Sex, slaughter and smoke," Colonel Isidor Bieber said as he followed Hirsch Jacobs into Barn 8 at New York's Aqueduct race track. "There's three things wrong with your world today." Jacobs, who has saddled more than 3,100 winners, a record unmatched by any other trainer in the history of Thoroughbred racing, said nothing. He proceeded at once with his usual late-afternoon inspection of the 40-odd horses stabled in Barn 8.
The two men, for more than 30 years the compatible but incongruous partners in the Bieber-Jacobs Stable, one of racing's most successful enterprises, were a study in contrasts as they walked about the barn.
Colonel Bieber, taller than Jacobs, 17 years his senior, might have stepped from the cast of Guys and Dolls, the Broadway and Hollywood musical of a few years ago. He wore a powder-blue suit with wide chalk stripes, a checkered shirt, a white tie and a sporty, snap-brim hat. Yet, despite his costume, there was a scholarly dignity about him, a certain aloofness, the air of a onetime man of action now withdrawn into the contemplation of larger ideas than can be found in a horse barn.
Jacobs, 57, a little under average height, stockily built, his blue eyes bright and clear, his hair as red and thick as it ever was, wore a conservative business suit and looked the man of action that he is, a man most celebrated for the magic he has worked in restoring bad-legged horses to the condition that enables them to race—and win—again.
June 25, 1961
He had not reacted to Colonel Bieber's pronouncement on the state of the world. For one thing, the colonel's views on global matters have long been well known to him and, furthermore, the colonel had not been addressing his remarks to him. Bieber was expressing a few of his opinions for the benefit of a visitor who was writing them down in a notebook.
As Jacobs proceeded briskly from stall to stall, Colonel Bieber held back and peered down at the notebook.
"Do you follow me?" he asked.
"I think so," said the visitor, flipping back a page. "Let me just do a little recap here. Sex, as I understand you, is being overdone in foreign movies, especially by actresses like Sophia Loren, and also in novels by people like William Faulkner."
"Correct," said Colonel Bieber, "and don't forget the tie-in with the population explosion.
"Now, slaughter," the colonel continued, "is self-explanatory. War and the rumors of war, that sort of thing. I named a horse Hate War to get that point over. The idea is that we should hate war but not our fellow man."
"World brotherhood, in other words," suggested the visitor.
"That's the ticket," said the colonel, who has not spoken to his own brother, Phil, a horse trainer, for years. They communicate, when absolutely necessary, by writing notes to each other.
"Well," said the visitor, "that brings us to smoke. Am I to understand that you think people are smoking entirely too much these days?"
"Anybody who smokes at all," said the colonel firmly, "is smoking too much. I've tried to get that message across with some of our horses. I named horses Don't Smoke, Puffaway Sister and Kansirette. Then there was one I called Set an Example, which I hoped would persuade smoking mothers to give up the habit and in that way set a good example for their children."
"Have you noticed any decrease in smoking at the race tracks as a result of your campaign, Colonel?"
"Frankly, no," said the colonel, "and I'm very concerned. I just don't see how the younger generation is going to stand up in battle with all that nicotine in their systems."
The colonel's strong views on smoking have kept him from seeing much of another brother, Herman, 78. Herman greatly admires the colonel, but he is a heavy cigar smoker and cannot break the habit.
The visitor was frowning over his notes. "Something eating you?" asked the colonel.
"Well, yes," said the visitor, "the three things wrong with the world. Sex, slaughter and smoke. Where does inflation fit in there? I know you feel that's a great evil because you named one of your horses Fight Inflation."
The colonel rubbed his chin. "You're absolutely correct," he said. "As Bernard Baruch says, 'Inflation can be more deadly than the atom bomb.' Still, if you just add the word inflation to sex, slaughter and smoke the punch would be gone."
"You want to preserve the alliteration, you want a word starting with s."
"Give me a minute here," said the colonel, clasping his hands behind his back and staring up at the roof of the horse barn.
"Stupidity!" blurted the colonel suddenly, throwing out his arms. "Inflation is certainly stupid, so let's say that there are four things wrong with the world today—sex, slaughter, smoke and stupidity! How's that?"
"Perfect," said the visitor, writing it down. "That's got a real ring to it."
Colonel Bieber walked down a row of stalls to where Hirsch Jacobs and his 26-year-old son and first assistant, John, stood watching a 2-year-old filly named Memories Dear eating her oats with good appetite.
