Title Page, Copyright

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1

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pp. 3-10

It's the waiting, Shep was thinking. You wait to get inside the gate, you wait outside the great man's office, you wait for your agent to make the deal, you wait for the assignment, you wait for instructions on how to write what they want you to write, and then, when you finish your treatment and turn it in, you wait for that unique contribution to art, the story conference...

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2

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pp. 11-17

Shep had been in the Victor Milgrim office only twice before, for two minutes of routine charm when he was first hired, and for a ten-minute monologue by Milgrim on his ideas for developing Love on Ice when Shep was assigned to screenplay. The proportions of the room met the generous standards of Hollywood's inner circle, but Victor Milgrim had proud confidence in the superiority of taste that marked his furnishings...

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3

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pp. 18-28

Manley Halliday was reading the scenario when Shep entered. He did not look up until they came half way across the room to him, and when he did Shep saw an old young face with ashen complexion. Could this be Manley Halliday? Halliday lifted himself out of the deep red leather chair with stiff good manners...

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4

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pp. 29-43

Halliday followed the winding path through the tropical landscaping, through, he thought wryly to himself, the Garden of Allah. This outlandish name for an apartment-hotel was a stale joke at which he still smiled from force of habit. Thirteen years ago, when he had stayed here on his first trip to Hollywood, architecture had seemed to be an extension of the studio backlot with private homes disguised as Norman castles...

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5

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pp. 44-56

Shep had breakfast as usual at Armstrong-Shroeder's. The waitress—a pinch-faced little woman not nearly so sour as she looked—brought him the customary grapefruit juice, Danish pastry and coffee. In the headlines II Duce was hailing the achievements of his Blackshirts in Spain. It was all over...

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6

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pp. 57-67

The Vendome's parking lot attendant, a pimply-faced car expert and confirmed snob, made no effort to conceal his contempt for Halliday's old-fashioned Lincoln that towered anachronistically above the sleek Caddy Vr6's the new Buick 8's, the resplendent Chrysler Imperials and the new foreign star Rosa Risa's chromium Mercedes-Benz, his special love...

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7

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pp. 68-80

The eyes and ears of Victor Milgrim, it seemed, were in the corridors, the office walls, behind the couches; sometimes the studio itself seemed to be merely an architectural extension of his being. And so, when Peggy's call brought the unexpected information that Victor Milgrim was ready for their conference, Shep wondered if this was the Great Man's way of pointing a finger at Halliday's two-hour lunch on the other side of town...

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8

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pp. 81-88

In the bedroom there was brisk movement between the bureau and the bed; that was Ann Loeb packing Manley's bags. Manley was sprawled on the couch in the other room, surrounded by familiar debris, the evening papers (along with yesterday's as well), magazines, half-read mail, library books. "It's cheaper to buy them than take them out and never return them," Ann was always saying...

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9

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pp. 89-113

With the abruptness of semi-tropical winter, the weather had suddenly changed an hour before. Now a gray film obscured the sharp dark line of the mountains beyond the airport. Despite the somber lighting and threatening skies, a crowd of perhaps fifty waited hopefully for a glimpse of a new film idol going East for personal appearances...

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10

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pp. 114-127

The white tile of the Holland Tunnel rolled past them as the airline's black limousine raced through the enormous artery feeding the heart of the city. Finally they burst out into the open, into the swarming labyrinth of downtown Manhattan. There were the trucks, the cops, the bars, the stores, the cabs, the reckless pedestrians picking holes through traffic like shabby Albie Booths...

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Old Business I

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pp. 128-139

Manley's eyes searched along the apartment-house roster: Keyes, Abrahms, Winsch-Barry, de Martino, Wilder-Halliday. There it was, just as in the early days when Jere had clung so desperately to her maiden name. Jere Wilder. She used to love to write it in an exotic flourish over and over again, covering phone books, walls, message pads, tablecloths...

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Old Business II

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pp. 140-160

On the corner the deformed little man, who until the day before had been the Emperor, was going up in flames of papier-mâché while revelers in a dozen different uniforms danced around the pyre crazily singing We'll Hang the Kaiser Under the Linden Tree. Jere and Manley watched a private and a lieutenant-colonel dancing together wearing each other's caps...

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11

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pp. 161-169

The door opened into a room that was also a tomb. Jere was standing there surprised, pleased, wishing he had given her time to make up (she had been lying down and looked a fright). "Well, Mannie, fevensakes, will you please get your ugly puss in here?" She had always called him ugly-puss, and she tried now to recall the old tone of bantering affection...

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12

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pp. 170-186

Four or five drinks (he couldn't be sure how many hours) later Manley came back to the Waldorf. The session at the Ship Ahoy had been just what he needed. He came in singing "I'm on the Crest of a Wave," parodying under his breath the uninhibited bleat with which he had heard Harry Richman render it so often...

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13

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pp. 187-199

All the way up to Harlem through the white hush of the park, Manley kept recalling fantasies of shrill Harlem nights in the era when Harlem was the gin-spangled corridor for all good citizens with early-morning itch. Their legendary antics, his and Jere's and their twinkling friends', made him laugh in a way that was new to Shep but old and no longer familiar to Manley...

