that Dr. Randy Fecesi and Dr.
Ian Heathson were young faculty who were trying very hard to make the
radiology course more modern and sophisticated.  These efforts, he
asserted, were thwarted by Trenchant and there was controversy and
conflict because of her....

When Lyle Stone succeeded Jimbo Jones as head of NERD, he brought his
post doc, Ian Heathson with him.  No one on the NERD faculty was
consulted and all of them were very upset that they were given no voice
in a faculty selection.  They soon learned that Ian was a special
friend of their chairperson and quickly discovered that it was not wise
to criticize him in any way.

Ian was a real nice, friendly fellow, fairly adept at his research
specialty, nutrition (which was also Lyle's) but lacking knowledge and
understanding of radiology.

Lyle put him in charge of the radiology course given to the freshmen
medical students.  This act was similar to throwing a child into the
water and expecting it to learn to swim.

Diana had taught the lab portion of this course for several years.  Ian
didn't learn very quickly.  He tried, you have to give him that, but he
was way out of his depth.  The students, as kindly as possible, turned
thumbs down on him.  Not only that, but on their SMurFF's, they were
highly critical of the lecture portion of the course, which Ian
conducted, while praising Trenchant and the laboratory, especially the
laboratory manual which she had written.

The manual had been written out of desperation by Trenchant on her home
computer.  Over the years, the radiology lab manual had degenerated
into such a mess that it was difficult to use and impossible to
understand--especially when most of the pages were unreadable.  This
was before the department obtained a copying machine and still used the
old fashioned stencils.

So Diana wrote and illustrated an entirely new manual and she
registered the copyright on it.  She offered this finished manual to
Ian at no charge for use in the course and he grabbed it like the
drowning man he was.  The students had made their disgust well known to
him and he realized that he did not have the knowledge or experience to
produce an adequate laboratory manual in Radiology.

Things got better in the course.  Ian was improving in his knowledge
and lecturing.  There was excellent cooperation between him and
Trenchant.  That is, until Randy Fecesi was brought in.

Randy came with perhaps even less ability in radiology than Ian, but
where the students were sympathetic toward Ian, they were pissed off by
Randy.  The SmurFFs they wrote concerning him were not kind.  Many
reprimanded him for things he had said in lectures which were contrary
to what the students read in textbooks.  Hurt, angry and unable to get
at the students, he turned on Trenchant.  At first, Ian tried to stay
neutral but eventually, Randy convinced him that the course must be
reorganized and they had to start by redoing the laboratory manual.

His solution was to change the only part of the course that really

Chapter 7

"Now what did you do with these SmurFFs that Dr Fecesi brought you?"
questioned Henry.

"At first, I just thought about them.  Then I took them to Jimbo Jones
who was chair of the department before me.

"I thought he might have some idea of what should be done and he, of
course, knew Trenchant since she had been in the department during his
tenure as chair."

Lyle continued, shifting in his chair so he appeared taller.  "Jimbo
immediately took them to Mark Rogers who is the university attorney and
Mark sent them out for analysis.

"I looked through other SmurFFs and picked out a couple that seemed
strange, that didn't seem to me to be what students would write, and
Jimbo found a couple in the nursing course and all those were sent out
to the examiner.

"The document examiners reported that, to the best of their knowledge,
Trenchant had written the SmurFFs we had sent them so I went to you,
Henry, to the administration, and it was decided that I meet with her
and give her an opportunity to resign.  When she refused, I wrote the
dean and he initiated the termination for cause action."

Henry appeared pleased, consulted his notes and asked if Lyle could
explain Trenchant's conduct.

Certainly, Lyle would be happy to.  His eagerness to answer this
question lent strength to a skeletal system already overtaxed with
maintaining a taller posture.

"It had to do with the problems in the radiology course.  Ian and Randy
were trying to make the course better.  She fought them on everything
and finally she quit the course--said it was too much along with her
other teaching responsibilities.  It was about a year ago that...."

Randy called another meeting to discuss the Radiology course changes.
Ian attended reluctantly.  He was not convinced but Randy swept him
along and Randy had Lyle's approval.  All Ian had was a poor track
record teaching the course.

Randy delineated the changes he was going to make in the manual.  The
first one was that Trenchant's name would not appear on it.  Instead,
it would be the product of the course directors, Ian and Randy.

He was quietly and firmly told by Trenchant that he did not have her
permission to make any changes.  The manual was copyrighted by her and
would stay that way.  He had the option to either use it or not, but he
could not change it as he was indicating.  As for legitimate
suggestions or ideas, she would certainly, as always, welcome
constructive criticism and make the necessary changes herself.

This was not an arbitrary determination by Trenchant.  Her manual was
written expressly to teach a circumscribed area of the course.  It did
not pretend to be otherwise.  Even though more emphasis was to be given
to recent developments in the field, the radiology course must still
devote a great deal of time to the basics.  This was because the
students had to be prepared for the courses to follow.

Randy announced that he would use what he wanted, as he wanted and the
meeting broke up.

The accused was busy in her office when Lyle burst through the door in
his customary manner of no manners.

"What do you mean telling Randy and Ian that they could not use the
manual and make the changes they want in it?" He yelled at her,
continuing with threats of what would or might happen if she didn't do
as she was directed.

When Trenchant was finally given a chance to answer, she told him
simply that the manual was copyrighted and that she had told Ian and
Randy that they were free to use it or not as they chose.  They were
not to edit it or change the authorship, however.

When his browbeating failed to move her, he left.  Within the hour,
Jimbo accosted her in much the same manner.

Becoming a Vee had not changed Jimbo.  He was still unable or unwilling
to govern his temper.

"You cannot claim copyright to the radiology manual because it is
illegal and the university will sue you and put you in jail."

After he had stopped yelling, Trenchant told him the same thing she had
told the others.

He left and went into Lyle's office where they were joined by Ian and

It was decided that they would retype the radiology manual using as
much of it as they wanted.  "To hell with that trouble-making broad,"
was the decision of the assistant vice president for academic affairs
of Belmont University.  This was done.  Without permission, they used
large portions of the manual in the fall radiology course, giving no
credit to its author.

Diana was not the only author so honored.  In the manual, and in other
material that these men put together to teach the radiology course,
complete excerpts were taken verbatim from four standard radiology
texts.  No source was cited.  No author was credited.  Also, an entire
atlas on radiology was photographed.  Several copies of these
photographs were made and put out in the lab with absolutely no credit
given to its authors or publisher.

At least one medical student was incensed by this.  He or she wrote to
the publisher anonymously.

The accused learned through the student grapevine that the department
got into serious trouble because of this and that Dean Broadhurst was

Lyle blamed Trenchant for blowing the whistle, conveniently forgetting
that it was a student who had written the letters.

Chapter 8

Lyle droned on and on with a litany of sins attributed to Diana
Trenchant, carefully circling the truth.  "Whatever problem the
department had, she was usually responsible," he asserted.  The folds
of paper falling from the court stenographer's machine stacked higher
and higher.  Janet was beginning to look very tired.

The 'suspect SmurFFs' were introduced and Lyle identified them.  "Yes,"
he intoned, "When I spoke to Trenchant and told her she had the option
to resign and nothing further would be said or done to her, I gave her
all of the handwriting evidence, all of these SmurFFs, at that time."

Now, Henry allowed questions from the rest of the committee who started
to slowly wake up after enduring Lyle's long and repetitious testimony.
Nearly 20 minutes was spent answering their inane questions regarding
how many courses were involved and who found the 'suspect' critiques.
Most of their questions had been answered previously in the material
given them--the dean's letter and Lyle's memo.

Esther, however, alertly noticed that some of the SmurFFs in question
had no dates and inquired how these could be said to come from a
certain year.

The answer given was a model of obfuscation.  Lyle replied, "The
critiques from those two years came in a packet to me from Randy and
Ian.  Those were the years that Trenchant was indeed involved in
teaching this course."

Satisfied with the answer apparently, Esther questioned why one of the
suspect SmurFFs had a note stapled to it.

Diana sat up in her chair.  This was a question she wanted answered.

Lyle replied that it was a note from Trenchant and that he had stapled
it to the evaluation prior to sending it off to the handwriting analyst.

None of them questioned why a note in Trenchant's handwriting was made
a part of the document that the analysts were to analyze for authorship.

Annette wondered if she understood correctly.  Did Lyle say that he
kept all of the critiques in his office?

When Lyle answered yes, she asked how it would be possible for Diana to
submit falsified ones.

The silence in the room was deafening.  Janet, lifting her hands from
the keys, massaged her fingers, the suggestion of a smile floated
mischievously over her face.

Panel member Anuse finally came to the rescue with a cuing question and
a long discussion ensued as to how SmurFFs were handled in the
department and what happened to them.

Many of the answers give by Lyle were false.  Diana made a note of

The chair now looked expectantly at Professor Jane Astori.  So far
things had gone very well.  Everyone had been on cue and except for
those two surprise questions....well, they were fielded quite adeptly.
His chest expanded with pride in his ability to bring this thing to a
smooth conclusion.  Now it was time for Jane to ask the questions that
would delineate the magnitude of this crime.  That would certainly
figure in the Attorney General's evaluation of the hearing.

"Since all of the comments on the suspect SmurFFs refer to Randy," Jane
began, "I'd like the details of how this could impact on Ian."

Well, Jane had come through all right.  A little too direct for comfort
but then, she hadn't the gift of subtlety that he, Henry, had acquired.
At any rate, Lyle was well prepared and the gates opened and the Ian
story poured forth.  How hard he had worked at the course.  What it had
cost him in research time and time away from loved ones.

In answer to further questions from Jane, he covered everything.  All
the trips to the dean's office in Ian's behalf.  He emphasized that the
disparaging student critiques suddenly got better when Trenchant was no
longer in the course.

Over and over, he stressed that it was all the faultfinding SmurFFs
that were coming in that were the problem.  What was the reason for it?

He, Lyle, felt that Ian was doing a fine job.  Well, the situation had
caused them many a sleepless night.  And on and on....

Several times Jane tried with her questions to bring Lyle back to
saying how the SmurFFs in question, the ones he thought Diana had
written, hurt Ian.  Henry had impressed on her that it was important
that Lyle be given the opportunity to link the harm caused by Trenchant
to Ian as well as Randy.

Whatever the reason, Lyle was acting awfully dense, she thought, or
else he thinks it's vital to get all this other stuff in first.  I've
certainly given him the question often enough, let someone else try.
She put down her notes, leaned back in her chair and nodded to Henry
that she was finished.

Frank Anuse took over the questioning.  He wanted to know the reason
that Ian's SmurFFs got better when Trenchant was not in the course.

"Well, you see, these suspect SmurFFs in those packets there, these few
are just the tip of the iceberg.  Diana Trenchant, during the years she
was in the course, influenced the students to write bad evaluations
about Randy and Ian."

There it was.  Stark and real.  Diana was not just accused of creating
SmurFFs--she was accused of witchcraft.

Jane jerked upright in her chair and stared at Lyle aghast.  Was he
really accusing Diana of that level of control over medical students?
Preposterous--one woman, all by herself, had influenced hundreds of
medical students over a period of years to do as she dictated.  There's
more to this than I've been told....  this isn't about forging seven
SmurFFs.  What on earth is going on here, she pondered....

Finally, Henry noticed Janet who had been trying to get his attention
for some time.  "We'll take a ten minute recess and when we come back,
Trenchant may cross examine Dr. Stone.  You may leave the room.  I'll
summon you when we are ready," he ordered, taking in Janet and Diana
with the same disdainful glance.

The committee huddled and Lyle Stone joined them.  So much for

Janet and Diana left, both breathing an audible sigh of relief as the
door shut behind them.  Stopping at the soft drink dispenser, the court
reporter glanced around carefully then said sotto voce, "What a farce.

Chapter 9

The ten-minute break had stretched to twenty before Henry and the panel
finished going over their notes to make sure they had brought out
everything that Mark, the university attorney, had advised.

Diana and Janet were called back and Diana began the cross examination
of her department chair, Lyle Stone.

She asked him first to confirm a sentence written in his memo to the
dean and which he had testified to before the break.

"Yes," Lyle answered, "I did write in the memo to the dean and also
testified that I gave you all of the documents used in the handwriting

Diana held up several sheets of paper from the evidence packet on the
table.  "I have found documents dated nearly twenty years ago in this
material the committee has introduced as that sent to the document
examiners.  These were not in the material that you gave me.  So your
assertion that I was given all of the documents is incorrect."

Henry searched quickly through his copy of the evidence that had been
sent to the document examiners as standards.  Good God, he thought.
What is this creature doing?  Come on Lyle, don't let her get the best
of you.

Ah, much better, Henry observed happily to himself as Lyle started tap
dancing around her question.  Instead of yes or no, he would repeat at
length some of his previous testimony with added embellishments and
avoid answering.

By persistent questioning, Diana established that he had stapled her
brief note to one of the 'suspect' SmurFFs before it was sent out for
analysis.  But it was like pulling teeth.  He kept reiterating that it
was stapled to a 'suspect' evaluation, so it would not get lost.

Patiently, she repeated her question, finally wearing him down.  "Were
the document examiners given this evaluation with the note stapled on
it as one of the 'fictitious' critiques?"

"Yes, they identified that critique as having been written by you."

"No distinction between the note and the critique was given
them--according to their report, is that correct?"

"I guess so, yes."

Using a sketch of the NERD office, Trenchant ran Lyle back through his
previous testimony of how the blank critiques, the SmurFFs, were given
out, how they were collected and what happened to them afterwards.

From her intimate knowledge of the operation, she was able to reveal
most of the lies he had told of this process when the committee was
questioning him.

Jane was listening carefully.  Slowly, there evolved the information
that this whole evaluation process was sloppy and unreliable.  That it
had indeed, been this way for years.  Given that, she thought, how
could he claim that such a high reliance was put on SmurFFs when
assessing faculty for reappointment?

Lyle admitted that students had scant desire to complete SmurFFs.  They
considered it a useless effort since little or no attention had been
paid in the past to their comments.

"To force compliance," he explained, "students were told that unless
their name had been checked off on a list in the secretaries' office,
they could not receive their grade for the course from the dean's
office.  Most students bring in completed evaluation forms, place them
in the box provided and check off their names.  Some merely come in and
check off their names, eschewing the forms," he finally admitted with
obvious reluctance.

This certainly puts a different light on things, Jane noted as she
jotted down the information being squeezed out of Lyle by Diana.  She
carefully registered in neat script:

    1. That the blank SmurFFs were left out in the open for days,
    sometimes weeks so any body could have had access to them

    2. That the completed SmurFFs left in the box, supposedly by
    radiology students, were separated and given to each instructor;
    the course critiques went to Ian and Randy

    3. No tabulation of the number of critiques was carried out

    4. Anyone could come in (etc.)

    5. Since the critique form  (etc.)

    6. Most of the submitted critiques were not dated

The accused was left out of course planning meetings when Ian and Randy
met with Lyle, contrary to what he had just told the committee.

None of the documents he had sent to the analysts contained anything
detrimental to Ian Heathson, as claimed in his memo to the dean.  She
re-read what he'd written in the memo, "These fictitious student
critiques were very detrimental and personally injurious to two junior
faculty members."

Under Trenchant's quietly relentless cross examination, Lyle became
flustered.  First he claimed that perhaps his language had not been
perfect in that phrase but what he meant was that, "manipulation of
critiques in general would be detrimental to any faculty member."

Trying to bring him to the point, Trenchant read from a signed, dated
student critique that had not been deemed 'suspicious' by Lyle.  It had
been submitted during the same period as the 'questioned' critiques.

"Quote:  'I think Randy needs to be more than one page ahead of the
class in understanding the material.  How can you teach what you do not
know?  I was also offended by the so-called anthropological function'
(he gave) 'of the female breasts.  I am familiar with some of the
literature which support the statement in the handouts,' (in a lecture,
Randy had emphasized that the primary function of the female breast was
to attract a mate) 'but was not aware that THE NAKED APE, PENTHOUSE
MAGAZINE, PLAYBOY MAGAZINE and so forth were regarded as competent
medical school publications.  The underlying tragedy of this incident
is that it demonstrates the ease with which non-scientific hypothesis
are disseminated without any thought.  This, I think, is a poor
reflection on the department and the faculty.'  Unquote."

Diana continued, "This is what I would call personally injurious but I
do not see this student critique among the 'suspicious' ones--the ones
sent out for analysis."

Henry started to sweat along with Lyle who was becoming increasingly
uncomfortable, his tone hostile.  He dodged and refused to answer
directly a question asking if he always sent suspicious critiques for
handwriting analysis, claiming that in this case, one of his junior
faculty had asked him to.

Jane picked up on an item of special importance, and extremely
relevant, underlining it several times on her note pad.  Because of the
negligent handling of the critique process, there was no authentic
chain of custody maintained!  In addition, neither the SmurFFs alluded
to as 'suspicious' nor the so-called handwriting standards were ever

According to the testimony she had just heard, each  of the so-called
'suspicious' critiques had been discovered when the finder was alone.
Furthermore, Lyle could give no proof that any of the 'suspicious'
SmurFFs he claimed were found, had ever been placed in the return box
provided for the students.  In fact, except for the few critiques that
were signed, there was no evidence that any of the nearly two hundred
uncontested critiques relating to the radiology course were even
submitted by the radiology students!

Jane was simply astounded.  In all of Lyle's testimony, he had offered
no witnesses or evidence that could confirm his testimony that students
had been manipulated by the accused.  Witchcraft was insinuated, but
never proven.

Henry was rapidly becoming unglued.  Noting Lyle's declining control
and fearing an incipient outburst, Henry interrupted and declared that
they would now take a lunch break.  How could that idiot sit there and
let himself give away that kind of detail on how SmurFFs were handled
in his department?  Henry knew that this was having a deleterious
effect on the panel and he knew that he'd better set things straight
while there was still a chance to cover up.

Chapter 10

Lunch was catered in the upstairs witness room as the prosecution,
Henry and the panel, huddled to socialize and discuss the morning

Henry and Frank Anuse excused themselves after the meal and adjourned
to the men's room to plan strategy.  "We can't say too much to the
women now with the other witnesses around but when we get back, you
take Esther out somewhere and I'll handle Jane.  Annette's no threat,
we'll forget her.  Anyhow, explain how all that bullshit about the
chain of custody doesn't have any bearing at all.  Everything rests on
the document examiner's evidence.  Nothing else counts.  Got it?"

"No problem, Henry.  I'll set her straight,"  Anuse said reassuringly.
"Christ, Diana really stuck it to Lyle, didn't she?"

The defense huddled too.  They went as a group to the nearby cafeteria.
Everyone took the trouble to keep the conversation light and
encouraging.  They were convulsed at the reaction of the court
stenographer which Diana related to them.

"She's probably attended a great many hearings," offered Helen.  "What
happens in the cloistered halls of Belmont U. would be a bit foreign to

Even though it was practically certain by now that they would not be
needed to testify until the next day, they all elected to stay.  "Hey,"
Roz insisted, "we want to be here for you and each other.  It's bad
enough that you have to face them alone in that hearing room."

"You guys are the best, you know that?"  Diana said, fondly.  "After
the hours spent in that room its such a relief to hear human voices

When the hearing resumed, Henry cautioned Diana about taking too much
time and to stick to the issues.  "We are only here to listen to
information directly concerning whether you forged those SmurFFs in
question.  You have wasted too much of our valuable time talking about
non-related issues."

And you, you pompous old windbag, encouraged that witness, Lyle Stone
to go on and on for hours on unrelated issues yourself, thought Janet,
sneaking a quick, compassionate look at Diana and flexing her fingers
in preparation for the next words.

Diana almost snorted aloud at Henry's admonition.  Composing herself,
she said, "I'm finished with my cross examination of Lyle."

Frank Anuse immediately asked, "Lyle, if it is demonstrated that a
faculty member falsified information concerning another faculty member
using SmurFFs, do you consider that to be amoral and unprofessional?"

"Yes.  We are assuming that honesty must prevail among peers and

"That's all for now."

"I have just a couple of questions on recross," corrected Trenchant.

Henry, caught with his mouth open about to hastily dismiss Lyle glared
malevolently at her.

She smiled back at him then turned to Lyle and asked if he insisted
that all faculty be honest.

He avoided a direct answer.  "Well, no one thinks dishonesty is a good
thing, at least I don't think anybody does."

"I just wondered why you didn't take similar action, that is report to
the vice president and bring charges, when the recent blatant
plagiarism of Ian and Randy was brought to your attention," Diana said.

Henry, forgetting his assumed role as neutral, quickly snapped off, "we
really must keep the testimony on the issue."

Diana smiled grimly.  "Thank you.  I'm finished."

Henry quickly excused Lyle and announced that the next witness would be
the document examiner and rose to get her.

After the door closed behind him, the room was quiet.  Its occupants
sitting in silent contemplation.

Chapter 11

Something had to be done.  The group gathered in the conference room
were all in agreement on that--but what?  The problem was two-fold:
what to do about the possibility that Trenchant would bring a
plagiarism suit against the department, and how to wipe out years of
bad SmurFFs for Ian and Randy.

"You realize that we could just get rid of her by invoking the clause
in her contract that designates she's first in the department fired if
the department has financial problems?"

"That wouldn't help much, she could still sue for plagiarism.  If we
fired her, even justifiably, the papers would play the plagiarism stuff

"There is another way--by discrediting her first and making the student
evaluations invalid."


"During my last trip to New York, I heard about some special services
that were available."

"Special services?  You mean a hit man?  That wouldn't help the

"No.  Something else, entirely.  Give me a few weeks and then follow
through with what you are presented with.  It may be expensive, though.
Can I count on some help in that direction?"

"No problem.  You come through on this and we'll give you all the help
you want."

The others present nodded in agreement and the meeting ended.

He could hear the phone ringing in Anderson's office.  Ah, there he
was.  "Andy, no names, please.  I'm on the office phone.  You recognize
my voice?

"Yeah, sure.  How they hanging?"

"Remember our conversation where you told me about the special services


"Can you put me in touch with him?"


"Thanks, later."

He got to the appointed restaurant early and asked for the booth
reserved for Smith as he had been instructed.  It was amazing how those
New York City taxi drivers knew a hole in the wall place like this.

Soon, he was joined by a well dressed, obviously well educated man who
ordered drinks for both of them.

"I understand that you have need of our services.  How may we be of

"I need to have some papers forged.  It has to be a foolproof forgery
that will not be exposed if the papers are examined by a handwriting

"That will be expensive, but not impossible.  We charge by the number
of words and the number of papers or documents you need."  The price of
each was then given.

"Whew, that is steep."

"Yes it is.  But you want foolproof.  Ordinary forgers are a dime a
dozen, but we employ only the most expert.  These are people who are
trained in document examination.  They know what a document examiner
looks for and what tips them off to call something a forgery.  For
example, if a person is trying to disguise his or her handwriting, they
make it bigger, wider, smaller or larger.

"Our forgers, as trained document examiners, look for unique or
individualistic handwriting characteristics and make sure these are
included in their forgeries.  They first find all the characteristics,
even the microscopic ones, of the individual's handwriting just as a
document examiner does.  Then they utilize this knowledge in making a
foolproof forgery.

"All this takes time, of course."

"How do you recruit these people?  I should think it would be difficult
since they work fairly exclusively for attorneys or police, don't they?"

"Well, I certainly can't share our methods but I will remind you that
money talks.  These people are paid very well for what they do and they
know they are protected.  I hope you are not so naive that you believe
all lawyers and cops are honest!

"They are easy to recruit because they may have worked for years for
very little.  That's why to get the best, you have to pay for it."

"OK, here's what I need.  I was hoping to have a dozen or so of the
following messages copied onto these blue forms, but I'm going to have
to settle for these three short ones.  I understand from the man that
introduced us that this will never be traced back to me?"

"Correct.  I am only a broker.  I do nothing criminal--you do nothing
criminal.  The forger never sees either you or me.  Someone else takes
the material to her or him.  That's another thing that makes our
service so excellent.  I will use a former document examiner who is the
same sex and about the same age as the person you want blamed for these

"Now, the first thing we need is as many examples of this individual's
handwriting and printing that you can get your hands on.  We want
originals, not copies.  However, be sure you make copies since you will
not get the originals back.  They will be, 'consumed' perhaps is the
best word for it, in the forgery process.  Most commercial document
examiners will accept copies of standards to work from and this is to
our, and your, advantage.  You might get one sharp enough to be
suspicious if given enough original standards to compare with our

The waiter never came back to bother them.  They sat in the secluded
booth and planned out the three documents to be.

A few weeks later....  "Mr. Smith?  Yes, thank you for returning my call
so promptly.  Yes, the merchandise was as you represented.  The
professionals have authenticated it."  He listened briefly, then said,
"We are going to need two more.  I neglected dates on the previous
order and we have to show repetition of this practice.

"All right.  I'll meet you there in one hour with the accessories and
balance of payment for the previous order."

After hanging up the phone, he opened his briefcase and extracted a
small packet of bright blue, Belmont Student Feedback Forms and a sheet
with the typewritten messages that had been created to be forged onto
them.  He looked to see that the rest of the contents were in place,
then returned everything to the briefcase and left the room carrying it.

The document examiner was seated, sworn and proceeded to give her
qualifications which were concerned with her training, the number of
years in the profession and clients.

Alice Stebbins was quite short.  Her features gave her age as around
fifty and holding.  She dressed severely, in browns and blacks which
made her look perky and birdlike.  Peering at the hearing panel over
her half glasses enhanced the bird image, but it was destroyed when she
opened her mouth.

Her voice, far from a peep-peep one might expect, was deep and strong.
She had learned well that when one was giving expert testimony, one
presented a confident, assured bearing.

Further questions from the chair led her through the evidence and she
readily identified all but two of the seven 'suspicious' critiques as
being written by Trenchant.  Her language was laced with the
correctness of one accustomed to giving court appearances.  She
prefaced much of her testimony with the caveat, 'in my opinion'.  Her
attitude of selfassuredness belied this qualification.

"Also, in my opinion, those two most probably were written by her.
Certainty was not possible since they contained printing and I was not
given enough or recent enough exemplars of Dr. Trenchant's printing."

Using two large easels, she demonstrated various letters and
combination of letters photographed and enlarged from the standards or
exemplars and from the 'suspect' documents.

This kind of testimony was familiar to Janet.  She faithfully recorded
the words being spoken and knew that standards or exemplars are writing
and printing that are authenticated.  That is, that are definitely
established to be written or printed by the person in question.
Customarily, they are taken in the presence of the document examiner so
the examiner can swear to their authenticity.

Using these visual aids, the document examiner pointed out the
similarities existing in the way the letters were formed--making her
case that the documents in question, the 'suspect' SmurFFs, had indeed
been written by Trenchant.

Clearly, her presentation was well done and the panel was most
engrossed and fascinated by the process she delineated.

The panel was eager to question her further.  Like most professionals,
they were deeply interested in a discipline they knew very little about.

"Is handwriting analysis reliable?"  Anuse knew what her answer would
be and wanted to pin this down first, but the question backfired on him.

"Yes," she answered confidently.

The panel hassled her for specifics.  These were researchers who were
consistently challenged to prove or disprove their own theories and
then defend them.  Statistics were their life.

"How have you measured your success rate, what percent of the time have
you been right?"  They questioned.

"In other words, have the courts accepted my qualifications?"

"No, not qualifications--evaluations.  How many times are you right and
how many times are you wrong?"

"It isn't looked at that way.  The judge or jury look at the whole
case, not just your presentation."

"I understand that the courts allow your testimony.  I want to know the
percentage of error in your analysis," asked Jane Astori, leaning


"None?  Has this ever been calculated?" demanded Esther Rondell.

"No.  But there is research going on."

Jane and Esther looked at each other in blank astonishment and then
back at the document examiner, disdain and disbelief fighting each
other for expression on their faces.

Attempting to save the situation, Anuse asked if the courts accepted
handwriting analysis to be as accurate as fingerprints.

Her answer dripped confidence.  "Yes."

Janet sensed that the women on the panel were not about to let this
polite exchange continue.  The very forces at work over the eons that
compelled women to defer to men, rewarded them for fearlessly attacking
other women.  The confident, assertive demeanor manifested by the
analyst would not have been questioned coming from a man, but they
would not let a woman get away with it.

She knew from countless demonstrations she had witnessed that women may
band together at times with the force of a mob to attack another woman.
This behavior was and is still produced by the same motivation.  Men in
power foster it and reward it.

Esther began the attack.  "There are many letters on the display you
have shown that are very different from the standards.  The T's look
very different."

"What T?"

"Those." Pointing, "those T's have a straight...."

"Certainly some letters will be different, but with my training, I am
able to see similarities you are missing," Alice Stebbins replied,
confident of her own superiority.  "If there is a large sample of
writing you may be able to see differences in each letter.  The samples
given me were so small that this was not the case, however, I did have
enough material to compare with the unique handwriting characteristics
shown in Dr. Trenchant's standards to make a positive identification."

"How consistently do other document examiners agree with you or agree
with one another?"  This from Annette.