"She's certainly calmed down fine," John Jacobs was saying. "When we brought her up from Maryland you couldn't get near her. We had to put a twitch on her lip before we could work on her feet."
"She looks fine," said Hirsch Jacobs. As is his custom in the presence of horses, he began humming a tinny-voiced tune.
"Who's this one?" inquired Colonel Bieber.
"This is Memories Dear," said Hirsch Jacobs.
"Oh, yes," said the colonel.
They walked along and crossed over to the other line of stalls. Jacobs stopped in front of a big handsome chestnut colt who looked at him and yawned.
"Doesn't this horse yawn an awful lot?" he was asked.
"I never saw a good horse who wasn't a great yawner," said Jacobs.
"He won't touch his hay," a groom said.
Jacobs studied the bundle of hay hanging outside the stall, and then he said, "Maybe he doesn't like this particular hay. Go get him some fresh hay out of another batch."
"Yes, sir," said the groom, taking down the hay and hurrying away.
It was a small, but significant, demonstration of Jacobs' way with horses. After sending more than 20,000 of them to the races, Hirsch Jacobs is surprised by nothing a horse does or refuses to do. (As it turned out a few minutes later, he was right about the original hay not being quite to the horse's taste.)
"Who's this fellow?" asked Colonel Bieber.
"This is Dr. Miller, Beebee," said Hirsch Jacobs. The colonel is called Beebee or Izzy by his intimates, but he does not encourage these familiarities from people he knows only slightly.
"Oh yes, Dr. Miller, of course," said Colonel Bieber.
Dr. Miller is the best the Bieber-Jacobs Stable had to offer in the big 3-year-old stakes this year. He ran fourth in the Derby, he won the three-horse Preakness Prep, finished fourth in the Preakness and fifth in the Belmont. Up to this afternoon he had more than paid for his feed and travel bills with total winnings this year of $30,197.
Colonel Bieber's failure to recognize his own horses (his and Jacobs', that is) does not mean that there is anything wrong with his memory or his vision. He can rattle off past performances readily enough, and he can recite the order of finishes in races run years ago. The explanation probably is that his mind is so filled with larger problems that there is just no room in it for mental pictures of horses. Horses' names, yes, but not the horses themselves. (Colonel Bieber does not name all the horses. The Jacobs family names many of them, usually for friends—like Dr. Miller, a California physician—or for each other: Our Dad, Dear Mother, Our Patrice, Tanker Tom, Globetroter John.)
Whereas Colonel Bieber has trouble telling one horse from another, Hirsch Jacobs has a phenomenal eye for them. It is said that he could call a race without the aid of binoculars. Not only can he recognize his own horses a city block away (he could do the same thing with racing pigeons when he was a boy in Brooklyn), but he has an uncanny memory for other people's horses and an amazing knack for spotting latent abilities in runners whose owners have given up on them.
In Barn 8, Hirsch Jacobs had satisfied himself that everything was under control. It would not be necessary, as it is sometimes, for him to return after dinner and sit up with an ailing horse.
Walking briskly, with short, quick strides, Jacobs started for the door, his son John at his side, the colonel following a little behind.
"Hirsch," called the colonel, "I am wearing my cheap $20 shoes again and it's like walking on air. Those $103 shoes of mine kill me."
"Beebee," said Jacobs over his shoulder, "wears his $103 shoes on the days he expects everything to go wrong. That way he knows he can count on at least one pleasure—taking off the shoes."
Isidor Bieber is a lifelong bachelor, Hirsch Jacobs a devoted family man. Jacobs was a poor boy in Brooklyn, one of 10 children of a New York tailor, when Bieber was already a legendary figure along Broadway, a broker in tickets for the hit shows and big sporting events. While Jacobs was racing pigeons for small side bets, Bieber was a big-time gambler who once won $112,000 in one afternoon at the races, then lost $80,000 of it betting on Jack Sharkey to beat Jack Dempsey.
Now, leaving Barn 8, they walked to John Jacobs' car. Hirsch Jacobs and the visitor sat in the back and Colonel Bieber sat up front because he would be the first out. John Jacobs tuned in the radio for a Bill Stern broadcast. Stern had called to say he would deliver an "editorial" on Jacobs that evening.
