Family & Friends Series

Sandy & Dan

By Ron Robbins,
edited by Frank Perry

2010 All rights reserved

Part Thirteen

Sandy was up early the next morning. He got out of bed without waking Dan. He showered and dressed then headed to the kitchen for his small carafe of coffee and a mug and carried them to the library. He read and answered his e-mail, completed the Irish contract and sent it on to the legal department.

He sent an email to Ken Lockwood, the account executive for Unique Professionals, the recruiting firm that handled his corporate account. He typed out a job description for staff he was seeking to take care of the children. He was seeking a child development professional with a proven track record. That person would manage a staff and develop programs for each child, in addition to helping in the hiring of additional staff. He envisioned a male nanny for the boys, and a pediatric nurse to take care of the new babies. He impressed upon the agency the urgency in finding the right individuals.

Brian tapped on the open door. "Come in, Brian," Sandy said. "What do you have for me this morning?"

"My team that's staking out Joe's place came across some very interesting information. It seems that Aunt Paula and Hank have been kicked out of Joe's more that once because of their obnoxious behavior, and for arguing with other patrons. A couple of the regulars gave my guys an earful. Paula and Hank spent every afternoon at Joe's drinking. I understand Aunt Paula was arrested on a drunk and disorderly charge on one occasion for belting another customer over the head with a beer bottle. We checked it out with the police and have a copy of the police report. We also have several police reports on Hank for disorderly conduct."

"Good work, Brian," Sandy said. "Please send whatever you have to my mother in Atlanta."

"Yes, sir, I'll get on that right away," Brian said as he left.

Sandy picked up the telephone and called his mother. "Mom, I talked to Jeremy last night about living here with us and he is delighted. I realize it is too soon to adopt him, even if his aunt agrees to give up custody of the boy. We have enough on her to make a lot of trouble for her. But, I don't want Child Welfare, or the State involved. I want to handle this quietly. If I can gain legal custody of Jeremy for now, I can adopt him in six months or so. My thoughts are to lay it out for her. We will let her know what kind of trouble she can expect from the authorities. Then, offer her a income of $1200 dollars a month for the next six years, providing she gives up all legal claims for Jeremy."

Mrs. Dunnlap said, "Why offer her so much Sandy, she is not entitled to any money at all."

"We both know that, but she is not a rational person. It is obvious that she doesn't care what happens to the boy. Her only concern is receiving his child support money. If she receives a monthly check from me, I am sure she will give Jeremy up. Remember, she must notify the trust fund attorneys and social security that she is signing over custody rights to me. Also, she must agree to sever all contact with Jeremy. If she tries to contact him, the checks will stop. Do you foresee any problems with this arrangement?"

"Not really," Mrs. Dunnlap said. "I'll have Joel Kline handle this case. He is a sharp, tough lawyer. I know he will want to talk to Jeremy. Why don't you and Jeremy meet me for lunch and I'll schedule the meeting with Joel Kline for one o'clock."

"Did you have any restaurant in mind for lunch?"

"Not really, I'll book a table at the Peachtree Plaza for noon."

"We'll be there."

Sandy finished, hung up the phone, and headed to the breakfast room.

Dan, Jeremy and Craig were seated around the table eating breakfast when Sandy joined them. "Good morning, everyone, I trust you all slept well."

Craig said, "I slept like a log." The other two nodded in agreement.

"Dan, I spoke to my mother this morning and it looks like Jeremy and I will need to meet with her for lunch and to meet Joel Kline, Jeremy's new lawyer."

"That's fine," Dan said. "Craig and I will be taking the boys over to Pete's after breakfast. Penny plans to take the boys to the school to have them tested and get them enrolled and assigned to their classes."

Sandy said, "As soon as we get Jeremy squared away, we will need to enroll him as well."

"Dan, have you had time to talk to the trainer and the swim coach about lessons for Lloyd and Chip?"

"Not yet, I plan to take all three boys tomorrow to work out a schedule. Until we have the boys' personal trainer on board, I think I'll have Brian assign one of his men to supervise the boys while they are away from the house."

"Good thinking," Sandy said. "I've contacted our agency to come up with a staff for the children. I'll keep the pressure on them. We should be receiving some qualified candidates in a few days. Jeremy, let's plan on leaving here by eleven o'clock. I will be working in the library this morning, why don't you meet me there. Do you think you can amuse yourself until then?"

"Yes, sir, I thought I'd walk over to the sport complex and talk to the coach for a while."

