Chapter 216 – Times of Trouble

I reopen the headquarters, head to my office, punch ten countries into the Triskelion to reveal the vault below. I run down the stairs, throw myself into the chair, light a candle and open my journal. Parking the grief to one side and the rage to the other, I review my organisation’s precarious position.

I picture Henry Carey and Edward Fortis pouring over my predicament and sending their mercenary to deliver their derisory offer. These vultures have no morals, ‘we are making an offer to purchase all of your contracts. Many of your customers have moved, and the remainder will sue you for failing to deliver. Why bankrupt yourself? We will help end your troubles.’

I could almost hear the snorting laughter from their new offices on the east side of George Square as they penned their £1 offer. Their new headquarters, adjacent to the North British Railway Station, Post Office and Glasgow’s biggest banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland and City of Glasgow Bank, is a masterstroke.

I almost feel the walls closing in on me as I turn to the last page. The scribbled idea from months ago leaps from the page and contains three words.

This contingency idea will be the making or breaking of Thompson & French. I must buy some extra time.

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