Unformatted text preview: boy walks. Just like that." "I thought Theo was above taking bribes," I said, and I was serious. This drew an exaggerated snort. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html "Don't be so naive," he said. Again, he knew everything. "Where did you hear it?" "Can't say." There was a chance that his poker gang had cooked up the rumor to see how fast it would race around the square before it got back to them. But there was an equally good chance Baggy was on to something. It really didn't matter, though. Cash couldn't be traced. - --- Just when I had stopped dreaming of an early retirement, of cashing in, walking away, jetting off to Europe, and backpacking across Australia, just when I had resettled into my routine of covering stories and writing obits and hawking ads to every merchant in town, Mr. Gary McGrew reentered my life. And he brought his client with him. Ray Noble was one of three principals in a company that already owned thirty weekly newspapers in the Deep South and wanted to add more. Like my college friend Nick Diener, he had been raised in the family newspaper business and could talk the talk. He swore me to secrecy, then laid out his plan. His company wanted to buy theTimes, along with the papers in Tyler and Van Buren Counties. They would sell off the equipment in the other two and do all the printing in Clanton because we had a better press. They would consolidate the accounting and much of the ad sales. Their offer of $1.2 million had been at the high end of the appraisal. Now they were offering $1.3 million. Cash. "After capital gains, you'll walk away with a cool million," Noble said. "I can do the math," I said, as if I closed such deals on a weekly basis. The words "cool million" were rumbling through my entire body. They pressed a little. Offers were on the table for the other two papers, and I got the impression that the deal wasn't exactly comi...
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