Chapter 20: The Infanta
Thursday, July 29th, 1965
"Let's have the car over there, and then it can drive on the road from the left side of the screen." Peggy pointed to the place on the storyboard where she wanted Stan to draw the lines. He quickly sketched in the outlines of a vehicle and drew the motion paths.
"Alright, that looks good. Put some people in the background, on the sidewalk, just talking and smiling." Michael added. He was seated on the table, legs hanging from the side. Peggy sat up from the red chair and looked over Stan's shoulder.
"How's that?" Stan asked.
"Perfect. I think we're almost done." She smiled. Mike walked over to the drink drawer in the creative room and filled it with some brandy, taking a sip. He spoke,
"You think they'll like it?"
"Why wouldn't they?" Stan muttered; his eyes still on the board.
"Why should they?" Mike retorted. Peggy spoke up this time,
"Because it's well thought out; It hasn't been done before, it's fresh, original and usable."
Mike tipped his glass towards Peggy. "True"
Don strode into the creative room with a folder in hand, and greeted everyone with a tip of his fedora. He immediately spoke,
"I'm handing this to Joan, and she is sending it to Lincoln. This is our main ideas, our sketches, and everything we've put together. Is there anything else I need to slide in here?"
Stan stood up and slid a sheet of paper into the folder. "Just one last picture."
"Alright then. Dan Crossman, the CEO of Lincoln is going to be here at three, so in four hours. I want all of you in that meeting. Peggy, you're the voice. Mike, you play back-up. Peggy will lay it out, if he has any questions, you address them. Stan you stand by the drawings and point out what she says on the storyboards. Understood?"
The group agreed and Don turned around, walking over to Joan's office. Stan went over and sat on the couch where Mike had taken a seat. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a cigarette and lit up.
"Pass one." Mike turned to him.
"Thought you didn't smoke?" Stan said
"I do in a celebration." He smiled. Stan passed him a cigarette. Michael brought it to his lips, and he leaned into Stan's lighter. After the end began burning, he inhaled. The smoke filled his lungs; it held a loose aftertaste of mint.
"Not bad." He inhaled again. "Could be stronger though."
"I'm trying to cut back. Not all of us can control the nic." Stan laughed. Peggy walked over to the drinks and wetted the bottom of a thick glass with rum and drank down a small amount.
"A celebration." She smiled.
"To us." Mike raised his glass
"To us." The other two raised their glasses as well.
Ken Cosgrove and Lane Pryce walked into the room just as they were sipping the smooth alcohol.
"What are we celebrating?" Ken asked, walking over to the drinks table and pouring himself a drink.
"If you're having one, I might as well too. Brandy, neat." Ken poured the second glass and Lane opened,
"I saw Don walking into Joan's office: it must be the sign of a job well done."
His smile warmed Stan to speak, "Well we all raised our voices on this one. Team effort, team drink. Seems to fit."
Ken brought Lane his drink, and the proceeded to raise his own glass.
"To the Lincoln crew."
"Here here!" Lane said. "And on that note, with Lincoln hopefully parking in our garage, we are nearly 63% of our old billings."
"Another reason to celebrate." Joan walked into the room smiling, a cigarette dangling loosely from her fingers. Her deep blue dress was drawing out the colour in her eyes, and she knew she had the attention. "I just sent the mail to Lincoln, so please, let's sink this deal."
Conference Room, 3:05
Dan Crossman was certainly the business man they had expected. Rich, affluent and convincing. His air was slightly gaudy and ostentatious, but he still held a pristine sense of truth. He knew what his company needed, and he certainly was not going to settle for anything less. This was the perfect environment and person to unleash their idea upon; he would take the bait without hindrance.
"… And so Mr. Crossman, we came to the idea of prestige: The idea, of Lincoln being the ultimate road car, a car that nothing can supersede. Lincoln needs to be adored, it wants to be adored. It is a car company waiting to show you what it's got. Lincoln is part of America's heritage, a staple in its car industry. It's been around since our grandfather's day: we all remember riding around in his big car. Mike and I took that, and put it into a saying. Lincoln: America's most distinguishable car. The car that sets you apart from other owners."
