In 1970s London, successful solicitor, David “Dai” Llewellyn Evans, is bored. Brought from Wales to be take a position at a law firm as an assistant solicitor to handle matrimonial law and court work, he soon found himself charming his way up the firm’s ranks to partner. Despite the disadvantage of being Welsh in 1970s England, Dai has prospered, is spent mostly preparing wills, and as he has become more successful, he has become more and more restless, with only two passions in life to occupy him – women and polo.
“To paraphrase Kipling, his view was that a woman was just a woman, but a polo pony was a horse and both were placed at his disposal for riding at every opportunity.”
But polo and women are expensive occupations, one that a solicitor cannot afford to keep up without some form of extra income, an income that he has shrewdly secured through the creation of the Bethesda Bat Sanctuary – a false charity in his aunt Bronwyn’s name that is funded through the wills of women that Dai can convince to leave a donation when he is writing their final testaments.
“Thus it was that he had recently been visiting a doctor’s wife, ostensibly to take instruction for a will, but in reality to give her a good rogering on the living room floor. He smiled to himself when he recalled how, when one of his colleagues had asked him how much longer it would take him to finalise the matter, he had replied that he was pretty confident that a couple more visits should be sufficient to enable him to put things to bed.”
But he soon grows tired of one woman, his desires wandering from court reporters, probation officers and even the women at the polo club. Not only this, but his son, Owen, not born to his wife, living in Wales in Bethesda, is suspicious of his father and the bat sanctuary that exists in Bronwyn’s name.
But Dai sees life as idyllic, it is not until Daisy, a court clerk has caught his eye that things start to unravel.
“there was no shadow boxing, no enigmatic looks”
She spells the beginning of disaster for the philandering rogue. Can Dai preserve his career, place at the polo club, keep the happy family façade intact and still enjoy one his greatest pleasures in life?
“He felt, to say the least, distracted, but there was also an inner core of anxiety rising in his mind, which he failed to stifle. Surely this impotence, he thought, couldn’t be anything more serious or even, it occurred to him with horror, permanent?! He couldn’t bear to think about it. The prospect was too dreadful to contemplate.”