Sandy said, "You may want to take along your swim trunks and try out the pool. Don't forget to take your cell phone."

Sandy said, "Well, gentlemen, if you will excuse me, duty calls." Sandy left and headed to his suite.

Dan excused himself and followed Sandy to the suite. Dan closed the door behind him and took Sandy into his arms and kissed him. "I didn't get my good-morning kiss, sweetheart. Look's like I need to wake up when you do from now on."

"I didn't have the heart to wake you sweetheart," Sandy said. "I woke up early because my brain wouldn't allow me to sleep any longer. That always happens to me when I have a lot going on. I was able to get a lot accomplished before breakfast this morning."

"I'm glad Lloyd and Chip are around. I think they are good company for Jeremy," Dan said. "Although, he's good at amusing himself. I guess it comes from being alone so much for the last few years. If I were in his shoes, I would keep out of the way of that aunt."

Sandy said, "I don't think he had much of a choice. She didn't want him wandering off, yet she didn't want him around the house either. I really feel sorry for the kid. Survival is the name of the game."

Dan said, "The four of us will be leaving for Pete's shortly, we will probably be back late this afternoon. Do you think you will be back by then?"

"I hope so, it will depend how much background information the lawyers need from Jeremy. However, I don't think we'll be too late."

Dan kissed Sandy and left. Sandy decided to change into a business suit for the trip to Atlanta. After dressing, he headed back down the library to work at his desk until Jeremy arrived.

Jeremy walked into the library at eleven o'clock. Sandy looked up from his desk. "Hi, Jeremy, don't you look like a handsome young man in your new clothes."

Jeremy smiled, "Ludlow cut my hair and helped me dress."

"Well, he did a nice job, I must say. Why don't we head out to the helicopter pad," Sandy said.

Jeremy and Sandy were sitting in the back seat of the SUV. The driver and Brian were sitting up front.

Sandy said, "I can see you are a little nervous, Jeremy. Yet, you needn't be. Our attorneys are there to help you. They have a great deal of experience handling these types of cases. I have related your story to them from what you told me. They need to hear the story from you directly. Of course, they will record everything you tell them and will ask you questions. However, be as accurate as possible and just tell the truth about what happened."

Jeremy said, "I'm not afraid of our attorneys and telling my story, I'm afraid that the Social Services people will take me away from you and send me back to my Aunt Paula, or to a foster care home."

"I can understand how you could feel that way, Jeremy, but that is not going to happen, believe me," Sandy said.

Jeremy let out a sigh of relief and smiled. "I believe you, Dad."

Sandy chuckled and said, "You may a bit premature, Jeremy, but I feel comfortable with your calling me Dad."

The driver parked the car in the hotel parking garage and they all took the elevator to the hotel lobby. They walked over to the dining room and were shown to their tables. The driver and Brian sat at a table next to the one where Sandy and Jeremy were seated."

A few minutes later, the head waiter showed Sandy's mother to his table. Sandy and Jeremy stood until his mother was seated and then they sat down. "Mother, I would like you to meet my son, Jeremy. Jeremy, this is my mother, Nora Dunnlap."

Jeremy nodded, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Dunnlap."

Nora smiled, "Well, it is nice to know that I have another handsome grandson, Jeremy. If you like, you can call me Nana. That is what my other grandchildren call me."

After the waiter took their orders and left, Mrs. Dunnlap asked, "How are Craig and the boys?"

Sandy said, "They are settling in just fine. Dan took them over to Pete and Penny's with him this morning. Penny is going to help Craig enroll them in school. They also have an appointment with Pete's pediatrician. I must call Gloria sometime today and have her recommend a child psychologist for all three boys."

"That is a smart move, Sandy," his mother said. "What is this I hear about you giving your yacht to Pete?"

Sandy chuckled, "Well, Mom, Dan and I decided to buy a bigger boat. We purchased the Aladdin two weeks ago in Turkey, and Captain Nelson and his crew are sailing her to Canada for refitting."

His mother asked, "How big is the Aladdin?"

"She's a little over 300 feet long, and has a total of 49 cabins for both crew and passengers. The Aladdin has five decks, with a nursery and a small surgery. She's an ocean going vessel with all the amenities."

"Why such a large ship, Sandy?"

"Well, with my expanding family and business, Dan and I felt that instead of flying overseas and staying in hotels, we would use the Aladdin as our floating office and home away from home. We want the children with us when we travel. If we need to spend several weeks a year in Europe, we'll have the Aladdin stationed in England and we fly over to meet her."