It was quite an editorial. Stern reviewed the case of the Bieber-Jacobs horse, Keep Ideals, who, after winning a race at Aqueduct, was found to have been stimulated. Jacobs had been promptly exonerated in the case, but it was still a tender subject. Bill Stern made it a springboard for a ringing tribute to Jacobs, so enthusiastic that Jacobs himself seemed a little embarrassed. Stern told of Jacobs' having been investigated time and again through the years, simply because his horses won so frequently. He said there was no finer character in racing, no more admirable citizen, no more splendid human being than Hirsch. He concluded by saying that if racing ever needed a czar, a man of the highest integrity, it could do no better than to choose Hirsch Jacobs.
When it was over, everyone was silent, and then Hirsch Jacobs said, "Well, he didn't knock me."
John Jacobs pulled up before a rambling house of brick and stucco in Forest Hills where Colonel Bieber lives with his sister and her husband. As he got out of the car, the colonel turned to the visitor with the notebook and said, "Got all the information you want?"
"As a matter of fact, no," said the visitor. "I'd like to drop in on you tomorrow evening and ask you something about your war record—I understand that you went into the Army in World War I as a buck private and rose to your present rank of colonel."
"You're all wrong there," said the colonel. "I went in as a private and came out as a private. Be here at 7:30."
The conversation turned to Hirsch Jacobs' early days as a pigeon raiser. "Almost every kid in the neighborhood was interested in keeping pigeons when I was growing up," said Jacobs. "The importance of pigeons in my case was that they put me in touch with people who were also interested in horses.
"One of the people I met this way was Charley Ferraro. He was a builder. He got me into the East New York Homing Club. I was only 12 years old at the time, but they elected me racing secretary and treasurer.
"Then in the early '20s Charley began taking me out to the race tracks. I was then 17 or 18. I liked racing from the beginning. I studied the methods of the trainers, and after a while I went to Ferraro and said, 'Charley, this is easy.' "
Almost from the beginning Hirsch Jacobs made it look that way. He claimed his first horse, Reveillon, in 1926 and won $700 with him. In 1927 he acquired a couple of horses that Ferraro had been training in Cuba for two Canadian owners. It was in Cuba that Jacobs met Isidor Bieber for the first time (as Bieber remembers it, he had seen Jacobs, "a redheaded kid," around the Jamaica track before that) and later on, when Hirsch was racing at Bainbridge Park in Cleveland, Bieber sent him four horses to sell. Jacobs handled the assignment, then with Bieber he repurchased one of the four, a horse named Jack Biener. With that deal the partnership was born, Jacobs furnishing the training know-how and Bieber the better part of the bank roll.
Jacobs' theory about conditioning horses was simple enough on the face of it. He insists to this day that there's nothing to it except common sense. He would watch the horses in claiming races, go after the ones that seemed to have potential (the catch here was that Hirsch Jacobs could see or sense potential where other trainers and owners couldn't) and buy those bad-legged horses that appeared to have a chance of being brought back into shape. Then, once a horse had responded to Jacobs' trial-and-error, common-sense conditioning, he would run the horse as often as possible. That has remained the cardinal rule down through the years. ("It's better to run a horse than to work him approximately the same distance," he says. "And there's actually less chance of a horse getting hurt in a race than in a workout.")
The system soon began to pay off. Jacobs and Bieber acquired more and more cheap horses and, as one race track veteran puts it, "ran them like a fleet of taxicabs." In 1936 Jacobs bought a horse with a bowed tendon and a reputation for being wild. He was the 7-year-old Action, and Jacobs brought him around, physically and emotionally, with the result that he won 11 of his 13 starts that season, including four stakes.
The big break came in 1943. "In the spring of that year," Jacobs recalls, "I noticed this chestnut colt with splendid conformation in the paddock one day. He was a son of Equestrian, who was by one of my favorites, Equipoise.
"A few days later I noticed his name—Stymie—in the entries. He was owned by King Ranch and trained by Max Hirsch. The claiming price was $1,500. I got on down to the track just in time to claim him."
Under Jacobs, Stymie became one of the great horses of all time, the darling of the New York racing crowds, the winner of purses totaling $918,485—a hard-cash stake that enabled the Bieber-Jacobs partnership to branch out into breeding and acquire their 283-acre horse farm at Monkton, Maryland. They gratefully named it Stymie Manor.
