Anda di halaman 1dari 173

A St r anger i n t he Mi r r or [ 187- 142- 066- 096- 3.

5]
By: Si dney Shel don
Cat egor y: Fi ct i on Suspense
Synopsi s:
Toby Templ e i s a super st ar , t he wor l d' s f unni est man. He get s any woman
t hat he want s, but under t he super st ar i mage i s a l onel y man. J i l l
Cast l e i s a sensuous st ar l et .
She has a dar k and myst er i ous past and has an ambi t i on even gr eat er
t han Toby' s.
Toget her t hey r ul e Hol l ywood.
Last pr i nt i ng: 05/ 21/ 02
`; / 91' I SBN: 0- 2366- 102- 9772- 1
Si dney Shel don has had a most r emar kabl e car eer . The
New Yor k Ti mes accl ai med hi s novel . The Naked Face,
as ' t he best f i r st myst er y novel of t he year ' . At t he age
of t went y- f our Mr Shel don had t hr ee hi t musi cal s pl ayi ng
si mul t aneousl y on Br oadway. A t heat r i cal mot i on
pi ct ur e, and t el evi si on pr oducer - wr i t er - di r ect or , Mr Shel don
has been awar ded an Oscar f or hi s or i gi nal scr eenpl ay
of The Bachel or and t he Bobby Soxer , Scr een
Wr i t er s Gui l d Awar ds f or Anni e Get Tour Gun and
East er Par ade and a Tony f or Br oadway show Redhead.
He l i ves i n Los Angel es wi t h hi s wi f e, act r ess J or j a
Cur t r i ght , and t hei r daught er Mar y.
Books by Si dney Shel t on
A STRANGER WTHE MI RROR
THB OTHBK SI DE OF MI DNI GHT
THH NAKED FACE
A STRANGER I N THE MI RROR
by Si dney Shel don
Fi r st publ i shed 1976 by Hodder and St ought on Lt d
Si dney Shel don 1976
Fi r st I ndi an edi t i on publ i shed 1976 by
t he macmi l l an company of i ndi a l t d
under ar r angement wi t h
Pan Books Lt d, Cavaye Pl ace,
London SW10 9PG
Repr i nt ed 1981
Thi s book i s sol d subj ect t o t he condi t i on t hat i t
shal l not , by way of t r ade or ot her wi se, be l ent , r esol d,
hi r ed out or ot her wi se ci r cul at ed wi t hout t he publ i sher ' s
pr i or consent i n any f or mof bi ndi ng or cover ot her
t han t hat i n whi ch i t i s publ i shed and wi t hout
a si mi l ar condi t i on i ncl udi ng t hi s condi t i on
bei ng i mposed on t he subsequent pur chaser
Expor t of t hi s book i s a vi ol at i on of t he
Pr i nt ed by
T K Sengupt e at Macmi l l an I ndi a Pr cu, Madr ai 600002.
not e TO THE r eader
The ar t of maki ng ot her s l augh i s sur el y a wondr ous gi f t
f r omt he gods. I af f ect i onat el y dedi cat e t hi s book t o t he
comedi ans, t he men and women who have t hat gi f t and shar e i t
wi t h us. And t o one of t hemi n par t i cul ar : my daught er ' s godf at her ,
Gr oucho.
Thi s i s a wor k of f i ct i on. Except f or t he names of t heat r i cal
per sonal i t i es, al l char act er s ar e i magi nar y.
I f you woul d seek t o f i nd your sel f
Look not i n a mi r r or
For t her e i s but a shadow t her e,
A st r anger . . .
si l eni us, Odes t o Tr ut h
PROLOGUE.
On a Sat ur day mor ni ng i n ear l y August i n 1969, a ser i es of bi zar r e and
i nexpl i cabl e event s occur r ed aboar d t he f i f t y- f i ve- t housand- t on l uxur y l i ner
S. S. Br et agne as i t was pr epar i ng t o sai l f r omt he Por t of New Yor k t o Le Havr e.
Cl aude Dessar d, chi ef pur ser of t he Br et agne, a capabl e and met i cul ous man, r an,
as he was f ond of sayi ng, a " t i ght shi p" . I n t he - f i f t een year s Dessar d had
ser ved aboar d t he Br et agne, he had never encount er ed a si t uat i on he had not
been abl e t o deal wi t h ef f i ci ent l y and di scr eet l y. Consi der i ng t hat t he S. S.
Br et agne was a Fr ench shi p, t hi s was hi gh t r i but e, i ndeed. However , on t hi s
par t i cul ar summer day i t was as t hough a t housand devi l s wer e conspi r i ng agai nst
hi m. I t was of smal l consol at i on t o hi s sensi t i ve Gal l i c pr i de t hat t he
i nt ensi ve i nvest i gat i ons conduct ed af t er war ds by t he Amer i can and Fr ench
br anches of I nt er pol and t he st eamshi p l i ne' s own secur i t y f or ces f ai l ed t o t ur n
up a si ngl e pl ausi bl e expl anat i on f or t he ext r aor di nar y happeni ngs of t hat day.
Because of t he f ame of t he per sons i nvol ved, t he st or y was t ol d i n headl i nes al l
over t he wor l d, but t he myst er y r emai ned unsol ved. As f or Cl aude Dessar d, he
r et i r ed f r omt he Qe. Tr ansat l ant i que and opened a bi st r o i n Ni ce, wher e he never
t i r ed of r el i vi ng wi t h hi s pat r ons t hat st r ange, unf or get t abl e August
day.
I t had begun, Dessar d r ecal l ed, wi t h t he del i ver y of f l ower s f r om t he
Pr esi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es.
One hour bef or e sai l i ng t i me, an of f i ci al bl ack l i mousi ne bear i ng
gover nment l i cense pl at es had dr i ven up t o Pi er 92 on t he l ower Hudson Ri ver . A
man wear i ng a char coal - gr ay sui t had di sembar ked f r om t he car , car r yi ng a
bouquet of t hi r t y- si x St er l i ng Si l ver r oses. He had made hi s way t o t he f oot of
t he gangpl ank and exchanged a f ew wor ds wi t h Al ai n Saf f or d, t he Br et agne' s
of f i cer on dut y. The f l ower s wer e cer emoni ousl y t r ansf er r ed t o J ani n, a j uni or
deck of f i cer , who del i ver ed t hemand t hen sought out Cl aude Dessar d.
" I t hought you mi ght wi sh t o know, " J ani n r epor t ed.
" Roses f r omt he Pr esi dent t o Mme. Templ e. " f i l l Templ e. I n t he l ast year ,
her phot ogr aph had appear ed on t he f r ont pages of dai l y newspaper s and on
magazi ne cover s f r om New Yor k t o Bangkok and Par i s t o Leni ngr ad. Cl aude Dessar d
r ecal l ed r eadi ng t hat she had been number one i n a r ecent pol l of t he wor l d' s
most admi r ed women, and t hat a l ar ge number of newbor n gi r l s wer e bei ng
chr i st ened J i l l . The Uni t ed St at es of Amer i ca had al ways had i t s her oi nes.
Now, J i l l Templ e had become one. Her cour age and t he f ant ast i c
bat t l e she had won and t hen so i r oni cal l y l ost had capt ur ed
t he i magi nat i on of t he wor l d. I t was a gr eat l ove st or y,
but i t was much mor e t han t hat : i t cont ai ned al l t he el ement s
of cl assi c Gr eek dr ama and t r agedy.
Cl aude Dessar d was not f ond of Amer i cans, but i n t hi s
case he was del i ght ed t o make an except i on. He had t r emendous
admi r at i on f or Mme. Toby Templ e. She was - - and
t hi s was t he hi ghest accol ade Dessar d coul d t ender - - gal ant e.
He r esol ved t o see t o i t t hat her voyage on hi s shi p woul d be
a memor abl e one.
The chi ef pur ser t ur ned hi s t hought s away f r omJ i l l
Templ e and concent r at ed on a f i nal check of t he passenger
l i st . Ther e was t he usual col l ect i on of what t he Amer i cans
r ef er r ed t o as VI P' s, an acr onymDessar d det est ed, par t i cul ar l y
si nce Amer i cans had such bar bar i c i deas about what
made a per son i mpor t ant . He not ed t hat t he wi f e of a weal t hy
i ndust r i al i st was t r avel i ng al one. Dessar d smi l ed knowi ngl y
. and scanned Ae passenger l i st f or t he name of Mat t El l i s,
a bl ack f oot bal l st ar . When he f ound i t , he nodded t o hi msel f ,
sat i sf i ed. Dessar d was al so i nt er est ed t o not e t hat i n adj oi ni ng
10
cabi ns wer e a pr omi nent senat or and Car l i na Rocca, a Sout h
Amer i can st r i pper , whose names had been l i nked i n r ecent
news st or i es. Hi s eyes moved down t he l i st .
Davi d Kenyon. Money. An enor mous amount of i t . He
had sai l ed on t he Br et agne bef or e. Dessar d r emember ed Davi d
Kenyon as a good- l ooki ng, deepl y t anned man wi t h a l ean,
at hl et i c body. A qui et , i mpr essi ve man. Dessar d put a C. T. ,
f or capt ai n' s t abl e, af t er Davi d Kenyon' s name.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence. A l ast - mi nut e booki ng. A smal l f r own
appear ed on t he chi ef pur ser ' s f ace. Ah, her e was a del i cat e
pr obl em. What di d one do wi t h Monsi eur Lawr ence? At one
t i me t he quest i on woul d not even have been r ai sed, f or he
woul d aut omat i cal l y have been seat ed at t he capt ai n' s t abl e,
wher e he woul d have r egal ed ever yone wi t h amusi ng anecdot es.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence was a t heat r i cal agent who i n hi s day had
r epr esent ed many of t he maj or st ar s i n t he ent er t ai nment
busi ness. But , al as, M. Lawr ence' s day was over . Wher e once
t he agent had al ways i nsi st ed on t he l uxur i ous Pr i ncess Sui t e,
oo t hi s voyage he had booked a si ngl e r oomon a l ower deck.
' Fi r st cl ass, of cour se, but st i l l . . . Cl aude Dessar d deci ded he
woul d r eser ve hi s deci si on unt i l he had gone t hr ough t he ot her
names.
Ther e was mi nor r oyal t y aboar d, a f amous oper a si nger
and a Nobel Pr i ze- decl i ni ng Russi an novel i st .
A knock at t he door i nt er r upt ed Dessar d' s concent r at i on.
Ant oi ne, one of t he por t er s, ent er ed.
" Yes - - what ?" Cl aude Dessar d asked.
Ant oi ne r egar ded hi mwi t h r heumy eyes. " Di d you or der
di e t heat er l ocked?"
Dessar d f r owned. " What ar e you t al ki ng about ?"
" I assumed i t was you. Who el se woul d do i t ? A f ew
mi nut es ago I checked t o see t hat ever yt hi ng was i n or der .
The door s wer e l ocked. I t sounded l i ke someone was i nsi de
t he t heat er , r unni ng a movi e. "
" We never r un f i l ms i n por t , " Dessar d sai d f i r ml y. " And
at no r i me ar e t hose door s l ocked. I ' l l l ook i nt o i t . "
Or di nar i l y, Cl aude Dessar d woul d have i nvest i gat ed t he
r epor t i mmedi at el y, but now he was har assed by dozens of
ur gent l ast - mi nut e det ai l s t hat had t o be at t ended t o bef or e
n
t he t wel ve o' cl ock sai l i ng. Hi s suppl y of Amer i can dol l ar s di d
not t al l y, one of t he best sui t es bad been booked t wi ce by
mi st ake, and t he weddi ng gi f t or der ed by Capt ai n Mont ai gne
had been del i ver ed t o t he wr ong shi p. The capt ai n was goi ng
t o be f ur i ous. Dessar d st opped t o l i st en t o t he f ami l i ar sound
of t he shi p' s f our power f ul t ur bi nes st ar t i ng. He f el t t he movement
of t he S. S. Br et agne as she sl i pped away f r omt he pi er
and began backi ng her way i nt o t he channel . Then Dessar d
once agai n became engr ossed i n hi s pr obl ems.
Hal f an hour l at er , Leon, t he chi ef ver anda- deck st ewar d,
came i n. Dessar d l ooked up, i mpat i ent l y. " Yes, Leon?"
" I ' msor r y t o bot her you, but I t hought you shoul d
know. . . "
" Hm?" Dessar d was onl y hal f - l i st eni ng, hi s mi nd on t he
del i cat e t ask of compl et i ng t he seat i ng ar r angement s f or t he
capt ai n' s t abl e f or each ni ght of t he voyage. The capt ai n
was not a man gi f t ed wi t h soci al gr aces, and havi ng di nner
wi t h hi s passenger s ever y ni ght was an or deal f or hi m. I t ,
was Dessar d' s t ask t o see t hat t he gr oup was agr edbl e.
" I t ' s about Mme. Templ e . . . " Leon began.
Dessar d i nst ant l y l ai d down hi s penci l and l ooked up, hi s
smal l bl ack eyes al er t . " Yes?"
" I passed her cabi n a f ew mi nut es ago, and I hear d l oud
voi ces and a scr eam. I t was di f f i cul t t o hear cl ear l y t hr ough t he
door , but i t sounded as t hough she was sayi ng, ' You' ve ki l l ed
me, you' ve ki l l ed me. ' I t hought i t best not t o i nt er f er e, so
I came t o t el l you. "
Dessar d nodded. " You di d wel l . I shal l check t o make
cer t ai n t hat she i s al l r i ght . "
Dessar d wat ched t he deck st ewar d l eave. I t was unt hi nkabl e
t hat anyone woul d har ma woman l i ke Mme. Templ e. I t
was an out r age t o Dessar d' s Gal l i c sense of chi val r y. He put
on hi s uni f or mcap, st ol e a qui ck l ook i n t he wal l mi r r or and
st ar t ed f or t he door . The t el ephone r ang. The chi ef pur ser
hesi t at ed, t hen pi cked i t up. " Dessar d. "
" Cl aude - - " I t was t he t hi r d mat e' s voi ce. " For Chr i st ' s
sake, send someone down t o t he t heat er wi t h a mop, woul d
you? Ther e' s bl ood al l over t he pl ace. "
Dessar d f el t a sudden si nki ng sensat i on i n t he pi t of hi s
12
st omach. " Ri ght away, " Dessar d pr omi sed. He hung up,
ar r anged f or a por t er , t hen di al ed t he shi p' s physi ci an.
" Andr e? Cl aude. " He t r i ed t o make hi s voi ce casual . " I
was j ust wonder i ng whet her anyone has been i n f or medi cal
t r eat ment . . . . No, no. I wasn' t t hi nki ng of seasi ck pi l l s. Thi s
per son woul d be bl eedi ng, per haps badl y. . . . I see. Thank
you. " Dessar d hung up, f i l l ed wi t h a gr owi ng sense of unease.
He l ef t hi s of f i ce and headed f or J i l l Templ e' s sui t e. He was
hal f way t her e when t he next si ngul ar event occur r ed. As
Dessar d r eached t he boat deck, he f el t t he r hyt hmof t he shi p' s
mot i on change. He gl anced out at t he ocean and saw t hat t hey
had ar r i ved at t he Ambr ose Li ght shi p, wher e t hey woul d dr op
t hei r pi l ot t ug and t he l i ner woul d head f or t he open sea. But
i nst ead, t he Br et agne was sl owi ng t o a st op. Somet hi ng out of
t he or di nar y was happeni ng.
Dessar d hur r i ed t o t he r ai l i ng and l ooked over t he si de.
I n t he sea bel ow, t he pi l ot t ug had been snugged agai nst t he
car go hat ch of t he Br et agne, and t wo sai l or s wer e t r ansf er r i ng
l uggage f r omt he l i ner t o t he t ug. As Dessar d wat ched, a
passenger st epped f r omt he shi p' s hat ch ont o t he smal l boat .
Dessar d coul d onl y cat ch a gl i mpse of t he per son' s back, but he
was sur e t hat he must have been mi st aken i n hi s i dent i f i cat i on.
I t was si mpl y not possi bl e. I n f act , t he i nci dent of a passenger
l eavi ng t he shi p i n t hi s f ashi on was so ext r aor di nar y t hat t he
chi ef pur ser f el t a smal l f r i sson of al ar m. He t ur ned and
hur r i edl y made hi s way t o J i l l Templ e' s sui t e. Ther e was no
r esponse t o hi s knock. He knocked agai n, t hi s t i me a l i t t l e mor e
l oudl y. " Madame Templ e. . . Thi s i s Cl aude Dessar d, t he
chi ef pur ser . I was wonder i ng i f I mi ght be of any ser vi ce. "
Ther e was no answer . By now, Dessar d' s i nt er nal war ni ng
syst emwas scr eami ng. Hi s i nst i nct s t ol d hi mt hat t her e was
somet hi ng t er r i bl y wr ong, and he had a pr emoni t i on t hat i t
cent er ed, somehow, ar ound t hi s woman. A ser i es of wi l d, out r ageous
t hought s danced t hr ough hi s br ai n. She had been
mur der ed or ki dnapped or - - He t r i ed t he handl e of t he door .
I t was unl ocked. Sl owl y, Dessar d pushed t he door open. J i l l
Templ e was st andi ng at t he f ar end of t he cabi n, l ooki ng out
t he por t hol e, her back t o hi m. Dessar d opened hi s mout h t o
speak, but somet hi ng i n t he f r ozen r i gi di t y of her f i gur e
13
st opped hi m. He st ood t her e awkwar dl y f or a moment , debat i ng
whet her t o qui et l y wi t hdr aw, when suddenl y t he cabi n
was f i l l ed wi t h an unear t hl y, keeni ng sound, l i ke an ani mal i n
pai n. Hel pl ess bef or e such a deep pr i vat e agony, Dessar d
wi t hdr ew, car ef ul l y cl osi ng t he door behi nd hi m.
Dessar d st ood out si de t he cabi n a moment , l i st eni ng t o
t he wor dl ess cr i es f r omwi t hi n. Then, deepl y shaken, he t ur ned
and headed f or t he shi p' s t heat er on t he mai n deck. A por t er
was moppi ng up a t r ai l of bl ood i n f r ont of t he t heat er .
Mon Di eu, Dessar d t hought . What next ? He t r i ed t he
door t o t he t heat er . I t was unl ocked. Dessar d ent er ed t he
l ar ge, modemaudi t or i umt hat coul d seat si x hundr ed passenger s.
The audi t or i umwas empt y. On an i mpul se, he went t o
t he pr oj ect i on boot h. The door was l ocked. Onl y t wo peopl e
had keys t o t hi s door , he and t he pr oj ect i oni st . Dessar d opened
i t wi t h hi s key and went i nsi de. Ever yt hi ng seemed nor mal .
He wal ked over t o t he t wo Cent ur y 35- mm. pr oj ect or s i n t he
r oomand put hi s hands on t hem.
One of t hemwas war m.
I n t he cr ew' s quar t er s on D deck, Dessar d f ound t he
pr oj ect i oni st , who assur ed hi mt hat he knew not hi ng about t he
t heat er bei ng used.
On t he way back t o hi s of f i ce, Dessar d t ook a shor t cut
t hr ough t he ki t chen. The chef st opped hi m, i n a f ur y. " Look
at t hi s, " he commanded Dessar d. " J ust l ook what some i di ot
has done! "
On a mar bl e past r y t abl e was a beaut i f ul , si x- t i er ed weddi ng
cake, wi t h del i cat e, spun- sugar f i gur es of a br i de and
gr oomon t op.
Someone had cr ushed i n t he head of t he br i de.
" I t was at t hat moment , " Dessar d woul d t el l t he spel l bound
pat r ons at hi s bi st r o, " t hat I knew somet hi ng t er r i bl e
was about t o happen. "
BOOK ONE
I n 1919, Det r oi t , Mi chi gan, was t he si ngl e most successf ul
i ndust r i al ci t y i n t he wor l d. Wor l d War I had ended, and
Det r oi t had pl ayed a si gni f i cant par t i n t he Al l i es' vi ct or y,
suppl yi ng t hemwi t h t anks and t r ucks and aer opl anes. Now,
wi t h t he t hr eat of t he Hun over , t he aut omobi l e pl ant s once
agai n t ur ned t hei r ener gi es t o r et ool i ng f or mot or car s. Soon,
f our t housand aut omobi l es a day wer e bei ng manuf act ur ed,
assembl ed and shi pped. Ski l l ed and unski l l ed l abor came f r om
al l par t s of t he wor l d t o seek j obs i n t he aut omot i ve i ndust r y.
I t al i ans, I r i sh, Ger mans - - t hey came i n a f l ood t i de.
Among t he new ar r i val s wet e Paul Templ ar haus and hi s
I - br i de, Fr i eda. Paul had been a but cher ' s appr ent i ce i n Muni ch.
Wi t h t he dowr y he r ecei ved when he mar r i ed Fr i eda, he
emi gr at ed t o New Yor k and opened a but cher shop, whi ch
qui ckl y showed a def i ci t . He t hen moved t o St . Loui s, Bost on
and, f i nal l y, Det r oi t , f ai l i ng spect acul ar l y i n each ci t y. I n an
er a when busi ness was boomi ng and an i ncr easi ng af f l uence
meant a gr owi ng demand f or meat , Paul Templ ar haus managed
t o l ose money ever ywher e he opened a shop. He was a
good but cher but a hopel essl y i ncompet ent busi nessman. I n
t r ut h he was mor e i nt er est ed i n wr i t i ng poet r y t han i n maki ng
money. He woul d spend hour s dr eami ng up r hymes and poet i c
i mages. He woul d set t hemdown on paper and mai l t hemof f
t o newspaper s and magazi nes, but t hey never bought any of
hi s mast er pi eces. To Paul , money was uni mpor t ant . He ext ended
cr edi t t o ever yone, and t he wor d qui ckl y spr ead: i f
17
you had no money and want ed t he f i nest of meat s, go t o Paul
Templ ar haus.
Paul ' s wi f e, Fr i eda, was a pl ai n- l ooki ng gi r l who had had
no exper i ence wi t h men bef or e Paul had come al ong and pr oposed
t o her - - or , r at her , as was pr oper - - t o her f at her .
Fr i eda had pl eaded wi t h her f at her t o accept Paul ' s sui t , but
t he ol d man had needed no ur gi ng, f or he had been desper at el y
af r ai d he was goi ng t o be st uck wi t h Fr i eda t he r est of
hi s l i f e. He had even i ncr eased t he dowr y so t hat Fr i eda and
her husband woul d be abl e t o l eave Ger many and go t o t he
New Wor l d.
Fr i eda had f al l en shyl y i n l ove wi t h her husband at f i r st
si ght . She had never seen a poet bef or e. Paul was t hi n and
i nt el l ect ual - l ooki ng, wi t h pal e myopi c eyes and r ecedi ng hai r ,
and i t was mont hs bef or e Fr i eda coul d bel i eve t hat t hi s handsome
young man t r ul y bel onged t o her . She had no i l l usi ons
about her own l ooks. Her f i gur e was l umpy, t he shape of an
over si zed, uncooked pot at o kugel . Her best f eat ur e was her
vi vi d bl ue eyes, t he col or of gent i ans, but t he r est af her f ace
seemed t o bel ong t o ot her peopl e. Her nose was her gr andf at her ' s,
l ar ge and bul bous, her f or ehead was an uncl e' s, hi gh
and sl opi ng, and her chi n was her f at her ' s, squar e and gr i m.
Somewher e i nsi de Fr i eda was a beaut i f ul young gi r l , t r apped
wi t h a f ace and body t hat God had gi ven her as some ki nd of
cosmi c j oke. But peopl e coul d see onl y t he f or mi dabl e ext er i or .
Except f or Paul . Her Paul . I t was j ust as wel l t hat Fr i eda never
knew t hat her at t r act i on l ay i n her dowr y, whi ch Paul saw as
an escape f r omt he bl oody si des Of beef and hog br ai ns. Paul ' s
dr eamhad been t o go i nt o* busi ness f or hi msel f and make
enough money so t hat he coul d devot e hi msel f t o hi s bel oved
poet r y.
Fr i eda and Paul went t o an i nn out si de Sal zbur g f or t hei r
honeymoon, a beaut i f ul ol d cast l e on a l ovel y l ake, sur r ounded
by meadows and woods. Fr i eda had gone over t he honeymoonni ght
scene a hundr ed t i mes i n her mi nd. Paul woul d l ock t he
door and t ake her i nt o hi s ar ms and mur mur sweet endear ment s
as he began t o undr ess her . Hi s l i ps woul d f i nd her s
and t hen sl owl y move down her naked body, t he way t hey di d
i t i n al l t he l i t t l e gr een books she had secr et l y r ead. Hi s or gan
18
woul d be har d and er ect and pr oud, l i ke a Ger man banner ,
and Paul woul d car r y her t o t he bed ( per haps i t woul d be
saf er i f he wal ked her t o i t ) and t ender l y l ay her down. Mem
Got t , Fr i eda, he woul d say. I l ove your body. You ar e not l i ke
t hose ski nny l i t t l e gi r l s. You have t he body of a woman.
The act ual i t y came as a shock. I t was t r ue t hat when t hey
r eached t hei r r oom, Paul l ocked t he door . Af t er t hat , t he
r eal i t y was a st r anger t o t he dr eam. As Fr i eda- wat ched, Paul
qui ckl y st r i pped of f hi s shi r t , r eveal i ng a hi gh, t hi n, hai r l ess
chest . Then he pul l ed down hi s pant s. Bet ween hi s l egs l ay a
l i mp, t i ny peni s, hi dden by a f or eski n. I t di d not r esembl e
i n any way t he exci t i ng pi ct ur es Fr i eda had seen. Paul st r et ched
out on t he bed, wai t i ng f or her , and Fr i eda r eal i zed t hat he
expect ed her t o undr ess her sel f . Sl owl y, she began t o t ake of f
her cl ot hes. Wel l , si ze i s not ever yt hi ng, Fr i eda t hought . Paul
wi l l be a wonder f ul l over . Moment s l at er , t he t r embl i ng br i de
j oi ned her gr oomon t he mar i t al bed. Whi l e she was wai t i ng
f or hi mt o say somet hi ng r omant i c, Paul r ol l ed over on t op of
her , made a f ew t hr ust s i nsi de her , and r ol l ed of f agai n. For
t he st unned br i de, i t was f i ni shed bef or e i t began. As f or Paul ,
hi s f ew pr evi ous sexual exper i ences had been wi t h t he whor es
of Muni ch, and he was r eachi ng f or hi s wal l et when he r emember ed
t hat he no l onger had t o pay f or i t . Fr omnow on i t was
f r ee. Long af t er Paul had f al l en asl eep, Fr i eda l ay i n bed,
t r yi ng not t o t hi nk about her di sappoi nt ment . Sex i s not ever y she t ol d her sel f .
My Paul wi l l make a wonder f ul
husband.
As i t t ur ned out , she was wr ong agai n.
I t was shor t l y af t er t he honeymoon t hat Fr i eda began
t o see Paul i n a mor e r eal i st i c l i ght . Fr i eda had been r ear ed
i n t he Ger man t r adi t i on of a Hausf r au, and so she obeyed her
husband wi t hout quest i on, but she was f ar f r omst upi d. Paul
had no i nt er est i n l i f e except hi s poems, and Fr i eda began t o
r eal i ze t hat t hey wer e ver y bad. She coul d not hel p but obser ve
t hat Paul l ef t a gr eat deal t o be desi r ed i n al most ever y
ar ea she coul d t hi nk of . Wher e Paul was i ndeci si ve, Fr i eda
was f i r m, wher e Paul was st upi d about busi ness, Fr i eda was
19
cl ever . I n t he begi nni ng, she had sat by, si l ent l y suf f er i ng,
whi l e t he head of t he f ami l y t hr ew away her handsome dowr y
by hi s sof t hear t ed i di oci es. By t he t i me t hey moved t o Det r oi t ,
Fr i eda coul d st and i t no l onger . She mar ched i nt o her husband' s
but cher shop one day and t ook over t he cash r egi st er .
The f i r st t hi ng she di d was t o put up a si gn: No cr edi t . Her
husband was appal l ed, but t hat was onl y t he begi nni ng. Fr i eda
r ai sed t he pr i ces of meat and began adver t i si ng, shower i ng
t he nei ghbour hood wi t h pamphl et s, and t he busi ness expanded
over ni ght . Fr omt hat moment on, i t was Fr i eda who made al l
t he i mpor t ant deci si ons, and Paul who f ol l owed t hem. Fr i eda' s
di sappoi nt ment had t ur ned her i nt o a t yr ant . She f ound t hat
she had a t al ent f or r unni ng t hi ngs and peopl e, and she was
i nf l exi bl e. I t was Fr i eda who deci ded how t hei r money was t o
be i nvest ed, wher e t hey woul d l i ve, wher e t hey woul d vacat i on,
and when i t was t i me t o have a baby.
She announced her deci si on t o Paul one eveni ng and put
hi mt o wor k on t he pr oj ect unt i l t he poor man al most suf f er ed
a ner vous br eakdown. He was af r ai d t oo much sex woul d
under mi ne hi s heal t h, but Fr i eda was a woman of gr eat det er mi nat i on.
" Put i t i n me, " she woul d command.
" How can I ?" Paul pr ot est ed. " I t i s not i nt er est ed. "
Fr i eda woul d t ake hi s shr i vel ed l i t t l e peni s and pul l back
t he f or eski n, and when not hi ng happened, she woul d t ake i t
i n her mout h - - " Mei n Got t , Fr i eda! What ar e you doi ngy - -
unt i l i t got har d i n spi t e of hi m, and she woul d i nser t i t bet ween
her l egs unt i l Paul ' s sper mwas i nsi de her .
Thr ee mont hs af t er t hey began, Fr i eda t ol d her husband
t hat he coul d t ake a r est . She was pr egnant . Paul want ed a
gi r l and Fr i eda want ed a boy, so i t was no sur pr i se t o any of
t hei r f r i ends t hat t he baby was a boy.
The baby, at Fr i eda' s i nsi st ence, was del i ver ed at home
by a mi dwi f e. Ever yt hi ng went smoot hl y up t o and t hr oughout
t he act ual del i ver y. I t was t hen t hat t hose who wer e gat her ed
ar ound t he bed got a shock. The newbor n i nf ant was nor mal
i n ever y way, except f or i t s peni s. The baby' s or gj an was
enor mous, dangl i ng l i ke a swol l en, out si zed appendage bet ween
t he baby' s i nnocent t hi ghs.
0
Hi s f at her ' s not bui l t l i ke t hat , Fr i eda t hought wi t h f i er ce
pr i de.
She named hi mTobi as, af t er an al der man who l i ved i n
t hei r pr eci nct . Paul t ol d Fr i eda t hat he woul d t ake over t he
t r ai ni ng of t he boy. Af t er al l , i t was t he f at her ' s pl ace t o br i ng
up hi s son.
Fr i eda l i st ened and smi l ed, and sel doml et Paul go near
t he chi l d. I t was Fr i eda who br ought t he boy up. She r ul ed
hi mwi t h a Teut oni c f i st , and she di d not bot her wi t h t he
vel vet gl ove. At f i ve, Toby was a t hi n, spi ndl y- l egged chi l d,
wi t h a wi st f ul f ace and t he br i ght , gent i an- bl ue eyes of hi s
mot her . Toby ador ed hi s mot her and hunger ed f or her appr oval .
He want ed her t o pi ck hi mup and hol d hi mon her
bi g, sof t l ap so t hat he coul d pr ess hi s head deep i nt o her
bosom. But Fr i eda had no t i me f or such t hi ngs. She was busy
maki ng a l i vi ng f or her f ami l y. She l oved l i t t l e Toby, and
she was det er mi ned t hat he woul d not gr ow up t o be a weakl i ng
l i ke hi s f at her . Fr i eda demanded per f ect i on i n ever yt hi ng
Toby di d. When he began school , she woul d super vi se hi s
homewor k, and i f he was puzzl ed by some assi gnment , hi s
mot her woul d admoni sh hi m, " Come on, boy - - r ol l up your
sl eeves! " And she woul d st and over hi munt i l he had sol ved
t he pr obl em. The st er ner Fr i eda was wi t h Toby, t he mor e he
l oved her . He t r embl ed at t he t hought of di spl easi ng her . Her
puni shment was swi f t and her pr ai se was sl ow, but she f el t
t hat i t was f or Toby' s own good. Fr omt he f i r st moment her
son had been pl aced i n her ar ms, Fr i eda had known t hat one
day he was goi ng t o become a f amous and i mpor t ant man.
She di d not know how or when, but she knew i t woul d happen.
I t was as t hough God had whi sper ed i t i nt o her ear . Bef or e
her son was even ol d enough t o under st and what she was
sayi ng, Fr i eda woul d t el l hi mof hi s gr eat ness t o come, and
she never st opped t el l i ng hi m. And so, young Toby gr ew up
knowi ng t hat he was goi ng t o be f amous, but havi ng no i dea
how or why. He onl y knew t hat hi s mot her was never wr ong.
Some of Toby' s happi est moment s occur r ed when he sat
i n t he enor mous ki t chen doi ng hi s homewor k whi l e hi s mot her
21
st ood at t he l ar ge ol d- f ashi oned st ove and cooked. She woul d
make heavenl y smel l i ng, t hi ck bl ack bean soup wi t h whol e
f r ankf ur t er s f l oat i ng i n i t , and pl at t er s of succul ent br at wur st ,
and pot at o pancakes wi t h f l uf f y edges of br own l ace. Or she
woul d st and at t he l ar ge choppi ng bl ock i n t he mi ddl e of t he
ki t chen, kneadi ng dough wi t h her t hi ck, st r ong hands, t hen
spr i nkl i ng a l i ght snowf l ake of f l our over i t , magi cal l y t r ansf or mi ng
t he dough i nt o a mout h- wat er i ng Pf l aumenkuchen or
Apf el kuchen. Toby woul d go t o her and t hr ow hi s ar ms ar ound
her l ar ge body, hi s f ace r eachi ng onl y up t o her wai st . The
exci t i ng f emal e smel l of her woul d become a par t of al l t he
exci t i ng ki t chen smel l s, and an unbi dden sexual i t y woul d st i r
wi t hi n hi m. At t hose moment s Toby woul d gl adl y have di ed
f or her . For t he r est of hi s l i f e, t he smel l of f r esh appl es cooki ng
i n but t er br ought back an i nst ant , vi vi d i mage of hi s
mot her .
One af t er noon, when Toby was t wel ve year s ol d, Mr s.
Dur ki n, t he nei ghbour hood gossi p, came t o vi si t t hem. Mr .
Dur ki n was a bony- f aced woman wi t h bl ack, dar t i ng eyes
and a t ongue t hat was never st i l l . When she depar t ed, Toby
di d an i mi t at i on of her t hat had hi s mot her r oar i ng wi t h
l aught er . I t seemed t o Toby t hat i t was t he f i r st t i me he had
ever hear d her l augh. Fr omt hat moment on, Toby l ooked
f or ways t o ent er t ai n her . He woul d do devast at i ng i mi t at i ons
of cust omer s who came i nt o t he but cher shop and of t eacher s
and school mat es, and hi s mot her woul d go i nt o gal es of
l aught er .
Toby had f i nal l y di scover ed a way t o wi n hi s mot her ' s
appr oval .
He t r i ed out f or a school pl ay. No Account Davi d, and
was gi ven t he l ead. On openi ng ni ght , hi s mot her sat i n t he
f r ont r ow and appl auded her son' s success. I t was at t hat
moment t hat Fr i eda knew how God' s pr omi se was goi ng t o
come t r ue.
I t was t he ear l y 1930s, t he begi nni ng of t he Depr essi on,
and movi e t heat er s al l over t he count r y wer e t r yi ng ever y
concei vabl e st r at agemt o ml t hei r empt y seat s. They gave away
di shes and r adi os, and had keno ni ght s and bi ngo ni ght s, and
22
hi r ed or gani st s t o accompany t he boundng bal l whi l e t he
audi ence sang al ong.
And t hey hel d amat eur cont est s. Fr i eda woul d car ef ul l y
check t he t heat r i cal sect i on of t he newspaper t o see wher e
cont est s wer e t aki ng pl ace. Then she woul d t ake Toby t her e
and si t i n t he audi ence whi l e he di d hi s i mi t at i ons of Al J ol son
and J ames Cagney and Eddi e Cant or and yel l out , " Mei n
Hi mmel ! What a t al ent ed boy! " Toby near l y al ways won f i r st
pr i ze.
He had gr own t al l er , but he was st i l l t hi n, an ear nest
chi l d wi t h gui l el ess, br i ght bl ue eyes set i n t he f ace of a
cher ub. One l ooked at hi mand i nst ant l y t hought : i nnocence.
When peopl e saw Toby t hey want ed t o put t hei r ar ms ar ound
hi mand hug hi mand pr ot ect hi mf r omLi f e. They l oved hi m
and on st age t hey appl auded hi m. For t he f i r st t i me Toby
under st ood what he was dest i ned t o be; he was goi ng t o be a
t ar , f or hi s mot her f i r st , and God second.
Toby' s l i bi do began t o st i r when he was f i f t een. He woul d
mast ur bat e i n t he bat hr oom, t he one pl ace he was assur ed of
pr i vacy, but t hat was not enough. He deci ded he needed a gi r l .
One eveni ng, Cl ar a Connor s, t he mar r i ed si st er of a cl assmat e,
dr ove Toby home f r oman er r and he was doi ng f or hi s
mot her . Cl ar a was a pr et t y bl onde wi t h l ar ge br east s, and as
Toby sat next t o her , he began t o get an er ect i on. Ner vousl y,
he i nched hi s hand acr oss t o her l ap and began t o f umbl e
under her ski r t , r eady t o wi t hdr aw i nst ant l y i f she scr eamed.
Cl ar a was mor e amused t han angr y, but when Toby pul l ed
out hi s peni s and she saw t he si ze of i t , she i nvi t ed hi mt o her
house t he f ol l owi ng af t er noon and i ni t i at ed Toby i nt o t he j oys
of sexual i nt er cour se. I t was a f ant ast i c exper i ence. I nst ead of
a soapy hand, Toby had f ound a sof t , war mr ecept acl e t hat
t hr obbed and gr abbed at hi s peni s. Cl ar a' s moans and scr eams
made hi mgr ow har d agai n and agai n, so t hat he had or gasm
af t er or gasmwi t hout ever l eavi ng t he war m, wet nest . The si ze
of hi s peni s had al ways been a- sour ce of secr et shame t o Toby.
Now i t had suddenl y become hi s gl or y. Cl ar a coul d not keep
t hi s phenomenon t o her sel f , and soon Toby f ound hi msel f
ser vi ci ng hal f a dozen mar r i ed women i n t he nei ghbor hood.
23
Dur i ng t he next t wo year s, Toby managed t o def l ower
near l y hal f t he gi r l s i n hi s cl ass. Some of Toby' s cl assmat es
wer e f oot bal l her oes, or bet t er l ooki ng t han he, or r i ch - - but
wher e t hey f ai l ed, Toby succeeded. He was t he f unni est , cut est
t hi ng t he gi r l s had ever seen, and i t was i mpossi bl e t o say no
t o t hat i nnocent f ace and t hose wi st f ul bl ue eyes.
I n Toby' s seni or year i n hi gh school , when he was
ei ght een, he was summoned t o t he pr i nci pal ' s of f i ce. I n t he
r oomwer e Toby' s mot her , gr i m- f aced, a sobbi ng si xt een- year ol d
Cat hol i c gi r l named Ei l een Henegan and her f at her , a
uni f or med pol i ce ser geant . The moment Toby ent er ed t he
r oom, he knew he was i n deep t r oubl e.
" I ' l l come r i ght t o t he poi nt , Toby, " t he pr i nci pal sai d.
" Ei l een i s pr egnant . She says you' r e t he f at her of her chi l d.
Have you had a physi cal r el at i onshi p wi t h her ?"
Toby' s mout h suddenl y went dr y. Al l he coul d t hi nk of
was how much Ei l een had enj oyed i t , how she had moaned
and begged f or mor e. And now t hi s.
" Answer hi m, you l i t t l e son of a bi t ch! " Ei l een' s f at her
bel l owed. " Di d you t ouch my daught er ?"
Toby sneaked a l ook at hi s mot her . That she was her e t o
wi t ness hi s shame upset hi mmor e t han anyt hi ng el se. He had
l et her down, di sgr aced her . She woul d be r epel l ed by hi s
behavi or . Toby r esol ved t hat i f he ever got out of t hi s, i f
God woul d onl y hel p hi mt hi s once and per f or msome ki nd
of mi r acl e, he woul d never t ouch anot her gi r l as l ong as he
l i ved. He woul d go st r ai ght t o a doct or and have hi msel f
cast r at ed, so t hat he woul d never even t hi nk about sex agai n,
and. . .
" Toby. . . " Hi s mot her was speaki ng, her voi ce st emand
col d. " Di d you go t o bed wi t h t hi s gi r l ?"
Toby swal l owed, t ook a deep br eat h and mumbl ed, " Yes,
Mot her . "
" Then you wi l l mar r y her . " Ther e was f i nal i t y i n her t one.
She l ooked at t he sobbi ng, puf f y- eyed gi r l . " I s t hat what you
want ?"
" Y- yes, " Ei l een cr i ed. " I l ove Toby. " She t ur ned t o Toby.
" They made me t el l . I di dn' t want t o gi ve t hemyour name. "
Her f at her , t he pol i ce ser geant , announced t o t he r oomat
24
l ar ge, " My daught er ' s onl y si xt een. I t ' s st at ut or y r ape. He
coul d be sent t o j ai l f or t he r est of hi s mi ser abl e l i f e. But i f
he' s goi ng t o mar r y her . . . "
They al l t ur ned t o l ook at Toby. He swal l owed agai n and
sai d, " Yes, si r . I - - I ' msor r y i t happened. "
Dur i ng t he si l ent r i de home wi t h hi s mot her , Toby sat
at her si de, mi ser abl e, knowi ng how much he had hur t her .
Now he woul d have t o f i nd a j ob t o suppor t Ei l een and t he
chi l d. He woul d pr obabl y have t o go t o wor k i n t he but cher
shop and f or get hi s dr eams, al l hi s pl ans f or t he f ut ur e. When
t hey r eached t he house, hi s mot her sai d t o hi m, " Come upst ai r s. "
Toby f ol l owed her t o hi s r oom, st eel i ng hi msel f f or a
l ect ur e. As he wat ched, she t ook out a sui t case and began
packi ng hi s cl ot hes. Toby st ar ed at her , puzzl ed. " What ar e
you doi ng. Mama?"
" Me? I ' mnot doi ng anyt hi ng. You ar e. You' r e goi ng away
f r omher e. "
She st opped and t ur ned t o f ace hi m. " Di d you t hi nk I
was goi ng t o l et you t hr ow your l i f e away on t hat not hi ng of
a gi r l ? So you t ook her t o bed and she' s goi ng t o have a baby.
That pr oves t wo t hi ngs - - t hat you' r e human, and she' s st upi d!
Oh, no - - no one t r aps my son i nt o mar r i age. God meant you
t o be a bi g man, Toby. You' l l go t o New Yor k, and when
you' r e a f amous st ar , you' l l send f or me. "
He bl i nked back t ear s and new i nt o her ar ms, and she
cr adl ed hi mi n her enor mous bosom. Toby suddenl y f el t l ost
and f r i ght ened at t he t hought of l eavi ng her . And yet , t her e
was an exci t ement wi t hi n hi m, t he exhi l ar at i on of embar ki ng
on a new l i f e. He was goi ng t o be i n Show Busi ness. He was
goi ng t o be a st ar ; he was goi ng t o be f amous.
Hi s mot her had sai d so.
/ ^
2
I n i 939 New Yor k Ci t y was a mecca f or t he t heat er .
The Depr essi on was over . Pr esi dent Fr ankl i n Roosevel t had
pr omi sed t hat t her e was not hi ng t o f ear but f ear i t sel f , t hat
Amer i ca woul d be t he most pr osper ous nadon on ear t h, and
so i t was. Ever yone had money t o spend. Ther e wer e t hi r t y
shows pl ayi ng on Br oadway, and al l of t hemseemed t o be hi t s.
Toby ar r i ved i n New Yor k wi t h a hundr ed dol l ar s hi s
mot her had gi ven hi m. Toby knew he was goi ng t o be r i ch
and f amous. He woul d send f or hi s mot her and t hey woul d
l i ve i n a beaut i f ul pent house and she woul d come t o t he t heat er
ever y ni ght t o wat ch t he audi ence appl aud hi m. I n t he meanme,
he had t o f i nd a j ob. He went t o t he st age door s of al l t he
Br oadway t heat er s and t ol d t hemabout t he amat eur cont est s
he had won and how t al ent ed he was. They t hr ew hi mout .
Dur i ng t he weeks t hat Toby hunt ed f or a j ob, he sneaked i nt o
t heat er s and ni ght cl ubs and wat ched t he t op per f or mer s wor k,
par t i cul ar l y t he comedi ans. He saw Ben Bl ue and J oe E. Lewi s
and Fr ank Fay. Toby knew t hat one day he woul d be bet t er
t han al l of t hem.
Hi s money r unni ng out , l i e t ook a j ob as a di shwasher .
He t el ephoned hi s mot her ever y Sunday mor ni ng, when t he
r at es wer e cheaper . She t ol d Toby about t he f ur or caused by
hi s r unni ng away.
" You shoul d see t hem, " hi s mot her sai d. " The pol i ceman
comes over her e i n hi s squad car ever y ni ght . The way he
car r i es on, you woul d t hi nk we wer e al l gangst er s. He keeps
aski ng wher e you ar e. "
26
" What do you t el l hi m?" Toby asked anxi ousl y.
" The t r ut h. That you sl unk away l i ke a t hi ef i n t he ni ght ,
and t hat i f I ever got my hands on you I woul d per sonal l y
wr i ng your neck. "
Toby l aughed al oud.
Dur i ng t he summer , Toby managed t o get a j ob as an
assi st ant t o a magi ci an, a beady- eyed, unt al ent ed mount ebank
who per f or med under t he name of t he Gr eat Mer l i n. They
pl ayed a ser i es of second- r at e hot el s i n t he Cat ski l l s, and
Toby' s pr i mar y j ob was t o haul t he heavy par apher nal i a i n and
out of Mer l i n' s st at i on wagon, and t o guar d t he pr ops, whi ch
consi st ed of si x whi t e r abbi t s, t hr ee canar i es and t wo hamst er s.
Because of Mer l i n' s f ear s t hat t he pr ops woul d " get eat en" ,
Toby was f or ced t o l i ve wi t h t hemi n r ooms t he si ze of br oom
cl oset s, and i t seemed t o Toby t hat t he whol e summer consi st ed
of one over power i ng st ench. He was i n a st at e of physi cal
exhaust i on f r omcar r yi ng t he heavy cabi net s wi t h t r i ck si des
and bot t oms and r unni ng af t er pr ops t hat wer e const ant l y
escapi ng. He was l onel y and di sappoi nt ed. He sat st ar i ng at
t he di ngy, l i t t l e r ooms, wonder i ng what he was doi ng her e and
how t hi s was goi ng t o get hi mst ar t ed i n show busi ness. He
pr act i ced hi s i mi t at i ons i n f r ont of t he mi r r or , and hi s audi ence
consi st ed of Mer l i n' s smel l y l i t t l e ani mal s.
One Sunday as t he summer was dr awi ng t o a dose, Toby
made hi s weekl y t el ephone cal l home. Thi s t i me i t was hi s
f at her who answer ed.
" I t ' s Toby, Pop. How ar e you?"
Ther e was a si l ence.
" Hel l o! Ar e you t her e?"
" I ' mher e, Toby. " Somet hi ng i n hi s f at her ' s voi ce chi l l ed
Toby.
" Wher e' s Mom?"
" They t ook her t o t he hospi t al l ast ni ght . "
Toby cl ut ched t he r ecei ver so har d t hat i t al most br oke
i n hi s f i st . " What happened t o her ?"
" The doct or sai d i t was a hear t at t ack. "
Nol Not hi s mot her i " She' s goi ng t o be al l r i ght , " Toby
27
demanded. " I sn' t she?" He was scr eami ng i nt o t he mout hpi ece.
" Tel l me she' s goi ng t o be al l r i ght , goddamyou! "
Fr oma mi l l i on mi l es away he coul d hear hi s f at her cr yi ng.
" She - - she di ed a f ew hour s ago, son. "
The wor ds washed over Toby l i ke whi t e- hot l ava, bur ni ng
hi m, scal di ng hi m, unt i l hi s body f el t as t hough i t wer e
on f i r e. Hi s f at her was l yi ng. She coul dn' t be dead. They had
a pact . Toby was goi ng t o be f amous and hi s mot her was
goi ng t o be at hi s si de. Ther e was a beaut i f ul pent house wai t i ng
f or her , and a l i mousi ne and chauf f eur and f ur s and
di amonds. . . He was sobbi ng so har d he coul d not br eat he.
He hear d t he di st ant voi ce sayi ng, " Toby! Toby! "
" I ' mon my way home. When i s t he f uner al ?"
" Tomor r ow, " hi s f at her sai d. " But you must n' t come
her e. They' l l be expect i ng you, Toby. Ei l een i s goi ng t o have
her baby soon. Her f at her want s t o ki l l you. They' l l be l ooki ng
f or you at t he f uner al . "
So he coul d not even say good- bye t o t he onl y per son
i n t he wor l d he l oved. Toby l ay i n hi s bed al l t hat day, r emember i ng.
The i mages of hi s mot her wer e so vi vi d and al i ve. She
was i n t he ki t chen, cooki ng, t el l i ng hi mwhat an i mpor t ant
man he was goi ng t o be, and at t he t heat er , si t t i ng i n t he f r ont
r ow and cal l i ng out , " Mei n Hi mmel ! What a t al ent ed boy I "
And l aughi ng at hi s i mi t at i ons and j okes. And packi ng hi s
sui t case. When you' r e a f amous st ar , you' l l send f or me. He
l ay t her e, numbed wi t h gr i ef , t hi nki ng, Fl l never f or get t hi s
day. Not as l ong as I l i ve. August t he f our t eent h, l <) 39- Thi s
i s t he most i mpor t ant day of my l i f e.
He was r i ght . Not because of t he deat h of hi s mot her
but because of an event t hat was t aki ng pl ace i n Odessa,
Texas, f i f t een hundr ed mi l es away.
* * *
The hospi t al was an anonymous f our - st or ey bui l di ng, t he
col or of char i t y. I nsi de was a r abbi t war r en of cubi cl es desi gned
t o di agnose si ckness, al l evi at e i t , cur e i t or somet i mes bur y i t .
I t was a medi cal super mar ket , and t her e was somet hi ng t her e
f or ever yone.
I t was f our a. m. , t he hour of qui et deat h or f i t f ul sl eep.
28
A t i me f or t he hospi t al st af f t o have a r espi t e bef or e gi r di ng
f or t he bat t l es of anot her day.
The obst et r i cal t eami n Oper at i ng Room4 was i n t r oubl e.
What had st ar t ed out as a r out i ne del i ver y had suddenl y
t ur ned i nt o an emer gency. Up unt i l t he act ual del i ver y of t he
baby of Mr s. Kar l Czi nski , ever yt hi ng had been nor mal . Mr s.
Czi nski was a heal t hy woman i n her pr i me, wi t h wi de peasant
hi ps t hat wer e an obst et r i ci an' s dr eam. Accel er at ed cont r act i ons
had begun, and t hi ngs wer e movi ng al ong accor di ng t o
schedul e.
" Br eech del i ver y, " Dr . Wi l son, t he obst et r i ci an, announced.
The wor ds caused no al ar m. Al t hough onl y t hr ee
per cent of bi r t hs ar e br eech del i ver i es - - t he l ower par t of
t he i nf ant emer gi ng f i r st - - t hey ar e usual l y handl ed wi t h ease.
Ther e, ar e t hr ee t ypes of br eech del i ver i es: spont aneous,
wher e no hel p i s r equi r ed; assi st ed, wher e t he obst et r i ci an
l ends nat ur e a hand; and a compl et e " br eakup" , wher e t he
baby i ? wedged i n t he mot her ' s womb.
Dr . Wi l son not ed wi t h sat i sf act i on t hat t hi s was goi ng t o
be a spont aneous del i ver y, t he si mpl est ki nd. He wat ched t he
baby' s f eet emer ge, f ol l owed by t wo smal l l egs. Ther e was
anot her cont r act i on f r omt he mot her , and t he baby' s t hi ghs
appear ed.
" We' r e al most t her e, " Dr . Wi l son sai d encour agi ngl y.
" Bear down once mor e. "
Mr s. Czi nski di d. Not hi ng happened.
He f r owned. " Tr y agai n. Har der . "
Not hi ng.
Dr . Wi l son pl aced hi s hands on t he baby' s l egs and t ugged,
ver y gent l y. Ther e was no movement . He squeezed hi s hand
past t he baby, t hr ough t he nar r ow passage i nt o t he ut er us,
and began t o expl or e. Beads of per spi r at i on suddenl y appear ed
on hi s f or ehead. The mat er ni t y nur se moved cl ose t o hi mand
mopped hi s br ow.
" We' ve got a pr obl em, " Dr . Wi l son sai d, i n a l ow voi ce.
Mr s. Czi nski hear d. " What ' s wr ong?" she asked.
" Ever yt hi ng' s f i ne. " Dr . Wi l son r eached i n f ar t her , gent l y
t r yi ng t o push t he i nf ant downwar d. I t woul d not budge. He
coul d f eel t he umbi l i cal cor d compr essed bet ween t he baby' s
29
body and t he mat er nal pel vi s, cut t i ng of f t he baby' s ai r suppl y.
" Fet oscopel "
The mat er ni t y nur se r eached f or t he i nst r ument and
appl i ed i t t o t he mot her ' s bel l y, l i st eni ng f or t he baby' s hear t beat .
" I t ' s down t o t hi r t y, " she r epor t ed. " And t her e' s mar ked
ar r hyt hmi a. "
Dr . Wi l son' s f i nger s wer e i nsi de t he mot her ' s body, l i ke
r emot e ant ennae of hi s br ai n, pr obi ng, sear chi ng.
" I ' ml osi ng t he f et al hear t beat - - " Ther e was al ar mi n t he
mat er ni t y nur se' s voi ce. " I t ' s negat i ve! "
They had a dyi ng baby i nsi de t he womb. Ther e was st i l l
a sl i mchance t hat t he baby coul d be r evi ved i f t hey coul d get
i t out i n t i me. They had a maxi mumof f our mi nut es t o del i ver
i t , dear i t s l ungs and get i t s t i ny hear t beat i ng agai n. Af t er
f our mi nut es, br ai n damage woul d be massi ve and
i r r ever si bl e.
" Cl ock i t , " Dr . Wi l son or der ed.
Ever yone i n t he r oomi nst i nct i vel y gl anced up as t he
el ect r i c cl ock on t he wal l cl i cked t o t he t wel ve o' cl ock posi t i on,
and t he l ar ge r ed second hand began maki ng i t s f i r st
sweep.
The del i ver y t eamwent t o wor k. An emer gency r espi r at or y
t ank was wheel ed t o t he t abl e whi l e Dr . Wi l son t r i ed t o
di sl odge t he i nf ant f r omt he pel vi c f l oor . He began t he Br acht
maneuver , t r yi ng t o shi f t t he i nf ant ar ound, t wi st i ng i t s
shoul der s so t hat i t coul d cl ear t he vagi nal openi ng. I t was
usel ess.
A st udent nur se, par t i ci pat i ng i n her f i r st del i ver y, f el t
suddenl y i l l . She hur r i ed out of t he r oom.
Out si de t he door of t he oper at i ng r oomst ood Kar l
Czi nski , ner vousl y kneadi ng hi s hat i n hi s l ar ge, cal l oused
hands. Thi s was t he happi est day of hi s l i f e. He was a car pent er ,
a si mpl e man who bel i eved i n ear l y mar r i age and
l ar ge f ami l i es. Thi s chi l d woul d be t hei r f i r st , and i t was al l he
coul d do t o cont ai n hi s exci t ement . He l oved hi s wi f e ver y
much, and he knew t hat wi t hout her he woul d be l ost . He was
t hi nki ng about hi s wi f e as t he st udent nur se came r ushi ng
out of t he del i ver y r oom, and he cal l ed t o her , " How i s she?"
The di st r aught young nur se, her mi nd pr eoccupi ed wi t h
30
t he baby, cr i ed, " She' s dead, she' s deadi " and hur r i ed away t o
be si ck.
Mr . Czi nski ' s f ace went whi t e. He cl ut ched hi s chest and
began gaspi ng f or ai r . By t he t i me t hey got hi mt o t he emer gency
war d, he was beyond hel p.
I nsi de t he del i ver y r oom, Dr . Wi l son was wor ki ng f r ancal l y,
r aci ng t he cl ock. He coul d r each i nsi de and t ouch t he
umbi l i cal cor d and f eel t he pr essur e agai nst i t , but t her e was
no way t o r el ease i t . Ever y i mpul se i n hi m scr eamed f or hi m t o pul l t he hal f -
del i ver ed baby out by f or ce, but he had seen
what happened t o babi es t hat had been del i ver ed t hat way.
Mr s. Czi nski was moani ng now, hal f del i r i ous.
" Bear down, Mr s. Czi nski . Har der ! Come on! "
I t was no use. Dr . Wi l son gl anced up at t he cl ock. Two
pr edous mi nut es wer e gone, wi t hout any bl ood ci r cul at i ng
t hr ough t he baby' s br ai n. Dr . Wi l son f aced anot her pr obl em:
what was he goi ng t o do i f t he baby wer e saved af t er t he f our
mi nut es had el apsed? Let i t l i ve and become a veget abl e? Or
l et i t have a mer ci f ul , qui ck deat h? He put t he t hought out of
hi s mi nd and began t o move f ast er . Cl osi ng hi s eyes, wor ki ng
by t ouch, al l hi s concent r at i on f ocused on what was happeni ng
i nsi de t he woman' s body. He t r i ed t he Maur i ceauSmel l i eVei t
maneuver , a compl i cat ed ser i es of moves desi gned t o l oosen
and f r ee t he baby' s body. And suddenl y t her e was a shi f t . He
f el t i t begi n t o move. " Pi per f or ceps! "
The mat er ni t y nur se swi f t l y handed hi mt he speci al f or ceps
and Dr . Wi l son r eached i n and pl aced t hemar ound t he baby' s
head. A moment l at er t he head emer ged.
The baby was del i ver ed.
Thi s was al ways t he i nst ant of gl or y, t he mi r acl e of a
newl y cr eat ed l i f e, r ed- f aced and bawl i ng, compl ai ni ng of t he
i ndi gni t y of bei ng f or ced out of t hat qui et , dar k womb i nt o
t he l i ght and t he col d.
But not t hi s baby. Thi s baby was bl ue- whi t e and st i l l .
I t was a f emal e.
The dock. A mi nut e and a hal f l ef t . Ever y move was
swi f t l y mechani cal now, t he r esul t of l ong year s of pr act i ce.
Gauzed f i nger s cl ear ed t he back of t he i nf ant ' s phar ynx so ai r
coul d get i nt o t he l ar yngcal openi ng. Dr . Wi l son pl aced t he
3*
baby f l at on i t s back. The mat er ni t y nur se handed hi ma smal l si ze
l ar yngoscope connect i ng wi t h an el ect r i c suct i on appar at us.
He set i t i n pl ace and nodded, and t he nur se cl i cked a swi t ch.
The r hyt hmi c sucki ng sound of t he machi ne began.
Dr . Wi l son l ooked up at t he dock.
Twent y seconds l ef t t o go. Hear t beat negat i ve.
Fi f t een . . . f our t een. . . Hear t beat negat i ve.
The moment of deci si on was at hand. I t mi ght al r eady be
t oo l at e t o pr event br ai n damage. No one coul d ever be r eal l y
sur e about t hese t hi ngs. He had seen hospi t al war ds f i l l ed wi t h
pat het i c cr eat ur es wi t h t he bodi es of adul t s and t he mi nds of
chi l dr en, or wor se.
Ten seconds. And no pul se, not even a t hr ead t o gi ve
hi mhope.
Fi ve seconds. He made hi s deci si on t hen, and hoped t hat
God woul d under st and and f or gi ve hi m. He was goi ng t o pul l
t he pl ug, say t hat t he baby coul d not be saved. No one woul d
quest i on hi s act i on. He f el t t he baby' s ski n once mor e. I t was
col d and cl ammy.
Thr ee seconds.
He l ooked down at t he i nf ant and he want ed t o weep. I t
was such a pi t y. She was a pr et t y baby. She woul d have gr own
up t o be a beaut i f ul woman. He wonder ed what her l i f e woul d
have been l i ke. Woul d she have got t en mar r i ed and had
chi l dr en? Or per haps become an ar t i st or a t eacher or a busi ness
execut i ve? Woul d she have been r i ch or poor ? Happy or
unhappy?
One second. Negat i ve hear t beat .
Zer o.
He r eached hi s hand t owar d t he swi t ch, and at t hat
i nst ant t he baby' s hear t began t o beat . I t was a t ent at i ve,
i r r egul ar spasm, and t hen anot her and t hen i t st eadi ed down
i d a st r ong, r egul ar beat . Ther e was a spont aneous cheer i n
t he r oomand cr i es of congr at ul at i on. Dr . Wi l son was not
l i st eni ng.
He was st ar i ng up at t he cl ock on t he wal l .
i n Kr akow. A mi ddl e name woul d have been pr et ent i ous f or
t he daught er of a Pol i sh seamst r ess i n Odessa, Texas.
For r easons t hat Ai r s. Czi nski di d not under st and, Dr .
Wi l son i nsi st ed t hat J osephi ne be br ought back t o t he hospi r al
f or an exami nat i on ever y si x weeks. The concl usi ons each t i me
wer e t he same: she seemed nor mal .
Onl y t i me woul d t el l .
3
On Labor Day, t he summer season i n t he Cat ski l l s was
over and t he Gr eat Mer l i n was out of a j ob, and al ong wi t h
hi m, Toby. Toby was f r ee t o go. But wher e? He was homel ess,
j obl ess and penni l ess. Toby' s deci si on was made f or hi m
when a guest of f er ed hi mt went y- f i ve dol l ar s t o dr i ve her and
her t hr ee young chi l dr en f r omt he Cat ski l l s t o Chi cago.
Toby l ef t wi t hout sayi ng good- bye t o t he Gr eat Mer l i n
or hi s smel l y pr ops.
Chi cago, i n 1939, was a pr osper ous, wi de- open ci t y. I t
was a ci t y wi t h a pr i ce, and t hose who knew t hei r way ar ound
coul d buy anyt hi ng f r omwomen t o dope t o pol i t i ci ans. Ther e
wer e hundr eds of ni ght cl ubs t hat cat er ed t o ever y t ast e. Toby
made t he r ounds of al l of t hem, f r omt he bi g, br assy Chez
Par ee t o t he l i t t l e bar s on Rush St r eet . The answer was al ways
t he same. No one want ed t o hi r e a young punk as a comi c.
The sands wer e r unni ng out f or Toby. I t was t i me he st ar t ed
t o f ul f i l l hi s mot her ' s dr eam.
He was al most ni net een year s ol d.
One of t he cl ubs Toby hung ar ound was t he Knee Hi gh,
wher e t he ent er t ai nment consi st ed of a dr ed t hr ee- pi ece combo,
a br oken- down, mi ddl e- aged dr unken comi c and t wo st r i pper s,
Mer i and J er i , who wer e bi l l ed as t he Per r y Si st er s and wer e,
i mpr obabl y enough, r eal l y si st er s. They wer e i n t hei r t went i es,
and at t r act i ve i n a cheap, bl owsy way. J er i came up t o t he bar
one eveni ng and sat next t o Toby. He smi l ed and sai d pol i t el y,
" I l i ke your act . "
J er i t ur ned t o l ook at hi mand saw a nai ve, baby- f aced
ki d, t oo young and t oo poor l y dr essed t o be a mar k. She nodded
i ndi f f er ent l y and st ar t ed t o t ur n away, when Toby st ood up.
J er i st ar ed at t he t el l t al e bul ge i n hi s pant s, t hen t ur ned t o
l ook up at t he i nnocent young f ace agai n. " J esus Chr i st , " she
sai d. " I s t hat al l you?"
He smi l ed. " Ther e' s onl y one way t o f i nd out . "
At t hr ee o' cl ock t hat mor ni ng, Toby was i n bed wi t h bot h
of t he Per r y Si st er s.
Ever yt hi ng had been met i cul ousl y pl anned. One hour
bef or e showt i me, J er i had t aken t he cl ub comi c, a compul si ve
gambl er , t o an apar t ment on Di ver sey Avenue wher e a cr ap
game was i n pr ogr ess. When he saw t he act i on, he l i cked hi s
l i ps and sai d, " We can st ay onl y a mi nut e. "
Thi r t y mi nut es l at er , when J er i sl i pped away, t he comi c
was r ol l i ng t he di ce. scr eami ng l i ke a mani ac, " An ei ght er
f r omDecat ur , you son of a bi t ch! " l ost i n some f ant asy wor l d
wher e success and st ar domand r i ches al l hung on each r ol l
of t he di ce.
At t he Knee Hi gh, Toby sat at t he bar , neat and t i dy,
wai t i ng.
When showt i me came and t he comi c had not appear ed,
t he owner of t he cl ub began t o r age and cur se. " That bast ar d' s
t hr ough t hi s t i me, you hear ? I won' t have hi mnear my cl ub
agai n. "
" I don' t bl ame you, " Mer i sai d. " But you' r e i n l uck.
Ther e' s a new comi c si t t i ng at t he bar . He j ust got i n f r om
New Yor k. "
" What ? Wher e?" The owner t ook one l ook at Toby.
" For chnssakes, wher e' s hi s nanny? He' s a baby' ' '
" He' s gr eat ! " J er i sai d. And she meanr i t .
" Tr y hi m, " Mer i added. " What can you l ose?"
" My f ucki n' cust omer s! " But he shr u^d and wal ked
over t o wher e Toby was si t t i ng. " So you' r e a comi c, huh?"
" Yeah, " Toby sai d casual l y. " I j ust f i ni shed doi ng a gi g
i n t he Cat ski l l s. "
35
The owner st udi ed hi ma moment . " How ol d ar e you?' '
" Twent y- t wo, " Toby l i ed.
" Hor seshi t . Al l r i ght . Get out t her e. And i f you l ay an
egg, you won' t l i ve t o see t went y- t wo. "
And t her e i t was. Toby Templ e' s dr eamhad f i nal l y come
t r ue. He was st andi ng i n t he spot l i ght whi l e t he band pl ayed
a f anf ar e f or hi m, and t he audi ence, hi s audi ence, sat t her e
wai t i ng t o di scover hi m, t o ador e hi m. He f el t a sur ge of
af f ect i on so st r ong t hat t he f eel i ng br ought a l ump t o hi s
t hr oat . I t was as t hough he and t he audi ence wer e one, bound
t oget her by some wonder f ul , magi cal cor d. For an i nst ant he
t hought of hi s mot her and hoped t hat wher ever she was, she
coul d see hi mnow. The f anf ar e st opped. Toby went i nt o hi s
r out i ne.
" Good eveni ng, you l ucky peopl e. My name i s Toby
Templ e. I guess you al l know your names. "
Si l ence.
He went on. " Di d you hear about t he new head of t he
Maf i a i n Chi cago? He' s a queer . Fr omnow on, t he Ki ss of
Deat h i ncl udes di nner and danci ng. "
Ther e was no l aught er . They wer e st ar i ng at hi m, col d
and host i l e, and Toby began t o f eel t he shar p cl aws of f ear
t ear i ng at hi s st omach. Hi s body was suddenl y soaked i n
per spi r at i on. That wonder f ul bond wi t h t he audi ence had
vani shed.
He kept goi ng. " I j ust pl ayed an engagement i n a t heat er
up i n Mai ne. The t heat er was so f ar back i n t he woods t hat
t he manager was a bear . "
Si l ence. They hat ed hi m.
" Nobody t ol d me t hi s was a deaf - mut e convent i on. I f eel
l i ke t he soci al di r ect or on t he Ti t ani c. Bei ng her e i s l i ke wal ki ng
up t he gangpl ank and t her e' s no shi p. "
They began t o boo. Two mi nut es af t er Toby had begun,
t he owner f r ant i cal l y si gnal ed t o t he musi ci ans, who st ar t ed t o pl ay l oudl y,
dr owni ng out Toby' s voi ce. He st ood t her e,
a bi g smi l e on hi s f ace, hi s eyes st i ngi ng wi t h t ear s.
He want ed t o scr eamat t hem.
/ ( was t he scr eams t hat awakened Mr " . Csi nski . They
wer e hi gh- pi t ched and f er al , eer i e i n t he st i l l ness of t he ni ght ,
and i t was not unt i l she sat up i n bed t hat she r eal i zed i t was
t he baby scr eami ng. She hur r i ed i nt o t he ot her r oomwher e
she had f i xed up a nur ser y. J osephi ne was r ol l i ng f r omsi de t o
si de, her f ace bl ue f r omconvul si ons. At t he hospi t al , an i nt er n
gave t he baby an i nt r avenous sedat i ve, and she f el l i nt o a
peacef ul sl eep. Dr . Wi l sons who had del i ver ed f osephi ne,
gave her a t hor ough exami nat i on. He coul d f i nd not hi ng wr ong
wi t h her . But he was uneasy. He coul d not f or get t he cl ock
on t he wal l .
37
4
Vaudevi l l e had f l our i shed i n Amer i ca f r om1881 unt i l
i t s f i nal demi se when t he Pal ace Theat r e cl osed i t s door s i n
1932. Vaudevi l l e had been t he t r ai ni ng gr ound f or al l t he aspi r i ng
young co^i i cs, t he bat t l ef i el d wher e t hey shar pened t hei r wi t s
agai nst host i l e, j eer i ng audi ences. However , t he comi cs who
won out went on t o f ame and f or t une. Eddi e Cant or and W. C.
Fi el ds, J ol son and Benny, Abbot t and Cost el l o, and J essel and
Bur ns and t he Mar x Br ot her s, and dozens mor e. Vaudevi l l e
was a haven, a st eady paycheck, but wi t h vaudevi l l e dead,
comi cs had t o t ur n t o ot her f i el ds. The bi g names wer e booked
f or r adi o shows and per sonal appear ances, and t hey al so pl ayed
t he i mpor t ant ni ght cl ubs ar ound t he count r y. For t he st r uggl i ng
young comi cs l i ke Toby, however , i t was anot her st or y.
They pl ayed ni ght cl ubs, t oo, but i t was a di f f er ent wor l d. I t
was cal l ed t he Toi l et Ci r cui t , and t he name was a euphemi sm.
I t consi st ed of di r t y sal oons al l over t he count r y wher e t he
gr eat unwashed publ i c gat her ed t o guzzl e beer and bel ch at
t he st r i pper s and dest r oy t he comi cs f or spor t . The dr essi ng
r ooms wer e st i nki ng t oi l et s, smel l i ng of st al e f ood and spi l l ed
dr i nks and ur i ne and cheap per f ume and, over l ayi ng i t al l , t he
r anci d odor of f ear : f l op sweat . The t oi l et s wer e so f i l t hy t hat
t he f emal e per f or mer s squat t ed over t he dr essi ng r oomsi nks
t o ur i nat e. Payment var i ed f r oman i ndi gest i bl e meal t o f i ve,
t en or somet i mes as much as f i f t een dol l ar s a ni ght , dependi ng
on t he audi ence r eact i on.
Toby Templ e pl ayed t hemal l , and t hey became hi s school .
The names of t he t owns wer e di f f er ent , but t he pl aces wer e al l
t he same, and t he smel l s wer e t he same, and t he host i l e
audi ences wer e t he same- I f t hey di d not l i ke a per f or mer , t hey
t hr ew beer bot t l es at hi mand heckl ed hi mt hr oughout hi s
per f or mance and whi st l ed hi mof f . I t was a t ough school , but
i t was a good one, because i t t aught Toby al l t he t r i cks of
sur vi val . He l ear ned t o deal wi t h dr unken t our i st s and sober
hoodl ums, and never t o conf use t he t wo. He l ear ned how t o
spot a pot ent i al heckl er and qui et hi mby aski ng hi mf or a si p
of hi s dr i nk or bor r owi ng hi s napki n t o mop hi s br ow.
Toby t al ked hi msel f i nt o j obs at pl aces wi t h names l i ke
Lake Ki amesha and Shawanga Lodge and t he Avon. He pl ayed
Wi l dwood, New J er sey, and t he B' nai B' r i t h and t he Sons of
I t al y and Moose hal l s.
And he kept l ear ni r T.
. Toby' s act consi st ed of par odi es of popul ar songs, i mi t at i ons
of Gabl e and Gr ant and Bogar t and Cagney, and mat er i al
st ol en f r omt he bi g- name comi cs who coul d af f or d expensi ve
wr i t er s. Al l t he st r uggl i ng comi cs st ol e t hei r mat er i al , and t hey
br agged about i t . " I ' mdoi ng J er r y Lest er " - - meani ng t hey
wer e usi ng hi s mat er i al - - " and I ' mt wi ce as good as he i s. "
" I ' mdoi ng Mi l t on Ber l e. " " You shoul d see my Red Skel t on. "
Because mat er i al was t he key, t hey st ol e onl y f r omt he
best .
Toby woul d t r y anyt hi ng. He woul d f i x t he i ndi f f er ent ,
har d- f aced audi ence wi t h hi s wi st f ul bl ue eyes and say, " Di d
you ever see an Eski mo pee?" He woul d put hi s t wo hands
i n f r ont of hi s f l y, and i ce cubes woul d dr i bbl e out .
He woul d put on a t ur ban and wr ap hi msel f i n a sheet .
" Abdul , t he snake char mer , " he woul d i nt one. He woul d pl ay
a f l ut e, and out of a wi cker basket a cobr a began t o appear ,
movi ng r hyt hmi cal l y t o t he musi c as Toby pul l ed wi r es. The
snake' s body was a douche bag, and i t s head was t he nozzl e,
Ther e was al ways someone i n t he audi ence who t hought i t was
f unny.
He di d t he st andar ds and t he st ocki es and t he pl at t er s,
wher e you l ai d t he j okes i n t hei r l aps.
He had dozens of sht i cks. He had t o be r eady t o swi t ch
f r omone bi t t o anot her , bef or e t he beer bot t l es st ar t ed f l yi ng.
39
And no mat t er wher e he pl ayed, t her e was al ways t he
sound of a f l ushi ng t oi l et dur i ng hi s act .
