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A bureaucratic adventure - Part 2Minimize

In the fullness of time, the case of Gertrude vs. Phred came to court.

Pontifex wasted no time in painting Phred as the scum of the earth, as a wastrel and as an excuse for a human being who should be banned from participating in any way whatsoever in any decent society.

During this philippic, Erasmus remain seated, quietly looking into the middle distance and appearing to take no notice of the histrionics being
played out by Pontifex.

When at last Pontifex drew breath, Her Honour asked Erasmus if he had anything to say on behalf of his client, in response to the remarks made by Pontifex.

Erasmus spent a few moments collecting his thoughts and then made the observation that if Genghis Khan was still alive he would refuse to have lunch with Phred, because that would damage the reputation of Genghis Khan. He then went on to offer the opinion that he had no idea that his client was so degenerate, but could not understand how it was that Phred and Gertrude had lived together for five years and had three children.

When Pontifex caustically asked how that was relevant, Erasmus noted that Gertrude was, in the words of Pontifex, “ a paragon of virtue, a woman of rare and noble qualities,” and why therefore had she suffered to live with Phred for five years.

Pontifex responded by stating that Phred had practiced very subtle and sophisticated psychological manipulation on Gertrude, who only came to realise this after she had left Phred and taken their three children with her.

At this point Her Honour strongly suggested that they get on with the substantial matters, as she had a long list of cases to get on with.

Pontifex glared at Her Honour, sensing a lack of sympathy for her down trodden client, but then put forward the orders her client was seeking.

Her Honour then asked Erasmus what orders he was seeking and he said that his client, Phred, agreed to all the orders sought, with one exception namely, that order which sought damages for psychological stress caused to Gertrude.

Her Honour noted that Gertrude had, since parting from Phred, completed her degree and was holding down a responsible job, so was at a loss to see where the psychological stress was impacting on the enjoyment of life of Gertrude.

Pontifex then noted that whilst Gertrude might appear to be living a full and satisfying life, she had underlying issues, for which she was being counselled, at $350 a hour and felt that Phred should be paying for this.

It was at this point that Her Honour lost patience with Pontifex ; she granted all the orders that were mutually agreed upon, made an order that Gertrude pay all costs of these proceedings and suggested that if Pontifex wanted to engage in polemics, then she give up law and take up politics, like so many other legal practitioners had done.

Erasmus smiled sweetly at Pontifex, who gave him a look that would have stripped the hide off a buffalo fifty feet away, but only caused Erasmus to intensify the sweetness of his smile.

Belinda and Claude, when they met for their de-brief and excellent dinner felt that once again, they had been well entertained and that their respective employers were lucky to have Clerks that looked after their best interests so carefully.



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