The Long Con, Part 2

July 17, 2010

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This is the second part of a three part story.


“I’m sure you and Andrea would talk business, so it’s a deductible expense for me,” Murray said with a conspiratorial wink.

Murray took a sip of coffee and turned the topic of the conversation back to business.

“As you know, Mr. Smythe, Wallaby is a privately held company. We develop computer components. We sell the components to the big manufacturers, who use the components in their computers.”

Smythe nodded as Murray continued. “We have strong relationships with a couple of foreign companies who do the actual manufacturing. Unfortunately, those companies are experiencing some major financial trouble right now.”

Murray continued his tale of woe. “If we can’t get the companies to deliver, we could find ourselves unable to meet the deadlines for the computer companies. That could put us in a world of hurt. In fact, it could threaten the viability of the company.”

“Can’t you simply shift the manufacturing to a different company?” asked Smythe.

“Not at this stage in the game, unfortunately. We wouldn’t have the time to find another supplier, sign contracts, and have them get ready for production. Time is simply too short.

“Then why do you need me?” asked the venture capitalist.

“One option that we have come up with is to simply buy those companies. This would give us complete control and allow us to meet our deadlines.”

“And you want my money.”

“Well, yes,” admitted Murray.

“How much?”

“We could acquire the companies for about three million in cash, in addition to assuming about a million and a half in debt.”

Murray spent the rest of the morning talking about the history of the company and sharing details about the products that the company produced. The company had started in Murray’s garage and slowly become a presence in the industry.

After a long lunch, they returned to the office and Murray placed a call to one of the suppliers. Although the man on the other end assured Murray that everything was going fine, Smythe could tell by the strain in his voice that this was not the case.

After the call, Murray brought up some news articles about the supplier’s parent company. The company was indeed teetering on the brink of collapse.

“We wouldn’t be buying the entire company, of course,” explained Murray, “but just the one subsidiary.”

“You’ve definitely given me a lot to think about, Murray,” responded Smythe. “I’d like to knock off early and head back to the hotel. We can continue this tomorrow.”


On the way out, Smythe made plans to meet Andrea Noonan at the hotel bar before dinner.

The next morning, Andrea was filling her husband’s ears with complaints.

“He was flirting with me all night. He even gave me a goodnight kiss.”

“I hope you flirted back,” replied Silas Murray.

“I most certainly did not. I’m tired of these cons, Silas. I don’t like being the bait in a honey trap.”

“This is a big one, babe. We could score a million bucks from this Smythe guy. He’s a rube – buying the bullshit hook, line, and sinker. That kind of money should buy at least some mild flirting.”

Andrea was stunned at what her husband was telling her to do.

“And what if he wants to carry it further than flirting?”

“Just remember how big of a score this is. We definitely don’t want a goodnight kiss to be a deal breaker! This could be the deal that sends us to retirement in Costa Rica.”

Andrea was angered at Silas’ suggestion that she use her body to further their financial goals – but did look forward to the prospect of retiring to a warm climate in the near future. One big score and they could leave the con games in the past.

It seemed that Leonard Smythe had enjoyed his evening, in spite of the cool reception from Andrea.

“I think Ms. Noonan likes me,” he confided in Silas.

Silas Murray breathed a sigh of relief – Smythe was still under Andrea’s spell, oblivious to the fact that she disliked him.

“Andrea was just telling me how much she enjoyed spending the evening with you. She is looking forward to another night on the town tonight.”

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