Beavers stood, stubbed out his Pall Mall and smiled at Harold.
"I love patronage," Beavers said, astonishing some self-proclaimed reformers who would later end up in prison on corruption charges. "My people love patronage, too!"
He could spend all night shooting dice at a West Side butcher shop, and walk out, gun strapped to his ankle, easing into his big long car with the Pointer Sisters on the tape deck just as cool as he was in federal court Thursday.
"I'm going to win this thing," he told me Thursday. "I'm going to win."
I could tell you more about our chat, but the only chat that counts now is one Beavers might have later, if he takes the witness stand and talks about the feds chatting him up about one of the Daley boys:
The Daley with the crazy eyebrows, the nice one, Johnny.
"They wanted me to wire up (on Cook County Commissioner John Daley), and I'm not wiring up," he told me in February 2012. "I'm not a stool pigeon. It's just not going to happen."
The Billy Dee cool and the three-card monte theater may play well on 26th Street. But this is a tax case in the federal building downtown. Tax cases are all about the numbers.
All 500,000 of them.
And those numbers have weight.