Tycoon by Harold Robbins Read Free Book Online

Book: Tycoon by Harold Robbins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Harold Robbins
can I do for you, Jack?”
    Jack reached inside his jacket and took out his billfold. From it he took a certified check for $300,000 and handed it to his father-in-law. It represented all but a little of what was left of the money his grandfather had given him.
    â€œWhat’s this?”
    â€œI want to exercise my option and buy three thousand more shares of WCHS, Incorporated.”
    Harrison Wolcott stared at the check for a long moment.
    He had formed WCHS, Incorporated in 1931 to buy the radio station and had given Jack and Kimberly two thousand of the ten thousand shares as their wedding present. He had given them an option to buy the remaining shares at 1931 book value. In March of 1932 Jack had exercised the option and bought another thousand shares. Now he was buying three thousand more, which would give him 60 percent and clear control. Harrison Wolcott, who had not been told of the money bestowed upon Jack by his grandfather, had supposed it would take Jack a minimum of ten years, maybe even fifteen or twenty, to gain control of the corporation.
    â€œYou didn’t borrow this?”
    â€œNo, sir. My grandfather gave it to me. He wanted me to have a business of my own.”
    The older man grinned, though not without some irony in his expression. “Well, you now have a business of your own.”
    â€œI hope this in no way offends you,” said Jack.
    â€œNot at all. I think I’ve refrained from interfering in your management of the business.”
    â€œOf course you have. I’ve been aware, though, that you’ve had a lot of capital tied up in WCHS, and I’ve felt an obligation to release you from that.”
    Jack said that before he realized he shouldn’t have. It would take Harrison Wolcott less than five minutes to figure out that he’d had the money to exercise the option for a long time and was exercising it now only because he had become satisfied that the business was a success.
    He essayed a repair: “Of course, I was reluctant to invest all my grandfather gave me until I could feel reasonably sure I wouldn’t lose it.”
    â€œDo you want to make changes in the membership of the board of directors?” Wolcott asked.
    Jack shook his head. “I want you to remain as chairman of the board, if you will consent.”
    â€œVery well. I congratulate you. There is, uh, only one element of this to which I could possibly take exception. I—”
    â€œWhat is that?” Jack interrupted nervously.
    The older man turned the check over and over in his hands. “When you and I do business, Jack, don’t give me certified checks and don’t expect certified checks from me. I will accept your personal check for any amount, and I expect you to accept mine.”
    T HE HOUSE ON L OUISBURG S QUARE WAS NOT READY FOR ANY elaborate entertaining until the spring of 1934.
    Although Jack had made a liberal budget available to Kimberly for redecorating the house, the money was not enough,and she accepted generous gifts from her mother and father. Mrs. Wolcott accompanied her when she shopped for rugs and furniture and often paid for her purchases.
    Kimberly was determined to turn the house into a showplace. She had the floors in all the principal rooms sanded and refinished. Then she bought Oriental carpets and placed them so as to expose and display the rich pegged oak. For the living room she bought a thirty-year-old Bakhtiari Persian rug, woven in a bold geometric pattern of bright colors. In the dining room she laid a Laver Kerman rug of darker colors and more elaborate pattern. In the center of the library she placed a smaller Indian rug. Since this one had not been woven by Muslims, it featured prowling tigers, running elephants, and chariot-borne hunters, all in a stylized landscape of fantastic foliage.
    Most of the furniture from the smaller house was moved to Louisburg Square, but some of it was banished to the bedrooms. For the

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