Chapter 4


Nelson was waiting anxiously in his apartment on the cab to take him to the airport.  As he sat, he thought through his trip to Kentucky, he looked through the legal papers which was given to him on a foreclosure of property the paper owns and gaven him as a bonus. It was 2500 acres of prime land, worth over $20 million.  It was no good to Nelson because it was tied up in court.  Nelson had picked up this habit of simulating almost everything that had any future event he would encounter in his mind, from his experience as a journalist and editor, which gave him keen insight on most things. To his common sense, which he saw as clairvoyance...  He saw the cab and that the trip to Kennedy Airport would be a short one if the cab driver took Shore Parkway to Nassau Expressway that led right to the airport.  Since he had reservation, he would only have to pay for his ticket and check his luggage.  The flight from New York would leave at eleven-forty five that morning and arrive in Lexington at three that afternoon.  His brother would pick him up and they would argue on the thirty-minute ride to the ranch. Charles has a drug problem, they call it ICE.

Then, the cab blew and Nelson was on his way home. 

The flight was non eventful, and as has surmised, he was standing in front of the airport waiting on his brother. He looked at his witch: it was ten until four.  He knew Charles was coming but not when.

“Charles is always late,” he thought, standing beside his luggage.  “He’s my brother, but I swear he can’t do anything right.”

He thought about his mother, and how tough it’s been for her since his father died.  Her bout with beast cancer had taken a lot out of her and since his older brother had come to the ranch to help take care of her, instead of getting better she had gotten worse.  Nelson knew not to be too hard on his brother since Charles felt their father had always favored Nelson over him when they were growing up as children in West Virginia.  No matter what, he was committed to not arguing with his brother.  A few more minutes passed and Nelson could see what he thought was the white pick-up truck he had bought his father before he died.  As the truck got closer, he was certain it was Charles.  The truck pulled up and made a sudden stop.  It was Charles. He got out of the tuck and left the engine running.  Nelson wanted to talk to his brother about hid drug recovery.

“Damn Nelson, it’s good to see you, boy,” Charles said as they gave each other a brief embrace.  “How have you been? Momma can’t wait to see you.  She’s resting right now from that chemo, but other than that she’s doin’ all right.”

“How are things going at the ranch?”  Nelson asked as he loaded his luggage in the back of the truck.  To keep from getting into an argument, he purposely didn’t ask Charles why he was late. They got into the truck and Charles took off so fast that the sound of the tires echoed through the outside of the terminal.  Once they were on their way, Nelson noticed how dirty the truck was inside: beer cans all over the floor, fast food bags on the seat and the truck looked like it hadn’t been washed since it was new.  Nelson could hardly hold his anger about Charles' disregard of the truck.  He sat in silence as Charles drove to I-75 that took them to the ranch. 

“Slow up, Charles.  I want to get to the ranch alive.  You don’t have to drive that fast.”  But, he speeded up.  Nelson sat in silence biting his bottom lip.

When they got to I-75 south, Nelson knew that it would be only minutes and they would be at the ranch.  Once the truck was on the freeway, Charles pulled out a bottle of whisky and turned it up.  Nelson looked over at his brother and bit harder on his bottom lip. 

“Wanna hit?” Charles aaked Nelson.

“No, I don’t want a hit, and you shouldn’t be drinking while you are driving this truck.  The insurance is high enough already.”

“A little nip won’t hurt nothin’,” Charles said as he got the speed up to 95 miles per hour.  “What’s wrong with you Nelson.  That education you got, got you too stiff.  Loosen up and enjoy life.”

“If you don’t slow down, you nor I are going to have a life,” he said in as tolerant a voice he could find.  “Well you please slow up?  You are driving too fast!”

It was a quarter past five when the truck came off the freeway a turned on the side road that lead to the ranch.  Nelson could see the bright red roof of the barn, as he got closer to the ranch.  He reminded himself how lucky he was to have such a find spread.  He had bought the place five years ago as a present to his parents.  He got the 160-acre ranch at an auction for a steal.  Two hundred thousand for a horse ranch with a five-bed room split-level house, two fifteen stable barns, six prized racehorses and a fleet of three trucks and six horse trailers.  He had all of this, on 160 acres of the best blue grass in the State of Kentucky.

“It’s good to be back.  Can I see momma?”  Nelson asked as the truck pulled up in front of the house.”  Where is she?

“She’s asleep now.  Every time she takes that chemotherapy, she goes to sleep.

“I want to take look around after I get my things unpacked.  Where is everybody?  Where are the hands?”  Nelson asked, unloading his luggage from the back of the truck.  “I had to lay everybody off ‘cause we got short on money.  They’ll be back as soon as I can give ‘em  a payday.”

“How come the ranch is short on money when there was enough money to keep this place going for six months?  Where has the money gone?”  Nelson asked carrying his bags into the house and at the same time looking back over his shoulder at Charles.  “What has been going on around here?” Nelson asked.

“Nothing has been goin’ on ‘round here.  We just ran outta money.  What’s so hard to understand about that?”

“What so hard to understand, is what happened to the money when there was more than enough money to keep this place going. . .  that’s what so hard to understand!”

“Now, there you go again. . . I can’t never do nothin' right by your standards,”  Charles said as he slammed the truck door behind him.

