Dilemmas...

Started by Maude Tillery at Jun 16, 2020 9:25 PM
February 20, 1924
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20 Posts

Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


A lawyer, Mr Frank Tennille, had asked Maude to come by his office, but hadn't specified why.  She had fretted over it a little, but there was nothing she could do until she had specifics, and worrying wasn't going to help any.  Besides, there was no reason to just assume that this was something bad, there were plenty of things a lawyer might want of her that weren't necessarily negative.

Since she had some time in the morning, and the extra money she'd gotten from the 'A' team, so she'd treated herself and Hammy to a nice breakfast then she'd done some shopping, spending a good deal of her payment on clothing, blankets, toys and toiletries that she then donated to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union for families in need...may as well have some good come of bad, and that was one feeble reason join Dr. Steele in his venture, although she wasn't sure that was enough to overcome moral values.

Once at the office, she introduced herself to the secretary, then was escorted into the office, where she was announced.  Standing straight, she smiled at the man.  "Good afternoon, Mr. Tennille."


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Frank Tennille [Deceased]

Attorney
290
?Years Young
10 Posts

"Mr. Tennille, will you please cease and desist from vamping mah Jury!!" - Judge Reynolds


Miss Magnolia Brown had actually answered the peculiar door of the law office for once in her sweet, daydreamy flapperette life. The door was peculiar mainly due to the neatly painted lettering on the frosted window panel. It had once read: Tennille & Kirke, Attorneys at Law. But at some later date, a different letterer, using ever so slightly different colored ink, had put a neat line through the 'Kirke' and added the solemn text Deceased.

To be fair to Magnolia, she’d only been at Mr Tennille’s office for 18 months now and couldn’t be expected to know or do everything! She let the nice looking lady into the place and showed her to Frank’s ramshackle office, replete as it was with falling down piles of case files, and jumbled up volumes of case reports and precedents and giant books of laws and statutes stacked on the floor. She had many times advised him to hire somebody to sort all that stuff out for him, but he’d always grumped that he could only afford to pay her and give Mr Kirke’s widow something out of their pitiful profits every month.

Once she had safely deposited Maude, Magnolia went back to that bit of filing that had been puzzling her for a week. The feller in question had been one of Mr Tennille’s less successful cases and had the confounding problem of a double-barrelled surname, Brannigan-Watts. “Now, I ask you, should that go under “B” or “W”?” she had asked herself. She finally decided to file it under “H” … for “Hanged”.

Once at the office, she introduced herself to the secretary, then was escorted into the office, where she was announced.  Standing straight, she smiled at the man.  "Good afternoon, Mr. Tennille."

Frank looked up from the pile of brown cardboard files he was rummaging through. He was not a very prepossessing figure on first meeting: although he was in his mid thirties, was already balding and sported a smudge of a mustache, he had the air of an overgrown schoolboy. He wore thick, round horn-rimmed glasses, and possessed a weak chin which seemed to sprout a permanent fuzz of ‘5 O’Clock Shadow. Despite all of this, there was a certain easy charm about him that seemed to over-ride all of these considerations for some women. Two-Gun Rosie had summed it up when asked to describe her lawyer by a fellow Moll. “Why, Frank’s the most attractive ugly man I ever met”.

“Doctor Tillery!” he barked, as he approached her, carefully stepping over the volumes VII-X of the Statutes of Florida. He shifted the file in his right hand to his left, so he could greet her with a firm, dry handshake, and motioned back out of the doorway. “Let’s go next door to my partner’s office, it’s a little more spacious.” He explained.

True enough, the office next door to Frank's was as beautiful as it was neat and tidy. They had to keep it that way for when his widow, Mrs Kirke, paid her monthly visit to pick up the money that Frank felt somehow obliged to offer her for support. She would be immensely upset if they changed that office one jot or iota. Frank called down the corridor to the third room right at the back, where Miss Brown had her desk and typewriter, and where she could sometimes be heard tapping out a letter at the heady speed of six words a minute.

“Magnolia honey, can you get us a couple of coffees?” Frank yelled.

