Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
There May Be A Statute In Place ...
Steve decides to meet with the lawyer before facing Nathan Worthington. He calls both Bert and Will into his office. The two men look none the worse for wear.
“How are you holding up, Bert.” Steve asks putting his hand on his shoulder.
“I was only a casual acquaintance of Percy, but I never thought he would end up like this.” Bert says shaking his head.
“Same here, Steve. It was a dirty rotten shame. We never should have taken on this project.” Will concludes.
“I feel the same way, but it doesn’t help our present situation.” Steve reminds.
He then advises the two men to tread carefully and if circumstances become life threatening, leave immediately.
“Will, you are in charge until I return. Make sure you keep a keen eye on things. Bert will serve as your backup. I need you more out there than in here answering the telephone. If anybody needs me bad enough, they can reach me by cellphone.” Steve retorts.
“And, where will you be, Boss?” Bert questions.
“I’m going to make a business call.” Is all the information that Steve gives the two men.
Steve finds himself within the Lawyer Offices of Adler and Abernathy. Feeling a bit uncomfortable in such a ritzy place in his construction apparel, he squirms in his chair looking at the others waiting in business attire. One woman gives him a once over and then returns to her magazine.
“Mr. Crenshaw, Mr. Abernathy will see you now.” A genteel receptionist tells him. “Please, follow me.”
Steve rises and follows the receptionist down the hall. All eyes are observing him—wondering how this common workman should be receiving such priority service.
Steve enters the impressive looking office. It houses a large mahogany desk, finely stained oak-grained cabinets and soft leather chairs. On the wall is an impressive collection of law books and on the credenza are objects of fine china and porcelain. It is quite obvious that this lawyer is doing extremely well. Mr. Abernathy rises to greet Steve.
“Ah, Steve Crenshaw, come in and have a seat. Thank you, Dolores and please hold all my calls.” Mr. Abernathy says.
“Yes, sir.” As the receptionist quietly closes the door, Mr. Abernathy waits until he is sure that the woman has returned to her desk before he begins.
“Bob Morton told me a little about what’s going on at the Worthington Site and I believe that infamous rock is being stationed at my brother’s bank. You do know Theodore Abernathy?” Clinton looks at him curiously.
“Quite well, Mr. Abernathy. He has been a banker of mine for many years. I knew he had a brother that’s a lawyer, but I didn’t realize it was you!” Steve explains.
“I’m Clinton but please, call me Clint. Mr. Abernathy sounds so formal, although if you become my client—well, let’s just leave it as Clint.”
“Ok Clint, and why not call me Steve.” Steve offers.
“Now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way Steve, let’s get down to business.” Retorts Clint.
“Right— about the Worthington Project. There has been a lot of injuries involve with this and now a death. I want to get out of the contract with Nathan Worthington, but he won’t have it. What can I do?” Steve entreaties.
“Not to worry, Steve. I believe we can cite Mr. Worthington with Article 15 of the New York Penal Law—Culpability. The statute states:
“Criminal negligence.” A person acts with criminal negligence with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.
You have been working for him and various incidents have transpired which have put others in jeopardy and have costed the loss of life. Therefore, there is legitimate reason to believe that it is unsafe to work at that site and you have every right to wish to nullify the agreement. Talk it over with Mr. Worthington and if he refuses to allow you to be released from the contract—come back and see me.” Clint ends smiling.
“Thank you so much, Clint. Bob said you were the best.” Steve shakes his hands vigorously.
“No problem. Say hello to your lovely wife for me.” Clint says as he shows Steve to the door.
Putting An End To It ...
After Steve leaves Clint Abernathy’s office, he heads straight to see Nathan Worthington. By the look on Steve’s face, Nathan knows that this is not a social call.
Steve has a stern talk with Nathan, making him fully aware of how he feels.
“In good faith I took on this job. I made you completely aware of the circumstances surrounding this project. However, you insisted on continuing. One of my men was badly injured and several things transpired that were out of the ordinary, but you still pursued this passion of yours. And, now a man is dead. I have had enough, Nathan. I’ve been to see a lawyer to get a clear understanding of my rights and I feel that you have endangered the lives of both my men and me. And furthermore, one man has suffered a broken leg, and another is dead. According to Article 15 of the New York Penal Law—you are guilty of Culpability. I therefore demand that you release me from my obligations to you.” Steve finished passionately.
“Demand—those are indeed some mighty strong words, Steve!” Nathan exclaims, not being used to such language.
“I can’t continue this madness, Nathan. Surely, you are a man of reason?” Steve implores.
“I’m sorry it has to end this way, Steve. I have no other recourse but to comply.” Nathan reluctantly agrees to free him from his obligations.
“So do I, Nathan. But you do understand my predicament. I have a family to consider. Not only mine but my men’s as well. I don’t want any more problems. I hear that Frank Murdock has taken an extended leave of absence.” Steve says.
“Yes—Bob made me aware of that fact. Poor fellow—he must be in a terrible state about now.” Nathan shakes his head. “And, what will you do now, Steve?”
“There is a new apartment complex that will be in construction in a couple of weeks. I’ve been given the ok to submit my bid.” Steve confines.
“Don’t worry—I’ll give you an excellent recommendation. Under other circumstances, I know you would have created a fantastic edifice for me.” Nathan replies.
“That I would have. So, what will you do Nathan?” Steve questions.
“Follow my father’s advice and return the emerald to the remaining Manchester Family Members. I’ll get in touch with my dad to make all the arrangements.” Nathan answers with a bit of a sigh.
“And what of the Grand Worthington Hotel?” Steve further probes.
“That, Steve Crenshaw, is another story!”
The Grand Worthington Hotel
- The Grand Worthington Hotel
Pamela Worthington has abruptly left Nathan a note telling him that she is going back to her father’s Westchester Estate. Even though Nathan is sadden by this revelation—he knows that better days are ahead. Or so he thinks!
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 10, 2019:
Stay tune of the next series. It's filled with lies, manipulation, and mayhem!