On Monday morning I came to the office late, with a terrible hangover. The streets were already hot. The air conditioning in the lobby of the Franklin Tower soothed my headache, but when I was at my desk on the thirty-first floor I soon discovered that this was going to be a day of reckoning.

When I was made a partner a couple of years ago they gave me a room that could hold my grandfather's office furniture. They shouldn't have done that of course, but Alfred Dennison and Ellsworth Boyle can be as sentimental as the next person under the right stimulation, and I understood that they were doing honor to the memory of a friend. It is not a very big room, but the walls are covered with my grandfather's pictures, the shelves are lined with his books, and the windows look directly across to the huge statue of William Penn atop the City Hall tower.

My desk was a shambles, as it had been for a week. After twenty years with the firm, the last four with me, Miss Bradford had retired and moved to St. Petersburg with her mother. Eleanor Leaming, the office manager, had sent in different girls for dictation when I needed them, but nobody was assigned to keep my stuff in order.

I picked up the telephone. "Eleanor, I've got to have a secretary."

"Oh, I didn't know you'd come in, Mr. Anders," she said sweetly. 'We'll be right over."

I began to open my mail, throwing the junk into the wastebasket and the nonjunk toward the already overflowing "in" basket. Voices in the corridor. Laughter. Eleanor Leaming strode in. Behind her, a flash of shoulder-length blond hair and a white summer blouse: Laura Carpenter.

"Mr. Anders, this is your new secretary. You remember Miss Carpenter, don't you?"

They both stood there, watching my reaction. Two cats. Two big dangerous cats. "What is this, some kind of a joke?" I wanted to say, but I managed somehow not to say it.

'Well," I said. "How are you? I thought you were over at Glassboro State." But my heart was beating in my throat.

She shook her head, deliberately making her hair fly. "I quit, Mr. Anders. Not my dish of tea." That was one she'd learned from me.

'Well, I'll leave you two alone then," said Eleanor Leaming, and did.

Laura sat down at the secretary's desk, opened the drawers, and proceeded to throw every single trace of Miss Bradford into the wastebasket

"Hey," I said.

"Yes, Mr. Anders?" She wouldn't look at me.

"Is this supposed to be some kind of a joke?"

"A joke? Why, I don't know what you mean, Mr. Anders." This time she turned around and gave me a deadpan look. She hadn't changed; the striking completely conventional beauty that stares back at you from films and magazine illustrations but creates an entirely different effect in a dusty old law office; the heart-shaped face, the lightly rouged cheekbones, the little retrousse' nose, the pale lips, the mascaraed eyelashes, the babyblue eyes, the fantastic mane of platinum hair.

Miss Jersey Cranberries. Parents divorced, childhood spent being shunted from one uninterested relative to another, the early discovery that men would do anything for her. Small-time beauty contests. Small-time modeling jobs. The illegitimate child, given up for adoption. Business school. The job at Conyers & Dean, as Patrick Forrester's secretary. A new world: men who had been to Harvard and Princeton and Yale, men who spoke like people in magazines and made comparatively huge amounts of money and seemed to like her just as much as the high school boys in Camden, although most of them were reluctant to show their interest. I saw her looking at me, and I looked back. She started sitting around in my office after six o'clock, asking intelligent questions about my work, telling me about her life. What would you do? We had a wonderful time for a while. She had never drunk a glass of champagne, never eaten an avocado, never seen a play. She had a ravenous appetite for books and art museums and expensive restaurants in New York. She wanted to know everything about everything. We played Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle that summer and then suddenly she quit. "You're never going to give up anything for me," she said. "I never said I would," I said and she enrolled in a state teachers college. I drove over to see her a couple of times and we spent horrible nights in motel beds with the wind howling outside and Laura demanding that I either get a divorce or leave her alone. Then she began to hurl herself at the more eligible fraternity men. We had long inconclusive telephone conversations, and then there was silence.

Now here she was in the same room with me, calmly rearranging her stationery drawer.

"Was this your idea or Eleanor Leaming's?"

"Oh, you might call it sort of a joint effort," she said airily.

"I'll be right back" I said.

Eleanor Leaming has her own little office now, behind the typing pool.

'What's the big idea?"- I asked as I shut the door and leaned against it.

She was filling in some employment agency form on her typewriter, and she kept right on doing that. "Big idea about what, Mr. Anders?"

"What is all this 'Mr. Anders,' what the hell has gotten into you today?"

She finished typing the form and rolled it out of the machine. She studied the form carefully.


She studied the form.

"I always thought we were friends."

"We were."

"Are you going to tell me why you did this?"

She finally looked at me and then it all came out in a blast. "Because I think you need to be taken down a peg. You think the world's your oyster. You don't care about your family, you don't care about the firm, you don't care about a thing but your own pleasure, and I think it'll do you good to sweat a little, to watch somebody you care about throwing herself at other people all day!"

My head ached again. "Elly, this is ridiculous! Do you think I can do any work- I mean it's an entirely different thing-"

"Why not? She's one of the best girls we ever had. Good legal secretaries are hard to find."

"You think Ellsworth is going to let you force a girl I don't want-"

"What reason are you going to give him?"

I was licked and I knew it. I remembered Boyle returning from a trip to Los Angeles, scornfully characterizing a little law firm out there: Kind of outfit where they're all screwing their secretaries.

"You've planned this thing pretty carefully, haven't you?" I said.

She stood up and looked out the window. I walked over to her and put my hands on her shoulders, but she whirled around. "You stop that, Graham! That's just exactly what I mean, you think that's all you have to do to get your way about everything." Her face was contorted. She ripped open a drawer and pulled a Kleenex from its box. "Now please get out before all those girls have kittens."

The door to my office was blocked by three young lawyers. Ben Butler and Randy Kellerman were inside, lounging on the ancient black leather sofa. Laura was sitting beside her typewriter, her legs crossed, holding court. "Well, they were all too young for me," she was saying. "They were babies. And we had to be in the dorm by midnight. What a place! Dullsville, U.S.A."

For a second, watching her perform, I remembered how she held my arm as we strolled among the statues in the garden of the Modern Museum. She had worn a big white summer hat.

"May I join the party?"


"Sorry, Graham."

"See you later, Laura."

The boys evaporated. I looked around my room, noting that she had already cleaned it up. The files were put away, the papers from the "in" box were on her table.

"Do you want to tell me what to do with these things?" she asked, but the telephone rang. Before I could reach my extension, she had picked up hers. "Good morning, Mr. Anders's office ... Yes, may I tell him who's calling please? How do you spell that, madam?"

"You stop that," I said, picking up my telephone. "Hello?"

"Who is that?" asked Dolly Despard.

"Wait a minute," I said, putting my hand over the mouthpiece. "Laura, you go drink your coffee now and then bring me a cup, will you please?"

"Certainly, Mr. Anders." She smiled sweetly and walked out. "Hi, Dolly," I said into the telephone.

"Is that the replacement for Miss Whoozits?"

