THE FIRM: Chapter 13 - A Realisation


Edgar woke with a start. He was sweating profusely, and not because of the Caribbean sun, now slipping towards the horizon. He looked up and saw his faithful negro manservant Old Toby gazing down at him.

"Master Venal, yous dinner's ready!" Exclaimed Old Toby.

Edgar looked around. He was beside the swimming pool at his villa Slaver's Plantation on Mustique, not in Venal & Grabbit's underground car park.

Slowly it dawned on him that it had all been a bad dream: there was no Mike McCheap, no Ronnie or Reggie Molotov, and the only Firm was Venal & Grabbit.

Furthermore, Venal & Grabbit do not have a 'Head of Security' (although Edgar wondered whether it might not be a bad idea...).

A wave of relief flowed over him.

He wiped the sweat from his brow, poured himself another mint julep and took a long swig.

It had all seemed so real. He shuddered as he remembered the sight of Ronnie Molotov blocking his escape from the underground car park.

It was only a nightmare. He kept telling himself.

He wondered where in his subconscious such an awful story could have come from (although, upon reflection, it was only the end of the story that was awful...).

Perhaps his conscience was trying to tell him something? He had never previously thought he had a conscience.

He took another sip of mint julep and watched the sun go down. As he did so, his thoughts guiltily turned to the staff in the office back in cold, grey, December London. Damned conscience, he thought.

His conscience ignored that. After all, it continued, without the staff you wouldn't have made your fortune.

At that moment, he determined to cut his vacation short and return to London. If he hurried, he could get back before the office closed for Christmas Day (it opened again on Boxing Day). He would call his secretary Brunhilde, and get her to book a ticket for him on the next plane.

But first, he would finish this mint julep.