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The Guilty, excerpt from the novel

Book By: Gabriel Boutros
Mystery and crime



Robert Bratt is a lawyer who has always done whatever it took to win his cases. After twenty years of defending the most hardened criminals, many of whom he knew to be guilty, the only thing he can no longer do is look at himself in the mirror.
Loosely based on a multiple-murder that shocked Montreal in the 1990s, this riveting story pulls the reader into the inner workings of a murder trial, and reveals what one lawyer must do when he has to defend “The Guilty.”


Submitted:Jan 17, 2013    Reads: 36    Comments: 3    Likes: 3   


Chapter 1
At half-past midnight there was almost no traffic on Sherbrooke Street West. A strong wind blew the thin, granular snowflakes horizontally past the streetlights, slamming them into the sides of buildings lining the deserted road. Gazing out a fifteenth-story window, shielded from the storm, Robert Bratt stood alone. He was wearing his favorite silk pajamas on the off-chance that he would ever get to sleep again, and he sipped a freshly poured glass of Chivas in the hope that it would help get him there.
His thoughts were miles away from the Montreal winter that froze the streets below him. For the briefest moment his eyes focused on his own reflection in the window. His tall frame looked thinner than usual tonight in the pajamas that Jeannie had bought him for Christmas. His face was gaunt and tired-looking, his brown hair disheveled.
He blinked a few times and quickly turned his gaze back to the street where he spotted a lone pedestrian braving the cold night wind. Bratt watched the man walk, bent forward, head down into the gale, and wondered where he could be going at that time of night. The distraction was all too brief, though, and he found himself deep in thought again. He drank deeply from the glass in his hand. He was having absolutely no success trying not to think about what had happened that day.
It was a day that had begun well enough, but had turned sour very fast. The stars must have been aligned just right for Bratt to end up in the gallery at Nate Morris's rape trial that afternoon, instead of being the one defending him. It was one of the few times in the almost twenty years he had been a lawyer that he had sat in a courtroom and watched another defense attorney at work. It turned out to be the worst possible beginning to Bratt's week.
Nate Morris had been a good client for Bratt, well-connected and willing to pay handsomely for his lawyer's services. Four years earlier, Bratt had successfully defended him against an identical accusation and Morris had naturally begged Bratt to defend him again when he had been arrested last summer. But this time Bratt couldn't get involved because he knew the victim; knew her very well, in fact.
Claire Brockway had been friends with his eighteen year old daughter, Jeannie, since they were both in pre-school. When Bratt's wife had died eight years earlier Jeannie had begun spending more and more time with Claire and her family, and he had been glad to let her find some comfort there. Through their turbulent adolescent years their friendship had survived and grown stronger.
When he had learned that Claire had been raped, he had shared Jeannie's grief for her friend. That the alleged rapist had been a former client only added to his daughter's bitterness and his own sense of responsibility.
Bratt, of course, had refused Morris's request to represent him. But when his partner, J.P. Leblanc, had suggested that they refer Morris to Antoine Perron, the best lawyer they knew outside their firm, Bratt had agreed after some hesitation. Perron was Bratt's former protégé, a lawyer to whom he had taught all the tricks of his trade, before going out on his own five years earlier.
Despite Bratt's connection to the victim his years of training told him that it was only right that Morris should get the best defense that he could afford. Jeannie hadn't really understood that at the time. She had angrily accused him of favoring Morris over Claire. It had taken weeks before the tension between them had eased and, until earlier today, he had thought this issue was behind them.
As for his own caseload, Bratt had spent the previous eight weeks fighting a seemingly endless fraud trial, plowing through mounds of accounting books, questioning tax experts, and generally boring himself stiff. His client was Cooper Hall, a nervous mouse of a man who wore rumpled tweed jackets and constantly ran his thin fingers through his even thinner hair. That those fingers had allowed him to expertly forge enough bearer bonds to buy and sell everyone in the courtroom several times over was one of many confidences that he had made to Bratt, subject to attorney-client privilege, of course.
On this very morning the seemingly interminable fraud trial had finally ended. Judge Smythe had granted Bratt's motion to exclude two very damaging auditor's reports since the auditor who drafted them had not bothered showing up to testify at the trial as he had been subpoenaed to do. It seemed that he had recently come into a bit of money and had spontaneously moved to a seaside villa in Costa Rica. Bratt wasn't one to look a gift-horse in the mouth by asking where all that money had come from.
