Certainly, said Mr. Mirchandani, his eyes saying no way. I am sure there is an innocent explanation.
Kickbacks, he was implying. A payoff. Anybody who managed, as Mr. Mirchandani did, to keep a steady stream of cousins and nieces flowing in from the Punjab to make beds in his motels and wash cars at his gas stations without running afoul of the authorities at either end, was likely to find his thoughts running along those lines. It was almost as hard for Archy to imagine Flowersthat stiff-necked, soft-spoken, and everlastingly correct man, a hero in the neighborhood since Lionel Wilson daystaking kickbacks from some showboating ex-QB, but then Archy tended to make up for his hypercritical attitude toward the condition of vinyl records by going too easy on human beings.
Anyways, its too late, right? Archy said. Deal already fell through. The bank got cold feet. Goode lost his financing, something like that?
I dont really understand American football, said S. S. Mirchandani. But I am told that when he was a player, Gibson Goode was quite famous for something called having a scramble.
The option play, Nat said. For a while there, he was pretty much impossible to sack.
Archy took the baby back from Nat Jaffe. G Bad was a slippery motherfucker, he agreed.
Excerpted from Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Chabon. Excerpted by permission of Harper. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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