Gris decides to call Madison at home and gets the man's mother, who comments how despondent poor Walter has been recently. She puts Madison on the line and Gris warns him that the mob is finally moving against him! Yes, those dastardly Faustino mobsters want him dead, but are canny enough to subcontract the hit to their hated foes, the Corleones. There's a Corleone taxi on its way this very minute, and Madison's only hope is to get on the roof of his building so Gris can pick him up with a helicopter!
This is a bunch of lies, except for the last part, strangely enough. You might expect Gris to decide that murder is the best solution and spend another hundred pages hiring a necrophiliac hitman to fail to snipe Madison, but he actually intends to rescue the guy, and is even willing to pay out of pocket for Raht to get a helicopter.
It would be much cheaper to take a rifle and when Madison appeared on the roof, shoot him. But no, he was far too valuable a man just to sacrifice because one had to follow the Apparatus textbook. Madison had the whole procedure of PR under his belt. He was well trained. He could wreck anyone's life at will. I made the crucial decision, no matter how painful it was.
Yeah. Madison, the moron who wanted to start World War III for headlines, the guy who Gris just can't control, the guy whose smear campaign only payed off when the courts got involved but has now been neutralized, is just too darn valuable to have killed. This is the guy Gris is going to break protocol and save. Not his loyal henchman, or even the Apparatus-trained super-assassin Gris was irrationally frightened of, but the bloody publicist.
Step two of Gris' escape plan is to pen a suicide note to his wives explaining that he can't live up to their high standards.
And then Teenie shows up.
She was standing there in her flat oxfords and a plaid skirt, her ponytail thrusting out of the back of her head. "I just graduated," she said with her too-big smile. "And they gave me presents! Look! A genuine Hong Kong dildo. A whole dozen lace condoms. A package of joss sticks for luck. And behold!"
She was unfurling a diploma. It said she was a Certified Professional and that she had graduated Magna Come Loud.
"At last," he crowed, "I have completed my education!"
At this point you're probably expecting Pinchy and Candy to come home to an apparent murder-suicide. And you'd be wrong, again. Despite having hated Teenie since the first chapter she appeared in, Gris is going to take her with him, too.
My plans for Teenie had been a bit nebulous. They consisted solely of capturing her and holding her prisoner so that if at any time the court accused me of murdering her, as per the injunction, I could produce her and say "See, she's still alive." That way she would not be around to lie about me or get me in trouble. It was an elementary and effective solution and part of my general plan.
Yes, kidnapping a minor is surely the best way to avoid getting in trouble for alleged murder, and we certainly don't want Teenie to go around spreading more... actually, have Teenie's lies been a problem at any point? I don't remember her saying anything about Gris, and he certainly hasn't been staying up at night worrying what she's been saying to her stupid classmates. Teenie's compulsive lying seems to be more of a character quirk than anything.
So Gris tells Teenie that he wants her to run away with him, which she interprets as selling her into white slavery (the worst kind of slavery!), which she is totally fine with so long as she gets half of what he sells her for. They shake on it. This is a stupid book filled with repulsive characters.
The catch is that Teenie demands to go home and pack first, and Gris agrees if she's willing to write Pinchy a note. It takes a second try before Gris is happy with the results.
Deer, deer Pinchy and Candy,
I graduated & with honnors.
They warded mee a bedpost gradadutaded coorss in Hung Cung.
Keeep upp the gud wk.
How the hell do you misspell "me?"
And so Gris prepares to save his skin by dragging an illiterate, hypersexual teenager whom he absolutely hates and a delusional twerp who wants to immortalize his clients by getting them killed along with him as he attempts to flee the country. Because the latter is just too valuable to lose, and the former...
Look, the author wants to send Madison and Teenie to Voltar in the name of hilarious satire, so Gris has to bring them along with him to Turkey and ship them off.
I could complain about it being out of character for Gris to do this, but that's the beauty of writing your villain as an idiot. Bringing along a failure and a stupid kid during your daring escape? No more stupid than any other of Gris' plans.
Back to Part Fifty-Four, Chapter Seven