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St. Nick's Outlaws

By Jim Colombo


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Copyright 2001 Jim Colombo


 Chapter 54


            It was seventh period, 1:20 in the afternoon, and the door opened slowly. It was


the Mole.  He peered into the classroom to see if it was safe to enter.  He entered and


closed the door.  With small choppy steps he approached the desk, and placed his secret


files, which he carried with him all the time, on the desk.  The Mole was a short man with


no neck, and had tiny eyes that blinked constantly. He had a nervous itch on his nose that


he could never stop scratching.  He began class by cleaning his spectacles, then he put


his glasses on, and looked around the class to see if any spies were lurking.  It was safe. 


“We meet again, “ the Mole said with a sly clandestine smile.  Thus began another Civics


class with Brother Clovis and the continuing saga of mysteries, spies, intrigue, and covert


activities perpetrated by “The Government.”  Whenever the Mole revealed one of his top


secrets he whispered so the FBI couldn’t hear him.  He believed that Standard Oil and


General Electric started World War Two so that they could sell oil and electric motors to



Hitler.  The CIA owned Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and was slowing administering drugs to


deaden the brain cells of the citizens.  Brother Clovis was unique and very entertaining.  All


those years of reading about conspiracies had filled a tiny mind with  paranoid.


Class began with the latest news from Warren Hinckle’s Ramparts Magazine.  J.


Edgar Hoover was concealing evidence from the Warren Report.  The war in Southeast


Asia was escalating.  American generals and the CIA were sending drugs to America in


body bags from the Golden Triangle and were selling to the Mob in New York City to


fund covert CIA activities in Laos.  Farm subsidies and Billy Sol Estes were getting a lot


of attention.  Ol’ Billy, the former aide to the former senator from Texas, Lyndon


Johnson, was living high on the hog.  Ol’ Billy was skimming the farm appropriation. 


The Mole had the scoop from “The Voice,” an independent newspaper. 


Some of the lads asked the Mole inquisitive questions that ignited a spirited


exchange.  The lads invented a few conspiracies of their own.  Whenever the Mole


became excited about a new revelation, he blinked his eyes and scratched his nose


uncontrollably. “Fascinating.  That's fascinating,” the Mole  replied.  Rico had the Mole


believing that the Vatican had paid a large sum of money to the Nazis in 1945 in


exchange for them not bombing their cathedrals.  After the war the Vatican paid ransom to


German dealers for relicts and paintings.  The Mole knew that the church had vast sums of


money, paintings and relicts.  The Jesuits secretly managed all of the money and


corruption in the Vatican.  He believed the CIA was using the Peace Corp. as a front to


infiltrate third world countries.


The Mole’s lecture for the day was about the American Civil Liberties Union, a 


group of lawyers who defend an individual’s rights guaranteed in the Constitution


defending anyone they believed have had their rights violated.  The Mole was a member of


the ACLU and he donated his time and what little money he had to support the fight to


defend the Constitution. 


The Mole was about five feet tall. When he lectured he was consumed with the


topic.  He sat at his desk and told his stories like a campfire chat.  The tall guys sat up


front.  These were the guys on the basketball and football teams who kissed ass for a


good grade. A smooch here, a smooch there, and it all added up to a C+ turning into a


B-.  The Kissies concealed the other activities going on in the back of the classroom. As


the Mole lectured, the lads were consumed with their own covert activities.  The Mafia


was playing blackjack in the last rows of the classroom.  Augie, Restani, Caro, and


Ciaffi were using a deck of cards made from strips of binder paper.  Rico was fondling


the latest centerfold from Playboy magazine.  He sniffed, licked, and kissed all the


love candy the lady displayed.  Griffin and Madox shot tiny paper wads with rubber


bands at the flies circling the closed windows.  Prescott and Duke were reading Hot Rod


magazine.  Desmond and Bautista were shooting spitballs that stuck on the ceiling.  


Butler was sleeping.  He was smiling, so it must have been a sweet dream.   


Soon it was 2:10 and class dismissed.  The Mole was no fool and assigned papers


about current topics he had discussed.  The topics were the Free Speech Movement


and the Students for a Democratic Society.        


            It was crunch time, and Jim needed to get all the A’s he could.  Religion, English,


and Civics were good possibilities.  American Literature, Physics and Trig were maybe A’s.


A good term paper, a well-placed smooch, and knowing the contents of the final exams


would improve his chances considerably for an A final. 


The Christian Brothers had an old duplicating machine that reproduced copies on


a cylinder with a typed stencil placed around the cylinder.  The stencil rotated, gathered


the proper amount of blue ink, and printed on the passing sheets of white paper. It was


a dirty job, and only Casmir know how to run the machine efficiently.  All the final


questions for all the exams were printed on the duplicating machine.  It was extra


money for Casmir.  It took about a week to print all the test sheets for all the teachers. 


The senior exams were printed first. 