"I don't know."

"Do handwriting examiners oppose each other in court?"

"I don't know that.  I suppose you could find anyone to do anything.
Assuming that there are two document examiners, it would depend upon
which one makes the most persuasive argument."

"I see," Jane's smile was victorious.  "It's not a question of being
correct in your analysis as much as your ability to make a jury think

Henry hurriedly asked loudly, "I understand you are court qualified.
What do you mean by that?"

"Every time I have gone into court, my qualifications have been
accepted by the court.  I have never been denied.  That is what is

The chair indicated to Trenchant that she might ask questions of the
document examiner.

First, Trenchant confirmed all of the documents given the examiner and
again made the point that many of these had not been given her before
the hearing as had been sworn to by Lyle and also written in a letter
to her by the chair.

She next established that all of the exemplars that the analyst worked
from were copies.  Continuing her questioning of the witness, she
asked, "You must be aware that people in your profession pretty much
insist on seeing original standards?"

Alice dodged adroitly.  "I saw the originals of the questioned

Trenchant pursued.  "But only copies of the standards."

Alice allowed, "correct," to escape between clenched teeth.

"You have been testifying throughout saying that I wrote the standards
you used.  I put it to you.  Is this something you were told, or do you
know of your own knowledge that I wrote those standards you used to
compare with 'suspect' SmurFFs?"

"What was that?"  Anuse interrupted.

"I'll ask the question again.  Please let the witness answer.
Specifically, did I write those standards in front of you so you know
positively that they were written by me."

"No.  I assumed that the exemplars that I was given were authentic
exemplars or standards of your own writing."

"Just as you assumed that I wrote the questioned documents?"

Diana paused just long enough for that to sink in, then asked, "It has
been pointed out that some of us see many dissimilarities in the
exhibit you have shown us.  Don't these carry any weight?"

"If, in my opinion, the similarities outweigh the dissimilarities, or
vice-versa, that would be the basis for my opinion,"  Alice answered,
then forcefully added, "my opinion is based on training, not

"Thank you very much, Ms. Stebbins.  I'm glad that we clarified that the
standards were assumptions."

Anuse promptly went into a damage control frenzy trying to destroy the
point made that the exemplars were not authenticated.  He would
probably have succeeded had not the examiner been so haughty, so
confident.  At least three of the panel were not convinced by her

Janet chuckled to herself.  She didn't particularly like the fact that
many women never figured out their intolerance of their own sex, but
she was delighted to see anything working in Diana's favor.  Evidence
was evidence and courts made it clear that you couldn't manufacture it.
Evidence had to be proven authentic.  She knew that a judge would throw
this case against Diana right out on the testimony of this document

There was a delay while Alice Stebbins was escorted out.  During this
time, Janet rested her fingers and recanted her previous thought.
Actually, she amended, it would never have gotten this far.  It would
have stopped back when it became obvious that there was no chain of
custody established for the seven 'suspect' SmurFFs.

Chapter 12

Henry called the dean of the medical school, Sam Broadhurst, MD, and
asked him to identify himself and his position at Belmont for the
record, as the witness before him had done.

The dean was a swarthy complected, strongly built individual.  At 52,
his reputation as a ruthless administrator was well known.  Just as
well known was his reputation for fairness.  Where he was faulted was
the way he backed up, no matter what, the medical school chairmen
(there were no women) who along with him were called 'The Boy's Club'
by the rest of the medical school faculty.

The Boy's Club often went on retreat.  At these meetings, held in
luxurious surroundings, policies and plans were decided and everyone
fell into line, or else.  There were those among the faculty that
believed that Sam Broadhurst demanded from the chairs, and took
himself, an oath in blood.  This was because they invariably backed
each other up publicly even though privately, they didn't.

Henry knew that the dean was not happy with the way the Trenchant
situation had been handled.  The dean was royally pissed that Lyle had
gone over his head to Mark and himself instead of keeping the matter in
the medical school and dealing with it there.  He was further incensed
that they had decided to charge Diana and terminate her before he was
even apprised that the situation existed.  By the time he was brought
into the process, it was to late for him to do anything but go along
with it.

So Henry wasn't surprised when the dean made it quite clear that he was
not consulted until the central administration had already decided to
terminate Diana.  This was so obvious that everyone in the room
realized that he was just doing his job within the system but that
didn't mean that he liked it.

Having thus vented his spleen about the way the affair had been
handled, Dean Broadhurst clearly and forcibly added his opinion to that
of Lyle's in almost a carbon copy of Lyle's relevant testimony.
Clearly and succinctly without the wandering, self serving side trips
taken by Lyle, the dean cast the party line with all the skill of the
accomplished angler he was.

All right.  Well done, thought Henry, with transparent relief.  At
least things were going all right thus far with this witness.

Esther took over the questioning and asked, "Would five or six SmurFF
critiques out of around 200 have enough weight to influence your
process of evaluating faculty performance in a course?"

The dean sidestepped, "The ones in question were pretty damning

Esther persisted, "Have you seen the other evaluations?  I mean the
ones that are believed to be authentic student feedbacks?"

Here Dean Broadhurst intentionally contradicted Lyle's testimony.  "No.
The student comments are summarized by the department secretaries and I
see the summaries.  There is also a summary of the positive and
negative comments and a summary of the numerical evaluation."

Jane looked at Henry to see his reaction.  She remembered that Lyle had
testified that all the SmurFFs were given to, and reviewed by, the dean.

Perhaps, Sam Broadhurst thought to himself, it is all I can do for her.
The panel has the information, if they choose to hear it.  If there was
manipulation of the evaluation process, it wasn't a product of five
'suspicious' ones out of some two hundred that were considered valid.

Statistically, the evidence stunk and he knew it.  He also knew a lot
more.  Two of his children had gone through the medical school when
Diana taught in the radiology laboratory.  The dean remembered the many
occasions he had seen fit to compliment Trenchant on her teaching,
saying that he was giving her this critique first-hand from one or the
other of his children.

Perhaps, thought the dean, if witchcraft was the real charge, the panel
would insist that it be proven.

Or maybe not.  The administration appeared to be out for blood and he
was sure that Lyle was still licking the wounds of a few short months

He had Lyle on the carpet.  He had summarily called him down to his
office to read him the riot act.

"Here are the letters I've received from three top publishers of
medical texts.  Each one of them protests the plagiarism that a medical
student told them your people have committed in preparing course

"I went to the radiology lab after I received the first letter and
talked to some students.  Although no one wanted to admit to contacting
the publishers, they did show me the areas in their manual and notes
that had been copied directly from different texts without citation.

"They also showed me the notebooks filled with diagrams that had been
copied from a published atlas.  Again, nowhere in the book was there
any mention of, or credit given, to the source.  Hell, your guys didn't
even get permission to photograph the material!"

The dean continued telling Lyle that quite a sum of money would have to
change hands with the publishers to keep this thing quiet.

"It must be her," Lyle whined when he could get a word in.  "She must
have put the students up to writing the publishers." The dean knew who
he meant.  Lyle was a chronic complainer.  "Did Trenchant put your boys
up to plagiarism too?" ridiculed the dean.  "I understood from you that
she was no longer in the radiology course."

"She's not, but the students from previous years have told this year's
students about her and they all go to her when they don't understand

"She's really a menace to Randy and Ian.  One day she even got a
classroom and held a review just before an exam.  I got wind of it and
sent Ann Biggot to audit.  Ann said that most of the radiology class
showed up.  The students told Ann afterwards that they had been the
ones to ask for the review.

"Now you know how that must have hurt Ian's feelings.  His reviews were
only attended by a handful of the students and no one came to Randy's."

"You should be able to handle a situation like that.  Tell her to stop
it if you think it undermines your faculty."

Lyle was not a happy camper.  He left, enraged.  As soon as he reached
his office, he called for Ian.

"Ian, I know you've got a lecture in a few minutes so I'll be brief.
After the lecture, I want you to tell the students that they must not
consult Diana anymore because she is not involved in teaching radiology
and is much too busy to be bothered.

"Also, you lay it on the line about your job.  You tell them that unless
your critiques improve, you are out.  Work on their feelings.  Most of
the students like you and would hate to have you lose your job on
account of them.

"After you finish that, you and Randy get in here.  I want to talk to
you both about that lab material you plagiarized."

When the panel had finished its brief examination of the dean, Diana
simply said, "I have no questions."  She understood the constraints he
was under and appreciated how much he had tried, in spite of them, to
help.  He had given the panel some vital information.  The question
was, did they hear it?  Dean Broadhurst was excused and the next
witness was called.

Chapter 13

Randy Fecesi sat in the witness chair and raised his hand for the oath
with alacrity.  He was going to enjoy this.

A wispy, rather nondescript person, his main aim in life apparently was
to live up to his name.  He sported a crew cut which bristled, much
like his ever present bad temper, above bright beady eyes which were
forever darting around undressing every female in sight.

Although he had some talent in research, having received a sizable
grant, his conceit and arrogance got in the way of establishing a
rapport with students.  It also prevented him from really understanding
how very little he knew about radiology.

Henry had spent a great deal of time with Randy preparing him for
today.  It had been a harrowing ordeal.  Perhaps the actual testifying
would be more harrowing, Henry thought as he nervously reviewed to
himself what he had learned about Randy from Lyle.

Randy had come to Belmont from a college in Ohio having sufficiently
outstayed his welcome there.  As is true in most college
administrations, faculty sexual misconduct was considered mere
professorial peccadillo and was studiously overlooked.  If a woman
student appeared to be on the verge of making a fuss, administrators
had a remedy called 'The Grievance Procedure'.  Administrative
personnel talked to the woman and were able to subtly or directly lead
her to understand that problems would arise in her matriculation if she
persisted with charges of sexual harassment or rape.

If this didn't work, a brief investigation identified her friends and
she was appraised of situations that might affect them should she
remain recalcitrant.  Most didn't.

This was all done under the aegis of Academic Freedom, mused Henry.
The principle of academic freedom evolved years ago.  It sheltered
serious scholars from the whims and avarice of the shifting politicians
and their politics.  Now it was made better use of.  We administrators
use it as a tool to circumvent trouble.  Nearly all institutions,
battling the emergence of women and other minorities into the
collegiate arena, use it to maintain the status quo and rightfully so,
Henry decided.  Academic freedom was used to shield the many ways we
avoid compliance with both federal and state laws.  If we opened
ourself to public scrutiny, we'd never get anything done.

Universities are, were and should be a law unto themselves.  They can
tolerate only those who are willing to make sometimes painful
compromises.  Those who could not, and were compelled to fight for
so-called human rights and the original meaning of Academic Freedom,
soon left or were not reappointed.

Randy Fecesi was, despite his foibles, a prime commodity.  He was
funded.  This made him much sought after since colleges were looking to
capture research dollars.  There was good reason for this, Henry noted.
Because it paid better, colleges and universities had stopped putting
the emphasis on teaching and instead, looked for research potential.
This meant that candidates for a tenure-track position were not looked
at for their teaching experience but for their ability to bring in
research dollars.

Competition was fierce among these institutes of higher learning and
much was done to attract suitable candidates.  Headhunting became a
profitable business in academia.

For the last ten years, teaching had taken a back seat at Belmont.
Crowded classrooms attested to the lack of adequate teaching space.
Much of the space formerly assigned as classrooms had been rebuilt into
laboratories.  At the medical school, prospective recruits were lured
by promises of plenty of laboratory space, unremitting stroking and
very light teaching duties.

The reality was that once the entrant was hired, adulation ceased.  For
Randy, this was a problem.  In addition, he hadn't even tried to clean
up his act and Lyle did nothing except encourage him to be pond scum,
thought Henry.  Randy expected the medical students to worship him and
instead they found him appalling because of his lack of expertise in
the subject he taught and for his repeated, haughty demonstration of it.

Having his way with women took a beating too.  Usually, he ignored any
female who didn't fit his image of perfect enough for him to notice.
However, if he needed something, he would approach these females in a
sexual manner and was usually rebuffed.

Since Lyle had already established Trenchant as the whipping girl of
the department, Randy readily fell in with this designation and laid
all his problems at her door.  When she refused to photograph the
pictures in a radiology atlas, he was furious.  He ran to Lyle and
claimed that she was obstructing his efforts to modernize the course.
He neglected to tell Lyle that she had said she would be willing to do
it if the publisher gave written permission.

Lyle, of course, encouraged him to proceed with his innovations and
just ignore her.  Randy took this to mean that he had carte blanche and
it led to his plagiarizing her laboratory manual as well as the
published texts and atlas of other authors.

Henry brought his attention back to the hearing just as Jane was asking
Randy to explain how he had found the 'suspicious' critiques.

He answered, leaning forward toward her in his eagerness and
excitement, "In looking through the student critiques I found these
that didn't seem to be right.  That is, the comments were not expressed
the way a medical student would.

"I also saw that the handwriting was different.  Not the way students
write but like the handwriting of old people.  So then I went back and
looked through other years for similar handwriting."   He explained
that he, Randy, had found all three SmurFFs which he had brought to
Lyle and asked that they be sent to a document examiner because he
thought these were written by Trenchant.

Responding to a very leading question from Anuse, Randy agreed, "Yes,
these evaluations had been very harmful to me in that they tended to
undermine my confidence in my ability to teach radiology and could
affect my reappointment."

Esther broke in, "Five evaluations out of nearly 200?"

"Well most of the 200 were pretty bad."  Suddenly realizing how this
sounded, he quickly amended, "You see, it was the kind of comments that
tipped me off that they were not real student feedbacks.  They didn't
sound the same.  She was making these kinds of comments to the
students--exerting influence on them to write the derogatory remarks.
That's what was undermining my confidence."

Anuse brought him sharply back out of harm's way by asking if there had
been trouble between him and Trenchant.

This opened a floodgate of accusation and crocodillian remorse.  He had
no idea why she would be so resentful of him since he had gone out of
his way to be nice to her.  "Once, I even complimented her on the cute
sweater she was wearing.  Instead of acting normally, she complimented
me on my cute shirt.  Go figure!"

Pressed to answer what he thought might be her reason to sabotage him
with fictitious student evaluations, he lost it.  Although he had been
carefully coached by both the chairman of NERD and the university
attorney, all that training went out the window.  The mask slipped and
his answer was pure, vitriolic, undiluted, vintage Randy.

Perhaps it was because he sensed a kindred spirit in Frank Anuse.
"Well," sneered Randy, "you know broads, they get crazier than ever at
that age and...."

Oh, God, thought Henry and nearly shouted, "It's getting late," over
the rest of what Randy was about to say.  "This would be a good time to
adjourn for the day.  All right?"

He glanced around quickly, stood up and was halfway to the door before
anyone could disagree.  Damned idiot, he thought to himself.  He'd see
to it that this boy got a talking to and had his priorities straight as
well as his head before he came back the next day.

Henry kept his bad mood at bay with difficulty during the drive home by
thinking only of his comfortable chair and a huge drink....or two
before dinner.  He had just entered the door and placed his briefcase
on the hall table when his wife's voice floated down the stairs,
jarring the hell out of him.

"That you, Henry?  Hurry up now and get dressed, we're due at the
Bakers in half an hour."

Henry groaned.  "Not tonight, shit!"  Then almost immediately, he
recollected that the Bakers were giving a party and it was most
important that he be present.  No help for it, he'd have to bite the
bullet.  Casting a fond look at his Lazy Boy as he passed the entrance
to the living room, he ascended the stairs feeling like a doomed man
mounting a scaffold.

"You look like death warmed over," his wife, Kate, announced
caustically, as she met him at the top of the stairs.

You're no raving beauty yourself, Henry thought.  Kate was an athletic,
slender woman of forty-two.  She neither thought herself beautiful or
required that others did.  Henry often lamented the fact that with all
the money they had, she could afford to go to one of the many body
shops and get some or all of her sagging flesh lifted, but Kate opted
to live naturally and age gracefully.  He was continually after her to
at least wear makeup but she adamantly refused.

When they were married, Henry didn't mind the over a decade age
difference between them.  Kate was an exciting woman--an exciting, rich
woman.  Her money had been the deciding factor in asking her to marry
him and it was one reason he stayed married to her.  The other was that
he basked in the prestige her place in society lavished on him.

"Go on in and get your shower and hurry up.  We're going to be late as
it is."

"Oh, hell, it doesn't matter if we're a bit late for this.  Everyone
understands that I'm really busy with this damned hearing," Henry
grumbled as he made his way to the ornate bathroom.

When he entered his bedroom a few minutes later wrapped in a towel,
Kate called through the connecting door from her room to ask how the
hearing was going.  Her innocent question brought the whole disgusting
mess back, along with the foul humor that went along with it.

Henry set down heavily on his bed.  "What a day.  You wouldn't believe
the absolute stupidity of that NERD chairman and his little boy bad,
Fecesi.  You'd think after all the trouble they took to have this
hearing take place that they would at least be prepared.  But no, Lyle
couldn't even remember how many Smurffs were involved--two or three.
As if that wasn't bad enough, he let that damned woman, Trenchant, tie
him up in knots on cross examination.

"Then Fecesi testified.  He's the guy that actually found these
suspicious SmurFFs and I was told that he'd been well coached.  Mark
and Lyle both had gone over and over his testimony with him.  The
trouble is, the guy is the pits.  A horny, crass bastard if I ever saw
one.  He put on a world class demonstration of constipation of the
brain and diarrhea of the mouth.  If I hadn't adjourned the hearing
when I did, there's no telling what else would have come out of that
foul throat of his.

"Now, add to all of that, those stupid broads on the panel got teed-off
at the document examiner and apparently aren't convinced now that
Trenchant wrote those evaluations at all.  The only one I can depend on
is Frank Anuse."  Henry buried his head in his lap and massaged it with
both hands.

Kate looked at him without pity.  "Serves you right. You and the rest
of those sanctimonious bastards trying to railroad that woman.  Seven
SmurFFs, for God's sake--it's a greater crime to spit on the grass.

"As for Fecesi, he's got his brains in his crotch just like the rest of
you.  The only difference is that he doesn't pretend otherwise--he's a
little too direct for you, isn't he?

"Since this whole thing started, I've had more people ask me what the
real reason is for going after Diana Trenchant because they just can't
believe the SmurFF crap.  Everyone on campus knows the SmurFFs are a
joke.  Nobody, but nobody takes them seriously."

Henry defended himself vigorously.  "Well, it is serious and the SmurFF
thing is not all there is to it.  That woman has been using her
influence over the past three or four years to injure the other faculty
in the radiology course,"  Henry defended himself vigorously.

"Influence?  A lecturer with influence?  Who did she influence, the
dean?  The Pope?"

"No.  The students.  That's why these guys in the course were so hurt
by all this.  Their yearly evaluation by the students--nearly all the
student feedback for them, and the course they directed, were really
bad.  And, it's her fault.  She manipulated the students to write those
bad critiques."

"Pshaw.  She manipulated medical students?  Since when?  You know,
Henry, you can't have it both ways.  You claim that your witnesses are
stupid and loathsome, then blame Trenchant when the medical students
agree with you."

"You just don't understand.  She had a chance to resign and didn't take
it.  Now I'm the one in charge of giving her a fair hearing and I'm not
getting any cooperation from the very people who want to get rid of

"Fair hearing, Henry?  At Belmont, that's a contradiction in terms and
you know it.  Hurry up and get dressed.  I'll get the car and meet you
out front."


Chapter 14

All of her witnesses were waiting in a high state of excitement when
Diana reached Howard Hall the next morning.

"Roz came in early," she was told.  "She wanted to be sure we got this
room again today."

Roz brushed aside the praise, "Hey teach, I've got some great news.
The rest of the class is kicking in to make up for what we lose in
wages by attending the hearing."

Diana was delighted.  The fact that many of her witnesses were losing
time at work to help her had caused a nagging pain of remorse.
Already, most of them had lost a day's pay just sitting around waiting
to testify yesterday.  While her witnesses occupied themselves in
various ways--studying, reading or conversing quietly, Diana sat down
on the couch, closed her eyes and sought to compose herself.  Even
though the panel had instructed her to be there at nine with all her
witnesses, one never knew when the hearing would reconvene.

Good news indeed.  What great people these were, she thought.  When the
whole mess happened, this class of some two hundred nutrition students
had rounded up hundreds of signatures for petitions sent to Lyle, Sam
and the Pope.  Many of the students had gone to them in person to plead
for justice.

Although most of the students were in the nursing school, some came
from the colleges of agriculture, arts and science and special
education.  Collectively, they had filled out and filed more
nominations for me to be named Teacher Of The Year than had ever been
received before for one teacher.  They were devastated when the
committee receiving these nominations threw them in the wastebasket,
following the instructions of Henry Tarbuck.

Then there were some that went as a group to beg help from the
'Minority VP'--Dan Field.  Dan talks a good game against discrimination
and even pretends to speak for the black community.  He's a brilliant,
fascinating lecturer, a perennial favorite with the students.  They
considered him to be the most impartial, open-minded administrator they
had ever known.  His feet of clay surprisingly revealed when he washed
his hands of the students pleas and sided with the administration,
telling the students who petitioned him for help that I am a criminal.
At least the blacks on campus weren't surprised by this.  They had long
ago discovered he was not only a smart cookie, he was an oreo.

But, Diana mused on gratefully, Dan was the exception.  Many pleaded on
my behalf.  Someone once said that all it takes to stop evil is for one
good man to speak up and many good men, and women, did just that.  They
spoke up for justice and fair play.  They argued with administration
officials, citing example after example of male faculty misconduct over
the years that had gone nearly unnoticed and never punished.

They asserted that a witch hunt would hurt the Belmont image and
reflect badly on all who worked there.  They all knew what a farce the
SmurFFs had always been and all this fuss over seven?  Sure,
evaluations were used at times by administrators as justification for
not reappointing a faculty member, but even then, there had to be a
preponderance of negative evaluations.

It was of no avail.  The administration was adamant.  So much for wise
sayings but the fact that some people did try was heartwarming, Diana

Roz broke her revere, gently.  "It's time, Diana."

Was it her imagination or was the panel friendlier this morning, Diana
mused as she entered the room and took her seat.  I do believe besides
saying good morning, most of them smiled at me.  Maybe things are
looking up.

A chastised Randy returned to the witness chair.  He looks ridden hard
and put away wet, thought Diana with amusement.

Responding to a question from Annette, he avowed that, "The year that
Trenchant didn't teach, we rewrote the lab manual.  We didn't use any
material from the manual written by Trenchant."

When all on the panel had indicated that they had no more questions to
ask him, Henry asked Diana if she wished to question the witness.  To
himself, he added, God help us if the little twerp doesn't do what he's
been told.  Mark had assured him that he and Lyle had a good long
session with Randy and felt that he had now seen the light and would
behave properly.

"Yes, please.  I'm confused, Randy.  You have said that you saw one
evaluation that appeared to be more directed toward one year than both
years.  You answered that this was one of the reasons why you thought
it was suspicious.

"Now these evaluations have no dates on them.  Is it not possible that
both are from the same year?"


"How do you know that?"

"Because I don't remember which one was from which year, but these are
from two separate years."

"Did you mark them."

"No.  I picked one out of each year's evaluations."

"But you don't know the specific year each came from?"


With further questions, Diana established that from the time the
evaluations had been given to Randy, they had not been safeguarded in
any fashion.  Sometimes they were in a file cabinet, sometimes on a
bench or table in his lab.

At least twice, they had left his possession when the secretaries had
called for them to use in tabulating the synopsis for the dean.

It appeared that there was some confusion as to when he took the
'suspicious' documents to Lyle.  "I don't know the exact date.
Certainly after the second year I was in the course--January or

"Lyle said it was a year later than that.  He said it was last year,"
pressed Diana.

Interrupting imperiously, Anuse jumped in to lead him with careful
questions in a direction away from that subject.

When he finished, Diana summed up his testimony.  "The 'suspect'
evaluations were not dated.   You testified that you didn't know which
one came from which year.  You have no idea if all or any of the
remaining evaluations are authentic, is this all correct?"

Randy nodded glumly.

When Diana again referred to Lyle's testimony that Randy had brought
the critiques to him last year, Anuse again interrupted.  This time
Trenchant held her ground and forcefully turned toward him saying,
"Excuse me.  I believe this is my time to examine this witness!"

"Now, Randy, you have stated that none of the material in my laboratory
manual was used by you to create the manual you used last year when I
was not in the course.  Do you want to change that answer?"


The accused held up two large manila envelopes, thick with their
contents, saying, "I have here a copy of my manual and the one you
prepared.  Clearly marked are the parts in your manual that have been
lifted verbatim from mine.

"In addition, I have given the references of whole paragraphs that you
have copied from published radiology text books and used without
citation in your manual.

"I am prepared to offer this to the panel as evidence that you are not
telling the truth."

"This has nothing to do with the Termination For Cause action that this
hearing is all about," interrupted Henry.  "You must keep to the
subject."  How did I ever get into this fix, he thought.  Aloud, he
continued, "Since this material does not bear directly on the matter at
hand, it cannot be allowed into evidence.  Please continue."

"I have no further questions."

Whew, she gave up.  Henry wiped his brow.  That was close, I figured
she'd keep picking at him until he blew up and spattered all over the
room.  Hurriedly he said, "You're excused, Randy.  Please tell Ian to
come in before you leave."

Randy shared in the relief felt by the chair of the panel.  He ran
lightly up the stairs to the witness room.  "You're on next, Ian."  He
was surprised when Ian fairly catapulted out of the room, grabbing his
arm as he passed and nearly hurled them both down the stairs. "What in
hell is the damned hurry?"

Safely away from the second floor, Ian steered Randy into an alcove
from where he could see the stairs.  "That Mark!  Honestly, Randy, he's
been driving me crazy.  Talks a blue streak all the time.  Ask him the
date and he'll discourse for hours on end before he gets to the point.
Holding any kind of a conversation with him is as impossible as
stopping a hurricane by shouting at it.

"I kept trying to get away.  Once, I said I had to take a piss and the
son of a bitch came along with me, whizzing away in the next urinal,
without missing a word.  I tell you, the man should be muzzled."

"Well, it looks as if he isn't going to follow you into the hearing
room, Ian.  Calm down.  They're waiting for you in there."

"Yeah, in a minute.  Tell me first, Randy, how was it?  Anything I
should watch out for?"

"Nada."  Randy had regained his usual swagger.  "Not a thing, old bean.
Between us, we'll give the bitch the old one two...."

"We're waiting for you, Ian."  Henry said from the doorway of the
hearing room.

"Oh, right.  I'm coming right along.  Just had to get things straight
about who takes the review session today since I could be tied up here,"
blubbered Ian, apologetically.  As he reached the door, he turned and
looked back up the stairs apprehensively.  Seeing no one, he breathed a
sigh of relief and entered the hearing room.

Ian Heathson was of average height.  His most striking features were
his mop of blond hair and pale blue eyes which flitted about, examining
the room, looking everywhere except at Diana.

When asked to substantiate the testimony of Lyle that he and Randy had
found 'suspicious' SmurFFs, Ian told a slightly different story.

He hadn't found any himself.  Randy had found them.  "He showed them to
me and I was flabbergasted.  I had no reason to suspect that something
like that would happen."

Having said that, he reversed course and said, "I always thought there
was some kind of manipulative action going on with the students,
because we used to get critiques that were totally inconsistent with
what we were doing in the course.  So we always felt there was
something going on."

When Henry asked what he did next, he stated that Randy had brought the
'suspect' SmurFFs to Lyle and, "indicated our concern."

Given the packet of SmurFFs that had been sent to the document
examiners and asked to identify them as the ones found, he said, "I
can't remember, I didn't memorize them."

When asked how he got along with Diana, he admitted that, "they got
along fine until the year Randy...."  Stopping abruptly.... "Well, I
noticed problems all along."

Esther, who had apparently read the complete set of student evaluations
for the years in question, entered as evidence by Diana, suggested that
his evaluations had become more positive each year before Randy came
into the course.

He professed to not knowing for sure, but thought, "The first year I
taught was not good, the second year, considerably better and the
third, a hair better, not much.

"The fourth year, well...."

Easy now, Ian, thought Henry, that was the year that Randy started

As if he had heard Henry's silent coaching, Ian testified as if his
life depended upon it--his professional life did.  He told a long
heart-wrenching tale of the terrible student evaluations he received in
the radiology course.  He had very nearly not been reappointed a couple
of times but Lyle had fought for him.

Over and over again, at every opportunity, he came back to the years of
deleterious critiques passed in by the students.  Obviously, this had
to be because Trenchant manipulated the students.

"Some of the things commonly written on the critiques were, 'Why isn't
she lecturing?' 'Course is totally disorganized' and this is wrong
because I am not a disorganized individual; the course is very well

"Did you ever have her lecture to see what the students' reaction would
be?" asked Jane.

"We'd talked about it," he replied.

Ian continued, "Along with the many comments to have her lecture, the
students wrote how she was the only one who knew anything about
radiology and that Randy and I should get out of the course and let her
teach it.  As I looked through the SmurFFs these comments just jumped
out at me.  When I was a student, I never wrote such things about my

There was, however, a change in the critiques the year the accused was
not teaching the course.  "A complete flip-flop," Ian asserted.  "The
students liked the course and the people who taught it."