Toby t r avel ed acr oss t he count r y by bus. When he ar r i ved
at a new t own he woul d check i nt o t he cheapest hot el or
boar di nghouse and si ze up t he ni ght cl ubs and bar s and hor se
par l or s. He st uf f ed car dboar d i n t he sol es of hi s shoes and
whi t ened hi s shi r t col l ar s wi t h chal k t o save on l aundr y. The
t owns wer e al l dr ear y, and t he f ood was al ways bad- but i t was
t he l onel i ness t hat at e i nt o hi m. He had no one. Ther e was not
a si ngl e per son i n t he vast uni ver se who car ed whet her he l i ved
or di ed. He wr ot e t o hi s f at her f r omt i me t o t i me, but i t was
out of a sense of dut y r at her t han l ove. Toby desper at el y
needed someone t o t al k t o, someone who woul d under st and
hi m, shar e hi s dr eams wi t h hi m.
He wat ched t he successf ul ent er t ai ner s l eave t he bi g cl ubs
wi t h t hei r ent our ages and t hei r beaut i f ul , cl assy gi r l s and dr i ve
of f i n shi ny l i mousi nes, and Toby envi ed t hem. Someday. . .
The wor st moment s wer e when he f l opped, when he was
booed i n t he mi ddl e of hi s act , t hr own out bef or e he had a chance t o get
st ar t ed. At t hose t i mes Toby hat ed t he peopl e
i n t he audi ence; he want ed t o ki l l t hem. I t wasn' t onl y t hat
he had f ai l ed, i t was t hat he had f ai l ed at t he bot t om. He
coul d go down no f ur t her ; he was t her e. He hi d i n hi s hot el
r oomand cr i ed and begged God t o l eave hi mal one, t o t ake
away hi s desi r e t o st and i n f r ont of an audi ence and ent er t ai n
t hem. God, he pr ayed, l et me want t o be a shoe sal esman or
a but cher . Anyt hi ng but t hi s. Hi s mot her had been wr ong. God
had not si ngl ed hi mout . He was never goi ng t o be f amous.
Tomor r ow, he woul d f i nd some ot her l i ne of wor k. He woul d
appl y f or a ni ne- t o- f i ve j ob i n an of f i ce and l i ve l i ke a nor mal
human bei ng.
And t he next ni ght Toby woul d be on st age agai n,
doi ng hi s i mi t at i ons, t el l i ng j okes, t r yi ng t o wi n over t he
peopl e bef or e t hey t ur ned on hi mand at t acked.
He woul d smi l e at t hemi nnocent l y and say, " Thi s man
was i n l ove wi t h hi s duck, and he t ook i t t o a movi e wi t h
hi mone ni ght . The cashi er sai d, ' You can' t br i ng t hat duck
i n her e' , so t he man went ar ound t he cor ner and st uf f ed t he
duck down t he f r ont of hi s t r ouser s, bought a t i cket and
went i nsi de. The duck st ar t ed get t i ng r est l ess; so t he man
opened up hi s f l y and l et t he duck' s head out . Wel l , next
t o t he man was a l ady and her husband. She t ur ned t o her
husband and sai d, ' Ral ph, t he man next t o me has hi s
peni s out . ' So Ral ph sai d, ' I s he bot her i ng you?' ' No, ' she
sai d. ' Okay. Then f or get i t and enj oy t he movi e. ' A f ew
mi nut es l at er t he wi f e nudged her husband agai n. ' Ral ph - -
hi s peni s- - ' And her husband sai d, ' I t ol d you t o i gnor e i t . '
And she sai d, ' I can' t - - i t ' s eat i ng my popcor n! ' "
He made one- ni ght appear ances at t he Thr ee Si x Fi ve
i n San Fr anci sco, Rudy' s Rai l i n New Yor k and Ki n Wa
Low' s i n Tol edo. He pl ayed pl umber s' convent i ons and bar
mi t zvahs and bowl i ng banquet s.
And he l ear ned.
He di d f our and f i ve shows a day at smal l t heat er s
named t he Gemand t he Odeon and t he Empi r e and t he
St ar .
And he l ear ned.
And, f i nal l y, one of t he t hi ngs t hat Toby Templ e
t eamed was t hat he coul d spend t he r est of hi s l i f e pl ayi ng
t he Toi l et Ci r cui t , unknown and undi scover ed. But an event
occur r ed t hat made t he whol e mat t er academi c.
On a col d Sunday af t er noon i n ear l y December i n 1941,
Toby was pl ayi ng a f i ve- a- day act at t he Dewey Theat r e on
Four t eent h St r eet i n New Yor k. Ther e wer e ei ght act s on
t he bi l l , and par t of Toby' s j ob was t o i nt r oduce t hem. The
f i r st show went wel l . Dur i ng t he second show, when Toby
i nt r oduced t he Fl yi ng Kanazawas, a f ami l y of J apanese acr obat s,
t he audi ence began t o hi ss t hem. Toby r et r eat ed backst age.
" What t he hel l ' s t he mat t er wi t h t hemout t her e?" he
asked.
" J esus, haven' t you hear d? The J aps at t acked Pear l
Har bor a f ew hour s ago, " t he st age manager t ol d hi m.
" So what ?" Toby asked. " Look at t hose guys - - t hey' r e
gr eat . "
The next show, when i t was t he t ur n of t he J apanese
t r oupe, Toby went out on st age and sai d, " Ladi es and gent l emen,
i t ' s a gr eat pr i vi l ege t o pr esent t o you. f r esh f r omt hei r
41
t r i umph i n Mani l a- - t he Fl yi ng Fi l i pi nos! " The moment t he
audi ence saw t he J apanese t r oupe, t hey began t o hi ss. Dur i ng
t he r est of t he day Toby t ur ned t hemi nt o t he Happy
Hawai i ans, t he Mad Mongol i ans and, f i nal l y, t he Eski mo
Fl yer s. But he was unabl e t o save t hem. Nor , as i t t ur ned
out , hi msel f . When he t el ephoned hi s f at her t hat eveni ng,
Toby l ear ned t hat t her e was a l et t er wai t i ng f or hi mat home.
I t began, " Gr eet i ngs" , and was si gned by t he Pr esi dent . Si x
weeks l at er , Toby was swor n i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es Ar my.
The day he was i nduct ed, hi s head was poundi ng so har d
t hat he was bar el y abl e t o t ake t He oat h.
The headaches came of t en, and when t hey happened, l i t t l e f osephi ne f el t as
t hough t wo gi ant hands wer e squeezi ng
her t empl es. She t r i ed not t o cr y, because i t upset her
mot her . Mr s. Czi nski had di scover ed r el i gi on. She had al ways
secr et l y f el t t hat i n some way she and her baby wer e r esponsi bl e
f or t he deat h of her husband. She had wander ed i nt o
a r evi val meet i ng one af t er noon, and t he mi ni st er had
t hunder ed, " You ar e al l soaked i n si n and wi ckedness. The
God t hat hol ds you over t he pi t of Hel l l i ke a l oat hsome
i nsect over a f i r e abhor s you. You hang by a sl ender t hr ead,
ever y damned one of you, and t he f l ames of Hi s wr at h wi l l
consume you unl ess you r epent ! " Mr s. Csi nski i nst ant l y f el t
bet t er , f or she knew t hat she was hear i ng t he wor d of t he
Lor d.
' ' / <' . ? a puni shment f r omGod because we ki l l ed your
f at her , " her mot her woul d t el l J osephi ne, and whi l e she was
t oo young t o under st and what t he wor ds meant , she knew
t hat she had done somet hi ng bad, and she wi shed she knew
what i t was, so t hat she coul d t el l her mot her t hat she was
I n t he begi nni ng, Toby Templ e' s war was a ni ght mar e.
I n t he ar my. he was a nobody, a ser i al number i n a
uni f or ml i ke mi l l i ons of ot her s, f acel ess, namel ess, anonymous.
He was sent t o basi c t r ai ni ng camp i n Geor gi a and t hen
shi pped out t o Engl and, wher e hi s out f i t was assi gned t o a
camp i n Sussex. Toby t ol d t he ser geant he want ed t o see
t he commandi ng gener al . He got as f ar as a capt ai n. The
capt ai n' s name was SamWi nt er s. He was p dar k- compl exi oned,
i nt el l i gent - l ooki ng man i n hi s ear l y t hi r t i es. " What ' s
your pr obl em, sol di er ?"
" I t ' s l i ke t hi s. Capt ai n, " Toby began. " I ' man ent er t ai ner .
I ' mi n show busi ness. That ' s what I di d i n ci vi l i an l i f e. "
Capt ai n Wi nt er s smi l ed at hi s ear nest ness. " What
exaet l y do you do?" he asked.
" A l i t t l e of ever yt hi ng, " Toby r epl i ed. " I do i mi t at i ons
and par odi es and. . . " He saw t he l ook i n t he capt ai n' s eyes
and ended l amel y, " Thi ngs l i ke t hat . "
" Wher e have you wor ked?"
Toby st ar t ed t o speak, t hen st opped. I t was hopel ess.
The capt ai n woul d onl y be i mpr essed by pl aces l i ke New
Yor k and Hol l ywood. " No pl ace you woul d have hear d of , "
Toby r epl i ed. He knew now t hat he was wast i ng hi s t i me.
Capt ai n Wi nt er s sai d, " I t ' s not up t o me, but I ' l l see
what I can do. "
" Sur e, " Toby sai d. " Thanks a l ot , Capt ai n. " He gave a
sal ut e and exi t ed.
43
Capt ai n SamWi nt er s sat at hi s desk, t hi nki ng about
Toby l ong af t er t he boy had gone. SamWi nt er s had enl i st ed
because he f el t t hat t hi s was a war t hat had t o be f ought and
had t o be won. At t he same t i me he hat ed i t f or what i t was
doi ng t o young ki ds l i ke Toby Templ e. But i f Templ e r eal l y
had t al ent , i t woul d come t hr ough sooner or l at er , f or t al ent
was l i ke a f r ai l f l ower gr owi ng under sol i d r ock. I n t he end,
not hi ng coul d st op i t f r ombur st i ng t hr ough and bl oomi ng.
SamWi nt er s had gi ven up a good j ob as a mot i on- pi ct ur e
pr oducer i n Hol l ywood t o go i nt o t he ar my. He had pr oduced
sever al successf ul pi ct ur es f or Pan- Paci f i c St udi os and had
seen dozens of young hopef ul s l i ke Toby Templ e come and
go. The l east t hey deser ved was a chance. Lat er t hat af t er noon
he spoke t o Col onel Beech about Toby. " I t hi nk we shoul d
l et Speci al Ser vi ces audi t i on hi m, " Capt ai n Wi nt er s sai d. " I
have a f eel i ng he mi ght be good. God knows t he boys ar e
goi ng t o need al l t he ent er t ai nment t hey can get . "
Col onel Beech st ar ed up at Capt ai n Wi nt er s and sai d
cool l y, " Ri ght , Capt ai n. Send me a memo on i t . " He wat ched
as Capt ai n Wi nt er s wal ked out t he door . Col onel Beech was
a pr of essi onal sol di er , a West Poi nt man, and t he son of a
West Poi nt man. The Col onel despi sed al l ci vi l i ans, and t o
hi m. Capt ai n Wi nt er s was a ci vi l i an. Put t i ng on a uni f or m
and capt ai n' s bar s di d not make a man a sol di er . When
Col onel Beech r ecei ved Capt ai n Wi nt er s' s memo on Toby
Templ e, he gl anced at i t , t hen savagel y scr i bbl ed acr oss i t ,
" r equest deni ed" , and i ni t i al ed i t .
He f el t bet t er .
What Toby mi ssed most was t he l ack of an audi ence. He
needed t o wor k on hi s sense of l i mi ng, hi s ski l l s. He woul d
t el l j okes and do i mi t at i ons and r out i nes at ever y oppor t uni t y.
I t di d not mat t er whet her hi s audi ence was t wo GI s doi ng
guar d dut y wi t h hi mi n a l onel y f i el d, a busl oad of sol di er s
on t hei r way i nt o t own or a di shwasher on KP. Toby had t o
make t heml augh, wi n t hei r appl ause.
Capt ai n SamWi nt er s wat ched one day as Toby went
t hr ough one of hi s r out i nes i n t he r ecr eat i on hal l . Af t er war d,
he went up t o Toby and sai d, " I ' msor r y your t r ansf er di dn' t
wor k out , Templ e. I t hi nk you have t al ent . When t he war ' s
over , i f you get t o Hol l ywood, l ook me up. " He gr i nned and
added, " Assumi ng I st i l l have a j ob out t her e. "
The f ol l owi ng week Toby' s bat t al i on was sent i nt o
combat .
I n l at er year s, when Toby r ecal l ed di e war , what he
r emember ed wer e not t he bat t l es. At Samt - Lo he had been
a smash doi ng a mout h- sync act t o a Bi ng Cr osby r ecor d. At
Aachen he had sneaked i nt o t he hospi t al and t ol d j okes t o
t he wounded f or t wo hour s bef or e t he nur ses t hr ew hi mout .
He r emember ed wi t h sat i sf act i on t hat one GI had l aughed
so har d al l hi s st i t ches had br oken open. Met z was wher e he
had bombed out , but Toby f el t t hat t hat wa. i onl y because t he
audi ence was j i t t er y about t he Nazi pl anes f l yi ng over head.
. The f i ght i ng t hat Toby di d was i nci dent al . He was ci t ed
f or br aver y i n t he capt ur e of a Ger man command post . Toby
had r eal l y had no i dea what was goi ng on. He had been pl ayi ng
J ohn Wayne, and had got t en so ear ned aw; >y t hat i t was
al l over bef or e he had t i me t o be f r i ght ened.
To Toby, i t was t he ent er t ai ni ng t hat was i mpor t ant . I n
Cher bour g he vi si t ed a whor ehouse wi t h a coupl e of f r i ends,
and whi l e t hey wer e upst ai r s, Toby st ayed i n t he par l or doi ng
a r out i ne f or t he madame and t wo of her gi r l s. When he had
f i ni shed, t he madame sent hi mupst ai r s, on t he house.
That was Toby' s war . Al l i n al l , i t was not a bad war , and
t i me went by ver y qui ckl y. When t he war ended, i t was 1945
and Toby was al most t went y- f i ve year s ol d. I n appear ance he
had not aged one day. He had t he same sweet f ace and begui l i ng
bl ue eyes, and t hat hapl ess ai r of i nnocence about hi m.
Ever yone was t al ki ng about goi ng home. Ther e was a
br i de wai t i ng i n Kansas Ci t y, a mot her and f at her i n Bayonne,
a busi ness i n St . Loui s. Ther e was not hi ng wai t i ng f or Toby.
Except Fame.
He deci ded t o go t o Hol l ywood. I t was t i me t hat God
made good on Hi s pr omi se.
" Do you know God? Have you seen t he f ace of f esus?
I have seen Hi m, br ot her s and si st er s, and I have hear d Hi s
45
voi ce, but He speaks onl y t o t hose who kneel bef or e Hi mand
conf ess t hei r si ns. God abhor s t he unr epent ant . The bo" o of
God' s wr at h i s bent and t he f l ami ng ar r ow of Hi s r i ght eous
anger i s poi nt ed at your wi cked hear t s, and at any moment
He wi l l l et go and t he ar r ow of Hi s r et r i but i on shal l smi t e
your hear t s! Look up t o Hi mnow, bef or e i t i s t oo l at e! "
J osephi ne l ooked up t owar d t he t op of t he t ent , t er r i f i ed,
expect i ng t o see a f l ami ng ar r ow shoot i ng at her . She cl ut ched
her mot her ' s hand, but her mot her was unawar e of i t . Her
f ace was f l ushed and her eyes wer e br i ght wi t h f er vor .
" Pr ai se J esus! " t he congr egat i on r oar ed.
The r evi val meet i ngs wer e hel d i n a huge t ent , on t he
out ski r t s of Odessa, and Mr s. Czi nski t ook J osephi ne t o al l of
t hem. The pr eacher ' s pul pi t was a wooden pl at f or mr ai sed si x
f eet above t he gr ound. I mmedi at el y i n f r ont of t he pl at f or m
was t he gl or y pen, wher e si nner s wer e br ought t o r epent and
exper i ence conver si on. Beyond t he pen wer e r ows and r ows of
har d wooden benches, packed wi t h chant i ng, f anat i c seeker s of
sal vat i on, awed by t he t hr eat s of Hel l and Damnat i on. I t was
t er r i f yi ng f or a si x- year - ol d chi l d. The evangel i st s wer e Fundament al i st s,
Hol y Rol l er s and Pent ecost al i st s and Met hodi st s
and Advent i st s, and t hey al l br eat hed Hel l - f i r e and Damnat i on.
" Get on your knees, 0 ye si nner s, and t r embl e bef or e
t he mi ght of J ehovah! For your wi cked ways have br oken t he
hear t of J esus Chr i st , and f or t hat ye shal l bear t he puni shment
of Hi s Fat her ' s wr at h' Look ar ound at t he f aces of t he
young chi l dr en her e, concei ved i n l ust and f i l l ed wi t h si n. "
And l i t t l e J osephi ne woul d bur n wi t h shame, f eel i ng
ever yone st ar i ng at her . When t he bad headaches came,
J osephi ne knew t hat t hey wer e a puni shment f r omGod. She
pr ayed ever y ni ght t hat t hey woul d go away, so she woul d
know t hat God had f or gi ven her . She wi shed she knew what
she had done t hat was so bad.
" And I ' l l si ng Hal l el uj ah, and you' l l si ng Hal l el uj ah,
and we' l l al l si ng Hal l el uj ah when we ar r i ve at Home. "
" Li quor i s t he bl ood of t he Devi l , and t obacco i s hi s
br eat h, and f or ni cat i on i s hi s pl easur e. Ar e you gui l t y of
46
t r af f i cki ng wi t h Sat an? Then you shal l bur n et er nal l y i n Hel l ,
damned f or ever , because Luci f er i s comi ng t o get you! "
And J osephi ne woul d t r embl e and l ook ar ound wi l dl y,
f i er cel y cl ut chi ng t he wooden bench so t hat t he Devi l coul d
not t ake her .
They sang, " I want t o get t o Heaven, my l ong- sought
r est . " But l i t t l e J osephi ne mi sunder st ood and sang, " I want
t o get t o Heaven wi t h my l ong shor t dr ess. "
Af t er t he t hunder i ng ser mons woul d come t he Mi r acl es.
J osephi ne woul d wat ch i n f r i ght ened f asci nat i on as a pr ocessi on
of cr i ppl ed men and women l i mped and cr awl ed and
r ode i n wheel chai r s t o t he gl or y pen, wher e t he pr eacher l ai d
hands on t hemand wi l l ed t he power s of Heaven t o heal t hem.
They woul d t hr ow away t hei r canes and t hei r cr ut ches, and
some of t hemwoul d babbl e hyst er i cal l y i n st r ange t ongues,
and J osephi ne woul d cower i n t er r or .
The r evi val meet i ngs al ways ended wi t h t he pl at e bei ng
passed. " J esus i s wat chi ng you - - and He hat es a mi ser . " And
t hen i t woul d be over . But t he f ear woul d st ay wi t h J osephi ne
f or a l ong t i me.
I n 1946, t he t own of Odessa, Texas, had a dar k br own
t ast e. Long ago, when t he I ndi ans had l i ved t her e, i t had been
t he t ast e of deser t sand. Now i t was t he t ast e of oi l .
Ther e wer e t wo ki nds of peopl e i n Odessa: Oi l Peopl e
and t he Ot her s. The Oi l Peopl e di d not l ook down on t he
Ot her s - - t hey si mpl y f el t sor r y f or t hem, f or sur el y God meant
ever yone t o have pr i vat e pl anes and Cadi l l acs and swi mmi ng
pool s and t o gi ve char apugne par t i es f or a hundr ed peopl e.
That was why He had put oi l i n Texas.
J osephi ne Czi nski di d not know t hat she was one of t he
Ot her s. At si x, J osephi ne Czi nski was a beaut i f ul chi l d, wi t h
shi ny bl ack hai r and deep br own eyes and a l ovel y oval f ace.
J osephi ne' s mot her was a ski l l ed seamst r ess who wor ked
f or t he weal t hy peopl e i n t own, and she woul d t ake J osephi ne
al ong as she f i t t ed t he Oi l Ladi es and t ur ned bol t s of f ai r y
cl ot h i nt o st unni ng eveni ng gowns. The Oi l Peopl e l i ked
J osephi ne because she was a pol i t e, f r i endl y chi l d, and t hey
l i ked t hemsel ves f or l i ki ng her . They f el t i t was democr at i c
47
. . ' t hemt o al i ow a poor ki d f r omt he ot her si de of t own t o
al e v, i di i hei r chi l dr en. J osephi ne was Pol i sh, but she
d. c, n" T l ook I ' on^h, and whi l e she coul d never be a member
( i f t he Cl ub. t hey wer e happy t o gi ve her vi si t or s' pHvi l eges.
i os' cpl unc w; i i . al l owed t o pl ay wi t h t he Oi l Chi l dr en and
shar e t hei r bi cycl es and poni es and hundr ed- dol l ar dol l s, so
t hat she came t o l i ve a dual l i f e. Ther e was her l i f e at home
i n t he t i ny cl apboar d cot t age wi t h bat t er ed f ur ni t ur e and
out door pl umbi ng and door s t hat sagged on t hei r hi nges.
Then t her e was J osephi ne' s l i f e i n beaut i f ul col oni al mani ons
on l ar ge count r y est at es. I f J osephi ne st ayed over ni ght
at Ci ssy Toppi ng' s or Li ndy Fer guson' s, she was gi ven a l ar ge
bedr oomal l t o her sel f , wi t h br eakf ast ser ved by mai ds and
but l er s. J osephi ne l oved t o get up i n t he mi ddl e of t he ni ght
when ever yone was asl eep and go down and st ar e at t he
beaut i f ul t hi ngs i n t he house, t he l ovel y pai nt i ngs and heavy
mono^r ammed si l ver and ant i ques bur ni shed by t i me and
hi st or y. She woul d st udy t hemand car ess t hemand t el l her sel f
t hat one day she woul d have such t hi ngs, one day she
woul d l i ve i n a gr and house and be sur r ounded by beaut y.
But i n bot h of J osephi ne' s wor l ds, she f el t l onel y. She
was af r ai d t o t al k t o her mot her about her headaches and
her f ear of God because her mot her had become a br oodi ng
f anat i c, obsessed wi t h God' s puni shment , wel comi ng i t .
f . i ^ephi ne di d not want t o di scuss her f ear s wi t h t he Oi l
Chi l dr en because t hey expect ed her t o be br i ght and gay, as
t hey wer e. And so, J osephi ne was f or ced t o keep her t er r or s
t o her sel f .
On J osephi ne' s sevent h bi r t hday, Br ubaker ' s Depar t ment
St or e announced a phot ogr aphi c cont est f or t he Most
Beaut i f ul Chi l d i n Odessa. The ent r y pi ct ur e had t o be t aken
i n A- ; phot ogr aph depar t ment of t he st or e. The pr i ze was a
sol d cup i nscr i bed wi t h t he name of she wi nner . The cup
was pl aced i n t he depar t ment - st or e wi ndow, and J osephi ne
. ^i . use- . i by t he wi ndow even' day t o st ar e at i t . She want ed
i t r nr . i - e t han she had ever want ed anyt hi ng i n her l i f e.
J osephi ne' s mot her woul d not l et her ent er t he cont est - -
" Vani t y i s t he devi l ' s mi r r or , ' ' she sai d - - but one of t he Oi l
48
Women who l i ked J osephi ne pai d f or her pi ct ur e. Fr omt hat
moment on, J osephi ne knew t hat t he gol d cup was her s.
She coul d vi sual i ze i t si t t i ng on her dr esser . She woul d
pol i sh i t car ef ul l y ever y day. When J osephi ne f ound out
t hat she was i n t he f i nal s, she was t oo exci t ed t o go t o school .
She st ayed i n bed al l day wi t h an upset st omach, her happi ness
t oo much f or her t o bear . Thi s woul d be t he f i r st t i me t hat
she had owned anyt hi ng beaut i f ul .
The f ol l owi ng day J osephi ne l ear ned t hat t he cont est
had been won by Ti na Hudson, one of t he Oi l Chi l dr en.
Ti na was not near l y as beaut i f ul as J osephi ne, but Ti na' s
f at her happened t o be on t he boar d of di r ect or s of t he chai n
t hat owned Br ubaker ' s Depar t ment St or e.
When J osephi ne hear d t he news, she devel oped a headache
t hat made her want t o scr eamwi t h pai n. She was af r ai d
f or God t o know how much t hat beaut i f ul gol d cup meant
t o her , but He must have known because her headaches
cont i nued. At ni ght she woul d cr y i nt o her pi l l ow, so t hat
her mot her coul d not hear her .
A f ew days af t er t he cont est ended, J osephi ne was i nvi t ed
t o Ti na' s home f or a weekend. The gol d cup was si t t i ng i n
Ti na' s r oomon a mant el . J osephi ne st ar ed at i t f or a l ong t i me.
When J osephi ne r et ur ned home, t he cup was hi dden i n
her over ni ght case. I t was st i l l t her e when Ti na' s mot her came
by f or i t and t ook i t back.
J osephi ne' s mot her gave her a har d whi ppi ng wi t h a
swi t ch made f r oma l ong, gr een t wi g. But J osephi ne was not
angr y wi t h her mot her .
The f ew mi nut es J osephi ne had hel d t he beaut i f ul gol d
cup i n her hands had been wor t h al l t he pai n.
Hol l ywood, Cal i f or ni a, i n 1946, was t he f i l mcapi t al of
t he wor l d, a magnet f or t he t al ent ed, t he gr eedy, t he beaut i f ul ,
t he hopef ul and t he wei r d. I t was t he l and of pal mt r ees and
Ri t a Haywor t h and t he Hol y Templ e of t he Uni ver sal Spi r i t
and Sant a Ani t a. I t was t he agent who was goi ng t o make you
an over ni ght st ar ; i t ' was a con game, a whor ehouse, an or ange
gr ove, a shr i ne. I t was a magi cal kal ei doscope, and each per son
who l ooked i nt o i t saw hi s own vi si on.
To Toby Templ e, Hol l ywood was wher e he was meant
t o come. He ar r i ved i n t own wi t h an ar my duf f el bag and
t hr ee hundr ed dol l ar s i n cash, movi ng i nt o a cheap boar di nghouse
on Cahuenga Boul evar d. He had t o get i nt o act i on f ast , bef or e he went br oke.
Toby knew al l about Hol l ywood. I t was
a t own wher e you had t o put up a f r ont . Toby went i nt o a
haber dasher 7 on Vi ne St r t et , or der ed a new war dr obe, and
wi t h t went y dol l ar s r emai ni ng i n hi s pocket , st r ol l ed i nt o t he
Hol l ywood Br own Der by, wher e al l t he st ar s di ned. The wal l s
wer e cover ed wi t h car i cat ur es of t he most f amous act or s i n
Hol l ywood. Toby coul d f eel t he pul se of show busi ness her e,
sense t he power i n di e r oom. He saw The host ess wal ki ng
t owar d hi m. She was a pr et t y r edhead i n her t went i es and she
had a sensat i onal f i gur e.
She smi l ed at Toby and sai d, " Can I hel p you?"
Toby coul d not r esi st i t . He r eached out ' wi t h hi s t wo
hands and gr abbed her r i pe mel on br east s. A l ook of shpck
came over her f ace. As she opened her mout h t o cr y out ,
Toby f i xed hi s eyes i n a gl azed st ar e and sai d apol oget i cal l y,
" Excuse me, mi ss - - I ' mnot a si ght ed per son. "
" Oh! I ' msor r y! " She was cont r i t e f or what she had been
t hi nki ng, and sympat het i c. She conduct ed Toby t o a t abl e,
hol di ng hi s ar mand hel pi ng hi msi t down, and ar r anged f or
hi s or der . When she came back t o hi s t abl e a f ew mi nut es l at er
and caught hi mst udyi ng t he pi ct ur es on t he wal l , Toby
beamed up at her and sai d, " I t ' s a mi r acl e! I can see agai n! "
He was so i nnocent and so f unny t hat she coul d not
hel p l aughi ng. She l aughed al l t hr ough di nner wi t h Toby,
and at hi s j okes i n bed t hat ni ght .
Toby t ook odd j obs ar ound Hol l ywood because t hey
br ought hi mt o t he f r i nges of show busi ness. He par ked car s
at Qr o' s, and as t he cel ebr i t i es dr ove u" ^oby woul d open
t he car door wi t h a br i ght smi l e ar : . ' mi apt qui p. ' Thi . y pi d
no at t ent i on. He was j ust a par ki ng boy, and t hey di d not even
know he was al i ve. Toby wat ched t he beaut i f ul gi r l s as t hey
got out of t he car s i n t hei r expensi ve, t i ght - f i t t i ng dr esses, and
he t hought t o hi msel f , I f you onl y knew what a bi g st ar I ' m
goi ng t o be, you' d dr op al l t hose cr eeps.
Toby made t he r ounds of agent s, but he qui ckl y l ear ned
t hat he was wast i ng hi s t i me. The agent s wer e al l st ar - f ucker s.
You coul d not l ook f or t hem. They had t o be l ooki ng f or you.
The name t hat Toby hear d most of t en was Cl i f t on Lawr ence.
He handl ed onl y t he bi ggest t al ent and he made t he most
i ncr edi bl e deal s. One day, Toby t hought , Cl i f t on Lawr ence i s
goi ng t o be my agent .
Toby subscr i bed t o t he t wo bi bl es of show busi ness:
Dai l y Var i et y and t he Hol l ywood Repor t er . I t made hi mf eel
l i ke an i nsi der . For ever Amber had been bought by Twent i et h
Cent ur y- Fox, and Ot t o Pr emi nger was goi ng t o di r ect . Ava
Gar dner had been si gned t o st ar i n Whi st l e St op wi t h Geor ge
Raf t and J or j a Cur t r i ght , and Li f e wi t h Fat her had been
bought by War ner Br ot her s. Then Toby saw an i t emt hat made
hi s pul se st ar t poundi ng. " Pr oducer SamWi nt er s has been
named Vi ce- Pr esi dent i n Char ge of Pr oduct i on at Pan- Paci f i c
St udi os. "
7
When SamWi nt er s r et ur ned f r omt he war hi s j ob at
Pan- Padf i c St udi os was wai t i ng f or hi m. Si x mont hs l at er ,
t her e was a shakeup. The head of t he st udi o was f i r ed, and
Samwas asked t o t ake over undl a new pr oduct i on head
coul d be f ound. Samdi d such a good j ob t hat t he sear ch was
abandoned, and he was of f i ci al l y made Vi ce- Pr esi dent i n
Char ge of Pr oduct i on. I t was a ner ve- r acki ng, ul cer - maki ng
j ob, but Saml o<t d i t mor e t han he l oved anyt hi ng i n t he
wor l d.
Hol l ywood was a t hr ee- r i ng ci r cus f i l l ed wi t h wi l d, i nsane
char act er s, a mi nef i el d wi t h a par ade of i di ot s danci ng
acr oss i t . Most act or s, di r ect or s and pr oducer s wer e sel f cent er ed
megal omani acs, ungr at ef ul , vi ci ous and dest r uct i ve.
But as f ar as Samwas concer ned, i f t hey had t al ent , not hi ng
el se mat t er ed. Tal ent was t he magi c key.
Sam' s of f i ce door opened and Luci l l e El ki ns, hi s secr et ar y,
came i n wi t h t he f r eshl y opened mai l . Luci l l e was a
per manent f i xt ur e, one of t he compet ent pr of essi onal s who
st ayed on f or ever and wat ched her bosses come and go.
" Cl i f t on Lawr ence i s her e t o see you, " Luci l l e sai d.
" Tel l hi mt o come i n. "
Saml i ked Lawr ence. He had st yl e. Fr ed Al i en had sai d,
" Al l t he si ncer i t y i n Hol l ywood coul d be hi dden i n a gnat ' s
navel and t her e' d st i l l be r oomf or f our car away seeds and
an agent ' s hear t . "
Cl i f f Lawr ence was mor e si ncer e t han most agent s. He
was a Hol l ywood l egend, and hi s cl i ent Kst r an t he gamut
of who' s who i n t he ent er t ai nment f i el d. He had a one- man
of f i ce and was const ant l y on t he move, ser vi ci ng cl i ent s i n
London, Swi t zer l and, Rome and New Yor k. He was on i nt i at e
t er ms wi t h al l t he i mpor t ant Hol l ywood execut i ves and
pl ayed i n a weekl y gi n game t hat i ncl uded t he pr oduct i on
heads of t hr ee st udi os. Twi ce a year , Lawr ence char t er ed a
yacht , gat her ed hal f a dozen beaut i f ul " model s" and i nvi t ed
t op st udi o execut i ves f or a week' s " f i shi ng t r i p" . Cl i f t on
Lawr ence kept a f ul l y st ocked beachhouse at Mal i bu t hat
was avai l abl e t o hi s f r i ends anyt i me t hey want ed t o use i t .
I t was a symbi ot i c r el at i onshi p t hat Cl i f t on had wi t h Hol l ywood,
and i t was pr of i t abl e f or ever yone.
Samwat ched as t he door opened and Lawr ence bounced
i n, el egant i n a beaut i f ul l y t ai l or ed sui t . He wal ked up
t o Sam, ext ended a per f ect l y mani cur ed hand and sai d,
" J ust want ed t o say a qui ck hel l o. How' s ever yt hi ng, dear
boy?"
" Let me put i t t hi s way, " Samsai d. " I f days wer e shi ps,
t oday woul d be t he Ti t ani c. "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence made a commi ser at i ng noi se.
" What di d you t hi nk of t he pr evi ew l ast ni ght ?" Sam
asked.
" Tr i mt he f i r st t went y mi nut es and shoot a new endi ng,
and you' ve got your sel f a bi g hi t . "
" Bul l ' s- eye. " Samsmi l ed. " That ' s exact l y what we' r e
doi ng. Any cl i ent s t o sel l me t oday?"
Lawr ence gr i nned. " Sor r y. They' r e al l wor ki ng. "
And i t was t r ue. Cl i f t on Lawr ence' s sel ect st abl e of t op
st ar s, wi t h a spr i nkl i ng of di r ect or s and pr oducer s, wer e al ways
i n demand.
" See you f or di nner Fr i day, Sam, " Cl i f t on sai d. " Czao. "
He t ur ned and wal ked ouc t he door .
Luci l l e' s voi ce came over t he i nt er com. " Dal l as Bur ke i s
her e. "
" Send hi mi n. "
" And Mel Foss woul d l i ke t o see you. He sai d i t ' s ur gent . "
Mel Foss was head of t he t el evi si on di vi si on of PanPadf i c
St udi os.
Samgl anced at hi s desk cal endar . " Tel l hi mt o make i t
53
br eakf ast t omor r ow mor ni ng. Ei ght o' cl ock. The Pol o Lounge. "
I n t he out er of f i ce, t he t el ephone r ang and Luci l l e pi cked
i t up. " Mr . Wi nt er ' s of f i ce. "
An unf ami l i ar voi ce sai d, " Hel l o t her e. I s t he gr eat man
i n?"
" Who' s cal l i ng, pl ease?"
" Tel l hi mi t ' s an ol d buddy of hi s - - Toby Templ e. We
wer e i n t he ar my t oget her . He sai d t o l ook hi mup i f I ever
got t o Hol l ywood, and her e I am. "
" He' s i n a meet i ng, Mr . Templ e. Coul d I have hi mcal l
you back?"
" Sur e. " He gave her hi s t el ephone number , and Luci l l e
t hr ew i t i nt o t he wast ebasket . Thi s was not t he f i r st t i me
someone had t r i ed t he ol d- ar my- buddy r out i ne on her .
Dal l as Bur ke was one of t he mot i on- pi ct ur e i ndust r y' s
pi oneer di r ect or s. Bur ke' s f i l ms wer e shown at ever y col l ege
t hat had a cour se i n movi e maki ng. Hal f a dozen of hi s ear l i er
pi ct ur es wer e consi der ed cl assi cs, and none of hi s wor k was l ess
t han 5' r i l l i ant and i nnovat i ve. Bur ke was i n hi s l at e sevent i es
now, and hi s once massi ve f r ame had shr unk so t hat hi s cl ot hes
seemed t o f l ap ar ound hi m.
" I t ' s good t o see you agai n, Dal l as, " Samsai d as t he ol d
man wal ked i nt o t he of f i ce.
" Ni ce t o see you, ki d. " He i ndi cat ed t he man wi t h hi m.
" You know my agent . "
" Cer t ai nl y. How ar e you, Pet er ?"
They al l f ound seat s.
" I hear you have a st or y t o t el l me, " Samsai d t o Dal l as
Bur ke.
" Thi s one' s a beaut y" Ther e was a quaver i ng exci t ement
i n t he ol d man' s voi ce.
" I ' mdyi ng t o hear i t , Dal l as, " Samsai d. " Shoot . "
Dal l as Bur ke l eaned f or war d and began t al ki ng. " What ' s
ever ybody i n t he wor l d most i nt er est ed i n, ki d? Love - - r i ght ?
And t hi s i dea' s about t he most hol y l and of l ove t her e i s - -
t he l ove of a mot her f or her chi l d. " Hi s voi ce gr ew st r onger
as he became i mmer sed i n hi s st or y. " We open i n Long I sl and
wi t h a ni net een- year - ol d gi r l wor ki ng as a secr et ar y f or a
54
weal t hy f ami l y. Ol d money. Gi ves us a chance f or n sl i ck
backgr oundknow what I mean? Hi gh- soci et y sui f l . The
man she wor ks f or i s mar r i ed t o a t i ght - assed bl uebl ood. He
l i kes t he secr et ar y, and she l i kes hi m, even t hough he' s ol der . "
Onl y hal f - l i st eni ng, Samwonder ed whet her t he st or y was
goi ng t o be Back St r eet or I mi t at i on of Li f e. Not t hat i t
mat t er ed, because whi chever i t was, Samwas goi ng t o buy i t .
I t had been al most t went y year s si nce anyone had gi ven Dal l as
Bur ke a pi ct ur e t o di r ect . Samcoul d not bl ame t he i ndust r y.
Bur ke' s l ast t hr ee pi ct ur es had been expensi ve, ol d- f ashi oned
and box- of f i ce di sast er s. Dal l as Bur ke was f i ni shed f or ever as a
pi ct ur e maker . But he was a human bei ng and he was st i l l
al i ve, and somehow he had t o be t aken car e of , because he had
not saved a cent . He had been of f er ed a r oomi n t he Mot i on
Pi ct ur e Rel i ef Home, but he had i ndi gnant l y t ur ned i t down.
" I don' t want your f ucki ng char i t y! " he had shout ed. " You' r e
t al ki ng t o t he man who di r ect ed Doug Fai r banks and J ack
Bar r ymor e and Mi l t on Si l l s and Bi l l Far num. I ' ma gi ant , you
pygmy sons of bi t ches! "
And he was. He was a l egend; but even l egends had t o
eat .
When Samhad become a pr oducer , he had t el ephoned
an agent he knew and t ol d hi mt o br i ng i n Dal l as Bur ke wi t h
a st or y i dea. Si nce t hen, Samhad bought unusabl e st or i es
f r omDal l as Bur ke ever y year f or enough money f or t he ol d
man t o l i ve on, and whi l e Samhad been away i n t he ar my, he
had seen t o i t t hat t he ar r angement cont i nued.
" . . . so you see, " Dal l as Bur ke was sayi ng, " t he baby
gr ows up wi t hout knowi ng her mot her . But t he mot her keeps
t r ack of her . At t he end, when t he daught er mar r i es t hi s r i ch
doct or , we have a bi g weddi ng. And do you know what t he
t wi st i s, Sam? Li st en t o t hi s i t ' s gr eat . They won' t l et t he
mot her i n! She has t o sneak i n t o t he back of t he chur ch t o
wat ch her own ki d get t i ng mar r i ed. Ther e won' t be a dr y eye
i n t he audi ence. . . . Wel l , t hat ' s i t . What do you t hi nk?"
Samhad guessed wr ong. St el l a Dal l as. He gl anced at t he
agent , who aver t ed hi s eyes and st udi ed t he t i ps of hi s
expensi ve shoes i n embar r assment .
" I t ' s gr eat , " Samsai d. " I t ' s exact l y t he ki nd of pi ct ur e t he
st udi o' s l ooki ng f or . " Samt ur ned t o t he agent . " Cal l Busi ness
Af f ai r s and wor k out a deal wi t h t hem, Pet er . I ' l l t el l t hemt o
expect your cal l . "
The agent nodded.
" Tel l t hemt hey' r e gonna have t o pay a st i f f pr i ce f or
t hi s one, or I ' l l t ake i t t o Wamer Br ot her s, " Dal l as Bur ke
sai d. " I ' mgi vi ng you f i r st cr ack at i t because we' r e f r i ends. "
" I appr eci at e t hat , " Samsai d.
He wat ched as t he t wo men l ef t t he of f i ce. St r i ct l y
speaki ng, Samknew he had no r i ght t o spend t he company' s
money on a sent i ment al gest ur e l i ke t hi s. But t he mot i onpi ct ur e
i ndust r y owed somet hi ng t o men l i ke Dal l as Bur ke,
f or wi t hout hi mand hi s ki nd t her e woul d have been no
i ndust r y.
At ei ght o' cl ock t he f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, SamWi nt er s
dr ove up under t he por t i co of t he Bever l y Hi l l s Hot el . A f ew
mi nut es l at er , he was t hr eadi ng hi s way acr oss t he Pol o Lounge,
noddi ng t o f r i ends, acquai nt ances and compet i t or s. Mor e deal s
wer e made i n t hi s r oomover br eakf ast , l unch and cockt ai l s
t han wer e consummat ed i n al l t he of f i ces of al l t he st udi os
combi ned. Mel Foss l ooked up as Samappr oached.
" Mor ni ng, Sam. " ^
The t wo men shook hands and Samsl i d i nt o t he boot h
acr oss f r omFoss. Ei ght mont hs ago Samhad hi r ed Foss t o
r un t he t el evi si on di vi si on of Pan- Paci f i c St udi os. Tel evi si on
was t he new baby i n t he ent er t ai nment wor l d, and i t was
gr owi ng wi A i ncr edi bl e r api di t y. Al l t he st udi os t hat had once
l ooked down on t el evi si on wer e now i nvol ved i n i t .
The wai t r ess came t o t ake t hei r or der s, and when she
had l ef t , Samsai d, " What ' s t he good news, Mel ?"
Mel Foss shook hi s head. " Ther e i s no good news, " he
sai d. " We' r e i n t r oubl e. "
Samwai t ed, sayi ng not hi ng.
" We' r e not goi ng t o get a pi ckup on " The Rai der s' . "
Saml ooked at hi mi n sur pr i se. " The r at i ngs ar e gr eat .
Why woul d t he net wor k want t o cancel i t ? I t ' s t ough enough
t o get a hi t show. "
" I t ' s not t he show, " Foss sai d. " I t ' s J ack Nol an. " J ack
Nol an was t he st ar of " The Rai der s" , and he had been an
i nst ant success, bot h cr i t i cal l y and wi t h t he publ i c.
" What ' s t he mat t er wi t h hi m?" Samasked. He hat ed
| Ael Foss' s habi t of f or ci ng hi mt o dr aw i nf or mat i on f r om
hi m.
" Have you r ead t hi s week' s i ssue of Peek magazi ne?"
" I don' t r ead i t any week. I t ' s a gar bage pai l . " He
( uddenl y r eal i zed what Foss was dr i vi ng at . " They nai l ed
Nol an! "
^ " I n bl ack and whi t e, " Foss r epl i ed. " The dumb son of
a bi t ch put on hi s pr et t i est l ace dr ess and went out t o a par t y.
Someone t ook pi ct ur es. "
" How bad i s i t ?"
" Coul dn' t be wor se. I got a dozen cal l s f r omt he net wor k
yest er day. The sponsor s and t he net wor k want out . No one
want s t o be associ at ed wi t h a scr eami ng f ag. "
" Tr ansvest i t e, " Samsai d. He had been count i ng heavi l y
on pr esent i ng a st r ong t el evi si on r epor t at t he boar d meet i ng
i n New Yor k next mont h. The news f r omFoss woul d put
an end t o t hat . Losi ng " The Rai der s" woul d be a bl ow.
Unl ess he coul d do somet hi ng.
When Samr et ur ned t o hi s of f i ce, Luci l l e waved a sheaf
of messages at hi m. " The emer genci es ar e on t op, " she sai d.
" They need you - - "
" Lat er . Get me Wi l l i amHunt at I BC. "
Two mi nut es l at er , Samwas t al ki ng t o t he head of t he
I nt er nat i onal Br oadcast i ng Company. Samhad known Hunt
casual l y f or a number of year s, and l i ked hi m. Hunt had st ar t ed
as a br i ght young cor por at e l awyer and had wor ked hi s way
t o t he t op of t he net wor k l adder . They sel domhad any busi ness
deal i ngs because Samwas not di r ect l y i nvol ved wi t h t el evi si on.
He wi shed now t hat he had t aken t he t i me t o cul t i vat e Hunt .
When Hunt came on t he l i ne, Samf or ced hi msel f t o sound
r el axed and casual . " Mor ni ng, Bi l l . "
" Thi s i s a pl easant sur pr i se, " Hunt sai d. " I t ' s been a
l ong t i me, Sam. "
" Much t oo l ong. That ' s t he t r oubl e wi t h t hi s busi ness,
Bi l l . You never have t i me f or t he peopl e you l i ke. "
" Too t r ue. "
Sammade hi s voi ce sound of f hand. " By t he wsy, di d
you happen t o sw, t hat si l l y ar t i cl e i n Peek?"
" You know I di d. " Hunt sa' d qui et l y. " That ' s why we' r e
cancel i ng t he show, Sam. " The wor ds had a f i nal i t y t o t hem.
" Bi l l , " Samsai d, " what woul d you say i f I t ol d you t hat
J ack Nol an was f r amed?"
Ther e was a l augh f r omt he ot her end of t he l i ne. " I ' d
say you shoul d t hi nk about becomi ng a wr i t er . "
" I ' mser i ous, " Samsai d, ear nest l y. " I know J ack Nol an.
He' s as st r ai ght as we ar e. That phot ogr aph was t aken at a
cost ume par t y. I t was hi s gi r l f r i end' s bi r t hday; and he put
t he dr ess on as a gag. " Samcoul d f eel hi s pal ms sweat i ng.
" I can' t - - "
" I ' l l t el l you how much conf i dence I have i n J ack, " Sam
sai d i nt o t he phone. " I ' ve j ust set hi mf or t he l ead i n Lar edo,
our bi g West er n f eat ur e f or next year . "
Ther e was a pause. " Ar e you ser i ous, Sam?"
" You' r e damn r i ght I am. I t ' s a t hr ee- mi l l i on- dol l ar
pi ct ur e. I f J ack Nol an t ur ned out t o be a f ag, he' d be l aughed
of f t he scr een. The exhi bi t or s woul dn' t t ouch i t . Woul d I t ake
t hat ki nd of gambl e i f I di dn' t know what I was t al ki ng
about ?"
" Wel l . . . " Ther e was hesi t at i on i n Bi l l Hunt ' s voi ce.
" Come on, Bi l l , you' r e not goi ng t o l et a l ousy gossi p
sheet l i ke Peek dest r oy a good man' s car eer . You l i ke t he show,
don' t you?"
" Ver y much. I t ' s a damned good show. But t he
sponsor s - - "
" I t ' s your net wor k. You' ve got mor e sponsor s t han you
have ai r t i me. We' ve gi ven you a hi t show. Let ' s not f ool
ar ound wi t h a success. "
" Wel l . . . "
" Has Mel Foss t al ked t o you yet about t he st udi o' s pl ans
f or ' The Rai der s' f or next season?"
" No. . . "
" I guess he was pl anni ng t o sur pr i se you, " Samsai d.
" Wai t unt i l you hear what he has i n mi nd' Guest st ar s, bi gname
West er n wr i t er s, shoot i ng on l ocat i on- - t he wor ks! I f
" The Rai der s' doesn' t skyr ocket t o number one. I ' mi n t he
wr ong busi ness. "
Ther e was a br i ef hesi t at i on. Then Bi l l Hunt sai d, " Have
Me! phone me. Maybe we al l got a l i t t l e pani cked her e. "
" He' l l cal l you, " Sampr omi sed.
" And, Samyou under st and my posi t i on. I wasn' t t r yi ng
t o hur t anybody. "
" Of cour se you wer en' t , " Samsai d, gener ousl y. " I know
you t oo wel l t o t hi nk t hat , Bi l l . That ' s why I f el t I owed i t
t o you t o l et you hear t he t r ut h. "
" I appr eci at e t hat . "
" What about l unch next week?"
" Love i t . I ' l l cal l you Monday. "
They exchanged good- byes and hung up. Samsat t her e,
dr ai ned. J ack Nol an was as queer as an I ndi an di me. Someone
shoul d have t aken hi maway i n a net l ong ago. And Sam' s
' whol e f ut ur e depended on mani acs l i ke t hat . Runni ng a st udi o
was l i ke wal ki ng a hi gh wi r e over Ni agar a Fal l s i n a bl i zzar d.
Anyone' s cr azy t o do t hi s j ob, Samt hought . He pi cked up hi s
pr i vat e phone and di al ed. A f ew moment s l at er , he was t al ki ng
t o Mel Foss.
" ' The Rai der s' st ays on t he ai r , " Samsai d.
" What ?" Ther e was st unned di sbel i ef i n Foss' s voi ce.
" That ' s r i ght . I want yon r n have a f ast t al k wi t h J ack
Nol an. Tel l hi mi f he ever st eps out of l i ne agai n, I ' l l per sonal l y
r an hi mout of t hi s t own and back t o Fi r e I sl and! I mean i t .
I f he get s t he ur ge t o suck somet hi ng, t el l hi mt o t r y a banana! "
Samsl ammed t he phone down. He l eaned back i n hi s
chai r , t hi nki ng. He had f or got t en t o t el l Foss about t he f or mat
changes he had ad- l i bbed t o Bi l l Hunt . He woul d have t o f i nd
a wr i t er who coul d come up wi t h a West er n scr i pt cal l ed
Lar edo.
The door bur st open and Luci l l e st ood t her e, her f ace
whi t e. " Can you get r i ght down t o St age Ten? Someone set
i t on f i r e. "
Mr s. Tanner , peopl e t al k about your school and t he wonder f ul
pl ays you put on her e. I ' l l bet you have no i dea of t he
r eput at i on t hi s pl ace has. "
She st udi ed hi ma moment . " I do have an i dea. That ' s
why I have t o be car ef ul t o keep out phoni es. "
Toby f el t hi s f ace begi n t o r edden, but he smi l ed boyi shl y
and sai d, " I ' l l bet . A l ot of t hemmust t r y t o cr ash i n her e. "
' ' Qui t e a f ew, " Mr s. Tanner agr eed. She gl anced at t he
car d she hel d i n her hand. " Toby Templ e. "
" You pr obabl y haven' t hear d t he name, ' ' he expl ai ned,
" because f or t he l ast coupl e of year s, I ' ve been - - "
" Pl ayi ng r eper t or y i n Engl and. "
He nodded. " Ri ght "
Al i ce Tanner l ooked at hi mand sai d qui et l y, " Mr .
Templ e, Amer i cans ar e not per mi t t ed t o pl ay i n Engl i sh
r eper t or y. Br i t i sh Act or s Equi t y doesn' t al l ow i t . "
Toby f el t a sudden si nki ng sensat i on i n t he pi t of hi s
st omach.
" You mi ght have checked f i r st and saved us bot h t hi s
embar r assment . I ' msor r y, but we onl y enr ol l pr of essi onal
t al ent her e. " She st ar t ed back t owar d her desk. The i nt er vi ew
was over .
" Hol d i t ! " Hi s voi ce was l i ke a whi pl ash.
She t ur ned i n ast oni shment . At t hat i nst ant , Toby had no
i dea what he was goi ng t o say or do. He onl y knew t hat hi s
whol e f ut ur e was hangi ng i n t he bal ance. The woman st andi ng
i n f r ont of hi mwas t he st eppi ng- st one t o ever yt hi ng he want ed,
ever yt hi ng he had wor ked and sweat ed f or , and he was not
goi ng t o l et her st op hi m.
" You don' t j udge t al ent by r ui es. l ady! Okay- - so I
haven' t act ed. And why? Because peopl e l i ke you we- i ' r gi ve
me a chance. You see what I mean?" I t was W. C. Fi el ds' s
voi ce.
Al i ce Tanner opened her mout h t o i nt er r upt hi m, but
Toby never gave her t he oppor t uni t y. He was J i mmy Cagney
t el l i ng her t o gi ve t he poor ki d a br eak, and J ames St ewan
agr eei ng wi t h hi m, and Cl ar k Gabl e sayi ng he was dyi ng t o
wor k wi t h t he ki d and Car y Gr ant addi ng t hat he t hought
t he boy was br i l l i ant . A host of Hol l ywood st ar s was i n t hat
62
i on! and t hey wer e al l sayi ng f unny t hi ngs, t hi ngs t hat
oby Templ e had never t hought of bef or e. The wor ds, t he
kes pour ed out of hi mi n a f r enzy of desper at i on. He was
man dr owni ng i n t he dar kness of hi s own obl i vi on, cl i ngi ng
Va l i f e r af t of wor ds, and t he wor ds wer e al l t hat wer e keep- a hi m af l oat . He
was soaked i n per spi r at i on, r unni ng ar ound
i e r oom, i mi t at i ng t he movement of each char act er who was
Br i ng. He was mani c, t ot al l y out si de of hi msel f , f or get t i ng
her e he was and what he was her e f or unt i l he hear d Al i ce
ai mer sayi ng, " St op i t ! St op i t ! "
Tear s of l aught er wer e st r eami ng down her f ace.
" St op i t 1" she r epeat ed, gaspi ng f ur br eat h.
And sl owl y, Toby came down t o ear t h. Mr s. ' I anner had
: aken out a handker chi ef and was wi pi ng her eyes.
" You- - you' r e i nsane, " she sai d. " Do you know t hat ?"
11 Toby st ar ed at her , a f eel i ng of el at i on sl owl y f i l l i ng hi m,
Kr i ng, exal t i ng hi m. " You l i ked i t , huh?"
Al i ce Tanner shook her head and t ook a deep br eat h t o
amt r ol her l aught er and sai d, " Not - - not ver y much. "
Toby l ooked at her , f i l l ed wi t h r age. She had been l aughg
at hi m, not wi t h hi m. He had been maki ng a f ool of
_msel f .
" Then what wer e you l aughi ng at ?" Toby demanded.
She smi l ed and sai d qui et l y, " You. That was t he most
Er enet i c per f or mance I ' ve ever seen. Somewher e, hi dden
i neat h al l t hose movi e st ar s, i s a young man wi t h a l ot of
l ent . You don' t have t o i mi t at e ot her peopl e. You' r e nat ur al l y
any. "
Toby f el t hi s anger begi n t o seep away.
" I t hi nk one day you coul d be r eal l y good i f you' r e wi l l i ng
t o wor k har d at i t . Ar e you?"
He gave her a sl ow, beat i f i c gr i n and sai d, " Let ' s r ol l up
) ur sl eeves and go t o wor k. "
J osephi ne wor ked ver y har d Sat ur day mor ni ng, f i el pi ng
her mot her cl ean t he house. At noon. Ci ssy and some ot her
f r i ends pi cked her up t o t ake her on a pi cni c.
Mr s. Csi nski wat ched J osephi ne bei ng dr i ven of f i n t he
^
l ong l i mousi ne f i l l ed wi t h t he chi l dr en of t he Oi l Peopl e. She
t hought . One day somet hi ng bad i s goi ng t o happen t o
J osephi ne. I shoul dn' t l et her be wi t h t hose peopl e. They' r e
t he Devi l ' s chi l dr en. And she wonder ed i f t her e was a devi l
i n J osephi ne. She woul d t al k t o t he Rever end Dami an. He
woul d know what t o do.
9
Act or s West was di vi ded i nt o t wo sect i ons: t he Showcase
gr oup, whi ch consi st ed of t he mor e exper i enced act or s, and
t he Wor kshop gr oup. I t was t he Showcase act or s who st aged
pl ays t hat wer e cover ed by t he st udi o t al ent scout s. Toby had
been put wi t h t he Wor kshop act or s. Al i ce Tanner had t ol d
hi mt hat i t mi ght be si x mont hs or a year bef or e he woul d
l i e r eady t o do a Showcase pl ay.
Toby f ound t he cl asses i nt er est i ng, but t he magi c i ngr edi ent was mi ssi ng: t he
audi ence, t he appl auder s, t he
l aught er s, t he peopl e who woul d ador e hi m.
I n t he weeks si nce Toby had begun cl asses, he had seen
ver y l i t t l e of t he head of t he school . Occasi onal l y, Al i ce Tanner
Woul d dr op i nt o t he Wor kshop t o wat ch i mpr ovi sat i ons and
gi ve a wor d of encour agement , or Toby woul d r un i nt o her on
l as way t o cl ass. But he had hoped f or somet hi ng mor e
i nt i mat e. He f ound hi msel f t hi nki ng about Al i ce Tanner a
gr eat deal . She was what Toby t hought of as a cl assy dame, and
t ) at appeal ed t o hi m; he f el t i t was what he deser ved. The
i dea of her cr i ppl ed l eg had bot her ed hi mat f ast , but i t had
sl owl y begun t o t ake on a sexual f asci nat i on.
Toby t al ked t o her agai n about put t i ng hi mi n a Showcase
pl ay wher e t he cr i t i cs and t al ent scout s coul d see hi m.
" You' r e not r eady yet , " Al i ce Tanner t ol d hi m.
She was st andi ng i n hi s way, keepi ng hi mf r omhi s success.
7 hace t o do somet hi ng about t hat , Toby deci ded.
A Showcase pl ay was bei ng st aged, and on t he openi ng
ni ght Toby was seat ed i n a mi ddl e r ow next t o a st udent '
named Kar en, a f at l i t t l e char act er act r ess f r omhi s cl ass. Toby
had pl ayed scenes wi t h Kar en, and he knew t wo t hi ngs about
her : she never wor e under cl ot hes and she had bad br eat h.
She had done ever yt hi ng but send up smoke si gnal s t o l et
Toby know t hat she want ed t o go t o bed wi t h hi m, but he had
pr et ended not t o under st and. J esus, he t hought , f ucki ng her
woul d be l i ke bei ng sucked i nt o a t ub of hot l ar d.
As t hey sat t her e wai t i ng f or t he cur t ai n t o go up, Kar en
exci t edl y poi nt ed out t he cr i t i cs f r omt he Los Angel es Ti mes
and Her al d- Expr ess, and t he t al ent scout s f r omTwent i et h
Cent ur y- Fox, MGM and Wamer Br ot her s. I t enr aged Toby.
They wer e her e t o see t he act or s up on t he st age, whi l e he
sat i n t he audi ence l i ke a dummy. He had an al most uncont r ol l abl e
i mpul se t o st and up and do one of hi s r out i nes, dazzl e
t hem, show t hemwhat r eal t al ent l ooked l i ke.
The audi ence enj oyed t he pl ay, but Toby was obsessed
wi t h t he t al ent scout s, who sat wi t hi n t ouchi ng di st ance, t he
men who hel d hi s f ut ur e i n Aei r hands. Wel l , i f Act or s West
was t he l ur e t o br i ng t hemt o hi m, Toby woul d use i t ; but
he had no i nt ent i on of wai t i ng si x mont hs, or even si x weeks.
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, Toby went t o Al i ce Tanner ' s
of f i ce.
" How di d you l i ke t he pl ay?" she asked.
" I t was wonder f ul , " Toby sai d. " Those act or s ar e r eal l y
gr eat . " He gave a sel f - depr ecat i ng smi l e. " I see what you
mean when you say I ' mnot r eady yet . "
" They' ve had mor e exper i ence t han you, t hat ' s al l , but
you have a uni que per sonal i t y. You' r e goi ng t o make i t . J ust
be pat i ent . "
He si ghed. " I don' t know. Maybe I ' d be bet t er of f
f or get t i ng t he whol e t hi ng and sel l i ng i nsur ance or somet hi ng. "
She l ooked at hi mi n qui ck sur pr i se. " You must n' t , " she
sai d.
Toby shook hi s head. " Af t er seei ng t hose pr os l ast ni ght ,
I - - I don' t t hi nk I have i t . "
" Of cour se you have, Toby. I won' t l et you t al k l i ke t hat . "
I n her voi ce was t he not e he had been wai t i ng t o hear .
I t was not a t eacher t al ki ng t o a pupi l now, i t was a woman
t al ki ng t o a man, encour agi ng hi m, car i ng about hi m. Toby
f el t a smal l t hr i l l of sat i sf act i on.
. : He shr ugged hel pl essl y. " I don' t know, anymor e. I ' mal l
r f bne i n t hi s t own. I have no one t o t al k t o. "
* " You can al ways t al k t o me, Toby. I ' d l i ke t o be your
f r i end. "
4: He coul d hear t he sexual huski ness come i nt o her voi ce.
I bby' s bl ue eyes hel d al l t he wonder i n t he wor l d as he gazed
at her . As she wat ched hi m, he wal ked over and l ocked t he
of f i ce door . He r et ur ned t o her , f el l on hi s knees, bur i ed hi s
head i n her l ap and, as her f i nger s t ouched hi s hai r , he sl owl y
l i f t ed her ski r t , exposi ng t he poor t hi gh encased i n t he cr uel
st eel br ace. Gent l y r emovi ng t he br ace, he t ender l y ki ssed t he
r ed mar ks l ef t by t he st eel bar s. Sl owl y, he unf ast ened her
j | r t er bel t , al l t he t i me t el l i ng Al i ce of hi s l ove and hi s need
t i l s her , and ki ssed hi s way down t o t he moi st l i ps exposed
bef or e hi m. He car r i ed her t o t he deep l eat her couch and made
l ove t o her .
That eveni ng, Toby moved i n wi t h Al i ce Tanner .
I n bed t hat ni ght , Toby f ound t hat Al i ce Tanner was a
pi t i f ul l y l onel y woman, desper at e f or someone t o t al k t o,
someone t o l ove. She had been bor n i n Bost on. Her f at her was
a weal t hy manuf act ur er who had gi ven her a l ar ge al l owance
and pai d no f ur t her at t ent i on t o her . Al i ce had l oved t he
t heat er and had st udi ed t o be an act r ess, but i n col l ege she
had cont r act ed pol i o and t hat had put an end t o her dr eam.
She t ol d Toby how i t had af f ect ed her l i f e. The boy she was
engaged t o had j i l t ed her when he l ear ned t he news. Al i ce had
l ef t home and mar r i ed a psychi at r i st , who commi t t ed sui ci de
ax mont hs l at er . I t was as t hough al l her emot i ons had been
bot t l ed up i nsi de her . Now t hey pour ed out i n a vi ol ent
er upt i on t hat l ef t her f eel i ng dr ai ned and peacef ul and
mar vel ousl y cont ent .
Toby made l ove t o Al i ce unt i l she al most f ai nt ed wi t h
ecst asy, f i l l i ng her wi t h hi s huge peni s and maki ng sl ow ci r cl es
wi t h hi s hi ps unt i l he seemed t o be t ouchi ng ever y par t of her
body. She moaned, ^Ob, dar l i ng, I l ove you so much. Oh,
God, how I l ove t hi s! "
But when i t came t o school , Toby f ound t hat he had no
i nf l uence wi t h Al i ce. He t al ked t o her about put t i ng hi mi n
t he next Showcase pl ay, i nt r oduci ng hi mt o cast i ng di r ect or s,
speaki ng t o i mpor t ant st udi o peopl e about hi m, but she was
f i r m. " You' l l hur t your sel f i f you push t oo f ast , dar l i ng. Rul e
one: &e f i r st i mpr essi on you make i s t he most i mpor t ant . I f
t hey don' t l i ke you t he f i r st t i me, t hey' l l never go back t o see
you a second t i me. You' ve got t o be r eady. "
The i nst ant t he wor ds wer e out , she became The Enemy.
She was agai nst hi m. Toby swal l owed hi s f ur y and f or ced
hi msel f t o smi l e at her . " Sur e. I t ' s j ust t hat I ' mi mpat i ent . I
want t o make i t f or you as much as f or me. "
" Do you? Oh, Toby, I l ove you so much! "
" I l ove you, t oo, Al i ce. " And he smi l ed i nt o her ador i ng
eyes. He knew he had t o ci r cumvent t hi s bi t ch who was st andi ng
i n t he way of what he want ed. He hat ed her and he
puni shed her .
When t hey went t o bed, he made her do t hi ngs she had
never done bef or e, t hi ngs he had never asked a whor e t o do;
usi ng her mout h and her f i nger s and her t ongue. He pushed
her f ur t her and f ur t her , f or ci ng her i nt o a ser i es of humi l i at i ons.
And each t i me he got her t o do somet hi ng mor e degr adi ng,
he woul d pr ai se her , t he way one pr ai ses a dog f or
l ear ni ng a new t r i ck, and she woul d he happy because she had
pl eased hi m. And t he mor e he degr aded her , t he mor e degr aded
he f el t . He was puni shi ng hi msel f , and he had not t he f ai nt est
i dea why.
Toby had a pl an i n mi nd, and hi s chance t o put i t i nt o
act i on came sooner t han he had ant i ci pat ed. Al i ce Tanner
announced t hat t he Wor kshop cl ass was goi ng t o put on a
pr i vat e show f or t he advanced cl asses and t hei r guest s on Ae
f ol l owi ng Fr i day. Each st udent coul d choose hi s own pr oj ect .
Toby pr epar ed a monol ogue and r ehear sed i t over an dover .
On t he mor ni ng of t he show, Toby wai t ed unt i l cl ass was
over and wal ked up t o Kar en, t he f at act r ess who had sat
next t o hi mdur i ng t he pl ay. " Woul d you do me a f avor ?" he
asked casual l y.
68
" Sur e, Toby. " Her voi ce was sur pr i sed and eager .
Toby st epped back t o gel away f r omher br eat h. " I ' m
gul l i ng a g^ on an ^ f r i end of mi ne. I want you t o t el ephone
i Qi f t on Lawr ence' s secr et ar y and t el l her you' r e SamGol dwyn' s
^ccr et ar y, and t hat Mr . Gol dwyn woul d l i ke Mr . Lawr ence
: f a come t o t he show t oni ght t o see a br i l l i ant new comi c.
Ther e' l l be a t i cket wai t i ng f or hi mat t he box of f i ce. "
Kar en st ar ed at hi m. " J esus, ol d l ady Tanner woul d have
my head. You know she never al l ows out si der s at t he Wor kshop
shows. "
" Bel i eve me, i t ' l l be al l r i ght . " He t ook her ar mand
squeezed i t . " You busy t hi s af t er noon?"
She swal l owed, her br eat h comi ng a l i t t l e f ast er . " Not - -
not i f you' d l i ke t o do somet hi ng. "
i , " I ' d l i ke t o do somet hi ng. "
t : Thr ee hour s l at er , an ecst at i c Kar en made t he phone cal l .
; , ' : : , The audi t or i umwas f i l l ed wi t h act or s f r omt he var i ous
; dasses and t hei r guest s, but t he onl y per son Toby had eyes
, ' f or was t he man who sat i n an ai sl e seat i n t he t hi r d r ow.
. ' I Toby had been i n a pani c, f ear f ul t hat hi s r use woul d not
' F' wor k. Sur el y a man as cl ever as Cl i f t on Lawr ence woul d see
w' t hr ough t he t r i ck. But he had not . He was her e.
y A boy and gi r l wer e on st age now, doi ng a scene f r om
^ The Sea Gul l . Toby hoped t hey woul d not dr i ve Cl i f t on
Lawr ence out of t he t heat er . Fi nal l y, t he scene was f i ni shed,
t ad t he act or s t ook t hei r bows and l ef t t he st age.
I t was Toby' s t ur n. Al i ce suddenl y appear ed at hi s si de
i , i n t he wi ngs, whi sper i ng, " Good l uck, dar l i ng" , unawar e t hat
hi s l uck was si l t i ng i n t he audi ence.
" Thanks, Al i ce. " Toby br eat hed a si l ent pr ayer , st r ai ght ened hi s shoul der s,
bounced out on st age and smi l ed boyi shl y
at t he audi ence. " Hel l o, t her e. I ' mToby Templ e. Hey, di d
you ever st op t o t hi nk about names, and how our par ent s
choose t hem? I t ' s cr azy. I asked my mot her why she named
me Toby. She. sai d she t ook one l ook at my mug, and t hat
was i t . "
Hi s l ook was what got t he l augh. Toby appear ed so
i nnocent and wi st f ul , st andi ng up t her e on t hat st age, t hat t hey
l oved hi m. The j okes he t ol d wher e t er r i bl e, but somehow
t hat di d not mat t er . He was so vul ner abl e t hat t hey want ed
t o pr ot ect hi m, and t hey di d i t wi t h t hei r appl ause and t hei r
l aught er . I t was l i ke a gi f t of l ove t hat f l owed i nt o Toby, f i l l i ng
hi mwi t h an al most unbear abl e exhi l ar at i on. He was Edwar d
G. Robi nson and J i mmy Cagney, and Cagney was sayi ng, " You
di r t y r at ! Who do you t hi nk you' r e gi vi ng or der s t o?"
And Robi nson' s, " To you, you punk. I ' mLi t t l e Caesar .
I ' mt he boss. You' r e nut hi n' . Do you know what t hat means?"
" Yeah, you di r t y r at . You' r e t he boss of nut hi n' . "
A r oar . The audi ence ador ed Toby.
Bogar t was t her e, snar l i ng, " I ' d spi t i n your eye, punk,
i f my l i p wasn' t st uck over my t eet h. "
And t he audi ence was enchant ed.
Toby gave t hemhi s Pet er Lor r e. " I saw t hi s l i t t l e gi r l
i n her r oom, pl ayi ng wi t h i t , and I got exci t ed. I don' t know
what came over me. I coul dn' t hel p mysel f . I cr ept i nt o her
r oom, and I pul l ed t he r ope t i ght er and t i ght er , and I br oke
her yoyo. "
A bi g l augh. He was r ol l i ng.
He swi t ched over t o Laur el and Har dy, and a movement
i n t he audi ence caught hi s eye and he gl anced up. Cl i f t on
Lawr ence was wal ki ng out of t he t heat er .
The r est of t he eveni ng was a bl ur t o Toby.
When t he show was over , Al i ce Tanner came up t o Toby. " You wer e wonder f ul ,
dar l i ng! I . . . "
He coul d not bear t o l ook at her , t o have anyone l ook
at hi m. He want ed t o be al one wi t h hi s mi ser y, t o t r y t o cope
wi t h t he pai n t hat was t ear i ng hi mapar t . Hi s wor l d had
col l apsed ar ound hi m. He had had hi s chance, and he had
f ai l ed. Cl i f t on Lawr ence had wal ked out on hi m, had not even
wai t ed f or hi mt o f i ni sh. Cl i f t on Lawr ence was a man who
knew t al ent , a pr of essi onal who handl ed t he best . I f Lawr ence
di d not t hi nk Toby had anyt hi ng. . . He f el t si ck t o hi s
st omach.
" I ' mgoi ng f or a wal k, " he sai d t o Al i ce.
He wal ked down Vi ne St r eet and Gower , past Col umbi a
Pi ct ur es and RKO and Par amount . Al l t he gat es wer e l ocked.
70
r
He wal ked al ong Hol l ywood Boul evar d and l ooked up at t he
huge mocki ng si gn on t he hi l l t hat sai d, " hol l ywoodl and" .
Ther e was no Hol l ywoodl and. I t was a st at e of mi nd, a phony
dr eamt hat l ur ed t housands of ot her wi se nor mal peopl e i nt o
' ?' - t he i nsani t y of t r yi ng t o become a st ar . The wor d Hol l ywood
had become a l odest one f or mi r acl es, a t r ap t hat seduced peopl e
i wi t h wonder f ul pr omi ses, si r en songs of dr eams f ul f i l l ed, and
' t hen dest r oyed t hem.
Toby wal ked t he st r eet s al l ni ght l ong, wonder i ng what
he was goi ng t o do wi t h hi s l i f e. Hi s f ai t h i n hi msel f had been
; . shat t er ed and he f el t r oot l ess and adr i f t . He had never i magi ned
hi msel f doi ng anyt hi ng ot her t han ent er t ai ni ng peopl e, and i f
i e he coul d not do t hat , al l t hat was l ef t f or hi mwer e dul l ,
' I ; ! monot onous j obs wher e he woul d be caged up f or t he r est of
- S- t os l i f e. Mr . Anonymous. No one woul d ever know who he
^ was. He t hought of t he l ong, dr ear y year s, t he bi t t er l onel i ness
^of a t housand namel ess t owns, of t he peopl e who had appl auded
^ hi mand l aughed at hi mand l oved hi m. Toby wept . He wept
I " f or t he past and f or t he f ut ur e.
?V } He wept because he was dead.
^ I t was dawn when Toby r et ur ned t o t he whi t e st ucco
^g bungal ow he shar ed wi t h Al i ce. He wal ked i nt o t he bedr oom
^ and l ooked down at her sl eepi ng f i gur e. He had t hought , t hat
f r : she woul d be t he open sesame t o t he magi c ki ngdom. But
; ' , t her e was no magi c ki ngdom. Not f or hi m. He woul d l eave.
' He had no i dea wher e he woul d go. He was al most t went y& seven year s ol d and he
had no f ut ur e.
He l ay down on t he couch, exhaust ed. He cl osed hi s eyes;
' l i st eni ng t o t he sounds of t he ci t y st i r r i ng i nt o l i f e. The mom^ i ng sounds of
ci t i es ar e t he same, and he t hought of Det r oi t .
^ Hi s mot her . She was st andi ng i n t he ki t chen cooki ng appl e
i z t ar t s f or hi m. He coul d smel l her wonder f ul musky f emal e
odor mi ngl ed wi t h t he smel l of appl es cooki ng i n but t er , and
she was sayi ng, God want s you t o be f amous.
! : - He was st andi ng al one on an enor mous st age, bl i nded
' ^ by f l oodl i ght s, t r yi ng t o r emember hi s l i nes. He t r i ed t o speak
but he had l ost hi s voi ce. He gr ew pani cky. Ther e was a gr eat
r umbl i ng noi se f r omt he audi ence, and t hr ough t he bl i ndi ng
l i ght s Toby coul d see t he spect at or s l eavi ng t hei r seat s and
r unni ng t owar d t he st age t o at t ack hi m, t o ki l l hi m. Thei r l ove
had t ur ned t o hat e. They wer e sur r oundi ng hi m, gr abbi ng
hi m, chant i ng, " Toby! Toby! Toby! "
Toby suddenl y j er ked awake, hi s mout h dr y wi t h f r i ght .
