A shower was moving in. From the big window on the 25th floor of the First National Bank Building in Dallas, you could see the gray-brown wall of rain creeping across expressways and clumps of tall buildings 15 miles away, out in the north part of town. Bunker Hunt touched a button on the desk in his office. A voice came over a loudspeaker.
"Uh, what was that?" the voice said.
"How's everything across the sea in Ireland?" Bunker Hunt said.
"Well, the horses are working every day and looking good," the voice said.
Bunker Hunt bent toward the loudspeaker and chuckled. It was a wonderful thing to touch a button in Dallas and hear your 18-year-old son's voice speaking from Ireland. It was also a wonderful thing to hear that the horses were looking good. The horses have been looking so good lately that Bunker has been wiping his glasses and pushing his hair back off his brow and cocking his head toward his left shoulder and letting out chuckle after chuckle, a little parade of chuckles marching forth across the sea to Ireland, England and France.
And why not? Just two weeks ago, in a period of five days, Bunker's horse Empery (10 to 1) won the English Derby at Epsom, and Bunker's horse Youth (2 to 1) won the French Derby at Chantilly. A few days earlier Bunker's horse Dahlia (4-1) had won the Hollywood Invitational in California to become the third leading money-winning thoroughbred of all time ($1,512,943—only Kelso and Round Table have earned more). That was worth a few chuckles, too. In seven days three of Bunker's horses had won $502,340, and Bunker had become the first U.S. owner to take both the English and French Derbies in the same year.
Now the matter under discussion was the Irish Derby, to be run on June 26.
"Put Ted on," Bunker said to son Houston Hunt in Ireland.
In a moment an Irish voice said over the loudspeaker, "What'll be your pleasure, govnah?"
"Are you boys still throwing bombs at each other over there?" Bunker said.