43: Knowledge

He believed he was innocent, even a nice guy. This was the self he had tucked away before his difficulties, which now, like general values of the times, he could draw on. No one could deny him family (he had a mother and loved her dearly), self-reliance (he had earned his own living), courage (his very defiance of the charges supported that claim), and fairness (he believed no one should be given what he had had to work for). His lawyers had no trouble establishing the evidence on the character issue. The only trouble was he knew what he had done, and others could easily imagine him doing it. The innocent self inside him looked out and was not pleased, could not shake off the accusations, for that self also looked inward at an even younger self who had often wished to break all the rules and escape the consequences.