While digging through Kurt Vonnegut’s archives at Indiana University, Dan Wakefield and Jerome Klinkowitz discovered five short stories that had never been published before. Today, The Atlantic posted one of them, The Drone King, in its entirety. The others can be read in a new collection, Kurt Vonnegut: Complete Stories. From Kurt Vonnegut’s “The Drone King:”
One thing about the investment-counseling business: The surroundings are almost always nice. Wherever my work takes me, prosperity has beat me there.
Prosperity beat me to the Millennium Club by about 100 years. As I walked through the door for the first time, my cares dropped away. I felt as though I’d just finished two brandies and a good cigar. Here was peace.
It was a club downtown – six stories of snug hideaways and playthings and apartments for rich gentlemen. It overlooked a park.
The foyer was guarded by an elegant old man behind a rosewood desk.
I gave him my card. “Mr. Quick? Mr. Sheldon Quick?,” I said. “He asked me to come over.”
He examined the card for a long time. “Yes,” he said at last. “Mr. Quick is expecting you. You’ll find him in the small library – second door on the left, by the grandfather clock.”
“Thank you,” I said, and I started past him.
He caught my sleeve. “Sir – ”
“Yes?,” I said.
“You aren’t wearing a boutonniere, are you?”
“No,” I said guiltily. “Should I be?”
“If you were,” he said, “I’d have to ask you to check it. No women or flowers allowed past the front desk.”
I paused by the door of the small library. “Say,” I said, “you know this clock has stopped?”
“Mr. Quick stopped it the night Calvin Coolidge died,” he said.