Chapter 2 The Greatest Racehorse in the World


Chapter 2 The Greatest Racehorse in the World Tom Hagen arrived in Hollywood early the next morning. From the airport he went straight to his hotel, showered, shaved, and had breakfast. Then he drove to the film company for his meeting with Jack Woltz at ten o'clock.

Jack Woltz was giving a birthday party for one of his young girl stars in front of a lot of reporters. Tom waited patiently. Finally, Woltz walked up to him.

He was a tall man with thick silver hair, expensive clothes and a hard, unfriendly face.

'OK, start talking,' he said to Tom. 'I'm a busy man.'

I was sent by a friend of Johnny Fontane, 'Tom said. 'He would be very grateful to you if you could do him a small favour.'

'I'm listening, 'Woltz said, busily signing papers.

'Give Johnny the part in that new war film you're going to make.'

Woltz stopped writing and laughed. He took Tom by the arm, as if he was an old friend, and led him towards the door. 'And if I gave Johnny Fontane this part, what favour would your friend do for me? 'he said.

'You have some problems with your workers,' Tom said. 'My friend could make these problems disappear. You also have a top star who's taking drugs But Jack Woltz had heard enough. 'Listen to me!' he shouted angrily.

'You tell your boss, whoever he is, that Johnny Fontane will never get that film'. You don't frighten me!'

'I'm a lawyer, 'Tom said calmly. 'I'm not trying to frighten you.'

I know all the lawyers in New York,' said Jack Woltz, 'but I've never heard of you. Who are you?'

I work for one special family, 'Tom said. 'Now, you have my number.

I'll wait for your call.' He shook Woltz's hand and added, before leaving:

'By the way, I like your films very much.'

Tom was sure that, when Woltz realized who he worked for, he would call.

And he was right. Late that afternoon, a car picked him up from the hotel and drove him out of the city to Jack Woltz's home in the country.

Woltz's house looked like something from a film. It was a huge pinkwalled house surrounded by beautiful gardens, lakes and fields full of horses. Woltz welcomed Tom like an old friend, gave him a drink and showed him around.