“I’m Filing!!” came back the negative reply.

“Yeah, filing your nails!” muttered Frank as he came into the neat office to join Maude, who had already had the good sense to sit down on the polished leather of one of the adjustable office chairs in there.

Tennille sat down on the other side of the desk with a frown and surveyed the file before him.

“Well Doctor, er, this is a little hard to explain, but it looks like you have dealings with a financial agent here in Miami by the name of Elrod Lang, is that correct?”


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"Yes, yes, Mr. Lang handles some of my finances, specifically my dealings with the facility where my sister...my sister is a patient." 

There was no reason to be ashamed, Sarah wasn't crazy, she'd just had some hard times, and she'd always been a fragile girl, so she needed special care, but that should give her the support she needed to eventually recover and live life again.

As a doctor, though, she had enough knowledge to know that that wasn't likely, that whatever was wrong was irreversible, not a fault, just a disease, and something that had no explanation or cure.

"Mr Lang relays payments to Pembroke Pines," she wasn't going to say the whole name aloud, "monthly fees, stipends for extras to help make Sarah's time easier."

She couldn't imagine what the problem might be, at least she didn't think it had anything directly to do with Sarah, and as horrid as those places could be, she had her credentials as a doctor to visit her sister and make certain she was being treated well.


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Frank Tennille [Deceased]

Attorney
290
?Years Young
10 Posts

"Mr. Tennille, will you please cease and desist from vamping mah Jury!!" - Judge Reynolds


"Yes, yes, Mr. Lang handles some of my finances, specifically my dealings with the facility where my sister...my sister is a patient."

Tennille opened up the brown file and looked at a piece of typewritten paper in there; judging by the number of mistakes on it, Miss Brown’s handiwork. He nodded slightly. Either Doctor Tillery had confirmed what was written on there; or what was written on there confirmed what Doctor Tillery had to say.

"Mr Lang relays payments to Pembroke Pines," she wasn't going to say the whole name aloud, "monthly fees, stipends for extras to help make Sarah's time easier."

“Well.." drawled Tennille, sitting back up and looking at Maude sympathetically "... that’s what Elrond Lang was supposed to have been doing for the last year” corrected the Lawyer “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you, Doctor. Lang’s been embezzling your money and putting off the bills to the a … er …as you say facility, you now owe those folks sums to the value of, er, well, you might as well just see for yourself.” he said and handed her the piece of paper that he had just been perusing.

“I’m really sorry, Doctor Tillery.” he added. Oh, he’d had to break worse news to people in this job, a lot worse. That still didn’t make it easy. He wondered how she would take it: anger? distress? Some folks even laughed out loud, out of shock, when they were given very bad news.

The door opened with a jarring crash as Magnolia used her backside to open it, her hands being occupied with the coffee tray. As well as the two coffee cups, there was also a small glass and a hip flask.

“Coffee!” she trilled “And would you like a belt, honey? Frank said he’d got some bad news for ya.”

She put the tray on the desk and Tennille shooed her out with a curt “Ahem! That’ll be all, Miss Brown!”

He glanced back at the oh so innocent looking blonde doctor lady, to see how she was taking it. It was no small amount of money, to be sure.


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"I'm sorry, he...what?" Had she heard right?  Well, of course she had heard right, she just wanted to not have heard right.  "A year..."

And then the young woman came in and provided the distraction Maude needed to process what had just been said, at least to the degree that money hadn't been paid to the institution for a year...although she was too rattled at this point to process what, exactly, that meant.

"Oh, um, coffee, just coffee, thank you."  Vaguely, she wondered why there was alcohol here, but that was of little consequence, and she only politely accepted the coffee in the first place.

Her hands were shaking as she took a drink, then she looked up at Mr. Tennille.  "What are the specifics, please."  Maybe it wasn't so bad...


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Frank Tennille [Deceased]

Attorney
290
?Years Young
10 Posts

"Mr. Tennille, will you please cease and desist from vamping mah Jury!!" - Judge Reynolds


"I'm sorry, he...what?" Had she heard right?  Well, of course she had heard right, she just wanted to not have heard right.  "A year..."