“Forget it Charles, I'm going to my room and get unpacked and get into some jeans.  I want to get a look at the horses first thing.  I can’t wait to see Hopeless Cause . . . We should be about ready to get stud fees from him.  Give me a few minutes and I’ll be ready to check things out.” Charles turned quickly away and walked to the kitchen and got a beer out of the refrigerator.

Nelson went to his room and shut the door.  He was proud of himself for not blowing-up at his older brother, but it took some doing.  A number of times since they left the airport, he wanted to explode.

“Are you ready to take a walk?”  Nelson asked, coming from his room, dressed in blue jeans, cowboy boots and a white T-shirt. "Nelson!  Where are you going?" You ready.

“Yeah, I’m ready.  You got dressed quick.”

“There's not much to getting into these things. Let’s go,” Nelson said as he stepped out on the porch of his large split-level house. “We have to start making this place pay for itself.”

“Where you wanna go first?”

“Let’s go to the barn to see the horses.  Who has been taking care of the horses since the hands left?”

“I been doin’ everything ‘round here . . . nobody but me.”

When they got to the barn the doors were off the hinges, paint was peeling everywhere, horse dung was piled up in all the stables and everything looked a mess.  As they walked the length of the barn, passing each stable, Nelson shook his head in disbelief at the how run down the ranch had become.  But he still kept is cool.

“We got to get some help around here to clean this place.”

“I sure do need some help,” Charles said as he walked side by side with his brother.

When they reached the end stable Nelson looked around like he had lost something and

asked, “Where is Hopeless Cause?  Where did you put Hopeless?” Charles didn’t answer.

“Did you hear me?  Where is Hopeless Cause?”  Nelson said, his anger beginning to show.  “Where is my horse?”

There was a moment of silence and Charles finally answered, “I needed money to get momma’s prescription filled.  I had to hock Hopeless Cause to get the money.”

“You what! You mean to tell me you hocked a twenty thousand dollar stud horse!  Are you crazy?”  Nelson was shouting at top of his voice. “You stupid son of a bitch.  Who did you hock it to?  Hopeless Cause is our meal ticket fool, and you hocked him.  Who got him?”

Charles didn’t speak.

“I asked who got him?”  He asked in a rage and started for Charles.  “Are you going to tell me, or am I going to beat it out of you!”

“The Clayton ranch got him.  I hocked it to Mike Clayton.  He said I could get the horse back any time I get the thousand dollars.  Hopeless Cause is in good hands.”

“You stupid asshole! How is my horse in good hands when you hocked it to another rancher?  I got a good mind to run your crazy ass back to West Virginia with the rest of those backwoods hicks.  I see why dad never wanted you around here.  You are just a fuckup... a stupid fuckup.”  Nelson clinched his fists, gave Charles a cold look, turned and walked away cursing.  “I just be damned"

The next morning Nelson woke up even angrier than the day before.  He knew not to mention what Charles had done to his mother while she was fixing breakfast.  She would only make excuses for him like always.  He quickly put on his housecoat on and went to the kitchen to greet his mother.

“Good morning Momma.  What are you doing up fixing breakfast?  I ought to be serving you in bed,” Nelson said as he walked up behind his mother who was standing at the stove cooking eggs.  “Momma, I missed you.  Give a big kiss.”

“Oh Nelson, I missed you too. We haven’t heard from you in months?  Son, where have you been?  You just keep your poor mom worried.  I hate that I was too weak to see you yesterday when you came in, but I had my treatment last week and I been in bed ever since.”  Nelson and his mother hugged each other for over a minute as tears came from their eyes.  “Let me get these eggs off and put you some hotcakes on.  I got your favorite... hotcakes, scramble eggs and beacon.”

“Momma, it seems like years since I’ve eaten my favorite breakfast.  Too much saturated fat will kill you.  I swore off eating those killer breakfasts long ago.”

“Come on, this ain’t gone kill you.  We been eating like this all our life and it ain’t killed me.”

“But, what about dad?” Nelson asked.

“It ain't killed him either, what killed your father was workin’ in them West Virginia coal mines since he was a li’l boy.  Black lung killed your father,” she said while preparing his breakfast. 

“You just sit right down and tell me all about what's been happening with you and I’ll have your breakfast ready in just a minute.”

“What do you want to know, Momma?”

“First, I wanna know if you are back at the ranch for good?  After your father died, you promised that you would be back to help with the ranch.”

“No momma.  I’m not here to stay.”

“Nelson you been single too long.  You need to came back and settle down, get married and raise a family.

“Momma, I probably won’t ever get married, and it will be a long time before I settle down.  I hoping for another teaching job"

“What about the ranch?” she asked

“The ranch is in such a mess.  I need to stay as long as I can, and then I need to run that damn Charles back to the country,” he said not being able to hold hid anger.  Then, his mother sat a plate of hotcakes in front of him at the table.  “How he let this place get in such bad shape, I just don’t understand.  Dad would have run him off long ago.  In fact, dad didn’t allow him to set foot on this place . . . now, I see why.”

“Don’t be so hard on your brother.  He means well but he never got over your father sending you to California to live with your uncle and making him work in the coalmines.  I don’t think Charles will ever get over that.”