"Yes. How are you?"

"Oh God, Graham. Has David called you?"

"David? No, what would he call me about?"

"Oh, Graham, I should have called you last night but he was here the whole time and it was so awful, so goddamned lousy and miserable-"

"What was? What's happened?"

"Oh, I don't know. I don't know how to explain it. He came home on Sunday afternoon just stinking, and you'd left a bottle and your glass out by the pool and I tried to tell him that I'd left it there but he knows I never do that and he kept after me and after me, I mean I think he knew it was you and finally he got me so mad I just said yes, okay, you're right, now get the hell out of here I don't want to touch you ever again, so he went roaring off, I don't know where he went -"

"You mean you told him about us?"

"Graham, he kept after me and after me and we were both tight, I just got so mad and furious, I mean I'm sorry about Caroline and all that but why should we have to sneak around and be ashamed--?"

"Oh great. That's just great! And now he's going to call me? What's he going to do, challenge me to a duel, or what?

"Darling, I don't blame you for being mad but I just couldn't help myself, don't you see, and I just wanted you to know before he does something-"

"All right."

"Ah you're mad, and I don't blame you, but you just can't imagine-"

"It's all right, Dolly. Never mind."

"Oh, Graham dear, what's going to happen to us?"

(Miss Jersey Cranberries returned, carrying a tray with two cups of coffee and two sticky-buns, tastefully arranged on napkins. Very deliberately she set the table for both of us.)

"I don't know. I mean, nothing's going to happen to us. Dolly, my other line is ringing, I'll have to call you back."

"Okay, I'll be home all day. Please do call and report."

I hit the other button. "Hello?"

"Mr. Anders? Mr. Morris, William Penn Trust Company ... Hello there Graham, this is Mitchell Morris, how are ya?"

"Very well thanks, Mr. Morris, I was just about to call you back.."

"Yeah well, here's the thing Graham, there are all kinds of rumors about Boatwright on the street. People say the earnings are way off again. You know anything about that?"

"Well no, I know that no announcement's been made-"

"Of course no announcement's been made, that's not what I asked you. We're holding damn near a million shares in all sorts of different trust accounts over here, you know, and we've got a duty to the beneficiaries, and if this stock's going to fall any more -well, I just don't see how we can ask all these people to ride it down any further. And a lot of them are your relatives, Graham. Now I think the time has come for an agonizing reappraisal of this situation --"

I looked up to see ElIsworth Boyle striding into my room. At the sight of Laura Carpenter he did a fabulous double-take and shouted, -"Why, Miss Carpenter, what a delightful surprise! I thought you had abandoned us for the Groves of Academe." Laura smiled demurely, at the same time moving her coffee and her bun over to her own table. Boyle, grinning, did everything except jump up and down, and Laura went into her bit about those babies in Dullsville, U.S.A.

"Mr. Morris, I agree with you completely, something has got to be done about the situation at Boatwright, and we are going to work out a plan, but if everybody starts dribbling the stock out at these ridiculous prices then we lose our chance to do anything. You know what'll happen, don't you?"

"Yes I do, but frankly, Graham, that management's had one chance after another, and you know we're in a fiduciary capacity, we can't just sit by and see the value of these estates erode from one year to the next while those old men fiddle around up there-"

"Mr. Morris, honestly, we're well aware of all that and we're working on a plan right now, but I'm not at liberty. . . As soon as something has jelled, we'll call you and the other banks in and tell you all about it, because we've got to hang together or we'll surely hang separately, Mr. Morris. You've already ridden the stock pretty far down. We've just got to turn that company around, and we're going to do it, but you've got to keep those analysts of yours from pushing the panic button."

"Don't you worry about our analysts, my boy. You better worry about that client of yours. Well, we'll see what happens over the next few weeks or so, but you'll keep us posted, hear?"

"Absolutely, Mr. Morris."

I hung up. Boyle was comfortably settled on my sofa.

"Well, that's what I wanted to talk to you about," he said. "I had three calls this morning. We're going to have to do something, Graham. You handled Morris very nicely, but we're going to have to do something more than talk."

I nodded. The telephone rang; Laura answered it and gave me a questioning look. "Mr. Despard?"

"I'm in conference, may I call him back?"

"No, do your work, boy," said Ellsworth Boyle emphatically, reaching forward, grunting, for my Wall Street Journal.

I picked up the receiver and pushed the button. "Morning, David, how's the boy?" Ellsworth Boyle withdrew behind the paper.

"Morning, Graham, how are ya?" I guess I've known him for twenty years. He was a jerk as a boy and he's a jerk now. Stupid. He tries to live off the money his grandmother put in trust for him and sells bonds to his relatives. He's always broke, drinks too much, and has been a "registered representative" with most of the better brokerage houses in town.

"I'm very well, thanks, David." In fact I was furious to notice that my hands were sweating.

"Oh, that's good. Ahh . . . How's Caroline?"

Doesn't know what to say. What does one say? Why call if you've got nothing to say?

"Far as I know she's fine, David. She's moved the whole outfit up to Nantucket you know." Ellsworth Boyle turned the pages of the journal with a rich ostentatious crackle.

"Oh yeah," said David Despard. "I guess Dolly mentioned that . . . I'm so glad that Caroline is well, she's always been one of my favorite people . . ." For a few seconds the line hummed. Come on, out with it, you bastard. I'm not going to say it for you.

"Ahh . Graham, I know this is pretty short notice, but I've got something I want to talk to you about--" He wants to come up here and make a scene! "-I know you're busy as hell and I am too" - Doing what? - "and I wondered if maybe we could have lunch today, because there is this matter I want to bounce off you. . ." Bounce off me?

"You want to have lunch today?" Why not say I'm tied up? Does he expect me to drop everything so he can play a confrontation scene at the Racquet Club? Oh the hell with it, you can't run away from the guy. "Sure, David, let's have lunch. What time?"

"How about one?"


"Racquet Club?"

"Fine. See you there." I hung up abruptly. "I'm sorry, Ellsworth."

"All right, all right," said Ellsworth Boyle, emerging from behind the paper. He leaned forward to drink the coffee Laura had put beside him on the other table. When he put the cup back on the saucer he said, "I came over to discuss our course of action with you. I think the best thing would be to call a special board meeting the minute the quarterly results are available, so we can cut the dividend and make the announcement right away. Don't you think so? Since the word has leaked out or something has leaked out, I think rumors in the Street are just making things sound worse than they already are. But goddamn it, if we could only announce something good at the same time, an acquisition or a new product or something. You know, I had an idea in the shower this morning - " The telephone rang again and Laura picked it up.

"I'll have it turned off, I'm sorry," I said.

Laura said, "It's for Mr. Boyle, Boston calling."

