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The Brotherhood

The Brotherhood

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The Brotherhood

Longueur:
427 pages
6 heures
Sortie:
Feb 29, 2016
ISBN:
9781310143182
Format:
Livre

Description

Paul Brown is our newly-elected president....and he's about to find himself in serious trouble. Organized shortly before the Civil War, and using the assassination of a sitting president as their spark, The Brotherhood has manipulated every earth-shattering political and economic event in the history of the United States since 1865. For more than a century, America has been controlled by this dangerous group of wealthy and powerful men who live among us, but operate in secret. Paul doesn't know that stockpiles of deadly U.S.-made chemical weapons are being shipped out of the country to destinations unknown. He doesn't know that his son works for the corrupt, money-laundering law firm handling the sales of those weapons. And even worse, he doesn't know his election was rigged. In his first 100 days, Paul Brown finds out that being the president will ultimately cost him more than he expected. Battling The Brotherhood, Paul takes us on a roller coaster of emotion; loses and reconnects with his family; and comes to grips with the pressures, political games and corruption that lie behind the Presidential Seal.

Sortie:
Feb 29, 2016
ISBN:
9781310143182
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Mark Vertreese is a long-time North Carolina resident, having moved to Raleigh in 1978. A graduate of Appalachian State University and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Inc., he currently lives in Charlotte with his wife and son. The third of four children, he grew up writing short stories for his family, publishing his first full-length novel, The Brotherhood, from a short story concept about the President of the United States.

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The Brotherhood - Mark Vertreese

One

EVERYTHING was set. A quick, silent hit on the target was imminent. For two months now, the darkest and most disturbed of the Brotherhood had toyed with this job. Yes, they’d undertaken bigger jobs in the past, but this one was going to be historic, even for them. The naysayers deemed it too dangerous, too messy, too everything. But they weren’t the ones who called the shots. Time was slipping by with each day that passed; he was only getting closer to the truth. This job had to go down soon or all hope would be lost. Three beeps on a secure phone line and the teams were assembled. Time to go to work.

*****

GREG Brown adjusted the bowtie of his tuxedo in the hallway mirror. He was slated to speak at a banquet for his law school alma mater. He hated these boring events, but he was the most influential alumnus from his graduating class. And he had already promised he would be there. He had serious reservations about attending, but the organizers assured him that all he had to do was show up, say a few words and he would be free to disappear into the night.

At 32, he was the youngest Corporate Strategy Specialist in the history of his law firm. Greg Brown was a brilliant lawyer who could have had anything he wanted. When he graduated from Law School, he was at the top of his class. He specialized in corporate law, a boring field by most standards. But where his law school colleagues found passion in criminal law defending murderous scum, who were obviously guilty, Greg thrived on numbers. Tax law, mergers and acquisitions, hostile corporate takeovers, and all the endless complexities that made people very wealthy and very nervous were his heart and soul. He knew they would be his golden parachute.

At 22, he graduated Magna cum Laude from Duke University. By 23, his first year in law school, he had impressed his professors so much, so quickly, he was named to the first of his many Who’s Who. All eyes were on this young man. He clerked for the most distinguished judges and summered for the most prominent firms. And he had all of the right firms eating out of his hands. The fact that he was the son of one of the most powerful businessmen in Charlotte didn’t hurt his chances, either. Thirteen months before graduation he was inundated by prestigious firms from all across the country that promised fame and fortune. The offers that alluded to his father were thrown in the trash. For the most part, they all seemed too good to be true. Two days before he was to receive his diploma, he accepted an offer from Elliott, Bousman & Johnson, a grand firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. He wanted to stay in the state and the offer from EBJ worked out perfectly.

EBJ, widely recognized as the corporate law powerhouse of the southeast, was headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Their reach extended from Florida to D.C., allowing for the successful and complete canvassing of the southeastern market. Several years ago, EBJ opened their first offices overseas in France and Russia. The firm enjoyed fabulous growth and represented all the best clients. Paul Brown, himself, was once part of their stable of exclusive and very high profile clients.

There were about three hundred partners in the firm and they were all tops in their fields. The partners alone billed more than $600 million annually. The associates numbered around nine hundred, and spread throughout all of the various offices, easily generated an additional $200 million. All total, with land, stock and corporate holdings, EBJ had grown from an insignificant grunt-work firm to a multi-billion dollar enterprise in a mere 30 years.

