It was dark and Merry could see nothing as he lay

It was dark and Merry could see nothing as he lay

on the ground rolled in a blanket; yet though the night was airless and windless, all about him hidden trees were sighing softly. He lifted his head. Then he heard it again: a sound like faint drums in the wooded hills and mountain-steps. The throb would cease suddenly and then be taken up again at some other point, now nearer, now further off. He wondered if the watchmen had heard it.

He could not see them, but he knew that all round him were the companies of the Rohirrim. He could smell the horses in the dark, and could hear their shiftings and their soft stamping on the needle-covered ground. The host was bivouacked in the pine-woods that clustered about Eilenach Beacon, a tall hill standing up from the long ridges of the Drúadan Forest that lay beside the great road in East Anórien.

Tired as he was Merry could not sleep. He had ridden now for four days on end, and the ever-deepening gloom had slowly weighed down his heart. He began to wonder why he had been so eager to come, when he had been given every excuse, even his lord’s command, to stay behind. He wondered, too, if the old King knew that he had been disobeyed and was angry. Perhaps not. There seemed to be some understanding between Dernhelm and Elfhelm, the Marshal who commanded the éored in which they were riding. He and all his men ignored Merry and pretended not to hear if he spoke. He might have been just another bag that Dernhelm was carrying. Dernhelm was no comfort: he never spoke to anyone. Merry felt small, unwanted, and lonely. Now the time was anxious, and the host was in peril. They were less than a day’s ride from the out-walls of Minas Tirith that encircled the townlands. Scouts had been sent ahead. Some had not returned. Others hastening back had reported that the road was held in force against them. A host of the enemy was encamped upon it, three miles west of Amon D?n, and some strength of men was already thrusting along the road and was no more than three leagues away. Orcs were roving in the hills and woods along the roadside. The king and ?omer held council in the watches of the night.

Merry wanted somebody to talk to, and he thought of Pippin. But that only increased his restlessness. Poor Pippin, shut up in the great city of stone, lonely and afraid. Merry wished he was a tall Rider like ?omer and could blow a horn or something and go galloping to his rescue. He sat up, listening to the drums that were beating again, now nearer at hand. Presently he heard voices speaking low, and he saw dim half-shrouded lanterns passing through the trees. Men nearby began to move uncertainly in the dark.

A tall figure loomed up and stumbled over him,

cursing the tree-roots. He recognized the voice of the Marshal, Elfhelm.

‘I am not a tree-root, Sir,’ he said, ‘nor a bag,

but a bruised hobbit.

The least you can do in amends is to tell me what is afoot.’

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Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf’s cloak.

Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf’s cloak.

He wondered if he was awake or still sleeping, still in the swift-moving dream in which he had been wrapped so long since the great ride began. The dark world was rushing by and the wind sang loudly in his ears. He could see nothing but the wheeling stars,

and away to his right vast shadows against the sky where the mountains of the South marched past. Sleepily he tried to reckon the times and stages of their journey, but his memory was drowsy and uncertain.

There had been the first ride at terrible speed without a halt, and then in the dawn he had seen a pale gleam of gold, and they had come to the silent town and the great empty house on the hill. And hardly had they reached its shelter when the winged shadow had passed over once again, and men wilted with fear. But Gandalf had spoken soft words to him, and he had slept in a corner, tired but uneasy, dimly aware of comings and goings and of men talking and Gandalf giving orders. And then again riding, riding in the night. This was the second, no, the third night since he had looked in the Stone. And with that hideous memory he woke fully, and shivered, and the noise of the wind became filled with menacing voices.

A light kindled in the sky, a blaze of yellow fire behind dark barriers Pippin cowered back, afraid for a moment, wondering into what dreadful country Gandalf was bearing him. He rubbed his eyes, and then he saw that it was the moon rising above the eastern shadows, now almost at the full. So the night was not yet old and for hours the dark journey would go on. He stirred and spoke.

‘Where are we, Gandalf?’ he asked.

‘In the realm of Gondor,’ the wizard answered. ‘The land of Anórien is still passing by.’

There was a silence again for a while. Then, ‘What is that?’ CRIed Pippin suddenly, clutching at Gandalf’s cloak. ‘Look!