John Jacobs turned into the driveway behind the 10-room, red-brick Georgian house in which the family has lived for the past 23 years. There were three other cars in the garage, a Thunderbird and two green Cadillacs (Hirsch Jacobs is superstitious about green Cadillacs and will have no other kind).
John Jacobs opened the garage doors with a remote-control device in his car. The Jacobses are gadget-happy. Their home is equipped with elaborate burglar-and fire-alarm systems. There are five television sets and 14 radios scattered around, a movie projector and a big screen, uncounted cameras.
Inside the house Hirsch Jacobs kissed his "owners," his wife Ethel and his 24-year-old-daughter Patrice. Most of the Bieber-Jacobs horses run under the emerald-green and salmon-pink colors of Patrice and her mother. The horses actually are leased to them and remain the property of the Bieber-Jacobs Stable.
At dinner the Jacobses made a handsome family portrait. Tommy, 20, the youngest, looks like a young Montgomery Clift; after a stretch in the service he has definitely made up his mind to be a trainer and rides a pony every morning as he leads the horses out in sets. Patrice is as animated and pretty as Debbie Reynolds. John, 26, is the image of his father. The parents, both looking younger than their years, radiate a kind of serenity that is rare among people whose fortunes are tied to the vagaries of the running horse.
The talk was mostly of horses, with Patrice questioning her father and her brothers knowledgeably about those that were ailing. Mrs. Jacobs did not have a joke to tell, but she often does, and if it is in dialect, everyone is convulsed.
Mary, the cook, took her time as she passed things around the table, listening to the gossip from the stables. Since she went to work for the Jacobs family she, too, has become emotionally involved with their horses. She made a trip to Baltimore on her own to see Dr. Miller run in the Preakness.
The visitor wasn't eating much and Mrs. Jacobs mentioned it.
"I'm the type," said the visitor, "who will just nibble all day and then load up on peanut butter at bedtime."
"I was reading," said Patrice, "that President Kennedy will go into the kitchen late at night and fix himself a peanut-butter sandwich."
Hirsch Jacobs gave no hint of what he might be thinking, but it was entirely possible that he was turning over in his mind the idea of feeding peanut butter to horses. It is well known that he believes what is good for humans is quite often likely to be good for horses and vice versa. He treats cases of cuts and bruises in the family with horse remedies. Once he cured a troublesome corn on his foot with white iodine and immediately used it successfully to heal a sore spot on the leg of a horse. Veterinarians who go by the book are often bewildered by some of Jacobs' improvisations in treating horses. "Why are you doing that?" the vets will frequently ask. "Because it works," Jacobs usually replies.
After dinner John Jacobs showed some films from the family library. There was Stymie winning his greatest race, the Gold Cup at Belmont in 1947, and Patrice's Hail to Reason winning his last race before breaking down in a workout, the $135,065 World's Playground Stakes at Atlantic City.
After the Hail to Reason film, the talk turned to the great colt who, experts agree, would have been a prime contender for the Triple Crown this year. Mrs. Jacobs recalled the awful day when John called from the barn and sobbed, "Hail's broken down and he'll never race again." When Mrs. Jacobs broke the news to Patrice, she started to cry and couldn't stop for two days. Tommy, in the Army at Fort Knox, Ky. got the news in a telegram from Patrice and he cried "for the first time since I was 5 years old."
"He was the greatest horse I ever had," said Hirsch Jacobs.
Before the Kentucky Derby this year the entire family made a pilgrimage to Lexington, Ky., where Hail to Reason is at stud, just to pay a social call on him. "He knew me," said Patrice. "Maybe not at first, but he did when I started to feed him sugar."
Patrice doesn't cry about Hail to Reason any more. A naturally optimistic young woman, normally bubbling over with her enthusiasm, she has fixed her mind now on his future as a great sire. "I've named a horse Looking Forward," she says, "because that's what we're all doing, just looking forward to Hail's sons and daughters."
Deep in his lounge chair, Hirsch Jacobs reached into his inside coat pocket and drew out a plastic envelope containing a few typewritten sheets listing all the horses (about 215) in the Bieber-Jacobs empire, which has outposts in Kentucky, California, Virginia and Florida. "This is my office," he said, holding up the plastic case, which once had contained a pair of Patrice's slippers. "This and what I carry around in my head." Jacobs has a real office in Barn 8 at Aqueduct. It is paneled and nicely furnished, but the only time he goes near it is to make a telephone call or get a pair of galoshes on sloppy mornings.