Henry ducked his head and smiled grimly thinking that these 'flip-flop'
SmurFFs would damn well not be seen by the panel, I'll see to that.
Ian is really stretching the truth here since those SmurFFs he's
talking about are more flop than flip.  True, the students didn't
lambaste Ian and Randy that year as they had in the past, however, in a
way, they were just as bad.  Nearly every critique carried the name of
the student and the date.  The few comments they contained were bland
almost to the point of being insulting.  Most of them contained no
comments, as the student just checked off the 'average' number for each
category under evaluation.  Those that contained comments were all
typed.  Well, if the panel or Diana asked to see them he would simply
say that they had no bearing on the issue.

Henry returned from his reverie just as Ian was saying "....there were
even some SmurFFs submitted by the students for Diana, which I couldn't
figure out why since she wasn't even teaching the course this year."

Ian carefully did not mentioned how this year, as Lyle had directed, he
had begged and implored the students to write favorable reviews on
their evaluation forms since his job depended on it....

It was time to do course evaluations again.  A great many of the
radiology students were unhappy that they had been told to avoid
contact with Diana who had helped them a great deal during the past few
months.  They were told she was accused of doing some terrible thing
but that it would be forgotten and forgiven if they as a class returned
positive critiques for the course.

They also heard Ian's sad tale of imminent loss of job and how he had
just bought a new home ad nauseam.

The class officers discussed the situation and offered the following
advice to their classmates at a hastily called meeting just prior to

"Don't write your radiology critique out of anger, even if you feel
angry.  We don't want to cause her any more problems.

"Write anything positive you can think of and leave it at that.  Ian
has tried hard and none of us want to hurt him.  Also, use a typewriter
and keep a copy.  None of us wants to hear Randy fabricate results to
his advantage.

"As most of you have heard, no medical student will be allowed to
testify for her, or for that matter, even attend the hearing.  Since
many of you have indicated you want to do something, just remember that
we've been officially told to cool it.  The reality is that our future
could depend on not rocking the boat too much.

"Peter is starting a collection to be given to her anonymously.  At
this point, it's all we can do.  I'm sure she has additional expenses
because of all this.  I wish we could tell you this is fair and
courageous.  We can't.  She is going down the drain, but it won't help
if we go down with her."

Susan Anders stood up.  "I hear what you're saying and agree for the
most part.  However, as one individual, I just had to do
something--this is such a vicious attack on her.  I have written and
mailed a letter to the Pope which I signed and am solely responsible
for.  In other words, none of you are involved if there is any reprisal
because of it.  In it, I expressed my displeasure and labeled the
prosecution of Diana an administrative gang bang."

The class applauded.

Chapter 15

Now it was Diana's turn to ask questions of Ian.

"You told us that when you examined your SmurFF critiques that some
just 'jumped out at you'.  It would seem that had it been up to you,
quite a few SmurFFs would have been sent away for analysis."

"No.  All kinds of things were written that made me think that
something was wrong.  I couldn't understand it but I didn't go back
through the old critiques and try to pick them out."

"But Randy did.  Is that correct?"

"Yes.  He told me he had found three SmurFFs among the radiology
critiques that he thought were in your handwriting." Suddenly going
from sober to smirk, Ian finished slyly, "and he was right."

Ignoring the obvious baiting attempt, Diana continued.  "When you were
referring to the critiques that jumped out at you, I take it you meant
all the SmurFFs--not just the ones in evidence called 'suspicious'
critiques?"  She indicated the folders containing the material that had
been sent to the document examiners.

"I mean the actual student critiques.  They basically have the same
kind of comments as those," replied Ian pointing to the folders.

"Then you don't agree that the reason these 'suspicious' critiques
stood out was because they were so different?  Isn't that the reason
you took them to Lyle?"

"Randy did that.  I didn't go through all of them as he did, but he
showed me the ones he picked out and they were pretty much the same as
all the others--basically not good."

"Now which one of these critiques, these in the packet B, are you
saying were very detrimental and personally injurious and caused you
undue harm?"

"I haven't read them.  I'm talking about all the critiques in general."

"Then you are alleging that I wrote all the critiques?"

"No.  A psychologist would find that a person would have to have mental
problems to sit down and write all the critiques like that.  What I'm
saying is there is other evidence, probably intangible, that a seed was
planted in a student's mind, and that seed was portrayed in some of the
comments that they wrote on their own."

Still trying to get the question answered, Diana asked again, this time
reading from the memo from the dean.  "The dean wrote that I am, quote,
'accused of creating fictitious student critiques which were very
detrimental and personally injurious to two junior faculty members'

"So I am asking again, which one of these have you selected to...."

Oh, oh, Ian's in trouble thought Henry interrupting quickly with, "Have
you seen this memo, Ian?"


The chair handed a copy of the memo and the packet of 'suspicious'
critiques to Ian saying, "He has not seen the memorandum you are
referring to."  To himself, he said, come on Ian, get it together.
This is dangerous ground.

Ian read the memo and then looked at the critiques.  "Well, there are
things in here....Randy's and my teaching effectiveness down to 2 and
yours up at 5.  A comment that you are an excellent lecturer.  This one
has to do with sexism....  I don't know about that.

"Now I haven't gone through these.  These are things that Randy found,
things he pulled out and brought to my attention."

"When was this?" queried Diana

"Oh, I can't recall the exact date."

"According to this memo that you say you haven't seen, Lyle has written
that during the early part of last fall, you came to him with two
critiques--now, I assume he means three--does that...."

"That sounds reasonable, but I don't remember exactly what month it

"Was it before or after the problems that you had with publishers
regarding copyright infractions in the radiology course....  the year I
was not in it?"

Henry felt as of he had been punched in the stomach and the gasp of
surprise escaping from his lips was audible to everyone in the room.
Before any of the panel could react, Trenchant held up her hand in a
gesture universally representing STOP.  "Let him answer the question,"
she insisted.

My God, the bitch has pinned him and I can't think what to do to stop
this.  Come on, Ian, deny knowing anything about what she's asking.
Think what you're saying.  Henry started to sweat.

Ian seemed oblivious to the tense atmosphere.  "Before or after?  Jeez,
I don't remember."

"Was it right around that time, perhaps?"

"I really don't remember.  The copyright infractions happened last
fall--actually during the first week of classes.  So I don't remember
for sure, but I think Randy came to me after that with these SmurFFs."

Good lord, the asshole is admitting to plagiarism.  Henry found his
tongue finally.  "The reason we are here has to do with these 'suspect'
evaluations and irrelevant matter should be left out," he protested
with a warning look at Ian.

Interesting, thought Diana.  It's OK to bring in anything that is
derogatory or even believed to be derogatory about me and my casting
spells on the students, but anything about their admitted dishonesty is
verboten.  Beam me up, Scotty....

She turned her attention back to Ian.  "Just a few more questions.  You
have said that Randy picked these evaluations out, and I see no date on
them.  Do you have any idea of the year they refer to?"

"I assume that they were the SmurFFs that he had received recently.
But I'm not sure.  We just keep them all in one pile."

"Now, usually after the students have handed in their SmurFFs is it not
correct that you are given yours and the course critiques and you keep
them unless Lyle wants the secretaries to summarize them for the dean?"


"That is all I need to ask.  Thank you."

There was a short break while Henry dismissed Ian and called the panel
into a whispering huddle with him.  Looking up, he addressed Janet and
Diana, almost as an afterthought.  "You need not leave the room, we
will be finished in a few minutes."

I've got to set these people straight after what has just gone down, he
thought.  We're calling her next and they have to be warned not to
pursue red herrings.

Chapter 16

After the formalities of swearing in were completed, the 'suspect'
evaluations were identified as being contained in packets called
exhibit 3 and 4 by the chair and Diana was asked if she wrote them.

Following her denial, Henry asked her why 'they' would suggest that she
had.  She answered that she had no idea.  Damn her, thought Henry.  She
won't rise to the bait.

Next, the chair turned to exhibit 5, which he identified as some of the
standards used by the document examiners.  Apparently, he had heard and
taken note when Trenchant had made a point of the fact that the
so-called standards were copies.

"One is an original, here on top--the rest are copies." Then he
continued, obliquely, asking, "have you seen these before?"

"Since these exhibits were passed around and discussed yesterday,"
Trenchant answered, "I have seen something that appears like this.

"If you are asking if I wrote them, the answer is that I couldn't say.
The one original in the packet looks like my signature but there is no
date on it.  I don't know when it was written and do not recall writing

"These others show dates of a long time ago.  We're in the late
eighties now and these are dated '61, '69...."

"We have some dated more current that the document examiners used.  I
can send over to Mark's office for them."

"Oh, you have additional evidence that I was not given before the
hearing?  Is that correct?"

"No.  Well, I mean no one has looked at it.  No one on this committee
either.  This was handled between Mark and the document examiners.  I
will call Mark right now and have him bring them over."

Henry left the hearing room and headed up the stairs to the witness
waiting room where Mark was standing by for just such emergencies.
You'd think we were the ones on trial, he grumbled to himself.  Why
does she persist in this inane manner when I've got everything so well
planned out?  "Mark, Trenchant's called us on the remaining standards
that you sent but that we decided not to include in the material we
gave her.  Please go and get them and bring them to the hearing room as
soon as possible."

As the men descended the stairs, Mark to leave and Henry to return to
the hearing, Mark asked, "how did she find out about them, Henry?"

"She was making such a fuss about all the standards having dates so far
back that she couldn't identify them and the panel apparently thinks
this is a valid reason why she won't identify them.  I had to say the
document examiners had more recent samples of her handwriting or...."
Henry broke off quickly as Helen came out of the room used by Diana's
witnesses at the foot of the stairs.

"Hi, guys," greeted Helen placidly.  "How's it going?  Are you on a

Spare me these emancipated females, thought Henry as he angrily ignored
her, waived goodbye to Mark and reentered the hearing room.

Congenial old Mark, badly in need of a conversation fix after Ian had
left, approached Helen with a wide smile.  "No," he said to her, "Henry
just had to step out for a minute so he could tell me something he
needed me to get for him.

"I'm on the way over to the admin building right now.  You must be one
of the witness for Diana.  Sure hope this isn't too traumatic for you
all.  It really is a terrible thing to have happen at Belmont and I'm
sure that as much as you all must like Diana and want to help her that
as soon as you understand the preponderance of evidence against her,
you'll decide...."  Strange woman, he thought, as Helen went back into
the waiting room and firmly closed the door.  Oh well, I might as well
go over and get that stuff for Henry.

Inside the hearing room, Henry had ruled that they would go ahead for
now and introduce the material when it was brought over.

Continuing her challenge, Diana said, "I repeat again, this is
evidence, this is material that was sent to the document examiners that
I have not seen.  Is that correct?  Even though you and Lyle have both
assured me that I was given all the evidence?"

"Well, that only meant that you had all the material sent at that time.
This is additional information that the document examiners brought with

"Material that I was not privy to and had no opportunity to question
the document examiners on!  I consider this most unfair."

Anuse smirked.

"Well," Henry replied, "you will see it presently so that's all right.
The committee may now ask additional questions."

Esther wanted to know what was going on in the department.  "We have
heard from Lyle, Ian and Randy.  What is your perception?"

Damn the woman, fumed Henry.  I purposely warned her against asking
that kind of question.  He turned his full attention on Diana's answer.

"I will confirm first that there were problems.  When I was in the
course, I objected to using published material without permission from
the publisher and credit to the author.

"I also refused to allow them to use the manual I had written and
copyrighted, which they wanted to present to the students as their own
after they had added to it.

"I was ordered to do this by Lyle and when I refused, I was threatened
with a lawsuit and then told that they would take what they wanted

"When I first wrote the manual, I offered it free of charge to Ian for
the course.  He was delighted and most grateful that I had undertaken
the project.  The manual was well accepted by the students and was used
in the course for two years.

"I had no objection to it being used the next year--the year I was not
in the course.  But, I would not allow them to revise it or steal it."

Diana Trenchant went on to explain that her manual was strictly
concerned with basic radiology information; information that would
prepare students for the more demanding courses in radiology therapy
that they would encounter the next year.

"One year, I audited those courses so that when I wrote the manual, I
could make sure that students would be well prepared for them.

"There was never any question that I supported the presentation of
experimental material in addition to the basics contained in the
manual.  Actually what they proposed adding to the course was not new.
We have been doing this for several years, before Randy came to NERD,
using legitimate reference material obtained from publishers."

"Was there any connection between all this and the alleged fictitious
SmurFFs?" pursued Esther.

"It does seem rather strange to me that they suddenly appeared at the
time Ian and Randy were facing copyright infringement charges--according
to Ian's testimony."

Diana continued by telling the committee that there had been no
problems until Randy had come into the course.  When she worked with
Ian, things went fine.  They conferred and cooperated with each other.
Ian's evaluations gradually got better.

"After Randy came in, I was left out of the loop.  He, Ian and Lyle
made decisions and I was not informed.  For example, two years ago,
Randy was made co-director of the course with Ian. I was not told about

The door to the hearing room opened and Mark's head floated through the
opening.  Ah good, thought Henry, just the kind of distraction I need
to stop this line of questioning.  "We will now introduce this
material," he said as he got up to take the large brown envelope Mark
produced in the doorway.  "The dates on these documents, used as
standards by the document examiners, are more recent." Smugly, he
handed copies of these documents to each of the panel members and then
to Diana, keeping one set for himself.

"These documents appear to be copies from personnel files," observed
Diana, looking at the chair for confirmation.

"Yes," Henry confirmed.  "They were taken from your personnel file and
sent by the university attorney to use as standards."

"Then I would like to see the release I signed so that this material
could be removed from my file," demanded Trenchant.

"Release?  No release was necessary," Henry looked puzzled and frowned
with annoyance.

"Mr. Chairman, you have made note several times that this termination
hearing is justified by a certain paragraph in the faculty handbook,"
Diana replied firmly.  "In that same handbook, there is a paragraph
stating that no material shall be removed from a faculty person's file
without the permission of that person.  If you have a handbook here, I
will find the exact wording and read it to you."

"Oh, I know what you are referring to and that does not apply in this
case," Henry ruled quickly and then turned to the panel and said, "We
must get on with it.  Are these your handwriting?"

"I don't know.  These are copies.  Copies are suspicious."

Anuse interjected demanding to know why.

Diana explained to him that she had done a great deal of research,
since she had first been charged, into document examination.
Accomplished document examiners insist on original, authentic
standards.  Except for a couple, all of these so-called standards are
copies.  In addition, as you will recall from her answer to the
questions I asked her, the examiner you engaged admitted that she did
not know of her own knowledge that I had written the standards she used.

"A competent examiner would have the person in question write the
standards in his or her presence.  That way the analyst is unbiased,
and can swear that the standards are authentic.

"I also learned that one should never identify copies as one's writing
because copies may be altered and recopied so the alterations do not

"Now these came from the administration and you certainly can't think
that any alteration went on," scoffed Anuse.

"I certainly can think it's possible.  Just as I know it's possible to
forge handwriting so even the experts cannot tell."

"No, that is incorrect.  The analysts testified that she could tell

"She also testified that I had written these 'suspect' evaluations but
admitted that she had not authenticated the standards used nor insisted
on original standards.

"As far as believing that tampering could be done, I remind you that
one of these 'suspect' documents was tampered with and Lyle admitted
doing it."

"What!"  blurted Henry, "what...."

"This one here."  The accused held up the evaluation that had a three
word printed comment on the course.  Stapled to it was a note reading,
'Lyle, have a happy Christmas, Diana'.

"This was given the document examiners as 'suspect' evaluation #6, yet
clearly Lyle knew that he had prejudiced it by putting six additional
words on it that he knew I had written.  This is original   writing on
Christmas paper and not part of this evaluation, yet from the report
the examiners made, it was treated as part of a 'suspect' document."

Henry quickly told Janet that she could stop taking notes while the
committee huddled off the record.  Feverishly, he opened the analyst
report and scanned the relevant paragraph.  After a few moments, Henry
and Frank Anuse exchanged glances.  Anuse nodded and Henry told Janet
they were back on record.  Immediately, Anuse sarcastically claimed
that he didn't under stand what all the fuss was about.  He could see
no tampering.

Trenchant explained again.  "It is obvious.  A known standard is
affixed to an unknown document.  It is made a part of that unknown

Anuse seemed to deliberately misunderstand.  He continued this over and
over, taking different tacks but essentially he was bent on wearing
Diana down.

Careful, thought Henry.  A court would say Anuse was badgering the
witness.  Henry knew this was not proper questioning, it was arguing,
but he let it continue.

"Oh," Anuse would say in an annoying, baiting way, "it was not altered
since Lyle had stapled it there so it wouldn't get lost." and "I don't
understand where you have a problem with this."

After several minutes of this, he dismissed the whole complaint.
Scathingly, he said that it didn't matter since the whole document had
been written by Trenchant anyway.  The document analyst had said so.

"Yes they had," Diana agreed.  "Despite the fact that there were three
PRINTED words on the SmurFF.  The WRITING they identified was only on
the slip of paper that Lyle had attached."

The panel was silent.  Trenchant addressed them.  "When I was first
charged with writing these critiques, I spoke to a few professional
document examiners.  Right off, I discovered that I could not afford to
hire one to do an unbiased analysis.  However, they usually were
willing to answer general questions on the phone for a small consulting

"In talking with them and reading the material they suggested to me, I
came away with some interesting information.  None that I talked to
felt they were infallible or claimed that handwriting was as unique as
fingerprints, but they enjoyed the benefits of that illusion.

"Both tape recordings and polygraph (lie detector) evidence is not
allowed in courts.  The so-called expert testimony of doctors,
psychiatrists, as well as various technical expertise such as
fingerprint and document analysis is.  Deus ex machina is evidently not
looked highly upon by judges, possibly because they allow no other gods
before them in their courtrooms.

"Court certification of a document examiner means that the court has
accepted their training and experience.  This is seldom checked and is
fairly loosely defined by the profession itself.  It does not indicate
a perfect batting average for the examiner.

"Most analysts that I contacted said that if they were hired in this
case, they would want to examine all of the critiques--not just the
handful picked out by NERD.  There is always the chance of there being
another individual with similar handwriting in that many samples.

"They admitted there were people capable of forging the handwriting of
another person.  They directed me to check out the literature on the
Hitler Diaries and the more recent White Salamander Papers.  What these
two cases had in common was that the best, most expert document
examiners in the world were fooled.  Because these were sensational
cases, they were highly publicized.  Most forgeries get little or no
attention from the media but the fact remains that a good forger can
fool highly qualified document examiners.

"Oh, yes.  There is one more thing I want to question here since most
of the documents you have listed as so-called standards are copies.
These copies are mostly memos addressed to people in the department.
If they are authentic, why aren't they originals?  If I had written and
sent those, it would have been the originals--if I'd made a copy it
would have been kept for my files."

My God, Henry screamed to himself, why do I let her go on with this?
Well, of course, it's because those women are listening and look
interested so I don't dare cut her own testimony off too often.  They
were not happy with the way Frank was badgering her and I didn't want
to alienate them any further.  Aloud, he said, "Does the panel have any
more questions?" Getting no response, the chair called a short recess.

When Diana entered the waiting room, her witnesses gathered around,
full of support and questions.  "All in all, it went pretty well," she
told them.  "The real victory was getting out of there without
throttling Frank Anuse.  He asks question after question always
discounting your answer.  He doesn't come right out and say you're
lying but it is implied in his manner.

"The rest of the panel aren't bad.  Esther gets a little mixed up in
what she wants to say at times and is a bit hard to understand, but she
appears to be trying to be fair.  I think the other two women on the
panel are more sympathetic toward me now.

"It isn't much fun, but you shouldn't be in there very long, so that's
some compensation."

"They were at you for a long time," Sarah's voice quavered ever so

"Yes, but I'm their designated criminal.  I really don't think they
will treat you badly, but if they do, get up and walk out.  I mean
that, it goes for all of you," Trenchant said firmly.

"There's the summons.  Go in there and give 'em hell, Andrea.  It's
party time,"  said Helen, patting them both on the back as they left
for the hearing room.

Chapter 17

Andrea Stern was barely sworn when Esther demanded, "are you a medical

Then, suddenly realizing that she had spoken out of turn since it was
Diana's prerogative to question her witnesses first, she apologized.

Trenchant immediately asked Andrea to give her name and occupation for
the record.  Replying to further questions, Andrea testified that she
had known Diana for many years and had rented a room in her house for
six of them.  She attested to the overall integrity of Trenchant.
Boldly, mincing no words, she fixed the panel with a friendly smile and

"I think these charges are ludicrous, for two reasons.  One is that
when Diana Trenchant has a problem with someone, she marches right up
and tells them.  She is very forthright and would not do anything
devious or underhanded.  The second reason is that she has always had a
high opinion of academic honesty."

A young woman of exceptional intelligence and ability, Andrea had
graduated from Belmont, summa cum laude, with a BA, after completion of
a double, self-designed major.  Because of her great love and knowledge
of books, she found employment in the library where she soon became
indispensable.  There were those at Belmont who recognized and revered
exceptional ability and were not threatened by it.

On being questioned as to what she knew about work conditions in NERD,
she observed that from what she had heard from Diana, it wasn't a very
happy place to work.  Directing her answer toward Trenchant, she
divulged, "You were not my only source for this information.  My aunt
works in the department and I heard from both of you enough to form
that impression.

"Just last month, my aunt told me that you may have been given an
excessive course load in an attempt to break your spirit or drive you
out of the department, much in the same way that she was given a very
minimum salary increase, in an attempt to get her to move on."

Andrea continued by confirming that the laboratory manual that had been
used in the course for two years was indeed written by Diana in her own
home, with her own equipment and on her own time.  She, Andrea, had
witnessed this and had helped with the proof reading.

Feigning a bored expression that he did not feel, Henry asked if she
had any evidence specific to the critiques in question.

"No, nothing specific, except if she were out to discredit someone on
the faculty, she would certainly have brains enough to do something
effective--not play with SmurFFs," Andrea delivered, with a chuckle.
Then she continued in a serious, almost censoring tone, "I'm surprised
that you actually take this charge seriously.  You should have better
sense.  The whole campus is laughing at you."

As Henry seemed on the verge of apoplexy, Anuse quickly asked who her
aunt was.

Andrea looked directly at him and answered, "Dr. Biggot.  She teaches
nutrition to the freshman medical students."

Esther wanted to be clear.  "Your aunt confirmed in both cases, hers
and Trenchant, that this was an underlying way of getting rid of them."

"Exactly.  She felt that they were not welcome in the department and
that this was a way to encourage them to move on."

"Now, we'll have no more of this," Henry interjected, "we really can't
take second hand information here.  I have already warned you people on
the panel about this."

"All I did was have her repeat what she'd said already," Esther
squeaked, "I didn't ask the question."

Henry was not pacified by her remark.  More information positive toward
Trenchant was being presented then he was willing to hear--or then he
wanted the panel to hear.  He turned to Trenchant and said harshly,
"your witnesses must address the charge here.  Since this witness does
not have any information directly relating to that charge, she is

Andrea glanced at Diana who nodded, then smiling brightly, she thanked
the panel for listening and left the room.

"Eventually, I will call witness that will speak directly to the charge
you refer to.  Right now, since you have allowed massive testimony
against me that had nothing to do with the specific charge you keep
referring to, I mean to respond to all of those allegations.

"You wrote me a letter which I have here, saying that the hearing would
not be conducted with strict rules.  You stated that I could present
anything that I deemed important and that is what I am doing.  And, in
a much briefer manner than you have presented the evidence against me.
I'll remind you that you allowed plenty of hearsay testimony when your
witnesses were testifying."

Henry let out an exasperated breath, turned toward the panel and said,
"I think we'd better break for lunch and discuss how much of this
irrelevant material we are prepared to listen to.  We also will have to
consider having Ann Biggot testify and bring Lyle back.  We cannot let
these unsubstantiated charges stand."

At the word lunch, the stenographer packed up her gear with alacrity
and headed out the door closely followed by Trenchant.  No words were
exchanged this time, just a mutual groan of relief at their escape.

Chapter 18

Lunch was again catered to the upstairs witnesses' waiting room.  A
rather pensive panel gathered around the table to help themselves to
sandwiches, fruit, cookies and a beverage.

Henry had the floor and continued to speak while they were getting
their food.  "There is a limit as to how much of this insignificant
twaddle we should allow."

"I agree," Frank Anuse said, firmly.  "We should tell her that we will
hear no more testimony from these witnesses of hers unless it bears on
the specific charge--she did write and submit those evaluations.  The
document examiner was certain of it."

"Well, I don't agree,"  Jane spoke sharply.  "I, for one, didn't find
that document examiner particularly convincing."

"How can you say that?"  Anuse blurted.  "She had impeccable
credentials.  She's allowed to testify in court.  Never been refused,
she said.  Mark told us that handwriting is as exact and individual as

"I'm not convinced," returned Jane.  "She had no independently
researched data on her success vs failure ratio.  You heard her say,
'in her opinion,' she was 100% correct.  Bull. Nobody's perfect."

Glancing at the two other women, Henry observed them nodding their
heads in agreement.  Trenchant had made some other good points, he
thought.  She picked up on the lack of original standards and cited
that rule in the faculty handbook that forbade an individual's
personnel file from being revealed to others without the individual's
permission.  Damn the woman.  This hearing was supposed to be a lead
pipe cinch and all it had been so far was trouble.  I'd better call for
Mark to come over and talk to them.  Perhaps even have him testify.
Mark could say the right things to bring the women around....if only he
didn't bore them to distraction first.

As he walked toward the phone, he couldn't help but feel a bit
chagrined that his own letter had been read back to him--the one he'd
sent Trenchant outlining the rules for the hearing.  He had meant for
it to be intimidating.  Didn't think she'd find anyone who'd dare to

Downstairs, Diana and her witnesses were lolling about in comfort,
eating and drinking the results of a MacDonald's run that Roz and Helen
had made.

She had been telling them about Lyle's testimony when James suddenly
jumped to his feet crying, "say again!"

Repeating herself, Diana asked, "What's the problem."

"No problem.  You said he testified that the new evaluation forms were
sent up from the dean's office on the tenth of December last year,
right?  And he found the 'suspect' evaluations sometime during that
same week?"

"That's what he said.  What is it, James?  You look so excited!"

"Don't you remember?  Don't you remember what happened to you
Thanksgiving Day last year--the injury to your wrist, your right wrist?
You weren't writing anything until a couple of days before Christmas
and even then it was painful for you.  You were wearing that wrist
support all the time for well over a month."

"My God, I had forgotten that.  Are you sure of the dates?  I just
remember the December labs were hell because I couldn't do the boards."

"Absolutely.  I remember coming back from spending Thanksgiving at home
and you were soaking your wrist which was all swollen up and remember,
you wore that brace and couldn't write and...."

"I remember the wrist brace," cried Jennifer.  "You had me write things
on the board for you at my lab because you couldn't."

"Me too," chimed in Roz.

"James, Jennifer, Roz, will you tell that to the panel in addition to
what you already plan to testify to?"

"Sure, no problem."


"That will really give this charge against you the deep six along with
Sarah's testimony,"  Roz said excitedly as the whole bunch of happy
people left their food and joined each other in a wild victory dance.
Premature for sure, but the powerless and the innocent naively take
their joy where they can find it.

When the hearing commenced again, the panel appeared subdued, and
listlessly turned over pages of notes as Henry told Diana to call her
next witness and cautioned her that, "they should be addressing the
specific charge here."

"Just a moment," Jane demanded.  "Before we have the next witness, I'd
like to ask you a question, Diana.  You said earlier that you were not
free to call witnesses from your department.  Why?"

Trenchant, who was on her way to the door to get her next witness,
paused and said, "They asked me not to.  They felt it would be
impossible for them to testify since they most probably would
contradict their chairman."

"You are saying they are afraid to testify?"

"That's correct.  Just like you saw Jean was.  Her knowledge and belief
in me was the only thing that made it possible for her to overcome her
fear of losing her position.

"It is much worse for people in my department and for that matter for
medical students who have not been allowed to testify.  Things can be
made very difficult for them."

Esther pursued, "Are you stating that Lyle has discussed this case with
the department?"

"Oh, yes. Very definitely.  After he accused me, he went in to Ann
Biggot's office and told her.  My job was offered to two people in the
department around the same time.  Lyle has told others besides me that
this hearing is only a formality.  Remember, he's the one that decides
the raises."

"What sort of thing could people in your department testify about?"

"They could substantiate what I have said about the negligent, careless
way the evaluation process is carried out and how little import is
placed on it.  They could confirm that the evaluations were often
laying around on someone's desk or in the secretaries' office.

"They could explain that the evaluations got mixed together from year
to year and unless one happened to be dated, there was no way to
separate one year from the next."

"They could tell you the reason for the problems that occurred in the
radiology course and affirm that my manual was plagiarized.

