[If you have never read Oasis before, you’ll probably be better off starting at the beginning.]
A Tangled Web
“I don’t really know what I can say that will convince you otherwise, but here’s what happened. Last night, Lily came into my room and attempted to seduce me. I got out of there. In the hall, Richard and friends were just coming out of the stairwell. I did try to hurry them along, but it was no use.”
I took a deep breath before continuing. “Lily stole my other shirt, came out into the hall, and put on a show for the lawyer herd. She left and I went back to my room. Those five weasels came in to my room and beat me up. I tried to defend myself, but with one on five in a small room, I suppose the result was inevitable. And there you have it.”
Many in the crowd shook their heads, presumably in disgust.
But what else was there to do? Richard had created a lie and provided evidence.
Richard scowled at me. “Is there nothing else you’d like to tell us? Like maybe the truth?”
I couldn’t take it anymore. “Well, there is one thing.”
I straightened my self, spoke as loudly as I could manage and pointed at my accuser.
“I’d just like everyone in this room to know, that as his name implies, Richard is a dick.”
I heard Samson chuckle behind me. The rest of the room wasn’t quite as amused, or at least they didn’t show it if they were.
Richard laughed a little, too. “That’s your defense, Mr. St. Laurent? Call me names? I think we’re done here.”
The crowd started in again on the horrible punishments that should be heaped upon me.
I went back to my chair, and listened for about a minute to the crowd’s angry whisperings.
I thought Samson had a plan.
In the back of the room, I saw the door open a crack.
Was somebody out there?
Samson must have seen it, too, because as soon as it did, he sprang to his feet.
The crowd fell silent without him even yelling “quiet” again. Everyone seemed anxious to vote on a punishment and be done with me.
“Before we take a vote on punishment, I think I need to tell you a few things. First of all, Corbin was right. Richard is a dick. He has concocted a horrible but believable lie just to get Corbin out of here. He got his friends to lie for him, and he falsified evidence.“
Samson held up the note.
I saw a couple of lawyer faces go white.
Richard went beet red and jumped up. “Prove it!”
Samson looked to the door. “Kim, could you prove it for the shark here?“
Kim opened the door and hurried down the center aisle. She was carrying a small pink book.
She handed the book to Samson and stood beside him.
Samson opened the book. “Kim, what is this and where did you get it?”
“It’s Lily’s diary. Sorry it took so long to find it. I found it under her mattress.”
Samson looked from the note to the book and back again. After several moments he looked up. “Would anyone else like to look at these? I’m no expert, but it seems pretty clear that they were written by two separate people. The handwriting is totally different.”
A couple of people came up and agreed with Samson.
Richard leaped back to his feet, as well as anyone that chubby could leap. “She could have faked that!”
Samson stormed over and hovered directly over him. “Or you could have! You make me sick. Corbin embarrassed you yesterday, and you’re so petty, so stupid, so insane that you’re ready to do anything to exact your revenge. You got your friends to lie for you, you made up evidence, you-.“
Samson clenched his jaw and his massive fists. He stared at Richard and leaned over.
Richard went white and fell back into his seat.
I almost felt bad for Richard. Samson looked like a grizzly bear about ready to tear apart a deer.
The big lawyer I had kneed in the groin last night stood up. “Where’s your proof? And why don’t you pick on someone your own size?”
He was just as big as Samson, and perhaps a little taller. His arms and chest were huge, like he spent a lot of time in the gym.
Still, I guessed it would take a whole lot more than any one man to intimidate Samson.
Samson straightened and turned. “Davis, you shut up. And you want proof? Linda!”
The back door opened again.
Every head in the room turned to see it.
Linda and Lily walked in.
I felt a knot in my stomach unwinding. I just hope she tells the truth now.
Linda led her through the chairs.
Makeup ran in hideous lines all over Lily’s face. She wore some clunky bracelet on her left hand.
As they approached the front, Lily looked over at me and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.”
I noticed she wasn’t wearing a bracelet at all.
It was half of a pair of handcuffs.
Maybe I was too angry to notice it before.
Lily broke down and cried about every third sentence, so it took her a good half hour to tell everyone what had happened. She told everyone how I rejected her and how she wanted to get back at me.
Then she explained things I didn’t know.
After Richard and friends had left me in a pile on my floor, they found Lily and encouraged her to hide out in Richard’s room. She slept on his extra bed. Right before everyone had come upstairs, Richard threatened her and handcuffed her to the heavy table in his room. He told her she’d be fine if she could be quiet until the trial was over.
A little while later, Linda had found her, then gotten Samson to dig up a pair of cable cutters.
As Lily went on, I wondered how much of this had happened before I had even woken up.
Linda wrapped an arm around Lily as she finished her story.
The whole room was awestruck.
I glanced over at Richard.
He looked green.
Samson broke the silence. “Now the truth comes out. By show of hands, who would like to evict Richard and his four accomplices, by force if necessary?”
Every hand but five went up.
“That settles it. We’ll let you pack, one at a time and with supervision while we discuss the other matter. Richard can go first.”
“No!” Davis, the big lawyer, jumped to his feet and pushed his way through the chairs and people. “You’re not going to treat us this way!”
He rushed the platform.
Samson sprang up and pulled back a fist.
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