Friday, December 3, 2010

Chapter 15

The action begins at Van Schoonbeke's perpetual party. For Laarmans, the endless congratulations are wearing thin. He senses that any prestige is for his host, not for him. Van Schoonbeke ups the ante by proclaiming to all that Frans Laarmans is the new chairman of the cheese trade association.

The next morning, he gets a letter confirming what he was told. From there, he meets with four other members who have been in the business their whole lives. They go to a meeting with a government minister, who proposes that 10% of their profits go to local cheesemakers.

Frans blows up, saying that he has, "Had enough." Surprisingly, the minister proposes a better deal, and the cheese men thank him on the way out.

Before the meeting, he had tried to beg off for the reason that got him a leave from his old job, illness. Afterwards, he asks if his chairmanship has come to an end. "We don't need you anymore," is the ominous reply.

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