"Well, that does make sense and you will be able to write it off as a business expense."

"When she is back to her home port in Savannah, we'll invite the family for her maiden voyage."

"That would be nice, dear," his mother said. "What do you think of the idea of living on a ship, Jeremy?"

"I think that is super, I'm still not over the palace I live in now, let alone an ocean going ship."

Sandy and his mother laughed and said, "Well, I guess after living in that shed for a year, you would think that. Well, if you boys are finished eating, why don't we leave for my office; we don't want to keep Joel Kline waiting."

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They were seated around Mrs. Dunnlap's conference table when Joel Kline walked into the room.

"Good afternoon, Sandy, Mrs. D. You must be Jeremy Brown," Joel said, extending his hand. "I'm Joel Kline, your attorney." He took a seat opposite Jeremy.

Joel said, "Jeremy, I've read the account of your story and I would like you to tell it to me again from the beginning. This time I am going to record it on tape and a stenographer will come in and record it as well." Joel picked up his cell phone. "Miss Watson, you can come in now."

Miss Watson wheeled in a table that contained her stenography machine. She pulled up a chair and sat in front of the machine ready to go.

Joel placed a small recorder between Jeremy and himself. Joel said "When I start the tape recorder, I will begin the session." Joel gave the date and stated his name and his relationship to his client. "Seated with me today is Mrs. Nora Dunnlap, a principal of Ashton, Cohen, Dunnlap and Morgan; Mr. Sandy Dunnlap; and my client Jeremy Brown. Jeremy, would you please state your name, your former address and your age."

After Jeremy had given the information, Joel said. "Jeremy, I would like you to tell us in your own words what you can remember for the last four years."

Jeremy began his story from the year before his mother got sick until Sandy found him in his office.

Joel asked Jeremy the names and contact information on the friends that he had in Pinedale, and the middle school he attended, and any other people he remembered from Pinedale. He asked if his friends, Charley Moore and Johnny Brooks were present when his aunt threatened to throw him out, and any other negative comments his aunt made to him while his friends were around. After Jeremy finished, Joel said, "Thank you, Jeremy." He turned off the recorder. "That will be all for today, Miss Watson, thank you."

When they were alone again, Joel said, "You had quite a rough time for the past few years, Jeremy. You are not only a smart young man, but also a brave one as well. I will have this transcribed and have you read it over and sign it. With the affidavits I already have from your friends, both in Pinedale and Dunnlap, I think we have enough to confront your Aunt Paula. After Mr. Dunnlap gains custody and is registered as your legal guardian, we can transfer your records to your new school. If all goes as planned, it is Mr. Dunnlap's intention to adopt you. Is this what you want, Jeremy?"

"Yes, sir, that's what I want."

"All right, I think that's all I need from you, Jeremy," Joel said. "Mrs. Dunnlap, I need to clear up a few things with Sandy. Do you think Jeremy can stay with you until we are through?"

"Of course," Mrs. Dunnlap said. "Jeremy and I can chat until you return."

Joel led Sandy back to his office and closed the door. "Based on what I have heard from Jeremy, I am positive that you will have no trouble keeping Jeremy. Your mother told me what you intend to offer Aunt Paula to sweeten the pie. I think that should do the trick. I will prepare all the documents for her to sign and I'll set a court date for family court to legalize the transfer. I've already spoken to a judge that will handle the matter. I'll have everything ready to present to Aunt Paula in two days. You will not have to be in involved with the aunt at all. I'll have the aunt come into my office on Wednesday. If she agrees, I'll have the signatures notarized and file the papers for Family Court. I'll let you know the date we can arrange this with the judge. You'll need to bring Jeremy to the courthouse for this."

Joel said, "I feel that we should set up an account to disburse the payments to Aunt Paula every month for the next six years. Don't give her a lump sum settlement. This way if she causes any problems you can stop her checks."

"That a good idea, Joel. That is the way we'll set it up. After today's meeting I feel much better about this whole issue with Jeremy. He is a good boy and I want to see him grow up in a safe and healthy environment. Did my mother tell you that I am adopting two other boys?"

Joel smiled, "Yes, she did, and they are lucky boys. Your mother told me that you are hiring a staff of professionals to supervise and teach them. Jeremy should fit in well with the other boys."

"Yes, they get along just great. Of course, Jeremy is their big brother now. They will all be attending private school in Dunnlap along with my brother's children."

Joel said, "That's great, Sandy, I am happy he got lucky, God knows what would have happened to him if you hadn't found him."

