Essay by Kerry_901A+, June 2005

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Everybody in William Street said that Tommy was mad, and so they left him alone. But I'm not so sure now that he was mad, and I can think of many people much madder than Tommy ever was.

He didn't look mad. He was a man of medium height, thin; he wasn't bad looking either. He never stared at you the way I expected a mad man to do; and when you spoke to him you were sure of getting a very reasonable reply.

But he did have some curious habits.

He went up for every election, city council or legislative council, and then he stuck posters everywhere in the district. These posters were well printed. They just had the word "Vote" and below was Tommy's picture.

At every election he got exactly three votes. That I couldn't understand. Tommy voted for himself, but who were the other two?

I asked Hat.

Hat said, "I really can't say, boy. Is a real mystery. Perhaps is two jokers. But they is funny sort of jokers if they do the same thing so many times. They must be mad just like he"

And for a long time the thought of these two mad men who voted for Tommy haunted me. Every time I saw someone doing anything just a little bit odd, I wondered, " Is he who voted for Tommy?"

At large in the city were these two men of mystery. Tommy never worked. But he was never idle. He was hypnotized by the word, particularly the written word, and he would spend a whole day writing a single word.

One day I met Tommy at the corner of William Street.

"Boy, where you going?" Tommy asked

"I going to school," I replied.

And Tommy, looking at me solemnly, said...