Peggy relaxed her shoulder and waited for Dan Crossman to speak. The CEO leaned back in his chair looking intently at Peggy's eyes.
"It's good." He said. "Very good." Crossman stood from his seat walking over to Peggy and shaking her hand, followed by Mike's. "When can we get the proofs sent to my office?"
"They left this morning." Don quipped. Dan smiled connivingly and laughed.
"I see you were well prepared. Now I'm a man of vast resources, but the one I feel needs the most attention to me is in the television. I want big commercials: flashy cars, pretty girls, something that catches the watcher. Can you make that happen?" he had turned his head to Don.
"I'll put the head of our television department on that." He stood from the seat, buttoning up his coat.
"Lovely." Dan showed his crooked teeth in a weary smile. "We'll be in touch."
Stan held the two large doors open for the man. Crossman left the conference room with a feeling of confidence.
"We got it." Don smiled.
Harvey Mayfield was a man of known reputation in political circles. He was not only the campaign manager behind Nelson Rockefeller, but the Congressman of New York. He had wealth and power beyond many. Mayfield understood people, and he understood their habits. These two things, in combination with a lot of funding, got him his seat in Congress. "Friends and enemies alike are what you need to succeed." – One of his personal mottos. Rockefeller had hired him as campaign manager, as a good friend, but also because he knew that Harvey would push him into the winners circle.
Harvey knew the election was racing upon them, and so he was making a final stop at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to secure the endurance of the race. He had gone by himself today, driving his own car. The Dodge rolled up a block down, and he stepped out, walking the rest of the way. Once he had ascended in the elevator, he made his way inside the large glass doors and approached the oak rights of passage, and the waiting receptionist.
"I'm her to see Donald Draper, is that possible?"
"Do you have an appointment?" she cordially asked.
"No, well, I sort of dropped in. It's of importance though."
"Well if you don't have an appointment I'll have to ask."
"Alright." He turned from her and peered out the adjacent window.
"Mrs. Harris, is Mr. Draper in?"
There was a moment's silence and then she replied.
"Yes, he just left a meeting. Is there someone for him?"
"A drop in, A Mr. Mayfield is here." She held her hand over the receiver and motioned to speak. "I beg your pardon, but what is the business."
"I am the Governor's Campaign Manager." He stated.
The secretary removed her hand from the receiver and repeated it to Joan.
"I'll be out in a minute to get him." Joan hung up the receiver and jutted out from her office, heading towards the doors.
"Mr. Mayfield, please to meet you." She outstretched her hand and shook his.
"And you are?" he asked happily.
"Joan Harris, I'm the Director of Agency Operations. I'm here to take you to Don." She motioned down the hall behind herself.
"After you then." He smiled slyly. Joan walked with a quickstep as she could feel the eyes watching behind her. "Men need to learn to keep their eyes up." She thought laughingly.
"Well, this is Don's office." She knocked on the door.
"Darn, we never got to talk." He laughed.
"Next time." She laughed as well. Peggy was listening and watching from the creative room and laughing at Joan's misfortune. She looked to Peggy in a desperate smile. Don opened the door just in time and let him in.
"Mr. Mayfield." He extended his hand and shook. The other man entered the office quickly and Don pushed the door closed behind him.
"You have quite the staff." Mayfield laughed connivingly. Don sensed his type of humour and gently played along.
"Yes, well I took a while to get it that way."
"You sly devil!" Harvey chortled from his gut, taking a seat on the far couch.
"Enough with the pleasantries." He began, "I'm coming here to ensure, at least on the Governor's behalf, that we have your full support."
"We're doing everything we can…" Harvey cut him off,
"I know you are, I just had to say it for saying's sake. What I really came here to ask was if it was possible for you guys to throw up a few more billboards around town. I see the ones that have already been erected, but we could use a few more. Bill Harriman has 34, we only have 27 and with the gap closing, it would be good to have a nice edge."