"Being right there where the business of the department is carried out,
they could tell you that one of Lyle's first acts when he came into the
department six years ago was to eliminate my position.  When I
protested this act of discrimination to the Attorney General's Office
and they brought charges, he claimed that he had only told me that he
would keep me if he had the funds...."

"You are saying....you are painting a picture of suspicion and
allegation that are hearsay and unsubstantiated," Anuse interrupted,
bald pate aflame with anger.

"Correct.  And we've heard tons of unsubstantiated hearsay in testimony
from previous witnesses."

"That doesn't matter.  We are only interested in these documents,
nothing else.  Those are side issues and not a part of this

"They most certainly are a part of it.  If what you say is true, the
dean would have just written one sentence in his letter.  He would have
written, 'I want her out of here because....' Instead, he wrote two
pages filled with unsubstantiated hearsay and charges of
insubordination and dishonesty based on Lyle's accusation and I want to
answer them!"

"Nonsense, the charges are clear.  You forged seven SmurFFs.  The rest
was only a chronology of the events."

"But the chronology is untrue and biased."

"No.  Everything is based on the testimony of the handwriting witness,
we just filter through the rest of the material."  Anuse turned to the
chair, a bored look on his face.  "We waste time with this useless
trivia." He had just spent the last few minutes in full sneer, trying
his best to beat Trenchant to her knees with the sheer force of his
position of power.  Forced to desist by the negative vibes he was
getting from most of the panel, he took refuge in assuming the victor's

"The panel asked the question, 'why didn't I have witnesses from the
department.'  I merely answered it," retorted Trenchant, pugnaciously.

"Call your next witness."  Henry fairly bellowed as he tried for the
last word.

"I shall, but first I want to point out that the charges against me
contain the words taken from the faculty handbook, 'serious breaches of
generally accepted moral standards in the profession....'

"I submit to you that the copyright infringements committed by Ian and
Randy were also serious breaches of generally accepted moral standard
in the profession and Chairman Lyle Stone condoned them.

"Now I'll get my next witness."  said Diana, heading once again for the

James Prouty walked into the hearing room and looked around.  "Take
that seat there, please." Henry motioned toward the seat opposite the

"Oh," said James, in a surprised tone of voice.  "I understood from
someone who had testified earlier that the witnesses sat across from

"Well...." the chair cleared his throat and looked uncomfortable.
"Things get shifted around, you know.  Sit right there and be sworn in."

That James, thought Diana, barely stifling her laughter, trust him to
say something disconcerting.  He knew darn well that there was a
different seating arrangement for the two sets of witnesses because she
had told him about it.

Under questioning, James Prouty said that he had rented a room in
Diana's home for four and one half years.  He could and would affirm
that she had written a radiology manual at her home computer.

He could also confirm the great animosity held against her by the
former chair of NERD, Jimbo Jones, who was now one of the many
associate academic vice presidents.  James had been a work/study
student in NERD and had heard Jimbo yell and verbally hammer at Diana
any number of times.

"As you all are aware," James said, smiling at the panel, "besides the
five medical student SmurFFs, there are two SmurFFs that Dr. Jones is
said to have found in the Nursing Nutrition course that he lectures in."

"And that the document examiners are sure Diana wrote," Anuse crowed,
breaking in triumphantly.  "But all this tells us nothing new
concerning the charge.  This is repetitive, time wasting information.
Mr. Chairman, may we get on with it."

"James, were you living in my home last December?"

"Yes, I was."

"Would you please tell in your own words why I could not have printed
or written the two 'suspicious' evaluations found by Lyle who claims
they were written and submitted by me that year?"

James turned his agreeable, smiling face once more toward the panel and
said clearly, "Because you sprained your right wrist and were unable to
write or use it until shortly before Christmas Day, the 25th."

"How do you confirm that I could not write?"

"Several ways.  For example, I saw the swollen condition of your wrist
daily and observed your limited use of that hand.  Telephone messages
for me were left on the printer when they used to be handwritten in

Leaning toward the panel, James confided, "You see, she could
one-finger the computer keys with her left hand.

"I filled out the order forms for her children's Christmas presents
that year since she was unable to write enough to complete them.

"Around the 22nd or 23rd of December, she could use her hand well
enough to write the checks for her bills.  It was painful for her and
she had some difficulty doing this.  We made a joke of it--whether they
would turn off the electricity or telephone because the signatures on
her checks were not at all like her normal signature."

Questions exploded from the panel like hail on a tin roof.  "Was her
wrist wrapped?"  "Did she have a brace?"  "Did she see a doctor?"

Although Diana had not completed her examination of her own witness,
the panel jumped in and took over the questioning.

Henry, feeling decidedly undermined by this testimony, decided not to
interrupt this flurry of out-of-order questioning.  He realized that
this tactic of interrupting greatly hampered the smooth flow of
information a witness had to give.  It also served to confuse the
witness since questions were coming from more than one panel member at
a time.  He decided that he would not stop it.

He never paused to think that the transcript of the hearing would show
that Diana was interrupted in this manner more than twenty times.  This
would become significant when the Attorney General made the report of
her investigation.

James waited until the panel ran out of questions and started to look
sheepishly at one another, then he said, "Yes, her wrist was wrapped.
She did not see a doctor but was treating it herself."

Now the panel turned its attention toward Diana in one of the frequent
times they questioned her in front of a witnesses.  "When did you write
the Christmas note to Lyle, then?" This question directed at Diana came
from Esther.

She answered firmly, "The twenty-fourth, the day before Christmas.  It
was still painful for me to write then and I was still wearing the
brace.  As you will observe, it is a very short note."

Well, this is not getting us anywhere, thought Henry, and I'd better
put a stop to it.  "I fail to see what all this has to do with the
charge," he complained, petulantly.

Diana was ready for that one and answered succinctly, "According to
Lyle's testimony, he received the unused student evaluation forms for
that year from the dean's office on the tenth of December.  Lyle
testified that they were given out to the students the same day.  He
could not remember the exact day that he claims to have found the
'suspect' evaluations, but he did say that he found them sometime
during the same week.  During that time I could not use my right hand
and I was not doing any writing, or printing for that matter."

"Oh."  The sigh that went with it escaped before Henry could even
realize the 'Oh' had departed from his mouth.  He looked frantically at
Anuse who appeared to have lost it and just shrugged his shoulders at
Henry's glance.

Wanting to spare James, if possible, from attack by either Henry or
Anuse when they recovered from shock, Diana quickly said, "Thank you,

As soon as James had left, Diana continued, "Before I get to the next
witness, I refer you again to this memo." Trenchant replied.  She held
the paper aloft in her hand.  "Contained in the memo Lyle wrote to Dean
Broadhurst is the assertion that on March seventeenth, he 'discussed
the charges with me and recommended that I resign.' This is patently
false.  He accused.  He demanded.  He was angry.  He yelled.  He said,
'you must resign, you have no recourse.  The president, the vice
president and the academic council have met and demanded your
resignation.' He would not listen to me.  He repeated several times
that I had been nothing but trouble to him ever since I took him to
court six years ago.

"He was abusive and he was angry.  He said nothing about a hearing.
When I got a word in edgewise, I told him that I was going to contact
the ombudsman and he said that I couldn't--that I had no recourse.

"Later on when he finally stopped yelling and heard me deny his
charges, he told me that since I would not resign, there would be a
hearing but it wouldn't matter.  It was just a formality.  I would be
terminated, no matter what."

"You should have brought that up when Lyle was here so we would have
his response."  Henry returned vigorously.  I have to get on top of
this hearing and stay there no matter what, he thought.

"Should I have?  I'm not a lawyer and I'm not trying to be one.  The
University Ombudsman told me not to have a lawyer present.  He said it
would just anger you and turn you against me.  He advised me to prepare
my case well and present it in good order and that is just what I am

"Right now, I am telling you my side of this story.  You have been
listening for hours to the NERD's allegations and I have the right to
respond.   At the beginning of this hearing, you announced that the
panel would question its witnesses and then I would cross examine them.
You never said anything about debating them.  You have already heard
from Lyle.  Again I remind you that your letter to me, sent in advance
of this hearing, contained nothing about specific order of presenting
my evidence.  Should I read it to you again?  You are trying to
introduce new rules in the middle of the game."

"Mr. Chairman, I think that we must ask Lyle back here to clear up
these fabricated charges we have been hearing," said Anuse in a bored
tone.  He made a note and then looked toward Henry again.  His look
plainly said, ignore her.

"Yes," the chair agreed.  Then offhandedly, as if he had not heard a
word of her argument, he said to Diana, "call your next witness."

Jane watched the interchange between Henry and Anuse with disdain.
They are in league together against Diana, she thought and this
testimony has thrown them for a loop.  They are going to have to start
considering the information we are hearing in a professional, impartial
manner now.  They have got to concede that these charges by NERD may be
false or at the very least, unsupported by real evidence.  So many
things about this hearing are strange.  I've noticed that although the
charge against Diana, initiated by Lyle, specifically related to the
five 'suspect' medical student evaluations, three other documents were
sent to the document examiners and were marked as evidence, she mused.
No one has questioned how these other documents were deemed 'harmful to
two young faculty members', as Lyle claimed in his charges.  According
to the dean's letter, two are 'suspect' SmurFFs from the nursing
nutrition course and the third is a printed note found by one of Lyle's
closest friends.  The explanation for the note Henry gave us was that
when Lyle told his friend what was going on, she 'just remembered' a
note found in her mailbox last year that she thought was 'suspicious'
so they sent that to the document examiners as well.

The examiners concluded that one of the nursing nutrition evaluations
was written by Diana.  The other and the printed note they were unsure
of.  I'm beginning to feel like Alice in Wonderland.  Jane rubbed her
eyes and studied her notes again.  How do they expect to prove that
this hodgepodge of unrelated evidence threatens two men who only teach
in the radiation course?

Chapter 19

When the nursing students heard that some of their evaluations had been
sent off campus, in defiance of an explicit ruling pertaining to
student confidentiality, Diana was blitzed with students clamoring to
testify at her hearing so they could protest this indecency.  As a
group, they obtained hundreds of signatures on a petition requesting
the A.C.L.U. to take up their cause.  The A.C.L.U was most sympathetic,
but on finding that the evaluations sent were not signed, felt there
was nothing they could do.

The students argued that since the administration put such emphasis on
handwriting identification, it might use this method to identify the
writers of SmurFFs, which were supposed to be anonymous.

The group sent a strong letter of protest to The Pope and continued
their campaign across campus.  One of the leaders of these concerned
students, Jennifer Glass, was the next witness for Diana.

Jennifer Glass worked in a downtown social service agency full time.
She was taking the nursing nutrition course under the Continuing
Education Department.

A rather large woman of thirty, she dressed well and showed no
embarrassment or nervousness.  She was educated extensively in New York
State schools and had graduated an education major.  Erudite and
accomplished, she faced the panel with a most positive sense of

"Yes," she answered the direct examination question posed by Diana, "I
am in your nutrition lab and I have talked with you extensively about
the way evaluations are handled in the medical school.

"I came to you first to complain, thinking that the department was lax
leaving them around in the lecture hall.  I or anyone else could have
filled out any number of them, since we were told to leave our finished
evaluations in the NERD office.  I was disturbed that the students were
not taking them seriously.  It seemed to indicate to me that the
nutrition course was not considered important enough to be properly
evaluated.  That bothered me.

"You assured me that the evaluation process wasn't unique to the
nursing course and took me to the NERD office to see how the medical
students evaluation was conducted.

"I was appalled.  Throughout my training, it was stressed how important
the process is.  At the colleges I attended, they were taken
seriously--a representative from the student government would sign out
the required number of forms from the administration official and bring
them to the classroom.

"All teachers or instructors had to leave the room while we filled out
our evaluation.  They were collected, counted and brought back to the
administration official.  The data was given to the instructor but
never the evaluations themselves because student confidentiality was
considered to be an important step in the process.

"In contrast, at Belmont the evaluation process is a joke--even the,
er, enriched acronym, SmurFFs, this university has chosen to call the
evaluation forms for student feedback attests to this."

"Were you ever given specific instructions relating to the
evaluations?" asked Diana.

"Yes, Dr. Lyle Stone, at the beginning of the course, told us that
there would be evaluations periodically and that it was very important
for us to fill them out since they would provide feedback on the course
content and the instructors.  He also stressed that they would be

"I remember being impressed, thinking, Oh great!  Then instead of a
proper evaluation procedure, the forms were left in piles at the end of
rows to be filled out during the lecture or taken home to do.  Just get
them back before the end of the week, they told us."

"Did you ever initiate a conversation with Lyle Stone regarding how you
felt about document examiners and student confidentiality?"

"Yes, right after the lecture, the first part of this May, Roz Peel and
a couple of other students and I went up to him after lecture.

"We told him that we were concerned that our student evaluations, which
we had been told were confidential, and which we had been told had a
specific purpose, had been sent outside the university without
permission or knowledge of the students."

"Would you be referring to these documents?"  Trenchant got up from her
chair and walked around the table until she came to where Jennifer was
sitting and handed her exhibits 3 and 4--the SmurFFs Jimbo Jones was
reported to have discovered.


"What happened then?"

"He said that no student evaluations were sent out and that our
confidentiality had not been breached.

"I disagreed with him and said that I had seen copies of those
evaluations and the report of the document examiner.  He started
yelling then and became very defensive.  He said that the only
evaluations that were sent out had been written by you.  We said that
if he knew that, why send them out.  Then he got abusive of you and
said like you were crazy to do something like that.  He said that they
sent them to a document examiner because they knew you wrote them.  He
said he would never do that with any evaluation that a student made

"Can you recall anytime during the first semester that I had an injured
wrist and couldn't put instructions on the board?"

"Yes, it was in December--exam week, the 9th through the 13th.  I did
some of it for you."

The panel started to bombard Jennifer with questions.  Good, Henry
thought, apparently they aren't interested in her direct evidence
relating to the incapacity of Diana as they are totally ignoring that
testimony.  Instead, they are giving all indications of being hurt by
her denunciation of the way the evaluation process is carried out at

A typical faculty reaction, Henry chuckled to himself as he listened.
They aren't asking questions, they're defending our evaluation process
by giving long speeches.  Here's Anuse explaining at length that the
university takes student confidentiality very seriously and pays a
great deal of attention to evaluations.  He's trying to stroke the
witness into backing off from some of her allegations and it appears to
be working....no, not any more, he went too far.

Jennifer was quite sharply reminding Frank that she had written her
concerns to various administrative officials around campus and the fact
that student evaluations had been misused had been confirmed.

I'd better help, thought Henry.  "You must understand that Lyle Stone
had to give the answers he did because by that time he knew the results
of the examiners report and anything he said was referring to that."

The witness, however, remained adamant.  It was her distinct impression
that Stone had already convinced himself that Diana had written the
critiques before they were sent to the examiners.

The witness, however, remained adamant.  It was her distinct impression
that before they were sent to the examiners Stone had already convinced
himself that Diana had written the critiques.

Henry was massively uncomfortable with what this suggested.  It
wouldn't do to have the panel hear much more of this.  He commenced
another long speech, explaining that Lyle couldn't have said anything
like that because it was not Lyle Stone that sent the 'suspect' SmurFFs
out--it was Mark, the university attorney.  "So you see, you must have
misunderstood," he concluded, patronizingly.

Before the witness could respond, Anuse professed not to understand why
it made any difference how the evaluation was conducted.  He went on
and on in this vein in a querulous, whining voice.

Once he had wound down, Esther started to muddy the waters because she
didn't understand what was sent out and when.  "Are you saying all the
SmurFFs were sent off campus?" she asked.

"No, the discussion is about these 'suspect' evaluations," explained
Jane, indicating the exhibits.

"Well, that's all right then," Esther explained in a motherly tone to
the witness, "those SmurFFs never left.  The examiners came here
yesterday and looked at them."  Esther had become more of a space cadet
than ever, thought Jane.  And obviously, Henry and Anuse are disturbed
by this.

Stupid broad, thought Henry.  He signaled Janet that the hearing was
off the record and gathered the panel into a huddle to straighten out
Esther before she did some real harm.

When the hearing reconvened, all the players went round again with
paternal and maternal advice.  Rather than asking for information from
the witness, they took turns telling her that she hadn't heard what she
was testifying about.  Obviously, she was mistaken.

"Now, I'm sure you see that no one was trying to attempt to have any
student identified by having a document examiner look at these,"
cajoled Anuse.

"That's what you say.  But I think what you have done is illegal.  I
really think it is illegal and if I find a way to do it, I am going to
stop it...."

Anuse tried to interrupt, but Jennifer was on a roll. "We had an oral
contract.  Dr. Stone stood up in front of the whole class and told us
what the evaluation forms were to be used for.  And they weren't, they
were used for something else and that is not right."

Henry was stung into action.  He interjected to assure her that she
must not worry because the administration would never violate a
student's confidentiality or go back on its word to them.

He thought he was pouring on oil, but Jennifer knew bullshit when she
heard it.  "I don't believe it,"  asserted Jennifer stoically.

Diana took this opportunity to reinforce Jennifer's testimony with
another example of the kind of honesty and fair play that the
administration practiced.  "You are arguing with my witness, not
questioning her.  She has good reason for her belief.  When I came into
this hearing, it was with the assurance from my department chairman and
the chairman of this panel, both senior administrators, that I had been
given all of the material that would be presented as evidence relating
to the handwriting examiners.

"This proved to be unequivocally false.  The evidence you have
introduced, Mr. Chairman, contains many documents that were never given
to me to examine before the hearing."

This started another bout between Diane and Anuse, who apparently able
to read Lyle's and the chair's mind, kept insisting that what Lyle and
Henry meant was that Diana had been given all of the material available
at that date.

Henry rushed in to agreed that yes that was what was meant.  "Lyle gave
you everything he had at that date."

"Then it was incumbent upon this committee to see that I had all of the
evidence before the hearing."

"But," protested the chair, "we didn't get all the evidence ourselves
until today."

"Then it shouldn't have been presented until I had an opportunity to
examine it!  I am finished with this witness."

Henry quickly announced that there would be a break.

When they were back on the record, Henry announced, "Once the witnesses
for Diana complete their testimony, we will call Lyle back to clear up
the misconceptions this last witness has introduced.  Also we will call
Ann Biggot, and Mark...,"  To straighten out the panel on the document
examiners, he thought to himself.  He continued, "while we are at it,
we should probably hear from Jimbo."

Apparently, thought Jane, if he hears anything contradictory to what
he's already established as correct, someone has to come back and
explain it away.

Chapter 20

The next witness was Roz Peel.

Throughout the ordeal of the hearing, Roz had been the sparkplug of the
outfit.  Her high spirits and unquenchable optimism lifted the whole
group of witnesses.

Here was a young woman who had known severe adversity in her life which
she had battled and continued to battle.  Few knew the particulars
because she was a very private person.  She didn't feel that anything
was accomplished by bleeding all over other people about her own
troubles.  It was much better for her and others to be positive and

When she identified herself and was sworn, she told the panel that she
was a full-time student in the College of Agriculture and worked
part-time at the Belmont print shop.

A petite woman in her late twenties, she sat back in her chair, larger
than life and twinkled merrily at the panel.  Her good humor was so
contagious that the panel, as one, smiled back at her.

She readily confirmed the testimony of Jennifer, announcing clearly
that she was present when the conversation with Lyle took place.  "He
said many times that no student evaluations had ever been sent to the
document examiners.  When we asked him how he knew beforehand that none
of the ones he was sending were student's, he replied that he knew who
had written them before they were sent away to be analyzed."

Diana asked her to think carefully, "Are you sure that he meant that he
knew this before the documents were sent and not as a result of the
report of the document examiners?"

Roz's reply was good natured but firm.  "Yes, I am certain.  We asked
him the question several times because we found his answer a little
odd, I mean, why would he bother to have them analyzed if he knew who
wrote them?

"He said clearly, more than once, that no student evaluations had been
sent because he knew beforehand who had written the ones sent."

"Did he have any opinion on why I would do such a thing?" prompted

"He said you had a psychological problem.  He inferred that you were
sick but he was not a psychologist so he couldn't define it."

"How did he conduct himself during your conversation?"

"He was very angry and seemed threatened by us.  I backed away many
times when he raised his voice and shouted.  I thought it was a little
strange that two undergraduate women would be a threat to him--maybe he
needs psychological help!" Roz turned to the panel with a big smile to
share the joke with them.

Diana placed her hand firmly against her mouth and looked down at her
notes until the bubble of mirth that threatened to overcome her had
dissipated, then continued with her questioning.  "On a different
subject now--do you have any contact with medical students?"

"Yes.  Working right in the medical building as I have for the last
three years, I get to know a lot of them."

"Last year, during the first semester--that would be from September
through December--do you recall any impressions you might have gotten
as to their feelings about the radiology course?"

"Yes.  They felt that the professors knew very little about what they
were teaching so it was a waste of time to go to lectures."

"Now," interposed Henry, "we are getting into secondhand information
and we should be hearing from the medical students themselves."

"Fine," rejoined Diana.  "If you can get them over here, do that.  I
would be happy to have them testify.

"In the meantime, you wrote in your letter to me that I could present
whatever I felt was germane and since the medical students are not
allowed to come, this is the best I can do."

"It will be noted that it is secondhand information," said Henry
haughtily.  He pretended to appear unconcerned with the testimony and
adopt Anuse's strategy of ignoring anything Diana might say that was

"I agree.  The testimony should be labeled clearly as secondhand."
Diana pounced on Henry's depiction of Roz's testimony.  "Now let us go
back over the testimony your witnesses gave which alleged that students
had been manipulated for years by me.  Let us get all of the student
evaluations for all of the years, that your witnesses testified to, but
never produced.  Let us get all of the prior information out into the
open and let's honestly label it for what it is--secondhand

Henry rolled his eyes back in resignation, "Get on with it."

"Thank you.  Roz, during the three years that you knew freshmen medical
students that were taking the radiology course, did you ever hear any
of them say that I had tried to influence them in any way or told them
how to write their evaluations?"

"Certainly not!"  Roz was very firm on this.  "If they could be such
pushovers as to be influenced by a non-tenured faculty member, the
university should reevaluate its admission policy."

"Thank you, I have no more questions."

Henry knew he had to make a desperate attempt to trip up the witness in
semantics.  Always before, this had been the purview of Frank Anuse but
this time Frank sat silent, and for good reason.  He had known Roz for
some time and was not about to go for two out of three falls with her.

"You must be aware that there was no way in which your evaluations
could be tied to a specific student because there was no student
handwriting sent," challenged Henry.

"How was it known that no student handwriting was sent?" questioned
Roz, serenely.

"I just want to assure you that no student handwriting was sent." A
flush began to appear on his brow.

"Are you trying to say that no student standards were sent?  If so, I
understand that.  But SmurFFs with student writing on them were."

"Yes, SmurFFs were sent, but there was no way in which one could
identify them."  Henry was unaware that he had caught himself in his
own semantics and made an interesting admission.

Roz wasn't going to let up or get sidetracked by it from the main
argument.  "That is not relevant to what we are discussing.  It was
wrong to send those evaluations, whether so-called standards of ours
accompanied them or not.  Because technically, that was our writing."

Henry slumped in his chair in desperate need of an antacid, as the
others on the panel asked questions relating to the nursing nutrition
course.  Suddenly Frank Anuse leaned forward and interrupted the
questions.  "Do you remember a time when Diana had a sprained wrist?"

"Yes.  She sprained it late in November and some of us helped put notes
on the board for the final labs in December."

Blocked on that issue, Anuse tried to maneuver her into agreeing that
it should be wrong for anyone who was not a student to fill out
evaluations.  "It could be very harmful for a faculty person, couldn't

"Two evaluations out of two hundred?" twinkled Roz.  "I think they
would have survived.  But to more fully reply to your question, it has
not been proven that the evaluations in question were not filled out by

"Oh that's because you haven't heard some other testimony." Anuse said
happily and firmly back in control.

"I agree that I have not heard all of the testimony.  However, if that
testimony was important, and it must be since you appear to believe it,
why wasn't the hearing open as Diana requested?  If it had been, I
would have been here to hear the testimony you put such stock in and
would be able to evaluate it for myself."

Chapter 21

Professor Diana Trenchant was sitting at her desk preparing for the
evening laboratory.  Roz had just left with Jennifer to talk to as many
students as they could find.  It had been Jennifer's idea and she had
brought Roz along to help talk Diana into it.  Ever since Jennifer had
asked her what was wrong and Diana had explained and shown her the
copies of the SmurFF's she had been accused of writing, Jennifer had
been pondering what to do.

She was older than most of the students and had seen enough of life to
know that one had to fight or be trampled.  She didn't want to see a
good teacher trampled.

"You mean they have accused you of writing these and demand that you
resign?"  She was dumbfounded.  After she had looked at them more
carefully, she asked, "Is this all of them?  Five medical radiology and
two nursing nutrition?"

"That's it."

"This sucks!  And this paper is the graphologist report?" Jennifer used
the scientific designation, graphologist, rather than the term document
examiner.  "Look here, these are what they call standards, did you
write these?"

"I could have, I suppose, but the dates on them are so long ago that I
just don't remember for sure."

"Well, two of these evaluations are printed.  There is no printing
among the standards.  Look, I know a little about graphology and I know
that they can't compare printing to writing standards.  This looks like
a setup.  We need to put a crimp in Lyle Stone's tail.  It's
unconscionable that he would send student evaluations to a

Later, when Roz had come in, she had asked Diana if they could tell the
other students in the class about the two nursing nutrition SmurFFs.
"We'll ask them to come up and see if they can identify if they wrote
these.  Then we'll check with the med students and have them do the
same.  Somebody must have written these and we need to find out who."

Diana agreed but only if no pressure was put on anyone.  "This must be
absolutely voluntary.  I will copy some completed forms from last
year's class and put them with these two to be identified.  No one will
know which two are critical."

Later in the day, several groups of students had wandered in to look at
the pile of evaluations, shake their heads and wander out again.

That is until Jenny Smythe bubbled her way in.  Jenny was from England.
Her husband was a doctor associated with the medical school and she was
continuing her education while he was posted here.  She pounced
delightedly on one of the forms, "This looks just like Sarah's writing.
Sarah and I sit together at all the lectures and I've seen her
handwriting so many times.  I'll go get her!"  And Jenny was off with
that efficient British walking gait that one associates with woolen
socks and moors.

The next day, Sarah appeared at Diana's door, tentative and a bit
apprehensive.  Sarah was a shy young woman barely out of high school.
Raised on a farm, she had not yet assumed the mask that so many of her
more sophisticated classmates wore.

"Jenny said I should look at some evaluations because you have some
trouble because of them."

"Yes, thanks for coming by.  They are on the bench there." Diana

Sarah put down her books and started to look through the SmurFFs.
"Jenny's right.  This one is mine."  Sarah said, mournfully.  "I was so
hoping it wouldn't be."

She handed Diana one of the forms.  It was one of the two that had been
sent for analysis.  With this proof that the graphologists had erred,
Diana's hopes were raised and then quickly lowered when Sarah declared
that she was afraid to testify at the hearing which was to be held
soon.  She was apologetic about it.  Her folks had told her not to get
involved; that it might mean trouble for her if she admitted to what
she had written.

Roz and Jennifer, by this time, were well into their campaign
protesting the sending off-campus of the student confidential
evaluations.  They were unhappy that Sarah wouldn't testify, but they
respected her feelings.

Later on in the week, Sarah appeared at Diana's office door again.
"You know," she said softly, "I think my parents are wrong on this.  I
wrote something that got you into trouble and I should stand up and
admit it.  Only, I'm so scared.  But I know I have to do it.

"I'll go to the hearing but that's all I'm going to do.  I don't want
to get mixed up any further in this and I don't want anything at all to
do with those.... those.... graph whatever people.  You know, whoever it
was that said this was your writing is nuts.... I wrote this."

Sarah shuffled carefully into the hearing room, shaking with an
advanced case of stage fright that threatened to upset her very balance.

As she had told Sarah she would, Diana got up from her chair, walked
around the table and stood beside her after she had been identified and
sworn.  "Did you take the Nursing Nutrition course last school year,


"And did you make out a course evaluation for Dr. Jamison Jones?"


"Is this that evaluation?"


Diana turned to the panel.  "This witness has just identified this
evaluation from your evidence packet C, exhibit four."

Before Diana could continue, the panel erupted in a veritable frenzy of
questions, all talking at once.

"What is that number?"

"What was she handed?"

"What is written on it?"

When there was a pause in the clamor, Sarah, holding exhibit four said
again quietly, "Yes, this is mine."

"This is not one that went to the document examiners, right?" Henry was

"The witness has just identified document number two of exhibit four,"
repeated Diana.

As the panel again started to question Sarah, Henry struggled for
control.  Face blanched, hands compressed into fists so tightly that
the nails bit into his palms, he listened powerlessly as Esther got the
first question out.  "Sarah, how can you be sure that this is yours?"

"Because I recognize the handwriting; I know what I wrote, that is why."

"I'd like to conduct the examination of my own witness, if I may,"
snapped Diana as the panel broke out in a flurry of questions after
Esther's initial one.  This angry outburst shocked the panel into
silence, temporarily.

