"The -gods are On MY side. He could not believe his good fortune. It was. an incredible stroke of luck. Last night, Steve Sloane had delivered Julia into his hands. Hal Baker is an incompetent fool, Tyler thought. ru take care of Julia myse#' this time. He looked up as Clark came into the room. ' me, Judge Stanford. There's a telephone call for you.' It was Keith Percy. '?", Keith." just wanted to bring you up to date on the Margo Posner matter." '. Gifford just called me. The woman is insane. She's carrying on so badly that they have to have her locked away in the violent ward.' Tyler felt a sharp sense of relief. ''m sorry to hear that.", I wanted to ease your mind and let you know that she's no longer any danger to you or your family! I appreciate that,' Tyler said. And he did. Tyler went to his room and telephoned Lee. There was a long delay before Lee answered. '?' Tyler could hear voices in the background. 61-=?V "Who is this?"'s Tyler.", yeah. Tyler.' He could hear the tinkling of glasses. ' you having a party, Leet '-huh. Do you want to join just Tyler wondered who was at the party. ' wish I could. I'm calling to tell you to get ready to go on that trip we talked about." Lee laughed. ' mean, on that great big white yacht to St. Tropez?" "That's right.". I can be ready anytime,' he said mockingly. ', I'm serious.", come off it, Tyler. Judges don't have yachts. I have to go now. My guests are calling me." a minute!' Tyler said desperately. ' you know who I am?", you're -"'m Tyler Stanford. My father was Harry Stanford.' There was a moment of silence.
"Are you kidding me?9 '. I'm in Boston now, settling up the estate." "My God! You're that Stanford. I didn't know. I'm sorry. I ... I've been hearing stuff on the news, but I didn't pay much attention. I never figured it was you., ''s all right." really meant it about taking me to St. Tropez, didn't you?" course I did. We're going to do a lot of things together,' Tyler said. ' is, if you-want to." certainly dop Lee's voice was suddenly filled with enthusiasm. ', Tyler, this is really great news ...' When Tyler replaced the receiver, he was smiling. Lee was taken care of. Now, he thought, it's time to take care of my ha4(sister. Tyler went into the library where Harry Stanford's gun collection was kept, opened the case, and removed a mahogany box. From a drawer below the case, he took out some ammunition.
He put the ammunition in his pocket and carried the wooden box upstairs to, his bedroom, locked the door behind him and opened the box. Inside were two matching Ruger revolvers, Harry Stanford's favorites. Tyler removed one, carefully loaded it, and then placed the extra ammunition and the box containing the other revolver in his bureau drawer. One shot will do it, he thought. They had taught him to shoot well at the military school his father had sent him to. Thank you, Father. Next, Tyler picked up a telephone directory and looked for Steve Sloane's home address. 280 Newbury Street, Bostom Tyler made his way to the garage, where there were half a dozen cars. He chose the black Mercedes as being the least conspicuous. He opened the garage door and listened to see if the noise had disturbed anyone. There was only silence. On the drive to Steve Sloane's house, Tyler thought about what he was about to do. He had never physically committed a murder before. But this time he had no choice. Julia Stanford was the last obstacle between him and his dreams. With her gone, his problems would be over. Forever, Tyler thought. He drove slowly, careful not to attract attention. When he reached Newbury Street, Tyler cruised past Steve's address. A few cars were parked on the street, but no pedestrians were around. He parked the cat a block away and walked back to the house. He rang, the doorbell and waited. Julia's voice came through the door. ' is iff ''s Judge Stanford.' Julia opened the door. She looked at him in surprise. ' are you doing here? Is anything
', not at all,' he said easily. ' Sloane asked me to have a talk with you. He told me you were here. May I come int ', of course.' Tyler walked into the hall and watched Julia close the door behind him. She led the way into the living room. ' isn't here,' she said. ''s on his way to San Remo." know.' He looked around. ' YOU alone? Isn't there a housekeeper or someone to stay with yout '. I'm safe here. May I offer you something?, ', thanks." did you want to talk to me abouff ' came to talk about you, Julia. I'm disappointed in you." ... T ' should never havecome here. Did you really think you could walk in and try to collect a fortune that doesn't belong to yout She looked at him a moment. ' I have a right to -, ' have a right to nothing!' Tyler snapped. ' were you all those years when we were being humiliated and punished by our father? He went out of his way to hurt us every chance he got. He put us through hell. You didn't have to go through any of that. Well, we did, and we deserve the money. Not you." ... what do you want me to dot Tyler gave a short laugh. ' do I want you to do? Nothing. You've done it already. You damned . spoiled everything, do you know that ' don't understand.' ''s really quite simple.' He took out the revolver. ''re going to disappear.' She took a step back. ' I ... ''t say anything. Let's not waste time. You and I are going on a little trip.' She stiffened.
"What if I won't go?", you'll be going. Dead or alive. Suit yourself.' In the moment of silence that followed, Tyler heard his voice boom out from the next room. ', you'll be going- Dead or alive. Suit
whirled around. ' ... 9' Steve Sloane, Simon Fitzgerald, Lieutenant Kennedy, and two uniformed policemen stepped into the living room. Steve was holding a tape recorder. Lieutenant Kennedy said, ' me the gun, judge.' Tyler froze for an instant, then he forced a smile.
"Of course. I was just trying to scare this woman into getting out of here. She's a firmid, you know.' He put the gun in the detective's outstretched hand. ' tried to claim part of the Stanford estate.
