Back at Rose Hill, Tyler had just gottei off the phone. ' says there won't be any media leaks. The cemetery certainly doesn't want that kind of bad pubficity. The coroner has ordered Dr. Collins to keep his mouth shut, and Perry Winger can be trusted not to talk.' @ Woody wasn't paying any attention. ' don't know how the bitch did it!' he said. ' she isn't going to get away with it!' He glared at the others. ' suppose you don't think she arranged itt Tyler said slowly, ''m afraid I have to agree with you, Woody. No one else, possibly could have had a reason for doing this. The woman is clever and resourceful, and she's obviously pot working alone. I'm not sure exactly what we're up against." are we going to do now?' Kendall asked. Tyler shrugged.

"Frankly, I don't know. I wish I did* I'm sure she plans to go to court to contest the wilu ' she have a chance of winning?' Peggy asked timidly. 165 ''m afraid she does. She's very persuasive. She had -some of us convinced." must be something we can do,' Marc exclaimed.

"What about bringing the police in on this?, ' says they're already looking into the disappearance of the body, and they've come to a dead end. No pun intended,' Tyler said. ''s more, the police want this kept quiet, or they'll have every weirdo in town turning up a body." can ask them to investigate this phony!' Tyler shook his head. ' is not a police matter. It's a private -' He stopped for a moment, then said thoughtfully, ' know ..."?" could hire a private investigator to try to expose her."'s not a bad idea. Do you know onet ', not locally. But we could ask Fitzgerald to find someone. Or ...' He hesitated. ''ve never met him, but I've heard about a private detective the district attorney in Chicago uses a great deal.

He has an excellent reputation.' Marc spoke up. ' don't we find out if we can hire him?' Tyler looked around. ''s up to the rest of you." can we loset Kendall asked. ' could be expensive,' Tyler warned. Woody snorted. '? We're talking about billions of dollars.' 166 Tyler nodded. ' course. You're right."'s his namet Tyler frowned. ' can't remember. Simpson. Simmons ... No, that's not it. It sounds something like that. I can call the district attorney's office in Chicago.' The group watched as Tyler picked up the telephone @on the console and dialed a number. Two minutes later, he was speaking to an assistant district attorney. ' is Judge Tyler Stanford. I xifiderstand that your office retains a private detectivelrom, time to time who does excellent work for you. His name is something like Simmons or =' The voice on the other end said, ', you must mean Frank Timmons."! Yes, that's it.' Tyler looked at the others and smiled. ' wonder if you could give me his telephone number so I can contact him directly?' After he wrote down the telephone number, Tyler replaced the receiver. He turned to the group, and said, "Well., then, if we all agree, I'll try to reach him.' Everyone nodded.

The following afternoon, Clark came into the drawing room, where the group was waiting. '. Timmons is here.' He was a man in his forties, with a pale complexion and the solid build of a boxer. He had a broken nose and bright, inquisitive eyes. He looked from Tyler to 167 Marc and Woody, questioningly. ' Stanford?' Tyler nodded. ''m Judge Stanford." Timmons,' he said. ' have a seat, Mr. Timmons."

"Thank you.' He sat down. ''re the one who telephoned, right?"."

"To be honest, I don't know what I can do for you. I don't have any official connections here." is purely unofficial,' Tyler assured him. ' merely want to trace the background of a young woman." told me on the phone she claims to be your half sister, and there's no way of running a DNA test."'s right,' Woody said. He looked at the group. ' you don't believe she's your half sistert There was a moment's hesitation. ' don't,' Tyler told him. ' the other hand, it's just possible that she is telling the truth. What we want to hire you to do is provide irrefutable evidence that she is either genuine or a fraud." enough. It will cost you a thousand dollars a day and -expenses.' Tyler said, ' thousand ... T ''ll pay it.' Woody cut in.

"I'll need all the information you have on this woman.' Kendall said, "There doesn't seem to be very much.' 168 IQ

[email protected]

/* */

spoke up. ' has no proof of any kind. She cam in with a lot of stories that she saysber mother told her about our childhood, and He held up a band. ' it.

Who was her mothert ' purported mother was a governess we had as children named Rosemary Nelson." happened to her?' They looked at one another uncomfortably. Woody spoke up. ' had an air with our father and got pregnant. She ran away and had a baby girl.' He shrugged.

