"Al's master stroke," Slusher says. "Somebody's finally telling Wilson, 'Good boy.' I'll give Al all the credit in the world for that."
At breakfast at the Wooden Shoe, Slusher tells Wilson he's meeting with Davis that morning. He asks Wilson to name a price. Wilson writes $900,000 a year on a napkin. Slusher draws up a proposal and presents it to Davis that morning. Davis looks at it and curses. The phone rings. Davis excuses himself and leaves the office.
"It had to be a signal," Slusher says. "I was ready for it."
Davis comes back in. "You know who that was?" he says. "The Generals. You don't have an offer."
Slusher starts packing his stuff. "I've got a signed contract," he says.
"I guess you're not going to show it to me," Davis says.
"That's right," says Slusher.
They stare at each other. Bluff and counter-bluff.
"I was nuts by then. I didn't know what was going to happen," Slusher said recently. "I was thinking they might stash Wilson, or rough me up...you know, crazy thoughts."
Davis curses again and initials the proposal Slusher had drawn up for Wilson. The terms: the original $400,000 for 1983 and a package for the next four years that would bring the five-year average close to $800,000.