'rbat's good news,' said AbeL 'ne candidate is also fully aware of your desire to grant Poland most favoured nation status in foreign trade with the United States!

'No more than we deserve after our service in the last, war,' said Abel, and paused briefly. 'What about the other little matter?' he asked.

'Senator Kennedy is canvassing Polish - American opinion at the moment, and we haven't met with any objections. He nahn - Aly cannot come to a final decision until after he is elected.'

'Naturally. Would two hundred and fifty thousand dollars help him make that decision?' asked Abel.

Vincent Hogan didn't speak.

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars it is then,' said Abel. 'The money will be in your campaign fund headquarters by the end of the week, Mr.

Hogan. You have my word on it.'

Ile business was over, the bargain struck. Abel rose. Tlease give Senator Kennedy my best wishes, and add that of course I hope he'11 be the next President of the United States. I always loathed Richard Nixon after his despicable treatment of Helen Gahagan Douglas, and in any case, there are personal reasons why I don't want Henry Cabot Lodge as Vice - President!

'I shall be delighted to pass on your message,' said Mr. Hogan, 'and thank you for your continued support of the Democratic party, and in particular, of the candidate.' The Bostonian thrust out his hand. Abel grasped it.

'Keep in touch, Mr. Hogan. I don't part with that sort of money without expecting a return on my investment!

'I fully understand,' replied Vincent Hogan.

Abel showed his guest to the lift and returned smiling to his office. His fingers started to tap on the desk again. His secretary reappeared.

'Ask Mr. Novak to come in,'said Abel.

George came through from his office a few moments later.

'I think I've pulled it off, George!

'Congratulations, Abel, I'm delighted. If Kennedy becomes the next President, then one of your biggest dreams will be fulfilled. How proud Florentyna will be of you.'

Abel smiled when he heard her name. 'Do you know what that little minx has been up to?' he said, laughing. 'Did you see the Los Angeles Times last week, George?'

George shook his head, and Abel passed him a copy of the paper. One of the items was circled in red ink. George read the article aloud: 'Florentyna Kane opens her third shop in Los Angeles. She already owns two in San Francisco and is hoping to open another in San Diego before the end of the year. "Florentyna's", as they are known, are fast becoming to California what Balenciaga is to Paris!

George laughed as he put the paper down.

'She must have written the piece herself,' said Abel. 'I can't wait for her to open a Florentyna's in New York. I'll bet she achieves that within five years, ten at the most. Do you want to take another bet on that, George?'

'I didn't take the first one, if you remember, Abel, otherwise I would already have been out ten dollars!

Abel looked up, his voice quieter. 'Do you think she'd come and see Senator Kennedy open the new Baron in Lce Angeles, George? Do you think she might?'

'Not unless the Kane boy is invited along as wen.'

'Never,' said Abel. 'Fhat Kane boy is nothing. I read all the facts in your last report, George. He's left the Bank of America to work with Florentyna; couldn't even hold down a good job, had to fall back on her success!

'You're becoming a selective reader, Abel. You know very well thaes not the way it was. I made the circumstances very clear. The Kane boy is in charge of the finances while Florentyna runs the shops, and it's proving to be an ideal partnership. Don't ever forget that a major bank offered Kane the chance to head up its European department but Florentyna begged him to join her when she no longer found it possible to control the finances herself. Abel, you'll have to face the fact that their marriage is a success. I know it's hard for you to stomach, but why don't you climb down off your high horse and meet the boy?'

'You're my closest friend, George. No one else in the world would dare to speak to me like that. So no one knows better than you why I can~t climb down, not until that bastard Kane shows he is willing to meet me half way, but until then, I won't crawl again while he's still alive to watch me.'

What if you were to die first, Abel? You're exactly the same age.'

Then Id lose and Florentyna, inherits everything!

'You told me she wouldn't get a thing. You were going to change your will in favour of your grandson!

'I couldn't do it, George. When the time came to sign the documents, I just couldn't do it. What the hell, that damned grandson is going to end up with both our fortunes in the end.'