The world was never going to look the same again. The sun would never shine as bright again. Maxwell Braithwaite-Dickus looked at himself in the antique mirror for the last time before the auctioneers arrived to clear his spacious house. Depression loomed as the finality of the crash of his worldly situation sank in and the reality of bankruptcy became clear.
Mary knew she would have to make changes to her lifestyle and get used to a much lower standard of living in view of their reduced circumstances.
'Mary, I'm truly sorry, I thought we would be secure for the rest of our lives, never having to worry about money ever again! My plans are in ruins. I never saw this crash coming and I can not believe the finality of our situation.'
'Maxie, Why ever did you not tell me, I know you so well after all these years. It is so unlike you to put all your eggs in one basket, my dear. I really refuse to believe we are as bad off as you are making out. What is going on?'
'I wish you were right, my lovely wife. We are broke, stony broke... I have many debts and some very nasty people are chasing me for money. We may have to go into hiding for a while until I can find a way out of this mess.'
'This is unbelievable! What are we going to do to get ourselves out of this mess?'
Two men entered the conservatory.
"Sorry Sir, we have to clear the furniture and effects from this room now.'
'Go ahead,! We are just leaving!'
They moved into the beautiful garden and strolled across the immaculately manicured lawns. The sun shone gloriously on the lake that was teeming with wildfowl and full of fish. Leaving their home would be an awful wrench.
'Max, I had a suspicion that we couldn't go on spending as we have for very much longer. What are we going to do?'
'I have already secretly sold the house and transferred the funds to an offshore account Mary, My brother Ferdinand in Paris has agreed to put us up for a while. I am sure you will love it there and the shopping is out of this world.'
'Are you mad? We are running away from here because we are broke and you are suggesting I spend even more.'
'Mary, life is for living, my darling, we have a little money from the sale of the house and I will soon recover my fortunes again.'
'Now listen to me Max my beloved, I will hate to leave here as I have loved my house and garden. My circle of friends will always be there for me and I don't think you should underestimate me my love. I will come to France with you but on my terms. There will be no more gambling and squandering of our very little resources in future.'
'My Mary, I think you are wonderful! You will never regret coming along with me, we are a match for each other.'
Joey Brown was a Turf Accountant, a man with many fingers in many pies. The news had sent a frisson of shock through his being. Joey was very angry! His most valued client had disappeared owing him many thousands of pounds. He called a meeting of his trusted associates and shouted aggressively.
'I want that Dickus found and I want my money! I know he has secreted millions in off-shore accounts and he has welshed on his debts to me and many others! Find him and I will pay half of the recovered cash as a reward.'
'Turn him upside down and shake the money out of him, I will wait to hear from you. Go and find the slag!'
The room cleared like magic as the pursuers left to begin the search.
There was another person who was badly shaken to hear the shocking news of the disappearance. One Clarence Hall a shady stock-market trader and accountant, who had extended a vast sum in credit to our friend Maxwell Braithwaite-Dickus.