LEE A. FORD, it says on the door. ATTORNEY-AT-LAW.

There’s a bored girl sitting at the desk. “Whaddaya want,” she says, but she’s looking at the solitaire game she’s playing.

You mumble something about an appointment. She sneers at you and flips through a little calendar.

“You’re late, you were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago. Maybe he’s got another client already, I don’t know.”

You make an excuse about the traffic.

“Yeh, yeh. Lemme see if he’s in.” She sticks her head around the edge of the door and bellows, “Mistah Ford! There’s a guy out here!”

A door slams down at the end of the hallway and Lee Ford comes running down the hallway, blowing like a steam train. His hair is all out of order and he runs a fat-palmed hand through it before holding it out to you. “She’s really a pretty good receptionist. What have I told you about treating the clients politely?”

“Yeh, yeh,” she says, and puts the red eight on the black nine.

You probably say it’s all right, even though you’re angry at her for acting like that. You’re offended.

“Come into my office, won’t you? Let’s see how I can help you. I don’t mind telling you, I’m an attorney who gets things done. I’m an attorney who cares about justice.”

A blowsy woman in a wide collared blouse slips out of the office as you walk down the hall. She gives you the eye as you pass each other and then you’re in the office and Lee’s holding a chair out for you.