Fire, red fire!

Are there dragons in this land?

Look, there is another!’

For answer Gandalf CRIed aloud to his horse. ‘On, Shadowfax!

We must hasten. Time is short. See!

The beacons of Gondor are alight, calling for aid. War is kindled. See, there is the fire on Amon D?n, and flame on Eilenach; and there they go speeding west: Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad, and the Halifirien on the borders of Rohan.’

But Shadowfax paused in his stride, slowing to a walk, and then he lifted up his head and neighed. And out of the darkness the answering neigh of other horses came; and presently the thudding of hoofs was heard, and three riders swept up and passed like flying ghosts in the moon and vanished into the West. Then Shadowfax gathered himself together and sprang away, and the night flowed over him like a roaring wind.

Pippin became drowsy again and paid little attention to Gandalf telling him of the customs of Gondor, and how the Lord of the City had beacons built on the tops of outlying hills along both borders of the great range, and maintained posts at these points where fresh horses were always in readiness to bear his errand-riders to Rohan in the North,

or to Belfalas in the South.

‘It is long since the beacons of the North were lit,’ he said; ‘

and in the ancient days of Gondor they were not needed,

for they had the Seven Stones.’ Pippin stirred uneasily.

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If Jobs was prepping for conciliation, it didn’t show in the

If Jobs was prepping for conciliation, it didn’t show in the choice of

movie he wanted to see with Murray that night. He picked Patton,

the epic of the never-surrender general. But he had lent his copy of


the tape to his father, who had once ferried troops for the general,

so he drove to his childhood home with Murray to retrieve it. His

parents weren’t there, and he didn’t have a key. They walked around


the back, checked for unlocked doors or windows, and finally gave up.

The video store didn’t have a copy of Patton in stock, so in the end

he had to settle for watching the 1983 film

adaptation of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.


Sunday, May 26: As planned, Jobs and Sculley met in back of the Stanford

campus on Sunday afternoon and walked for several hours amid the rolling

hills and horse pastures. Jobs reiterated his plea that he should have an


operational role at Apple. This time Sculley stood firm. It won’t work, he

kept saying. Sculley urged him to take the role of being a product visionary

with a lab of his own, but Jobs rejected this as making him into a mere


“figurehead.” Defying all connection to reality, he countered with the proposal

that Sculley give up control of the entire company to him. “Why don’t you

become chairman and I’ll become president and chief executive officer?”


he suggested. Sculley was struck by how earnest he seemed.

“Steve, that doesn’t make any sense,” Sculley replied. Jobs then proposed

that they split the duties of running the company, with him handling the


product side and Sculley handling marketing and business. But the board

had not only emboldened Sculley, it had ordered him to bring Jobs to heel.

“One person has got to run the company,” he replied.


“I’ve got the support and you don’t.”

On his way home, Jobs stopped at Mike Markkula’s house. He wasn’t

there, so Jobs left a message asking him to come to dinner the

following evening. He would also invite the core of loyalists from his


Macintosh team. He hoped that

they could persuade

Markkula of the folly

of siding with Sculley.

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Sculley’s wife was surprised to see him back in the middle

Sculley’s wife was surprised to see him back in the middle of the day.

“I’ve failed,” he said to her forlornly. She was a volatile woman who had

never liked Jobs or appreciated her husband’s infatuation with him. So


when she heard what had happened, she jumped into her car and sped

over to Jobs’s office. Informed that he had gone to the Good Earth

restaurant, she marched over there and confronted him in the parking


lot as he was coming out with loyalists on his Macintosh team.

“Steve, can I talk to you?” she said. His jaw dropped. “Do you have any

idea what a privilege it has been even to know someone as fine as John


Sculley?” she demanded. He averted his gaze. “Can’t you look me in the

eyes when I’m talking to you?” she asked. But when Jobs did so—giving

her his practiced, unblinking stare—she recoiled. “Never mind, don’t look


at me,” she said. “When I look into most people’s eyes, I see a soul.

When I look into your eyes, I see a bottomless pit, an empty hole,

a dead zone.” Then she walked away.


