Thursday, February 19, 2009

From the Green Man's Private Files: Seven

Ms. Madison and the vicar left the hall for the more private surroundings of the clergy house. There, seated across a table from the priest, she heard his tale of woe. How Stannard had approached the church with plans for a youth centre, explaining thathe desired to do good in the community, and that he would put a great deal of his own money into the project, provided they could match it. The people of the church had risen to the occasion, raising a sum in excess of a hundred thousand pounds, land had been bought, and work started, Stannard being photographed cutting the first sod. It had brought him good publicity, but almost as soon as the press had departed, work had ground to a halt, when it was discovered that the land was contaminated, and the cost of decontamination was far in excess of the church's budget. Stannard had explained that he was unable to pay any more, and ended the conversation there. Ms. Madison shook her head, muttering platitudes, and explaining that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on Stannard's part.

Later, in the derelict chapel, the Green Man in attendance, she was far more forthcoming.
"Stannard should have checked what the land had been used for before," she blazed, "at the very least..."
"It is not the least I am concerned with." The Green Man shook his head. "I suspect that Stannard knew exactly what he was doing. The land was bought from Samwell Estates, a mysterious property company which Stannard has done business for before. It is my belief that Stannard is in fact the guiding hand behind Samwell Estates."
"So the deal with the land..." Ms. Madison gasped.
"...was neither more nor less than Stannard duping the church and its people in order to dispose of land he could do nothing with." The Green Man shook his head. "As I said, Stannard has been badly hit by the recent financial turmoil, and now he's trying to get as much money out of his empire as he can before it collapses. But I believe that there are papers establishing a concrete connection between Stannard and Samwell estates. Return to your hotel room. Directions to the place they will be will be there."

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