The bribe

A businessman had a long-standing lawsuit. A friend of his had sued him because he owed him a large sum of money. The businessman was denying that he owed the money, so his friend got fed up and finally sued him. The case went on and on for months. Then it neared the last day in court when the judge would make a decision. The defendant said to his lawyer, “Can you tell me the name of the judge and where he lives?”

The lawyer said, “Why do you have to know the name of the judge? I am the expert. I am the lawyer.”

The businessman said, “That is true, but I just want to know for the sake of knowing.”

“His name is Anderson,” the lawyer said.

“And where does he live?” asked the defendant.

“In Liverpool,” answered the lawyer.

“Thank you. That is enough for me,” said the businessman.

“But can you tell me why you wanted to know his name and where he lives?” the lawyer asked.

The businessman answered, “No reason in particular. I just wanted to know it. And also, it is good to bribe people.”

“What!” cried the lawyer.

“Then they do you a favour,” explained the defendant.

“This judge is so honest,” said the lawyer. “He will never accept a bribe. O God, if you try to bribe him, then definitely you will lose the case. For months and months I have been working very hard for you. So please don’t do this if you want to win the case.”

“All right,” the businessman finally said. “I promise that I won’t try to bribe him.”

In two days it was the time of the judge’s final decision. The defendant and his lawyer, as well as the friend and his lawyer, went to see the judge. The judge went through all the papers to make sure they were all proper and asked questions of both the lawyers. In the end, the judge said he was totally convinced that the defendant did not owe the four thousand dollars. He felt that it was all lies, so the businessman won the case.

Afterwards the defendant’s lawyer said to his client, “Now you can give me my fee.”

The man said, “Certainly, I shall give it to you.”

The lawyer said, “You should be so grateful to me that you should give me a little extra.”

“What for?” asked the man.

“I prevented you from trying to bribe the judge,” the lawyer reminded him. “If you had tried to bribe the judge, he would have decided against you. Also, I saved you the money that you would have spent to bribe him.”

“You fool,” said the businessman, “I did bribe him.”

The lawyer said, “You are such a liar! I asked you not to bribe him and you promised not to.”

The man said, “You are such a fool! I did bribe him, but I bribed him in a different way. I sent him most expensive wine and cigarettes and many, many things — all in my enemy’s name and with his return address. Therefore, he lost the case. So you were wrong in saying that I should not bribe him. You were right in saying that he is an honest man. When he received the package, he got so furious that someone had attempted to bribe him, that I won the case.”