Lennie turned round and frowned at Creamy.
Creamy looked at his feet. ‘Sorry, Lennie. I shouldn't have told her to go; I should've left it to you, seeing you're in charge.’
Lennie burst out laughing. ‘It's not about who's in charge. It's about the fact that solicitors can't afford to chuck their clients out …’
‘I didn't chuck her out …’
‘As good as! Still, there's nothing we can do about it now. What we can do – or rather what you can do – is get on with your letter to that old codger, whatever his name is.’
Creamy sighed. ‘If you say so. Though I'm beginning to wonder if I'm cut out to be a solicitor. I mean, all that complaining and complaining…’
‘Quite,’ said Lennie and bit his lip.
‘Ah!’ exclaimed Creamy as the sound of the door bell almost drowned his speech. ‘There's another client for us! I’ll get the door, Lennie!’
He had barely left his desk, when the door flew open and a tall man rushed in.
‘Good morning, sir, may I…’
‘Good morning, good morning, good morning! It's not a good morning, if you want to know. Here, take these!’
A hat and an umbrella flew through the air at Creamy. He caught them deftly and scowled. ‘Well, really…’
But before he could say anything more, Lennie's calm voice could be heard: ‘Do attend to the gentleman, Mr Husky, won't you!’
Creamy took the scowl off his face. ‘Please take a seat, sir, won't you. What can I do for you?’
‘Well, I've got an awful tummy ache,’ declared the man and threw himself into the chair opposite Creamy's desk.
‘Oh, really?’ said Creamy, stealing a glance at Lennie as he trotted back to his own chair.
Lennie was banging away on his keyboard, his eyes fixed on his computer screen, and a smile fixed on his lips as he toted up the fees they had taken over the past few days. He caught Creamy's eye and winked at him.
Creamy smiled and switched his eyes back to the man. ‘So you got a tummy ache, you said. Not sure how we can help you. You may not have not noticed it, but it does say on our door: Beagle and Husky, Solicitors.’
‘Of course I've noticed; that's why I am here!’
‘Sorry, but I don't follow you. Surely, if you've got a tummy ache you need to see a doctor not a solicitor?’
‘No, no! I've not come about my tummy ache to you. I've come to get some money for it.’
Lennie stopped typing but said nothing.
Creamy's eyes popped open in surprise. ‘You want some money from us for your tummy?’
‘No, of course not from you! I just want you to get some money from somebody else to make up for my pain and suffering…’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Creamy, not seeing at all. ‘You want us to get some money for you. How?’
‘How?’ repeated the man crossly. ‘You should know how. You're a solicitor, aren't you? Solicitors are supposed to know how to get money!’
‘Are they? I mean, are we?’
‘Obviously!’ cried the man. ‘That's your job; getting money by solving people's problems .’
‘Right,’ said Creamy and picked up his pencil. ‘So what exactly is your problem – apart from your tummy ache. I mean I can hardly write to somebody:
It has come to our notice that our client Mr … By the way what's your name?’
‘Floppy. William Floppy.’