فصل 04

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فصل 04

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CHAPTER FOUR

Sad News

When the McDeeres moved down to Memphis they stayed with the Quins. The two couples became good friends. It didn’t take Mitch and Abby long to find a house to buy, on a street called East Meadowbrook. After they moved in they were completely happy. The new house was everything they had dreamed about: large, comfortable and in a good neighbour hood. Abby went mad buying furniture, while Mitch drove the new black BMW all around town, getting to know the area.

The Thursday before Mitch was due to start work they drove over to the Quins’ house for dinner.

‘Now that you’ve spent next year’s income on furniture,’ Mitch said on the way there, ‘what next?’

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ Abby said. ‘How about babies?’

‘Hey, slow down. Let me get settled first!’

Abby laughed and sat back in her seat. Mitch admired her legs.

‘When did I last tell you were beautiful?’ he asked.

‘About two hours ago.’

‘Two whole hours! How thoughtless of me!’

‘Right. Don’t let it happen again.’

They parked behind the Quins’ two Mercedes. Kay met them at the front door. Her eyes were red from crying.

‘Oh, Kay, what’s the matter?’ Abby asked.

‘There’s… there’s been a tragedy,’ she said.

‘Who is it?’ Mitch asked.

Kay wiped her eyes and breathed deeply. ‘Two members of the firm, Marty Kozinski and Joe Hodge, were killed today. We were very close to them.’

Mitch remembered them from his visit to the firm. ‘What happened?’ he asked.

‘No one’s sure,’ Kay said. ‘They were on Grand Cayman, diving. There was some kind of explosion on the boat and we think they drowned. A boatman was also killed. There was a meeting in the firm a few hours ago and they were all told about it. Lamar could hardly drive home.’

‘Where is he?’ Mitch asked.

‘By the swimming-pool. He’s waiting for you.’

Lamar was just sitting there, deep in shock. Mitch sat down next to him and waited. Lamar shook his head and tried to speak, but no words came. His eyes were red and he looked hurt.

Finally, Mitch said, ‘Lamar, I’m so sorry. I wish I could say something.’

‘There’s nothing to say. Marty Kozinski was one of my best friends. He was going to be the next partner. He was a great lawyer, one we all admired. Our… our children always played together.’

Mitch and Abby drove home in silence. Four days later, instead of starting behind his desk at the office, Mitch and his lovely wife joined the remaining thirty-nine members of the firm, and their lovely wives, and said goodbye to Marty Kozinski and Joe Hodge. Oliver Lambert gave such a beautiful speech that even Mitchell McDeere, who had buried a father and a brother, was moved close to tears. Abby’s eyes watered at the sight of the widows and children.

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