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Chapter 7: Can Elaborate On That

  • Mr. Ford was at a loss about what to do with Professor Davis. He knew that Ms. Crystal Smith had been responsible for what had happened between them, but that didn’t completely exonerate him. After giving it much thought, he called Nathan into his office and said, “Professor Davis, you may have been recommended by the board of directors, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you like with the students! You should pay a little more attention to your behavior, and perhaps you need a little discipline to help you keep your mind out of the proverbial gutter.”
  • Ms. Ford was also there, and she stood up for Nathan, saying, “Dad, don’t blame Professor Davis. The girl is a tramp and a trollop. Professor Davis can’t help it.” Ms. Ford gave Nathan an irritated look and added: “Isn’t that right, Professor Davis?”
  • Nathan folded his long legs, shrugged, and smiled calmly.
  • Because Mr. Ford was being paid five million dollars to cover this up, he decided that the penalty for this teacher would be slight. “Just be careful you don’t let anything like this happen again,” he said. “This is a matter of honor for the school, so I hope that you will cooperate.”
  • “Oh?” Nathan lit a cigar and asked, “Can you elaborate on that? On what it means to cooperate with you? By that, I mean, what are your expectations of me?”
  • Mr. Ford sighed and said, “The school frowns upon relationships between teachers and students. If that wasn’t obvious before, it should be now. If you need a girlfriend, I can introduce you to plenty of girls. You can choose whichever one you want. You don’t have to ruin your career over a student.”
  • At this point, Tiffany pretended to cough. Nathan flicked the ash off his cigarette and said, “What if I said that I don’t want anybody but her?”
  • Mr. Ford was stunned for a moment. Then, he frowned and asked, “What do you mean?”
  • Nathan laughed. “I thought I had made myself clear. Are you so dense that you didn’t get my meaning?”
  • “You really are an insolent prig, aren’t you?” Mr. Ford hissed. He pounded his fist on the desk and said, “You will abide by my word, or I’ll have to ask you to leave - and not come back!”
  • “Try it,” Nathan said disapprovingly. “Fire me. If you dare!”
  • “Well, you asked for it,” Mr. Ford shouted. He sat up straight, and he was about to call the board to report the arrogant man in front of him when, suddenly, there was a knock at the door. The door opened, and a man of about fifty entered, followed by three men.
  • Nathan nodded his head and said, “Hello, Mr. Wilson.”
  • Mr. Wilson paid Nathan no mind as he turned to Mr. Ford. “I’ll take care of Professor Davis myself,” he said. “You can rest assured that we would never tolerate a teacher like Professor Davis at this school!”
  • Mr. Ford’s face turned pale, and he asked, “So, what are you going to do about it?”
  • “To prevent something like this from happening again, I think we should publicize the scandal,” replied Mr. Wilson. “Hopefully, his punishment will act as a deterrent to others.”
  • Mr. Ford gasped. Such a scandal would be bad news for the school and his bank account - but he didn’t know what he could say to reverse the course of this conversation. As a last-ditch effort to turn the tide, he glared at Mr. Wilson then asked, “Who are you anyway?”
  • One of the men who had come in with Mr. Wilson said, “This man represents Mr. Owen Lane, the man who is standing beside him. He is the Vice President of Saint University. He is here to take care of Mr. Davis. And you.” Owen nodded to Nathan and said, “Nice to meet you, Professor Davis.”
  • Mr. Ford looked at Owen in desperation and asked, “What is going on right now? I am so confused!”
  • Mr. Wilson snorted, “From today on,” he said, “Mr. White will take over all of your work. As to how the board of directors will handle you, you will be informed.” He smiled slyly. “You should never offend a man like Professor Davis. Why don’t you apologize to Mr. Davis? If you are sincere, then maybe you will get off with a lighter sentence.”
  • Mr. Wilson’s words were like a slap in the face to Mr. Ford, but he had no other choice but to lower his head and do what he was told to do. His face turned red, and he said, “Er, Professor Davis, forgive me for being rude to you and being too hasty in dealing with this matter. I am terribly sorry. I pray to god that you will give me one more chance.”
  • Tiffany just stood where she was, too scared to say a word.
  • Nathan: “Mr. Lane used to be the youngest professor at Saint University, and I am sure his participation will certainly bring more advanced teaching ideas to our university. Also, your decision to expel Crystal is too hasty, but that is not the main reason why you will be stepping down as president.”
  • Mr. Ford: “Quite so, Professor Davis, but please be lenient to my misbehavior,”
  • Nathan: “I’m sorry, Mr. Ford. I’m just a teacher. Mr. Wilson will take care of it.”
  • Without giving Mr. Ford a chance to beg for mercy, Nathan left the room.
  • After a few minutes, Owen caught up with him, and once he had his attention, he said, “Nathan, I’m a Green Horn here, but I gave you what you wanted. Aren’t you going to give me something in return?”
  • Nathan put his hands in his pants pockets and asked, “What do you want?”
  • Owen: “Can I ask anything?”
  • Nathan: “Spit it out. You can ask for anything, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it.”
  • There was one thing that Owen really wanted, but he was scared to ask for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained - he thought, and after a moment of deliberation, he said, “Can I have the painting?”
  • As he had expected, Nathan’s eyes went cold. Those familiar with Nathan knew that he would give up his life before he gave up his favorite painting, which was the one he assumed Owen was asking for. It was one of his own paintings, and even though it wasn’t a masterpiece, it was worth over two hundred million dollars. The reason that it was worth so much was that it was his last painting. A collector had already offered him two hundred million dollars for it, but he had rejected the offer without hesitation.
  • Nathan was never short of money, so even though he had a great talent for painting, he had firmly announced that he would never paint again. Thus, there would be no more works by the famous Nathan Davis forthcoming.
  • “You should know better than to ask for that!” Nathan hissed. There was a moment of silence, and then Owen apologized, and they moved on to another - safer-topic.