Ellsworth Boyle stood up. "No, that'll be George Ralston about the Hammond Soap case. I'll have to take it in my room. Graham, I may not get back to you today, but I'm really counting on you to think of something, a definite course of action to carry us out of this situation." He stopped in my door and looked at me through his heavy eyebrows. "You know, there's something about these pictures and this furniture . . . I know it's primitive emotion, but I always feel that if there's an answer, it's in here. Put the old thinking cap on, boy." Then he turned to Laura. "It's a great pleasure to have you back, Miss Carpenter." Then he was gone.

She winked at me.

The telephone rang. She grabbed it and answered. "Mr. Anders's office . . . Yes, Mrs. Wheelock, just one moment please ... Mrs. Wheelock." She pushed the button and I picked up.

"Hello, Aunt Harriet."

Mrs. Alfred C. B. Wheelock III, nee Harriet Boatwright: Graham, what's all this about the dividend? ... Well, John called from New York just now and said all the people in Wall Street are saying our dividend's going to be cut again, and what about it? I know that the earnings are down, but whose fault is that? . . . Graham, just exactly how do you think I can support John and Margy and their children on these dividends that we have been getting, not to mention what the new ... and I don't think you understand the situation at the Museum either. Alfred made a commitment. I mean Alfred and I did, we subscribed to help pay for the Library so that Alfred's father's collection . . . I know, dear, but nobody ever suggested that you were going to keep on cutting it even more . . . Graham, I know you're not a director, but you're there at C&D and C&D is supposed to look out for these things, I'm just an old woman, I can't go up there and run that company . . . I mean John tells me we could sell our stock, or tell the Bank to sell it, and we could buy other stocks that are paying decent dividends . . . Should we do that? . . . Well, I don't know. . . We have to rely on you and Mr. Boyle to advise us about these things, you know . . . I mean that's the whole point of having you in there, isn't it? . . . What does Caroline think? ... Mmm . . . Oh, I don't know, Graham, this kind of thing never happened when Dad was running things, and your grandfather . . . Sure they were different, times are always different, but the men knew how to cope with things ... I just don't know what to do, Graham, the children are always after me for more money, and how can I tell Froe Rainey that we can't honor, I just can't tell him . . . What, dear? ... Twenty-five thousand this year and twenty-five next year ... I know it's a lot, but they've got to have the Library, and Alfred's father's collection, you see, will be in it, in the Library, and the Sargent portrait . . . All right . . . Well, but how long, Graham? . . . What shall I say to the children? . . . All right . . . I don't know, I just don't know who to listen to . . . Maybe I'll have John call you directly . . . All right . . . You see, these things never came up when Dad was running things . . . and your grandfather. Nobody ever talked to us about dividends or taxes or things, nobody expected a lady to make decisions about buying or selling stocks and bonds . . . the men took care of those things and we were told how much money was available and that was that . . . Yes . . . I know . . . I know . . . All right . . . Yes. I'll tell him. Yes, dear. How's Caroline?  . . . Oh, is she? And the children too? How lovely . . . Oh, it's so lovely, but Alfred never liked it, so we always went to Southampton . . . That's where they always went, his family . . . Yes . . . Well, I mustn't keep you, dear, I know how busy you are. Give my love to Caroline and the children. Yes, I'll have him call you . . . All right, Graham. Good-bye, dear.

I put the telephone back, but it immediately buzzed again:

"Mr. Anders, we've been holding Mr. Patterson, First Hudson . . ."

"Okay, put him on." Pat Patterson is my broker.

"Graham? How are ya? . . . Good . . . When are we going to get together for a little squash . . . Oh nuts, listen I'm in terrible shape, Ordway won't play with me any more . . . Hey listen, Graham, we got a little problem over . . . Yeah, about your account . . ."

Underneath the bullshit, it was a margin call. The market was off sharply, my (or rather Caroline's) Boatwright shares securing the account were off even more than the market, of course I understood this wasn't First Hudson Corporation's rule, as far as they were concerned I was solid platinum but the Federal Reserve Board and the SEC had these rules, as I knew far better than he did, ha ha, and I would have to cover with cash or securities worth twenty-two thousand dollars by tomorrow morning or they would have to sell some of the Boatwright stock.

"Okay, Pat."

"Graham, you understand that I don't have anything to do with this -"

"I understand completely. I'll take care of it Yes. Right . . . Yes. . . Thanks, Pat. 'Bye."

I am not a believer in the conspiracy theory of history, but this was getting to be a little too much for one morning. If it was not a conspiracy, perhaps it was something worse; perhaps I had finally overdrawn my account somewhere. For just an instant I felt a white-hot blast of panic, as if I had opened a furnace door, but just a crack, just enough to get a peep. Then I managed to slam the door again. "Kaltes Blut", my father used to say when I got upset. "Kaltes Blut und warme Unterhosen." Cold blood and warm underpants.

I swiveled around and looked at the City Hall clock. Nearly noon. How a busy successful lawyer spends his morning! My grandfather always said that one advantage of this office was that you could spare yourself the cost of a desk clock. Except in some administrations City Hall didn't keep the right time. William Penn stands at the top of the tower, and at the next level, just above the clock are four figures gazing out across the city toward the horizon. The ones on my side are a Quaker with a hat and a young woman holding a child on her arm. The child is pointing across the roof of Wanamaker's toward the shimmering Delaware and the flatlands of South Jersey.

I knew I couldn't put it off any longer. "Ask the switchboard to get my wife in Nantucket, please."

I heard Laura talking to the telephone operator. A couple of pigeons were fluttering around William Penn's feet. That is usually too high for them, but they infest and bespatter every other ledge and gargoyle, and the City fathers have searched the universe for antipigeon devices. Last year they hired a guy who played recorded sounds of frightened starlings in the courtyard. . . .

The call seemed to be taking too long. I turned around and saw that Laura had left the room. If my grandfather were sitting over there on his leather sofa and listening to all this, what would he say?

I met Caroline Boatwright at a dance in the gymnasium of Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The dance was called a Freshman Mixer. Its purpose was to exhibit the incoming class of Radcliffe freshmen to their opposite numbers at Harvard. That was the theory; actually the girls referred to it as the Slave Market, because the Harvard freshmen they were supposed to meet were somewhat lost in the shuffle of Upperclassmen, Law Students, Medical Students, Business School Students, War Veterans and Older Men with Cars who came every year to inspect the new crop. The more attractive girls were cut in on every few minutes, and some of the men stopped right in the middle of the dance floor to annotate their address books.

I was nineteen years old, just back from a couple of years in the regular army. I had come to Harvard in the fall of 1945 at sixteen, which is too young even in normal times. That year the college was packed with returning war veterans, grizzled old men in their middle and late twenties who had commanded paratroops in Normandy or flown Liberators over Ploesti or conned destroyers in the Marianas and slept with women of all shades and nationalities. They had no interest whatever in talking with boys just out of school. At the end of our freshman year about half of my class volunteered for the service. By 1948 and 1949 most of us were back, now privileged to lounge about the dining halls in faded army pants, impressing younger men with tales of brutal drill sergeants, kitchen police, troopships, and complaisant Fräuleins.