In a more relaxed voice, Diana nodded toward them and said, "Thank you.
Now, Sarah, have you been pressured in any way to make this
identification or have you been promised anything for doing it--by me
or any other person?  Remember, you are under oath to tell the complete


"Thank you.  I have finished the direct examination of this witness."

"May I see packet C to make sure I understand," said a very flustered
Henry Tarbuck.

Esther started in on Sarah.  Even though Sarah had given her class and
student status at the beginning of her testimony, Esther asked for it
all again.  Perhaps she thought Diana was ringing in an impostor.
Others on the panel took over as Esther paused for breath.

Sarah carefully answered each question, becoming confused only when two
or three questions were thrown at her at the same time.  She
established who she was and how she had found out about the "whole

"Tell me again when you took the course?"

"Is there a date on the form?"

Raising his voice in the way that men will in the presence of women as
an effective way of silencing them and holding the floor by
intimidation, Anuse drawled conversationally, "What you claim is
interesting.  This document was identified by the document examiner as
being written by Dr. Trenchant." He fixed Sarah with a patronizing
grimace.  His attitude plainly said I don't believe you, little girl.

Sarah replied, "I know that."

"Well, we should see a sample of your handwriting."

"You have a sample.  It is right there on that paper I identified."

"No, absolutely not.  It cannot be.  You have made a mistake.  That
SmurFF has been identified by experts as being in Diana's handwriting."

"We'll take some of your writing to the document examiner.  That will
settle it."  Esther beamed at having such a great idea.

"No.  You already have a sample of my writing.  I won't have anything
more to do with those people.  Look how they made this mistake.  I
don't like how those people are."  Sarah did not have much faith in
document examiners--she of all people had reason not to.

"Well, we can do nothing here with this.  It is just hearsay or...."
Frank's voice trailed off as he looked to Henry for a ruling.

Frank Anuse is trying to sweep the evidence under the rug, thought
Jane.  He came into this hearing with his mind made up.  Any attempt
Henry and Anuse have made toward impartiality is a sham.

Diana addressed the panel, speaking forcefully.  "Sarah has identified
the evaluation under oath.  You have that document as a sample of her
handwriting.  I think that is sufficient and you are upsetting her with
your badgering."

"Well, the analysts are convinced that you wrote it." Anuse had turned
ugly again.

"Handwriting evidence is not always conclusive," retorted Diana.

Anuse turned his hostility toward Sarah.  "How do you recognize that as
yours?"  Ignoring the fact that this had been asked and answered.

Patiently, Sarah said, "Because it is.  It looks like mine and that is
what I wrote."

Henry made a monumental blunder and didn't realize it until it was too
late.  After consistently arguing that the university would never send
student handwriting off campus to a document examiner, he proposed just
that!  "We have samples of your handwriting in the university files
that we can send to have checked," he threatened.

"No. You cannot do that with student files.  You have no right to send
my records away like that.  You already have sent my SmurFF and you
have that as a sample of my writing if you need it."

"Are you afraid?"  Henry tried for intimidation to cover his faux pas.
"Of what?"

"Yes, I'm afraid.  I'm afraid of who's on the other side of this.  I'm
afraid of who is lying about Dr. Trenchant and what could happen to me
for coming here to testify."

Once again, Anuse led her through questions, to explain how she had
seen the copy of this evaluation.  Finally he said, "and what did you
think when you saw it?"

Her answer, delivered in a soft but firmly decisive tone, landed like a
bombshell in the midst of the panel.  They sat in stunned silence for a
beat and then the chair abruptly dismissed her.

"I was shocked," Sarah said, earnestly.  Tears, long held back now
slowly slid down her face, marking the planes and valleys with ripples
that winked on and off reflecting the room lights "And I didn't want to
even say it was mine.  But I did, because it was."

Diana left the hearing room shortly after Sarah to ask Helen, her last
witness, to come in.  The whole group was in the hallway gathered
around Sarah as she came out of the hearing room door.

"What did they do to her in there," demanded Roz, angrily.

"They were pretty nasty.  They fired questions at her so fast that she
didn't understand what they were asking half the time.  They all but
called her a liar, poor kid," answered Diana.

Helen came over.  "You tell them I'll be in just as soon as Sarah is
calmed down.  Sadistic bastards!"

Chapter 22

Diana returned to the hearing room alone and sat down.  Addressing the
panel, she said firmly, "My next witness will be in shortly.   She is
helping Sarah because you upset her so much."

Anuse and Henry looked pleased.  The women were anxious and concerned
except for Esther who appeared puzzled.

Shortly thereafter, Helen Schauer marched into the room and took the
witness chair as if she owned it.  Her Teutonic ancestors would have
been proud.  Helen, at age thirty, considered herself a responsible
adult.  She owned property and was very serious about her abilities and
her nursing studies.

She had begged Diana to let her come as a witness.  A little taller
than average, she was a strong looking woman.  Blonde hair framed a
face that, while not beautiful, reflected a healthy radiance that
enhanced her image of strength.  Now, sitting there, exuding
confidence, she gave her name and was sworn.  Her testimony should have
been important, but Diana wasn't too certain that the panel would
listen.  It backed up what Roz had to say about the feelings of the
medical students concerning the radiology course.

The most Diana hoped to accomplish from this testimony was to have the
committee order NERD to make available the course and instructor
evaluation for the previous year.  That was the year that Lyle had
claimed the students loved the course and the instructors.  That was
the year Diana did not teach in it.

"Are you acquainted with any medical students who took the radiology
course this last year?" questioned Diana.

Helen testified that two of the rooms in her home were rented by
medical students.  "The gist of the conversation around our dinner
table was that they felt the course was a complete waste of time.
'Most of the year, it seemed as if we knew more than the instructors,'"
she quoted one of them as saying.

Jane couldn't wait for Diana to complete her questioning of Helen and
broke in with, "Would the students come and talk with us?"  She
pretended to forget that medical students were not allowed at the

"No.  Medical students were told they should not testify.  They did
request that I tell you that both she and my other roomer gave a bad
evaluation of the course in the SmurFFs they filled out this year.
They hoped that by doing that, the course would be changed and improved
for the students next year.  You have been told that all the
evaluations were positive that year."

Henry appeared to misunderstand.  "If they didn't think their
evaluations were done correctly, they should go to the dean." He said
to Helen, severely.

"Huh?  I didn't say anything about them feeling their evaluations....
what do you mean?"

"If there is a problem with their evaluations, they should go to the

"I didn't say there was a problem.  I don't know where you are coming
from.  I will repeat what I said since it appears that I have been
misunderstood.  They told me that they had filled out a very negative
evaluation on the radiology course, and that they knew that others in
the class did also because there was great dissatisfaction with the

Henry immediately reminded the panel members that this was all hearsay.
It will be trouble, he thought, if anyone on the panel asks for the
SmurFFs for the year Diana didn't teach that course.  Lyle doesn't want
them seen and for good reason.  He and his boys have perjured

No one seemed to have any more questions.  Even Anuse appeared wary.
This was one witness that they weren't going to confuse.  She not only
had both feet planted on the ground, she looked as if she'd enjoy
planting the panel under them.  Noting that there were no more
questions coming, Diana thanked her and said, "Looks like we are
finished with you, Helen."

"You may be finished with me, but I am not finished with you!" She took
in everyone in the room with that remark, surprising Diana as much as
anyone on the panel.  Even Janet looked up with a startled expression.

One could almost hear the horns of the Valkyrie sounding as a
Brunnhilde spirit sparkled in the body of this nursing student.

"I am concerned and distressed," she continued.  "First, for how you
treated that young woman who testified before me.  I have known Sarah
for several months and she is as honest and sincere as anyone I have
ever known.

"You know what she told us when she came out?  She said you didn't
believe her because you had already decided on the basis of the
graphologist's report.  She said it wasn't fair.  That person swore
only to an opinion.  She, Sarah, had sworn to a fact.

"Also, from what the other witnesses have told me and what I have just
experienced myself, I don't believe you want to find out the truth.
You just want to terminate our teacher.

"No, I am not finished yet."  Helen held up a warning hand to Henry who
was about to protest, palm flat out like a traffic cop.  "I have a BA
in German and I am working toward a BA in nursing, and I am disgusted,
I am really disgusted at what happened with my nutrition course
evaluation.  Despite what we were told in the classroom concerning the
use of the evaluations for the course and professors, they were sent
off-site to a graphologist...."

"Only a few, there were only a small number," insisted Henry.  Good
Lord, he thought, abashed, I never should have admitted that any were

"So what!  Maybe mine was one of them.  You shouldn't be breaching
student confidentiality to expedite some personnel matter.  And let me
tell you, I'm not the only one in the class that feels that way.  You
have deceived us and we will not fill out any more of those forms
unless we are forced to."

"But you must understand," urged Esther, "no other writing by students
went out at the same time.  There would not be any chance that anybody
would know who was the person who wrote them."

Esther really was out of it, thought Annette.

"That is totally irrelevant." Helen replied firmly.  "The point is our
confidential evaluations were sent off-site.  I think a lot of damage
has been done.  It is unconscionable.  If we ever do fill out another
evaluation form, it will be completely sterile so it can't be used to
hurt anyone by an irresponsible administration.  That is what many of
the med students did in their last evaluation.  They just marked
everything average and typed all comments.  That is why you haven't
seen any of their SmurFFs from that year."

"Thank you, Helen."  Diana stood up and walked around the table to open
the door for her.

"We'll take a short recess," Henry announced.

During this recess, he told the panel that he had decided to adjourn
the hearing until the next day.

Henry had just reached the hallway of his home when the phone summoned
him with its strident demand to be answered.  Loosening his tie with
one hand, he picked up the instrument with the other, "Yes, hello,
Tarbuck residence."

"Ah, good.  You're home, Henry."  This superb example of deductive
reasoning delivered in the imperious manner of a self-appointed
earth-god could only be The Pope.

"Yes, how are you, John?"  Henry had pulled off his tie and was
settling himself comfortably in the chair next to the phone.  "Sorry I
missed you when I returned to the office, but we decided to adjourn
early so I did a few errands I've been putting off and then I came

"No problem, Henry.  I just wanted to check with you to see how things
are going.  Mark said there was a bit of a dust up over the file
material he sent the document examiners as standards?"

"Yes.  Trenchant is making an issue of every little thing she can think
of.  Actually, I think she must have some outside help--someone is
advising her.  Perhaps even someone at Belmont."

"Giving you a lot of trouble, is she?  Slap her down, Henry, slap her
down.  We've got her good on this one.  Mark tells me the document
examiner was one hundred percent sure that Trenchant wrote those
things," The Pope boomed expansively.

"That's correct.  The only thing is the three women on the panel don't
place much confidence in the examiner's ability and right now they
aren't accepting her testimony.  Besides that, Trenchant has a student
witness who claims that she, the witness, wrote one of those SmurFFs
our analyst said was written by Trenchant."

"My God.  That doesn't sound good at all.  I thought Mark said
handwriting analysis was as foolproof as fingerprints."

"Well, that's the legal argument lawyers use.  Apparently, they aren't.
Trenchant gave us two cases as examples of these so-called experts
being fooled.  One was concerning the Hitler Diaries and another she
called the White Salamander Affair.  She also listed several other
sources for the panel to check on."

"What are you going to do?  You've got to whip that panel in line and
do it fast, Henry, we're in this thing too deep to back off now."

"I know, and I'm on top of it.  Mark is going to testify concerning his
experience as an attorney with handwriting evidence.  Also, I've ruled
most of Trenchant's testimony and that of her witnesses hearsay.  That
cuts out a lot of potentially damaging information.

"Did you know, John, that those two guys who brought the complaint
against her in the first place had plagiarized several textbooks as
well as Trenchant's stuff and that both the dean and Lyle Stone knew
about it?"

"Penny ante stuff, Henry.  Everybody copies material for their courses.
That's why every department has a copying machine."

"Well this sure sounded serious.  They photographed a whole atlas and
presented it to their class as their own work."

"So?  It's just Trenchant's word, isn't it?  Who's going to believe she
isn't just indulging in sour grapes?"

"The whole panel, that's who.  That stupid son of a bitch, Ian,
admitted to it."

"Don't worry so, Henry.  Surely you can explain that away as a
misstatement on his part.  He can just say that he didn't understand
the question and...."

"I've already done that with the panel but I can't keep up forever
explaining away every boner they pull.  I've got to call Lyle back to
testify again and the panel wants to hear from one of his faculty, Ann
Biggot, and from Jimbo as well."

"What can I do to help you, Henry."

"Get on their asses, please, John.  Those dilettantes in the medical
school just made a very poor showing.  They weren't prepared
or.... would you believe, John, that Lyle couldn't even remember how
many SmurFFs he was given and the dean contradicted a vital part of his
testimony.  Both Ian and Randy stunk. Please, lower the boom on Lyle
and the others slated to testify tomorrow.  They have got to do their

"I'll get right on it, Henry.  Don't worry now.  Just remember that we
can keep everyone--reporters, local, state and federal--out of our
business simply by claiming academic privilege.  There is nothing we
can't explain away.  Nothing we can't make disappear if we need to."

"OK, John, and thanks."

"Right.  Good evening, Henry."

Henry hung up the phone and stretched.  Strange, he thought, sniffing
the air experimentally, I don't smell anything cooking.  Wonder if
we're going out for dinner.  For that matter, I wonder where Kate is,
haven't heard her moving around.  Oh, well, she's probably in the back

Resigning himself to the distinct possibility that he would have to get
ready for another night out, he went in search of her.  The kitchen
first, he decided.  I'll grab something out of the refrigerator to eat
and.... what's this note on the table?  Henry started to read it and
then sat down heavily in a nearby chair to finish reading.  "Be
damned," he breathed.  "She's left me."


Chapter 23

The next morning, the panel members looked relaxed and confident.
Henry hoped there would be now more gaffes, especially since The Pope
had gotten after them.  He congratulated himself for thinking to ask.
He knew from experience that The Pope could be very persuasive.

The first witness called by the panel was the university attorney, Mark
Rogers.  He entered the room, spoke to everyone there, addressing them
by name, and took the seat indicated just across from Diana.

Mark would never be called handsome.  He carried a bit too much weight
in his face for that.  He was, however, garrulous.  This part of his
character endeared him to the administration that he served so well,
since his long winded approach to any problem brought to him, bored
most people to death before they got any answer.

This saved the administrators the problem of dealing with most
complaints brought by faculty and staff.  If the administrators wanted
some legal answers, they contacted a real lawyer, usually Simon
Murrain, from a high priced law firm in town.

Mark had never had any success as an attorney in the real world, but
here in the cloistered world of academia, he flourished.  In the
rapidly changing meaning of words, Mark knew which side of the butter
the bread was on.  He could lie or tell the truth with the same
absolute conviction.

And now he was giving an ample demonstration of this to the panel.  He
knew that he had been called in because Henry was terrified that the
document examiner's evidence had been overturned by the defense
testimony.  He also knew that the three women on the panel were not
disposed favorably to the analyst who had come to testify.  Well, by
golly, he thought, old Mark will put out the fire.

In answer to a simple question, Mark replied by starting from when he
graduated from law school and tracing his entire career.  Along the
way, he revealed, he had discovered these particular document examiners.

For all his verbosity, he was convincing.  Henry was pleased.  After
all, he was an attorney.  Who would know better how courts and evidence
worked than an attorney?  Then too, Mark had been the one to send the
'suspect' evaluations to the analyst that he, himself, had recommended.
Mark had ordered the material from Diana's personnel file, so he could
attest to the legality of it.

Jane observed that the other members of the panel, immersed in his
tale, seemingly failed to realize that he confirmed several
interruptions in the chain of custody of the documents he was referring
to.  Most notable was when he was asked to identify the various packets
of handwriting evidence that was marked as exhibits for this hearing.
He either, "hadn't reviewed them closely enough to determine...." or
claimed that he "honestly didn't recall who I received the note from
(the note Lyle's friend had found 'strange')," as answers to direct
questions from the panel.

Henry, hoping to create some clarity, put the finishing touches on the
breaks in the chain of custody of the 'suspect' documents that were
being discussed.  "Oh, the problem here must be because some of the
packets have been separated apart."

Jane noticed that Mark also had only vague recollections as to when all
these things took place.  He prefaced every phrase with, "to the best
of my recollection" or "at best I can recall," in proper attorney
fashion, proving that he had, after all, gotten something out of law

Having agreed, with Henry's prompting, that he did remember getting
five radiology SmurFFs from Lyle, two nursing nutrition SmurFFs from
Jimbo, he was handed a note, referred to as 'Lyle's friend's strange
note' by Henry and asked, "And did you also sent the document examiners
this note?"

"This would appear to be the original note; the only thing that I have
seen is a copy of this note.  I don't believe until now I had actually
seen an original."

Good Lord, thought Jane.  Surely someone should question this.  The
document examiner testified that ALL the 'suspect' documents were
originals and now Mark, the guy that sent them to the examiners, is
saying he has only seen a copy.

He's vague and unsure of most everything he claims he was involved in
and most of his evidence is what someone else told him or that he 'had
assumed'.  This was the kind of testimony that Henry had been so
critical of when the defense witnesses were examined, calling it second
hand information.  Apparently, coming from the university attorney, it
is considered to be all right, Jane commented to herself.  At one
point, with help from Henry, Mark brought forth information that Jane
thought might be triple hearsay.

He said, "I remember now that Jimbo told me that Lyle told him that
Lyle's friend had found the note."

Not a voice was raised in complaint from the panel.  And not from me
either, thought Jane.  I'm not sticking my neck out when a lawyer is

Henry appeared to be pleased.  Mark had done well enough even though he
had been a bit shaky on dates.  Anyway, the panel didn't seem to
notice.  He had established handwriting analysis as nearly
infallible--not by evidence, not by proof, but solely because he said

He was pleased when cross examination by Diana was continually broken
into by the panel.  As a result of this, the question of the dates when
these things happened was never really established.  As things stood,
Lyle, Randy and now Mark had all given conflicting dates concerning
when these documents were sent out for analysis, when each received
them and what each received.

However, under tenacious questioning by Diana, Mark divulged that the
'strange' note, apparently sent as an afterthought, had only been
looked at by the examiners the day before coming to testify.  That was
why he had only seen a copy of it since the original was given to them
on their arrival by Henry.  Their opinion was not conclusive, but they
thought it probable that Diana had printed it.  They were wise to
vacillate on this, Mark observed, since their supply of printing
standards was very limited.

Because of the way Mark presented this, the panel was left with the
impression that had there been enough standards, the document examiner
would certainly have found that Diana had printed it.

An angry exchange occurred when Diana protested strongly that here was
another piece of evidence that she was surprised with after being told
that she had received all of it.

Henry smiled vacuously and said, "It was introduced yesterday."

"I never saw it."

"It was in the analyst's report for you to see."

"Now you tell me."

"You could have read it anytime."

"When?  Every time there was a break, you shooed me out of here."

"We needed this room to confer."

Anuse broke in to hammer home another spike of explanation in the maze
of questionable activity engaged in by the administration.  "Mark, from
a legal point of view, can an employee's personnel records be sent out
for this type of analysis without the individual's permission or

Mark answered, again with the qualifier, which was not deemed
noteworthy by the committee members. "In my opinion, they may not be
used for just any purpose, but they certainly may be used for those

Well, sure.  Ask the guy who did it if it was all right.  Some legal
opinion! thought Diana.

It was, however, the benchmark, the criterion of the prejudice
exhibited by the hearing panel throughout.  The Attorney General, after
her investigation was complete, wrote in her report that, "....the
panel utilized a procedure in which guilt was not investigated, but
assumed.  The university placed the burden of proof on Diana Trenchant
to prove she was innocent, but denied her the evidence to do so.

"In fact," The A.G.'s report continued, "the process was so
fundamentally unfair and reflected such an aggressive determination by
the university to discharge her, that its actions have strengthened the
inference of discrimination."

Chapter 24

After Mark had left, Associate Academic Vice President, Jimbo Jones was
sworn.  He had held the chair of NERD for many years, then when Lyle
took over, Jimbo was moved to the central administrative post.  Henry
smiled wryly, hoping for the best because no matter how poor a
performance was turned in by senior administrators, they were never
fired--they knew where too many bodies were buried.  They were kept
around and use as needed to plug gaps and cover asses, especially their

Having few duties as a Vee, Jimbo lectured, teamed with Lyle, in the
nursing nutrition course.  He used to refer to them as a dog and pony
show.  The students thought of two other animals that would have
described the situation better, since neither man was greatly liked.

This was mainly because both had a low opinion of undergraduates, felt
it was beneath them to lecture at this level and didn't try to hide
their opinion from the students.

Lyle and Jimbo gave these few lectures because the university policy of
increasing administration personnel and research faculty while
decreasing teachers had decimated the ranks of competent instructors.

Upper level administrators like Jimbo were paid in the six figure
category.  A few professors received fifty grand a year; most
substantially less.  A limited number of excellent teaching faculty
worked their butts off teaching course after course for peanuts.  The
ever burgeoning, corpulent administration and research people had light
duties and lots of play time--to say nothing of having the money to

At the time Diana was employed at NERD, it was not unique for the
research professors to spend one or two afternoons a week on the golf
course, lake or ski slopes.  Any research accomplished mostly fell to
the technicians paid by a grant or the university.  Citizens who
donated money for research into various diseases would be astonished to
discover how little of their money went into the research, and how much
went into paying administrative salaries.

At Belmont, Friday afternoons turned into happy hours as medical
research professors with their light teaching loads relaxed together in
the conference room recuperating for the weekend.

When Jimbo was asked to identify the two evaluations--these being the
two from nursing nutrition that Lyle had said Jimbo had brought to him,
he professed not to recall how they were found or where.  "I don't
remember if I found them or who found them," he stated.  "I have seen
them before, but I don't know who discovered them."

Henry started to get nervous.  This damn jerk who found those two
SmurFFs professed no recollection of it.  He hurried into the breach.
"What you are saying, Jimbo, is that either you or Lyle found them but
you don't remember which."

Even with this prompting, Jimbo couldn't hack it.  He looked over at
Henry and smiled without speaking.

"Yes, thank you.  Of course, that's it."  Henry testified for him and
then tried to prove through Jimbo's testimony that Diana had a history
of conflict with department members.

Once again, Jane observed, no examples were given.  The names of the
individuals involved in these alleged conflicts were not given so there
was no confirmation of the testimony.  When she tried to get specifics
on these conflicts, Jimbo answered that, "....it involved the kind of
facility utilization problems that one runs into in a small department."

Pursuing this, Jane asked, "Did they have anything to do with running a
course or what should be taught in a course?"


At this juncture, Esther, not to be outdone asked if the difficulty had
anything to do with her ability to teach.

Jimbo replied that her ability to teach had never been in question.  He
also confirmed, much to Henry's chagrin, that Diana had worn a brace on
her wrist in December but could not remember exactly when.

Since he had been commandeered to help in the radiology lab after Diana
left the course, he was asked how the medical students responded that
year.  His answer indicated that he believed the students generally
liked the lab portion.  He also disclosed that the lab had not changed
at all from what had been taught in previous years.

Not bloody likely, thought Diana, since they copied most of the
material from my manual that they were expressly forbidden to use....
the manual that was so successful in the course for the previous two

When Jimbo declared that the year Diana didn't teach, the course
content was no different from the previous year, Henry tried to hurry
him out the door.  He recalled all the testimony from the NERD people
insisting that things were much different and much improved after Diana
left the course.

Before he could, Diana said, "I have one question, Jimbo.  We taught
that lab together for many years when you were chair of NERD.  During
that time, it was my impression that each year's class could differ
immensely from the previous year.  Specifically, one year, the class
would like the way the course was run, then the next year's class would
hate it.  Do you agree?"

"Yes, wholeheartedly, absolutely."

"Thank you."

Henry walked Jimbo out of the hearing room wishing fervently that he
had never asked him to testify.  What a mess, but hopefully Lyle could
fix it.

Chapter 25

Ann Biggot was a crawling morass of nerves.  As she explained to the
panel, it was not really fear of retribution for what she might say, it
was fear that she might be understood incorrectly and that would harm
either her chairman or Diana.  She was overwhelmed, she exclaimed,
"....because I heard that this is the first Termination for Cause
Hearing ever held in Belmont!"

What an airhead, Henry thought.  She swings so widely back and forth
that her testimony is generally contradictory and always rambling.
When she criticizes Lyle, in answer to a question from the panel, she,
in nearly the same breath, praises him on a totally unrelated issue.

Lord protect me from these dithering female types, he implored, raising
his eyes toward the ceiling.  He looked back at the witness critically.
She's held her own in the looks department for a woman of her age, he
decided, but has let herself go to fat somewhat.  Must be, from the
looks of her about ten years or so younger than Diana.  Well, Lyle
thinks she loyal to him and that's what counts here.

Ann would not confirm her niece's testimony.  Andrea had said her aunt
thought that the excessive course load given Diana by Lyle was an
attempt to break her spirit or drive her from the department.  Ann
declared that she, "could not remember saying that.  It is possible
that was what Andrea understood me to say."

When asked directly if there was sex discrimination in the department,
she said that in the past, she had felt some discrimination because of
sex, but she knew now that this was not the case.  She gave several
reasons why she was not treated the same or paid as much as the males
in the department.

"It probably was because my research is so much different from the rest
or because Lyle was new in the position and didn't realize what he was

Jane felt anger toward Ann as she listened.  She had asked around for
information about her when she knew Ann would be testifying.  Ann, of
all people, knew what the situation truly was because Lyle had named
her as the department Affirmative Action representative.  Reflecting on
the efficacy of the AA program, Jane knew that Belmont, like most
universities around the country, had continued problems with grant
procurement due to being out of compliance with the laws concerning
discrimination and harassment.  To counter this, or rather, to nip any
potential problems in the bud, the administration created a setup
whereby every department had an appointed representative for
Affirmative Action.

All complaints had to be brought to this person.  At NERD, this was
Ann--who in turn took them to the department chair.  A case of the
proverbial fox guarding the chickens, Jane thought wryly.

The complaints and the person complaining, the complainant, were
"handled" by a special administrative flunky.  It was made crystal
clear that problems would increase if one pursued a complaint.  Faculty
women on tenure track were especially vulnerable to these kinds of

If the charge was serious and the complainant had evidence and
witnesses, and could not be persuaded to drop the charges, the common
practice was to transfer the complainant to another department.  No one
could ever remember a male at Belmont being punished, transferred or
discharged for discrimination or harassment.

Jane knew that Ann had heard complaints--from women in the department
and from medical students who had suffered discrimination and
harassment.  She shook her head sadly, wondering what she would have
done in similar circumstances.  Would she also chose not to reveal the
truth to the committee, fearing reprisals?

In response to several other questions posed by the panel, Ann Biggot
proclaimed that she had no fear of reprisal for her testimony, but
every so often a Freudian slip would break out from her careful
answers.  She was confirming a question from Diana concerning how both
of them were often overlooked when departmental journals were
circulated.  "If I didn't get a journal, I would just take it out of
someone else's box," she said angrily, then with a guilty expression,
"Maybe I won't be working there next week."

Jane asked, "Does he customarily yell or get angry at people?"

Avoiding the question, Ann replied, "The biggest problem with him is
getting him to put his answers down in writing."

She did, however, confirm that she had been asked to testify by Diana
and had begged off.  "Not really because of losing my job....it was
just that it was so serious a charge...."

Ann amply substantiated what Diana had already testified to regarding
her many attempts to communicate with Lyle and establish a better
relationship.  She was also generous with her assertion that Diana was
a totally honest person.

"We have had problems sometimes working together, but the one thing I
was sure of was her absolute, utter honesty.  This charge came as a
horrible shock to me, and that is the truth.

"To give you an idea of how much I trust her, there are two people in
the department that I would feel right about leaving alone in my office
and she was one of them.  I wouldn't even trust Lyle."

Throughout the testimony of this witness, the panel continually
interrupted the cross examinations of Diana.  This happened at
especially crucial times when important evidence was on the verge of
being brought out or confirmed.  One time, to the chagrin of Henry and
Frank, it worked in Trenchant's favor.

Henry had interrupted to ask Ann about a rather damning quote
attributed to her by Lyle which appeared on Diana's yearly
Reappointment Appraisal Sheet.  It read, "I believe that she (Diana) is
completely ineffective in the summer medical nutrition course and
should be replaced."

Ann was adamant that she had not said that.  Instead, she insisted,
"When the chairman came to me for my input on your appraisal, I told
him what you had told me," directing her answer at Diana, "which was
that you felt ineffective.  I told him that I thought you had tried
desperately hard to learn this material.  I said to him that you were
working assiduously and trying unremittingly but that you and I both
felt that you needed at least another year of study to be really

On hearing this, Jane blanched with shock.  Here was information that
Lyle had falsified a senior faculty person's (Ann) appraisal on the
reappointment papers of Diana.  Anuse interrupted Diana's questioning
and attempted to gloss over the damning admission.  He suggested that
it was just a misunderstanding in terms.

