The SS Alpega sailed into the
Bay of Fetiyi at noon. Everyone rushed to the bow to see
a few flying fish leaping like mad (as well as Natalie
and Anne-Marie sunbathing there).
After lunch, all the women
went water-skiing. Jimmy, Guy and I played "cut
throat," a variation on three handed bridge which
Guy and Jimmy played at the Traveler's Club. In it,
the three players bid for the fourth "dummy"
hand of which 5 of its cards are exposed. Each player
knows his own 13 cards plus these 5 (or about one-third
the deck) and then deduces what other cards might be
in the dummy from the bids made by other players.
Jimmy didn't even bother to
separate his cards into suits, since he didn't want
to give any clues as to his hand. He also bid with speed
that was intended to destroy his competitors' confidence.
Of course, as I quickly learned
from his superb bidding, Jimmy's true profession was
gambling. Corporate raiding was a secondary pursuit,
the collateral virtue of his ability to rapidly absorb
information from diverse sources, intuit the intentions
of others, calculate odds and through his speed dominate
a game (whether bridge, backgammon, rock, scissor and
paper or takeovers.)
When a bid was unsuccessful,
we didn't shuffle, which gave better hands. Just as
Jimmy was making his second grand slam of the afternoon,
Natalie limped off the speedboat. She moaned that she
had injured her lower back in a bad fall. Jimmy spoke
to her in French (which I do not understand).
When we completed the game,
Jimmy says "Natalie is waiting for you in her room.
I told her you are a doctor and will give her a therapeutic
I laugh as I haven't any idea
how to give a massage. Jimmy answers "You had no
idea of how the satellite phone worked, but you tried
to fix it."
He completed his joke by reminding me I had a Ph.D.
Unable to refute his perverse
logic, I tried to repair Natalie. She spoke better English
than I thought, telling me her father was a Notary in
Lyons, where she had won the Madamoiselle beauty contest
a year earlier, which brought her to Paris. Like me,
she had never been on a yacht before, so we had something
Later that afternoon, I went
snorkeling with my new friend around giant rocks. One
advantage of snorkeling is that it is silent: I could
just float in one spot and observe.
Jimmy and Laure joined us,
then Jimmy, recoiling as if he had seen a predator shark,
swam back to the boat in a panic. Laure says that he
was disturbed by seeing our rubber fins. He has a pathological
aversion to rubber. "If he sees a rubber band on
a table, he leaves the room." OK, no more fins.
That evening we all went ashore
to Fetiye. Jimmy, not a tourist by nature, rushed to
find another phone booth. The rest of the party went
to visit the ancient tombs. There were hundreds of them
carved in the rocks just behind the city, shallow caves,
with column and shattered walls, which, in the darkening
twilight, looked like a ghost city.
We met Jimmy for a dinner at
a seedy outdoor grill overlooking the port. He was beaming.
He had learned from Joe Flom in New York that the Board
of Crown Zellebach had "no stomach for a battle."
He now controlled the company.