- زمان مطالعه 14 دقیقه
- سطح خیلی سخت
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
The Stillwater Bay Development
Millie Dupree’s husband, Hoppy, owned a struggling real estate agency in Biloxi. He worked hard with the little business that came his way. Somehow he took care of his family - his wife, Millie, and their five kids.
Just before six on Thursday, a well-dressed young businessman entered the office and asked for Mr. Dupree. His business card showed him to be Todd Ringwald of KLX Property Group, from Las Vegas, Nevada. His company liked to work with smaller companies, he said, and Hoppy had been highly recommended. He showed Hoppy a map.
“MGM Grand is coming here. But no one knows it yet. They’re going to build the biggest casino on the Coast. Probably the middle of next year. We want this.” On the map he pointed to a large area of land north-west of the proposed casino. Then he showed Hoppy an artist’s drawing of the land labeled Stillwater Bay. There were office buildings, big homes, smaller homes, a dock, parks, a shopping mall, even a proposed high school.
“The whole thing will cost thirty million dollars. These are just the first drawings. I’ll show you more if you can come to our office in Las Vegas.”
Hoppy’s knees shook and he took a deep breath. “What kind of help were you thinking about from us?”
“First we need someone to arrange the purchase of the land, then we’ll need a real estate firm to advertise and sell the whole development.”
“How much will the land cost?” asked Hoppy.
“It’s expensive. Five million dollars. But the sellers don’t really want to sell, so we have to move in quickly. That’s why we need a local agent.”
Ringwald watched as Hoppy calculated his normal 6 percent fee on the land sale. Three hundred thousand dollars! Hoppy’s heart beat faster. And with the whole Stillwater Bay development, he could be a millionaire in five years.
Ringwald said, “I’m assuming your fee is 8 percent. That’s what we normally pay.”
“Of course,” said Hoppy. His tongue was dry. From three hundred thousand dollars to four hundred thousand -just like that! “Who are the sellers?”
“The property is in the sixth district. And the county supervisor is - “
“Jimmy Hull Moke,” Hoppy interrupted.
“You know him?”
“Everyone knows Jimmy Hull Moke. He’s been in office for thirty years. Cleverest crook on the Coast. On a local level he controls everything.”
“Perhaps we should arrange a meeting with Mr. Moke?”
“Meetings don’t work. What Moke wants is cash. Lots of it. In secret.”
“He doesn’t get caught?” asked Ringwald.
“He’s pretty bright. Those of us who work along the Coast know how he operates.”
“I think the first step is for you to talk to Mr. Moke.”
“I have a clean reputation,” said Hoppy. For twenty-five years, he’d worked honestly. He wasn’t going to change.
“We don’t expect you to get dirty.” Ringwald paused. “We have ways of delivering what Mr. Moke wants. You won’t have to touch it. In fact, you won’t even know when anything happens.”
Hoppy liked it! Still, he felt cautious. He said he’d like to think about it.
They chatted some more and said goodbye at eight. After Ringwald had left, Hoppy telephoned KLX. He spoke to Mr. Ringwald’s assistant, Madeline, who explained that Mr. Ringwald was out of the office.
So, KLX really did exist.
At 7:40 Thursday night, Lonnie Shaver had a message that George Teaker had called. He rang back and for the first ten minutes answered nothing except questions about the trial. Lonnie confessed that it had been a bad day for the defense, as Lawrence Krigler had made a big impression on all the jurors - all except Lonnie, of course.
Teaker said that the folks in New York were worried. They were relieved that Lonnie was on the jury, and was reliable. He said that they needed to arrange the final details of Lonnie’s new contract. He currently earned forty thousand dollars. SuperHouse would give him fifty thousand with some share options and an extra annual payment which might be twenty thousand dollars.
An hour later, Lonnie stood at his window and told himself that he’d soon be earning seventy thousand dollars a year. Not bad for a kid whose father drove a milk truck.
On Thursday night, Hoppy Dupree slept little. The agreement with Jimmy Hull Moke worried him. He’d never before been involved with anything dishonest. He sat on his porch and thought. But just before dawn on Friday morning, he started to feel better. Surely Moke would know how not to get caught. Hoppy wouldn’t get near the cash. He decided that he’d have a chat with Moke, and then report to Ringwald.
On Friday morning, the Wall Street Journal printed an article about Krigler which said that he hadn’t been a satisfactory employee and that there were mistakes in his research. The company denied that tobacco was addictive.
The newspaper also said that Pynex shares had risen, then fallen.
Judge Harkin read the story. He checked with Lou Dell that the jurors couldn’t have seen it.
