“They’ve told me a bit about who I am,” Herbert replied, gesturing at the committee all around who looked rather aghast. “How much money would it take to find a cure?” he asked.
“I… I don’t know,” the doctor replied.
“Here, there’s a checkbook in my pants over there,” Herbert said, gesturing impatiently at the contents of a chair, where a suit that cost more than most people make in a month had been dumped unceremoniously.
A startled committee member, a brunette woman with a navy blue skirt and matching jacket, found herself the center of attention. She was nearest the chair, and anxiously met the gazes of her committee members, some of whom seemed to be suggesting she ignore the request and others who were urging her to hurry with their eyes. She nervously picked up the pair of pants and, with two fingers gripping them by a belt loop, passed them to Herbert.
Herbert searched the pockets and pulled the checkbook out. Handing it to the doctor, he smiled.
“You know more about all this to me. Just make it out for something and I’ll sign it,” he said.
“You can’t… you can’t be serious,” the doctor replied, mouth open, adam’s apple moving like a piston.
“Why not?” Herbert asked. “She’s important to you, and she needs help. If research will help, and research takes money, well, maybe I can do something about that.” With a casual wave of his hand, Herbert gestured for the doctor to get on with it and hopped off the table. The committee averted its eyes.
“I think I feel quite well, actually,” Herbert asserted with a grin at the aversive committee, and began to get dressed.