THE RAINMAKER: Chapter 3 - The Tout

ST. CARELESS could never be called a 'flagship' NHS hospital. With its Victorian buildings, it looked more akin to a workhouse than a modern medical care establishment.

Ebenezer felt a shudder go down his spine as he entered the hospital's dismal reception area. Along the walls were rows of grubby chairs occupied by equally grubby patients.

At the desk, a forbidding middle-aged woman glared up at him as if he shouldn't be there. "What do you want?" She growled.

Ebenezer hesitated. "I, er... have been told to meet Dr Backhander. I'm from Amber, Lance & Chaser, solicitors." He said.

The woman's expression turned to disdain. "I'll tell him you're here."

£            £            £

Dr Backhander was a thin weaselly man with short greasy hair and pale skin. His white coat was covered in stains, the origin of which Ebenezer thought it best not to know.

"I think I have just the thing for you." He said, glancing around furtively. "Just came into A & E. Whiplash case, with possible brain damage. Dead cert for an insurance claim - should be worth a few bob."

Dr Backhander took Ebenezer into A & E, pointed at a scruffy youth wearing a neck brace, glanced around furtively again, and then promptly left.

Ebenezer looked at the youth. "What's your name? He asked.

"Victor," the youth replied, "Victor Timm. People call me 'Vic'."

Ebenezer looked at Vic suspiciously. "And what happened to you?" He asked.

Vic then explained how he had been driving home from the unemployment office, minding his own business, when he was hit from behind by another car, giving him whiplash.

Ebenezer couldn't help noticing that Vic was, well, a little slow-witted. Could he have suffered brain damage as a result of the accident?

Ebenezer felt his heart begin to race at the prospect of a large claim for damages. That could pay off his loans, he thought.