At Six A. M., a harbor patrol boat was cruising along the Charles River, when one of the policemen aboard spotted an object floating in the water ahead.. ' the starboard bow!' he called. ' looks like a log. Let's pick it up before it sinks something.' The log turned out to be a body, and even more startling, a body that had been embalmed. The policemen stared down at it and said, ' the hell did an embalmed body get into the Charles Rivert Lieutenant Michael Kennedy was talking- to the coroner. ' you sure of that?' The coroner replied, '. It's Harry Stanford. I embalmed him myself. Later, we had an exhumation order, and when we dug up the coffin ... Well, you know, we reported it to the police. ' asked to have the body exhumed?" family. They handled it through their attorney, Simon Fitzgerald.' I think I'll have a talk with Mr. Fitzgerald.' When Steve returned to Boston from Chicago, he went directly to Simon Fitzgerald's office. ' look beat," Fitzgerald said. ' beat - beaten. The whole thing is falling apart, Simon. We had three possible leads: Dmitri Kaminsky, Frank Timmons, and Margo Posner. Well, Kaminsky is dead, it's the wrong Timmons, and Margo Posner is locked away in an asylum. We have nothing to The voice of Fitzgerald's secretary came over the intercom. ' me. There's a Lieutenant Kennedy here to see you, Mr. Fitzgerald." him in." Michael Kennedy was a rugged-looking man with eyes that'had seen everything. '. Fitzgeraldt '. This is my associate Steve Sloane. I believe you two have spoken on the phone. Sit down. What can we do for yout Ve just found the body of Harry Stanford."? Where?" in the Charles. You ordered his body dug up, didn't you?"." I ask whyt Fitzgerald told him. When Fitzgerald, was finished, Kennedy said, ' have no idea who it was that posed as this investigator, Timmons. '. I talked to Timmons. He has no idea, either.' Kennedy sighed. ' gets curiouser and curiouser." is Harry Stanford's body nowt Steve asked. ''re keeping him at the morgue for the present. I hope he doesn't disappear again.' 11 do, too,' Steve said.

"We'll have Perry Winger run DNA test on Julia.' When Steve called Tyler to tell him that his father's body had been found, Tyler was genuinely shocked. ''s terrible!' he said. ' could have done a thing like thatt ''s what we're trying to find out,' Steve told him. Tyler was furious. That incompetent idiot, Baker! He's going to pay for this. I have to get this settled before it gets out of hand '. Fitzgerald, as you may be aware, I've been appointed chief judge of Cook County. I have a very heavy caseload, and they're pressuring me to return. I can't delay much longer. I'd appreciate it if you could do. something to get the probate finished quickly." put in a call this morning,' Steve told him. It should be closed within the next three days." will be fine. Keep me informed, please."'ll do that, judge.' Steve sat in his office reviewing the events of the past few weeks. He recalled the conversation he had had with Chief Inspector Mcphearson. I Wejound his body a little while ago. Hisfingers had been chopped off and he had been shot several tines.' But wait, Steve thought. There's something he didn't tell me. He picked up the telephone and put in another call to Australia. The voice on the other end of the telephone said, ' is Chief Inspector Mcphearson.' gym, inspector. This is Steve Sloane. I forgot to ask you a question. When you found Dmitri Kaminsky's body, were there any papers on him?... I see ... that's fine. Thank you very much.' When Steve hung up the phone, his secretary's voice came over the intercom. ' Kennedy holding on line two.' Steve punched the phone buttion. '. Sorry to keep you waiting. I was on an overseas call." NYPD gave me some interesting information on Hoop Malkovich. He seems to be quite a slippery character.' Steve picked up a pen. ' ahead." police believe that the bakery he works for is a front for a drug ring.' The lieutenant paused, then continued.