It was a company of fast trackers and Douglas Elliott, EBJ’s Managing Partner and Co-Founder, thought Greg Brown would be the perfect addition - no matter the cost. Greg interviewed with EBJ and they were so impressed with him, he was offered an associate’s position on the spot. He would receive a top-end Front Street condo, use of the corporate jets and little things like a cell phone and an expense account. Annual salary: $109,000. Greg told them he would have to think about it. He faxed his response two days before graduation in May. He would accept $130,000 a year and nothing less. Greg lived off of his trust fund, so the salary meant nothing to him; the game was in how far he could bend EBJ before they capitulated. Four days after accepting their updated offer, he was on an EBJ Gulf Stream V, headed for a two-week, all expenses paid vacation in Antigua to relax, re-energize and start studying for the bar.

The offices of EBJ were located on five floors of the PavilionBank Center, the tallest building in the southeast, in downtown Charlotte. Douglas flew back from his hunting lodge in Arkansas on Greg’s first day to welcome him. He was introduced to some of his new co-workers and made a mental note of who they were and what they each did for the firm. There were about seven other new associates but Greg could tell from looking at them that they were no match for him. After his tour, Douglas treated Greg to lunch at the City Club, a swank restaurant where the powerful and power-hungry make deals and amass fortunes over pricey filet and priceless caviar. Conversation turned quickly from business to golf to women and money. Douglas’ motto, which he spouted out between innumerable glasses of scotch or vodka or whatever he had in his hand at the time, was ‘Have fun and make lots and lots of money’. Greg intended to take him up on that - and make a name for himself in the process.

*****

AS he adjusted his tie in the mirror, something or someone outside caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. For two days, security had been posted outside his home in Charlotte on order of the president of the United States. From his home to the office, the bedroom and everywhere in between, 25 Secret Service agents protected his every move. If anyone was ever bulletproof, it was Greg Brown. He passed off what he saw as one of the agents.

Greg Brown was an extremely attractive young man. He was six feet tall, with the body of an athlete and a flawless brown sugar complexion. Greg was blessed with the best features of both his mother and father, and he used his good looks to his advantage whenever and wherever possible. His hair and the goatee that framed his mouth were short and always neatly trimmed. He held a rigorous workout schedule to keep his body in top physical condition.

His mother taught him, not at all unconsciously, that the best-looking and most well-mannered young men were guaranteed whatever they wanted out of life. He resented the way she looked down on people who didn’t meet her standards for style or beauty when he was younger. But after years of her instructing him on how to better dress and carry himself and say only the right things the right way, he realized that he was just like his mother. Vanity didn’t exactly run in the family. It started with his mother and stopped with him.

Vain to the core, Greg took an unnatural sense of pride in the way he looked. The brown eyes that he hid behind designer glasses captivated you when you looked at him; they were fantastic and according to his wife they were his best attribute. He smiled at himself in the mirror and checked his watch. It was 8:30 on the dot. They had to go and right now. He was ready to get this night over with.

Let’s go! I’m tired of waiting on you, he called out to his wife. Greg headed upstairs to the bedroom when she didn’t answer and found her leaning over the counter, peering into her eye. What’s the hold up?

Shannon Elliott-Brown glared coldly at her husband with her ‘don’t use that tone of voice with me’ look. Contact lens. It’s got mascara under it; my eye is on fire. Just give me a second.

There’s nobody you need to see tonight anyway. I don’t plan to be there long enough for you to focus on anybody as it is. Just leave them out and let’s go. He turned and headed through the bedroom back downstairs. She grabbed her purse and her contact gear and chased after him.

For the last time, you son of a bitch, you will not use that tone with me. Shannon Brown played hardball. She wasn’t like so many of the gorgeous-but-dumb wives attorneys seemed to attract. His wife got what she wanted when she wanted it. You’d better not give me attitude like that again or I’ll cut your balls off. You seem to forget that I hold your life and your career in my hands! Daddy Douglas had taught her at an early age that she wasn’t to take attitude from anyone, man or woman, no matter who they were.

Greg paid no attention to her, and with a dismissive backward wave of his hand, continued down the winding oversized marble staircase and into the foyer. They lived in a magnificent home on Lake Norman. Shannon had seen the plans for the home in Southern Living and couldn’t wait to have one of her very own. It was a huge white brick home fashioned after Scarlett’s Tara that Shannon filled with pictures and knick-knacks and every other vile antique creation she could get her hands on. Greg hated it, but if it kept her quiet and off his back, he told himself she could do whatever she wanted.

