A lawyer’s business

In the green subaqueous light of Mr. Erskine’s small room beside the plane tree, Grant put his proposition to the lawyer. They wanted to bring Herbert Gotobed to the surface, and this was the way to do it. It was quite orthodox, so the lawyer needn’t mind doing it. Lord Edward had approved.

The lawyer hummed and hawed, not because he had any real objections but because it is a lawyer’s business to consider remote contingencies, and a straightforward agreement to anything would be wildly unprofessional. In the end he agreed that it might be done.

Grant said: “Very well, I leave it to you. In tomorrow’s papers, please,” and went out wondering why the legal mind delighted in manufacturing trouble when there was so much ready-made in the world.

— From A Shilling for Candles, by Josephine Tey

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