"Very well", he drawled, and let me in.

The interior of the house wasn't nearly as impressive as the
exterior. There were boxes everywhere and lots of random pieces of
furniture that didn't seem to match anything. Mr. Walsh Number 2 (I
still don't know what I should call him. I wish people could be
considerate enough to give their clones new names) led me through
several half-empty rooms until we arrived at what looked like an
entrance to a greenhouse. That's what it looked like and that's
what it was.

"Mr. Walsh is in there, tending to his Aspidistras", the guy told
me, and then wandered off somewhere. He didn't seem to know where
he was going or what he was supposed to do. They used to say that
being a butler was something you had to be bred into. This guy
seemed to prove that theory right. You can't just clone yourself
and expect the clone to be a perfect housekeeper.

I opened the door and went into the greenhouse. It was hot as hell.
That smell of marigold filled my nostrils again. I guess it wasn't
an illusion after all.

Took me a while to find the real Mr. Walsh. He was hunched over
some plants and he nearly died when I finally announced my
presence. If only I had been so lucky. He started babbling about
"who was I" and "what was I doing here" and calling the police. I
told him the butler let me in and that the police in Cilix couldn't
do much for him anyway. He was sweating profusely. So was I, come
to think of it. Must have been the atmosphere. An artificial
atmosphere within an artificial atmosphere. Seemed like overkill.

I asked him if he'd like to go somewhere more comfortable. Told him
I had a proposition for him. He didn't have much choice at that
point, he led me out of the greenhouse and into some kind of lounge
area with a pool table.

Now that we were out of that jungle, I got a better look at him.
He looked just like the clone alright, only fatter and older

"Wait here a moment, Mr. - I didn't catch you name."

"I didn't tell you my name. It's Jules". Naturally, I didn't give
him my real name.

"Wait here Mr. Jules, I'm just going to step out to fetch us some

Of course, I didn't see him again after that. The other one, Mr.
Walsh The Second, eventually turned up and asked me to leave. I got
my hat and gave him my pitch just before I went out the door.

I told him I sold life insurance, and that if Mr. Walsh was
interested in updating his policy to the latest, greatest standards
that could be found in the Solar System, he should contact me at
the Sunset Grand, a swanky hotel in the centre of Cilix. I didn't
actually stay there, it was well beyond my budget, but it seemed
like a good place for wooing a client. Mr. Walsh number two assured
me that the message would be delivered and I went out.

I wasn't sore that the sales pitch had gone so badly, only that she
hadn't shown her face the whole time.