The law firmPatrick worked for before he died filed for bankruptcy protection a year afterhis funeral. After his death, the firms letterhead properly included him: PatrickS. Lanigan, 1954-1992. He was listed up in the right-hand corner, just abovethe paralegals. Then the rumors got started and wouldnt stop. Before long,everyone believed he had taken the money and disappeared. After three months,no one on the Gulf Coast believed that he was dead. His name came off theletterhead
as the debts piledup.
The remainingpartners in the law firm were still together, attached unwillingly at the hipby the bondage of mortgages and the bank notes, back when they were rolling andon the verge of serious wealth. They had been joint defendants in severalunwinnable lawsuits; thus the bankruptcy. Since Patricks departure, they hadtried every possible way to divorce one another, but nothing would work. Twowere raging alcoholics who drank at the office behind locked doors, butnevertogether. The other two were in recovery, still teetering on the brink ofsobriety.
He took theirmoney. Their millions. Money they had already spent long before it arrived, asonly lawyers can do. Money for their richly renovated office building indowntown Biloxi. Money for new homes, yachts, condos in the Caribbean. Themoney was on the way, approved, the papers signed, orders entered; they couldsee it, almost touch it when their dead partner—Patrick—snatched it at the lastpossible second.
He was dead. Theyburied him on February 11, 1992. They had consoled the widow and put his rottenname on their handsome letterhead. Yet six weeks later, he somehow stole theirmoney.
They had brawledover who was to blame. Charles Bogan, the firms senior partner and its ironhand, had insisted the money be wired from its source into a new accountoffshore, and this made sense after some discussion. It was ninety millionbucks,
a third of whichthe firm would keep, and it would be impossible to hide that kind of money inBiloxi, population fifty thousand. Someone at the bank would talk. Sooneveryone would know. All four vowed secrecy, even as they made plans to displayas much of their new wealth as possible. There had even been talk of a firmjet, a six-seater.
So Bogan took hisshare of the blame. At forty-nine, he was the oldest of the four, and, at themoment, the most stable. He was also responsible for hiring Patrick nine yearsearlier, and for this he had received no small amount of grief.
Doug Vitrano, thelitigator, had made the fateful decision to recommend Patrick as the fifthpartner. The other three had agreed, and when Patrick Lanigan was added to thefirm name, he had access to virtually every file in the office. Bogan, Rapley,Vitrano, Havarac, and Lanigan, Attorneys and Counselors-at-Law. A large ad inthe yellow pages claimed "Specialists in Offshore Injuries."Specialists or not, like most firms they
would take almostanything if the fees were lucrative. Lots of secretaries and paralegals. Bigoverhead, and the strongest political connections on the Coast.
They were all intheir mid- to late forties. Havarac had been raised by his father on a shrimpboat. His hands were still proudly calloused, and he dreamed of choking Patrickuntil his neck snapped. Rapley was severely depressed and seldom left his home,where he wrote briefs in a dark office in the attic.
26. What happenedto the four remaining lawyers after Patricks disappearance?
A. They all wantedto divorce their wives.
B. They were allheavily involved in debts.
C. They were allrecovering from drinking.
D. They had boughtnew homes, yachts, etc.
27. Which of thefollowing statements contains a metaphor?
A. His name cameoff the letterhead as the debts piled up.
B.…they couldsee it, almost touch it when their dead partner...
C.…, attachedunwillingly at the hip by the bondage of mortgages...
D.…, and forthis he had received no small amount of grief.
28. According tothe passage, what is the main cause of Patrick stealing the money?
A. Patrick was madea partner of the firm.
B. The partnersagreed to have the money transferred.
C. Patrick hadaccess to all the files in the firm.
D. Bogan decided tohire Patrick nine years earlier.
29. The lawyerswere described as being all the following EXCEPT
A. greedy. B.extravagant C. quarrelsome. D. bad-tempered.
30. Which of thefollowing implies a contrast?
A.…, and itwould be impossible to hide that kind of money in Biloxi, population fiftythousand.
B. They had beenjoint defendants in several unwinnable lawsuits; thus the bankruptcy.
C. There had evenbeen talk of a firm jet, a six-seater.
D. His name cameoff the letterhead as the debts piled up.