It didn't work because Ann was angry that her honest comments regarding
the teaching effectiveness of Diana had been misconstrued in a way that
was completely false and she made that clear to Anuse in no uncertain

After finishing off Anuse, she turned to Diana and said, "For you to
come into the summer course with no training at all, at the age of 57,
and be trained to teach nutrition....for you to undertake such an
endeavor amazed me.  I made it clear to Lyle that she needed more time,
perhaps one more summer to be an effective teacher--not what he quoted
me as saying!"

Now the chair stepped in and advised that this was getting way off the
subject they were there to discuss, but the panel, except for Anuse,
wanted to hear more and Ann, still angry at the way she had been
misquoted, obliged them.

"....and the teaching load put on her.  It was a horrible thing to ask
somebody to do--seven labs in a week plus directing the radiology lab
during the first semester.  In the past, these labs were distributed
among the graduate students and to ask one person to do that, I thought

"Remember," turning again to address Diana.  "I told you it was a
terrible stress for you to undergo and that if I were subjected to
that, I couldn't do it."

Directing her remarks back to the panel, she continued.  "I know,
because at one point in my life, I taught five courses at one time and
I went about bananas after two years; I had to quit because of the

Henry interrupted decisively this time and announce a recess.  The
testimony of his witness was getting entirely to sympathetic toward
Diana and he wanted no more references to Lyle's creative editing of
Ann's comments on the employee appraisal form.  Falsifying employee
reappointment forms was a real no-no, especially now with the union
breathing down our necks, he thought.

Chapter 26

Already in evidence and on the record was the incident of Lyle's
tampering with one of the so-called suspicious SmurFFs by stapling a
note written by Diana to it.  Now there was testimony that he had
falsified a comment by one of the senior faculty which appeared on an
appraisal form.  One more example of evidence-tampering was still to

When the hearing reconvened, Jane interrupted.  "One moment before we
go on to the next witness.   A point of clarification.  From what I
heard a little while ago, I think Diana believes that we send the
president the recommendation of this committee.  Now, my understanding
was that we do not make a recommendation, we make a report of our

"That is correct.  We are only going to write a report.  We don't make
recommendations.  We only make a report of the hearing.  That's all we
are looking at,"  Henry said frantically.  Damn and blast, how did she
get on to that and why didn't I pick up on it.  I shudder to think what
those dingy women would do if they knew that when my report for this
committee comes out, it will find the entire panel has made a
recommendation that is unanimous and it is for termination.

The hearing was about completed.  Henry could feel the relief flooding
through him like a torrent.  Full of great expectations, he announced
that Lyle would be the next witness and "all these little
misunderstandings will be cleared up."  True to form, like a well
rehearsed circus act, the performance that followed went off like
greased lightning.  Henry allowed neither the other members of the
panel nor Diana to clutter it up.

First the clarification of number of 'suspicious' SmurFFs found, when
they were found and who found them.  This time, Lyle looking confident
and well coached, consulted his crib sheet and gave the answer without

Looking both eager and willing to help out as best he could, Lyle
earnestly spoke his piece. "After checking with Mark who had the date
in the files, we found that the material was sent to the analyst in the
fall of last year.  There were originally three that Randy and Ian had
given him, not two as he had said in his previous testimony.  I can't
think why I said two, of course, I meant three."

"Jimbo had found and sent him the two 'suspicious' nursing nutrition
SmurFFs."  To prove this, he conveniently produced a covering letter,
which the chair put into evidence, that expressly said that.
"....and, it is dated and signed by Jimbo.

"Most certainly," Lyle continued,  "I never knew that Diana had
copyrighted the radiology manual and most certainly, Ian and Randy did
not copy from it.  That is ridiculous."

His pious account of the meeting with Diana in his office when he told
her of the document examiners findings, was ingenious.  He claimed to
have been devastated at having to do that to an employee.  He had
behaved with loving kindness throughout the "very painful interview.

"Of course no one in the department or among the medical students would
be afraid to come and testify.  Perish the thought.

"I must have been misunderstood before when the panel got the
impression that ALL the critiques were good in this last year when
Diana did not teach.  I thought I had made it clear that it was Ian's
SmurFFs that had improved markedly."

Still, Jane noted.  He did not produce them for the panel to confirm
his testimony and the chair, despite the request of Diana that they be
solicited, did not ask for them.

When Henry hesitated, Trenchant reminded Lyle that student's likes and
dislikes of an instructor could vary wildly from year to year.
"Remember how great your SmurFFs were in the nursing course three years
ago?" She said.  "Then the very next year, they were the pits.  Isn't
that correct?"

Lyle reluctantly agreed that it was and Henry quickly took back the
questioning to bring Lyle to the crowning touch of his testimony before
Trenchant could further discredit him.  Henry asked if he thought Diana
was unable to write because of an injured wrist during the December
last evaluation period.  Proudly, Lyle presented two original
handwritten documents.  "Both of these," he claimed, "were written by
Diana and I found them in my files."

"This one is dated in mid December, at the time she claims she could
not write," he smirked triumphantly at Diana.

"Did you write that?"  Henry demanded of Diana, looking smug and
terribly well pleased with the way things were going.

"Yes, I did, but not in December.  I wrote that after returning from
Christmas\New Year's vacation in January before the classes started.
This note refers to equipment I would require for the room I was
assigned to teach in during the winter semester.  I was not assigned
that room until I returned from vacation in January so I wouldn't be
writing anything about fixtures in December.  This is a fact that can
be verified.

"Look at this."  Trenchant held up the paper for the panel to see.  "The
right hand corner has been torn off where I put the date which would be
in January.  The date written on this note is at the bottom and was
written in by Lyle.  The ink used is entirely different for the date
than for the rest of the note and I recognize the way he makes sevens
with the slash."

"Well, yes."  Lyle allowed, showing some discomfort, he had written
that date in because the note wasn't dated and he put the date on when
he received it and that was in December.  He said nothing about the
torn corner and looked very anxious.

"Well I kept a copy of this note which I can bring in showing the date
to be where this piece was torn off and that date will be in January."
Trenchant announced, turning to the committee members.  "Once more,
evidence in this hearing has been tampered with."

"It won't be necessary to see your copy,"  Henry ruled, hastily.  "I'm
sure this is just a difference that occurs where each person remembers
the date a bit differently.  There is no attempt to tamper here...."

Chapter 27

Henry nervously dismissed Lyle and directed the committee's attention
toward Diana to distract them from further questioning.  "We have
finished with the witnesses in this hearing.  If you have a brief
summation or anything you want to say in closing, we will hear it, go
ahead," he ordered.  "First, however, you and the stenographer may take
a break while the panel confers."

Instead of leaving after he had finished testifying, Jimbo Jones had
gone back to the waiting room to pick up his belongings.  Except for
Jonathan, the room was empty of people now that the hearing was winding

"Hello, how goes it,"  Jonathan greeted him.  He had been making
himself available in the committee waiting room a few hours every day
as Henry had ordered.  This was so it would appear that Trenchant had
the availability of counsel from the ombudsman if the matter ever came

"Not bad.  Henry seems a mite wound up though.  Can't understand why.
The whole academic council decided to terminate her, what is he getting
all haired out about?"

"As I understand it," Jonathan offered, leaning toward Jimbo and
lowering his voice into a conspiratorial, confidential tone, "Trenchant
has managed to bring forth a good defense and has the hearing panel
pretty well divided.  Only Frank Anuse is going along with Henry.  The
women are looking at the evidence and they aren't convinced.  Jane
confided in me during the last break that she thought it was possible
that Trenchant had been framed."

"What the hell would give her that idea," grinned Jimbo, with a sly

"Quiet, keep your voice down."  Jonathan moved away from Jimbo and
closed the hearing room door.  "Well, for one thing, one of the SmurFFs
you found was evidently written by a student.  She came forward and
identified it.  That really casts doubt on the ability of the document

"One I found?  I just don't understand all this.  Everyone keeps
telling me that I found some SmurFFs in my course.  Lyle, Henry, Mark
and now you.  I don't remember it and I told the panel that just a few
minutes ago."

"You told the panel that?  Good God, Jimbo, Henry was depending on you
to confirm that you had found them.  Lyle is probably showing them the
note you wrote right now."

"Come off it, Jonathan.  Lyle didn't say anything about lying to the
panel and it was that cute Janie babe that asked.  If Trenchant had
asked the question, I would have said that I had found them.  No
problem.  All Lyle asked me to do was write and date the note last year
sometime.  Nobody asked me about that."

Thank heavens, thought Jonathan.  Aloud, he said, "You'd better keep
that under your hat, Jimbo.  From what Jane tells me, Lyle has been
pretty creative with the evidence already."

"So what?" Jimbo replied, expansively.  "That's his part of the scheme.
After all, he's the one that wants to get rid of her."

"Yes, you're right, but be careful about saying things like that.  You
never know who will hear and try to make something of it.  Oh, by the
way, did you hear that Kate left Henry?  He said she was gone when he
got home last night--just left him a note."

"No shit.  Who'd she catch him doin' it with?"

"Well from what I hear...."

The two men gossiped cozily until the members of the panel arrived to
announce that the hearing had ended.

"Proceed with your summary," Henry commanded indifferently when
everyone was back in place at the table.

Diana Trenchant finished making a note and then said, "Yes, I have some
closing words, but first, I want to point out that I was given no
opportunity to present rebuttal witness as you did."

Anuse shifted in his seat, then carefully and slowly, as if he were
speaking to a retarded person, said, "You misunderstand.  They were not
rebuttal witnesses.  We had them come to clarify things that your
witnesses said."

Bull! thought Diana.  Aloud, she continued, "They contradicted some of
my evidence and I was not given a chance to CLARIFY their testimony
with my witnesses."

What is she trying to pull now, Henry moaned to himself, but much to
his surprise, Diana pulled her notes in front of her and began her
closing remarks.

"Now, for the first charge--that I created false SmurFFs.  I have shown
that the document examiner erred regarding the 'suspect' SmurFFs they
examined.  One, at least, was a recognized student written evaluation.
Therefore, their opinion on all of the documents is open to question.
Several witnesses have testified as to the wrist injury I sustained,
showing that I could not have written the two SmurFFs Lyle said he
found in the course last year.

"Also, the 'suspect' SmurFFs from previous years are highly dubious as
evidence of anything.  They are not dated and there has been no
discernible chain of custody established.  Ian could not even identify
them and disagreed with Randy that they were somehow different from the
rest of the evaluations received.

"I remind you again that document examiners are not infallible and that
only a couple of small examples of my handwriting were submitted to
them that were NOT copies.  We have just seen that Lyle had other
examples of original writing of mine.  Why didn't they submit original
writing as standards or better yet, authenticate the standards by
having them written in the presence of the document examiner?

"In point of fact, none of the writing used as standards were
authenticated and this makes them moot.

"The second charge, that I submitted these 'suspect' documents as
student SmurFFs, is unproven.  That is because none of the student
SmurFFs for those years in question can be validated.  This is because
of the way the evaluation process is administered.  Therefore, a chain
of custody for the so-called suspicious SmurFF's was not and cannot be

"In the 25 years that I have worked at this university, I have never
been accused of dishonesty.  My work has not been criticized.  My
teaching ability has always been praised.  The biggest criticism that I
have received is that I am at times abrasive.

"You have heard enough to form the obvious conclusion about how I was
treated in the department and how heavy my teaching load was.  I hope
you will pay attention to the fact that right here under oath, Lyle,
the person who has made these charges against me, has tampered with the
evidence three times."

Jane was impressed.  She's right.  He attached a note written by Diana
to one of the suspicious SmurFFs; detrimentally misquoted Ann's
evaluation of Diana's performance on promotion sheets and now this last
note which very obviously has a large piece torn off from the corner.
He must have been told they needed proof that she could write during
that time so he tore off the real date and wrote in one in December.
What a scumball.

Diana continued, "I want to thank you all very much for the opportunity
to finally respond and disprove these outrageous charges.  Thank you."

Before Henry could speak, Jane said, "Diana, I was interested in what
you had to say about the F.B.I. and the information regarding document
examination.  Is there something further that you would suggest we look

"Yes.  You should research this so-called science or art as I did.
Read about the Hitler Diaries and the White Salamander Papers.  Learn
why authenticated, original standards are important....

"I also again request that you procure the SmurFFs for the radiology
instructors and course given last year and see how the testimony you
have just heard has misrepresented them."

"Is that it then?"  Henry could just barely keep the ugliness he felt
out of his voice.

At Diana's nod, Henry said, "We must end this.  I don't think we'll
need any further hearings," said Henry, stacking up his pile of files
and papers and preparing to stand up.  "You will hear from us as soon
as possible.  Perhaps as soon as two weeks.  Certainly no longer than a
month.  We will have our report for you and the president then."

That was mid-June.


Chapter 28

It is the first of July.  The committee has met two times since the
hearing ended.  The first time, the split was three to two.  The three
women were resolute that there was not enough evidence to believe that
Diana had written the documents.  They did not put much credence into
the report of the document examiner and they didn't believe Lyle.

Henry could not and would not agree to write the report announcing this
to The Pope.  His instructions were clear--get Trenchant.  Seeking
distance, he suggested that they should, in any event, wait for the
complete transcript of the hearing.  When that had arrived and everyone
had refreshed their memories, they would hold another meeting.

The second meeting, held two weeks later, lasted four hours.  By the
end of the session, everyone was tired and angry and no one had moved
from their original position.  It was a battle of the transcript.  Not
only had Anuse and Henry burned the midnight oil preparing for the
meeting with suitable quotes from the transcript, but the same could be
said of Jane, Esther and Annette.

As tempers, which had so far been under control, flared and threatened
to widen the gulf between the two sides, Henry realized that the
arguments were just solidifying the opposition and, damn it to hell,
they were the majority!  Since the handwriting evidence was so shaky,
he dared not force the issue. He would find another way.

He quickly called an end to it, told them tersely that he would let
them know when the next meeting would be and then before anyone else
moved, he left the room.

Chapter 29

August slipped into September.

What's happening with the hearing?   Everyone was asking.  No one had
an answer.

Then the president of N.O.W, Ellie Smeal, came on campus to give a
speech.  The room was packed with women from all over campus.
Afterwards, Esther saw Diana and went up to her.

"What is going on?  Have you heard anything?" she inquired.

"You're the one on the committee.  I haven't heard anything since the
hearing ended.  You guys told me a month, tops.  Haven't you been
writing the report?"  Trenchant answered tersely.  She was becoming
increasingly strung out by the delay and by the obvious fact that the
committee chair had once again lied to her.

"Oh," said Esther, alarm showing on her pudgy face,  "I'm not supposed
to talk about it.  I haven't heard anything." She finished, walking
away leaving Diana more in the dark than ever....and more apprehensive.

October dropped its leaves.

November brought an early snow.

Christmas flashed brightly, dulled and stood aside for the start of a
new year.

It had been nearly seven months since the hearing had ended but Henry
had not been idle.  After the debacle of the second meeting of the
panel, The Pope and Henry had decided to send the material away for
confirmation by another document examiner.  The women on the panel were
not privy to this information.  "If they can't cooperate, leave them
out in the cold," was Henry's decision.

"How many had you contacted before you found this one, Henry?" Frank
Anuse had stopped by Henry's office in the administration building at
Henry's invitation.  A great deal of time had gone by and he had been
getting edgy with all the questions aimed at him by concerned faculty.
It was great to have some positive results.  Even though he couldn't
broadcast them, he could give his inquisitors a knowing look and
indicate that it was in the bag.

"This makes the fourth.  The bastards take forever to make up their
minds.  They say they are busy with other analyses, but you'd think
with all we're paying them that...." Henry shook his head in disgust.

"And they all said the same thing.  They didn't like to make a positive
match using copies of the standards we sent?" Frank Anuse asked.

"That's it.  They all wanted originals."

"The guy that has them now though, called and said essentially the same
thing at first, except he thought if he could have a lot more
standards, he could make a decision even if they were copies."


"And, I sent off copies of everything in her personnel file."

"You mean forms and such like?  Don't they have other people's writing
on them besides Trenchant's?"

"Oh, yes, but that doesn't matter.  The main thing is we got
confirmation.  The guy will testify to that and then those damn
lady-professors are going to toe the line, or else."

"You've already sent Trenchant the copies and notice of the next

"Yup.  Did it this morning.  Same mail as I sent it to the rest of the

"Seems as though it would have been simpler just to have her write
something in front of witnesses and use those originals instead of
farting around all this time with copies," Anuse suggested.  "This
process has taken nearly a year already."

"There's reasons.  Not something you and I have to know about, but
there's reasons.  Anyway, here's your copy.  Enjoy."

Chapter 30

A registered package arrived for Diana.  It contained copies of the
'suspect' SmurFFs and copies of the standards that she had seen before
at the hearing.  Also enclosed were many other documents, apparently
copied from microfiche files.  These copies were atrocious, all spotty
with black dots and lines.  Most of the letters were blurred and some
parts were unreadable.

The package also contained a report from another document examiner.
This one agreed that Diana had written six of the eight documents sent
to them for analysis, but was not sure of two of them.  Just like the
previous examiners--except it wasn't the same two they indicated.

Nevertheless, the cover letter, signed by Henry, decreed that this was
supportive testimony and the hearing would reconvene in five days to
present this evidence formally to Diana.  At that time she would be
given an opportunity to cross examine the so-called expert testimony of
the document examiner.

This time Henry was taking no chances.  This time, the document
examiner was male.

Diana and her supporters were not terribly surprised by contents of the
package.  It did, however, confirm that as far as the Belmont
administration was concerned, she would be convicted even if they had
to move heaven and earth to prove it.

The initial hearing of three days, the official protocol, the
declarations of good faith made by the panel members--all a sham.
She'd waited long enough.  It was time to seek help outside of Belmont

Part of her decision to take this path was made in response to the
outpouring of support from the staff, faculty and students of Belmont.
These people, many of whom felt repressed themselves, knew that there
was no way that justice or fairness could be brought about within the
university structure.  Anyone who had experience with university
politics completely subscribed to the dubious accolade that university
politics were the meanest of all types known to exist.

Many were angry that the whole rotten business evolved around a mere
seven out of several hundred forms--all of which in the normal course
of events would have been ignored.

There was frustration as well.  They felt helpless and many were
sickened at their lack of ability to effect any change.  By sending
money to Diana, "to help with legal expenses," they could mitigate
their helplessness and their fear.

Efforts were initiated to bring the affair before the Faculty Senate
but they were quashed as soon as they started by the new Senate
president, former ombudsman, Jonathan Bambridge.

Trustees were approached by supporters as well as university alumni
groups.  There was sympathy, but no one wanted to risk their position
against the very real power wielded by the administration.

Several women faculty went to the Pope and pleaded for him to
intercede.  These were brave women.  They took to the meeting with the
university president examples of many cases of proven misconduct that
had occurred on campus.  In every case, no man had ever been
terminated.  They reminded him that this was the first time at Belmont
that a termination for cause charge had been made, and that it was
against a woman.

The group of faculty women begged him to reconsider.  To press such
minuscule charges in the first place had been a mistake.  The
information had spread across campus, the town and the state, making
almost every person who heard of it laugh at first, then as they
realized that it was not a joke become indignant.

"The publicity already has been harmful and it can only get worse if
this hearing is continued," one of the professors urgently stated to
The Pope.  "Why do you continue with this?"

They were told that the decision to prosecute was final and that there
was nothing they could do.  Then they were shown the door.

The same sort of treatment was given to staff and students except that
they usually got shorter shrift.  Islands of concerned people protested
but never joined in concert.  It was not a safe undertaking at Belmont
University.  Not if you wanted to keep your position.  As Edmund Burke
observed, "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they
will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

The final straw that tipped the balance and sent Diana to an attorney
to fight the inevitable termination was an editorial that appeared in
THE PROD, the Belmont student newspaper.  In a strongly worded article
it condemned the undemocratic judicial process of the Belmont
administration, which flouted the laws of the state and made up its own
to fit each occasion.  The editorial compared Belmont's disciplinary
process to feudal times.

It was titled:


....Dr. Diana Trenchant was accused of wrong doing.  Therefore, she was
tried by a jury of her accusers in accordance with university policy.
Although two witness, who in any court would be called 'expert'
witnesses, testified against her, she was not allowed an adequate
defense--that is, the service of an attorney who would be competent to
cross examine so-called expert testimony.  She was also not allowed
access to documents needed in her own defense.

She will most certainly be summarily terminated--deprived of her
livelihood without due process--another victim of Belmont Kangaroo Kort

"That does it," she told Andrea and James whose support had never
wavered throughout the ordeal.  "I refuse to be one of Burke's
'unpitied sacrifice'.  More specifically, I refuse to be their victim.
Perhaps the courts can do something.  Let's give it a shot."

The women on the panel took a lot of heat for the reconvening of the
hearing.  Ricocheting across campus were the whisperings and
lamentations of Esther as she endeavored to absolve herself from blame.

Jane's battle with her conscience reached only the ears of her closest
friends, but her glacial features and bent posture bespoke her
frustration and her impotency.

The saddest of all was Annette who had quietly borne the conflicting
waves of testimony that flowed over her at the hearing.  She had dared
to speak up a couple of times, but now she knew that it had been a
mistake.  Whatever Henry asked her to sign, she would sign.  Without
question, without hesitation, but not with good conscience.  His visit
to her and his carefully chosen words concerning his knowledge of her
life-style had left no doubt remaining that the threat of exposure was

Diana found out early on that it would be unwise to place too much
confidence in the judicial system.  She discovered that a court cares
nothing about right or wrong, good or bad.  It cares only about what
the law is, can you prove it, and who proves it in the most
entertaining manner.

The Attorney General had told Diana that an additional hazard was that
this was a civil rights case--sex discrimination.  The current federal
administration had knocked the hell out of most of the laws pertaining
to sex or age discrimination and greatly weakened any remaining.  The
EEOC was acting like a toothless pussy cat under the direction of a
staunch Reagan\Bush conservative whose payoff would be a seat on the
Supreme Court.

However, for all its drawbacks, it was the only game in town.  A
choice, instead of giving up.  Besides, Diana was overwhelmed with the
magnitude of support in the form of cold cash from the university
community and alumni.  She had to at least have the faith in herself
that others had shown--but the cost!  Enough to make her frugal Yankee
blood congeal in horror.

Well, no help for it, she thought.  She carefully figured out just how
far she could go with what she had and what had been given her.  That
far she would go and no further.  She'd give the court a chance, but
she wouldn't bet the whole farm on it and certainly not the rest of her
life.  Decidedly not in a city where the old boy network was so
substantial and entrenched that it kept its meeting place a male
bastion and ruled the entire state from it.  Not to mention that The
Pope was a prepaid member--a perk traditionally given Belmont's

Chapter 31

Ever since the original charges had been made, the Public Protection
Division of the Attorney General's Office had been investigating the
case brought to it by Diana.  It functioned to protect the legal rights
of Diana and provide a copy of its report to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

It had been denied access to the previous three day hearing by the
Belmont administration, but was promised the hearing transcript.  After
a great deal of prompting, the transcript, all 700 pages of it, had
been sent to the Attorney General's Office as agreed.

It was copied and shared with the attorney representing Diana, Al
Garrett.  He was appalled at the way the university administration had
handled the hearing and felt that all that was needed was to hit the
university administration with legal paperosa plentimus and they would
soon see reason.

He was unaware that the age of reason had not yet penetrated Belmont
University.  Their axiom was, 'Reason?  There is no reason, it's
company policy.'

The ensuing legal detritus delayed the reconvening of the second round
of the university hearing, but didn't prevent it.  In the short time
given, Diana obtained affidavits from a prominent document examiner and
a promise of testimony from the university psychologist.

A court reporter was once again recording the proceedings, but it
wasn't Janet.  The surroundings had changed also.  Now, they were all
sitting around a table in a very large auditorium in the English

Diana had an attorney present, but university policy prevented him from
doing anything except whisper instructions to her.  Of course, they had
talked beforehand and had planned how the defense part and cross
examination would go.  Even so, the attorney was still in the court
mode--he had little or no concept of a university hearing and much of
what went on left him stunned with disbelief and unable to provide much
direction.  When he tried, whispering furtively into Diana's ear to do
this or say that, it made Diana little more than a puppet dangling on
one string, and just as effective.  One thing for certain, thought
Diana as the hearing progressed, someone should tell lawyers about
breath mints!

As soon as she could gain recognition from the chair, Diana requested
that the hearing be open.  "The purpose of a closed hearing in
personnel matters is to protect the employee.  I waive that
protection."  To herself, she thought, I know from experience that I
have much more protection in public opinion than I have as a member of
the faculty of Belmont University.

"Interested citizens and the press are waiting outside.  They were
prevented from coming in.  I respectfully request that they be allowed
to enter."  Prevented was right,  she thought, a plethora of Kampus
Kops was guarding the door of the hearing room.  Henry was indeed
worried that the goings-on in the hearing room might be observed by an
impartial observer and had taken steps to prevent it.

"No."  He answered, "It is the policy of the university that hearings
be closed.  We will now proceed to the testimony of the second document

Henry was pleased to note that while Amos Avery, the handwriting
analyst, was being sworn, the panel members played with the files on
the table in front of them.  He had met with each of the women
individually and had whipped them into line.  His eyes sparkled as he
recalled their helplessness and his feelings of power.

Henry next proceeded to enter into evidence various letters and the
handwriting documents. Diana, under instructions from her attorney,
objected.  Objections which would have been given credence in a court
of law were just ignored by Henry.  The only thing all the legal patter
accomplished was to increase the tension and the red in his face.

Well, I'll just have to bear it, he thought grimly.  That sharp lawyer,
Simon Murrain, hired by The Pope to advise them on both hearings had
been adamant.  "Always let her speak.  You can interrupt her witnesses,
you can even ignore what she says or refuse what she may request.  But
always let her have her say.  We can't have her complaining that she
didn't get a fair hearing."  Henry remembered how he had laughed at the
simplicity of that strategy.

Concerning what she was saying now, Henry wasn't about to pay any
attention.  The objections Trenchant was making were important, having
to do with the evidence.  The writing used as standards were still not
authenticated.  The copies of microfiche files were almost unreadable
due to their being covered with dots and black lines.

In contention were the extra standards that this analyst had requested
since he could not be sure of the authorship of the 'suspect' SmurFFs
using the same standards provided to the first analyst.

"You are not following any rules of evidence here," Trenchant was
continuing.  "You are just submitting things on a whim.  You have given
this examiner copies--very bad copies--of material supposedly from my
personnel file covering a period of over twenty years.  Even if
authentic, these documents contain the handwriting or printing of at
least seven other people, possibly more, and I see nothing that
delineates which of all these different writings is supposed to be the
standard," she argued.

"Some of the writing on these was written entirely by my daughter or
son,"  Diana held up the documents for inspection.  "These tuition
exemption forms were filled out and signed with my name by either my
son or my daughter, for example.  The rest of the writing is by a
personnel officer.

"I am surprised that you didn't send samples of writing from the entire
university while you were at it," she finished sarcastically, disgust
clearly portrayed in her voice and on her face.

"This hearing is being held solely to hear the report of this document
examiner.  You will be given a chance to comment on his report," Henry
continued, blithely ignoring Diana's protest.

"Who made these rulings?"  queried Diana, prompted by Al.

"Pardon me?" Henry asked.

"Who made the rulings concerning the admissibility of these standards?"

"I am reading the ground rules for this hearing which are contained in
my letter to you.  I am entering it into the proceedings."

"So.  Who made the ruling?  Not the committee!"

"The committee is aware of these things."

"The committee is just going along with whatever you propose.  Why
can't you admit that you are making the rules of evidence?  Why do we
need the rest of the panel?"

"The committee made the decision and can speak up if they do not
agree."  All of the women on the panel busily shuffled papers and Anuse
beamed like a misplaced beacon.  The silence of the panel told it all.
Three cowered, two glowed.  Henry was confident.

Well, thought Diana, we knew it would be a struggle.  Turning to the
material she and Al had prepared, she read into the record, once again,
that she wanted an open hearing.  That SHE had nothing to hide.

Continuing on, she brought out other legal points that Al felt needed
to be in the record.  "We have over and over again requested documents
from the university and been denied them.  You have provided me with
nothing with which I can dispute your case.  I am referring to some six
hundred student SmurFFs that were referred to by your witnesses in the
last hearing, over thirty times, yet never once were they given into

"What are you going on about?"  Anuse feigned boredom.

"I am talking about the student SmurFFs that I requested at the last
hearing.  The charge was made that the 'suspect' SmurFFs were totally
different from normal student SmurFFs and I need those for you to see
that in reality, they are quite similar."

"I'm willing to believe the testimony that they exist and what they are
represented to be.  I don't need to see them in person."  Nonchalantly,
Anuse destroyed any illusion of committee impartiality with this
remark.  The committee's report to The Pope would remove any doubt that
might linger.

Henry called a recess.  It always seemed to work to break up the flow.

