"That you give me an option on the deal next season."
Sandy did not know what "option" meant. "I don't know," he said, stalling.
"You drive a hard bargain," Tyler replied, smiling. "I'll tell you what. Give me an option on just five of the tickets next year, then four the year after that, then three, and so on—and I'll still always pay for your two. In a few years, you'll have control of all the tickets. How's that?" Sandy began to comprehend what an option was. Also, for the first time, he appreciated that he was going to get these same tickets year in and year out, perpetually. That is the way it is with season tickets.
"Yes, sir." Davis Tyler stuck out his hand, and they shook on it. Then he pushed a button, and Miss Mary came hustling in. "Miss Mary," Tyler said, "have a draft drawn up for my signature for $300, payable to the Baltimore Colts." Miss Mary left in a confused bustle.
Tyler leaned back in his big chair and looked carefully over at Sandy, who was smiling proudly and fingering his porkpie hat. This had to be the smartest colored boy he had ever met. Also, it occurred to Tyler (for he was a most forward-looking man) that within a few years, banks—which is to say, especially the First Merchants Trust—were surely going to have to hire colored people as tellers and maybe even assistant branch managers and whatnot. As fast as things were going, this was a distinct possibility. "You in school, Mr. Tatler?" Tyler asked.
"Yes, sir. Dunbar."
"Hmmm. You going to college?"
Sandy had never thought seriously about college. "Yes, sir," he replied quickly. "I want to go to the college."
"Well fine," Tyler said, "and when you graduate, you come back and see me, and I'm sure there'll be a job here for you." He paused. "Maybe even as a teller."