Josey’s girlfriend Winifred is packing his bag when the phone rings; it’s Eubie. He asks if Josey has ever been to New York before, and Josey replies he hasn’t. During their conversation, Josey gets annoyed, suspecting that Eubie is implying he is ignorant. Eubie began poaching men from Copenhagen City to come work for him in New York in 1977. He is the only person Josey knows who is in the drug game just because he wants to be.
One of the only signs of vulnerability Josey betrays is his paranoia over what people think of him. Whether it is Eubie apparently thinking he is ignorant or people knowing that he missed when he shot the Singer, Josey is obsessed with preserving his reputation as supremely competent, intelligent, and powerful.
Eubie tells Josey that he has not been able to get in touch with Weeper. Eubie is alarmed because six crackheads from Brooklyn showed up in the Bronx looking to buy, saying they “couldn’t deal with Bushwick no more” as prices had doubled. He adds that he knows some of Josey’s dealers have been using crack themselves, and warns Josey that this is bad for business. Josey promises Eubie he will sort it out, and that he will call him when he arrives in New York.
Eubie’s attitude to Josey is somewhat patronizing, subtly undermining Josey’s power. For example, he tells Josey it is bad for business if his dealers are using their own supply, which is something that Josey already knows––recall that in earlier in the novel, he would berate Weeper for doing cocaine while they were conducting business.