"Malkovich is probably a drug pusher. But he's clever. They haven't been able to nail him yet." else?' Steve asked. ' police believe the operatio , is tied into the French mafia with a connection thr, ugh Marseilles. If I learn anything else, I'll call.", Lieutenant. That's very helpful.' Steve put down the phone and headed out the office door. When Steve arrived home, filled with anticipation, he called, '?' There was no answer. He began to panic. '!" She's been kidnapped or killed, he thought, and he felt a sudden sense of alarm. Julia appeared at the top of the stairs. '?' He took a deep breath. ' thought ...' He was pale. ' you all right?' 6yes.1 She came down the stairs. ' things go well'in Chicago?' He shook his head. ''m afraid not.' He told her what had happened. ''re going to have a reading of the will on Thursday, Julia. That's only three days from now. Whoever is behind this has to get rid of you by then or his - or her - plan can't work.' She swallowed. ' see. Do you have any idea who it is?, ' a matter of fact ...'The telephone rang. ' me.

9Steve picked up the telephone. '?" is Dr. Tichner in Florida.

Sorry I didn't call earlier, but I've been away.' '. Tichner. Thank you for returning my call. Our fir Mi represents the Stanford estate."

"What can I do for yout ''m calling about Woodrow Stanford. I believe he's a patient of yours."." he have a drug problem, doctort "Mr. Sloane, I'm not at liberty to discuss any of my patients." understand. I'm not asking this out of curiosity. It's very important .

.."'m afraid I can't .. ' did have him admitted to the Harbor Group Clinic in Jupiter, didn't yout There was a long hesitation. '.

That's a matter of record." you, doctor. That's all I needed to know.' Steve replaced the receiver ' stood there a moment. ''s unbelievable!" Julia asked. ' down.' Thirty minutes later, Steve was in his car headed for Rose Hill. All the pieces had finally fallen into place. He's brilliant. It almost worked. It could still work if anything happened to Julia, Steve thought. At Rose Hill, Clark answered the door. ' evening, Mr. Sloane." evening, Clark. Is Judge Stanford int ''s in the library. I'll tell him you're here."

"Thank you.' He watched Clark walk off. A minute later, the butler returned. ' Stanford will see you now." you.' Steve walked into the library. Tyler was sitting in front of a chess board, concentrating. He looked up as Steve walked in. ' wanted to see met "Yes. I believe the young woman who came to see you several days ago is the real Julia. The other Julia was a fake." that's not possible."

"I'm afraid it's true, and I've found out who's behind all this.' There was a momentary silence. Then Tyler said slowly, ' havet '. I'm afraid this is going to shock you. it's your brother, Woody., Tyler was looking up at Steve in amazement. Are you saying that Woody is responsible for what's been happening?"'s right." ... I can't believe it.'. ' could 1, but it all checks out. I talked to his doctor in Hobe Sound. Did you know your brother is on drugst ' ... I've suspected it., ' are expensive. Woody isn't working. He needs money, and he was obviously looking for a bigger share of the estate. He's the one who hired the fake Julia, but when you came to us and asked for a DNA test, he panicked and had your father's body removed from the coffin because he couldn't afford to have that test made.

That's what tipped me off. And I suspect that he sent someone to Kansas City to have the real Julia killed. Did you know that Peggy has a brother who's tied into the mob? As long as Julia's alive and there are two Julias around, his plan can1t work." you sure of all thist "Absolutely. There's something'else, judge.' 4Yest ' don't think your father fell off his yacht. I believe that Woody had your father murdered. Peggy's brother could have arranged that too. I'm told he has connections with the Marseilles mafia. They could easily have paid a crew member to do it. I'm flying to Italy tonight to have a talk with the captain of the yacht.' Tyler was listening intently. When he spoke, he said approvingly, ''s a good idea.' Captain Vacarro knows nothing. ''ll try to be back by Thursday for the reading of the will." - Tyler said, ' about the real Julia? ... Are you sure she's safet "Oh, yes,' Steve said. ''s staying where no one can find her. She's at my house." Copyright 2016 - 2024