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Twenty-five years ago Cyril Bezdek and E. Carter Dorwin would have met in a private railway car belonging to one of them. They might even have met in a private train. At any rate they would have met in absolute privacy. But it being the present, they had to be content with a series of adjoining rooms taking up less than one half of a car on the Super-Sachem, fastest coast-to-coast train in the country. Their meeting in private was very... more...

The Chancellor's private washroom, discreetly off the innermost of his official suite of offices, was a dream of gleaming black porcelain and solid gold. Each spout, each faucet, was a gracefully stylized mermaid, the combination stall shower-steam room a marvel of hydraulic comfort and decor with variable lighting plotted to give the user every sort of beneficial ray, from ultraviolet to black heat. But Bliss was used to it. At the moment, as... more...

It wasn't much of a bump. The shock absorbers of the liquid-smooth convertible neutralized all but a tiny percent of the jarring impact before it could reach the imported English flannel seat of Coulter's expensively-tailored pants. But it was sufficient to jolt him out of his reverie, trebly induced by a four-course luncheon with cocktails and liqueur, the nostalgia of returning to a hometown unvisited in twenty years and the fact that he was... more...