Excerpt #2 “The Corporate Whore of Babylon”


Fortunately for Gladd, he managed to get to Van Hesse’s office 20 minutes early. Van Hesse’s assistant, a polite young man in his mid-20’s, offered Gladd something to drink while he was waiting, but he declined. Gladd used the time to think about what questions he wanted to ask Van Hesse. He also thought about what his unknown ally had said in his note. The twenty minutes flew by and Gladd heard the assistant tell him that Mr. Van Hesse would see him now. Gladd entered the office, which was well lit by the windows, and took the seat that Van Hesse offered him. Van Hesse was a stately gentleman with a full head of hair, which was silver. He wore glasses (whether for work or health, Gladd wasn’t sure). Of course, he knew that Van Hesse was confined to a wheelchair, because he had read up on him on his computer.

“Good morning, Detective Gladd. Shall we get started on the questioning. I will advise you, though, that personal matters relating to the late Mr. William Babble will not be answered due to my confidentiality clause with the family.” “I understand that perfectly Mr. Van Hesse, and I do not plan to take up much of your time.” “Very good. Now, what may I help you with.” “Well, let’s start with the basics. When was the last time you either saw or spoke to your late client?” “I last spoke to Mr. Babble a week before his death. I saw him later that afternoon. We were getting together for dinner to discuss some legal points that he wanted clarified about a possible merger.” “May I ask who the merger was with and where did you have dinner?” “I’m afraid that I cannot tell you with whom the merger concerns since it is still being developed and I would not like to compromise the ongoing process. It is currently being worked on by Mr. Babble’s sons and I would not want to be responsible for any indiscretions. As for dinner, Mr. Babble and I dined at Le Poule in Beverly Hills.” “Alright. How long have you been the attorney for the Babble family?” “I have been retained by the family for 45 years. I met William Babble after he returned from the war in Vietnam. Before that time, I was a dear friend of his father George Babble who was the chairman of Cordtex at the time.” “While you two were at dinner, did Mr. Babble ever mention anything about history or religion?” At that question, Van Hesse gave me a look that practically said: Are you out of your mind? “The point of that question is…?” “I ask this question because of some things that I noticed about the company. The facade of the company is designed to look like an Assyrian palace and I noticed that the pictures in Mr. Babble’s front office are arranged in a pyramid form. I just thought that Mr. Babble might have had an interest in ancient history or religion.” He didn’t answer me at first, but then started to give a deep throated chuckle and said: “My dear Detective Gladd, the architecture that you refer to was designed by Mr. Babble’s grandfather. From what I understand about the man, it was just one of his eccentricities. As for the “pyramid” in the front office, that is just coincidence. In fact, I never realized it until you mentioned it. No, Detective Gladd, Mr. William Babble would be the last person that I would suspect of having any interest in ancient history or religion. He lived for his company and for his employees.”

“Well, thank you very much for your time, Mr. Van Hesse. I think that that will be…oh, wait, one more thing. Do you know anything about Mr. Babble taking a trip to Northern California about three years ago?” Van Hesse stopped in his movements as he was showing Gladd out and gave him a stern look: “No, I was not privy to any trips that Mr. Babble took. If he had wanted me to know about it, I would assume that it was related to business. Otherwise, he went where ever he wished without consulting me.” “Once again, thank you for your time, sir. Good-bye” “Good-bye, Detective Gladd.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s