"She disappeared." see. And this woman claims to be her child?"

"That's right."'s not a lot to go on.' He sat there, thinking.

Finally he looked up. ' right. I'll see what I can do."'s all we ask,' Tyler said. The first move he made was to go to the Boston Public Library and read all the microfiche about the twenty-six-year-old scandal involving Harry Stanford, the governess, and Mrs. Stanford's suicide. There was enough material for a novel. His next step was to visit Simon Fitzgerald. ' name is Frank Timmons. I'm ' know who you are,. Mr. Timmons. Judge Stanford asked me to cooperate with you. What can I do for yout ' want to trace Harry Stanford's illegitimate daughter. She'd be about twenty-eight, right?' 169 '. She was born August ninth, 1969, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her mother named-her Julia.' He shrugged. ' disappeared. I'm afraid that's all the information we have."'s a beginning,' he said. ''s a beginning.' Mrs. Dougherty, the superintendent at St. Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee, was a gray-haired woman in her sixties. ', of course, I remember,' she said. ' could I ever forget it? There was a terrible scandal. There were stories in all the newspapers. The reporters here found out who she was, and they wouldn't leave the poor girl alone."

"Where did she go when she and the baby left heret ' don't know. She left no forwarding address." she pay her bill in full before she left, Mrs. Dougherty?" a matter of fact ... she didn't." do you happen to remember thatt .'Because it was so sad. I remember she sat in that very chair you're sitting in, and she told me that she could pay only part of her bill, but she promised to send me the money for the r9st of it. Well, that was against hospital rules, of course, but I felt so sorry for her, she was so ill when -she left here, and I said yes."

"And did she send you the rest of the moneyt ' certainly did. About two months later. Now 170 I recall she had gotten a job at some secretarial service." wouldn't happen to remember where that was, would yout '. Goodness, that was about twenty-five years ago, Mr. Timmons.". Dougherty, do you keep all your patients' records on filet ' course.' She looked up at him. ' you want me to go through the recordst He smiled pleasantly. ' you wouldn't mind." it help Rosemaryt ' could mean a great deal to her." you'll excuse me." Mrs. Dougherty left the office. She returned fifteen minutes later, holding a paper in her hand. ' it is. Rosemary Nelson. The return address is, The Elite Typing Service. Omaha, Nebraska.' The Elite Typing Service was run by a Mr. Otto Broderick, a man in his sixties. ' hire so many temporary employees,' he protested. ' do you expect me to remember someone who worked here that long agot ' was a rather special case. She was a single woman, in her late twenties, in poor health. She had just had a baby and '!"'s right. Why do you remember hert 171 ', I like to associate things, Mr. Timmons. Do you know what mnemonics 1st '.", that's what I use. I associate words. There was a movie out called Rosemary's Baby. So when Rosemary came in and told me she had a baby, I put the two things together and * * *" long was Rosemary Nelson with yout ', about a year, I guess.

Then the press found out who she was, somehow, and they wouldn't leave her alone. She left town in the middle of the night to get away from them.". Broderick, do you have any idea where Rosemary Nelson went when she left here?", I think. She wanted a warmer climate. I recommended her to an agency I knew there." I have the name of that agencyt '. It's the Gale Agency. I can remember it becauge I associated it with the big storms they have down in Florida every year." Ten days after his meeting with the Stanford family, he returned to Boston. He had telephoned ahead, and the family was waiting for him.

