Edward Kane, Advocate in A Promise is a Promise: Chapter 13

Edward Kane, Advocate in A Promise is a PromiseEdward Kane, Advocate in A Promise is a Promise
Edward Kane, Advocate in A Promise is a Promise
And now there was a queer collection of people standing in Parliament Hall: a beautiful girl with red hair; a gangly, earnest (but smiling) young man. An elderly lady, seated in a bath chair - being trundled along by a ginger-haired eleven year-old boy. And a miniature poodle. Such an odd array, that Kane was briefly reminded of the coming attractions of a travelling circus.

Kane spoke to the young lady: “Miss Thomas, I confess that I did not expect to see you here today.”

The lady smiled: “Mr Kane, I came to thank you for your help in this matter, and...” she gave a shy glance towards the gangly young man, “...and I am no longer ‘Miss Rosemary Daisy Thomas’. I am, in fact...” she held out her left hand for inspection of a wedding band, “‘Mrs Thomas Tack.”

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Kane noted the wedding band proudly displayed on her hand. He smiled: “Many congratulations, Miss...Mrs Tack.”

The lady looked at the floor: “I know what you must think of me now, Mr Kane. Now that you have read the parish register...”

Kane smiled: “All that I see before me, madam, is a respectable married woman.”

“Thank you.” Rosemary blushed. Kane looked at her face. Just as beautiful. But there was something different about her now. Something had lifted. She had become radiantly and serenely beautiful, like a clear blue morning sky when the storm clouds had passed.

“We were married yesterday.”

Kane nodded: “Very sudden...”

“Not really. Mr Tack...” she looked over at the new groom and smiled again “...my husband, Thomas, had posted the Banns, oh, months ago - before all this unpleasantness set in, and so...”

“Forgive me for asking, madam,” Kane proceeded with caution “but how has Mr Tack’s employer, Old Mr Fergusson, taken the news.”

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The recently-wed Mrs Tack sighed: “Thomas resigned his post last week. The old tyrant Fergusson threw poor Minnie at Thomas one time too many. Thomas put Minnie under his arm and walked out of the door. We have been living on his meagre savings since then. But that cannot last, sir.”

Kane noticed that someone was approaching. It was Jim Sim, still in wig and gown, beckoning Kane over to him.

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“Sorry to interrupt you, Edward, but his lordship’s Clerk is pressing for our return to court. And apparently, the learned judge will not hear any argument about expenses. He will simply come on and find them against you.”

“Where is the Clerk?”

“Over there.” Sim nodded towards the fireplace.

Kane excused himself, and he and Sim walked over. The Clerk was not a happy man: “Mr Kane, you are required to come to court now. His lordship will find expenses against you - no argument - and that is the end of the matter. Do you understand?”

Kane pointed over the great Hall to the newly-married couple: “Do you see - over there - that pretty girl holding the dog, and the young chap, arm-in arm?”


“Well that is Rosemary Daisy Thomas and that is Mr Thomas Tack. The Pursuer and the Defender in this case. And they were married yesterday. Tell his lordship: ‘The lady shook the tree - and the fruit fell’.” The Clerk looked puzzled. Kane continued: “His lordship will understand. That is my final submission. No need for further appearance. If he finds against me - so be it.

The Clerk left them.

Kane saw that both his instructing agent, McAdam, and Mrs Morag McAdam had now joined Rosemary Daisy (now ‘Mrs Thomas Tack’) and the others in the group. Rosemary was holding the miniature poodle, Minnie, in her arms and McAdam’s mother was hugging her own precious Dash. Kane heard McAdam say: “What is going on here? It looks like a blasted dog show...” He noticed Kane: “And what is happening about those expenses?”

“The judge is considering those at the moment.”

McAdam looked at Rosemary for a moment, then: “So, you are back, young lady. And what do you expect us to do with you now?”

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The tall, gangly young man in the group who had been silent until now stepped forward: “I’m afraid that you are addressing my wife, sir. If you have any issues, then may I suggest that you address them to me...”

McAdam was silent for a moment and stared at Rosemary. Then he broke into a broad grin and turned to Thomas Tack. He extended his hand: “Mr Tack, I assume. May I be the first to congratulate you, sir.”

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Kane had a sudden idea “Mr McAdam, I wonder if I might venture: Mr Tack here has repeatedly drawn the ire of Old Man Fergusson and has now quit his employment. There can be no doubt about Mr Tack’s excellent penmanship (we have seen examples in the papers). We all know how busy you are, Mr McAdam. I wonder if there might be a situation vacant for a clerk in your offices at present?”

McAdam stood and frowned, considering this. Kane, skilled in Advocacy, added: “And such an appointment would, no doubt, vex his previous employer Old Man Fergusson no end...”

“Haha - you are very persuasive, Mr Kane.” McAdam turned to Tack: “Is that something that would interest you, Mr Tack?”

Thomas Tack looked suddenly nervous: “I was a mere Writing Clerk under Mr Fergusson, sir. I hoped one day that I would become a proper Articled Clerk...”

McAdam considered this for a moment, then: “Can you start on Monday, Mr Tack?”

“With pleasure.”

“And – of course - with your express permission, sir, may I expect that your wife here,” McAdam nodded over to Rosemary Daisy, “will also resume her duties in the cash room?”

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Tack looked at Rosemary Daisy. She smiled and nodded back. Tack replied: “We shall be there as the office opens, sir.”

The new Mrs Tack indicated the elderly lady in the bath-chair: “But what of your mother, darling. Who will tend to her by day?”

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At that point, the boy, Timmy, who had been rocking Thomas Tack’s mother’s bath-chair to-and-fro (perhaps a little too vigorously) gave a cheery wave over.

Tack smiled: “I venture that young Timmy can now perform that function.”

Kane had the sudden (and somewhat uncharitable) thought that, having witnessed first-hand the abilities of young Timmy, there might soon be a family funeral. His thoughts on the matter were interrupted by the Clerk of Court: “Mr Kane, sir, sorry to disturb you. Lord Lambert says that there will be no expenses awarded in this case.”

Kane smiled: “Please thank him for me.”

The Clerk shook his head: “I would do, sir. But I fear that he has just passed out....”

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