Judge Smythe's ruling had effectively brought the case for the prosecution to a close. Bratt did not present a defense because any claim of innocence by his client would have been an outright lie. Bratt had never been above bending the truth when it suited him or even ignoring it now and then, but he wasn't prepared to suborn his client's perjury outright. Hall was such a nervous wreck his testimony would undoubtedly have been disastrous anyway, and that would have wasted the masterful job the lawyer had done of destroying the credibility of the Crown's other witnesses. Bratt knew he had a better chance of winning by relying on his own cross-examination skills than by risking having his client lose his case for him by testifying badly. He always considered the cases as his own. The clients were just there to pay him to do what he had always loved best and to interfere as little as possible with his work.
Sam Brenton, the Crown prosecutor, had asked the judge for two days to prepare his final arguments, not an unreasonable request considering the twenty-six boxes of sleep-inducing documentary evidence he'd be trying to summarize. Bratt, having been left free to do as he wished that afternoon, decided to join Jeannie, who had been attending Morris's trial from the morning. For the most part he had been concerned about how Claire would do on the stand. But another part of him, the part Bratt would never tell Jeannie about, had just been interested in watching Perron at work.
Now Bratt stood alone in his apartment, wondering if he wouldn't have been better off not going at all and not seeing what he had seen. He should have realized how different a trial would seem when he was on the outside looking in. With his daughter at his side, watching her emotions rise and fall with her friend's fortunes, he had seen a side of his profession that he had always known existed, but never cared to think about.
Watching Claire get roughed up on the witness stand was bad enough, but Bratt felt even worse knowing he had trained the attorney who asked all those insinuating questions, manipulating the victim into looking guiltier than the man accused of raping her.
At home now, hours after the trial, Bratt realized that his misgivings went beyond this one particular trial. After all, if it hadn't been Claire, it would have been somebody else's closest friend up on the stand, somebody else's daughter testifying, and she would have come out of the cross-examination looking just as bad, and feeling even worse than she looked. And if Perron hadn't been the one asking the questions, it might well have been Bratt doing the hatchet job. It certainly wouldn't have been the first time.
Such a prospect had rarely bothered him before. In the past he had considered himself a gladiator, looking down at the mangled forms of the helpless victims of his cross-examinations, savoring the taste of victory. He had never spent too much time worrying about the witnesses who had fallen under his attacks. Their fate was the prosecutor's problem.
It was winning that he had lived for, that gave him the rush that nothing else could ever come close to. In his arena there was no room for the softhearted or the weak-kneed, who were forever relegated to pleading shoplifting cases at the Municipal Court.
He had always prided himself on his reputation as a "tough as nails" attorney. It was the only way he knew to do the job that he had loved for so many years. Yet it was now past midnight and he was still brooding over the day's events, events that had shaken his confidence in himself and his work. He wondered if this wasn't some sort of punishment for his years of professional arrogance.
Turning away from the window and from his own reflection he shuffled back into his bedroom, his bare feet sliding along the thick, cream-colored carpet. He swirled the ice in the glass absentmindedly, the soft clinking the only sound in the otherwise silent apartment. He sat down on the edge of his bed and thought that the one good thing about Jeannie spending the night with Claire was that she wouldn't be there to see him drinking again. Then he emptied the glass in one gulp.
I haven't needed a real nightcap like that in a long time, he thought. This shit has really gotten to me.
He stretched out on the bed, closed his eyes and waited for sleep to come. But the only thing that came was the sound of Jeannie's voice, yelling at him in the courthouse corridor earlier that day.
"YOU'RE A HEARTLESS BASTARD, JUST LIKE HIM! YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH AS LONG AS YOU COME OUT ON TOP."
He couldn't believe that she had spoken to him like that. He never thought he'd have to defend his chosen profession to his own daughter, as if he was a hired killer, not a respected attorney. But, as harsh as her words were, it was their ring of familiarity and truth that worried him the most.
He rolled over and pulled the comforter over his head, but there would be no sleep on this night. Instead, the day's scene played out in his head again and again.
