Irwin Shaw The
rich man, the poor man
1945. The unusual family of Jordahs lives in the city of Port-Philippe. Nobody loves anyone in this family. Father, Axel Jordah, works in his own bakery and hates this work, and this country. His wife believes that he ruined her life and her dreams. Raised in strict rules in the monastic shelter, she sees the fulfillment of marital duties as a nightmare. All three children dream of breaking out of the family. The eldest daughter Gretchen works in the office of the brick factory Boylan, and in the evenings on duty in the hospital. He dreams of becoming an actress. She believes that someday something extraordinary and exciting will happen to her. Younger son Thomas is a small gangster. He is very fond of fighting and enjoys his own cruelty.
Nineteen-year-old Gretchen is a beauty. Men are not interested in her, but the wounded from the hospital, where she is on duty in the evenings, are not averse to having fun with her. Two recovering Negroes invite her to spend Saturday with them outside the city, for which they promise to pay eight hundred dollars. With the thought “no, never” on Saturday she gets on the bus and is not far from the appointed place. Accidentally passing by by car Theodore Boylan, owner of a brick factory, invites her to a restaurant. After dinner, drunk Gretchen tells him about his failed adventure. Teddy takes her to his mansion on the hill, and the next day Gretchen on his desk finds an envelope in which the sum she mentioned is eight hundred dollars. She becomes Teddy Boylan’s mistress. But an inseparable friend of Thomas (the son of an accountant at a brick factory and a nephew of a priest), pummeling him for various tricks, traces Gretchen. Having made his way to the window of Boylan’s mansion, Thomas receives full confirmation of this. And on the day of victory over the
On the birthday of Rudolph, when the birthday cake appears on the table (an exceptional case – it is not customary to celebrate birthdays in this family), the priest and his brother call the father into the corridor and tell about Thomas’s participation in the arson of the cross. Axel immediately sends him to Elysium to his brother Harold, the owner of the car agency, where Thomas will work in the garage. The same day he leaves for New York and Gretchen, despite the fact that Teddy Boylan makes her an offer. Mother already knows everything, and at parting she calls her daughter a harlot.
Lonely and, in fact, the unfortunate forty-year-old Teddy Boylan ties up with Rudolph a friendly relationship, offers him his patronage upon admission to college and money for training. His proposal Gretchen remains in style. But Rudolph communicates with his sister and knows that she does not need Mr. Boylan. She is quite happy – she works as a statistician in the theater and is going to marry Willie Abbott, who earns a living by writing promotional articles.
Thomas is working quietly until his relationship with Twenty-five-year-old Clothilde maid is revealed. With her, Thomas first learns what love and care means. But Uncle Harold has long been seeking her favor, and she has to give in. Thomas is desperate – he can not do anything for her, because he’s only sixteen. Soon Thomas is imprisoned on charges of raping minor twins from the richest family in Elysium, with whom, however, the whole city sleeps. For his release Axel gives five thousand dollars – all the money set aside for training Rudolph. At night in the bakery he puts a rat poison in one of the buns – his last message to this world, to teach humanity a lesson. Then he sits in a boat, and the troubled waves of a large river carry the boat to the ocean. His body will not be found.
1949. After wandering along the roads of America, Thomas arranges to work in a sports club. Here he begins to learn boxing, and very successfully. All this time he does not receive any news from the family. Catching the hand of the kleptomaniac, one of the wealthy members of the club, Thomas blackmail extorts money from him – five thousand dollars to return to his father. But in Port-Philip he does not find his family, even at home with the bakery does not exist. Thomas leaves money in the bank safe.
1950. With funds from Boylan, Rudolph graduated from college in the small town of Whitby. He also carries his mother there. As a student, he begins to work at a local department store as a storekeeper, then as a salesman, his responsibilities are gradually expanding, and earnings are growing. The owner of the department store Duncan Calderwood greatly appreciates Rudolf and offers him the position of assistant manager. Learning that he is going to stay in this hole, the girl Rudolph throws it.
Gretchen’s son Billy was born. Mother still does not communicate with her.
1954 Rudolf with his friend Johnny Heath is developing a project to create a trading corporation. As a result, Rudolph must become a very rich man. The final signing of all the papers they are celebrating in New York in an apartment at Gretchen. Suddenly, a strange phone call rings. Someone is looking for Mr. Jordan, but not Rudolph. Here Rudolf and Gretchen remember that they have a brother who, as it turns out, is a boxer. The match, Thomas’s wife, the whole surrounding situation produces a painful impression on Gretchen and Rudolph. The next day, Thomas commits a foolish act – gives the brother the very five thousand. Rudolph tries to persuade Thomas to leave this money to his son, then offers him a job, but he refuses everything and bids farewell to his relatives for the next ten years. And Rudolph puts this money in the name of Thomas in the shares of his corporation. Mother asks Thomas to visit her. He finds her sick, unhappy old woman. On a rented car, he rolls his mother around the city, takes her to a department store, then to a restaurant. She is perfectly happy, and Thomas feels that the people he should hate now will be one less.
