Virtue by Mike Barnes

“Do we start now? It’s already five past?” 

“No let’s give it a moment, shall we. He’s key to all this, isn't he?” 

“I suppose so, but really, we’ve all got other things to do.” 

“I know, I know. Just be patient.” 

“Patience is a virtue, isn't it? I forget.” 

“It was Cato. Who said patience is a virtue.” 

“The Chinese bloke?” 


“The Chinese guy in the Pink Panther films? He attacked Clouseau at every opportunity.” “No. Cato, a Roman. A senator.” 

“Why did they name a Chinese manservant after a Roman Senator?” 

“No idea? Anyway, we need to be patient. If we are to get all sorted we need to have him here and make sure he agrees.” 

“And if he doesn’t? What then. We’ll have to go upstairs and tell them. Today. It will have to be today.” 

“Yes, it will. But he will agree. It is in his interests to agree. He said as much yesterday.” 

“Yesterday? What did he say yesterday? That he would agree?” 

“Not in so many words” 

“How many words?”


“How many words did he use to say that he agreed?” 

“ He didn't say he agreed.” 

“So what did he say? Exactly.” 

“He said that he would find it hard to disagree...if it came to it.” 

“Came to what? I don't find this encouraging at all. How can you be so sure? So calm.” “Patience. It’ll be fine. He’s just cautious. You know what he’s like.” 

“He has to agree. I don't want to go upstairs. Not today. Not to explain to them why we can’t go ahead.” 

“Have you ever been upstairs? It’s fine.” 

“You have? You’ve been to see them before? “ 

“Oh yes. A few times.” 

“Hang on, he’s here.” 

“Well it’s about time!”

Published in Issue #13

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