They were seated in a semicircle, facing him as he entered the drawing room at Rose Hill. ' said you had some news for us, Mr. Timmons," Tyler said. ''s right.' He opened a briefcase and pulled out 172 papers. ' has been a most interesting case,' e said. ' I began "Cut to the chase,' Woody said impatiently. ' she ",a fraud or noff He looked up. ' you don't mind, Mr. Stanford, I y uld like to present this in in own way.' Tyler gave Woody a warning look. ''s fair enough. Please go ahead.', They watched him consult his noiis. ' Stanford governess, Rosemary Nelson, had a female child sired by Harry Stanford. She and the child went to Omaha, Nebraska, where she went to work for The Elite Typing Service. Her employer told me that she had difficulty with the weather. ', I traced her and her daughter to Florida, where she worked for the Gale Agency. They moved around a great deal. I followed the trail to San Francisco, where they were living up to ten years ago. That was the end of the trail. After that, they disappeared! ' looked up. ''s it, Timmonst Woody demanded. ' lost the trail ten years agot ', that is not it! He reached into his briefcase and took out another paper. ' daughter, Julia, applied for a driver's license when she was seventeen! ' good is that Marc asked. ' the state of California d rivers are required to have their fingerprints taken.' He held up a card. ' are the real Julia Stanford's fingerprints! 173 Tyler said, excitedly, ' see! If they match -' ,'Then she would really be our sister.' Woody interrupted. He nodded. ''s right. I brought a portable fingerprint kit with me, in case you want to check her out now. Is she heret Tyler said, ''s at a local hotel. I've been talking to her every morning, trying to persuade her to stay here until we get this resolved."'ve got her!' Woody said. ''s get over there!' Half an hour later, the group was entering a hotel room at the Tremont House. As they walked in, she was packing a suitcase. ' are you going?' Kendall asked. She turned to face them.

"Home. It was a mistake for me to come here in the first place.' Tyler said, ' can't blame us for ... T She turned on him, furious. ' since I arrived, I've been met with nothing but suspicion. You think rcame here to take some money away from you. Well, I didn't. I came because I wanted to find my family. I ... never mind.' She returned to her packing. _Tyler said, ' is Frank Timmons. He's a private detective.' She looked up. ' what? Am I being arrested?", ma'am.

Julia, Stanford obtained a driver's license in San Francisco when she was seventeen years old.' 174 : stopped. ''s right. Is that against the law?", ma'am. The point is ' point is'- Tyler interrupted -'that Julia Stan- ','ford's fingerprints are on that license.' She looked at them. ' don't understand. What ... T Woody spoke up. ' want to check them against your fingerprints.' Her lips tightened. '! I won't allow id" you saying that you won't kf us take your fingerprintst ''s right." not?' Marc asked. Her body was rigid. ' all of you make me feel like I'm some kind of criminal. Well, I've had enough! I want you to leave me alone.' Kendall said gently, ' is your chance to prove who you really are. We've been as upset by all this as you have. We would like to settle it." She stood there, looking into their faces, one by one. Finally she said wearily, ' right. Let's get this over with.".". Timmons ..

. `:4<3" Tyler said. '.' He took out a small fingerprint kit and set it up on the table. He opened the ink pad. ', if you'll just step over here, please.' The others watched as she walked over to the table. He picked up her hand and, one by one, pressed her fingertips onto the pad.

Next, hepressed them onto a 175 piece of white paper. '. That wasn't so bad, was itt He placed the drivees license next to the fresh fingerprints. The group walked over to the table and looked down at the two sets of prints. They were identical. Woody' was the first to speak.

"They're ... the ... same.' Kendall was looking at her with a mixture of feelings. ' really are our sister, aren't yout She was smiling through her tears. ''s what I've been trying to tell you.' Everybody -was suddenly talking at once. ''s incredible ... !" all these years .. ' didn't your mother ever come back ... T ''m sorry we gave you such a bad time.' Her smile lit up the room. '? s all right.

Everything's all right now.' Woody picked up the fingqrprint card and looked at it in awe. ' God! This is a billion-dollar card.' He put the card in his pocket. ''m going to have it bronzed.' Tyler turned, to the group. ' calls for a real celebration! I suggest we all go back to Rose Hill.' He turned to her and smiled. ''ll give you a welcome home party. Let's get you checked out of here.' She looked around at them, and her eyes were 176 shining. It, s like a dream come true. I finally have a family!' Half an hour later they were back at Rose Hill, and she was settling into her new room. The others were downstairs, talking excitedly. ' must feel as though she's just been through the Inquisition,' Tyler mused. ' has,' Peggy replied. ' dodi know how she stood it.' Kendall said, ' wonder how she's going to adjust to her new life." same way we're all going to adjust,' Woody said dryly.

"With a lot of champagne and caviar.' Tyler rose. ', for one, am glad it's finally settled. Let me go up and see if she needs any help.' He went upstairs and walked along the corridor to her room. He knocked at her door and called loudly, "'s open. Come in.' He stood in the doorway, and, they stared silently at each other. And then Tyler carefully closed the door, held out his hands, and broke into a slow grin. When he spoke, he said, ' did it, Margo! We did it!" Copyright 2016 - 2023