The Child Buyer

The Child Buyer by John Hersey Read Free Book Online

Book: The Child Buyer by John Hersey Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Hersey
Tags: Literature, LANGUAGE. LINGUISTICS. LITERATURE
will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
    Mr. CLEARY. Yes, I do.
    TESTIMONY OF MR. SEAN CLEARY, DIRECTOR OF GUIDANCE, TOWN OF PEQUOT
    Mr. BROADBENT. Please identify yourself for the record as to name, residence, and occupation, sir.
    Mr. CLEARY. I'm Sean Cleary, 221 Second Street, Pequot, and I'm Director of Guidance for the public schools of that community.
    Mr. BROADBENT. You call yourself Director of Guidance. Exactly what does that mean, sir?
    Mr. CLEARY. Well, I was trained as a vocational-guidance counsellor, I got my M.A. in education at Perkins State Teachers, studied under Professor Sender, head of the vocational-guidance department, and I met the State requirements in vocational guidance by holding a job as a stamp-press operator in the Northeastern States Bottle Cap Corporation in
    THE CHILD BUYER
    Treehampstead for six months. In other words, I was an expert in how to help high-school students decide what career to follow, how to train for it, how to get a job. So then I was hired into the Pcquot system, and I was assigned not only vocational guidance but also psychological guidance for the high school, as well as psychological guidance at Lincoln Elementary, where my office is situated, in a former coat closet. I have seven hundred twenty students. I am also in charge of audio-visual and driver training. I coach basketball. I monitor the library study
    hall. I—
    Mr. BROADBENT. What exactly do you do in what you call psychological guidance?
    Mr. CLEARY. I give psychological tests, I.Q. tests, so on. Then I also have to do a great deal of nursemaiding of both children and mothers, and I give parents what we call parent-teacher therapy. Among students I am supposed to solve and cure insubordination, gold-bricking, dullness of mind, smoking, drinking, sexual promiscuity, law fracture, money madness, suicidal selfishness, aggression, contempt for property, want of moral anchorage, fear of failure and of fear.
    Mr. BROADBENT. Have you had psychological training?
    Mr. CLEARY. There hasn't been time for that as yet. Or money—the taxpayers are rather hostile to the idea of guidance. ... I hope to get an in-service credit in play therapy this next semester, and after that, who knows? Of course I have tried to read whatever I could. I have had to become an unwilling student of abnormal psychology, and I may say, Mr. Chairman, I am constantly on the alert for signs of lunacy in everyone with whom I come into contact. This very minute ...
    Senator MANSFIELD. I see. Yes. Very interesting. Are you—
    Mr. CLEARY. Sometimes, I must confess, I feel a sort of whirl of vertigo, and I have a thrust of suspicion that I myself am bats
    Friday, October 25
    and that what seems to be madness in the people with whom I am conversing—
    Senator MANSFIELD. Yes, yes, fascinating, yes.
    Mr. CLEARY. —is only my own insanity which I project onto them.
    Senator MANSFIELD. I see. Yes. Surely. Dear me. Senator Voyolko, do you have any questions?
    Senator VOYOLKO. Huh?
    Mr. BROADBENT. Now, Mr. Cleary.
    Senator MANSFIELD. There was something I wanted to say. . . . Oh, yes. Mr. Broadbent, I suppose that after our last witness even you will welcome some consecutive testimony. I mean, something in a straight line.
    Mr. BROADBENT. I was just going . . . Now, Mr. Cleary, would you search your memory and begin with the very first thing that happened on the morning of the day you met the man Wissey Jones?
    Mr. CLEARY. Hmm. Dr. Gozar. Yes. Before school I had a talk with Dr. Gozar, our principal at Lincoln. We were standing out on the grounds, waiting for the first bell. It was one of those October days we have around here when the sky's like a thin plastic balloon; the maple trees were turning to gold and the dogwoods were already bronze. We were lounging against the jungle gym on the playlot, and we had to speak up to hear each other, because some of the older boys' voices over next the blank auditorium wall

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