Lin Page 23
answer, he noticed Allen's eyes had clouded over. C.J. had lost his interest. Without even an acknowledgment or reply, Allen had floated away, drawn into another conversation, that's it, done with you, bye. And yet he had returned later on, because he had heard the story behind the scar on C.J.'s arm, and with a wolfish grin he had wrapped his arm around the young man's shoulders and said, I understand you've had some trouble lately and can't get a work visa. Want to help me on something?

C.J. knows it is about to happen again. He will be prompted for an opinion, a burst of brilliance, but his version of brilliance will be found lacking. Allen must have read in some cockamamie book about how to be a better corporate leader that a happy employee is an employee that is allowed to hang himself with his own rope. Thus, an employee must be encouraged to have opinions, set forth plans and hypotheses, enjoy the impression that he is in

charge of his own destiny. And it is the boss's duty to listen to all this with kind visage before trashing it in favor of his own thinking, for that is the boss's awesome and lonely responsibility.

Hell, C.J. thinks. This is no different than working in an office.

Out loud, he says: Unless the records turn up, I guess we'll need to keep investigating the Chens

No good~already Allen is looking at some distant point over C.J.'s left shoulder. You're forgetting that we have to wrap this up quick, he says. If we can't figure this out by the weekend, they'll have to pay out the insurance. And we get nothing.

Nothing? No one said