“That doesn't give him the reason to be so sorry.  Nothing gives a person a reason to be that sorry,” Nelson said as he poured the thick syrup over the pancakes.  “I've got to go over to the Clayton’s ranch and get Hopeless Cause and then to the bank and check the account.  Momma, you signed all the checks, so how come the ranch ran out of money when there was more than enough to get by on?”

“Charles was keeping up with it, all I did was signed the checks.  I didn’t know what he was doing with the money,

“Its not that bad but we have to cut back because if I get this job, it won’t pay anywhere near what I was making at the Informer.  We've got to turn this into a profitable ranch.  It only takes a little work and discipline.”

“You ain't gonna send your brother back to West Virginia, are you Nelson?" 

"I don’t know.  Why do you ask that?”

“I heard y'all arguing last night . . . I thought I was going to have to get up and break you two up.”

“It was nothing.  Just a misunderstanding.”

“A misunderstanding my foot, y’all were arguing over that horse, Hopeless Cause.  Nelson, you got to be patient with your brother, he don’t mean no harm.”

“He doesn't mean any good either.”

“Nelson, don’t talk about your brother like that.  He don’t mean no harm.”

“Momma, I bought this place for you and dad to enjoy, and now it doesn’t look like the same place.  If Charles were just half the son to you, I wouldn’t have any problems.  But it seems like he gets a kick out of tearing down what I have tried to build up.”

Nelson talked to his mother for most of that morning.  After lunch, he went to pick up Hopeless Cause from the Clayton Ranch.   And a few hours later he was sitting in front of the banker talking about making a deposit.

“It's good to see you Nelson.  Are you back for good?” The banker asked.

“No. I’m just here for a couple of weeks to get the ranch back on track.”

 “How is your mother? I'm sorry to her about the cancer.”

“She's doing better.”

“What can I do for you today?”

“I’ll be here for a week or so, and need to get some work done at the ranch, so I need to know what the balance looks like.”

“The account is overdrawn.  You need to make a deposit.”

“How much overdrawn?”

“Only a few hundred dollars, but the ranch has had an overdraft for over a month.  I know you didn’t want me to let your brother get too far in debt, so I stopped all checks,” the banker explained.  “He came down here last week wanting more Money"

“You were right to not cash it.  He doesn’t know the value of money,” Nelson said.  “I’m going to make a deposit but I need some kind of trust account for the bank to monitor.  Do you have something like that?”

“Sure, we have a checking/savings account that puts a certain amount in the checking each month and not a penny more" That s what I want" Nelson said.

“As soon as you make my deposit. That's what I want”

Nelson opened the moneybag that Justine had given him and dumped the contents on the banker’s desk.  It was $175,000.

“This is $175,000, do you want all this in the account Mr. Barcardi?”

“Yeah, and I also have a check I need to cash too.”

“Yes sir.  Let me make out a deposit slip,” Thde banker said, in shocked from all the money.  “I’ll be right back with your receipt.”

The banher went back to the back of his office and came back eith the receipt.

“Will there be anything else Mr. Barcardi?” he said as he gave Nelson the receipt.

“Yeah, there is one more thing.  I need to make sure the money in the checking account is used for running the ranch.  How can I do that?”

“If you make out a monthly budget, I can make sure all of the budgeted items are paid by check for no more than the budgeted amount without your permission.  That way, you can keep up with the finances of the ranch where ever you are,” the banker explained.  “We do this as part of our service for a number of customers who live out of state.  They just make out a budget, and we will take care of the rest.”

“That sounds like a good idea.  I think I’ll try it.  I’ll get you a budget before I go back to New York.”  Nelson stood, shook the banker’s hand and left the bank.

For the rest of that week and the next, Nelson spent each day cleaning and fixing up around the ranch. He avoided Charles whenever he could, and hired back the two ranch hands and overseer.  After he was satisfied that the ranch was in good hands, and that his mother's health was getting better, he took a flight back to New York.


Chapter 5


Nelson was up at five the next morning after he had gotten back from Kentucky.  He was going over the past two weeks of mail that had piled up.  One letter got his attention: it was address to Dr. Barcardi and had a Lulane University’s letterhead.  Nelson anxiously opened the letter and read it:        

Dear Dr. Barcardi,

Congratulation, you are among the three finalists for the position of Associate Professor of Communication at Lulane University.  The next step in filling this position is the interview process.  Each candidate will have an interview in room 206 of the Administration Building.  Your interview is scheduled for Tuesday July 26, 1993 at 10:30 A.M.  If you have any conflict with the time or date, get back with me and I will reschedule your interview. 
Pamela Jones, Senior Secretary . . . 462-1010.

“All right!”  He said as he put the letter to the side and began to open the other mail.  “Oh Lord July the 26th, that’s today.  The interview is today.”

Nelson jumped from the table and hurried into his small bedroom to check the time.  He picked up his watch from the computer desk.  It was six o’clock and the calendar showed the date July26.  Nelson rushed to the bathroom and turned on the shower.  He went back into is room to get a towel and while he bathed and dressed, he made plans.

“I need to get to Penn Station to catch an early AMTRAK to Boston.  Damn, I would have missed this if I had stayed gone there another day.  Let me get ready and get out of here.”  He was talking to him self.

Nelson had bathed, dressed and was out on the street at 6:30 and flagged down a cab.  One stopped and Nelson gets in.

“Take me to Penn Station.  I got to get the AMTRAK to Boston.”

