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Byweimiaow

Abomination, he heard Haggon saying. It was

Abomination, he heard Haggon saying. It was almost as if he were here, in this very room. “She is just some ugly spearwife,” Varamyr told him. “I am a great man. I am

Varamyr, the warg, the skinchanger, it is not right that she should live and I should die.” No one answered. There was no one there. Thistle was gone. She had abandoned him, the same as all the rest.

His own mother had abandoned him as well. She cried for Bump, but she never cried for me. The morning his father pulled him out of bed to deliver him to Haggon,

she would not even look at him. He had shrieked and kicked as he was dragged into the woods, until his father slapped him and told him to be quiet. “You belong with

your own kind,” was all he said when he flung him down at Haggon’s feet.

He was not wrong, Varamyr thought, shivering. Haggon taught me much and more. He taught me how to hunt and fish, how to butcher a carcass and bone a fish, how to

off to sleep at once and it was late when she awakened. To her amazement she heard voices in the vicinity of the hangar, but when she hopped out of bed, she saw

 

find my way through the woods. And he taught me the way of the warg and the secrets of the skinchanger, though my gift was stronger than his own.

decided to lighten things up a bit in the vicinity of the beloved airplane and its owner. In spite of the excitement and terror, the girl was so weary that she dropped

off to sleep at once and it was late when she awakened. To her amazement she heard voices in the vicinity of the hangar, but when she hopped out of bed, she saw

it was her Dad

there with

the village

electrician.

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Byweimiaow

Her chin was pointed and her nose flat, and she

Her chin was pointed and her nose flat, and she had a mole on one cheek with four dark hairs growing from it. An ugly face, and hard, yet he would have given much to

glimpse it in the door of the hut. I should have taken her before she left. How long had she been gone? Two days? Three? Varamyr was uncertain. It was dark inside the

hut, and he had been drifting in and out of sleep, never quite sure if it was day or night outside. “Wait,” she’d said. “I will be back with food.” So like a fool he’d waited,

dreaming of Haggon and Bump and all the wrongs he had done in his long life, but days and nights had passed and Thistle had not returned. She won’t be coming back.

Varamyr wondered if he had given himself away. Could she tell what he was thinking just from looking at him, or had he muttered in his fever dream?

“Say it with flowers,” the lad chuckled. “Come along. As long as I live I may never get another chance to have a sheriff in the saddle behind me. How I wish a cop would try to stop me on this trip.”

The pair went off amid the reports of the motorcycle, and then the neighbors, assured that the Langwells were unhurt and in no further danger, departed. Before

she went to bed Roberta took another look at the old barn-hangar where Nike and the Falcon were still resting securely. With a sigh of relief she glanced toward the

sky, which was mighty dark, but she caught the faint outline

“Good morning, dear, I thought I heard you moving about.”

“Morning, Mummy. What are they doing out there?”

of the moon

shining

through as if s

he had49

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Byweimiaow

That was when he noticed that his fire had gone

That was when he noticed that his fire had gone out.

Only a grey-and-black tangle of charred wood remained, with a few embers glowing in the ashes. There’s still smoke, it just needs wood. Gritting his teeth against the

pain, Varamyr crept to the pile of broken branches Thistle had gathered before she went off hunting, and tossed a few sticks onto the ashes. “Catch,” he croaked. “Burn.”

He blew upon the embers and said a wordless prayer to the nameless gods of wood and hill and field.

The gods gave no answer. After a while, the smoke ceased to rise as well. Already the little hut was growing colder. Varamyr had no flint, no tinder, no dry kindling. He

would never get the fire burning again, not by himself. “Thistle,” he called out, his voice hoarse and edged with pain. “Thistle!”

“Thanks. I’ll get home as fast as I can and start things humming on the telephone. Spread this number over the country through the broadcasting stations and find out who owns that car.”

“Ought not to be hard finding the would-be thieves,” the boy grinned.

“Looks as if it

might be easy,

thanks to your

good sense.”

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Byweimiaow

“Wonder what her game is anyway? I’m going to tell

“Wonder what her game is anyway? I’m going to tell Trowbridge to have some—”

“I say, Kingsley.” Someone called the president’s son, and with a nod to his companion, he strode off to see what was wanted.