“Er, that’s Lang’s speciality. See, defaulting monthly payments would be spotted too quickly, he negotiates a yearly payment, all in your good name of course, then he get’s away with 12 month’s of dough in his back pocket and disappears.”

And then the young woman came in and provided the distraction Maude needed to process what had just been said, at least to the degree that money hadn't been paid to the institution for a year...although she was too rattled at this point to process what, exactly, that meant.

"Oh, um, coffee, just coffee, thank you."  Vaguely, she wondered why there was alcohol here, but that was of little consequence, and she only politely accepted the coffee in the first place.

Tennille took a sip of the coffee and pulled a face: like most of Magnolia’s efforts, it wasn’t of the best. He reached over to the hip flask, which had a little label on it, attached by string. State v. Rose Jones, Exhibit C. He dunked some of the liquor into the coffee, to make it halfway palatable, with an appreciative murmur. “Good ol’ Two Gun Rosie”.

Her hands were shaking as she took a drink, then she looked up at Mr. Tennille.  "What are the specifics, please."  Maybe it wasn't so bad...

“Well, Lang got greedy. Tried for 13 month’s worth of payments: unlucky number for him. The banks got wise., and he got collared.” He took a sip of the now hooch-laced coffee and winced. If anything, it tasted worse.

“You’ve lost that amount on there, and I daresay say that because you’ve defaulted on payment the, er, facility will probably want next year’s fees paid up front. Now, Lang’s stung a lot of folks this way, most of ‘em are wiped out financially by it. Complicated case, spread over several jurisdictions, any kind of State or County prosecution’ll be a long time coming. Lang’s assets are frozen, what little he hasn’t spend or squirreled away. Bad deal all round, really.”

Well, true to his role as an attorney, he had neatly summed up the case. The long and short of it was that, unles Dr. Tillery had massive savings to hand, she was in deep financial doo-doo.

“However…”

Was there light at the end of the tunnel?

“One of Lang’s pigeons, no offence Doctor, was someone who can afford a private suit against him. That’s quicker, see? Nice little old lady: I got her off a speeding ticket in North Beach a couple of years ago. Now, I mostly deal in state nominated criminal defence; most of my clients are murderers, bank robbers, rapists, mobsters, oh, the whole cream of humanity, you might say. But this rich old lady, she thinks I’m a second Clarence Darrow, Lord bless her, and insists that only the great Franklyn B.Tennille can prosecute this case for her. Well, least  that means you might get some of your money back a little sooner, maybe a year’s time, if things go smooth.”


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"Oh...goodness...."  Any energy drained from Maude's body as she slumped in the chair, trying to make sense of this all.  What was she going to do?  What did she have to do?

She closed her eyes, not quite crying, but close.  So much was just lost now, but the worst of it was what was going to happen with Sarah?  If there was anything good in all this, it was that the coffee remained untouched!

Finally, she sat straight and looked at Tennille.  "So, what do I owe and what are my options?"  Maybe there was a way out, but it wasn't one she really favored, but she just might have to resort to it.

"And how long do I have?"

This wasn't real...she had worked so hard, and things were finally starting to come together, just to fall apart again...


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Frank Tennille [Deceased]

Attorney
290
?Years Young
10 Posts

"Mr. Tennille, will you please cease and desist from vamping mah Jury!!" - Judge Reynolds


"Oh...goodness...."  Any energy drained from Maude's body as she slumped in the chair, trying to make sense of this all.  What was she going to do?  What did she have to do?

Frank sympathised. There were worse things that could happen to a person, for sure. Loved ones could be injured, or even killed, or your dog could get run over. But there was something about being the victim of fraud that seemed to have a resonance with people all out of proportion to the material loss sustained. It was, he reckoned, that that feeling of being targeted, of being picked on, of being made to look like a gullible fool, even if it was by some person who just knew you as little more than a name on a piece of paper.

Finally, she sat straight and looked at Tennille.  "So, what do I owe and what are my options?"

