'You would not have known,' Baynes said, 'because I do not in any physical way appear Jewish; I
have had my nose altered, my large greasy pores made smaller, my skin chemically lightened, tife
shape of my skull changed. In short, physically I cannot be detected. I can and have often walked in
the highest circles of Nazi society. No one will ever discover me. And-' He paused, standing close,
very close to Lotze and speaking in a low voice which only Lotze could hear. 'And there are others
of us. Do you hear? We did not die. We still exist. We live on unseen.'
After a moment Lotze stuttered, 'The Security Police — '
'The SD can go over my record,' Baynes said. 'You can report me. But I have very high
connections. Some of them are Aryan, some are other Jews in top positions in Berlin. Your report
will be discounted, and then, presently, I will report you. And through these same connections, you
will find yourself in Protective Custody.' He smiled, nodded and walked up the aisle of the ship,
away from Lotze, to join the other passengers.
Everyone descended the ramp, onto the cold, windy field. At the bottom, Baynes found himself
once more momentarily near Lotze.
'In fact,' Baynes said, walking beside Lotze, 'I do not like your looks, Mr. Lotze, so I think I will
report you anyhow.' He strode on, then, leaving Lotze behind.
At the far end of the field, at the concourse entrance, a large number of people were waiting.
Relatives, friends of passengers, some of them waving, peering, smiling, looking anxious, scanning
faces. A heavyset middle-aged Japanese man, well-dressed in a British overcoat, pointed Oxfords,
bowler, stood -a little ahead of the others, with a younger Japanese beside him. On his coat lapel he
wore the badge of the ranking Pacific Trade Mission of the Imperial Government. There he is,
Baynes realized. Mr. N. Tagomi, come personally to meet me.
Starting forward, the Japanese called, 'Herr Baynes — good evening.' His head tilted hesitantly.
'Good evening, Mr. Tagomi,' Baynes said, holding out his hand. They shook, then bowed. The
younger Japanese also bowed, beaming.
'Bit cold, sir; on this exposed field,' Mr. Tagomi said. 'We shall begin return trip to downtown
city by Mission helicopter. Is that so? Or do-you need to use the facilities, and so forth?' He
scrutinized Mr. Baynes' face anxiously.
'We can start right now,' Baynes said. 'I want to check in at my hotel. My baggage, however — '
'Mr. Kotomichi will attend to that,' Mr. Tagomi said. 'He will follow. You see, sir, at this
terminal it takes almost an hour waiting in line to claim baggage. Longer than your trip.'
Mr. Kotomichi smiled agreeably.
'All right,' Baynes said.
Mr. Tagomi said, 'Sir, I have a gift to graft.'
'I beg your pardon?' Baynes said.
'To invite your favorable attitude.' Mr. Tagomi reached into his overcoat pocket and brought out
a small box. 'Selected from among the finest objects d'art of America available.' He held out the
'Well,' Baynes said. 'Thanks.' He accepted the box.
'All afternoon assorted officials examined the alternatives,' Mr. Tagomi said. 'This is most
authentic of dying old U.S. culture, a rare retained artifact carrying flavor of bygone halcyon day.'
Mr. Baynes opened the box. In it lay a Mickey Mouse wristwatch on a pad of black velvet.
Was Mr. Tagomi playing a joke on him? He raised his eyes, saw Mr. Tagomi's tense, concerned
face. No, it was not a joke. 'Thank you very much,' Baynes said. 'This is indeed incredible.'
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'Only few, perhaps ten, authentic 1938 Mickey Mouse watches in all world today,' Mr. Tagomi
said, studying him, drinking in his reaction, his appreciation. 'No collector known to me has one,
They entered the air terminal and together ascended the ramp.
Behind them Mr. Kotomichi said, 'Harusame ni nuretsutsu yane no temari kana. . .'
'What is that?' Mr. Baynes said to Mr. Tagomi.
'Old poem,' Mr. Tagomi said. 'Middle Tokugawa Period.'
Mr. Kotomichi said, 'As the spring rains fall, soaking in them, on the roof, is a child's rag ball.'
As Frank Frink watched his ex-employer waddle down the corridor and into the main work area of
W-M Corporation he thought to himself, The Strange thing about Wyndam-Matson is that he does
not look like a man who owns a factory. He looks like a Tenderloin bum, a wino, who has been
given a bath, new clothes, a shave, haircut, shot of vitamins, and set out into the world with five
dollars to find a new life. The old man had a weak, shifty, nervous, even ingratiating manner, as if
he regarded everyone as a potential enemy stronger than he, whom he had to fawn on and pacify.
