Monday, December 31, 2012

The Lawyer in The Bottomless Bottle of Beer

Webster's Office
Terrance Lindall

I don't recall if I've shown this illustration by Lindall, but you see here in the image above the office of Dan Webster, the legal champion for our naive hero. An elderly man of nearly 250 years, he employs as his personal secretary a young woman in her fifties, but there is no hint of impropriety, the woman is hired for her competence:
Around eight, after we finished and I was washing the dishes, my wife called her office to make arrangements for that day and, just in case, for the next as well. Then packing the [bottomless] bottle [of beer] and contract securely in a shoulder bag, as before, we set out about nine under partly cloudy skies, the weather feeling a bit unsettled, and reached Mr. Webster's office with five minutes to spare. Oddly, we saw no sign to announce his legal practice, but we easily located it from the address on the card given me. Upon entering his waiting room, we marveled at the opulence devoted even to the area where his secretary worked. No other clients were present, though we inferred from the luxurious furnishings that he must have some very wealthy ones, but when we asked the secretary, a stylish woman seemingly in her fifties, whether Mr. Webster were with a client, she said "No," explaining that he generally accepted no cases and mostly devoted himself to legal research, though of a recondite sort that required broad reading. Her job was to obtain the books and documents he needed. Everything she explained accorded perfectly with what the gentleman had told me the day before.
We see on the far wall three paintings: John Milton, Mona Lisa, and Eve. All three are originals . . . by Terrance Lindall! Webster obviously has good taste. Or perhaps his secretary does . . .

I've been proofing the text with illustrations by Lindall, so publication is still some weeks off. Meanwhile, enjoy the tantalizing hints of what lies in store . . .

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