In court, the defense tried to look relaxed for the day after Krigler. It was important that they didn’t seem bothered. They wore light-colored suits, and smiled at the jurors.
“Why are they so happy?” whispered one of the jurors.
“They want us to think everything is under control,” whispered back Nicholas.
Wendall Rohr called the next witness, Dr. Roger Bunch. He’d become famous ten years earlier, when he’d worked for the government and had been fiercely critical of the tobacco industry. Since leaving office, he’d continued to criticize smoking. He wanted to share his views with the jury. Cigarettes cause lung cancer, and cigarettes are addictive. Tobacco companies spend billions deceiving the public. They spend money on studies which claim that smoking is harmless. Bunch’s study showed that cigarettes contain poisonous chemicals, and trash swept off the floor. He had the jury’s attention.
Hoppy arranged to meet Jimmy Hull Moke at his office. He’d provided sandwiches and iced tea, but he was too nervous to eat anything himself. He showed Moke the drawing of the Stillwater Bay development and presented the project.
“Who’s doing this?” Moke asked.
Hoppy had practiced his answer. He couldn’t give a name, not at this point.
Moke frowned. “There could be problems with zoning and planning. But, as you know, the supervisors make the final decisions.”
“My client is anxious to work with you.”
“You know I control everything in my district. If I want this approved, it will be. If I don’t like it, it’s dead.”
Moke said, “You know, my son is a very fine consultant for projects like this.”
“I didn’t know that. My client would love to work with your son.” Ringwald wanted Hoppy to find out what Moke wanted. “How much might he charge for his services?”
“A hundred thousand dollars.” Hoppy didn’t show any emotion. KLX had said the deal might cost up to two hundred thousand. “A penny less than that, and I’ll kill the deal with one phone call.”
“I need to make a phone call,” Hoppy said. He walked into the front room and rang Ringwald. He returned to his office. “It’s OK,” he said slowly. “My client will pay.” It felt good to arrange this deal. KLX on one side, Moke on the other, and Hoppy in the middle, with no involvement.
On Friday afternoon, Fitch didn’t attend the trial. Instead he continued to study the jury file from the Cimmino case, which he’d received three days earlier. Three hundred possible jurors had received a summons. One of them was a young man called David Lancaster. There was nothing strange in his file, except a note saying that when he appeared on the first day there was no record of his summons being issued. But he was able to show the relevant papers. One of the jury consultants had noticed that Lancaster seemed anxious to be on the jury. However, he wasn’t selected.
Fitch had learned that David Lancaster had disappeared from Allentown a month after the trial. By Wednesday night, Fitch was almost certain that David Lancaster was Nicholas Easter.
Carl Nussman, Fitch’s chief jury consultant, had looked through the papers of another tobacco trial in Oklahoma. One of the possible jurors there was a young white male called Perry Hirsch. He was almost selected for the jury, but missed it at the last moment. Soon afterward, he left town. Again, no one knew anything about him.
Fitch and his staff stared at the photos of Hirsch, Lancaster, and Easter. The three faces were of the same person. After lunch, a handwriting expert analyzed their writing. He announced without any doubt, “Hirsch and Lancaster are the same people. Hirsch and Easter are the same people. Therefore Lancaster and Easter must be the same.”
“All three are the same,” said Fitch, slowly.
“That’s correct. And he’s very, very bright.”
Marlee called Fitch late on Friday night in his hotel. No one outside his team knew where he was. The call was put through to the hotel’s front desk, but the hotel was being paid a lot of money to protect Fitch’s secrecy, so they couldn’t admit that he was a guest. When Marlee called again, she was put through to Fitch, on his orders.
“Hi, Fitch. Sorry to call so late.”
“No problem,” he said. “How’s your friend?”
“Lonely. Tonight was the night for jurors’ personal visits.”
“Why didn’t you visit your lover?”
“Who said we’re lovers? I tell you, Fitch, Krigler really worked well for the plaintiff. They listened to every word.”
“Tell me some good news.”
“What’s worrying Rohr?” he asked, looking at his puzzled face in the mirror. He felt betrayed.
“You. He knows you’re trying to think up all kinds of ways to get to the jury.”
“How often do you talk to him?”
“A lot. He’s sweeter than you, Fitch. He doesn’t tape my calls or send goons to follow me.”
“So Rohr knows how to charm a girl?”
“Yes, but he hasn’t got as much money as you.”
“How much of my money do you want?”
“Later, Fitch. I must run. There’s a suspicious-looking car across the street. It must be some of your goons.”
Fitch showered and tried to sleep. At 2 A.M. he drove to the casino. By dawn, he’d won nearly twenty thousand dollars.
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