Courtroom 4.05 had been nearly full that afternoon, with family, friends, and interested members of the public in attendance. Prior to the judge's entrance the rustle of excited whispering had filled the cold, gray courtroom in anticipation of Claire continuing her sometimes-explicit testimony.
Bratt sat in the front row, near the one journalist who was covering the trial. Jeannie had told him that Claire had testified fairly well that morning. Johanne Dulude, the Crown prosecutor, had gently elicited from her the story of the job interview that had ended up with a rape. Bratt was surprised to learn that Judge Dion, a notorious misogynist, had actually managed to avoid displaying his irritation with the sometimes-tearful witness. The jurors, while evidently titillated by the lurid details in Claire's morning testimony, had also seemed sympathetic to her plight.
Finally, the judge and jurors filed in, and a low hum of anticipation filled the room. From where he sat, Bratt could see only part of Claire's profile as she stood in the witness box facing Dion, with her back to the gallery. Jeannie sat at his right, leaning forward, gazing intently at her friend.
Perron stood off to Claire's right, looking like he was waiting for a signal to start his cross-examination. Bratt knew that the hesitation was merely Perron relishing the moment. His incongruously happy smile showed off his bright white teeth, the canines somewhat longer than the norm. With his black lawyer's robe swinging around him like a cape as he moved toward Claire, Bratt thought he looked like a vampire about to pounce on his unsuspecting victim.
However, Claire should not have been unsuspecting at all. At Jeannie's request Bratt spent two hours with her the previous evening going over the kinds of questions Perron would throw at her. Claire was able to answer them about as well as he could have expected, but with one look at her pale and tense face as she stood in the witness stand, Bratt guessed that she had forgotten every warning he had given her.
Perron, who was all of five foot five, moved right next to the gangly teen-ager and Claire seemed to tower over him from her high-heeled shoes. He certainly wasn't fazed by the height discrepancy. He held a yellow legal pad in one hand and brushed back his thick black hair with the other.
Dulude sat to Claire's left, tapping her pen nervously as she waited for Perron to get started. When he finally spoke his tone was surprisingly casual and Bratt noticed Claire's shoulders droop slightly as she relaxed.
Big mistake, he said to himself.
"So, Miss Brockway, you had heard about Mr. Morris from one of your girlfriends before you went for the job interview," Perron began, his French accent barely discernable.
"Yes, that's true," Claire answered, her eyes fixed on the Bible she had been sworn in on that morning.
"And you were told that he fancied himself a bit of a lady's man…"
"Yes."
"…and that your obvious good looks would probably improve your chances of being hired?"
Claire blushed at the compliment, and looked up at Perron's face for the first time. "I had heard that he was always flirting with the younger women working there. I didn't expect that it would be any different with me."
"And you certainly dressed in a manner that would show off your best attributes, didn't you?"
"I think anybody going for a job interview is going to try to look their best. That's just normal."
"Well, do people try to look their best when they have to
testify in court?"
"I suppose so. Yes."
"So, why is it that today looking your best doesn't mean wearing a short, tight leather skirt?"
Claire opened her mouth, then slowly shut it again, unsure what to make of this question. "I didn't think it was appropriate for a courtroom," she finally answered.
"But it was appropriate for a job interview, wasn't it?"
"I wasn't going to go there wearing my mother's old house dress."
"No, obviously not. And the blouse you were wearing that day, was it buttoned up to your throat as your blouse is today?"
"I don't see what difference that makes."
From his right, Bratt heard Jeannie call Perron a prick under her breath. He understood how she felt, but he could still appreciate the way Perron worked. There was nothing particularly subtle about the younger lawyer's strategy. Bratt could see Perron's questions coming a mile away. Claire was so nervous, though, deep subterfuge wasn't necessary. Bratt fidgeted in his seat, unused to being on the sidelines of this little game, just watching.
A slight grin formed on his face as he imagined himself in Dulude's shoes, jumping up and objecting to every second question that Perron asked, if only to throw him off his rhythm. But he knew there was little hope of that happening. Dulude was the type who rarely made objections, except when she was certain they would be sustained. She was always worried the jury would think she had something to hide.
Bratt turned his head and saw that Jeannie was eyeing him with a critical expression. His grin made a quick exit and, feeling somewhat guilty for letting his mind wander, he turned his attention back to the trial.
"So, a lot more of your cleavage was showing," Perron was saying, "and you could tell that he was having a very good look, couldn't you?"
