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I was secretary and administrative assistant at a college library back in the 1970s. As a newly-wed, our budget never stretched far enough; so I started taking “temporary loans” from the office petty cash. Sometimes I could repay the full amount, but other times, only half.  When I left the job and we moved out of state, I was still in debt to the petty cash box.  My boss and co-workers apparently never knew.

Nevertheless, my crime haunted me for decades.

About 15 years ago, I got an especially large tax refund. I took the amount I remembered owing (about $200), added $100 for interest over the years, and sent the cash anonymously to the college president with a note saying, “for library books that I never returned” — which was not exactly the case, but it provided me with a cover story. I assume the college president forwarded the money to the library.

Now I sleep much better at night.