it was Gordon Wellman, the night manager at the Copley Square Hotel, who inadvertently saved Julia! s life. He had come on duty at six o'clock that evening, and had automatically checked the hotel register, When he came across the name of Julia Stanford, he stared at it in surprise.

Ever since Harry Stanford had died, the newspapers had been full of stones about the Stanford family. They had dredged up the ancient scandal of Stanford's affair with the children's governess and the suicide of Stanford-s wife. Harry Stanford had an illegitimate daughter named Julia. There were rumors that she had come to Boston in secret.

Shortly after going on a shopping spree, she had reportedly left for South America. Now, it seemed that she was back. And she's staying at my hotel! Gordon Wellman thought excitedly. He turned to the front-desk clerk. ' you know how much publicity this could mean for the hotelt A minute later, he was on the telephone to the press. When Julia arrived back at the hotel after her sightseeing tour, the lobby was filled with reporters, - eagerly awaiting her. As soon as she walked into the lobby, they pounced. '. Stanford! I'm from the Boston Globe.

We've been looking for you, but we heard that you had left town. Could you tell us.. I T A television camera was pointed at her. '. Stanford, I'm with WCVB-TV. We'd like to get a statement from you ...". Stanford, I'm from the Boston Phoenix. We want to know your reaction to.

- ." this way, Miss. Stanford! Smile! Thank you.' Flashes were popping. Julia stood there, filled with confusion. Oh, my God, she thought. Thefainfly is going to think that rm some kind of publicity hound. She turned to the reporters. ''m sorry. I have nothing to say." She fled into the elevator. They piled in after her. ' magazine wants to do a story on your life, and what it feels like to be estranged from your family for over twenty-five years.' -Ve heard you had gone to South America." you planning to live in Boston ... T ' aren't you staying at Rose Hill ... T She got out of the elevator at the fourth floor and hurried down the corridor. They were at her heels.

There was no way to escape them. Julia took out her key and opened the door to her room. She stepped inside and turned on the light. ' well. Come in.' Hidden behind the door, Hal Baker was caught by surprise, the knife in his raised hand. As the reporters shoved past him, he quickly put the knife back in his pocket and mingled with the group..Julia turned to the reporters. ' right. One question at a time, please.' Frustrated, Baker backed toward the door and slipped out.

Judge Stanford was not going to be pleased. For the next thirty minutes, Julia answered questions as best she could. Finally, they were gone.

Julia locked the door and went to bed. In the morning, the television stations and newspapers featured stories about Julia Stanford. Tyler read the papers and was furious. Woody and Kendall joined him at the breakfast table. ''s all this nonsense about some woman calling herself Julia Stanfordt Woody asked. '? s a phony,' Tyler said glibly.

"She came to the door yesterday, demanding money, and I sent her away. I didn't expect her to pull a cheap publicity stunt like this. Don't worry. I'll take care of her.' He put in a call to Simon Fitzgerald.

"Have you seen the morning paperst '.' she'T'shisurconistaerrtist is going around town claiming that Fitzgerald said, ' you want me to have her arrested?"! That would only create more publicity". I want you to get her out of town." right. I'll take care, of it, Judge Stanford." you.' Simon Fitzgerald sent for'Steve Sloane. ''s a problem,' he said. Steve nodded. ' know. I've heard the morning news and seen the papers. Who is shet ' someone who thinks she can horn in on the family fortune. Judge Stanford suggested we get her out of town. Will you handle hert ' pleasure,' Steve said grimly. One hour later, Steve was knocking on Julia's hotel room door. When Julia opened the door and saw him standing there she said, ''m sorry. I'm not talking to any more reporters. I ''m not a reporter. May I come int "Who are yout ' name is Steve Sloane. I'm with the law firm representing the Harry Stanford estate.". I see. Yes. Come in." Steve walked into the room. ' you tell the press that you are Julia Stanford?"'m afraid I was caught off guard. I didn't expect them, you see, and. - ." you didclaim to be Harry Stanford's daughtert '. I am his daughter.' He looked at her and said cynically, "Of course, you have proof of that.", no,' Julia said slowly. ' don't." on,' Steve insisted. ' must have some proof.' He intended to nail her with her own lies. ' have nothing,' she said. He studied her, surprised. She was not what he had expected. There was a disarming frankness about her. She seems intelligent. How could she have been stupid enough to come here claiming to be ffarry Stanford's daughter without any proof? ''s too bad,' Steve said. ' Stanford wants you to get out of town.' Julia's eyes widened. ' "That's right." ... I don't understand. I haven't even met my other brother or sister.' So she's determined to keep up the bluff, Steve thought. ', I don't know who you are, or what your game is, but you could go to jail for this. We're giving you a break. What you're doing is against the law. You have a choice. Either you can get out of town and stop bothering the family, or we can have you arrested.' Julia stood there in shock. '? I ... I don, t know what to say."'s your decision." don't even want to see met Julia asked numbly. ''s putting it mildly.' She took a deep breath. ' right. If that's what they want, I'll go back to Kansas. I promise you, they'll never hear from me again.' Kansas. You came a long way to pull your little scam.

"That's very wise.' He stood there a moment, watching her, puzzled.