“You can’t get a train out this early from Penn.  But there is a 7:30 train going to Boston from Grand Central Station.  You want that?” The driver asked.

“Yeah, can you make it in time?”

“Sure, we got plenty of time,” the driver said and pulled off.

The train rocked, rumbled and roared as it traveled north to Boston.  When the train reached the Boston depot, Nelson along with the many other commuters filed off the train in different directions.  As he walked out with his briefcase in his hand, Nelson saw a line of cabs waiting for the commuters.  He approached one and asked the driver, “I need to get to Lulane University, you know where that is?”

“Sho’ do . . . it’s over near the Old Corner Book store.  We can go from here to Cambridge Street to Court Street and you’ll be right there.  You wanna go?” The driver asked.

“Yeah, I need to be there before ten-thirty.”

“If you got there now you would be late.  You need to get there in a hurry, hop in.”

In less than ten minutes the cab was pulling up in front of the campus.  He paid the driver and walked up through an arch shaped entrance on to the ivy covered, classic brick campus. 

“I’m looking for the Administration Building, could you help me?”  Nelson asked a female student who walked by.

“You see that building with the big bell tower, that’s it,” 


While Nelson walked across he was impressed with the beauty of the campus.  The Administration Building was an old Gothic architectural designed surround by newer buildings with Neogothic designs.  The old complemented the new architecture and made the 200-acre campus the jewel of the Ivy Ledge.  He entered the building and took the elevator to the second floor.  He walked down the hall to room 206: it was the presidend’s 'Office.  Nelson paused for a minute at the door before going in, “Why would they be having a job interview in the presidends' office,” he thought.

He turned the doorknob, opened the door and walked in.  Right at the office entrance sat a desk with a middle-aged woman behind it.  He walked to the desk and announced himself.

“Good morning, I'm Nelson Barcardi.  I had a job interview at 10:30, but I’m late,” he said as he looked at his watch to check the time.  “I had a time getting a train here from New York.  Am I too late for my interview?”

“No Dr. Barcardi, they’ve been waiting for you.  We thought something had happened but we didn’t know what.  But you are not too late; they are still back in Dr. Lancaster’s office.  Let me call back there to let them know you are here.”

The secretary picked up the phone receiver, dialed a number and waited for a few seconds.

“Dr. Lancaster, Dr. Barcardi is here for his interview,” she paused and then said.  “OK, I’ll tell him . . . Dr. Barcardi, Dr. Lancaster said they’ll be with you in a minute.”

“Thank you,” he said.

“You can have a seat . . . would you like me to get you some coffee?”

“No, thank you.  I’m fine.”  Nelson took a seat in a chair sitting against the wall across from the secretary’s desk.  As he sat waiting, he tried to avoid looking at the secretary as she stared at him.  Her staring made Nelson uneasy.  He could see that he was the focus of all her attention, but he refused to make eye contact.  Then her phone rang.  She picked it up and listened.

“Yes sir, I’ll send him back right now,” she said and hung up the phone.  “Dr. Barcardi, you can go back now."
              She got up and led him down a hall to the last office on the right.

“Thank you,” he said.

Nelson gave a light tap on the door and then opened it and saw a very large polished desk with a small, neatly dressed, gray-headed man sitting behind it in a large leather chair.  Nelson looked to his left, and there sat a middle-aged man, sloppily dressed in a pair of black pants with a white shirt unevenly tucked around his waist. Sitting next to him was a younger man who stood up to greet him.  They both were sitting across from the man at the big desk, who Nelson figured was the president.

“I’m Dr. Goodwell, the chairman of the department, and it’s my pleasure to meet you Dr. Barcardi,” the man who stood to greet him said.

“Have a seat Dr. Barcardi,” came from the man behind the desk.  “I’m Dr. Lancaster, president of Lulane University.  We thought you had stood us up, please have a seat.”

“No, it’s not that . . . I just missed my train,” Nelson said.

The sloppily dressed man stood and extended his hand, “I’m Paul Means, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.” Nelson sat in a chair reserved for him between the two men who sat across from the president. “It’s good to meet you Dean Means.”

Dr. Lancaster picked up a folder.  “You have some impressive credentials Dr. Barcardi.”


“I see you graduated at the top of your doctoral class at Brinkley . . . you are also Phi Beta Kappa.  A number of our faculty graduated from Brinkley, and are Phi Beta Kappa.”

“I owe a lot to Brinkley . . . I got a quality education there,” Nelson said.

“I see you spent five years at Southeastern University.  What did you do there?”

“Well, when I left I was a full professor.  I taught on the graduate level, and did research in computer application for the Mass. media.”

“What did you teach?” Dr. Lancaster asked 

“Writing composition, media law and a media technology course that the department offered.”

“What happened at The Informer? You really exposed a lot of corruption in the Big Apple.  I thought you did a great job at taking a weekly rag like The Informer and turning it into a mainstream newspaper,” Dr. Goodwell said, interrupting Dr. Lancaster, as he sat on the edge of his chair trying to get Nelson's attention.  “I remember when you did the series on the drug lords in New York and said that you would reveal their names in the final article.  I mean, you had this whole country waiting on that paper.  Quite frankly, I thought they would put a hit on you.”

“Well, it was a little pushy and dangerous, but things got settled behind the scenes and the mob let me off,” Nelson said with a big grin on his face.

