In the spring of 1949, the Warden opened up a job “outside” the prison. It’s a little bit outside because the job was to resurfacing the roof of the license-plate factory but still inside the prison area. The Warden, told that he need a dozen volunteer. Red gave some packs of cigarettes to the officers and the guards to get that job. Red and some of his fellow friends, including Andy, got that job.
While supervising the workers, the Guard Captain, had some talk with other guards. Hadley just got a large number of money from his died brother but he was confused because he can’t get all the money, he had to pay big number of taxes to. Seems like the money was not his luck. Andy overheard the talk, and then he bravely talked to Hadley that he knew a legal loophole so Hadley can take every penny of that money without tax at all. At first, Hadley was doubting Andy. But Andy was a good banker, he still good at numbers and laws. Andy made up to ensure Hadley, all Andy ask for price is just beers for all his co-workers.
I really like the scene when all the workers drink beers, feel free for a while. I like the lines Red narrated:
“We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like a free men… As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade. A strange little smile on his face, watching us drinking his beer. You coul’ve argue he’d done it to curry favor with the guards, or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me, I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.”
After that, Andy’s become more popular both in the eyes of the prisoners until the Warden called him. The Warden moved him to work in the prison library, to help the old Brooks. In library, Andy also helping some guards who knew him from Hadley. Andy help them about financial planning and taxes. Andy’s become more popular, but he never thought all those guards he helped as friends.
Andy wanted to expand the prison library. Andy talks to the Chief Warden, and got negative respond fro the Warden. The Warden said no budget for library but then Andy said,
“I’d like to try, with your permission. A letter a week. They can’t ignore me forever.”
The Warden didn’t believe in that, but still told Andy to write letters if that makes him happy.
Andy really did what he said. He writes a letter a week to Library District. He really did that, even no answers for years. By that years, Andy is busy helping guards, and more guards, even guards from other prison about financial things and taxes. Andy handle all the taxes, including the Warden. With that busy job, he also asked Red to be his assitant. With close connection with the Warden, nobody brave enough to touch Andy in the prison. But Andy is still humble and quiet, still befriend with Red and others.
Those scenes really made me feel I need to be braver in this life. But don’t forget to be brave with reason.
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