Triple Pursuit
the station had made a great thing of it, and his last weeks on the air had been the most triumphant of all. The banquet at the Palmer House had been grand and it was pleasant to hear all the speeches. His children were there to hear their father praised, but he felt sorrow that Julia had not lived to see this send-off. Her words to him as she lay ill had had their effect on him, but the obscurity into which retirement plunged him also had removed those tantalizing occasions of sin. He did not regret their going. He no longer felt a divided man, but simply the Jack Gallagher he thought he had always basically been.
    From time to time the thought came to him that he could have had his way with the ladies even independently of his celebrity, but he had never put this to the test. He had retired as a womanizer as well as the toast of late-night radio—or so he had thought until Colleen mentioned Aggie.
    His daughter’s very horror of the woman whom once would have been called a homewrecker made her a fascinating creature in
Jack’s imagination. When he had suggested that Colleen introduce him to Aggie he had known a moment’s fear that his daughter would suspect his motives. But what were his motives? He was seventy-one years old, and if his mirror gave back to him an image of a vigorous man who still had his looks—silver hair is one of age’s gifts—he knew otherwise. Or thought he did. The recent popularity of pharmaceutical aids to cancel the effects of waning desire filled him with distaste. But there was a question whether he was up to the task of lover, illicit or otherwise. Austin Rooney might amuse himself with the improbable Maud Gorman, but there was little threat that this would advance beyond what amounted to a schoolyard romance. It was with such confused thoughts and troubling questions that Jack betook himself to the Loop one afternoon and called at Mallard and Bill.
    Colleen was expecting him, of course, and he was pleased with the way she paraded him around, introducing him to Messrs. Mallard and Bill as well as to a bevy of lesser partners. And then they had come to Aggie.
    The young lawyer was in conference with a fellow named Fremont and had been facing away when he entered the office with Colleen.
    â€œI want you to meet my father,” Colleen trilled, and the two lawyers looked up.
    Aggie was everything he had been led to expect—lithe, mannishly dressed, but in such a way that her essential femininity was enhanced. The expression in her eyes when she looked at him was one Jack Gallagher recognized. She extended her hand and Jack pressed it with apparent indifference, looking about the room they were in.
    â€œWhere are all the law books?”
    â€œThey’re in the library.” Aggie meant the firm’s law library. “Hasn’t Colleen shown it to you?”

    â€œWhy don’t you?” Colleen said.
    Jack realized why his daughter made this suggestion, but the ostensible purpose of his visit had faded from his mind as soon as he set eyes on Aggie.
    â€œLet’s go,” she said cheerily, putting her arm through Jack’s and taking him down the hall to the library. She closed the door after them.
    â€œAnd here are all the books.”
    â€œâ€˜Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple,’” Jack said.
    She looked puzzled.
    â€œSurely you know that.”
    â€œTell me.”
    So he interlaced his fingers, repeated the words, and then turned his hands over to reveal his wriggling fingers. “‘And here’s all the people.’”
    Her laughter was throaty, as if he had just confided something intimate and personal. She stepped back from him, wearing a quizzical little smile.
    â€œNow I know where Tim gets his good looks.”
    â€œHe took them all,” Jack said. Increasingly he felt on familiar ground with this voluptuous wench.
    â€œOh, I wouldn’t say that. I think it’s the silver

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