if you ever find out that’s straight



I'm a bit confused by a dialogue I've encountered in "Damnation Alley" (an old sci-fi thing) by R. Zelazny.

The context is:

An offender is offered full pardon for all his crimes (including the undiscovered ones) in exchange for a dangerous ride from L. A. to Boston (in a post-apocalyptic world).

He accepts the offer, and, after having heard an unpleasant but true sermon of how bad he is from the officer, he responds to the officer that he'd already made halfway there:

“I’ll make it through and live. I’ve been as far as the Missus Hip [Mississippi].”
“You’re lying.”
“No, I ain’t either, and if you ever find out that’s straight, remember I got this piece of paper in my pocket — ‘every criminal action’ and like that"

The "that's straight" part confuses me. Does it refer to the river? Is there some context I don't understand about straightening it? The whole sentence looks like a mockery to me ("even if you find out what I've done there, you still won't punish me"), but I don't get it.

(My fist guess was that he was referring to some real criminal offense he had done on the way, but it does not make much sense in the context).

  • dcn2005

    But going to Mississippi itself does NOT seem to be a crime even in that world... Why then pardon for it?
    On the other hand, he might have been raiding there with his motorcycle gang (so the crimes may just go without saying). So this seems to be a legit (and so simple!) interpretation, indeed. Thanks!
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