Al i ce Tanner was l eani ng over hi m, shaki ng hi m.
" Toby! Tel ephone. I t ' s Cl i f t on Lawr ence. "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence' s of f i ce was i n a smal l ; el egant bui l di ng
on Bever l y Dr i ve, j ust sout h of Wi l shi r e. Fr ench I mpr essi oni st
pai nt i ngs hung f r omt he car ved boi ser i e, and bef or e t he dar k
gr een mar bl e f i r epl ace a sof a and some ant i que chai r s wer e
gr ouped ar ound an exqui si t e t ea t abl e. Toby had never seen
anyt hi ng l i ke i t .
A shapel y, r edheaded secr et ar y was pour i ng t ea. " How
do you l i ke your t ea, Mr . Templ e?"
Mr . Templ e! " One sugar , pl ease. "
" Ther e you ar e. " A l i t t l e smi l e and she was gone.
Toby di d not know t hat t he t ea was a speci al bl end
i mpor t ed f r omFor t numand Mason, nor t hat i t was st eepi ng
i n I r i sh Bal eek, but he knew i t t ast ed wonder f ul . I n f act , ever yt hi ng
about t hi s of f i ce was wonder f ul , especi al l y t he dapper
l i t t l e man who sat i n an ar mchai r st udyi ng hi m. Cl i f t on Lawr ence
was smal l er t han Toby had expect ed, bur he r adi at ed
a sense of aut hor i t y and power .
" I can' t t el l you how much I appr eci at e your seei ng me, "
Toby sai d. " I ' msor r y I had t o t r i ck you i nt o - - "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence t hr ew hi s head back and l aughed.
" Tr i ck me? I had l unch wi t h Gol dwyn yest er day. I went t o
wat ch you l ast ni ght because I want ed t o see i f your t al ent
mat ched your ner ve. I t di d. "
" But you wal ked out - - " Toby excl ai med.
" Dear boy, you don' t have t o eat t he ent i r e j ar of cavi ar
t o know i f i t ' s good, r i ght ? I knew what you had i n si xt y
seconds. "
Toby f el t t hat sense of euphor i a bui l di ng up i n hi magai n.
Af t er t he bl ack despai r of t he ni ght bef or e, t o be l i f t ed t o
t he hei ght s l i ke t hi s, t o have hi s l i f e handed back t o hi m- -
" I have a hunch about you, Templ e, " Cl i f t on Lawr ence
72
sai d. " I t hi nk i t woul d be exci t i ng t o t ake someone young
od bui l d hi s car eer . I ' ve der i ded t o t ake you on as a cl i ent . "
The f eel i ng of j oy was expl odi ng i nsi de Toby. He want ed
t o st and up and scr eamal oud. Cl i f t on Lawr ence was goi ng t o
^be hi s agent !
" . . . handl e you on one condi t i on, " Cl i f t on Lawr ence
was sayi ng. " That you do exact l y as I t el l you. I don' t st and
f or t emper ament . You st ep out of l i ne j ust once, and we' r e
f i ni shed. Do you under st and?"
' Toby nodded qui ckl y. " Yes, si r . I under st and. "
" The f i r st t hi ng you have t o do i s f ace t he t r ut h. " He
smi l ed at Toby and sai d, " Your act i s t er r i bl e. Def i ni t el y
bot t omdr awer . "
I t was as t hough Toby had been ki cked i n t he st omach.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence had br ought hi mher e t o puni sh hi mf or
t hat st upi d phone cal l ; he was not goi ng t o handl e hi m. He . . .
But t he l i t t l e agent cont i nued. " Last ni ght was amat eur
ni ght , and t hat ' s what you ar e- - an amat eur . " Cl i f t on Lawr ence
r ose f r omhi s chai r and began t o pace. " I ' mgoi ng t o
t el l ^ou what you have, and I ' mgoi ng t o t el l you what you
need t o become a st ar . "
Toby sat t her e.
" Let ' s st ar t wi t h your mat er i al , " Cl i f t on sai d. " You coul d
put but t er and sal t on i t and peddl e i t i n t heat er l obbi es. "
" Yes, si r . Wel l , some of i t mi ght be a l i t t l e cor ny, but - - "
" Next . You have no st yl e. "
Toby f el t hi s hands begi n t o cl ench. " The audi ence
seemed t o- - "
" Next . You don' t know how t o move. You' r e a l ox. "
Toby sai d not hi ng.
The l i t t l e agent wal ked over t o hi m, l ooked down and sai d
sof t l y, r eadi ng Toby' s mi nd, " I f you' r e so bad, what ar e you
doi ng her e? You' r e her e because you' ve got somet hi ng t hat
money can' t buy. When you st and up on t hat st age, t he audi ence
want s t o eat you up. They l ove you. Do you have any
i dea how much t hat coul d be wor t h?"
Toby t ook a deep br eat h and sat back. " Tel l me. "
" Mor e t han you coul d ever dr eam. Wi t h t he r i ght mat er i al
and t he pr oper ki nd of handl i ng, you can be a st ar . "
Toby sat t her e, baski ng i n t he war mgl ow of Cl i f t on
Lawr ence' s wor ds, and i t was as t hough ever yt hi ng Toby
had done al l hi s l i f e had l ed t o t hi s moment , as t hough he
wer e al r eady a st ar , and i t had al l happened. J ust as hi s mot her
had pr omi sed hi m.
" The key t o an ent er t ai ner ' s success i s per sonal i t y, "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence was sayi ng. " You can' t buy i t and you can' t
f ake i t . You have t o be bor n wi t h i t . You' r e one of t he l ucky
ones, dear boy. " He gl anced at t he gol d Pi aget wat ch on hi s
Wr i st . " I ' ve set up a meet i ng f or you wi t h O' Hanl on and
Rai nger at t wo o' cl ock. They' r e t he best comedy wr i t er s i n
t he busi ness. They wor k f or al l t he t op comi cs. "
Toby sai d ner vousl y, " I ' maf r ai d I haven' t much mon - - "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence di smi ssed i t wi t h a wave of hi s hand.
" Not t o wor r y, dear boy. You' l l pay me back l at er . "
Long af t er Toby Templ e had l ef t , Cl i f t on Lawr ence sat
t her e t hi nki ng about hi m, smi l i ng t o hi msel f at t hat wi de- eyed
i nnocent f ace and t hose t r ust i ng, gui l el ess bl ue eyes. I t had
been many year s si nce Cl i f t on had r epr esent ed an unknown.
Al l hi s cl i ent s wer e i mpor t ant st ar s, and ever y st udi o f ought
f or t hei r ser vi ces. The exci t ement had l ong si nce gone. The
ear l y days had been mor e f un, mor e st i mul at i ng. I t woul d be
a chal l enge t o t ake t hi s r aw, young ki d and devel op hi m,
bui l d hi mi nt o a hot pr oper t y. Cl i f t on had a f eel i ng t hat he was
r eal l y goi ng t o enj oy t hi s exper i ence. He l i ked t he boy. He
l i ked hi mver y much i ndeed.
The meet i ng t ook pl ace at t he Twent i et h Cent ur y- Fox
st udi os on Pi co Boul evar d i n West Los Angel es, wher e
O' Hanl on and Rai nger had t hei r of f i ces. Toby had expect ed
somet hi ng l avi sh, on t he or der of Cl i f t on Lawr ence' s sui t e,
but t he wr i t er s' quar t er s wer e dr ab and di ngy, l ocat ed i n a
smal l wooden bungal ow on t he l ot .
An unt i dy, mi ddl e- aged secr et ar y i n a car di gan usher ed
Toby i nt o t he i nner of f i ce. The wal l s wer e a di r t y appl egr een,
and t he onl y ador nment was a bat t er ed dar t boar d
and a " pl an ahead" si gn wi t h t he l ast Ar ee l et t er s squeezed
t oget her . A br oken Venet i an bl i nd par t i al l y f i l t er ed out t he
sun' s r ays t hat f el l acr oss a di r t y br own car pet wor n down t o
di e canvas. Ther e wer e t wo scar r ed desks, back t o back, each
l i t t er ed wi t h paper s and penci l s and hal f - empt y car t ons of col d
Oof f ee.
i ; . . " Hi , Toby. Excuse t he mess. I t ' s t he mai d' s day of f , "
KyHanl on gr eet ed hi m. " I ' mO' Hanl on. " He i ndi cat ed hi s
- gi yar t ner . " Thi s i s - - er - - ?"
, 1| - - " Rai nger . "
; | t " Ah, yes. Thi s i s Rai nger . "
| I J | O' Hanl on was l ar ge and r ot und and wor e hor n- r i mmed
^| da$ses. Rai nger was smal l and f r ai l . Bot h men wer e i n t hei r
. ' i yi t f l r i y t hi r t i es and had been a successf ul wr i t i ng t eamf or t en
f t year s. I n al l t he t i me t hat Toby was t o wor k wi t h t hem, he
Sal ways r ef er r ed t o t hemas " t he boys" .
5 Toby sai d, " I under st and you f el l as ar e goi ng t o wr i t e
: 3| | ^ome j okes f or me. "
A* O' Hanl on and Rai nger exchanged a l ook. Rai nger sai d,
" Cl i f f Lawr ence t hi nks you mi ght be Amer i ca' s new sex
symbol . Let ' s see what you can do. Have you got an act ?"
l " Sur e, " Toby r epl i ed. He r emember ed what Cl i f t on had
seed about i t . Suddenl y, he f el t di f f i dent .
The t wo wr i t er s sat down on t he couch and cr ossed t hei r
5. t ur ns.
" Ent er t ai n us, " O' Hanl on sai d.
Toby l ooked at t hem. " J ust l i ke t hat ?"
" What woul d you l i ke?" Rai nger asked. " An i nt r oduct i on
f r oma si xt y- pi ece or chest r a?" He t ur ned t o O' Hanl on. " Get
t he musi c depar t ment on t he phone. "
You pr i ck, t hought Toby. You' r e on my shi t l i st , bot h of
you. He knew what t hey wer e t r yi ng t o do. They wer e t r yi ng
t o make hi ml ook bad so t hey coul d go back t o Cl i f t on Lawr ence
and say, We can' t hel p hi m. He' s a st i f f . Wel l , he was
t ^f c - not goi ng t o l et t hemget away wi t h i t . He put on a smi l e he
, di d not f eel , and went i nt o hi s Abbot t and Cost el l o r out i ne.
I ^. " Hey, Lou, ai n' t you ashamed of your sel f ? You' r e t ur ni n' i nt o
N" a bum. Why don' t you go out and get your sel f a j ob?"
' I got a j ob. "
" Cer t ai nl y. I t keeps me busy al l day, 1 got r egul ar hour s,
and I ' mhome i n t i me f or di nner ever y ni ght . "
The t wo of t hemwer e st udyi ng Toby now, wei ghi ng hi m,
anal yzi ng hi m, , and i n t he mi ddl e of hi s r ouane t hey began
t al ki ng, as t hough Toby wer e not i n t he r oom.
" He doesn t know how t o st and. "
" He uses hi s hands l i ke he' s choppi ng wood. Maybe we
coul d wr i t e a woodchopper act f or hi m. "
" He pushes t oo har d. "
" J esus, wi t h t hat mat er i al - - woul dn' t you?"
Toby was get t i ng mor e upset by t he moment . He di d
not have t o st ay her e and be i nsul t ed by t hese t wo mani acs.
Thei r mat er i al was pr obabl y l ousy anyway.
Fi nal l y, he coul d st and i t no l onger . He st opped, hi s
voi ce t r embl i ng wi t h r age. " I don' t need you bast ar ds! Thanks
f or t he hospi t al i t y. " He st ar t ed f or t he door .
Rai nger st ood up i n genui ne amazement . " Hey! What ' s
t he mat t er wi t h you?"
Toby t ur ned on hi mi n f ur y. " What t he f uck do you
t hi nk i s t he mat t er ? You- - you- - " He was so f r ust r at ed, he
was on t he ver ge of t ear s.
Rai nger t ur ned t o l ook at O' Hanl on i n bewi l der ment .
" We must have hur t hi s f eel i ngs. "
" Gol l y. "
Toby t ook a deep br eat h. " Look, you t wo, I don' t car e
i f you don' t l i ke me, but - - "
" We l ove you! " O' Hanl on excl ai med.
" We t hi nk you' r e dar l i ng! " Rai nger chi med i n.
Toby l ooked f r omone t o t he ot her i n compl et e baf f l ement .
" What ? You act ed l i ke - - "
" You know your t r oubl e, Toby? You' r e i nsecur e. Rel axSur e,
you' ve got a l ot t o l ear n, but on t he ot her hand, i f you
wer e Bob Hope. you woul dn' t be her e. "
O' Hanl ou added, " And do you know why? Because
Bob' s up i n Car mel t oday. "
" Pl ayi ng gol f . Do you pl ay gol f ?" Rai nger asked.
" No. "
The t wo wr i t er s l ooked at each ot her i n di smay. " Ther e
go al l t he gol f j okes. Shi t ! "
76
O' Hanl on pi cked up t he t el ephone. " Br i ng i n some
t of f ee, wi l l you, Zsa Zsa?" He put down t he phone and t ur ned
Toby. " Do you know how many woul d- be comi cs t her e ar e
t hi s quai nt l i t t l e busi ness we' r e i n?"
Toby shook hi s head.
" I can t el l you exact l y. Thr ee bi l l i on seven hundr ed and
wt y- ei ght mi l l i on, as of si x o' cl ock l ast ni ght . And t hat ' s
l ot i ncl udi ng Mi l t on Ber l e' s br ot her . When t her e' s a f ul l
noon, t hey al l cr awl out of t he woodwor k. Ther e ar e onl y hal f a
; f d6zen r eal l y t op comi cs. The ot her s wi l l never make i t . Comedy
J l j ^s . t he most ser i ous busi ness i n t he wor l d. I t ' s god damned har d
Si ^wor k bei ng f unny, whet her you' r e a comi c or a comedi an. "
; %| [ " What ' s t he di f f er ence?"
' t i l ^ " A bi g one. A comi c opens f unny door s. A comedi an
S} opens door s f unny. "
' ^| | ; . , ' Rai nger asked, " Di d you ever st op t o t hi nk what makes
; 1| one comedi an a smash and anot her one a f ai l ur e?"
?H. , " Mat er i al , " Toby sai d, want i ng t o f l at t er t hem.
S^' , , " Buf f al o shi t . The l ast new j oke was i nvent ed by Ar i s- ^i t oj ^i anes. J okes
ar e basi cal l y al l t he same. Geor ge Bur ns can
f e . t el l si x j okes t hat t he guy on t he bi l l ahead of hi mj ust t ol d,
t | | | ; ^and Bur ns wi l l get bi gger l aughs. Do you know why? Per i l ^; , : , t onal i t y. "
/ ( was what Cl i f t on Lawr ence had t ol d hi m. " Wi t hi ( A|
out i t , you' r e not hi ng, nobody. You st ar t wi t h a per sonal i t y
' and you t ur n i t i nt o a char act er . Take Hope. I f he came out
and di d a J ack Benny monol ogue, he' d bomb. Why? Because
' he' s bui l t up a char act er . That ' s what t he audi ences expect
I ^' 1 f r omhi mWhen Hope wal ks out , t hey want t o hear t hose
H r api d- f i r e j okes. He' s a l i keabl e smar t - ass, t he bi g ci t y f el l ow
i f c who get s hi s l umps. J ack Benny- - j ust t he opposi t e. He
woul dn' t know what t o do wi t h a Bob Hope monol ogue, but
he can t ake a t wo- mi nut e pause and make an audi ence scr eam.
Each of t he Mar x Br ot her s has hi s own char act er . Fr ed Al i en
?i ^' i s uni que. That br i ngs us t o you. Do you know your pr obl em,
%Toby? You' r e a l i t t l e of ever ybody. You' r e mut at i ng al l t he
. ; ; bi g boys. Wel l , t hat ' s gr eat i f you want t o pl ay El ks smoker s
^ f or t he r est of your l i f e. But i f you want t o move up i nt o t he
?* bi g t i me, you' ve got t o cr eat e a char act er of your own. When
I you' r e out on t hat st age, bef or e you even open your mout h,
11*
t he ai M- i , as t o l ^o^ t h^ i 1' 5 Toby Templ e up t her e. Do
youT^"
Yp1>
q| ~' t ook over . " Do you know what you' ve got ,
Toby) - anl 0 ^, i e f ace. I f I wer en' t al r eady engaged t o dar k
Gabl e >~ " r f - azy about you. Ther e' s a nai ve sweet ness about
you. I ( / i ackagc i t r i ght , i t coul d be v/ or t h a f ucki ng
f or t une, ^011 " >.
pot hi ng of a f or t une i n f ucki ng, " Rai nger
chi med.
" y11' get away wi t h t hi ngs t hat t he ot her boys can' t .
I t ' s l i ke u . - i t ) oy sayi ng f our - l et t er wor ds - - i t ' s cut e because
you do^. i i eve he r eal l y under st ands what he' s sayi ng.
When ^, t f t ed i n her e, you asked i f we wer e t he f el l ows
who w u - ng t o wr i t e your J okes. The answer i s no. Thi s
i sn' t a j e ^( . nD. What we ar e goi ng t o do i s show you what
you' ve f c e s a h^ t o use I t ' We' r e goi ng t o t ai l or a char act er
f or you w 3LWwhat do you say?"
t oi , , i / ed f r ci n one t o t he ot her , gr i nned happi l y and
sai d, " I - i ] up OUI sl eeves and go t o wor k. "
evr , . , s^t er t hat , Toby had l unch wi t h O' HanI on and
Rai nger I ^ , ct U^10- ' Ths Twent i et h Cent ur y- Fox commi ssar y
was an at ^us r oom^e^ v/ I t ^ wal l - t o- wal l st ar s. On any
gi ven da no hV cou^ see Tyr one Power and Lor et t a Young
and Be ^ab^ aa^ ^) on ^" ^he and Al i ce Faye and
Ri char d ^, . , - , al l < an^ Vi ct or Mat ur e and t he Ri t z Br ot her s,
and do^ ' , . nt hef s. Some wer e seat ed at t abl es i n t he l ar ge
r oom, q^ s i , ef s ^ i " Ac smal l er execut i ve di ni ng r oom
whi ch 9- , . . j t he mai n commi ssar ) ' . Toby l oved wat chi ng
t hemal l ' n shor t t i me, he woul d be one of t hem, peopl e
woul d bp< n g f or hi s aut ogr aph. He was on hi s way, and he
was goi ng ^ ^ ^gET t han any of t hem.
Al i ^ ^er was t hr i l l ed by what was happeni ng t o
Toby. " ^, , you' r e goi ng t o make i t , dar l i ng. I ' mso pr oud
of you. "
Toby and O' Hanl on and Rai nger had l ong di scussi ons
out t he new char act er Toby was t o be.
" He shoul d t hi nk he' s a sophi st i cat ed man of t he wor l d, "
I ' Hanl on sai d. " But ever y t i me he comes t o bat , he l ays an
i f
" What ' s hi s j ob?" asked Rai nger . " Mi xi ng met aphor s?"
" Thi s char act er shoul d l i ve wi t h hi s mot her . He' s i n l ove
| i t h a gi r l , but he' s af r ai d t o l eave home t o mar r y her . He' s
i engaged t o her f or f i ve year s. "
" Ten i s a f unni er number . "
" Ri ght ! Make i t t en year s. Hi s mot her shoul dn' t happen
a dog. Ever y t i me Toby want s t o get mar r i ed, hi s mot her
devel ops a new di sease. Ti me Magazi ne cal l s her ever y week
t o f i nd out what ' s happeni ng i n medi ci ne. "
Toby sat t her e l i st eni ng, f asci nat ed by t he f ast f l ow of
di al ogue. He had never wor ked wi t h r eal pr of essi onal s bef or e,
and he enj oyed i t . Par t i cul ar l y si nce he was t he cent er of
3| ' at t ent i on. I t t ook O' Hanl on and Rai nger t hr ee weeks t o wr i t e
| ^ si a act f or Toby. When t hey f i nal l y showed i t t o hi mhe was
H t hr i l l ed. I t was good. He made a f ew suggest i ons, t hey added
gt ed t hr ew out some l i nes, and Toby Templ e was r eady. Cl i f t on
Lawr ence sent f or hi m.
" You' r e openi ng Sat ur day ni ght at t he Bowl i ng Bal l . "
Toby st ar ed at hi m. He had had expect at i ons of bei ng
booked i nt o Gi r o' s or t he Tr ocader o. " What ' s- - what ' s t he
Bowl i ng Bal l ?"
" A l i t t l e cl ub on sout h West er n Avenue. "
Toby' s f ace f el l . " I never hear d of i t . "
" And t hey never hear d of you. That ' s t he poi nt , dear boy.
I f you shoul d bomb t her e, no one wi l l ever know i t . "
Except Cl i f t on Lawr ence.
The Bowl i ng Bal l was a dump. Ther e was no ot her
wor d t o descr i be i t . I t was a dupl i cat e of t en t housand ot her
1| ^ sl eazy l i t t l e bar s scat t er ed t hr oughout t he count r y, a wat er i ng
hol e f or l oser s. Toby had pl ayed t her e a t housand t i mes, i n a
t housand does. The pat r ons wer e most l y mi ddl e- aged mal es,
bl ue- col l ar wor ker s i ndul gi ng i n t hei r r i t ual get - t oget her wi t h
t hei r buddi es, ogl i ng t he t i r ed wai t r esses i n t hei r t i ght ski r t s
and l ow- cut bl ouses, exchangi ng di r t y j okes over a shot of
cheap whi skey or a gl ass of beer . The f l oor show t ook pl ace i n
a smal l cl ear ed ar ea at t he f ar end of t he r oom, wher e t hr ee
bor ed musi ci ans pl ayed. A homosexual si nger opened t he show,
f ol l owed by an acr obat i c dancer i n a l eot ar d, and t hen a st r i pper
who wor ked wi t h a somnol ent cobr a.
Toby sat at a t abl e i n t he back of t he r oomwi t h Cl i f t on
Lawr ence and O' Hanl on and Rai nger , wat chi ng t he ot her act s,
l i st eni ng t o t he audi ence, t r yi ng t o gauge i t s mood.
" Beer dr i nker s, " Toby sai d cont empt uousl y.
Cl i f t on st ar t ed t o r et or t , t hen l ooked at Toby' s f ace aad
checked hi msel f . Toby was scar ed. Cl i f t on knew t hat Toby
had pl ayed pl aces l i ke t hi s bef or e, but t hi s t i me was di f f er ent .
Thi s was t he t est .
Cl i f t on sai d gent l y, " I f you can put t he beer dr i nker s i n
your pocket , t he champagne cr owd wi l l be a pushover . These
peopl e wor k har d al l day, Toby. When t hey go out at ni ght ,
t hey want t hei r ni ckel ' s wor t h. I f you can make t heml augh,
you can make anyone l augh. "
At t hat moment , Toby hear d t he bor ed ME announce
hi s name.
" Gi ve ' emhel l , t i ger ! " O' Hanl on sai d.
Toby was on.
He st ood on t he st age, on guar d and t ense, appr ai si ng t he
audi ence l i ke a war y ani mal sni f f i ng f or danger i n a f or est .
An audi ence was a beast wi t h a hundr ed heads, each one
di f f er ent ; and he had t o make t he beast l augh. He t ook a deep
br eat h. Love me, he pr ayed.
He went i nt o hi s act .
And no one was l i st eni ng t o hi m. No one was l aughi ng.
Toby coul d f eel t he f l op sweat begi n t o pop out on hi s f or ehead.
The act was not wor ki ng. He kept hi s smi l e past ed on and
went on t al ki ng over t he l oud noi se and conver sat i on. He coul d
not get t hei r at t ent i on. They want ed t he naked br oads back.
They had been exposed on t oo many Sat ur day ni ght s t o t oo
many t al ent l ess, unf unny comedi ans. Toby kept t al ki ng, i n t he
f ace of t hei r i ndi f f er ence. He went on because t her e was not h-
I . i ng el se he coul d do. He l ooked out and saw Cl i f t on Lawr ence
. and t he boys, wat chi ng hi mwi t h wor r i ed expr essi ons.
Toby cont i nued. Ther e was no audi ence i n t he r oom,
peopl e, t al ki ng t o one anot her , di scussi ng t hei r pr obl ems
t hei r l i ves. For al l t hey car ed, Toby Templ e coul d have
i a mi l l i on mi l es away. Or dead. Hi s t hr oat was dr y now
f ear , and i t was becomi ng har d t o get t he wor ds out .
i f t f omt he cor ner of hi s eye, Toby saw t he manager st ar t
' , ^war d t he bandst and. He was goi ng t o begi n t he musi c, pul l
; ' , ' Hi e pl ug on hi m. I t was al l over . Toby' s pal ms wer e wet and
' - : Bos bowel s had t ur ned t o wat er . He coul d f eel hot ur i ne t r i ckl e
' t l own hi s l eg. He was so ner vous t hat he was begi nni ng t o mi x
t i p hi s wor ds. He di d not dar e l ook at Cl i f t on Lawr ence or t he
wr i t er s. He was t oo f i l l ed wi t h shame. The manager was at t he
bandst and, t al ki ng t o t he musi ci ans. They gl anced over at Toby
and nodded. Toby went on, t al ki ng desper at el y, want i ng i t t o
. " | be over , want i ng t o r un away somewher e and hi de.
^ A mi ddl e- aged woman seat ed at a t abl e di r ect l y i n f r ont
^of Toby gi ggl ed at ^one of hi s j okes. Her compani ons st opped
s| o l i st en. Toby kept t al ki ng, i n a f r enzy. The ot her s at t he
St abl e wer e l i st eni ng now, l aughi ng. And t hen t he next t abl e.
A And t he next . And, sl owl y, t he t al ki ng began t o di e down.
, ; ' ; ! They wer e l i st eni ng t o hi m. The l aughs wer e st ar t i ng t o come,
' l | l ong and r egul ar , and t hey wer e get t i ng bi gger , and bui l di ng.
, %; And bui l di ng. The peopl e i n t he r oomhad become an audi ence.
Ai &nd he had t hem. He f ucki ng had t hem! I t no l onger mat t er ed
S] a&at he was i n a cheap sal oon f i l l ed wi t h beer - dr i nki ng sl obs.
%3C?hat mat t er ed was t hei r l aught er , and t hei r l ove. I t came out
^( t Toby i n waves. Fi r st he had t heml aughi ng, t hen he had
f i ^Svumscr eami ng. They had never hear d anyt hi ng l i ke hi m, not
^l l f i t hi s cr ummy pl ace, not anywher e. They appl auded and t hey
, i | i ^t i eer ed and bef or e t hey wer e t hr ough, t hey damned near t or e
t ?; t he pl ace apar t . They wer e wi t nessi ng t he bi r t h of a phenomej oon.
Of cour se, t hey coul d not know t hat . But Cl i f t on Lawr ence
^i - nd O' Hanl on and Rai nger knew i t . And Toby Templ e knew i t .
; & God had f i nal l y come t hr ough.
- S1' 1
^ Rever end Dami an shoved t he bl azi ng t or ch i nt o J ose^j Sf f i i ne' s
f ace and scr eamed, " 0 God Al mi ght y, bur n away t he
evi l i n t hi s si nf ul chi l d, " and t he congr egat i on r oar ed " Amen! "
And J osephi ne coul d f eel t he f l ame l i cki ng at her f ace and t he
Rever end Dami an yel l ed out , " Hel p t hi s si nner exor ci se t he
Devi l , 0 God. We wi l l pr ay hi mout , we wi l l bur n hi mout ,
we wi l l dr own hi mout , " and hands gr abbed J osephi ne, and
her f ace was suddenl y pl unged i nt o a wooden t ub of col d
wat er , and she was hel d under whi l e voi ces chant ed i nt o t he
ni ght ai r , beseechi ng t he Al mi ght y One f or Hi s hel p, and
J osephi ne st r uggl ed t o get l oose, f i ght i ng f or br eat h, and when
t hey f i nal l y pul l ed her out , hal f - consci ous, t he Rever end
Dami an decl ar ed, " We t hank you, sweet J esus, f or your mer cy.
She i s saved! She i s saved! " And t her e was gr eat r ej oi ci ng, and
ever yone was r ai sed i n spi r i t . Except J osephi ne, whose headaches
became wor se.
82
10
" I ' ve got t en you a booki ng i n Las Vegas, " Cl i f t on Lawi ce
t ol d Toby. " I ' ve ar r anged f or Di ck Landr y t o wor k on
ur act . He' s di e best ni ght cl ub di r ect or i n t he busi ness. "
" Fant ast i c! Whi ch hot el ? The Fl ami ngo? The Thunder -
d?"
" The Oasi s. "
" The Oasi s) " Toby l ooked at Cl i f f t o see i f he was
ang. " I never - - "
. " I know. " Cl i f f smi l ed. " You never hear d of i t . Fai r
enough. They never hear d of you. They' r e r eal l y not booki ng
u- - t hey' r e booki ng me. They' r e t aki ng my wor d t hat
u' r e good. "
" Don' t wor r y, " Toby pr omi sed. " I wi l l be. "
Toby br oke t he news t o Al i ce Tanner about hi s Las
; gas booki ng j ust bef or e he was t o l eave. " I know you' r e
j ug t o be a bi g st ar , " she sai d. " I t ' s your t i me. They' l l
pr e you, dar l i ng. " She hugged hi mand sai d, " When do we
t vc, and what do I wear t o t he openi ng ni ght of a young
mi c geni us?"
j , Toby shook hi s head r uef ul l y. " I wi sh I coul d t ake you,
He. The t r oubl e i s I ' l l be wor ki ng ni ght and day t hi nki ng
a l ot of new mat er i al . "
She t r i ed t o conceal her di sappoi nt ment . " I under st and. "
i t hel d hi mt i ght er . " How l ong wi l l you be gone?"
a " I don' t know: yet . You see, i t ' s ki nd of an open booki ng. "
She f el t a smal l st ab of wor r y, but she knew t hat she was
bei ng si l l y. " Cal l me t he moment you can, " she sai d.
Toby ki ssed her and danced out t he door .
I t was as mough Las Vegas, Nevada, had been cr eat ed
f or t he sol e pl easur e of Toby Templ e. He f el t i t t he moment
he saw t he t own. I t had a mar vel ous ki net i c ener gy t hat he
r esponded t o, a pul sat i ng power t hat mat ched t he power
bur ni ng i nsi de hi m. Toby f l ew i n wi t h O' Hanl on and Rai nger ,
and when t hey ar r i ved at t he ai r por t , a l i mousi ne f r omt he
Oasi s Hot el was wai t i ng f or t hem. I t was Toby' s f i r st t ast e
of t he wonder f ul wor l d t hat was soon t o be hi s. He enj oyed
l eani ng back i n t he huge car and havi ng t he chauf f eur ask,
" Di d you have a ni ce f l i ght , Mr . Templ e?"
/ / was al ways t he l i t t l e peopl e who coul d smel l a success
even bef or e i t happened, Toby t hought .
" I t was t he usual bor e, " Toby sai d car el essl y. He caught
t he smi l e t hat O' Hanl on and Rai nger exchanged, and he
gr i r i Th' d back at t hem. He f el t ver y cl ose t o t hem. They wer e
al l a f am, t he best god damned t eami n show busi ness.
The Oasi s was of f t he gl amor ous St r i p, f ar r emoved f r om
t he mor e f amous hot el s. As t he l i mousi ne appr oached t he
hot el , Toby saw t hat i t was not as l ar ge or as f ancy as t r i e
Fl ami ngo or t he Thunder bi r d, but i t had somet hi ng bet t er ,
much bet t er . I t had a gi ant mar quee i n f r ont t hat r ead:
OPENI NG SEPT. 4TH
LI LI WALLACE
TOBY TEMPLE
Toby' s name was i n dazzl i ng l et t er s t hat seemed a hundr ed
f eet hi gh. No si ght was as beaut i f ul as t hi s i n t he whol e
god damned wor l d.
" Look at t hat ! " he sai d i n awe.
O' Hanl on gl anced at t he si gn and sai d, " Yeah! How
about t hat ? Li l i Wal l ace! " And he l aughed. " Don' t wor r y,
Toby. Af t er t he openi ng you' l l be on t op of her . "
The manager of t he Oasi s, a mi ddl e- aged, sal l ow- f aced
man named Par ker , gr eet ed Toby and per sonal l y escor t ed
hi mt o hi s sui t e, f awni ng al l t he way. " I can' t t el l you how
84
pl eased we ar e t o have you wi t h us, Mr . Templ e. I f t her e' s
a anyt hi ng at al l you need- - anyt hi ng- - j ust gi ve me a cal l . "
! Sg The wel come, Toby r eal i zed, was f or Cl i f t on Lawr ence.
' I SThi s was di e f i r st t i me t he f abul ous agent had dei gned t o book
s' l i eoe of hi ( > cl i ent s i nt o t hi s hot el . The manager of t he Oasi s
^I t oped t hat now t he hot el woul d get some of Lawr ence' s
f ef cal l y bi g st ar s.
he The sui t e was enor mous. I t consi st ed of t hr ee bedr ooms,
I J i f l , l ar ge l i vi ng r oom, a ki t chen, a bar and a t er r ace. On a t abl e
i l i a t he l i vi ng r oomwer e bot t l es of assor t ed l i quor s, f l ower s
l l j l and a l ar ge bowl of f r esh f r ui t and cheeses, compl i ment s of
' Sj l i t he management .
l l f - ! " I hope t hi s wi l l be sat i sf act or y, Mr . Templ e, " Par ker
Ul sai d.
&, Toby l ooked ar ound and t hought of al l t he dr ear y l i t t l e
" f ecockr oach- r i dden f l eabag hot el r ooms he had h' i - ; ; d i n. " Yeah.
" " | f s okay. "
" Mr . Landr y checked i n an hour ago. I ' ve ar r anged t o
t he Mi r age Roomf or your r ehear sal at t hr ee o' cl ock. "
" Thanks. "
" Remember , i f t her e' s anyt hi ng at al l you need - - " And
i e manager bowed hi msel f out .
Toby st ood t her e, savor i ng hi s sur r oundi ngs. He was
: g t o l i ve i n pl aces l i ke t hi s f or t he r est of hi s l i f e. He
I d have i t al l - - t he br oads, t he money, t he appl ause.
I BMost l y t he appl ause. Peopl e si t t i ng out t her e l aughi ng and
; g| j t heer i ng and l ovi ng hi m. That was hi s f ood and dr i nk. He
^di d not need anyt hi ng el se.
I S1
' S^s- Di ck Landr y was i n hi s l at e t went i es, a sl i ght , t hi n man
A^wi t h an al opeci an head and l ong, gr acef ul l egs. He had st ar t ed
^aut as a gypsy on Br oadway and had gr aduat ed f r omt he
i t ' l pehor us t o l ead dancer t o chor eogr apher t o di r ect or . Landr y
' K' i had t ast e and a sense of what an audi ence want ed. He coul d
r i f Aot make a bad act good, but he coul d make i t l ook good,
' ^VDd i f he was gi ven a good act , he coul d make i t sensat i onal .
^ Unt i l t en days ago, Landr y had never hear d of Toby Templ e,
3<i 8nd t he onl y r eason Landr y had cut i nt o hi s f r ant i c schedul e
I J SBB come t o Las Vegas and st age Templ e' s act was because
85
Toby dr opped hi s spoon. " A t housand a week? That ' s
f ant ast i c. Cl i f f ! "
" And I ' ve had a coupl e of f eel er s f r omt he Thunder bi r d
and t he El Rancho Hot el . "
" Al r eady?" Toby asked, el at ed.
" Don' t wet your pant s. I t ' s j ust t o pl ay t he l ounge. " He
smi l ed. " I t ' s t he ol d st or y, Toby. To me you' r e a headl i ner ,
and t o you you' r e a headl i ner - - but t o a headl i ner , ar e you a
headl i ner ?" He st ood up. " I have t o cat ch a pl ane t o New
Yor k. I ' mf l yi ng t o London t omor r ow. "
" London? When wi l l you be back?"
" I n a f ew weeks. " Cl i f t on l eaned f or war d and sai d, " Li st en
t o me, dear boy. You have t wo mor e weeks her e. Tr eat i t
l i ke a school . Ever y ni ght you' r e up on t hat st age, I want you
t o f i gur e out how you can be bet t er . I ' ve per suaded O' Hanl on
and Rai nger not t o l eave. They' r e wi l l i ng t o wor k wi t h you
day and ni ght . Use t hem. Landr y wi l l come back weekends
t o see how ever yt hi ng i s goi ng. "
" Ri ght , " Toby sai d. " Thanks, Cl i f f . "
" Oh, I al most f or got , " Cl i f t on Lawr ence sai d casual l y.
He pul l ed a smal l package f r omhi s pocket and handed i t t o
Toby.
I nsi de was a pai r of beaut i f ul di amond cuf f l i nks. They
wer e i n t he shape of a st ar .
Whenever Toby had some f r ee t i me, he r el axed ar ound
t he l ar ge swi mmi ng pool at t he back of t he hot el . Ther e wer e
t went y- f i ve gi r l s i n t he show and t her e wer e al ways a dozen
or so f r omt he chor us l i ne i n bat hi ng sui t s, sunni ng t hemsel ves.
They appear ed i n t he hot noon ai r l i ke l at e- bl oomi ng
f l ower s, one mor e beaut i f ul t han t he next . Toby had never
had t r oubl e get t i ng gi r l s, but what happened t o hi mnow
was a t ot al l y new exper i ence. The showgi r l s had never hear d
of Toby Templ e bef or e, but hi s name was up i n l i ght s on t he
mar quee. That was enough. He was a St ar , and t hey f ought
each ot her f or t he pr i vi l ege of goi ng t o bed wi t h hi m.
The next t wo weeks wer e mar vel ous f or Toby. He woul d
wake up ar ound noon, have br eakf ast i n t he di ni ng r oom
88
er e he was kept busy si gni ng aut ogr aphs and t hen r ehear se
an hour or t wo. Af t er war d, he woul d pi ck one or t wo
t he l ong- l egged beaut i es ar ound t he pool and t hey woul d
up t o hi s sui t e f or an af t er noon r omp i n bed.
And Toby l ear ned somet hi ng new. Because of t he
mpy cost umes t he gi r l s wor e, t hey had t o get r i d of t hei r
i ) i c hai r . But t hey waxed i t i n such a way t hat onl y a cur l y
i p of hai r was l ef t i n t he cent er of t he mound, maki ng t he
: ni ng mor e avai l abl e.
" I t ' s l i ke an aphr odi si ac, " one of t he gi r l s conf i ded t o
by. " A f ew hour s i n a pai r of t i ght pant s and a gi r l becomes
havi ng nymphomani ac. "
Toby di d not bot her t o l ear n any of t hei r names. They
r e al l " baby" or " honey" , and t hey became a mar vel ous,
i suous bl ur of t hi ghs and l i ps and eager bodi es.
Dur i ng t he f i nal week of Toby' s engagement at t he
si s, he had a vi si t or . Toby had f i ni shed t he f i r st show and
5 i n hi s dr essi ng r oom, cr eami ng of f hi s makeup, when
di ni ng r oomcapt ai n opened t he door and sai d i n hushed
i es, " Mr . Al Car uso woul d l i ke you t o j oi n hi s t abl e. "
Al Car uso was one of t he bi g names i n Las Vegas. He
ned one hot el out r i ght , and i t was r umor ed t hat he had
ht s i n t wo or t hr ee ot her s. I t was al so r umor ed t hat he
i mob connect i ons, bur t hat was no concer n of Toby' s.
i at was i mpor t ant was t hat i f Al Car uso l i ked hi m, Toby
l i d get booki ngs i n Las Vegas f or t he r est of hi s l i f e. He
r r i edl y f i ni shed dr essi ng and went i nt o t he di ni ng r oomt o
et Car uso.
Al Car uso was a shor t man i n hi s f i f t i es wi t h gr ay hai r ,
nkl i ng, sof t br own eyes and a l i t t l e paunch. He r emi nded
by of a mi ni at ur e Sant a Cl aus. As Toby came up t o t he
I e, Car uso r ose, hel d out hi s hand, smi l ed war ml y and
i , " Al Car uso. J ust want ed t o t el l you what I t hi nk of
, Toby. Pul l up a chai r . "
Ther e wer e t wo ot her men at Car uso' s t abl e, dr essed i n
k sui t s. They wer e bot h bur l y, si pped Coca- Col as and di d
t say a wor d dur i ng t he ent i r e meet i ng. Toby never l ear ned
i r names. Toby usual l y had hi s di nner af t er t he f i r st show.
was r avenous now, but Car uso had obvi ousl y j ust f i ni shed
89
ear i ng, and Toby di d not want t o appear t o be mor e i nt er est ed
i n f ood t han i n hi s meet i ng wi t h t he gr eat man.
" I ' mi mpr essed wi t h you, ki d, " Car uso sai d. " Real i mpr essed. "
And he beamed at Toby wi t h t hose mi schi evous
br own eyes.
" Thanks, Mr . Car uso, " Toby sai d happi l y. " That means
a l ot t o me. "
" Cal l me Al . "
" Yes, si r - - Al . "
" You got a f ut ur e, Toby. I ' ve seen ' emcome and I ' ve
seen ' emgo. But t he ones wi t h t al ent l ast a l ong t i me. You
got t al ent . "
Toby coul d f eel a pl easant war mt h suf f usi ng hi s body.
He f l eet i ngl y debat ed whet her t o t el l Al Car uso t o di scuss
busi ness wi t h Cl i f t on Lawr ence; but Toby deci ded i t mi ght
be bet t er i f he made t he deal hi msel f . I f Car uso i s t hi s exci t ed
about me, Toby t hought , I can make a bet t er deal t han Cl i f f .
Toby dedded he woul d l et Al Car uso make t he f i r st of f er
and t hen he woul d do some har d bar gai ni ng.
" I al most wet my pant s, " Car uso was t el l i ng hi m. " That
monkey r out i ne of your s i s t he r unni est t hi ng I ever
hear d. "
" Comi ng f r omyou, t hat ' s a r eal compl i ment , " Toby
sai d wi t h si ncer i t y.
The l i t t l e Sant a Cl aus eyes wer e f i l l ed wi t h t ear s of
l aught er . He t ook out a whi t e si l k handker chi ef and wi ped
t hemaway. He t ur ned t o hi s t wo escor t s. " Di d I say he' s a
f unny man?"
The t wo men nodded.
Al Car uso t ur ned back t o Toby. " Tel l you why I came
t o see you, Toby. "
Thi s was t he magi cal moment , hi s ent r ance i nt o t he bi g
t i me. Cl i f t on Lawr ence was of f i n Eur ope somewher e, maki ng
deal s f or has- been cl i ent s when he shoul d have been her e
maki ng t hi s deal . Wel l , Lawr ence woul d have a r eal sur pr i se
i n st or e f or hi mwhen he r et ur ned.
Toby l eaned f or war d and sai d, smi l i ng engagi ngl y, " I ' m
l i st eni ng, Al . "
" Mi l l i e l oves you. "
90
Toby bl i nked, sur e t hat he had mi ssed somet hi ng. The
man was wat chi ng hi m, hi s eyes t wi nkl i ng.
" I - - I ' msor r y, " Toby sai d, i n conf usi on. " What di d you
i "
Al Car uso smi l ed war ml y. " Mi l l i e l oves you. She t ol d
Mi l l i e? Coul d t hat be Car uso' s wi f e? Hi s daught er ? Toby
t ed t o speak, but Al Car uso i nt er r upt ed.
" She' s a gr eat ki d. I been keepi n' her f or t hr ee, f our
. " He t ur ned t o t he ot her t wo men. " Four year s?"
They nodded.
Al Car uso t ur ned back t o Toby. " I l ove t hat gi r l , Toby.
r eal l y cr azy about her . "
Toby coul d f eel t he bl ood begi nni ng t o dr ai n f r omhi s
t " Mr . Car uso- - "
Al Car uso sai d, " Mi l l i e and me got a deal . I don' t cheat
i cr except wi t h my wi f e, and she don' t cheat on me unl ess
t dl s me. " He beamed at Toby, and t hi s t i me Toby saw
et hi ng beyond t he cher ubi c smi l e t hat t ur ned hi s bl ood
e.
" Mr . Car uso- - "
" You know somet hi ng' , Toby? You' r e t he f i r st guy she
^cheat ed on me wi t h. " He t ur ned t o t he t wo men at t he
f c " I s t hat t he honest t r ut h?"
They nodded.
When Toby spoke, hi s voi ce was t r embl i ng. " I - - I swear
t od I di dn' t know Mi l l i e was your gi r l f r i end. I f I had even
wi ed i t , I woul dn' t have t ouched her . I woul dn' t have
e wi t hi n a mi l e of her , Mr . Car uso - - "
The Sant a Cl aus beamed at hi m. " Al . Cal l me Al . "
t " Al . " I t came out as a cr oak. Toby coul d f eel t he per - at i on r unni ng down under
hi s ar ms. " Look, Al , " he sai d.
I - - I ' l l never see her agai n. Ever . Bel i eve me, I - - "
Car uso was st ar i ng at hi m. " Hey! I don' t t hi nk you wer e
f ang t o me. "
Toby swal l owed. " Yes. Yes, I was. I hear d ever y wor d
sai d. And you don' t ever have t o wor r y about - - "
" I sai d t he ki d l oves you. I f she want s you, t hen I want
t o have you. I want her t o be happy. Under st and?"
down Toby' s back. But i t was al l r i ght . Car uso was beami ng
and sayi ng, " You wer e gr eat t oni ght , Toby, r eal l y gr eat . "
Toby began t o r el ax. " I t was a good audi ence. "
Car uso' s br own eyes t wi nkl ed and he sai d, " You made
t hema good audi ence, Toby. I t ol d you - - you got t al ent . "
" Thanks, Al . " He wi shed t hey woul d al l l eave, so he
coul d be on hi s way.
" You wor k har d, " Al Car uso sai d. He t ur ned t o hi s
t wo l i eut enant s. " Di d I say I never seen nobody wor k so
har d?"
The t wo men nodded.
Car uso t ur ned back t o Toby. " Hey- - Mi l l i e was ki nda
upset you di dn' t cal l her . I t ol d her i t was because you was
wor ki n' so har d. "
" That ' s r i ght , " Toby sai d qui ckl y. " I ' mgl ad you under st and.
Al . "
Al smi l ed beni gnl y. " Sur e. But you know what I don' t
under st and? You di dn' t cal l t o f i nd out what t i me t he weddi ng
i s. "
" I was goi ng t o cal l i n t he mor ni ng. "
Al Car uso l aughed and sai d chi di ngl y, " Fr omL. A. ?"
Toby f el t a smal l pang of anxi et y. " What ar e you t al ki ng
about , Al ?"
Car uso r egar ded hi mr epr oachf ul l y. " You got your sui t cases
al l packed i n t her e. " He pi nched Toby' s cheek pl ayf ul l y.
" I t ol d you I ' d ki l l anyone who hur t Mi l l i e. "
" Wai t a mi nut e! Honest t o God, I wasn' t - - "
" You' r e a good ki d, but you' r e st upi d, Toby. I guess
t hat ' s par t of bei ng' a geni us, huh?"
Toby st ar ed at t he chubby, beami ng count enance, not
knowi ng what t o say.
" You got t a bel i eve me, " Al Car uso sai d war ml y, " I ' m
your f r i end. I wanna make sur e nof hi n' bad happens t o you.
For Mi l l i e' s sake. But i f you won' t l i st en t o me, what can I
do? You know how you get a mul e t o pay at t ent i on?"
Toby shook hi s head dumbl y.
" Fi r st , you hi t i t over t he head wi t h a t wo- by- f our . "
Toby f el t f ear r i si ng i n hi s t hr oat .
" Whi ch i s your good ar m?" Car uso asked.
94
' My - - my r i ght one, " Toby mumbl ed.
Car uso nodded geni al l y and f umed t o t he t wo men. " Br eak
e sai d.
Fr omout of nowher e, a t i r e i r on appear ed i n t he hands
i e of t he men. The t wo of t hembegan cl osi ng i n on
. The r i ver of f ear became a sudden f l ood t hat made
hol e body shake.
' For Chr i st ' s sake, " Toby hear d hi msel f say, i nanel y.
can' t do t hi s. "
One of t he men hi t hi mhar d i n t he st omach. I n t he next
d, Toby f el t excr uci at i ng pai n as t he t i r e i r on sl ammed
st hi s r i ght ar m, shat t er i ng bones. He f el l t o t he f l oor i ng i n an unbear abl e
agony. He t r i ed t o scr eam, but he
1 not cat ch hi s br eat h. Thr ough t ear - f i l l ed eyes, he l ooked
ad saw Al Car uso st andi ng over hi m, smi l i ng.
" Have I got your at t ent i on?" Car uso asked sof t l y.
Toby nodded, i n t or ment .
" Good, " Car uso sai d. He t ur ned t o one of t he men.
; n up hi s pant s. "
The man l eaned down and unzi pped Toby' s f l y. He t ook
ar e i r on and f l i cked out Toby' s peni s.
Car uso st ood Acr e a moment , l ooki ng down at i t . " You' r e
ky man, Toby. You' r e r eal l y hung. "
Toby was f i l l ed wi t h a dr ead such as he had never known.
, God . . . pl ease . . . don' t . . . don' t do i t t o me, " he
sed.
" I woul dn' t hur t you, " Car uso t ol d hi m" As l ong as
r e good t o Mi l l i e, you' r e my f r i end. I f she ever t el l s me
di d anyt hi ng t o hur t her - - anyt hi ng- - you under st and
" He nudged Toby' s br oken ar mwi t h &e t oe of hi s shoe
Toby scr eamed al oud. " I ' mgl ad we under st and each
r , " Car uso beamed. " The weddi ng i s at one o' cl ock. "
Car uso' s voi ce was f adi ng i n and out as Toby f el t hi msel f
r i ng i nt o unconsci ousness. But he knew he had t o hang on.
can' t , " he whi mper ed. " My ar m. . . "
" Don' t wor r y about t hat , " AI Car uso sai d. " Ther e' s a doc
us way up t o t ake car e of you. He' s gonna set your ar m
gi ve you some st uf f so you won' t f eel no pai n. The boys
be her e t omor r ow t o pi ck you up. You be r eady, huh?"
Toby l ay t her e i n a ni ght mar e of agony, st ar i ng up at
Sant a Cl aus' s smi l i ng f ace, unabl e t o bel i eve t hat any of t hi s
was r eal l y happeni ng. He saw Car uso' s f oot movi ng t owar d hi s
ar magai n.
" S - - sur e, " Toby moaned. " I ' l l be r eady. . . "
And he l ost consci ousness.
96
I I
The weddi ng, a gal a event , was hel d i n t he bal l r oomof
Mor occo Hot el . I t seemed t hat hal f of Las Vegas was
?. Ther e wer e ent er t ai ner s and owner s f r omal l t he ot her
ds and showgi r l s and, i n t he cent er of i t al l , Al Car uso
i a coupl e dozen of hi s f r i ends, qui et , conser vat i vel y dr essed
, most of whom di d not dr i nk. Ther e wer e l avi sh ar r ange- i t s of Sower s
ever ywher e, st r ol l i ng musi ci ans, a gar gant uan
Eet and t wo f ount ai ns t hat f l owed champagne. Al Car uso
t aken car e of ever yt hi ng.
Ever yone sympat hi zed wi t h t he gr oom, whose ar mwas
i cast as a r esul t of an acci dent al f al l down some st ai r s. But
f al l comment ed on what a mar vel ous- l ooki ng coupl e t he
I e and gr oommade and what a wonder f ul weddi ng i t was.
Toby had been i n such a daze f r omt he opi at es t hat t he
t or had gi ven hi mt hat he had wal ked t hr ough t he cer emony
ost obl i vi ous t o what was goi ng on. Then, as t he dr ugs
an t o wear of f and t he pai n began t o t ake hol d agai n, t he
er and hat e f l ooded back i nt o hi m. He want ed t o scr eam
t o ever yone i n t he r oomt he unspeakabl e humi l i at i on t hat
been f or ced upon hi m.
Toby t ur ned t o l ook at hi s br i de acr oss t he r oom. He
ember ed Mi l l i e now. She was a pr et t y gi r l i n her t went i es,
x honey- bl onde hai r and a good f i gur e. Toby r ecal l ed t hat
had l aughed l ouder t han t he ot her s at hi s st or i es and had
wed hi mar ound. Somet hi ng el se came back t o hi mt oo.
I was one of t he f ew who had r ef used t o go t o bed wi t h
hi m, whi ch had onl y ser ved t o whet Toby' s appet i t e. I t was
al l comi ng back t o hi mnow.
" I ' mcr azy about you, " he had sai d. " Don' t you l i ke me?"
" Of cour se I do, " she had r epl i ed. " But I have a boyf r i end. "
Why hadn' t he l i st ened t o her ! I nst ead, he had coaxed
her up t o hi s r oomf or a dr i nk and t hen had st ar t ed t el l i ng her
f unny st or i es. Mi l l i e was l aughi ng so har d t hat she har dl y
not i ced what Toby was doi ng unt i l he had her undr essed and
i n bed.
" Pl ease, Toby, ' ' she had begged. " Don' t . My boyf r i end
wi l l be angr y. "
" For get about hi m. I ' l l t ake car e of t he j er k l at er , " Toby
had sai d. " I ' mgoi ng t o t ake car e of you, now. "
They had had a wi l d ni ght of l ovemaki ng. I n t he mor ni ng,
when Toby had awakened, Mi l l i e was l yi ng besi de hi m, cr yi ng.
I n a benevol ent mood, Toby had t aken her i n hi s ar ms and
sai d, " Hey, baby, what ' s t he mat t er ? Di dn' t you enj oy i t ?"
" You know I di d. But - - "
" Come on, st op t hat , " Toby had sai d. " I l ove you. "
She had pr opped her sel f up on her el bows, l ooked i nt o
hi s eyes and sai d, " Do you r eal l y, Toby? I mean r eal l yV
" Damned r i ght I do. " Al l she needed was what he woul d
gi ve her r i ght now. I t pr oved t o be a r eal cheer er - upper .
She had wat ched hi mr et ur n f r omt he shower , t owel i ng
hi s st i l l wet hai r and hummi ng snat ches of hi s t heme song.
Happy, she had smi l ed and sai d, " I t hi nk I l oved you f r om
t he f i r st moment I saw you, Toby. "
" Hey, t hat ' s wonder f ul . Let ' s or der br eakf ast . "
And t hat had been t he end of t hat . . . . Unt i l now. Because
of a st upi d br oad he had f ucked onl y one ni ght , hi s whol e l i f e
was t ur ned t opsyt ur vy.
Now, Toby st ood t her e, wat chi ng Mi l l i e comi ng t owar d
hi mi n her l ong, whi t e weddi ng gown, smi l i ng at hi m, and
he cur sed hi msel f and he cur sed hi s cock and he cur sed t he
day he was bor n.
I n t he l i mousi ne, t he man i n di e f r ont seat chuckl ed and
98
ai d admi r i ngl y, " I sur e got t a hand i t t o you, boss. The poor
ast ar d never knew what hi t hi m. "
Car uso smi l ed beni gnl y. I t had wor ked out wel l . Ever
I nce hi s wi f e, who had t he t emper of a vi r ago, had f ound out
bout hi s af f ai r wi t h Mi l l i e, Car uso had known t hat he woul d
ave t o f i nd a way t o get r i d of t he bl onde showgi r l .
" Remi nd me t o see t hat he t r eat s Mi l l i e good, " Car uso
l i d sof t l y.
Toby and Mi l l i e moved i nt o a smal l home i n Benedi ct
; anyon. I n t he begi nni ng, Toby spent hour s schemi ng about
ays t o get out of hi s mar r i age. He woul d make Mi l l i e so
l i ser abl e t hat she woul d ask f or a di vor ce. Or he woul d f r ame
er wi t h anot her guy and t hen demand a di vor ce. Or he woul d
mpl y l eave her and def y Car uso t o do somet hi ng about i t .
ut he changed hi s mi nd af t er a t al k wi t h Di ck Landr y, t he
[ r ect or .
They wer e havi ng l unch at t he Bel Ai r Hot el a f ew weeks
' l er t he weddi ng, and Landr y asked, " How wel l do you r eal l y
now AI Car uso?"
Toby l ooked at hi m. " Why ? "
" Don' t get mi xed up wi t h hi m, Toby. He' s a ki l l er . I ' l l
I I you somet hi ng I know f or a f act . Car uso' s ki d br ot her
t ar r i ed a ni net een- year - ol d gi r l f r esh out of a convent . A
sas l at er , t he ki d caught hi s wi f e i n bed wi t h some guy. He
i l d Al about i t . "
Toby was l i st eni ng, hi s eyes f ast ened on Landr y. " What
i ppened?"
" Car uso' s goons t ook a meat cl eaver and cut of f t he guy' s
ack. They soaked i t i n gasol i ne and set i t on f i r e whi l e t he
?y wat ched. Then t hey l ef t hi mt o bl eed t o deat h. "
Toby r emember ed Car uso sayi ng. Open up hi s pant s, and
we har d hands f umbl i ng ^ hi s r i pper , and Toby br oke out i n
col d sweat . He f el t suddenl y si ck t o hi s st omach. He knew
w wi t h an awf ul cer t ai nt y t hat t her e was no escape.
J osephi ne f ound an escape when she was t en. I t was a
wr t o anot her wor l d wher e she coul d hi de f r omher mot her ' s
mi shment and t he const ant t hr eat of HeU- f i r e and Damnat i on.
/ ( was a wor l d f i l l ed wi t h magi c and beaut y. She woul d
si t i n t he dar kened movi e house hour af t er hour and wat ch t he
gl amor ous peopl e on t he scr een. They al l l i ved i n beaut i f ul
houses and wor e l ovel y cl ot hes, and t hey wer e al l so happy.
And J osephi ne t hought , I wi l l go t o Hol l ywood, one day and
l i ve l i ke t hat . She hoped t hat her mot her woul d under st and.
Her mot her bel i eved t hat movi es wer e t he t hought s of
t he Devi l , so J osephi ne had t o sneak away t o t he t heat er , usi ng money she ear ned
by baby- si t t i ng. The pi ct ur e t hat was pl ayi ng
t oday was a l ove st or y, and J osephi ne l eaned f or war d i n
j oyous ant i ci pat i on as i t began. The cr edi t s came on f i r st . They
r ead, " Pr oduced by SamWi nt er s" .
100
Ther e wer e days when SamWi nt er s f el t as t hough he
sr e r unni ng a l unat i c asyl umi nst ead of a mot i on- pi ct ur e
i di o, and t hat al l t he i nmat es wer e out t o get hi m. Thi s
i s one of t hose days, f or t he cr i ses wer e pi l ed a f oot hi gh.
her e had been anot her f i r e at t he st udi o t he ni ght bef or e- -
e f our t h; t he sponsor of " My Man Fr i day" had been i nsul t ed
t he st ar of t he ser i es and want ed t o cancel t he show; Ber t
r cst one, t he st udi o' s boy- geni us di r ect or , had shut down
educt i on i n t he mi ddl e of a f i ve- mi l l i on- dol l ar pi ct ur e; and
ssi e Br and had wal ked out on a pi ct ur e t hat was schedul ed
st ar t shoot i ng i n a f ew days.
k/ The f i r e mar shal and t he st udi o compt r ol l er wer e i n Sam' s
i ce
" How bad was l ast ni ght ' s f i r e?" Samasked.
The compt r ol l er sai d, " The set s ar e a t ot al l oss, Mr .
j mt er s. We' r e goi ng t o have t o r ebui l d St age Fi f t een comet el y.
Si xt een i s f i xabl e, but i t wi l l t ake us t hr ee mont hs. "
" We haven' t got t hr ee mont hs, " Samsnapped. " Get on
e phone and r ent some space at Gol dwyn. Use t hi s weekend
st ar t bui l di ng new set s. Get ever ybody movi ng. "
He t ur ned t o t he f i r e mar shal , a man named Rei l l y, who
mi nded Samof Geor ge Bancr of t , t he act or .
" Somebody sur e as hel l don' t l i ke you, Mr . Wi nt er s, "
al l y sai d. " Each f i r e has been a dear case of ar son. Have
| l checked on gr unt s?"
Gr unt s wer e di sgr unt l ed empl oyees who had been r ecent l y
cd or f el t t hey had a gr i evance agai nst t hei r empbyer .
" We' ve gone t hr ough al l t he per sonnel f i l es t wi ce, " Sam
r epl i ed. " We haven' t come up wi t h a t hi ng. "
" Whoever i s set t i ng t hese babi es knows exact l y what he' s
doi ng. He' s usi ng a t uni ng devi ce at t ached t o a homemade
i ncendi ar y. He coul d be an el ect r i ci an or a mechani c. "
" Thanks, " Samsai d. " I ' l l pass t hat on. "
" Roger Tapp i s cal l i ng f r omTahi t i . "
" Put hi mon, " Samsai d. Tapp was t he pr oducer of " My
Man Fr i day" , t he t el evi si on ser i es bei ng shot i n Tahi t i , st ar r i ng
Tony Fl et cher .
" What ' s t he pr obl em?" Samasked.
" You won' t f ucki ng bel i eve t hi s, Sam. Phi l i p Hel l er , t he
chai r man of t he boar d of t he company t hat ' s sponsor i ng t he
show, i s vi si t i ng her e wi t h hi s f ami l y. They wal ked on t he set
yest er day af t er noon, and Tony Fl et cher was i n t he mi ddl e of a
scene. He t ur ned t o t hemand i nsul t ed t hem. "
" What di d he say?"
" He t ol d t hemt o get of f hi s i sl and. "
" J esus Chr i st ! "
" That ' s who he t hi nks he i s. Hel l er ' s so mad he want s t o
cancel t he ser i es. "
" Get over t o Hel l er and apol ogi ze. Do i t r i ght now. Tel l
hi mTony Fl et cher ' s havi ng a ner vous br eakdown. Send Mr s.
Hel l er f l ower s, t ake t hemt o di nner . I ' l l t al k t o Tony Fl et cher
mysel f . "
The conver sat i on l ast ed t hi r t y mi nut es. I t began wi t h Sam
sayi ng, " Hear t hi s, you st upi d cock sucker . . . " and ended wi t h,
" I l ove you, t oo, baby. I ' l l f l y over t her e t o see you as soon as
I can get away. And f or God' s sake, Tony, don' t l ay Mr s.
Hel l er ! "
The next pr obl emwas Ber t Fi r est one, t he boy- geni us
di r ect or who was br eaki ng Pan- Paci f i c St udi os. Fi r est one' s
pi ct ur e, Ther e' s Al ways Tomor r ow, had been shoot i ng f or a
hundr ed and t en days, and was mor e t han a mi l l i on dol l ar s
over budget . Now Ber t Fi r est one had shut t he pr oduct i on
down, whi ch meant t hat , besi des t he st ar s, t her e wer e a
102
hundr ed and f i f t y ext r as si t t i ng ar ound on t hei r asses doi ng
not hi ng. Ber t Fi r est one. A t hi r t y- year - ol d whi z ki d who came
f r omdi r ect i ng pr i ze- wi nni ng t el evi si on shows at a Chi cago
st at i on t o di r ect i ng movi es i n Hol l ywood. Fi r est one' s f i r st t hr ee
' mot i on pi ct ur es had been mi l d successes, but hi s f our t h one
. had been a box- of f i ce smash. On t he basi s of t hat money| maker , he had become a
hot pr oper t y. Samr emember ed hi s
f i r st meet i ng wi t h hi m. Fi r est one l ooked a not - yet r eady- t o- shave f i f t een. He
was a pal e, shy man wi t h bl ack hor ned- r i mmed
gl asses t hat conceal ed t i ny, myopi c pi nk eyes. Samhad f el t
} sor r y f or t he ki d. Fi r est one had not known anyone i n Hol l y-
; wood, so Samhad gone out of hi s way t o have hi mt o di nner
i and t o see t hat he was i nvi t ed t o par t i es. When t hey had f i r st
J di scussed Ther e' s Al ways Tomor r ow, Fi r est one was ver y
Sr espect f ul . He t ol d Samt hat he was eager t o l ear n. He hung
' on ever y wor d t hat Samsai d. He coul d not have agr eed mor e
J wi t h Sam. I f he wer e si gned f or t hi s pi ct ur e, he t ol d Sam, he
j woul d cer t ai nl y l ean heavi l y on Mr . Wi nt er s' s exper t i se.
t That was bef or e Fi r est one si gned t he cont r act . Af t er he
l ai gned i t , he made Adol f Hi t l er l ook l i ke Al ber t Schwei t zer .
| The l i t t l e appl e- cheeked ki d t ur ned i nt o a ki l l er over ni ght .
| | Ke cut of f al l communi cat i on. He compl et el y i gnor ed Sam' s
t oast i ng suggest i ons, i nsi st ed on t ot al l y r ewr i t i ng a f i ne scr i pt
| t f aat Samhad appr oved, and he changed most of t he shoot i ng
| t ocal es t hat had al r eady been agr eed upon. Samhad want ed
| o t hr ow hi mof f t he pi ct ur e, but t he New Yor k of f i ce had t ol d
I Bo- - . ^ pat i ent . Rudol ph Her ger shor n, t he pr esi dent of
i pany, was hypnot i zed by t he enor mous gr osses on
l e' s l ast movi e. So Samhad been f or ced t o si t t i ght
not hi ng. I t seemed t o hi mt hat Fi r est one' s ar r ogance
l y by day. He woul d si t qui et l y t hr ough a pr oduct i on
, and when al l t he exper i enced depar t ment heads had
speaki ng, Fi r est one woul d begi n choppi ng down ever yn
gr i t t ed hi s t eet h and bor e i t . I n no t i me at al l . Fi r equi r ed
t he ni ckname of t he Emper or , and when hi s
r s wer e not cal l i ng hi mt hat , t hey r ef er r ed t o hi mas
ck f r omChi cago. Somebody sai d about hi m, " He' s a
i r odi t e. He t ul d pr obabl y f uck hi msel f and gi ve bi r t h
- headed monst er . "
l ^cm, i n t he mi ddl e of shoot i ng, Fi r cst one had cl osed
down t he company.
Samwent over t o see Devl i n Kel l y, t he head of t he ar t
depar t ment . " Gi ve i t t o me f ast , " Samsai d.
" Ri ght . Ki d Pr i ck or der ed - - "
" Cut t hat out . I t ' s Mr . Fi r est one. "
" Sor r y. Mr . Fi r est one asked me t o bui l d a cast l e set f or
hi m. He dr ew t he sket ches hi msel f . You okayed t hem. "
" They wer e good. What happened ? "
" What happened was t hat we bui l t hi mexact l y what t he
l i t t l e - - what he want ed, and when he t ook a l ook at i t yest er day,
he deci ded he di dn' t want i t anymor e. A hal f - mi l l i on
bucks down t he - - "
" I ' l l t al k t o hi m, " Samsai d.
Ber t Fi r est one was out si de, i n back of St age Twent yt hr ee,
pl ayi ng basket bal l wi t h t he cr ew. They had r i gged up
a cour t and had pai nt ed i n boundar y l i nes and put up t wo
basket s.
Samst ood t her e, wat chi ng a moment . The game was
cost i ng t he st udi o t wo t housand dol l ar s an hour . " Ber t ! "
Fi r est one t ur ned, saw Sam, smi l ed and waved. The bal l
came t o hi m, he dr i bbl ed i t , f ei nt ed, and sank a basket . Then
he st r ol l ed over t o Sam. " How ar e t hi ngs?" As t hough not hi ng
wer e wr ong.
As Saml ooked at t he boyi sh, smi l i ng young f ace, i t
occur r ed t o hi mt hat Ber t Fi r est one was a psycho. Tal ent ed,
maybe even a geni us, but a cer t i f i abl e l unat i c. And f i ve mi l l i on
dol l ar s of t he company' s money was i n hi s hands.
" I hear t her e' s a pr obl em wi t h t he new set , " Sam sai d. " Let ' s st r ai ght en i t
out . "
Ber t Fi r est one smi l ed l azi l y and sai d, " Ther e' s not hi ng
t o st r ai ght en out , Sam. The set won' t wor k. "
Samexpl oded. " What t he hel l ar e you t al ki ng about ?
We gave you exact l y what you or der ed. You di d t he sket ches
your sel f . Now you t el l me what ' s wr ong wi t h i t ! "
Fi r est one l ooked at hi mand bl i nked. " Why, t her e' s
not hi ng wr ong wi t h i t . I t ' s j ust t hat I ' ve changed my mi nd.
I don' t want a cast l e. I ' ve deci ded t hat ' s not t he r i ght ambi ence.
104
Do you know what I mean? Ti ns i s El l en and Mi ke' s f ar ewel l
gcene. I ' d l i ke t o have El l en come t o vi si t Mi ke on t he deck
<r f hi s shi p as he' s get t i ng r eady t o sai l . "
%~ Samst ar ed at hi m. " We don' t have a shi p set , Ber t . "
; Ber t Fi r est one st r et ched hi s ar ms and smi l ed l azi l y and
| ai d, " Bui l d one f or me, Sam. "
{; *
" Sur e, I ' mpi ssed of f , t oo, " Rudol ph Her ger shomsai d,
^ver t he l ong- di st ance l i ne, " but you can' t r epl ace hi m, Sam.
We' t e i n t oo deep now. We have no st ar s i n t he pi ct ur e. Ber t
Fi r est one' s our st ar . "
^ " Do you know how f ar over t he budget he' s - - ?"
[ " I know. And l i ke Gol dwyn sai d, ' I ' l l never use t he son
af a bi t ch agai n, unt i l I need hi m. ' We need hi mt o f i ni sh t hi s
I ct ur e. "
F1" " I t ' s a mi st ake, " Samar gued. " He shoul dn' t be al l owed
| | 0 get away wi t h t hi s. "
r " Sam- - do you l i ke t he st uf f Fi r est one has shot so f ar ?"
s Samhad t o be honest . " I t ' s gr eat . "
f ' " Bui l d hi mhi s shi p. "
^The set was r eady i n t en days, and Ber t Fi r est one put
Ther e' s Al ways Tomor r ow company back i nt o pr oduct i on.
umed out t o be t he t op gr osser of t he year .
( ; The next pr obl emwas Tessi e Br and.
' Tessi e was t he hot t est si nger i n show busi ness. I t had
been a coup when SamWi nt er s had managed t o si gn her t o
<t t hr ee- pi ct ur e deal at Pan- Paci f i c St udi os. Whi l e t he ot her
I t udi os wer e negot i at i ng wi t h Tessi e' s agent s, Samhad qui et l y
t own t o New Yor k, seen Tessi e' s show and t aken her out t o
t opper af t er war d. The supper had l ast ed unt i l seven o' cl ock
t he f ol l owi ng mor ni ng.
Tessi e Br and was one of t he ugl i est gi r l s Samhad ever
Seen, and pr obabl y t he most t al ent ed. I t was t he t al ent t hat
won out . The daught er of a Br ookl yn t ai l or , Tessi e had never
had a si ngi ng l esson i n her l i f e. But when she wal ked ont o a
st age and began bel t i ng out a song i n a voi ce t hat r ocked t he
r af t er s, audi ences went wi l d. Tessi e had been an under st udy
i n a f l op Br oadway musi cal t hat had l ast ed onl y si x weeks.
On cl osi ng ni ght , t he i ngenue made t he mi st ake of phoni ng i n
si ck and st ayi ng home. Tessi e Br and made her debut t hat
eveni ng, si ngi ng her hear t out t o t he spr i nkl i ng of peopl e i n
t he audi ence. Among t hemhappened t o be Paul Var r i ck, a
Br oadway pr oducer . He st ar r ed Tessi e i n hi s next musi cal .
She t ur ned t he show, whi ch was f ai r , i nt o a smash. The cr i t i cs
r an out of super l at i ves t r yi ng t o descr i be t he i ncr edi bl e, ugl y
Tessi e and her amazi ng voi ce. She r ecor ded her f i r st si ngl e
r ecor d. Over ni ght i t became number one. She di d an al bum,
and i t sol d t wo mi l l i on copi es i n t he f i r st mont h. She was
Queen Mi das, f or ever yt hi ng she t ouched t ur ned t o gol d.
Br oadway pr oducer s and r ecor d compani es wer e maki ng t hei r
f or t unes wi t h Tessi e Br and, and Hol l ywood want ed i n on t he
act i on. Thei r ent husi asmdi mmed when t hey got a l ook at
Tessi e' s f ace, but her box- of f i ce f i gur es gave her an i r r esi st i bl e
beaut y.
Af t er spendi ag f i ve mi nut es wi t h her , Samknew how he
was goi ng t o haadl e her .
" What makes me ner vous, " Tessi e conf essed t o Samt he
f i r st ni ght t hey met , " i s how I ' mgonna l ook on t hat gr eat bi g
scr ee" . I ' mugl y enough l i f e- si zed, r i ght ? Al l t he- st udi os t el l
ar e i hey can make me l ook beaut i f ul , but I t hi nk t hat ' s a l oad
of hor se shi t . "
" I t i s a l oad of hor se shi t , " Samsai d. Tessi e l ooked at
hi mi n sur pr i se. " Don' t l et anyone t r y t o change you, Tessi e.
They' l l r ui n you. "
" Yeah?"
" When MGM si gned Danny Thomas, Loui e Mayer
want ed hi mt o get a nose j ob. I nst ead, Danny qui t t he st udi o.
He knew t hat what he had t o sel l was hi msel f . That ' s' v/ hat
you have t o sel l - - Tessi e Br and, not some pl ast i c st r anger up
t her e. "
" You' r e t he f i r st one who' s l evel ed wi t h me, " Tessi e sai d.
" You' r e a r eal Mensch. You mar r i ed?"
" No, " Samsai d.
" Do you f ool ar ound?"
j aml aughed. " Never wi t h si nger s - - I have no ear . "
" You woul dn' t need an ear . " Tessi e smi l ed. " I l i ke you. "
106
" Do you l i ke me wel l enough t o make some movi es wi t h
( . me?"
She l ooked at hi mand sai d, " Yeah. "
" Wonder f ul . I ' l l wor k out t he deal wi t h your agent . "
She st r oked Sam' s hand and sai d, " Ar e you sur e you
n' t f ool ar ound?"
Tessi e Br and' s f i r st t wo pi ct ur es went t hr ough t he box| of f i ce
r oof . She r ecei ved an Academy nomi nat i on f or t he f i r st
gone and was awar ded t he gol den Oscar f or t he second.