The thing with Caroline happened fast. Maybe too fast. The big gymnasium was hot and dark and packed with people. In the middle, the dancers revolved, very slowly, to the tune of something saccharine called "To Each His Own." A constant stream of cutters-in and the people they replaced coursed through the crowd, and all around the edges stood clumps of experts, carefully looking things over. Suddenly there was a voice at my elbow: "Pardon me, but would you do me a favor?"

A tiny girl, not pretty but somehow impressive. Handsome would be a better word. Long straight nose, enormous blue eyes, flushed cheeks, freckles, dark curly hair, white peasant blouse. A little on the plump side and short in the thigh. Never seen her before in my life. Or had I?

She wanted me to cut in on her roommate, who was stuck. She pointed out the roommate, and I could see why. I was assured that the roommate was an extremely interesting person with terrific conversation and also I was guaranteed that I would be cut in on in a few minutes.

"Are you from Philadelphia?" I asked.

"Yes. Are you?"

We just had time to introduce ourselves when somebody came up from behind her and asked her to dance. I went over and cut in on the roommate who was thin and shy and told me more about Albert Camus than I really wanted to know about Albert Camus and then, much sooner than I could have decently expected, the guy who had asked Caroline to dance cut in on me. I found her sitting on the steps, her skirt tucked around her legs, smoking a cigarette.

"You're the grandson of Mr. Graham at Conyers & Dean," she said. "Your father was Gustaf Anders."

"And you're the locomotive works."

We laughed, and then I got the first taste of the famous Boatwright candor - or maybe it's just self-assurance. She had a confession to make: She knew exactly who I was, had seen me at dances in Philadelphia, but I'd never noticed her and so this was her method of dropping a handkerchief. just like that. She was two years younger, and I was trying to forget somebody.

"Mr. Anders? We have Mrs. Anders now."


"Hello? Graham? Is anything wrong?"

"Hi, how are you? No, nothing's wrong. How are the kids?"

"Nothing's wrong? Graham, they brought me up from the beach . . ."

"All right, well, I'm afraid it's something about money."

"Graham, what's the matter with you, you sound furious."

"I am not furious, it's just that one damn thing after another's been going on here this morning." I took a deep breath.

"Graham? Are you sick?"

"No, I'm not sick but I'm having a bad day. Look, Cookie, do you know what a margin account is? When you buy stock, you don't have to pay the whole price. The brokers will lend you the difference, at interest, of course. It's a way to make bigger profits, because that way you can buy more stock than you can actually pay for. The idea is, if the stock goes up you sell it and make a bigger profit? Is that clear?"

"Sure, I guess so. What happens if the stock goes down?"

"Well, that's the hitch of course. The stock they've bought is held as collateral. If that stock goes down, then it's worth less as collateral and in effect the broker is lending you more money. Now the government has rules about that, because in the twenties people overdid this margin business and got themselves wiped out and also because of course it increases speculation and they don't want too much speculation because it makes for wild fluctuations in the market. Well, anyway -"

"Graham, do you need some money?"

"That's right, I do. You see, a lot of our account is actually secured with Boatwright stock because that's what you've got, and . . . well, you know all the troubles the Company's been having, and the stock is falling----"

"Again? But it's already down-"

"Look, I can't go into all that now, the point is that it is going down, and the brokers will have to sell the Boatwright stock to cover, and we can't have that."

"Because of this man in New York?"

"Right. So, I've got to put some cash into the account."

"How much?"

"Twenty-two thousand."

"Have I got it?"

"Yes, you've got it."

"Well, then of course you can have it, darling."

"Well - thanks." What else can you say?"Would you give Mitchell Morris at the bank a call, and then send him a note, please?"

"Oh, you do it, Graham."

"I can't do it, Cookie, it's your money and it would look funny as hell at the bank- just call him person to person and tell him to send it over to Patterson at First Hudson."

"Okay, darling, will do. Anything else?"

"No, I guess not. How are you?"

"I'm fine, Graham. They need me down at the beach."

"Well, good-bye. And many thanks."

"Any time, Graham. Good-bye."

I looked up at the greenish statue of the old Quaker gazing out across his city and thought again about that moment when I had to stand up with her, holding her hand, and say out loud to the meetinghouse full of her people, "In the presence of the Lord and of this assembly I take thee Caroline Fox Boatwright, to be my wife, promising with divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband until death shall separate us." And then she said the same thing, loud and clear, looking at me, and we signed the paper that was brought to us on a table. Then they handed this certificate to her father's cousin Mr. Lewis on the facing bench, and he read it out loud. Then there was deafening silence for a long time, until a few appropriate people were moved to speak. The headmaster of Caroline's school talked about the meaning of marriage, how two people who perhaps have not known each other very long come together to form a new family unit and how extraordinary this process is when you think about it. Again the silence, and then, amazingly, an old, old lady, Miss Susan Boatwright, a great-aunt of Caroline's, arose and spoke about a great lyrical voice which is beard more and more today even though its owner was cast out by his people and was himself a victim of the conflagration and while we think of him today and regret that he cannot be here with us, we do rejoice that his blood, commingled with that of the wise and beloved friend who has counseled us for so many years, will now be joined with our own, and is this not a wonderful thing, in the finest tradition of our country? She sat down, and in the silence I hoped that my face did not show what was in my heart.

Hearing Laura come in, I swiveled around.

"It's time for your appointment with Mr. Despard," she said. She came over to my table and put a glass of water and two pills in front of me. "Aspirin," she said. "For your headache." She smiled.

I walked down Sydenham Street and came into the Club from the back. "Mr. Anders, Mr. Despard is in the dining room," said the steward at the door. I walked past the oyster bar, which was crowded with young and not-so-young stock salesmen, insurance salesmen and lawyers talking, eating sandwiches and watching each other play sniff. The big dining room, on the other hand, was dark and cool and practically empty. I stopped at the writing desk to look at the menu, wrote out an order for cherrystones and a hot roast beef sandwich.

David Despard was sitting at one of the small tables by the window, sipping a martini and reading a folded Wall Street Journal. I saw him before he saw me. Hardly the picture of a cuckold bent upon revenge. It was inconceivable that he would get me over here to make a scene, but you never know.

"Oh, there you are, Graham, I hope you don't mind, I thought I'd just have a mart waiting for you. How about you?"

The old waitress was beside me. I guess this calls for a drink all right, I thought but didn't say. I ordered bourbon with a twist. David's face was deeply tanned from his weekends on the water, but he had that puffy look of the former athlete who now eats and drinks too much. He wore a somewhat rumpled blue cord suit, a blue oxford shirt, and a polka-dot blue bow tie that made him look a lot more jaunty than he could have felt under the circumstances.

The older man from the bar brought my drink, and David ordered another martini. He told me in detail how he had won a Star Class race on Saturday. We discussed the Phillies' chances for the pennant, or rather David produced a learned lecture because I don't know anything about baseball. And care less.

The cherrystones came and we ate them.

