He had plotted it with the ineffabl& skill of a chess master. Only this had been the most lucrative chess game in history, with stakes of billions of dollars - and he had won! He was filled with a sense of invincible power. Is this how you felt when you closed a big deal, Father? Well, this is a bigger deal than you ever made. rve planned the crime of the century, and rve gotten away with it. In a sense, it had all started with Lee. Beautiful, wonderful Lee. The person he loved most in the world. They had met in the Berlin, the gay bar on West Belmont Avenue. Lee was tall and muscular and blond, and he was the most beautiful man Tyler had ever seen. Their meeting had started with, ' I buy you a drink?' Lee had looked him over and nodded. ' would be nice.' After the second drink, Tyler had said, ' don't we have a drink over at my placet Lee had smiled. ''m expensive.' 181 '
' expensivet ' hundred dollars for the night.' Tyler had not hesitated. ''s go.' They spent the night at Tyler's home. Lee was warm and sensitive and caring, and Tyler felt a closeness to him that he had never had with any other human being. He was flooded With emotions he had not known existed. By morning, Tyler was madly in love. In the past, he had picked up young men at the Cairo and the Bijou Theater and several other gay hangouts in Chicago, but now he knew that all that was going to change. From now on, he wanted only Lee. In the morning, while Tyler was preparing breakfast, he said, ' would you like to do tonightt Lee looked at him in surprise. '. I have a date tonight." Tyler felt as though he had been hit in the stomach. ', Lee, I thought that you and I ...", dear, I'm a very valuable piece of merchandise. I go to the highest bidder. I like you, but I'm afraid you really can't afford me." can give you anything you want,' Tyler said.
Lee smiled lazily. '? Well, what I want is a trip to St. Tropez on a beautiful white yacht. Can you afford thatt ', I'm richer than all your friends put together.' 182 '? I thought you said you are a judge..", I am, yes, but I'm going to be rich. I mean ... very rich.' Lee put his arm around him. ''t fret, Tyler. I'm free a week from Thursday. Those eggs, look delicious.' That was the beginning. Money had been important to Tyler before, but now it became an obsession. He needed it for Lee. He could not get him out of his mind. The thought of him making 16-4e with other men was unbearable. rve got to have him for my own. From the age of twelve, Tyler had known that he was homosexual.
One day, his father had caught him fondling and kissing a boy from his school, and Tyler had borne the full brunt of his father's fury. ' can't believe I have a son, who's a faggot! Now that I know your dirty little secret, I'm going to keep a close eye on you, sister.' Tylet's marriage was a cosmic joke, perpetrated by a god with a macabre sense of humor. ''s someone I want you, to meet,' Harry Stanford said. It was Christmas and Tyler was at Rose Hill for the holidays. Kendall and Woody had already made their departures and Tyler was planning his when the bombshell dropped. ''re going to get married."? That's out of the question! I don't .. 183 ' to me, sister. People are beginning to talk about you, and I can't have that. It's bad for my reputation. If you get married, that will shut them UP-0 Tyler was defiant. ' don't care what people say. This is my life." I want it to be a rich life for you, Tyler. I'm getting older. Pretty soon ...'- He shrugged. The carrot and the stick. Naomi Schuyler was a plain-looking woman, from a middle-class family, whose flaming desire in life was to'better'herself. She was so impressed by Harry Stanford's name that she would probably have married his son if he were pumping gas instead of being a judge. Harry Stanford had taken Naomi to bed once.
When someone asked him why, Stanford replied, ' she was there." She quickly bored him, and he decided she would be perfect for Tyler.
What Harry Stanford wanted, Harry Stanford got. The wedding took place two months later. It was a small wedding - one hundred and fifty people - and the bride and groom went to Jamaica for their honeymoon. It was a fiasco. On their wedding night Naomi said, ' kind of man have I married, for God's sake? What have you got a dick fort 184 Tyler tried to reason with her. ' don't need sox. We can live separate lives.
We'll stay together, but we'll each have our own ... friends."'re damned right, we will!' Naomi took out her vengeance on him by becoming a black-belt shopper. She bought everything at the most expensive stores in the city, and took shopping trips to New York. 11 can't afford your extravagances on my income,5 Tyler protested. ' get a raise.
I'm your wife. I'm entitled to be 5 supported. Tyler went to his father and explained the situation. Harry Stanford grinned. ' can be damned expensive, can't they9 You'll just have to handle it.", Father, I need some - 5 ' you'll have all the money in the world.' Tyler tried to explain it to Naomi, but she had no intentions of waiting until ''. She sensed that that '' might never come. When Naomi had squeezed what she could out of Tyler, she sued for divorce, settled for what was left of his bank account, and disappeared.
