Friday, July 13, 2012

BLEAK SPOUSE: Chapter 20 – Flight


WEDLOCK HOUSE, the drawing room. Edgar Venal has once again decided to make an exception to his rule that clients should visit him, not the other way round. On this occasion, he is quite certain that the venture away from his office will be more than worth his while.

"What's this all about, Venal?" Asks Sir Basildon Wedlock, concerned as to why Edgar has specifically asked to see him alone, rather than with Lady Virginia.

"Certain information has come into my possession," replies Edgar, "upon a very delicate matter."

Edgar goes on to explain to Sir Basildon everything he has discovered about Lady Virginia's relationship with Larry Lizzard and the birth of their daughter Prissy. He takes care to emphasise the lurid details contained in the emails he found on Larry's laptop.

Sir Basildon is heartbroken.

"Of course," says Edgar, "if you should decide that you must instruct me to commence divorce proceedings, then I would be reluctantly prepared to act upon those instructions."

"I, er... don't know." Replies Sir Basildon hesitantly.

Edgar then advises Sir Basildon that his marriage is clearly over, and that he should get the divorce proceedings in first, before Lady Virginia does. That way, says Edgar, Sir Basildon will have a better chance of protecting his incredible wealth from the claims that Lady Virginia is bound to make.

That makes up Sir Basildon's mind. He instructs Edgar to commence divorce proceedings immediately.

*            *            *

That evening Sir Basildon is sitting alone in his study drowning his sorrows with a bottle of Château Lafleur 2005, when he is disturbed by a loud knock at the door. It is the new au pair, former Russian women's shot-putter Olga Bigbut. She is highly agitated.

Olga tells Sir Basildon that Lady Virginia has just left Wedlock House, taking many of her belongings with her.

Unknown to Sir Basildon at the time (but discovered by him later), his conversation with Edgar was overheard by Lady Virginia, who had placed an intercom in the drawing room when she found out that she was excluded. Once she heard that Edgar was about to commence divorce proceedings against her, she realised that her only chance to get anything from the marriage was to take it now, while she still had the chance. She had just managed to cram all of her jewellery into her Range Rover, and drove off into the night.

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