After leaving the Carrington mansion, Max walked around for a while. He was disappointed and without a clue how to make Ellie listen to him. To find one’s dream-woman and then to lose her because of a misunderstanding ...
|John Mulligan as Max (Source: RichardArmitageNet.com)|
Max sat on a nearby park-bench for a while, before collecting himself enough to be able to walk back home. De Solace would come for a visit. Perhaps he had some advice and could cheer him up.
De Solace indeed tried to brighten up his day, though his advice was more or less to wait and see. She would eventually discover that she had judged him wrongly and as a member of the Circlers he would at least meet her father and would have a chance to get in contact with her again.
Max did not see a bright future ahead of him. Without Ellie he had even difficulties to concentrate on his plans for his business project, as his mind always kept wandering back to Ellie.
On Monday though, Max tried hard to get on with his project plans. He tried to arrange a meeting with Mr. Faraday, but only got evasive answers by his secretary. When he then asked quite surprised by this evasiveness:
“When will a meeting be possible then?”, the secretary directly answered:
“Not in the foreseeable future.” If he wanted, he could call again in half a year.
Max – absolutely confused by this – slowly placed the telephone back on the receiver. Did they want to develop the idea themselves? – But he had not given enough detail to make that easily possible for them. Strange behaviour, but already Mr. Faraday had behaved strangely at the garden party after the introduction.
As this company seemed not really interested in his idea, though he had thought them to be the ideal candidate, he started to research alternatives, but did not find anything nearly as competent or experienced in the sector as Faraday Electronics. He also respected their work ethics to only employ local workers and suppliers. He did not cherish the idea that parts of his invention would be produced abroad under not pristine working conditions for the employees.
His research was interrupted by the nosily snooping reporters and photographers of the “Vogue”, already doing some pre-shots to find the best location for their final photo-session for their article. They also disturbed the silently and like a clockwork functioning team of Paul Reverue, the interior designer.
Max had taken his computer to the kitchen, the only undisturbed area, as Reverue had liked the antique style of the kitchen and had only done slight changes here, which were already finished. All other spaces in the house were either occupied by journalists or the team of the interior designer.
Max was glad, when all left the house in the evening and he got at least a resemblance of peace, though getting through all the barriers left by the workers, proved to be a bit burdensome.
At least the entrance area had been finished already and a nice fragile console occupied the wall. On top stood his reminder of his unlucky purchase, the porcelain vase from the Circlers’ tombola. ‘Ugly thing’, he thought.’ What must the designer have thought, creating such a piece, in case he had thought at all.’
Depressed, Max went to bed, completely unaware of the intrigue taking its course.
The next day early in the morning, Max got disturbed again by the ringing of his doorbell. So early he expected it to be de Solace again and, still buttoning his shirt, he went to open the door.
|Edited - J. Mulligan as Max (Source: RANet.com)|
The man in front of the camera team and photographers held a microphone under his nose and asked: “You are Maximilian Delarmy.”
“Yes”, Max answered surprised and still half asleep.
“You are the owner of the gold card?” the questions continued.
“Is this an interview? What are you doing here so early in the morning at my doorstep?”
The reporter explained: “We got information, that you are no millionaire at all and for that reason want to clear this accusation to only reveal the truth to our viewers and listeners.”
As it had started to rain again, Max invited Mr. Button from the “Economy Daily” and his team in. What was the meaning of all this questions? He had not started all this fuss about the gold card. What did the reporters want of him now?
“Are you in possession of the gold card?” Mr. Button started to ask again.
When Maximilian only nodded, the reporter stated: “For our listeners on the radio, Mr. Delarmy confirms to be in possession of a gold card, giving him unlimited credit.”
Mr. Button continued: “Now, to clear the accusations of you being an impostor, I would like to see this mentioned, but never seen gold card. Or does this pose a problem?”
|Richard Armitage as Max (Source: RANet.com)|
“That is no problem. I can show you the card which causes all this commotion.”
Max left the reporter’s team in his kitchen and went to bring down the card from its place in his jacket. But when he searched his jacket, the card was gone from the place where he had put it. He searched the envelope in which he had received the card, but nothing except the accompanying letter was in it.
The journalist, without his camera team and photographers had followed him upstairs and now saw the troubled face of Maximilian.
“It is gone”, he confirmed into his microphone and added succinctly “or, dear listeners, had never been there in the first place.” Mr. Button did not care the least for Max’s assurances, that the card indeed was real and had been there in his jacket pocket.
The reporter team immediately left the house after this revelation. There was no use in interviewing a multi-millionaire when he no longer had that status.
Max remained numb and absolutely unbelieving that the card was gone. He searched the whole wardrobe, though the card could not have fallen out of his jacket, the pocket was deep and had perfectly held the envelope, but not the card itself.
Max hoped, the news would take a while to spread, but when he took a break from his search for the gold card and went out to bring in today’s mail, he already recognized the first changes in the behaviour of his neighbourhood.
An old pair he knew from sight and distant greetings, changed side of the street when walking by, to avoid having to talk with him. A woman with a child in a push-car drew her child back to change direction to avoid him as well.
At least, he thought gladly, no further reporters had arrived at his doorsteps.