Hirsch Jacobs contemplated the list, then returned the envelope to his pocket and yawned—as horses and humans should do after an honest day's effort. If he could hold out, he would stay up for the 11 o'clock news on television but certainly no later. For he would be up at 6, breakfast on two uncooked prunes, stick an apple in his pocket and drive to the track with John and Tommy by 7. Once there, he would bustle about, barking orders, praising some of the help, reprimanding others, hurrying out to stand at the rail, stop watch in hand as exercise boys breezed selected horses. If the track was fast, he would take a ruled pencil from his pocket, poke it down to measure the cushion. If the track was too hard, he might scratch a horse he had planned to run.
It would be a day in some ways like any other, in some ways like no other day before. In August the scene would shift to Saratoga, in the late fall Hirsch and Ethel Jacobs would go to California for the racing at Santa Anita, and John would take a string of horses to Florida. Patrice and Tommy would divide their time between the East and West. There would be many a trip to the winner's circle for Patrice and her mother, for, as sure as sunup, Hirsch Jacobs will race his horses more than he works them and almost certainly win, as always, a little oftener than anybody else.
The following evening Colonel Isidor Bieber, comfortable in slacks and sport shirt, sat in the book-lined study of his house, a few blocks away from the Jacobs' home in Forest Hills. The visitor was back with a fresh notebook. He had emptied his pockets of cigarettes down at the corner, and his cheeks bulged with fragrant cough drops to cover his smoker's breath. It had been made clear to him, by intimates of Bieber, that the colonel would refuse to talk to a man who fouled the air of his study with tobacco in any form.
"Where were we?" said the colonel.
When he was reminded, he said, "I went into the Army in World War I as a private and came out as a private. I got to be a colonel back in the 1930s. Hirsch and I were in Miami with our good friend, Damon Runyon. We had just won an important stake and, after the race, the governor of Florida—Schultz, Sholtz, some name like that—came down to the winner's circle to present the trophy."
The colonel paused and let his eyes run over his bookshelves. They contained the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, W. Somerset Maugham, Cervantes, Lin Yutang, Dostoevsky and a paperback edition of Man Against Himself by Karl Menninger.
"Now," continued the colonel, "I've got to give you a little background on the situation. At the time I was quite a well-known character along Broadway. But I had this nickname. They called me Kid Bieber. I hated it. I think it was Mark Twain who said nicknames are the invention of the devil.
"Well, I got this nickname of Kid Bieber as a result of a scrap I had with a certain private detective, a house dick, I believe, named Paddy McDonald. I forget what the argument was about, but anyway he took a poke at me in the lobby of the Grand Opera House on 23rd Street. I didn't hit him back then and there. I wouldn't stoop to such undignified conduct in a theater lobby. But I informed this bum McDonald that I would be pleased to meet him on the Hudson River docks later that night.
"Well, a big crowd showed up on the docks to see the fight. I gave McDonald the shellacking of his life. Some freelance reporter was there and he phoned in the story to the New York Journal. Next day the paper came out and told all about the big fight between Paddy McDonald and Izzy (Kid) Bieber."
He was silent a moment.
"Well, there I was," he continued, "in the winner's circle with Hirsch Jacobs, Damon Runyon and the governor of Florida—saddled with the nickname of Kid Bieber. "And then I got this sudden inspiration. I leaned over and whispered to Runyon, 'Damon, ask the governor to make me a colonel on his staff. If I'm a colonel, maybe people won't call me Kid Bieber any more.' Runyon got the idea, and after the ceremony was over he put the question to Governor Schultz or Sholtz or whatever, and the governor said he'd be happy to oblige."
"Did people stop calling you Kid along Broadway?"
"Some did, some didn't. The damnable nickname still pops up every now and then. They even had it in The New York Times a few weeks ago."
The colonel was asked about his reputation along Broadway as a man who was very good with his dukes in the old days. There is a story that Johnny Broderick, the tough Broadway cop, threatened to punch him in the nose and he looked Broderick in the eye and said, "You do that, Broderick, and I'll just give you a receipt."
The colonel looked at the visitor sharply.
"Where did you get that information?"