In school he was a bully. Had the body of a man when he was fourteen. Twisted my arm and called me an orphan Kraut. Come on, out with it! Create a scene.

Her hands shaking, the old waitress took away the plates of crushed ice and empty clam shells. She returned with the sandwiches and a gravyboat of steaming beef juice. I decided to enjoy my lunch and forget all about David and Dolly. There was a long silence as we munched the swimming bread and meat.

"How are you coming along with that Jew in New York?" asked David suddenly, his mouth still full of roast beef.

"You mean Fleischer? Well, we licked him. He didn't get enough votes to elect a single director."

"He going to fold his tents and steal away now?"

"Who knows?"

It wasn't like him to play cat and mouse this way. I decided to look at my watch. That worked. He wiped his mouth with his napkin, pushed back his chair and produced a silver cigarette case.

"Graham, here's what I want to talk to you about. How'd you like to put a nice block of Boatwright stock -new, unissued stock- into friendly hands?"

A deal? The son of a bitch just wants to make a deal! I looked interested and let him talk.

The Despards are somehow related to the Warfields, by one of these complicated double or triple alliances you often find in old cities where the same families have lived and intermarried for a long time. During the First World War, one of the Warfields started what is now Warfield Motors. In the first generation they did well. They have factories in Trenton, Philadelphia and Birmingham, Alabama. They decided to stay relatively small, and the company's stock is still owned entirely by a couple of dozen members of the family. I didn't know much about this outfit but I did know, even before David mentioned it, that Warfield has been under heavy pressure from German and Japanese competition, that the earnings were falling, and that the Warfields had been trying to sell out.

"Now here's the point," said David, lighting a cigarette. "Joe Warfield, my cousin, has been talking about going public through underwriters. Far as I'm concerned, First Hudson would be damn glad to handle the underwriting, be a nice commission, but Joe's lawyers are advising against it. In the first place it would be expensive - all the SEC crap and all the fees you shysters always charge for a deal like that and the accountants and the printing -well, you know, plus the underwriting discounts--"

"Plus taxes". I said.

"'Xactly, plus taxes. Now the fact of the matter is, Joe and the others really don't need the money right now, but they're not getting any younger and they don't want to leave their estates full of this unmarketable Warfield stock, because how would their estate taxes be paid when they die?"

"So they want to merge with somebody who has listed stock and do a tax-free reorganization." It was an old story.

"Right, ", said David. "Now it seemed to me that Boatwright might be a good possibility: very congenial bunch of people, right here in town, of course-"

"And you know that Boatwright's in trouble and the more stock it can get out into friendly hands the harder it will be for Fleischer to buy control, so presumably Boatwright might give you a lot higher price, in stock, than whoever else they've been talking to."

David sighed. "You're a very astute fella, Graham. I've always said so."

"Mmm. Two sick companies combining for protection."

"Sick? Warfield isn't sick-"

"What they earn last year?"

"Well all right, last year-"

"How much?"

"Well actually there was a small deficit, couple of cents a share I think."

"And the year before?"

"Year before they broke even, but we had a general business recession you remember, Graham-"

"So that pretty well eliminates the idea of a public underwriting, doesn't it?'

"Makes it harder, sure. That's why I'm sitting here talking to you, sport. I think we can make a deal."

The waitress came over with the glass coffeepot and filled our cups.

"And of course there wouldn't be any antitrust problem," said David, rearranging his wares to make them look more attractive. "'Course I'm no lawyer, but Warfield and Boatwright are in entirely different lines of business, there'd be no effect on competition at all . . ."

Antitrust problem? Effect on competition? Deep, deep inside the inner ear that every good lawyer has to develop sooner or later, a tiny bell began to ring. Don't show it! Don't change your expression!

"Mmm." I forced myself to take out a crumpled pack of Luckies, to extract one, and to accept a light from his gas-fired Ronson. Then I took a drink of coffee. "David, what is Warfields main product now?"

He told me and I was right! The inner ear was functioning. I looked out the window. A long glistening black Cadillac was parked on the wrong side of Sixteenth Street. The chauffeur was holding the door for a couple of executive types who had just finished their lunch. On the sidewalk, two secretaries were dashing back to their offices. As the first man climbed into the Cadillac, the second turned his head to glance at the girls. They both had bleached hair, but the one on the right, the one without sunglasses, was nice. The sun was shining, and I knew that I had once again earned my keep at Conyers & Dean. Earned my keep and then some. Of course a lot of things might go wrong, but I had a feeling that they wouldn't..

"What kind of a price are the Warfields thinking about?" I asked, still gazing out the window.

"Well, I don't know exactly, Graham -"

I turned back to face him. "You haven't discussed this deal with them?"

"Oh, sure I have, in general terms."

"All right, in general terms, what do they want?"

He just happened to have some figures written down on a scrap of paper that he pulled from his wallet. While we did the arithmetic together I was thinking with one side of my brain. He must have been cooking this up for quite a while. What effect did his fight with Dolly have on these negotiations? Was he under the impression that he now had some club to hold over my head? When we added up the number of Warfield shares outstanding and the present market price of Boatwright's stock the exchange ratio he suggested would give them about twenty dollars per share, in Boatwright stock.

"That's a pretty nice P/E ratio," I said. "Twenty times nothing."

"Well, you can't just go by present earnings, Graham, you've got to look at the whole picture."

True enough. I wondered if David and his clients really saw the whole picture. Probably not, because if they understood how nicely they would solve our problem, they might be asking forty dollars.

I said I would convey the message to Boatwright. He tried to have the lunch put on his tab; we argued routinely about that for a minute, and then we walked down the long hall, out the Sydenham Street side, and then up to Walnut Street. We stood there in the warm sunlight for a moment, the people hurrying all around us.

"Nice lunch, Graham. Enjoyed it. Look, if anything comes of this, you'll protect my position, won't you?"

Doesn't trust his own cousins. Charming family. "Don't worry, if there's an agreement there'll be a clause about who pays the finder's fee. And you can run a box in the Journal saying that First Hudson 'assisted in the negotiations'."

He whacked me on the arm and grinned. "Attaboy, old buddy!"

Old buddy?

I'll old buddy you, old buddy. "Say, how's Dolly these days?"

He wasn't expecting it. He'd dropped his guard while savoring what a commission on twelve million dollars would do to his position at First Hudson, where he now has a desk, a telephone, and one-eighth of a secretary.

 "Why . . . er . . . she's very well," he said, examining his Cordovans.

"Well, give her my best, will you, David? Dolly's always been one of my favorite people. So long, I've got to run now."

I turned and marched east on Walnut Street with acid in my heart, almost choking with unfocused fury and seeing quite clearly that over the years I had turned into a worse bastard than David Despard ever was. But why?

I stepped off the elevator into our hushed oak-paneled reception lobby and started down the hall, absorbed in ticking off all the things I would have to set in motion now, when a quiet voice said, "Good afternoon, Graham."

I turned around. "Why, Aunt Susan, I had no idea. Didn't they take you to my office?"