^Audi ences al l over t he wor l d l i ned up at mot i on- pi ct ur e
I ' t f aeat er s t o see Tessi e and t o hear t hat i ncr edi bl e voi ce. She
| had ever yt hi ng. She was f unny, she coul d si ng and she coul d
pet . Her ugl i ness t ur ned out t o be an asset , because audi ences
I ' i dent i f i ed wi t h i t . Tessi e Br and became a sur r ogat e f or al l t he
| unat t r act i ve, t he unl oved, t he unwant ed.
I ' Tessi e mar r i ed t he l eadi ng man i n her f i r st pi ct ur e,
i Mi vor ced hi maf t er t he r et akes and mar r i ed t he l eadi ng man
gi n her next pi ct ur e. Samhad hear d r umor s t hat t hi s mar r i age
| t 0o was si nki ng, but Hol l ywood was a hot bed of gossi p. He
I ' gai d no at t ent i on, f or he f el t t hat i t was none of hi s busi ness.
As i t t ur ned our , he was mi st aken.
Samwas t al ki ng on t he phone t o Bar r y Her man, Tessi e' s
nt . " What ' s t he pr obl em, Bar r y?"
" Tessi e' s new pi ct ur e. She' s not happy, Sam. ' '
Samf el t hi s t emper r i si ng. " Hol d i t ! Tessi e appr oved
; pr oducer , t he di r ect or and t he shoot i ng scr i pt . We' ve got ; set s bui l t and
we' r e r eady t o r ol l . Ther e' s no way she can
1k away now. I ' l l - - "
| y; " She doesn' t want t o wal k away. "
' Samwas t aken aback. " What t he hel l does she want ?"
" She want s a new pr oducer on t he pi ct ur e. "
Samyel l ed i nt o t he phone. " She what ?"
H " Ral ph Dast i n doesn' t under st and her . "
" Dast i n' s one of t he best pr oducer s i n t he busi ness. She' s
<y t o have hi m. "
" I coul dn' t agr ee wi t h you mor e, Sam. But t he chemy' s
wr ong. She won' t make t he pi ct ur e unl ess he' s out . "
" She' s got a cont r act , Bar r y. "
" I know t hat , sweet hear t . And, bel i eve me, Tessi e has
ever y i nt ent i on of honor i ng i t . As l ong as she' s physi cal l y abl e.
I t ' s j ust t hat she get s ner vous when she' s unhappy and she
can' t seemt o r emember her l i nes. "
" I ' l l cal l you back, " Samsai d savagel y. He sl ammed down
t he phone.
The god damned bi t ch! Ther e was no r eason t o f i r e
Dasr i n f r omt he pi ct ur e. He had pr obabl y r ef used t o go t o
bed wi t h her , or somet hi ng equal l y r i di cul ous. He sai d t o
Ludl l e, " Ask Ral ph Dast i n t o come up her e. "
Ral ph Dast i n was an ami abl e man i n hi s f i f t i es. He had
st ar t ed as a wr i t er and had event ual l y become a pr oducer .
Hi s movi es had t ast e and char m.
" Ral ph, " Sambegan, " I don' t know how t o - - "
Dast i n hel d up hi s hand. " You don' t have t o say i t , Sam.
I was on my way up her e t o t el l you I ' mqui t t i ng. "
" What t he hel l ' s goi ng on?" Samdemanded.
Dast i n shr ugged. " Our st ar ' s got an i t ch. She want s someone
el se t o scr at ch i t . "
" You mean she has your r epl acement al r eady pi cked
out ?"
" J esus, wher e have you been - - on Mar s? Don' t you r ead
t he gossi p col umns?"
" Not i f I can hel p i t . Who i s he?"
" I t ' s not a he. "
Samsat down, sl owl y. " What ?"
" I t ' s t he cost ume desi gner on Tessi e' s pi ct ur e. Her . . name
i s Bar bar a Car t er - - l i ke t he l i t t l e l i ver pi l l s. "
" Ar e you sur e about t hi s?" Samasked.
" You' r e t he onl y one i n t he ent i r e West er n Hemi spher e
who doesn' t know i t . "
Samshook hi s head. " I al ways t hought Tessi e was
st r ai ght . "
" Sam, l i f e' s a caf et er i a. Tessi e' s a hungr y gi r l . "
" Wel l , I ' mnot about t o put a god damned f emal e cost ume
desi gner i n char geof a f our - mi l l i on- dol l ar pi ct ur e. "
Dast i n gr i nned. " You j ust sai d t he wr ong t hi ng. "
" What does t hat mean?"
108
" I t means t hat par t of Tessi e' s pi t ch i s t hat women ar en' t
gi ven a f ai r chance i n t hi s busi ness. Your l i t t l e st ar has become
ver y f emi ni st - mi nded. "
; " I won' t do i t , " Samsai d.
; " Sui t ' your sel f . But I ' l l gi ve you some f r ee advi ce. I t ' s
pi e onl y way you' r e ever goi ng t o get t hi s pi ct ur e made. "
; Samt el ephoned Bar r y Her man. " Tel l Tessi e t hat Ral ph
t oasr i n wal ked of f Ae pi ct ur e, " Samsai d.
( ; " She' l l be pl eased t o hear t hat . "
i Samgr i t t ed hi s t eet h, t hen asked, " Di d she have anyone
; el se i n mi nd t o pr oduce t he pi ct ur e?"
" As a mat t er of f act , she di d, " Her man sai d smoot hl y.
. " Tessi e has di scover ed a ver y t al ent ed young gi r l who she
>f eel s i s r eady f or a chal l enge l i ke t hi s. Under t he gui dance of
' ' someone as br i l l i ant as you, Sam- - "
" Cut out t he commer ci al , " Samsai d. " I s t hat t he bot t om
di ne?"
" I ' maf r ai d i t i s, Sam. I ' msor r y. "
Bar bar a Car t er had a pr et t y f ace and a good f i gur e and,
as f ar as Samcoul d t el l , was compl et el y f emi ni ne. He wat ched
Bi er as she t ook a seat on t he l eat her couch i n hi s of f i ce and
dai nt i l y cr ossed her l ong, shapel y l egs. When she spoke, her
Voi ce sounded a t r i f l e husky, but t hat may have been because
Samwas l ooki ng f or some ki nd of si gn. She st udi ed hi mwi t h
i gof t gr ay eyes and sai d, " I seemt o be i n a t er r i bl e spot , Mr .
Wi nt er s. I had no i nt ent i on of put t i ng anyone out of wor k.
And yet " - - she r ai sed her hands hel pl essl y - - " Mi ss Br and
says she si mpl y won' t make t he pi ct ur e unl ess I pr oduce i t .
What do you t hi nk I shoul d do?"
For an i nst ant , Samwas t empt ed t o t el l her . I nst ead, he
sai d, " Have you had any exper i ence wi t h show busi ness- -
( besi des bei ng a cost ume desi gner ?"
" I ' ve usher ed, and I ' ve seen l ot s of movi es. "
Ter r i f i c! " What makes Mi ss Br and t hi nk you can pr oduce
a mot i on pi ct ur e?"
I t was as t hough Samhad t ouched a hi dden spr i ng.
Bar bar a Car t er was suddenl y f ul l of ani mat i on. " Tessi e and I
I 109
have t al ked a l or about t hi s pi ct ur e. " No mor e " Mi ss Br and" ,
Samnot i ced. " I f eel t her e ar e a l ot of t hi ngs wr ong wi t h t he
scr i pt , and when I poi nt ed t hemout t o her , she agr eed wi t h
me. "
" Do you t hi nk you know mor e about wr i t i ng a scr i pt t han
an Academy Awar d- wi nni ng wr i t er who' s done hal f a dozen
successf ul pi ct ur t s and Br oadway pl ays?"
" Oh, no, Mr . Wi nt er s! I j ust t hi nk I know mor e about
women. " The gr ay eyes wer e har der now, t he t one a l i t t l e
t ougher . " Don' t you t hi nk i t ' s r i di cul ous f or men t o al ways
be wr i t i ng women' s par t s? Onl y we r eal l y know how we f eel .
Doesn' t t hat make sense t o you?"
Samwas t i r ed of t he game. He knew he was goi ng t o
hi r e her , and he hat ed hi msel f f or i t , but he was r unni ng a
st udi o, and hi s j ob was t o see t hat pi ct ur es got made. I f
Tessi e Br and want ed her pet squi r r el t o pr oduce t hi s pi ct ur e,
Samwoul d st ar t or der i ng nut s. A Tessi e Br and pi ct ur e coul d
easi l y mean a pr of i t of f r omt went y t o t hi r t y mi l l i on dol l ar s.
Besi des, Bar bar a Car t er coul dn' t do anyt hi ng t o r eal l y hur t
t he pi ct ur e. Not now. I t was t oo cl ose t o shoot i ng f or any
maj or changes t o be made.
" You' ve convi nced me, " Samsai d, wi t h i r ony. " You' ve
got t he j ob. Congr at ul at i ons. "
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, t he Hol l ywood Repor t er and
Var i et y announced on t hei r f r ont pages t hat Bar bar a Car t er
was pr oduci ng t he new Tcssi e Br and movi e. As Samst ar t ed
t o t hr ow t he paper s i n hi s wast ebasket , a smal l i t emat t he
bot t omof t he page caught hi s eye: " t oby t empl e si gned
f or l ounge at t ahoe hot el . "
Toby Templ e. Samr emember ed t he eager young comi c
i n uni f or m, and t he memor y br ought a smi l e t o Sam' s f ace.
Sammade a ment al not e t o see hi s act i f Templ e ever pl ayed
i n t own.
He wonder ed why Toby Templ e had never got t en i n
t ouch wi t h hi m.
13
I n a st r ange way, i t was Mi l l i e who was r esponsi bl e f or
" oby Templ e' s r i se t o st ar dom. Bef or e t hei r mar r i age, he
ad been j ust anot her up- and- comi ng comi c, one of dozens.
i nce t he weddi ng, a new i ngr edi ent had been added: hat r ed.
" oby had been f or ced i nt o a mar r i age wi t h a gi r l he despi sed,
nd t her e was such r age i n hi mt hat he coul d have ki l l ed her
' i t h hi s bar e hands.
Al t hough Toby di d not r eal i ze i t , Mi l l i e was a wonder f ul ,
evot ed wi f e. She ador ed hi mand di d ever yt hi ng she coul d t o
l ease hi m. She decor at ed t he house i n Benedi ct Canyon, and
i d i t beaut i f ul l y. But t he mor e Mi l l i e t r i ed t o pl ease Toby,
; i e mor e he l oat hed her . He was al ways met i cul ousl y pol i t e t oer , car ef ul never
t o do or say anyt hi ng t hat mi ght upset her
enough t o cal l Al Car uso. As l ong as he l i ved, Toby woul d not
Mget t he awf ul agony of t hat t i r e i r on smashi ng i nt o hi s ar m,
r t he l ook on Al Car uso' s f ace when he sai d, " I f you ever
ur t Mi l l i e. . . "
v.
, ' Because Toby coul d not t ake out hi s aggr essi ons on hi s
Ri f e, he t ur ned hi s f ur y on hi s audi ences. Anyone who r at t l ed
di sh, or r ose t o go t o t he washr oomor dar ed t o t al k whi l e
^oby was on st age was t he i nst ant obj ect of a savage t i r ade.
j Oby deal t i t wi t h such wi de- eyed, nai ve char mt hat t he
^di ences ador ed i t , and when Toby r i pped apar t some hapl ess
i ct i m, peopl e l aughed unt i l t hey cr i ed. The combi nat i on of
gg i nnocent , gui l el ess f ace and hi s wi cked, f unny t ongue made
t ai i r r esi st i bl e. He coul d say t he most out r ageous t hi ngs and
get away wi t h t hem. I t became a mar k of di st i nct i on t o be
si ngl ed out f or a t ongue l ashi ng by Toby Templ e. I t never
even occur r ed t o hi s vi ct i ms t hat Toby meant ever y wor d he
sai d. Wher e bef or e Toby had been j ust anot her pr omi si ng
young comedi an, now he became t he t al k of t he ent er t ai nment
ci r cui t .
When Cl i f t on Lawr ence r et ur ned f r omEur ope, he was
amazed t o l ear n t hat Toby had mar r i ed a showgi r l . I t had
seemed out of char act er , but when he asked Toby about i t ,
Toby l ooked hi mi n t he eye and sai d, " What ' s t her e t o t el l ,
Cl i f f ? I met Mi l l i e, f el l i n l ove wi t h her and t hat was t hat . "
Somehow, i t had not r ung t r ue. And t her e was somet hi ng
el se t hat puzzl ed t he agent . One day i n hi s of f i ce, Cl i f t on t ol d
Toby, " You' r e r eal l y get t i ng hot . I ' ve booked you i nt o t he
Thunder bi r d f or a f our - week gi g. Two t housand a week. "
" What about t hat t our ?"
" For get i t . Las Vegas pays t en t i mes as much, and ever ybody
wi l l see your act . "
" Cancel Vegas. Get me t he t our . "
Cl i f t on l ooked at hi mi n sur pr i se. " But Las Vegas i s - - "
" Get me t he t our . " Ther e was a not e i n Toby' s voi ce
t hat Cl i f t on Lawr ence had never hear d bef or e. I t was not
ar r ogance or t emper ament ; i t was somet hi ng beyond t hat ,
a deep, cont r ol l ed r age.
What made i t f r i ght eni ng was t hat i t emanat ed f r oma
f ace t hat had gr own mor e geni al and boyi sh t han ever .
Fr omt hat t i me on, Toby was on t he r oad const ant l y.
I t was hi s onl y escape f r omhi s pr i son. He pl ayed ni ght cl ubs
and t heat er s and audi t or i ums, and when t hose booki ngs r an
out , he badger ed Cl i f t on Lawr ence t o book hi mi nt o col l eges.
Anywher e, t o get away f r omMi l l i e.
The oppor t uni t i es t o go t o bed wi t h eager , at t r act i ve
women wer e l i mi t l ess. I t was t he same i n ever y t own. They
wai t ed i n Toby' s dr essi ng r oombef or e and af t er t he show
and wayl ai d hi mi n hi s hot el l obby.
Toby went t o bed wi t h none of t hem. He t hought of t he
man' s peni s bei ng hacked of f and set on f i r e and Al Car uso
112
sayi ng t o Toby, You' r e r eal l y hung. . . I woul dn' t hur t you.
You' r e my f r i end. As l ong as you' r e good t o Mi l l i e . . .
And Toby t ur ned al l t he women away.
" I ' mi n l ove wi t h my wi f e, " he woul d say shyl y. And t hey
bel i eved hi mand admi r ed hi mf or i t , and t he wor d spr ead,
as Toby meant i t t o spr ead: Toby Templ e di d not f ool ar ound;
he was a r eal f ami l y man.
But t he l ovel y, nubi l e young gi r l s kept comi ng af t er hi m,
and t he mor e Toby r ef used, t he mor e t hey want ed hi m. And
Toby was so hungr y f or a woman t hat he was i n const ant
physi cal pai n. Hi s gr oi n ached so much t hat somet i mes i t was
di f f i cul t f or hi mt o wor k. He st ar t ed t o mast ur bat e agai n. Each
t i me he di d, he t hought of al l t he beaut i f ul gi r l s wai t i ng t o go
t o bed wi t h hi m, and he cur sed and r aged agai nst f at e.
Because Toby coul d not have i t , sex was on hi s mi nd
al l t he t i me. Whenever he r et ur ned home af t er a t our , Mi l l i e
was wai t i ng f or hi m, eager and l ovi ng and r eady. And t he
moment Toby saw her , al l hi s sexual desi r e dr ai ned away.
She was t he enemy, and Toby despi sed her f or what she was
doi ng t o hi m. He f or ced hi msel f t o go t o bed wi t h her , but i t
was Al Car uso he was sat i sf yi ng. Whenever Toby t ook Mi l l i e,
i t was wi t h a savage br ut al i t y t hat f or ced gasps of pai n f r om
her . He pr et ended t hat he t hought t hey wer e sounds of
pl easur e, and he pounded i nt o her har der and har der , undl
f i nal l y he came i n an expl osi on of f ur y t hat pour ed hi s venomous
semen i nt o her . He was not maki ng l ove.
He was maki ng hat e.
I n J une, 1950, t he Nor t h Kor eans moved acr oss t he
38t h Par al l el and at t acked t he Sout h Kor eans, and Pr esi dent
Tr uman or der ed Uni t ed St at es t r oops i n. No mat t er what t he
r est of t he wor l d t hought about i t , t o Toby t he Kor ean War
was t he best t hi ng t hat ever happened.
I n ear l y December , t her e was an announcement i n Dai l y
Var i et y t hat Bob Hope was get t i ng r eady t o make a Chr i st mas
t our t o ent er t ai n t he t r oops i n Seoul . Thi r t y seconds af t er he
" What f or ? You' r e al most t hi r t y year s ol d. Bel i eve me,
dear boy, t hose t our s ar e no f un. I - - "
" I don' t gi ve a damn whet her t hey' r e f un or not , " Toby
shout ed i nt o t he phone. " Those sol di er s ar e out t her e r i ski ng
t hei r l i ves. The l east I can do i s gi ve t hema f ew l aughs. "
I t was a si de of Toby Templ e t hat Cl i f t on had not seen
bef or e. He was t ouched and pl eased.
" Okay. I f you f eel t hat st r ongl y about i t , I ' l l see what I
can do, " Cl i f t on pr omi sed.
An hour l at er he cal l ed Toby back. " I t al ked t o Bob.
He' d be happy t o have you. But i f you shoul d change your
mi nd - - "
" No chance, " Toby sai d, hangi ng up.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence sat t her e a l ong r i me, t hi nki ng about
Toby. He was ver y pr oud of hi m. Toby was a wonder f ul
human bei ng, and Cl i f t on Lawr ence was del i ght ed t o be hi s
agent , del i ght ed t o be t he man hel pi ng t o shape hi s gr owi ng
car eer .
Toby pl ayed Taegu and Pusan and Chonj u, and he f ound
sol ace i n t he l aught er of t he sol di er s. Mi l l i e f aded i nt o t he
backgr ound of hi s mi nd.
Then Chr i st mas was over . I nst ead of r et ur ni ng home,
Toby went t o Guam. The boys t her e l oved hi m. He went t o
Tokyo and ent er t ai ned t he wounded i n t he ar my hospi t al . But
f i nal l y, i t was t i me t o r et ur n home.
I n Apr i l , when Toby came back f r oma t en- week t our
i n t he Mi dwest , Mi l l i e was wai t i ng at t he ai r por t f or hi m. Her
f i r st wor ds wer e, " Dar l i ng - - I ' mgoi ng t o have a baby! "
He st ar ed at her , st unned. She mi st ook hi s expr essi on f or
happi ness.
" I sn' t i t wonder f ul ?" she excl ai med. " Now, . when you' r e
away, I ' l l have t he baby t o keep me company. I hope i t ' s a
boy so t hat you can t ake hi mt o basebal l games and . . . "
Toby di d not hear t he r est of t he st upi di t i es she was
mout hi ng. I t was as t hough her wor ds wer e bei ng f i l t er ed f r om
f ar away. Somewher e i n t he back of hi s mi nd, Toby had
bel i eved t hat someday, somehow, t her e woul d be an escape
114
f or hi m. They had been mar r i ed t wo year s, and i t seemed l i ke
an et er ni t y. Now t hi s. Mi l l i e woul d never l et hi mgo.
; Never .
i The baby was due ar ound Chr i st mas t i me. Toby had
i made ar r angement s t o go t o Guamwi t h a t r oupe of ent er [ t ai ner s,
but he had no i dea whet her Al Car uso woul d appr ove
; of hi s bei ng away whi l e Mi l l i e was havi ng t he baby. Ther e was
' ' onl y one way t o f i nd out . Toby cal l ed Las Vegas.
' Car uso' s cheer f ul , f ami l i ar voi ce came on t he l i ne i mmedi at el y
and sai d, " Hi , ki d. Good t o hear your voi ce. "
" I t ' s good t o hear your s, Al . "
" I hear you' r e gonna be a f at her . You must be r eal
; exci t ed. "
" Exci t ed i sn' t t he wor d f or i t , " Toby sai d t r ut hf ul l y.
He l et hi s voi ce t ake on a not e of car ef ul concer n. " Th" . ' ' &
; t he r eason I ' mcal l i ng you, Al . The baby' s goi ng t o be bor n
ar ound Chr i st mas, and- - " He had t o be ver y car ef ul . " I
don' t know what t o do. I want t o be her e wi t h Mi l l i e when t he
; t dd' s bor n, but t hey asked me t o go back t o Kor ea and Guam
' t o ent er t ai n t he t r oops. "
Ther e was a l ong pause. " That ' s a t ough spot . "
" I don' t want t o l et our boys down, but I don' t want t o
kt Mi l l i e down, ei t her . "
1 " Yeah. " Ther e was anot her pause. Then, " I ' l l t el l you
' what I t hi nk, ki d. We' r e al l good Amer i cans, r i ght ? Those
ki ds ar e out t her e f i ght i ng f or us, r i ght ?"
Toby f el t hi s body suddenl y r el ax. " Sur e. But I hat e
t o- - "
- " Mi l l i e' 11 be okay, " Car uso sai d. " Women have been
j havi n' babi es a hel l of a l ong t i me. You go t o Kor ea. "
| Si x weeks l at er , on Chr i st mas Eve, as Toby wal ked of f
| a st age t o t hunder ous appl ause at t he ar my post i n Pusan, he
| was handed a cabl e, i nf or mi ng hi mt hat Mi l l i e had di ed whi l e
I gi vi ng bi r t h t o a st i l l bor n son.
" Mar co! " she cal l ed out .
Ther e was a chor us of " Po! o! " J osephi ne made a di ve
f or t he near est voi ce. She f el t ar ound i n t he wat er . Ther e
was no one t her e.
" Mar co! " she cal l ed.
Agai n, a chor us of " Pol o! " She made a bl i nd gr ab but
r eached onl y t hi n ai r . I t di d not mat t er t o J osephi ne t hat
t hey wer e f ast er t han she; she want ed t hi s game t o go on
f or ever , as she want ed t hi s day t o l ast unt i l et er ni t y.
She st ood st i l l , st r ai ni ng t o hear a spl ash, a gi ggl e, a
whi sper . She moved ar ound i n t he pool , eyes cl osed, hands
out st r et ched, and r eached t he st eps. She t ook a st ep up t o
qui et t he sound of her own movement s.
" Mar co! " she cal l ed out .
Ar . J t her e was no answer . She st ood t her e, st i l l .
" Mar co! "
Si l ' nce. I t was as t hough she wer e i n a war m, wet deser t ed
v. - or l d, ni one. They wer e pl ayi ng a t r i ck on her . They had
deci ded t hat no one woul d answer her . J osephi ne smi l ed and
opened her eyes.
She was al one on t he pool st eps. Somet hi ng made her
l ook down. The bot t omof her whi t e bat hi ng sui t was st ai ned
wi t h r ed, and t her e was a t hi n t r i ckl e of bl ood comi ng f r om
bet ween her t hi ghs. The chi l dr en wer e al l st andi ng on t he
si des of t he pool , st ar i ng at her . J osephi ne l ooked up at t hem,
st r i cken. " I - - " She st opped, not knowi ng what t o say. She
qui ckl y moved down t he st eps i nt o t he wat er , t o cover her
shame.
" We don' t do t hat i n t he swi mmi ng pool , " Mar y Lou
sai d.
" Pol acks do, " someone gi ggl ed.
" Hey, l et ' s go t ake a shower . "
" Yeah. I f eel i cky. "
" Who want s t o swi mi n t han"
J osephi ne cl osed her eyes agai n and hear d t hemal l
movi ng t owar d t he pool house, l eavi ng her . She st ayed t her e,
keepi ng her eyes squeezed cl osed, pr essi ng her l egs t oget her
t o t r y t o st op t he shamef ul f l ow. She had never had her per i od
bef or e. I t had been t ot al l y unexpect ed. They woul d al l come
118
, back ma moment and t el l her t hat t hey had onl y been t easi ng,
t hat t hey wer e st i l l her f r i ends, t hat t he happi ness woul d
l ever st op. They woul d r et ur n and expl ai n t hat i t was al l a
r ame. Per haps t hey wer e back al r eady r eady t o pl ay. Eyes
i ght l y shut , she whi sper ed, " Mar co" , and t he echo di ed on
f ae af t er noon ai r . She had no i dea how l ong she st ood t her e
n t he wat er wi t h her eyes cl osed.
We don' t do t hat i n t he swi mmi ng pool .
Pol acks do.
Her head had begun poundi ng vi ol ent l y. She f el t
I nauseous, and her st omach was suddenl y cr ampi ng. But
I j osephi ne knew t hat she must keep st andi ng t her e wi t h her
f ycs t i ght l y shut . J ust unt i l t hey r et ur ned and t ol d her i t was
j ? J oke.
^ She hear d f oot st eps - and a r ust l i ng sound above her and
| she suddenl y knew t hat ever yt hi ng was al l r i ght . They had ,
j come back. She opened her eyes and l ooked up.
Davi d, Mar y Lou' s ol der br ot her , was st andi ng at t he
; | i i de of t he pool , a t er r ycl ot h r obe i n hi s hands.
?' " I apol ogi ze f or al l of t hem, " he sai d, hi s voi ce t i ght . l i e
f asl d out t he r obe. " Her e. Come out and put t hi s on. "
^ But J osephi ne cl osed her eyes and st ayed t her e, r i gi d.
She want ed t o di e as qui ckl y as possi bl e.
I t was one of SamWi nt er s' s good days. The r ushes on
t he Tessi e Br and pi ct ur e wer e wonder f ul . Par t of t he r eason,
of cour se, was t hat Tessi e was br eaki ng her neck t o vi ndi cat e
her behavi or . But what ever t he r eason, Bar bar a Car t er was
goi ng t o emer ge as t he hot t est new pr oducer of t he year . I t
was goi ng t o be a t er r i f i c year f or cost ume desi gner s.
The t el evi si on shows pr oduced by Pan- Padf i c wer e doi ng
wel l , and " My Man Fr i day" was t he bi ggest of t hemal l . The
net wor k was t al ki ng t o Samabout a new f i ve- year cont r act
f or t he ser i es.
Samwas pr epar i ng t o l eave f or l unch when Luci l l e hur r i ed
i n and sai d, " They j ust caught someone set t i ng a f i r e i n
t he pr op depar t ment . They' r e br i ngi ng hi mover her e now. "
' The man sat i n a chai r f aci ng Sami n si l ence, t wo st udi o
guar ds st andi ng behi nd hi m. Hi s eyes wer e br i ght wi t h
mal i ce. Samhad st i l l not got t en over hi s shock. " Why?" he
asked. " For God' s sake - - why?"
" Because I di dn' t want your f ucki ng char i t y, " Dal l as
Bur ke sai d. " I hat e you and t hi s st udi o and t he whol e r ot t en
busi ness. I bui l t t hi s busi ness, you son of a bi t ch. I pai d f or
hal f t he st udi os i n t hi s l ousy t own. Ever ybody got r i ch of f
me. Why di dn' t you gi ve me a pi ct ur e t o di r ect i nst ead of
t r yi ng t o pay me of f by pr et endi ng t o buy a bunch of f ucki ng
st ol en f ai r y t al es? You woul d have bought t he phone book
f r omme, Sam. I di dn' t want any f avor s f r omyou - - I want ed
) b. You' r e maki ng me di e a f ai l ur e, you pr i ck, and I ' l l
er f or gi ve you f or t hat . "
Long af t er t hey had t aken Dal l as Bur ke away, Sam. sat
e t hi nki ng about hi m, r emember i ng t he gr eat t hi ngs
l as bad done, t he wonder f ul movi es he had made. I n any
ar busi ness, he woul d have been a her o, t he chai r man of
boar d or woul d have been r et i r ed wi t h a ni ce, f at pensi on
St or y.
But t hi s was t he wonder f ul wor l d of show busi ness.
i 6
I n t he ear l y 1950s, Toby Templ e' s success was gr owi ng.
He pl ayed t he t op ni ght cl ubs - - t he Chez Par ee i n Chi cago,
t he Lat i n Casi no i n Phi l adel phi a, t he Copacabana i n New
Yor k. He pl ayed benef i t s and chi l dr en' s hospi t al s and char i t y
af f ai r s - - he woul d pl ay f or anybody, anywher e, at any t i me.
The audi ence was hi s l i f ebl pod. He needed t he appl ause and
t he l ove. He was t ot al l y absor bed i n show busi ness. Maj or
event s wer e occur r i ng ar ound t he wor l d, but t o Toby t hey
wer e mer el y gr i st f or hi s act .
I n 1951, when Gener al MacAr t hur was f i r ed and sai d,
" Ol d sol di er s don' t di e- - t hey j ust f ade away, " Toby sai d,
" J esus - - we must use t he same l aundr y. "
I n 1952, when t he hydr ogen bomb was dr opped, Toby' s
r esponse was, " That ' s not hi ng. You shoul d have caught my
openi ng i n At l ant a. "
When Ni xon made hi s " Checker s" speech, Toby sai d,
" I ' d vot e f or hi mi n a mi nut e. Not Ni xon - - Checker s. "
I ke was Pr esi dent and St al i n di ed and young Amer i ca
was wear i ng Davy Cr ocket t hat s and t her e was a bus boycot t
i n Mont gomer y. '
And ever yt hi ng was mat er i al f or Toby' s act .
When he del i ver ed hi s zi nger s wi t h t hat wi de- eyed l ook
of baf f l ed i nnocence, t he audi ences scr eamed.
Toby' s whol e l i f e consi st ed of punch l i nes. " . . . so he
sai d, ' Wai t a mi nut e; I ' l l get my hat and go wi t h you . . . ' "
and " . . . t o t el l t he t r ut h, i t l ooked so good I at e i t mysel f ! "
and " . . . i t ' s a candyst or e, but t hey' l l cal l me . . . " and
122
woul d have been a Shamus . . . " and " . . . now I ' ve
you and t her e' s no shi p. . . " and " J ust my l uck. I get t he
: t hat eat s . . . " and on and on, wi t h t he audi ences l aughi ng |
i t i l t hey cr i ed. Hi s audi ences l oved hi m, and he f ed on t hei r j
r e and bat t ened , on i t and cl i mbed ever hi gher .
But t her e was a deep, wi l d r est l essness i n Toby. He was |
j t l ways l ooki ng f or somet hi ng mor e. He coul d never enj oy J
t t i msel f because he was af r ai d he mi ght be mi ssi ng a bet t er j
j par t y somewher e, or pl ayi ng t o a bet t er audi ence, or ki ssi ng
i ^. pr et t i er gi r l . He changed gi r l s as f r equent l y as he changed
| hi s shi r t s. Af t er t he exper i ence wi t h Mi l l i e, he was af r ai d t o
I become deepl y i nvol ved wi t h anyone. He r emember ed when j
' he had pl ayed t he Toi l et Ci r cui t and envi ed t he comi cs wi t h
I t he bi g l i mousi nes and t he beaut i f ul women. He had made
E^i t , and he was as l onel y now as he had been t hen. Who was
| i t who had sai d, " When you get t her e, t her e i s no t her e . . . " ?
( He was dedi cat ed t o becomi ng Number One and he
| aknew he woul d make i t . Hi s one r egr et was t hat hi s mot her
I ; woul d not be t her e t o wat ch her pr edi ct i on come t r ue.
The onl y r emi nder l ef t of her was hi s f at her .
The nur si ng home i n Det r oi t was an ugl y br i ck bui l di ng
f r omanot her cent ur y. I t s wal l s hel d t he sweet st ench of ol d
age and si ckness and deat h.
Toby Templ e' s f at her had suf f er ed a st r oke and was
al most a veget abl e now, a man wi t h l i st l ess, apat het i c eyes
. and a mi nd t hat car ed f or not hi ng except Toby' s vi si t s. Toby
. st ood i n t he di ngy gr een- car pet ed hal l of t he home t hat now
hel d hi s f at her . The nur ses and i nmat es cr owded ador i ngl y
ar ound hi m.
" I saw you on t he Har ol d Hobson show l ast week, Toby.
I t hought you wer e j ust mar vel ous. How do you t hi nk of al l
t hose cl ever t hi ngs t o say?"
" My wr i t er s t hi nk of t hem, " Toby sai d, and t hey l aughed
at hi s modest y.
A mal e nur se was comi ng down t he cor r i dor , wheel i ng
Toby' s f at her . He was f r eshl y shaved and had hi s hai r sl i cked
down. He had l et t hemdr ess hi mi n a sui t i n honor of hi s
son' s vi si t .
" Hey, i t ' s Beau Br ummel ! " Toby cal l ed, and ever yone
t ur ned t o l ook at Mr . Templ e wi t h envy, wi shi ng t hat t hey
had a wonder f ul , f amous son l i ke Toby t o come and vi si t
t hem.
Toby wal ked over t o hi s f at her , l eaned down and gave
hi ma hug. " Who you t r yi ng t o ki d?" Toby asked. He poi nt ed
t o t he mal e nur se. " You shoul d be wheel i ng hi mar ound,
Pop. "
Ever yone l aughed, f i l i ng t he qui p away i n t hei r mi nds
so t hat t hey coul d t el l t hei r f r i ends what t hey had hear d Toby
Templ e say. / was wi t h Toby Templ e t he ot her day and he
sai d. . . 1 was st andi ng as cl ose as I amt o you, and I hear d
hi m. . .
He st ood ar ound ent er t ai ni ng t hem, i nsul t i ng t hemgent l y,
and t hey l oved i t . He ki dded t hemabout Aei r sex l i ves and
t hei r heal t h and t hei r chi l dr en, and f or a l i t t l e whi l e t hey wer e
abl e t o l augh at t hei r own pr obl ems. Fi nal l y, Toby sai d r uef ul l y,
" I hat e t o l eave you, you' r e t he best - l ooki ng audi ence
I ' ve had i n year s" - - t hey woul d r emember t hat , t oo - - " but
I have t o spend a l i t t l e t i me al one wi t h Pop. He pr omi sed t o
gi ve me some new j okes. "
They smi l ed and l aughed and ador ed hi m.
Toby was al one i n t he smal l vi si t or s r oomwi t h hi s f at her .
Even t hi s r oomhad t he smel l of deat h, and yet , t hat was
what t hi s pl ace was al l about , wasn' t i t ? Toby t hought . Deat h?
I t was f i l l ed wi t h used- up mot her s and f aAer s who wer e i n
t he way. They had been t aken out of t he smal l back bedr ooms
at home, out of t he di ni ng r ooms and par l or s wher e t hey
wer e becomi ng an embar r assment whenever t her e wer e guest s,
and had been sent t o t hi s nur si ng home by t hei r chi l dr en,
ni eces and nephews. Bel i eve me, i t ' s f or your own good. Fat her ,
Mot her , Uncl e Geor ge, Aunt Bess. You' l l be wi t h a l ot of
ver y ni ce peopl e your own age. You' l l have company al l t he
t i me. You know what I mean? What t hey r eal l y meant was,
I ' msendi ng you t her e t o di e wi t h al l t he ot her usel ess ol d
peopl e. I ' msi ck of your dr ool i ng at t he t abl e and t el l i ng t he
same st or i es- over an dover and pest er i ng t he chi l dr en and
wet t i ng your bed. The Eski mos wer e mor e honest about i t .
124
They sent t hei r ol d peopl e out ont o t he i ce and abandoned
t hemt her e.
" I ' msur e gl ad you came t oday, " Toby' s f at her sai d. Hi s
speech was sl ow. " I want ed t o t al k t o you. I got some good
news. Ol d Ar t Ri l ey next door di ed yest er day. "
Toby st ar ed at hi m. " That ' s good news?"
" I t means I can move i nt o hi s r oom, " hi s f at her expl ai ned.
" I t ' s a si ngl e. "
And t hat was what ol d age was al l about : Sur vi val ,
hangi ng on t o t he f ew cr eat ur e comf or t s t hat st i l l r emai ned.
Toby had seen peopl e her e who woul d have been bet t er of f
dead, but t hey cl ung t o l i f e, f i er cel y. Happy bi r t hday, Mr .
Dor set . How do you f eel about bei ng ni net y- f i ve year s ol d
t oday?. . . When I t hi nk of t he al t er nat i ve, I f eel gr eat .
At l ast , i t was t i me f or Toby t o l eave.
" I ' l l be back t o see you as soon as I can, " Toby pr omi sed.
He gave hi s f at her some cash and handed out l avi sh t i ps t o al l
t he nur ses and at t endant s. " You t ake good car e of hi m, huh?
I need t he ol d man f or my act . "
And Toby was gone. The moment he wal ked out t he
door , he had f or got t en t hemal l . He was t hi nki ng about hi s
per f or mance t hat eveni ng.
For weeks t hey woul d t al k about not hi ng but hi s vi si t .
17
At sevent een, J osephi ne Oi nski was t he most beaut i f ul
gi r l i n Odessa, Texas. She had a goi den, t anned compl exK' n
and her l ong bl ack hai r showed a hi nt of aubur n i n t he sunl i ght ,
and her deep br own eyes hel d f l ecks of gol d. She had a
st unni ng f i gur e, wi t h a f ul l , r ounded bosom, a nar r ow wai st
t hat t aper ed t o gent l y swel l i ng hi ps, and l ong, shapel y l egs.
J osephi ne ' l i d not soci al i ze wi t h t he Oi l Peopl e anymor e.
She went out wi t h t he Ot her s now. Af t er school she wor ked
as a wai t r ess at t he Gol den Der r i ck, a popul ar dr i ve- i n. Mar y
Lou and Ci ssy Toppi ng and t hei r f r i ends came t her e wi t h
t hei r dat es. J osephi ne al ways gr eet ed t hempol i t el y, but
ever yt hi ng had changed.
J osephi ne was f i l l ed wi t h a r est l essness, a year ni ng f or
somet hi ng she had never known. I t was namel ess, but i t was
t her e. She want ed t o l eave t hi s ugl y t own, but she di d not
know wher e she want ed t o go or what she want ed t o do.
Thi nki ng about i t t oo l ong made her headaches begi n.
She went out wi t h a do7en di f f er ent boys and men. Her '
mot her ' s f avor i t e was War r en Huf f man.
" War r en' d make you a f i ne husband. He' s a r egul ar
chur ch- goer , he ear ns good money as a pl umber ar . u he' s hal f
out of hi s head about you. "
" He' s t went y- f i ve year s ol d and he' s f at . "
Her mot her st udi ed J osephi ne. " Poor Pol ack gi r l s don' t
f i nd no kni ght s i n shi ni n' ar mor . Not i n Texas and not
no- pl ace el se. St op f ool i n' your sel f . "
J osephi ne woul d per mi t War r en Hof l ' man t o t ake her t o
126
t he movi es once a week. He woul d hol d her hand i n hi s bi g,
sweat y, cal l oused pal ms and keep squeezi ng i t t hr oughout
t he pi ct ur e. J osephi ne har dl y not i ced. She was t oo engr ossed
i n what was happeni ng on t he scr een. What was up t her e was
an ext ensi on of t he wor l d of beaut i f ul peopl e and t hi ngs t hat
, she had gr own up wi t h, onl y i t was even bi gger and even
mor e exci t i ng. I n some di mr ecess of her mi nd, J osephi ne f el t
' t hat Hol l ywood coul d gi ve her ever yt hi ng she want ed: t he
i beaut y, t he f un, t he l aught er and happi ness. Asi de f r om
; mar r yi ng a r i ch man, she knew t her e was no ot her way she
, woul d ever be abl e t o have at ki nd of l i f e. And t he r i ch
boys wer e al l t aken, by t he r i ch gi r l s.
Except f or one.
Davi d Kcnyon. J osephi ne t hought of hi mof t en. She had
st ol en a snapshot of hi mf r omMar y Lou' s house l ong ago.
She kept i t hi dden i n her cl oset and t ook i t out t o l ook at
whenever she was unhappy. I t br ought back t he memor y of
; Davi d st andi ng by t he si de of t he pool sayi ng, / apol ogi ze f or
al l of t hem, and t he f eel i ng of hur t had gr adual l y di sappear ed
and been r epl aced by hi s gent l e war mt h. She had seen Davi d
, onl y once af t er t hat t er r i bl e day at hi s swi mmi ng pool when
he had br ought her a r obe. He had been i n a car wi t h hi s
f ami l y, and J osephi ne l at er hear d t hat he had been dr i ven t o
t he t r ai n depot . He was on hi s way t o Oxf or d, Engl and. That
had been f our year s ago, i n 1952. Davi d had r et ur ned home
f or summer vacat i ons and at Chr i st mas, but t hei r pat hs had
never cr ossed. J osephi ne of t en hear d t he ot her gi r l s di scussi ng
hi m. I n addi t i on t o t he est at e Davi d had i nher i t ed f r omhi s
f at her , hi s gr andmot her had l ef t hi ma t r ust f und of f i ve
' mi l l i on dol l ar s. He was a r eal cat ch. But not f or t he Pol i sh
daught er of a seamst r ess.
v
: J osephi ne di d not know t hat Davi d Kenyon had r et ur ned
| f r omEur ope. I t was a l at e Sat ur day eveni ng i n J ul y, and
| J osephi ne was wor ki ng at t he Gol den Der r i ck. I t seemed
I t o her t hat hal f t he popul at i on of Odessa had come t o t he
| dr i ve- i n t o def eat t he hot spel l wi t h gal l ons of l emonade and
I i ce cr eamand sodas. I t had been so busy t hat J osephi ne had
| . been unabl e t o t ake a br eak. A r i ng of aut os const ant l y ci r cl ed
t he neon- l i ght ed dr i ve- i n l i ke met al l i c ani mal s l i ned up at
some sur r eal i st i c wat er hol e. J osephi ne del i ver ed a car t r ay
wi t h what seemed t o her t o be her mi l l i ont h or der of cheesebur ger s
and Cokes, pul l ed out a menu and wal ked over t o a
whi t e spor t s car t hat had j ust dr i ven up.
" Good eveni ng, " J osephi ne sai d cheer f ul l y. " Woul d you
l i ke t o l ook at a menu?"
" Hel l o, st r anger . "
At t he sound of Davi d Kenyon' s voi ce, J osephi ne' s hear t
suddenl y began t o pound. He l ooked exact l y as she r emember ed
hi m, onl y he seemed even mor e handsome. Ther e was
a mat ur i t y now, a sur eness, t hat bei ng abr oad had gi ven hi m.
Ci ssy Toppi ng was seat ed next t o hi m, l ooki ng cool and
beaut i f ul i a an expensi ve si l k ski r t and bl ouse.
Ci ssy sai d, " Hi , J osi e. You shoul dn' t be wor ki ng on a
hot ni ght l i ke t hi s, honey. "
As t hough i t was somet hi ng J osephi ne had chosen t o do
i nst ead of goi ng t o an ai r - condi t i oned t heat er or r i di ng
ar ound i n a spor t s car wi t h Da- ai d Kenyan.
J osephi ne sai d evenl y, " I t keeps me of f t he st r eet s" , and
she saw t hat Davi d Kenyon was smi l i ng at her . She knew t hat
he under st ood.
Long af t er t hey had gone, J osephi ne t hought about
Davi d. She went over ever y wor d - - Hel l o, st r anger . . . I ' l l
have a pi g i n a bl anket and a r oot beer - - make t hat cof f ee.
Col d dr i nks ar e bad on a hot ni ght . . . . How do you l i ke
wor ki ng her e?. . . I ' mr eady f or t he check. . . . Keep t he
change. . . . I t was ni ce seei ng you agai n, J osephi ne - - l ooki ng
f or hi dden meani ngs, nuances t hat she mi ght have mi ssed. Of
cour se, he coul d not have sai d anyt hi ng wi t h Ci ssy seat ed
besi de hi m, but t he t r ut h was t hat he r eal l y had not hi ng t o
say t o J osephi ne. She was sur pr i sed t hat he had even r emember ed
her name.
She was st andi ng i n f r ont of t he si nk i n t he l i t t l e ki t chen
of t he dr i ve- i n, l ost i n her t hought s, when Paco, t he young
Mexi can cook, came up behi nd her and sai d, " nQue pasa,
J osi t a? You have t hat l ook een your eye. "
She l i ked Paco. He was i n hi s l at e t went i es, a sl i m, dar k128
yed man wi t h a r eady gr i n and a f l i p j oke when pr essur e
ui l t up and ever yone was t ense.
" Who ees he?"
J osephi ne smi l ed. " Nobody, Paco. "
; " Bueno. Because t her e ar e seex hungr y car s goi ng' cr azy
at t her e. Vamos! "
He t el ephoned t he next mor ni ng, and J osephi ne knew
' go i t was bef or e she l i f t ed t he r ecei ver . She had not been
bl e t o get hi mout of her mi nd al l ni ght . I t was as t hough
ys cal l was t he ext ensi on of her dr eam. ^
Hi s f i r st wor ds wer e, " You' r e a cl i che. Whi l e I was away,
ou' ve gr own up and become a beaut y, " and she coul d have
i ed of happi ness.
He t ook her out t o di nner t hat eveni ng. J osephi ne had
een pr epar ed f or some out - of - t he- way l i t t l e r est aur ant wher e
) avi d woul d not be l i kel y t o r un i nt o any of hi s f r i ends.
nst ead t hey went t o hi s cl ub, wher e ever yone st opped by t hei r
i bl e t o say hel l o. Davi d was not onl y unashamed t o be seen
dt h J osephi ne, he seemed pr oud of her . And she l oved hi m
) t i t and f or a hundr ed ot her r easons. The l ook of hi m, hi s
ent l eness and under st andi ng, t he sheer j oy of bei ng wi t h
i m. She had never known t hat anyone as wonder f ul as Davi d
Lenyon coul d exi st .
Each day, af t er J osephi ne f i ni shed wor k, t hey wer e
i get her . J osephi ne had had t o f i ght men of f f r omt he t i me
l i e was f our t een, f or t her e was a sexual i t y about her t hat was
chal l enge. Men wer e al ways pawi ng and gr abbi ng at her ,
yhg t o squeeze her br east s or shove t hei r hands up her st ar t ,
l i nki ng t hat t hat was t he way t o exci t e her , not knowi ng how
l uch i t r epel l ed her .
Davi d Kenyon was di f f er ent . He woul d occasi onal l y put
i s ar mar ound her or t ouch her casual l y, and J osephi ne' s
r hol e body woul d r espond. She had never f el t t hi s way about
nyone bef or e. On t he days when she di d not see Davi d, she
oul d t hi nk of not hi ng el se.
She f aced t he f act t hat she was i n l ove wi t h hi m. As t he
r eeks went by, and t hey spent mor e and mor e t i me t oget her ,
J osephi ne r eal i zed t hat t he mi r acl e had happened. Davi d was
i n l ove wi t h her .
He di scussed hi s pr obl ems wi t h her , and hi s di f f i cul t i es
wi t h hi s f ami l y. " Mot her want s me t o t ake over t he busi nesses, "
Davi d t ol d her , " but I ' mnot sur e t hat ' s how I want
t o spend Ae r est of my l i f e. "
The Kenyon i nt er est s i ncl uded, besi des oi l wel l s and
r ef i ner i es, one of t he l ar gest cat t l e r anches i n Ae Sout hwest ,
a chai n of hot el s, some banks and a l ar ge i nsur ance company.
" Can' t you j ust t el l her no, Davi d?"
Davi d si ghed. " You don' t know my mot her . "
J osephi ne had met Davi d' s mot her . She was a t i ny
woman ( i t seemed i mpossi bl e t hat Davi d had come out of
t hat st i ck f i gur e) who had bor ne t hr ee chi l dr en. She had been
ver y i l l dur i ng and af t er each pr egnancy and had had a hear t
at t ack f ol l owi ng t he t hi r d del i ver y. Over t he year s she r epeat edl y
descr i bed her suf f er i ng t o her chi l dr en, who gr ew
up wi & t he bel i ef t hat t hei r mot her had del i ber at el y r i sked
deat h i n or der t o gi ve each of t heml i f e. I t gave her a power f ul
hol d on her f ami l y, whi ch she wi el ded unspar i ngl y.
" I want t o l i ve my own l i f e, " Davi d t ol d J osephi ne, " but
I can' t do anyt hi ng t o hur t Mot her . The t r ut h i s - - Doc
Young doesn' t t hi nk she' s goi ng t o be wi t h us much l onger . "
One eveni ng, J osephi ne t ol d Davi d about her dr eams of
goi ng t o Hol l ywood and becomi ng a st ar . He l ooked at her
and sai d, qui et l y, " I won' t l et you go. " She coul d f eel her
hear t beat i ng wi l dl y. Each t i me t hey wer e t oget her , Ae f eel i ng
of i nt i macy bet ween Aemgr ew st r onger . J osephi ne' s
backgr ound di d not mean a damn t o Davi d. He di d not have
an ounce of snobber y i n hi m. I t made Ae i nci dent at Ae
dr i ve- i n one ni ght Aat much mor e shocki ng.
I t was cl osi ng t i me, and Davi d was par ked i n hi s car ,
wai t i ng f or her . J osephi ne was i n Ae smal l ki t chen wi A Paco,
hur r i edl y put t i ng away Ae l ast of Ae t r ays.
" Heavy dat e, huh?" Paco sai d.
J osephi ne smi l ed. " How di d you know?"
" Because you l ook l i ke Chr eest mas. Your pr et t y f ace
ces al l l i t up. You t el l heemf or me he' s one l ucky hombr e! "
J osephi ne smi l ed and sai d, " I wi l l . " On an i mpul se, she
130
I l eaned over and gave Paco a ki ss on t he cheek. An i nst ant
| l at er , she hear d t he r oar of a car engi ne and t hen t he scr eam
I of r ubber . She t ur ned i n t i me t o see Davi d' s whi t e conver t i bl e
smash t he f ender of anot her car and r ace away f r omt he
dr i ve- i n. She st ood t her e, unbel i evi ngl y, wat chi ng t he t ai l
l i ght s di sappear i nt o t he ni ght .
At t hr ee o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng, as J osephi ne l ay t ossi ng
i n bed, she hear d a car pul l up out si de her bedr oom. She
hur r i ed t o t he wi ndow and l ooked out . Davi d was si t t i ng
? behi nd t he wheel . He was ver y dr unk. Qui ckl y, J osephi ne put
on a r obe over her ni ght gown and went out si de.
i " Get i n, " ' Davi d commanded. J osephi ne opened di e car
' door and sl i d i n besi de hi m. Ther e was a l ong, heavy si l ence.
When Davi d f i nal l y spoke, hi s voi ce was t hi ck, but i t was
; mor e t han t he whi skey he had dr unk. Ther e was a r age i n
hi m, a savage f ur y t hat pr opel l ed t he wor ds out of hi ml i ke
smal l expl osi ons. " I don' t own you, " Davi d sai d. " You' r e f r ee
t o do exact l y as you pl ease. But as l ong as you go out wi t h
me, I expect you not t o ki ss any god damned Mexi cans.
Y' under st and?"
She l ooked at hi m, hel pl essl y, t hen sai d, " When I ki ssed
Paco, i t was because he sai d somet hi ng t hat made me happy.
He' s my f r i end. "
" Davi d t ook a deep br eat h, t r yi ng t o cont r ol t he emot i ons
i t hat wer e chur ni ng i nsi de hi m. " I ' mgoi ng t o t el l you somet hi ng
I ' ve never t ol d t o a l i vi ng soul . "
J osephi ne sat t her e wai t i ng, wonder i ng what was comi ng
next .
" I have an ol der si st er , " Davi d sai d. " Bet h. I I ador e
her . "
J osephi ne had a vague r ecol l ect i on of Bet h, a bl onde,
f ai r - ski nned beaut y, whomJ osephi ne used t o see when she
; went over t o pl ay wi t h Mar y Lou. J osephi ne had been ei ght
t ' when Bet h passed away. Davi d must have been about f i f t een.
. >" ! r emember when Bet h di ed, " J osephi ne sai d.
; Davi d' s next wor ds wer e a shock. " Bet h i s al i ve. "
| She st ar ed at hi m. " But , I ever yone t hought "
, ; i " She' s i n an i nsane asyl um. " He t ur ned t o f ace her , hi s
' cr i ce dead. " She was r aped by one of our Mexi can gar dener s,
Bet h' s bedr oomwas acr oss t he hal l f r ommi ne. I hear d her
scr eams and I r aced i nt o her r oom. He had r i pped of f her
ni ght gown and he was on t op of her and - - " Hi s voi ce br oke
wi t h t he memor y. " I st r uggl ed wi t h hi munt i l my mot her
r an i n and cal l ed t he pol i ce. They f i nal l y ar r i ved and t ook
t he man t o j ai l . He commi t t ed sui dde i n hi s cel l t hat ni ght .
- But Bet h had l ost her mi nd. She' l l never l eave t hat pl ace.
Never . I can' t t el l you how much I l ove her , J osi e. I mi ss her
so damned much. Ever y si nce t hat ni ght , I - - I - - I can' t - -
st and - - "
She pl aced a hand over hi s and sai d, " I ' msor r y, Davi d.
I under st and, I ' mgl ad you t ol d me. "
I n some st r ange way, t he i nci dent ser ved t o br i ng t hem
even cl oser t oget her . They di scussed t hi ngs t hey had never
t al ked about bef or e. Davi d smi l ed when J osephi ne t ol d hi m
about her mot her ' s r el i gi ous f anat i ci sm. " I had an uncl e l i ke
t hat once, " he sai d. " He went of f t o some monast er y i n
Ti bet . "
" I ' mgoi ng t o be t went y- f our next mont h, " Davi d t ol d
J osephi ne one day. " I t ' s an ol d f ami l y t r adi t i on t hat t he
Kenyon men mar r y by t he t i me t hey' r e t went y- f our , " and her
hear t l eaped wi t hi n her .
The f ol l owi ng eveni ng, Davi d had t i cket s f or a pl ay at
t he Gl obe Theat r e. When he came t o pi ck J osephi ne up, he
sai d, " Let ' s f or get t he pl ay. We' r e goi ng t o t al k about our
f ut ur e. "
The moment J osephi ne hear d t he wor ds, she knew t hat
ever yt hi ng she had pr ayed f or was comi ng t r ue. She coul d
r ead i t i n Davi d' s eyes. They wer e f i l l ed wi A l ove and
want i ng.
She sai d, " Let ' s dr i ve out t o Dewey Lake. "
She want ed i t t o be t he most r omant i c pr oposal ever
made, so t hat one day i t woul d become a t al e t hat she woul d
t el l her chi l dr en, over an dover . She want ed t o r emember
ever y moment of t hi s ni ght .
Dewey Lake was a smal l body of wat er about f or t y mi l es
out si de of Odessa. The ni ght was beaut i f ul and st ar - spangl ed,
wi t h a sof t , waxi ng gi bbous moon. The st ar s danced on Ac
132
t er , and t he ai r was f i l l ed wi t h t he myst er i ous sounds of a
pcr et wor l d, a mi cr ocosmof t he uni ver se, wher e mi l l i ons of
( ny unseen cr eat ur es made l ove and pseyed and wer e pr eyed
t oon and di ed.
; J osephi ne and Davi d sat i n t he car , si l ent , l i st eni ng t o
l i e sounds of t he ni ght . J osephi ne wat ched hi m, si t t i ng
i shi nd t he wheel of t he car , hi s handsome f ace i nt ense and
f er i ous. She had never l oved hi mas much as she l oved hi m
t t hat moment . She want ed t o do somet hi ng wonder f ul f or
Sf f l , t o gi ve hi msomet hi ng t o l et hi mknow how much she
i ar ed f or hi m. And suddenl y she knew what she was goi ng
b do.
" Let ' s go f or a swi m, Davi d, " she sai d.
" We di dn' t br i ng bat hi ng sui t s. "
' I t doesn' t mat t er . "
He t ur ned t o l ook at her and st ar t ed t o speak, but
bsephi ne was out of t he car , r unni ng down t o t he shor e of
t i e l ake. As she st ar t ed t o undr ess she coul d hear hi mmovi ng
ehi nd her . She pl unged i nt o t he war mwat er . A moment
r t er Davi d was besi de her .
" J osi e. . . "
She t ur ned t owar d hi m, t hen i nt o hi m, her body hur t i ng
nt h want i ng, hungr y f or hi m. They embr aced i n t he wat er
nd she coul d f eel t he mal e har dness of hi mpr essed agai nst
; er , and he sai d, " We can' t . J osi e. " Hi s voi ce was choked wi t h
i s desi r e f or her . She r eached down f or hi mand sai d, " Yes.
) h, yes, Davi d. "
They wer e back on t he shor e and he was on t op of her
nd i nsi de her and one wi t h her and t hey wer e bot h a par t
f t he st ar s and t he ear t h and t he vel vet ni ght .
They l ay t oget her a l ong t i me, hol di ng each ot her . I t
r as not unt i l much l at er , af t er Davi d had dr opped her of f
t home, t hat J osephi ne r emember ed t hat he had not pr o- osed t o her . But i t no
l onger mat t er ed. What t hey had
bar ed t oget her was mor e bi ndi ng t han any mar r i age cer emony.
I e woul d pr opose t omor r ow.
J osephi ne sl ept unt i l noon t he next day. She woke up
r i t h a smi l e on her f ace. The smi i e was st i l l t her e when her
133
mot her came i nt o t he bedr oomcar r yi ng a l ovel y ol d weddi ng
dr ess. " Go down t o Br ubaker ' s and get me t wel ve yar ds of
t ul l e r i ght away. Mr s. Toppi ng j ust br ought me her weddi ng
dr ess. I have t o make i t over f or Ci ssy by Sat ur day. She and
Davi d Kenyon ar e get t i ng mar r i ed. "
Davi d Kenyon had gone t o see hi s mot her as soon as he
dr ove J osephi ne home. She was i n bed, a t i ny, f r ai l woman
who had once been ver y beaut i f ul .
Hi s mot her opened her eyes when Davi d wal ked i nt o
her di ml y, l i t bedr oom. She smi l ed when she saw who i t was.
" Hel l o, son. You' r e up l at e. "
" I was out wi t h J osephi ne, Mot her . "
She sai d not hi ng, j ust wat chi ng hi mwi t h her i nt el l i gent
gr ay eyes.
" I ' mgoi ng t o mar r y her , " Davi d sai d.
She shook her head sl owl y. " I can' t l et you make a
mi st ake l i ke t hat , Davi d. "
" You don' t r eal l y know J osephi ne. She' s - - "
" I ' msur e she' s a l ovel y gi r l . But she' s not sui t abl e t o be
a Kenyon wi f e. Ci ssy Toppi ng woul d make you happy. And
i f you mar r i ed her , i t woul d make me happy. "
He t ook her f r ai l hand i n hi s and sai d, " I l ove you ver y
much, Mot her , but I ' mcapabl e of maki ng my own deci si ons. "
" Ar e you r eal l y?" she asked sof t l y. " Do you al ways do t he
r i ght t hi ng?"
He st ar ed at her and she sai d, " Can you al ways be
t r ust ed t o act pr oper l y, Davi d? Not t o l ose your head? Not t o
do t er r i bl e - - "
He snat ched hi s hand away.
" Do you al ways know what you' r e doi ng, son?" Her voi ce
was even sof t er now.
" Mot her , f or God' s sake! "
" You' ve done enough t o t hi s f ami l y al r eady, Davi d. Don' t
bur den me any f ur t her . I don' t t hi nk I coul d bear i t . "
Hi s f ace was whi t e. " You know I di dn' t - - I coul dn' t
hel p- - "
" You' r e t oo ol d t o send away agai n. You' r e a man now.
I want you t o act l i ke one. "
134
Hi s voi ce was angui shed. " I - - I l ove her - - "
She was sei zed wi t h a spasm, and Davi d summoned t he
ct or . Lat er , he and t he doct or had a t al k.
" I ' maf r ai d your mot her hasn' t much l onger , Davi d. "
And so t he deci si on was made f or hi m.
He went t o see Ci ssy Toppi ng.
" I ' mi n l ove wi t h someone el se, " Davi d sai d. " My mot her
ways t hought t hat you and I - - "
" So di d I , dar l i ng. "
" I know i t ' s a t er r i bl e t hi ng t o ask, but - - woul d you be
ki l l i ng t o mar r y me unt i l - - unt i l my mot her di es, and t hen
l i ve me a di vor ce?"
f r Ci ssy l ooked at hi mand sai d sof t l y, " I f t hat ' s what you
l eant , Davi d. "
11 He f el t as t hough an unbear abl e wei ght had been l i f t ed
St omhi s shoul der s. " Thank you. Ci ssy, I can' t t el l you how
much- - "
She smi l ed and sai d, " What ar e ol d f r i ends f or ?"
The moment Davi d l ef t . Ci ssy Toppi ng t el ephoned
Davi d' s mot her . Al l she sai d was, " I t ' s al l ar r anged. "
The one t hi ng Davi d Kenyon had not ant i ci pat ed was
f aat J osephi ne woul d hear about t he f or t hcomi ng mar r i age
xf or e he coul d expl ai n ever yt hi ng t o her . When Davi d ar r i ved
i t J osephi ne' s home, he was met at t he door by Mr s. Czi nsl d.
" I ' d l i ke t o see J osephi ne, " he sai d.
She gl ar ed at hi mwi t h eyes f i l l ed wi t h mal i ci ous t r i umph.
The Lor d J esus shal l over come and smi t e down Hi s enemi es,
and t he wi cked shal l be damned f or ever . "
Davi d sai d pat i ent l y, " I want t o t al k t o J osephi ne. "
" She' s gone, " Mr s. Czi nsl d sai d. " She' s gone away! "
The dust y Gr eyhound Odessa- El Paso- San Bemar di noLos
Angel es bus pul l ed i nt o t he Hol l ywood depot on Vi ne
St r eet at seven a. m. , and somewher e dur i ng t he f i f t een- hundr ed- mi l e,
t wo- day J our ney, J osephi ne Czi nski had become
J i l l Cast l e. Out war dl y, she l ooked l i ke t he same per son. I t
was i nsi de t hat she had changed. Somet hi ng ui her was gone.
The l aught er had di ed.
The moment she had hear d t he news, J osephi ne knew
t hat she must escape. She began t o mi ndl essl y t hr ow her
cl ot hes i nt o a sui t case. She had no i dea wher e she was goi ng
or what she woul d do when she got t her e. She onl y knew
t hat she had t o get away f r omt hi s pl ace at once.
I t was when she was wal ki ng out of her bedr oomand
saw t he phot ogr aphs of t he movi e st ar s on her wal l t hat she
suddenl y knew wher e she was goi ng. Two hour s l at er , she was
on t he bus f or Hol l ywood. Odessa and ever yone i n i t r eceded
i n her mi nd, f adi ng f ast er and f ast er as t he bus swept her
t owar d her new dest i ny. She t r i ed t o make her sel f f or get her
r agi ng headache. Per haps she shoul d have seen a doct or about
t he t er r i bl e pai ns i n her head. But now she no l onger car ed.
That was par t of her past , and she was sur e t hey woul d go
away. Fr omnow on l i f e was goi ng t o be wonder f ul . J osephi ne
Czi nski was dead.
Long l i ve J i l l Cast l e.
BOOK TWO
Toby Templ e became a super st ar because of t he unl i kel y
aposi t i on of a pat er ni t y sui t , a r upt ur ed appendi x and t he
ssi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es.
The Washi ngt on Pr ess Cl ub was gi vi ng i t s annual di nner ,
1 t he guest of honor was t he Pr esi dent . I t was a pr est i gi ous
ur at t ended by t he Vi ce- Pr esi dent , senat or s. Cabi net
mber s. Chi ef J ust i ces and anyone el se who coul d buy,
t ow or st eal a t i cket . Because t he event was al ways gi ven
smat i onal pr ess cover age, t he j ob of mast er of cer emoni es
1 become a hi ghl y pr i zed pl um. Thi s year , one of Amer i ca' s
i comedi ans had been chosen t o emcee t he show. One week
af t er he had accept ed, he was named def endant i n a pat er ni t y
ai t i nvol vi ng a f i f t een- year - ol d gi r l . On t he advi ce of hi s
t omey, t he comedi an i mmedi at el y l ef t t he count r y f or an
def i ni t e vacat i on. The di nner commi t t ee t ur ned t o t hei r
nber t wo choi ce, a popul ar mot i on- pi ct ur e and t el evi si on
" . He ar r i ved i n Washi ngt on t he ni ght bef or e t he di nner .
e f ol l owi ng af t er noon, on t he day of t he banquet , hi s agent
phoned t o r nnounce t hat t he act or was i n t he hospi t al ,
der goi ng emer gency sur ger y f or a bur st appendi x.
Ther e wer e onl y si x hour s l ef t bef or e t he di nner . The
ami t t ee f r ant i cal l y went t hr ough a l i st of possi bl e r epl acent s.
The i mpor t ant names wer e busy doi ng a movi e or a
; vi si on show, or wer e t oo f ar away t o get t o Washi ngt on i n
e. One by one, t he candi dat es wer e el i mi nat ed and f i nal l y,
ar t he bot t omof t he l i st , t he name of Toby Templ e appear ed.
A commi t t ee member shook hi s head. " Templ e' s a ni ght cl ub
comi c. He' s t oo wi l d. We woul dn' t dar e t ur n hi ml oose on t he
Pr esi dent . "
" He' d be al l r i ght i f we coul d get hi mt o t one down hi s
mat er i al . "
The chai r man of t he commi t t ee l ooked ar ound and sai d,
" I ' l l t el l you what ' s gr eat about hi m, f el l ows. He' s i n New
Yor k Ci t y and he can be her e i n an hour . The god damned
di nner i s t oni ght ! "
That was how t he commi t t ee sel ect ed Toby Templ e.
As Toby l ooked ar ound t he cr owded banquet hal l , he
t hought t o hi msel f t hat i f a bomb wer e dr opped her e t oni ght ,
t he f eder al gover nment of t he Uni t ed St at es woul d be
l eader l ess.
The Pr esi dent was seat ed i n t he cent er of t he speaker s'
t abl e on t he dai s. Hal f a dozen Secr et Ser vi ce men st ood
behi nd hi m. I n t he l ast - mi nut e r ush of put t i ng ever yt hi ng
t oget her , no one had r emember ed t o i nt r oduce Toby t o t he
Pr esi dent , but Toby di d not mi nd. The Pr esi dent wi l l
r emember me, Toby t hought . He r ecal l ed hi s meet i ng wi t h
Downey, t he chai r man of t he di nner commi t t ee. Downey had
sai d, " We l ove your humor , Toby. You' r e ver y f unny when
you at t ack peopl e. However - - " He had paused t o cl ear hi s
t hr oat . " Thi s i s - - er - - a sensi t i ve gr oup her e t oni ght . Don' t
get me wr ong. I t ' s not t hat t hey can' t t ake a l i t t l e j oke on
t hemsel ves, but ever yt hi ng sai d i n t hi s r oomt oni ght i s goi ng
t o be r epor t ed by t he news medi a . al l over t he wor l d. Nat ur al l y,
none of us want s anyt hi ng sai d t hat woul d hol d t he Pr esi dent
of t he Uni t ed St at es or member s of Congr ess up t o r i di cul e.
I n ot her wor ds, we want you t o be f unny, but we don' t want
you t o get anyone mad. "
" Tr ust me. " Toby had smi l ed.
The di nner pl at es wer e bei ng cl ear ed and Downey was
st andi ng i n f r ont of t he mi cr ophone. " Mr . Pr esi dent , honor ed
guest s, i t ' s my pl easur e t o i nt r oduce t o you our mast er of
cer emoni es, one of our br i ght est young comedi ans, Mr . Toby
Templ e! "
Ther e was pol i t e appl ause as Toby r ose t o hi s f eet and
140
al ked over t o t he mi cr ophone. He l ooked out at t he audi ence,
en t ur ned t o t he Pr esi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es.
The Pr esi dent was a si mpl e, homespun man. He di d not
di eve i n what he cal l ed t op- hat di pl omacy. " Peopl e t o
sopl e, " he had sai d i n a nat i onwi de speech, " t hat ' s what we
sed. We' ve got t o qui t dependi ng on comput er s and st ar t
l i st i ng our i nst i nct s agai n. When I si t down wi t h t he heads
f or ei gn power s, I l i ke t o negot i at e by t he seat of my pant s. "
had become a popul ar phr ase.
Now Toby l ooked at t he Pr esi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es
i d sai d, hi s voi ce choked wi t h pr i de, " Mr . Pr esi dent , I can- i t t el l you what a
t hr i l l i t i s f or me t o be up her e on t he
me podi umwi t h t he man who has t he whol e wor l d wi r ed t o
s ass. "
Ther e was a shocked hush f or a l ong moment , t hen t he
r esi dent gr i nned, guf f awed, and t he audi ence suddenl y
yl oded wi t h l aught er and appl ause. Fr omt hat moment on,
oby coul d do no wr ong. He at t acked t he senat or s i n t he
f r om, t he Supr eme Cour t , t he pr ess. They ador ed i t . They
r eamed and howl ed, because t hey knew Toby di d not r eal l y
can a wor d of what he sai d. I t was excr uci at i ngl y f unny t ow t hese i nsul t s comi ng
f r omt hat boyi sh, i nnocent f ace.
her e wer e f or ei gn mi ni st er s t her e t hat ni ght . Toby addr essed
i emi n a doubl e- t al k ver si on of t hei r own l anguages t hat
mnded so r eal t hat t hey wer e noddi ng i n agr eement . He was
i i di ot - savant , r eel i ng of f pat t er t hat pr ai sed t hem, ber at ed
i em, and t he meani ng of hi s wi l d gi bber i sh was so dear t hat
' er y per son i n t he r oomunder st ood what Toby was sayi ng.
He r ecei ved a st andi ng ovat i on. The Pr esi dent wal ked
r er t o Toby and sai d, " That was br i l l i ant , absol ut el y br i l l i ant .
Vi e gi vi ng a l i t t l e supper at t he Whi t e House Monday
[ ght , Toby, and I ' d be del i ght ed. . . "
The f ol l owi ng day, al l t he newspaper s wr ot e about Toby
empl e' s t r i umph. Hi s r emar ks wer e quot ed ever ywher e. He
as asked t o ent er t ai n at t he Whi t e House. Ther e, he was an
' ea bi gger sensat i on. I mpor t ant of f er s began pour i ng i n f r om
1 over t he wor l d. Toby pl ayed t he Pal l adi umi n London, he
i ve a command per f or mance f or t he Queen, he was asked t o
i nduct symphony or chest r as f or char i t y and t o ser ve on t he
141
Nat i onal Ar t s Commi t t ee. He pl ayed gol f wi t h t he Pr esi dent
f r equent l y and was i nvi t ed t o di nner at t he Whi t e House agai n
and agai n. Toby met l egi sl at or s and gover nor s and t he heads
of Amer i ca' s l ar gest cor por at i ons. He i nsul t ed t hemal l , and
t he mor e he at t acked t hem, t he mor e char med t hey wer e. They
ador ed havi ng Toby ar ound, t ur ni ng hi s acer bi c wi t l oose on
t hei r guest s. Toby' s f r i endshi p became a symbol of pr est i ge
among t he Br ahmi ns.
The of f er s t hat wer e comi ng i n wer e phenomenal . Cl i f t on
Lawr ence was as exci t ed about t hemas Toby, and Cl i f t on' s
exci t ement had not hi ng t o do wi t h busi ness or money. Toby
Templ e had been t he most wonder f ul t hi ng t hat had happened
t o hi mi n year s, f or he f el t as t hough Toby wer e hi s son. He
had spent mor e t i me on Toby' s car eer t han on any of hi s
ot her cl i ent s, but i t had been wor t h i t . Toby had wor ked har d,
had per f ect ed hi s t al ent unt i l i t shone l i ke a di amond. And
he was appr eci at i ve and gener ous, somet hi ng t hat was r ar e i n
t hi s busi ness.
" Ever y t op hot el i n Vegas i s af t er you, " Cl i f t on Lawr ence
t ol d Toby. " Money i s no obj ect . They want you, per i od. I
have scr i pt s on my desk f r omFox, LI ni ver sal , Pan- Paci f i c - -
al l st ar r i ng par t s. You can do a t our of Eur ope, any guest shot
you want , or you can have your own t el evi si on show on any
of t he net wor ks. That woul d st i l l gi ve you t i me t o do Vegas
and a pi ct ur e a year . "
" How much coul d I make wi t h my own t el evi si on show,
Cl i f f ?"
" I t hi nk I can push t hemup t o t en t housand a week f or
ah hour var i et y show. They' l l have t o gi ve us a f i r mt wo year s,
maybe t hr ee. I f t hey want you badl y enough, t hey' l l go f or i t . "
Toby l eaned back on t he couch, exul t i ng. Ten t housand
a show, say f or t y shows a year . I n t hr ee year s, t hat woul d
come t o over one mi l l i on dol l ar s f or t el l i ng t he wor l d what
he t hought of i t ! He l ooked over at Cl i f t on. The l i t t l e agent
was t r yi ng t o pl ay i t cool , but Toby coul d see t hat he was
eager . He want ed Toby t o make t he t el evi si on deal . Why not ?
Cl i f t on coul d pi ck up a hundr ed- andt went yt housand- dol l ar
commi ssi on f or Toby' s t al ent and sweat . Di d Cl i f t on r eal l y
deser ve t hat ki nd of money? He had never had t o wor k hi s ass
142
i n f i l t hy l i t t l e cl ubs or have dr unken audi ences t hr ow
i pt y beer bot t l es at hi mor go t o gr eedy quacks i n namel ess
l ages t o have a cl ap t r eat ed because t he onl y gi r l s avai l abl e
r e t he r addl ed whor es ar ound t he Toi l et Ci r cui t . What di d
i f t on Lawr ence know of t he cockr oach- r i dden r ooms and
i e gr easy f ood and t he endl ess pr ocessi on of al l - ni ght bus
i des goi ng f r omone hel l - hol e t o anot her ? He coul d never
nder st and. One cr i t i c had cal l ed Toby an over ni ght success,
nd Toby had l aughed al oud. Now, si t t i ng i n Cl i f t on
. ^awr ence' s of f i ce, be sai d, " I want my own t el evi si on show. "
; , Si x weeks l at er , t he deal was si gned wi t h Consol i dat ed
' Br oadcast i ng.
' " The net wor k want s a st udi o t o do t he def i ci t f i nanci ng, "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence t ol d Toby. " I l i ke t he i dea because I can
. par l ay i t i nt o a pi ct ur e deal . "
, " Whi ch st udi o?"
> " Pan- Paci f i c. "
j Toby f r owned. " SamWi nt er s?"
