Ben and Dylan waited outside the arrivals area at the airport the following afternoon. Professor Davids’ plane had landed on time, he would be through any moment. They were still furious with Wai for rejecting the Government’s offer, but they had to abide by instructions. Ben had written the letter to the Legal Department, drafted by Richard Yap, asking for a better offer. It was difficult to see however what more the Government could offer, without caving in completely.
“What does this bloke look like?” asked Dylan gloomily.
“I don’t know, do I?” said Ben. “That’s why you’re carrying that sign with ‘Professor Davids’ on it.”
“I don’t know why Wai and Jacob couldn’t have collected him. I’ve got more important things to do.”
“Oh yes, like what?”
“I’m supposed to meet Donny sometime today to discuss the next rave parties in China.”
“Oh yes, I’m sure Donny can’t do that without you. He’s only been organising them for the past two years.”
“These are special ones. We’ve just bought this fantastic laser equipment and dry ice machine...oh God, is this him?”
A tall, bespectacled man with a heavy beard, looking rather bewildered, was walking towards them.
“Er...Professor Davids?”, ventured Ben. “Ah...yes indeed, good morning, how do you do?”
“Good afternoon actually, Professor”, smiled Ben. “I’m Ben McCann, this is my partner Dylan Roberts.”
“Pleased to meet you....whoop!” Ben and Dylan looked at him, stunned. What did he say?
“Er...the best way to get into town is by train, Professor, let me carry that bag for you”, said Dylan.
The Professor smiled. “That’s very kind of you...whoop, asswipe!”
Ben and Dylan were appalled. Who on earth was this? The professor noticed the looks.
“I’m so sorry”, he said, “but I suffer from Tourrette’s Syndrome. You may have heard of it, it’s become quite popular on the T.V., I just cannot help myself uttering profanities every so often.”
“But...but Professor, you have to give evidence as an expert witness in court! What’s the judge going to say when you go...whoop?” said Ben.
“Oh, it’s no problem, Mr. McCann”, said the Professor, “I’m only like this because I’ve spent so long on the plane. I can control the symptoms with meditation. It’s like self-hypnotism. As long as I can have an hour by myself before going into Court, I’ll be fine...whoops, cocksucker!”
Dylan and Ben looked at each other with horror. How come they hadn’t found out about this? It was a disaster. The Professor read their minds.
“No, really, I’ve given expert evidence in court many times with no problems. I’ve never lost a case yet, so don’t worry...whoops!”
Ben stared at him, glassily. “OK, Professor, lets get you to your hotel, you must need a rest.”
“Thank you, in fact I’m feeling rather good at the moment, surprisingly.”
Unbelievable, thought Ben. Dylan wouldn’t talk, he was so horror- struck. Ben decided to catch a taxi to avid the embarrassment of a public train. They were treated to a variety of Anglo-Saxon outbursts before they safely left Professor Davids in his suite at the famous old Mandarin Hotel in the middle of Central.
“Ah well, said Dylan, “there go our millions”.
“Not at all, you heard what he said, he’ll be all right in court. Give him time.”
“Time? Time! He’s a walking time bomb! We’ll be on tenterhooks all the time when he’s giving evidence!”
“Look, Richard Yap says he’s one of the best, and he’s worked with him before, so that’s good enough for me.”
“We’ll see, ass-wipe.” Ben grinned.
“I can’t believe that no-one checked Davids out. The bloke’s a loony!” said Dylan.
“Come on, it’s not as bad as that. You heard what he said, he’ll be OK. I did actually speak to some bloke in London who had used him before, and he said he was a brilliant bloke and expert witness. Didn’t mention the turrettes though.”
“It’s all Wai’s fault. I’m going to shout at him.” He reached for his mobile phone and called him. He started ranting at Wai. He carried on in a calmer mode and said goodbye.
“He blames us for it” said Dylan. “He said this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for you and Mandy. Probably true.”
“Anyway, he’s really upset. Thinks we’ve lost the case. I had to quieten him down, you heard.”
“Wai’ll be alright, and I’m sure Davids will be too. Let’s go and see Tyler.”
Tyler’s trial did not start for some three months. It broke Ben’s heart to think that Tyler had to stay in jail for so long. He didn’t like to think about what happened after the trial. He thus had determined that Tyler had a daily visit from the firm, and Ben himself tried to go whenever possible. They caught taxi to Lai Chi Kok and were soon traveling through the cross-harbour tunnel. Dylan had recovered his sense of humour and was doing Professor Davids impressions, which cracked Ben up. He continued to do this until they reached the doors of the prison.
“Here to see Tyler Scott, bum-face”, said Dylan to the Correctional Services Department officer. Luckily the man spoke no English, and they were shown to the waiting room after completing the formalities. They were soon in a room together with Tyler. They had him chuckling with the story of Professor Davids.
“Looks like your millions are out of the window, then” said Tyler.
“Not at all, I’ll be a millionaire by the time I’m forty, I promised my Dad” said Dylan.
“And anyway, you should be able to see the debacle live as it happens” said Ben. The bank had agreed to give the firm a further extension to their overdraft, making two million available for security. Richard Yap had advised that it was worth making a new bail application, although it was difficult to get over the absconding conviction. Yap hoped that once the circumstances of the conviction were explained, then a kind-hearted judge may be prepared to grant bail.
“Lets hope so”, said Tyler. “I can’t stand much more congee.”
“You’re joking”, said Dylan, “I love congee, great stuff, you lucky bastard, you get it free.”
“I suspect the quality of congee in Lai Chi Kok is slightly different to the stuff that you eat, Dylan”, said Tyler. “Any more news from Stan?” Tyler was aware of Stan’s earlier discoveries.
“Not yet, but his entire office are working on it. He’s sure he’ll come up with something. He’s even got his contacts in the force helping him out, apparently” said Ben.
Tyler seemed a lot brighter, Ben thought, must be to do with the new bail application. They were going before the same judge that Friday. They said their goodbyes, promising to return the following day. They caught the MTR back to Wanchai. Dylan spotted three girls on the train that apparently fancied him.
“Correct me if I’m wrong” said Ben, “but I didn’t think that balding beer-bellied foreigners were the partners of choice for young Chinese girls.”
“You’d be wrong, then, they want the passports. And the money. Anyway, I am not balding or beer-bellied.”
“What’s wrong with your hair, then?”
“It’s just receding a bit, that’s all. And I would have to drink a barrel each day to reach your gut proportions.”
“Very funny. I am in fact losing weight.” Dylan snorted.
“What are we going to do with Davids tonight?” said Dylan, changing the subject.
“He’s going out with Jacob and Wai for dinner.”
“My God, he’ll be on the first plane home tomorrow morning then, after a night with the fun boys.”
“No, it’ll be OK. They’ll talk Chinese history all night, they’ll love it. They’re going to Petrus at the Shangri-la.”
“I hope the old Professor has done his meditation. The maitre-d won’t take kindly to being called a shit-head.”
“Anyway, said Ben, “I need an early night after last night. It might do you good too.”
“Not for me, mate. Got to meet Harry to discuss the latest battery factory in China.”
“What do you mean, latest? You’ve never built one yet!”
“Simply a matter of time. If we lose the Tang Clan, we’ve still got the battery factories.”
“Well, pardon me for not buying my yacht yet. I’ll see you later, then. Don’t be too late, we’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow.”
“Just a quick one” grinned Dylan. “You know me.” Ben had to admit that this was, unfortunately, true.