I wanted to laugh, but my indignation would not allow it. “Mr. Bob,” I said coldly. “Currently, you have arranged for my house to be replaced by a pond, and you have installed an incendiary device on my wife’s face. You have a strange way of wooing potential hires.”
“Now don’t get excited,” said Mr. Bob. “I realize I was a little hasty and heavy-handed yesterday. I’ve already disabled the device on your wife. As for your house, well, unfortunately that will take some time to rectify. But work is already underway, and it shouldn’t take more than a few days. I’m letting up on you because I’ve become convinced that you’re going to get the job done with the fish without my persuasion.”
There was a pause as Mr. Bob waited for me to say something. I did not oblige him, so he continued. “I like the way you handle yourself, Millik. You’re a straight shooter, and I can respect that. And I can definitely use someone with your talents on my roster. How’d you like to work for me?”
“You haven’t told me what the job would be,” I pointed out.
“I’m pretty loose with my people. I figure you can decide how you would want to fit in with the organization.”
“What about the League?”
Mr. Bob took a leisurely puff on his cigar before replying. “Well, there’s two ways to play it,” he said. “You can quit with the League and work for me full time, or you can stay with the League and be on my payroll as a double agent.”
“Double agent?” I repeated. “The League’s got all kinds of wizards and psychics. How would you make that work?”
Mr. Bob chuckled. “The League ain’t the only game in town, kid. They’re not the only ones who’ve got wizards and psychics.”
I had no response, so I waited for Mr. Bob to break the silence. After a moment or two, he did.
“So, Millik. What do you say?”
I chose my words carefully. “As much as I appreciate and respect your offer, I’m afraid I cannot accept it.”
“No. The thing is, I’m a white hat to the core. It would never work.”
Mr. Bob shrugged. “Figured as much. Still, I thought I’d make the offer. You never know.” He stubbed out his cigar and leaned towards me. “Your turn,” he said.