A piano. A pianist. And a con man. Dangerous company.




But as time would eventually tell, David Townsend, taxation consultant, pension expert and personal retirement planner, had made a cardinal error when he phoned to make an appointment to see Mrs Chan.


Mrs Deborah Chan was Jack Chan’s widow. Jack Chan, also known as Jackie Chan, but not to be confused with the Hong Kong kung fu movie star, had died mysteriously several years ago. Almost everyone knew that he’d been a member of a criminal syndicate, and anyone in the know knew that he’d been murdered by members of a rival cartel.


Gang etiquette, apparently, dictated that Mrs Chan be left to her own devices when she became a widow, and, having inherited a small fortune from her husband, she lived a life of luxury and extravagance. Until, that is, David, as he put it, ‘got into her pants’.


‘No one can promise to make you a millionaire, Mrs Chan, but what I can promise is to make you a very wealthy lady. Wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.’ He paused and looked closely, at Mrs Chan. ‘Can I call you Deborah?’ He paused again and looked intimately at his target, who, he was patently aware, was rather wealthy already. Very wealthy indeed.


‘Of course David, of course you can. I really don’t know why you don’t already. We’ve been friends for quite a while now. And you’ve been very helpful. Not to mention a great comfort. And your investment advice has been top notch.’


Mrs Chan was in a best of all worlds situation. An enormous sum was paid to her by her late husband’s life insurance company just after he died. She received regular stipend from her his erstwhile business connections, and now regular monthly notifications of amazing returns on the money she had invested via David. And, as a bonus, she was being given all the sexual attention she’d craved, but had always been denied, when she was a younger woman.


Of course Mrs Chan’s windfall returns, on which their mutual futures depended, was predicated on one thing and one thing only. The system could not survive without the constant injection of more funds. Meaning the money paid to David from subsequent investors (gained from other wealthy women he was offering sexual favors to in return for access to their money).


In other words, Mrs Chan’s startling dividends were derived from the lump sums she herself gave David at regular intervals, or from income from his other conquests. Even blind Freddy could see that David’s business was a house of cards. And that it was about to be blown down.


All that remains to be said is that they were all particularly stupid people. Mrs. Chan because she was defrauded out of a small fortune, David because he should have known he couldn’t getaway with this kind of thing forever, and Janet because… well, unfortunately, when the shit hit the fan as it inevitably did, Janet Baker became what is sometimes known as collateral damage. Because the late Jackie Chan’s syndicate wanted to make an example of her. They wanted everyone to know that you don’t fuck around with the mob.

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