By Natalie L. M. Petesch
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Extra resources for After the First Death, There Is No Other
When he finally telephoned Vita Company, our Vice President, Mr. Cormoran, greatly feared we would have to indemnify Corbie to the fullest. When I first arrived at L Building in answer to Corbie's call (I made several visits that month, by the way, which I seldom do), I was inclined to agree with Mr. Cormoran. Corbie joked and laughed with fearful desperation, and every joke was aimed at himself. These self-flagellant bouts of merriment were followed by a horrible digust. Page 8 I felt that what he wished most of all was that some obliging visitor (myself) would strike him across the face, expressing that disdain and contempt for the identity of Bill Corbie which he himself so whole-heartedly shared.
Women, we have found, are equally fanatical about their "Art," although the usefulness of their product spares the Company some of the pretensions of your Corbie-type artist. We of course understood what Mr. Cormoran intended. Our Fireproofers were sent out during the evening while Corbie was out having his usual drink in a neighborhood bar. Two Vita Company Fireproofers climbed to the roof of L Building and carefullyand of course without being seenset fire to Corbie's apartment through the window facing the courtyard.
They had promised they would repair the elevator shortly after receiving a minor adjustment claim from the fifth floor. The tenant, Mrs. Kovic, suffered from a heart ailment, and when she had made the claim (she sued on a Bitterness and/or Boredom Policy, a policy in whichreallythe Company just breaks even, they are thinking of discontinuing it). We had granted her immediate cash payment as it seemed a matter easily taken care of and not likely to repeat itself. After all, it was merely a question of repairing the elevator.