Well, I wasn't about to let her get away with it. So I .. ''s over, judge,' Steve said. ,'What are you talking about? You said Woody was responsible for ..." wasn't up to planning anything as clever as this, and Kendall was already very successful. So I started checking up on you. Dmitri Kaminsky was killed in Australia, but the Australian police found your telephone number in his pocket. You used him to murder your father. You're the one who brought in Margo Posner and then insisted she was an impostor to throw suspicion off yourself. You're the one who insisted on the DNA test and arranged to have the body removed.
And you're the one who put in the phony call to Timmons. You hired Margo Posner to impersonate Julia, then had her committed to a psychiatric ward.' Tyler looked around the room, and when he spoke, his voice was dangerously calm. ' a phone nwnber on a dead man is yourevidence? I can't believe this! You set up your pitiful little trap based. on that?
You don't have a shred of proof. My telephone number was in Dmitri's pocket because I thought my father might be in danger. I told Dmitri to be careful. Obviously, he wasn't careful enough. Whoever killed my father probably killed Dmitri. That's who the police should be looking for. I called Timmons because I wanted him to find out the truth.
Someone impersonated him. I have no idea who. And unless you can find him and tie him to me, you have nothing. As far as Margo Posner is concerned, I really believed that she was our sister. When she suddenly went crazy, going on a buying spree and threatening to kill us all, I persuaded her to go to Chicago. Then I arranged to have her picked up and committed. I wanted to keep all this out of the press to protect the family.' Julia said, ' you came here to kill me.' Tyler shook his head. ' had no intention of killing you. You're an impostor. I just wanted to scare you away- ''re lying.' He turned to the others.
"There's something else you might consider. IVs possible that none of the family is involved. It could be some insider who's manipulating this, someone who put in an impostor and planned to convince the family she was genuine and then split a share of the estate with her. That didn't occur to any of you, did iff He turned to Simon Fitzgerald. ''m going to sue you both for slander, and I'm going to take away everything you've got. These are my witnesses. Before I'm through with you, you'llwish you had never heard of me. I control billions, and I'm going to use them to destroy you.' He looked at Steve. ' promise you that your last act as a lawyer will be the reading of the Stanford will. Now, unless you want to charge me with carrying an unlicensed weapon, I'll be leaving.' The group looked at one another uncertainly. '? Well, good evening, then.' They watched helplessly as he walked out the door.
Lieutenant Kennedy was the first one to find his voice. ' Goff he said.
"Do you believe that ''s bluffing,'Steve said slowly.'But we can't prdve it. He's right. We need proof. I thought he would crack, but I underestimated him.' Simon Fitzgerald spoke. ' looks like our little plan backfired. Without Dmitri Kaminsky or the testimony of the Posner woman, we have nothing but suspicions." about the threat on my life?, Julia protested. Steve said, ' heard what he said. He was just trying to, scare you because he thought you were an impostor. ' wasn't just trying to scare me,' Julia said. ' intended to kill me."
"I know. But there isn't a thing we can do. Dickens had it right: "The law is a ass ... " We're right back where we started.' Fitzgerald frowned.
"It's worse than that, Steve. Tyler meant what he said about suing us.
Unless we canprove our charges, we're in trouble.' When the others had left, Julia said to Steve, ''m so sorry about all this. I feel responsible in a'way. If I hadn't come ..."'t be silly,' Steve said.
"But he said he's going to ruin you. Can he do that Steve shrugged.
"We'll have to see.' Julia hesitated. ', I'd [email protected] to help you: He looked at her, puzzled. ' do you mean?", I'm going to have a lot of money. I'd like to give you enough so you can -' . He put his hands on her shoulders. ' you, Julia. I can't take your money. I'll be fine." ... I ''t worry about it., She shuddered. ''s an evil man.' `It was very brave of you to do what you did." said there was no way to get him, so I thought if you sent him here, that could be the way to trap him." looks as though were the ones who fell into the trap, doesn't iff That night, Julia lay in her bed, thinking about Steve and wondering how she could protect him. I shouldn't have come, she thought, but if I hadn't come, I wouldn't have met him In the next room, Steve lay in bed, thinking about Julia. It was frustrating to think that she was lying in her bed with only a thin wall between them. What am I talking about? That wall is a billion dollars thick. Tyler was in an exuberant mood. On the way home, he thought about what had just taken place, and how he had outwitted them. They're pygmies trying to fell a giant, he thought. And he had no idea that these were once his father's thoughts. When Tyler reached Rose Hill, Clark greeted him. ' evening, Judge Tyler. I hope you're well this evening." better, Clark. Never better." I get you anythingt "Yes. I think I'd like a glass of champagne.' ' course, sir.' It, was a celebration, the celebration of his victory. Tomorrow r1l be worth over two billion dollars. He said the phrase lovingly over an dover.
"Two billion dollars ... two billion dollars ...' He decided to call Lee. This time Lee recognized his voice immediately. '! How are you?' His -voice was warm. ', Lee."'ve been waiting to hear from you: Tyler felt a little thrill. ' you? How would you like to come to Boston tomorrowt ' ... but what fort ' the reading of the will. I'm going to inherit over two billion dollars.' , ... that's fantastic!" want you here at my side. We're going to pick out that yacht together.", Tylerl That sound's wonderful!" you'll comet "Of course, I will.' When Lee replaced the receiver, he sat there saying lovingly over an dover, ' billion dollars ... two billion dollars."