Pas De Deux
Copyright© 2012 by Texrep
I flew out of Logan and American Airways delivered me in Denver four and a half hours later. In no time I was checking in to the Marriott City Centre Hotel. Henry had asked to be informed when I arrived and the receptionist passed me his message. "Sir Henry asks if you would visit with him in his suite when you' all have got settled."
My room was fully equipped with everything including a fantastic view of the Rocky Mountains which stopped me in my tracks. I must have stood looking at that fabulous scenery for five or more minutes. Henry's suite was overwhelming, but then it would be as Henry never travelled anywhere unless it was first class. I could not begrudge him this opulence though. My account was being picked up by the Foundation. Henry paid for himself. He didn't think it right to charge that which he could easily cover from his own funds. "Simon." He welcomed me. "Good flight? And how were your relatives in Boston?"
"Thank you, Henry. The flight was good and my cousins in Boston treated me to a slice of American life, which I thoroughly enjoyed."
"Good, good." He murmured as he poured coffee. We sat down. "Simon apart from anything else the reason I wanted you here was to meet Professor Hartington from the Burgoyne Institute. His team are looking in a different direction to you, but have noticed some reactive potential that could be of interest to you. It may be another blind alley or possibly..." He left it hanging in the air. This was the way of research. The Burgoyne like us was a non-profit operation, funded by grants from medical charities and donations from the public. We would share information with others if it would help their research and vice versa. Anything we discovered was freely published for Drug Companies to pick up and develop. Theirs was the major investment as synthesising an agent into a drug, then trialling and getting the relevant national bodies to accept the drug as safe was a long and very expensive process
"I would be happy to talk with them, Henry. Is there any area where you would not want me to discuss?"
"No." He shook his head. "Feel free to cover anything that may come up with them. I would caution you that there are some representatives of Drug Companies here. Much as we would like their money, what we discover is freely available to all. We will not accept patronage which involves exclusivity."
The first two days of the meeting was intensive. This wasn't a conference nor seminar really. No one was giving speeches or tutorials. It was just an opportunity for researchers to get together and discuss ideas and projects. For most of our time we tended to live in a sheltered atmosphere, these gatherings helped us realise that the problems that beset us, beset others as well. I met Professor Hartington and his lead researcher, John Garrow. We got on very well and the information they were pleased to reveal would indeed be very useful. I was happy as I could return their help with some facts and results I had discovered that would be of assistance to them. I promised to email the full data when I was back in London.
Professor Hartington, "call me Jake," he insisted, had brought along a friend. He was introduced as Richard Easton. Another Easton! We took some time trying to find out if we were related, but eventually having discovered no relatives in common decided that it was just a co-incidence. I asked him what area of research he was interested in. "Golf." He replied. "Same as Jake. I am no medical man at all. Jake coming was an excellent opportunity to introduce him to some of the more difficult courses here in Denver. So I am really an interloper. I'm an attorney by trade." I found out later he was a top man in one of the most prestigious practices in Denver. So much for an attorney by trade.
Jake suggested that he and Richard would slide away for the afternoon and hit a few balls. "Well Richard will slice them if he's on form."
"That's slander, Jake. Don't forget I'm an attorney."
"Yeah, I remember, and a lousy golfer." Before they left Jake insisted that we had dinner together that evening. "Let's say six-thirty in Allie's American Grille."
John Garrow and I had a good conversation and then split up to talk to other people, agreeing to meet later over coffee. I met a number of people I knew or had spoken with at some time or other and picked up some interesting data that could be of use to the Foundation.
Allie's American Grille was very busy when Henry and I arrived. Jake had reserved a table and stood up and waved. We made our way to them weaving between the other tables and sat down thankfully as it had been a tiring day. I was pleased to see that John Garrow had joined us. Henry as usual started the conversation.
"So, how did your round go?" He asked. "Will you be looking for a collection to cover the cost of your lost balls?" That brought a laugh from all of us and Richard grinned.
"Well, Jake may. He tried to play his round mostly under water."
"I have never played a course with so many water hazards." Jake replied ruefully. "But at least I didn't take five to get out of a sand-trap."
That set the tone for the first part of the evening. I was asked about my relations in Boston and told them of my visit to watch the Boston Eagles. This brought about a discussion on the relative merits of American Football and rugby. Two Englishmen and three Americans, we weren't going to win. In that jesting discussion my rugby playing was mentioned.
"You actually play that girly game?" Richard teased me.
"I did play at Cambridge."
"You were at Cambridge?" Jake seemed impressed
"So why are you slumming with Henry here." He quipped.
"I take umbrage at that slur." Laughed Henry. "How can it be slumming when it is I who have introduced him to you?"
"Good point." Said Richard. "Attorneys like to pose questions like that. It's a question that rattles a witness when you can't break them down, because there is no correct answer."
For some time we had been hearing a loud voice from a table near us. I thought I knew the voice but couldn't place it, however Richard could. "For Chrissake! It's that asshole, Cummings." That was all I needed to place the voice, Edgerton Cummings."
"You know him?" I enquired of Richard.