"Oh yes, I could."
"But you didn't comment about it to him, did you? Or button up your blouse a bit?"
"Well, no, I didn't."
"Did you do anything, change your seating position in any way, to try and make it more difficult for him to have such a good look down your blouse?"
"No, I didn't."
"No, you didn't. And wasn't Mr. Morris's interest also obvious in the things he said to you?"
"I'll say. He wasn't the least bit shy to tell me what he was thinking."
Good old Nate, Bratt thought. Always straight to the point.
"He was very complimentary toward your figure," Perron said.
"You mean he made some disgusting remarks about my body."
"What he said disgusted you?"
"Of course."
"And you showed him how you felt."
"Well…I don't know if he could tell."
"Surely you got up and stormed out of the office."
"What? No, you know I didn't."
"Oh. So you stood up and slapped his face."
"I didn't do anything like that."
"Well, you must have at least told him how thoroughly disgusting you found his comments to be."
"No. No, I may have said something, but not that."
For the first time, Perron's voice began to rise, as he leaned even closer to Claire, his expression that of a father scolding a young child. "As a matter of fact, you didn't say anything, did you, Miss Brockway? As a matter of fact you were perfectly happy to see that he was paying so much attention to you, that he was so clearly taken in by your beauty. As a matter of…"
"I object, My Lord," Dulude finally exclaimed, surprising Bratt who had almost forgotten her presence. "My colleague is badgering the witness, not questioning her."
Dion's expression let everyone know that he didn't particularly like agreeing with her, and he slowly turned his eyes toward Perron.
"Perhaps you could rephrase your question," he almost sighed, and then raised an irritated eyebrow in Dulude's direction to see if this satisfied her.
Bratt thought that if Dion had to hide his true feelings any longer he surely would have burst.
The prosecutor was barely seated when Perron took up right where he had left off.
"You really enjoyed his attention, didn't you? You liked the way he looked at you."
"What was I supposed to say?" Claire asked, frustrated. "I needed the job; I wasn't going to piss him off." She turned to the judge, trying to compose herself. "I'm sorry, sir...I wasn't going to insult him in the middle of my job interview."
Perron didn't try to hide the sarcasm in his voice as he continued. "So you giggled like an innocent little schoolgirl, and blushed and said, 'Oh my, you naughty man. You shouldn't say such things.'"
"I never said 'naughty,'" she snapped back, just as Jeannie's clenched fist came down on Bratt's knee. He gave a start, but realized that his daughter wasn't even aware of what she had done. He could see by her intense expression how wrapped up she was in her friend's interrogation. He also couldn't ignore his own growing feelings of unease, although he tried his best to analyze the questions and answers objectively.
Bratt knew it wasn't the lawyer's fault that Claire was so easily goaded into losing her temper. As much as they had tried to prepare her ahead of time, she was making Perron's job look easy.
Bratt glanced at his watch, to see if Claire would be allowed a reprieve from Perron's verbal assault any time soon. It was still going to be a while before the judge called a recess. In the meantime, she was just going to have to try her best to keep her composure, no matter how nasty or embarrassing Perron's questions were. There were moments, Bratt thought as the time crawled slowly by, when nasty was the perfect word.
"Tell me, Miss Brockway, what's your bra size?" Perron asked at one point.
This question caused several of the jurors to gasp audibly. They looked toward Judge Dion, as if expecting him to intervene and perhaps even chastise the impudent lawyer. The judge, said nothing, though, and the prosecutor made no move to object. Bratt had read Claire's statement to the police, and he was aware of how pertinent that seemingly impertinent question was.
Claire's eyes were cast down again as she answered. "I don't think I need to tell you that."
Perron opened his eyes wide in mock surprise. "Oh, since when are you so shy about your measurements? You didn't hesitate to give them to Mr. Morris during your job interview, did you? Don't worry, I won't quote you here."
"I was stupid," Claire whispered, her voice so low now that people sitting behind her could hardly hear her.
"I'm sorry, did you say that you were stupid?"
"I should have walked out when he asked me that. He had gone way too far."
Perron's voice also dropped, until he almost sounded as if he sympathized with her.
"But you didn't walk out, because you really wanted that job. Isn't that right?"
"Yes."
"And his lewd remarks weren't so bad, after all, as long as you got hired."
