“Don’t look up. Keep your eyes and your hands down on the desk Larry…that’s right, there’s a good chap” said Mr Vilguard as he strolled by slowly behind the heavy wooden chair.
“I was j-just coming over with the money to p-pay you back Mr Vilguard, just like I said I would…” Larry stammered, wide eyes reflecting the deep sheen of the mahogany before him, forehead glistening.
“Yes of course you were Larry, of course you were, but you do see you left things a bit late don’t you? I mean I won’t bore you with the details but time is money…” he continued as he made his way round to the front of the desk.
“Yes s-sir Mr Vilguard I’m very sorry, I’m so sorry Mr Vilguard…I’ll get you the rest in a week I, I swear…”
“Oh I think we’re past that Larry. My time is precious, and you’ve wasted enough of it already” he replied, smiling as Larry glanced up, now visibly trembling. “Mr Pears?”
“No! No! Wait! Mr Vilguard! P, please! Mr Vilguaaard!”
The screams were cut off less than a few seconds later, and Larry slumped forward, his head twisted at an unnatural angle. Mr Vilguard straightened the Windsor knot of his tie, pulled his waistcoat taut and glanced up at Mr Hinds, who was leaning against the wall in a far corner of the study.
“Send a bouquet of flowers to Larry’s wife. Tell her that we have disposed of her husband’s body and that we will collect upon his debt via their regular weekly payments.”
“Did Mr Orpington divulge the location of the Wickes boy?” asked Mr Vilguard as Mr Pears dragged Larry’s body from the chair and over to the door.
“He knew nothing” replied Mr Hinds, watching as his employer sat down in the chair, reached over to pick up a teapot from a nearby side-table and poured the steaming liquid into a cup.
Mr Vilguard glanced up at Mr Hinds, cocked an eyebrow as he added a dash of milk and stirred.
“No man could have taken that kind of punishment and lied. He knew Wickes alright, but he didn’t know where the old lady was, or the boy.”
“That is most disappointing.”
“Very well. Make contact with the Snake-oil Baron” Mr Vilguard replied, taking the cup from its saucer and raising it to his lips.