Emporium of Awesome – 5


May 1976 – New York City, New York

A younger man in an Air Force uniform is in the waiting room of Robert Patterson, Esq.  Business was slow today, but Robert was making people wait anyway. He wanted them to think he was busy.  It was finally time to talk to the sole person in his office, besides himself and his secretary. He figured the man was here for a power of Attorney or a will or something simple.

“He will see you now,” the secretary said from behind her desk as she hung up the phone.

Todd Matherson stood up and grabbed the briefcase that he had brought with him.  He smiled at the lady as she directed him to a door to his left. He opened it and entered.  Behind the desk in the office sat Mr. Patterson, a middle age mad who was losing a little of the top while gaining a bit in the middle.  He stood and offered his hand. Todd shook it then took the seat he was offered.

“How can I help you today young man?”

“How trustworthy are you?”

“Excuse me?”

“I am looking for someone who I can trust implicitly and who can follow instructions.”

“Well if you are worried about anything that we discuss it is covered under privilege.”

“I am well aware of the law Mr. Patterson.  I am asking about the ability to do as one is told and not asking any questions.”

“I don’t like where this is going, I would never partake in anything illegal.”

“I never said what I wanted was illegal.  I will be blunt then. How would you like to do as little as possible and make a ton of money?”

“Who wouldn’t?”

“The problem is that most people eventually start to ask questions.  Would you have that problem?”

“I think we are done here.”

Todd stood up and placed the briefcase on Mr. Patterson’s deck and opened it.  The lawyer stared in disbelief. The case easily contained $25,000. “Now that I have your attention, can we get down to business?”

“Um,” Patterson adjusted his tie. “I don’t see why not.”

“I understand you have a practice to run, so I won’t demand too much from you for now.  I will keep it simple for now too, so both of us can figure out if we can trust each other.  For you, to see that I am serious, for me to see if you can do as you are told.”

“What is the money for?”

“Your retainer.  I will offer you work for the next six months.  Each transaction after the first will see you paid for it.  This will cover the first.”

“What are these transactions you want me to do?”

Todd pulls a letter from his pocket and places it on the desk.  “In the envelope is a set of days and times that you need to be here.  On those days you will receive additional instructions to execute. Being a finance lawyer, you know people and procedures for most of the actions that will be requested.  Those that you do not, you will be instructed to learn or outsource to people who can.”

“Why not just give me the instructions direct?”

“Plausible deniability for everyone involved.  In addition I have documents here for you to sign.  I took the liberty of having a third party draft these.”  Todd took some papers from the back of the brief case and handed them to Robert.  He took them and read through them.

“These are very detailed.”

“Yes they are.  Even if I already trusted you I would still have these drawn up.  I can’t take any chances.”

“I understand.”

“And since you will not get instructions until they are to be handled, you can claim ignorance if anything does happen.  But no one should ever find out as long as you say nothing.”

“I would like to go over these if you don’t mind.”

“I understand.”  Todd stood up, then took $10,000 from the case and put it on the desk.  “I will return tomorrow to see if we have a deal then. I will also say this now, I am aware of inflation and cost of living.  So right off the bat don’t get greedy on me.”

The next day Todd returned.  The secretary was not there; Robert was at the front desk waiting for him.  “Mr. Matherson, I have been looking forward to your return.”

“Is everything in order then?”

“I see no reason that I can’t do what you need me too.”

“Good.”  Todd hands Mr. Patterson the briefcase.  “In there you will find a bankbook with the funds to execute the first round of directives.”  Todd reached in his pocket and hands Robert two cards.

“What are these?”

“The first is the card of the accounting firm you are to use.  They will be alerted to how much you have been instructed to invest and where.  They also receive the bank records. Any deviation will be a breach of contract.  The second is a piece of real estate that I suggest you buy.”

“I am not a real estate guy.”

“I have it on good authority that it will go for sale on the cheap, within a year you can flip it for ten times the buying price today.  If you don’t want it, then I will grab it. Besides I tossed a little extra in here so you could afford it.”

“Where does an Air Force Sergeant get……..”

Todd looked at him sternly for a moment.  “What was that?”

“Oh nothing.  I am still getting used to keeping my thoughts to myself.”

“I hope for both our sakes that you learn it fast.  Don’t you have something for me?”

Mr. Patterson hands Todd an envelope with the signed documents.  “There you are.”

“Thank you.  Now for starters, you need to keep your eyes on a new Index fund starting and get in on HBO.”

“That new satellite company?  That is a fad.”

“Trust me it is worth it.  You will receive more specific instructions soon.”

“When can I expect you again?”

“I am not sure.  I will stop in from time to time.  Like I said we will see how you do over the next few months and then go from there.”

Of course Todd already knew that Patterson would check out and do just fine.  It was in fact his fifth attorney. After each initial meeting with each lawyer he would jump back to the present and know immediately if they screwed him over.  Mr. Patterson would not only keep his mouth shut, but would do far better than Todd could have imagined.

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