|Picture kindly provided by RANet|
The queue in front of him was enormous. It would take him another quarter of an hour to get somewhere near the top of the line.
Good, he thought, that banks were the only establishments where people liked to give other people their hard earned money to do with it what they liked. - And in his case, they had wanted something entirely different than he wanted - or better said needed.
In his dark mood a sudden exclamation from the entrance door put him out of his revelries.
"Oh heavens, the service gets better all the time!"
When Max looked around a pair of busily chatting ladies, who totally had overheard the exclamation, he found the most stunning sight. A lovely brunette stood there, drawing all (male) attention to her, with a major frown on her face.
But instead of walking in or going to the end of the queue, she turned straight back out and went into the administrative part of the bank building.
Max brought her lovely picture back to his mind. What a sweet sight she had been.
A dreamy smile appeared on his face and only some time later he recognized that her appearance had made him totally forget his dire situation, why he was here at the bank in the first place.
But it needed the repeated clearing of the throat by one of the ladies behind him to bring him back in time to take his place with the now free accountant.
Some 500m away, in a very exclusive club of town sat two old gentlemen, obviously of old money, relaxed in their leather armchairs near a window. The newspaper, a butler had brought them earlier, lay unopened on a nearby coffee-table.
One spoke to the other: "Do you see the man over there? Young, rich, stupid, no pedigree, no manners?"
The other answered with a slight smile: "That describes him in total."
"Do you believe, he requested of me to introduce him to the Chancellor of the Exchequers."
"How impertinent of him..."
"A newcomer, a nobody, fresh from university into the management of a bank."
The other man nodded to each of the accusations and the condemnation of the young man, standing at the entrance of the reading area of the club, holding a mobile phone in his hand as if he was awaiting a call.
When a short moment later the phone indeed rang, he, instead of leaving the silent reading area, went into the room, not taking any notice of the two now silent occupants.
He went to the window and rushed and agitatedly spoke into the phone.
"He is there? Brilliant! Now he has to give in. Now he has to sell."
After a short pause, the person at the other end must have rejected the co-operation - the young man continued: "Do it. That is a direct order. Or you can find your promotion taken by Ms. Reed."
Now the person at the other end must have given in, as a cunning smile showed on the young man's face.
The second man, Sir Reginald Wilbers, slightly touched the first man, who earlier had so vehemently complained about the young man, at his arm and silently motioned to him. As he did not seem to understand the context of the sign, he started to whisper: "That is our man!"
Sir Eduard Wilbers, the cousin of Sir Reginald, shook his head: "Not this pompous brat!"
"Oh, no!" answered Sir Reginald. "Not this man, the one he wants to betray. - I heard the story earlier. He wants to buy the house of this man and now forces him into bankruptcy, so he has free reign obtaining the house financed with a loan provided by his bank. This will leave the poor man no other choice but to sell his dear and hard earned property."
"You are fantasizing, cousin. How could you possibly know all that? It is absolutely outrageous and totally unbelievable. We do live in certain times of stability and social security. No way, that man could be our ideal object for our bet."
"He is, Cousin Eduard, he is. Trust me. I overheard this fluff of stupidity talk to his real estate manager at the bank. - His victim is absolutely ideal for our cause."
While the two cousins had agitatedly discussed the subject, the young man had ended his call, obviously very content with the result.
Sir Eduard immediately stood up to make his presence known to the young man. With an open and overly friendly gesture he invited the young man to join them in their alcove.
"Come, join us, Mr Gibson. You have not met my cousin, I presume? May I introduce you to Sir Reginald Wilbers of Wilbers & Wilbers?"
The official greetings were exchanged and Sir Eduard invited the young Mr. Gibson to sit with them.
"We have a proposition to make to you, about that man, Maximilian", Sir Reginald rushed in.
The topic was obviously uncomfortable for the young man, when agitated colour rose to his face. He wanted to jump up and leave the two cousins, but Sir Reginald put his hand calmingly on his arm.
"Do not get alarmed. We do not want to interfere with your plans. But your man just is too ideal for one of our bets. It will not be to your disadvantage."
Now they started to get into more detail of what they planned and why that poor man without job, money, connections and local family would be ideal for whatever they planned.
|Edited picture of John Mulligan as Max (RANet.com)|
“You have securities enough, why can’t I get a loan to overcome the unemployment and start with my own project? – I need the computer to do and find work!”
“I am sorry, but you cannot loan on your property. It is already held as security for your outstanding payment rates to the bank.”
“But you already took my doles and completely erased all money from my account. You have more than enough security in my life insurances.”
“That has already been taken into account, to clear parts of the loan for the house. But it is not sufficient to pay off the outstanding loan.”
“Of course it is not enough. The loan runs for some years to come. It was never intended to pay it off in one bulk sum and exactly at the moment when I lose my job.”
“I am sorry, Sir. But I can do nothing for you.”
Maximilian had needed the bank loan, as he had bought an old and quite run down house with a magnificent garden around it, a vast area of wilderness at the top of a hill with the best view in the whole area. Nobody had wanted it at that time, as parts of the house had to be rebuilt with historical accuracy. He had had a good job back then and enough of free time, to rebuild the house with his own hands. As architect it had been a hobby for him and now that his house was nearly finished and already showed its potential glory, envious eyes had found it a worthy target.
The accountant once again received a telephone call. Again his eyes repeatedly met Maximilian’s, so he got the distinct feeling that the call was about him.
This time, the accountant seemed much more at ease with the message of the call.
“Gold, you say? Are you sure? The one already issued? Yes, Sir. Very well, Sir, Immediately, you say? Yes, right away.”
A bright smile settled on the face of the accountant and he carefully put the phone back on the receiver.
“Hold on a moment, Sir. I have to get something. I will be back in an instant. Don’t go away!”
Max replied gruffly: “What sense does that make? It would not change a thing.”
“But it would, Sir. Oh, please, just stay. I have to bring you something.”
The accountant rolled his eyes and said: “From somebody very high up. – Yes, very high up indeed.”
With this words he left.
The row behind Max murmured angrily, because of the further delay.
Max turned and apologetically moved his shoulders as to say, he had no idea what was going on, as indeed he had none.
When the accountant returned a while later, he held a thick envelope reverently in both hands. With a light bow he presented the letter to Max.
When Max stood there, rooted to the ground and didn’t know what to do with it, the accountant looked up from his bow and nervously, as if glad to get rid of the envelope, pressed it in Maximilian’s hands.
“This is for you, but don’t open it before 2 o’clock this afternoon.”
“Is it a loan?” Max asked surprised after the accountant had refused his earlier request so vehemently.
“In a way you could say that. - You have to give it back in two months time at exactly 2 o’clock.
The explicit instruction was. 2 o’clock on September 1st, no minute earlier, no minute too late and in the same state as it was given.- Good luck, Sir.”
Max shook his head wonderingly, astonished about the 180° turn of the bank. He had lost all hope and now, he had an envelope containing a loan for two months.
Max was so happy, that he in thank threw his arm around the astonished accountant and, when the lady behind him grumbled, he took her by the arms and gave her a light kiss on the cheek.
With envelope in his jacket pocket, he light-heartedly went to the exit, while the lady, with an astonished smile on her face and her hand on her cheek, admiringly followed him with her eyes.
... Continue with: Part 2 ...