"Well, again, thank you for everything, Joel, if you need me for anything, you have my cell phone number. I think Jeremy and I will head back to Dunnlap."

Sandy returned to his mother's office. Jeremy and his mother were chatting about planning a family gathering as soon as Sandy received the custody papers from his Aunt.

Sandy said, "Are you about ready to head back home, Jeremy?"

"Yes, Dad."

Sandy said, "Thanks for everything, Mother, Joel said he will know something by Thursday." He kissed his mother on the cheek and he and Jeremy left.

On the ride back to the airport, Sandy said. "Well, that wasn't too bad was it?"

Jeremy said, "It went a lot easier than I thought. Mr. Kline is easy to talk to and he has a relaxed manner. I felt comfortable telling him my story."

"You handled that very well, Jeremy. Joel feels optimistic that your aunt will accept our offer."

"I sure hope he is right, my aunt can be difficult at times. She is unpredictable."

"That may be true, Jeremy, but she is not stupid. She is not a fit guardian, and when we lay out the case we have against her, I'm sure she will do as we ask. She has shown by her actions that she really does not want you around. She does not want to accept the responsibility of raising a young boy. The only reason she put up with you at all, is for the income she receives for keeping you. If she thinks she can win against me, she is wrong. I have the money and the clout to make her life miserable. She gave up the right to be your guardian when she kicked you out. You are my son now and there is no way I'm going to let you go."

Jeremy sniffled, and hugged Sandy and said, "Thank you, Dad."

Sandy put his arm around Jeremy and hugged him. "You're welcome, son."

After returning to the Manor house, Jeremy changed and spent the rest of the time playing computer games with Lloyd and Chip. Sandy found Dan and Craig in the den.

Dan asked, "Well, how did your meeting go with the lawyers this afternoon?"

Sandy said, "For the first time in days I have the feeling that Jeremy will be with us for a long time. I think Joel is the right man for the job."

"That's great," Dan said.

Sandy said, "How did you and Craig do with the boys today?"

Craig said, "The boys are enrolled in school and will start their evaluation testing tomorrow. Dan and I plan to take them into Dunnlap for the uniforms tomorrow afternoon after their testing. The principal does not see why they cannot start classes on Monday."

Sandy said, "Well, that is good news. Dan maybe you can get the paperwork and testing started with Jeremy tomorrow. Joel thinks that everything will be settled with the aunt in a few days. I don't see any reason why we cannot have Jeremy's records transferred to Dunnlap Academy."

Dan said, "I'll take care of that tomorrow. Jeremy may as well be fitted out with his school uniforms tomorrow with Chip and Lloyd."

"Craig have you decided who you would like to see run your operation in England?" Sandy said.

"I have not made the final choice yet, but one man stands out above the others six men you suggested."

Sandy said, "Who is that, Craig?"

"I thought that Jim Watson would be the best candidate for the position. I know he is young, but I've worked with him in the past and I think he has what it takes to run the European operation."

"No doubt Jim could handle the job," Sandy said, "and he is ready for promotion, but I had thought you would have chosen Brian Neely."

Craig said, "There is no question that Brian has more experience and would have no problem running the operation, but my gut feeling is that he has set his sights higher than VP of the European operations. If the truth be known, there is something about Brian that I don't trust. You know he has been over to England on several trips and never once called to say hello."

Sandy said, "Well, I know Hal Golden has sent him over on a couple of occasions to sit down with the lawyers on the WorldCom deal, in Ireland. But, I am surprised he didn't at least call you to say hello."

Craig said, "Brian was not meeting with your lawyers in Ireland, he was seen dining at the Old Boys' Club with the WorldCom group and their investment bankers. One of my executives saw him there on more than one occasion. He knows all of them; fortunately he did not see him. At the time, I had no reason to suspect that anything was wrong. When he hadn't called is when I became suspicious."

Sandy saw Dan's raised eyebrows. Sandy turned to Craig and said, "Now that is odd. I can't think of any reason why Brian would be meeting with the WorldCom group without Hal Golden being there as well. Have you mentioned Brian's meeting with anyone else?"

"No, this is the first time this issue had come up," Craig said.

"Please keep this information to yourself, Craig. Let me check this out with Hal to see if Brian was trouble shooting for him. I don't want to jump to any conclusions until I learn more."

"Mum's the word," said Craig.

Dan said, "Ed Deamer said he has found two gentle horses for Lloyd and Chip. They are the right size for the boys and he would like us to take a look at them."