“What happened at The Informer?  Everybody kept up with your case in the news . . . but in your own words, what happened?”

“It’s hard for me to say.  Some said I got to big and wouldn’t listen to anybody.  Some said that powerful people were ready to do anything to get me out of the way.  I think I out lived my usefulness.  I always believed that there is an art to knowing when to leave.  I think I just didn't know when to leave.”

“Do you think you are ready to go back into the classroom?” Dr. Lancaster asked,  “It’s not like being the editor of The Informer, and it certainly doesn't pay like The Informer.”

"Right now, I am more interested in being effective in society rather than commenting or criticizing it.  I feel like I have a lot of experience to relate to young people and I am ready to commit.

“That's what I wanted to hear and we need to fill this position.  If we accept your application, how soon can you start?”  Dr. Goodwell asked.

“I can start immediately."

“OK, any more question. . . Dean Means, do you need to ask Dr. Barcardi anything else?” Dr. Lancaster asked.


“Dr. Goodwell, you have any more questions?”


“Well Dr. Barcardi, that’s it.  We have two more people to interview, and we will be getting back to you in a few days and let you know our decision.”

"That's all."

"Yes, that's all."

“Thank you for considering me and I'm very sorry I was late,” Nelson said, stood and walked out.

“What do you guys think?”  Dr. Lancaster asked after Nelson left the room.  “Paul, what do you think?”

“I think he is good, but he brings some baggage with the law suit and all.  I’ll reserve my opinion of Dr. Barcardi until w

“Dr. Goodwell, what do you think?”

“I would hire him today if it were left up to me.  He’s got what we need, and I think he is a real scholar.  We need people like Nelson Barcardi around here.”


“I like him too but we’ll see.  Let’s get some lunch.”     


Chapter 6      

It had been a little over two weeks since Nelson’s interview for the position at Lulane.  The August 1, dead line for filing the position had passed, and Nelson felt certain that he had been overlooked for the job.  He was fed up with New York and was planning to go back to his ranch in Kentucky and continue his job search.  He had packed and sent his books, old Macintosh computer and other personal items to Kentucky the week before.  All that was left were his clothes and the Powerbook that Dan had given him.  He had promised the landlord that he would be out by the first of the month. Nelson was going over some papers from the lawsuit when his phone rings.  He picked it up.


“Could I speak to Dr. Barcardi?”  A voice asked.
            “This is he.”

            “Dr. Barcardi, this is Dr. Goodwell at Lulane.”

            “Oh hello, Dr. Goodwell!”  Nelson said with great anticipation.  “How are you, it’s good to head from you.”

“I wanted to get in touch with you earlier but we just made the decision about the position yesterday.  It’s yours if you are still interested.” Nelson paused for a moment.

“Sure, I’m still interested.  When do I start?”


“Can you be in my office Monday morning at nine for a brief orientation?”

“Yes, I can be there.”

“Good.  My office is on the second floor of the Communications building . . . it’s right across from the Administration building, where you had your interview,” Dr. Goodwell said.   “I’ll fill you in on your contract and we can put you to work when you get here.”

“Thank you, Dr. Goodwell.  I’ll see you Monday morning.”


“Great.  I’ll see you then.  You have a nice weekend.”

“You too,” Nelson said and hung up the phone.          

Nelson stood, smiled, took a deep breath and said, “All right!  I’m on my way to Boston!”

He decided not to waste any more time in New York.  He wanted to be in Boston by the weekend so he could check things out and start looking for a place to live.  That day would be all the time he needed to finish packing and square up with the landlord and by Saturday morning he could be in Boston.  That very thought was enough to motivate him to hurry and get packed.

The weather was very hot that Saturday morning as Nelson boarded the train.  He slept all through the three-hour trip, and had to be awakened by the porter when the train pulled into the Boston train station.“Sir . . . Sir!  We're is in Boston.  Sir!  We're in Boston!”  The porter said tugging on Nelson’s shoulder.              “Hum. . . hum. . . we are in Boston already?”  he asked stretching his arms.  “I must have slept all the way.”

“You did sir.  Do you need help with your bags?”

“Yes, and I need to find a hotel for a few days.  It needs to be in walking distance to Lulane University.  Can you help me with that?”

“I can’t but any of the cab driver will be able to help you.  Just ask ‘em  and they’ll fix you right up.”   “Give me your baggage checks and  I’ll get them and meet you out front,” the porter said.

Nelson left the train and waited in the lobby for the porter.  He came with the luggage and they went out side. The porter loaded the luggage into a cab and Nelson was off to a new city and a new job.

“You said you wanted to get in walking distance to Lulane University.  You can’t get any closer than this,” the cab driver said as the cab pulled up to a third rate motel.  “It ain’t the best in town but it’s close to Lulane.  You want it?”

“Yes, I want it,”  Nelson said getting out of the cab.  “Wait while I get a room and I’ll be right back.”

