Ein instabiles Gleichgewicht

In der Novemberausgabe von English@work haben Sie erfahren, dass die amerikanische „Personal Assistant” Grace Fairchild Thilo Carstensen erpresst. Ihre Schwester Angela behauptet, einen 12-jährigen Sohn aus einem One-Night-Stand mit Deddas Chef zu haben. Der beichtet dies Dedda und möchte sie um einen Gefallen bitten.

“Grace Fairchild is blackmailing you?”, Dedda gasped.

“Yes, indeed, she is. In the name of her sister, Angela. Wants 50,000 dollars. To finance the boy’s education.”

As if the son was not enough, Dedda thought and watched her boss out of the corner of her eyes. She couldn’t believe he had had a one night stand! Not even before he had met his wife. Thilo just was not the type of man who did such things. But obviously she was wrong about him. Maybe he would … No way, she called herself to order. Don’t even think of that possibility. His wife is not yet dead!

Die Drohung

“So what does that woman threaten you with?”

“She wants to tell my wife. Can you imagine that? It would kill Karen right away. That woman seems to know that Karen is – very ill. Grace must have told her. There is no way of being honest about it, not even as it happened before Karen and I had met. I have to take care that the rest of her life doesn’t have more excitement than necessary.”

The crane on the opposite side of the harbour (BE)/harbor (AE) had moved the unstable container over a red lorry. They were lowering it now. It started to wobble again.

Dedda turned back to Thilo. She understood her boss’s concern too well. “And what can I do to help you?”

Eine gute Frage

Thilo was frowning. Dedda had to look away. She couldn’t stand to see her boss suffer. She looked towards the crane and gasped.

The sides of the container were swinging up and down. It was obvious that it would drop any second, set free from its hook. People were shouting. The lorry driver managed to drive his vehicle out of the danger zone just in time. The container crashed onto the pier. Clouds of dust rose as if there had been an explosion. A flock of seagulls took off and sailed towards them.

“Oh my God!”, Thilo exclaimed. “Did you see that?”

Dedda nodded. Sirens were approaching from the city centre. “Hopefully nobody is hurt”, she said and felt the instability of fortune even stronger than before. They watched three police cars and an ambulance turn around the corner. The crane driver had climbed down and the lorry driver had left his cab too.

“It seems they are okay”, Thilo said. “So, to come back to what we were talking about: You could talk to my wife when I pay the money.”

Die Bitte des Chefs

“You are really willing to respond to that blackmailing? 50,000 dollars is an awful lot of money!”

“I know. And Karen might realise it is missing if she goes to the bank. And that might happen if she goes into remission. Her doctors said this could happen. Don’t get me wrong. I really hope she will, believe me. But if she sees that amount of money is missing, she will start thinking. Maybe she might think I’m already spending money on what I might do after she … well. Or she might become distressed because she suspects the truth or something equally unpleasant. I just don’t want her to start presuming stuff. And I don’t want to speak to her about it. You know, I’m a bad liar.”

Dedda brushed some dust from her jacket. She nodded slowly. After a while she said: “I don’t quite understand how I can help.”

Thilo stopped and turned to face her. He cleared his throat. “I would like you to tell Karen a story next time you come to our home to bring me some work. To tell her I’m planning a big surprise for her. You understand? Before she sees that money has been withdrawn from the account. She would believe you, she does not want to give up. Maybe she will get better if she imagines I´m buying a flat for us where she can move around easier in her wheelchair …”

Dedda frowned. Would she be willing to lie for her boss?

Eine andere Lösung

Thilo realised she was hesitating. He went on: “I promise you will get something out of this. I will make sure that you will get promoted. Whatever you aim at. Please think it over.”

Dedda nodded. She would. But she saw another way out: “Have you ever thought that woman – Angela – was just lying? That the boy was not your son? Don’t you think you should ask her for evidence?”

Thilo ran his fingers through his hair. He looked surprised. “No. I haven’t thought about that. But you are right. We need to get a paternity test!”

To be continued

Exercise: Britisches oder amerikanisches Englisch?

Kreuzen Sie die Sprache des vorgegebenen Wortes an und schreiben Sie die Variante des anderen Sprachraums in die freie Spalte.

Vorgabe Englisch              Amerikanisch                                     Alternative
mobile (phone)
gas station
bathroom/rest room
engaged (phone)
rubber elevator

Answer key

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