The Expensive Fantasy of Lord Williams
Tomintoul, Scotland — On Saturday night at The Grouse's Nest, they're still willing to raise a glass or two to “Lord Williams” though now his title prompts laughter. And now they just call him “Tony”.
There are those in this beautiful village in the mountains of Scotland (population, 320) who say they were never quite sureabout Anthony Williams, the soft-spoken, wealthy noble who arrived in 1986 with his well-dressed wife.
And there are others who say their suspicions were aroused over time, as the 55-year-old Mr. Williams, who appeared onweekends turned out in fine suits, bought up property after property, providing such a large injection of cash into the villagethat he single-handedly brought the community back to life.
But no one could have possibly guessed the truth — that the man with endless money and a friendly manner was not a lordat all but a government employee living out a fantasy that he was a Scottish noble and paying for it by stealing funds fromScotland Yard.
About two weeks ago, a regretful Mr. Williams, who had worked for the London police since 1959 and had risen to a￡65,000 a year position as deputy director of finance, was brought into court and sentenced to seven and a half years inprison.
Estimates are that he poured nearly ￡5 million of the stolen money into the village and gave jobs to 43 people. And nowthat he has fallen upon dark days at least some villagers are sticking by him.
“I found him a very charming man, very friendly, considerate — not at all proud,” said Georgie McAllister, 70, themanager of the local museum whose family has been farming the surrounding hills for generations. “It's hard to understandhow a clever person like him could mislead people like that. It's sad. Of course, it did benefit the village. A lot of the propertieswere beautifully restored.”
A few doors down the square, barber Donald Corr sat inside his shop and described how suspicions began to grow. “Everyonewondered where the money was coming from. Why was he spending it in a little place in the mountains? Christ, he wouldn'thave gotten it back in 100 years.”
According to the court, Mr. Williams stole more than ￡8 million over eight years. Most of it came from a secret fund thathad been placed under his sole authority and that was supposed to be used to pay spies and conduct secret activities againstthe Irish Republican Army.
Instead, it went to create one more British lord.
Mr. Williams bought an estate with a fine brick house in England. He bought a beautiful home with white walls and a poolin Spain. He bought noble titles at auctions, spending ￡95,000 to become the Lord of Chirnside, and then adding on 10 moreScottish titles.
But most of all, he sunk his dishonest gains into this village that captured his heart with its fine stone cottages, its centralarea of green grass, green rows of hedges, and its fantastic view of rolling fields and pine forests disappearing into the distancelike the men of an ancient army marching over the horizon.
He bought multiple cottages and fixed them up. He purchased the pub and made it into a fine place to have a glass ofGlenlivet Scotch whiskey, produced only 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the north. And most of all, he bought the run-downGordon Arms Hotel and totally restored it, transforming it from a mess into a glorious first-class hotel with 30 handsomelyfurnished rooms, wood-paneled stairs, false bookshelves with fake leather books and an outstanding restaurant.
“I would offer him three choices of glasses for the restaurant: an average one, a poor one, and fine crystal. Always, he chosethe crystal. Nothing but the best,” said David Abdy, who was chosen by Mr. Williams to manage the construction work andrun the businesses.
Mr. Williams deceived everyone, including Mr. Abdy and including even his own wife, telling them that he inherited themoney from a rich uncle. He was caught because his bank deposits were so large that they were noticed by the bank'smanagement. The bank notified the police, who discovered, to their terrible embarrassment, that the criminal was one oftheir own.
The London police commissioner publicly apologized for poorly supervising his department. Under a hastily madearrangement, the police will sell the properties, but at a substantial financial loss. Mr. Abdy, a 27-year-old businessman,acquired the bulk of the properties for about half a million pounds, obtaining bank loans and striking deals with various peopleto pay only a part of what they are owed by Mr. Williams.
In the only interview he has given since his arrest a year ago, Mr. Williams discussed his motives for the crime with aLondon newspaper: “I discovered this bloody huge amount of money. I went from the need to pay off a few debts to what canonly be described as greed. There is no way to justify it.”
fantasy n. 幻想，想像
wealthy a. 富裕的
suspicion n. 1.猜疑，怀疑 2.怀疑，嫌疑
arouse vt. 1.引起，唤起，激起 2.唤醒
injection n. 1.投入，注入 2.注射
deputy n. 1.副职，副手 2.代理人
court n. 1.法院，法庭 2.球场
considerate a. 体谅的，体贴的
mislead vt. 1.给... ...以错误的想法或印象，使误解 2.领错或引错方向 3.把……带坏，使误入歧途
restore vt. 1.重建，修复 2.使恢复，使回复
barber n. 理发师
Christ int. (表示气愤、厌烦、惊讶等)
republican a. 共和国的，共和政体的，赞成共和的
estate n. 1.庄园；大片私有土地 2.财产（尤指遗产）
brick n. 砖
auction n. 拍卖；拍卖会
hedge n. 1.（土地周围的）树篱 2.保护手段，防护措施
fantastic a. 1.极好的，极出色的 2.异想天开的，不切实际的 3.奇异的，古怪的
horizon n. 1.地平线 2.一个人的知识、经验、兴趣的限度或范围；眼界；见识
multiple a. 多重的，多样的，多的
mess n. 1.污秽，杂乱，混乱 2.困境，狼狈的处境
glorious a. 1.美丽的，辉煌的，灿烂的 2.荣耀的，光荣的
furnish vt. 1.供给家具，用家具布置 2.提供，供应
panel vt. 给... ...镶面板
n. 1.面，板 2.专门小组
wood-paneled a. 镶木板的
leather n. 皮，皮革
crystal n. 水晶
deceive vt. 欺骗，蒙蔽
inherit vt. 继承（财产、爵位、头衔等）
deposit n. 1.存款 2.定金，押金
notify vt. 通知，报告
commission vt. 委任，任命
n. 1.考察团，调查团，委员会 2.任务，委托
commissioner n. 委员，专员，特派员
supervise vt. 监督，管理
arrangement n. 1.计划，安排，准备 2.整理，排列，布置
substantial a. 1.大的，相当可观的 2.大体上的，实质上的
bulk n. 1.大半，大部分 2.（巨大的）体积，大量
arrest n. 逮捕，拘留
motive n. 动机，（行动的）理由
bloody ad. （用于加强语气）非常，很
a. 1.（用于加强语气）非常的；该死的 2.血污的，流血的
debt n. 欠款，债务；负债
justify vt. 为... ...辩护，证明... ...正当（或有理）
Phrases and Expressions
raise a glass to 向... ...祝贺，为... ...干杯
turn out 打扮、装饰； 露面、出现
buy up 全部买进，尽量收购
bring … to life 使有活力（或生气）
live out 过（某种生活）
bring … into court 控告，起诉
fall upon dark days 遭到不幸，倒霉
stick by sb. 继续支持，忠于（尤指在困难时刻）
add on 附加，加上
sink … into 投资
fix up 修理；整修
make … into 使转变为
sell sth. at a loss 亏本出售
The Grouse's Nest 牢骚酒吧
Lord Williams 威廉斯勋爵
Anthony Williams 安东尼·威廉斯
Scotland Yard 苏格兰场(即伦敦警察总署)
Georgie McAllister 乔吉·麦卡利斯特
Donald Corr 唐纳德·科尔
Irish Republican Army 爱尔兰共和军（谋求北爱尔兰脱离英国独立的秘密组织）
Lord of Chirnside 彻恩赛德勋爵
Gordon Arms Hotel 戈登·阿姆斯旅馆
David Abdy 戴维·阿布迪