Roberta proceeded, but as she went she wished she had not spoken to Phil of her nervousness. Probably it was just silly and she certainly didn’t want to be

relieved of the responsibility because she was afraid. After all, there wasn’t a thing in the world to be afraid of, nothing but a collection of wild guesses. It

was unlike the time the “old man” had tried to appropriate the Moth, for then the country was filled with horrible stories of “Blue Air-pirates,” but now everything was as it should be. In fact, life was a bit dull except24 for the

unending joy of racing into the sky. By that time she reached Mr. Trowbridge’s office, but as she opened the door she heard Mr. Wallace saying

angrily, “Well, I’ll be darned if I see it. Oh, oh, hello Miss Langwell.” With that he rushed out of the room and banged the door so hard that it jarred the place.

“Oh, er, oh,” Mr. Trowbridge glanced at her, then began to fumble with some papers on his desk. “Wallace is a bit upset, you’ll have to excuse him.”

unending joy of racing into the sky. By that time she reached Mr. Trowbridge’s office, but as she opened the door she heard Mr. Wallace saying

angrily, “Well, I’ll be darned if I see it. Oh, oh, hello Miss Langwell.” With that he rushed out of the room and banged the door so hard that it jarred the place.

“Sorry if I interrupted—”

“It was a pool the gods would have delighted to swim in.
Molitor had the best competitive swimming club in Paris. Therewere two

pools, an indoor and an outdoor. Both were as bigas small oceans. The indoor pool always had two

lanesreserved

for swimmers

who wanted

to do lengths.

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Byweimiaow

That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.The doctors

That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.
The doctors and nurses at the hospital in Mexico wereincredibly kind to me. And the patients, too. Victims of canceror car accidents, once they heard my

story, they hobbled andwheeled over to see me, they and their families, though noneof them spoke English and I spoke no Spanish. They smiled atme,

shook my hand, patted me on the head, left gifts of foodand clothing on my bed. They moved me to uncontrollable fitsof laughing and crying.

“Anything special?” she asked when greetings were exchanged.

“Only Mrs. Pollzoff. She ought to be here any minute,” Mr. Trowbridge replied.

“Howe is coming in this morning,” Mr. Wallace added.

16 “Phil told me—”

“Yes, and here I am,” Mr. Howe announced himself as he entered. “They told me you were all in here, so I took the liberty of coming in without knocking; I can go out the same way if you like.”

“You can stay here, without knocking,” Mr. Trowbridge hastened to assure him. “I’m thinking Miss Langwell is glad to see you.”

“She has been handling a job that is dull as ditch-water,” Wallace put in quickly.

“She will not find my work dull, but it will be cold, for it may take her to the Bering Sea,” Mr. Howe informed them. “I expect to be ready for her soon.”

“It sounds no end exciting,” Roberta said and her eyes sparkled. A job that would take her to the Bering Sea appeared to have endless possibilities and she was keenly interested. Just then the phone rang and Mr. Trowbridge

“Or rides the air,” Harvey laughed.

“Are you children riding in with me?” Mr. Langwell asked. “The time is getting short.”

“I am, Dad, thanks. If you will take me as far as the subway in Jamaica, I’ll land just in time for class,” Harvey answered.

“Phil will be here to pick me up, thank you,” Roberta replied, so, as the meal was finished, and the last pancake had disappeared, they left the table to start on the day’s occupations. Harvey raced up

the stairs, three at a jump, while his sister gave her mother a hand straightening the dining room as she waited for Phil Fisher to take her to the flying field.

answered it.

“Your passenger

has arrived,”

he told Roberta.

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Byweimiaow

Mecca,Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris. I have nothing to say

Mecca,Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.
I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is anoose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonethelessif he’s not careful.

I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the houselizards on the walls, the musicals on the silver screen, the cowswandering the streets, the crows cawing, even the talk ofcricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great

country muchtoo cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligentpeople with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go hometo in Pondicherry.

Richard Parker has stayed with me. I’ve never forgotten him.
Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in mydreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged withlove. Such is the strangeness of

the human heart. I still cannotunderstand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously,without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once.