"I figured I could live with them."
"And the staring down your blouse. You could live with that too."
"Yes."
"I understand that your financial situation at the time was quite precarious."
"It wasn't just that; it was a really good job. Something for the long term."
"A really good job," Perron repeated, walking slowly away from her and nodding his head to show that he was taking in the implications of everything she had said. He stood facing the jury, in a brief moment that Bratt recognized as pure theatre, then took in a deep breath and swung around brusquely to face the witness.
"Miss Brockway, you knew that your chances for getting hired would be improved immeasurably if you showed up in a very attractive outfit, didn't you?"
"Yes."
He strode up close to her again, all traces of his earlier sympathetic expression gone from his face. "In fact, your appearance was quite sexually provocative, wasn't it?"
Claire seemed taken aback by his suddenly aggressive tone and posturing. "It…I guess it was…to him."
"Yes, to him. And that certainly wasn't accidental, was it?"
"No, I guess not."
"And not only did you intentionally dress in this sexually provocative manner, but you went out of your way to be friendly with him, didn't you?"
"I try to be friendly with everyone/"
"You smiled. You laughed."
"Yes. There's nothing wrong with that."
"You flirted."
"He was doing most of the flirting."
"Miss Brockway, are you saying you didn't flirt at all?"
Claire turned her head slightly toward the front row, looking for help, but Perron would have none of that.
"Miss Brockway, I'm over here," he barked. "Could you please answer the question."
"Yes, I flirted."
"And I suppose your own flirtations simply slipped your mind when you made out your statement to the police."
"I didn't think it was that important."
Perron raised his arms in another dramatic gesture, then let them flop back down to his sides. "You didn't think it was important? You didn't think it was important to tell the police the truth about what happened in Mr. Morris's office?"
"I did tell the truth," Claire insisted.
"Did you really? Did you tell them that you went there bound and determined to get that job by whatever means necessary? That you dressed in a way you knew would turn him on? That when you saw he was turned on you flirted shamelessly with him because you wanted to make sure he hired you? Did you tell them any of these things that we both know to be the truth?"
Claire said nothing for several seconds, keeping her eyes cast downward. Bratt felt Jeannie's hand squeeze his as they waited for her to answer. He turned to look at his daughter and was surprised to see a tear rolling down her cheek.
Then he asked himself, Why should I be surprised? That's her dearest friend getting kicked around up there and I'm sitting here rating the lawyer's work. When did I become such a heartless shit?
He squeezed Jeannie's hand in return and looked back at Claire. He wished that there had been some way he could have spared her this public humiliation, but it was what every witness had to expect when stepping into a courtroom.
Finally, Claire spoke. "I didn't think…I didn't realize that's how it would seem."
"How it would seem? Miss Brockway, I put it to you that you knew exactly what you were doing. You were perfectly happy to see that he was falling for you. It was exactly what you wanted, wasn't it?"
"I never wanted that to happen."
"Didn't you? Were you really fighting so hard against it?" Perron sneered, even more sarcastically than before. "Tell the court the truth, Miss Brockway, did he seduce you or did you seduce him?"
Claire looked up brusquely, shocked at what Perron was insinuating. Her voice seemed to choke, as she whispered, "No, no." Then her body began to shake as tears spilled from her eyes, and she sobbed, "Nobody seduced anybody! This wasn't a fucking seduction!"
The air in the courtroom was heavy with stunned silence. Bratt could see the jurors were sitting expectantly on the edge of their seats, seemingly fascinated and thrilled at the pitiful spectacle that was being put on for them. Even Judge Dion momentarily lost his customarily bored expression. The only word that came to Bratt's mind as he looked at the staring faces around him was "bloodlust."
Claire must have felt the weight of all those eyes upon her. Her legs gave out and she sat down hard on the small witness bench behind her. She buried her face in her hands, but couldn't muffle the sound as her sobs burst out.
Bratt looked away, wishing he were anywhere but there. Dulude reached out a sympathetic hand and squeezed Claire's arm, looking toward the judge for some commiseration. Judge Dion, however, simply dropped his pen onto his desk, folded his arms and sat back, rolling his eyes in exasperation.
Bratt couldn't see the expression on Nate Morris's face in the prisoner's box at that point, but on Perron's lips there was just a hint of a self-satisfied smirk. Bothered by the pleasure Perron was taking in his work, Bratt decided that the young lawyer had always been a bit too cocky for his taste.