Saturday, May 25: Mike Murray drove to Jobs’s house in Woodside to

offer some advice: He should consider accepting the role of being a new

product visionary, starting AppleLabs, and getting away from headquarters.


Jobs seemed willing to consider it. But first he would have to restore peace

with Sculley. So he picked up the telephone and surprised Sculley with an

olive branch. Could they meet the following afternoon, Jobs asked, and


take a walk together in the hills above Stanford University. They had

walked there in the past, in happier times, and maybe on such a

walk they could work things out.


Jobs did not know that Sculley had told Eisenstat he wanted to quit,

but by then it didn’t matter. Overnight, he had changed his mind and

decided to stay. Despite the blowup the day before,


he was still eager

for Jobs to like him.

So he agreed to meet

the next afternoon.

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Suddenly the frozen onlookers began to squirm. Del Yocam had

Suddenly the frozen onlookers began to squirm. Del Yocam had to go first.

He said he loved Jobs, wanted him to continue to play some role in the company,

but he worked up the nerve to conclude, with Jobs staring at him, that he


“respected” Sculley and would support him to run the company. Eisenstat faced

Jobs directly and said much the same thing: He liked Jobs but was supporting

Sculley. Regis McKenna, who sat in on senior staff meetings as an outside consultant,

was more direct. He looked at Jobs and told him he was not yet ready to run the


company, something he had told him before. Others sided with Sculley as well. For Bill

Campbell, it was particularly tough. He was fond of Jobs and didn’t particularly like

Sculley. His voice quavered a bit as he told Jobs he had decided to support Sculley,


and he urged the two of them to work it out and find some role for Jobs to play

in the company. “You can’t let Steve leave this company,” he told Sculley.

Jobs looked shattered. “I guess I know where things stand,”


he said, and bolted out of the room. No one followed.

He went back to his office, gathered his longtime loyalists on the Macintosh

staff, and started to cry. He would have to leave Apple, he said. As he started


to walk out the door, Debi Coleman restrained him. She and the others urged

him to settle down and not do anything hasty. He should take the weekend to

regroup. Perhaps there was a way to prevent the company from being torn apart.


Sculley was devastated by his victory. Like a wounded warrior, he retreated to

Eisenstat’s office and asked the corporate counsel to go for a ride. When they

got into Eisenstat’s Porsche, Sculley lamented, “I don’t know whether I can go


through with this.” When Eisenstat asked what he meant, Sculley

responded, “I think I’m going to resign.”

“You can’t,” Eisenstat protested. “Apple will fall apart.”


“I’m going to resign,” Sculley declared. “I don’t

think I’m right for the company.”

“I think you’re copping out,” Eisenstat replied.


“You’ve got to

stand up to him.”

Then he drove

Sculley home.

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That evening Apple’s general counsel Al Eisenstat had a small

That evening Apple’s general counsel Al Eisenstat had a small barbecue at

his home for Sculley, Gassée, and their wives. When Gassée told Eisenstat

what Jobs was plotting, he recommended that Gassée inform Sculley.


“Steve was trying to raise a cabal and have a coup to get rid of John,”

Gassée recalled. “In the den of Al Eisenstat’s house, I put my index finger

lightly on John’s breastbone and said, ‘If you leave tomorrow for

China, you could be ousted. Steve’s plotting to get rid of you.’”

Friday, May 24: Sculley canceled his trip and decided to confront Jobs at the

executive staff meeting on Friday morning. Jobs arrived late, and he saw

that his usual seat next to Sculley, who sat at the head of the table, was

taken. He sat instead at the far end. He was dressed in a well-tailored suit

and looked energized. Sculley looked pale. He announced that he was

dispensing with the agenda to confront the issue on everyone’s mind.

“It’s come to my attention that you’d like to throw me out of the company,”

he said, looking directly at Jobs. “I’d like to ask you if that’s true.”

Jobs was not expecting this. But he was never shy about indulging in

brutal honesty. His eyes narrowed, and he fixed Sculley with his unblinking

stare. “I think you’re bad for Apple, and I think you’re the wrong person

to run the company,” he replied, coldly and slowly. “You really should leave

this company. You don’t know how to operate and never have.” He accused

Sculley of not understanding the product development process, and then

he added a self-centered swipe: “I wanted you here to help me grow,

and you’ve been ineffective in helping me.”

