Sample P29 from Robert Carson, My Hero. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1961. Pp. 170-174. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,001 words 926 (46.3%) quotes 12 symbolsP29

Used by permission of McGraw-Hill Book Company. 0010-1910

Robert Carson, My Hero. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1961. Pp. 170-174.

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`` Good old A-Z '' , Cap said . `` You know , I've got one of your cars at home . As a prominent industrialist , you ought to be interested in his nibs' support group . Isn't his racket down your alley '' ? ?

Once it was , William thought . But not any more .

A rush of memory swept him back , and he forgot Cap . How did he start on such a ride to brief glory ? ? Simply enough , through the inadvertent agency of his brother-in-law . General Hershey's draft and Doc Eddyman and Cap were responsible for his first eminence , but Fearless Freddy Bryan could take credit , if he cared to ( and he did ) , for the second time . Freddy needed a job , having been detached from a rather dangerous career in real estate and skyscraper financing by Gerry , and it was up to Arthur Willis to provide him with one .

Mr. Willis bought Zenith Plastic Products , a skeleton corporation of sorts which had undergone many vicissitudes and whose principal assets were a couple of electronics plants on Long Island engaged in working out government contracts , and installed Freddy in an executive position . Shortly after , Freddy had his usual proliferation of bold ideas . Willis listened patiently , and once in a while William was exposed to them at a family gathering ; ; he generally heard Freddy's suggestions without interest , being absorbed by his own prospering concerns .

Probably Mr. Willis was influenced toward deeper involvement by familial loyalty and a concern for his grandchildren . Gerry began to aid Freddy with her father , prodded , no doubt , by Joan's open contempt for Freddy and William's irritating competency . Another factor must have been the eventual disposal of Willis' fortune ; ; she unquestionably assumed that the more he was entwined with Freddy , the more likely he was to reward Freddy richly upon his death .

Whatever the reasons , Willis and Bryan started expanding Zenith . They acquired another electronics factory , a specialized ceramics company , an organization that built -- very experimentally -- high-speed research calculators . Since they were hunting for national defense contracts , Adam Herberet , a man of surprising resources , entered the combination as a silent partner because of his political connections .

Feeling his power , Freddy looked for additional worlds to conquer . Heavy industry , slanted toward inexhaustible government coffers , attracted him . The Allstates Auto Company , a medium-sized firm which manufactured four-wheel-drive vehicles and other off-road equipment , had recently constructed an over-large , modern plant in a burst of misguided optimism . Cursed with a shaky management and dissatisfied stockholders , it was ripe for amalgamation , and Freddy's instinct was to keep growing by stock mergers and small expenditure of cash , and never mind inevitable consequences . With Herberet's blessing , he was convinced that Allstates' Wisconsin folly would be ideal for conversion to airplane sub-assembly , tanks , missiles or ordnance of some kind .

At that point William came into the picture . Although not much desiring the account , he had been appointed advertising head of Zenith . Freed of routine by having his own firm and a complaisant partner , his work in New York had given him a broader overall knowledge of business administration and corporate structure ; ; and if he wasn't entirely committed to what he did , he was at least fascinated by the chance of wider opportunities . Mr. Willis , eager to have him allied with the family , wanted advice beyond the confines of his field , and William set out on a serious study of the situation , including trips to Wisconsin and Washington .

In the end , he said : `` I'm not enchanted by the proposition , sir . I know a guy named Jack Hamrick , a very bright young engineer who was with Chrysler , and I took him with me to Allstates . It's his expert opinion that the plant isn't well suited to what you have in mind . The conversion will cost a fortune . Besides that , I'm acquainted more or less with the defense hardware situation through my contacts in the Air Force . I think Adam Herberet is guilty of being too hopeful and better informed on defense financing than on the technical side . Missiles have thrown everything up for grabs , and nobody seems to be sure where we go from here . The future of manned aircraft is in doubt , which affects government procurement , and jet transports have revolutionized the airline trade -- one jet can take the place of three compound-engine planes . This means the aircraft companies are going to tear into the government market , looking for anything they can get and making the competition tough . Here are a few facts and figures I've assembled . Can't you stay with what you have and wait till the dust settles '' ? ?

Willis glanced at the bound pages given him and shrugged . `` Well '' , he said , `` there is Freddy , you know . And Gerry . Freddy is deeply committed to our plans already . He assures me he has people to handle the money raising , and Ham Richert , my lawyer , says the legal aspects of the wedding of Zenith and Allstates are no problem . I don't like to exhibit the deadly dampening effect of an elderly man's caution '' .

`` Yes , I appreciate that . I wish you wouldn't tell Freddy I'm lukewarm ; ; I've caused him trouble before , and he's beginning to resent me . If we don't take care , the sisters will be entering the fray on opposite sides , brandishing their cudgels '' .

`` Which is a frightful prospect , Bill '' . Willis laughed . `` One shouldn't mix commercial affairs with patriarchy , but in this case I have no choice . Let me think about it . I'm most grateful to you , so grateful I wish you were my principal aide instead of Freddy '' .

Not to William's surprise , Freddy , Adam and Hamilton Richert prevailed ; ; allied to them was Gerry , devoting much time to swaying her father , and Joan dismissed all thought of the project and William was unwilling to interfere further . Zenith absorbed Allstates , stock transfers were arranged , and Freddy became president of the hyphenated combination . Through Jack Hamrick , William fell into the world of automobile promotion and got several accounts for Shoals and Clay .

