Bill Gates does a lot of good stuff with his foundation these days. But is it all a coverup for his Machiavellian (Zuckerbergian?) ways? A new memoir by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen reveals that Gates contemplated stiffing him because he thought he wasn't pulling his weight... right after he'd been treated for cancer.

An excerpt published by Vanity Fair details the back-stabby conversation between Gates and current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shortly after finishing a six-week treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1982:

One evening in late December 1982, I heard Bill and Steve speaking heatedly in Bill's office and paused outside to listen in. It was easy to get the gist of the conversation. They were bemoaning my recent lack of production and discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders. It was clear that they'd been thinking about this for some time.

Unable to stand it any longer, I burst in on them and shouted, "This is unbelievable! It shows your true character, once and for all." I was speaking to both of them, but staring straight at Bill. Caught red-handed, they were struck dumb. Before they could respond, I turned on my heel and left.

Shed no tears for Allen over this episode, considering he's worth like $14 billion and Bill later apologized in a six-page letter. Still, it's pretty low! While it's common practice for moguls to ruthlessly cut out their longtime partners the second they stop being useful, mogul etiquette dictates that you at least wait until they've partially recovered from any life-threatening illnesses before trying to do so.

[Image via Getty]