There's a big ol' story on the front page of this morning's New York Times in which Charles and Sam Wyly insist the Securities and Exchange Commission -- which recently charged the two with moving and hiding $550 million in "undisclosed gains" -- ain't got nothin' on them. The same story, written by David Segal, appears on the front page of The Dallas Morning News today as well. Sort of. For whatever reason -- space constraints, a just-the-facts attitude or a perverse protective instinct -- The News opens its story thusly:
The billionaire Wyly brothers of Dallas have broken their silence about the massive securities fraud suit against them, and they're taking a defiant tone.
"I can tell you one thing," Sam Wyly said. "They gonna lose. They gonna get nothing."
This, however, is the way-mo'-better lead of the Segal original:
The Texas billionaire Sam Wyly has a laugh that blends the cackle of a mad scientist with the giggle of a teenager -- a high-pitched titter that makes him sound thoroughly delighted. Until, that is, talk turns to the recent securities fraud suit against him and his brother, Charles.
At that point, Mr. Wyly's laugh makes him sound thoroughly determined -- and a little bit manic.
"I can tell you one thing," he says in a twang that is a little bit Louisiana, where he was raised, and a little bit Texas, where he has spent most of his professional life. "They gonna lose. They gonna get nothing."
Then his eyes brighten and he leans back in his chair. "Tee-hee-hee-hee!"
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Sure, that's "defiant." Or, this.