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Episode 13 a Family Conference

Narrator When Peter received the 'takeover' telex from Dan Harvey, Jim Lovelace thought that he was having a heart attack. So did Peter! But he wasn't, although it may have been a near thing. Later that evening, when Peter had calmed down a little, he called a family conference. Significantly, perhaps, Arnold didn't show up. He asked Di to apologize on his behalf...

Di Arnold asked me to say how sorry he was to hear the bad news, Peter.

Peter Where is he, then?

Di He had to go out. He's meeting somebody.

Peter Who? Who is he meeting?

Di Some friend of his. Jack... Jack Parsons, I think.

Peter How very convenient.

Di What do yon mean, Peter?

Peter Well, who sold the shares? Who stabbed us in the back?

Di Not Arnold. Oh, Peter, It wasn't Arnold.

Peter 'Oh, Peter, it wasn't Arnold'. What do you think I am? Completely stupid?

Di Don't talk to me like that, Peter.

Sheila Let's cool it... Please?

Di Well, Peter's more or less accusing Arnold of...

Sheila Calm down, Di. Peter's very upset. He doesn't know what he's saying. He...

Peter I know exactly what I'm saying. I'm saying that somebody, somebody in the family sold their shares in Bensons

Andy But why blame Uncle Arnold, Dad, he's...

Peter He's not bloody well here. And he's been acting very strangely, to say the least. That's why.

Di That's totally unfair, Peter. What proof have you got that Arnold sold his...

Peter Proof? Proof? You tell me! Who else could have done it?

Di Well, I could, you could...

Peter But I didn't. Did you? Did you sell your shares?

Di Don't be ridiculous. Of course I didn't. But nor did Arnold.

Peter Oh? So it was Sheila or Andy or Cymph? You are accusing them, are you?

Di No, of course not, Peter. There must be some mistake.

Peter There's been a mistake all right. And you married it...

Di Oh, stop it

Sheila Peter. Shut up and think

Andy That's not fair, Dad.

Peter OK.OK. So where is Arnold?

Di He's meeting his friend.

Peter I didn't ask you what he's doing. I asked where … he ... is!

Di Somewhere near Henly. On the Thames, I think. Looking at some boats.

Peter Yes. Planning to buy a luxury yacht, no doubt, the double dealing son of a bitch. Oh, If only I could get my hands on the...

Narrator Sorry. I've got to stop Peter again. But I must say that, on the evidence, one can't help sympathising with him.

Episodic 14 a Meeting With Dan Harvey

Narrator Ai six a.m. on me Wednesday Dan Harvey arrived at Heathrow, bang on schedule. Angela Marriot met him in the arrivals lounge in Terminal 3. First, she took him to the Pinner Park Hotel, where he checked in and had a quick shower to freshen up. Then they had a 'Great British Breakfast' together. After that they drove over to the Bensons' offices, arriving in good time for a meeting called for ten o'clock. Peter was in his office by seven-thirty, after a sleepless night. He was still very uptight, but had decided to try to remain calm and not lose his temper with Arnold if the latter attended the meeting. Let's join them. Peter is in his chair.

Peter This meeting has been called – and I quote – 'to review the new situation arising from the takeover of Benson Publications Limited by Superbooks Incorporated'.... Dan?

Dan Thank you, Peter. Let me say immediately how very glad I am to be over here in Europe again. I'm so very happy to …

Peter Let's drop the formalities and come straight to the point.

Dan What do you mean, Peter?

Peter I mean, cut out the crap, Dan.

Dan Well, I just saying how happy I am …

Peter Delighted, more like.

Dan There is no need to be aggressive, Peter

Peter Look! Superbooks now owns Bensons. Lock, stock and barrel.

Dan Sure, we own a controlling interest, but …

Peter So what are your plans? What do you intend doing with us?

Dan Nothing. We don't propose to make any changes.

Peter No changes? None at all?

Dan No. Hey! Why rock the boat when it's a winner?

Peter Well, that's a relief. But what's the point in having this meeting?

Dan We thought it would be a good idea to have a little get-together... To clear up any, er, misunderstandings there might be.

Peter Thank you, Dan. I'm sorry if I was a bit brusque.

Dan That's OK, Peter. Forget it.

Peter So misunderstandings. Any questions for Mr Harvey?

Arnold Yes I have a question.

Dan Fire away, Arnold.

Arnold Who sold you the family shares?

Peter Ha! That's a good one, coming from you, Arnold!

Arnold Well, Dan. Who?

Dan I'm afraid that I'm not in a position to comment on that issue, Arnold.

Peter We'll know soon enough. In fact, I know already. Don't I, Arnold?

Arnold As a matter of fact, no. No, Peter, you don't.

Peter Like hell, I don't. You Judas, you…

Dan Gentlemen, gentlemen. Please. This is getting us nowhere.

Narrator As you just heard, Peter didn't keep his cool after all. The meeting degenerated into a slanging match, with Peter accusing Arnold of being a traitor, and so on, and Arnold protesting his innocence. What do you think? Is Arnold innocent1? If he is.... who sold the shares?

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