THE FIRM: Chapter 5 - The Private Investigator

EARLY SUNDAY MORNING, New Dilapidated House. Mike McCheap hasn't slept all night, despite working in the office until eleven o'clock the previous evening. Instead, he has been lying awake worrying about what Inspector Gormless had told him.

Could Hugo Belligerent really have been murdered? If so, by who, and why? More importantly, why did Gormless think he could be in danger? Just what was going on at Venal & Grabbit?

He had decided it was time to find some answers.

He glanced across the bed at his wife Abigail. She looked as gorgeous as ever and, to his relief, was still asleep. He carefully slipped out of the bed and crept into the living room, shutting the bedroom door behind him.

He picked up the telephone handset and walked out onto the balcony, dialling a number as he did so. While the phone rang at the other end, he watched the rising sun light up the graffiti alongside the nearby railway tracks.

Eventually a voice answered: "Eddie Lowlife, Private Investigator. Whoever wants me at this time on a Sunday morning must have a bloody good reason."

"Eddie?" Replies McCheap. "It's Mike. Mike McCheap. Remember me from Cambridge?"

McCheap had instructed Eddie to dig the dirt on one of his law lecturers, to 'ensure' he got a First. What Eddie had come up with was more than enough to ensure a First...

"McCheap? Oh yeah, that kinky law lecturer." Says Eddie. "What can I do for you now?"

McCheap explained what had happened to Hugo, and what Inspector Gormless had told him.

"What I want you to do," he says, "is have a snoop around Venal & Grabbit, and see if there's anything funny going on. Find out whether Hugo was pushed, and if so whether that means I'm in any danger."

"OK." Replies Eddie. "I'll see what I can do."

"Good." Says McCheap. "I'll look forward to hearing from you."

"Just one thing." Says Eddie. "You do know what you're doing? I hear Edgar Venal is not the sort of man you want to cross."

"I know what I'm doing." Replies McCheap, and hangs up.

What he does not know however is that, as a matter of course, Venal & Grabbit Head of Security Bill Devastator taps the phones of all employees...