'They're going to get me,' his manner seemed to say.
And yet old W-M was really very powerful. He owned controlling interests in a variety of
enterprises, speculations, real estate. As well as the W-M Corporation factory.
Following after the old man, Frink pushed open the big metal door to the main work area. The
rumble of machinery, which he had heard around him every day for so long — sight of men at the
machines, air filled with flash of light, waste dust, movement. There went the old man. Frink
increased his pace.
'Hey, Mr. W-M!' he called.
The old man had stopped by the hairy-armed shop foreman, Ed McCarthy. Both of them glanced
up as Frink came toward them.
Moistening his lips nervously, Wyndam-Matson said, 'I'm sorry, Frank; I can't do anything about
taking you back. I've already gone ahead and hired someone to take your place, thinking you
weren't coming back. After what you said.' His small round eyes flickered with what Frink knew to
be an almost hereditary evasiveness. It was in the old man's blood.
Frink said, 'I came for my tools. Nothing else.' His own voice, he was glad to hear, was firm,
'Well, let's see,' W-M mumbled, obviously hazy in his own mind as to the status of Frink's tools.
To Ed McCarthy he said, 'I think that would be in your department, Ed. Maybe you can fix Frank
here up. I have other business.' He glanced at his pocket watch. 'Listen, Ed. I'll discuss that invoice
later; I have to run along.' He patted Ed McCarthy on the arm and then trotted off, not looking
Ed McCarthy and Frink stood together.
'You came to get your job back,' McCarthy said after a time.
'Yes,' Frink said.
'I was proud of what you said yesterday.'
'So was I,' Frink said. 'But — Christ, I can't work it out anywhere else.' He felt defeated and
hopeless. 'You know that.' The two of them had, in the past, often talked over their problems.
McCarthy said, 'I don't know that. You're as good with that flex-cable machine as anybody on
the Coast. I've seen you whip out a piece in five minutes, including the rouge polishing. All the way
from the rough Cratex. And except for the welding — '
'I never said I could weld,' Frink said.
'Did you ever think of going into business on your own?'
Frink, taken by surprise, stammered, 'What doing?'
'Aw, for Christ's sake!'
'Custom, original pieces, not commercial.' McCarthy beckoned him over to a corner of the shop,
away from the noise. 'For about two thousand bucks you could set up a little basement or garage
shop. One time I drew up designs for women's earrings and pendants. You remember — real
modern contemporary.' Taking scratch paper, he began to draw, slowly, grimly.
Peering over his shoulder, Frink saw a bracelet design, an abstract with flowing lines. 'Is there a
market?' All he had ever seen were the traditional — even antique — objects from the past.
'Nobody wants contemporary American; there isn't any such thing, not since the war.'
'Create a market,' McCarthy said, with an angry grimace.
'You mean sell it myself?'
'Take it into retail shops. Like that — what's it called? On Montgomery Street, that big ritzy art
'American Artistic Handcrafts,' Frink said. He never went into fashionable, expensive stores such
as that. Few Americans did; it was the Japanese who had the money to buy from such places.
'You know what retailers like that are selling?' McCarthy said. 'And getting a fortune for? Those
goddam silver belt buckles from New Mexico that the Indians make. Those goddam tourist trash
pieces, all alike. Supposedly native art.'
For a long time Frink regarded McCarthy. 'I know what else they sell,' he said finally. 'And so do
'Yes,' McCarthy said.
They both knew — because they had both been directly involved, and for a long time.
W-M Corporation's stated legal business consisted in turning out wrought-iron staircases,
railings, fireplaces, and ornaments for new apartment buildings, all on a mass basis, from standard
designs. For a new forty-unit building the same piece would be executed forty times in a row.
Ostensibly, W-M Corporation was an iron foundry. But in addition, it maintained another business
from which its real profits were derived.
Using an elaborate variety of tools, materials, and machines, W-M Corporation turned out a
constant flow of forgeries of pre-war American artifacts. These forgeries were cautiously but
expertly fed into the wholesale art object market, to join the genuine objects collected throughout
the continent. As in the stamp and coin business, no one could possibly estimate the percentage of
forgeries in circulation. And no one — especially the dealers and the collectors themselves —
When Frink had quit, there lay half-finished on his bench a Colt revolver of the Frontier period;
he had made the molds himself, done the casting, and had been busy handsmoothing the pieces.
There was an unlimited market for small arms of the American Civil War and Frontier period; W-
M Corporation could sell all that Frink could turn out. It was his specialty.