Over the course of their seven-year marriage they had begun to fight more and more. Their marriage was practically arranged. Her father and his boss, Douglas Elliott, wanted her married off into a well-respected, very wealthy family that could keep her under control. He saw a golden opportunity in Greg Brown and introduced him to his daughter the first chance he got.

When Greg and Shannon weren’t arguing over something stupid, it was rare that they talked to one another at all. Greg had found comfort in someone else and their sex life suffered. He found passion in his work and little interest in sharing the events of his day with his wife. They were becoming more and more like strangers every day.

For months, Shannon had thought long and hard about revealing the secret she was harboring. She could tell her father and ruin her husband in the process. Several times last week, she almost let it fly, but she decided to wait. How would that look, she thought to herself? She may have been the wife of an extremely promising young attorney and the daughter of one of the city’s most respected lawyers and businessmen, but she wasn’t insulated from what people would say about her personally. The thought of not looking right or not fitting in scared her more than being by single again - or more pointedly, a dreaded ‘divorcee.’

She had laid all of her cards out on the table in front of Greg that morning. Now, it was just a matter of making him keep his promise. She wouldn’t tell if he didn’t. There wasn’t any reason they couldn’t live separate but equal lives. And as long as they were both willing to keep up the charade, she convinced herself, everything else would work itself out in the end.

Shannon was a very attractive young woman, but she had more insecurities than anyone should be forced to carry around. She tossed her long blonde hair over her shoulder and ran her hand down her dress, smoothing it out. Shannon was tall for a woman; five feet eleven, with long legs and a perfect body. Breast implants, collagen injections in her lips, a butt lift and tummy tuck were all a part of the birthday present she gave herself last year. So she bought the body. It made no difference to her. And it certainly made no difference to Greg. He turned to make sure she was still following him down the steps, and when he reached the foyer, picked up the phone. The Princess and I are ready, Jones.

Colonel Richard Jones, one of the best field officers to ever grace the hallowed halls of the U.S. Secret Service, was in charge of security for the Browns. The president had personally assigned him to the job. Standing on the other side of the massive oak desk in the Oval Office, Jones was outright warned in no uncertain terms that absolutely no harm would come to Greg or his wife. To Jones, failure on this job meant that there would be a brutal assignment protecting useless U.S. dignitaries, or riding a desk in Guam on a money laundering case, or worse, looking after the first ladies of dead presidents for the rest of his career. He also knew that to be an agent of the Secret Service was to unconsciously and unselfishly surrender your life in order to protect the safety and peace of mind of those to whom you were assigned. Jones lived for the dangers of his job and made damn sure that whomever he protected lived to see another day. He guaranteed the president that Greg and his wife would be safe, without question.

Jones stationed fifteen of his agents around the perimeter of the Browns’ tony five-acre Lake Norman mini estate, patrolling the grounds for would-be intruders. A private-frequency radio band allowed the agents to stay in touch. Each agent carried the standard .40-caliber automatic pistol with double silencer, a twin blade Navy Seal stiletto and wore bullet-resistant Kevlar body armor under black and green camouflage jumpsuits. Patrols were also stationed on the private dock and in a powerboat on the lake. Two black bulletproof Secret Service Suburbans, each holding two agents, idled in the driveway. An armored limousine sat between them beneath the portico awning. The agents were prepared to whisk their packages away for the evening.

Jones hung up and stepped towards the limousine. He announced to the perimeter patrols and the drivers that Tax and Cinderella, the Browns’ Secret Service code names, were ready to travel.

An unfamiliar sound caught his ear and he turned quickly, drawing his pistol in the same motion. A huge figure clad from head to toe in black swung down from the top of the portico and stabbed Jones in the throat, tearing through his esophagus so he couldn’t scream for help. In desperation, Jones squeezed off two rounds into the air, silently ripping through the cool Carolina night. The agents scattered over the grounds heard nothing. One by one, they had been slaughtered. Ten men armed with night vision scopes, armor piercing bullets and high-powered weapons had slipped past the security veil on a mission of murder. No one was left alive. The most any of the agents had heard was the whisper of flesh-shredding bullets sailing through the air less than a second before it blew the back of their heads off.