Chapter 32

When the hearing commenced again, the document examiner began his
testimony.  "I have examined the documents in question and found that
six were written by Diana Trenchant and two probably were."

Allen Avery was a tall, heavy-set man, florid of face and nearly as
ugly as Jimbo.  He looked like a twenty-year cop and lowered his
monster brows fiercely at Diana whenever he referred to her.  His
presentation was not as ornate as that of Alice Stebbins.  Instead of
using blown up photographs of individual letters, he passed out copies
of a single sheet on which there were two columns of letters.

One column was labeled standard, the other unknown.  He testified that
he had found enough similarities in these particular letters to
identify the writer.

Frank Anuse asked if another examiner would find the same similarities
in the same letters.

The answer was, "Given equal training, they should pick out the same
things that I did."  He went on to explain that examples were given in
books and the document examiners studied the books.

On being asked if the material could have been written by an expert
forger, he answered much differently than the first document examiner.
"Who would know?  I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but I don't feel
that it was."  If the women on the panel had been alert, they would
have challenged a scientist that felt a conclusion--feelings were more
in the realm of the arts.  Science was supposed to deal with facts.

He explained that he had asked for more standards because the ones sent
were not complete.  Yet the first analyst had said she was
one-hundred-percent certain on the basis of what was sent.

"I wanted more recent samples to see what variations there were.  We
don't write every letter the same every time.  We look for the range."

Asked if handwriting analysis was as exact as fingerprints, he said,
"It is as individual and as unique as fingerprints." Yet when asked if
a number of different analysts looked at the same documents, would they
all agree, he answered, "If they had equal training and experience."

After a short recess, Diana was allowed to examine the witness.  Her
first question was directed toward the authenticity of the standards
submitted.  "Do you know of your own knowledge that the exemplars sent
to you were all written by me?"


She turned to Henry and said, "then, I request that this report be
removed from evidence since it states facts that this examiner declares
are false."

While Henry looked at her incredulously, she read from the examiner's
report, illustrating all the places where the standards were referred
to as being her handwriting or printing.

Henry was outraged.  "Of course, when he writes that in his report, he
means that he is using my communication with him.  I wrote that these
were samples of your handwriting, that I had every reason to believe
that they were."

Diana persisted.  "I see nothing in the report to the effect that he
was 'told' anything as you state.  He very definitely writes that they
ARE standards of my handwriting.  Now he says under oath that he does
not know.  These errors nullify the report."

"I feel that the report tells us what we asked from the document
examiners." With that, Henry thought, the book is closed.  No one could
argue with that.  You get what you pay for. Case closed.

Doggedly, Diana continued.  "Did you do a top of the letter pattern?"

"I beg your pardon.  Would you explain what you mean by top of the
letter pattern?"

With subsequent questions, Diana established that he did not know what
bottom of the letter pattern, space pattern or slant pattern were.
These techniques, common to document examiners, were completely unknown
to this so-called expert.  Trenchant explained to him what these common
handwriting tests were all about.

It was then established that he only did a letter comparison.  He
claimed that the other tests or techniques, "were done by
graphologists." His attitude made crystal clear that he considered
graphologists to be a very dirty word.  "I," he continued, with a
conceited accent on the word, "am a document examiner."  When Diana
named her source of information and held up the book of a prominent
document examiner, his reply was, "That person must come from a
different viewpoint that I do."

"It appears that what you refer to as graphologists, in your
profession, are much more thorough in their analysis of handwriting and
printing than you are.  The author of this book makes a point of
insisting on original, authenticated standards and doing several
different types of measurements.  The idea being that when they decide
a document's author, it is based on several different tests.

"You did only a letter by letter comparison then.  Every letter?"

"A majority of them."

It turned out not to be the case.  Diana brought up letter after letter
that the analyst had not found a match to. "S" was one of them.
Looking hastily through the so-called standards, Avery finally found
one, but it was a printed capital "S" which he was saying was a match
for a small case scripted "s" found at the end of a word.  For all that
time and trouble, he discovered it in a signature purported to have
been written by Diana twenty years ago!  This document also contained
the writing of more than one person, and the signature itself was
written by Diana's daughter.

Other discrepancies were brought out.  T's that were not crossed, small
i's with a backward slant, the written letter R which looked like a U.
These and other examples of letters found in the 'suspicious' SmurFFs,
were not found to be represented in twenty years worth of material
allegedly copied from the files.

"It doesn't matter," Avery asserted.  "I mean it is entirely possible
that the writer could have made an R like that even though I can't show
you an example."

"You were given samples of what you were told was my handwriting that
covered twenty to thirty years?"


"Is it not true that a person's handwriting may change due to injury or
disease such as osteoporosis, rheumatism or arthritis?"

"I would agree that a person's handwriting can change over the years."

"Do you know of any statistical studies pertaining to the accuracy of
handwriting analysis?"


"Yes.  Is it 50%, 75% or 100% accurate?  Do you know of any studies

"It is 100% accurate.  It is allowed in the courts."

"Wait a minute.  Are you saying the courts have made a study?"

"I don't know if such a study has been made.  But the courts allow
handwriting identification testimony to be given."

"That is damn different than statistical tests of accuracy.  Tell me
this.  Courts allow juries to give verdicts of guilty or not guilty, is
that correct?"


"That doesn't mean that they are always correct in their assessment,
that just means that the court accepts it, right?"


"You are aware that the courts accept and allow testimony from any
number of so-called experts in many different fields such as doctors,
psychologists, engineers and natural scientist, just to name a few?


"This does not necessarily mean that all of these are one hundred
percent correct in their testimony.  It just means that the court
accepts and allows it.  Is that correct?"


"Sources of error can exist in handwriting analysis, can they not?
There are a lot of judgment calls just like there is in most
professions, isn't that correct?"


"So we really have no evidence that handwriting analysis is infallible.
In fact, there are document examiners that are honest enough not to
claim that."

"Well, they must be graphologists.  We are on a different basis and it
cannot be carried over to what we are doing."

Trenchant then named a well known document examiner and asked if Avery
knew of him.

"Of course."

"Is he a graphologist?"


"We talked to him about this situation and asked him questions.
Unfortunately, it was much too expensive to bring him here to testify,
however, he did agree to make an affidavit.  I will read from it now.
Quote. 'It is my opinion that the identification of handwriting is not
as positive as fingerprint identification.  While a document examiner
may feel that his or her opinion is 100 percent positive, the facts are
that the opinion is based on qualifications, training, experience and
judgment, any of which may be limiting or otherwise subject to
question.  In addition, the known standards used in the comparison for
the Belmont case may be tainted or under dispute.'"

"I don't agree."  The document examiner said, visibly upset.

Henry called a recess.

When the session opened again, Diana asked, "If you had your druthers,
would you agree with other document examiners that original standards
are preferable to copies?"


"You have said that you could not reach a conclusion from the first lot
of so-called standards sent to you.  If you had not been sent all that
additional material going back 20 to 30 years, what would have been
your conclusion?"

"I would have no conclusion."

"I am interested in your report of this note.  The other unknown
material you were sent was written on evaluation forms.  I am speaking
now of the note."  Trenchant held up her copy.

Avery nodded and located his copy among the papers before him on the

"Now, you report that you cannot be sure of the authorship of this note
which has quite a few words but you can be sure of the authorship of
this evaluation form which has only two words."

Avery found the other document referred to and looked at them and then
at his notes.  "Yes," he agreed.  "I could not be sure of the note
because it contains block printing."

"So do these other SmurFFs that you say you have identified.  There is
some block printing on the note that we are talking about, but most of
it is small case printing."

"Well, there were not enough individualistic examples in the note to be

Henry wished that they had never let that note be sent to the document
examiners.  It had been nothing but trouble and was not related to the
SmurFF forgery that Diana was charged with.  That damn note which had
come out of nowhere--reportedly given Lyle by his good friend but never
verified, was not identified as being written by Diana by either of the
two document examiner firms.  The two examiners also differed on the
identification of one of the 'suspect' medical school SmurFFs.  One was
sure of Exhibit 2 but not of 3.  The other was sure of 3 but not of 2.
Henry recalled that now both document examiner witnesses agreed that
the handwriting did change over the years.  Jesus, if this woman keeps
it up, she'll destroy all our evidence.  Quickly, Henry stepped in and
Amos Avery, the second document examiner that the Belmont
administration had hired, was excused.

Chapter 33

After Avery left the hearing room, Diana put the expert document
examiner's affidavit, that she had read from, into evidence.  The
expert had sworn in this affidavit that all of the student evaluations
for the medical school courses for those years should be analyzed.  It
was possible that another person or persons had handwriting or printing
that was similar to Diana's.  She read this portion to the committee
and added that she hoped they would read the complete affidavit which
contained several pages of the document examiner's credentials.

All along, the women kept their eyes either on these papers or on the
witness.  They steadfastly refused to look at Diana or at the chair.
They asked few questions of the witness, tonelessly, and did not ask
any follow up or clarifying questions.

Annette gives new dimension to the act of keeping a low profile,
thought Henry.  Her demeanor resembles that of a puppy that has just
been whipped for pissing on the new carpet.  Jane, on the other hand,
adopts a superior mien.  Her greatly elevated nose brings her whole
being into an altitude seemingly far above the detestable situation she
finds herself in.

As for Esther, well, she's a wreck.  Never terribly lucid in her
thought processes, she babbles incoherently and then apologizes when
asked to repeat them.  Her piggy eyes dart from witness to her papers
in a flurry of indecisiveness.

Frank Anuse is up to form though and really enjoying it.  Henry watched
Frank proudly as he flung Diana a shit eatin' grin at every opportunity
and at times actually taunted her in a way reminiscent of a town bully.

At this point in the proceedings, Anuse laughed aloud in a derisive,
taunting fashion, causing everyone on the panel to look at him in
shocked silence.  The chair put up a warning hand.

Esther, all the way out in left field and looking bewildered asked, "I
don't remember.  Did we receive something from the students?"

Diana stood up and walked over to where Anuse sat.  Jowl to jowl with
him, she said succinctly, "It isn't funny, Mr. Frank Anuse.  It is not
funny, it is serious."  To Esther, she said, "You probably don't see
everything that comes in or goes out of this committee.

"Again, I want to state that I have been denied access to all these
student evaluations that are needed for my defense.  In addition, this
committee has steadfastly refused to confirm the testimony of their
witnesses concerning these documents by demanding that they be
produced."  Diana returned to her chair.

Her attorney, Al Garret, leaned over and whispered into her ear.  He
congratulated her on heeding his advice to be assertive and demanding.

Diana continued, "I would like to call Dr. Stacy Denton who has
information on the writing of the suspect documents."

"Is this....", Henry floundered.  "Is this new information referring to
the document examiner we just heard from?  This hearing is restricted,
as I told you, to his testimony and--"

"This witness has very pertinent information for the committee
regarding my innocence of your charges."

"We do need to restrict this hearing"

"Dr. Denton has been waiting nearly three hours to give her testimony."

The chair shrugged and muttered under his breath.   What would Simon
Murrain advise.  I need time to think about it.  Aloud he said, "The
committee will recess to discuss this."

Everyone was told to leave the hearing room except the committee.  When
they were alone, Henry made it clear.  "We must limit this hearing only
to the evidence we presented."

Jane, with grave misgivings concerning her future at Belmont, rose to
the occasion.  "I think we need to hear this.  We should at least
appear to be giving her a fair hearing."

"She's already had that," snapped back Henry.  "This hearing is
expressly for confirming the findings of the first document examiners.
Nothing else."

Anuse, who had watched the others leave the hearing room unexpectedly
sided with Jane and urged caution.  "Perhaps we should hear her, Henry.
Those damn reporters are still out there.  If we don't let her testify,
it will be the lead story in tomorrow's paper."

"Still there, are they?  Bothersome creatures!  Well, that puts a
different face on it."  He sat for a moment in thought.  He'd had his
orders.  They were to wind this up fast.  "All right.  We'll hear that
witness, however, I am declaring this hearing closed as of right now.
Her testimony will appear to be heard by the panel and will be in the
minutes to keep the Attorney General and the press off our backs.

"But make no mistake, any of you."  He looked around at all the
committee members, his face stern and his voice threatening, "We meet
tomorrow at nine o'clock right here to sign this report that you have
already seen.  I'll redraft it to indicate that we have had this
additional testimony, but essentially, it will read the same.  Is that

Chapter 34

The hearing resumed.

Dr. Stacy Denton was sworn and Diana thanked her for waiting so long.
"Would you please state your qualifications as an expert witness?"

"Yes, but first I must ask that you waive the privilege of

"Of course.  I absolutely waive the privilege of confidentiality so
that you may respond to my questions and those of the panel."

Stacy then delivered a long list of professional qualifications having
to do both with mental health counseling and organizational consulting.

As she was giving the requested information, Jane wished the panel
could hear of the immense prestige Dr. Stacy Denton had acquired
throughout the university community over the years that she had been a
part of the Counseling Department.  Not only was she widely acclaimed,
she was genuinely liked and successful as a person, in the department
she directed.  At the age of 42, she had shown abilities in her field
that most did not acquire until their later years.  This caused some
annoyance for her since she was constantly besieged by other counseling
agencies all over the country, to come to them.

Jane remembered that when she had felt the shackles of threat surround
her, and realized that she really had no voice or will on the
committee, she had called Stacy.  Of course Stacy could not tell her
that she had counseled Diana at the time she was first charged.  She
could only listen to Jane's anguish at her own impotence.  It was only
after Diana had called to ask Stacy if she would be willing to sign an
affidavit for the federal court action, that Stacy could see a way to
do something.  She offered to also appear as a witness at this final
Belmont hearing if it were felt she would be needed.  Few people of her
stature would have waited outside the hearing room as she did, knowing
that the committee might not even hear her testimony.

She testified that she had seen Diana professionally several times and
that in her years of experience and training she had learned techniques
to determine behavior.

"I saw no evidence that Diana was lying, dissimulating or faking.  I
should say that in my position here, I see many people who are in
trouble and there is a pattern to these reactions.  She exhibited what
we in the profession call the typical victim reaction.

"In subsequent visits, I did a more thorough mental status exam.  I
used all sorts of techniques that uncover whether a person may be
unconsciously suppressing the fact that she wrote something, or did

"I believe that she could not have been lying." Stacy said succinctly.
"She was too upset, too shocked, to really fake me out."

Henry carefully distorted her words in the recommendation the committee
later signed and sent to The Pope to read, 'the psychologist found that
Diana Trenchant had a genuine victim response and truly believes
herself to be innocent.' A far, and exceedingly prejudiced, cry from
the actual testimony of the psychologist.  In fact, in the six page
document, he devoted only ten lines to Diana and her witnesses
testimony--one short paragraph!

Diana asked Stacy if she could, without violating confidentiality, tell
of similar cases at Belmont where a faculty person had been accused of
wrong doing.

 "It happens quite frequently, perhaps as often as once a
month--certainly a regular event.  And in none of these cases which
might involve repeated incidents of drunkenness, sexual harassment,
and, well, I can't go into details, but these are serious areas of
misconduct that I'm referring to--not something as insignificant as
seven SmurFFs!  In none of these cases was the person ever told to
resign or face a termination for cause hearing.  The problem was
handled by the proper department head.  Either a warning was given or
appropriate disciplinary action was taken."

When Diana asked if the committee had any questions, Jane, in an
attempt to demonstrate the proficiency of this expert witness, once
again bravely ventured forth asking Stacy to delineate some of the
techniques used in this case and how she evaluated them.

The psychologist did this clearly and precisely, giving the methods
used and how Diana reacted.  It was very illuminating testimony and
totally ignored, except by the women who had hoped that it might cause
Henry to listen.

At one point, Anuse tried to twist Stacy's words around so it appeared
that she was been saying that Diana had denied that there was any
trouble with any person in the department.

Stacy Denton set him securely and competently back on his heels,
leaving no doubt in anyone's mind that she was no person to try those
tactics on.

Chapter 35

When Stacy had been excused, the chair was ready to adjourn.  On the
advice of her attorney, Diana requested that it be on the record that,
Anuse, one of the panel members had acted throughout the hearing in a
manner prejudicial and threatening to Diana and to her witnesses.

Henry was livid with anger. "You are out of order.  You are making
statements about people on the committee that has nothing to do with
this.  Your comment will not be entered and the committee will
disregard it."

How typical of that woman to state the obvious, he fumed inwardly.
Always before, while ruling, he had kept his cool and at least glanced
at the panel members for assent or dissent.  This time he ably
demonstrated that the show of democratic procedure was only that--a
show.  Damn her.  She had unglued him that time.

In any event, Diana was refused permission to enter the evidence she
had that would have shown that Anuse was biased.

Next, Diana reviewed the poor performance given by the document
examiner.  "He testified that he could not make a decision on the first
set of exemplars sent him.  Then when he was sent twenty years' worth
of documents containing the handwriting of multiple individuals, he
claimed that he disregarded most of it."  She went over all of the
individual letters in the 'suspect' evaluations that Avery had not been
able to match with anything in the writing he used as standards.  "This
shows that there were as many non-matches as matches in his

The panel listened passively, then Henry asked if that was her final

"No," she answered.  "I shall read that now."  She picked up the paper
which had been written mostly by her attorney and edited by her.  It
was designed to get the legal points on the record so that they could
be presented later in a court of law.

"We are at the end of another hearing and it is a grim page in the
rights of faculty members of this university.  I have been tried by a
committee which is chaired by the prosecuting official.  He has
reopened proceedings, engaged in ex parte communications, received
legal advice from the prosecution's lawyer and denied me the
opportunity to even examine the evidence against me.

"A faculty member at any state college, and indeed, a mail room
employee in the state Motor Vehicle Department would have more rights
than you have given me."

Henry tuned her out.  All this legal stuff, he thought, is just to give
her attorney crap to fill a brief.  Murrain had told him this would
probably happen.  Now, what's this?  Alertly, Henry listened.

"There are strong reasons to believe this panel has operated in
violation of my state and federal rights.  If this committee does not
end this unfortunate proceeding, the U.S. District Court will finally
have to determine these issues.

"This committee, at the last hearing, made several promises to me and I
was fool enough to believe them.  It said that it would issue a
decision within a few weeks; instead, it launched a new investigation
of its own without my knowledge or participation which consumed over
half a year.  Second, this committee assured me that I would not be
affected by these charges as I continued my teaching assignments in the
department.  'Go back to work,' you all assured me at the last hearing.
'Everything is taken care of.'  I went back and was ordered to move out
of my office into a corner of the nutrition teaching lab.  I was denied
a telephone and given no help in moving my things.  My name has been
removed from the department mail boxes and department meetings are held
when I am teaching classes.  For these many months, while you reopened
the investigation behind my back, I have been a non-person in my

Jane shifted in her chair uneasily.  She recalled how all of these
promises had been made when the panel had ended the first hearing.  In
fact, she had made some of them herself.  It had seemed then, she
reflected, that the evidence against Diana was inconclusive and that
the majority of the panel felt this was so.  She had expected that just
a simple vote of the panel would send Diana back to her classroom where
she belonged.

"I have served this university for nearly a quarter-century.  Students
have consistently reviewed my efforts favorably and that is a source of
much consternation in my department.  The entire central administration
is prosecuting me, angered because I insisted on minimal rights.  For
example: I refused to have my job eliminated or my copyrighted manual
used without my consent.  They are determined to terminate me and have
spared no resources in support of that goal.  It would appear that some
of these efforts violate my rights under state law, federal law, and
the Constitution."

That's really what it's all about, decided Annette, as she kept her
head lowered and her eyes fastened on the unseen files before her.
Violation of her rights.  Violation of my rights to freely consider the
evidence both for and against her and render an impartial judgment.

"I believe this case represents what is in store for a person who does
not remain in the favor of those who determine policy for this

"I have been accused of writing seven SmurFFs over a two year period.
Only five of these seven were alleged to have been detrimental to two
faculty men, Ian and Randy.  This is five out of the six to eight
hundred submitted for medical radiology during that time.  At a
minimum, even were these charges true, the misconduct of which I am
accused would be dishonesty, but of a variety with no real import or

Diana stopped and reached for the glass of water in front of her.  I
wish I could tell these people what it has been like working here in
this university for the last twenty-five years.  If they would only
listen, I'd throw out this prepared statement in a flash and start
with....her thoughts went back only a very few years, to before the
affirmative action laws.

She recalled vividly how she was treated, what women were subjected
to--still subjected to, she amended, wryly.  Lewd, suggestive poses of
women in every lab and office.  Huge posters on many doors facing the
hallways.  Projections via slides of scantily or unclothed women in
provocative poses that were used to "illustrate" lecture material and
treated with derision by the male lecturer.  We couldn't complain
because we were told that if we didn't like it we could leave.  We were
told that this activity was normal and healthy.  We were told that if
we found it offensive, we must be 'queer'.

And then that wonderful day when Sally, a woman graduate student, found
and placed on her door, a large full length picture of an unclad male.
He was young and pleasant looking--like the boy next door.  No
suggestiveness here.  Just the human male form.  His penis hung quietly
from his pelvis, as unremarkable and vulnerable as the breast of an old
woman.  But what an uproar it caused.  The men were furious.  They
clucked and cackled like a bunch of biddy hens which had been surprised
by a predator's invasion of the hen house.  Diana held the glass to her
mouth for a few moments more even though she was not drinking to stifle
the smile that was trying to force itself into being from the memory.

The offending poster was quickly torn down, torn up and still the
cacophony continued unabated.  That is, until Sally was called in to
the NERD chairman's office.  When she emerged, she packed up her
belongings and left.  Of course,  we can't have that kind of sexual
depravity continue.  The men were certainly united in that decision.
How quickly and easily they can fire women for whatever men define as

She continued with her statement.  "We have seen no evidence that any
faculty were injured by those SmurFFs.  The evaluations that had an
impact were the hundreds of evaluations that we have not seen despite
my efforts to have them made available for this hearing.  If these
faculty had problems, it was with their teaching.

"There is no evidence or any proof as to when, or even if, these seven
SmurFFs were submitted.

"The administration has not shown any motive on my part to fabricate
and submit them.  What I am really accused of is manipulating student
opinion to deny Ian and Randy tenure, when, in fact, neither have been
denied tenure and I have not manipulated student opinion.  If student
evaluations improved the year that I did not teach in the course, it
was in part because previous criticisms have been taken to heart and
teaching improved in the course.  And also because Ian specifically
instructed the students to make only positive comments.  You could
verify this by talking to the medical students, but you are not allowed

Esther tried to follow Diana's words and rebut each point as she heard
it but was overcome by the simple truth of what she was hearing.  She,
too, had been convinced that the handwriting evidence was not to be
trusted.  One of the people in her department had once worked at NERD.
She had confirmed the status of Diana in the department and
corroborated what she had told the panel.  Esther shrugged.  Too bad,
can't be helped, she thought.

"Evidence was introduced at this hearing without being authenticated.
Hundreds of SmurFFs were described but shown to no one.  Professional
witnesses were used against me yet I was not allowed to have an
attorney cross-examine them.  And the ultimate injustice is that the
prosecution official is the chair of the hearing panel!

"I do not believe that I ever had a chance in these proceedings.  If
the administration's evidence is insufficient, you reopen the hearing
and get more, using unauthenticated material.  If I am effectively
questioning a witness, interrupt me, as you did countless times.  If
there is evidence on my behalf, you deny it to me."

Frank Anuse was delightedly and avidly listening to Diana's closing
statement.  God, he thought.  You can sure tell that it was written by
a lawyer and he's pulled out all the stops.  What a tear jerker, he
judged, cynically.  As if any of what she was saying mattered.  The
facts were that we decide what will be correct, not the stupid courts.
Besides, she's getting what she deserves after what she put me through
with that complaint to the Affirmative Action Office because I didn't
interview male applicants for positions in my department.  He raged
inwardly as he remembered the time he had to spend to comply with the
order to produce all of his records and defend all of his placements.
Damned uppity bitch.

"This panel has simply followed the lead of the prosecutor, Henry
Tarbuck, and allowed him to continue to dictate to you without
question--without thought of equal treatment.

"I am aware, as you are, that a male faculty member was recently
convicted of child molesting, given a leave of absence and then
replaced in his position without loss of pay or tenure.  Is what you
accuse me of doing worse than child molestation?"

Diana let the question hang in the air for several moments while she
looked at the panel.  Only Henry and Anuse returned her gaze, the women
kept their eyes steadfastly on their papers which they held like
shields before them.  Useless, she thought, then aloud said, "Thank
you.  I have concluded my statement."

"I would like to clarify a few things," Henry began pontifically.  "The
record will show that the remarks you have made are your opinions.  We
will not respond to them.  I want to make it clear, however, that I am
a chairman of a committee of the faculty--not the prosecutor." There,
he thought selfrighteously, that will show her that I can quote my
lawyer too.

"Secondly, we do not decide anything.  We will not recommend anything.
We are merely the investigating committee which makes the report."

Chapter 36

True to form, Henry adjourned the second hearing with lies--it didn't
matter, he reflected, we have the power.

The hearing panel met the next day.  Each person was given a copy of
the report that Henry had prepared.  "Read it and when you have
finished, come over here and sign this original.  I will require that
you turn in your copies today.  You are to keep this report in

"When is Diana to be notified?"  Timidly, Esther asked the question,
raising her eyes from the document she was reading.

"In good time.  When it is deemed appropriate."  Henry was terse in his
reply, warning that no further questions from the other members of the
committee would be tolerated.

Following this, Esther sent a letter to The Pope asking him not to
terminate Diana.  Later, she would show copies of this letter to the
staff and faculty women who criticized her for signing such a malicious
report.  "We had to sign it.  We had no choice, but see--I tried to
help her!"

Henry sent a copy of the hearing panel's report to Diana late in March.
It was in the form of a memorandum addressed to The Pope.  Even though
the report had been signed early in February, it was dated March 31st,
as were all the signatures at the end.

The report of six pages had four parts: Factual history; Procedures
followed; Findings on considerations; and Recommendations.  Surprise,
surprise--after maintaining in two separate hearings that the committee
only gave a report and would not recommend any action.

Actually there was little in the report that came as any surprise.  The
so-called 'Factual history' was a composite of the testimony of Lyle,
Ian and Randy.  It was carefully written.  It reported that, "Lyle had
discovered several 'suspicious' student feedback forms...." when in
fact he had said two.

The report was redolent with accusation.  Phrases such as "....she
forged...." and "....department could not tolerate forgery...." were
found throughout and put in a context difficult to justify.  One of
these sentences read: "Given the opinion of the handwriting experts
that she had 'forged student course evaluations in a manner designed to
denigrate the performance of co-faculty members', the chairman of NERD
decided to seek termination for cause."  Thus the document examiners
were not only given credit for identifying a person's handwriting, but
Henry claimed they were able to read the intent of the person whom they
said wrote the material examined.  Nowhere in the hearing were their
clairvoyant abilities established.

Indeed, the entire section contained nothing of the events as testified
to by Diana and her witnesses.

The section on the 'Procedures followed' was again taken from what
Henry had decided were the procedures followed and wickedly slanted
against Diana.  It did not mention that the reason thirty-two
additional standards were sent to the second document examiner was
because he could not make a decision on the basis of the standards sent
to the first one.  Instead, it claimed that the second document
examiner confirmed the results of the first.  It also omitted to add
that the standards sent were abysmally poor copies from microfiche,
covered a period of 25 years and included handwriting and printing of
many different people.

Henry thought the section called 'Findings on considerations', was a
gem.  After he had finished writing it, he had leaned back in his chair
and mentally patted himself on the back.  Here was contained the only
mention that there had been other testimony entered into the hearing.
Here, in the entire six page report, only 10 lines were devoted to the
witnesses for Diana.  The testimony of Sarah, he tersely dismissed
with: "One student witness identified one of the suspect critiques and
claimed that she (the student) had written it, but the claim was not
substantiated because the student would not have her handwriting

Months later, the investigator for the Attorney General would note that
incident in the transcript of the hearing and make the following
comment in her report.  "Did the committee really expect that the hired
experts could, at a point when opinions had been stated under oath,
seriously undertake a fresh analysis of the questioned document?"

Henry's report gave no indication that the standards were
unauthenticated or why Diana was not asked to write for the document
examiners to produce authenticated ones.

All of the testimony of Diana was totally ignored.  It was as if she
had never appeared at the hearing--a non-person status like that
maintained against her by her department since the accusation was first

Of course it follows that the 'Recommendation' section would state,
true to the faculty handbook's rhetoric, that termination was
recommended since Diana had demonstrated a lack of professional and
moral fitness.


Chapter 37

In the days following the hearing, the Belmont administration directed
its attention to the complaint brought against it in the County
Superior Court.  On its behalf, attorney Simon Murrain began the usual
returns from the baseline destined to increase costs, delay judgment
and frustrate justice.

The analogy to tennis is not farfetched.  One side, the plaintiff via
her attorney, Al Garret, serves.  A volley of paper ensues from both
sides directed at each other, but under the supervision and rule of the
official, a judge.

Where the analogy loses ground is that very little action occurs in the
court.  Sure, the plaintiff and respondent and the lawyers must show up
for hearings, but most everything goes on in the judges' chambers.

