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was said, trying to make something out of the abbreviations and figures being tossed around. He'd been there about thirty-five or forty minutes and had only really spoken a few words to the good lady hostess, when something added up and he began to realize what it w-as: within the web of numbers and abstract letters of the alphabet that was most of the men's conversation, there was a message signaled to him, and he suddenly found himself decoding it.

The realization started slowly to build itself up inside of him and quickly became more visible and full. It had to do with the younger brother of the good lady. It had to do with who he was and what he did in the stock market and how he was connected to a pair of names that were mentioned during the course of the conversation. The names were Delafield and Delafield, and, as soon as Emmett heard them, he listened to everything real good, until he was able to figure out that the brother, the man in his very early thirties who was sitting across the room from him, was an allied-member partner of Delafield and Delafield, and was Emmett's father's boss and had been Emmett's father's superior, ever since he graduated from whatever college he attended.

It was immediately after that discovery that Emmett sat back in his chair, astounded at what he was beginning to understand about this brother and sister and about what they really had to do with him. You see, not only was "younger brother" over there Emmett's father's employer, but the guy belonged to the family who owned the Pennsylvania coal mines in which Emmett's grandfather had gone to work when he was eight years old, ninety or so years before. This sister whose penthouse he was sitting in and her younger brother were the children of the family for whom Emmett's father and grandfather had worked their entire fucking lives! They were the children of the men and women who owned It! Who still own It! Who bought and paid for the last two heads of his family!

He couldn't believe it, even though he knew it! He was fired with an immediate impulse to leap across the room and scar someone for the rest of their life with his glass. It was all so goddamn, overwhelmingly, unbelievably real that it was, at once, surreal and absurd. He began to calm himself with the thought that he'd never end up working for them, the children. The children who inherited his father's employment would never salary his son--or would they? Their family owns so much that one could end up working for them without even knowing it. The only way to be sure, certain, Emmett [end page 423]


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