There were some sharp sounds coming out. Blows.
Very shortly the Chief of Security emerged. He said to me as he passed me, "That's the way."
After that disciplinary action, Gris returns to the window and orders that Miss Pinch, now sporting a black eye, give him twenty thousand dollars. She takes out the money, but rather than the traditional 50-50 split she puts it all in her purse. Gris asks her if she's sure she's got it right, but she replies "That's the way."
So Gris leaves. And then comes right back to try again. After all, "Maybe she was just a bit rattled. I should give her a chance to get settled in on her job." Maybe performing the same actions will produce different results. And sure enough, this time she - oh, look at that, she sticks the twenty thou in her purse, repeating "That's the way."
So Gris leaves. Again. And comes back, again, but this time, ah, this time he asks for forty thousand dollars. Because "Maybe I was giving her the wrong figure!" But no, Miss Pinch pockets all of it, shouting "AND THAT'S THE GOD (BLEEPED) WAY!"
Denied three times in a row, Gris retreats back to the Chief of Security to complain, but spots a pile of money on his desk. "So that's the way," quoth Gris. On the bright side, Gris now has something to report as the Rockecenter family "spi" and goes to Miss Peace, Rockecenter's secretary. But she freaks and throws him out when he mentions crooked employees, screaming about Gris trying to "spill the beans" on her.
And Gris, having been repeatedly thwarted and unable to think of a better option, departs the building in defeat.
Now a book ago, back in Part Twenty-Seven, Chapter Seven, Gris went through the Petty Cash Disbursements window for the first time and was pretty impressed with the process.
I was awed. What an efficient organization. Their spies didn't exist! And they had developed a graft system unbelievably simple! I would have to write Lombar about this! No wonder he made such a study of Earth culture!
So what have we learned since then? Maybe corruption and inefficiency aren't desirable traits. Maybe this isn't some sort of Bizarro World where evil groups seek out the opposite qualities of good organizations. Maybe your Evil Corporation needs reliable and obedient workers to fulfill its schemes, just like the Good Guys do.
Back to Chapter One