Gris paces for a bit, trying to figure out how he can destroy his enemies if they won't read the flippin' newspaper, but then gets hit with more "INSPIRATION!" I regret not keeping a tally of how many times a completely random idea has landed in Gris' head to jolt the plot forward.
He rushes out of his cockroachy hotel room and fifteen minutes later arrives at a disreputable and, of course, shabby building. The first floor is a "porno store," the second a massage parlor, the third the local chapter of the National Association of Mental Stealth (still a bloody stupid name), but the plot-relevant fourth floor holds the offices of Dingaling, Chase and Ambo.
Like... they hear the dingaling of a siren, and then chase the ambo-lance? Humor?
Anyway, Gris is "about to unleash the most terrible weapon ever devised: the American legal system!" Yes, it took 219 pages, but we're finally getting around to the intense courtroom drama promised in the translator's note. After meeting Mr. Dingaling, "a baldheaded man with foxy, shifting eyes," Gris is introduced to Chase and Ambo, "two other baldheaded men with foxy, shifting eyes." Gris declares himself to be Madison's boss and challenges them to call the man to confirm this, though he orders them not to reveal that he's in their office.
No, he doesn't explain why he's hiding from Madison, or why he thinks Madison won't be able to deduce that the guys calling to confirm Gris' identity might have met him at some point.
The lawyers aren't too excited when Gris says there's real potential in this Wister case, since they know the Whiz Kid is Madison's fabrication. But then Gris drops his bombshell - Madison's Whiz Kid is in fact a double. "The REAL Wister lives in a ten-million dollar penthouse on Central Park West, has a domestic staff of twelve and is driven to his posh office in the Empire State Building in a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit." Or, as the lawyers put it, there's a "defenseless millionaire" out there just beggin' to be subpoenaed.
Gris fills them in with the necessary details, suggests that they schedule the fateful delivery for five o' clock that afternoon, and lets himself out while the lawyers "made a ring and were dancing round and round in their office, shouting in hysterical joy." End chapter, which is barely over two pages long.
So... well, this is definitely an improvement over the whole "create an elaborate fantasy world and hope people are dumb enough to believe it over the real world" plan. But I can't help that think that we're getting away from the Death Quest promised on the cover. Now we're moving into a legal drama, or more specifically Heller's attempts to run away from his legal problems. There will be boats, even before we formally begin our Voyage of Vengeance. And of course, Gris will have sex with lesbians.
I think the author may even be able to work a minor into sexual situations as well. As tastefully done satire, of course.
Back to Chapter Seven