Nelson came back to the cab with a room key, paid the driver, unloaded his luggage and went to his room. That weekend he did a lot of thinking about his new position and how much of a change it would from the fast life of a big time newspaper editor. Sunday night Nelson spent most of his time fooling with the Powerbook and going over old course outlines and syllabus he used when he taught at Southeastern.  He had gone to the campus several times the day before and was well familiar with the campus layout and exactly where the Communications building was located.he campus was empty when Nelson reported to work that Monday morning.   Except for an occasional maintenance man working on the outside of a building or an office worker carrying papers from one building to another; Lulane was a ghost town.  It was a quarter to nine when he entered the Communications building and went upstairs to Dr. Goodwill’s office.   The front part of the office was a reception area with a desk in the center and chairs lined along the walls.  Back of the desk was an open corridor with two other offices, a bathroom and a storage room.  One of the offices was labeled Dr. Goodwell, Department Chairman and the other Faculty Conference Room.

Behind the desk sat the secretary, a very striking young Black woman.  Nelson walked over to her and before he could announce himself she spoke, “ Good morning, can I help you?“Yes, I’m Dr. Barcardi and I have a meeting with Dr. Goodwell at nine.”

Upon hearing his name the young woman stood and extended her hand and said, “It my pleasure Dr. Barcardi.  Everybody around here is excited about you coming to Lulane.  I hope you like it here.”

“I think I will,” he said as he shook the young woman’s hand.  “I think I will.”

“By the way, my name is Pamela Jones, I’m Dr. Goodwill’s secretary.  He is in his office and is expecting you.  Let me go tell him you are here,” she said walking to Dr. Goodwill’s door.  “I’ll be right back.”

Nelson couldn’t help but notice how attractive Pam was. When she returned from the office, she when back to her desk.

"Dr. Goodwell will be right out, just have a seat," she said with a big smile.

“Thank you,” he replied and took a seat in one of the chairs lined up around the walls.  “May I call you Pam?”
            “Yes, everybody does.”

“Thanks Pam.”

“You are welcome,” she said as she continued to smile at him.  “Did you have a hard time finding the campus?”

“No, not really.  I been on campus before . . . when I had my interview for this position.”

They both smiled for a moment, then the door to the office opened.”“Good to see you again Dr. Barcardi.  I see you found everything all right,” Dr. Goodwell said and walked over to greet Nelson.  Nelson stood and they shook hands. “Come on back and let’s get started.  Miss Jones hold all my calls.”

“Yes sir, Dr. Goodwell.”

“Have a seat Dr. Barcardi.”  Dr. Goodwell said after they reached his office. He then motioned toward a chair. “How was your trip?”

“It was OK.”

“Where are you staying?”

“At a little hotel close to the university.”

“I took the liberty to ask one of the faculty members to put you up until you can find a place.”

“That won't be necessary . . . I’ll just stay at the hotel until I find a place.  It’s within walking distance and I won't have an excuse for not getting to class on time.”

“I’ve already asked Dr. Winston if she would put you up and she's been expecting you.  It wouldn’t want hurt her feelings if you didn't accept her offer.  You’ve heard of Sylvia Winston, haven't you?”

“No.  Should I know her?”“I think so.  She's just one of the leading novelist in this country today.  Her latest novel has been on the bestsellers list for three months.  We have a number of distinguished faculty members.  But Dr. Winston is the best known,” Dr. Goodwell said with pride.  “Our president is a Noble Prize winner.  Lulane has three other Noble Prize winners... one in chemistry and two from the math department.”

“Oh, yeah . . . I read about that some where.”

“We are very proud of our faculty members.  They bring high prestige to this place,” he said to Nelson.  “That’s why I wouldn’t want to hurt Sylvia’s feeling . . . she done so much for the department and the university.  Plus she lives in a nice place in Cambridge.”

“No problem . . . I’ll stay there until I find a place.”

“Thank you Dr. Barcardi, you won’t regret it.  If you ever need transportation, we have a motor pool just for faculty and administrators.  Nobody ever uses it because of the paper work.”

“How much paper work is there to check out a car?”

“Signing your name and keeping up with the miles,”

Dr. Goodwell replied and Nelson laughed.

“I’m expecting Dr. Winston shortly.  I also asked her to show you around campus.  So, we need to get down to business,” Dr. Goodwell said and picked up a class schedule from his desk.  “I’m not going to work you too hard this semester . . . you will only be teaching two class this Fall.”

“Thank you for the consideration.  What two classes do you have in mind?’

“Writing composition and media law.  It was on you resume that you taught the same at Southeastern.”

“Yes, I did.”

“So you won’t have any trouble with that.”

“As a matter of fact, I have my old notes. What is the schedule?”

“Composition is at 10:45 A.M. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  And media law is Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30 P.M.  Both classes are graduate level and you can set your own time to advise students.”

“What about the contract?”

“It's a continuing contract for three years.  If you don’t make tenure, the contract will not be renewed for the forth year,” he said and handed Nelson the contract.  “With your experience, we decided to pay you at the top range: $125,000 a year . . . total medical coverage.  As you can see Lulane has good benefits.”

“I see.”

“Your office is on this floor.  If you go out of the reception area, it’s the third office down the hall to your right . . . room 210.  I had it cleaned out last week.”


“We have a tight schedule this week with registration and all.  Classes start Monday.  You have the Faculty Senate to go to tomorrow, and we’ll have our first department meeting Thursday.  Do you have any questions Dr. Barcardi?”

“Yes, I have one or two.”

“OK, go ahead.”

“Why is the tenure track so short. I know some places where it's five years"

“It was the policy when I came to Lulane, but as I understand it, the three year track is to allow the administration to recruit and keep the best.”