Walking slowly over to his bench, Frink picked up the still-rough and burred ramrod of the
revolver. Another three days and the gun would be finished. Yes, he thought, it was good work. An
expert could have told the difference . . . but the Japanese collectors weren't authorities in - the
proper sense, had no standards or tests by which to judge.
In fact, as far as he knew, it had never occurred to them to ask themselves if the so-called historic
art objects for sale in West Coast shops were genuine. Perhaps someday they would . . . and then
the bubble would burst, the market would collapse even for the authentic pieces. A Gresham' 'S
Law: the fakes would undermine the value of the real. And that no doubt was the motive for the
failure to investigate; after all, everyone was happy. The factories, here and there in the various
cities, which turned out the-pieces, they made their profits. The wholesalers passed them on, and
the dealers displayed and advertised them. The collectors shelled out their money and carried their
purchases happily home, to impress their associates, friends, and mistresses.
Like postwar boodle paper money, it was fine until questioned. Nobody was hurt — until the day
of reckoning. And then everyone, equally, would be ruined. But meanwhile, nobody talked about it,
even the men who earned their living turning out the forgeries; they shut their own minds to what
they made, kept their attention on the mere technical problems.
'How long since you tried to do original designing?' McCarthy asked.
Frink shrugged. 'Years. I can copy accurately as hell. But — '
'You know what I think? I think you've picked up the Nazi idea that Jews can't create. That they
can only imitate and sell. Middlemen.' He fixed his merciless scrutiny on Frink.
'Maybe so,' Frink said.
'Try it. Do some original designs. Or work directly on the metal. Play around. Like a kid plays.'
'No,' Frink said.
'You have no faith,' McCarthy said. 'You've completely lost faith in yourself — right? Too bad.
Because I know you could do it.' He walked away from the workbench.
It is too bad, Frink thought. But nevertheless it's the truth. It's a fact. I can't get faith or
enthusiasm by willing it. Deciding to.
That McCarthy, he thought, is a damn good shop foreman. He has the knack of needling a man,
getting him to put out his best efforts, to do his utmost in spite of himself. He's a natural leader; he
almost inspired me, for a moment, there. But — McCarthy had gone off, now; the effort had failed.
Too bad I don't have my copy of the oracle here, Frink thought. I could consult it on this; take
the issue to it for its five thousand years of wisdom. And then he recalled that there was copy of the
I Ching in the lounge of the business office of W-M Corporation. So he made his way from the
work area, along the corridor, hurriedly through the business office to the lounge. -
Seated in one of the chrome and plastic lounge chairs, he wrote his question out on the back of
an envelope: 'Should I attempt to go into the creative private business outlined to me just now?'
And then he began throwing the coins.
The bottom line was a Seven, and so was the second and then the third. The bottom trigam in
Ch'ien, he realized. That sounded good; Ch'ien was the creative. Then line Four, an eight. Yin. And
line Five, also eight, a yin line. Good lord, he thought excitedly; one more yin line and I've got
Hexagram Eleven, T'ai, Peace. Very favorable judgment. Or — his hands trembled as he rattled the
coins. A yang line and hence Hexagram Twenty-six, Ta Ch'u, the Taming Power of the Great. Both
have favorable judgments, and it has to be one or the other. He threw the three coins.
Yin. A six. It was Peace.
Opening the book, he read the judgment.
PEACE. The small departs.
The great approaches.
Good fortune. Success.
So I ought to do as Ed McCarthy says. Open my little business. Now the six at the top, my one
moving line. He turned the page. What was the text? He could not recall; probably favorable
because the hexagram itself was so favorable. Union of heaven and earth — but the first and last
lines were outside the hexagram always, so possibly the six at the top . . .
His eyes picked out the line, read it in a flash.
The wall falls back into the moat.
Use no army now.
Make your commands known within your own town.
Perseverance brings humiliation.
My busted back! he exclaimed, horrified. And the commentary.
The change alluded to in the middle of the hexagram has begun to take place. The wall of the town
sinks back into the moat from which it was dug. The hour of doom is at hand. . .
It was, beyond doubt, one of the most dismal lines in the entire book, of more than three
thousand lines. And yet the judgment of the hexagram was good.
Which was he supposed to follow?
And how could they be so different? It had never happened to him before, good fortune and
doom mixed together in the Dracle's prophecy; what a weird fate, as if the oracle had scraped the
bottom of the barrel, tossed up every sort of rag, bone, and turd of the dark, then reversed itself and
poured in the light like a cook gone barmy. I must have pressed two buttons at once, he decided;
jammed the works and got this schlimazl's eye view of reality. Just for a second — fortunately.