Sandy said, "That's great. Why don't we plan to do that on Friday afternoon? How is your schedule, Craig?"

"That's fine with me.

"How about you, Dan, will you be available Friday?

"No problem. I'll be working at the Plantation and will fly over after lunch."

Sandy said, "I think that Jeremy can pick out one of the horses in the stable. He's tall enough to ride a normal sized horse. He can take lessons with the other boys. I'll have Ed take care of that."

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Dunnlap Office Complex

Sandy arrived early at his office. He wasted no time in reading the correspondence his secretary had placed on his desk. At eight o'clock he rang Hal Golden's phone.

"This is Hal Golden."

"Hal, this is Sandy, can you join me in my office for a cup of coffee?"

"Sure thing, I'll be there in a few minutes."

Sandy's office door was open and Hal walked in saying, "Good morning, Sandy."

"Good morning to you, Hal. Would you close the door, please?"

Hal closed the door and sat down in one of the chairs in front of Sandy's desk.

Sandy poured out cups of black coffee for each of them and said, "I was talking to Craig Shelby yesterday, and he mentioned that Brian Neely had visited London on a number of occasions and met with the WorldCom group and their investment bankers. Craig was disappointed that Brian never once called him while he was in town. Did you send Brian over to London to discuss anything with the Irish group?"

"No, Sandy, I did send Brian over to Dublin with the VP of Finance several times to work out the payment schedules and to check out their financial statements. But, I never sent him to London to meet with the WorldCom group."

"That is what I thought. I think we may have a problem on our hands. Both Craig and Dan have trust issues with Brian," Sandy said. "Each has a good reason to mistrust him. Craig, as I mentioned, thought it was odd that Brian was meeting with the Irish group and their bankers. He was surprised that Brian had not called him on those occasions he was in London. I found this out last night quite by accident. Craig rejected Brian as the man to replace him as the European Sales Director. He had good reasons for his opposition. Dan, on the other hand, overheard him bad mouthing him over a project he was working on for Brad Stevens and my brother. Later, Dan couldn't understand why portions of his software program didn't check out after Brad and his group ran the program. That's when he discovered that the two programs that he sent to this office were changed. It was when he sent his original program to Brad and his group that he discovered the errors. Neither Brad, nor Dan, discovered why, or who changed the program. But, it made Dan's programming work look careless. Personally, I think Brian is behind this somehow."

Hal said, "I've noticed a change in Brian over the past several months. I hate to say this, but I think his nose is out of joint now that he is not your fair-haired-boy any longer. I think he is jealous of Dan."

Sandy said, "I don't understand why Brian would feel that way. Dan is not a threat to Brian in this company. I know for a fact that Dan has no desire to manage any division in this company. He is happy in the design and development of software programs. I know he enjoys working with my brother in his business. I must confess I am very disappointed in Brian if he is behind any shady dealings. You know, I have the feeling that he may have something to do with the way these negotiations have been going with WorldCom. I don't know what is going on, but you can be sure I'm going to find out. Don't say a word to anyone about Brian. I plan to hire Mike Lee of International Securities to handle this for me. He is the best in the business. I don't want anyone to know about this; I will arrange for us to meet with him at the Manor house."

Hal said, "I think that is a good idea. Look, Sandy, I must be on my way, I have a meeting in ten minutes. I hope to God that Brian has not hurt our firm in any way. I don't feel good about this at all."

"I feel the same way, Hal." After he left, Sandy made the call to Mike Lee and arranged a meeting for the next day. He made sure that Dan, Craig and Hal were available for dinner the next evening.

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After dinner Sandy, Mike, Hal, Dan and Craig gathered in the library for their meeting. Sandy said, "Mike, I've asked you here to discuss a problem we may have with my staff Vice President, Brian Neely. We suspect that Brian may be instrumental in undermining the purchase of a company I am trying to acquire in Ireland. The company is WorldCom, they manufacture software and electronic components for companies all over the globe. Hal and I have been working on this deal for almost a year and keep running into snags that have prevented us from finalizing the deal. As you know, Craig in my Vice President for Europe, and I want him to tell you what he learned."

After Craig told Mike his story, Sandy said, "I only learned of these meetings the other day from Craig. It was only after checking with Hal that I learned that Brian had no reason to be in London meeting with the WorldCom group. Another incident happened with a software program that Dan was working on that may have been altered by Brian or one of his people. Hal has a feeling that Brian took a dislike to Dan and tried to sabotage his project. Hal thinks that Dan is a threat because Dan is my other half and will block Hal's way in moving up the ladder."