As the rest of the room sat frozen, Sculley finally lost his temper. A

childhood stutter that had not afflicted him for twenty years started to

return. “I don’t trust you, and I won’t tolerate a lack of trust,” he stammered.

When Jobs claimed that he would be better than Sculley at running the

company, Sculley took a gamble. He decided to poll the room on that question

. “He pulled off this clever maneuver,” Jobs recalled, still smarting thirty-five

years later. “It was at the executive committee meeting, and he said,

‘It’s me or Steve, who do you vote for?’


He set the whole

thing up so that you’d

kind of have to be an

idiot to vote for me.”

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That night Jobs took his Macintosh team out to dinner at

That night Jobs took his Macintosh team out to dinner at Nina’s Café in

Woodside. Jean-Louis Gassée was in town because Sculley wanted him

to prepare to take over the Macintosh division, and Jobs invited him to


join them. Belleville proposed a toast “to those of us who really understand

what the world according to Steve Jobs is all about.” That phrase—“the world

according to Steve”—had been used dismissively by others at Apple who

belittled the reality warp he created. After the others left, Belleville sat with

Jobs in his Mercedes and urged him to

organize a battle to the death with Sculley.

Months earlier, Apple had gotten the right to export computers to China,

and Jobs had been invited to sign a deal in the Great Hall of the People over

the 1985 Memorial Day weekend. He had told Sculley, who decided he wanted

to go himself, which was just fine with Jobs. Jobs decided to use Sculley’s absence

to execute his coup. Throughout the week leading up to Memorial Day,

he took a lot of people on walks to share his plans. “I’m going to launch a

coup while John is in China,” he told Mike Murray.

Seven Days in May

Thursday, May 23: At his regular Thursday meeting with his top lieutenants

in the Macintosh division, Jobs told his inner circle about his plan to oust Sculley.

He also confided in the corporate human resources director, Jay Elliot, who

told him bluntly that the proposed rebellion wouldn’t work. Elliot had talked

to some board members and urged them to stand up for Jobs, but he

discovered that most of the board was with Sculley, as were most members of

Apple’s senior staff. Yet Jobs barreled ahead. He even revealed his plans to

Gassée on a walk around the parking lot, despite the fact that Gassée had come from


Paris to take his job.

“I made the mistake of telling

Gassée,” Jobs wryly

conceded years later.

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Plotting a Coup “You were really great the first year, and everything

Plotting a Coup

“You were really great the first year, and everything went wonderful.

But something happened.” Sculley, who generally was even-tempered,

lashed back, pointing out that Jobs had been unable to get Macintosh


software developed, come up with new models, or win customers. The

meeting degenerated into a shouting match about who was the worse

manager. After Jobs stalked out, Sculley turned away from the glass wall

of his office, where others had been looking in on the meeting, and wept.

Matters began to come to a head on Tuesday, May 14, when the Macintosh

team made its quarterly review presentation to Sculley and other Apple

corporate leaders. Jobs still had not relinquished control of the division, and

he was defiant when he arrived in the corporate boardroom with his team.

He and Sculley began by clashing over what the division’s mission was. Jobs

said it was to sell more Macintosh machines. Sculley said it was to serve the

interests of the Apple company as a whole. As usual there was little cooperation

among the divisions; for one thing, the Macintosh team was planning new

disk drives that were different from those being developed by the Apple

II division. The debate, according to the minutes, took a full hour.

Jobs then described the projects under way: a more powerful Mac, which

would take the place of the discontinued Lisa; and software called FileServer,

which would allow Macintosh users to share files on a network. Sculley learned

for the first time that these projects were going to be late. He gave a cold critique

of Murray’s marketing record, Belleville’s missed engineering deadlines, and

Jobs’s overall management. Despite all this, Jobs ended the meeting with

a plea to Sculley, in front of all the others there,


to be given one

more chance to prove he

could run a division.

Sculley refused.