"At the Paddock Bar and Grill on Broadway, the place you and your brother Herman used to own."
The colonel nodded. "I sold out my interest to Herman. I used to go in there every evening, but too many people began touching me for fives and tens. I got tired of it and sold out. Herman got out of it himself later on."
"Well, how about Broderick?"
"They've misquoted me," said the colonel. "As I recall it, I ran into Broderick while I was operating as a ticket broker outside the six-day bike races at Madison Square Garden. Broderick came up to me and made some remark about punching me. I don't recall saying anything about giving him a receipt. I believe I just invited him to go ahead and punch me and see what happened.
"I remember one occasion though," the colonel said, after a moment, "when I tangled with George Considine, the owner of the Metropole Bar, which was then at 42nd Street and Broadway. I gave him a pretty good beating."
"Do you remember," asked the visitor cautiously, "what that fight was about?"
"Matter of principle," said the colonel, "involving a girl." He glanced up at his bookshelves again.
"The world is my country," he said, "to do good is my religion. Thomas Paine said that. I've altered it slightly. I say, 'The U.S. is my world, to do good is my religion.' "
"I gather from the names of your horses, Colonel," the visitor said, "that you see reason and brotherhood as the hope of the world. There was the great horse Hail to Reason and the other one called Reason Is One, so on and so forth. And, as you've just said, doing good is your religion—in other words, brotherhood for one and all."
The colonel frowned, ordering his thoughts.
"Generally speaking, yes," he said. "But of course there are some bastards around the race tracks a mother couldn't love. I named a horse Modern Iago—Iago was the villain in Othello, in case you don't know Shakespeare—and that was my way of expressing my contempt for a certain character I won't mention by name. There was another bum who was always borrowing money from me and never paying it back. I named a horse Itching Palm after him. After all I did for him, that fellow has gone out of his way to rap me. It puts me in mind of what Disraeli said: 'If you want to be popular and well-liked, never do anything for anybody.' "
"On the positive-thinking side," said the visitor, "I've noticed you've supported the cause of Israel since the country was founded. You had horses named Palestinian, Promised Land and Forgotten Ally. I believe Humane Leader was named in honor of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion. This all interests me particularly because I've been to Israel myself."
"Is that so?" said the colonel. "Did you see the mount where Moses was supposed to have received the Ten Commandments?"
"No, I missed that."
"Well, let me ask you this," said the colonel. "What evidence do we have that Moses didn't make up the Ten Commandments himself?"
"I never thought of that."
"Well, think about it," said the colonel. "Were there any witnesses? No. Would Moses' story hold up in a court of law today? I doubt it. The judges would say, 'Where's your evidence?' "
"You haven't made that point with a horse name, have you, Colonel Bieber?"
"No," he said, "and I don't intend to. It's too touchy a subject."
The colonel has been obliged to make one conspicuous change in his foreign policy. During the last war he had horses running under the names of Russian Valor and Russian Action. "The Russians were our allies then," he explained. "When they showed their true character after the war I gave my opinion of Stalin with a horse named Champion Liar. I also wrote a letter to Charles Wilson, the Secretary of Defense, stating that, in my opinion, Russia was pulling the biggest bluff in history. He wrote me a nice letter back."
"What did he say?"
"He said I was absolutely correct."
The colonel has always been opposed to the rearming of Germany. He named one horse No third chance, referring, of course, to giving Germany a third chance to start a war. "General Jan Smuts said a rearmed Germany was more dangerous than Russia," he said.
"And I believe Field Marshal Montgomery goes along with that view. I named a horse Hail Montgomery, and I named a horse Remember History to hammer home the thought. Wasn't it George Santayana who said, 'Those who fail to profit by the lessons of history are condemned to relive it?' Oh, people can be blind. I told Bernard Baruch that he and Winston Churchill were guilty of a grave sin of omission. They should have pulled the Gandhi act—in other words, they should have gone on a hunger strike to protest the rearming of Germany. Baruch said I was absolutely correct, but that it was too late to do anything about it now."
The visitor closed his notebook and got up from his chair.
"Colonel," he said as they walked toward the door, "you certainly have some provocative and stimulating ideas."
Colonel Bieber nodded. "I'm smart," he said. "I've got brains. I don't mind saying so. I never did see any point in false modesty."
The colonel's got brains, all right. Brains and Hirsch Jacobs.