*****

GREG Brown turned around to silence his wife before he opened the front door. Shut up! I am so tired of your mouth! That nonsense you spout day after day is on my last nerve! Do it! Leave me! I can’t stand you anymore. Take that bastard baby you’re hatching and get the hell out of my life. Otherwise, drop it! Sweet Jesus Christ, Himself, Greg growled with his hands clenched into fists, head pointed toward the ceiling. Do you know how annoying you are? Do you ever stop and listen to yourself? You’re a broken record!

Shannon’s face turned bright red and as Greg reached for the door she spun him around. Wait just a damn minute. How dare you say that to me! Greg pulled away and Shannon grabbed his arm again. I’m not through with you! The only reason you’re where you are is because of my father. You’d be nothing without him. I meant what I told you this morning. I can keep a secret if you can. But, you’ve got to be a good boy, she said in her most practiced, condescending and dripping southern tone. Keep pissing me off and you can kiss your ass goodbye. You better get a quick grip on who you’re dealing with. She leaned up into his face and growled, You have screwed me for the last time.

Greg shook her hand from his arm again and grabbed her by the throat. He threw open the front door and tossed her out into the driveway. Seconds later, warm blood pelted Greg’s face and Shannon’s lifeless body fell backward through the doorway into his arms.

The last thing he felt was the searing heat and unspeakable pain of his skull exploding under the impact of two 9mm rounds.

Mission accomplished.

*****

TWO YEARS EARLIER -- Drexel Rose stared out at the Charlotte skyline as his private jet slowly descended to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. It was an overcast day and just now beginning to rain. God how he hated Charlotte. He got aggravated just thinking about it. Southerners always found ways to get on his every nerve. They were so nice, so patient and so damn fake. Nobody could be that nice all the time, he surmised. ‘Have some apple pie’? ‘Would you like some homemade ice cream’? ‘Isn’t it a lovely day’? Thank God people weren’t like that in Los Angeles. At least there, you knew everybody was trying to pull something over on you. If it wasn’t the asshole celebrities or the bullshit politicians, it was the countless street people. Get a job. Get out of my face. PC was not in Drexel’s vocabulary.

Drexel was a fat man with fat hands and a fat face. He had thinning hair that was quickly disappearing and chronic bad breath. He was of German and Italian heritage - ‘straight off the boat’, he liked to say. What he was unfortunate enough to inherit from his parents was a love of fine food and grossly overactive sweat glands. Everyday, he slathered himself with expensive cologne and devoured giant Altoids as though they were some strange, newfound source of energy. It was at best, a meager attempt to cover his natural, but highly offensive odors. The combination of $400-a-bottle cologne and the funk of his three hundred pound sweat factory proved to be unconditionally nauseating.

Drexel had a forced habit of standing extremely close to people when he spoke to them. I want people to remember me, was less of an excuse and more of his calling card. His hot, musty breath and homemade aroma would swell up from his squat five foot six inch, three hundred-pound frame, assaulting the personal space of those in front of him. If you didn’t concentrate on his words, you could easily find yourself staring at his mouth, your nose burning while you helplessly watched broken pieces of breath mints dance across that fat tongue as it slipped over capped teeth, past his large German lips. The longer he stood in front of you, the more you ignored what he was saying and wondered how in the hell you could get away from him.

With the admission of Drexel Rose into the Brotherhood, an organization initially formed for the betterment of the country, there was a shift in the way they all operated. German blood coursed through his veins and he was determined that everyone knew it. Drexel was ruthless. The Brotherhood had been involved in countless murders through the years, but they were, as justifiable as it could be made to sound, only carried out as a last resort; a measure of defense to protect the American Way of Life. Drexel didn’t see things that way. He used blackmail and murder as offensive weapons, striking first and possibly bothering to ask questions later.

Drexel Rose is, was, and always will be the bad seed, the black sheep of the Brotherhood, the family. He had limitless power and wasn’t afraid to abuse it when it suited him. After years of Drexel tearing down what the Brotherhood set out to accomplish, it seemed as if he could do whatever he wanted without recourse. He wasn’t the most powerful member and he was the first to admit that. Drexel had something even more potent than power or respect: he was out and out feared. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t or wouldn’t do. He ran roughshod over the other members, intimidating them and threatening them with their lives and those of their families. No one could really stop him. And no one dared try. If the thought even crossed your mind, somehow he would find out.

