While visiting a mental institution in upstate New York, a Catholic priest encounters a strange patient by the name of Jude Thaddeus. For some unknown reason Jude has been incarcerated and heavily sedated for many years. In a brief encounter with Father Mulrooney, Jude secretly passes an ingeniously disguised hand written manuscript. This political thriller reveals the greatest conspiracy in American history. Jude a former Wall Street power broker and a potential grandmaster had the chess skill and financial backing to set in motion an intricately crafted scheme, to fulfill the life long presidential dream of Nelson Rockefeller. The key to Jude's strategy was an amendment to the U.S. constitution. Also included in this captivating saga were manipulated elections, the oil crises, the Watergate setup, and other true historical events. This fascinating narrative seamlessly weaves fact with fiction. From the opening page to the final line, this is a storyteller's novel. Is this the imagination of a lunatic, or did this really happen? That's what the reader is left to ponder.
“Megan, dear, will you pour Jude a little more champagne? We have another toast,” Rocky said, turning to Jude. “By the end of business hours today, the money we discussed will be wire-transferred to your checking account at the brokerage firm.”
The redhead picked up Jude’s glass and started pouring gracefully. As Jude watched, he noticed that she was not interested in the champagne...rather odd, he thought. She looked like the type to fight over golden bubbly. He suddenly had a chilling thought – I do know a lot, maybe too much? Pre-administered antidotes and poisons unknown to science, was this one of the tricks of Lancehead? No everything is fine, the game is now over.
Jude lifted his glass to make a toast with a voice of confidence saying, “Mr. Vice President, to your long and enjoyable life.”
“Thank you, Jude. I expect to enjoy all the time I have. And I trust you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle. I trust you understand this relationship we've had is now over. From now on, you will run your business independently and distantly from ours.” Rocky smiled at Megan, and took her hand. “Now I must get to work - enjoying my art collection and some of the finer and 'funner' things in life.”
”Goodbye, Mr. Vice President,” Jude said as he got up to leave. “It was a pleasure working with you and your organization. We did make some history, and played quite a game of chess.”
“Yes we did, Jude,” Rocky said. Then, almost as an afterthought, said, “And thank you for all you have done. It was a great game. It was remarkable...but no one would believe it.”
Jude shook his hand and departed. He was down the elevator in a few minutes. It was a beautiful day, so he decided to walk back to his office. He was in high spirits. He was pleased with his morning so far, twenty million to be deposited in his bank account. He had his brokerage firm with some very interesting contacts, nationally and internationally, which would bear future cultivation, in the ordinary way of doing business.
Jude started walking briskly toward 5th Ave. He was very happy and a little cocky, smiling at people as they passed by, and thinking pleasantly, “I’ve done it, oh how I love the game of chess. Using the right strategy, I was able to pull off the greatest chess maneuvers and changed history; it was so well crafted no one even realizes what happened. Ah, Frank Marshall must be smiling down at me now. Yes Frank, I enjoyed your book and it was quite a swindle wasn’t it, right to the very end? He wondered if Gala would be free for a late afternoon lunch.”
Suddenly, he was starting to feel fuzzy. The champagne was stronger than any he had ever had...or was there something in it? His eyes became blurry, his head started to pound. His fear swelled as he thought of the sweet champagne: what was in it? A quote from the chess master Tartakower screamed in Jude’s brain. "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
He’s head started to spin as he began to stagger and stumble.
A policeman standing on Rockefeller Plaza yelled out, “Stand back… he looks like he’s on drugs or he could be crazy.”
Jude’s vision became blurred and the last thing he remembered was the sidewalk rushing toward his face.
Born in Scranton, PA, John Graduated from Clarks Summit High School 1963. He served as a US Paratrooper 173rd Abn. Brigade, in Vietnam. John is the President of Reaction Plastics manufacturer of plastics for automotive industry and US Navy munitions. He lives in Oregonia, OH, with his wife Pammy Sue.
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