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papering the walls and noted that most of them dealt either with the bestiality or brutality of the police. He wondered whether the publisher and the editorial staff of the newspaper really hated cops that much, or were just catering to their readers, most of whom were students.

The girl returned and pointed him out to a paunchy, pale, baldheaded man in his early thirties wearing a baggy buttoned-down shirt turned brown at the collar by the stuffy steam-sweat-heat of three days' wear.

"Yes, can I help you?"

"Are you the editor?"

"I'm one of them."

"I want to speak with the person who's the head of this operation.

"You do, huh? Well, what's your name, and what's it you want to talk about?"

"The name is Grogan. Emmett Grogan, 'n what I want to talk about I'll tell the person in charge."

"I'll be right back," he said, and turned into the rear room.

The girl at the desk overheard the dialogue and was giving Emmett a different kind of once-over stare, now that she figured he was "somebody," but when skinhead returned with another dude, he told her to go for some coffee, and waited until she split before introducing the founder-publisher-executive editor of the East Village Other. Emmett immediately recognized him and his showy, auburn, handlebar moustache, as the guy had been bartender in Stanley's saloon on Avenue B, where Billy and he often went drinking during his leave from the army a year ago. But he didn't mention this to either of them, just shook their hands and stated his beef, pointing out that the article was stone bullshit and asking them if they understood the position it had placed him in, now that he was in New York.

"You see, when the mugs who own the territory around here find out that I'm in the neighborhood, they're going to think from reading this crap about me threatening to bomb the HIP shops out in San Francisco that I'm going to try the same thing here, try to strong-arm the hippie merchants who lease store space from them, the same way 'n they're going to get mad when they think that I'm muscling in on their thing, because that's what it comes down to in their eyes. There's nothin' political or social about it to them--just some guy tryin' to get a piece of the action 'n they're gonna take [end page 320]


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