Simon Fitzgerald looked at the gold locket for a long time. ' knew your mother, Julia, and I liked her. She was wonderful with the Stanford children, and they adored her." adored them, too,' Julia said. ' used to talk to me about them all the time." happened to your mother was terrible. You can't imagine what a scandal it created. Boston can be a very small town. Harry Stanford behaved very badly. Your mother had no choice bui to leave.' He shook his head. ' must have been very difficult for the two of you." had a hard time. The awful thing was that 1 -think she still loved Harry Stanford, in spite of everything.' She looked at Steve. ' don't understand what's happening.

Why doesn't my family want to see met The two men exchanged a look. ' me explain,' Steve said. He hesitated, choosing his words carefully. ' short time ago, a woman showed up here, claiming . be Julia Stanford." ' that's impossible!' Julia said. ''m ...' Steve held up a hand. ' know. The family hired a private detective to make sure she was authentic." they found out that she wasn't.". They found out that she was.' Julia looked at him, bewildered. '?" detective said he found fingerprints that the woman had taken when she got a- driver's license in San Francisco when she was seventeen and they matched the prints of the woman calling herself Julia Stanford.' Julia was more puzzled than ever. ' I ... I've never been in Indiana." Fitzgerald said, ', there may be an elaborate conspiracy going on to get Part of the Stanford estate. I'm afraid you're caught in the middle of it." can'tbelieve it" ' is behind this can't afford to have two Julia Stanfords around.' Steve added, ' only way the plan can work successfully is to get you out of the way." you say "out of the *ay ... "' She stopped, remembering something. ', nol" is itt Fitzgerald asked. ' nights ago I talked to my roommate; and she was hysterical. She said a man came to our apartment with a knife and tried to attack her. He thought she was me!' It was difficult for Julia to find her voice. ' ... who's doing thist ' I had to guess, I'd say it's probably a member of the family,' Steve told her. ' ... whyt ''s a large fortune at stake, and the will is going to be probated in a few days." does that have to do with me? My father never even acknowledged me. He wouldn't have left me anything." Fitzgerald said, ' a matter of fact, if we can prove your identity, your share of the overall estate is more than a billion dollars.' She sat there, numb. When she found her voice, she said, ' billion dollarst "That's right. But someone else is after that money. That's why you're in danger." see.' She. stood there looking at them, feeling a rising panic. ' am I going to dot ''ll tell you what you're not going to do,' Steve told her. ''re not going back to a hotel. I want you to stay out of sight until we find out what's going on." could go back to Kansas until.,. Fitzgerald said, ' think it would be better if you stayed here, Julia. We'll find a place to hide you. ' could stay at my house,' Steve suggested. ' one will think of looking for her there.' The two men turned to Julia. She hesitated..'Well ... yes. That will be fine.".' , Julia said slowly, ' of this would be happening if my father hadn't fallen off his yacht.", I don't think he fell,' Steve told her. ' think he was pushed.' They took the service elevator to the office building garage and got into Steve's car. ' don't want anyone to see you,' Steve said. ' have to keep you out of sight for the next few days.' They started driving down State Street.

"How about some luncht Julia looked over at him and smiled. ' always seem to be feeding me." know a restaurant that's off the beaten path.

It's an old house on Gloucester Street. I don't think anyone will see us there.' L'Espalier was an elegant nineteenth-century townhouse with one of the finest views in Boston. As Steve and Julia walked in, they were greeted by the captain. ' afternoon,' he said. ' you come this way, please? I have a nice table for you by the window." you don't mind,' Steve said, ''d prefer some- thing against the wall.' The captain blinked. ' the wallt '. We like privacy." course." He led them to a table in a comer. ''ll send your waiter right over." He was staring -at Julia, and his face suddenly lit up. '! Miss. Stanford. It's 11. , a pleasure to have you here. I saw your picture in the newspaper.' Julia looked at Steve, not knowing what to say. Steve exclaimed, ' God! We left the children in the car! Let's go get them!" And to the captain, ''d like two martinis, very dry. Hold the olives.

We'll be right back.", sir.' The captain watched the two of them hurry out of the restaurant. ' are we doing?, Julia asked. ' out of here. All he has to do is call the press, and we're in trouble.

We'll go somewhere else.' They found a little restaurant on Dalton Street and ordered lunch. Steve sat there, studying her. ' does it feel to be a celebrity?' he asked. ' don't joke about that. I Teel terrible." know,' he said contritely. ''m sorry.'He was finding it very easy to be with her. He thought about how rude he had been when they first met. ' you ... do you really think I'm in danger, Mr. Sloanet Julia asked. ' me Steve. Yes. I'm afraid you are. But it will be for only a little while. By the time the will is probated, we'll know who's behind this. In the meantime, I'm going to see to it that you're safe." you. I ... I appreciate it.' They were staring at each other, and when an approaching waiter saw the looks on their faces, he decided not to interrupt them. In the car, Steve asked, ' this your first time in Bostont [email protected] ''s an interesting city.' They were- passing the old John Hancock Building. Steve pointed to the tower.

"You see that beacont '." broadcasts the weather." can a beacon ... T I ''m glad you asked. When the light is a steady blue, it means the weather is clear. If it's a flashing blue, you can expect clouds to be near. A steady red means rain ahead, and flashing red, snow instead.' Julia laughed. They reached the Harvard Bridge. Steve slowed down. ' is the bridge that links Boston and Cambridge. It's exactly three hundred, sixty-four point four Smoots and one ear long.' Julia turned to stare at him.,'I beg your pardon'T Steve grinned,. ''s true."'s a Smooff ' Smoot is a measurement using the body of Oliver Reed Smoot, who was- five feet seven inches. It started as a joke, but when the city rebuilt the bridge, they kept the marks. The Smoot became a standard of length in 1958.' She laughed. ''s incredible!' As they passed the Bunker Hill, Monument, Julia exclaimed, "Oh! That's where the battle of Bunker Hill took place, isn't iff '," Steve said. ' do you mean?" battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breed's Hill.' Steve's home was in the Newbury Street area of Boston, a charming two-storey house with comfortable furniture and colorful prints hanging on the walls. ' you live here alonet Julia asked. '. I have a housekeeper who comes in twice a week. I'm going to tell her not to come in for the next few days. I don't want anyone to know you're here." Julia looked at Steve and said warmly, ' want you to know I really appreciate what you're doing for me." pleasure. Come on, I'll show you your bedroom.' He led her upstairs to the guest room. ' is it. I hope you'll be comfortable.", yes. It's lovely,' Julia said. ''ll bring in some groceries. I usually eat out." could -' she stopped.

"On second thought, I'd better not. My roommate says my cooking is lethal." think I'm a rair hand at a stove,' Steve said. ''ll do some cooking for us.' He looked at her and said slowly, ' haven't had anyone to cook for for a while.' hf-;,'-Back off, he told himself. You're way off base. You couldn't keep her in handkerchiefs. ' want you to make yourself at home. You'll be completely safe here.' She looked at him a long time, then smiled. ' you., They went back downstairs.

Steve pointed out the amenities. ', VCR, radio, CD player ... you'll be comfortable."'s wonderful.' She wanted to say, ' like Ifeel with you.", if there's nothing else,' he said awkwardly.

Julia gave him a warm smile. ' can't think of anything." I'll be getting back to the office. I have a lot of questions without answers." She watched him walk toward the door. '?' He turned around. ' "Is it all right if I call my roommate? She'll be worried about me.' He shook his head. ' not. I don't want you to make any telephone calls or leave this house. Your life may depend on it." Copyright 2016 - 2024