" That ' s r i ght . For my money, he' s t he best st udi o head
i n t he busi ness. Besi des, he owns a pr oper t y I want f or you,
: The Ki d Goes West . "
; , . Toby sai d, " I was i n t he ar my wi t h Wi nt er s. Okay. But
i he owes me one. Shaf t t he bast ar d! "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence and SamWi nt er s wer e i n t he st eam
r oomi n t he gymnasi umat Pan- Paci f i c St udi os, br eat hi ng i n
t he eucal ypt us scent of t he heat ed ai r .
' " Thi s i s t he l i f e, " t he l i t t l e agent si ghed. " Who needs
: money?"
I Samgr i nned. " Why don' t you t al k l i ke t hat when we' r e
I negot i at i ng. Cl i f f ?"
| " I don' t want t o spoi l you, dear boy. "
, " I hear t hat you made a deal wi t h Toby Templ e at
| Consol i dat ed Br oadcast i ng. "
| " Yeah. Bi ggest deal t hey' ve ever made. "
I " Wher e ar e you goi ng t o get t he def i ci t f i nanci ng f or t he
I show?"
I " Why, Sam?"
" We coul d be i nt er est ed. I mi ght even t hr ow i n a pi ct ur e
deal . I j ust bought a comedy cal l ed The Ki d Goes West . I t
hasn' t been announced yet . I t hi nk Toby' d be per f ect f or i t . "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence f r owned and sai d, " Shi t ! I wi sh I ' d
known about t hi s ear l i er , Sam. I ' ve made a dear at MGM. "
" Have you cl osed yet ?"
" Wel l , pr act i cal l y. I gave Aemmy wor d. . . "
Twent y mi nut es l at er , Cl i f t on Lawr ence had negot i at ed
a l ucr at i ve ar r angement f or Toby Templ e i n whi ch PanPadf i c
St udi os woul d pr oduce " The Toby Templ e Show"
and st ar hi mi n The Ki d Goes West .
The negot i at i ons coul d have gone on l onger , but t he
st eamr oomhad become unbear abl y hot .
One of t he st i pul at i ons i n Toby Templ e' s cont r act was
t hat he di d not have t o come t o r ehear sal s. Toby' s st and- i n
woul d wor k wi t h t he guest st ar s i n t he sket ches and dance
r out i nes, and Toby woul d appear f or t he f i nal r ehear sal and
t api ng. I n t hi s way, Toby coul d keep hi s par t f r esh and
exci t i ng.
On t he af t er noon of t he show' s pr emi er e, i n Sept ember ,
1956, Toby wal ked i nt o t he t heat er on Vi ne St r eet wher e t he
show woul d be t aped and sat wat chi ng t he r un- t hr ough. When
i t was over , Toby t ook hi s st and- i n' s pl ace. Suddenl y t he
t heat er was f i l l ed wi t h el ect r i ci t y. The show came t o l i f e and
cr ackl ed and spar kl ed. And when i t was t aped t hat eveni ng
and went on t he ai r , f or t y mi l l i on peopl e wat ched i t . I t was
as t hough t el evi si on had been made f or Toby Templ e. I n
cl ose up, he was even mor e ador abl e, and ever yone want ed
hi mi n hi s l i vi ng r oom. The show was an i nst ant success. I t
j umped t o number one i n t he Ni el sen Rat i ngs, and t her e i t
f i r ml y r emai ned. Toby Templ e was no l onger a st ar .
He had become a super st ar .
144
Hol l ywood was mor e exci t i ng t han J i l l Cast l e had ever
dr eamed. She went on si ght seei ng t our s and saw t he out si de
, of t he st ar s' homes. And she knew t hat one day she woul d
have a beaut i f ul home i n Bel - Ai r or Bever l y Hi l l s. Meanwhi l e,
J i l l l i ved i n an ol d r oomi ng house, an ugl y t wo- st or y wooden
st r uct ur e t hat had been conver t ed i nt o an even ugl i er t wel vebedr oom
house wi t h t i ny bedr ooms. Her r oomwas i nexpensi ve,
- whi ch meant t hat she coul d st r et ch out t he t wo hundr ed
dol l ar s she had saved up. The house was l ocat ed on Br onson,
a f ew mi nut es f r omHol l ywood and Vi ne St r eet , t he hear t of
Hol l ywood, and was conveni ent t o t he mot i on- pi ct ur e st udi os.
Ther e was anot her f eat ur e about t he house t hat at t r act ed
J i l l . Ther e wer e a dozen r oomer s, and al l of t hemwer e ei t her
t r yi ng t o get i nt o pi ct ur es, wer e wor ki ng i n pi ct ur es as ext r as
or bi t pl ayer s or had r et i r ed f r omt he Busi ness. The ol d- t i mer s
f l oat ed ar ound t he house i n yel l owed r obes and cur l er s, f r ayed
sui t s and scuf f ed shoes t hat woul d no l onger t ake a shi ne. The
r oomer s l ooked used up, r at her t han ol d. Ther e was a common
l i vi ng r oomwi t h bat t er ed and spr ung f ur ni t ur e wher e t hey al l
gat her ed i n t he eveni ng t o exchange gossi p. Ever yone gave J i l l
advi ce, most of i t cont r adi ct or y.
" The way t o get i nt o pi ct ur es, honey, i s you f i nd your sel f
an AD who l i kes you. " Thi s f r oma sour - f aced l ady who had
r ecent l y been f i r ed f r oma t el evi si on ser i es.
" What ' s an AD?" J i l l asked.
" An assi st ant di r ect or . " I n a t one t hat pi t i ed J i l l ' s
i gnor ance. " He' s t he one who hi r es t he supes. "
J i l l was t oo embar r assed t o ask what t he " supes" wer e.
" I f you want my advi ce, you' l l f i nd your sel f a hor ny
cast i ng di r ect or . An AD can onl y use you on hi s pi ct ur e. A
cast i ng di r ect or can put you i nt o ever yt hi ng. " Thi s f r oma
t oot hl ess woman who must have been i n her ei ght i es.
" Yeah? Most of t hemar e f ags. " A bal di ng char act er
act or .
" What ' s t he di f f er ence? I mean, i f i t get s one l aunched?"
An i nt ense, bespect acl ed young man who bur ned t o be a
wr i t er .
" What about st ar t i ng out as an ext r a?" J i l l asked. " Cent r al
Cast i ng - - "
" For get i t . Cent r al Cast i ng' s books ar e cl osed. They won' t
even r egi st er you unl ess you' r e a speci al t y. "
" I ' m- - I ' msor r y. What ' s a speci al t y?"
" I t ' s l i ke i f you' r e an amput ee. That pays t hi r t y- t hr ee
f i f t y- ei ght i nst ead of t he r egul ar t went y- one f i f t y. Or i f you own
di nner cl ot hes or can r i de a hor se, you make t went y- ei ght
t hi r t y- t hr ee. I f you know how t o deal car ds or handl e t he
st i ck at a cr ap t abl e, t hat ' s t went y- ei ght t hi r t y- t hr ee. I f you
can pl ay f oot bal l or basebal l , t hat pays t hi r t y- t hr ee f i f t y- ei ght
- - same as an amput ee. I f you r i de a camel or an el ephant , i t ' s
f i f t y- f i ve ni net y- f our . Take my advi ce, f or get about bei ng an
ext r a. Go f or a bi t par t . "
" I ' mnot sur e what t he di f f er ence i s, " J i l l conf essed.
" A bi t pl ayer ' s got at l east one l i ne t o say. Ext r as ai n' t
al l owed t o t al k, except t he omni es. "
" The what ?"
' The omni es - - t he ones who make backgr ound noi ses. "
" Fi r st t hi ng you got t a do i s get your sel f an agent . "
" How do I f i nd one?"
" They' r e l i st ed i n t he Scr een Act or . That ' s t he magazi ne
t he Scr een Act or s Gui l d put s out . I got a copy i n my r oom.
I ' l l get i t . "
They al l l ooked t hr ough t he l i st of agent s wi t h J i l l , and
f i nal l y nar r owed i t down t o a dozen of t he smal l er ones. The
consensus of opi ni on was t hat J i l l woul d not have a chance at
a l ar ge agency.
Ar med wi t h t he l i st , J i l l began t o make t he r ounds. The
146
f i r st si x agent s woul d not even t al k t o her . She r an i nt o t he
; sevent h as he was l eavi ng hi s of f i ce.
S " Excuse me, " J i l l sai d. " I ' ml ooki ng f or an agent . "
He eyed her a moment and sai d, " Let ' s see your por t f ol i o. "
I
She st ar ed at hi mbl ankl y. " My what ?"
I " You must have j ust got t en of f t he bus. You can' t oper at e
t i n t hi s t own wi t hout a book. Get some pi ct ur es `; / 91' t aken. Di f f er ent
' , poses. Gl amour st uf f . Ti t s and ass. "
J i l l f ound a phot ogr apher i n Cul ver Ci t y near t he Davi d
Sei zni ck St udi os, who di d her por t f ol i o f or t hi r t y- f i ve dol l ar s.
She pi cked up t he pi ct ur es a week l at er and was ver y pl eased
wi t h t hem. She l ooked beaut i f ul . Al l of her moods had been
capt ur ed by t he camer a. She was pensi ve . . . angr y . . . l ovi ng
. . . sexy. The phot ogr apher had bound t he pi ct ur es t oget her
i n a book wi t h l oosel eaf cel l ophane pages.
" At t he f r ont her e, " he expl ai ned, " you put your act i ng
cr edi t s. "
Cr edi t s. That was t he next st ep.
By t he end of t he next t wo weeks, J i l l had seen, or t r i ed
t o see, ever y agent on her l i st . None of t hemwas r emot el y
i nt er est ed. One of t hemt ol d her , " You wer e i n her e yest er day,
honey. "
She shook her head. " No, I wasn' t . "
" Wel l , she l ooked exact l y l i ke you. That ' s t he pr obl em.
You al l l ook l i ke El i zabet h Tayl or or Lana Tur ner or Ava
Gar dner . I f you wer e i n any ot her t own t r yi ng t o get a j ob i n
any ot her busi ness, ever ybody woul d gr ab you. You' r e beaut i f ul ,
you' r e sexy- l ooki ng, and you' ve got a gr eat f i gur e. But i n
Hol l ywood, l ooks ar e a dr ug on t he mar ket . Beaut i f ul gi r l s
come her e f r omal l over t he wor l d. They st ar r ed i n t hei r hi gh
school pl ay or t hey won a beaut y cont est or t hei r boyf r i end
t ol d t hemt hey ought t o be i n pi ct ur es and whammo! They
f l ock her e by t he t housands, and t hey' r e al l t he same gi r l .
Bel i eve me, honey, you wer e i n her e yest er day. "
The boar der s hel ped J i l l make a new l i st of agent s. Thei r
of f i ces wer e smal l er and t he l ocat i ons wer e i n t he cheap- r ent
di st r i ct , but t he r esul t s wer e t he same.
" Come back when you' ve got some act i ng exper i ence,
ki d. You' r e a l ooker , and f or al l I know you coul d be t he
gr eat est t hi ng si nce Gar bo, but I can' t wast e my t i me f i ndi ng
out . You go get your sel f a scr een cr edi t and I ' l l be your agent . "
" How can I get a scr een cr edi t i f no one wi l l gi ve me
a j ob?"
He nodded. " Yeah. That ' s t he pr obl em. Lot s of l uck. "
Ther e was onl y one agency l ef t on J i l l ' s l i st , r ecommended
by a gi r l she had sat next t o at t he Mayf l ower Cof f ee Shop
on Hol l ywood Boul evar d. The Dunni ng Agency was l ocat ed
i n a smal l bungal ow of f La Ci enega i n a r esi dent i al ar ea. J i l l
had t el ephoned f or an appoi nt ment , and a woman had t ol d
her t o come i n at si x o' cl ock.
J i l l f ound her sel f i n a smal l of f i ce t hat had once been
someone' s l i vi ng r oom. Ther e was an ol d scar r ed desk l i t t er ed
wi t h paper s, a f ake- l eat her couch mended wi t h whi t e sur gi cal
t ape and t hr ee r at t an chai r s scat t er ed ar ound t he r oom. A
t al l , heavyset woman wi t h a pockmar ked f ace came out of
anot her r oomand sai d, " Hel l o. Can I hel p you?"
" I ' mJ i l l Cast l e. I have an appoi nt ment t o see Mr .
Dunni ng. "
" Mi ss Dunni ng, " t he woman sai d. " That ' s me. "
" Oh, " sai d J i l l , i n sur pr i se. " I ' msor r y, I t hought - - "
The woman' s l augh was war mand f r i endl y. " I t doesn' t
mat t er . "
But i t does mat t er , J i l l t hought , f i l l ed wi t h a sudden
exci t ement . Why hadn' t i t occur r ed t o her bef or e? A woman
agent ! Someone who had gone t hr ough al l t he t r aumas, someone
who woul d under st and what i t was l i ke f or a young gi r l
j ust st ar t i ng out . She woul d be mor e sympat het i c t han any
man coul d ever be.
" I see you br ought your por t f ol i o, " Mi ss Dunni ng was
sayi ng. " May I l ook at i t ?"
" Cer t ai nl y, " J i l l sai d. She handed i t over .
The woman sat down, opened t he por t f ol i o and began t o
mmt he pages, noddi ng appr oval . " The camer a l i kes you. "
148
J i l l di d not know what t o say. " Thank you. "
The agent st udi ed t he pi ct ur es of J i l l i n a bat hi ng sui t .
" You' ve got a good f i gur e. That ' s i mpor t ant . Wher e you
f r om?"
" Texas, " . Ti l l sai d. " Odessa. "
" How l ong have you been i n Hol l ywood, J i l l ?"
" About t wo mont hs. "
" How many agent s have you been t o?"
For an i nst ant , J i l l was t empt ed t o l i e, but t her e was
not hi ng but compassi on and under st andi ng i n t he woman' s
eyes. " About t hi r t y, I guess. "
The agent l aughed. " So you f i nal l y got down t o Rose
Dunni ns: . Wel l , you coul d have done wor se. I ' mnot MCA
or Wi l l i amMor r i s, but I keep my peopl e wor ki ng. "
" I haven' t had any act i ng exper i ence. "
The woman nodded, unsur pr i sed. " I f you had, you' d be
at MCA or Wi l l i amMor r i s. I ' ma ki nd of br eaki ng- i n st at i on.
I get t he ki ds wi t h t al ent st ar t ed, and t hen t he bi g agenci es
snat ch t hemaway f r omme. "
For t he f i r st t i me i n weeks, J i l l began t o f eel a sense of
hope. " Do - - do you t hi nk you' d be i nt er est ed i n handl i ng
me?" she asked.
The woman smi l ed. " I have cl i ent s wor ki ng who ar en' t
hal f as pr et t y as you. I t hi nk I can put you t o wor k. That ' s t he
onl y way you' l l ever get exper i ence, r i ght ?"
J i l l f el t a gl ow of gr at i t ude.
" The t r oubl e wi t h t hi s damned t own i s t hat t hey won' t
gi ve ki ds l i ke you a chance. Al l t he st udi os scr eamt hat t hey' r e
desper at e f or new t al ent , and t hen t hey put up a bi g wal l and
won' t l et anybody i n. Wel l , we' l l f ool ' em. I know of t hr ee
t hi ngs you mi ght be r i ght f or . A dayt i me soap, a bi t i n t he
Toby Templ e pi ct ur e and a par t i n t he new Tessi e Br and
movi e. "
J i l l ' s head was spi nni ng. " But woul d t hey - - ?"
" I f I r ecommend you, t hey' l l t ake you. I don' t send
cl i ent s who ar en' t good. They' r e j ust bi t par t s, you under st and,
but i t wi l l be a st ar t . "
" I can' t t el l you how gr at ef ul I ' d be, " J i l l sai d.
149
" I t hi nk I ' ve got t he soap- oper a scr i pt her e. " Rose Dunni ng
l umber ed t o her f eet , pushi ng her sel f out of her chai r ,
and wal ked i nt o t he next r oom, beckoni ng J i l l t o f ol l ow
her .
The r oomwas a bedr oomwi t h a doubl e bed i n a cor ner
under a wi ndow and a met al f i l i ng cabi net i n t he opposi t e
cor ner . Rose Dunni ng waddl ed over t o t he f i l i ng cabi net ,
opened a dr awer , t ook out a scr i pt and br ought i t over t o J i l l .
" Her e we ar e. The cast i ng di r ect or i s a good f r i end of
mi ne, and i f you come t hr ough on t hi s, he' l l keep you busy. "
" I ' l l come t hr ough, " J i l l pr omi sed f er vent l y.
The agent smi l ed and sai d, " Cour se, I can' t send over a
pi g i n a poke. Woul d you mi nd r eadi ng f or me?"
" No. Cer t ai nl y not . "
The agent opened t he scr i pt and sat down on t he bed.
" Let ' s- r ead t hi s scene. "
J i l l sat on t he bed next t o her and l ooked at t he scr i pt .
" Your char act er i s Nat al i e. She' s a r i ch gi r l who' s mar r i ed
t o a weakl i ng. She der i des t o di vor ce hi m, andJ i e won' t l et
her . You make your ent r ance her e. "
J i l l qui ckl y scanned t he scene. She wi shed she had had
a chance t o st udy t he scr i pt over ni ght or even f or an hour .
She was desper at el y anxi ous t o make a good i mpr essi on.
" Ready?"
" I - - I t hi nk so, " J i l l sai d. She cl osed her eyes and t r i ed
t o t hi nk l i ke t he char act er . A r i ch woman. Li ke t he mot her s
of t he f r i ends t hat she had gr own up wi t h, peopl e who t ook
i t f or gr ant ed t hat t hey coul d have anyt hi ng t hey want ed i n
l i f e, bel i evi ng t hat ot her peopl e wer e t her e f or t hei r conveni ence.
The Ci ssy Toppi ngs of t he wor l d. She opened her
eyes, l ooked down at t he scr i pt and began t o r ead. " I want t o
t al k t o you, Pet er . "
" Can' t i t wai t ?" That was Rose Dunni ng, cuei ng her .
" I ' maf r ai d i t ' s wai t ed t oo l ong al r eady. I ' mcat chi ng a
pl ane f or Reno t hi s af t er noon. "
" J ust l i ke t hat ?"
" No. I ' ve been t r yi ng t o cat ch t hat pl ane f or f i ve year s,
Pet er . Thi s t i me I ' mgoi ng t o make i t . "
J i l l f el t Rose Duaai ng' s hand pat t i ng her t hi gh. " That ' s
150
ver y good, " t he agent sai d, appr ovi ngl y. " Keep r eadi ng. " She
l et her hand r est on J i l l ' s l eg.
" Your pr obl emi s t hat you haven' t gr own up yet . You' r e
st i l l pl ayi ng games. Wel l , f r omnow on, you' r e goi ng t o have
t o pl ay by your sel f . "
Rose Dunni ng' s hand was st r oki ng her t hi gh. I t was di sconcer t i ng.
" Fi ne. Go on, " she sai d.
" I - - I don' t want you t o t r y t o get i n t ouch wi t h me ever
agai n. I s t hat qui t e cl ear ?"
The hand was st r oki ng J i l l f ast er , movi ng t owar d her
gr oi n. J i l l l ower ed t he scr i pt and l ooked at Rose Dunni ng.
The woman' s f ace was f l ushed and her eyes had a gl azed l ook
i n t hem.
" Keep r eadi ng, " she sai d huski l y.
" I - - I can' t , " J i l l sai d. " I f you - - "
The woman' s hand began t o move f ast er . " Thi s i s t o
get you i n t he mood, dar l i ng. I t ' s a sexual f i ght , you see. I
want t o f eel t he sex i n you. " Her hand was pr essi ng har der
now, movi ng bet ween J i l l ' s l egs.
" No! " J i l l got t o her f eet , t r embl i ng.
Sal i va was dr i bbl i ng out of t he cor ner of t he woman' s
mout h. " Be good t o me and I ' l l be good t o you. " Her voi ce
was pl eadi ng. " Come her e, baby. " She hel d out her ar ms and
made a ^r ab f or her , and J i l l r an out of t he of f i ce.
I n t he st r eet out si de, she vomi t ed. Even when t he r acki ng
spasms wer e over and her st omach had qui et ed down, she
f el t no bet t er . Her headache had st ar t ed agai n.
I t was not f ai r . The headaches di dn' t bel ong t o her . They
bel onged t o J osephi ne Czi nski .
Dur i ng t he next f i f t een mont hs, J i l l Cast l e became a f ul l f l edged
member of t he Sur vi vor s, t he t r i be of peopl e on t he
f r i nges of show busi ness who spent year s and somet i mes a
whol e l i f et i me t r yi ng t o br eak i nt o t he Busi ness, wor ki ng at
ot her j obs t empor ar i l y. The f act t hat t he t empor ar y j obs somet i mes
l ast ed t en or f i f t een year s di d not di scour age t hem.
As anci ent t r i bes once sat ar ound l ong- ago campf i r es and
r ecount ed sagas of br ave deeds, so t he Sur vi vor s sat ar ound
Schwab' s Dr ugst or e, t el l i ng and r et el l i ng her oi c t al es of show
busi ness, nur si ng cups of col d cof f ee whi l e t hey exchanged
t he l at est bi t s of i nsi de gossi p. They wer e out si de t he Busi ness,
and yet , i n some myst er i ous f ashi on, t hey wer e at t he ver y
pul se and hear t beat of i t . They coul d t el l you what st ar was
goi ng t o be r epl aced, what pr oducer had been caught sl eepi ng
wi t h hi s di r ect or , what net wor k head was about t o be ki cked
upst ai r s. They knew t hese t hi ngs bef or e anyone el se di d,
t hr ough t hei r own speci al ki nd of j ungl e dr ums. For t he
Busi ness was a j ungl e. They had no i l l usi ons about t hat . Thei r
i l l usi ons l ay i n anot her di r ect i on. They t hought t hey coul d
f i nd a way t o get t hr ough t he st udi o gat es, scal e t he st udi o
wal l s. They wer e ar t i st s, t hey wer e t he Chosen. Hol l ywood
was t hei r J er i cho and J oshua woul d bl ow hi s gol den t r umpet
and t he mi ght y gat es woul d f al l bef or e t hemand t hei r enemi es
woul d be smi t t en, and l o, SamWi nt er s' s magi c wand woul d
be waved and t hey woul d be wear i ng si l ken r obes and be Movi e
St ar s and ador ed ever af t er by t hei r gr at ef ul publ i c. Amen.
The cof f ee at Schwab' s was heady sacr ament al wi ne, and t hey
wer e t he Di sci pl es of t he f ut ur e, huddl i ng t oget her f or comf or t ,
war mi ng one anot her wi t h t hei r dr eams, on t he ver y
br i nk of maki ng i t . They had met an assi st ant di r ect or who
t ol d t hema pr oducer who sai d a cast i ng di r ect or who
pr omi sed and any second now, and t he r eal i t y woul d be i n
t hei r gr asp.
I n t he meant i me, t hey wor ked i n super mar ket s and gar ages
and beaut y par l or s and car washes. They l i ved wi t h each ot her
and mar r i ed each ot her and di vor ced each ot her , and t hey
never not i ced how t i me was bet r ayi ng t hem. They wer e unawar e
of t he new l i nes and t he gr ayi ng t empl es, and t he f act
t hat i t t ook hal f an hour l onger i n t he mor ni ng t o put on
makeup. They had become shopwor n wi t hout havi ng been
used, aged wi t hout mel l owi ng, t oo ol d f or a car eer wi t h a
pl ast i cs company, t oo ol d t o have babi es, t oo ol d f or t hose
younger par t s once so covet ed.
They wer e now char act er act or s. But t hey st i l l dr eamed.
The younger and pr et t i er gi r l s wer e pi cki ng up what t hey
cal l ed mat t r ess money.
" Why br eak your ass over some ni ne- t o- f i ve j ob when al l
152
you have t o do i s l ay on your back a f ew mi nut es and pi ck
up an easy t went y bucks? J ust t i l l your agent cal l s. "
J i l l was not i nt er est ed. Her onl y i nt er est i n l i f e was her
car eer . A poor Pol i sh gi r l coul d never mar r y a Davi d Kenyon.
She knew t hat now. But J i l l Cast l e, t he movi e st ar , coul d
have anybody, and anyt hi ng she want ed. Unl ess she coul d
achi eve t hat , she woul d change back i nt o J osephi ne Czi nski
agai n.
She woul d never l et t hat happen.
J i l l ' s f i r st act i ng j ob came t hr ough Har r i et Mar cus, one
of t he Sur vi vor s who had a t hi r d cousi n whose ex- br ot her - i nl aw
was a second assi st ant di r ect or on a t el evi si on medi cal
ser i es shoot i ng at Uni ver sal St udi os. He agr eed t o gi ve J i l l
a chance. The par t consi st ed of one l i ne, f or whi ch J i l l was
t o r ecei ve f i f t y- seven dol l ar s, mi nus deduct i ons f or Sodal
Secur i t y, wi t hhol di ng t axes and t he Mot i on Pi ct ur e Rel i ef
Home. J i l l was t o pl ay t he par t of a nur se. The scr i pt cal l ed
f or her t o be i n a hospi t al r oomat a pat i ent ' s bedsi de, t aki ng
hi s pul se when t he doct or ent er ed.
doct or : " How i s he, Nur se?"
nur se: " Not ver y good, I ' maf r ai d. Doct or . "
That was i t .
J i l l was gi ven a si ngl e, mi meogr aphed page f r omt he
scr i pt on a Monday af t er noon and t ol d t o r epor t f or makeup
at si x a. m. t he f ol l owi ng mor ni ng. She went over t he scene
a hundr ed t i mes. She wi shed t he st udi o had gi ven her t he
ent i r e scr i pt . How di d t hey expect her t o f i gur e out what t he
char act er was l i ke f r omone pagef J i l l t r i ed t o anal yze what
ki nd of a woman t he nur se mi ght be. Was she mar r i ed?
Si ngl e? She coul d be secr et l y i n l ove wi t h t he doct or . Or
maybe t hey had had an af f ai r and i t was over . How di d she
f eel about t he pat i ent ? Di d she hat e t he t hought of hi s deat h?
Or woul d i t be a bl essi ng?
" Not ver y good, I ' maf r ai d. Doct or . " She t r i ed t o put
concer n i n her voi ce.
She t r i ed agai n. " Not ver y good. I ' maf r ai d. Doct or . "
Al ar med. He was goi ng t o di e.
153
" Not ver y good, I ' maf r ai d. Doct or . " Accusi ng. I t was t he
doct or ' s f aul t . I f he had not been away wi t h hi s mi st r ess . . .
J i l l st ayed up t he ent i r e ni ght wor ki ng on t he par t , t oo
keyed- up t o sl eep, but i n t he mor ni ng, when she r epor t ed t o
t he st udi o, she f el t exhi l ar at ed and al i ve. I t was st i l l dar k
when she ar r i ved at t he guar d' s gat e of f Lanker shi mBoul evar d,
i n a car bor r owed f r omher f r i end Har r i et . J i l l gave
t he guar d her name, and he checked i t agai nst a r ost er and
waved her on.
" St age Seven, " he sai d. " Two bl ocks down, t ur n r i ght . "
Her name was on t he r ost er . Uni ver sal St udi os was expect i ng her . I t was l i ke a
wonder f ul dr eam. As J i l l dr ove
t owar d t he sound st age, she deci ded she woul d di scuss t he
par t wi t h t he di r ect or , l et hi mknow t hat she was capabl e of
gi vi ng ' hi many i nt er pr et at i on he want ed. J i l l pul l ed i nt o t he
l ar ge par ki ng l ot and went ont o St age Seven.
The sound st age was cr owded wi t h peopl e busi l y movi ng
l i ght s, car r yi ng el ect r i cal equi pment , set t i ng up t he camer a,
gi vi ng or der s i n a f or ei gn l anguage she di d not under st and.
" Hi t t he i nky cl i nk and gi ve me a br ut e. . . . I need a scr i m
her e. . . . Ki l l t he baby. . . . "
J i l l st ood t her e wat chi ng, savor i ng t he si ght s and smel l s
and sounds of show busi ness. Thi s was her wor l d, her f ut ur e.
She woul d f i nd a way t o i mpr ess t he di r ect or , show hi mt hat
she was someone speci al . He woul d get t o know her as a
per son, not as j ust anot her act r ess.
The second assi st ant di r ect or her ded J i l l and a dozen
ot her act or s over t o War dr obe, wher e J i l l was handed a nur se' s
uni f or mand sent back t o t he sound st age, wher e she was made
up wi t h al l t he ot her bi t pl ayer s i n a cor ner of t he sound st age.
J ust as t hey wer e f i ni shed wi t h her , t he assi st ant di r ect or cal l ed
her name. J i l l hur r i ed on t o t he hospi t al - r oomset wher e t he
di r ect or st ood near t he camer a, t al ki ng t o t he st ar of t he ser i es.
The st ar ' s name was Rod Hanson, and he pl ayed a sur geon f ul l
of compassi on and wi sdom. As J i l l appr oached t hem. Rod
Hanson was sayi ng, " I have a Ger man shepher d t hat can f ar t
bet t er di al ogue t han t hi s shi t . Why can' t t he wr i t er s ever gi ve
me some char act er , f or Chr i st ' s sake?"
154
" Rod, we' ve been on t he ai r f i ve year s. Don' t i mpr ove
i hi t . The publ i c l oves you t he way you ar e. "
The camer aman wal ked up t o t he di r ect or . " Al l l i t , chi ef . "
" Thanks, Hal , " t he di r ect or sai d. He t ur ned t o Rod
Hanson. " Can we make t hi s, baby? We' l l f i ni sh t he di scussi on
l at er . "
" One of t hese days, I ' mgoi ng t o wi pe my ass wi t h t hi s
st udi o, " Hanson snapped. He st r ode away.
J i l l t ur ned t o t he di r ect or , who was now al one. Thi s was
her oppor t uni t y t o di scuss t he i nt er pr et at i on of t he char act er ,
t o show hi mt hat she under st ood hi s pr obl ems and was t her e t o
hel p make t he scene gr eat . She gave hi ma war m, f r i endl y
smi l e. " I ' mJ i l l Cast l e, " she sai d. " I ' mpl ayi ng t he nur se.
I t hi nk she can r eal l y be ver y i nt er est i ng and I have some
i deas about "
He nodded absent l y and sai d, " Over by t he bed, " and
wal ked away t o speak t o t he camer aman.
J i l l st ood l ooki ng af t er hi m, st unned. The second assi st ant
di r ect or , Har r i et ' s t hi r d cousi n' s ex- br ot her - i n- l aw, hur r i ed
up t o J i l l and sai d i n a l ow voi ce, " For Chr i ssakes, di dn' t you
hear hi m? Over by t he bed! "
" I want ed t o ask hi m"
" Don' t bl ow i t ! " he whi sper ed f i er cel y. " Get out t her e! "
J i l l wal ked over t o t he pat i ent ' s bed.
" Al l r i ght . Let ' s have i t qui et , ever ybody. " The assi st ant
di r ect or l ooked at t he di r ect or . " Do you want a r ehear sal ,
chi ef ?"
" For t hi s? Let ' s go f or a t ake. "
" Gi ve us a bel l . Set t l e down, ever ybody. Ni ce and qui et .
We' r e r ol l i ng. Speed. "
Unbel i evi ngl y, J i l l l i st ened t o t he sound of t he bel l .
She l ooked f r ant i cal l y t owar d t he di r ect or , want i ng t o ask
hi mhow he woul d l i ke her t o i nt er pr et t he scene, what her
r el at i onshi p was t o t he dyi ng man, what she was
A voi ce cal l ed, " Act i on! "
They wer e al l l ooki ng at J i l l expect ant l y. She wonder ed
whet her she dar e ask t hemt o st op t he camer as f or j ust a
second, so she coul d di scuss t he scene and
The di r ect or yel l ed, " J esus Chr i st ! Nur se! Thi s i sn' t a
mor gue - - i t ' s a hospi t al . Feel hi s god damned pul se bef or e he
di es of ol d age! "
J i l l l ooked anxi ousl y i nt o t he ci r cl e of br i ght l i ght s
ar ound her . She t ook a deep br eat h, l i f t ed t he pat i ent ' s hand
and t ook hi s pul se. I f t hey woul d not hel p her , she woul d have
t o i nt er pr et t he scene i n her own way. The pat i ent was t he
f at her of t he doct or . The t wo of t hemhad quar r el ed. The
f at her had been i n an acci dent and t he doct or had j ust been
not i f i ed. J i l l l ooked up and saw Rod Hanson appr oachi ng. He
wal ked up t o her and sai d, " How i s he. Nur se?"
J i l l l ooked i nt o t he doct or ' s eyes and r ead t he concer n
t her e. She want ed t o t el l hi mt he t r ut h, t hat hi s f at her was
dyi ng, t hat i t was t oo l at e f or t hemt o make up t hei r quar r el .
Yet she had t o br eak i t t o hi mi n such a way t hat i t woul d not
dest r oy hi mand - -
The di r ect or was yel l i ng, " Cut ! Cut ! Cut ! Goddamn i t ,
t he i di ot ' s got one l i ne, and she can' t even r emember i t . Wher e
di d you f i nd her - - i n t he Yel l ow Pages?"
J i l l t ur ned t owar d t he voi ce shout i ng f r omAe dar kness,
af l ame wi t h embar r assment . " I - - I know my l i ne, " she sai d
shal dl y. " I was j ust t r yi ng t o - - "
" Wel l , i f you know i t , f or Chr i ssakes, woul d you mi nd
sayi ng i t 7 You coul d dr i ve a t r ai n t hr ough t hat pause. When
he asks you t he r ucki ng quest i on, answer i t . Okay?"
" I was j ust wonder i ng i f I shoul d - - "
" Let ' s go agai n, r i ght away. Gi ve us a bel l . "
" We' r e on a bel l . Hol d i t down. We' r e r ol l i ng. "
" Speed. "
" Act i on. "
J i l l ' s l egs wer e t r embl i ng. I t was as t hough she was t he
onl y one her e who car ed about t he scene. Al l she had want ed
t o do was cr eat e somet hi ng beaut i f ul . The hot l i ght s wer e
maki ng her di zzy, and she coul d f eel t he per spi r at i on r unni ng
down her ar ms, r ui ni ng t he cr i sp, st ar ched uni f or m.
" Act i on! Nur se! "
J i l l st ood over t he pat i ent and put her hand on hi s pul se.
I f she di d t he scene wr ong agai n, t hey woul d never gi ve her
anot her chance. She t hought of Har r i et and of her f r i ends at
t he r oomi nghousc and of what t hey woul d say.
156
The doct or ent er ed and wal ked up t o her . " How i s he,
Nur se?"
She woul d no l onger be one of t hem. She woul d be a
l aughi ngst ock. Hol l ywood was a smal l t own. Wor d got ar ound
f ast .
" Not ver y good, I ' maf r ai d. Doct or . "
No ot her st udi o woul d t ouch her . I t woul d be her l ast
j ob. I t woul d be t he end of ever yt hi ng, her whol e wor l d.
The doct or sai d, " I want t hi s man put i n i nt ensi ve car e
i mmedi at el y. "
" Good! " t he di r ect or cal l ed. " Cut and pr i nt . "
J i l l was har dl y awar e of t he peopl e r ushi ng past her ,
st ar t i ng t o di smant l e t he set t o make r oomf or t he next one.
She had done her f i r st scene- - and she had been t hi nki ng
about somet hi ng el se. She coul d not bel i eve i t was over . She
wonder ed whet her she shoul d f i nd t he di r ect or and t hank hi m
f or t he oppor t uni t y, but he was at t he ot her end of t he st age
t al ki ng t o a gr oup of peopl e. The second assi st ant di r ect or
came up t o her and squeezed' her ar mand sai d, " You di d
okay, ki d. Onl y next t i me, l ear n your l i nes. "
Ther e was f i l mon her ; she had her f i r st cr edi t .
Fr omnow on, J i l l t hought , I ' l l be wor ki ng al l t he t i me.
J i U' s next act i ng j ob was t hi r t een mont hs l at er , when she
di d a bi t par t at MGM. I n t he meant i me, she hel d a ser i es of
ci vi l i an j obs. She became t he l ocal Avon l ady, she wor ked
behi nd a soda f ount ai n and - - br i ef l y - - she dr ove a t axi .
Wi t h her money r unni ng l ow, J i l l deci ded t o shar e an
apar t ment wi t h Har r i et Mar cus. I t was a t wo- bedr oomapar t ment
and Har r i et kept her bedr oomwor ki ng over t i me. Har r i et
wor ked at a downt own depar t ment st or e as a model . She was
an at t r act i ve gi r l wi t h shor t dar k hai r , bl ack eyes, a model ' s
boyi sh f i gur e and a sense of humor .
" When you come f r omHoboken, " she t ol d J i l l , " you' d
bet t er have a sense of humor . "
I n t he begi nni ng, J i l l had been a bi t daunt ed by Har r i et ' s
cool sel f - suf f i ci ency, but she soon l ear ned t hat under neat h t hat
sophi st i cat ed f acade, Har r i et was a war m, f r i ght ened chi l d.
She was i n l ove const ant l y. The f i r st t i me J i l l . met her , Har r i et
sai d, " I want you t o meet Ral ph. We' r e get t i ng mar r i ed next
mont h. "
A week l at er , Ral ph had l ef t f or par t s unknown, t aki ng
wi t h hi mHar r i et ' s car .
A f ew days af t er Ral ph had depar t ed, Har r i et met Tony.
He was i n i mpor t - expor t and Har r i et was head- over - heel s i n
l ove wi t h hi m.
" He' s ver y i mpor t ant , " Har r i et conf i ded t o J i l l . But someone
obvi ousl y di d not t hi nk so, because a mont h l at er , Tony
was f ound f l oat i ng i n t he Los Angel es Ri ver wi t h an appl e
st uf f ed i n hi s mout h.
Al ex was Har r i et ' s next l ove.
" He' s t he best - l ooki ng t hi ne- you' ve ever seen, " Har r i et
conf i ded t o J i l l .
Al ex was handsome. He dr essed i n expensi ve cl ot hes,
dr ove a f l ashy conver t i bl e and spent a l ot of t i me at t he r acet r acks.
The r omance l ast ed unt i l Har r i et st ar t ed r unni ng out
of money. I t anger ed J i l l t hat Har r i et had so l i t t l e sense about
men.
" I can' t hel p i t , " Har r i et conf essed. " I ' mat t r act ed t o
guys who ar e i n t r oubl e. I t hi nk i t ' s my mot her i nst i nct . " She
gr i nned and added, " My mot her was an i di ot . "
J i l l wat ched a pr ocessi on of Har r i et ' s f r ances come and go.
Ther e was Ni ck and Bobby add J ohn and Raymond, unt i l
f i nal l y J i l l coul d no l onger keep t r ack of t hem.
A f ew mont hs af t er t hey had moved i n t oget her , Har r i et
announced t hat she was pr egnant .
" I t hi nk i t ' s Leonar d, " she qui pped, " but you know- -
t hey al l l ook al i ke i n t he dar k. "
" Wher e i s Leonar d?"
" He' s ei t her i n Omaha or Oki nawa. I al ways was l ousy at
geogr aphy. "
" What ar e you goi ng t o do?"
" I ' mgoi ng t o have my baby. "
Because of her sl i ght f i gur e, Har r i et ' s pr egnancy became
obvi ous i n a mat t er of weeks and she had t o gi ve up her
model i ng j ob. J i l l f ound a j ob i n a super mar ket so t hat she
coul d suppor t t he t wo of t hem.
158
One af t er noon when J i l l r et ur ned home f r omwor k, she
ound a not e f r omHar r i et . I t r ead; " I ' ve al ways want ed my
' aby t o be bor n i n Hoboken. Have gone back home t o my
oi ks. I ' l l bet t her e' s a wonder f ul guy t her e, wai t i ng f or me.
Thanks f or ever yt hi ng. " I t was si gned: " Har r i et , The Nun. " j
The apar t ment had suddenl y become a l onel y pl ace, j
159
21
I t was a heady t i me f or Toby Templ e. He was f or t y- t wo
year s ol d and owned t he wor l d. He j oked wi t h ki ngs and gol f ed
wi t h Pr esi dent s, but hi s mi l l i ons of beer - dr i nki ng f ans di d not
mi nd because t hey knew Toby was one of t hem, t hei r champi on
who mi l ked al l t he sacr ed cows, r i di cul ed t he hi gh and
mi ght y, shat t er ed t he shi bbol et hs of t he Est abl i shment . They
l oved Toby, j ust as t hey knew t hat Toby l oved t hem.
He spoke about hi s mot her i n al l hi s i nt er vi ews, and each
t i me she became mor e sai nt l i ke. I t was t he onl y way Toby
coul d shar e hi s success wi t h her .
Toby acqui r ed a beaut i f ul est at e i n Bel - Ai r . The house
was Tudor , wi t h ei ght bedr ooms and an enor mous st ab- case and
hand- car ved panel i ng f r omEngl and. I t had a movi e t heat er ,
a game r oom, a wi ne cel l ar , and on t he gr ounds wer e a l ar ge
swi mmi ng pool , a housekeeper ' s cot t age and t wo guest cot t ages.
He bought a l avi sh home i n Pal mSpr i ngs, a st r i ng of r acehor ses
and a t r i o of st ooges. Toby cal l ed t hemal l " Mac" and
t hey ador ed hi m. They r an er r ands, chauf f eur ed hi m, got hi m
gi r l s at any hour of t he day or ni ght , t ook t r i ps wi t h hi m, gave
hi mmassages. What ever t he mast er desi r ed, t he t hr ee Macs
wer e al ways t her e t o gi ve hi m. They wer e t he j est er s t o t he
Nat i on' s J est er . Toby had f our secr et ar i es, t wo j ust t o handl e
t he enor mous f l ow of f an mai l . Hi s pr i vat e secr et ar y was a
pr et t y t went y- one- year - ol d honey- bl onde named Sher r y. Her
body had been desi gned by a sex mani ac, and Toby i nsi st ed
160
t hat she wear shor t ski r t s wi t h not hi ng under t hem. I t saved
[ t hembot h a l ot of t i me.
| The pr emi er e of Toby Templ e' s f i r st movi e had gone
I r emar kabl y wel l . ' SamWi nt er s and Cl i f t on Lawr ence wer e
i so. t he t heat er . Af t er war d t hey al l went t o Chasen' s t o di scuss
| t he pi ct ur e.
s Toby had enj oyed hi s f i r st meet i ng wi t h Samaf t er t he
' deal had been made. " I t woul d have been cheaper i f you had
r et ur ned my phone cal l s, " Toby sai d, and he t ol d Samof
i how he had t r i ed t o r each hi m.
; " My t ough l uck, " Samsai d, r uef ul l y.
Now, as t hey sat i n Chasen' s, Samt ur ned t o Cl i f t on
Lawr ence. " I f you don' t t ake an ar mand a l eg, I ' d l i ke t o
make a new t hr ee- pi ct ur e deal f or Toby. "
^ " J ust an ar m. I ' l l gi ve you a cal l i n t he mor ni ng, " t he
agent sai d t o Sam. He l ooked at hi s wat ch. " I have t o r un
al ong. "
" Wher e you goi ng?" Toby asked.
" I ' mmeet i ng anot her cl i ent . I do have ot her cl i ent s, dear
boy. "
Toby l ooked at hi moddl y, t hen sai d, " Sur e. "
The r evi ews t he next mor ni ng wer e r aves. Ever y cr i t i c
pr edi ct ed t hat Toby Templ e was goi ng t o be as bi g a st ar i n
movi es as he was i n t el evi si on.
Toby r ead al l t he r evi ews, t hen got Cl i f t on Lawr ence on
t he phone.
" Congr at ul at i ons, dear boy, " t he agent sai d. " Di d you
see t he Repor t er and Var i et y) Those r evi ews wer e l ove
l et t er s. "
" Yeah. I t ' s a gr een- cheese wor l d, and I ' ma bi g f at r at .
Can I have any mor e f un t han t hat ?"
" I t ol d you you' d own t he wor l d one day, Toby, and
now you do. I t ' s al l your s. " Ther e was a deep sat i sf act i on i n
t he agent ' s voi ce.
' " Cl i f f , I ' d l i ke t o t al k t o you. Can you come over ?"
" Cer t ai nl y. I ' l l be f r ee at f i ve o' cl ock and - - "
i " I meant now. "
Ther e was a br i ef hesi t at i on, t hen Cl i f t on sai d, " I have
appoi nt ment s unt i l - - "
" Oh, i f you' r e t oo busy, f or get i t . " And Toby hung up.
One mi nut e l at er , Cl i f t on Lawr ence' s secr et ar y cal l ed and
sai d, " Mr . Lawr ence i s on hi s way t o see you, Mr . Templ e. "
Cl i f t on Lawr ence was seat ed on Toby' s couch. " For
God' s sake, Toby, you know I ' mnever t oo busy f or you. I
had no i dea you woul d want t o see me t oday, or I woul dn' t
have made ot her appoi nt ment s. "
Toby sat t her e st ar i ng at hi m, l et t i ng hi msweat i t out .
Cl i f t on cl ear ed hi s t hr oat and sai d, " Come on! You' r e my
f avor i t e cl i ent . Di dn' t you know t hat ?"
And i t was t r ue, Cl i f t on t hought . / made hi m. He' s my
cr eat i on. I ' menj oyi ng hi s success as much as he i s.
Toby smi l ed. " AmI r eal l y. Cl i f f ?" He coul d see t he t ensi on
easi ng out of t he dapper l i t t l e agent ' s body. " I was begi nni ng t o wonder . "
" What do you mean?"
" You' ve got so many cl i ent s t hat somet i mes I t hi nk you
don' t pay enough at t ent i on t o me. "
" That ' s not t r ue. I spend mor e t i me - - "
" I ' d l i ke you t o handl e j ust me, Cl i f f . "
Cl i f t on smi l ed. " You' r e j oki ng. "
" No. I ' mser i ous. " He wat ched t he smi l e l eave Cl i f t on' s
f ace. " I t hi nk I ' mi mpor t ant enough t o have my own agent
- - and when I say my own agent , I don' t mean someone who' s
t oo busy f or me because he has a dozen ot her peopl e t o t ake
car e of . I t ' s l i ke a gr oup f uck. Cl i f f . Somebody al ways get s l ef t
wi t h a har d- on. "
Cl i f t on st udi ed hi ma moment , t hen sai d, " Fi x us a dr i nk. "
Whi l e Toby went over t o t he bar , Cl i f t on sat t her e, t hi nki ng.
He knew what t he r eal pr obl emwas, and i t was not Toby' s
ego, or hi s sense of i mpor t ance.
I t had t o do wi t h Toby' s l onel i ness. Toby was t he l onel i est
man Cl i f t on had ever known. Cl i f t on had wat ched Toby
buy women by t he dozens and t r y t o buy f r i ends wi t h l avi sh
gi f t s. No one coul d ever pi ck up a check when Toby was
ar ound. Cl i f t on once hear d a musi ci an say t o Toby, . " You
162
don' t have t o buy l ove, Toby. Ever ybody l oves you, anyway. "
Toby wi nked and sai d, " Why t ake a chance?"
The musi ci an never wor ked on Toby' s show agai n.
Toby want ed al l of ever ybody. He had a need, and t he
mor e he acqui r ed t he bi gger hi s f l eed gr ew.
Cl i f t on had hear d t hat Toby went t o bed wi t h as many as
hal f a dozen gi r l s at a t i me, t r yi ng t o appease t he hunger i n
hi m. But of cour se, i t di d not wor k. What Toby needed was
one gi r l , and he had not f ound her . So he went on pl ayi ng
t he number s game.
He had a desper at e need t o have peopl e ar ound hi mal l t he
t i me.
Lonel i ness. The onl y t i me i t was not t her e was when
Toby was i n f r ont of an audi ence, when he coul d hear t he
appl ause and f eel t he l ove. I t was al l r eal l y ver y si mpl e, Cl i f t on
t hought . When Toby was not on st age, he car r i ed hi s
audi ence wi t h hi m. He was al ways sur r ounded by musi ci ans
and st ooges and wr i t er s and showgi r l s and down- and- out
comi cs, and ever yone el se he coul d gat her i nt o hi s or bi t .
And now he want ed Cl i f t on Lawr ence. Al l of hi m.
Cl i f t on handl ed a dozen cl i ent s, but t hei r t ot al i ncome
was not a gr eat deal mor e t han Toby' s i ncome f r omni ght cl ubs,
t el evi si on and mot i on pi ct ur es, f or t he deal s Cl i f t on had been
abl e t o make f or Toby wer e phenomenal . Never t hel ess, Cl i f t on
di d not make hi s deci si on on t he basi s of money. He made i t
because he l oved Toby Templ e, and Toby needed hi m. J ust as
he needed Toby. Cl i f t on r emember ed how f l at hi s l i f e had been
bef or e Toby came i nt o i t . Ther e had been no new chal l enges
f or year s. He had been coast i ng on ol d successes. And he
t hought now of t he el ect r i c exci t ement ar ound Toby, t he f un
. and l aught er and t he deep camar ader i e t he t wo of t hemshar ed.
When Toby came back t o Cl i f t on and handed hi mhi s
| dr i nk, Cl i f t on r ai sed hi s gl ass i n a t oast and sai d, " To t he t wo
| <r f us, dear boy. "
I ; I t was t he season of successes and f un and par t i es, and
f f oby was al ways " on" . Peopl e expect ed hi mt o be f unny.
; An act or coul d hi de behi nd t he wor ds of Shakespear e or Shaw
I T Mol i er e, and a si nger coul d count on t he hel p of Ger shwi n
or Rodger s and Har t or Col e Por t er . But a comedi an was naked.
Hi s onl y weapon was hi s wi t .
Toby Templ e' s ad l i bs qui ckl y became f amous ar ound
Hol l ywood. At a par t y f or t he el der l y f ounder of a st udi o,
someone asked Toby, " I s he r eal l y ni net y- one year s ol d?"
Toby r epl i ed, " Yep. When he r eaches one hundr ed,
t hey' r e goi ng t o spl i t hi mt wo- f or - one. "
At di nner one eveni ng, a f amous physi ci an who t ook car e
of many of t he st ar s t ol d a l ong and l abor ed j oke t o a gr oup
of comedi ans.
" Doc, " Toby pl eaded, " don' t amuse us - - save us! "
One day t he st udi o was usi ng l i ons i n a movi e, and as
Toby saw t hembei ng t r ucked by, he yel l ed, " Chr i st i ans- -
t en mi nut es! "
Toby' s pr act i cal j okes became l egend. A Cat hol i c f r i end
of hi s went t o t he hospi t al f or a mi nor oper at i on. Whi l e he
was r ecuper at i ng, a beaut i f ul young nun st opped by hi s bed.
She st r oked hi s f or ehead. " You f eel ni ce and cool . Such sof t
ski n. "
" Thank you, Si st er . "
She l eaned over hi mand began st r ai ght eni ng hi s pi l l ows,
her br east s br ushi ng agai nst hi s f ace. I n spi t e of hi msel f , t he
poor man began t o get an er ect i on. As t he Si st er st ar t ed t o
st r ai ght en t he bl anket s, her hand br ushed agai nst hi m. He was
i n an agony of mor t i f i cat i on.
" Good Lor d, " t he nun sai d. " What have we her e?" And
she pul l ed t he cover s back, r eveal i ng hi s r ock- har d peni s.
" I - - I ' mt er r i bl y sor r y. Si st er , " he st ammer ed. " I - - "
" Don' t be sor r y. I t ' s a gr eat cock, " t he nun sai d, and
began t o go down on hi m.
I t was si x mont hs bef or e he l ear ned t hat i t was Toby who
had sent t he hooker i n t o hi m.
As Toby was st eppi ng out of an el evat or one day, he
t ur ned t o a pompous net wor k execut i ve and sai d, " By t he way,
Wi l l , how di d you ever come out on t hat mor al s char ge?" The
el evat or door cl osed and t he execut i ve was l ef t wi t h hal f a
dozen peopl e eyei ng hi mwar i l y.
When i t came t i me t o negot i at e a new cont r act , Toby
164
ar r anged f or a t r ai ned pant her t o be del i ver ed t o hi mat t he
st udi o. Toby opened SamWi nt er s' s of f i ce door whi l e Sam
was i n t he mi ddl e of a meet i ng.
" My agent want s t o t al k t o you, " Toby sai d. He shoved
t he pant her i nsi de t he of f i ce and cl osed t he door .
When Toby t ol d t he st or y l at er , he sai d, " Thr ee of t he
guys i n t hat of f i ce al most had hear t at t acks. I t t ook t hema
mont h t o get t he smel l of pant her pi ss out of t hat r oom. "
Toby had a st af f of t en wr i t er s wor ki ng f or hi m, headed
by O' Hanl on and Rai nger . Toby compl ai ned const ant l y about
t he mat er i al hi s wr i t er s gave hi m. Once Toby made a whor e a
member of t he wr i t i ng t eam. When Toby l ear ned t hat hi s
wr i t er s wer e spendi ng most of t hei r t i me i n t he bedr oom, he
had t o f i r e her . Anot her t i me, Toby br ought an or gan gr i nder
and hi s monkey t o a st or y conf er ence. I t was humi l i at i ng and
demeani ng, but O' Hanl on and Rai nger and t he ot her wr i t er s
t ook i t because Toby t ur ned t hei r mat er i al i nt o pur e gol d. He
was t he best i n t he busi ness.
Toby' s gener osi t y was pr of l i gat e. He gave hi s empl oyees
and hi s f r i ends gol d wat ches and ci gar et t e l i ght er s and compl et e
war dr obes and t r i ps t o Eur ope. He car r i ed an enor mous
amount of money wi t h hi mand pai d f or ever yt hi ng i n cash,
i ncl udi ng t wo Rol l s- Royces. He was a sof t t ouch. Ever y Fr i day
a dozen hanger s- on i n t he Busi ness woul d l i ne up f or a handout .
Once Toby sai d t o one of t he r egul ar s, " Hey, what ar e you
doi ng her e t oday? I r ead i n Var i et y t hat you got a j ob i n a
pi ct ur e. " The man l ooked at Toby and sai d, " Hel l , don' t I get
t wo weeks' not i ce?"
Ther e wer e myr i ad st or i es about Toby, and near l y al l of
t hemwer e t r ue. One day, dur i ng a st or y conf er ence a wr i t er
| wal ked i n l at e, an unf or gi vabl e si n. " I ' msor r y I ' ml at e, " he
' apol ogi zed. " My ki d was r un over by a car t hi s mor ni ng. "
I Toby l ooked at hi mand sai d, " Di d you br i ng t he
| j okes?"
1; Ever yone i n t he r oomwas shocked. Af t er t he meet i ng,
Eof t he wr i t er s sai d t o O' Hanl on, " That ' s t he col dest son
i bi t ch i n t he wor l d. I f you wer e on f i r e, he' d sel l you
er . "
165
Toby f l ew i n a t op br ai n sur geon t o oper at e on t he i nj ur ed
boy and pai d al l t he hospi t al bi l l s. He sai d t o t he f at her , " I f
you ever ment i on t hi s t o anyone, you' r e out on your ass. "
Wor k was t he onl y t hi ng t hat made Toby f or get hi s
l onel i ness, t he onl y t hi ng t hat br ought hi mr eal j oy. I f a show
went wel l , Toby was t he most amusi ng compani on i n t he
wor l d, but i f t he show went badl y, he was a demon, at t acki ng
ever y t ar get wi t hi n r each of hi s savage wi t .
He was possessi ve. Once, dur i ng a st or y conf er ence, he
t ook Rai nger ' s head bet ween hi s t wo hands and announced
t o t he r oom, " Thi s i s mi ne. I t bel ongs t o me. "
At t he same t i me he gr ew t o hat e wr i t er s, because he
needed t hemand he di d not want t o need anyone. So he t r eat ed
t hemwi t h cont empt . On pay day, Toby made ai r pl anes of t he
wr i t er ' s paychecks and sai l ed t hemt hr ough t he ai r . Wr i t er s
woul d be f i r ed f or t he smal l est i nf r act i on. One day a wr i t er
wal ked i n wi t h a t an and Toby i mmedi at el y had hi mdi schar ged.
" Why di d you do t hat ?" O' Hanl on asked. " He' s one
of our best wr i t er s. "
" I f he was wor ki ng, " Toby sai d, " he woul dn' t have had
r i me f or a t an. "
A new wr i t er br ought i n a j oke about mot her s and was
l et go.
I f a guest on hi s show got bi g l aughs, Toby woul d excl ai m,
" You' r e gr eat ! I want you on t hi s show ever y week. "
He woul d l ook over at t he pr oducer and say, " You hear me?"
and t he pr oducer woul d know t hat t he act or was never t o
appear on t he show agai n.
Toby was a mass of cont r adi ct i ons. He was j eal ous of
t he success of ot her comi cs, yet t he f ol l owi ng happened. One
day as Toby was l eavi ng hi s r ehear sal st age, he passed t he
dr essi ng r oomof an ol d- t i me comedy st ar , Vi nni e Tur kel ,
whose car eer had l ong si nce gone downhi l l . Vi nni e had been
hi r ed t o do hi s f i r st dr amat i c par t , i n a l i ve t el evi si on pl ay.
He, hoped t hat i t woul d mean a comeback f or hi m. Now, as
Toby l ooked i nt o t he dr essi ng r oom, he saw Vi nni e on t he
couch, dr unk. The di r ect or of t he show came by and sai d t o
Toby, " Let hi mbe, Toby. He' s f i ni shed. "
166
" What happened?"
" Wel l , you know Vi nni e' s t r ademar k has al ways been
hi s hi gh, quaver y voi ce. We st ar t ed r ehear si ng and ever y t i me
Vi nni e opened hi s mout h and t r i ed t o be ser i ous, ever yone
began t o l augh. I t dest r oyed t he ol d guy. "
" He was count i ng on t hi s par t , wasn' t he?" Toby asked.
The di r ect or shr ugged. " Ever y act or count s on ever y
par t . "
Toby t ook Vi nni e Tur kel home wi t h hi mand st ayed wi t h
t he ol d comedy st ar , sober i ng hi mup. " Thi s i s t he best r ol e
you' ve ever had i n your l i f e. Ar e you gonna bl ow i t ?"
Vi nni e shook hi s head, mi ser abl e. " I ' ve al r eady bl own i t ,
Toby. I can' t cut i t . "
" Who says you can' t ?" Toby demanded. " You can pl ay
t hat par t bet t er t han anyone i n t he wor l d. "
The ol d man shook hi s head. " They l aughed at me. "
" Sur e t hey di d. And do you know why? Because you' ve
made t heml augh al l your l i f e. They expect ed you t o be f unny.
But i f you keep goi ng, you' l l wi n t hemover . You' l l ki l l t hem. "
He spent t he r est of t he af t er noon r est or i ng Vi nni e
Tur kel ' s conf i dence. That eveni ng, Toby t el ephoned t he
di r ect or at home. " Tur kel ' s al l r i ght now, " Toby sai d. " You
have not hi ng t o wor r y about . "
" I know I haven' t , " t he di r ect or r et or t ed. " I ' ve r epl aced
hi m. "
" ( 7- r epl ace hi m, " Toby sai d. " You' ve got t o gi ve hi ma
shot . "
" I can' t t ake t he chance, Toby. He' l l get dr unk agai n
and"
" Tel l you what I ' l l do, " Toby of f er ed. " Keep hi mi n.
I f you st i l l don' t want hi maf t er dr ess r ehear sal , I ' l l t ake over
hi s par t and do i t f or not hi ng. "
Ther e was a pause, and t he di r ect or sai d, " Hey! Ar e
you ser i ous?"
" You bet your ass. "
" I t ' s a deal , " t he di r ect or sai d qui ckl y. " Tel l Vi nni e t o
: be at r ehear sal at ni ne o' cl ock t omor r ow mor ni ng. "
When t he show went on t he ai r , i t was t he hi t , of t he
season. And i t was Vi nni e Tur kel whose per f or mance t he
cr i t i cs si ngl ed out . He won ever y pr i ze t hat t el evi si on had t o
of f er and a new car eer opened up f or hi mas a dr amat i c act or .
When he sent Toby an expensi ve gi f t t o show hi s appr eci at i on,
Toby r et ur ned i t wi t h a not e. " I di dn' t do i t , you di d. " That
was Toby Templ e.
A f ew mont hs l at er , Toby si gned Vi nni e Tur kel t o do
a sket ch i n hi s show. Vi nni e st epped on one of Toby' s l augh
l i nes and f r omt hat moment on, Toby gave hi mwr ong cues,
t ol l ed hi s j okes and humi l i at ed hi mi n f r ont of f or t y mi l l i on
peopl e.
That was Toby Templ e, t oo.
Someone asked O' Hanl on what Toby Templ e was r eal l y
l i ke, and O' Hanl on r epl i ed, " Do you r emember t he pi ct ur e
wher e Char l i e Chapl i n meet s t he mi l l i onai r e? When t he
mi l l i onai r e i s dr unk, he' s Chapl i n' s buddy. When he' s sober ,
he t hr ows hi mout on hi s ass. That ' s Toby Templ e, onl y
wi t hout t he l i quor . "
Once dur i ng a meet i ng wi t h t he heads of a net wor k, one
of t he j uni or execut i ves har dl y sai d a wor d. Lat er , Toby sai d
t o Cl i f t on Lawr ence, " I don' t t hi nk he l i ked me. "
" Who?"
" The ki d at t he meet i ng. "
" What do you car e? He' s a t hi r t y- second Assi st ant
Nobody. "
" He di dn' t say a wor d t o me, " Toby br ooded. " He
r eal l y doesn' t l i ke me. "
Toby was so upset t hat Cl i f t on Lawr ence had t o t r ack
down t he young execut i ve. He cal l ed t he bewi l der ed man i n
t he mi ddl e of t he ni ght and sai d, " Do you have anyt hi ng
agai nst Toby Templ e?"
" Me? I t hi nk he' s t he f unni est man i n t he whol e wor l d! "
" Then woul d you do me a f avor , dear boy? Cal l hi mand
t el l hi mso. "
" What ?"
" Cal l Toby and t el l hi myou l i ke hi m. "
" Wel l , sur e. I ' l l cal l hi mf i r st t hi ng t omor r ow. "
" Cal l hi mnow. "
" I t ' s t hr ee o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng! "
" I t doesn' t mat t er . He' s wai t i ng f or you. "
168
When t he execut i ve cal l ed Toby, t he phone was answer ed
i mmedi at el y. He hear d Toby' s voi ce say, " Hi . "
The young execut i ve swal l owed and sai d, " I - - I J ust
want ed t o t el l you t hat I t hi nk you' r e gr eat . "
" Thanks, pal , " Toby sai d, and hung up.
The si ze of Toby' s ent our age gr ew. Somet i mes he woul d
awaken i n t he mi ddl e of t he ni ght and t el ephone f r i ends t o
come over f or a gi n game, or he woul d awaken O' Hanl on
and Rai nger and summon t hemt o a st or y conf er ence. He
woul d of t en si t up al l ni ght r unni ng movi es at home, wi t h
t he t hr ee Macs and Cl i f t on Lawr ence and hal f a dozen st ar l et s
and hanger s- on.
And t he mor e peopl e t her e wer e ar ound hi m, t he l onel i er
Toby became.
22
I t was November , 1963, and t he aut umn sunshi ne had
gi ven way t o a t hi n, unwar mi ng l i ght f r omt he sky. The ear l y
mor ni ngs wer e f oggy and chi l l i ng now, and t he f i r st r ai ns of
wi nt er had begun.
J i l l Cast l e st i l l st opped i n at Schwab' s ever y mor ni ng; but
i t seemed t o her t hat t he conver sat i ons wer e al ways t he same.
The Sur vi vor s t al ked about who had l ost a par t and why. They
gl oat ed over each di sast r ous r evi ew t hat came out and
depr ecat ed t he good ones. I t was t he t hr enody of l oser s, and J i l l
began t o wonder i f she wer e becomi ng l i ke t he r est of t hem.
She was st i l l sur e t hat she was goi ng t o be Somebody, but as
she l ooked ar ound at t he same f ami l i ar f aces, she r eal i zed t hey
al l f el t t he same way about t hemsel ves. Was i t possi bl e t hey
wer e al l out of t ouch wi t h r eal i t y, al l of t hemgambl i ng on a
dr eamt hat was never goi ng t o happen? She coul d not bear
t he t hought of i t .
J i l l had become t he mot her conf essor t o t he gr oup. They
came t o her wi t h pr obl ems, and she l i st ened and t r i ed t o hel p;
wi t h advi ce, a f ew dol l ar s or a pl ace t o sl eep f or a week or t wo.
She sel domdat ed because she was absor bed i n her car eer and
she had not met anyone who i nt er est ed her .
Whenever J i l l was abl e t o put a l i t t l e money asi de, she
sent i t t o her mot her wi t h l ong, gl owi ng l et t er s about how wel l
she was doi ng. I n t he begi nni ng, J i l l ' s mot her had wr i t t en
back ur gi ng J i l l t o r epent and become a br i de of God. But as
J i l l made occasi onal movi es and sent mor e money home, her
mot her began t o t ake a cer t ai n r el uct ant pr i de i n her daught er ' s
car eer . She was no l onger agai nst J i l l ' s bei ng an act r ess but she
pr essed J i l l t o get par t s i n r el i gi ous pi ct ur es. " I ' msur e Mr .
DeMi l l e woul d gi ve you a r ol e i f you expl ai ned your r el i gi ous
backgr ound t o hi m, " she wr ot e.
Odessa was a smal l t own. J i l l ' s mot her st i l l wor ked f or
t he Oi l Peopl e, and she knew t hat her mot her woul d t al k
about her , t hat sooner or l at er Davi d Kenyon woul d hear of
her success. And so, i n her l et t er s, J i l l made up st or i es about
al l t he st ar s she wor ked wi t h, al ways car ef ul t o use t hei r f i r st
names. She l ear ned t he bi t pl ayer s' t r i ck of havi ng t he set
phot ogr apher snap her pi ct ur e as she st ood next t o t he st ar .
The phot ogr apher woul d gi ve her t wo pr i nt s and J i l l woul d
mai l one t o her mot her and keep t he ot her . She made her
l et t er s sound as t hough she was j ust one st ep shor t of st ar dom.
I t i s t he cust omi n Sout her n Cal i f or ni a, wher e i t never
snows, t hat t hr ee weeks bef or e Chr i st mas a Sant a Cl aus
Par ade mar ches down Hol l ywood Boul evar d and t hat each
ni ght af t er t hat unt i l Chr i st mas Eve a Sant a Cl aus f l oat makes
t he j our ney. The ci t i zens of Hol l ywood ar e as consci ent i ous
about t he cel ebr at i on of t he Chr i st chi l d as ar e t hei r nei ghbor s
i n nor t her n cl i mes. They ar e not t o be hel d r esponsi bl e i f
" Gl or y Bet o God on Hi gh" and " Si l ent Ni ght " and " Rudol ph
t he Red- Nosed Rei ndeer " pour out of home and car r adi os
i n a communi t y t hat i s swel t er i ng i n a t emper at ur e of ei ght y- f i ve
or ni net y degr ees. They l ong f or an ol d- f ashi oned whi t e
Chr i st mas as ar dent l y as ot her r ed- bl ooded, pat r i ot i c
Amer i cans, but because t hey know t hat God i s not goi ng t o
suppl y i t , t hey have l ear ned t o cr eat e t hei r own. They f est oon
t he st r eet s wi t h Chr i st mas l i ght s and pl ast i c Chr i st mas t r ees
and papi er - mache cut out s of Sant a Cl aus and hi s sl ed and hi s
r ei ndeer . St ar s and char act er act or s vi e f or t he pr i vi l ege of
r i di ng i n t he Sant a Cl aus Par ade; not because t hey ar e concer ned
about br i ngi ng hol i day cheer t o t he t housands of
chi l dr en and adul t s who l i ne t he pat h of t he par ade, but because
par ade of f l oat s go by, t he st ar s on t op wavi ng t o t hei r l ovi ng
f ans bel ow. The Gr and Mar shal of t he par ade t hi s year was
Toby Templ e. The ador i ng cr owds cheer ed wi l dl y as hi s f l oat
passed by. J i l l caught a qui ck gl i mpse of Toby' s beami ng,
i ngenuous f ace and t hen he was gone.
Ther e was musi c f r omt he Hol l ywood Hi gh School Band,
f ol l owed by a Masoni c Templ e f l oat , and a mar i ne cor ps band.
Ther e wer e equest r i ans i n cowboy out f i t s and a Sal vat i on Ar my
band, f ol l owed by Shr i ner s. Ther e wer e si ngi ng gr oups car r yi ng
f l ags and st r eamer s, a Knot t ' s Ber r y Far mf l oat wi t h ani mal s
and bi r ds made of f l ower s; f i r e engi nes, cl owns and j azz bands.
I t mi ght not have been t he spi r i t of Chr i st mas, but i t was pur e
Hol l ywood spect acl e.
J i l l had wor ked wi t h some of t he char act er act or s on
t he f l oat s. One of t hemwaved t o her and cal l ed down, " Hi ya,
J i U! Howyadoi n' ?"
Sever al peopl e i n t he cr owd t ur ned t o l ook envi ousl y at
her , and i t gave her a del i ght f ul f eel i ng of sel f - i mpor t ance
t hat peopl e knew she was i n t he Busi ness. A deep, r i ch voi ce
besi de her sai d, " Excuse me - - ar e you an act r ess?"
J i U t ur ned. The speaker was a t al l bl ond, good- l ooki ng
boy i n hi s mi ddl e t went i es. Hi s f ace was t anned and hi s t eet h
whi t e and even. He wor e a pai r of ol d j eans and a bl ue t weed
j acket wi t h l eat her - pat ch el bows.
" Yes. "
" Me, t oo. An act or , I mean. " He gr i nned and added,
" St r uggl i ng. "
J i U poi nt ed t o her sel f and sai d, " St r uggl i ng. "
He l aughed. " Can I buy you a cup of cof f ee?"
Hi s name was Al an Pr est on and he came f r omSal t Lake
Ci t y wher e hi s f at her was an el der i n t he Mor mon Chur ch.
" I gr ew up wi t h t oo much r el i gi on and not enough f un, " he
conf i ded t o J i U.
I t ' s al most pr ophet i c, J i U t hought . We have exact l y t he
same ki nd of backgr ound.
" I ' ma good act or , " Al an sai d r uef uUy, " but t hi s i s sur e
a r ough t own. Back home, ever ybody want s t o hel p you. Her e,
i t seems l i ke ever ybody' s out t o get you. "
They t al ked unt i l t he cof f ee shop cl osed, and by t hat
172
i me t hey wer e ol d f r i ends. When Al an asked, " Do you want
o come back t o my pl ace?" J i l l hesi t at ed onl y a moment . " Al l
i ght . "
Al an Pr est on l i ved i n a boar di nghouse of f Hi ghl and
}venue, t wo bl ocks f r omt he Hol l ywood Bowl . He had a smal l
- oomat t he back of t he house.
" They ought t o cal l t hi s pl ace The Dr egs, " he t ol d J i U.
' You shoul d see t he wei r dos who l i ve her e. They al l t hi nk
hey' r e goi ng t o make i t bi g i n show busi ness. "
Li ke us, J i l l t hought .
The f ur ni t ur e i n Al an' s r oomconsi st ed of a bed, a
' ur eau, a chai r and a smal l r i cket y t abl e. " I ' mj ust wai t i ng
i nt i l I move i nt o my pl ace, " Al an expl ai ned.
J i l l l aughed. " Same wi t h me. "
Al an st ar t ed t o t ake her i n hi s ar ms, and she st i f f ened.
" Pl ease don' t . "
He l ooked at her a moment and sai d gent l y, " Okay, " and
f i l l was suddenl y embar r assed. What was she doi ng her e i n
t hi s man' s r oom, anyway? She knew t he answer t o t hat . She
was desper at el y l onel y. She was hungr y f or someone t o t al k t o,
hungr y f or t he f eel of a man' s ar ms ar ound her , hol di ng her
and r eassur i ng her and t el l i ng her t hat ever yt hi ng was goi ng
t o be wonder f ul . I t had been so l ong. She t hought of Davi d
Kenyon, but t hat was anot her l i f e, anot her wor l d. She want ed
hi mso much t hat i t was an ache. A l i t t l e l at er , when Al an
Pr est on put hi s ar ms ar ound J i l l agai n, she cl osed her eyes and
I t became Davi d ki ssi ng her and undr essi ng her and maki ng
l ove t o her .
J i l l spent t he ni ght wi t h Al an, and a f ew days l at er he
noved i nt o her smal l apar t ment .
Al an Pr est on was t he most uncompl i cat ed man J i l l had
ever met . He was easygoi ng and r el axed, t aki ng each day as
i t came, t ot al l y unconcer ned wi t h t omor r ow. When J i l l woul d
Ti scuss hi s way of l i f e wi t h hi m, he woul d say, " Hey, r emem>er
Appoi nt ment i n Samar r a I f i t ' s goi ng t o happen, i t ' l l
l appen. Fat e wi l l f i nd you. You don' t have t o go l ooki ng f or
i t . "
Al an woul d st ay i n bed l ong af t er J i l l had gone out l ooki ng
f or wor k. When she r et ur ned home, she woul d f i nd hi mi n
an easy chai r , r eadi ng or dr i nki ng beer wi t h hi s f r i ends. He
br ought no money i nt o t he house.
" You' r e a dope, " one of J i U' s gi r l f r i ends t ol d her . " He' s
usi ng your bed, eat i ng your f ood, dr i nki ng your l i quor . Get r i d
of hi m. "
But J i l l di dn' t .
For t he f i r st t i me, J i l l under st ood Har r i et , under st ood
al l her f r i ends who cl ung desper at el y t o men t hey di d not l ove,
men t hey hat ed.
I t was t he f ear of bei ng al one.
J i l l was out of a j ob. Chr i st mas was onl y a f ew days away
and she was down t o her l ast f ew dol l ar s, yet she had t o send
her mot her a Chr i st mas pr esent . I t was Al an who sol ved t he
pr obl em. He had l ef t ear l y one mor ni ng wi t hout sayi ng wher e
he was goi ng. When he r et ur ned, he sai d t o J i l l , " We' ve got a
j ob. "
" What ki nd of j ob?"
" Act i ng, of cour se. We' r e act or s, ar en' t we?"
J i l l l ooked at hi m, f i l l ed wi t h sudden hope. " Ar e you
ser i ous?"
" Of cour se I am. I r an i nt o a f r i end of mi ne who' s a
di r ect or . He' s got a pi ct ur e st ar t i ng t omor r ow. Ther e' s par t s
f or bot h of us. A hundr ed bucks api ece, f or one day' s wor k. "
" That ' s wonder f ul ! " J i l l excl ai med. " A hundr ed dol l ar s! "
Wi t h t hat she coul d buy her mot her some l ovel y Engl i sh wool
f or a wi nt er coat and have enough l ef t over t o buy a good
l eat her pur se.
