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Overdue library book returned after 55 years

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

"Fire of Francis Xavier" is considered nonfiction. But the more appropriate place for it is probably on the shelves of the mystery section.

The book was checked out from the library on April 10, 1958, and has been on some journey. Now the book has finally found its way back home to the Fort Washington branch. It was delivered Monday in a manila envelope with a $100 check.

The dusty, dog-eared and marked-up copy was clearly used by whoever checked it out. And that's part of the mystery: who really had it? The library doesn't know. Its records don't go back that far. All library officials know is whose name was on the check, and they are keeping that confidential because the sender could have been anyone cleaning out a house or attic.

Then there is the issue of the overdue library fine; 55 years ago it was 2 cents a day. But library policy is not to exceed cost of book, which was $4 in 1958.

Adjusting for inflation, the value is $50, which is more than covered by that $100 check.

For those looking for this book, you won't find it at the Fort Washington branch. It is going back to the Main Branch so that the librarians there can decide if the book can be put back into circulation.

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