Friday, June 29, 2012

BLEAK SPOUSE: Chapter 18 – Lawyer and Client

AT THE OFFICES of Messrs. Venal & Grabbit, Solicitors, you will find on the wall in each room a sign setting out the firm's motto: "The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself." It is a sentiment that has guided Edgar Venal through a successful career, to the position of pre-eminence that he enjoys today.

Edgar's career has also, however, been guided by a second principle: Always stay one step ahead. In pursuance of this principle, Edgar has been using a friend he knows in the newspaper trade to hack into Lady Wedlock’s mobile phone. As a result, he knew of her conversation with William Piranha. He therefore got to Mr Crooked first (he will deal with Piranha’s double-crossing later).

Three days ago Edgar slipped into Dilapidated House under Piranha's very nose, disguised as the pizza delivery man...

Edgar knocks hard on the door of Mr Crooked's basement flat. Eventually, he hears a stirring inside, and a voice calls: "Who is it?"

"Pizza delivery." Replies Edgar.

Mr Crooked can't recall ordering a pizza today, but then he orders so many, that he could easily have forgotten. He looks suspiciously through the peephole, and is reassured when he sees the man outside carrying a box big enough to hold his favourite extra-large deep-pan stuffed-crust-with-extra-cheese pizza. He feels his stomach rumble, and opens the door.

Edgar swiftly puts his foot in the doorway to prevent Mr Crooked closing it. "Remember me?" He asks, taking off his Pizza Hovel baseball cap.

Mr Crooked does remember Edgar, and curses himself for concentrating on the pizza box rather than Edgar's face, before he opened the door. "Whadda you want?" He asks warily.

"I have a proposition for you, Mr Crooked." Replies Edgar. "Can I come in?"

Mr Crooked grudgingly accedes to Edgar's request. Edgar glances round the chaotic hallway, noticing the pile of unpaid bills and court papers. "How's business?" He asks Mr Crooked.

"I've 'ad it better." Replies Mr Crooked.

"How would you like to solve all of your money worries in one go?" Asks Edgar, gesturing towards the pile of papers.

Mr Crooked looks sceptical. "An har am I goin ter do that?" He asks.

"By selling Dilapidated House." Replies Edgar.

Edgar then explains how Venal & Grabbit have a big developer client looking for land in the area, that they can turn into a block of exclusive luxury apartments (they would have to demolish Dilapidated House, of course). Edgar offers to persuade the client to buy Dilapidated House for big money, in return for Crooked giving him Larry’s laptop.

Crooked readily agrees.

Minutes later, William Piranha doesn't notice anything odd about the pizza delivery man leaving the building still holding the pizza box, which is now rather heavier than before.

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