Arnold sat in the Cocoa Java with the Lionhearts as he kept an eye on the entrance to Brunel Hall, waiting for the kid to deliver Mumsy’s letter. They had recently moved into Lionhearts airship right above the Cocoa Java and were also thinking about putting in a room at the Asylum on the second floor, which had been in the original design.
They had been talking for some time and for the moment discussing the move, their recently escaped patient, and the ultimatium the old man had given Dr. Maddox.
The pysicatrist poured herself and Arnold another cup of coffee, “That’s everything around here I believe, any word on Junie and the others?”
Arnold shared what he knew about the adventurers and ended on the part that would affect him, “Mumsy stopped the paper work for his death certificate.”
Dr. Maddox shrugged and blew on her coffee a little, “Ah well. At least you’ve… what does that mean for you?”
Arnold tasted his beverage before he answered, “I might not get to burn his house down in front of him.”
Dr. Maddox Lionheart laughed, “I didn’t hear that.”
“Yes you did, it would have been my house, so I could have burnt it.” Arnold lapped up more of his coffee. “I was even going to invite the urchins to roast their candy and sausages again.”
“Ah. Well, that would have been wasted property, wouldn’t it?”
Arnold pointed at the professor, “My therapist says it would have been very therapeutic.”
Maddox Lionheart chuckled and kissed the cheek of her husband, “Dear have you been advising my familiar again?”
“He needed it.” Lionheart continued sounding quite pleased, “I also wanted to see if he would go through with it himself or consider other avenues.”
“No…I’m pretty sure I would have burned it unless we could come to another understanding. An understanding we may yet reach.” Arnold didn’t say what it was outloud however…not even to his closest friends. He trusted them, but who knows who else could be listening.
“How exactly?” Helio asked with a frown. “If you don’t have his home you don’t really have a bargaining chip.”
Arnold didn’t mind sharing that, “Emerson’s agreed to pay me based on ten percent of his income last year. In my investigation I came to the inevitable fact that he has no real income.” Arnold shook his head, “The man is practically broke. But he does have somethings…he had gambling income for example, and I intend to get a writ from Victor on his free year of Chivas.”
Without wasting a breath Arnold continued, “Emerson also received a gift from the island he traveled to in the south and I got another writ stating that he received 3 boxes of Sagrada Lucia. As he also didn’t pay for these that was income, and I didn’t jump through the legal loopholes someone else might have to discount them.” This was probably a weak point in his argument, but he was going to need Emerson on the defensive. “Each box was worth its weight in gold, which is about 4,000. Even without counting the loans Emerson owes me over 2,200 already, and he has no way to pay.”
Helio mused, “So you intend to make a deal with Emerson over his debt to you?”
Dr. Maddox wasn’t so happy though, “What if he raises a fuss over those boxes, or gets Junie or Jedburgh to interfere for him again.”
“They could try, but if they did it will only get worse for Emerson.” Arnold shrugged, but in truth he didn’t want it to happen like this, “Emerson had no real income last year, and if he doesn’t agree to comply with me I’ll go straight to City Hall to settle the matter. When all the facts come to light I think the bureaucrats might be interested in Emerson’s explanation for how he paid his property taxes…or for all his other possessions.”
Heliotrope Lionheart chuckled at Arnold’s revelation, and Maddox laughed into her coffee cup. “He doesn’t need to learn to be a barrister. He already thinks like one.”
“As I said, I’m sure me and Emerson will be able to come to another understanding.” Arnold saw the urchin entering the Muirsheen Durkin and he stood up. “Now if I go missing in the next few minutes though, you can blame Victor.”
He would be glad when this was over, only one more day of service to endure, and then he had to confront Emerson himself…