The funeral was simple, but the aura of William Westland seemed to have brightened death itself. Mira had thought that the court room experiences had made her immune to cries and shouts but seeing Daniel cry in the car had broken her inside. They had gone home and Mira managed to tuck him into bed. She began to leave but Daniel wouldn’t let her, he wanted her on her side that night and every night since then. Today was the funeral, something that Daniel couldn’t do himself. On the face of it, she never came about but behind scenes she took care of the Westland, both the dead and the alive. He was now the man of the house and everyone had now started looking up to him for the smallest of the decisions.

Today, at the funeral, though he tried to keep a brave face but the death of his father had shaken his insides. He also realised how transient life is and how silly had he been to wait for so long to propose to Mira. Lost in his thoughts he didn’t see his father’s friend, Alfred Armston, coming towards him, “I am really sorry for your loss son, he was a dear friend, but don’t worry I will stand by you, you need any help just tell me”. He just nodded in acknowledgement and went back to looking over the sea of faces that had come to pay homage to his father. But Alfred wasn’t done “Did you see the newspapers today? “, Daniel’s expression clearly said that he hadn’t. “The stock prices are at an all time low”. This slightly alarmed Daniel but he quickly composed himself and said, something he wasn’t doing much, “That was to be expected, Dad was a stalwart of his field”. “Yes but let’s hope the situation won’t last for long, remember what I had said”.

That evening Daniel and Mira dined in complete silence, he asked later, I heard that the stocks are pretty low right now”. ” Daniel, you employ thousands of people who are worthy of taking care of such problems,  so let it go”. ” I can’t let go Mira, every minute I let go I am disappointing Dad, I wasn’t there when he died so please let me take care of something that he left me”, Daniel practically thundered and Mira looked at him meekly. “I am sorry, I really am but just tell me what is wrong”, “Yes, sir”, Mira said . He got in touch with his CFO and came to know that investors were pulling out because they weren’t sure of the new boy who just has a nice degree to show and not much of work experience and so if the stint continued, he might be in desperate need of money.

He sat like a lame duck waiting for it’s chance to go to the butchery. He understood for the first time that shiny degrees weren’t enough to survive in such a competition and suddenly found his investors justified in pulling out but he couldn’t let that happen to the so many people that worked for him and he now decided to form some alliances that were initially not thought of by him.

Daniel Westland knocked at the door of the office of the Director of The British Bank, the door opened at Daniel saw the burly, pot bellied, balding man welcome him, “I had been expecting you for a long time Daniel”, he smiled at him and took the chair offered to him, “Times have been tough Alfred”. ” So tell me how can I help you?”. ” You know what I need, I need capital to run my company”. ” That is something I will willingly do, but I have a condition”. That was something Daniel had pretty much expected, you couldn’t build such an empire without such a shrewd sense of business. ” I am all ears go ahead”.

” Marry my daughter Louise”.


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