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14

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pp. 200-215

They were rolling northward with a trainload of houseparty girls, girls of sixteen and eighteen; here and there a sleek, smart veteran of twenty-one; girls in bright colors and bright smiles, whose perfume and laughter transformed the Pullman into an Ivy League harem, charged with the special kind of excitement that only a very young woman can feel as she looks forward to the company of a preferred young man...

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Old Business III

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pp. 216-240

We came out for the opening of High Noon at Grauman's. Mona Moray—she played Lenore—let us use that fantastic castle of hers in Beverly Hills. We thought it was going to be awful and that we'd only stay a week, but scads of New York friends had come out and we found a lot of the Hollywood people were fun, in a mad way, like Mickey Neilan and Pringie, Aileen Pringle...

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Old Business IV

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pp. 241-262

Sitting on the leather seat of the men's room he felt no leather; bouncing on the spinning metal wheels he remembered a time of peace ("that great beautiful hunk of peace" he had called it) that floated in the turbulent sea of his life like a magnificent iceberg, cool and detached and reaching so far below the surface that waves could not stir it...

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Old Business V

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pp. 263-285

The sound of the tracks, the inner weakness, the uneasy sleep, the pressure of something that had to be done. But why be anxious on the Wagon-lit (wasn't Jere better, Radio passing 100 again and the book near done?) with Paris to meet them in the morning like an old friend? (What was it he had to finish by the time they arrived?)...

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15

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pp. 286-296

Raw wind drove the wild-falling snow into their faces as they hurried across the street. The all-night diner was a bright chromium refuge. There was a sense of timelessness about the brassy riff of the disc-jockey program from the tinny radio, the expressionless face of the swarthy short-order cook doped with monotony, the skinny, fortyish waitress with too much make-up carrying on a weary tradition of idle flirtation with a truck driver...

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16

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pp. 297-305

"Know what the trouble with this drawing room is?" Shep didn't bother to look up. "Don't tell me. We've got enough troubles." "Trouble is we gotta leave it in a couple of hours." Manley Halliday was sitting on the long side seat with his head bent almost to his knees. "You better stretch out, unbutton your shirt, Manley."...

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17

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pp. 306-320

From the crowded Webster platform came exuberant whistles, wolf cries, shouts of "Over here" "Yoo hoo!" "Hey, Jocelyn" and "Peggy, it's Fred!" Pouring out of the Pullman cars in a riot of color, ready with their young faces and young bodies for the time of their lives, came the bright company fifteen hundred young men had been carefully choosing, saving weekly allowances for and devoting a disproportionate amount of thought to for the past four weeks...

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18

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pp. 321-330

At both ends of the long table in the inner lounge were large cut-glass bowls filled with a timid concoction popularly known as Faculty Punch, an unsuccessful compromise between teetotal beverage and alcoholic fillip. Although at least a hundred academicians had gathered to welcome these strange birds descended on them from Hollywood, there was such an emphasis on decorum that it did not sound like a social gathering at all but more like an assembly of lip readers standing around murmuring to themselves...

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19

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pp. 331-343

The suite they entered was so large and lavish it seemed to Shep that Victor Milgram must have brought it with him. It was of a piece with his rooms at the Waldorf Towers, his office, the accommodations he had on the Normandie—anywhere he happened to be. A great bay window provided a magnificent view—a swell angle, Hutch had said—of the heroic-sized ice sculpture that dominated the campus...

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20

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pp. 344-363

Five hundred couples followed the band and the torch-lit skiers out past the lake to the slalom course. Making a lark of the weather, the marchers sang their college songs, their faces flushed with cold, houseparty cocktails and the titillating possibilities of Mardi Gras night. Suddenly, inexplicably confident, Shep found himself enjoying it again...

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21

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pp. 364-369

Rolling down the hill to the station through the falling snow, Manley Halliday crumpled against the seat said faintly, "Well, kid, I did it. Really loused it up for you. Christ, what luck! What luck! If only we hadn't met Milgrim." "If." Shep looked out the window at the dark pines heavy with snow...

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22

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pp. 370-376

Cutting through Shep's finally exhausted sleep: the insistent buzzer and the porter's drawl. New York in half an hour. Shep eased himself over the edge of the upper, knew his own weariness as he dropped to the floor and took a quick, anxious reckoning of Manley Halliday's condition. Manley had not moved...

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23

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pp. 377-384

It was the nurse, Miss Gillam, who first noticed his toes when she stripped off his socks. As soon as she had him in bed she called the intern, Dr. Lewis, the new one who looked at least five years younger than the twenty-six he was. Dr. Lewis glanced at the chart, took a quick look at the blackening toes and said, "Well, you've got yourself quite a frostbite."...

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24

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pp. 385-388

It was the waiting, Shep was thinking, always the waiting. They had been waiting for hours. In the cramped corridor of tension intensified by Jere's shrill resentment of Ann Loeb, it seemed like days. The cold shadows of winter's early twilight were lengthening rapidly when the doctors came down...

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About the Author

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pp. 389-389

Budd Schulberg was born in New York City in 1914 and raised in Hollywood, California. His first job was as a publicist at Paramount, and this inside knowledge of the movie industry led to his renown as one of the great writers of fiction about Hollywood’s studio era...