Here is a sentence from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

"That is a first-rate idea," said the Lion. "One would almost suspect you had brains in your head, instead of straw."

I think had might be referring to the event when the Scarecrow suggested that idea the Lion is talking about, but if I remember correctly, I have read somewhere on ELL that the past tense used to be used instead of would. The book was originally written in 1900...

Is that had in the indicative or subjunctive mood, and if that proves to be the subjunctive, could we substitute had for have or would have?

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    The past tense here is a shift caused by the verb suspect; the tense reflects that it is a suspicion not a statement of fact. The reference is not to a past occasion but to a present suspicion. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 29 '16 at 18:32
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    I think most speakers wouldn't think of the subjunctive mood at all, reading that sentence. (Some linguists even argue that English has no mood.) The sentence sounds contemporary enough to me. Perhaps one of my old answers can help a little: Why the past tense? And how can I understand these 'would's and 'could's?. (There are verbs in both the past form and with would or could.) – Damkerng T. Jan 29 '16 at 18:57
  • Most speakers have never heard of the subjunctive and simply say what they say. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 29 '16 at 23:15

"One would almost suspect you had brains in your head, instead of straw." This means you don't actually have a brain, but your behaviour makes one suspect you might have.

"One would almost suspect you have brains in your head, instead of straw." You have brains in your head but keep it a secret and pretend there is just straw. But your behaviour makes one suspect that there is indeed a brain.

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