, When Harry Stanford heard the news, he said,'Once a faggot, always a faggot.' And that was the end of that. His father went out of his way to demean Tyler. One day, when Tyler was on the bench, in the middle of a 185 trial, his bailiff came up to him and whispered, ' me, Your Honor ...' Tyler had turned to him, impatiently. "'s a telephone call for you."? What's the matter with you? I'm in the middle of -"'s your father, Your, Honor. He says it's very urgent and he must talk to you immediately.' Tyler was furious. His father had no right to interrupt him. He was tempted to ignore the call. But on the other hand, if it was that urgent..'. Tyler stood up. ' is recessed for fifteen minutes.' Tyler hurried into his chambers and picked up the telephone. " hope I'm not disturbing you, Tyler.' There was malice in his voice. ' a matter of fact, you are.
I'm in the middle of a trial and -", give him a traffic ticket and forget it." .. ' need your help with a serious problem." kind of problemt ' chef is stealing from me.' Tyler could not believe what he was hearing. He was so angry he could hardly speak. ' called me off the bench because ... T ''re the law, aren't you? Well, he's breaking the law. I want you to come back to Boston and 186 check out my whole staff. They're robbing me blind!' It was all Tyler could do to keep from exploding. ' ..." just can't trust those damn employment agencies."'m in the middle of a trial. I cantpossibly go to Boston now.$ There was a moment of ominous silence. ' did YOU' sayt ' said ..." aren't to disappoint me again, are you, 90mg Tyler? Maybe I should talk to Fitzgerald abodt some changes in my will.' And there was the carrot again. The money. His share of the billions of dollars waiting for him when his father died. Tyler cleared his throat. ' you could send your plane for me ...", no! If you play your cards right, judge, that plane will belong to you one day.
Just think about that. Meanwhile, fly commercial like everyone else. But I want you to get your ass back here!' The Fine went dead. Tyler sat there, filled with humiliation. My father has done this to me all my life. To hell with him! I won't go. I won't go.. Tyler flew to Boston that evening. 187 Harry Stanford employed a staff of twenty-two. There was a phalanx of secretaries, butlers, housekeepers, maids, chefs, chauffeurs, gardeners, and a bodyguard. ', every damned one of them,' Harry Stanford complained to Tyler. ' you're so worried, why don't you hire a private detective or go to the policet ' I have you,' Harry Stanford said. ''re a judge, right? Well, you judge them for me.' It was pure malevolence. Tyler looked around the huge house with its exquisite furniture and paintings, and he thought of the dreary little house he lived in. This is what I deserve to have, he thought.
And one day, r1l have it. Tyler talked to the butler, Clark, and other senior members of the staff. He interviewed the servants, one by one, and checked their resumes. Most of the employees were fairly new because Harry Stanford was an impossible man to work for. The staff turnover at the house was extraordinary. Some of them lasted only a day or two. A few new employees were guilty of petty pilfering, and one was an alcoholic, but other than that, Tyler could see no problem. Except for Dmitri Kaminsky. Dmitri Kaminsky had been hired by his father as a bodyguard and masseur. -Sitting on the bench ' had made Tyler a good judge of character, and there was 188 something about Dmitri that Tyler instantly mistrusted - He was the most recent employee. Harry Stanford's former bodyguard had quit -, Tyler could imagine why - and he had recommended Kaminsky. The man was huge, with a barrel chest and large, muscular arms. He spoke English with a thick Russian accent. ' want to see met '.' Tyler gestured to a chair. ', down.' He had looked at the man's employment record, and it had told him very little, except that Dmitri had come from Russia recently. ' were born in Russiat '.' He was watching Tyler warily. ' part?"."
"Why did you leave Russia to come to Americat Kaminsky shrugged. ' is more opportunity here.' Opportunity for what? Tyler wondered. There was something evasive _about the man's manner. They spoke for twenty minutes, and at the end of -that time , was convinced that Dmitri Kaminsky was concealing something. Tyler telephoned Fred Masterson, an acquaintance of his with the FBI. ', I want you to do me a favor."
"Sure. If I'm ever in Chicago, will you fix my traffic ticketst ''m serious.' 189 '." want you to check on a Russian who came over here six months ago." a minute. You're talking CIA, aren't yout "Maybe, but I don't know anyone at CIA." do U ', if you could do this for me, I would really be grateful.' Tyler heard a sigh.
