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"My Testament"
an excerpt from the new book
"The Ladies' Conspiracy"
by Alex Brown
Published by 1stBooks Library
Reprinted here with permission

The excerpt, below, is from the new book, "The Ladies'
Conspiracy," an epic story of three girls who are
challenged by a wise mentor to become women of substance.

Set on the exotic island of Antigua and the industrious
island of Manhattan, the novel illustrates how women
accumulate and wield power in business affairs. While most
fictional accounts of high-finance focus on the macho
maneuverings of men, this book features strong female leads
who achieve results through intuition, guile, and skill in
interpersonal relationships.

The excerpt introduces the teenage heroines -- Judy, Lola,
and Isabel -- as they accept the gauntlet cast by their
tutor, Gilda. Their determination will take them to top
positions in finance, government, and the media, but the
journey will be wild and dangerous.

More information about the book, "The Ladies' Conspiracy,"
and author Alex Brown follows the excerpt. Enjoy!
__________________________________________________

"My Testament"

When Isabel and Lola got to Gilda's house, Judy was
already there. She had on a small white apron with a funny
embroidered duck on the front. The apron had long ago
become too small for her, and Judy's round breasts peeked
out from both sides of it. But she liked it and didn't want
to wear another.
Gilda had presented these aprons to all three girls
many years ago, when she taught them to cook. Lola's apron
pictured a small fish, and Isabel's a kitten.
Judy was baking something and her hands were white
with flour.
Gilda was sitting at the dining table reading to Judy
from a book, which she closed when she saw the girls. "Oh,
you've come at a good point." Gilda took off her glasses.
"And we've undertaken a pie here."
Judy threw a lock of red hair out of her face with the
back of her hand. "Well, who won?"
"Women," Lola answered. "The sad men sailed away to
drown themselves."
"Judy, will you be finished soon, dear?" Gilda asked.
Judy opened the oven and pushed the pie inside. She
turned on the flame and looked at the wall clock. "In half
an hour it'll be ready. I'll tidy up."
"Let me." Isabel put on her apron. "You've done your
work. Have a rest."
"I don't have anything against that." Judy washed her
hands, hung up her apron, and sat at the table. "Go ahead,
please."
Gilda put on her glasses again and started reading.
"Man is energetic and assertive toward woman only in the
first stage.
"To attract her attention he must demonstrate for her
his best qualities, which is necessary, because instinct
forces woman to find the best father for her future baby.
"Nature shows us shining examples of such selection.
Duels between males illustrate well the motivations of
men."
"What's that?" Isabel turned from the service table.
"A zoological encyclopedia?"
"This is Al's book," Judy said reproachfully.
"Yes, girls." Gilda looked at Lola and Isabel. "This
is a chapter from one of my late husband's books. I think
it's time for you to read it." She stroked the book. "I
never met a man who understood women better than Al."
"Wait for me, I'm almost done." Isabel cleaned the
service table quickly. She wiped her hands, sat down at the
dining table, and asked Judy, "Well, what was in the
beginning of the book?"
Judy went up to the oven to check the pie. She lowered
the heat a little and returned to her chair.
"This is the beginning," Gilda answered for her. "She asked
me about the principles of relations between men and women,
and I decided that nobody could answer that better than Al
did."
Isabel looked at Lola. "Seems I know why you want to
discuss this."
"Well," Gilda put on her glasses. "Shall I read
further?"
All three answered simultaneously, "Yes."

~ ~ ~

During the last school year, Judy had noticeably left
behind the others in her academic studies. Gilda was glad
that Judy had this reason to grow in self-respect. These
last years, the girl had experienced many disappointments.
Because of her logical nature and lack of flexibility she
suffered a lot, especially in trying to find a boyfriend.
The boys had given her a nickname, "Tank."
But now Judy was standing out. She had found the area
where everybody acknowledged her superiority.