Miss Susan Boatwright, a tiny figure in a rather shabby raincoat, was sitting on the bench beneath the lighted portrait of Frederick Hamilton Dean. On her lap she held some kind of a net shopping pack.

"No, I told them I'd rather sit out here," she said. "I just stopped by for a moment to give you something and back there the telephone will be ringing and people will be wanting you. Sit down here, won't you, Graham?"

Even before she was moved to say those things at our wedding Aunt Susan was my favorite Boatwright. A maiden lady in her seventies, she has poured out the love and attention that children would have received upon an enormous spectrum of protegees and causes, mostly in the fields of poetry and liberal politics. Although she lives modestly in an apartment on Rittenhouse Square, I suspect that she is the richest member of the family, if only because I happen to know that she doesn't own a single share of Boatwright stock, having sold out during the Second World War -when the stock was about 120- on the advice of an old beau who was then high in the councils of J. P. Morgan & Co. In her time Aunt Susan has not only supported countless young poets, but rushed around New York and London and Paris trying to shore up the little magazines she financed and badgering publishers into issuing the collected works of her friends. She is also passionately committed to the ADA, the World Federalists, the ACLU, the United Nations, the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission and the NAACP. Everybody knows her, and even those who consider her judgment a little cloudy find it hard if not impossible to resist her kindness and her incandescent enthusiasm.

I sat down beside her and she began to rummage around in the net, producing a rolled-up copy of the Saturday Review, a flutter of English Ban-the-Bomb pamphlets, two apples, a bar of Swiss chocolate, a slim blue volume of John Ciardi, a shoe with a new heel, two parcels wrapped in Wanamaker's paper, and a new shiny white paperback which she handed me. "Have you seen this?"

Collected Poems of Gustaf Anders. The First Complete Edition in English . . .  A photograph of his face, enormously blown up so that only his eyes, nose and mouth appeared very grainily through the title, but it was the same old shot against the ivied wall at Sevenoaks with a bottle of champagne in his pocket, peering through the Kentish sunshine into the Earl of Cranmore's Leica. . . . I riffled the pages: "Cambrai Elegies" "Fusilierlied'. . . "Street Song 1919". . . "Why Antibes?".

"Aunt Susan, you always leave me speechless."

"Of course it's nonsense to translate poetry," she announced firmly. "You lose the rhythm and the flavor, but it demonstrates how popular your father has become now, don't you think? People want to read everything he did. I came across it in Wanamaker's and I thought you'd be interested, so I brought it up."

"That's very, very nice of you, Aunt Susan." I held the little book in my hands and looked at the red Persian carpet beneath my feet. Every few minutes the elevator doors opened and people walked across the lobby - lawyers, clients, secretaries coming up from the other floors, messengers- and some of them glanced curiously at the old lady and me.

She regarded me quietly and then she said, "Graham, you look terribly sad. Is it something you can talk to me about?"

I replied without thinking. "No, it's not, Aunt Susan."

"Is it something you can talk to anyone about?"

I looked into the enormous blue Boatwright eyes and tried to smile. "It's all right, Aunt Susan."

"You don't go to Meeting any more. do you?"

I shook my head.

'Well, for someone who was raised on all that booming organ music and the choir singing, I should think that Meeting might seem a little chilly and intellectual, but the point, it seems to me at least, is that it doesn't so much matter in what form you get your religious experience, so long as you do get it. Don't you agree?"

"Yes, I do, Aunt Susan."

Then she said, "You're worried about the Company, aren't you?"

"Well, sure, there are serious problems-"

"I think it's quite unfair the way everyone has simply dumped this situation in your lap, I mean it"s certainly none of your doing."

I had to smile, genuinely this time. "My goodness, you always do have a different outlook on things, don't you? I've been pretty well indoctrinated with the idea that I am the cause of all these problems."

'Well, that's so much poppycock! And don't think I haven't said so -but actually that brings me to the other reason for my visit. I did want to ask you something." She was busily repacking her net now. "Graham, would it help matters if I began buying Boatwright stock now? My advisers tell me not to, but I wanted to ask what you think."

We looked at each other quite steadily for a moment.

'Would it help, Aunt Susan?" I felt myself frowning. "Well, sure it would-- "

She touched my arm lightly. "Graham, of course you never knew my maternal grandfather, in fact he died before you were born, but he was quite an able man, a banker -sometimes I think we've had too many successful bankers in our line- but in any event my grandfather taught me that it's stupid to be sentimental about money and investments. A company exists to make money, he always said. If it isn't making money then it has no reason to exist, and if you think you can make more money in some other business, well then go to it. That's why I sold my Boatwright stock many years ago; I was told that it was overpriced and that it wasn't well managed any more and that it wouldn't be making a lot of money in a few years. You weren't around then, but I was severely criticized in the family. Severely criticized. I told them it was none of their business what I did with my shares, and I haven't discussed it with them since. But now I want your advice, dear."

"You want to know if Boatwright is a good investment?"

She shook her head. "I know it's not a good investment, Graham. But last week I had to go out to the University Hospital to visit Edith King -you don't know her, she's an old woman like me, an old friend, and she's dying of cancer, and I got off the trolley and looked at the Institute, and then I started thinking about Caroline's father, he did some very fine things there, you know, and without the money from the Company he couldn't have done them. And then after I left Edith I went back to my apartment and had a cup of tea and started looking at my scrapbooks and albums and other things I have about the family and you know, Graham, this is a pretty good family, when you think about it."

I smiled again. "Nobody ever denied that, Aunt Susan."

"Oh, I know people think we're too bossy and we try to run everything and I really don't consider myself an ancestor worshiper, heaven only knows we've had our share of fools and scapegraces, my own poor brother George was truly a disappointment, a very sad disappointment, you never knew him, did you? . . . Oh dear, I'm getting senile, aren't I, rambling on like this? The point is, I'm an old woman, it doesn't much matter what happens to my money now, wouldn't it perhaps be a good idea to use it to do something about the Company?"

"In what way, Aunt Susan?"

"Well, that's what I want you to tell me, Graham." She sounded tired and impatient suddenly. "I mean everybody says the Company is doing so badly and now we may even lose control of it and then it will be taken away or broken up by strangers, when it's been the source of so much good around here. . ." She took a deep breath and then touched my knee. "I see I'm not making much sense. What am I trying to say?"

"You're asking me should you use your money to buy Boatwright stock so that the family can keep control. That would take a great deal of money, Aunt Susan. And I couldn't promise you that you wouldn't lose a lot of it in the end anyway."

"How much would it take?" she whispered, leaning closer.

"I don't know exactly. Between fifteen and twenty million dollars."

"That's a lot of money, isn't it?"

"Certainly is, Aunt Susan."

"What should I do, Graham?"

There was something terribly unreal about this conversation. I felt suddenly dizzy and wished I hadn't had a drink before lunch. I rubbed my hand over my eyes but then she was still looking at me very intently.