"Okay. What's his namet ' Kaminsky."'ll tell you what I'll do.
I know someone at the Russian Embassy in DC. I'll see if he has any information on Kaminsky. If not, I'm afraid I can't help you."'d appreciate it.' That evening, Tyler had dinner with his father.
Subconsciously, Tyler had hoped that his father would have aged, would have become more fragile, more vulnerable with time. Instead, Harry Stan *ford looked hale and hearty, in his prime. He's going to live forever.
Tyler thought despairingly. He'll outlive all of us. The conversation at dinner was completely one sided. ' just closed a deal to buy the'power company in Hawaii ... - ''m flying over to Amsterdam next week to straighten out some GATT complication ... 190 ' secretary of state has invited me to accompany him to China-' Tyler scarcely got in a word.
At the end of the meal, his father rose. ' are you coming along with the servant problem?"'m still checkin g them out, Father.", don't take forever,' his father growled, and walked out of the room. The following morning, Tyler received a call from Fred Masterson at the FBI.
"Tyler?"." picked a real beauty.' 40ht ' Kaminsky was a hit man for polgoprudnenskaya."'
hell is that ''ll explain.
There are eight criminal groups that have taken over in Moscow. They all fight among themselves, but the two most powerful groups are the chechens and the polgoprudnenskaya. Your friend Kaminsky worked for the second group. Three months ago, they handed him a contract on one of the leaders of the chechens. Instead of carrying out the contract, Kaminsky went to him to make a better deal. The polgoprudnenskaya found out about it and put out a contract on Kaminsky. Gangs have a quaint custom over there. First they chop off your fingers, then they 191 let you bleed for a while, and then they shoot you." God!" got himself smuggled- out of Russia, but they're still looking for him. And looking hard."'s incredible,' Tyler said. ''s not all. He's also wanted by the state police for a few murders. If you know where he is, they'd love to have that information.' Tyler was thoughtful for a moment. He could not afford to get involved in this. It could mean giving testimony and wasting a lot of tirne. ' have no idea. I was just checking him out for a Russian friend. Thanks, Fred.' Tyler found Dmitri Kaminsky in his room, reading a hardcore porno magazine. Dmitri rose as Tyler walked into the room. ' want you to pack your things and get out of here.' Dmitri stared at him. ''s the mattert Tm giving you a choice. You're either out of here by this afternoon, or I'll tell the Russian police where you are.' Dmitri's face turned pale. ' you understand?". I understand.' Tyler went to see his father. He's going to be pleased, he thought. rve done him a realfavor. He found him in the study. 192 ' checked on all the staff,' Tyler said, ' ... " "I'm im. Did you find any little boys to take to bed with yout Tyler's face turned red. '.. ''re a queer, Tyler, and you'll always be a queer. I don't know how the hell anything like you came from my loins. Go on back to Chicago with your gutter friends.' Tyler stood there, fighting to control himself. ',' he said stiffly. He started to leave. ' there anything about the staff you found out that I should knowt Tyler turned and studied his father a moment. ',' he said slowly. '.' When Tyler -went to Kaminsky's room, he was packing.
, ''m going,' Kaminsky said sullenly. ''t. I've changed my mind." Dmitri looked up, puzzled. " don't want you to leave. I want you to stay on as my father's bodyguard." about ... you know, the other thing?"'re going to forget about that.' Dmitri was watching him, warily. '? What do you want me to dot ''d like you to be my eyes and ears here. I need someone to keep an eye on my father, and let me know what goes on.' 193 .'Why should IT ' if you do as I say, I'm not going to turn you over to the Russians. And because I'm going to make you a rich man.' Dmitri Kaminsky studied him a moment. A slow grin lit his face. ''ll stay.' It was the opening gambit. The first pawn had been movea d. That had been two years earlier. From time to time, Dmitri had passed on information to Tyler. It was mostly unimportant gossip about Harry Stanford's latest romance or bits of business that Dmitri had overheard. Tyler had begun to think he had made a ims-, take, that he should have turned Dmitri in to the police. And then the fateful telephone call had come from Sardinia, and the gamble had paid off. ''m with your father on his yacht. He just called his attorney. He's meeting On in Boston Monday to change his will.' Tyler thought of all the humiliations his father hadd heaped on him through the years, and he was filled with a terrible rage. Ifhe changes his will, I've taken all those years of abusefor nothing. -rm not going to let him get away with this!
There is only one way to stop him. ', I want you to call me again on Saturday.".' Tyler replaced the receiver and sat there, thinking. It was time to bring in the knight.