Double-Dealing by R.T Hardwick

'What aren't you telling me?' Paul, sounding most anxious.

'I've been trying to keep it from you as long as I can.' 'We're business partners,’ said Paul.

‘I've a right to know.'

'I thought that I could buy some time. It transpires that I can't.' 'Buy some time?'

‘What are you, some sort of echo?’ I was growing impatient. ‘You’re not making an awful lot of sense,’ said Paul.

I had to tell him.

'We're broke.'

'Broke?

‘There you go again. Yes, broke. B-R-O-K-E, broke.’ ‘Are you sure?’

'Of course I’m sure. I've been trying to refinance the firm, with help from the bank. They won't hear of it. We're done for.'

Paul's jaw fell like a drawbridge across a moat. 'How has this happened? What have you done?' 'Me? What have I done?'

'Well, you're in charge of the finances, aren't you?'

'Paul, I believe it's you that's filched the firm's cash. You've been clever, but not clever enough. You've brought the company down with your greed.' 'How dare you make such an outrageous suggestion! I haven't touched a penny of the firm's cash.'

‘I’ve checked the accounts and there are forty-three unauthorised withdrawals that only you could have made...’

‘Bugger the accounts and bugger you,’ said Paul, ‘your accounts are so useless the blasted cleaner could have embezzled the money. For two pins I’d stick one right on the end of your nose.’

'You just try. You’ll find my straight lefi will soon rearrange your precious features.’

We stood toe to toe, scowling and snarling at each other. The telephone rang. I picked it up.

'Hello.'

'Mr Langdon?'

I recognised the voice, one of my less reliable accountants. 'It's Joe Pelling here.’

'Joe. You still on the sick?'

'No, Mr Landon. I'm on the Costa del Sol.’


Published in Issue #25

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