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The board became increasingly alarmed at the turmoil, and in

The board became increasingly alarmed at the turmoil, and in early 1985

Arthur Rock and some other disgruntled directors delivered a stern lecture to

both. They told Sculley that he was supposed to be running the company, and


he should start doing so with more authority and less eagerness to be pals with

Jobs. They told Jobs that he was supposed to be fixing the mess at the Macintosh

division and not telling other divisions how to do their job. Afterward Jobs retreated

to his office and typed on his Macintosh, “I will not criticize the rest

of the organization, I will not criticize the rest of the organization . . .”

As the Macintosh continued to disappoint—sales in March 1985 were only 10%

of the budget forecast—Jobs holed up in his office fuming or wandered the halls

berating everyone else for the problems. His mood swings became worse, and so

did his abuse of those around him. Middle-level managers began to rise up against

him. The marketing chief Mike Murray sought a private meeting with Sculley at an

industry conference. As they were going up to Sculley’s hotel room, Jobs spotted

them and asked to come along. Murray asked him not to. He told Sculley that Jobs

was wreaking havoc and had to be removed from managing the Macintosh division.

Sculley replied that he was not yet resigned to having a showdown with Jobs. Murray

later sent a memo directly to Jobs criticizing the way he treated colleagues and

denouncing “management by character assassination.”

For a few weeks it seemed as if there might be a solution to the turmoil. Jobs became

fascinated by a flat-screen technology developed by a firm near Palo Alto called

Woodside Design, run by an eccentric engineer named Steve Kitchen. He also was

impressed by another startup that made a touchscreen display that could be controlled

by your finger, so you didn’t need a mouse. Together these might help fulfill Jobs’s vision

of creating a “Mac in a book.” On a walk with Kitchen, Jobs spotted a building in nearby

Menlo Park and declared that they should open a skunkworks facility to work on these

ideas. It could be called AppleLabs and Jobs could run it,


going back to the

joy of having a small

team and developing

a great new product.

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There were many reasons for the rift between Jobs and Sculley in

There were many reasons for the rift between Jobs and Sculley in the sprin

of 1985. Some were merely business disagreements, such as Sculley’s attempt

to maximize profits by keeping the Macintosh price high when Jobs wanted to


make it more affordable. Others were weirdly psychological and stemmed from

the torrid and unlikely infatuation they initially had with each other. Sculley had

painfully craved Jobs’s affection, Jobs had eagerly sought a father figure and mentor,

and when the ardor began to cool there was an emotional backwash. But at its core,

the growing breach had two fundamental causes, one on each side.

For Jobs, the problem was that Sculley never became a product person. He didn’t make

the effort, or show the capacity, to understand the fine points of what they were making.

On the contrary, he found Jobs’s passion for tiny technical tweaks and design details to

be obsessive and counterproductive. He had spent his career selling sodas and snacks

whose recipes were largely irrelevant to him. He wasn’t naturally passionate about products,

which was among the most damning sins that Jobs could imagine. “I tried to educate him

about the details of engineering,” Jobs recalled, “but he had no idea how products are created,

and after a while it just turned into arguments. But I learned that my perspective was right.

Products are everything.” He came to see Sculley as clueless, and his contempt was exacerbated

by Sculley’s hunger for his affection and delusions that they were very similar.

For Sculley, the problem was that Jobs, when he was no longer in courtship or manipulative

mode, was frequently obnoxious, rude, selfish, and nasty to other people. He found Jobs’s

boorish behavior as despicable as Jobs found Sculley’s lack of passion for product details. Sculley

was kind, caring, and polite to a fault. At one point they were planning to meet with Xerox’s vice

chair Bill Glavin, and Sculley begged Jobs to behave. But as soon as they sat down, Jobs told Glavin,

“You guys don’t have any clue what you’re doing,” and the meeting broke up. “I’m sorry, but I

couldn’t help myself,” Jobs told Sculley. It was one of many such cases. As Atari’s Al Alcorn later

observed, “Sculley believed in keeping people happy and worrying about relationships. Steve didn’t

give a shit about that. But he did care about the product in a way that Sculley never could, and he

was able to avoid


having too many bozos

working at Apple by

insulting anyone who

wasn’t an A player.”

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