By John D. MacDonald
Sam Glidden owed all his good fortune to the possibilities he'd got from Thomas McGann, president of the Harrison company. yet now McGann was once lifeless, and Mike Dean, a wildly flamboyant enterprise speculator, used to be seeking to upload the Harrison company to his lengthy record of conquests. McGann's spoiled offspring, Tommy and Louise, observed the opportunity to make rapid large greenbacks through promoting out their stocks. yet Sam Glidden could not stand to work out every little thing he'd labored for devoured up by way of a barracuda like Mike Dean. So he wangled a call for participation to the sand-and-surf soiree Dean deliberate for Louise and Tommy within the Bahamas ...
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So, in Mike’s name, he invited the four of us--Tommy and Puss, and Warren and me--down to Mr. Dean’s place in the Bahamas. A private plane is going to pick us up Wednesday morning. Because we’re going down there doesn’t mean that we plan to betray anybody. Anyway, I’m curious about him and I’d like to meet him. " "I’ve heard about that hideout of his," I said. " "Understand, Louise, I’m not trying to low rate your intelligence, or Tommy’s or anybody else’s. This kind of a deal is outside your experience.
I had a clear memory of how Louise and Warren Dodge had looked at the time of the funeral, after their flying trip home from Italy--Warren big and beefy, solemn and sullen, heavily scented with bonded whisky--Louise remote and subdued and pallid, more spiritless than even the death of her father would have seemed to warrant. There are only seventy thousand people in Portston and so I had seen her around fairly often during the two years. And thought she looked unhappy. And heard the unsavory rumors about her marriage.
It supports directly or indirectly a couple of thousand families and a way of life that doesn’t seem too bad to me. If Dean should wreck the firm, he also wrecks the town. But, naturally, you won’t have to give a damn about that. " He turned to look up at me over her shoulder. "Very touching," she said, but her eyes were still shiny with tears. " I could see all of our planning shot to hell. I could see Al Dolson throwing in the sponge. When Thomas McGann died, Al had been vice-president, and I had been his assistant.