" I t ' s j ust a l i t t l e i ndi e. They' r e shoot i ng i t i n back of
someone' s gar age. "
J i l l sai d, " What can we l ose? I t ' s a par t . "
The gar age was on t he sout h si de of Los Angel es, i n an
ar ea t hat i n one gener at i on had gone f r omexcl usi vi t y t o
mi ddl e- cl ass gent i l i t y t o seed.
They wer e gr eet ed at t he door by a shor t , swar t hy man
who t ook Al an' s hand and sai d, " You made i t , buddy. Gr eat . "
He t ur ned t o J i l l and whi st l ed appr eci at i vel y. " You t ol d
i t l i ke i t i s, pal . She' s an eyef ul . "
174
. Al an sai d, " J i l l , t hi s i s Pet er Ter r agl i o. J i U Cast l e. "
I " How do you do! " J i U sai d.
" Pet e' s t he di r ect or , " Al an expl ai ned.
" Di r ect or , pr oducer , chi ef bot t l e washer . I do a l i t t l e of
ever yt hi ng. Come on i n. " He l ed t hemt hr ough t he empt y
gar age i nt o a passageway t hat had at one t i me been ser vant s'
quar t er s. Ther e wer e t wo bedr ooms of f t he cor r i dor . The door
; 1 t o one was open. As t hey appr oached i t , t hey coul d hear t he
I sound of voi ces. J i U r eached t he door way, l ooked i nsi de and
| st opped i n shocked di sbel i ef . I n t he mi ddl e of t he r oomf our
j , naked peopl e wer e l yi ng on a bed; a bl ack man, a Mexi can
man, and t wo gi r l s, one whi t e and one bl ack. A camer aman
was l i ght i ng t he set whi l e one of t he gi r l s pr act i ced f eUat i o on
t he Mexi can. The gi r l paused f or a moment , out of br eat h,
and sai d, " Come on, you cock. Get har d. "
J i l l f el t f ai nt . She wheel ed ar ound i n t he door way t o st ar t
back down t he passageway, and she f el t her l egs st ar t t o gi ve
way. Al an had hi s ar mar ound her , suppor t i ng her .
" Ar e you al l r i ght ?"
She coul d not answer hi m. Her head was suddenl y spl i t t i ng,
and her st omach was f i Ued wi t h kni ves.
" Wai t her e, " Al an or der ed.
He was back i n a mi nut e wi t h a bot t l e of r ed pi l l s and
a pi nt of vodka. He t ook out t wo of t he pi Us and handed t hem
t o J i l l . " These wi l l make you f eel bet t er . "
J ul put t he pi Us i n her mout h, her head poundi ng.
" Wash i t down wi t h t hi s, " Al an t ol d her .
She di d as he sai d.
" Her e. " Al an handed her anot her pi l l . She swal l owed i t
wi t h vodka. " You need t o l i e down a mi nut e. "
He l ed J i U i nt o t he empt y bedr oom, and she l ay down on
t he bed, movi ng ver y sl owl y. The pi Us wer e begi nni ng t o wor k.
She st ar t ed t o f eel bet t er . The bi t t er bi l e had st opped comi ng
up i nt o her mout h.
: Fi f t een mi nut es l at er , her headache was f adi ng away.
Al an handed her anot her pi U. Wi t hout even t hi nki ng about i t ,
" I amsi t t i ng st i l l . "
J U1 t hought t hat was f unny and began t o l augh. She
l aughed unt i l t he t ear s st r eamed down her f ace. " What - - what
wer e t hose pi l l s?"
" For your headache, honey. "
Ter r agl i o peer ed i nt o t he r oomand sai d, " How we doi n' ?
Ever ybody happy?"
" Ever y - - ever ybody' s happy, " J i l l mumbl ed.
Ter r agl i o l ooked at Al an and nodded. " Fi ve mi nut es, "
Ter r agl i o sai d. He hur r i ed of f .
Al an was l eani ng over J i l l , st r oki ng her br east and her
t hi ghs, l i f t i ng her ski r t and wor ki ng hi s f i nger s bet ween her
l egs. I t f el t mar vel ousl y exci t i ng, and J i l l suddenl y want ed hi m
i nsi de her .
" Look, baby, " Al an sai d, " I woul dn' t ask you t o do
anyt hi ng bad. You' d j ust make l ove t o me. I t ' s what we do
anyway, onl y t hi s t i me we get pai d f or i t . Two hundr ed bucks.
And i t ' s al l your s. "
She shook her head, but i t seemed t o t ake f or ever t o
move i t f r omsi de t o si de. " I coul dn' t do t hat , " she sai d,
f uzzi l y.
" Why not ?"
She had t o concent r at e t o r emember . " Because I ' m- - I ' m
gonna be a st ar . Can' t do por no f i l ms. "
" Woul d you l i ke me t o f uck you?"
" Oh, yes! I want you, Davi d. "
Al an st ar t ed t o say somet hi ng, t hen gr i nned. " Sur e, baby.
I want you, t oo. Come on. " He t ook J i l l ' s hand and l i f t ed her
of f t he bed. J i l l f el t as t hough she wer e f l yi ng.
They wer e i n t he hal l way, t hen movi ng i nt o t he ot her
bedr oom.
" Okay, " Ter r agl i o sai d as he saw t hem. " Keep t he same
set up. We' ve got some f r esh bl ood comi ng i n. "
" Do you want me t o change t he sheet s?" one of t he cr ew
asked.
" What t he f uck do you t hi nk we ar e, MGM?"
J i l l was cl i ngi ng t o Al an. " Davi d, t her e ar e peopl e her e. "
" They' l l l eave, " Al an assur ed her . " Her e. " He t ook out
anot her pi l l and gave i t t o J i l l . He put t he bot t l e of vodka
176
t o her l i ps, and she swal l owed t he pi l l . Fr omt hat poi nt on,
ever yt hi ng happened i n a haze. Davi d was undr essi ng her and
' sayi ng comf or t i ng t hi ngs- Then she was on t he bed wi t h hi m.
i He moved hi s naked body cl ose t o her . A br i ght l i ght came on,
bl i ndi ng her .
" Put t hi s i n your mout h, " he sai d, and i t was Davi d
t al ki ng.
" Oh, yes. " She st r oked i t l ovi ngl y and st ar t ed t o put i t
i n her mout h and someone i n t he r oomsai d somet hi ng t hat
J i l l coul d not hear , and Davi d moved away so t hat J i l l was
f or ced t o t ur n her f ace i nt o t he l i ght and squi nt i n t he gl ar e.
She f el t her seJ f bei ng pushed down on her back and t hen
Davi d was i nsi de her maki ng l ove t o her , and at t he same
t i me she had hi s peni s i n her mout h. She l oved hi mso much.
The l i ght s bot her ed her and t he t al ki ng i n t he backgr ound.
She want ed t o t el l Davi d t o st op t hem, but she was i n an
ecst asy of del i r i um, havi ng or gasmaf t er or gasmunt i l she
t hought t hat her body woul d t ear i t sel f apar t . Davi d l oved
her , not Ci ssy, and he had come back t o her and t hey wer e
mar r i ed. They wer e havi ng such a wonder f ul honeymoon.
" Davi d. . . " she sai d. She opened her eyes and t he
Mexi can was on t op of her , movi ng hi s t ongue down her body.
She t r i ed t o ask hi mwher e Davi d was, but she coul d not get
t he wor ds out . She cl osed her eyes whi l e t he man di d del i ci ous
t hi ngs t o her body. When J i l l opened her eyes agai n, t he man
had somehow t ur ned i nt o a gi r l wi t h l ong r ed hai r and l ar ge
bosoms t r ai l i ng acr oss J i l l ' s bel l y. Then t he woman st ar t ed
doi ng somet hi ng wi t h her t ongue and J i l l dosed her eyes and
f el l i nt o unconsci ousness.
The t wo men st ood l ooki ng down at t he f i gur e on t he bed.
" She gonna be al l r i ght ?" Ter r agl i o asked.
" Sur e, " Al an sai d.
" You r eal l y come up wi t h ' em, " Ter r agl i o sai d admi r i ngl y.
" She' s t er r i f i c. Best l ooker yet . "
" My pl easur e. " He hel d out hi s hand.
Ter r agl i o pul l ed a t hi ck wad of bi l l s out of hi s pocket
and peel ed of f t wo of t hem. " Her e y' ar e. Wanna dr op by f or a
l i t t l e Chr i st mas di nner ? St el l a' d l ove t o see you. "
" Can' t , " Al an sai d. " I ' mspendi ng Chr i st mas wi t h t he
wi f e and ki ds. I ' mcat chi ng t he next pl ane out t o Fl or i da. "
" We' r e gonna have a hel l of a pi ct ur e her e. " Ter r agl i o
nodded t owar d t he unconsci ous gi r l . " What ki nd of bi l l i ng
shoul d we gi ve her ?"
Al an gr i nned. " Why don' t you use her r eal name? I t ' s
J osephi ne Czi nski . When t he pi ct ur e pl ays i n Odessa, i t ' l l gi ve
al l her f r i ends a r eal ki ck. "
178
23
They had l i ed. Ti me was not a f r i end t hat heal ed al l
wounds; i t was t he enemy t hat r avaged and mur der ed yout h.
The seasons came and went and each season br ought a new
cr op of Pr oduct t o Hol l ywood. The compet i t i on hi t chhi ked
and came on mot or cycl es and t r ai ns and pl anes. They wer e al l ei ght een year s ol d,
as J i l l had once been. They wer e l ongl egged
and l i t he, wi t h f r esh, eager young f aces and br i ght
smi l es t hat di d not need caps. And wi t h each new cr op t hat
came i n, J i l l was one year ol der . One day she l ooked i n t he
mi r r or and i t was 1964 and she had become t went y- f i ve year s
ol d.
At f i r st , t he exper i ence of maki ng t he por nogr aphi c f i l m
had t er r i f i ed her . She had l i ved i n dr ead t hat some cast i ng
di r ect or woul d l ear n about i t and bl ackbal l her . But as t he
weeks went by and t hen t he mont hs, J i l l gr adual l y f or got her
f ear s. But she had changed. Each succeedi ng year had l ef t i t s
mar k upon her , a pat i na of har dness, l i ke t he annual r i ngs
on a t r ee. She began t o hat e al l t he peopl e who woul d not gi ve
her a chance t o act , t he peopl e who made pr omi ses t hey never
kept .
She had embar ked on an endl ess ser i es of monot onous,
t hankl ess j obs. She was a secr et ar y and a r ecept i oni st and a
shor t - or der cook and a baby- si t t er and a model and a wai t r ess
and a t el ephone oper at or and a sal esgi r l . J ust unt i l she got The
Cal l .
But The Cal l never came. And J i l l ' s bi t t er ness gr ew.
She di d occasi onal wal k- ons and one- l i ner s, but t hey never l ed
t o anyt hi ng. She l ooked i n t he mi r r or and r ecei ved Ti me' s
message: Hur r y. Seei ng her r ef l ect i on was l i ke l ooki ng back
i nt o l ayer s of t he past . Ther e wer e st i l l t r aces of t he f r esh
young gi r l who had come t o Hol l ywood seven endl ess year s
ago. But t he f r esh young gi r l had smal l wr i nkl es near t he edges
of her eyes and deeper l i nes t hat r an f r omt he cor ner s of her
nose t o her chi n, war ni ng si gnal s of t i me f l eet i ng and success
ungr asped, t he souveni r s of al l t he count l ess dr ear y l i t t l e
def eat s. Hur r y, f i l l , hur r y!
And so i t was t hat when Fr ed Kapper , an ei ght een- year ol d
assi st ant di r ect or at Fox, t ol d J i l l he had a good par t f or
her i f she woul d go t o bed wi t h hi m, she deci ded i t was t i me
t o say yes.
She met Fr ed Kapper at t he st udi o dur i ng hi s l unch
hour .
" I onl y got hal f an hour , " he sai d. " Lenune t hi nk wher e
we can have some pr i vacy. " He st ood t her e a moment , f r owni ng
i n deep t hought , t hen br i ght ened. " The dubbi ng r oom.
Come on. "
The dubbi ng r oomwas a smal l , soundpr oof pr oj ect i on
chamber wher e al l t he sound t r acks wer e combi ned on one r eel .
Fr ed Kapper l ooked ar ound t he bar e r oomand sai d,
" Shi t ! They used t o have a l i t t l e couch i n her e. " H^gl anced
at hi s wat ch. " We' l l have t o make do. Get your cl ot hes on,
sweet hear t . The dubbi ng cr ew' U be back i n t went y mi nut es. "
J i l l st ar ed at hi ma moment , f eel i ng l i ke a whor e, and
she l oat hed hi m. But she di d not l et i t show. She had t r i ed
i t her way and had f ai l ed. Now she was goi ng t o do i t t hei r
way. She t ook of f her dr ess and pant s. Kapper di d not bot her
undr essi ng. He mer el y opened hi s zi pper and t ook out hi s
t umescent peni s. He l ooked at J i l l and gr i nned, " That ' s a
beaut i f ul ass. Bend over . "
J i l l l ooked ar ound f or somet hi ng t o l ean agai nst . I n f r ont
of her was t he l augh machi ne, a consol e on wheel s, f i l l ed
wi t h l augh- t r ack l oops cont r ol l ed by but t ons on t he out si de.
" Come on, bend over . "
J i l l hesi t at ed a moment , t hen l eaned f or war d, pr oppi ng
her sel f up by her hands. Kapper moved i n back of her and
J i l l f el t hi s f i nger s spr eadi ng her cheeks. An i nst ant l at er she
l 8o
| f el t t he r i p of hi s peni s pr essi ng agai nst her anus. " Wai t ! "
I j i l l sai d. " Not t her e! I - - I can' t - - "
| " Scr eamf or me, baby! " and he pl unged hi s or gan i nsi de
| her , r i ppi ng her wi t h a t er r i bl e pai n. Wi t h each scr eam, he
| t hr ust deeper and har der . She t r i ed f r ant i cal l y t o get away,
| but he was gr abbi ng her hi ps, shovi ng hi msel f i n and out ,
' hol di ng her f ast . She was of f bal ance now. As she r eached out
' t o get l ever age, her f i nger s t ouched t he but t ons of t he l augh
I ' machi ne, and i nst ant l y t he r oomwas f i l l ed wi t h mani acal
[ l aught er . As J i l l squi r med i n a bur ni ng agony, her hands
^pounded t he machi ne, and a woman t i t t er ed and a smal l
cr owd guf f awed and a gi r l gi ggl ed and a hundr ed voi ces cackl ed
and chuckl ed and r oar ed at some obscene, secr et j oke. The
echoes bounced hyst er i cal l y ar ound t he wal l s as J i l l cr i ed out
wi t h pai n.
Suddenl y she f el t a ser i es of qui ck shudder s and a
moment l at er t he al i en pi ece of f l esh i nsi de her was wi t hdr awn,
t od sl owl y t he l aught er i n t he r oomdi ed away. J i l l st ayed
St i l l , her eyes shut , f i ght i ng t he pai n. When f i nal l y she was abl e
t o st r ai ght en up and t ur n ar ound, Fr ed Kapper was zi ppi ng
up hi s f l y.
" You wer e sensat i onal , sweet hear t . That scr eami ng r eal l y
t ur ns me on. "
And J i l l wonder ed what ki nd of an ani mal he woul d be
when he was ni net een.
He saw t hat she was bl eedi ng. " Get your sel f cl eaned up
and come over t o St age Twel ve. You st ar t wor ki ng t hi s
af t er noon. "
Af t er t hat f i r st exper i ence, t he r est was easy. J i l l began
t o wor k r egul ar l y at al l t he st udi os: Wamer Br ot her s, Par amount ,
MGM, Uni ver sal , Col umbi a, Fox. Ever ywher e, i n f act ,
except at Di sney, wher e sex di d not exi st .
i The r ol e t hat J i l l cr eat ed i n bed was a f ant asy, and she
; act ed i t out wi t h ski l l , pr epar i ng her sel f as t hough she wer e
i pl ayi ng a par t . She r ead books on Or i ent al er ot i ca and bought
f phi l t er s and st i mul ant s f r oma sex shop on Sant a Moni ca
j Boul evar d. She had a l ot i on t hat an ai r l i ne st ewar dess br ought
| her f r omt he Or i ent , wi t h t he f ai nt est t ouch of wi nt er gr een i n
i t . She l ear ned t o massage her l over s sl owl y and sensuousl y.
" Li e t her e and t hi nk about what I ' mdoi ng t o your body, "
she whi sper ed. She r ubbed t he l ot i on acr oss t he man' s chest
and down hi s st omach t owar d hi s gr oi n, maki ng gent l e, ci r cl i ng
mot i ons. " Cl ose your eyes and enj oy i t . "
Her f i nger s wer e as l i ght as but t er f l y wi ngs, movi ng down
hi s body, car essi ng hi m. When he began t o have an er ect i on,
J i l l woul d t ake hi s gr owi ng peni s i n her hand and sof t l y st r oke
i t , movi ng her t ongue down bet ween hi s l egs unt i l he was
squi r mi ng wi t h pl easur e, t hen cont i nui ng down sl owl y, al l t he
way t o hi s t oes. Then J i l l woul d t ur n hi mover , and i t al l
began agai n. When a man' s or gan was l i mp, she put t he head
of i t j ust i nsi de t he l i ps of her vagi na, - and sl owl y dr ew hi m
i nsi de her , f eel i ng i t gr ow har d and st i f f . She t aught t he men
t he wat er f al l , and how t o peak and st op j ust bef or e an or gasm
and t hen bui l d agai n and peak agai n, so t hat when t hey f i nal l y
came, i t was an ecst at i c expl osi on. They had t hei r pl easur e
and got dr essed and l ef t . No one ever st ayed l ong enough t o
gi ve her t he l ovel i est f i ve mi nut es i n sex, t he qui et hol di ng
af t er war d, t he peacef ul oasi s of a l over ' s ar ms.
Pr ovi di ng J i l l wi t h act i ng par t s was a smal l pr i ce t o pay
f or t he pl easur e she gave t he cast i ng men, t he assi st ant di r ect or s,
t he di r ect or s and t he pr oducer s. She became known
ar ound t own as a " r ed- hot pi ece of ass" , and ever yone was
eager f or hi s shar e. And J i l l gave i t . Each t i me she di d, t her e
was t hat much l ess sel f - r espect and l ove i n her , and t hat much
mor e hat r ed and bi t t er ness.
She di d not know how, or when, but she knew t hat one day t hi s t own woul d pay f or
what i t had done t o her .
Dur i ng t he next f i ve year s, J i l l appear ed i n dozens of
movi es and t el evi si on shows and commer ci al s. She was t he
secr et ar y who sai d, " Good mor ni ng, Mr . St evens" , and t he
baby- si t t er who sai d, " Don' t wor r y now, you t wo have a good
eveni ng. I ' l l put t he chi l dr en t o bed" , and t he el evat or oper at or
who announced, " Si xt h f l oor next " , and t he gi r l i n t he
ski out f i t who conf i ded, " Al l my gi r l f r i ends use Dai nt i es" .
But not hi ng ever happened. She was a namel ess f ace i n t he
cr owd. She was i n t he Busi ness, and yet she was not , and she
182
coul d not bear t he t hought of spendi ng t he r est of her l i f e
l i ke t hi s.
I n 1969 J i l l ' s mot her di ed and J i l l dr ove t o Odessa f or
t he f uner al . I t was l at e af t er noon and t her e wer e f ewer t han
a dozen peopl e at t he ser vi ce, none of t hemt he women her
mot her had wor ked f or al l t hose year s. Some of t he chur chgoer s
wer e t her e, t he doom- sayi ng r evi val i st s. J i l l r emember ed
how t er r i f i ed she had been at t hose meet i ngs. But her mot her
had f ound some sor t of sol ace i n t hem, t he exor ci si ng of what ever
demons had t or ment ed her .
A f ami l i ar voi ce sai d qui et l y, " Hel l o, J osephi ne. " She
t ur ned and he was st andi ng' at her si de and she l ooked i nt o
hi s eyes and i t was as t hough t hey had never been apar t , as
t hough t hey st i l l bel onged t o each ot her . The year s had
st amped a mat ur i t y on hi s f ace, added a spr i nkl i ng of gr ay
t o hi s si debur ns. But he had not changed, he was sdl l Davi d,
her Davi d. Yet t hey wer e st r anger s.
He was sayi ng, " I ' mver y sor r y about your mot her . "
And she hear d her sel f r epl yi ng, " Thank you, Davi d. "
As t hough t hey wer e r eci t i ng l i nes f r oma pl ay.
" I have t o t al k t o you. Can you meet me t oni ght ?" Ther e
was an ur gent pl eadi ng i n hi s voi ce.
She t hought of Ae l ast t i me t hey had been t oget her and
of t he hunger i n hi mt hen and t he pr omi se and t he dr eams.
She sai d, " Al l r i ght , Davi d. "
" The l ake? Do you have a car ?"
She nodded.
" I ' l l meet you t her e i n an hour . "
Qssy was st andi ng i n f r ont of a mi r r or , naked, get t i ng
r eady t o dr ess f or a di nner par t y when Davi d ar r i ved home.
He wal ked i nt o her bedr oomand st ood t her e wat chi ng her .
He coul d j udge hi s wi f e wi t h compl et e di spassi on, f or he f el t
no emot i on what soever t owar d her . She was beaut i f ul . Ci ssy
had t aken car e of her body, keepi ng i t i n shape wi t h di et and
exer ci se. I t was her pr i mar y asset and Davi d had r eason t o
bel i eve t hat she was l i ber al i n shar i ng i t wi t h ot her s, her gol f
coach, her ski t eacher , her f l i ght i nst r uct or . But Davi d coul d
not bl ame her . I t had been a l ong t i me si nce he had gone t o bed
wi t h Ci ssy.
I n t he begi nni ng, he had r eal l y bel i eved t hat she woul d
gi ve hi ma di vor ce when Mama Kenyon di ed. But Davi d' s
mot her was st i l l al i ve and f l our i shi ng. Davi d had no way of
knowi ng whet her he had been t r i cked or whet her a mi r acl e had t aken pl ace. A year
af t er t hei r mar r i age, Davi d had sai d
t o Ci ssy, " I t hi nk i t ' s t i me we t al ked about t hat di vor ce. "
Qssy had sai d, " What di vor ce?" And when she saw t he
ast oni shed, l ook on hi s f ace she l aughed. " I l i ke bei ng Mr s.
Davi d Kenyon, dar l i ng. Di d you r eal l y t hi nk I was goi ng t o
gi ve you up f or t hat l i t t l e Pol i sh whor e?"
He had sl apped her .
The f ol l owi ng day he had gone t o see hi s at t or ney. When
Davi d was f i ni shed t al ki ng, t he at t or ney sai d, " I can get you
t he di vor ce. But i f Qssy i s set on hangi ng on t o you, Davi d,
i t ' s goi ng t o be bl oody expensi ve. "
" Get i t . "
When Ci ssy had been ser ved t he di vor ce paper s, she
had l ocked her sel f i n Davi d' s bat hr oomand had swal l owed
an over dose of sl eepi ng pi l l s. I t had t aken Davi d and t wo
ser vant s t o smash t he heavy door . Ci ssy had hover ed on t he
br i nk of deat h f or t wo days. Davi d had vi si t ed her i n t he
pr i vat e hospi t al wher e she had been t aken.
" I ' msor r y, Davi d, " she had sai d. " I don' t want t o l i ve
wi t hout you. I t ' s as si mpl e as t hat . "
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, he had dr opped t he di vor ce sui t .
That had been al most t en year s ago, and Davi d' s mar r i age
had become an uneasy t r uce. He had compl et el y t aken
over t he Kenyon empi r e and he devot ed al l of hi s ener gi es
t o r unni ng i t . He f ound physi cal sol ace i n t he st r i ngs of gi r l s
he kept i n t he var i ous dt i es ar ound t he wor l d t o whi ch hi s
busi ness car r i ed hi m. But he had never f or got t en J osephi ne.
Davi d had no i dea how she f el t about hi m. He want ed t o
know, and yet he was af r ai d t o f i nd out . She had ever y r eason
t o hat e hi m. When he had hear d t he news about J osephi ne' s
mot her , Davi d had gone t o t he f uner al par l or j ust t o l ook at
J osephi ne. The moment he saw her , he knew t hat not hi ng had
184
changed. Not f or hi m. The year s had been swept away i n an
i nst ant , and he was as much i n l ove wi t h her as ever .
/ have t o t al k t o you. . . meet me t oni ght .
Al l r i ght , Davi d. . . .
The l ake.
Ci ssy t ur ned ar ound as she saw Davi d wat chi ng her i n
di e pi er gl ass. " You' d bet t er hur r y and change, Davi d. We' l l
be l at e. "
" I ' mgoi ng t o meet J osephi ne. I f she' l l have me, I ' m
goi ng t o mar r y her . I t hi nk i t ' s t i me t hi s f ar ce ended, don' t
you?"
She st ood t her e, st ar i ng at Davi d, her naked i mage r ef l ect ed
i n t he mi r r or .
" Let me get dr essed, " she sai d.
Davi d nodded and l ef t t he r oom. He wal ked i nt o t he
l ar ge dr awi ng r oom, paci ng up and down, pr epar i ng f or t he
conf r ont at i on. Sur el y af t er al l t hese year s. Ci ssy woul d not
want t o hang ont o a mar r i age t hat was a hol l ow shel l . He
woul d gi ve her anyt hi ng she - -
He hear d t he sound of Ci ssy' s car st ar t i ng and t hen t he
scr eamof or es as i t car eened down t he dr i veway. Davi d r aced
t o t he f r ont door and l ooked out . Ci ssy' s Maser at i was r aci ng
t owar d t he hi ghway. Qui ckl y, Davi d got i nt o hi s car , st ar t ed
t he engi ne and gunned down t he dr i veway af t er Ci ssy.
As he r eached t he hi ghway, her car was j ust di sappear i ng
i n t he di st ance. He st epped down har d on t he accel er at or .
The Maser ar i was a f ast er car t han Davi d' s Rol l s. He pr essed
down har der on t he gas pedal : 70 . . . 80. . . 90. Her car was
no l onger i n si ght .
xoo. . . no . . . st i l l no si gn of her .
I He r eached t he t op of a smal l r i se, and t her e he saw t he
( car , l i ke a di st ant t oy, car eeni ng ar ound a cur ve. The t or que
was pul l i ng t he car t o one si de, t he t i r es f i ght i ng t o hol d t hei r
t r act i on on t he r oad. The Maser at i swayed back and f or t h,
yawi ng acr oss t he hi ghway. Then i t l evel ed of f and made i t
Et he cur ve. And suddenl y t he car hi t t f ae shoul der of t he
and shot i nt o t he ai r l i ke a cat apul t and r ol l ed over and
acr oss t he f i el ds.
Davi d pul l ed Ci ssy' s unconsci ous body out of t he car
moment s bef or e t he r upt ur ed gas t ank expl oded.
I t was si x o' cl ock t he next mor ni ng bef or e t he chi ef
sur geon came out of t he oper at i ng r oomand sai d t o Davi d,
" She' s goi ng t o l i ve. "
J i l l ar r i ved at t he l ake j ust bef or e sunset . She dr ove t o
t he edge of t he wat er . Tur ni ng of f t he mot or , she gave her sel f
up t o t he sounds of t he wi nd and t he ai r . / don' t know when
I ' ve ever been so happy, she t hought . And t hen she cor r ect ed
her sel f . Yes, I do. Her e. Wi t h Davi d. And she r emember ed
how hi s body had f el t on her s and she gr ew f ai nt wi t h want i ng.
What ever had spoi l ed t hei r happi ness was over . She had f el t
i t t he moment she had seen Davi d. He was st i l l i n l ove wi t h
her . She knew i t .
She wat ched t he bl ood- r ed sun sl owl y dr own, i n t he
di st ant wat er , and dar kness f el l . She wi shed t hat Davi d woul d
hur r y.
An hour passed, t hen t wo, and t he ai r became chi l l ed. She
sat i n t he car , st i l l and qui et . She wat ched t he huge dead- whi t e
moon f l oat i nt o t he sky. She l i st ened t o t he ni ght sounds al l
ar ound her and she sai d t o her sel f , Davi d i s comi ng.
J i l l sat t her e al l ni ght and, i n t he mor ni ng, when t he sun
began t o st ai n t he hor i zon, she st ar t ed t he car and dr ove home
t o Hol l ywood.
186
24
J i l l sat i n f r ont of her dr essi ng t abl e and st udi ed her f ace
i n t he mi r r or . She saw a bar el y per cept i bl e wr i nkl e at t he
cor ner of her eye and f r owned. I t ' s unf ai r , she t hought . A man
can compl et el y l et hi msel f go. He can have gr ay hai r , a pot bel l y
and a f ace l i ke a r oad map, and no one t hi nks anyt hi ng
of i t . But l et a woman get one t i ny wr i nkl e. . . She began t o
appl y her makeup. Bob Schi f f er , Hol l ywood' s t op makeup
ar t i st , had t aught her some of hi s t echni ques. J i l l put on a
pan- st i ck base i nst ead of t he powder base t hat she had once
used. Powder dr i ed t he ski n, whi l e t he pan- st i ck kept i t moi st .
Next , she concent r at ed on her eyes, t he makeup under her
l ower l i ds t hr ee or f our shades l i ght er t han her ot her makeup,
so t hat t he shadows wer e sof t ened. She r ubbed i n a smal l
amount of eye shadow t o gi ve her eyes mor e col or , t hen car ef ul l y
appl i ed f al se eyel ashes over her own l ashes, t i l t i ng t hem
at t he out er edges at ' a f or t y- f i ve- degr ee angl e. She br ushed
some Duo adhesi ve on her own out er l ashes and j oi ned t hem
wi t h t he f al se l ashes, maki ng t he eyes l ook l ar ger . To gi ve t he
l ashes a f ul l er l ook, she dr ew f i ne dot s on her l ower eyel i d
beneat h her own l ashes. Af t er t hat , J i l l appl i ed her l i pst i ck,
t hen powder ed her l i ps bef or e appl yi ng a second coat of l i pj
st i ck. She appl i ed a bl usher t o her cheeks and dust ed her f ace
[ wi t h powder , avoi di ng t he ar eas ar ound t he eyes wher e t he
[ ! powder woul d accent uat e t he f ai nt wr i nkl es.
J i l l sat back i n her chai r and st udi ed t he ef f ect i n t he
mi r r or . She l ooked beaut i f ul . Someday, she woul d have t o
r esor t t o t he t ape t r i ck, but t hank God t hat was st i l l year s
away. J i l l knew of ol der act r esses who used t he t r i ck. They
f ast ened t i ny pi eces of Scot ch t ape t o t hei r ski n j ust bel ow
t he hai r l i ne. At t ached t o t hese t apes wer e t hr eads whi ch t hey
t i ed ar ound t hei r heads and conceal ed beneat h t hei r hai r . The
r esul t was t o pul l t he sl ackened ski n of t hei r f aces t aut , gi vi ng
t he ef f ect of a f ace l i f t wi t hout t he expense and pai n of sur ger y.
A var i at i on was al so used t o di sgui se t hei r saggi ng br east s.
A pi ece of t ape at t ached t o t he br east on one end and t o t he
f i r mer f l esh hi gher on t he chest on t he ot her pr ovi ded a si mpl e
t empor ar y sol ut i on t o t he pr obl em. J i l l ' s br east s wer e st i l l f i r m.
She f i ni shed combi ng her sof t , bl ack hai r , t ook one f i nal
l ook i n t he mi r r or , gl anced at her wat ch and r eal i zed t hat she
woul d have t o hur r y.
She had an i nt er vi ew f or " The Toby Templ e Show" .
188
25
Eddi e Ber r i gan, t he cast i ng di r ect or f or Toby' s show,
was a mar r i ed man. He had made ar r angement s t o use a
f r i end' s apar t ment t hr ee af t er noons a week. One of t he af t er oons
was r eser ved f or Ber r i gan' s mi st r ess and t he ot her t wo
af t er noons wer e r eser ved f or what he cal l ed " ol d t al ent " and
" new t al ent " .
J i l l Cast l e was new t al ent . Sever al buddi es had t ol d Eddi e
t hat J i l l gave a f ant ast i c " t r i p ar ound t he wor l d" and wonder f ul
head. Eddi e had been eager t o t r y her . Now, a par t i n a
sket ch had come up t hat was r i ght f or her . Al l t he char act er
had t o do was l ook sexy, say a f ew l i nes and exi t .
J i l l r ead f or Eddi e and he was sat i sf i ed. She was no Kat e
Hepbum, but t he r ol e di dn' t cal l f or one. " You' r e i n, " he
sai d.
" Thank you, Eddi e. "
" Her e' s your scr i pt . Rehear sal st ar t s t omor r ow mor ni ng,
t en o' cl ock shar p. Be on t i me, and know your l i nes. "
" Of cour se. " She wai t ed.
" Er - - how about meet i ng me t hi s af t er noon f or a cup of
cof f ee?"
| J f f l nodded.
| " A f r i end of mi ne has an apar t ment at ni net y- f i ve t hi r t een
; Ar gyl e. The Al l er t on. "
" I know wher e i t i s, " J i l l sai d.
: " Apar t ment Si x D. Thr ee o' cl ock. "
show. That week' s t al ent i ncl uded a spect acul ar dance t eam
f r omAr gent i na, a popul ar r ock and r ol l gr oup, a magi ci an who
made ever yt hi ng i n si ght di sappear and a t op vocal i st . The
onl y one mi ssi ng was Toby Templ e. J i l l asked Eddi e Ber r i gan
about Toby' s absence. " I s he si ck?"
Eddi e snor t ed. " He' s si ck l i ke a f ox. The peasant s r ehear se
whi l e ol d Toby has hi msel f a bal l . He' l l show up
Sat ur day t o t ape t he show, and t hen spl i t . "
Toby Templ e appear ed on Sat ur day mor ni ng, br eezi ng
i nt o t he st udi o l i ke a ki ng. Fr oma cor ner of t he st age, J i l l
wat ched hi mmake hi s ent r ance, f ol l owed by hi s t hr ee st ooges,
Cl i f t on Lawr ence and a coupl e of ol d- t i me comi cs. The spect acl e
f i l l ed J i l l wi t h cont empt . She knew al l about Toby Templ e.
He was an egomani ac who, accor di ng t o r umor , br agged t hat
he had been t o bed wi t h ever y pr et t y act r ess i n Hol l ywood.
No one ever sai d no t o hi m. Oh, yes, J i l l knew about t he Gr eat
Toby Templ e.
The di r ect or , a shor t , ner vous man named Har r y Dur ki n,
i nt r oduced t he cast t o Toby. Toby had wor ked wi t h most of
t hem. Hol l ywood was a smal l vi l l age, and t he f aces soon became
f ami l i ar . Toby had not met J i l l Cast l e bef or e. She l ooked
beaut i f ul i n a bi ege l i nen dr ess, cool and el egant .
" What ar e you doi ng, honey?" Toby asked.
" I ' mi n t he ast r onaut sket ch, Mi . Templ e. "
He gave her a war msmi l e and sai d, " My f r i ends cal l me
Toby. "
The cast st ar t ed t o wor k. The r ehear sal went unusual l y
wel l , and Dur ki n qui ckl y r eal i zed why. Toby was showi ng
of f f or J i l l . He had l ai d ever y ot her gi r l i n t he show, and J i l l
was a new chal l enge.
The sket ch t hat Toby di d wi t h J i l l was t he hi gh poi nt
of t he show. Toby gave J i l l a coupl e of addi t i onal l i nes and
a f unny pi ece of busi ness. When r ehear sal was over , Toby
sai d t o her , " How about a l i t t l e dr i nk i n my dr essi ng r oom?"
" Thank you, I don' t dr i nk. " J i l l smi l ed and wal ked away.
She had a dat e wi t h a cast i ng di r ect or and t hat was mor e
190
i mpor t ant t han Toby Templ e. He was a one- shot . A cast i ng
di r ect or meant st eady empl oyment .
When t hey t aped t he show t hat eveni ng i t was an enor mous
success, one of t he best shows Toby had ever done.
" Anot her smash, " Cl i f t on t ol d Toby. " That ast r onaut
sket ch was t op dr awer . "
Toby gr i nned. " Yeah. I l i ke t hat l i t t l e chi ck i n i t . She' s
got somet hi ng. "
" She' s pr et t y, " Cl i f t on sai d. Ever y week t her e was a di f f er ent
gi r l . They al l had somet hi ng, and t hey al l went t o bed
wi t h Toby and became yest er day' s conver sat i on pi ece.
" Fi x i t f or her t o have supper wi t h us. Cl i f f . "
I t was not a r equest . I t was a command. A f ew year s ago,
Cl i f t on woul d have t ol d Toby t o do i t hi msel f . But t hese days,
when Toby asked you t o do somet hi ng, you di d i t . He was a
ki ng and t hi s was hi s ki ngdom, and t hose who di d not want t o
be exi l ed st ayed i n hi s f avor .
" Of cour se, Toby, " Cl i f t on sai d. " I ' l l ar r ange i t . "
Cl i f t on wal ked down t he hal l t o t he dr essi ng r oomwher e
t he gi r l dancer s and f emal e member s of t he cast changed. He
r apped once on t he door and wal ked i n. Ther e wer e a dozen
gi r l s i n t he r oomi n var i ous st ages of undr ess. They pai d no
at t ent i on t o hi mexcept t o cal l out gr eet i ngs. J i l l had r emoved
her makeup and was get t i ng i nt o her st r eet cl ot hes. Cl i f t on
wal ked up t o her . " You wer e ver y good, " he sai d.
J i l l gl anced at hi mi n t he mi r r or wi t hout i nt er est .
" Thanks. " At one t i me she woul d have been exdt ed t o be t hi s
dose t o Cl i f t on Lawr ence. He coul d have opened ever y door
i n Hol l ywood f or her . Now ever yone knew t hat he was si mpl y
Toby Templ e' s st ooge.
" I have some good news f or you. Mr . Templ e want s you
t o j oi n hi mf or supper . "
J i l l l i ght l y t ousl ed her hai r wi t h her f i nger t i ps and sai d,
" Tel l hi mI ' mt i r ed. I ' mgoi ng t o bed. " And she . wal ked out .
| Supper t hat eveni ng was a mi ser y. Toby, Cl i f t on Law- t r ence and Dur ki n, t he
di r ect or , wer e i n La Rue' s at a f r ont
[ boot h. Dur ki n had suggest ed i nvi t i ng a coupl e of t he showgi r l s,
| but Toby had f ur i ousl y r ej ect ed t he i dea.
The t abl e capt ai n was sayi ng, " Ar e you r eady t o or der ,
Mr . Templ e?"
Toby poi nt ed t o Cl i f t on and sai d, " Yeah. Gi ve t he i di ot
her e' aa- or der of t ongue. "
Cl i f t on j oi ned t he l aught er of t he ot her s at t he t abl e,
pr et endi ng t hat Toby was si mpl y bei ng amusi ng.
Toby snapped, , " I asked you t o do a si mpl e t hi ng l i ke
i nvi t i ng a gi r l t o di nner . Who t ol d you t o scar e her of f ?"
" She was t i r ed, " Cl i f t on expl ai ned. " She sai d - - "
" No br oad i s t oo t i r ed t o have di nner wi t h me. You must
have sai d somet hi ng t hat pi ssed her of f . " Toby had r ai sed hi s
voi ce. The peopl e at t he next boot h had t ur ned t o st ar e. Toby
gave t hemhi s boyi sh smi l e and sai d, " Thi s i s a f ar ewel l di nner ,
f ol ks. " He poi nt ed at Cl i f t on. " He' s donat ed hi s br ai n t o t he
zoo. "
Ther e was l aught er f r omt he ot her t abl e. Cl i f t on, f or ced
a gr i n, but under t he t abl e hi s hands wer e cl enched.
" Do you want t o know how dumb he i s?" Toby asked
t he peopl e at t he adj oi ni ng boot h. " I n Pol and, t hey t el l j okes
about hi m. "
The l aught er i ncr eased. Cl i f t on want ed t o get up and
wal k out , but he di d not dar e. Dur ki n sat t her e embar r assed,
t oo wi se t o say anyt hi ng. Toby now had t he at t ent i on of
sever al near by boot hs. He r ai sed hi s voi ce agai n, gi vi ng t hem
hi s char mi ng smi l e. " Cl i f f Lawr ence her e get s hi s st upi di t y
honest l y. When he was bor n, hi s par ent s had a bi g f i ght over
hi m. Hi s mot her cl ai med i t wasn' t her baby. "
Mer ci f ul l y, t he eveni ng f i nal l y came t o an end. But
t omor r ow Cl i f t on Lawr ence st or i es wer e goi ng t o be t ol d al l
over t own.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence l ay i n hi s bed t hat ni ght , unabl e t o
sl eep. He asked hi msel f why he al l owed Toby t o humi l i at e
hi m. The answer was si mpl e: money. The i ncome f r omToby
Templ e br ought hi mover a quar t er of a mi l l i on dol l ar s a
year . Cl i f t on l i ved expensi vel y and gener ousl y, and he had
not saved a cent . Wi t h hi s ot her cl i ent s gone, he needed Toby.
That was t he pr obl em. Toby knew i t , and bai t i ng Cl i f t on had
become a bl ood spor t . Cl i f t on had t o get away bef or e i t was
t oo l at e.
192
But he was awar e t hat i t was al r eady t oo l at e.
He had been t r apped i nt o t hi s si t uat i on because of hi s
af f ect i on f or Toby: he had r eal l y l oved hi m. He had wat ched
Toby dest r oy ot her s- - women who had f al l en i n l ove wi t h
hi m, comi cs who had t r i ed t o compet e wi t h hi m, cr i t i cs who
had panned hi m. But t hose wer e ot her s. Cl i f t on had never
bel i eved t hat Toby woul d t ur n on hi m. He and Toby wer e
t oo cl ose, Cl i f t on had done t oo much f or hi m.
He dr eaded t o t hi nk about what t he f ut ur e hel d.
Or di nar i l y, Toby woul d not have gi ven J i l l Cast l e mor e
t han a second gl ance. But Toby was not used t o bei ng deni ed
anyt hi ng he want ed. J i l l ' s r ef usal onl y act ed as a goad. He
i nvi t ed her t o di nner agai n. When she decl i ned, Toby
shr ugged i t of f as some ki nd of st upi d game she was pl ayi ng
and deci ded t o f or get about her . The i r ony was t hat i f i t had
been a game, J i l l woul d never have been abl e t o decei ve Toby,
because Toby under st ood women t oo wel l . No, he sensed t hat
J i l l r eal l y di d not want t o go out wi t h hi m, and t he t hought
gal l ed hi m. He was unabl e t o get her out of hi s mi nd.
Casual l y, Toby ment i oned t o Eddi e Ber r i gan t hat i t mi ght
be a good i dea t o use J i l l Cast l e on t he show agai n. Eddi e
t el ephoned her . She t ol d hi mshe was busy doi ng a bi t r ol e
i n a West er n. When Eddi e r epor t ed back t o Toby, t he
comedi an was f ur i ous.
" Tel l her t o cancel what ever she' s doi ng, " he snapped.
" We' l l pay her mor e. For Chr i st ' s sake, t hi s i s t he number
one show on t he ai r . What ' s t he mat t er wi t h t hat di zzy
br oad?"
Eddi e cal l ed J i l l agai n and t ol d her - how Toby f el t . " He
r eal l y want s you back on t he show, J i l l . Can you make i t ?"
" I ' msor r y, " J i l l sai d. " I ' mdoi ng a par t at Uni ver sal . I
i can' t get out of i t . "
^ Nor woul d she t r y. An act r ess di d not get ahead i n
J Hol l ywood by wal ki ng out on a st udi o. Toby Templ e meant
J not hi ng t o J i l l except a day' s wor k. The f ol l owi ng eveni ng,
j t he Gr eat Man hi msel f t el ephoned her . Hi s voi ce on t he t el ej phone
was war mand char mi ng.
" J i l l ? Thi s i s your l i t t l e ol d co- st ar , Toby. "
93
ASt TM
" Hel l o, Mr . Templ e. "
" Hey, come on! What ' s wi t h t he ' mi st er ' bi t ?" Ther e
was no r esponse. " Do you l i ke basebal l ?" Toby asked. " I ' ve
got box seat s f or - - "
" No, I don' t . "
" Nei t her do I . " He l aughed. " I was t est i ng you. Li st en,
how about havi ng di nner wi t h me Sat ur day ni ght ? I st ol e
my chef f r omMaxi m' s i n Par i s. He - - "
" I ' msor r y. I have a dat e, Mr . Templ e. " Ther e was not
even a f l i cker of i nt er est i n her voi ce.
Toby f el t hi msel f gr i ppi ng t he r ecei ver mor e t i ght l y.
" When ar e you f r ee?"
" I ' ma har d- wor ki ng gi r l . I don' t go out much. But t hank
you f or aski ng me. "
And t he l i ne went dead. The bi t ch had hung up on hi m
- - a f ucki ng bi t pl ayer had hung up on Toby Templ e! . Ther e
was not a woman Toby had met who woul d not gi ve a year
of her l i f e t o spend one ni ght wi t h hi m- - and t hi s st upi d cunt
had t ur ned hi mdown! He was i n a vi ol ent r age, and he t ook
i t out on ever yone ar ound hi m. Not hi ng was r i ght . The scr i pt
st ank, t he di r ect or was an i di ot , t he musi c was t er r i bl e and t he
act or s wer e l ousy. He summoned Eddi e Ber r i gan, t he cast i ng
di r ect or , t o hi s dr essi ng r oom.
" What do you know about J i l l Cast l e?" Toby demanded.
" Not hi ng, " Eddi e sai d ' i nst ant l y. He was not a f ool . Li ke
ever yone el se on t he show, he knew exact l y what was goi ng on.
Whi chever way i t t ur ned out , he had no i nt ent i on of get t i ng
caught i n t he mi ddl e.
" Does she sl eep ar ound?"
" No, si r , " Eddi e sai d f i r ml y. " I f she di d, I ' d know about
i t . "
" I want you t o check her out , " Toby or der ed. " Fi nd out
i f she' s got a boyf r i end, wher e she goes, what she does - - you
know what I want . "
" Yes, si r , " Eddi e sai d ear nest l y.
At t hr ee o' cl ock t he next mor ni ng, Eddi e was awakened
by t he t el ephone at hi s bedsi de.
" What di d you f i nd out ?" a voi ce asked.
Eddi e sat up i n bed, t r yi ng t o bl i nk hi msel f awake. " Who
194
t he hel l - - ?" He suddenl y r eal i zed who was at t he ot her end of
t he t el ephone. " I checked, " Eddi e sai d hast i l y. " She' s got a
cl ean bi l l of heal t h. "
" I di dn' t ask you f c- r her f ucki ng medi cal cer t i f i cat e, "
Toby snapped. " I s she l ayi ng anybody?"
" No, si r . Nobody. I t al ked t o my buddi es ar ound t own.
They al l l i ke J i l l and t hey use her because she' s a f i ne act r ess. "
He was t al ki ng f ast er now, anxi ous t o convi nce t he man at t he
ot her end of t he phone. I f Toby Templ e ever l ear ned t hat J i l l
had sl ept wi t h Eddi e - - had chosen hi mover Toby Templ e! - -
Eddi e woul d never wor k i n t hi s t own agai n. He had t al ked t o
hi s cast i ng- di r ect or f r i ends, and t hey wer e al l i n t he same
posi t i on he was. No one want ed t o make an enemy of Toby
Templ e, so t hey had agr eed on a conspi r acy of si l ence. " She
doesn' t pl ay ar ound wi t h anybody. "
Toby' s voi ce sof t ened. " I see. I guess she' s j ust some ki nd
of cr azy ki d, huh?"
" I guess she i s, " sai d Eddi e, r el i eved.
" Hey! I hope I di dn' t wake you up?"
" No, no, t hat ' s al l r i ght , Mr . Templ e. "
But Eddi e l ay awake a l ong t i me, cont empl at i ng what
coul d happen t o hi mi f t he t r ut h ever came out .
For t hi s was Toby Templ e' s t own.
Toby and Cl i f t on Lawr ence wer e havi ng l unch at t he
Hi l l cr est Count r y Cl ub. Hi l l cr est had been cr eat ed because
f ew of t he t op count r y cl ubs i n Los Angel es admi t t ed J ews.
Thi s pol i cy was so r i gi dl y obser ved t hat Gr oucho Mar x' s t en year - ol d
chi l d, Mel i nda, had been or der ed out of t he swi mmi ng
pool of a cl ub wher e a Gent i l e f r i end had t aken her . When
Gr oucho hear d what had happened, he t el ephoned t he manager
of t he cl ub and sai d, " Li st en - - my daught er ' s onl y hal f - J ewi sh.
Woul d you l et her go i nt o t he pool up t o her wai st ?"
As a r esul t of i nci dent s l i ke t hi s, some af f l uent J ews who
enj oyed gol f , t enni s, gi n r ummy and bai t i ng ant i - Senr i t es got
t oget her and f or med t hei r own cl ub, sel l i ng shar es excl usi vel y
t o J ewi sh member s. Hi l l cr est was bui l t i n a beaut i f ul par k
a f ew mi l es f r omt he hear t of Bever l y Hi l l s, and i t qui ckl y became
f amous f or havi ng t he best buf f et and t he most st unul at -
i ng conver sat i on i n t own. The Gent i l es cl amor ed t o be
admi t t ed. I n a gest ur e t owar d t ol er ance, t he boar d r ul ed t hat
a f ew non- J ews woul d be al l owed t o j oi n t he dub.
Toby al ways sat at t he comedi ans' t abl e, wher e t he Hol l ywood
wi t s gat her ed t o exchange j okes and t op one anot her . But
t oday Toby had ot her t hi ngs on hi s mi nd. He t ook Cl i f t on t o
a cor ner t abl e. " I need your advi ce. Cl i f f , " Toby sai d.
The l i t t l e agent gl anced up at hi mi n sur pr i se. I t had
been a l ong dme si nce Toby had asked f or hi s advi ce. " Cer t ai nl y,
dear boy. "
" I t ' s t hi s gi r l , " Toby began, and Cl i f t on was i nst ant l y
ahead of hi m. Hal f t he t own knew t he st or y by now. I t was
t he bi ggest j oke i n Hol l ywood. One of t he col umni st s had
even r un i t as a bl i nd i t em. Toby had r ead i t and comment ed,
" I wonder who t he schmuck i s?" The gr eat l over was hooked
on a gi r l on t he t own who had t ur ned hi mdown. Ther e was
onl y one way t o handl e t hi s si t uat i on.
" J i l l Cast l e, " Toby was sayi ng, " r emember her ? The ki d
who was on t he show?"
" Ah, yes, a ver y at t r act i ve gi r l . What ' s t he pr obl em?"
" I ' l l be god damned i f I know, " Toby admi t t ed. " I t ' s l i ke
she' s got somet hi ng agai nst me. Ever y t i me I ask her f or a
dat e, I get a t ur n- down. I t makes me f eel l i ke some ki nd of
shi t - ki cker f r omI owa. "
Cl i f t on t ook a chance. " Why don' t you st op aski ng her ?"
" That ' s t he cr azy par t , pal . I can' t . Bet ween you and me
and my cock, I ' ve never want ed a br oad so much i n my l i f e.
I t ' s get t i ng so I can' t t hi nk about anyt hi ng el se. " He smi l ed
sel f - consci ousl y and sai d, " I t ol d you i t was cr azy. You' ve
been ar ound t he t r ack a f ew t i mes, Cl i f f . What do I do?"
For one r eckl ess moment , Cl i f t on was t empt ed t o t el l
Toby t he t r ut h. But he coul dn' t t el l hi mt hat hi s dr eamgi r l
was sl eepi ng ar ound t own wi t h ever y assi st ant cast i ng di r ect or
who coul d gi ve her a day' s wor k. Not i f he want ed t o keep
Toby as a cl i ent . " I have an i dea, " Cl i f t on suggest ed. " I s she
ser i ous about her act i ng?"
" Yes. She' s ambi t i ous. "
" Al l r i ght . Then, gi ve her an i nvi t at i on she has t o
accept . "
196
^What do you mean?"
" Have a par t y at your house. "
" I j ust t ol d you, she won' t - - "
" Let me f i ni sh. I nvi t e st udi o heads, pr oducer s, di r ect or s
- peopl e who coul d do her some good. I f she' s r eal l y i nt er - st ed i n bei ng an
act r ess, she' l l be dyi ng t o meet t hem. "
Toby di al ed her number . " Hel l o, J i l l . "
" Who i s t hi s?" she asked.
Ever yone i n t he count r y r ecogni zed hi s voi ce, and she
' as aski ng who i t was!
' Toby. Toby Templ e. "
" Oh. " I t was a sound t hat coul d have meant anyt hi ng.
" Li st en, J i l l , I ' mgi vi ng a l i t t l e di nner par t y at my home
ext Wednesday ni ght and I " - - he hear d her st ar t t o r ef use
nd hur r i ed on- - " I ' mhavi ng SamWi nt er s, head of Pan' adf i c,
and a f ew ot her st udi o heads t her e, and some pr o- ucer s and di r ect or s. I t hought
i t mi ght be good f or you t o
i eet t hem. Ar e you f r ee?"
Ther e was t he br i ef est of pauses, and J i f l Cast l e sai d,
Wednesday ni ght . Yes, I ' mf r ee. Thank you, Toby. "
An nei t her of t hemknew t hat i t was an appoi nt ment
i Samar r a.
On t he t er r ace, an or chest r a pl ayed, whi l e l i ver i ed wai t er s
assed t r ays of hor s d' oeuvr es and gl asses of champagne.
When J i l l ar r i ved f or t y- f i ve mi nut es l at e, Toby ner vousl y
ur r i ed t o t he door t o meet her . She was wear i ng a si mpl e
' bi t e si l k dr ess, and her bl ack hai r f el l sof t l y agai nst her
boul der s. She l ooked r avi shi ng. Toby coul d not t ake hi s eyes
i f her . J i l l was awar e t hat she l ooked beaut i f ul . She had
r ashed and st yl ed her hai r ver y car ef ul l y and had t aken a
mg t i me wi t h her makeup.
" Ther e ar e a l ot of peopl e her e I want you t o meet . "
Foby t ook J i l l ' s hand and l ed her acr oss t he l ar ge r ecept i on
al l i nt o t he f or mal dr awi ng r oom. J i l l st opped at t he ent r ance,
t ar i ng at t he guest s. Al most ever y f ace i n t he r oomwas
ami l i ar t o her . She had seen t hemon t he cover of Ti me and
LI FE and Newsweek and Par i s Mat ch and OGGI or on t he
scr een. Thi s was t he r eal Hol l ywood. These wer e t he pi ct ur e
maker s. J i l l had i magi ned t hi s moment a t housand t i mes, bei ng
wi t h t hese peopl e, t al ki ng wi t h t hem. Now t hat t he r eal i t y
was her e, i t was di f f i cul t f or her t o r eal i ze t hat i t was act ual l y
happeni ng.
Toby was handi ng her a gl ass of champagne. He t ook
her ar mand l ed her t o a man sur r ounded by a gr oup of peopl e.
" Sam, I want you t o meet J i l l Cast l e. "
Samt ur ned. " Hel l o, J i l l Cast l e, " he sai d pl easant l y.
" J i l l , t hi s i s SamWi nt er s, chi ef I ndi an of Pan- Paci f i c
St udi os. "
" I know who Mr . Wi nt er s i s, " J i l l sai d.
" J i l l ' s an act r ess, Sam, a damned cl ever act r ess. You coul d
use her . Gi ve your j oi nt a l i t t l e cl ass. "
" I ' l l keep t hat i n mi nd, " Samsai d pol i t el y.
Toby t ook J i l l ' s hand, hol di ng i t f i r ml y. " Come on,
honey, " he sai d. " I want ever ybody t o meet you, "
Bef or e t he eveni ng was over , J i l l had met t hr ee st udi o
heads, hal f a dozen i mpor t ant pr oducer s, t hr ee di r ect or s, a
f ew wr i t er s, sever al newspaper and t el evi si on col umni st s and
a dozen st ar s. At di nner , J i l l sat at Toby' s r i ght . She l i st ened
t o t he var i ous conver sat i ons, savor i ng t he f eel i ng of bei ng on
t he I nsi de f or t he f i r st t i me.
" . . . t he t r oubl e wi t h t hese epi cs i s t hat i f one of t hem
f l ops, i t can wi pe out t he whol e st udi o. Fox i s hangi ng on by
i t s t eet h, wai t i ng t o see what Cl eopat r a does. "
" . . . have you seen t he new Bi l l y Wi l der pi ct ur e yet ?
Sensat i onal ! "
" Yeah? I l i ked hi mbet t er when he was wor ki ng wi t h
Br acket t . Br acket t has cl ass. "
" Bi l l y has t al ent , "
" . . . so, I sent Peck a myst er y scr i pt l ast week, and he' s
cr azy about i t . He sai d he' d gi ve me a def i ni t e answer i n a day
or t wo. "
" . . . I r ecei ved t hi s i nvi t at i on t o meet t he new gur u,
Kr i shi Pr amananada. Wel l , my dear , i t t ur ned out I ' d al r eady
met hi m; I at t ended hi s bar mi t zvah. "
" . . . t he pr obl emwi t h budget i ng a pi ct ur e at t wo i s t hat
by t he t i me you have an answer pr i nt , t he cost of i nf l at i on
198
pl us t he god damned uni ons has pushed i t up t o t hr ee or
f our . "
Mi l l i ons, J i l l t hought exci t edl y. Thr ee or f our mi l l i ons.
She r emember ed t he endl ess penny- ant e conver sat i ons at
Schwab' s wher e t he hanger s- on, t he Sur vi vor s, avi dl y f ed each
ot her cr umbs of i nf or mat i on about what t he st udi os wer e
doi ng. Wel l , t he peopl e at t hi s t abl e t oni ght wer e t he r eal
sur vi vor s, t he ones who made ever yt hi ng i n Hol l ywood
happen.
These wer e t he peopl e who had kept t he gat es shut
agai nst her , who had r ef used t o gi ve her a chance. Any per son
at t hi s t abl e coul d have hel ped her , coul d have changed her
i l i f e, but none of t hemhad had f i ve mi nut es t o spar e f or J i l l
Cast l e. She l ooked over at a pr oducer who was r i di ng hi gh
wi t h a bi g new musi cal pi ct ur e. He had r ef used t o gi ve J i l l even
; an i nt er vi ew.
At t he f ar end of t he t abl e, a f amous comedy di r ect or
was i n ani mat ed conver sat i on wi t h t he st ar of hi s l at est f i l m.
} He had r ef used t o see J i l l .
} SamWi nt er s was t al ki ng t o t he head of anot her st udi o.
; J i l l had sent a t el egr amt o Wi nt er s, aski ng hi mt o wat ch her
I per f or mance on a t el evi si on show. He had never bot her ed
f answer i ng.
| They woul d pay f or t hei r sl i ght s and i nsul t s, t hey and
y ever ybody el se i n t hi s t own who had t r eat ed her so shabbi l y.
| Ri ght now, she meant not hi ng t o t he peopl e her e, but she
} woul d. Oh, yes. One day she woul d.
; The f ood was super b, but J i l l was t oo pr eoccupi ed t o
not i ce what she at e. When di nner was over , Toby r ose and
; ai d, " Hey! We bet t er hur r y bef or e t hey st ar t t he pi ct ur e
wi t hout us. " Hol di ng J i l l ' s ar m, he l ed t he way t o t he l ar ge
^pr oj ect i on r oomwher e t hey wer e t o wat ch a movi e.
; The r oomwas ar r anged so Aat si xt y peopl e coul d comI br t abl y
vi ew t he pi ct ur e i n couches and easy chai r s. An open
cabi net f i l l ed wi t h candy bar s st ood at one si de of t he eni ce.
A popcor n machi ne st ood on t he ot her si de.
Toby had seat ed hi msel f next t o J i l l . She was awar e
: al l t hr ough t he scr eeni ng hi s eyes wer e on her r at her
on &e movi e. When t he pi ct ur e ended and t he l i ght s
went up, cof f ee and cake wer e ser ved. Hal f an hour l at er , t he
par t y began t o di ssol ve. Most of t he guest s had ear l y st udi o
cal l s.
Toby was st andi ng at t he f r ont door sayi ng good ni ght t o
SamWi nt er s when J i l l wal ked up, wear i ng her coat . " Wher e
ar e you goi ng?" Toby demanded. " I ' mgonna t ake you
home. "
" I have my car , " J i l l answer ed, sweet l y. " Thank you f or
a l ovel y eveni ng, Toby. " And she l ef t .
Toby st ood t her e i n di sbel i ef , wat chi ng her dr i ve away.
He had made exci t i ng pl ans f or t he r est of t he eveni ng. He
was goi ng t o t ake J i l l upst ai r s t o t he bedr oomand- - he had
even pi cked out t he t apes he was goi ng t o pl ay! Any woman
her e t oni ght woul d have been gr at ef ul t o j ump i nt o my bed,
Toby t hought . They wer e st ar s, t oo, not some dumb bi t pl ayer .
J i l l Cast l e was j ust t oo damned st upi d t o know what she was
t ur ni ng down. I t was over as f ar as Toby was concer ned. He
had l ear ned hi s l esson.
He was never goi ng t o t al k t o J i l l agai n.
Toby t el ephoned J i l l at ni ne o' cl ock t he next mor ni ng,
and he was answer ed by a t ape- r ecor ded message. " Hel l o, t hi s
i s J i l l Cast l e. I ' msor r y I ' mnot at home now. I f you' l l l eave
your name and t el ephone number , I ' l l cal l you back when
I r et ur n. Pl ease wai t unt i l you hear t he si gnal . Thank you. "
Ther e was a shar p beep.
Toby st ood t her e cl ut chi ng t he t el ephone i n hi s hand,
t hen sl ammed down t he r ecei ver wi t hout l eavi ng a message.
He was damned i f he was goi ng t o car r y on a conver sat i on
wi t h a mechani cal voi ce. A moment l at er , he r edi al ed t he
number . He l i st ened t o t he r ecor di ng agai n and spoke. " You' ve
got t he cut est voi ce- over i n t own. You shoul d package i t .
I don' t usual l y cal l back gi r l s who eat and r un, but i n your
case, I ' ve deci ded t o make an except i on. What ar e you doi ng
f or di nner t o - - ?" The phone went dead. He had t al ked t oo
l ong f or t he god damned t ape. He f r oze, not knowi ng what t o
do, f eel i ng l i ke a f ool . I t i nf ur i at ed hi mt o have t o cal l back
agai n, but he di al ed t he number f or t he t hi r d t i me and sai d,
" As I was sayi ng bef or e t he r abbi cut me of f , how about
200
t i nner t oni ght ? I ' l l wai t f or your cal l . " He l ef t hi s number
nd bung up.
Toby wai t ed r est l essl y al l day and di d not hear f r omher .
l y seven o' cl ock, he t hought , To hel l wi t h you. That was
' our l ast chance, baby. And t hi s t i me i t was f i nal . He t ook
ut hi s pr i vat e phone book and began t o t humb t hr ough i t .
r her e was no one i n i t who i nt er est ed hi m.
201
26
I t was t he most t r emendous r ol e i n J i l l ' s l i f e.
She had no i dea why Toby want ed her so much when
he coul d have any gi r l i n Hol l ywood, nor di d t he r eason mat t er .
The f act was t hat he di d. For days J i l l had been abl e t o t hi nk
of not hi ng but t he di nner par t y and how ever yone t her e - - al l
t hose i mpor t ant peopl e- - had cat er ed t o Toby. They woul d
do anyt hi ng f or hi m. Somehow, J i l l had t o f i nd a way t o make
Toby do anyt hi ng f or her . She knew she had t o be ver y cl ever .
Toby' s r eput at i on was t hat once he t ook a gi r l t o bed, he l ost
i nt er est i n her . I t was t he pur sui t he enj oyed, t he chal l enge.
J i l l spent a gr eat deal of dme t hi nki ng about Toby and about
how she was goi ng t o handl e hi m.
Toby t el ephoned her ever y day and she l et a week go by
bef or e she agr eed t o have di nner wi t h hi magai n. He was i n
such a euphor i c st at e t hat ever yone i n t he cast and cr ew comment ed
on i t .
" I f t her e wer e such an ani mal , " Toby t ol d Cl i f t on, " I ' d
say I was i n l ove. Ever y t i me I t hi nk about J i l l , 1 get an
er ect i on. " He gr i nned and added, " And when I get an er ect i on,
pal , i t ' s l i ke put t i ng up a bi l l boar d on Hol l ywood
Boul evar d. "
The ni ght of t hei r f i r st dat e, Toby pi cked J i l l up at her
apar t ment and sai d, " We have a t abl e at Chasen' s. " He was
sur e i t woul d be a t r eat f or her .
" Oh?" Ther e was a not e of di sappoi nt ment i n J i l l ' s
voi ce.
202
He bl i nked. " I s t her e somepl ace el se you' d r at her go?"
I t was Sat ur day ni ght , but Toby knew he coul d get a t abl e
anywher e: Per i no' s, t he Ambassador , t he Der by. " Name i t . "
J Ul hesi t at ed, t hen sai d, " You' l l l augh. "
" No, I won' t . "
" Tommy' s. "
Toby was get t i ng a pool si de massage f r omone of t he
Macs, whi l e Cl i f t on Lawr ence l ooked on. " You woul dn' t bel i eve
i t , " Toby mar vel ed. " We st ood i n l i ne at t hat hambur ger
j oi nt f or t went y mi nut es. Do you know wher e t he hel l
Tommy' s i s? Downt own Los Angel es. The onl y peopl e who
go downt own Los Angel es ar e wet backs. She' s cr azy. I ' m
r eady t o bl ow a hundr ed bucks on her wi t h Fr ench champagne
and t he whol e bi t , and t he eveni ng cost s me t wo dol l ar s and
f or t y cent s. I want ed t o t ake her t o Pi p' s af t er war d. Do you
know what we di d i nst ead? We wal ked al ong t he beach at
Sant a Moni ca. I got sand i n my Gucci s. No one wal ks al ong
t he beach at ni ght . You get mugged by scuba di ver s. " He
shook hi s head i n admi r at i on. " J i l l Cast l e. Do you bel i eve her ?"
" No, " Cl i f t on sai d dr yl y.
" She woul dn' t come back t o my pl ace f or a l i t t l e ni ght cap,
so I f i gur ed I ' d get i n t he ki p at her pl ace, r i ght ?"
" Ri ght . "
" Wr ong. She doesn' t even l et me i n t he door . I get a
ki ss on my cheek and I ' mon my way home, al one. Now what
t he hel l ki nd of ni ght out on t he t own i s t hat f or Char l i e- super st ar ?"
" Ar e you gonna see her agai n?"
" Ar e you dement ed? You bet your sweet ass I ami "
Af t er t hat , Toby and J i l l wer e t oget her al most ever y
ni ght . When J i l l woul d t el l Toby she coul d not see hi m
because she was busy or had an ear l y mor ni ng cal l , Toby
woul d be i n despai r . He t el ephoned J i l l a dozen t i mes a day.
He t ook her t o t he most gl amor ous r est aur ant s and t he
most excl usi ve pr i vat e cl ubs i n t own. I n r et ur n, J i l l t ook hi m
t o t he ol d boar dwal k i n Sant a Moni ca and t he Tr ancas I nn
and t he l i t t l e Fr ench f ami l y r est aur ant cal l ed Tai x and t o
Papa DeCar l os and al l t he ot her out - of - t he- way pl aces a st r uggl i ng
act r ess wi t h no money l ear ns about . Toby di d not car e
wher e he went , as l ong as J i l l was wi t h hi m.
She was t he f i r st per son he had ever known who made
hi s f eel i ng of l onel i ness vani sh.
Toby was al most af r ai d t o go t o bed wi t h J i l l now, f or
f ear t he magi c mi ght di sappear . And yet h&^want ed her mor e
t han he had ever desi r ed any woman i n hi s l i f e. Once, at t he
end of an eveni ng, when J i l l was gi vi ng hi ma l i ght good ni ght
ki ss, Toby r eached bet ween her l egs and sai d, " God, J i l l , I ' l l
go cr azy i f I can' t have you. " She pul l ed back and sai d col dl y,
" I f t hat ' s al l you want , you can buy i t anywher e i n t own f or
t went y dol l ar s. " She sl ammed t he door i n hi s f ace. Af t er war d,
she l eaned agai nst t he door , t r embl i ng, af r ai d t hat she had
gone t oo f ar . She l ay awake al l ni ght , wor r yi ng.
The next day Toby sent her a di amond br acel et , ' and
J i l l knew t hat ever yt hi ng was al l r i ght . She r et ur ned t he
br acel et wi t h a car ef ul l y t hought - out not e. " Thank you, anyway.
You make me f eel ver y beaut i f ul . "
" I t cost me t hr ee gr and, " Toby t ol d Cl i f t on pr oudl y,
" and she sent i t back! " He shook hi s head i ncr edul ousl y.
" What do you t hi nk of a gi r l l i ke t hat ?"
Cl i f t on coul d have t ol d hi mexact l y what he t hought ,
but al l he sai d was, " She' s cer t ai nl y unusual , dear boy. "
" Unusual ! " Toby excl ai med. " Ever y br oad i n t hi s t own
i s on t he make f or ever yt hi ng t hey can get t hei r hot l i t t l e
hands on. J i l l i s t he f i r st gi r l I ' ve ever met who doesn' t gi ve
a damn about mat er i al t hi ngs. Do you bl ame me f or bei ng
cr azy about her ?"
" No, " Cl i f t on sai d. But he was begi nni ng t o get wor r i ed.
He knew al l about J i l l , and he wonder ed i f he shoul d not
have spoken up sooner .
" I woul dn' t obj ect i f you want ed t o t ake J i l l on as a
cl i ent , " Toby sai d t o Cl i f t on. " I ' l l bet she coul d be a bi g st ar . "
Cl i f t on par r i ed i t def t l y but f i r ml y. " No, t hanks, Toby.
One super st ar on my hands i s enough. " He l aughed.
That ni ght Toby r epeat ed t he r emar k t o J i l l .
*
204
Af t er hi s unsuccessf ul at t empt wi t h J i l l , Toby was car ef ul
not t o br oach t he subj ect of t hei r goi ng t o bed t oget her . Toby
was act ual l y pr oud of J i l l f or r ef usi ng hi m. Al l t he ot her gi r l s
he had gone wi t h had been door mat s. But not J i l l . When Toby
di d somet hi ng J i l l t hought was out of l i ne, she t ol d hi mso.
One ni ght Toby t ongue- l ashed a man who was pest er i ng hi m
f or an aut ogr aph. Lat er , J i l l sai d, " I t ' s f unny when you' r e
sar cast i c on st age, Toby, but you hur t t hat man' s f eel i ngs. "
Toby had gone back t o t he man and apol ogi zed.
J i l l t ol d Toby t hat she t hought hi s dr i nki ng so much was
not good f or hi m. He cut down on hi s consumpt i on. She made
a casual l y cr i t i cal r emar k about hi s cl ot hes, and he changed
t ai l or s. Toby al l owed J i l l t o say t hi ngs t hat he woul d not have
t ol er at ed f r omanyone el se i n t he wor l d. No one had ever
dar ed boss hi mar ound or cr i t i ci ze hi m.
Except , of cour se, hi s mot her .
J i l l r ef used t o accept money or expensi ve gi f t s f r omToby,
but he knew t hat she coul d not have much money, and her
cour ageous behavi or made Toby even mor e pr oud of her . One
eveni ng at J i l l ' s apar t ment , whi l e Toby was wai t i ng f or her
t o f i ni sh dr essi ng bef or e di nner , he not i ced a st ack of bi l l s i n
t he l i vi ng r oom. Toby sl i pped t hemi nt o hi s pocket and t he
next day or der ed Cl i f t on t o pay t hem. Toby f el t as t hough
he had scor ed a vi ct or y. But he want ed t o do somet hi ng bi g
f or J i l l , somet hi ng i mpor t ant .
And he suddenl y knew what i t was goi ng t o be.
" Sam- - I ' mgoi ng t o do you a gr eat bi g f avor ! "
Bewar e of st ar s bear i ng gi f t s, SamWi nt er s t hought
wr yl y.
" You' ve been goi ng cr azy l ooki ng f or a gi r l f or Kel l er ' s
pi ct ur e, r i ght ?" Toby asked. " Wel l , I got her f or you. "
" Anyone I know?" Sami nqui r ed.
" You met her at my house. J i l l Cast l e. "
Samr emember ed J i l l . Beaut i f ul f ace and f i gur e, bl ack
hai r . Far t oo ol d t o pl ay t he t een- ager i n t he Kel l er movi e.
But i f Toby Templ e want ed her t o t est f or t he par t , Sam
205
was goi ng t o obl i ge. " Have her come i n t o see me t hi s af t er noon, "
he sai d.
Samsaw t o i t t hat J i l l Cast l e' s t est was car ef ul l y handl ed.
She was gi ven one of t he st udi o' s t op- camer amen, and Kel l er
hi msel f di r ect ed t he t est .
Saml ooked at t he r ushes t he f ol l owi ng day. As he had
guessed, J i l l was t oo mat ur e f or t he par t of t he young gi r l .
Asi de f r omt hat , she was not bad. What she l acked was
char i sma, t he magi c t hat l eaped out f r omt he scr een.
He t el ephoned Toby Templ e. " I l ooked at J i l l ' s t est t hi s
mor ni ng, Toby. She phot ogr aphs wel l , and she can r ead l i nes,
but she' s not a l eadi ng l ady. She coul d ear n a good l i vi ng
pl ayi ng mi nor r ol es, but i f she has her hear t set on becomi ng
a st ar , I t hi nk she' s i n t he wr ong busi ness. "
Toby pi cked up J i l l t hat eveni ng t o t ake her t o a di nner
bei ng gi ven f or a cel ebr at ed Engl i sh di r ect or who had j ust
ar r i ved i n Hol l ywood. J i l l had been l ooki ng f or war d t o i t .
She opened t he door f or Toby and t he moment he ent er ed
she knew t hat somet hi ng was wr ong. " You hear d some
news about my t est , " she sai d.
He nodded r el uct ant l y. " I t al ked t o SamWi nt er s. " He
t ol d her what Samhad sai d, t r yi ng t o sof t en t he bl ow.
J i l l st ood t her e l i st eni ng, not sayi ng a wor d. She had
been so sur e. The par t had f el t so r i ght . Out of nowher e
came t he memor y of t he gol d cup i n t he depar t ment - st or e
wi ndow. The l i t t l e gi r l had ached wi t h t he want i ng and t he
l oss; J i l l f el t t he same f eel i ng of despai r now.