~ ~ ~

The girls avariciously consumed every drop of Gilda's
wisdom and more often added their own ideas and competed
with their teacher on equal terms. They became young ladies
but from force of habit still came to Gilda with big and
small questions.
The day came when Gilda told them the theory of the
Asian monastery. To her surprise the girls listened to the
story of the Art of Love without particular emotion, paying
the most attention to her description of the sexual
techniques for ruling men.
Only Isabel smiled once. "Well, now I'll show them who
is the leader of the world. A very useful theory!"
In the end Lola asked for the address of the
monastery. "I've heard about it from my grandma, but
thought it was a legend." She turned to Judy. "Would you
mind going there sometime?"
"No. I understood everything. Take Isabel -- she likes
such exercises."
Isabel nodded. "I would go there. It would be worth it
to polish this art to the extreme."
Gilda listened to their conversation with a sad
expression on her face. The girls had definitely become
adults. But their reaction and discussion were strange to
her. At their age, she had been quite different. She
realized absolutely clearly that her time had passed. She
could tell them nothing essentially new and her theoretical
course was actually delaying their progress.
The next day, after a sleepless night, Gilda made a
hard decision. She invited the girls for a traditional cup
of tea to say good-bye.

~ ~ ~

Until the last moment Gilda hesitated, trying not to
think about the approaching critical conversation.
Soon all of them were sitting at the table in their
favorite study/bedroom.
Gilda had turned to the window and was looking far
away with a solemn expression. The girls drank their tea
quietly, not daring to break the silence. They glanced at
each other from time to time, understanding that something
had happened.
Lola stood up and went to the bookshelf and took down
a book to ease the tension.
"Read aloud," Isabel said. "Otherwise Gilda will say
something awful right now."
Gilda turned to face the girls. Her eyes were wet.
"What has happened?" Judy put her hand on Gilda's and
looked into her eyes. "The next reason to cry hasn't come
yet. All of us are here and still alive."
Gilda swallowed hard, trying to hold the tears back, and
said with a guilty smile, "Yes, you are right, my
sweetheart. Really, nothing bad has happened." She sighed.
"Isabel, pour some tea for me, please. I want to tell you
something, but my throat is dry." Isabel quickly filled her
cup.
"Maybe next time? Listen to a new story."
"Come on," Lola said, sitting at the table again.
Isabel began, "A patient is saying to the doctor,
'Doctor, I'm forgetting everything so quickly.'
"'How quickly?'
"'What quickly?' the patient asks with surprise."
Gilda and the girls laughed.
"You, too, hope I'll forget?" Gilda asked, smiling.
"No. The idea is very simple and not bad, actually. I think
it's time for us to part."
The girls looked at her silently.
"Are you leaving?" Judy asked in a low voice.
"No. You are leaving. My tea shop is closing." Gilda
felt some relief, thinking 'the hardest words have been
said aloud.'
"Everything has a beginning and an end," Gilda
continued in a firm voice. She had completely calmed down.
"My time on earth is coming to an end, and I feel that soon
I'll see Al again. I'd like to give him the answer to one
question that I had no time to answer during our life
together."
She took her cup and sipped the completely cooled tea.
The girls were still sitting motionless, looking at her.
"One day Al asked me whether women could lead
civilization. I said, 'Easily.' But he wanted me to prove
it. All my arguments abut women's strategic superiority he
knew better than I did. He needed a practical example.
"After a short discussion we came to an agreement,
that putting a large amount of money under their personal
control would mean that women could win strategic battles.
Whoever controls big money controls the world. In reality,
it's so."
The girls relaxed a little and began to move again.
"How much would be sufficient?" Isabel asked.
"Al said about a billion dollars. But starting from
zero."
Isabel whistled in surprise.
"Three hundred thirty million per person," Lola said.
"That equals nine hundred ninety million," Judy
corrected her.
"I'll add ten million bucks," Gilda said. "I failed to
prove the theory to Al in our day, but the experiment isn't
over. It's still a challenge for me."
"Do you have ten million?" Isabel asked.
"And do you have three hundred and thirty million?"
Lola asked Isabel.
They laughed.
"Really, girls. It would be great to have one billion
dollars!" Isabel said.
"Nobody has ever considered you a fool. And you have
proved it once again that you're not." Judy turned to
Gilda. "Should the money be in cash or in assets?"
Gilda shrugged her shoulders. "Well, what's easier?"
"It depends on the goal. Cash is more concrete, but
nobody keeps that amount in cash."
"I'll agree to keep my part in cash," Isabel said.
"I'll store it in a separate room in my palace."
"How much will your palace cost?" Judy asked
seriously.
"Well, about one hundred million."
"Then there will only be two hundred and thirty
million in your bedroom. Or in the kitchen. It depends
where you'll keep the balance of your cash."
"We'll do it, Gilda," Lola said suddenly and she
looked into Gilda's eyes. "I promise you."
"I am confident of it. But the issue isn't money.
Money is only one side of the coin. Your whole life should
be the evidence of the triumph of women.
"My life isn't a typical example. I started normally,
but had to seriously slow down in my thirties, and in my
forties I stopped altogether. You're starting where I
finished. You're only eighteen, all your lives are ahead.
You must take it further, take it to the very end.
Otherwise, all this stuff is worth nothing. This is my last
will, *my testament*, if you wish."
Gilda stopped talking and looked out the window again.
Lola put her cup on the table slowly, so as not to make any
sound, and said in a low voice, "I understand."
In the quiet, Judy said, "Fifty percent of the task is
already fulfilled." The girls and Gilda looked at her.
"The first condition was to start from zero," Judy
explained, "and we really do have nothing. All that remains
is the second task to make a billion bucks."
__________________________________________________

