Dr. Adam Simpson is sitting at his desk, his head in his hands, ignoring
the insistent buzz of the intercom. He doesn't even look up when Margaret
Peabody strides into the room to inform him that Mrs. Carlotta Schuyler
Cliff is "requesting" his presence "immediately" in the Trustees' office.
"Tell her I've had a massive brain embolism and can't be there 'immediately',
would you please, Margaret. Maybe in an hour or so."
"I don't think so, Dr. Simpson. She'll only ask why her father was
able to hold off the entire Hun onslaught at Ypres despite having had both
his legs shot off and you're not able to make it twenty feet down the hall
with a silly little stroke... and I'm afraid I won't have a satisfactory
answer for her."
"You're right." The haggard President of Cliff College slowly
rises to his feet and, as if he has, indeed, suffered a silly little stroke,
drags himself toward the door. He hesitates a moment at the threshold, though,
and, with a deep breath, straightens his spine and steels his nerve. "She
wants to know what we're doing about the NASU situation, I assume...?"
"Actually, what she wants to know is why you aren't doing anything
about those goddamned Indians and why didn't you clean up any and all unaccounted for corpses BEFORE the heavy machinery moved in."
"Do you think she'll believe me when I tell her that no one affiliated
with the school thought to search under Sayers Hall for dead bodies before
we called in the heavy machinery?"
"I wouldn't put it that way, if I were you... It's just an invitation
for her to lynch you for not having thought of it in the first place."
"I'll handle Carlotta, Margaret. You just tell Alice to catch the flak between the various factions
involved in this mess..."
And, a bit invigorated at having passed at least eighty cents worth of the
buck to his Dean of Students, Dr. Simpson strides out of
his office and down the hall. As he enters Room 204, Margaret
can hear him saying, "Mrs. Cliff, you'll be glad to hear that I've
just taken action which will, I'm sure, bring this affair to a quick and
relatively painless conclusion..." The door then closes, precluding
any more eavesdropping, so the President's Assistant, crosses the hall and
enters Room 202, Dean Watson's office.
Return to Administration Building Directory