Toby was sayi ng, " Look, honey, don' t wor r y about i t .
Wi nt er s doesn' t know what he' s t al ki ng about . "
But he di d know! She was not goi ng t o make i t . Al l
t he agony and t he pai n and t he hope had been f or not hi ng.
I t was as t hough her mot her had been r i ght and a vengef ul
God was puni shi ng J i l l f or she knew not what . She coul d hear
t he pr eacher scr eami ng. See t hat l i t t l e gi r l ? She wi l l bumi n
Hel l f or her si ns i f she does not gi ve her soul up t o God and
r epent . She had come t o t hi s t own wi t h l ove and dr eams, and
t he t own had degr aded her .
She was over come wi t h an unbear abl e f eel i ng of sadness
206
and she was not even awar e t hat she was sobbi ng unt i l she
f el t Toby' s ar mar ound her .
" Sh! I t ' s al l r i ght , " he sai d, and hi s gent l eness made her
cr y 11 t he har der .
She st ood t her e whi l e he hel d her i n hi s ar ms and she
t ol d hi mabout her f at her dyi ng when she was bor n, and about
t he gol d cup and t he Hol y Rol l er s and t he headaches and t he
ni ght s f i l l ed wi t h t er r or whi l e she wai t ed f or God t o st r i ke
her dead. She t ol d hi mabout t he endl ess, dr ear y j obs she had
t aken i n or der t o become an act r ess and t he ser i es of f ai l ur es.
Some deep- r oot ed i nst i nct kept her f r omment i oni ng t he men
i n her l i f e. Al t hough she had st ar t ed out pl ayi ng a game wi t h
Toby, she was now beyond pr et ense. I t was i n t hi s moment of
her naked vul ner abi l i t y t hat she r eached- hi m. She t ouched a
chor d deep wi t hi n hi mt hat no one el se had ever st r uck.
He t ook out hi s pocket handker chi ef and dr i ed her t ear s.
" Hey, i f you t hi nk you had i t t ough, " he sai d, " l i st en t o t hi s.
My ol d man was a but cher and. . . "
They t al ked unt i l t hr ee o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng. I t was
t he f i r st t i me i n hi s l i f e Toby had t al ked t o a gi r l as a human
bei ng. He under st ood her . How coul d he not ; she was
hi m.
Nei t her of t hemever knew who made t he f i r st move.
What had st ar t ed as a gent l e, under st andi ng comf or t i ng sl owl y
became a sensual , ani mal want i ng. They wer e ki ssi ng hungr i l y,
and he was hol di ng her t i ght l y. She coul d f eel hi s mal eness
pr essi ng agai nst her . She needed hi mand he was t aki ng of f her
cl ot hes, and she was hel pi ng hi mand t hen he was naked i n
t he dar k besi de her , and t her e was an ur gency i n bot h of t hem.
They went t o t he f l oor . Toby ent er ed her and J i l l moaned
once at t he enor mous si ze of hi m, and Toby st ar t ed t o wi t hdr aw.
She pul l ed hi mcl oser t o her , hol di ng hi mf i er cel y. He
began t o make l ove t o her t hen, f i l l i ng her , compl et i ng her ,
maki ng her body whol e. I t was gent l e and l ovi ng and i t kept
bui l di ng and became f r ant i c and demandi ng and suddenl y i t
was beyond t hat . I t was an ecst asy, an unbear abl e r apt ur e, a
mi ndl ess ani mal coupl i ng, and J i l l was scr eami ng, " Love me,
Toby! Love me, l ove me! " Hi s poundi ng body was on her , i n
her , was par t of her , and t hey wer e one.
207
They made l ove al l ni ght and t al ked and l aughed, and i t
was as t hough t hey had bel onged t oget her al ways.
I f Toby had t hought he car ed f or J i l l bef or e, he was
i nsane about her now. They l ay i n bed, and he hel d her i a hi s
ar ms pr ot ect i vel y, and he t hought wonder i ngl y. Thi s i s what
l ove i s. He t ur ned t o gaze at her . She l ooked war mand
di shevel ed and br eat ht aki ngl y beaut i f ul , and he had never l oved
anyone so much. He sai d, " I want t o mar r y" you. " }
I t was t he most nat ur al t hi ng i n t he wor l d.
She hugged hi mt i ght l y and sai d, " Oh, yes, Toby. " She
l oved hi mand she was goi ng t o many hi m.
And i t was not unt i l hour s l at er t hat J i l l r emember ed
why al l t hi s had st ar t ed i n t he f i r st pl ace. She had want ed
Toby' s power . She had want ed t o pay back al l t he peopl e
who had used her , hur t her , degr aded her . She had want ed
vengeance.
Now she was goi ng t o have i t .
208
27
Cl i f t on Lawr ence was i n t r oubl e. I n a way, he supposed,
i t was hi s own f aul t f or l et t i ng t hi ngs get t hi s f ar . He was
seat ed at Toby' s bar , and Toby was sayi ng, " I pr oposed t o
her t hi s mor ni ng, Cl i f f , and she sai d yes. I f eel l i ke a si xt eenyear - ol d
t dd. "
Cl i f t on t r i ed not t o l et t he shock show on hi s f ace. He
had t o be ext r emel y car ef ul about t he way he handl ed t hi s.
He knew one t hi ng: he coul d not l et t hat l i t t l e t r amp mar r y
Toby Templ e. The moment t he weddi ng announcement was
made, ever y cocks man i n Hol l ywood woul d cr awl out of t he
woodwor k, announci ng t hat he had got t en i n t her e f i r st . I t
was a mi r acl e t hat Toby had not f ound out about J i l l bef or e
now, but i t coul d not be kept f r omhi mf or ever . When he
l ear ned t he t r ut h, Toby woul d ki l l . He woul d l ash out at
ever yone ar ound hi m, ever yone who had l et t hi s happen t o
hi m, and Cl i f t on Lawr ence woul d be Ac f i r st t o f eel t he
br unt of Toby' s r age. No, Cl i f t on coul d not l et t hi s mar r i age
t ake pl ace. He was t empt ed t o poi nt out t hat Toby was t went y
year s ol der t han J i l l , but he checked hi msel f . He l ooked over
at Toby and sai d caut i ousl y, " I t mi ght be a mi st ake t o r ush
t hi ngs. I t t akes a l ong t i me t o r eal l y get t o know a per son.
You mi ght change your - - "
Toby br ushed i t asi de. " You' r e gonna be my best man.
You t hi nk we shoul d have t he weddi ng her e or up i n
Vegas?"
Cl i f t on knew t hat he was wast i ng hi s br eat h. Ther e was
209
onl y one way t o pr event t hi s di sast er f r omhappeni ng. He had
t o f i nd a way t o st op J i l l .
That af t er noon, t he l i t t l e agent t el ephoned J i l l and asked
her t o come t o hi s of f i ce. She ar r i ved an hour l at e, gave hi m
a cheek t o ki ss, sat down on t he edge of t he couch and sai d,
" I haven' t much t i me. I ' mmeet i ng Toby. "
" Thi s won' t t ake l ong. "
Cl i f t on st udi ed her . I t was a di f f er ent J i l l . She bor e al most
no r esembl ance t o t he gi r l he had f i r st met a f ew mont hs ago.
Ther e was a conf i dence about her now, an assur ance t hat she
had not had ear l i er . Wel l , he had deal t wi t h gi r l s l i ke her
bef or e.
" J i l l , I ' mgoi ng t o l ay i t on t he l i ne, " Cl i f t on sai d. " You' r e
bad f or Toby. I want you t o get out of Hol l ywood. " He t ook
a whi t e envel ope out of a dr awer . " Her e' s f i ve t housand
dol l ar s cash. That ' s enough t o t ake you anywher e you want
t o go. "
She st ar ed at hi ma moment , a sur pr i sed expr essi on on
her f ace, t hen l eaned back on t he couch and began t o l augh.
" I ' mnot j oki ng, " Cl i f t on Lawr ence sai d. " Do you t hi nk
Toby woul d mar r y you i f he f ound out you' ve l ai d ever ybody
i n t own?"
She r egar ded Cl i f t on f or a l ong moment . She want ed t o
t el l hi mt hat he was r esponsi bl e f or ever yt hi ng t hat had happened
t o her . He and al l t he ot her peopl e i n power who had
r ef used t o gi ve her a chance. They had made her pay wi t h her
body, her pr i de, her soul . But she knew t her e was no way she
coul d ever make hi munder st and. He was - t r yi ng t o bl uf f her .
He woul d not dar e t el l Toby about her ; i t woul d be Lawr ence' s
wor d agai nst her s.
J i l l r ose t o her f eet and wal ked out of t he of f i ce.
One hour l at er , Cl i f t on r ecei ved a cal l f r omToby.
Cl i f t on had never hear d Toby sound so exdt ed. " I don' t
know what you sai d t o J i l l , pal , but I have t o hand i t t o you
- - she can' t wai t . We' r e on our way t o Las Vegas t o get
mar r i ed! "
The Lear j et was t hi r t y- f i ve mi l es f r omt he Los Angel es
210
I nt er nat i onal Ai r por t , f l yi ng at 250 knot s. Davi d Kenyon
made cont act wi t h t he LAX appr oach cont r ol and gave t hem
hi s posi t i on.
Davi d was exhi l ar at ed. He was on hi s way t o J i l l .
Ci ssy had r ecover ed f r ommost of her i nj ur i es suf f er ed
i n t he aut omobi l e acci dent , but her f ace had been badl y
l acer at ed. Davi d had sent her t o t he best pl ast i c sur geon i n
t he wor l d, a doct or i n Br azi l . She had been gone f or si x weeks,
dur i ng whi ch t i me she had been sendi ng hi mgl owi ng r epor t s
about t he doct or .
Twent y- f our hour s ago, Davi d had r ecei ved a t el ephone
cal l f r omCi ssy, sayi ng she was not r et ur ni ng. She had f al l en
i n l ove.
Davi d coul d not bel i eve hi s good f or t une.
" That ' s - - t hat ' s wonder f ul , " he managed t o sl ammer . " I
hope you and t he doct or wi l l be happy. "
" Oh, i t ' s not t he doct or , " Gssy r epl i ed. " I t ' s someone
who owns a l i t t l e pl ant at i on her e. He . l ooks exact l y l i ke you,
Davi d. The onl y di f f er ence i s t hat he l oves me. "
The cr ackl i ng of t he r adi o i nt er r upt ed hi s t hought s. " Lear
Thr ee Al pha Papa, t hi s i s Los Angel es Appr oach Cont r ol .
You' r e cl ear f or appr oach t o Runway Twent y- f i ve Lef t . Ther e
wi l l be a Uni t ed seven- oh- seven behi nd you. When you l and,
pl ease t axi t o t he r amp on your r i ght . "
" Roger . " Davi d began t o make hi s descent , and hi s hear t
st ar t ed t o pound. He was on hi s way t o f i nd J i l l , t o t el l her
he st i l l l oved her , t o ask her t o mar r y hi m.
He was wal ki ng t hr ough t he t er mi nal when he passed
t he newsst and and saw t he headl i ne: " t oby t empl e weds act r ess" . He r ead t he
st or y t wi ce and t hen t ur ned and went
i nt o t he ai r por t bar .
He st ayed dr unk f or t hr ee days and t hen f l ew back t o
Texas.
28
I t was a st or ybook honeymoon. Toby and J i l l f l ew i n a
pr i vat e j et t o Las Hadas, wher e t hey wer e t he guest s of t he
Pat i nos at t hei r f ai r yl and r esor t car ved out of t he Mexi can
j ungl e and beach. The newl yweds wer e gi ven a pr i vat e vi l l a
sur r ounded by cact i , hi bi scus and br i l l i ant l y col or ed bouganvi l l ea,
wher e exot i c bi r ds ser enaded t hemal l ni ght . They spent
t en days expl or i ng and yacht i ng and bei ng par t i ed. They at e
del i ci ous di nner s at t he Legazpi pr epar ed by gour met chef s and
swami n t he f r esh- wat er pool s. J i l l shopped at t he exqui si t e
bout i ques at t he Pl aza.
Fr omMexi co t hey f l ew t o Bi ar r i t z wher e t hey st ayed at
L' Hot el du Pal ai s, t he spect acul ar pal ace t hat Napol eon I I I
bui l t f or hi s Empr ess Eugeni e. The honeymooner s gambl ed at
t he casi nos and went t o t he bul l f i ght s and f i shed and made l ove
al l ni ght .
Fr omt he Cot e Basque t hey dr ove east t o Gst aad, t hi r t y- f i ve
hundr ed f eet above sea l evel i n t he Ber nese Ober i and.
They t ook si ght seei ng f l i ght s among t he peaks, ski mmi ng Mont
Bl anc and t he Mat t er hom. They ski ed t he dazzl i ng whi t e
sl opes and r ode dog sl eds and at t ended f ondue par t i es and
danced. Toby had never been so happy. He had f ound t he
woman t o make hi s l i f e compl et e. He was no l onger l onel y.
Toby coul d have cont i nued t he honeymoon f or ever , but
J i l l was eager t o get home. She was not i nt er est ed i n any of
t hese pl aces, nor i n any of t hese peopl e. She f el t l i ke a newl y
212
cr owned queen who was bei ng kept f r omher count r y. J i l l
Cast l e was bur ni ng t o r et ur n t o Hol l ywood.
Mr s. Toby Templ e had scor es t o set t l e.
213
BOOK THREE
29
Ther e i s a smel l t o f ai l ur e. I t i s a st ench t hat cl i ngs
l i ke a mi asma. J ust as dogs can det ect t he odor of f ear i n
a human bei ng, so peopl e can sense when a man i s on hi s
way down.
Par t i cul ar l y i n Hol l ywood.
Ever yone i n t he Busi ness knew t hat Cl i f t on Lawr ence
was f i ni shed, even bef or e he knew i t . They coul d smel l i t i n
t he ai r ar ound hi m.
Cl i f t on had not hear d f r omToby or J i l l i n t he week
si nce t hey had r et ur ned f r omt hei r honeymoon. He had sent
an expensi ve gi f t and had l ef t t hr ee t el ephone messages,
whi ch had been i gnor ed. J i l l . Somehow she had managed
t o t ur n Toby' s mi nd agai nst hi m. Cl i f t on knew t hat he
had t o ef f ect a t r uce. He and Toby meant t oo much t o each
ot her t o l et anyone come bet ween t hem.
Cl i f t on dr ove out t o t he house on a mor ni ng when he
knew Toby woul d be at t he st udi o. J i l l saw hi mcomi ng up
t he dr i veway and opened t he door f or hi m. She l ooked st unni ngl y
beaut i f ul , and he sai d so. She was f r i endl y. They sat
i n t he gar den and had cof f ee, and she t ol d hi mabout t he
honeymoon and t he pl aces t hey had been. She sai d, " I ' m
sor r y Toby hasn' t r et ur ned your cal l s. Cl i f f . You can' t bel i eve
how f r ant i c i t ' s been ar ound her e. " She smi l ed apol oget i cal l y,
and Cl i f t on knew t hen t hat he had been wr ong
about her . She was not hi s enemy.
" I ' d l i ke us t o st ar t f r esh and be f r i ends, " he sai d.
" Thank you, Cl i f f . So woul d I . "
217
Cl i f t on f el t an i mmeasur abl e sense of r el i ef . " I want t o
gi ve a di nner par t y f or you and Toby. I ' l l t ake over t he pr i vat e
r oomat t he Bi st r o. A week f r omSat ur day. Bl ack t i e, a hundr ed
of your most i nt i mat e f r i ends. How does t hat sound?"
" Lovel y. Toby wi l l be pl eased. " ^~~-
J i l l wai t ed unt i l t he af t er noon of t he par t y t o t el ephone
and say, " I ' mso sor r y. Cl i f f . I ' maf r ai d I ' mnot goi ng t o be
abl e t o make i t t oni ght . I ' ma l i t t l e t i r ed. Toby t hi nks I shoul d
st ay home and r est . "
Cl i f t on managed t o hi de hi s f eel i ngs. " I ' msor r y about
t hat , J i l l , but I under st and. Toby wi l l be abl e t o come, won' t
he?"
He hear d her si gh over t he t el ephone. " I ' maf r ai d not ,
dear boy. He won' t go anywher e wi t hout me. But you have a
ni ce par t y. " And she hung up.
I t was t oo l at e t o cal l of f t he par t y. The bi l l was t hr ee
t housand dol l ar s. But i t cost Cl i f t on much mor e t han t hat . He
had been st ood up by t he guest of honor , hi s one and onl y
cl i ent , and ever yone t her e, t he st udi os heads, t he st ar s, t he
di r ect or s - - al l t he peopl e who mat t er ed i n Hol l ywood - - wer e
awar e of i t . Cl i f t on t r i ed t o cover up by sayi ng t hat Toby was
not f eel i ng wel l . I t was t he wor st t hi ng he coul d have done.
When he pi cked up a copy of t he Her al d Exami ner t he next
af t er noon, t her e was a phot ogr aph of Mr . and Mr s. Toby
Templ e t hat had been t aken at t he Dodger s St adi umt he ni ght
bef or e.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence knew now t hat he was f i ght i ng f or hi s
l i f e. I f Toby dr opped hi m, t her e . woul d be no one ar ound t o
pi ck hi mup. None of t he bi g agenci es woul d t ake hi mon,
because he coul d br i ng t hemno cl i ent s; and he coul d not
bear t he t hought of st ar t i ng al l over agai n on hi s own. I t was
t oo l at e f or t hat . He had t o f i nd a way t o make peace wi t h J i l l .
He t el ephoned J i l l and t ol d her he woul d l i ke t o come t o t he
house t o t al k t o her .
" Of cour se, " she sai d. " I was t el l i ng Toby l ast ni ght t hat
we haven' t seen enough of you l at el y. "
" I ' l l be over i n f i f t een mi nut es, " Cl i f t on sai d. He wal ked
218
over t o t he l i quor cabi net and pour ed hi msel f a doubl e Scot ch.
He had been doi ng t oo much of t hat l at el y. I t was a bad habi t
t o dr i nk dur i ng a wor ki ng day, but who was he ki ddi ng?
What wor k? Ever y day he r ecei ved i mpor t ant of f er s f or Toby,
but he coul d not get t he gr eat man t o si t down and even di scuss
t hemwi t h hi m. I n &e past , t hey had t al ked over ever yt hi ng.
He r emember ed al l &e wonder f ul t i mes t hey had had,
t he t r i ps t hey had t aken, t he par t i es and t he l aughs and t he
gi r l s. They had been as cl ose as t wi ns. Toby had needed hi m,
had count ed on hi m. And now. . . Cl i f t on pour ed anot her
dr i nk and was pl eased t o see hi s hands wer e not t r embl i ng so
much.
When Cl i f t on ar r i ved at t he Templ es' house, J i l l was
seat ed on &e t er r ace, havi ng cof f ee. She l ooked up and smi l ed
as she saw hi mappr oach. You' r e a sal esman, Cl i f t on t ol d
hi msel f . Sel l her on you.
" I t ' s ni ce t o see you. Cl i f f . Si t down. "
" Thanks, J i l l . " He t ook a seat acr oss f r omher at a l ar ge
wr ought - i r on t abl e and st udi ed her . She was wear i ng a whi t e
summer dr ess, and &e cont r ast wi & her bl ack hai r and gol den,
t anned ski n was st unni ng. She l ooked younger , and &e onl y
wor d he coul d t hi nk of somehow i nnocent . She was wat chi ng
hi mwi & war m, f r i endl y eyes.
" Woul d you l i ke some br eakf ast . Cl i f f ?"
" No, &anks. I at e hour s ago. "
" Toby i sn' t her e. "
" I know. I want ed t o t al k t o you al one. "
" What can I do f or you?"
" Accept my apol ogy, " Cl i f t on ur ged. He had never begged
anyone f or any&i ng i n hi s l i f e, but he was beggi ng now. " We
I got of f on &e wr ong f oot . Maybe i t was my f aul t . I t
pr obabl y was. Toby' s been my cl i ent and my f r i end f or so l ong
&at I I want ed t o pr ot ect hi m. Can you under st and &at ?"
J i l l nodded, her br own eyes f i xed on hi m, and sai d, " Of
cour se. Cl i f f . "
He t ook a deep br ea&. " I don' t know whe&er he ever
t ol d you &e st or y, but I ' m&e one who got Toby st ar t ed. I
knew he was goi ng t o be a bi g st ar &e f i r st t i me I saw hi m. "
He saw t hat he had her f ul l at t ent i on. " I handl ed a l ot of
i mpor t ant cl i ent s t hen, J i l l . I l et t hemal l go so t hat I coul d
concent r at e on Toby' s car eer . "
" Toby' s t al ked t o me about how much you' ve done f or
hi m, " she sai d.
" Has he?" He hat ed t he eager ness i n hi s voi ce.
J i l l smi l ed. " He t ol d me about t he day he pr et ended t hat
SamGol dwyn t el ephoned you and how . you went t o see Toby
anyway. That was ni ce. "
Cl i f t on l eaned f or war d and sai d, " I don' t want anyt hi ng
t o happen t o t he r el at i onshi p t hat Toby and I have. I need
you i n my cor ner . I ' maski ng you t o f or get ever yt hi ng t hat
happened bet ween us. I apol ogi ze f or bei ng out of l i ne. I
t hought I was pr ot ect i ng Toby. Wel l , I was wr ong. I t hi nk
you' r e goi ng t o be gr eat f or hi m. "
" I want t o be. Ver y much. "
" I f Toby dr ops me, I - - I t hi nk i t woul d ki l l me. I ' mnot
j ust t al ki ng about busi ness. He and I have - - he' s been l i ke a
son t o me. I l ove hi m. " He despi sed hi msel f f or i t , but he
hear d hi msel f beggi ng agai n. " Pl ease, J i l l , f or God' s sake. . . "
He st opped, hi s voi ce choked.
She l ooked at hi ma l ong moment wi t h t hose deep br own
eyes and t hen hel d out her hand. " I don' t hol d gr udges, " J i l l
sai d. " Can you come t o di nner t omor r ow ni ght ?"
Cl i f t on t ook a deep br eat h and t hen smi l ed happi l y and
sai d, " Thanks. " He f ound t hat hi s eyes wer e suddenl y mi st y.
" I - - I won' t f or get t hi s. Ever . "
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, when Cl i f t on ar r i ved at hi s of f i ce,
t her e was a r egi st er ed l et t er not i f yi ng hi mt hat hi s ser vi ces had
been t er mi nat ed and t hat he no l onger had t he aut hor i t y t o act
as Toby Templ e' s agent .
220
30
J i l l Cast l e Templ e was t he most exci t i ng t hi ng t o hi t
Hol l ywood si nce Ci nemascope. I n a company t own wher e
ever yone pl ayed t he game of admi r i ng t he emper or ' s cl ot hes,
J i l l used her t ongue l i ke a scyt he. I n a ci t y wher e f l at t er y was
t he dai l y cur r ency of conver sat i on, J i l l f ear l essl y spoke her
mi nd. She had Toby besi de her and she br andi shed hi s power
l i ke a cl ub, at t acki ng al l t he i mpor t ant st udi o execut i ves. They
had never exper i enced anyt hi ng l i ke i t bef or e. They di d not
dar e of f end J i l l , because t hey di d not want t o of f end Toby. He
was Hol l ywood' s most bankabl e st ar , and t hey want ed hi m,
needed hi m.
Toby was bi gger t han ever . Hi s t el evi si on show was st i l l
number one i n t he Ni el sen Rat i ngs ever y week, hi s movi es
wer e enor mous money maker s, and when Toby pl ayed Las
Vegas, t he casi nos doubl ed t hei r pr of i t s. Toby was t he hot t est
pr oper t y i n show busi ness. They want ed hi mf or guest shot s,
r ecor d al bums, per sonal appear ances, mer chandi si ng, benef i t s,
movi es, t hey want ed t hey want ed t hey want ed.
The most i mpor t ant peopl e i n t own f el l al l over t hemsel ves
t o pl ease Toby. They qui ckl y l ear ned t hat t he way t o
pl ease Toby was t o pl ease J i l l . She began t o schedul e al l of
Toby' s appoi nt ment s her sel f and t o or gani ze hi s l i f e so t hat
t her e was r oomi n i t onl y f or t hose of whomshe appr oved.
She put up an i mpenet r abl e bar r i cade ar ound hi m, and none
but t he r i ch and f amous and t he power f ul wer e al l owed t o go
t hr ough i t . She was t he keeper of t he f l ame. The l i t t l e Pol i sh
gi r l f r omOdessa, Texas, ent er t ai ned and was ent er t ai ned by
221
gover nor s, ambassador s, wor l d- r enowned ar t i st s and t he
Pr esi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es. Thi s t own had done t er r i bl e
t hi ngs t o her . But i t woul d never do t hemagai n. Not as l ong
as she had Toby Templ e.
The peopl e who wer e i n r eal t r oubl e wer e t he ones on
J i l Ts hat e l i st .
She l ay i n bed wi t h Toby and made sensuous l ove t o hi m.
When Toby was r el axed and spent , she snuggl ed i n hi s ar ms
and sai d, " Dar l i ng, di d I ever t el l you about t he t i me I was
l ooki ng f or an agent and I went t o t hi s woman - - what was her
name? - - oh, yes! Rose Dunni ng. She t ol d me she had a par t
f or me and she sat down on her bed t o r ead wi t h me. "
Toby t ur ned t o l ook at her , hi s eyes nar r owi ng. " What
happened?"
J i l l smi l ed. " St upi d i nnocent t hat I was, whi l e I was
r eadi ng, I f el t her hand go up my t hi gh. " J i l l t hr ew back her
head and l aughed. " I was f r i ght ened out of my wi t s. I ' ve never
r un so f ast i n my l i f e. "
Ten days l at er . Rose Dunni ng' s agency l i cense was per manent l y
r evoked by &e Ci t y Li censi ng Commi ssi on.
The f ol l owi ng weekend, Toby and J i l l wer e at t hei r
house i n Pal mSpr i ngs. Toby was l yi ng on a massage t abl e
i n a pat i o, a heavy Tur ki sh t owel under hi m, whi l e J i l l
gave hi ma l ong, r el axi ng massage. Toby was on hi s back,
cot t on pads pr ot ect i ng hi s eyes agai nst t he st r ong r ays of t he
sun. J i l l was wor ki ng on hi s f eet , usi ng a sof t cr eamy l ot i on.
" You sur e opened my eyes about Cl i f f , " Toby sai d. " He
was not hi ng but a par asi t e, mi l ki ng me. I hear he' s goi ng
ar ound t own t r yi ng t o get hi msel f a par t ner shi p deal . No one
want s hi m. He can' t get hi msel f ar r est ed wi t hout me. "
J i l l paused a moment and sai d, " I f eel sor r y f or Cl i f f . "
" That ' s t he god damned t r oubl e wi t h you, swee&ear t .
You t hi nk wi t h your hear t i nst ead of your head. You' ve got
t o l ear n t o be t ougher . "
J i l l smi l ed qui et l y. " I can' t hel p i t . I ' mt he way I am. "
She st ar t ed t o wor k on Toby' s l egs, movi ng her hands sl owl y
222
up t owar d hi s t hi ghs wi t h l i ght , sensuous movement s. He
began t o have an er ect i on.
" Oh, J esus, " he moaned.
Her hands wer e movi ng hi gher now, movi ng t owar d
Toby' s gr oi n, and t he har dness i ncr eased. She sl i d her hands
bet ween hi s l egs, under neat h hi m, and sl i pped a cr eamy f i nger
i nsi de hi m. Hi s enor mous peni s was r ock har d.
" Qui ck, baby, " he sai d. " Get on t op of me. "
They wer e at t he mar i na, on t he f i l l , t he l ar ge mot or sai l er
Toby had bought f or her . Toby' s f i r st t el evi si on show
of t he new season was t o t ape t he f ol l owi ng day.
" Thi s i s t he best vacat i on I ' ve had i n my whol e l i f e, "
Toby sai d. " I hat e t o go back t o wor k. "
" I t ' s such a wonder f ul show, " J i l l sai d. " I had f un doi ng
i t . Ever yone was so ni ce. " She paused a moment , t hen added
l i ght l y, " Al most ever yone. "
" What do you mean?" Toby' s voi ce was shar p. " Who
wasn' t ni ce t o you?"
" No one, dar l i ng. I shoul dn' t have even ment i oned i t . "
But she f i nal l y al l owed Toby t o wor mi t out of her , and
t he next day Eddi e Ber r i gan, t he cast i ng di r ect or , was f i r ed.
I n t he mont hs t hat f ol l owed, J i l l t ol d Toby l i t t l e f i ct i ons
about ot her cast i ng di r ect or s on her l i st , and one by one t hey
di sappear ed. Ever yone who had ever used her was goi ng t o pay. I t was, she
t hought , l i ke t he r i t e of mat i ng wi t h t he queen
bee. They had al l had t hei r pl easur e, and now t hey had t o be
dest r oyed.
She went af t er SamWi nt er s, t he man who had t ol d Toby
she had no t al ent . She never sai d a wor d agai nst hi m, on t he
cont r ar y, she pr ai sed hi mt o Toby. But she al ways pr ai sed
ot her st udi o heads J ust a l i t t l e bi t mor e. . . . The ot her st udi os
had pr oper t i es bet t er sui t ed f or Toby. . . di r ect or s who r eal l y
under st ood hi m. J i l l woul d add t hat she coul d not hel p t hi nki ng
t hat SamWi nt er s di d not r eal l y appr eci at e Toby' s t al ent .
Bef or e l ong, Toby began f eel i ng t he same way. Wi t h Cl i f t on
Lawr ence gone, Toby had no one t o t al k t o, no one he coul d
223
t r ust , except J i l l . When Toby deci ded t o make hi s movi es at
anot her st udi o, he bel i eved t hat i t was hi s own i dea. But J i l l
made cer t ai n t hat SamWi nt er s knew t he t r ut h.
Ret r i but i on.
Ther e wer e t hose ar ound Toby who f el t t hat J i l l coul d
not l ast , t hat she was si mpl y a t empor ar y i nt r uder , a passi ng
f ancy. So t hey t ol er at ed her or t r eat ed her ' wi t h a t hi nl y vei l ed
cont empt . I t was t hei r mi st ake. One by one, J i l l el i mi nat ed
t hem. She want ed no one ar ound who had been i mpor t ant i n
Toby' s l i f e or who coul d i nf l uence hi magai nst her . She saw
t o i t t hat Toby changed hi s l awyer and hi s publ i c- r el at i ons
f i r mand she hi r ed peopl e of her own choosi ng. She got r i d of
t he t hr ee Macs and Toby' s ent our age of st ooges. She r epl aced
al l t he ser vant s. I t was her house now and she was t he mi st r ess
of i t .
A par t y at t he Templ es' had become t he hot t est t i cket
i n t own. Ever yone who was anybody was t her e. Act or s mi ngl ed
wi t h soci al i t es and gover nor s and heads of power f ul cor por at i ons.
The pr ess was al ways t her e i n f ul l f or ce, so t hat t her e
was a bonus f or t he l ucky guest s. Not onl y di d t hey go t o t he
Templ es' and have a wonder f ul t i me, but ever yone knew t hat
t hey had been t o t he Templ es' and had a wonder f ul t i me.
When t he Templ es wer e not host s, t hey wer e guest s.
Ther e was an aval anche of i nvi t at i ons. They wer e i nvi t ed t o
pr emi er es, char i t y di nner s, pol i t i cal af f ai r s, openi ngs of r est aur ant s
and hot el s.
Toby woul d have been cont ent t o st ay at home al one
wi t h J i l l , but she l i ked goi ng out . On some eveni ngs, t hey
had t hr ee or f our par t i es t o at t end, and she r ushed Toby f r om
one t o t he ot her .
" J esus, you shoul d have been a soci al di r ect or at Gr ossi nger ' s, "
Toby l aughed.
" I ' mdoi ng i t f or you, dar l i ng, " J i l l r epl i ed.
Toby was maki ng a movi e f or MGM and had a gr uel i ng
schedul e. He came home l at e one ni ght , exhaust ed, t o f i nd
hi s eveni ng cl ot hes l ai d out f or hi m. " We' r e not goi ng out
agai n, baby? We haven' t been home one ni ght t he whol e
f ucki ng year l "
" I t ' s t he Davi ses' anni ver sar y par t y. They' d be t er r i bl y
hur t i f we di dn' t show up. "
Toby sat down heavi l y on &e bed. " I was l ooki ng f or war d
t o a ni ce hot bat h and a qui et eveni ng. J ust t he t wo of us. "
But Toby went t o t he par t y. And because he al ways had
t o be " on" , al ways had t o be t he cent er of at t ent i on, he dr ew
on hi s enor mous r eser voi r of ener gy unt i l ever yone was l aughi ng
and appl audi ng and t el l i ng ever yone el se what a br i l l i ant l y
f unny man Toby Templ e was. Lat e t hat ni ght , l yi ng i n hi s
bed, Toby was unabl e t o sl eep, hi s body dr ai ned, but hi s mi nd
r el i vi ng t he t r i umphs of t he eveni ng l i ne by l i ne, l augh by
l augh. He was a ver y happy man. And al l because of J i l l .
How hi s mot her woul d have ador ed her .
I n Mar ch t hey r ecei ved an i nvi t at i on t o t he Cannes Fi l m
Fest i val .
" No way, " Toby sai d, when J i l l showed hi mt he i nvi t at i on.
" The onl y Cannes I ' mgoi ng t o i s &e one i n my bat hr oom.
I ' mt i r ed, honey. I ' ve been wor ki ng my but t of f . "
J er r y Gut t man, Toby' s publ i c- r el at i ons man, had t ol d
J i l l t hat t her e was a good chance t hat Toby' s movi e woul d
wi n t he Best Pi ct ur e Awar d and t hat i t woul d hel p i f Toby
wer e t her e. He r el t t hat i t was i mpor t ant f or Toby t o go.
Lat el y, Toby had been compl ai ni ng t hat he was t i r ed al l
&e t i me and was unabl e t o sl eep. At ni ght he t ook sl eepi ng
pi l l s, whi ch l ef t hi mgr oggy i n t he mor ni ng. J i l l count er act ed
t he f eel i ng of t i r edness by gi vi ng hi mbenzedr i ne at br eakf ast
so t hat Toby woul d have enough ener gy t o get t hr ough t he
day. Now, t he cycl e of upper s and downer s seemed t o be t aki ng
i t s t ol l on hi m.
" I ' ve al r eady accept ed t he i nvi t at i on, " J i l l t ol d Toby,
" but I ' l l cancel . No pr obl em, dar l i ng. "
" Let ' s go down t o t he Spr i ngs f or a mont h and j ust l i e
ar ound i n t he soap. "
She l ooked at hi m. " What ?"
He sat t her e, ver y st i l l . " I meant sun. I don' t know why
i t cameout r oap. "
225
i K- - ASTTM
She l aughed. " Because you' r e f unny. " J i l l squeezed hi s
hand. " Anyway, Pal mSpr i ngs sounds wonder f ul . I l ove bei ng
al one wi t h you. "
" I don' t know what ' s wr ong wi t h me, " Toby si ghed. " I
j ust don' t have t he j ui ce anymor e. I guess I ' mget t i ng ol d. "
" You' l l never get ol d. You can wear me out . "
He gr i nned. " Yeah? I guess my pecker wi l l l i ve l ong af t er
I di e. " He r ubbed t he back of hi s head - and sai d, " I t hi nk I ' l l
t ake a l i t t l e nap. To t el l t he t r ut h, I ' mnot f eel i ng so hot . We
don' t have a dat e t oni ght , do we?"
" Not hi ng t hat I can' t put of f . I ' l l send t he ser vant s away
and cook di nner mysel f t oni ght . J ust us. "
" Hey, t hat ' l l be gr eat . "
He wat ched her l eave, and he t hought , J esus, I ' mt he
l ucki est guy who ever l i ved.
They wer e l yi ng i n bed l at e t hat ni ght . J i l l had gi ven
Toby a war mbat h and a r el axi ng massage, kneadi ng hi s t i r ed
muscl es, soot hi ng away hi s t ensi ons.
" Ah, t hat f eel s wonder f ul , " he mur mur ed. " How di d I
ever get al ong wi t hout you?"
" I can' t i magi ne. " She nest l ed cl ose t o hi m. " Toby, t el l
me about t he Cannes Fi l mFest i val . What ' s i t l i ke? I ' ve never
been t o one. "
" I t ' s j ust a mob of hust l er s who come f r omal l over t he
wor l d t o sel l t hei r l ousy movi es t o one anot her . I t ' s t he bi ggest
con game i n t he wor l d. "
" You make i t sound exci t i ng, " J i l l sai d.
" Yeah? Wel l , I guess i t i s ki nd of exci t i ng. The pl ace i s
f i l l ed wi t h char act er s. " He st udi ed her f or a moment . " Do you
r eal l y want t o go t o t hat st upi d f i l mf est i val ?"
She shook her head qui ckl y. " No. We' l l go t o Pal m
Spr i ngs. "
" Hel l , we can go t o Pal mSpr i ngs anyt i me. "
" Real l y, Toby, i t ' s not i mpor t ant . "
He smi l ed. " Do you know why I ' mso cr azy about you?
Any ot her woman i n t he wor l d woul d have been pest er i ng me
t o t ake her t o t he f est i val . You' r e dyi ng t o go, but do you say
226
anyt hi ng? No. You want t o go t o t he Spr i ngs wi t h me. Have
you cancel ed t hat accept ance?"
" Not yet , but - - "
" Don' t . We' r e goi ng t o I ndi a. " A puzzl ed l ook came over
hi s f ace. " Di d I say I ndi a? I meant - - Cannes. "
When t hei r pl ane l anded at Or i y, Toby was handed a
cabl egr am. Hi s f at her had di ed i n t he nur si ng home. I t was t oo
l at e f or Toby t o go back f or t he f uner al . He ar r anged t o have
a new wi ng added t o t he r est home, named af t er hi s par ent s.
The whol e wor l d was at Cannes.
I t was Hol l ywood and London and Rome, al l mi xed
t oget her i n a gl or i ous, many- t ongued cacophony of sound and
f ur y, i n Techni col or and Panavi si on. Fr omal l over t he gl obe,
pi ct ur e maker s nocked t o t he Fr ench Ri vi er a, car r yi ng cans of
dr eams under t hei r ar ms, r ol l s of cel l ul oi d made i n Engl i sh
and Fr ench and J apanese and Hungar i an and Pol i sh, t hat wer e
goi ng t o make t hemr i ch and f amous over ni ght . The cr oi set t e
was packed wi t h pr of essi onal s and amat eur s, vet er ans and t yr os,
cor ner s and has- beens, al l compet i ng f or t he pr est i gi ous pr i zes.
Bei ng awar ded a pr i ze at t he Cannes Fi l mFest i val meant
money i n t he bank; i f t he wi nner had no di st r i but i on deal , he
coul d get one, and i f he al r eady had one, he coul d bet t er i t .
Ever y hot el i n Cannes was f i l l ed, and t he over f l ow had
spi l l ed up and down t he coast t o Ant i bes, Beaul i eu, Sai nt '
Tr opez and Ment on. The r esi dent s of t he smal l vi l l ages gaped
i n awe at t he f amous f aces t hat f i l l ed t hei r st r eet s and r est aur ant s
and bar s.
Ever y r oomhad been r eser ved f or mont hs ahead, but
Toby Templ e had no di f f i cul t y get t i ng a l ar ge sui t e at t he
Car l t on. Toby and J i l l wer e f et ed ever ywher e t hey went .
News phot ogr apher s' camer as cl i cked i ncessant l y, and t hei r
i mages wer e sent ar ound t he wor l d. The Gol den Coupl e, t he
Ki ng and Queen of Hol l ywood. The r epor t er s i nt er vi ewed J i l l
and asked f or her opi ni ons on ever yt hi ng f r omFr ench wi nes
t o Af r i can pol i t i cs. I t was a f ar cr y f r omJ osephi ne Czi nski of
Odessa, Texas.
Toby' s pi ct ur e di d not wi n t he awar d, but t wo ni ght s
227
bef or e t he f est i val was t o end, t he J udges Commi t t ee announced
t hat t hey wer e pr esent i ng a Speci al awar d t o Toby
Templ e f or hi s cont r i but i on t o t he f i el d of ent er t ai nment .
I t was a bl ack- t i e af f ai r , and t he l ar ge banquet hal l at
t he Car l t on Hot el over f l owed wi t h guest s. J i l l was seat ed on
t he dai s next t o Toby. She not i ced t hat he was not eat i ng.
" What ' s t he mat t er , dar l i ng?" she asked.
Toby shook hi s head. " Pr obabl y had t oo much sun t oday.
I f eel a l i t t l e woozy. "
" Tomor r ow I ' mgoi ng t o see t hat you r est . " J i l l had
schedul ed i nt er vi ews f or Toby wi t h Par i s Mat ch and t he
London Ti mes i n t he mor ni ng, l uncheon wi t h a gr oup of
t el evi si on r epor t er s, f ol l owed by a cockt ai l par t y. She deci ded
she woul d cancel t he l east i mpor t ant
At t he concl usi on of di nner , t he mayor of Cannes r ose
t o hi s f eet and i nt r oduced Toby. " Mesdames, messi eur s, et
i nvi t es di st i ngues, c' est un gr and pr i vi l ege de vow pr esent er
un homme dont Poeuvr e a donne pl ai si r et bonheur al l monde
ent i er . f ai Phonnew de l t d pr esent er cet t e medai l l e specvde,
un si gns de not r e af f ect i on et de not r e appr eci at i on. " He hel d
up a gol d medal and r i bbon and bowed t o Toby. " Monsi eur
Toby Templ e! " Ther e was an ent husi ast i c bur st of appl ause
f r omt he audi ence, as ever yone i n t he gr eat banquet hal l r ose
t o hi s f eet i n a st andi ng ovat i on. Toby was seat ed i n hi s chai r ,
not movi ng.
" Get up, " J i l l whi sper ed.
Sl owl y, Toby r ose, pal e and unst eady. He st ood t her e
a moment , smi l ed, ' t hen st ar t ed t owar d t he mi cr ophone. Hal f way t her e, he
st umbl ed and f el l t o t he f l oor , unconsci ous.
Toby Templ e was f l own t o Par i s i n a Fr ench ai r f or ce
t r anspor t j et and r ushed t o t he Amer i can Hospi t al , wher e
he was put i n t he i nt ensi ve- car e war d. The f i nest speci al i st s
i n Fr ance wer e summoned, whi l e J i l l sat i n a pr i vat e r oom
at t he hospi t al , wai t i ng. For t hi r t y- si x hour s she r ef used t o eat
or dr i nk or t ake any of t he phone cal l s t hat wer e f l oodi ng i nt o
t he hospi t al f r omal l over t he wor l d.
She sat al one, st ar i ng at t he wal l s, nei t her seei ng nor
hear i ng t he st i r of act i vi t y ar ound her . Her mi nd was f ocused
228
on onl y one t hi ng: Toby had t o get wel l . Toby was her sun,
and i f t he sun went out , t he shadow woul d di e. She coul d not
al l ow t hat t o happen.
I t was f i ve o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng when Doct or Ducl os,
t he chi ef of st af f , ent er ed t he pr i vat e r oomJ i i l had t aken so she
coul d be near Toby.
" Mr s. Templ e I amaf r ai d t her e i s no poi nt i n t r yi ng
t o sof t en t he bl ow. Your husband has suf f er ed a massi ve st r oke.
I n al l pr obabi l i t y, he wi l l never be abl e t o wal k or speak
agai n. "
3i
When t hey f i nal l y al l owed J i l l i nt o Toby' s hospi t al r oom
i n Par i s, she was shocked by hi s appear ance. Over ni ght , Toby
had become ol d and desi ccat ed, as i f al l hi s vi t al f l ui ds had
dr ai ned out of hi m. He had l ost par t i al use of bot h ar ms, and
l egs, and t hough he was abl e t o make gr unt i ng ani mal noi ses,
he coul d not speak*
I t was si x weeks bef or e t he doct or s woul d per mi t Toby
t o be moved. When Toby and J i l l ar r i ved back i n Cal i f or ni a,
t hey wer e mobbed at t he ai r por t by t he pr ess and t el evi si on
medi a and hundr eds of wel l - wi sher s. Toby Templ e' s i l l ness
had caused a maj or sensat i on. Ther e wer e const ant phone cal l s
f r omf r i ends i nqui r i ng about Toby' s heal t h and pr ogr ess.
Tel evi si on cr ews t r i ed t o get i nt o t he house t o t ake pi ct ur es
Of hi m. Ther e wer e messages f r omt he Pr esi dent and senat or s,
and t housands of l et t er s and post car ds f r om( Fans who l oved
Toby Templ e and wer e pr ayi ng f or hi m.
But t he i nvi t at i ons had st opped. No one was cal l i ng t o
f i nd out how J i l l f el t , or whet her she woul d l i ke t o at t end a
qui et di nner or t ake a dr i ve or see a movi e. Nobody i n Hol l ywood
car ed a damn about J i l l .
She had br ought i n Toby' s per sonal physi ci an, Dr . El i
Kapl an, and he had summoned t wo t op neur ol ogi st s, one f r om
UCLA Medi cal Cent r e and t he ot her f r omJ ohns Hopki ns.
Thei r di agnosi s was exact l y t he same as t hat of Dr . Ducl os, i n
Par i s.
" I t ' s i mpor t ant t o under st and, " Dr . Kapl an t ol d J i l l ,
" t hat Toby' s mi nd i s not i mpai r ed i n any way. He can hear
230
and under st and ever yt hi ng you say, but hi s speech and mot or
f unct i ons ar e af f ect ed. He can' t r espond. "
" I s - - i s he al ways goi ng t o be l i ke t hi s?"
Dr . Kapl an hesi t at ed. " I t ' s i mpossi bl e t o be absol ut el y
cer t ai n, of cour se, but i n our opi ni on, hi s ner vous syst emhas
been t oo badl y damaged f or t her apy t o have any appr eci abl e
ef f ect . "
" But you don' t know f or sur e. "
" No. . . "
But J i l l knew.
I n addi t i on t o t he t hr ee nur ses who t ended Toby r ound
t he cl ock, J i l l ar r anged f or a physi ot her api st t o come t o t he
house ever y mor ni ng t o wor k wi t h Toby. The t her api st car r i ed
Toby i nt o t he pool and hel d hi mi n hi s ar ms, gent l y st r et chi ng
t he muscl es and t endons, whi l e Toby f eebl y t r i ed t o ki ck hi s
l egs and move hi s ar ms about i n t he war mwat er . Ther e was
no pr ogr ess. On t he f our t h week, a speech t her api st was
br ought i n. She spent one hour ever y af t er noon t r yi ng t o hel p
Toby l ear n t o speak agai n, t o f or mt he sounds of wor ds.
Af t er t wo mont hs, J i l l coul d see no change. None at al l .
She sent f or Dr . Kapl an.
" You' ve got t o do somet hi ng t o hel p hi m, " she demanded.
" You can' t l eave hi ml i ke t hi s. "
He l ooked at her hel pl essl y. " I ' msor r y, J i l l . I t r i ed t o
t el l you. . . . "
J i l l sat i n t he l i br ar y, al one, l ong af t er Dr . Kapl an had
gone. She coul d f eel one of t he bad headaches begi nni ng, but
t her e was no t i me t o t hi nk of her sel f now. She went upst ai r s.
Toby was pr opped up i n bed, st ar i ng at not hi ngness. As
J i l l wal ked up t o hi m, Toby' s deep bl ue eyes l i t up. They
f ol l owed J i l l , br i ght and al i ve, as she appr oached hi s bed and
l ooked down at hi m. Hi s l i ps moved and some uni nt el l i gi bl e
sound came out . Tear s of f r ust r at i on began t o f i l l hi s eyes. J i l l
r emember ed Dr . Kapl an' s wor ds. I t ' s i mpor t ant t o under st and
goi ng t o wal k and you' r e goi ng t o t al k. " The t ear s wer e r unni ng
down t he si des of hi s cheeks now. " You' r e goi ng t o do
i t , " J i l l sai d. " You' r e goi ng t o do i t f or me. "
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, J i l l f i r ed t he nur ses, t he physi ot her api st
and t he speech t her api st . As soon as he hear d t he
news. Dr . El i Kapl an hur r i ed over t o see J i l l .
" I agr ee wi t h you about t he physi ot her api st , J i l l - - but
t he nur ses I Toby has t o have someone' wi t h hi mt went y- f our
hour s a - - "
" I ' l l be wi t h hi m. "
He shook hi s head. " You have no. i dea what you' r e l et ng
your sel f i n f or . One per son can' t - - "
" I ' l l cal l you i f I need you. "
She. sent hi maway.
The or deal began.
J i l l was goi ng t o at t empt t o do what t he doct or s had
assur ed her coul d not be done. The f i r st t i me she pi cked
Toby up and put hi mi nt o hi s wheel chai r , i t f r i ght ened her
t o f eel how wei ght l ess he was. She t ook hi mdownst ai r s i n t he
el evat or t hat had been i nst al l ed and began t o wor k wi t h hi m
i n t he swi mmi ng pool , as she had seen t he physi ot her api st do.
But what happened now was di f f er ent . Wher e t he t her api st
had been gent l e and coaxi ng, J i l l was st emand unr el ent i ng.
When Toby t r i ed t o speak, si gni f yi ng t hat he was t i r ed and
coul d not bear any mor e, J i l l sai d, " You' r e not t hr ough. One mor e t i me. For me,
Toby. "
And she woul d f or ce hi mt o do i t one mor e t i me.
And yet agai n, unt i l he sat mut el y cr yi ng wi t h
exhaust i on.
I n t he af t er noon, J i l l set t o wor k t o t each Toby t o speak agai n. " Ooh. . .
ooooooooh. "
" Ahaaahh. . . aaaaaaaaaagh . . . "
" No! Oooooooooh. Round your l i ps, Toby. Make t hem
obey you. Ooooooooh. "
" Aaaaaaaaaagh. . . "
" No, goddamn you! You' r e goi ng t o speak! Now, say i t
- - Oooooooooooh! "
232
And he woul d t r y agai n.
J i l l woul d f eed hi meach ni ght , and t hen l i e i n hi s bed,
hol di ng hi mi n her ai ms. She dr ew hi s usel ess hands sl owl y
up and down her body, acr oss her br east s and down t he sof t
cl ef t bet ween her l egs. " Feel t hat , Toby, " she whi sper ed.
" That ' s al l your s, dar l i ng. I t bel ongs t o you. I want you. I
want you t o get wel l so we can make l ove agai n. I want you
t o f uck me, Toby. "
He l ooked at her wi t h t hose al i ve, br i ght eyes and made
i ncoher ent , whi mper i ng sounds.
" Soon, Toby, soon. "
J i l l was t i r el ess. She di schar ged t he ser vant s because she
di d not want anyone ar ound. Af t er t hat , she di d al l t he cooki ng
her sel f . She or der ed her gr ocer i es by phone and never
l ef t t he house. I n t he begi nni ng, J i l l had been kept busy answer i ng
t he t el ephones, but t he cal l s had soon dwi ndl ed t o a t r i ckl e,
t hen ceased. Newscast er s had st opped gi vi ng bul l et i ns on Toby
Templ e' s condi t i on. The wor l d knew t hat he was dyi ng. I t
was j ust a quest i on of t i me.
But J i l l was not goi ng t o l et Toby di e. I f he di ed, she
woul d di e wi t h hi m.
The days bl ended i nt o one l ong, endl ess r ound of dr udger y.
J i l l was up at si x o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng. Fi r st , she woul d
cl ean Toby. He was t ot al l y i ncont i nent . Even t hough he wor e
a cat het er and a di aper , he woul d bef oul hi msel f dur i ng t he
ni ght and t he bedcl ot hes woul d somet i mes have t o be changed,
as wel l as Toby' s paj amas. The st ench i n t he bedr oomwas
al most unbear abl e. J i l l f i l l ed a basi n wi t h war mwat er , t ook
a sponge and sof t cl ot h and cl eaned t he f eces and ur i ne f r om
Toby' s body. When he was cl ean, she dr i ed hi mof f and
powder ed hi m, t hen shaved hi mand combed hi s hai r .
" Ther e. You l ook beaut i f ul , Toby. Your f ans shoul d see
you now. But t hey' l l see you soon. They' l l f i ght t o get i n t o see
you. The Pr esi dent wi l l be t her e - - ever ybody wi l l be t her e t o
see Toby Templ e. "
Then J i l l pr epar ed Toby' s br eakf ast . She made oat meal or
cr eamof wheat or scr ambl ed eggs, f ood she coul d spoon i nt o
hi s mout h. She f ed hi mas t hough he wer e a baby, t al ki ng t o
hi mal l t he t i me, pr omi si ng t hat he was goi ng t o get wel l .
" You' r e Toby Templ e, " she i nt oned. " Ever ybody l oves
you, ever ybody want s you back. Your f ans out t her e ar e wai t i ng
f or you, Toby. You' ve got t o get wel l f or t hem. "
And anot her l ong, puni shi ng day woul d begi n.
She wheel ed hi s usel ess, cr i ppl ed body down t o t he pool
f or hi s exer dses. Af t er t hat , she massaged hi mand wor ked
on hi s speech t her apy. Then i t was t i me f or her t o pr epar e
hi s l unch, and af t er l unch i t woul d begi n al l over agai n.
Thr ough i t al l , J i l l kept t el l i ng Toby how wonder f ul he was,
how much he was l oved. He was Toby Templ e, and t he wor l d
was wai t i ng, f or hi mt o come back t o i t . At ni ght she woul d
t ake out one of hi s scr apbooks and hol d i t up so he coul d see i t .
" Ther e we ar e wi t h t he Queen. Do you r emember , how
t hey al l cheer ed you t hat ni ght ? That ' s t he way i t ' s goi ng
t o be agai n. You' r e goi ng t o be bi gger t han ever , Toby, bi gger
t han ever . "
She t ucked hi m- i n at ni ght and cr awl ed i nt o t he cot she
had put next t o hi s bed, dr ai ned. I n t he mi ddl e of t he ni ght ,
she woul d be awakened by t he noi some st ench of Toby' s
bowel movement i n bed. She woul d dr ag her sel f f r omher cot
and change Toby' s di aper and cl ean hi m. By t hen i t woul d be
t i me t o st ar t f i xi ng hi s br eakf ast and begi n anot her day.
And anot her . I n an endl ess mar ch of days.
Each day J i l l pushed Toby a l i t t l e har der , a l i t t l e f ur t her .
Her ner ves wer e so f r ayed t hat , i f she f el t Toby was not t r yi ng,
she woul d sl ap hi macr oss t he f ace. " We' r e goi ng t o beat
t hem, " she sai d f i er cel y. " You' r e goi ng t o get wel l . "
J i l l ' s body was exhaust ed f r omt he puni shi ng r out i ne
she was put t i ng her sel f t hr ough, but when she l ay down at
ni ght , sl eep el uded her . Ther e wer e t oo many vi si ons danci ng
t hr ough her head, l i ke scenes f r omol d movi es. She and Toby
mobbed by r epor t er s at t he Cannes Fest i val . . . The Pr esi dent
at t hei r Pal mSpr i ngs home, t el l i ng J i l l how beaut i f ul she
was. . . Fans cr owdi ng ar ound Toby and her at a pr emi er e
. . . The Gol den Coupl e. . . Toby st eppi ng up t o r ecei ve
234
hi s medal and f al l i ng. . . f al l i ng . . . Fi nal l y, she woul d dr i f t
of f t o sl eep.
Somet i mes, J i l l woul d awaken wi t h a sudden, f i er ce headache
t hat woul d not go away. She woul d l i e t her e i n t he l onel i ness
of t he dar k, , f i ght i ng t he pai n, unt i l t he sun woul d come
up, and i t was t i me t o dr ag her sel f t o her f eet .
And i t woul d begi n al l over agai n. I t was as t hough she
and Toby wer e t he l one sur vi vor s of some l ong- f or got t en
hol ocaust . Her wor l d had shr unk t o t he di mensi ons of t hi s
house, t hese r ooms, t hi s man. She dr ove her sel f r el ent l essl y
f r omdawn unt i l past mi dni ght .
And she dr ove Toby, her Toby i mpr i soned i n hel l , i n a
wor l d wher e t her e was onl y J i l l , whomhe must bl i ndl y
obey.
The weeks, dr ear y and pai nf ul , dr agged by and t ur ned
i nt o mont hs. Now, Toby woul d begi n t o cr y when he saw J i l l
comi ng t owar d hi m, f or he knew he was goi ng t o be puni shed.
' Each day J i l l became mor e mer ci l ess. She f or ced Toby' s, f l oppi ng,
usel ess l i mbs t o move, unt i l he was i n unbear abl e agony.
He made hor r i bl e gur gl i ng pl eas f or her t o st op, but J i l l woul d
say, " Not yet . Not unt i l you' r e a man agai n, not unt i l we show
t hemal l . " She woul d go on kneadi ng hi s exhaust ed muscl es.
He was a hel pl ess, f ul l - gr own baby, a veget abl e, a not hi ng.
But when J i l l l ooked at hi m, she saw hi mas he was goi ng t o be,
and she decl ar ed, " You' r e goi ng t o wal k! "
She woul d l i f t hi mt o hi s f eet and hol d hi mup whi l e she
f or ced one l eg af t er t he ot her , so t hat he was movi ng i n a
gr ot esque par ody of mot i on, l i ke a dr unken, di sj oi nt ed
mar i onet t e.
Her headaches had become mor e f r equent . Br i ght l i ght s
or a l oud noi se or sudden movement woul d set t hemof f . /
must see a doct or , she t hought . Lat er , when Toby i s wel l
agai n. Now t her e was no t i me or r oomf or her sel f .
Onl y Toby.
I t was as t hough J i l l wer e possessed. Her cl ot hes hung
l oosel y on her , but she had no i dea of how much wei ght she
had l ost or how she l ooked. Her f ace was t hi n and dr awn, her
eyes hol l ow. Her once beaut i f ul shi ny bl ack hai r was l ust er l ess
and st r i ngy. She di d not know, nor woul d she have car ed.
235
One day J f f l f ound a t el egr amunder t he door aski ng her
t o phone Dr . Kapl an. No t i me. The r out i ne must be kept .
The days and ni ght s became a Kaf kaesque bl ur of bat hi ng
Toby and exer ci si ng hi mand changi ng hi mand shavi ng hi m
and f eedi ng hi m.
And t hen st ar t i ng al l over agai n.
She got a wal ker f or Toby and f ast ened hi s f i nger s ar ound
i t and moved hi s l egs, hol di ng hi mup, t r yi ng t o show hi m
t he mot i ons, wal ki ng hi mback and f or t h acr oss t he r oomunt i l
she was asl eep on her f eet , not knowi ng any l onger wher e or
who she was, or what she was doi ng.
Then, one day, J i l l knew t hat i t had al l come t o an end.
She had been up wi t h Toby hal f t he ni ght and had f i nal l y
gone i nt o her own bedr oom, wher e she had f al l en i nt o a dazed
sl umber j ust bef or e dawn. When J f f l awakened, t he sun was
hi gh i n t he sky. She had sl ept l ong past noon. Toby had not
been f ed or bat hed or changed. He was l yi ng i n hi s bed, hel pl ess,
wai t i ng f or her , pr obabl y pani cky. J f f l st ar t ed t o r i se and
f ound t hat she coul d not move. She was f i l l ed wi t h such a
bot t oml ess, bone- deep wear i ness t hat her exhaust ed body woul d
no l onger obey her . She l ay t her e, hel pl ess, knowi ng t hat she
had l ost , t hat i t had al l been wast ed, al l t he days and ni ght s of
hel l , t he mont hs of agony, none of i t had meant anyt hi ng. Her
body had bet r ayed her , as Toby' s had bet r ayed hi m. J f f l had
no st r engt h l ef t t o gi ve hi manymor e, and i t made her want t o
weep. I t was f i ni shed.
She hear d a sound at her bedr oomdoor and she r ai sed
her eyes. Toby was st andi ng i n t he door way, by hi msel f , hi s
t r embl i ng ar ms cl ut chi ng hi s wal ker , hi s mout h maki ng uni nt el l i gi bl e
sl obber i ng noi ses, wor ki ng t o say somet hi ng.
" J i i ui ugb. . . J i i i i i i gh. . . "
He was t r yi ng t o say " J f f l " . She began t o sob uncont r ol l abl y,
and she coul d not st op.
Fr omt hat day on, Toby' s pr ogr ess was spect acul ar . For
t he f i r st t i me, he knew he was goi ng t o get wel l . He no l onger
obj ect ed when J f f l pushed hi mbeyond t he l i mi t s of hi s endur ance.
He wel comed i t He want ed t o get wel l f or her . J f f l
236
bad become hi s goddess; i f he had l oved her bef or e, he wor shi ped
her now.
And somet hi ng had happened t o J i l l . Bef or e, i t had been
her own l i f e she was f i ght i ng f or ; Toby was mer el y t he i nst r ument
she was f or ced t o use. But somehow, t hat had changed.
I t was as t hough Toby had become a par t of her . They wer e
one body and one mi nd and one soul , obsessed wi t h t he same
pur pose. They had gone t hr ough a pur gi ng cr udbl e. Hi s l i f e
bad been i n her hands, and she had nur t ur ed i t and st r engt hned
i t , and saved i t , and out of t hat had gr own a ki nd of l ove.
Toby bel onged t o her , j ust as she bel onged t o hi m.
J i l l changed Toby' s di et , so t hat he began t o r egai n t he
wei ght he had l ost . He spent t i me i n t he sun ever y day and
t ook l ong wal ks ar ound t he gr ounds, usi ng t he wal ker , t hen
a cane, bui l di ng up hi s st r engt h. When t he day came t hat
Toby coul d wal k by hi msel f , t he t wo of t hemcel ebr at ed by
havi ng a candl el i ght di nner i n t he di ni ng r oom.
Fi nal l y, J i l l f el t t hat Toby was r eady t o be seen. She
t el ephoned Dr . Kapl an, and hi s nur se put hi mon t he phone
i mmedi at el y.
" J i l l ! I ' ve been t er r i bl y wor r i ed. I ' ve t r i ed t o t el ephone
you and t her e was never any answer . I sent a t el egr am, and
when I di dn' t hear , I assumed you had t aken Toby away
somewher e. I s he- - has he- - ?"
" Come and see f or your sel f , El i . "
Dr . Kapl an coul d not conceal hi s ast oni shment . " I t ' s
unbel i evabl e, " he t ol d J i l l . " I t ' s - - i t ' s l i ke a mi r acl e. "
" I t i s a mi r acl e, " J i l l sai d. Onl y i n t hi s l i f e you made your
own mi r acl es, because God was busy el sewher e.
" Peopl e st i l l cal l me t o ask about Toby, " Dr . Kapl an
was sayi ng. " Appar ent l y t hey' ve been unabl e t o get t hr ough
t o you. SamWi nt er s cal l s at l east once a week. Cl i f t on
; Lawr ence has been cal l i ng. "
| J i l l di smi ssed Cl i f t on Lawr ence. But SamWi nt er s! That
I was good. J i l l had t o f i nd a way t o l et t he wor l d know t hat
I Toby Templ e was st i l l a super st ar , t hat t hey wer e st i l l t he
; Gol den Coupl e.
J i l l t el ephoned SamWi nt er s t he next mor ni ng and asked
hi mi f he woul d l i ke t o come and vi si t Toby. Samar r i ved
at t he house an hour l at er . J i l l opened t he f r ont door t o l et
hi mi n, and Samt r i ed t o conceal hi s shock at her appear ance.
J i l l l ooked t en year s ol der t han when he had l ast seen her . Her
eyes wer e hol l ow br own pool s and her f ace was et ched wi t h
deep l i nes. She had l ost so much wei ght t hat she l ooked
al most skel et al .
" Thank you f or comi ng, Sam. Toby wi l l be pl eased t o
see you. "
Samhad been pr epar ed t o see Toby i n bed, a shadow of
t he man he had once been, but he was i n f or a st unni ng sur pr i se.
Toby was l yi ng on a pad al ongsi de t he pool and, as Sam
appr oached, Toby r ose t o hi s f eet , a l i t t l e sl owl y, but st eadi l y,
and hel d out a f i r mhand. He appear ed t anned and heal t hy,
bet t er t han he had l ooked bef or e hi s st r oke. I t was as t hough
t hr ough some ar cane al chemy, J i l l ' s heal t h and vi t al i t y had
Sowed i nt o Toby' s body, and t he si ck t i des t hat had r avaged
Toby had ebbed i nt o J i l l .
" Hey! I t ' s gr eat t o see you, Sam. "
Toby' s speech was a l i t t l e sl ower and mor e pr eci se t han
bef or e, but i t was cl ear and st r ong. Ther e was no si gn of t he
par al ysi s Samhad hear d about . Ther e was st i l l t he same boyi sh
f ace wi t h t he br i ght bl ue eyes. Samgave Toby a hug and sai d,
" J esus, you r eal l y had us scar ed. "
Toby gr i nned and sai d, " You don' t have t o cal l me ' J esus'
when we' r e al one. "
Saml ooked at Toby mor e cl osel y and mar vel ed. " I
honest l y can' t get over i t . Damn i t , you l ook younger . The
whol e t own was maki ng f uner al ar r angement s. "
" Over my dead body, " Toby smi l ed.
Samsai d, " I t ' s f ant ast i c what t he doct or s t oday can "
" No doct or s. " Toby t ur ned t o l ook at J i l l and naked
ador at i on shone f r omhi s eyes. " You want t o know who di d
i t ? J i l l . j ust J i l l . Wi t h her t wo bar e hands. She t hr ew ever ybody
out and made me get on my f eet agai n. "
Samgl anced at J i l l , puzzl ed. She had not seemed t o hi m
t he ki nd of gi r l capabl e of such a sel f l ess act . Per haps he had
mi sj udged her . " What ar e your pl ans?" he asked Toby. " I
suppose you' l l want t o r est and - - "
" He' s goi ng back t o wor k, " J i l l sai d. " Toby' s t oo t al ent ed
t o be si t t i ng ar ound doi ng not hi ng. "
" I ' mr ar i ng t o go, " Toby agr eed.
" Per haps Samhas a pr oj ect f or you, " J i l l suggest ed.
They wer e bot h wat chi ng hi m. Samdi d not want t o
di scour age Toby, but nei t her di d he want t o hol d out any
f al se hopes. I t was not possi bl e t o make a pi ct ur e wi t h a st ar
unl ess you got i nsur ance on hi m, and no company was goi ng
t o i nsur e Toby Templ e.
" Ther e' s not hi ng i n t he shop at t he moment , " Samsai d
car ef ul l y. " But I ' l l cer t ai nl y keep an eye open. "
" You' r e af r ai d t o use hi m, ar en' t you?" I t was as t hough
she was r eadi ng hi s mi nd.
" Cer t ai nl y not . " But t hey bot h knew he was l yi ng.
No one i n Hol l ywood woul d t ake a chance on usi ng Toby
Templ e agai n.
Toby and J i l l wer e wat chi ng a young comedi an on
t el evi si on.
" He' s r ot t en, " Toby snor t ed. " Damn i t , I wi sh I coul d
get back on t he ai r . Maybe I ought a get an agent . Somebody
who coul d check ar ound t own and see what ' s doi ng. "
" No! " J i l l ' s t one was f i r m. " We' r e not goi ng t o l et anyone
peddl e you. You' r e not some buml ooki ng f or a j ob. You' r e
Toby Templ e. We' r e goi ng t o make t hemcome t o you. "
Toby smi l ed wr yl y and sai d, " They' r e not beat i ng down
t he door s, baby. "
" They wi l l be, " J i l l pr omi sed. " They don' t know what
shape you' r e i n. You' r e bet t er now t han you ever wer e. We
j ust have t o show t hem. " . . .
" Maybe I shoul d pose i n t he nude f or one of t hose
magazi nes. "
J i l l was not l i st eni ng. " I have an i dea, " she sai d sl owl y.
" A one- man show. "
" Huh?"
" A one- man show. " Ther e was a gr owi ng exci t ement i n
her voi ce. " I ' m goi ng t o book you i nt o t he Hunr i ngt on Har t f or d Theat r e.
Ever ybody i n Hol l ywood wi l l come. Af t er t hat ,
t hey' l l st ar t beat i ng down t he door s! "
And ever ybody i n Hol l ywood di d come: pr oducer s,
di r ect or s, st ar s, cr i t i cs - - al l t he peopl e i n show busi ness who
mat t er ed. The t heat er on Vi ne St r eet had l ong si nce been sol d
out , and hundr eds of peopl e had been t ur ned away. Ther e was
a cheer i ng mob out si de t he l obby when Toby and J i l l ar r i ved
i n a chauf f eur - dr i ven l i mousi ne. He was t hei r Toby Templ e. He
had come back t o t hemf r omt he dead, and t hey ador ed hi m
mor e t han ever .
The audi ence i nsi de t he t heat er was t her e par t l y out of
r espect f or a man who had been f amous and gr eat , but most l y
out of cur i osi t y. They wer e t her e t o pay f i nal t r i but e t o a
dyi ng her o, a bur nt - out st ar .
J i l l had pl anned t he show her sel f . She had gone t o
O' Hanl on and Rai nger , and t hey had wr i t t en some br i l l i ant
mat er i al , begi nni ng wi t h a monol ogue ki ddi ng t he t own f or
bur yi ng Toby whi l e he was st i l l al i ve. J i l l had appr oached a
song- wr i t i ng t eamt hat had won t hr ee Academy Awar ds. They
had never wr i t t en speci al mat er i al f or anyone, but when J i l l
sai d, " Toby i nsi st s you' r e t he onl y wr i t er s i n t he wor l d
who. ' . . "
Di ck Landr y, t he di r ect or , f l ew i n f r omLondon t o st age
t he show.
J i l l had assembl ed t he f i nest t al ent she coul d f i nd t o
back up Toby, but i n t he end ever yt hi ng woul d depend on
t he st ar hi msel f . I t was a one- man show, and he woul d be
al one on t hat st age.
The moment f i nal l y ar r i ved. The house l i ght s di mmed, and t he t heat er was f i l l ed
wi t h t hat expect ant hush t hat pr ecedes
t he r i ngi ng up of t he cur t ai n, t he si l ent pr ayer t hat on
t hi s ni ght magi c woul d happen.
I t happened.
As Toby Templ e st r ol l ed out ont o t he st age, hi s gai t
st r ong and st eady, t hat f ami l i ar i mpi sh smi l e l i ght i ng up t hat
boyi sh f ace, t her e was a moment ar y si l ence and t hen a wi l d
expl osi on of appl ause and yel l i ng, a st andi ng ovat i on t hat
r ocked t he t heat er f or a f ul l f i ve mi nut es. .
Toby st ood t her e, wai t i ng f or t he pandemoni umt o subsi de,
and when t he t heat er was f i nal l y st i l l , he sai d, " You cal l
t hat a r ecept i on?" And t hey r oar ed.
He was br i l l i ant . He t ol d st or i es and sang and danced,
and he at t acked ever ybody, and i t was as t hough he had never
been gone. The audi ence coul d not get enough of hi m. He
was st i l l a super st ar , but now he was somet hi ng mor e; he
had become a l i vi ng l egend.
The Var i et y r evi ew t he next day sai d, " They came t o
bur y Toby Templ e, but t hey st ayed t o pr ai se hi mand cheer
hi m. And how he deser ved i t ! Ther e i s no one i n show busi ness
who has t he ol d mast er ' s magi c. I t was an eveni ng of
ovat i ons, and no one who was f or t unat e enough t o be t her e i s
l i kel y ever t o f or get t hat memor abl e. . . "
The Hol l ywood Repor t er r evi ew sai d, " The audi ence was
t her e t o see a gr eat st ar come back, but Toby Templ e pr oved
he had never been away. "
Al l t he ot her r evi ews wer e i n t he same panegyr i c vei n.
Fr omt hat moment on, Toby' s phones r ang const ant l y. Let t er s
and t el egr ams pour ed i n wi t h i nvi t at i ons and of f er s.
They wer e beat i ng t he door s down.
Toby r epeat ed hi s one- man show i n Chi cago and i n
Washi ngt on and New Yor k; ever ywher e he went , he was a
sensat i on. Ther e was mor e i nt er est i n hi mnow t han t her e
had ever been. I n a wave of af f ect i onat e nost al gi a, Toby' s
ol d movi es wer e shown at ar t t heat er s and at uni ver si t i es.
Tel evi si on st at i ons had a Toby Templ e Week and r an hi s
ol d var i et y shows.
Ther e wer e Toby Templ e dol l s and Toby Templ e games
and Toby Templ e puzzl es and j okebooks and T- shi r t s. Ther e
wer e endor sement s f or cof f ee and ci gar et t es and t oot hpast e.
Toby di d a cameo i n a musi cal pi ct ur e at Uni ver sal and
was si gned t o do guest appear ances on al l t he bi g var i et y
shows. The net wor ks had wr i t er s at wor k, compet i ng t o devel op
a new Toby Templ e Hour .
The sun was out once mor e, and i t was shi ni ng on J i l l .
Ther e wer e par t i es agai n, and r ecept i ons and t hi s ambassador
and t hat senat or and pr i vat e scr eeni ngs and. . . Ever ybody want ed t hem f or
ever yt hi ng. They wer e gi ven a di nner
at t he Whi t e House, an honor usual l y r eser ved f or heads of
st at e. They wer e appl auded wher ever t hey appear ed.
But now i t was J i l l t hey wer e appl audi ng, as wel l as Toby.
The magni f i cent st or y of what she had done, her f eat of si ngl ehandedl y
nur si ng Toby bade t o heal t h agai nst al l odds, had
st i r r ed t he i magi nat i on of t he wor l d. I t was hai l ed by t he pr ess
as t he l ove st or y of t he cent ur y. Ti me Magazi ne put t hembot h
on t he cover , wi t h a gl owi ng t r i but e t o J i l l i n t he accompanyi ng
st or y.
A f i ve- mi l l i on- dol l ar deal was made f or Toby t o st ar i n
a new weekl y t el evi si on var i et y show, st ar t i ng i n Sept ember ,
onl y t wel ve weeks away.
" We' l l go t o Pal mSpr i ngs so t hat you can r est unt i l
t hen, " J i l l sai d.
Toby shook hi s head. " You' ve been shut i n l ong enough.
We' r e goi ng t o l i ve a l i t t l e. " He put hi s ar ms ar ound her and
added, " I ' mnot ver y good wi t h wor ds, baby, unl ess t hey' r e
j okes. I don' t know how t o t el l you what I f eel about you.