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Ladies' Conspiracy
by Alex Brown
Published by 1stBooks Library
Copyright ©2002, 6" x 9", 292 pages
Hardcover, ISBN 1-4033-1269-9, $22.50
Softcover, ISBN 1-4033-1268-0, $17.00
E-Book, ISBN 1-4033-1267-2, $4.95
Rocket E-Book, ISBN 1-4033-1270-2, $4.95
Available through most online booksellers, or directly from
1stBooks Library, http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/9735

When you want to get things done swiftly, ask women to do
it. For as always, the power of sex, feminine wiles, soft
cunning, and sweet persuasion pays off. Alex Brown's
fictional narrative, "The Ladies' Conspiracy," recounts in
picturesque detail how women possess superlative natural
abilities for strategic management. It further shows how
Eve's descendants put to good use their being called the
"weaker sex" to get what they want.

Brown's protagonist is the vivacious Gilda who has been
purposely schooled in the art of love and sex. Ironically,
such "education" took place inside an Asian monastery. As
the story unravels, Gilda's husband dies and Gilda loses
all interest in her worldly existence until three girls
came into her life.

The girls are Judy, Lola and Isabel. Gilda teaches these
girls the fine art of winning a manís heart. She wants to
prove women's strong, innate capabilities through these
girls. Soon, these heroines carry out their game plan to
prove to the male-dominated world that Adam's counterparts
are a force to be reckoned with.

While most literature with feminist undertones are commonly
written by women authors, "The Ladies' Conspiracy" is the
product of an imaginative male writer's mind. It is
interesting to note that somebody belonging to the so-
called stronger sex would harp about and accentuate the
persona and capabilities of these feminine creatures.
Happily, this goes to prove that the macho image is no
longer that pervasive and is slowly loosing its appeal to
its supposed adherents.
__________________________________________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Brown was born in England. Before becoming a writer,
he was a financial executive. Earning a Ph.D. and Doctorate
of Business Administration, he has both a philosophic and a
financial education.

Formerly the CEO of an international investment
corporation, Brown has worked with major firms around the
globe. This background has given him excellent experience
in dealing with corporate leaders and managers. In addition
to writing and consulting, he has served as a professional
speaker on personal relations in the corporate world.

Brown became a full-time author in 1996. In his first
novel, "The Ladies' Conspiracy," he has condensed his
practical experience and described what role wives and
favorites of top executives play in financial strategy.
This is a work of fiction based on actual people and
events.

Brown lives with his wife and two children in his villa in
Grenada, West Indies, where he is at work on his next book,
"The Second and the Last Sexual Revolution."
__________________________________________________
Copyright ©2002 by Alex Brown. All rights reserved. Please
feel free to duplicate and distribute this file as long as
the contents are not changed and this copyright notice is
intact. Thank you.




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