"Well, good-bye.' She did not reply. Steve was in Simon Fitzgerald's office. ' you see the woman, Stevet '. She's going back home.' He seemed distracted. '. I'll tell Judge Stanford. He'll be pleased."

"Do you know what's bugging me, Simont " dog didn't bark." beg your pardont ' Sherlock Holmes story. The clue was in what didn't happen.", what does that have to do with ' came here without any proof. I Fitzgerald looked at him, puzzled. ' don't understand.

That should have convinced you." the contrary. Why would she come here, all the way from Kansas, claiming to be Harry Stanford's daughter, and not have a single thing to back it upt ' are a lot of weirdos out there, Steve."'s not a weirdo. You should have seen her. And there are a couple of other things that bother me, Simon."

"Yes?" Stanford's body disappeared. When I went to talk to Dmitri Kaminsky, the only witness to Stanford's accident, he had disappeared ... And no one seems to know where the first Julia Stanford suddenly disappeared to.' Simon Fitzgerald was frowning. ' are you s . T aying. Steve said, slowly, ''s something going on that needs to be explained. I'm going to have another talk with the lady.' Steve Sloane walked into the lobby of the Copley Square Hotel and approached the desk clerk. ' you ring Miss. Julia Stanford, pleaset The clerk looked up.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Miss. Stanford has checked out." she leave a forwarding address?", sir. I'm afraid not.' Steve stood there, frustrated. There was nothing more he could do. Well, maybe I was wrong, he thought philosophically. Maybe she really is an impostor. Now we'll never know. He turned and went out into the street. The doorman was ushering a couple into a taxi. ' me,' Steve said. The doorman turned. ', sir?". I want to ask you a question. Did you see Miss. Stanford come out of the hotel this morning?." certainly did.

Everybody was staring at her. She's quite a celebrity. I got a taxi for her." don't suppose you know where she went?' He found that he was holding his breath. '. I told the cab driver where to take her." "And where was that Steve asked impatiently. ' the Greyhound bus terminal at South Station. I thought it was strange that someone as rich as that would ..." do want a taxi.' Steve walked into the crowded Greyhound bus terminal and looked around. Julia was nowhere to be seen.

She's gone, Steve thought despairingly. A voice on a loudspeaker was calling out the departing buses. He heard the voice say, '... and Kansas City,' and Steve hurried out to the loading platform. Julia was just starting to get on the bus. ' it!' he called. She turned, startled. Steve hurried up to her. ' want to talk to you.' She looked at him, angry. ' have nothing more to say to you.' She turned to go.

IRL He grabbed her arm. ' a minute! We really have to talk." bus is leaving."'ll be another one." suitcase is on it." Steve turned to a porter. ' woman is about to have a baby. Get her suitcase out of there. Quick!' The porter looked at Julia in surprise.

"Right.' He hurriedly opened the luggage compartment. ' is yours, lady?' Julia turned to Steve, puzzled. ' you know what you're doing?"

"No,' Steve said. She studied him a moment, then made a decision. She pointed to, her suitcase. ' one.' The porter pulled it out. ' you want me to get you an ambulance or anything?"

"hank you. I'll be fine." Steve picked up the suitcase, and they headed for the exit. ' you had breakfastt ''m not hungry,' she said coldly. ''d better have something. You're eating for two now, you know.' They had breakfast at Julien. Julia sat across from Steve, her body rigid with anger. When they had ordered, Steve said, ''m curious about something. What made you think you could claim part of the Stanford estate without any proof at all of your identity?' She looked at him indignantly. ' didn't go there to claim part of the Stanford estate. My father wouldn't have left anything to me. I wanted to meet my family. Obviously they didn't want to meet me." you have any documents ... any kind of proof at all of who you are?' She thought of all the clippings piled up in her apartment and shook her head. '. Nothing."'s someone I want you to talk to." is Simon Fitzgerald.' Steve hesitated. ' ... ' Stanford.' Fitzgerald said skeptically, ' down, miss.' Julia sat on the edge of a chair, ready to get up and walk out. Fitzgerald was studying her. She had the Stanford deep gray eyes, but so did lots of other people. ' claim you're Rosemary Nelson's daughter." don't claim anything. I am Rosemary Nelson's daughter." where is your mother?" died a number of years ago.", I'm sorry to hear that.

Could you tell us about her?",'Julia said. ' really would rather not.'She stood up. ' want to get out of here.", we're trying to help you,' Steve said. She turned on him. ' you? My family doesn9t want to see me. You want to turn me over to the police. I don't need that kind of help.' She started toward the door. Steve said, '!

If you are who you say you are, you must have something that will prove you're Harry Stanford9s daughter." told you, I don't,' Julia said.

"My mother and I shut Harry Stanford out of our lives." did. your mother look liket Simon Fitzgerald asked. ' was beautiful,' Julia said. Her voice softened. ' was the loveliest ...' She remembered something. ' have a picture of her.' She took a small gold heart shaped locket from around her neck and handed it to Fitzgerald. He looked at her a moment, then opened the locket. On one side was a picture of Harry Stanford, and on the other side a picture of Rosemary Nelson. The inscription read TO R.N. wrrh LOVE, H.s. The date was 1969. Simon Fitzgerald stared at the locket for a long time. When he looked up, his voice was husky. ' owe you an apology, my dear.' He turned to Steve.

"This is Julia Stanford." Copyright 2016 - 2024