“Where will my classes be taught?”

“Most of the classes in our department are taught in this building, either on this floor or the first floor.”

“And Dr. Winston, you're sure she won’t mind my staying with her for a few days?”

“No.  She’s glad to do it.  She should be out front now.  She offered to show you around campus.  Let me see.”  He picked up the phone and dial. “Miss Jones is Dr. Winston out there? No she answered. 

“Dr. Winston called and said she would be late because her book signing has been delayed this morning. “ Pam said.

“Is there any thing else you need to know Nelson.”

“I can’t think of anything right now.”

“Well good.  And welcome to Lulane University.  For any office supplies or if you have any question I can’t answer just ask Miss Jones.”  Dr. Goodwell stood and extended his hand.

“OK Dr. Goodwell, I can find my way out.  Thank you for you time.”  Nelson went back to the reception area and found Pam standing at her desk waiting for him.
Pam was on the phone talking to Dr. Winston,  and when she hung up the phone, she looked at Nelson saying, “Dr. Winston is coming, but she asked me to show you around until until she gets back on campus.
“Dr. Barcardi, are you ready for me to show you around?”  Pam smiled and moved toward the door,  still smiling.

“All right.  Where are we going first?”  He asked and smiled back.  Nelson hadn’t smiled in a long time, and the thought of this young black woman showing him around made him feel good. 

“We can just take a walk to the library and that will give you a good look at everything,” Pam said as she opened the door.  “People have been talking about you when the word got around that you had applied for a position at Lulane.”

“Hum. Oh yeah.  Good are bad?"  Nelson asked as they walked side by side as they up the stairs to the library.

“They were all good things,” she said as she looked at him. Her warm smile was contagious, changing Nelson's usual stoic features.

“I never heard of you until some of the faculty members were talking about what a great editor they thought you were.”

“Well that is all in the past and now I’am here to live the quite life.”

“I hope you don't mean to be too quiet. We have a lot of great people in the department. But, we could use a few bright lights. This is the Science Building,” Pam said sounding like a tour guide.  “You know, we have two Noble Prize winners who work in there.”

Nelson was silent as she continued to talk.

“Over there is the Gymnasium.  Lulane made it to the conference playoffs last year.”  As they walked around the campus Nelson noticed that the few people who were on campus seemed to stare at them as they approached.  “Over there are the men's and women's dormitories, and that tall dorm is coed.”

“How long have you been working here?”  Nelson asked Pam.

Pam looked at him, “I’ve been here going on eight years.  That’s a long time ain’t it?”

“Not really.  Not if you like what you are doing.  But how did a nice girl like you get in a place like this?”

“I’am lucky I guess,” she said as the smile on here face turned to a concerned look.  “I first came here on a job training program when I finished high school.  I took two years of secretarial training and they gave me a position as a clerk typist in the Biology Department and when this position came open I applied for it and been here ever since.”

“So you’ve been in the department for about five years?"

“Or a little longer.”

“Where do you live?”

“I live with my mother and my sister in West Roxbury.”

“I’ve heard of Roxbury but I don’t know where it is.”

“And you don’t want to know.”

“Why is that?”

“Take my word for it, you don’t want to know anything about Roxbury,” she stopped and pointed. “Over there is the new library under construction.  It will hold over fifty thousands volumes and that's the end of your guided campus tour. " Pam explined.

"Hope you enjoyed it,” she said, laughing. "Now, we can get back, Dr. Winston should be there by now."

On the way back they laughed at each other’s jokes and acted as if they were long time friends.  People continued to look hard at them as they walked together, and they joked about that.  When they reached the office they where still laughing and joking.  When Nelson opened the door for Pam and they walked into the reception area a tall, slender very attractive blond woman in her mid-thirties was standing in the center of the reception area talking with Dr. Goodwell. 

Pam immediately stopped talking and hurried to her desk under a hard stare from the well dressed blond.

“Dr. Barcardi, this is Dr. Sylvia Winston.  The faculty member I was telling you about,” Dr. Goodwell announced.

"We've been waiting for for you."


Chapter 7 

“Thank you again, Dr. Winston, for putting me up until I find a place.”          

“Don’t mention it.  And please, just call me Sylvia.”

“Well thank you Sylvia,” Nelson said as he sat in the passenger’s seat of her green 93 Jaguar coupe headed north on Mass. Ave. toward the Cambridge suburb.  “Also, let me congratulate you for your book being on the best sellers list.  I think that is exceptional.”

 “Thank you, I appreciated that,” Sylvia responded, looking briefly at Nelson with a smile, as she drove.  “So who is Nelson Barcardi?  Tell me something about yourself.  What have you been doing since you left The Informer?"  

 "Well it’s not much to tell . . . not much you all ready don’t know.  I’m not married, never has been.  I love teaching when there’s nothing exciting to do.  And that’s about it. “ He replied. For the last six months since I left The Informer,  I’ve been working on the appeal from the liable suit against me.”

“How is that going?”

“It going.  All the paper work has been filed and the attorneys are working on the briefs.  I think if case law is applied, as I understand it,  I can’t lose.  But I thought that I would win before the jury trial.”

Sylvia turned off Mass. Ave. and continued to a posh residential area.  The Jaguar took a few turns and then came to a large house with a  big steel gated fence.  Sylvia reached for a remote control device and clicked it.  The big steel gate opened.  As  the Jaguar drive through the gate, it closed behind us.

