When I last wrote, Ravel was in deep trouble in big China. His compatriot lawyer friends were essentially helpless as they watched one of their team being escorted in the wrong direction. It looked for sure as if they would have to abort their mission just to stay safe. None of the lawyers had any idea of what to do except to start walking slowly back towards the main road. Their fierce skills in the arena of marital disputes was of little use to anyone at that point. Only Ravel had any training in jungle survival, and even he was taxed as to how they might continue without a car. It was growing dark, and they were getting hungry again, having eaten all their packed lunches much earlier during the day. I don't know if you, dear reader, have ever spent any time in the Chinese countryside with hungry lawyers. I haven't either, so I have to take Ravel at face value when he said they started acting like (I quote verbatim here, so do not assume this is my sentiment) - 'women chasing last chocolate bar'.
After about half an hour of squabbling and having just walked a couple of miles towards the main road they heard a car coming towards them. Ravel recognised the sound of the engine - it was the same car that had escorted their compatriot away. Everyone tried to find cover exept Ravel, who by now was determined to face down anyone - and steal their vehicle if necessary - in order to prevent the lawyers scratching each other's eyes out. He stood in the middle of the road waving his arms. At first it appeared as if the car was going to stop, but the engine suddenly revved firecely and the mud was splattering everywhere. Ravel had but a moment to throw himself out of the way as the car sped past. Glancing towards the car as it passed, he saw two figures in the front seats. One was the man from earlier. The other was the lawyer he had escorted away. Although only catching the briefest glimpse of his expression, Ravel saw quite clearly that the lawyer was smiling.
'Look here!' shouted one of the other lawyers a minute later when they all came out of hiding, 'he dropped something!'
'Crispy fried duck and rice?', asked another lawyer, running towards the first man.
'No man. It's a note. Listen up. It says he phoned for help and a car is coming to pick us up. It also says he has made a deal with the head of the operation to defend him against accusation of selling fake goods.'
'Aaaah!' cried all the other lawyers in unison, as if a tipping point in their understanding of the situation had been reached, and they knew what this meant.
'What does this mean?', asked Ravel. Despite travelling with them for some weeks, he was still flummoxed on a regular basis by their cryptic mechanics of reasoning.
'It is easy. He is worst lawyer amongst us by a long, long way. He knows he cannot successfully defend businessman. He will have tipped off authorities. He will give poor information to barristers. We just wait now for trial and job is done. Ok?'
Ravel was not entirely sure but could offer no solution. The lawyers were adamant that their colleagues incompetence would win the day and so thy waited for the car to pick them up. The driver was know to some of the group, and they were so pleased to see him that they dived straight into the car and told him to drive as quickly as possible back to their hotel. Once there, they waited for more news. There was nothing that night, but the next morning Ravel was awoken early by someone knocking on the door. It was one of the lawyers brandishing a mobile phone. 'I just got a text', he said forlornly. 'Bad news. Sit down....'
*********TO BE CONTINUED!!!*********