“Well, worse case would be what’s on that paper plus the same again.” he told her. “Urm, maybe we could sweet talk the facility into just paying the arrears for now and going on monthly payments from here on in.” He had become used, now, to saying facility, rather than Asylum, Loony Bin, or Nut Farm.

"And how long do I have?"

He considered for a second. “Well, next couple of weeks would be best, if we want to half that amount.” He calculated. A prompt payment of the arrears now would make the Asylum more forgiving about arrangements for the year to come. Then he felt he needed to explain something.

“Oh, I’m saying ‘we’, urm, the lady who is bringing the suit, Mrs. Wentworth, why she’s happy to include all the victims' names on the paperwork, that way you’ll all definitely get a share of whatever Lang’s got left of his ill-gotten gains, she just wants to  prosecute the Hell out of him, pardon my French.”

The thought of the eccentric rich woman, in her 60s but as energetic as a teenager, tickled him a little “You might have heard of her, Arabella Wentworth, the Montana Nutmeg Millionairess? Well, she’s not technically a Millionairess, but…” he pointed his pen at the piece of paper that Maude was holding. “…what’s a pretty big amount of money to you and me, why that’s just pin money to her.”

The woman still looked very worried.

“I must admit, Doctor Tillery, I would have thought that, well, what with your connections, why, you’d be able to get hold of that sort of money pretty quickly” he frowned.


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"Well, I am more than happy to join the woman in prosecuting the hell out of him!" Maude declared, riled enough that she justified cursing.  "I'd be happy to beat the...tar out of him if I could get my hands on him!"

Indeed, she didn't need to be a man to know that she'd whomp the man if she could get hold of him.  Of course, that was a big 'if'...likely the guy was in the Bahamas by now, sipping tequila on a beach, living off the hard-earned money of other people.

"I don't know what you mean by connections, sir, but I'll do what I can.  I'll have to look into it,"  Now, the nausea was setting in, and she could feel her heart racing.  She needed to speak with Dr. Steele, he could advise her, if nothing else, but she was beginning to think that she was going to have to sell her soul to the Devil before this was over.

"Thank you for the information, Mr. Tennille.  I'll need some time, but I understand the need for haste."

 


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Frank Tennille [Deceased]

Attorney
290
?Years Young
10 Posts

"Mr. Tennille, will you please cease and desist from vamping mah Jury!!" - Judge Reynolds


"Well, I am more than happy to join the woman in prosecuting the hell out of him!" Maude declared, riled enough that she justified cursing.  "I'd be happy to beat the...tar out of him if I could get my hands on him!"

Tennille nodded, aplauding her moxy, and chuckled a little at her use of Hell, even if it was a pretty mild curse word. “Oh, you speak French, too.” He observed.

"I don't know what you mean by connections, sir, but I'll do what I can.  I'll have to look into it,"

Tennille frowned for a second, then it hit him. From the information he’d gathered on the various victims of the fraud, all he really knew about Doctor Tillery was that she was in partnership with Dr. Greyson Steele. But, for someone who had regular dealings with the criminal underworld of Miami, that was really all that one needed to know. But she obviously assumed that he, like most citizens of the town, thought that their practice was strictly above board and on the level.

"Thank you for the information, Mr. Tennille.  I'll need some time, but I understand the need for haste."

She seemed to be wanting to terminate the subject and leave, but as she was, well, his de facto client now, he felt he owed it to her to talk this through. He stood up and shut the door to the office which, in her usual slapdash way, Miss Brown had left ajar, and sat back down and leveled with the angelic looking organised crime doctor.

“Now listen, Doctor Tillery, you don’t need to act all innocent with me. Why, half the hoods that I represent in court have been patched up at some time or other by Grey’ Steele. What with the current crime wave, it’s not surprising that he’s had to take on an extra pair of hands. I’m just surprised that you’re a woman, but I suppose a beautiful, sweet looking physician is a pretty good front for a practice paid for by the mob.” Really, he admired the brilliance of the subterfuge.

“I thought you’d just give Freddy Gagliano a call, tell him you need a loan of a few hundred dollars and just hope nobody holds ‘em up to the light to see if they’re real.” He was speaking in all seriousness.


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