Finally, Dulude stood to speak. "My Lord, I think this would be a good time for a recess."
"Evidently," Dion grunted. He lifted his ponderous weight, as the bailiff hurriedly called out, "All rise." The jurors quickly stood and began filing out of the courtroom, whispering excitedly among themselves. Dion strode down the stairs from his dais and out the back door.
Jeannie pushed past Bratt to rush to her friend's side. Bratt also moved toward the anguished witness, then stopped, unsure if he should approach Claire or leave her with Jeannie. Just then Perron turned toward him and flashed a knowing smile at his mentor and fellow defense attorney. Bratt attempted to return the smile but couldn't.
Claire took the time she needed to compose herself before the jury reentered, but it would make little difference in the end. Bratt found the rest of her testimony that afternoon to be anticlimactic. Although he could see by the expressions on the faces of several jurors that their sympathy for her was still there, he knew that Perron had managed to plant the seed of doubt in their minds.
When the questioning continued after the short recess Claire seemed to lose the will to fight back and was unable to defend herself against Perron's allegations and insinuations. His questions led her where he wanted, and no matter what she answered Bratt was afraid the jury would end up thinking that she had gone to the job interview ready for some action and she had gotten what she came for.
He thought that people hadn't changed much, twenty-first century or not. It was still too easy to believe that the woman was a slut and the man had simply done what any normal man in his position would have done.
Bratt knew that, especially with Claire and Nate, these propositions were as far from the truth as black is from white. But when it came to getting that message across in the courtroom there was nothing that he could do about it, and Jeannie should have known that.
He knew it was trite, but he didn't make the rules, he just played by them. Perron, whatever she thought of him, had merely done the same. It was pointless for her to blame the lawyers. But, blame them she did.
When the afternoon session had finally ended, the jury had been left with a dozen questions that Claire could not answer. The questions had ranged from why she wore what she wore, to why she had waited two days before going to the police to lay charges against Morris. Despite his sudden dislike for Perron, Bratt knew these were perfectly fair questions, the kind every lawyer would ask. Last night, with Jeannie and Bratt in her apartment, Claire had been able to provide acceptable answers for all these questions and others too. But her apartment was a million miles away from the courtroom, and was but a distant memory to her that afternoon.
Judge Dion had barely left the courtroom at the end of the day when Claire had rushed out and headed for the nearest bathroom. Bratt tried to put his arm around Jeannie's shoulders to comfort her as they walked out the courtroom's double doors, and that was when she had turned and yelled at him.
"YOU'RE A HEARTLESS BASTARD, JUST LIKE HIM! YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH AS LONG AS YOU COME OUT ON TOP!"
Then she turned and ran down the hallway after her best friend.
Bratt was stunned at being blamed, although he knew all too well what Jeannie had meant. He'd had nothing to do with Claire's mistreatment, yet he couldn't shake the sense that he was as responsible as Perron.
He realized, with some embarrassment, that her loud voice had drawn some amused looks from several people who had been leaving the courtroom behind them. He was relieved that the one reporter covering the case had continued to follow Claire as she ran down the hallway, and so wasn't able to record Jeannie's words for posterity. Perron, of all people, had been nearby and had heard her, though, and he placed a hand in sympathy on Bratt's back.
"That's the problem with young girls, Bob," he said. "They can't control their emotions."
Bratt glowered angrily, not particularly welcoming Perron's commiseration just then. He had a strong urge to rip into him, but stopped short when he noticed the crowd that was gathering around the smiling lawyer, and the reporter rushing back to get some pithy comments from Perron for the next day's papers. He suddenly didn't have anything devastatingly clever to say.
"I gotta go, Tony," was all he could mumble, and he pushed his way through Perron's gathering admirers and strode quickly toward the nearest exit.
All that was left of the trial was Morris's testimony, which would start the next morning. Having heard Morris testify with calm and false sincerity four years earlier, Bratt knew that he'd have no trouble getting the jurors on his side.
They would surely waste little time in acquitting him, Bratt thought, all the while clucking to themselves over the naïve young girl who had gotten in over her head and now was trying to hold the older man responsible.
He was as confident of the outcome as if he had pleaded the case himself.




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