Mike said, "From what I've heard so far, it sounds like Brian is up to something. Of course, you don't know why Brian had dinner at the club with WorldCom. You need to tie this all together with solid information. We'll need to follow his moves and the reason for his trips to London, and any other sources we can gather. I will need to have access to his payroll, expense, and travel records. We may be able to track his international calls. I will need the names of the WorldCom men at those meeting and their bankers. It would be helpful to have any photos or video tapes you have of him. If you are ready to roll on this, Sandy, I'll need to put a surveillance team on him as soon as possible."

Sandy said, "Do what you need to do, Mike. I don't care what it costs; I need to know what his is up to. Brian is privy to inside information, and the future planning of my company."

Mike said, "You've got it, Sandy. I'll have a team in place tomorrow. I will need those photos tonight."

Hal said, "I'll go through the main-frame and e-mail them to you as soon as I return to the office."

Sandy said, "Hal, you can access the main-frame from here, there is no need for you to go down to the office tonight."

Hal said, "That makes it much a lot easier for me. If you would show me where the computer is, I'll get that information right now."

Sandy said, "Dan, will you show Hal to my computer and help him access the main-frame?"

"Not a problem; come on, Hal, follow me."

Craig said, "Let me help you, Hal, I might be able to spot some of the guys from London."

Hal said, "Any help would be appreciated." Hal and Craig followed Dan to Sandy's study.

After they left, Mike said, "Sandy, do you have any objections with me bugging Brian's office, his home and car?"

Sandy said, "Mike, as I said before, Do whatever it takes to find out what he is up to. I must know what he plans to do. There is a Japanese firm that is also interested in buying WorldCom. The company is Nippon Industries, Ltd. Their home office is located in Tokyo. They also have a large complex in Silicone Valley, CA. Nippon Industries supplies some of the components that WorldCom uses in their equipment. I do know that Nippon is a reputable company. In the past we have had them manufacture some of the chips for our hardware. I did check them out, and learned that they did not have the cash to bid against us to buy WorldCom. This is not to say they couldn't find a backer, but it is highly unlikely once they learn that we are in the process of purchasing WorldCom."

"You see, if we are not successful in buying WorldCom, we are not going to look kindly toward them or giving them any future business. My VP of Strategic Planning has located three smaller firms that we can farm out the projects that WorldCom is presently working on. Again, only my VP and I know about this. I started to feel uncomfortable with the way WorldCom was acting and decided to find some other suppliers. I didn't feel that this information should be shared with anyone else since they were so involved with closing the WorldCom deal."

Mike said, "That was a smart move on your part. You cannot let one supplier bring your production to a halt. Don't worry, Sandy, I'll check on Nippon Industries and find out who owns them and who their backers are."

Sandy said, "You know, Mike, I thought the difficult times were behind me. Yet, the sky has opened and dropped everything on me at one time. Not that everything was bad. Finding my partner, and finding an instant family is a good thing. I thought I could step back and enjoy my new family, but, that is not going to happen until I straighten out this WorldCom mess. I had been training Brian to take some of the load off my shoulders. Yet, until I learn the truth, I don't feel that is in the cards. Don't get me wrong, I have some extremely talented executives working for me. But, they are all running a group and I would hate to pull them away from their group to train as my executive VP. As my Dad always said, 'In business everything changes, nothing stays the same.' The business is constantly evolving and moving into new directions."

Hal, Dan, and Craig returned with the photos and records that Mike had requested. Hal said, "Here are the pictures and the records you requested, Mike."

Mike took the folder and examined the contents. "These photographs will be helpful. Thanks for writing the names and companies in the margin."

Sandy said, "Hal, do you think Nippon Industries is back in the game again?"

Hal said, "I don't think so, but I have no way of knowing what game WorldCom is playing. I thought we had a done deal with them. Now they are nitpicking once again, and have not supplied us with the financial audits we requested."

Sandy said, "Let's hope Mike can find some answers. One last question, Hal, do we know what proprietary patents WorldCom is holding and when they expire?"

Hal said, "That is one of the things we are waiting for them to supply."

Sandy said, "Let's hope we can resolve those issues before much longer. Well, gentlemen, if no one has any more questions, let's call it a night."

Mike said, "I have everything I need for now. Hal, I will be contacting you tomorrow. Dan, if you would, please tell the helo pilot I will be ready to take-off in ten minutes."

Dan said, "I'll have Ludlow notify the driver to stand by to drive you to the pad."


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To be continued
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