An excerpt from

Pig Iron
by Paul Davies

'We're from High Performance magazine in Colorado. Drove down to see you fellas here today on invitation of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Though we thought this here'd be an American team,' he said, grinning knowingly at his companions and fiddling with his cowboy tie.

'You boys want some coffee?' Ephram said. He had a bit of a threatening look in his eye. It said: Back off, buckaroo.

Jackson would have known Ephram's name as an engine builder, but until that moment hadn't taken any notice of him. He might have wished he had. Ephram was scary when he got that look in his eye?those times when, beyond his general malevolence for people, somebody really started to piss him off. In this case, Jackson's cynical neglect of the United States being a nation of loyal immigrants.

'I think I might've seen you over in Korea, Mr. Jackson,' Ephram added. 'Could that be?'
He had a talent for cornering smart-asses, often with a single stroke. Ephram himself was in Korea for a full tour, and, at his age, Howard Jackson had better answer 'yes,' or he was clearly a slacker, a coward, or un-American. Or, if he had, they were both patriots who'd made the sacrifice.

'Uh,no, you wouldn't have, actually.'

Ephram just glared at him. He also knew not to spend his triumph when he had one.
'Uh, Mr. Breithaupt, uh, Brittam,' Jackson said, clearing his throat, trying to recover his poise. 'About the vehicle. Is that it over there?'