Hell, he thought, it has to be one or the other; it can't be both. You can't have good fortune and
Or . . . can you?
The jewelry business will bring good fortune; the judgment refers to that. But the line, the
goddam line; it refers to something deeper, some future catastrophe probably not even connected
with the jewelry business. Some evil fate that's in store for me anyhow. . .
War! he thought. Third World War! All frigging two billion of us killed, our civilization wiped
out. Hydrogen bombs falling like hail.
Oy gewalt! he thought. What's happening? Did I start it in motion? Or is someone else tinkering,
someone I don't even know? Or — the whole lot of us. It's the fault of those physicists and that
synchronicity theory, every particle being connected with every other; you can't fart without
changing the balance in the universe. It makes living a funny joke with nobody around to laugh. I
open a book and get a report on future events that even God would like to file and forget. And who
am I? The wrong person; I can tell you that.
I should take my tools, get my motors from McCarthy, open my shop, start my piddling business,
go on despite the horrible line. Be working, creating in my own way right up to the end, living as
best I can, as actively as possible, until the wall falls back into the moat for all of us, all mankind.
That's what the oracle is telling me. Fate will poleax us eventually anyhow, but I have my job in the
meantime; I must use my mind, my hands.
The judgment was for me alone, for my work. But the line; it was for us all.
I'm too small, he thought, I can only read what's written, glance up and then lower my head and
plod along where I left off as if I hadn't seen; the oracle doesn't expect me to start running up and
down the streets, squalling and yammering for public attention.
Can anyone alter it? he wondered. All of us combined . . . or one great figure . . . or someone
strategically placed, who happens to be in the right spot. Chance. Accident. And our lives, our
world, hanging on it.
Closing the book, he left the lounge and walked back to the main work area. When he caught
sight of McCarthy, he waved him over to one side where they could resume talk.
'The more I think about it,' Frink said, 'the morel like your idea.'
'Fine,' McCarthy said. 'Now listen. Here's what you do. You have to get money from Wyndam-
Matson.' - He winked, a slow, intense, frightened twitch of his eyelid. 'I figured out how. I'm going
to quit and go in with you. My designs, see. What's wrong with that? I know they're good.'
'Sure,' Frink said, a little dazed.
'I'll see you after work tonight,' McCarthy said. 'At my apartment. You come over around seven
and have dinner with Jean and me — if you can stand the kids.'
'Okay,' Frink said.
McCarthy gave him a slap on the shoulder and went off.
I've gone a long way, Frink said to himself. In the last ten minutes. But he did not feel
apprehensive; he felt, now, excitement.
It sure happened fast, he thought as he walked over to his bench and began collecting his tools. I
guess that's how those kinds of things happen. Opportunity, when it comes —
All my life I've waited for this. When the oracle says 'something must be achieved' — it means
this. The time is truly great. What is the time, now? What is this moment? Six at the top in
Hexagram Eleven changes everything to Twenty-six, Taming Power of the Great. Yin becomes
yang; the line moves and a new Moment appears. And I was so off stride I didn't even notice! -
I'll bet that's why I got that terrible line; that's the only way Hexagram Eleven can change to
Hexagram Twenty-six, by that moving six at the top. So I shouldn't get my ass in such an uproar.
But, despite his excitement and optimism, he could not get the line completely out of his mind.
However, he thought ironically, I'm making a damn good try; by seven tonight maybe I'll have
managed to forget it like it never happened.
He thought, I sure hope so. Because this get-together with Ed is big. He's got some surefire idea;
lean tell. And I don't intend to find myself left out.
Right now I'm nothing, but if I can swing this, then maybe lean get Juliana back. I know what
she wants — she deserves to be married to a man who matters, an important person in the
community, not some meshuggener. Men used to be men, in the old days; before the war for
instance. But all that's gone now.
No wonder she roams around from place to place, from man to man, seeking. And not even
knowing what it is herself, what her biology needs. But I know, and through this big-time action
with McCarthy — whatever it is — I'm going to achieve it for her.
At lunchtime, Robert Childan closed up American Artistic Handcrafts Inc. Usually he crossed
the street and ate at the coffee shop. In any case he stayed away no more than half an hour, and
today he was gone only twenty minutes. Memory of his ordeal with Mr. Tagomi and the staff of the
Trade Mission still kept his stomach upset.
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