(Hello, welcome to the reading parlor.  If it’s your first time at this blog, thanks for dropping in with us.  Ready for a summer read, which can fit into any schedule of surfing the web?  You’ve struck gold.  To get to the beginning of the tale, click back to They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), which is located on the menu to the left, in the archives, or July 16th on the calendar at the bottom.  If you have to leave before you’re current, each post is sequentially numbered for the next time you return.  My commitment is to entertain you every day of the week with another bit of the story.  Those of you up to date, good to have you back.  I’ll ice up a pitcher of lemonade.  Shall we proceed?)
They Had the right to Remain Silent
Richard Jachimecki
Chapter ( vii )
     THE CHARCOAL PINSTRIPE SUIT COAT was removed and draped on a wooden hanger in his office closet. He gently tugged on a braided chain, and withdrew the silver Usher and Cole timepiece from his vest pocket. This day has passed quickly, he thought, seeing the hour.
     He moved behind the brass and glass desk, which was fashioned in the style of the boutique’s showroom cases. On it a laptop, lamp, and phone sat like isolated islands. The desk’s transparency gave the illusion that the articles floated above the floor. He leaned forward and flipped open the computer, then adjusted his glasses to focus on the screen. He entered the password then navigated to his shipper’s website, then highlighted the TRACKING tab. He crossed the room to the credenza, opened the cabinet door on the right side, and removed the folder simply marked ‘Arrivals’. From this was extracted a sheet listing dates, vendors, and UPC numbers of pending deliveries.
     He sat down at the desk and began to enter the first code, when the phone’s tinkling chime began. The Number One Line was already in use on the showroom floor, this call transferred to the office on Line Two.
     “Gauttiano’s. How may I assist you?”
     “Henri, Lee Pennington here,” came the familiar drawl.
     “Ah, bonjour! You are well?”
     “Good, good. Henri, I want to get right to the point. I’ve got a hell of a proposal for Mr. Tiernay and his artwork.”
     “Sir, as I explained the last time you called…”
     “Now just hear me out,” Pennington interrupted, “I had me a little soirée recently and some of my business acquaintances were admiring the pieces. Long- story- short buddy, I have six people who want something done for them. Six commissioned works, not to mention my own!”
     Henri knew he was walking a very fine line; he wanted to please, welcomed new business in this current market, and yet still guarded the artist’s imposed parameters.
     “That is very impressive sir, no argument there,” Henri started, “however, Mr. Tiernay’s schedule doesn’t offer him the latitude to accept new work presently.”
     “What time frame we talking here?”
     “Conservatively, one year.”
     “Henri, I didn’t get where I am by sitting on my hands. I strike while the iron’s hot. We’re probably talking a quarter- to a half- million or more to your boy, not to mention the favors I’ll bank with these people. I like to bank favors. They come in very handy, if you get my drift. I told them I’d deliver.”
     “I truly appreciate your situation, sir. You’ve presented your position quite clearly. I can plead your case once more…”
     “I don’t beg Henri!” the Texan voice bristled.
     “A figure of speech on my part, Mr. Pennington,” Henri backpedaled, “I will present your desires, along with the additions which will, how you say, sweeten the pot. I will do my best to bring this to resolution.”
     “I’d consider it a personal favor not taken lightly,” Pennington said, softening.
     “Please realize I must try and persuade a change, from what was declared to me a concrete time line,” Henri reserved, “ but I will press the incentives you have shared with me.”
     “One way or the other, this will happen,” Pennington pushed, “I won’t forget your help.”
     “I appreciate your confidence,” Henri said, his mind already racing to conceive the best approach to sway Tiernay’s considerations.
     “I’ll call you soon,” Pennington concluded and hung up.
     Henri removed his glasses, dropped them on the keyboard, and rubbed his eyes. He questioned his métier, his true livelihood. Was he the liaison between artistic talent and lavish wealth? Or, was his gift the polished adroitness in stroking inflated egos?
     “Henri, mah’ friend,” he resigned, assuming the manner of speech more in tune with his Southern caller, “you are sometimes the referee in a pissin’ contest,” he said to the empty room.



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