BLEAK SPOUSE: Chapter 12 – Mr Gormless

AT THE OFFICES of Messrs. Venal & Grabbit, Solicitors. Edgar Venal is sitting at his desk pondering how he might make certain assets belonging to a divorce client 'disappear' so that the client's wife will not get her hands on them, when the phone rings.

It is his secretary Brunhilde. "A young woman has just come into reception. She says she has some information for you that you may find interesting. She says she must tell you in person." Says Brunhilde.

Edgar's interest is certainly piqued. He closes the file he is looking at and tells Brunhilde to show the woman in.

The woman is young. She is attractive, but is wearing a cheap coat. She speaks with a thick Russian accent. Edgar recognises her as Elena Brezhnev, au pair for Sir Basildon and Lady Virginia Wedlock. She tells him that she is no longer in their employ.

"Why did you leave?" Asks Edgar.

"I deed not leave," replies Elena, "Lady Vedlock deesmeesed me."

Edgar's interest piques a little more. "Oh," he says, "why was that?"

"She zinks zat I seeduced Sir Basildon, but eet ees not true - he tried to seeduce me!" Exclaims Elena.

Edgar's interest piques yet more. "I see," he says, "but what is this information you have for me?"

"Eet ees about Lady Vedlock." Replies Elena. "Zee other day she took zis coat from my vardrobe and left Vedlock House vearing eet. She voz up to sometheeng - maybe she ees seeing another man."

Edgar's interest reaches maximum pique. This could have possibilities. He thinks. "So vy - err, I mean why - are you telling me this?" He asks.

"I hate Lady Vedlock." Answers Elena. "She has made sure zat I vill never get another job een Eengland. I vill have to reeturn to Russia - how vould you like to live een Moscow?"

"Well, quite." Replies Edgar.

Edgar thanks Elena. When she has left he rings Piranha to tell him the news.

As he puts the phone down there is a timid knock on his door. It is his trainee D’Arcy Downtrodden, who has finally issued the defamation claim against Matt O'Gridley.

"A-all w-we n-need t-to d-do now is find him and serve the claim on him, M-M-Mr Venal." Says D'Arcy.

Edgar thinks that D'Arcy's stammer is getting worse. "Don't worry," he says, "I have an idea as to how we will do that."

D'Arcy looks relieved. Edgar dismisses him from the room and picks up his phone again.

This time he rings Police Inspector Gormless. The Inspector owes Edgar a favour, after Edgar represented him in his divorce, and made sure Mrs Gormless never found out the true value of his police pension. Edgar decides it is time to call in the favour. Gormless may not be the sharpest truncheon in the force, but Edgar thinks even he should be capable of locating Matt and serving the defamation claim upon him.


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