Max shook his head, astonished about the fast reaction to the missing of the gold card.
Had he at first laughed about the power of money, he now immediately felt the loss of its influence.
When de Solace arrived in the afternoon, he had already heard the news about the card. He had immediately left work and had handed over the attendance of his shop to his assistant to go and see Max. He now found him still searching the bedroom.
|J. Mulligan as Max (Source: RichardArmitageNet.com)|
De Solace still tried to calm him. The gold card was so famous, that no thief could really make use of it, so he at least was quite safe on that regard.
Maximilian was not really to be consoled by that, as he had to give the card back unscathed in two month. At least de Solace’s influence and support had soothed him enough to be able to at least try to sleep tonight.
The next morning again a continuous ringing of the bell disturbed Max while drinking his morning coffee. It seemed to become a rule that visitors came early in the morning.
This time, instead of journalists, a haughty lawyer stood in front of him and handed him an official looking envelope, explaining, that the reporter team for the article in the “Vogue” sued him for misguiding them and for being an impostor.
Max quietly took the envelope and thought, was there anything else that could go wrong and did not do so already? What would a sentence to pay some hundred-thousand pounds add to the replacement of a gold card already hanging over his head?
The lawyer, job done by handing over the letter, left him with the offhanded comment: “See you soon at court.”
The reporter team sued him. ‘Just fine’, he thought. The designer would surely follow en suite.
But to his astonishment, the designer Paul Reverue did nothing of that sort. His team instead continued to work at the designs as usual and in the afternoon, Reverue’s own TV-team came to take the last shots of the finished interior design.
When Reverue came himself, Max directly asked him about the prosecution issued by the reporter team.
Reverue just answered: “They have no taste, these young journalists. – Just do not know real work and value of the art of interior design.”
Reverue did not leave Max space to interrupt.
“What is money compared to the superiority of art?”
He did not expect Max to answer, but went to make final adjustments for the final shots of the newly decorated and exquisitely looking rooms.
One of the camera team gave Max the date of the show, when his house would be shown in “Before & After”.
When all the busy film crew and designers had left, the rooms seemed strangely quiet.
Max could not motivate himself to send out some of his prepared exposés to newly researched companies. He sat in his kitchen, without turning on the lights when night fell.
Ellie, coming home from work, found her sister and nephew there with her parents, already starting with dinner. She had been held up by urgent work, as a server had crashed and adjustments had to be controlled and programmers had needed her input. This extra work load had kept her occupied, so she had been completely unaware of the unfolding scandal concerning the gold card.
Still, she had not been able to get Max totally out of her head and so, moodily sat at the dinner table, silently eating her meal.
“You must imagine, he is just an architect!”, she heard her sister say. The word ‘architect’ had broken through her wall of thoughts.
With attention she now followed the conversation between her sister and her parents.
“... pretending to be a millionaire, when in reality he has no money at all. He is unemployed, has large debts and no connections to speak of.”
Ellie thought, she had never recognized what a snob her sister could be. Was she herself the same?
Aloud she asked: “Of whom are you talking about, Caro?”
“Oh, of this impostor. The whole town is talking of nothing else.”
“What impostor?” Ellie asked.
“The one at the garden party. Come on, you must have heard. The one with the gold card. – It turned out he did not really have one.”
“But of course...” Ellie started, but stopped abruptly. She did not really know if he had that card, she had only seen the envelope he had gotten from the bank expecting it to be a loan.
Had it all been a misunderstanding as her father had suggested all along?
Ellie brightly looked up at her sister and said: “That is absolutely fantastic news.”
This left her sister, otherwise never short for words, totally speechless.
“Good, you say. But how..., what...”
Ellie stood up, as the butler signalled her that she had received an urgent telephone call. She walked light-hearted as if a great burden had been taken off her shoulders.
The program adjustments still caused problems and Ellie had to provide more details.
This stopped her from directly running off to Maximilian, as she wanted to.
When Ellie came back to the dinner table to at least finish her meal, Anthony had joined them and a comment of him astonished her.
“It was to be expected, that the truth would come out eventually”, he said, as if he always had known that Maximilian had been a liar.
“How so?” Ellie asked.
“Nobody had heard of him before. It was obvious he could not be of wealthy and established background. A Gold Card-holder – absolutely impossible. You need securities, immense continuous income, influence, connections. He has nothing of this. He only could be an impostor.”
Ellie had the distinct feeling, that there was something wrong with her brother-in-law’s words, but could not put her finger on it. He, ahead of any others, had been jealous of Max because of his influence amongst the Circlers. He had in no way doubted the wealth of Max before. With mistrust in her eyes, she watched Anthony, but he seemed to have recognized, that he had almost said too much and hurriedly had changed the subject.
Ellie, awaiting a further call of the programmers, had to remain home and do work for them to be able to continue their repairs of the destroyed program parts. Impatiently she shifted around in her seat. She wanted to get to Max and tell him how sorry she was about misjudging him, but the programmers needed her input to make the necessary repairs after the major break down. She therefore walked back to her computer and started to work and answer requests, while thinking about Max and how depressed he must feel now that the whole town accused him of being an impostor.
... Continue with Part 7 (Finale) - Enjoy and have fun, when all is solved ! ...