‘Do I understand you correctly? You don’t want me to lend you the money. You want me to give it to you.’

‘That’s correct.’

‘So, I will give you the money, you will take it and you will never pay it back.’

‘That’s correct.’

‘You must be crazy!’ he said. A few moments later, he continued, ‘OK, and what will happen, if I do not give you the money?’

‘Well, that’s easy. If you do not give me the money, I will tell them all I know,’ he replied and smiled.

‘They will not believe you.’

‘Maybe they won’t,’ he said ‘but what if they do?’

‘Look, Mr Black, it’s a lot of money that you want from me. I think I will take the risk.’

‘As you wish,’ replied Mr Black slowly, ‘but you should know that I have done this many times before. And they have always believed me. All of them. Every single time,’ he added.

‘When you called me to arrange this appointment with me, you said that you wanted to do some business with me. This is not business. This is blackmail!’ he said and looked Mr Black straight in his eyes.

‘You can call it what you want. It is just business to me,’ said Mr Black and he looked at his fingernails. ‘Give me the money, Mr Robinson, and I will forget about everything. And of course, I will disappear from the city. Forever.’

Mr Robinson leaned back in his chair. He spent a whole long minute in this position. They were looking at each other and neither of them was speaking. At last, Mr Robinson moved his hand towards the intercom on his desk and pressed the button.

‘Yes, Mr Robinson,’ said his secretary in her cheerful voice.

‘Ms Parrell, I won’t need you anymore today. You can take the rest of the day off.’

‘Thank you Mr Robinson. If you don’t need me anymore, I shall go home right away. I will be here in the morning at the usual time. Have a nice day, Mr Robinson.’

‘And you, Ms Parrell; and you.’

He released the button and looked at Mr Black who was quietly sitting on his chair with a smile on his face. He knew that he won again. “Good job, Mr Black” he thought to himself.

‘So, what’s the plan, Mr Black? If, and I say IF, I agree to give you the money, how can I be sure that you will not tell them?’

‘Mr Robinson, I am a businessman. When I get the money, I will simply disappear and you will never hear from me again,’ said Mr Black quietly.

‘And the tape?’

‘I will tell you where the tape is, when I have the money.’

‘It’s a lot of money, Mr Black,’ said Mr Robinson slowly.

‘Not for you, Mr Robinson. For you it’s just the pocket money,’ said Mr Black and smiled.

Mr Robinson was looking at the carpet and he was thinking. ‘It seems that this is your lucky day, Mr Black. I have half of the money here in this office. But I will give you the other half only when I have the tape in my hand,’ Mr Robinson leaned back in his chair and waited for Mr Black’s answer.

‘OK, I agree,’ said Mr Black after a short thinking. He had not expected to get all the money at the same time anyway.

‘When will you have the other half?’ asked Mr Black. It was the business talk now. The easy part. And he liked it.

‘Within a week. You can call me in 4 days,’ said Mr Robinson and slowly got up from his chair.

There was a small cupboard on the floor behind his desk and on the top of it, there was a small mirror. Mr Robinson knelt down and opened the cupboard. There was a medium size safe in it. He was looking into the mirror all the time. He was watching Mr Black, but Mr Black did not move. He was waiting for his money patiently.

Mr Robinson opened the safe. Then he slowly got up and turned to Mr Black. In his hands, he was holding a paper tray with a lot of bank notes on it.

He put the tray on the desk and slowly moved it towards Mr Black. Mr Black smiled a big smile.

Mr Robinson was taking his hands away from the money, when, suddenly, Mr Black noticed that he was holding something black in his hand. Mr Robinson was holding it and pointing it at him. Mr Black froze. He was smiling no more.

… to be continued…

blackmail /ˈblækmeɪl/ – vydieranie

disappear /ˌdɪsəˈpɪə(r)/ – zmiznúť

kneel /niːl/ (knelt, knelt) – kľaknúť siô kľačať

patiently /ˈpeɪʃntli/ – trpezlivo

take the rest of the day off – zobrať si na zvyšok dňa voľno