editorial consultant and executive producer: dan leo
illustrations by rhoda penmarq and roy dismas
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"hi, jerry, it's jake."
"i want to talk to bill."
"jake, how did you get through? i just told dorothy not to let you through."
"i told her i wanted to talk about something else - not get through to bill."
"so you lied."
'yes - i feel it's that important that i lied."
"you lied to dorothy - to dorothy, the gatekeeper to bill."
"yes - i just admitted it."
"jake, that's almost as bad as lying to bill. it's almost as bad as lying to me."
"can we cut the crap, jerry, and get this over with. just let me talk to bill, please."
"i need to talk to bill. its very important."
"jake - "
"i'm willing to take the consequences, if any, of failing to go through proper channels."
"i'll buy you a drink."
"a drink ? did i hear you say a drink? i am sitting here fifty feet from bill's office and you offered me a drink? what year is this, eh? am i hallucinating here?"
"i meant a drink of pure spring water."
"let's get back on track here. are you, or are you not, going to tell me what you want to talk to bill about?"
"i think bill should hear it directly from me."
"but the universe is in peril."
"the universe is always in peril. that's what it's there for. if it wasn't in peril, it wouldn't be the universe."
"i want to talk to bill. something has come up that he should hear about. directly."
"jake, this conversation is over."
"you are making a terrible mistake."
" jake, i have had enough of you. do you know what i am going to do when i get off the phone?"
"i am going to find the biggest ugliest agent under my command and i am going to tell him to get the biggest ugliest stick he can find and he is going to track you down like a wounded animal and beat you with it."
jerry clicked off. he picked up a pint bottle of water - the only thing on his desk - unscrewed the cap and took a few thoughtful sips. then he got up, opened the door of his office and went to the reception area outside.
dorothy looked up at him.
"that was jake . he was lying when he said - "
"i hope you don't mind."
"of course not." jerry smiled. "it's what you are here for, isn't it?
"i hope you are not really going to have somebody beat jake with a stick."
"oh no. i was just kidding - just venting."
"violence never solved anything."
"point well taken." jerry looked up. "who is this?"
a man with a cloth cap shading his face was slouched in a chair along the wall. he looked up when jerry spoke.
"jerry, it's roy, roy cohn. you remember me, don't you?"
"roy - of course!'" jerry opened the little railing in front of dorothy's desk and held out his hand. "great to see you. what can i do for you?"
"i got something real important i think the big guy, the inspector, should hear about."
"jake mccarthy? no, no i don't have nothing to do with that rat. i wouldn't walk across the street to pour a glass of water on him - if he was - if he was - something- i can't remember."
"that's o k."
"i don't remember everything. i'm not what i used to be."
"who among us is?"
"do you remember what you wanted to talk to bill about?"
"no, no, i don't mind. i may not be one hundred percent, but i know how the game is played."
"well, that's great. i'm glad somebody does."
"it's about brock, sergeant brock. you remember the brock case, don't you?"
"um - maybe you can refresh my memory. but we don't have to stand out here, come on into my office." jerry stepped back and motioned roy through the opening in the railing. "is there something we can get you? dorothy could get you something or have somebody get you something. something? anything?"
"uh - those things might present a challenge, even for us."
"i can get you some water," said dorothy, " or an orange or some grapes. how about yogurt - we have strawberry, blueberry, boysenberry - "
"strawberry is good. i'm a strawberry guy."
"jeez, i'm glad you could see me. what i am about to tell you was going to blow a hole in my gasket - or my brain."
jerry sat down behind his desk. "well, blow roy, blow."