“Any idea what it’s all about?”

“A small one. Several governments—ours and a couple of others, are trying to trace down illegal seal fishing; catch the lads who don’t follow the rules.

Contact.” They were off, and Roberta inquired no more about the government work because Phil’s account of it sounded quite as tame as piloting Mrs.

Pollzoff. Presently the Moth dropped out of the sky, landed near the office of the Lurtiss Airplane Company and a bit later the girl sky-pilot presented

herself at the private office of Mr. Trowbridge for whom she worked when she first joined the organization as a secretary. Mr. Wallace, one of the special

instructors, was already there, and when Roberta

entered, they

both rose to

their feet to wish her

good morning.

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Byweimiaow

That spring Larry Ellison saw Amelio at a party and introduced

That spring Larry Ellison saw Amelio at a party and introduced him to the technology journalist Gina Smith, who asked how Apple was doing. “You know, Gina, Apple is like a ship,” Amelio answered. “That ship is loaded with

treasure, but there’s a hole in the ship. And my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction.” Smith looked perplexed and asked, “Yeah, but what about the hole?” From then on, Ellison and Jobs joked about the parable of

the ship. “When Larry relayed this story to me, we were in this sushi place, and I literally fell off my chair laughing,” Jobs recalled. “He was just such a

buffoon, and he took himself so seriously. He insisted that everyone call him Dr. Amelio. That’s always a warning sign.”

Brent Schlender, Fortune’s well-sourced technology reporter, knew Jobs and was familiar with his thinking, and in March he came out with a story detailing the mess. “Apple Computer, Silicon Valley’s paragon of dysfunctional

management and fumbled techno-dreams, is back in crisis mode, scrambling lugubriously in slow motion to deal with imploding sales, a floundering

technology strategy, and a hemorrhaging brand name,” he wrote. “To the Machiavellian eye, it looks as if Jobs, despite the lure of Hollywood—lately he

has been overseeing Pixar, maker of Toy Story and other computer-animated films—might be scheming to take over Apple.”

Once again Ellison publicly floated the idea of doing a hostile takeover and installing his “best friend” Jobs as CEO. “Steve’s the only one who can save Apple,” he told reporters. “I’m ready to help him the minute he says the

word.” Like the third time the boy cried wolf, Ellison’s latest takeover musings didn’t get much notice, so later in the month he told Dan Gillmore of the San Jose Mercury News that he was forming an investor group to raise $1 billion

to buy a majority stake in Apple. (The company’s market value was about $2.3 billion.) The day the story came out, Apple stock shot up 11% in heavy

trading. To add to the frivolity, Ellison set up an email address, [email protected], asking the

general public to

vote on whether

he should go

ahead with it.

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Byweimiaow

He had told Larry Ellison that his return strategy was to

He had told Larry Ellison that his return strategy was to sell NeXT to Apple, get appointed to the board, and be there ready when CEO Gil Amelio stumbled. Ellison may have been baffled when Jobs insisted that he was not

motivated by money, but it was partly true. He had neither Ellison’s conspicuous consumption needs nor Gates’s philanthropic impulses nor the competitive urge to see how high on the Forbes list he could get. Instead his

ego needs and personal drives led him to seek fulfillment by creating a legacy that would awe people. A dual legacy, actually: building innovative products and building a lasting company. He wanted to be in the pantheon with, indeed

a notch above, people like Edwin Land, Bill Hewlett, and David Packard. And the best way to achieve all this was to return to Apple and reclaim his kingdom.

And yet when the cup of power neared his lips, he became strangely hesitant, reluctant, perhaps coy.

He returned to Apple officially in January 1997 as a part-time advisor, as he had told Amelio he would. He began to assert himself in some personnel areas, especially in protecting his people who had made the transition from

NeXT. But in most other ways he was unusually passive. The decision not to ask him to join the board offended him, and he felt demeaned by the

suggestion that he run the company’s operating system division. Amelio was thus able to create a situation in which Jobs was both inside the tent and

outside the tent, which was not a prescription for tranquillity. Jobs later recalled:

Gil didn’t want me around. And I thought he was a bozo. I knew that before I sold him the company. I thought I was just going to be trotted out now and

then for events like Macworld, mainly for show. That was fine, because I was working at Pixar. I rented an office in downtown Palo Alto where I could work

a few days a week, and I drove up to Pixar for one or two days.