Drexel’s disgust for Charlotte eased momentarily, the anger subsided and his heartbeat returned to whatever normal was for him. Instantly he was irritated again when his pilot radioed that they would be landing shortly. He had to reign in that temper. When he got angry or overexcited, he began to cough violently. Drexel had been to a number of specialists and no one could tell him what caused the coughing fits. The only thing they all agreed on, however, was that he wasn’t helping himself by smoking a box of cigars a day and eating anything he could get his hands on. One doctor even told him he wasn’t going to live forever. Drexel chuckled to himself as he stamped out his cigar and fastened his seatbelt for the landing.

Charlotte, North Carolina, he grumbled to himself. What a waste. His business here would be short and sweet, just like always. A quick visit with Douglas at EBJ, settle on some corporate affairs, and maybe a quick stop off at The Uptown Cabaret and he would be on his way. For all the power and influence Drexel commanded, you’d think Douglas would fly to him. No matter. Problems with a former Superior Court Judge in Arlington, VA made the trip east a crucial one. Besides, Douglas was a good guy. As long as he kept his mouth shut and did what he was told, Drexel had no quarrel with the man’s shortcomings.

Douglas Elliott had a reputation that was legendary in the world of law. A legal eagle from his first days as an associate in a reputable North Carolina firm, he made no secret that his two passions were money and the law, in that order. His lust for money was the first thing that attracted Drexel to Douglas. The Brotherhood needed a reputable southern law firm they could control, a place to launder money and legitimize their business practices. Douglas was surprisingly easy to win over. Drexel found his mind to be weak and knew that if he threw enough money and gifts and booze in his face, Douglas would walk to the end of the earth for him. If that didn’t work, Drexel would scare the shit out of him and wait for Douglas to come crawling on his knees. A lawyer? Extremely illegal activity? The consequences were staggering, but Douglas had decided that for the kind of money Drexel was promising, he could slide his morals around to make it work. The law was more of a challenge to him than it ever was a blockade.

Douglas was the epitome of the white, middle-aged attorney. He was well over six feet, had very defined features, dark blue eyes, expensively-tanned skin and flawlessly styled dark brown hair. He was a striking figure to behold, a lady’s man in college. At 58, and with the considerable help of a bottomless wallet, Douglas had aged very well. However commanding he was, or at least made you think he was, Douglas never let himself forget that Drexel was always in charge.

Douglas was one of those pseudo-religious people who was greedy as hell and cursed and smoked and drank when he pleased. He was also what you might call a functioning alcoholic. He looked and acted normally to people who didn’t know him. But every day for the last ten years, he routinely drank a bottle of something, whatever was on hand. Drexel said Douglas had a liver lined with stainless steel. Douglas asked God for forgiveness every now and then, but when he didn’t feel like He was listening, or he was too drunk to speak, he just gave up. Douglas was an unevenly tempered man, and when he lost control of his emotions, he would blow up without warning. He was not a man lesser mortals dared cross.

Drexel popped an Altoid and closed his eyes as the landing gear chirped the blackened runway pavement and the plane rolled to a stop. God he hated this town.

Chapter Two

HENRY Garrison was waived past the security gate and pulled up the winding drive of Paul Brown’s estate. It had just begun to rain and Henry cursed himself for not bringing an umbrella. His black Bentley contrasted sharply against the bleached white columns and red brick of the old mansion. Isabelle greeted him at the front door, took his coat and hat and led him into the library to wait. Thirty minutes earlier, Paul Brown had called him, saying he had to come to a decision. Too sensitive to talk about on the phone, Paul told him. Come over right away. Henry dropped everything and drove straight there.

Henry was smooth. He was the type of man that others aspired to be. Henry had strawberry blonde hair, was of average height, and had smooth hands and tanned skin that told you he’d never done a hard day’s work in his life. He’d been married to the same woman, Leigh Ann, his high school sweetheart, for thirty years. He had five grown children and the energy and passion of a much younger man. You couldn’t look at Henry and believe he was well past fifty years old.

Raised in a wealthy family of lawyers in an affluent section of Chicago, he was brought up to believe that money and power solved all problems. His father, a successful defense attorney and former State Supreme Court judge, once told him to live well in the knowledge that with money on your side, the law would take care of itself.

