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Toppleton's Client

John Kendrick Bangs

Book Overview: 

A pre-eminent legal firm gets far more than it bargained for when it hires the son of its late senior partner, Hopkins Toppleton, Sr., simply to retain the illustrious family name on the company masthead. Knowing Jr. is a loose cannon, their strategy is to pack him off to the UK to head up a European branch of the firm - a branch they have no intention of sending work. The unwitting Hopkins Toppleton, Jr. is, however, determined to make his mark.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I am represented by him, and the dearest friend of my youth never mentions my name save in terms of severest reprehension. Would you like that, Hopkins Toppleton?"

"I'd be precious far from liking it," Hopkins answered. "It seems to me I'd commit suicide under such circumstances. Have you thought of that?"

"Often," replied the spirit; "but the question has always been, how?"

"Take poison! Shoot yourself! Drown yourself!"

"I can't take poison. That fiend who robbed me has my stomach, so what could I put the poison into?" retorted the spirit. "Shoot myself? How? I haven't a pistol. If I had a pistol I couldn't fire it, because I've nothing to pull the trigger with. If I had something to pull the trigger with, what should I fire at? I have no brains to blow out, no heart to shoot at. I'd simply fire into air."

"How about the third method?" queried Toppleton.[51]

"Drowning?" asked the unhappy Presence. "That woul. . . Read More