1960 Gretchen divorces Abbott and marries the talented filmmaker Colin Burke, who dies in a car crash.
Rudolph buys a house for his mother in Whitby. Two operations and faith in money literally revive it. She loves to make small and large purchases for the house and even plays bridge twice a week. And her son, a merchant monk who gave a vow of wealth instead of a vow of poverty, finally marries a charming girl, Jean Prescott. She works as a photographer, fulfills orders for different magazines. But after the wedding, she confesses to Rudolf that she is fabulously rich – she has a huge inheritance.
After an unsuccessful match in Paris, where he will be knocked out for the first time in his life, Thomas is forced to work for a penny as a sparring partner from the contender for the title. True, Thomas is not without pleasure sleeping with his wife. During the clarification of relations, Thomas beats the future champion so much that he is forced to hide. He is arranged by a sailor on a Greek steamer. This life is like Thomas – no more worries about money and no one asks about the past. He behaves quietly and does not get involved in any fights, but one day he has to protect his friend Dwyer from the attacks of a sailor who terrorizes the whole team. How to punish the offender, Thomas does not stop there and leads him to suicide. In the nearest port, Thomas and Dwyer have to go ashore. But they already know what to do. They have a dream – to buy a yacht on the Cote d’Azur, where the weather for the rich always stands, and carry passengers. Having realized the prices, Thomas flies to America in the hope of getting money. And gets to the funeral of the mother. Here again there are Jordahs. Mother before death forgives everyone. Even Gretchen.
After the funeral, Thomas learns from Rudolph that his five thousand dollars during this time have turned into sixty thousand. Contrary to the advice of his brother, Thomas asks to prepare for him the next day all the money in cash and immediately sent with them to Europe.
1963 Chairman of the Board of D. K., Enterprise, Co-Chairman of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce, a graduate with honors from Whitby University, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University, a member of the Whitby and Port Philippe Landscaping Commission, an energetic and promising businessman and businessman Rudolph Jordah wants to buy another local newspaper. However, he is going to leave the corporation. He is advised to take up politics. Mayor Whitby already sees him as his successor.
This year, Gene gives birth to his daughter Enid.
1965 Thomas and Dwyer buy a yacht in the port of Antibes. Thomas calls the yacht “Clotilde”, in honor of his only and unforgettable love. After swimming two seasons, they hire a woman, an Englishwoman Kate, as a cook. She immediately fascinates them with her simplicity, and cooks simply divinely. A week later, from a separate cabin, Kate moves to Thomas’s cabin.
Thomas leaves no hope of seeing his son. At his request, Rudolph makes inquiries and discovers Wesley in a military school, and his wife, Thomas, has two convictions for prostitution. Presenting the police director with a police certificate, Thomas easily takes his son with him.
1966 Son Gretchen Billy studies at Whitby University. His relationship with his mother is very strained.
The second pregnancy of Jean ends in a miscarriage. She feels this hard. Gretchen and Rudolph watch the terrible scene. Gene, drunk in bed, sitting on the floor in the living room, hammered methodically with her expensive photographic equipment, Gretchen immediately realizes that Gene is an alcoholic, but Rudolph does not take her warnings seriously.
1967 Billy expelled from the university. Gretchen begs his brother to use ties in Washington to save the boy from Vietnam. Rudolph fulfills her request – this is his last semi-official action. In response to strict measures to combat drugs in Whitby, student riots begin. In the university window appears an enlarged to a gigantic size picture of naked Jean. Rudolph immediately gives the police the order at any cost to clean the building, using batons and tear gas. Among the students there are victims. From this evening Rudolph is no longer the mayor.
1968 Thomas arrives in New York to treat a trauma on the yacht and meets with Rudolph. He also looks bad. One of the brothers now does not look like a boxer, the other – to the mayor. Gene has already been treated for the second time in the clinic for alcoholism. Rudolph helps Thomas formalize the divorce. Thomas is going to marry Kate, who is expecting a baby. At their wedding, come and Gretchen, and Rudolph with Jean and daughter. There is not only Billy – he is in the army, in Brussels. The family reunites. But, despite the lack of alcohol on board, Jin manages to get drunk, and Thomas must pull her out of the dirty port tavern at night. At the same time, Thomas brutally beats a man who is trying to stop him. When the whole family, except Kate and Thomas, leaves for two days, this person rises aboard the yacht.
The next morning after cremation, the yacht sails from the shore, and Wesley pours out his father’s ashes into the sea. Standing on the bow of the yacht, Dwyer looks at the approaching white mansions, bathed in the dazzling light of the morning sun. This is the weather for the rich…