"Aunt Susan . . . Look for the time being, don't do anything. I've got another idea that might work out and if it does, then you won't have to put in your money at all. I'll know in a few weeks and then I'll be in touch with you and give you the answer. In the meantime, just sit tight."

She smiled quickly. "Very good. Yes, that sounds like the best course; as a matter of fact, that's another piece of advice from my grandfather: when in doubt, sit tight." She stood up quickly and gathered her net together. "Heavens, I've kept you much too long, I'll run along now and let you get back to work."

She took my arm and we walked toward the elevators. I pressed the button and just then a green light went on, the bell rang, and Ellsworth Boyle stepped out of a car. "Why, Miss Boatwright," he boomed. "What a pleasure to see you!"

For the first instant she did not place him, but it was just a fraction of a second. "Good afternoon, Mr. Boyle, I just came up to badger this young lawyer, but I'm leaving now. I do want to thank you for your most generous contribution to the Fellowship Commission. It's doing such terribly important work, you know, and there's never enough response and understanding, and we really are most grateful."

"Not at all, Miss Boatwright, it is indeed important-"

"But you're working this boy too hard."

Boyle took that as a joke and laughed. I said, "I'm afraid I'm not a boy any more, Aunt Susan," and fortunately a down elevator arrived.

"Just look at him," she said, stepping aboard. "Even his eyes look tired. Good-bye, Mr. Boyle. Good-bye, Graham, and thank you." The door closed, and Ellsworth Boyle turned to me, shaking his head. "That's one of the real characters around here. I wish I could get her to like me.... Are you feeling overworked?"

"Ellsworth, how are you fixed this afternoon? I think I've got something that will help the Boatwright situation, but we've got to act fast."

'Well, that comes first. Let me go back and extricate myself and then I'll be over to see you. Will we need anyone else?"

Laura was entertaining no less than six young lawyers when I came in. There was a general movement for the door. "You stay, please, Tommy, Ellsworth's coming over for a meeting about Boatwright."

I looked at the pink telephone slips on my desk:

Mrs. Despard. 1:45. Please Call.
Mrs. Despard. 2:05.. Please Call. Urgent.

"Do you want me to call Mrs.-"

"No," I said.

A moment later Boyle came in and sat down. "Okay. What's up?"

The telephone rang. "Mr. Anders's office," said Laura.

"In conference," said I.

"I'm. sorry, Mrs. Despard, he's in conference right now . . . Yes, I did, but he had to go right into . . . Yes . . . Yes . . . Yes, I will. Good-bye." She hung up very firmly.

"Maybe you'd better leave us alone, Laura, and take the calls outside, please." When the door closed behind her, Ellsworth Boyle glanced at his wristwatch and then at me.

"Well now, Graham, could we get to it?"

I told them about the deal proposed by Despard.

Ellsworth Boyle rubbed his jaw meditatively. "What are the numbers?"

I took out my little pocket appointment book and read off the information I had received: number of stockholders, number of shares outstanding, gross revenues, net revenues . . . Tommy Sharp copied everything down carefully and then produced his slide rule, but he didn't need it to see that the Warfields had lost money in their last fiscal year.

"How many shares do they want?" asked Boyle.

I told him and Tommy Sharp squinted at his slipstick. "Why, that comes to over twenty bucks a a share!"

"Not exactly a bargain," said Boyle dryly.

"They have a hidden asset." I said. "And I suspect they don't know they've got it."


"Well," I said, wanting to savor it for another moment, "it seems that Warfield's main product now is specialized motors,little electric motors for hand-tool equipment. Even with their lousy results, they still represent a big factor in that field -between five to ten percent of domestic production, I'm told."

They looked blank for a moment. Then Tommy Sharp got it. "Holy Jumping Jesus Christ!" he shouted, pushed back his chair and began to stride around the room. "Oh, that's great Graham, oh my God we've got him now, the son of a bitch!" and in that moment for the first time I liked him.

"No, we haven't got him yet by a long shot, Tommy. This thing is just an idea so far--"

"I guess I'm getting old, all right," said Ellsworth Boyle. "Will somebody please tell me the point?"

"The antitrust laws, Mr. Boyle!" said Tommy, swinging back into his chair. "The Sherman Act, the Clayton Act --"

"Ellsworth, you know that Fleischer uses International Pipe as his base company. That's where he keeps his money, most of his Boatwright stock is held one way or another through International."

"So what?"

"International controls Hoffman Industries, out on the coast. Hoffman just merged last year with Dixon-West Power Controls."

Tommy Sharp had to break in "--and Dixon-West already makes something like twenty percent of hand-tool motors and things like that, in fact they even had to get rid of one division a couple of years ago because they had too much of the market."

"And therefore," I said, "if Boatwright owns Warfield and Fleischer or International winds up in control of Boatwright, then they would in effect control maybe one-third of the whole manufacture of these motors. Domestic manufacture. The Justice Department would be on him with both feet"

"If we had Warfield, then Fleischer wouldn't touch us with a ten-foot pole," said Tommy.

Ellsworth Boyle looked impressed. "That's pretty cute."

I leaned back, put my feet on the edge of the wastebasket and looked out across the sea of rooftops. "Well, I'm not entirely sure it's going to work. In the first place, even if we can get the Warfields signed up to a deal before they find out about this -which I doubt, because after all Dixon-West is their biggest competitor- then they'll want to raise the price before we settle, and so we'll probably wind up giving them more than twenty dollars' worth of Boatwright stock. But assuming we close with them, I would think that Mr. Fleischer and his lawyers will be able to dream up some counterploy."

"Such as what?" asked Boyle.

"Oh, I don't know . . . What would we do in his shoes? He might try to get an injunction against the deal on the ground that it serves no purpose for Boatwright except to perpetuate management. Failing that, he might still try for control of Boatwright and then spin off Warfield right away -"

"Spin it off where to?" asked Tommy. "He can't sell it to the public with no earnings."

"I don't know, but let's not worry about it now," I said. "I think in any event it'll buy us a lot of time, maybe all summer, so if you approve, Ellsworth, I'd like to get cracking on this, put a team to work Tommy and one of the tax boys and me, draw up a merger agreement, try it out on our Board in principle -could you handle that part, Ellsworth?"

"Yeah." With a grunt, Ellsworth Boyle stood up. "Yeah, I think you're right. This thing will knock him off balance for a while, so let's get the paperwork ready just as quickly as we can. The Openshaw firm is counsel for Warfield, I believe. They won't like losing an old client, but at these prices they won't have much to argue about." He walked over to the door, stopped, and turned around again, his hands jammed into the pockets of his jacket "This could be a damned nice coup, Graham. Damn nice. This is the kind of thinking I had in mind the other day. I'm going to get on the phone and sound out a few of our directors, and then I'll be in touch with you. And take anybody you want for your team. This deal has first priority." He closed the door.

