Cambridge, 1932

ADAMS: And here, please, under “being in sound mind and body”. Thank you, sir.

FRANZ: Thank you, Adams. Anything else?

ADAMS: Not for today. Did you enjoy your regatta?

FRANZ: So-so. English gentlemen gossip far more than even Italians.

ADAMS: Indeed, a truly English sport.

Green velvety office of the family lawyer.


FRANZ: We’re done with business, aren’t we?

ADAMS: We are, sir. Your car is ready, I just thought I haven’t seen you for months.

FRANZ: Amalia asked you to talk with me.

ADAMS: Your respectable mother always reminds me to keep an eye on her heir. But I assure you, the tea is purely my initiative.

We moved to the couch.

The office was dark but impressive, which the man wasn’t at all.

The only adjective I can think of for Mr. Adams is unmemorable.

No chance that you will remember his face, his voice or stature from your first meeting.

He definitely was smart and pleasant, but you wouldn’t remember it.

As you wouldn’t remember the trust he inspired from the very first sight.

He’s the perfect embodiment of a lawyer: unmemorable, respectable, righteous, inspiring trust.

Luckily, he was more than that, he was intelligent.

And intelligence always requires a certain amount of courage, sincerity, and insight.

ADAMS: How do you like Cambridge?

The young man shrugged his shoulders.

ADAMS: And your new place?

Same gesture.

ADAMS: And what do you think, sir, of the winter midterms?


Hello, the tea reason.

FRANZ: Mr. Adams, assure my mother that my grades will be the best. Or… in the top ten, let’s say. Will it be enough, the top ten?


FRANZ: Doubt it?

ADAMS: No! No, of course! What reason would I have to doubt anything you say, sir…

FRANZ: The police station. Opium, cocaine, morphine. No?

ADAMS: Indeed, those things do not help the learning process…

FRANZ: You think so?

ADAMS: In the common eye, at least…

FRANZ: Don’t be a well-brought English gentleman. If you want to tell me that I’m fucking up my life, just say it.

ADAMS: Well, I don’t want to tell you anything of this sort, Mr. Wertvollen. And if you tell me, neither I nor your family should worry about your academic performance, I will trust you, sir. When I first met you, you were quite an exceptional eight-year old boy. Everyone passes through coming of age. I believe, that’s how yours looks like. I’m not that much concerned with all the chemicals you add to your blood, though I see it, if I may, as something absolutely superfluous. My concern is your general sense of balance. Moderate people have a moderate coming of age, you never were moderate, sir. And you never will be. That’s why the sense of balance should be of a great importance to you, in my modest opinion.

FRANZ: Can I work for you?

ADAMS: Excuse me?

FRANZ: Can I… I want to… just give me work. Give me cases, I could be of great use. And you don’t even need to pay me, and we don’t have to tell it to my parents.

ADAMS: Sir, if you need some extra activities, I would be glad to signal it to your highly esteemed father, I’m sure he’ll take it as great news and find you something…

FRANZ: Adams! If I would like to signal it to my highly esteemed father I could do it myself. Maybe I need to interact with the world in an unusual way, unusual for me… or…

ADAMS: Or maybe not.

FRANZ: Could you find me a job?

ADAMS: You can do it yourself.

FRANZ: Yes, I could, but…

ADAMS: Yes, sir?

FRANZ: Ahhh! Those are my doubts! I’m made just of them! God! That’s pathetic!

ADAMS: Ah, if I may, neither it’s pathetic, nor a reason for… let say additions to your diet.

FRANZ: Adams!

ADAMS: Yes, sir?

FRANZ: You’re my lawyer, not my… not a freaking Freud.

ADAMS: Indeed, I’m a lawyer, and I enjoy working for the Wertvollen family. Therefore, I tend to reaffirm my position by offering a small-talk tea to the respectable heir.

FRANZ: With all my brothers – heir?

ADAMS: With all your parents’ love for you, sir, heir. But even if it weren’t be for their love, with all your lust for life, sir, heir.

FRANZ: With all my lust for life?

ADAMS: Ah, definitely. Or this responsibility somehow burdens you?

FRANZ: No! How… which responsibility? To take the business one day? To grow it? Adams, I may be pathetic, but not to that point. It doesn’t burden me! On the contrary, I love the idea, I just don’t really believe in it.

ADAMS: Excuse me, sir, and what makes you believe that inheritance is a matter of faith? To me it sounded more as a matter of actions.

He made me smile.

I sat back on the couch.

FRANZ: With me as their only heir, Mr. Adams, you clearly reaffirmed your position.

ADAMS: You see me utterly pleased. But then maybe the young sir would like to attend to his direct duties instead of stealing the work of some poor clerks?



FRANZ: That’s the matter. I… gladly do anything if only I knew what. I’m not asking you, Adams, I should definitely dig this out myself, but if you want a reason for those chemicals, well… I’m not quite successful at… or I’m just… I guess I’m just… it’s a matter of balls, Mr. Adams.

ADAMS: Then without any doubt I bet on you, Mr. Wertvollen. Does that responsibility somehow burden you?

FRANZ: Absolutely not. I gladly take it. It’s actually an honor.

ADAMS: Thank you, sir.

FRANZ: Thank you for your tea. And no car for me. I’ll walk.

The coat.

The hat.

ADAMS: If I’m allowed, Mr. Wertvollen, I always thought of you as of a very brave dazzling young man. I would very much like you to have the same idea of yourself.

FRANZ: I do.

ADAMS: You don’t seem to enjoy it.

FRANZ: My idea of myself is far bigger than that, Mr. Adams. What you see now I would call a work in progress.

ADAMS: Still, that’s a pretty enjoyable sight, sir.

FRANZ: But it’s a work in progress.

ADAMS: That should, excuse me, must be enjoyed for its refinement and exclusiveness at the very least. Pardon my insistence.


FRANZ: Would you, please, pass me my gloves? By the way, this Algernon thinks that living in the college I’m stealing the roof of some other poor Algernons.

ADAMS: He may be right. Me too, I don’t see the point of such an inconvenience for all the parties. I think, you’d be much more comfortable in some decent apartment.

FRANZ: Find me one. And convey the idea to my mother. She excels in the misinterpretation of my intentions.

ADAMS: When would you like to move?

FRANZ: I don’t care. I’m not moving for myself. I just think, let this aggregated image of whatever have his roof.

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