We shall call him Mr Mookeen. He was a brilliant young man, an all- rounder and was popular. No wonder he chose to become a teacher and he did become one. He put himself to his tasks with heart and soul and no wonder he became popular very soon. He could be seen in the field, he would be called to address a students' audience, and he would be the foremost in organizing any school function. Thus he became the favorite of the Headmaster, and the envy of some of his seniors. To mar his reputation something serious happened.
It was the annual examination and the question papers were being set. Naturally, Mr Mookeen being the confidant of the Headmaster was helping the latter in collecting the question papers and sending them to the press. But suddenly like a bolt from the blue, two days before the Mathematics examination, the question paper was out and it was in the hands of every boy. At first the news was a whisper and then it became public. There was commotion in the school and the matter reached the ears of the Headmaster. Indeed it was a shock to him and he could not rush into any conclusion.
He was a mature person but the teachers began to view Mr Mookeen with suspicion and though they never blamed him openly they spread rumors that Mr Mookeen had a hand in the pilfering of the question papers. The rumor reached the ears of the Headmaster. Formally he spoke to Mr Mookeen about the leakage of the question papers and secretly arranged for a fresh set of papers to be also printed through Mr Mookeen. So on the day of the examination the new set of papers was given to the surprise and shock of all.
Mr Mookeen had been worried when his colleagues looked upon him with suspicion and the boys too began talking about his alleged complicity in the leakage. The matter didn't stop there. It had reached the ears of the management and so the Secretary wanted the Headmaster to hold on enquiry into the conduct of Mr Mookeen in this affair. Poor Mr Mookeen had been spending sleepless nights and wanted to clear his name. Mr Mookeen started enquiring from the boys how they had got the paper. But the clue was not easily forthcoming as the boys refused to talk.
Mr Mookeen would not take defeat. After all he was popular and there were a few boys who were devoted to him. So Mr Mookeen caught hold of one such boy and promised him complete secrecy and protection. The boy was reluctant at first but at last began slowly yielding to persuasion. He told Mr Mookeen how he got hold of the copy of the question paper and also the modus operandi behind the debacle. It had all happened this way. The question paper packets had been sent by post to the press to be printed.
The packets were sent through the peon to the post office. One of the boys who was poor in Mathematics and who wanted to pass bought the peon with a bribe and got the question paper packets from him. He had it copied and then repacked the original packet and posted it. The boy with the question paper could not keep his secret contained. He circulated copies of it to his intimate friends who in their turn gave it to other boys until every student was having one copy of the Mathematics paper.
The information from the boy was passed on discreetly to the Headmaster who enquired very tactfully. The boy who had actually master-minded the plan refused to speak the truth, but the peon under threat of dismissal admitted his having parted with the question papers to the boy. When confronted by the guilty peon, the boy could not hold his fort. He had to admit his guilt. Mr Mookeen was relieved and now he could go about his duties with a clear mind. His honor was restored by the management of the school as well as the public. Thus honesty always pays.