"And why are they carrying grudges?" Lowell laughed at the ridiculous question. "Nice try, Dan. You've been asking that for six years now. Look, I gotta go. Work on the balanced piece and let me see it." "When is the meeting with the President?" "Not sure. As soon as he gets back." "And if Teddy's terminated?" "You'll be the first person I call." As a small-town lawyer in Culpeper, Virginia, Neal Backman was earning far less than what he had dreamed about in law school. Back then, his father's firm was such a force in D.C. that he could easily see himself making the big bucks after only a few years of practice. The greenest associates at Backman, Pratt 8c Boiling started at $100,000 a year, and a rising junior partner thirty years of age would earn three times as much. During his second year of law school, a local magazine put the broker on the cover and talked about his expensive toys. His income was estimated at $10 million a year. This had caused quite a stir around law school, something Neal was not uncomfortable with. He could remember thinking how wonderful the future would be with all that earning potential. However, less than a year after signing on as a green associate, he was sacked by the firm after his father pled guilty, and was literally thrown out of the building. But Neal had soon stopped dreaming of the big money and the glitzy lifestyle. He was perfectly content to practice law with a nice little firm on Main Street and hopefully take home $50,000 a year. Lisa stopped working when their daughter was born. She managed the finances and kept their lives on budget. After a sleepless night, he awoke with a rough idea of how to proceed. The most painful issue had been whether or not to tell his wife. Once he decided not to, the plan began to take shape. He went to the office at eight, as usual, and puttered online for an hour and a half, until he was sure the bank was open. As he walked down Main Street he found it impossible to believe that there might be people lurking nearby watching his movements. Still, he would take no chances.
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John Grisham - 2005