Paul Brown appeared from behind a section of the oak wall, the private entrance to his personal office. I’m going to do it, Henry. He was beaming with excitement and his eyes were wide with fire.

Don’t mess with me. Today is not the day to do that. The weather’s terrible, Leigh Ann is pissed at me for some undetermined reason and the IRS is still breathing down my neck. Don’t pull my chain, Paul. Henry stood and looked at the man he had known what seemed like forever and scowled. Look me in the eye and tell me the truth.

Paul took his friend by the shoulders and, almost staring through him said, I’m going to run. I will be the next president of the United States of America. Henry saw that his best friend was extremely serious. After what seemed like an eternity since he let the secret slip, Paul had finally made up his mind. They whooped and hollered and danced around like children at recess.

Isabelle threw open the library doors to see what was going on. There hadn’t been noise like that in the house for years. Good Lord, Mr. Brown. Sounds like you two are killin’ each other. Why in Heaven’s name do you need to make all that racket?

Her eyes and lips were pressed tight on the corners and she shook her finger at them like she had done years ago when she was in charge of looking after Paul’s children. Some of her hair had come out of the clips and she was trying to fix it and scold the boys at the same time. Isabelle was a short, portly, chocolate-skinned, gray-haired woman who had worked for the Brown family since before Paul was born. Paul’s father, George, owned a tobacco plantation outside of Charlotte, N.C. Most of the people who worked for him were poor, black and had little if any education. Since he knew no one else would hire them, George gave them jobs, built housing for them on his land, introduced them to structured education and made sure they had regular medical attention. Those who left George Brown’s employ were always much better off than they were when they arrived.

Paul and Henry swept Isabelle up in the frenzy. Isabelle, honey, I’m going to be the next president!

Of what? she asked, exasperated and slightly annoyed.

President of the United States! Can you believe it?

For nearly seventy years, Isabelle had been a part of the household - indeed, part of the family. From the births of all the children, to George’s secret infidelities, the highs and lows of the business and everything in between, she had seen it all. Before George died, Isabelle had grown into a woman and was given the responsibility of running the household. She had a staff of fifteen and ruled them with an iron fist. Never in all her life did she think she would be standing in front of the future president.

Turn me loose…, Mr. President, she said with a coy smile. Isabelle straightened her apron and composed herself. I’m proud of you and I wish you luck. But, I’ve got a house to run. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be on my way. She closed the door behind her and wiped tears of joy from her eyes.

On a more serious note, Paul, Henry started, you do realize that the election is only about eighteen months away.

Yes, I know that. Paul Brown wasn’t a huge man, but he was tall and quite well built for his age. At 55 years old, he had smooth brown skin, a flawless complexion and was dressed in a way that told you right up front that this brother had money, and a lot of it. He was smooth, but not gaudy, and extremely handsome without making it seem to everyone like he’d known it all along. Paul Brown was genuine; you might even say he was a ‘good guy.’ He was also a complex man to everyone but his best friend, Henry. He was a very shrewd businessman and respected member of the Charlotte community. Paul loved to have fun, tell jokes, spend money and live life to the fullest. In the past, politics had only held a passing interest to Paul. This was completely different.

People usually start campaigning a lot sooner than this, Paul. They drop hints, they get interviewed on television and in newspapers. They put it out there that they have this magical something that will make people look at them and say, ‘You know what? I could vote for that guy. I could see him in the White House.’ Everybody knows you as the black billionaire from Charlotte, NC. But, politically, they don’t know who you are or where you stand. Isn’t it a little late to have decided you want to do this?

It’s November, Henry.

Thank you. I had almost forgotten.

Ronald Reagan didn’t announce his candidacy until November of 1979. He campaigned for the better part of 1980, was elected in a landslide and subsequently inaugurated as the president in January 1981. Time is not a problem.

Time’s not a problem. Whatever. How are you going to finance this little project? It costs a fortune to run. You need a campaign staff and fundraisers and advertising. This could stand to be a huge expense.

Steve Forbes did it. He paid for everything out of his own pocket. I’m sure he got some help somewhere, but for the most part he financed his own campaign. I have more than enough money to do this. Money is not the problem.

Henry stepped back from his friend with a concerned look on his face. So, if time and money aren’t going to be a problem, what is? Why do I get this feeling that you aren’t telling me everything?

Paul knew exactly what he was thinking and said it before his best friend could open his mouth. "She thinks it’s

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