John Richards was a highly successful accountant in the city of Summerville. He was also well-connected in many business circles from an array of different businesses around the city. His nickname was ‘Mister Honesty.’ These associates always came to Richards for financial advice  and would point their friends in his direction. His business was booming.

He was married to Joan, a teacher at the local school. They decided early on in their marriage that they would not have children, opting to focus on their respective careers.

John had countless meetings to attend to after work due to his position. Joan wasn’t much into the social aspect of his career and attended as few of his meetings as she could get away with. She had nothing in common with Johns’ associates and wasn’t one for small-talk.

Despite his high profile John had a secret. There was only he and one other knew of it. John was a cocaine addict and had been for several years. His dealer was one of his business associates who would supply him with small and regular amounts of the drug.


Cocaine kept John sharp but as time progressed he required more cocaine to keep him this way. His wife was the first person to notice his changes in mood. Sometimes he would return from a meeting on top of the world. Other nights he would return home in a despondent mood. John would write this off as a boring and uneventful meeting so Joan gave it little thought.

Johns’ need for cocaine became so high that he began to steal money from his workplace. At first it went unnoticed but after six months his bosses called the police in to investigate. At first John denied everything but eventually confessed to not only stealing the money but also to his cocaine addiction. He was charged with embezzlement and taking a prohibited substance.

Johns’ wife was outraged and his acquaintances were in shock. He was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment.

Prison Bars

John found prison rather easy going. He posed no threat to anyone. He was no hard man and even had a few of the more intellectually minded prisoners ask him for financial advice. John was happy to oblige.

For the first four months John would receive weekly letters from Joan, all rather curt in nature. Then one week he received a letter from Joan that froze him. She had met someone else and wanted John to move out of their house upon his release.

Upon his release from prison John immediately moved his things from Joans’ house as she had requested. The only accommodation that he could find at short notice was a three bedroom house. Not knowing what to do for work, John reluctantly approached his old acquaintances who welcomed him with open arms. One employee at his old accountants’ firm said that he would have a word with his boss. John was ecstatic.

A few weeks later his acquaintance returned to John with some great news. He said that his boss would be happy to take John back on as an employee as a clerk. John couldn’t believe his luck.

Within weeks, John was back to socialising  the without the cocaine. His old acquaintances acted as if nothing had happened. One of them said to him, “You mad a mistake, John and you’ve paid for it. It’s all good.” It was indeed all good for John.

Within these circles, John was still known as ‘Mister Honesty.’