Cribbs was becoming slow, forgetful, and intolerable. Randle was accustomed to having mid morning coffee at 10:05 AM, tea at 3:50 PM, and brandy at 9:35 PM. It was to the point where if those were not served either 10 minutes before or after they were not served at all. Cribbs made snide and cutting remarks upon several occasions to guests.
Randle tried to excuse the behavior, but the day came when the accounting was due.
“Please sit, Cribbs,” Randle said, “I wish to talk about your future.”
“What future,” Cribbs said, “I have no future. I once had a future. Yesterday I had a future. The point is, sir, I may slump over dead before this conversation finishes.”
“Well, Cribbs,” Randle said. “My father and I have always set a little aside for you in addition to your salary for a retirement.”
“You’re telling me I’m fired?” Cribbs said.
“We are retiring you,” Randle said.
“I’m sorry, sir,” Cribbs said. “Retiring is coming in here and me announcing it is time you found somebody to replace me for I will be leaving your employ.”
“Well, Randle said. “I have hired a replacement.”
“What!” Randle said and slumped in his chair.
“Oh,” Randle said matter-of-factly. “The old chap has checked out without so much as spending a dime or minute of his retirement.”
Randle shook Cribbs. Cribbs did not respond.
“I’ll wait awhile before calling anyone,” Randle said. “Reviving him at this state will only burden everyone concerned, even Cribbs.”
“How long did you intend on waiting?” Cribbs said, “until I was cold and stiff.”
Randle jerked and held his hand over his mouth.
“This makes taking my leave much easier,” Cribbs said.