Scene Thirty Five
In which tea is drunk
It was going to be another early night. That really annoyed Ernest Kanke, but he really had no alternative. He knew that he was being watched; after all it’s not really paranoia if you hire private investigators who confirm your suspicions.
He had reentered the country a little too quickly; that was his fault, he had been distracted. So now, until the suspicion against him died down, he had to give the impression that he had enjoyed a relaxing holiday, and that he hadn’t just lost a multibillion dollar investment because of a man called Mr. Johnson, and a group of Dryads.
Fucking Dryads! He thought, with uncharacteristic venom.
He knew that it would be a problem; the beetle had absorbed a lot of his fortune, and many other fortunes as well. Furthermore he knew that many of the respectable businessmen he had convinced to invest in his scheme were the kinds of people who didn’t consider ‘ripping someone a new one’ to be a figure of speech.
He knew that if he could stall for a year, then he would be able to release funds from his other investments. He could buy them all out and save himself, but it was a huge drain on his funds.
Dryads! It had taken him a good thirty years to build up his fortune and now it was gone. Dryads! He had had to cancel the schools he had been building in Africa; he had felt the need to go and explain it personally; one of the children had started crying. Dryads! He sipped from a cup of tea and glared at the walls of his house, he wondered if he would ever be able to stomach another apple.
Mr Johnson, he thought, changing the subject of his obsession. He had skydived onto the beetle. Something had clearly made a flyover. He drank more tea while he digested this information, there would be a radar pattern, he thought.
He let himself be lost in thought, eventually he started to smile. It was not a nice smile.