Simon Murrain had a great deal of practice in delaying tactics.  Over
the last four years, seven people had brought suit against Belmont for
sex discrimination.  All seven had been forced to withdraw as their
cases dragged on and on and their resources dwindled.  Simon's initial
move this time was to have the case go to a higher court, in this
instance the United States District Court.

This move placed two additional burdens on the plaintiff and her
attorney.  First, the cost of the proceedings was greater than at the
district level and second, the travel distance to attend hearings
increased fifty-fold.

An advantage was also inadvertently given.  The judge who was appointed
to sit at this session was known for his fairness and knowledge of the

Al Garret immediately filed an amended complaint to the federal court
which could rule on federal laws as well as state.  In it, he listed
six charges against Belmont University:  1. Violation of due process;
2. violation of constitutional law; 3. violation of the state
administrative procedures act; 4. violation of the state open meeting
law; 5. violation of the state access to public records and 6.
violation of the fair employment practices act.

With the listing of these charges, he asked that the court issue a
restraining order, an injunction that would order the respondent,
Belmont University, to grant the plaintiff her right to a fair and
impartial hearing by the university and access to the documents that
had been withheld from her.

It was at this time, shortly after the final university hearing had
ended, that Diana began getting threatening phone calls.  She was told
to drop the court proceedings if she didn't want something really bad
to happen to her.

After the initial hearing on the complaint and before any decision was
handed down by the judge, Murrain filed a motion for summary judgment
on counts three, four, five and six--all of the counts related to state
law.  In effect, he was asking the judge to throw out the four charges
for lack of validity.

His motion caused a veritable flurry of other motions from both sides
and effectively delayed the process of law by dividing the charges.  It
also increased the cost to the plaintiff.  It was a gamble for the
university.  If it paid off, it would cut the charges down to two--both
federal, while disposing of all the others.  If it didn't?  No problem,
there were always appeals to be made that could continue the process

At the hearing on these motions, Al Garret limited his argument to a
synopsis of his brief.  He carefully related the applicable laws and
requested that the defendant, Belmont University, be ordered to grant a
fair, open hearing to the plaintiff, Diana.  Also, that the plaintiff
be supplied with the student feedback evaluations she had requested and
that had been denied to her.

Al was an intelligent work-horse of an attorney.  At 57, he took his
legal duties seriously.  His heavy glasses with their thick rims gave
him a scholastic air.  All that was needed to complete the image of
absent minded professor was a pipe.  He had diligently searched the
literature for precedents which he presented to the judge in a mild but
measured tone.  A reasonable man, he projected this image to the court
and made a fine presentation.  No sparkle, just facts and precedents
clearly presented.

When the judge turned his attention to the respondent, Simon Murrain
stood to address the court looking more like a walking advertisement
for expensive men's wear than an attorney.  Simon oozed charm with all
the proficiency of a hangman leading the way to the gallows.  Close to
Al in age, Simon was of a different bent.  His argument was presented
with show and words--it worked well with juries who tended to watch him
instead of what he said. Today, there was no jury present, but his
modus operandi didn't change.

"Your honor," he commenced.  "The plaintiff was given a fair hearing
under the rules of Belmont University.  She was given due process.
Despite the fact that she forged many evaluation forms causing untold
harm to two young faculty persons, the university made every effort to
treat her with fairness and consideration."  He continued for some time
in the same vein, constantly and consistently referring to the
plaintiff as a forger--a criminal.

Gleefully, Murrain reflected, in court, we attorneys can say anything,
or most anything, we want to.  We do not have to operate under the
constraints imposed on the rest of the populace and preface a charge
with the word alleged.  Truth is not required of us either, although
most judges attempt to keep the elocution within the bounds of

Another check in the system is the presence of the opposing attorney
who is supposed to function to limit any freewheeling antics of his
colleague by appealing to the judge.

But Al did not object to Simon's presentation.  He felt confident that
the judge would rule on the law, not on the performance.  Besides, he
rather enjoyed watching and listening to Simon's kind of theater.

Following the hearing, the wait began.  How would the judge decide?
When would the judge decide?

Even though the hearing committee at Belmont had made its report and
recommendation to terminate, the actual termination letter had not yet
been sent.  From the time she was accused, Diana had found life at work
to be difficult.  As a plaintiff, in a lawsuit against Belmont, it was
nearly impossible.

Nearly, that is, because her students never wavered in their efforts to
encourage and help her.  It was during this wait that factual
information was obtained concerning a dean at Belmont who had falsified
a faculty promotion sheet.  The occurrence had been rumored, but now
the players were known.  Al Garret had talked to the principals of the
event and obtained two affidavits attesting to the misconduct and
subsequent lack of punishment awarded the dean who was still employed
at the university.  The man had suffered no loss of rank or pay for his
transgression.  These affidavits were added to the pile of papers
already on file with the judge.

Early in June, the Opinion and Order of the judge arrived.  Al Garret's
third charge had been thrown out by the judge who wrote that the law
cited did not apply to Belmont University.  The other three charges
were sustained.

On charge number four, relating to the open meeting law, the judge
wrote in part: "To permit this hearing panel to operate outside the
Open Meeting Law would be to enable the university to take round-about
steps to avoid its public duty."

He continued by describing the hearing panel as resembling, "....the
type of secret activities the Open Meeting Law seeks to prevent...."
and suggested that if the panel had considered any area to be extremely
sensitive, it could have gone into executive session.  Even this he
qualified--asserting that it was subject to the plaintiff's right to a
public hearing.

As to the public record law, charge number five, he ruled that the
plaintiff should have access to the evaluations requested.  "The Court
finds," he wrote, "that Belmont must comply with the Public Records

Finally, on charge number six, relating to the fair employment law, the
judge found the evidence submitted to be sufficient to indicate
retaliatory, sexual discrimination.

A few days later, with this Opinion and Order from the court in hand,
John T. Pope, president of Belmont University, terminated the
plaintiff, effective immediately.

The Pope's action was expected by everyone except Al Garret, Diana's
attorney--he still thought he'd won the case.  Belmont had been
thumbing its nose at the judicial system as long as anyone could

Diana Trenchant packed up the teaching and research accumulations of
nearly twenty-five years and left for home.

Neither the president nor any of the Vees could be reached for comment.
However, Bob Alastar, the PR for Belmont, called in the press.  "We
have no comment," he asserted.  "It is the university's policy not to
discuss personnel decisions with the press."

Now there was a new angle in the threatening phone calls to the
plaintiff.  The caller would start out in a friendly fashion.  In a
conversational tone, he would advise Diana to, "go down to the
courthouse and examine the court records for the past ten years.  Just
check the directory for all the cases that Belmont has been involved in
and read the outcome.  The court clerk will help you." Then the voice
would become threatening.  "You will see that no one has ever won a
case against Belmont.  It owns the courts and it owns the lawyers.
You'll lose all your money and you'll be hurt in other ways.  It can
and will make appeal after appeal.  It can and will tie this case up
for years.  Give it up before you get hurt."

Chapter 38

The investigation by the Attorney General continued.  When she tried to
interview potential witnesses at Belmont, she was prevented by the
administration.  "Do not even talk with her," was the gag order that
went out from the central administration of Belmont to every chair and
director.  These lesser administrators were told to alert their
departments or units and advise all faculty, staff and students not to
cooperate in her investigation.

For a while, the investigation lagged.  It was hoped that as tempers
cooled and reason reasserted itself, the university would be more
receptive to the questions posed by the A.G.  It was, after all, to
their benefit to answer the questions.  It was an opportunity to get
their position known because the report, when completed, would be sent
to the EEOC.  It would have considerable influence on research grants
applied for by Belmont faculty.

The cooling off period solved nothing.  Belmont administration was
adamant.  They had done the right thing.  There was nothing to
investigate.  The incident had ended.  The Pope had spoken.

Actually, The Pope was doing more than speaking--he was engaged in
composing excuses and explanations.  Supporters of Diana had sent the
Judge's Order, or excerpts from it, to state legislators, faculty,
staff, students, alumni, trustees and any other person that had
expressed interest in the lawsuit.  This had resulted in hundreds of
letters and phone calls to The Pope and members of his administration
as well as to the Board of Trustees.

"What is going on?"  One of the first callers demanded, having
insisted, and gotten The Pope on the line.  "You fired a good teacher
after a judge ruled that she had not received a fair hearing?"

"Our hearing panel gave her a fair hearing, sir.  The newspapers have
just blown this up to sell papers," The Pope replied, holding back his
anger with difficulty and making his voice sound terribly knowledgeable.

"The judge said you didn't.  I saw his order.  Was the hearing open?
Did you give her all the documents she requested, or not?"  The caller
was insistent.

"Well, sir, it's not that simple.  Our policy is to protect the
employee so we always have closed hearings.  There was no need to
produce the documents in question.  The hearing panel was confident
that they were not needed."

"I don't care about how your hearing panel or how your policy goes.
I'm asking about an excellent teacher who has served our university for
nearly a quarter of a century.  If she did what you have accused her of
.... good God, man!  Five out of thousands--what difference could that
make?  You've made yourself look silly."

The Pope took no more calls after that except from the trustees.  He
could not escape their critical views but with the help of his
handpicked chairman of the board, he managed to placate most of them.

One secretary was placed full-time answering letters and the Vees were
called on to answer the phone calls and talk to any one who came to the
offices.  Consumption of antacid increased astronomically in "Vice
Alley"--lair of the Vees.

PR man, Alastar and all the Vees were carefully coached to suggest to
the callers that Diana Trenchant had really done something unspeakable
and that the charge that was aired was "only the tip of the iceberg."
They also were told to hint concerning her motives.  She was "thought
to have so desired the chairmanship of the department...." or "she was
delusional in her assertion that she had written any course material,
etc...." or "she was not really the type of woman that normal women,
those with husbands or boyfriends, wanted to associate with...." or....

Meanwhile, back at the court, legal papers piled up anew.  Diana felt
helpless, drawn along in a maelstrom of chaos.  A veritable barrage of
verbiage flew to the court, like guided missiles, from both attorneys.
They were couched in legal parlance and cushioned on expensive,
patterned vellum.  For every submission, there was a filing fee, hours
of research and multiple law-firm billings.  For each batch of
documents sent to the court, copies were made to send to the opposing
attorney, the file and sometimes, even the plaintiff.

Occasionally, a hearing on one or another of the various motions was
called.  When this happened, the lawyers and the plaintiff were joined
by the judge, his clerk and the court stenographer.

Each attorney blew smoke--substantial as ghost poop.  The judge sat in
the air high above the arena and pondered.  At times, he would
interrupt and admonish.  Periodically he would ask a question and these
were the interesting moments as each attorney had a different answer.

The lawyer for the defense only knew what he had been told by Henry
Tarbuck and Henry only knew what he had been told by Lyle.

Diana's attorney knew only what she had told him and it was obvious
there was a lot that he hadn't remembered.  How little the truth
counted in these proceedings, Diana thought as she listened to the
screw up.  Neither of these men, who are being questioned and are the
only ones allowed to speak, were at Belmont when these events were
occurring.  Most of the time they are way out in left field with their
answers.  And here I sit, mute because the system demands it, unable to
clear up the confusion.  All this money spent and the judge still
doesn't understand what the SmurFFs are.  He asked for clarification
and got gibberish.

There's the gavel.  One more useless hearing is over with.

Then, just as winter was getting a firm grip on the land, the Attorney
General released her report.  Diana and her supporters were jubilant.
The local paper printed and the TV and radio blared: "A strongly worded
report from the A.G.'s office to President Pope maintains that
professor was fired unjustly."

The A.G.'s thirty page comprehensive Letter of Determination (LOD),
made it clear right at the beginning that the Belmont administration
had refused to cooperate in the investigation.  It emphasized that,
"The University declined to make available people and information." At
the end of the LOD, it reiterated Belmont's non-cooperation.

The LOD went on to state that the University had held Termination for
Cause Hearings.  Sworn testimony was taken which had been completely
transcribed by a court reporter.  This transcript and the court records
relating to the illegal termination suit were used in this
investigation since the Belmont administration refused to cooperate
with the Attorney General.

It took the form of a letter to The Pope.  In stark contrast to Henry's
report, the LOD reviewed the history of the allegations against Diana,
giving the charges and the response to these charges, equal weight and
importance.  This information was from the transcript which contained
the sworn statements of all the university personnel involved in the
hearing--those people who were prevented by the administration from
talking to the A.G. investigator.  It also reviewed the testimony of
Diana and her witnesses.  Reference was made to the testimony of the
three document examiners--two presented by Belmont, the affidavit of
the one submitted by Diana at the second hearing.

The point was made early on that the specific charge which resulted in
termination was that Diana had written seven evaluations out of some
one thousand submitted.  Five of these were alleged to have injured two
faculty members.  It emphasized that testimony indicated that there
were no performance problems with Diana.  "....testimony from both
sides established that she was highly regarded by her students, was
very dependable and a hard worker."

It noted that while expert witnesses, the document examiners and the
university attorney, were used to testify against Diana, she was not
allowed an attorney to conduct a competent cross examination.  Stating
that even though supportive documents were not presented at the
hearing, "the committee accepted testimonial evidence on the contents
of them," it concluded that "....this represented the most serious
deprivation of fundamental fairness that occurred.  Any concept of a
fair administrative hearing, even one conducted without regard to
strict rules of evidence, could not include the admission of
testimonial evidence of the contents of documents which were available
only to the party presenting the evidence."

Commenting on the dissatisfaction of the committee with the testimony
of the first document examiner, the LOD stated that, "Rather than
reject the testimony and find Trenchant innocent, the committee
continued the hearing and hired another document examiner.  This one
disputed the findings of the first and required more standards.  The
documents provided by Belmont were exceedingly poor copies of file
contents, much of which was over twenty years old.  Most of these
so-called standards contained the handwriting of more than one person.
At no time was any evidence presented that showed the standards sent by
the administration to the handwriting analysts to be the writing of

Remarking on the fact that the committee was chaired by Henry Tarbuck
who had already decided that Diana was guilty, the A. G. wrote, "The
committee applied different rules of evidence to her and her witnesses,
it badgered them and cautioned them against giving hearsay testimony.

"The committee rejected direct evidence by one student who testified
under oath that she had written one of the 'suspect' documents.  It
ignored the testimony of Diana as well as that of her witnesses."

Then the LOD turned to the report from the hearing committee that Henry
had authored.  One paragraph stated: "The effect of the suspect
critiques on the two people who were said to have been hurt by them had
not been assessed, but did affect the individuals involved."  To this,
the A.G. declared, "One questions the committee's findings as an
accurate reflection of the evidence.  No underlying facts were stated
by the committee that explain its findings that 'individuals were
affected,' nor does the committee state how it could make that finding
while stating that it had not examined the effect."

As precedents or comparison, the LOD reported that no penalties were
imposed on two male Belmont faculty members, one who had altered
promotion papers, the other convicted of child molestation.  It quoted
the testimony of Stacy Denton, the university psychologist.  She had
declared she knew of many instances of faculty misconduct more serious
than what was alleged in this case.  Those people had not been

Concluding that the university's stated explanation for terminating
Diana was not worthy of credence, the report found there existed
probable cause for sex and age discrimination and disparate discipline
by Belmont against Diana.

The LOD was sent to the regional EEOC office which accepted it and
confirmed the acceptance with the A.G. by phone.  The newspapers and
television reporters had a field day with it.  Diana and her supporters
felt vindicated beyond measure.  Almost everyone believed that it was
all over--that Diana had won.  Congratulatory letters and phone calls
flowed to Diana and Belmont University administration was given a
verbal drubbing.

Chapter 39

The university PR system was cranked up to its fullest.  Letters were
sent out to various alumni groups around the country and speakers to
these groups were alerted and advised.  The trashing of Diana blossomed
into an intellectual lynching of the lowest order.   Much later on, as
people came to understand that the university had not complied with the
findings of the court and Attorney General, there was a general loss of
respect for Belmont which contributed to a decrease in enrollment.

The official Belmont University response was delivered by the public
relations spokesperson who dismissed the LOD as, "inconsequential.  I
don't know what all the fuss is about," he said.  "When you cut through
the fancy title at the top it's just a lawyer's opinion."  No one else
at Belmont was available for comment.

The Pope did know what all the fuss was about and was stung by the
words of condemnation contained in the LOD.  He immediately called his
contact at the Washington DC office of the EEOC.  He complained
fiercely that the LOD never gave the university's side of the question.
"No one here was interviewed by the investigator from the Attorney
General's Office," he protested peevishly.

He got that right!

His contact got his protest an immediate hearing by the EEOC chairman,
who directed the regional office to quash the Attorney General's LOD.
No one in the head office bothered to read the LOD and learn that the
reason there were no interviews of university personnel because they
refused to cooperate with the investigation.  Friends in high places,

In addition, The Pope called a meeting to discuss their court strategy.
"Now," The Pope said forcefully, "It's time we did something to end the
legal hassle.  That damned judge!  And, this A.G. letter on top of it.
We are getting too much bad publicity.  The letters and phone calls are
driving everyone crazy around here.  It's gone on long enough--too
long!"  Sitting around the conference table in the west wing of his
office with him was Murrain, Henry Tarbuck and Jimbo.

Murrain spoke confidently.  "The court business is nearly finished.  I
have already petitioned the judge for permission to start discovery.
Unless the plaintiff is sitting on a gold mine, that will finish off
her bank account right there."

"How's that?" asked Jimbo.

"During discovery, we take depositions.  Al Garret will have to depose
a lot more witness than we do in order to even come close to presenting
his case.  Conservatively speaking, he's looking at nearly a thousand
bucks a day that he must bill Trenchant.

"And that's not even the best part."  Murrain caressed his face with
his hand as if re-oiling the smile on its surface.  "I'll coach our
people in evasive answers, which means that it will take days of
deposition time for him to get the information that an unprepared
witness would give in a hour.

"Good."  The Pope was pleased.

Not so pleased was Al Garret and the plaintiff.  Both attorneys had
agreed some months ago that the process of discovery would not be
commenced until the judge had given his final ruling on the motions and
the trial date set.  Murrain delivered his low blow without missing a
beat.  "Oh," he cooed when Al called him to complain, "I must have
misunderstood.  I thought you wanted to get started before the final

Al was outclassed and he knew it.  Apologetically, he called the
plaintiff and drew her the financial picture.  An appeal to the judge
for permission to delay discovery was ignored--Murrain had carefully
picked his time.  It was one of the last orders the judge signed before
departing on his vacation.

That's all she wrote, Diana acknowledged  In debt and unemployed, she
dropped her illegal-termination suit against Belmont University.


Chapter 40

Deep within the bowels of the Belmont library building, the university
archivist, Igor O'Toole, had been keeping an informal running tally of
events relating to the SmurFF Affair.  He had gleaned the information
from his friend, Diana, confirmed gossip, media sources, university
documents and private sources which he knew to be reliable and would
not reveal.  He had, over the past two years, posted it in a scrapbook.

His interest had been whetted when the story first broke.  Everyone
repeating it on campus was incredulous....termination for cause on
account of seven SmurFFs?  Really?  It must be a joke.

But Igor, casting out his informational net, discovered that it wasn't.
It was discrimination, pure and simple and he, because of his race,
knew discrimination when he came on it.

He remembered how close he had come to not landing his present
position.   A man in his late forties, he had impeccable credentials
and years of experience in archival work.  He was also an African
American.  Strong, competent and unassuming, he had applied for the
posted position of senior archivist and then waited for the decision
from personnel.

Time passed.  They told him they were still interviewing, but he had
learned from a contact he had made in the library that they had
reposted the advertisement for the job because no qualified applicants
had been sent from personnel.  That was how Igor's pool of
informational sources began.

Then suddenly, he was called in for an interview.  By now his contacts
had grown and he discovered that his name had won him the job.  Someone
in the personnel department had inadvertently listed him to the library
as a viable candidate based on his last name....  obviously Irish.  His
race had been overlooked.

The library director was delighted with his credentials and called him
in for an interview.  This firmly established to all and sundry that he
was black.  Back then, tokenism was rampant so when the director hired
him, the administration went along with it, albeit reluctantly.  After
all, the archives were in the basement, who would notice?

Now having enjoyed many years at Belmont and made many friends, he was
turning the last few pages of his scrapbook.  It was by now a huge
tome, meticulously kept and recently augmented by Diana's contribution
of letters, court papers and related documents.  He had reached the
final section dealing with the people involved and the aftermath.

Grimly, he noted that despite the several instances of plagiarism
committed by the two faculty men, Ian Heathson and Randy Fecesi, they
were promoted and given tenure.  The years of adverse student
evaluations of their teaching abilities were all thrown out on the
basis of five 'suspect' ones and Henry's report.

Randy, at the insistence of the medical students, was moved out of the
medical radiology course and into an undergraduate nutrition course.  A
year later there were problems involving some of the young women in the
course.  The women were hushed up and Randy was given an immediate
sabbatical of indefinite length.

Ian continued in the radiology course but was never able to capture any
grants to continue his research.

The best all around teacher in NERD, fed up to the gills with having to
continually save the department's teaching bacon, quit and moved away.
This excellent teacher, Ray Stinnis, could no longer turn his back on
the rampant dishonesty inherent in the department--the treatment
afforded Diana had been the last straw.

After Ray's departure, Lyle Stone was forced to give lucrative courses
up to other departments.  The resulting decrease in revenue caused a
severe decline in his research programs and plans were underway to
abolish the NERD entirely.

Frank Anuse had suffered a near fatal heart attack.  Months later when
he returned to work, it was reported that he was a changed man.  His
attitude toward the women in his sector improved and it was reported
that he regretted his role on the Trenchant panel.

Esther received the promised promotion and a raise.  A year later, she
was retired--broken and unhappy.

Annette quit her position and moved out of the area with her roommate.

Jane, who had been tenured, left.  The circumstances were never

Jimbo and Dean Broadhurst were quietly retired.

An administrative intern in The Pope's office was summarily fired for
injudiciously stating that it would have been more cost effective to
retire Diana than spend the thousands of dollars to terminate her.

"You see," he explained to the assembled president and Vees, with more
ignorance than good sense, "Our current policy would have paid for her
retirement without any further outlay of monies on our part.  The
hearings, document examiners, courts and subsequent damage control has
cost nearly one hundred thousand dollars."

Still reading, Igor marveled at how the ripples created by Diana's
struggle had widened and spread out of Belmont into the state.  Her
short but important court venture resulted in twenty areas of state
statutes cited.  These annotated statutes served to strengthen the
application of the cited state laws to Belmont.  Using these laws, a
faculty union was kindled and an Animal Rights Organization sued
successfully to attend Belmont animal research meetings.

Applications for enrollment decreased as many became turned off by
Belmont's noncompliance with the law.

The legislature of the state became disenchanted with the university
because of the notoriety, and decreased its annual appropriation.  A
legislative investigation was initiated to ascertain the number and
salaries of the central administration of Belmont.

The Pope felt the heat and got out of the kitchen--very suddenly.  An
interim president was appointed by the trustees.

Henry Tarbuck elected to stay when the new president came on board and
was demoted to an associate Vee.  His wife successfully sued for
divorce and Henry's claim for alimony was denied by the judge.  This
meant that he had to go back to living on his own salary.

Two women successfully brought charges of sexual harassment against a
Belmont administrator.  A court subsequently awarded them nearly a
million dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.

So many sex discrimination cases were initiated by Belmont staff that
the new administration created an entire unit to investigate and put
out fires.

Diana applied for unemployment compensation which the Belmont
administration opposed on the grounds that she was discharged for
dishonesty.  At the State Employment Service hearing, Diana submitted
the Judge's Order and the LOD from the Attorney General.

Although the entire upper administrative wing of the personnel
department appeared to testify against her, the Employment Service
hearing officer decided that she had been unfairly terminated.  She
drew unemployment checks for only a few weeks.  They enabled her to get
by until plans for self-employment could be formulated.  Continuing in
her teaching career was out--no references would be forthcoming from
her last employer.  She started a small delivery business from her home
and with that, her friends and Social Security, she managed all right.

Chapter 41

Igor O'Toole put his scrapbook aside, then stood up and stretched.
Back at his work bench, preserving, repairing and reconstructing the
tomes of human accomplishments, mistakes and history, he ruminated on
how the more things change, the more they remain the same.

The structure of all but the most recently birthed colleges and
universities is rigid, he observed to the roll of transparent tape he
was using to repair still another torn page.  Their medieval trappings,
so obvious at historic functions, may appear invisible in other facets
of existence.  None the less, these trappings still exist.

Patterned much like the society of monks, higher educational
administrations still follow a monolithic, generally white
male-dominated path even though modern times have seen the enrollment
of women students, the hiring of women faculty and even women in
central administrative posts.  But it's a facade.  The real discipline,
established centuries ago, is maintained and furiously guarded.

For a while, the newer laws of the seventies relating to affirmative
action suggested that there would be a break in the male bastion.  Time
proved, however, that sex discrimination and sexual harassment laws
were never well enforced and were being slowly destroyed by the Supreme

Continuing his mentation, Igor allowed as how, like the monastery, the
university structure is maintained because it is supported throughout
the governmental system of a state or country.

Now comes the turn of ethnicity as students of all races, religions and
creeds are storming the ancient fortifications.  Thus far, they have
not even cracked the surface.  What appears to be maneuvers that should
embarrass a university administration only serve to entrench it even

At Belmont, the student's attempts to force political correctness--PC,
on the administration culminated in a takeover of their offices.
Nothing new here.  This has happened at many universities all over the
country.  The result of the takeover, far from enlightening the powers
that be, only delighted the Belmont administration.

As student protests do every time, he reflected, they take the public's
attention away from the stench of the secret university policies and
procedures and place it on the antics of the students.  Most always,
student protests involved property destruction.  As a result, public
opinion turns against student innovators or bell ringers.  The cause of
their protest--entrenched, polluted power--is again shrouded by the
ignorance that gave it birth in the middle ages.

Igor yawned and scratched his chin.  Most of the collected intelligence
and experiences of the world is in this library, he reminded himself,
but few avail themselves of it.  Upstairs now, you don't even have to
search through books for whatever you're looking for, you just punch up
a computer and it collects everything ever written on any subject you
can think of.

But with all these wonderful strides in disseminating information, he
marveled, the people running this place act just like they always have.
Tradition covers a multitude of sins and power corrupts now just as it
used to.

Too bad most young people don't realize how much their protests just
solidify the status quo, or rather, most of them don't.  Igor smiled to
himself as he glanced at the clock.

Diana would be back by now.  Time to give her a call.  He sat down at
his desk and dialed the phone.

"Thought I'd find you in.  I've just been thinking about our little
project and taking a lot of comfort from it."

He listened briefly, then said, "Just thought it was too bad that most
young folks waste their efforts so.  Not like those two young women
upstairs.  They are exceptions."

Listening again, he answered, "Yes, they are good friends and just as
upset as me over the SmurFF fiasco.  Well, we have begun something that
will have an effect for some time to come."....

"Me?  I'm tickled pink to have had a part in an endeavor which, in the
Baconian sense, allows, '....a kind of wild justice' to prevail....

"Well, yes, I am still angry at the way Dan Field acted when the
students came to him on your behalf, Diana.  This guy claimed to be so
strong for human rights, claimed to represent the blacks and other
down-trodden and he crapped out.  No doubt about it, he had the
position and the clout to have stopped this thing in its tracks.  He
was the administrations's visible token black.

"And that brother in the EEOC.  Surely, as head honcho, he should have
checked the facts before blindly bowing to political pressure....

"Well yes, thank you.  I, Igor have made up for both of those Oreos.  I
have made Afro-Americanism stand for something positive at Belmont."

Smiling now, he reviewed with her the culmination of the combined
efforts of those two women upstairs, Diana and himself.

Pooling their knowledge of computers, they had formulated and
introduced a harmless virus into the library computer which had already
spread throughout this library and beyond.  And it would continue to
spread.   The contents of his scrapbook, along with all the originals
of the documents Diana could produce, had been incorporated into the
viral computer program so that whenever anyone queried information on
any relevant topic, the SmurFF Affair at Belmont would be targeted.
The true facts of the good ol' boy conspiracy against Diana Trenchant
could no longer be hidden by the administration.

Any interested person would be able to access all of the letters and
documents relating to it.  The entire transcript, attorney briefs,
Attorney General's LOD and all the shady meetings and despicable
planning engaged in by the power structure of Belmont University would
be instantly available in menu form on their computer screen.  The
virus would see to that and good old human curiosity would do the rest.

Still smiling, Igor said, "So long and take care.  I'll talk to you

Picking up his jacket, he turned off the lights.  Another day--well, it
would seem good to get home.

Upstairs, as he passed between the desks of Roz and Andrea, the women
who had made such fantastic use of the contents of his scrapbook, he
paused.  Holding up both arms, palms flat out, he said, "Good night, my
friends.  Have a nice evening....and thank you."

Slapping his palms in unison, with grins broad enough to span the
universe, they returned the greeting and the emotion.

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