In 1945, Milton Reynolds introduced the ballpoint to the United States and triggered the biggest single-day shopping riot in history at Gimbels in Manhattan. The Reynolds International Pen Company made $5 million in eight weeks during the first non-wartime Christmas season. Thereafter, increasing competition from established companies such as Eversharp triggered several years of the "Pen Wars". An exuberant entrepreneur who had already made and lost several fortunes, Reynolds bragged that he "stole it fair and square". This novel is told from Jim's, his mild-mannered son's, point of view about coping with Milton's outrageous schemes then their sudden success.