Friday, July 06, 2012

BLEAK SPOUSE: Chapter 19 – Matters of Evidence


AT THE OFFICES of Messrs. Venal & Grabbit, Solicitors, Edgar Venal is feeling particularly pleased with himself. He goes to his drinks cabinet, pours himself a large gin and tonic and then relaxes on his leather sofa, contemplating the firm's motto on the opposite wall: "The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself." He mentally rubs his hands in expectation of the fees that the particular piece of business he has just done will rake in.

Edgar, you see, has just spent a very productive afternoon examining the contents of Larry Lizzard's laptop (after enlisting the help of Steve Jobby to hack past Larry's password). The laptop turned out to contain everything that Edgar had hoped for, and more.

Edgar quickly discovered that Larry has for many years had an email account under the name 'BigWad123'. What is more, Larry does not appear to have deleted anything from his inbox for all that time.

Scrolling back through Larry's inbox (and ignoring all the spam emails offering various dubious services and products), Edgar eventually found what he was looking for.

What is the email equivalent of a love letter? A 'love email' does not have quite the same ring to it. Whatever, Edgar had found an exchange of such emails between Larry and Lady Wedlock, covering a period of several years. Reading through them, Edgar ascertained that the pair had had a relationship that went back much further, and that Prissy Jaundiced was actually the child of that relationship.

Further to that, Lady Wedlock continued the relationship long after she married Sir Basildon, and only ended it when Larry lost his fortune in the big crash (clearly Lady Wedlock knows the value of money - a woman after my own heart, thought Edgar).

With a broad (but very slightly wicked) smile on his face, Edgar forwarded copies of the incriminating emails to himself.

But there was also something else that Edgar was looking for on the laptop. When Steve Jobby had told him that BigWad123 was Larry Lizzard, the name had rung a bell with him. He had soon recalled that Scot Lucrative had once mentioned Larry whilst giving Edgar instructions, so Edgar took further instructions and Scot admitted that when Larry had been working as a banker, he was the one who had salted away Scot's fortune for him, to make sure that Michelle Lucrative didn't get her hands on it. Scot agreed to pay Edgar a bonus if he could find and destroy all evidence of this arrangement.

Sure enough, Edgar found other emails and old spreadsheets setting out all the details of how Larry had made Scot's fortune 'disappear'. Once he was satisfied that he had found everything, Edgar removed the laptop's hard drive, and placed it in the blazing fire in his fireplace (after copying the relevant files to himself for 'insurance', of course).

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