English escapade

december 29, 2008 § 1 hozzászólás

boyd_armadillo

Lorimer swiftly gulped two glasses of wine at the bar, inhaled and exhaled deeply a few times, before heading back towards Dymphna and his colleagues. He saw Hogg across the room pointing him out to a fleshy-looking man in a hand-made pin-stripe suit with a pink tie. The man began to make his way towards him and Lorimer felt his throat tighten suddenly – What now? Police? No, surely not is bespoke tailoring? – and he ducked his head to suck at some of his wine as the fellow approached, smiling a thin, insincere smile. The face was puffy, strangely weather-beaten with the roseate, burny glow of burst capillaries around the cheeks and nostrils. Small, bright, unfriendly eyes. Closer to he saw that the man was really not that old after all, not much older than he was, he just seemed older. The motif on the man’s pink tie, he noticed, was of tiny yellow teddy bears.
‘Lorimer Black?’ the man said, raising his deep voice, a lazy patrician drawl, to compete with the babble around them. Lorimer noticed that his lips barely moved, he spoke through his teeth, line an inept ventriloquist.
‘Yes.’
‘Stalk hilly virgin.’ His mouth had opened a slit and these sounds had issued forth. These were the words Lorimer aurally registered. He proffered a hand. Lorimer juggled glasses, slopped wine, managed a brisk, damp shake.
‘What?’
The man looked at him fixedly and the insincere smile grew marginally wider,  marginally more insincere. He spoke again.
‘Thought we’ll heave the gin.’
Lorimer paused for the briefest of moments. ‘Excuse me. What exactly do you mean?’
‘Torn, we”ll lever chain.’
‘Look, I don’t know what -‘
‘TALK, OR WE”LL LEAVE HER, JANE.’
‘Jane who, for God’s sake?’
The man looked about him in angry incredulity. Lorimer heard him say – this time quite distinctly – ‘Jesus fucking Christ.’ He fished in his pocket and produced a business card which he offered to Lorimer. It read: Torquil Helvoir-Jayne, Executive Director, Fortress Sure PLC.
‘Tor-quil-hell-voyre-jayne’ Lorimer read out loud, as if barely literate, realizing. ‘I’m so sorry, the ambient noise, I couldn’t -‘
‘It’s pronounced “heever”, ‘ the man said contemptuously. ‘Not “hellvoyre”. Heever.’
‘Ah. I get it now. Torquil Helvoir-Jayne. Very pleased to -‘
‘I’m your new director.’

/William Boyd – Armadillo/

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