For the rest of that afternoon and into the evening I worked as hard as I had in weeks, and for those few hours I lost the sense of isolation and futility that had been plaguing me so. Through my room passed a constant stream of younger lawyers, secretaries, accountants and Boatwright executives. We quickly put together a working group and I gave them their assignments. Then I sat down with Tommy Sharp and Ben Butler to go over the provisions to be included in the merger agreement. Laura Carpenter worked fast and efficiently and without any funny business -typing and retyping the lists and memos that three different people dictated, running off to get books from the library and files from other offices, answering my telephone and coping with the calls. Eleanor Leaming was right; she was intelligent and accurate and fast, and she understood exactly what was going on. When we finished the first outline, the boys went away to start on a draft. Both telephones rang incessantly: Ellsworth Boyle announced that the directors had decided to meet at eight o'clock the following morning and wanted to see an agreement; the Messrs. Openshaw Prescott Pennington & Lee checked in, obviously under orders from Warfield to get an agreement signed up with all possible speed. Long conference calls: Boyle, Bill Pennington, our tax people, their tax people: should we set up a new Boatwright subsidiary and merge Warfield into it? Should we just buy Warfield's assets? ("No!" shouted everybody. "Too complicated. Takes too long.") Should we make an exchange offer? ("No!" shouted everybody. 'We'd have to go through the SEC.") Should they go for a tax ruling or would that take too long? (It would take too long.) By the time Tommy Sharp had his draft ready it was seven o'clock and the decisions made during the afternoon meant that the agreement would have to be completely rewritten.

Once or twice during all this I felt myself floating like a balloon against the ceiling, watching the coming and going, the controlled confusion of this very expensive legal orchestra playing in pretty good harmony, Graham Anders, Esq., conducting -in shirt sleeves, tipped back in his swivel chair, feet cocked on the edge of the wastebasket. Isn't this what life is all about, working hard at something you're good at, moving companies, moving money, moving people, producing results?

Producing results?

Suddenly I saw my father sitting alone in a room at the Hotel Florida, typing on his Royal portable, listening to Franco's artillery shells clattering into Madrid. I read somewhere -perhaps in Hugh Thomas- that shells hit the Hotel Florida, and what was he doing up there writing a play that nobody would ever produce? And what am I doing here committing this piece of corporate miscegenation so that Aunt Harriet can hang her father-in-law in the new Museum library? But they did help to discover the cure for some kind of influenza, and I didn't create this situation, did I? I'm just sitting here trying to deal with the mess in which I find myself.

"Don't you want to do something about all these telephone calls?" Laura was standing in front of my table, looking tired and a little disheveled and extremely beautiful. One of our tax partners was using her extension, talking to his opposite number at the Openshaw firm, but my line was free at the moment.

I took the pack of slips.

4:3o Mrs. Despard. Please call.

4:4o Mr. Morris, William Penn Trust Company.
 Instructions from Mrs. Anders carried out.

4:45 Mrs. Despard. Please call.

4:50 Professor Minto, Univ. of Pennsylvania.
 Please call.

5: 5:00 Mr. Patterson, First Hudson Corporation.
 Margin account o.k. Thank you.

5:05 Mrs. Despard. Please do not call today.
 Please call tomorrow morning.

"Get me Professor Minto," I said. "He might still be in his office."

A moment later Freddie's voice came booming over the line: "Hey, hotshot, want to have dinner with me or are you tomcatting tonight?"

I looked around. The thing was almost under control. The tax man had gone, gesturing that everything was all right in that department. Tommy Sharp and Butler were downstairs someplace, putting a new agreement together. I would have to look it over, but it would not be typed for several hours, and now I realized that I was very hungry.

"Okay," I said, "but it's got to be fast, I've got to come back here and work."

"Agreed, agreed. I have to read ten more of these goddamned blue books tonight, but there's something I want to ask you. You're making all the money, so you can take the taxi. Meet you out here at the Faculty Club in twenty minutes."

He hung up.

"Isn't it about time for you to go home?" I asked Laura, who was back at her typewriter.

"I've sent out for a sandwich, I promised to help type the agreement."

"Haven't they got their own girls?"

"I can use the overtime."

"Okay, fine." I got up and put on my jacket.

"You're coming back, aren't you?"

"Oh sure."

"Will you take me home when we're finished?"

"Where do you live?"

She told me.

"Wow," I said. "No wonder you can use the overtime-"

"I'll manage."

"I'm sure you will."

"Are you going to take me home tonight?"

I stood there in the doorway and looked at her. "You knew the answer to that when you walked in here this morning, didn't you?"

She closed her eyes. And nodded.

previous chapter, next chapter



1961 - A Point of View
[1] The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Boatwright Corporation
[2] What are you going to do about Boatwright and what are you going to do about yourself?
[3] Have we learned anything this evening, Doctor?
>[4] Producing results?
[5] Alexander's Feast
[6] How'd you like to go over to Salzburg for a month with me?

1947 - An Island
[7] You're not going to Berlin. You're staying here.
[8] All right, we're the Military Government.
[9] The Americans are teaching us to be democratic instead of fascistic.
[10] Well, this is Fasching.
[11] Letters after Ash Wednesday
[12] Say Boris is at Schloss Fyrmian.
[13] THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN EUROPE - Prospectus for the First Session
[14] Learn to think of people as individuals.
[15] Parlez-moi d'amour, redites-moi des choses tendres.
[16] Not one thing left to show that you've ever been on earth? - "Sources of Soviet Conduct"
[17] A Countess, a Prussian Officer and a Ländler
[18] Now this part of your life is over and I'm sending you home.
[19] A father who's too busy to watch his son die. - The Spring of 1961
[20] I cannot sell Schloss Fyrmian to the Academy.

1961 - A Change of Air
[21] The first thing I saw was the Festung Hohensalzburg far in the distance, silhouetted against the shadowy curtain of the high mountains.
[22] Next day at the Academy we got to work - Graham, you know what Fleischer did?
[23] Im weißen Rößl am Wolfgangsee
[24] Brockaw writing a thesis on Austrian baroque architecture? - Boatwright Corporation and Boris Fleischer, plaintiffs
[25] You know there a Mr. Devereaux? Mr. Armistead Devereaux?
[26] I think always of Peter Devereaux.
[27] It sounds like an act of desperation, and it won't hold up in court.
[28] In those Oklahoma Hills WHERE AH WAS BOW-AHHHN!
[29] ... that we should meet again like this . . . I think perhaps there is a reason.
[30] "Is there here an American by name of Brockaw?"
[31] This is Boris Fleischer!
[32] "Does Hans work for Gehlen?" Paola shook her head. "More the other way around."
[33] Won't you please come home? Everybody needs you, I most of all.
[34] With this Waffenstillstand you have time now.
[35] You're going to regret this for the rest of your life!
[36] We Europeans would not do it. None of us. - People think you need medical attention.
[37] Will they trust you?
[38] Some things about the U.S.A. are perhaps rather important, and to us impressive.
[39] You're going to need a good lawyer.

version: March 2, 2004
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Arthur R.G. Solmssen, Joachim Gruber