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Monday, August 21, 2006

The Arrangement part 3

The Arrangement, part 3
Rev Dunne

Rev Dunne had a meeting with his lawyer, Mr Thompson, at 10:00am, and since it was not church business he was not in his clerical attire.  After checking in with the secretary he sat down to wait.  He had a lot on his mind, and kept turning the envelope over and over in his hands. It was about his wife’s will.  Just another thing he had to deal with in coming to grips with the fact that his wife was no longer by his side.  His shoulders slumped.  He was not a man who easily showed his emotions.  He dealt with a lot of pain and hardship in his chosen field as a minister, and he had learned long ago how to keep a neutral demeanour.

He glanced up at the clock.  It was now 10:10.  He looked at the secretary and she shrugged her shoulders and said, ‘Sorry, Rev Dunne, it seems Mr Thompson is still busy.’

A few minutes later they both heard shouting coming from the lawyers office.  Time was of the essence, and Rev Dunne was thinking of leaving when the office door opened and the angry client and the lawyer came out.  

It was now 10:20.  After the client left, Mr Thompson motioned for Rev Dunne to come into the office.  ‘Sorry about the wait,’ he said.

Rev Dunne said, ‘That’s okay, but I cannot stay past 11:00 today as I have other commitments.

Mr Thompson said, ‘This is just the initial reading.  Should we wait for your daughters?’

‘Pardon me?  Were my daughters supposed to be here today?’ asked Rev Dunne.

‘Peter, I thought the letter was clear that you all were to attend.  They are mentioned in the will, too,’ the lawyer said.

Being the man of the family Rev Dunne was used to handling the family affairs, and he had read that his daughters should attend, but thought it wouldn’t matter.  Mrs Dunne did not come from a wealthy family, but her family had more money at their disposal than Rev Dunne’s family.  One of Mrs Dunne’s grandfathers had done well in business a number of years ago and had set up annuities for his children and his grandchildren.  Rev Dunne, being a proud man, did not want to use his wife’s money.  He felt that what he earned was ample to support them.  But Mrs Dunne had this money from her grandfather, and she needed to use it somehow.  They came to an agreement that she could use the money for extra things they needed.  When the girls were young Mrs Dunne took money out a couple of times a year.  She would buy ready-made clothes or material to make the girls new dresses, and of course at Christmas.  The Reverend did not want the girls wearing clothes that were too fancy, so since Mrs Dunne was very adept at sewing she made a lot of the girls clothes for them.  After the girls left high school Mrs Dunne used the money to help pay for their university education.

As Rev Dunne rose to leave he said, ‘I’m sorry to have taken up your time, Mr Thompson.  I will schedule a meeting with your secretary, and have her confirm it with my daughters.  I am seeing one of them for lunch today, and will get back to you.’

‘Thank you, Rev Dunne,’ said Mr Thompson, ‘And if the truth be told here, I kind of need a break after that last client.’ Rev Dunne nodded in agreement, shook hands with the lawyer and went to speak to the secretary to arrange another appointment.

After leaving the lawyers office, and since he had time,  he drove to the church before going to Abby’s house for lunch.  He was curious about the invitation to lunch.  Abby had assumed a lot of the duties at the church that his wife had performed over the past years.  If it was church business she needed to discuss, he wondered why she was inviting him to her house. They always made appointments to see each other in the church office.