“Such is the nature of banking,” Gredly interjected. He squirmed as though his seat had become slippery.
Linvin smiled in a wicked fashion. “Look at you. You are terrified that tomorrow morning I will come to your bank and wish to withdraw all of my assets, are you not? The greatest bank in the world would collapse in one day. That is why you are here right now.”
“Is that your intent? Is that why you brought me over here?” fumed Gredly.
“Well, that depends,” Linvin said while putting his pipe down.
“On what?” asked Gredly cautiously.
Linvin turned in one quick motion and swept every paper from his desk onto Gredly. “That depends on how you explain this mountain of unpaid invoices from vendors. My store and warehouse are half empty and it is because venders were not being paid in a timely fashion, if at all! We have lost precious suppliers that we may not get back so that you could hold onto the money due them. Your shortsighted greed would have my company bankrupt within three years. Where would your precious deposits be then?”
Gredly had a look of astonishment as he heard the knowledge Linvin possessed. “Mr. Grithinshield, it was your father who paid your venders and it is not our responsibility if those who managed your finances in his stead did so irresponsibly.”
“Do not take me for a fool, Mr. Gredly. Such large payments to venders go from bank to bank. You sit covered in papers saying the proper authorization signature is not present to pay this invoice. Please resubmit. You sat on money due to my company’s vendors, my company’s friends! Then you have the gall to blame our bookkeeping? Do you take me for a fool?”
Gredly bent both knees and folded his hands before him as he prepared to beg. “Please, Lord Grithinshield, please forgive our foolishness. We have wronged your family and your company. Do not let this minor transgression end what has been a lucrative coupling of your business and ours.”
Linvin took up his pipe again and kept repeating the words 'minor transgression' in his mind. He sat down and composed himself. “If I were to close our accounts with you, Sartan’s economy would be in ruin overnight. Ruin is not good for business.”
The old man began to smile.
“I am not finished,” Linvin continued, “I will not destroy you, but neither will you leave this room unscathed.”
Gredly bowed his head and said, “You may, of course, name your terms.