He forgot about A-Z till , unhappily , he and Hamrick were proved correct . Freddy's backing dropped away from him and Mr. Willis was forced to make up the deficit . Adam , beset by changing defense conditions and the open secret that he was part of the new corporation , couldn't deliver from his end . The Wisconsin plant turned out to be a white elephant . Stock Willis held in abundance fell sharply in value . Confronted by a grim future , Freddy lost his nerve and plumped for a drastic liquidation .

Once more Willis summoned William . `` You were right '' , he said -- `` you and your engineer -- and I'm in something of a bind . Freddy's solution doesn't appeal to me . In addition to other defects , I'm a stubborn man and hate to admit to the common garden variety of bad judgment . Will you see if you can help me '' ? ?

William spent a long week end closeted with Hamrick . His recent experience in motor car advertising , a love for cars of themselves , the existence of A-Z's useless Wisconsin set-up , exposure to exciting conceptions of Hamrick's that nobody would buy , and the coincidental recent failure of a respected but out-dated small-car manufacturer called Ticonderoga Motors had given him an idea of such dimensions he was almost afraid to broach it . Initially , Hamrick's reaction to A-Z going into the passenger car market was discouraging . He thought the financing , the advertising , the production of new models , the founding of a nationwide chain of dealerships was simply too difficult . Then he caught fire . If A-Z could buy Ticonderoga cheaply and use their presses and dies and other equipment , if William could hit precisely the right promotion note , if the money hurdle was not insurmountable .

They took nearly a month to investigate , marshal statistics , and put their arguments down in black and white . Taking Hamrick with him , William went to Mr. Willis . He was surprised and dubious , but impressed by the engineer and the report .

`` Your alternative is breathtaking '' , he said , `` and , I'm frank in saying , a bit mad . I wish I was younger and less timid . Well , I can't resolve this myself . I'll have to call in the brain trust . Are you willing to run the gantlet ? ? I can't guarantee you a sympathetic audience '' .

`` We'll be in there swinging '' , William said , `` but in a way , sir , you've got to decide it yourself . You have the controlling interest and the principal expenditure is yours -- and , besides , nobody else is going to have the courage . If they follow anyone , it'll have to be you '' . He paused . `` I should explain : there's more here for me than advocating my little dream , there's you . You mustn't take a fall , or publicly back away . I hate that . You're -- you're Arthur Willis . Forgive the hearts and flowers theme '' .

`` I rather like the music '' , Willis replied quietly . `` Thank you '' .

At the meeting , attended by Freddy , Richert , Herberet and the A-Z executive staff , with Mr. Willis presiding , William and Hamrick did indeed run the gantlet . From shock and incredulity , most of the listeners went on to open resistance and animosity .

`` Oh , my God '' , Ham Richert said , `` a little child shall lead them . Move over , General Motors '' .

`` It's absurd , Bill '' , Freddy said , from a pale face . `` You're leading Dad down the garden path '' .

`` Your garden , God damn it '' ! ! William said .

`` I don't enjoy family quarrels '' , Adam said . `` Nor crazy relatives . We're here to transact business . Can't we put an end to this , Arthur '' ? ?

`` Hear me out , please '' , William begged . `` I'm an advertising hustler , I admit , but I have to get hot once in a larger sphere . Sure , Ticonderoga went broke in the low-priced market bucking the Big Three . Their cars weren't small enough , they didn't have the power , they were old-fashioned . They tried to sell 'em on economy and simple merit . We've arrived at an age for romance and snobbery . We've all been rich and spoiled long enough to hate the machine age . Look what those little European jobs are doing . We'll woo the consumer with a product , not bludgeon him with chromed excess length and weight . Let's make it moonlight and the call of far places and a seduction , at reasonable rates . Ticonderoga folded a few minutes too soon , before the tide changed , still honest and stupid -- and the network of dealers the company had is around waiting to be signed up again -- waiting for us , ready-made . We've got rid of the steam yachts and Georgian houses , and the bloated , too-expensive automobile is next . Why not come down smartly in the world , in a chic fashion , with an Allstates-Zenith '' ? ?

He swayed them somewhat , but the debate raged on . Financing emerged as the main obstacle . Mr. Willis made it evident that he had contributed his maximum .

`` Nobody will underwrite it , I'm telling you '' , Freddy said . `` I know what I'm talking about in that department '' .

`` There's plenty of risk money '' , Ham Richert added , `` but not for anything this risky '' .

`` All right '' , William said . `` We'll try to swing the deal on that basis . If we can't raise the capital , we're through . Nothing has been lost . You're up against it anyhow . Why won't you give me a chance '' ? ?

A silence fell . Heads instinctively turned in Willis' direction . He smiled at William and slowly rubbed his hands together .

`` I feel I must answer the question '' , he said , `` since the onus later , if any , should fall on me -- I don't relish recriminations spread broadcast outside my family . I'm not giving you a chance , Bill , but availing myself of your generous offer of assistance . Good luck to you '' .

`` All the in-laws have got to have their day '' , Adam said , and glared at William and Freddy in turn .

Sweat started out on William's forehead , whether from relief or disquietude he could not tell . Across the table , Hamrick saluted him jubilantly with an encircled thumb and forefinger . Nobody else showed pleasure .

Spike-haired , burly , red-faced , decked with horn-rimmed glasses and an Ivy League suit , Jack Hamrick awaited William at the officers' club . `` Hello , boss '' , he said , and grinned . `` I suppose I can never expect to call you ' General ' after that Washington episode '' .

`` I'm afraid not '' .