It was a nice life.

I could slow down,

spend time

with my family.

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Byweimiaow

The event ended on a more upbeat note, literally.Jobs brought

The event ended on a more upbeat note, literally. Jobs brought onstage a violinist from the San Francisco Symphony who played Bach’s A Minor Violin Concerto in a duet with the NeXT computer onstage. People erupted in

 

jubilant applause. The price and the delayed release were forgotten in the frenzy. When one reporter asked him immediately afterward why the machine was going to be so late, Jobs replied, “It’s not late. It’s five years ahead of its time.”

As would become his standard practice, Jobs offered to provide “exclusive” interviews to anointed publications in return for their promising to put the

story on the cover. This time he went one “exclusive” too far, though it didn’t really hurt. He agreed to a request from Business Week’s Katie Hafner for

exclusive access to him before the launch, but he also made a similar deal with Newsweek and then with Fortune. What he didn’t consider was that one of Fortune’s top editors, Susan Fraker, was married to Newsweek’s editor

Maynard Parker. At the Fortune story conference, when they were talking excitedly about their exclusive, Fraker mentioned that she happened to know that Newsweek had also been promised an exclusive, and it would be coming

out a few days before Fortune. So Jobs ended up that week on only two magazine covers. Newsweek used the cover line “Mr. Chips” and showed him leaning on a beautiful NeXT, which it proclaimed to be “the most exciting

machine in years.” Business Week showed him looking angelic in a dark suit, fingertips pressed together like a preacher or professor. But Hafner pointedly

reported on the manipulation that surrounded her exclusive. “NeXT carefully parceled out interviews with its staff and suppliers, monitoring them with a

censor’s eye,” she wrote. “That strategy worked, but at a price: Such maneuvering—self-serving and relentless—displayed the side of Steve Jobs that so hurt him at Apple. The

trait that most

stands out is

Jobs’s need to

control events.”

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Byweimiaow

At times he could be amusingly aware of his own foibles, and he

At times he could be amusingly aware of his own foibles, and he used the electronic book demonstration to poke fun at himself. “A word that’s

sometimes used to describe me is ‘mercurial,’” he said, then paused. The audience laughed knowingly, especially those in the front rows, which were

filled with NeXT employees and former members of the Macintosh team. Then he pulled up the word in the computer’s dictionary and read the first definition: “Of or relating to, or born under the planet Mercury.”

change the face of computing.” The NeXT software and hardware were designed, he said, after three years of consulting with

universities across the country. “What we realized was that higher ed wants a personal mainframe.”

As usual there were superlatives. The product was “incredible,” he said, “the best thing we could have imagined.” He praised the beauty of even the parts

unseen. Balancing on his fingertips the foot-square circuit board that would be nestled in the foot-cube box, he enthused, “I hope you get a chance to look

at this a little later. It’s the most beautiful printed circuit board I’ve ever seen in my life.” He then showed how the computer could play speeches—he

featured King’s “I Have a Dream” and Kennedy’s “Ask Not”—and send email with audio attachments. He leaned into the microphone on the computer to

record one of his own. “Hi, this is Steve, sending a message on a pretty historic day.” Then he asked those in the audience to add “a round of applause” to the message, and they did.

One of Jobs’s management philosophies was that it is crucial, every now and then, to roll the dice and “bet the company” on some new idea or technology.

At the NeXT launch, he boasted of an example that, as it turned out, would not be a wise gamble: having a high-capacity (but slow) optical read/write

disk and no floppy disk as a backup. “Two years ago we made a decision,” he said. “We saw some new technology and we made a decision to risk our company.”

Then he turned to a feature that would prove more prescient. “What we’ve done is made the first real digital books,” he said, noting the inclusion of the

Oxford edition of Shakespeare and other tomes. “There has not been an advancement in

the state of the

art of printed

book technology

since Gutenberg.”

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