"The gap is closing?" Don was alarmed.
"Yes, and you didn't hear it from me. We're still points ahead, but some of Harriman's ideas are finally gaining traction with the less fortunate, if you get my meaning."
Don stood from his desk and marched to the drinking table, pouring himself a scotch and offering one to Harvey Mayfield. He took the offer and they both sat in silence a moment before Don spoke.
"I'll personally see that we push up more ads. I'll also extend my hand to some friends and see what can be done in other sectors."
Harvey smiled and stood up from his chair, syphoning down the last of the scotch.
"Just what I wanted to hear. Perhaps aim more for the low down and less thought about." He elbowed towards Don and winked. "I can let myself out. Unless one of your pretty ladies could escort me?" he mused.
"I'm sure they would love to, unfortunately they are just all tied up." They both laughed and Harvey Mayfield left Don's office.
"May I never turn out like that." Don sighed.
"Well you're looking better Joannie." Roger Sterling started as Joan entered his office.
"Thank you Roger." She smiled. "You look well too."
"Yeah?" he smiled. "I've been working out a bit. Wouldn't want those coronaries to catch up would we?" he reached for a cigarette in his pocket.
"Of course not." She returned. "Harvey Mayfield came from the Governor's office today."
"Mayfield eh? I've heard that name. He's big time though. Did Don tell you anything he said."
"Just that the gap was closing between W. Averell Harriman and Nelson Rockefeller in the race." Joan leaned back.
Roger became visibly upset. "Dammit, we've been putting out ads all month. Did we secure the billboard on fifth?"
"They're putting it up Friday. It costs too much to put it up any sooner."
"Alright. How about under the Coke board in Times Square?"
"I reserved it for one day before the election."
"One day!" he shouted.
Joan replied indifferently, "At 10 000$ a day, I felt it a bit steep for our budget, considering this election has put us in the red. The new account is the only benefit from this: Peggy and Michael snagged Lincoln, I don't know if you've heard yet."
"Yes I could hear them yammering on in the room over there."
"Oh don't be so sour. This is good. We could really use the money."
"If you say so." Roger butted the cigarette. Suddenly a voice interrupted their conversation.
"Mrs. Harris?" the receptionist said through the intercom.
"Yes?" Joan spoke up.
"Your husband is here."
A cold chill shot down her spine. She shuttered and moved in her seat. Joan looked up to Roger.
"He seems… angry." The receptionist whispered.
"How is he even still here...? Send him into my office. I'll be there in a moment." Her voice was barely audible.
"What's wrong." Roger inquired. His tone was more of a statement than a question.
"We'll talk later Roger. I have to go." She stood from her chair and pushed the hair from her eyes. She was shivering in worry and discontent. When she walked outside Michael saw her from the creative room and he smiled at her. Joan didn't return the gesture and he got a deep bad feeling that nested in his mind. Dropping his pen, he made his way towards Joan who was motionless in the hall.
"… So I thought we could put another on 42nd, maybe one by Maxie's on 23rd… Mike, Mike! Where are you going?" Peggy demanded. He didn't reply. Mike had reached Joan and opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by a yelp from down the hall.
"Joan!" the shout cut clean through the air.
Greg Harris was making his way, thundering, down the corridor towards them.
"Stay here." She muttered.
"Like I was going anywhere else." He stated. Joan looked intently down the hall towards her husband. He had pushed aside a few passersby and had gotten nearly half the offices attention. As he approached them he started yelling.
"You said you would call."
"I said I would call if I wanted to talk. I don't want to talk."
"Oh really?" he bashed loudly, finally coming to a halt a few feet away. "Buzz off man. This isn't your place."
"Actually it is. So why don't you make like a tree, and leave." He could hear Ken laughing from behind him.