“What do you think about Lulane so far?”

“I think I well like it.” He said.

“Good.  I hope so, we need good professors.”  She then parked the car in front of this big two-story mansion with seven pillars across a wide porch.  “Here we are.  I’m having the guesthouse cleaned, but for now you can stay in one the extra bedrooms in the main house.  Do you need me to help you with your bags?”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.  You have done too much all ready.  Sylvia you are being more than nice.”
            “Think nothing of it,” she said as she walked to the front door to open it.  “You sure you don’t need any help?”

“Thank you.  I can make it.”

Nelson entered a small vestibule of the house that opened on an oversize living area with fourteen foot ceilings, apricot walls with gloss white trim and all white furniture placed carefully on a forest green, deep plush carpet. Sylvia stepped behind and whet to a gleaming mahogany bar and began fixing drinks.  

“Can I get you a drink?”  Sylvia asked as Nelson stood with his bags on the carpet, looking around the room.  “You can just leave your things there and I’ll show you to your room later.”

“This is a very nice place, very well done.”

“Thank you.  To me it’s just home.” Sylvia said.

“You have some home here.  Do you live here alone?”

“Yes, for now . . . but I’m always looking for the right man to share this with,” she said looking at Nelson.  “What can I get for you Nelson?”

“I'll have a Scotch on the rocks,” he said as he joined her at the bar.

“I think we can handle that,” she said as she opened a bottle of Johnny Walker Black, poured it over a glass of ice and handed it to him  “Here's to you, Nelson Barcardi, and may you have a good tenure at Lulane.”

“I’ll buy that,” he said and touched his glass to hers and took a long sip of his drink. “Haaa, the first drink always goes down hard.  Do you mind if I smoke?”

“No, go ahead.  Do you want another Scotch?”

“Sure do.”  Nelson lit a cigarette, drained his drink as he sat on one of the three bar stools.  “How long have you been at Lulane?”

“This makes my sixth year,” she answered as she poured him another drink.

Sylvia came around from behind the bar, sat down on a stool between them and turned to face him.  As she crossed her long shapely legs her dress rose to a very high level up her thighs.  He tried not to notice but this beautiful sight got his attention.

“Nelson tell me more about yourself.  I heard so much about you,  yet, you say there’s not much to know.  You ran one of the most influential weekly newspapers in this country.  I know there’s something to tell about that.  You are a good looking single man, and surely there’s a story behind that.”

“Well, some say I took a rag and turned it into a respected medium, but I say I turned The National Informer into a social cause and then lost my war for justice.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I took that paper and turned it into an advocate of social justice, and the social injustice that I was able to destroy for others with the paper,  ended up doing me in and I couldn’t use the paper to save myself,” he answered as he sipped his drink. “That’s the paradox!”

“Couldn’t you go to another paper and do the same thing?”

“Yeah, I guess I could, but you reach and level of ultimate frustration when you work to make things better for people and the people your help the most don’t have the conscience to know that you are even doing them.  Of course I got the satisfaction of sending a corrupt politician to prison and exposing some of these sick institutions, but it's better to have the people you are really working for,  appreciate what you are doing.”

Sylvia sat quietly as she listened to him.  It had been often said that Nelson talked too much after a couple of drinks.

“What has happened to the paper since you left?”

“They are doing better than ever.  I taught several people there how to write and edit, so they're handle the paper very well.  They are really better off now that I’m gone . . . I accumulated too much unwanted baggage in the seven years I was there.  Too many important people hated me.  Too many people wanted to see me destroyed.  Either I wrote something about them or their family, friends or all the above.”

“I didn’t know things were that bad.” He said with remorse.

“Things were bad all right,” Nelson said as he poured another drink from the Scotch bottle Sylvia had left on the bar.  “Yeah, there are a lot of people who wanted to see me get it, and cheered  Pacific International for winning a liable suit against me.”

“You talk like your past experiences have turned you bitter,” Sylvia said in a soft voice as she moved to the bar stool next very close to Nelson.  “Are you in Boston so you can just forget about the past and develop a new life here at Lulane?”

“That's about right,” he said as he felt her soft breast gently brush his shoulder as she reached for her glass she left on the bar.  “I, I think you or right.  But I’ve had too much to drink and I’m going to need to get my things unpacked and get some early rest if I’m going to be fit for my first day on the job.  It’s a delight to talk to you Sylvia.” He said knowing she more than flirting with him. 

“You never did say why you are still single,” she said as placed a hand on his arm.  “What’s your problem?”

“No problem with me. It just that no woman can put up with me for over two days.  And I’m really not the marrying kind.  At least not now.”  Nelson slid off the stool.  “Could you point me to the guest room and I'll get my things unpacked”

“OK, if you are tired,” she said.  “Follow me, it’s right down this hall.”

He picked up some of his luggage and followed her to a room larger than his whole apartment in Benson Hurst.  It had its own bath, two king size beds and plenty of closet space.

“Thank you,” he said after he entered the room.  “I think this is big enough.”

Sylvia laughed and said as she nothing left, “I going to call out for some Chinese food, you want some?”

“I’m fine for now, but you enjoy yourself, and I'll see you in the morning
           What's next? Wouldn't like to know!