Jim learned about Casmir’s talents when he spent time helping Casmir improve


his oral and written English while preparing for his citizenship test.  In return Casmir made


copies of the finals at the end of his sophomore year.  Jim had a week to prepare for finals


knowing what the questions and the essay topics were.  He still had to study and prepare


for the tests, but knowing the area of concentration was way cool. Jim gave Casmir a


bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch the week before finals in his junior and senior


year. It was a tempting secret to share with a close friend like Augie, so Jim gave opinions


about what he thought the test would be about.  The lads were impressed with his


accuracy.  Jim had to do enough work to maintain a respectable B during the semester, 


then the miracle took place.  Jim’s finals were always in the top five and he had a


reputation with the teachers as a strong finisher.  The teachers appreciated his valiant


efforts and rewarded his hard work.  Some of the guys called Jim the Clutch Man because


he always came through in a tight situation. 


            Jim was a good poker player never revealing his knowledge or source.  He had to


research the topics given by the Mole. That Saturday morning Jim and Augie went to the


library.  Jim got information about the Free Speech Movement and Augie got information


about the Students for a Democratic Society.  Jim hinted to Augie that the Mole had spent


time lecturing about the First Amendment: freedom of speech.  Augie was becoming


suspicious of Jim’s accuracy.  He told Augie to pay attention to the amount of emphasis a


teacher gave one topic compared to another.  Each had retrieved material about his


subject and they sat at a desk on the second floor of the main library.


            “How is it that you know what the finals are about?  You know the essays and the


concentration of the test?  How is that, Jim?” asked Augie. 


“I pray a lot the last week, Augie.  You should try praying more,” said Jim with a




“Come on man, no shit, how the hell do you do it?” asked a frustrated Augie. 


            “Augie, you told us once that a quarterback and a priest can’t divulge their


confidentiality.  Well, fullbacks can only reveal their sources in the summer when the surf’s




            “You got an angle, right?  I knew it.  Nobody can be that good with opinions,” said


Augie with emphasis.    


            “Tell ya what, Augie, when we have our last beach party at Ocean Beach, I’ll tell


all of the secrets,” said Jim with a wink.


            “Come on man, I'm dying in Physics and Trig,” said a desperate Augie.


            “Cool it, man.   I'll take good care of you.  You want an A or B final?” asked Jim.


            “Man, I thought you were good, but I never realized you were this good.”


            “Hey, man, never underestimate the powers of an Outlaw.”




“You know that Azzoni is good in math and science.”




“Remember in the sophomore year when someone set off the sprinklers in the


second floor bathroom?”




“I was walking in when Azzoni was running out soaked.  The fool lit a match and


thought that he could run out before the sprinklers went off.  He thought that if he did it,


we would think he was cool, instead of a dork.”


“So what did you say when Brother Raymond came?”


“I told him that I saw a leaking sprinkler and I tried to tighten it.  By the time they


came the smell of smoke was gone.  They bought it.”


“So you've had Azzoni in your pocket for almost two years.”


“Not really.  The sophomore year he owed me big time.  Now I pay him ten bucks


for information about a lab analysis or copying his math exams.  You give me $5, and I’ll


pass it on to Azzoni with my $5 and we’ll have the Physics lab test results.  Trig is


different.  That’ll cost you $10.  On the day of the test I'll give Azzoni your $10.  He’ll


let me copy his answers.  I'll let you copy mine.”


“I never saw you copping.  How did ya do it?”


“We have signals.”


“No shit.””


“Be cool Augie.”


“You’re out of sight. You’ve got my word.”


Jim and Augie spent Saturday morning reading about their topics.  Three hours


had passed and it was lunchtime.  The lads were hungry and Doggie Diner was a couple


of blocks away.  They went to the bathroom by the Research Department to take a piss


and washed up.  As they left the bathroom, a cute girl going into the ladies' room distracted


Augie, who stopped and tried routine three on the innocent lass.  Jim continued walking. 


He saw a familiar figure talking to the research assistant and he approached slowly and


discreetly, as if he was looking for a book.  He hid behind a row  of books and observed a


man who looked like Brother Justin laughing with the young man.  It was Brother Justin,


and he was wearing jeans and a sweater.  He looked like he knew the assistant and they


laughed and touched one another teasingly.  Augie approached Jim and saw a playful


Brother Justin with the blond assistant.


“Holy shit,” said a surprised Augie.


He startled Jim, who turned and motioned Augie to be quiet.  They watched for a


while, and then left for Doggie Diner.


“Did you see that?  Brother Chicken Shit sparking with the blond assistant.  It


looked like the guy did a poor job of dying his hair,” said Augie


“Looks like Brother Chicken Shit has a boy friend,’” said Jim.


They walked to Doggie Diner and were surprised with the revelation that Brother


Justin had the same mannerisms, posturing, and gesturing as Brother Tim when he talked 

to the assistant.  They had never seen him act like that at school, nor seen him in jeans

and a sweater.  Brother Justin had a secret.  Jim told Augie not to say anything, because

they didn’t have what the Mole called “the smoking gun.”



More next week...