"Oh what a comedian!" Greg scoffed. "Thinking he knows his stuff. This isn't between you, and it doesn't concern you. This is a dispute between husband and wife…"
"And you brought it into my office, Bud." Mike rolled up his sleeves in anticipation. Blood was pumping through his veins.
"Looking for a fight?" Greg turned his attention to Michael.
"If need be."
"Yeah? I'm in the military man. Re-evaluate your situation."
"Just did, last time I checked, I fought in Korea and I'm sure you were all cozied up at home."
"Ha-ha." Greg scoffed. "It was a police action." Mike clenched his fists until the knuckles turned white, but never threw a punch.
"Call it what you like, but I had to beat the life out of people I didn't want to, none-the-less. And the people I fought weren't beautiful women." Mike seethed through his teeth.
Greg's face turned beet red in anger. "How dare you take our problems to someone else."
"How dare I?" Joan said. "How dare I! I had nowhere else to go? No one to turn to! You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself Gregory Harris. I don't want to see you anymore. I don't know how you aren't back in Vietnam, but I want out, now. I'll go to Reno on the weekend and get the papers, and you'll sign them, without a fight."
"Who says I'll do that!" Greg laughed in her face.
"I'll make your life absolutely miserable. Don't even begin to think I can't. You've underestimated me before." Michael flashed a smile slyly.
"Quit grinning you little shit." Greg sputtered. "Fine, whatever. You were bad in bed anyway." He mused.
"Actually, she's probably the best you, or I, will have ever had." Mike retorted.
Ken and Stan dropped their jaws in disbelieving laughter. Joan stood semi-awkwardly, but also in a minor state of relief, knowing what had happened was out in the open.
"You fucker!" Greg yelled.
"Now get the hell out of here you dumb son of a bitch. If I ever hear you come within a mile of this woman again, I'll kill ya."
Greg swung back and laid a punch straight into Mike chest, knocking him back into the partition wall of the creative room. He shook his hand from the pain of the blow and Mike careened into a nearby table, slowly reestablishing himself.
"Ya done?" he spat blood onto the floor.
"Just getting started." Greg threw a punch towards Mike's face, which he narrowly avoided, ducking to the left. Mike brought his fist into Greg's stomach, winding him and forcing a hasty recovery. It took a moment but they both re-stabilized. Harris ran towards Mike and attempted an uppercut. Mike stepped on his knee joint and snapped it sideways. Greg buckled in pain and grabbed his leg.
"Michael, that's enough." Roger said, appearing from his office. Mike kicked him in the stomach twice while he was down. Roger ran over and pushed him off.
"Michael, he's out, stop." Roger picked Greg up onto his feet. Greg spat blood onto the floor and said,
"This isn't over."
"Leave, Greg." Joan replied. "Just leave."
"I'm not done here."
Roger grabbed his arm and clasped it tightly. "You're done." He looked Greg in the eyes. "Go home Greg!" Roger shouted
The defeated man knew inside he had been bested, and retreated slowly down the hall, flipping off the office with what little energy he had left.
"Thank you Roger." Mike said.
Roger took a moment to look him in the eye. "I thought we established no fighting in the office." he smiled.
Mike could do nothing but laugh. He extended his hand in grace. Roger took a moment, looked down and slowly shook his hand.
"I don't have to like you, but you have got a damn quick wit."
Roger walked back slowly into his office, closing the door.
"Get back to work!" Joan shouted to the small congregation who had appeared around them.
"Business as usual." Ken grinned.
"Business as usual." Joan repeated.
Once the crowd had dissipated she turned to Falco, who was looking distantly.
"Thank you. I wished there hadn't been a physical dispute… but I guess that was inevitable."
"I think so." He laughed. "Justice doesn't always serve itself."
"No, indeed it doesn't." she agreed.
"So I'll probably lose my house and half my stuff in the next while." She turned to him.
"Shitty deal." Mike laughed. "Well, I have a cot you could always stay on." He winked.
"It'll have to do." Joan Holloway smiled. "It'll just have to do."