The business day convention

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The Adventures of Opco Boone, Legal Ace™

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Boone and Graeber follow the pair into the L’Hôtel, where they lose them in the hubbub — there follows a surreal sequence of hallucinogenic images, like a ghost train of different sessions, plenary sessions, break out sessions, tea breaks and so on until Boone suddenly finds the child, propped up against a bar, looking anxious. In his swoon, Boone sees —or thinks he sees — multiple identical clone children, each being chaperoned by adults in dark glasses. Boone accosts the child but she — or he? it is oddly hard to tell — does not recognise him.

“You know, for a young person you find yourself in some grown up places. Do your parents know you’re here?”

“If I had parents, I guess they would tell me not to talk to strange men in seedy bars.” She regarded him confidently: big, brown eyes. “So I guess it’s your lucky day.”

“Oh? How come?”

“Because I don’t.” She slaps a glass on the bar and looked at the barman. “Teddy, I’m running low. Lemme have another Comiš & Tonic.

Boone reminds her of their meeting at the Vega Den, but she claims not to recognise him.

“Vega den? What kind of child do you think I am, mister?”

Barman pops a drink on the bar. . Boone snatches it.

“You’re too young for that.”

“Sir, wait —”

Boone quaffs it.

She says, “well, someone is in for a fun ride”.

“Huh?” Boone starts to feel good.

Suddenly she turns frosty, like that first breath of winter. She sees something over Boone’s shoulder. She looks nervous, is scanning the room.

Says she has to leave.

“Wait, I —” Boone lurched around, trying to see what she was looking at.

She pressed a card into Boone’s hand. “They are watching you, Mr. Boone.”


“I can’t be seen here. Nor can you. It wouldn’t be —good for you.”

Boone felt woozy. “What do you mean good? Who? Where?” He turned back to the kid but she was not there.

“Hey, where — uh —”

“Are you all right, sir?”

The room closed in. The view went murky. Boone saw the sparkling outline of her dress sequins blurring into soft focus flares as she melted into the crowd. It looked like a man, dark lenses, was manhandling her out.

“H — hey —” Boone drooped.

“I’d be, ah, be careful with that one, sir. She’s an agent.” He taps his nose and skies an eyebrow. “Strictly professional, if you know what I mean.”

Boone face-planted the carpet.