I - - I j ust want you t o know t hat I di dn' t st ar t l i vi ng unt i l t he
day I met you. "
And he abr upt l y t ur ned away, so t hat J i l l coul d not see
t he t ear s i n hi s eyes.
Toby ar r anged t o t our hi s one- man show i n London, Par i s
and - - t he gr eat est coup of al l - - Moscow. Ever yone was f i ght i ng
t o si gn hi m. He was as bi g a cul t f i gur e i n Eur ope as he
was i n Amer i ca.
They wer e out on t he f i l l , on a sunny, spar kl i ng day,
headed f or Cat al i na. Ther e wer e a dozen guest s aboar d t he
boat , among t hemSamWi nt er s and O' Hanl on and Rai nger ,
who had been sel ect ed as t he head wr i t er s on Toby' s new
t el evi si on show. They wer e al l i n t he sal on, pl ayi ng games
and t al ki ng. J i l l l ooked ar ound and not i ced t hat Toby was
mi ssi ng. She went out on deck.
Toby was st andi ng at t he r ai l i ng, st ar i ng at t he sea. J i l l
wal ked up t o hi mand sai d, " Ar e you f eel i ng al l r i ght ?"
" J ust wat chi ng t he wat er , baby. "
242
" I t ' s beaut i f ul , i sn' t i t ?"
" I f you' r e a shar k. " He shudder ed. " That ' s not t he way
I want t o di e. I ' ve al ways been t er r i f i ed of dr owni ng. "
She put her hand i n hi s. " What ' s bot her i ng you?"
He l ooked at her . " I guess I don' t want t o di e. I ' maf r ai d
of what ' s out t her e. Her e, I ' ma bi g man. Ever ybody knows
Toby Templ e. But out t her e. . . ? You know my i dea of Hel l ?
A pl ace wher e t her e' s no audi ence. "
The Fr i ar s Cl ub gave a Roast wi t h Toby Templ e as Ae
guest of honor . A dozen t op comi cs wer e on t he dai s, al ong
wi t h Toby and J i l l , SamWi nt er s and t he head of t he net wor k
t hat Toby had si gned wi t h. J i l l was asked t o st and up and
t ake a bow. I t became a st andi ng ovat i on.
They' r e cheer i ng me, J i l l t hought . Not Toby. Me!
The mast er of cer emoni es was t he host of a f amous ni ght t i me
t el evi si on t al k show. " I can' t t el l you how happy I am
t o see Toby her e, " he sai d. " Because i f we wer en' t honor i ng
hi mher e t oni ght , we' d be hol di ng t hi s banquet at For est
Lawn. "
Laught er .
" And bel i eve me, t he f ood' s t er r i bl e t her e. Have you ever
eat en at For est Lawn? They ser ve l ef t over s f r omt he Last
Supper . "
Laught er He
t ur ned t o Toby. " We r eal l y ar e pr oud of you, Toby.
I mean t hat . I under st and you' ve been asked t o donat e a par t
of your body t o sci ence. They' r e goi ng t o put i t i n a j ar at
Ae Har var d Medi cal School . The onl y pr obl emso f ar i s t hat
t hey haven' t been abl e t o f i nd a j ar bi g enough t o hol d i t . "
Roar s.
When Toby got up f or hi s r ebut t al , he t opped t hemal l .
Ever yone agr eed t hat i t was t he best Roast Ae Fr i ar s
had ever hel d.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence was i n Ae audi ence Aat ni ght .
He was seat ed at a t abl e i n Ae back of Ae r oomnear
t he ki t chen wi A Ae oAer uni mpor t ant peopl e. He had been
f or ced t o i mpose on ol d f r i endshi ps t o get even t hi s t abl e.
243
Ever si nce Toby Templ e had f i r ed hi m, Cl i f t on Lawr ence had
wor n t he l abel of a l oser . He had t r i ed t o make a par t ner shi p
deal wi t h a l ar ge agency. Wi t h no cl i ent s, however , he had
not hi ng t o of f er . Then Cl i f t on had t r i ed t he smal l er agenci es,
but t hey wer e not i nt er est ed i n a mi ddl e- aged has- been; t hey
want ed aggr essi ve young men. I n t he end, Cl i f t on had set t l ed
f or a sal ar i ed j ob wi t h a smal l new agency. Hi s weekl y sal ar y
was l ess t han what he had once spent ' i s one eveni ng at
Romanof f ' s.
He r emember ed hi s f i r st day at t he new agency. I t was
owned by t hr ee aggr essi ve young men - - no, ki ds - - al l of t hem
i n t hei r l at e t went i es. Thei r cl i ent s wer e r ock st ar s. Two of
t he agent s wer e bear ded, and t hey al l wor e j eans and spor t
shi r t s and t enni s shoes wi t hout socks. They made Cl i f t on f eel
a t housand year s ol d. They spoke i n a l anguage he di d not
under st and. They cal l ed hi m" Dad" and " Pop" and he t hought
of t he r espect he had once commanded i n t hi s t own, and he
want ed t o weep.
The once dapper , cheer f ul agent had become seedyl ooki ng
and bi t t er . Toby Templ e had been hi s whol e l i f e, and
Cl i f t on t al ked about t hose days compul si vel y. I t was al l he
t hought about . That and J i l l . Cl i f t on bl amed her f or ever yt hi ng
t hat had- happened t o hi m. Toby coul d not hel p hi msel f ;
he had been i nf l uenced by t hat bi t ch. But , oh, how Cl i f t on
hat ed J i l l .
He was si t t i ng i n t he back of t he r oomwat chi ng t he
cr owd appl aud J i l l Templ e when one of t he men at t he t abl e
sai d, " Toby' s sur e a l ucky bast ar d. I wi sh I had a pi ece of t hat .
She' s gr eat i n bed. "
" Yeah?" someone asked, cyni cal l y. " How woul d you
know?"
" She' s i n t hat por no f l i ck at t he Pussycat Theat r e. Hel l ,
I t hought she was goi ng t o suck t he guy' s l i ver out of hi m. "
Cl i f t on' s mout h was suddenl y so dr y t hat he coul d har dl y
get out t he wor ds. " Ar e you - - ar e you sur e i t was J i J I Cast l e?"
be asked.
The st r aoger t ur ned t o hi m. " Sur e, I ' msur e. She used
anot her name - - J osephi ne somet hi ng. A cr azy Pol ack name. "
244
He st ar ed at Cl i f t on and sai d, " Hey! Di dn' t you used t o be
Cl i f t on Lawr ence?"
Ther e i s an ar ea of Sant a Moni ca Boul evar d, bor der i ng
bet ween Fai r f ax and La Ci enega, t hat i s Count y t er r i t or y.
Par t of an i sl and sur r ounded by t he Ci t y of Los Angel es, i t
oper at es under Count y or di nances, whi ch ar e mor e l eni ent
t han t hose of t he Ci t y. I n one si x- bl ock ar ea, t her e ar e f our
movi e houses t hat r un onl y har d- cor e por nogr aphy, hal f a
dozen bookshops wher e cust omer s can st and i n pr i vat e boot hs and wat ch movi es
t hr ough i ndi vi dual vi ewer s and a dozen
massage par l or s st af f ed wi t h nubi l e young gi r l s who ar e exper t s,
at gi vi ng ever yt hi ng except massages. The Pussycat Theat r e
si t s i n t he mi dst of i t al l .
Ther e wer e per haps t wo dozen peopl e i n t he dar kened
t heat er , al l of t hemmen except f or t wo women who sat hol di ng
hands. Cl i f t on l ooked ar ound at t he audi ence and wonder ed
what dr ove t hese peopl e t o dar kened caver ns i n t he mi ddl e of
a sunny day, t o spend hour s wat chi ng i mages of ot her peopl e
f or ni cat i ng on f i l m.
The mai n f eat ur e came on, and Cl i f t on f or got ever yt hi ng
except what was up on t he scr een. He l eaned f or war d
i n hi s seat , concent r at i ng on t he f ace of each act r ess. The
pl ot was about a young col l ege pr of essor who smuggl ed hi s
f emal e st udent s i nt o hi s bedr oomf or ni ght cl asses. Al l of t hem
wer e young, sur pr i si ngl y at t r act i ve and i ncr edi bl y endowed.
They went t hr ough a var i et y of sexual exer ci ses, or al , vagi nal
and anal , unt i l t he pr of essor was as sat i sf i ed as hi s pupi l s.
But none of t he gi r l s was J i l l . She has t o be t her e, Cl i f t on
t hought . Thi s was t he onl y chance he woul d ever have t o
avenge hi msel f f or what she had done t o hi m. He woul d
ar r ange f or Toby t o see t he f i l m. I t woul d hur t Toby, but he
woul d get over i t . J i l l woul d be dest r oyed. When Toby l ear ned
what ki nd of whor e he had mar r i ed, he woul d t hr ow her out on
her ass. J i l l had t o be i n t hi s f i l m.
And suddenl y, t her e she was- - on t he wi de scr een, i n
wonder f ul , gl or i ous, l i vi ng col or . She had changed a gr eat
deal . She was t hi nner now, mor e beaut i f ul and mor e sophi st i cat ed.
But i t was J i l l . Cl i f t on sat t her e, dr i nki ng i n t he scene,
245
r evel i ng i n i t , r ej oi ci ng and f east i ng hi s senses, f i l l ed wi t h an
el ect r i f yi ng sense of t r i umph and vengeance.
Cl i f t on r emai ned i n hi s seat undl t he cr edi t s came on.
Ther e i t was, J osephi ne Czi nski . He got t o hi s f eet and made
hi s way back t o t he pr oj ect i on boot h. A man i n shi r t sl eeves was i nsi de t he
smal l r oom, r eadi ng a r aci ng f or m. He gl anced
up as Cl i f t on ent er ed and sai d, " No one' s al l owed i n her e,
buddy. "
" I want t o buy a pr i nt of t hat pi ct ur e. "
The man shook hi s head. " Not f or sal e. " He went back
t o hi s handi cappi ng.
" I ' l l gi ve you a hundr ed bucks t o r un of f a dupe. No one
wi l l ever know. "
The man di d not even l ook up.
" Two hundr ed bucks, " Cl i f t on sai d.
The pr oj ect i oni st t ur ned a page.
" Thr ee hundr ed. "
He l ooked up and st udi ed Cl i f t on. " Cash?"
" Cash. "
At t en o' cl ock t he f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, Cl i f t on ar r i ved at
Toby Templ e' s house wi t h a can of f i l munder hi s ar m. No,
not f i l m, he' t hought happi l y. Dynami t e. Enough t o bl ou f i l l
Cast l e t o hel l .
The door was opened by an Engl i sh but l er Cl i f t on had
not seen bef or e.
" Tel l Mr . Templ e t hat Cl i f t on Lawr ence i s her e t o see
hi m. "
" I ' msor r y, si r . Mr . Templ e i s not her e. "
" I ' l l wai t , " Cl i f t on sai d f i r ml y.
The but l er r epl i ed, " I ' maf r ai d t hat won' t be possi bl e.
Mr . and Mr s. Templ e l ef t f or Eur ope t hi s mor ni ng. "
246
32
Eur ope was a successi on of t r i umphs.
The ni ght of Toby' s openi ng at t he Pal l adi umi n London,
Oxf or d Ci r cus was j ammed wi t h cr owds f r ant i cal l y t r yi ng t o
get a gl i mpse of Toby and J f f l . The ent i r e ar ea ar ound Ar gyl l
St r eet had been cor doned of f by t he met r opol i t an pol i ce. When
t he mob got out of hand, mount ed pol i ce wer e hast i l y summoned
t o assi st . Pr eci sel y at t he st r oke of ei ght o' cl ock, t he
Royal Fami l y ar r i ved and t he show began.
Toby exceeded ever yone' s wi l dest expect at i ons. Hi s f ace
beami ng wi t h i nnocence, he br i l l i ant l y at t acked t he Br i t i sh
gover nment and i t s ol d- school - t i e smugness. He expl ai ned how
i t had managed t o become l ess power f ul t han Uganda and how
i t coul d not have happened t o a mor e deser vi ng count r y. They
al l r oar ed wi t h l aught er , because t hey knew t hat Toby Templ e
was onl y j oki ng. He di d not mean a wor d of i t . Toby l oved
t hem.
As t hey l oved hi m.
The r ecept i on i n Par i s was even mor e t umul t uous. J i l l
and Toby wer e guest s at t he Pr esi dent ' s Pal ace and wer e
dr i ven ar ound t he ci t y i n a st at e l i mousi ne. They coul d be seen
on t he f r ont pages of t he newspaper s ever y day, and when
t hey appear ed at t he t heat er , ext r a pol i ce had t o be cal l ed out
t o cont r ol t he cr owds. At t he end of Toby' s per f or mance, he
and J i l l wer e bei ng escor t ed t owar d t hei r wai t i ng l i mousi ne
when suddenl y t he mob br oke t hr ough t he pol i ce guar d and
hundr eds of Fr enchmen descended on t hem, scr eami ng, " Toby,
Toby. . . on veut Toby! " The sur gi ng cr owd hel d out pens
and aut ogr aph books, pr essi ng f or war d t o t ouch t he gr eat Toby
Templ e and hi s wonder f ul J i l l . The pol i ce wer e unabl e t o hol d
t hemback; t he cr owd swept t hemasi de, t ear i ng at Toby' s
cl ot hes, f i ght i ng t o obt ai n a souveni r . Toby and J i l l wer e al most
cr ushed by t he pr ess of bodi es, but J i l l f el t no f ear . Thi s r i ot
was a t r i but e t o her . She had done t hi s f or t hese peopl e; she
had br ought Toby back t o t hem.
Thei r l ast st op was Moscow.
Moscow i n J une i s one of t he l ovel i est ddes i n t he wor l d.
Gr acef ul whi t e ber ezka and Upa t r ees wi t h yel l ow f l ower beds
l i ne t he wi de boul evar ds cr owded wi t h nat i ves and vi si t or s
st r ol l i ng i n t he sunshi ne. I t i s t he season f or t our i st s. Except
f or of f i ci al vi si t or s, al l t our i st s t o Russi a ar e handl ed t hr ough
I nt our i st , t he gover nment - cont r ol l ed agency whi ch ar r anges
t r anspor t at i on, hot el s and gui ded si ght seei ng t our s. But Toby
and J i l l wer e met at t he Sher emet yevo I nt er nat i onal Ai r por t
by a l ar ge Zi l l i mousi ne and dr i ven t o t he Met r opol e Hot el ,
usual l y r eser ved f or VI Ps f r omsat el l i t e count r i es. The sui t e
had been st ocked wi t h St ol i ohnaya vodka and bl ack cavi ar .
Gener al Yur i Romanovi t ch, a hi gh par t y of f i ci al , came t o
t he hot el t o bi d t hemwel come. " We do not r un many Amer i can
pi ct ur es i n Russi a, Mr . Templ e, but we have pl ayed your
movi es her e of t en. The Russi an peopl e f eel t hat geni us t r anscends
al l boundar i es. "
Toby had been booked t o appear at t he Bol shoi Theat r e
f or t hr ee per f or mances. Openi ng ni ght , J i l l shar ed i n t he
ovat i on. Because of t he l anguage bar r i er , Toby di d most of
hi s act i n pant omi me, and t he audi ence ador ed hi m. He gave
a di at r i be i n hi s pseudo- Russi an, and t hei r l aught er and
appl ause echoed t hr ough t he enor mous t heat er l i ke a benedi ct i on
of l ove.
Dur i ng t he next t wo days. Gener al Romanovi t ch escor t ed
Toby and J i l l on a pr i vat e si ght seei ng t our . They went t o
Gor ky Par k and r ode on t he gi ant f er r i s wheel , and saw t he
hi st or i c Sai nt Basi l ' s Cat hedr al . They wer e t aken t o t he Moscow
St at e Ci r cus and gi ven a banquet at Ar agvi , wher e t hey wer e
248
ser ved t he gol den r oe cavi ar , t he r ar est of t he ei ght cavi ar s,
zakushki , whi ch l i t er al l y means smal l bi t es, and pasht eet , t he
del i cat e pat e baked i na cr ust . For desser t , t hey at e yobl ochnaya, t he i ncr edi bl y
del i ci ous appl e char l ot t e past r y wi t h
apr i cot sauce.
And mor e si ght seei ng. They went t o t he Pushki n Ar t
Museumand Leni n' s Mausol eumand t he Det sky Mi r , Moscow' s
enchant i ng chi l dr en' s shop.
They wer e t aken t o pl aces of whose exi st ence most
Russi ans wer e unawar e. Gr anovsko St r eet , cr owded wi t h
chauf f eur - dr i ven Chai kas and Vol gas. I nsi de, behi nd a si mpl e
door mar ked " Of f i ce of Speci al Passes" , t hey wer e usher ed
i nt o a st or e cr ammed wi t h i mpor t ed l uxur y f oodst uf f s f r omal l
over t he wor l d. Thi s was wher e t he " Nachal st ov" , t he Russi an
el i t e, wer e pr i vi l eged t o shop.
They went t o a l uxur i ous dacha, wher e f or ei gn f i l ms wer e
r un i n t he pr i vat e scr eeni ng r oomf or &e pr i vi l eged f ew. I t was
a f asci nat i ng i nsi ght i nt o t he Peopl e' s St at e.
On t he af t er noon of t he day Toby was t o gi ve hi s f i nal
per f or mance, t he Templ es wer e get t i ng r eady t o go out shoppi ng.
Toby sai d, " Why doa' t you go al one, baby? I t hi nk I ' l l
sack out f or a whi l e. "
She st udi ed hi mf or a moment . " Ar e you f eel i ng al l
r i ght ?"
" Gr eat . I ' mj ust a l i t t l e t i r ed. You go buy out Moscow. "
J i l l hesi t at ed. Toby l ooked pal e. When t hi s t our was over ,
she woul d see t o i t t hat Toby had a l ong r est bef or e he began
hi s new t el evi si on show. " Al l r i ght , " she agr eed. " Take a nap. "
J i l l was wal ki ng t hr ough t he l obby t owar d t he exi t when
she hear d a man' s voi ce cal l , " J osephi ne" , and even as she
t ur ned, she knew who i t was, and i n a spl i t second t he magi c
happened agai n.
Davi d Kenyon was movi ng t owar d her , smi l i ng and sayi ng,
" I ' mso gl ad t o see you" , and she f el t as t hough her hear t
woul d st op. He' s t he onl y man who has ever been abl e t o do
t hi s t o me. J i l l t hought .
249
" Wi l l you have a dr i nk wi t h me?" Davi d asked.
" Yes, " she sai d.
The hot el bar was l ar ge and cr owded, but t hey f ound a
compar at i vel y qui et t abl e i n a cor ner wher e t hey coul d t al k.
" What ar e you doi ng i n Moscow?" J i l l asked.
" Our gover nment asked me t o come over . We' r e t r yi ng t o
wor k out an oi l deal . " ' A
bor ed wai t er st r ol l ed over t o t he t abl e and t ook t hei r
or der f or dr i nks.
" How' s Ci ssy?"
Davi d l ooked at her a moment , t hen sai d, " We got a
di vor ce a f ew year s ago. " He del i ber at el y changed t he subj ect .
" I ' ve f ol l owed ever yt hi ng t hat ' s been happeni ng t o you. I ' ve
been a f an of Toby Templ e' s si nce I was a ki d. " Somehow,
i t made Toby sound ver y ol d. " I ' mgl ad he' s wel l agai n. When
I r ead about hi s st r oke, I was concer ned about you. " Ther e was
a l ook i n hi s eyes t hat J i l l r emember ed f r oml ong ago, a want i ng,
a needi ng.
" I t hought Toby was gr eat i n Hol l ywood and London, "
Davi d was sayi ng.
" Wer e you t her e?" J i l l asked, i n sur pr i se.
" Yes. " Then he added qui ckl y, " I had some busi ness Acr e. "
" Why di dn' t you come backst age?"
He hesi t at ed. " I di dn' t want t o i nt r ude on you. I di dn' t
know i f you woul d want t o see me. "
Thei r dr i nks ar r i ved i n heavy, squat gl asses.
" To you and Toby, " Davi d sai d. And t her e was somet hi ng
i n t he way he sai d i t , an under cur r ent of sadness, a
hunger , . .
" Do you al ways st ay at t he Met r opol e?" J i l l asked.
" No. As a mat t er of f act , I had a hel l of a t i me get t i ng - - "
He saw t he t r ap t oo l at e. He smi l ed wr yl y. " I knew you' d be
t her e. I was supposed t o have l ef t Moscow f i ve days ago. I ' ve
been wai t i ng, hopi ng t o r un i nt o you. "
" Why, Davi d?"
I t was a l ong t i me bef or e he r epl i ed. When he spoke,
250
he sai d, " I t ' s al l t oo l at e now, but I want t o t el l you anyway,
because I t hi nk you have a r i ght t o know. "
And he t ol d her about hi s mar r i age t o Qssy, how she
had t r i cked hi m, about her at t empt ed sui ci de, and about t he
ni ght when he had asked J i l l t o meet hi mat t he l ake. I t al l
came out i n an out pour i ng of emot i on t hat l ef t J i l l shaken.
" I ' ve al ways been i n l ove wi t h you. "
She sat l i st eni ng, a f eel i ng of happi ness f l owi ng t hr ough
her body l i ke a war mwi ne. I t was l i ke a l ovel y dr eamcome
t r ue, i t was ever yt hi ng she had want ed, wi shed f or . J i l l st udi ed
t he man si t t i ng acr oss f r omher , and she r emember ed hi s
st r ong hands on her , and hi s har d demandi ng body, and she
f el t a st i r r i ng wi t hi n her sel f . But Toby had become a par t of
her , he was her own f l esh; and Davi d. . .
A voi ce at her el bow sai d, " Mr s. Templ e! We have been
l ooki ng ever ywher e f or you! " I t was Gener al Romanovi t ch.
J i l l l ooked at Davi d. " Cal l me i n t he mor ni ng. "
Toby' s l ast per f or mance i n t he Bol shoi Theat r e was mor e
exci t i ng t han anyt hi ng t hat had been seen t her e bef or e. The
spect at or s t hr ew f l ower s and cheer ed and st amped t hei r f eet
and r ef used t o l eave. I t was a f i t t i ng cl i max t o Toby' s ot her
t r i umphs. A l ar ge par t y was schedul ed f or af t er t he show, but
Toby sai d t o J i l l , " I ' mbeat , goddess. Why don' t you go? I ' l l
r et ur n t o t he hot el and get some shut - eye. "
J i l l went t o t he par t y al one, but i t was as t hough Davi d
wer e at her si de ever y moment . She car r i ed on conver sat i ons
wi t h her host s and danced and acknowl edged t he t r i but es t hey
wer e payi ng t o her , but al l t he t i me her mi nd was r el i vi ng her
meet i ng wi t h Davi d. I war ned t he wr ong gi r l . Ci ssy and I
ar e di vor ced. I ' ve never St opped l ovi ng you.
At t wo o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng, J i l l ' s escor t dr opped her
at her hot el sui t e. She went i nsi de and f ound Toby l yi ng on t he
f l oor i n t he mi ddl e of t he r oom, unconsci ous, hi s r i ght hand
st r et ched out t owar d t he t el ephone.
mat i c Pol ycl i ni c at 3 Sver chkov Pr ospekt . Thr ee t op spedahst s
wer e summoned i n t he mi ddl e of t he ni ght t o exami ne hi m.
Ever yone was sympat het i c t owar d J i l l . The chi ef of t he hospi t al
escor t ed her t o a pr i vat e of f i ce, wher e she wai t ed f or news.
I t ' s l i ke a r er un, J i l l t hought . Al l t hi s had happened bef or e. I t
had a vague, unr eal qual i t y.
Hour s l at er , t he door t o t he of f i ce opened and a shor t , f at
Russi an waddl ed i n. He was dr essed i n an i l l - f i t t i ng sui t and
l ooked l i ke an unsuccessf ul pl umber . " I amDr . Dur ov, " he
sai d. " I ami n char ge of your husband' s case. "
" I want t o know how he i s. "
" Si t down, Mr s. Templ e, pl ease. "
J i l l had not even been awar e t hat she had st ood up.
" Tel l mel "
" Your husband has suf f er ed a st r oke - - t echni cal l y cal l ed
a cer ebr al venous t hr ombosi s. "
" How' badi si t ?"
" I t i s t he most - - what do you say? - - har d- hi t t i ng,
danger ous. I f your husband l i ves - - and i t i s t oo soon t o t el l - -
he wi l l never wal k or speak agai n. Hi s mi nd i s dear but he i s
compl et el y par al yzed. "
Bef or e J i l l l ef t Moscow, Davi d t el ephoned her .
" I can' t t el l you how sor r y I am, " he sai d. " I ' l l be st andi ng
by. Anyt i me you need me, I ' l l be t her e. Remember t hat . "
I t was t he onl y t hi ng t hat hel ped J i l l keep her sani t y i n
t he ni ght mar e t hat was about t o begi n.
The j our ney home was a hel l i sh dej a vu. The hospi t al
l i t t er i n t he pl ane, t he ambul ance f r omt he ai r por t t o t he house,
t he si ckr oom.
Except t hat t hi s r i me i t was not di e same. J i l l had known
i t t he moment t hey had al l owed her t o see Toby. Hi s hear t
was beat i ng, hi s vi t al or gans f unct i oni ng; i n ever y r espect he
was a l i vi ng or gani sm. And yet he was not . He was a br eat hi ng,
pul sat i ng cor pse, a dead man i n an oxygen t ent , wi t h
t ubes and needl es r unni ng i nt o hi s body l i ke ant ennae, f eedi ng
hi mt he vi t al f l ui ds t hat wer e necessar y t o keep hi mal i ve.
Hi s f ace was t wi st ed i n a hor r i f yi ng r i ct us t hat made hi ml ook
252
as t hough he wer e gr i nni ng, hi s l i ps pul l ed up so t hat hi s gums
wer e exposed. / amaf r ai d I can of f er you no hope, t he Russi an
doct or had sai d.
That had been weeks ago. Now t hey wer e back home i n
Bel - Ai r . J i l l had i mmedi at el y cal l ed i n Dr . Kapl an, and he had
sent f or speci al i st s who had summoned mor e speci al i st s, and
t he answer al ways came out t he same: a massi ve st r oke t hat
had heavi l y damaged or dest r oyed t he ner ve cent er s, wi t h ver y
l i t t l e chance of r ever si ng t he damage t hat had al r eady been
done.
Ther e wer e nur ses ar ound t he cl ock and a physi ot her api st
t o wor k wi t h Toby, but t hey wer e empt y gest ur es.
The obj ect of al l t hi s at t ent i on was gr ot esque. Toby' s
ski n had t ur ned yel l ow, and hi s hai r was f al l i ng out i n l ar ge
t uf t s. Hi s par al yzed l i mbs wer e shr i vel ed and st r i ngy. On hi s
f ace was t he hi deous gr i n t hat he coul d not cont r ol . He was
monst r ous t o l ook at , a deat h' s head.
But hi s eyes wer e al i ve. And how al i ve! They bl azed
wi t h t he power and f r ust r at i on of t he mi nd t r apped i n t hat
usel ess shel l . Whenever J i l l wal ked i nt o hi s r oom, Toby' s
eyes woul d f ol l ow her hungr i l y, f r ant i cal l y, pl eadi ng. For what ?
For her t o make hi mwal k agai n? Tal k agai n? To t ur n hi m
i nt o a man agai n?
She woul d st ar e down at hi m, si l ent , t hi nki ng: A par t
of me i s l yi ng i n t hat bed, suf f er i ng, t r apped. They wer e
bound t oget her . She woul d have gi ven anyt hi ng t o have saved Toby, t o have saved
her sel f . But she knew t hat t her e was no
way. Not t hi s t i me.
The phones r ang const ant l y, and i t was a r epl ay of al l
t hose ot her phone cal l s, al l t hose ot her of f er s of sympat hy.
But t her e was one phone cal l t hat was di f f er ent . Davi d
Kenyon t el ephoned. " I j ust want you t o know t hat what ever
I can do - - anyt hi ng at al l - - I ' mwai t i ng. "
J i l l t hought of how he l ooked, t al l and handsome and
st r ong, and she t hought of t he mi sshapen car i cat ur e of a man
i n t he next r oom. " Thank you, Davi d. I appr eci at e i t . Ther e' s
not hi ng. Not at t he moment . "
" We' ve got some f i ne doct or s i n Houst on, " he sai d. " Some
of t he best i n t he wor l d. I coul d f l y t hemdown t o hi m. "
253
J i l l coul d f eel her t hr oat t i ght eni ng. Oh, how she want ed
t o ask Davi d t o come t o her , t o t ake her away f r omt hi s pl ace!
But she coul d not . She was bound t o Toby, and she knew t hat
she coul d never l eave hi m.
Not whi l e he was al i ve.
Dr . Kapl an had compl et ed hi s exami nat i on of Toby. J i l l
was wai t i ng f or hi mi n t he l i br ar y. She t ur ned t o f ace hi mas
he wal ked t hr ough t he door . He sai d, wi t h a cl umsy at t empt
at humor , " Wel l , J i l l , I have good news and I have bad news. "
" Tel l me t he bad news f i r st . "
" I ' maf r ai d Toby' s ner vous syst emi s damaged t oo heavi l y
t o be r ehabi l i t at ed. Ther e' s no quest i on about i t . Not t hi s
t i me. He' l l never wal k or t al k agai n. "
She st ar ed at hi ma l ong t i me, and t hen sai d, " What ' s
t he good news?"
Dr . Kapl an smi l ed. " Toby' s hear t i s amazi ngl y ' st r ong.
Wi t h pr oper car e, he can l i ve f or anot her t went y year s. "
J i l l l ooked at hi m, unbel i evi ngl y. Twent y yegr s. That
was t he good news! She t hought of her sel f saddl ed wi t h t he
hor r i bl e gar goyl e upst ai r s, t r apped i n a ni ght mar e f r omwhi ch
t her e was no escape. She coul d never di vor ce Toby. Not as
l ong as he. l i ved. Because no one woul d under st and. She was
t he her oi ne who had saved hi s l i f e. Ever yone woul d f eel bet r ayed,
cheat ed, i f she deser t ed hi mnow. Even Davi d Kenyon.
Davi d t el ephoned ever y day now, and he kept t al ki ng
about her wonder f ul l oyal t y and her sel f l essness, and t hey wer e
bot h awar e of t he deep emot i onal cur r ent f l owi ng bet ween
t hem.
The unspoken phr ase was, when Toby di es.
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33
Thr ee nur ses at t ended Toby ar ound t he dock i n shi f t s.
They wer e cr i sp and capabl e and as i mper sonal as machi nes.
J i l l was gr at ef ul f or t hei r pr esence, f or she coul d not bear t o
go near Toby. The si ght of t hat hi deous, gr i nni ng mask
r epel l ed her . She f ound excuses t o st ay away f r omhi s r oom.
When she di d f or ce her sel f t o go t o hi m, J i l l coul d sense a
change i n hi mi mmedi at el y. Even t he nur ses coul d f eel i t .
Toby l ay mot i onl ess and i mpot ent , f r ozen i n hi s spast i c cage.
Yet t he moment J i l l ent er ed t he r oom, a vi t al i t y began t o
bl aze f r omt hose br i ght bl ue eyes. J i l l coul d r ead Toby' s
t hought s as cl ear l y as i f he wer e speaki ng al oud. Don' t l et me
di e. Hel p me. Hel p me!
J i l l st ood l ooki ng down at hi s r ui ned body and t hought ,
/ can' t hel p you. You don' t want t o l i ve l i ke t hi s. You want t o
di e.
The i dea began t o gr ow i n J i l l .
The newspaper s wer e f ul l of st or i es about t er mi nal l y i l l
husbands whose wi ves had r el eased t hemf r omt hei r pai n.
Even some doct or s admi t t ed t hat t hey del i ber at el y l et cer t ai n
pat i ent s di e. Eut hanasi a, i t was cal l ed. Mer cy ki l l i ng. But J i l l
knew t hat i t coul d al so be cal l ed mur der , even t hough not hi ng
l i ved i n Toby anymor e but t hose damned eyes t hat woul d
not st op f ol l owi ng her ar ound.
I n t he weeks t hat f ol l owed, J i l l never l ef t t he house.
255
Most of t he t i me, she shut her sel f away i n her bedr oom. Her
headaches had r et ur ned, and she coul d f i nd no r el i ef .
Newspaper s and magazi nes car r i ed human- i nt er est st or i es
about t he par al yzed super st ar and hi s devot ed wi f e, who had
once nur sed hi mback t o heal t h. Al l t he per i odi cal s specul at ed
about whet her J i l l woul d be abl e t o r epeat t he mi r acl e. But
she knew t hat t her e woul d be no mor e mi r acl es. Toby woul d
never be wel l agai n.
Twent y year s. Dr . Kapl an had sai d. And Davi d was out
t her e wai t i ng f or her . She had t o f i nd a way t o escape f r om
her pr i son.
I t began on a dar k, gl oomy Sunday. I t r ai ned i n t he
mor ni ng and cont i nued al l day, dr ummi ng agai nst t he r oof
and t he wi ndows of t he house unt i l J i l l t hought she woul d
go mad. She was i n her bedr oom, r eadi ng, t r yi ng t o get t he
vi ci ous t at t oo of t he f al l i ng r ai n out of her mi nd, when t he
ni ght nur se wal ked i n. Her name was I ngr i d J ot mson. She
was st ar ched and Nor di c.
" The bur ner upst ai r s i sn' t wor ki ng, " I ngr i d announced.
" I l l have t o go down t o t he ki t chen t o pr epar e Mr . Templ e' s
di nner . Coul d you st ay wi t h hi mf or a f ew mi nut es?"
J i l l coul d sense t he di sappr oval i n t he nur se' s voi ce. She
t hought i t st r ange f or a wi f e not t o go near her husband' s
si ckbed. " I ' l l l ook af t er hi m, " J i l l sai d.
She put down her book and went down t he hal l t o Toby' s
bedr oom. The moment J i l l wal ked i nt o t he r oom, her nost r i l s
wer e assai l ed by t he f ami l i ar st ench of si ckness. I n an i nst ant ,
ever y f i ber of her bei ng was f l ooded wi t h memor i es of t hose
l ong, dr eadf ul mont hs when she had f ought t o save Toby.
Toby' s head was pr opped up on a l ar ge pi l l ow. As he
wat ched J i l l ent er , hi s eyes suddenl y came al i ve, f l ashi ng out
f r ant i c messages. Wher e haoe you been? Why have you st ayed
away f r omme? I need you. Hel p me! I t was as t hough hi s
eyes had a voi ce. J i l l l ooked down at t he l oat hsome, t wi st ed
body wi t h t he gr i nni ng deat h' s mask and she f el t nauseat ed.
You' l l never get wel l , damn you! You' ve got t o di e! I want
you t o di e!
As J i l l st ar ed at Toby, she wat ched t he expr essi on i n hi s
256
eyes change. They r egi st er ed shock and di sbel i ef and t hen
t hey began t o f i l l wi t h such hat r ed, such naked mal evol ence,
t hat J i l l i nvol unt ar i l y t ook a st ep away f r omt he bed. She
r eal i zed Aen what had happened. She had spoken her
t hought s al oud. '
She t ur ned and f l ed f r omt he r oom.
I n t he mor ni ng, t he r ai n st opped. Toby' s ol d wheel chai r
had been br ought up f r omt he basement . The day nur se,
Fr ances Gor don, was wheel i ng Toby out i n hi s chai r t o t he
gar den t o get some sun. J i l l l i st ened t o t he sound of t he wheel chai r
movi ng down t he hal l t owar d t he el evat or . She wai t ed a
f ew mi nut es, t hen she went downst ai r s. She was passi ng t he
l i br ar y when t he phone r ang. I t was Davi d, cal l i ng f r om
Washi ngt on.
" How ar e you t oday?" He sounded war mand car i ng.
She had never been so gl ad t o hear hi s voi ce. " I ' mf i ne,
Davi d. "
" I wi sh you wer e wi t h me, dar l i ng. "
" So do I . I l ove you so much. And I want you. I want
you t o hol d me i n your ar ms agai n. Oh, Davi d. . . "
Some i nst i nct made J i l l t ur n. Toby was i n t he hal l way,
st r apped i n t he wheel chai r wher e t he nur se had l ef t hi mf or
a moment . Hi s bl ue eyes bl azed at J i l l wi t h such l oat hi ng, such
mal i ce t hat i t was l i ke a physi cal bl ow. Hi s mi nd was speaki ng
t o her t hr ough hi s eyes, scr eami ng at her , I ' mgoi ng t o ki l l
you! J i l l dr opped t he t el ephone i n pani c.
She r an out of t he r oomand up t he st ai r s, and she coul d
f eel Toby' s hat r ed pur sui ng her , l i ke some vi ol ent , evi l f or ce.
She st ayed i n her bedr oomal l day, r ef usi ng f ood. She sat i n a
chai r , i n a t r ancel i ke st at e, her mi nd goi ng over an dover t he
moment at t he t el ephone. Toby knew. He knew. She coul d not
f ace hi magai n.
Fi nal l y, ni ght came. I t was t he mi ddl e of J ul y, and t he
ai r st i l l hel d t he heat of t he day. J f f l opened her bedr oom
wi ndows wi de t o cat ch what ever f ai nt br eeze t her e mi ght be.
I n Toby' s r oom. Nur se Gal l agher was on dut y. She t i pt oed
i n t o t ake a l ook at her pat i ent Nur se Gal l agher wi shed
257
- ASTTM
she coul d r ead hi s mi nd, t hen per haps she mi ght be abl e t o
hel p t he poor man. She t ucked t he cover s ar ound Toby. " You
get a good ni ght ' s sl eep now, " she sai d, cheer i l y. " I ' l l be back
t o check on you. " Ther e was no r eact i on. He di d not even
move hi s eyes t o l ook at her .
Per haps i f s j ust as wel l I can' t r ead hi s mi nd. Nur se
Gal l agher t hought . She t ook one l ast l ook at hi mand r et i r ed
t o her l i t t l e si t t i ng r oomt o wat ch some' l at e- ni ght t el evi si on.
Nur se Gal l agher enj oyed t he t al k shows. She l oved t o wat ch
movi e st ar s chat about t hemsel ves. I t made t hemt er r i bl y
human, j ust l i ke or di nar y, ever yday peopl e. She kept t he sound
l ow, so t hat i t woul d not di st ur b her pat i ent . But Toby Templ e
woul d not have hear d i t i n any case. Hi s t hought s wer e
el sewher e.
The house was asl eep, saf e i n t he guar ded f ast ness of t he
Bel - Ai r woods. A f ew f ai nt sounds of t r af f i c dr i f t ed up f r om
Sunset Boul evar d f ar bel ow. Nur se Gal l agher was wat chi ng a
l at e ni ght movi e. She wi shed t hey woul d r un an ol d Toby
Templ e f i l m. I t woul d be so exci t i ng t o wat ch Mr . Templ e
on t el evi si on and know t hat he was her e i n per son, j ust a f ew
f eet away. (
At f our a. m. . Nur se Gal l agher dozed of f i n t he mi ddl e of
a hor r or f i l m. '
I n Toby' s bedr oomt her e was a deep si l ence.
I n J i l l ' s r oom, t he onl y sound t hat coul d be hear d was di e
t i cki ng of t he bedsi de cl ock. J i l l l ay i n her bed, naked, sound
asl eep, one ar mhuggi ng a pi l l ow, her body dar k agai nst t he
whi t e sheet s. The st r eet noi ses wer e muf f l ed and f ar away.
J i l l t ur ned r est l essl y i n her sl eep and shi ver ed. She
dr eamed t hat she and Davi d wer e i n Al aska on t hei r honeymoon.
They wer e on a vast f r ozen pl ai n and a sudden st or m
had come up. The wi nd was bl owi ng t he i cy ai r i nt o t hei r
f aces, and i t was di f f i cul t t o br eat he. She t ur ned t owar d Davi d,
bat he was gone. She was al one i n t he f r i gi d Ar ct i c, coughi ng,
f i ght i ng t o get her br eat h. I t was t he sound of someone choki ng
t hat woke J i l l up. She hear d a hor r i d, gaspi ng wheeze, a deat h
r at t l e, and she opened her eyes, and t he sound was comi ng f r om
her own t hr oat . She coul d not br eat he. An i cy cl oak of ai r
258
f cover ed her l i ke some obscene bl anket , car essi ng her nude
body, st r oki ng her br east s, ki ssi ng her l i ps wi t h a f r i gi d, mal odor ous
br eat h t hat r eeked of t he gr ave. J i l l ' s hear t was poundi ng
wi l dl y now, as she f ought f or ai r . Her l ungs f el t sear ed
f r omt he col d. She t r i ed t o si t up, and i t was as t hough t her e
was an i nvi si bl e wei ght hol di ng her down. She knew t hi s had t o
be a dr eam, but at t he same t i me she coul d hear t hat hi deous
r at t l e f r omher t hr oat as she f ought f or br eat h. She was dyi ng.
But coul d a per son di e dur i ng a ni ght mar e? J i l l coul d f eel t he
col d t endr i l s expl or i ng her body, movi ng i n bet ween her l egs,
i nsi de her now, f i l l i ng her , and wi t h a hear t - st oppi ng suddenness,
she r eal i zed i t was Toby. Somehow, by some means, i t
was Toby. And t he qui ck r ush of t er r or i n J i l l gave her t he
st r engt h t o daw her way t o t he f oot of t he bed, gaspi ng f or
br eat h, mi nd and body f i ght i ng t o st ay al i ve. She r eached t he
f l oor and st r uggl ed t o her f eet and r an f or t he door , f eel i ng t he
col d pur sui ng her , sur r oundi ng her , cl ut chi ng at her . Her
f i nger s f ound t he door knob and t wi st ed i t open. She r an out
i nt o t he hal l way, pant i ng f or ai r , f i l l i ng her st ar ved l ungs wi t h
oxygen.
The hal l way was war m, qui et , st i l l . J i l l st ood t her e, swayi ng,
her t eet h chat t er i ng uncont r ol l abl y. She t ur ned t o l ook
i nt o her r oom. I t was nor mal and peacef ul . She had had a
ni ght mar e. J i l l hesi t at ed a moment , t hen sl owl y wal ked back
t hr ough t he door way. Her r oomwas war m. Ther e was not hi ng
t o be af r ai d of . Of cour se, Toby coul d not har mher .
I n her si t t i ng r oom. Nur se Gal l agher awakened and went
i n t o check on her pat i ent .
Toby Templ e was l yi ng i n hi s bed, exact l y as she had l ef t
hi m. Hi s eyes wer e st ar i ng at t he cei l i ng, f ocused on somet hi ng
t hat Nur se Gal l agher coul d not see.
Af t er t hat t he ni ght mar e kept r ecur r i ng r egul ar l y, l i ke a
bl ack omen of doom, a pr esci ence of some hor r or t o come.
Sl owl y, a t er r or began t o bui l d up i n J i l l . Wher ever she went
i n t he house, she coul d f eel Toby' s pr esence. When t he nur se
t ook hi mout , J i l l coul d hear hi m. Toby' s wheel chai r had devel oped
a hi gh- pi t ched cr eak, and i t got on J i l l ' s ner ves ever y
t i me she hear d i t . 7 t nust have i t f i xed, she t hought . She
259
avoi ded goi ng anywher e near Toby' s r oom, but i t di d not
mat t er . He was ever ywher e, wai t i ng f or her .
The headaches wer e const ant now, a savage, r hyt hmi c
poundi ng t hat woul d not l et her r est . J i l l wi shed t hat t he pai n
woul d st op f or an hour , a mi nut e, a second. She had t o sl eep.
She went i nt o t he mai d' s r oombehi nd t he ki t chen, as f ar
away f r omToby' s quar t er s as she coul d get . The r oomwas
war mand qui et . J i l l l ay down on t he bed and dosed her eyes.
She was asl eep al most i nst ant l y.
She was awakened by t he f et i d, i cy ai r , f i l l i ng t he r oom,
cl ut chi ng at her , t r yi ng t o ent omb her . J i l l l eaped up and r an
out t he door .
The days wer e hor r i bl e enough, but t he ni ght s wer e
t er r i f yi ng. They f ol l owed t he same pat t er n. J i l l woul d go t o
her r oomand huddl e i n her bed, f i ght i ng t o st ay awake, af r ai d
t a go t o sl eep, knowi ng t hat Toby woul d come. But her exhaust ed
body woul d t ake over and she woul d f i nal l y doze of f .
She woul d be awakened by t he col d. She woul d l i e shi ver i ng
i n her bed, f eel i ng t he i cy ai r cr eepi ng t owar d her , an evi l
pr esence envel opi ng her l i ke a t er r i bl e mal edi ct i on. She woul d
get up and f l ee i n si l ent t er r or .
I t was t hr ee a. m.
J i l l had f al l en asl eep i n her chai r , r eadi ng a book. She
came out of her sl eep gr adual l y, sl owl y, and she opened her
eyes i n t he pi t ch- bl ack bedr oom, knowi ng t hat somet hi ng was
t er r i bl y wr ong. Then she r eal i zed what i t was. She had gone
t o sl eep wi t h al l t he l i ght s on. She f el t her hear t begi n t o r ace
and she t hought . Ther e' s not hi ng t o be af r ai d of . Nur se Gal l agher
must have come i n and t ur ned out t he l i ght s.
Then she hear d t he sound. I t was comi ng down t he hal l way, cr eak. . . cr eak. . .
Toby' s wheel chai r , movi ng t owar d
her bedr oomdoor . J i l l began t o f eel t he hai r s r i se on t he back
of her neck. I t ' s onl y a t r ee br anch agai nst t he r oof , or t he
house set t l i ng, she t ol d her sel f . Yet she knew t hat i t wasn' t
t r ue. She had hear d mat sound t oo many t i mes bef or e. Cr eak
. . . cr eak. . . l i ke t he musi c of deat h comi ng t o get her . / (
can' t be Toby, she t hought . He' s i nf os bed, hel pl ess. Pml osi ng
260
my mi nd. But she coul d hear i t comi ng cl oser and cl oser . I t
was at her door now. I t had st opped, wai t i ng. And suddenl y
t her e was t he sound of a cr ash, and t hen si l ence.
J i l l spent t he r est of t he ni ght huddl ed i n her chai r i n t he
dar k, t oo t er r i f i ed t o move.
I n t he mor ni ng, out si de her bedr oomdoor , she f ound a
br oken vase on t he f l oor , wher e i t had been knocked over f r om
a hal l way t abl e.
She was t al ki ng t o Dr . Kapl an. " Do you bel i eve t hat t he
- - t he mi nd can cont r ol t he body?" J i l l asked.
He l ooked at her , puzzl ed. " I n what way ?"
" I f Toby want ed - - want ed ver y much t o get out of hi s
bed, coul d he?"
" You mean unai ded? I n hi s pr esent condi t i on?" He gave
her a l ook of i ncr edul i t y. " He has absol ut el y no mobi l i t y at
al l . None what soever . "
J i l l was st i l l not sat i sf i ed. " I f - - i f he was r eal l y det er mi ned
t o get up - - i f t her e was somet hi ng he f el t he had t o
do. . . "
Dr . Kapl an shook hi s head. " Our mi nd gi ves command!
t o t he body, but i f your mot or i mpul ses ar e bl ocked, i f t her e
ar e no muscl es t o car r y out t hose commands, t hen not hi ng cm
happen. "
She had t o f i nd out . " Do you bel i eve t hat obj ect ! can be
moved by t he mi nd?"
" You mean psychoki nesi s? Ther e ar e a l ot of exper i ment s
bei ng done, but no one has ever come up wi t h any pr oof t hat ' s
convi nced me. " '
Ther e was t he br oken vase out si de her bedr oomdoor .
J i l l want ed t o t el l hi mabout t hat , about t he col d ai r t hat
kept f ol l owi ng her , about Toby' s wheel chai r at her door , but
he woul d, f t t ek she was cr azy. Was she? Was somet hi ng wr ong
wi t h f ut r ! Wvs she l osi ng her mi nd?
When Dr . Kapl an l ef t , J i l l wal ked over t o l ook at her sel f
i n t he mi r r or . She was shocked by what she saw. Her cheeks
wer e sunken and her eyes enor mous i n a pal e, bony f ace. I f I
go on t hi s way, J i l l t hought , I ' l l di e bef or e Toby. She l ooked
at her st r i ngy, dul l hai r and her br oken, cr acked f i nger nai l s.
261
/ must never l et Davi d see me l ooki ng l i ke t hi s. I have t o
st ar t t aki ng car e of mysel f . Fr omnow on, she t ol d her sel f ,
you' r e goi ng t o t he beaut y par l or once a week, and you' r e
goi ng t o eat t hr ee - meal s a day and sl eep ei ght hows.
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, J i l l made an appoi nt ment at t he
beaut y par l or . She was exhaust ed, and under t he war m, comf or t abl e
humof t he hai r dr i er , she dozed of f , and t he ni ght mar e
began. She was i n bed, asl eep. She coul d' hear Toby come i nt o
her bedr oomi n hi s wheel chai r . . . cr eak. . . cr eak. Sl owl y, he
got out of t he chai r and r ose t o hi s f eet and moved t owar d her ,
gr i nni ng, hi s skel et al hands r eachi ng f or her t hr oat . J i l l awoke
scr eami ng wi l dl y, t hr owi ng t he beaut y shop i nt o an upr oar . She
f l ed wi t hout even havi ng her hai r combed out .
Af t er di at exper i ence, J i l l was af r ai d t o l eave t he house
agai n.
And af r ai d t o r emai n i n i t . , ,
Somet hi ng seemed t o be wr ong wi t h her head. I t was
no l onger j ust t he headaches. She was begi nni ng t o f or get
t hi ngs. She woul d go downst ai r s f or somet hi ng and wal k i nt o
t he ki t chen and st and t her e, not knowi ng what she had come
f or . Her memor y began t o pl ay st r ange t r i cks on her . Once,
Nur se Gor don came i n t o speak t o her ; J i l l wonder ed what a
nur se was doi ng Acr e, and t hen she suddenl y r emember ed.
The di r ect or was wai t i ng on t he set f or J i l l . She t r i ed t o r ecal l
her l i ne. Not ver y wel l , Fmaf r ai d. Doct or . She must
speak t o t he di r ect or and f i nd out how he want ed her t o r ead
i t . Nur se Gor don was hol di ng her band, sayi ng, " Mr s. Templ e!
Mr s. Templ el Ar e you f eel i ng al l r i ght ?" And J i l l was back
i n her own sur r oundi ngs, agai n i n t he pr esent , caught up i n
t he t er r or of what was happeni ng t o her . She knew she coul d
not go on l i ke t hi s. She had t o f i nd out whet her t her e was
somet hi ng wr ong wi t h her mi nd or whet her Toby was abl e t o
somehow move, whet her he had f ound a way t o at t ack her ,
t o t r y t omur der her .
She had t o see hi m. She f or ced her sel f t o wal k down t he
l ong hal l t owar d Toby' s bedr oom. She st ood out si de a moment ,
st eel i ng her sel f , and t hen J i l l ent er ed Toby' s r oom.
y * ,
262
Toby was l yi ng i n hi s bed, and t he nur se was gi vi ng hi m
a sponge bat h. She l ooked up, saw J i l l and sai d, " Why, her e' s
Mr s. Templ e. We' r e j ust havi ng a ni ce bat h, ar en' t we?"
J i l l t ur ned t o l ook at t he f i gur e on t he bed.
Toby' s ar ms and l egs had shr i vel ed i nt o st r i ngy appendages
at t ached t o hi s shr unken, t wi st ed t or so. Bet ween hi s l egs,
l i ke some l ong. ' . ndecent snake, l ay hi s usel ess peni s, f l acci d
and ugl y. The yel l ow cast had gone f r omToby' s f ace, but
t he gapi ng i di ot gr i n was st i l l t her e. The body was dead, but
t he eyes wer e f r ant i cal l y al i ve. Dar t i ng, seeki ng, wei ghi ng,
pl anni ng, hat i ng; cunni ng bl ue eyes f i l l ed wi t h t hei r secr et
pl ans, t hei r deadl y det er mi nat i on. I t was Toby' s mi nd she was
seei ng. The i mpor t ant t hi ng t o r emember i s t hat hi s mi nd i s
uni mpai r ed, t he doct or had t ol d her . Hi s mi nd coul d t hi nk
and f eel and hat e. That mi nd had not hi ng t o do but pl an i t s
r evenge, f i gur e put a way t o dest r oy her . Toby want ed her
dead, as she want ed hi mdead.
As J i l l l ooked down at hi mnow, st ar i ng i nt o t hose eyes
bl azi ng wi t h l oat hi ng, she coul d hear hi msayi ng, Fmgoi ng
t o ki l t you, and she coul d f eel t he waves of abhor r ence hi t t i ng
her l i ke physi cal bl ows.
J i l l st ar ed i nt o t hose eyes, and she r emember ed t he
br oken vase and she knew t hat none of t he ni ght mar es had
been i l l usi ons. He had f ound a way.
She knew now t hat i t was Toby' s l i f e agai nst her s.
263
34
When Dr . Kapl an f i ni shed hi s exami nat i on of Toby, he
went t o f i nd J i l l . " I t hi nk you shoul d st op t he t her apy i n t he
swi mmi ng pool , " he sai d. " I t ' s a wast e of t i me. 1 was hopi ng
we mi ght get some sl i ght i mpr ovement i n Toby' s muscul at ur e,
but i t ' s not wor ki ng. I ' l l t al k t o t he t her api st mysel f . "
" No! " I t was a shar p ay.
Dr . Kapl an l ooked at her i n sur pr i se. " J i l l , I f enow what
you di d f or Toby l ast t i me. But t hi s t i me i t ' s hopel ess. I - - "
" We can' t gi ve up. Not yet . " Ther e was a desper at i on
i n her voi ce.
Dr . Kapl an hesi t at ed, t hen shr ugged. " Wel l , i f i t means
t hat much t o you, but - - "
" I t does. "
At t hat moment , i t was t he most i mpor t ant t hi ng i n t he
wor l d. I t was goi ng t o save J i l l ' s l i f e.
She knew now what she had t o do.
The f ol l owi ng day was Fr i day. Davi d t el ephoned J i l l t o
t el l her t hat he had t o go t o Madr i d on busi ness.
" I may not be abl e t o cal l over t he weekend. "
" I ' l l mi ss you, " J i l l sai d. " Ver y much. "
" I ' l l mi ss you, t oo. Ar e you al l r i ght ? You sound st r ange.
Ar e you t i r ed?"
J i l l was f i ght i ng t o keep her eyes open, t o f or get t he
t er r i bl e pai n i n her head. She coul d not r emember t he l ast
t i me she had eat en or sl ept . She was so weak t hat i t was di f f i cul t t o st and. She
f or ced ener gy i nt o her voi ce. " I ' mf i ne,
Davi d. "
" I l ove you, dar l i ng. Take car e of your sel f . "
" I ' mgoi ng t o, Davi d. I l ove you, pl ease know t hat . " No
mat t er what happens.
She hear d t he physi ot her api st ' s car t ur n i nt o t he dr i veway,
and J i l l st ar t ed downst ai r s, her head poundi ng, her
t r embl i ng l egs bar el y abl e t o suppor t her . She opened t he
f r ont door as t he physi ot her api st was about t o r i ng t he bel l .
" Mor ni ng, Mr s. Templ e, " he sai d. He st ar t ed t o ent er ,
but J i l l bl ocked hi s way. He l ooked at her i n sur pr i se.
" Dr . Kapl an has deci ded t o di scont i nue Mr . Templ e' s
t her apy t r eat ment s, " J i l l sai d.
The physi ot her api st f r owned. I t meant he had made an
unnecessar y t r i p out her e. Someone shoul d have t ol d hi m
ear l i er . Or di nar i l y he woul d have compl ai ned about t he way
i t had been handl ed. But Mr s. Templ e was such a gr eat l ady,
wi t h such bi g pr obl ems. He smi l ed at her and sai d, " I t ' s okay,
Mr s. Templ e. I under st and. "
And he got back i nt o hi s car .
J i l l wai t ed unt i l she hear d t he car dr i ve away. Then she
st ar t ed back up t he st ai r s. Hal f way up, a wave of di zzi ness
hi t her agai n, and she had t o cl i ng t o t he bani st er unt i l i t
passed. She coul d not st op now. I f she di d, she woul d be
dead.
She wal ked t o t he door of Toby' s r oom, t ur ned t he knob
and ent er ed. Nur se Gal l agher was seat ed i n an easy chai r
wor ki ng on needl epoi nt . She l ooked up i n sur pr i se as she
saw J i l l st andi ng i n t he door way. " Wel l ! " she sai d. " You' ve
come t o vi si t us. I sn' t t hat ni ce?" She t ur ned t owar d t he bed.
" I know Mr . Templ e i s pl eased. Ar en' t we, Mr . Templ e?"
Toby was si t t i ng up i n bed, pr opped upr i ght by pi l l ows,
hi s eyes car r yi ng hi s message t o J i l l . I ' mgoi ng t o ki l l you.
J i l l aver t ed her eyes and wal ked over t o Nur se Gal l agher .
" I ' ve deci ded t hat I haven' t been spendi ng enough t i me wi t h
my husband. "
" Wel l , now, t hat ' s exact l y what I ' ve been t hi nki ng, "
Nur se Gal l agher chi r ped. " But t hen I coul d see t hat you' ve
been i l l your sel f , and so I sai d t o mysel f - - "
265
*Tmf eel i ng much bet t er now, " J i B i nt er r upt ed. " I ' d
l i ke t o be al one wi t h Mr . Templ e. "
Nur se Gal l agher gat her ed up her needl epoi nt par apher nal i a
and got t o her f eet . " Of cour se, " she sai d. " I ' msur e
we' l l enj oy t hat . " She t ur ned t owar d t he gr i nni ng f i gur e on
t he bed. " Won' t we, Mr . Templ e?" To J i l l , she added, " I ' M
j ust go down t o t he ki t chen and f i x mysel f a ni ce cup of
t ea. "
" No. You' r e of f dut y i n hal f an hour . You can l eave
now. I ' l l st ay her e unt i l Nur se Gor don ar r i ves. " J i l l gave
her a qui ck, r eassur i ng smi l e. " Don' t wor r y. I ' l l be her e wi t h
hi m. "
" I suppose I coul d get some shoppi ng done, and - - "
" Fi ne, " J i l l sai d. " You r un al ong. "
J i l l st ood t her e, i mmobi l e, unt i l she hear d t he f r ont door
sl amand Nur se Gal l agher ' s car goi ng down t he dr i veway.
When t he sounds of t he mot or had di ed away on t he summer
ai r , J i l l t ur ned t o l ook at Toby.
Hi s eyes wer e f ocused on her f ace i n an unwaver i ng,
unbl i nki ng st ar e. For ci ng her sel f t o move cl oser t o t he bed,
she pul l ed back t he cover s and l ooked down at t he wast ed,
par al yzed f r ame, t he l i mp, usel ess l egs.
The wheel chai r was i n a cor ner . J i l l moved i t over t o
t he bedsi de and posi t i oned t he chai r so t hat she coul d r ol l
Toby ont o i t . She r eached t owar d hi m, and st opped. I t t ook
ever y ounce of her wi l l power t o t ouch hi m. The gr i nni ng,
mummi f i ed f ace was onl y i nches away f r omher , t he mout h
smi l i ng i di ot i cal l y and t he br i ght bl ue eyes spewi ng venom.
J i l l l eaned f or war d and f or ced her sel f t o l i f t Toby by hi s ar ms.
He was al most wei ght l ess, but i n J i l l ' s exhaust ed condi t i on,
she coul d bar el y manage i t . As she t ouched hi s body, J i l l coul d
f eel t he i cy ai r begi n t o envel op her . The pr essur e i nsi de her
head was becomi ng unbear abl e. Ther e wer e br i ght col or ed
spot s bef or e her eyes, and t hey began t o dance ar ound, f ast er
and f ast er , maki ng her di zzy. She f el t her sel f st ar t i ng t o f ai nt ,
but she knew t hat she must not al l ow t hat t o happen. Not i f
she want ed t o l i ve. Wi t h a super human ef f or t , she dr agged
Toby' s l i mp body ont o t he wheel chai r and st r apped hi mi n.
She l ooked at her wat ch. She had onl y t went y mi nut es.
266
I t t ook J i l l f i ve mi nut es t o go i nt o her bedr oomand
change i nt o a bat hi ng sui t and r et ur n t o Toby' s r oom.
She r el eased t he br ake on t he wheel chai r and began t o
wheel Toby down t he cor r i dor , i nt o t he el evat or . She st ood
behi nd hi mas t hey r ode down, so t hat she coul d not see hi s
eyes; But she coul d f eel t hem. And she coul d f eel t he damp
col d of t he noxi ous ai r t hat began t o f i l l t he el evat or , smot her i ng
her , car essi ng her , f i l l i ng her l ungs wi t h i t s put r escence
unt i l she began t o choke. She coul d not br eat he. She f el l t o
her knees, gaspi ng, f i ght i ng t o st ay consci ous, t r apped i n t her e
wi t h hi m. As she st ar t ed t o f eel her sel f bl acki ng out , t he
el evat or door opened. She cr awl ed i nt o t he war msunl i ght and
l ay t her e on t he gr ound, br eat hi ng deepl y, sucki ng i n t he
f r esh ai r , sl owl y get t i ng back her ener gy. She t ur ned t owar d
t he el evat or . Toby was seat ed i n t he wheel chai r , wat chi ng,
wai t i ng. J i l l qui ckl y pushed t he chai r out of t he el evat or . She
st ar t ed t owar d t he swi mmi ng pool . I t was a beaut i f ul , cl oudl ess
day, war mand bal my, t he sun spar kl i ng on t he bl ue,
f i l t er ed wat er .
J i l l r ol l ed t he wheel chai r t o t he edge of t he deep end
of t he pool and set ( he br ake. She wal ked ar ound t o t he f r ont
of t he chai r . Toby' s eyes wer e f i xed on her , wat chf ul , puzzl ed.
J i l l r eached f or t he st r ap hol di ng Toby i nt o t he chai r , and
t i ght ened i t as har d as she coul d, pul l i ng on i t , - - yanki ng i t wi t h
al l t hat was l ef t of her st r engt h, ' f eel i ng her sel f gr owi ng di zzy
agai n wi t h t he ef f or t . Suddenl y i f was done. J i l l wat ched
Toby' s eyes change as he r eal i zed what was happeni ng, and
t hey began t o f i l l wi t h a wi l d, demoni c pani c.
J i l l r el eased t he br ake, gr asped t he handl e of t he wheel chai r
and st ar t ed t o push i t t owar d t he wat er . Toby was t r yi ng
t o move hi s par al yzed l i ps, t r yi ng t o scr eam, but no sound
came out , and t he ef f ect was t er r i f yi ng. She coul d not bear t o
l ook i nt o hi s eyes. She di d not want t o know.
She shoved t he wheel chai r t o t he ver y edge of t he pool .
And i t st uck. I t was hel d back by t he cement l i p. She
pushed har der , but i t woul d not go over . I t was as t hough
Toby wer e hol di ng t he chai r back by sheer wi l l power . J i l l
coul d see hi mst r ai ni ng t o r i se out of t he chai r , f i ght i ng f or
hi s l i f e. He was goi ng t o get l oose, f r ee hi msel f , r each out f or
267
her t hr oat wi t h hi s bony f i nger s . . . She coul d hear hi s voi ce
scr eami ng, I don' t want t o di e. . . I don' t want t o di e, and
she di d not know whet her i t was her i magi nat i on or whet her
i t was r eal , but i n a r ush of pani c, she f ound a sudden st r engt h
and shoved as har d as she coul d agai nst t he back of t he wheel chai r .
I t l ur ched f or war d, upwar d i nt o t he ai r , and hung t her e,
mot i onl ess, f or what seemed an et er ni t y, t hen r ol l ed i nt o t he
pool , hi t t i ng wi t h a l oud spl ash. The wheel chai r seemed t o
f l oat on t op of t he wat er f or a l ong t i me, t hen sl owl y began
t o si nk. The eddi es of t he wat er t ur ned t he chai r ar ound, so
t hat t he l ast t hi ng J i l l saw was Toby' s eyes damni ng her t o hel l
as t he wat er dosed over t hem.
She st ood t her e f or ever , shi ver i ng i n t he war mnoonday
sun, l et t i ng t he st r engt h f l ow back i nt o her mi nd and body.
When she was f i nal l y abl e t o move agai n, she wal ked down
t he st eps of t he swi mmi ng pool t o wet her bat hi ng sui t .
Then she went i nt o t he house t o t el ephone t he pol i ce.
268
35
Toby Templ e' s deat h made newspaper headl i nes al l
over t he wor l d. I f Toby had become a f of t her o, t hen J f f l
had become a her oi ne. Hundr eds of t housands of wor ds wer e
pr i nt ed about t hem, t hei r phot ogr aphs appear ed i n al l t he
medi a. Thei r gr eat l ove st or y was t ol d and r et ol d, t he t r agi c
endi ng gi vi ng i t an even gr eat er poi gnancy. Let t er s and t el egr ams
of condol ence st r eamed i n f r omheads of st at e, housewi ves,
pol i t i ci ans, mi l l i onai r es, secr et ar i es. The wor l d had
suf f er ed a per sonal l oss; Toby had shar ed t he gi f t of hi s l aught er
wi t h hi s f ans, and t hey woul d al ways be gr at ef ul . The ai r
waves wer e f i l l ed wi t h pr ai se f or hi m, and each net wor k pai d
t r i but e t o hi m.
Ther e woul d never be anot her Toby Templ e.
The i nquest was hel d at t he Cr i mi nal Cour t Bui l di ng
on Gr and Avenue i n downt own Los Angel es, i n a smal l , compact
cour t r oom. An i nquest exami ner was i n char ge of t he
hear i ngs, gui di ng t he panel of si x j ur or s.
The r oomwas packed t o over f l owi ng. When J i l l ar r i ved,
t he phot ogr apher s and r epor t er s and f ans mobbed her . She
was dr essed i n a si mpl e bl ack t ai l or ed wool sui t . She wor e no
makeup and she had never l ooked mor e beaut i f ul . I n t he f ew
days t hat had el apsed si nce Toby' s deat h, J i l l had mi r acul ousl y
bl oomed i nt o her ol d sel f agai n. For t he f i r st t i me i n mont hs,
she was abl e t o sl eep soundl y and dr eaml essl y. She had a
vor aci ous appet i t e and her headaches had di sappear ed. The
demon t hat had been dr ai ni ng her l i f e away was gone.
J i l l had t al ked t o Davi d ever y day. He had want ed t o
come t o t he i nquest , but J i l l i nsi st ed t hat he st ay away. They
woul d have enough t i me t oget her l at er .
" The r est of our l i ves, " Davi d had t ol d her .
Ther e wer e si x wi t nesses at t he i nquest . Nur se Gal l agher ,
Nur se Gor don and Nur se J ohnson t est i f i ed about t he gener al
r out i ne of t hei r pat i ent , and hi s condi t i on. Nur se Gal l agher
was gi vi ng her t est i mony. - " What
t i me wer e you supposed t o go of f dut y on &e
mor ni ng i n quest i on?" t he i nquest exami ner asked.
" At t en. "
" What t i me di d you act ual l y l eave?"
Hesi t at i on. " Ni ne- t hi r t y. "
" Was i t your cust om, Mr s. Gal l agher , t o l eave your
pat i ent bef or e your shi f t was up?"
" No, si r . That was t he f i r st t i me. "
" Woul d you expl ai n how you happened t o l eave ear l y
. on t hat par t i cul ar day?"
" I t was Mr s. Templ e' s suggest i on. She want ed t o be
al one wi t h her husband. "
" Thank you. That ' s al l . "
Nur se Gal l agher st epped down f r omt he st and. Of cour se
Toby Templ e' s deat h was an acci dent , she t hought I t ' s a pi t y
t hat t hey had t o put a wonder f ul woman l i ke f i l l Templ e
t hr ough t hi s or deal . Nur se Gal l agher l ooked over at J i l l and
f el t a qui ck st ab of gui l t . She r emember ed t he ni ght t hat she
had gone i nt o Mr s. Templ e' s bedr oomand f ound her asl eep
i n a chai r . Nur se Gal l agher had qui et l y t ur ned out t he l i ght s
and cl osed t he door so t hat Mr s. Templ e woul d not be di st ur bed.
I n t he dar k hal l way. Nur se Gal l agher had br ushed
agai nst a vase on a pedest al and i t had f al l en and br oken. She
had meant t o t el l Mr s. Templ e, but t he vase had l ooked ver y
expensi ve, and so, when Mr s. Templ e had not ment i oned i t ^
Nur se Gal l agher deci ded t o say not hi ng about i t .
The physi ot her api st was on &e wi t ness st and.
" You usual l y gave Mr . Templ e a t r eat ment ever y day?"
" Yes, si r . "
" Di d t hi s t r eat ment t ake pl ace i n t he swi mmi ng pool ?"
" Yes, si r . The pool was heat ed t o a hundr ed degr ees,
and- - "
" Di d you gi ve Mr . Templ e a t r eat ment on t he dat e i n
quest i on?"
" No, si r . "
" Woul d you t el l us why?"
" She sent me away. "
" By ' she' , you mean Mr s. Templ e?"
" Ri ght . "
" Di d she gi ve you any r eason?"
" She sai d Dr . Kapl an di dn' t want hi mt o have no mor e
t r eat ment s. "
" And so you l ef t wi t hout seei ng Mr . Templ e?"
" That ' s cor r ect . Yeah. "
Dr . Kapl an was on t he st and.
" Mr s. Templ e t el ephoned you af t er t he acci dent , Dr .
Kapl an. Di d you exami ne t he deceased as soon as you ar r i ved
at t he scene?"
" Yes. The pol i ce had pul l ed t he body out of t he swi mmi ng
pool . I t was st i l l st r apped i nt o t he wheel chai r . The
pol i ce sur geon and I exami ned t he body and det er mi ned t hat
i t was t oo l at e f or any at t empt at r esusdt at i on. Bot h l ungs
wer e f i l l ed wi t h wat er . We coul d det ect no vi t al si gns. "
" What di d you do t hen. Dr . Kapl an?"
" I t ook car e of Mr s. Templ e. She was i n a st at e of acut e
hyst er i a. I was ver y concer ned about her . "
" Dr . Kapl an, di d you have a pr evi ous di scussi on wi t h
Mr s. Templ e about di scont i nui ng t her apy t r eat ment s?"
" I di d. I t ol d her I t hought t hey wer e a wast e of t i me. "
" What was Mr s. Templ e' s r eact i on t o t hat ?"
Dr . Kapl an l ooked over at J i l l Templ e and sai d, " Her
r eact i on was ver y unusual . She i nsi st ed t hat we keep t r yi ng. "
He hesi t at ed. " Si nce I amunder oat h and si nce t hi s i nquest
j ur y i s i nt er est ed i n hear i ng t he t r ut h, I f eel t her e i s somet hi ng
I amobl i ged t o say. "
A compl et e hush had f al l en over t he r oom. J i l l was st ar i ng
at hi m. Dr . Kapl an t ur ned t owar d t he j ur y box.
" I woul d l i ke t o say, f or t he r ecor d, t hat Mr s. Templ e
i s pr obabl y t he f i nest and br avest woman I have ever had
t he honor t o know. " Ever y eye i n t he cour t r oomt ur ned
t owar d J i l l . " The f i r st t i me her husband suf f er ed a st r oke,
none of us t hought he had a chance of r ecover y. Wel l , she
nur sed hi mback t o heal t h si ngl e- handedl y. She di d f or hi m
what no doct or I know coul d have done. I coul d never begi n
t o descr i be t o you her devot i on or dedi cat i on t o her husband. "
He l ooked over t o wher e J i l l was si t t i ng and sai d, " She i s an
i nspi r at i on t o al l of us. "
The spect at or s br oke out i nt o appl ause.
" That wi l l be al l , Doct or , " t he i nquest exami ner sai d.
" I woul d l i ke t o cal l Mr s. Templ e t o t he st and. "
They wat ched as J i l l r ose and sl owl y wal ked over t o t he
wi t ness st and t o be swor n i n. '
' I know what an or deal t hi s i s f or you, Mr s. Templ e, and
I wi l l t r y t o get i t over wi t h as qui ckl y as possi bl e. "
" Thank you. " Her voi ce was l ow.
" When Dr . Kapl an sai d he want ed t o di scont i nue t he
t her apy t r eat ment s, why di d you want t o go ahead wi t h
t hem?"
She l ooked up at hi mand he coul d see t he <^eep pai n
i n her eyes. " Because I want ed my husband t o have ever y
chance t o get wel l agai n. Toby l oved l i f e, and I want ed t o
br i ng hi mback t o i t . I - - " Her voi ce f al t er ed, but she went
on. . " I had t o hel p hi mmysel f . "
" On t he day of your husband' s deat h, t he physi ot her api st
came t o t he house, and you sent hi maway. "
" Yes. "
" Yet , ear l i er , Mr s. Templ e, you sai d you want ed t hose
t r eat ment s t o cont i nue. Can you expl ai n your act i on?"
" I t ' s ver y si mpl e. I f el t t hat our l ove was t he onl y t hi ng
st r ong enough t o heal Toby. I t had heal ed hi mbef or e. . . "
She br oke of f , unabl e t o cont i nue. Then, vi si bl y st eel i ng her sel f ,
she cont i nued i n a har sh voi ce, " I had t o l et hi mknow
how much I l oved hi m, how much I want ed hi mt o get wel l
agai n. "
Ever yone i n t he cour t r oomwas l eani ng f or war d, st r ai ni ng
t o hear ever y wor d.
272
" Woul d you t el l us what happened on t he mor ni ng of
t he acci dent ?"
Ther e was a si l ence t hat l ast ed f or a f ul l mi nut e whi l e
J i l l gat her ed her st r engt h, and t hen she^ spoke. " I went i nt o
Toby' s r oom. He seemed so gl ad t o see me. I t ol d hi mt hat
I was goi ng t o t ake hi mt o t he pool mysel f , t hat I was goi ng
t o make hi mwel l agai n. I put on a bat hi ng sui t so t hat I
coul d wor k wi t h hi mi n t he wat er . When I st ar t ed t o l i f t hi m
of f t he bed i nt o hi s wheel chai r , I - - I became f ai nt . I suppose
I shoul d have r eal i zed t hen t hat I wasn' t physi cal l y st r ong
enough t o do what I was t r yi ng t o do. But I coul dn' t st op.
Not i f i t was goi ng t o hel p hi m. I put hi mi n t he wheel chai r
and t al ked t o hi mal l t he way down t o t he pool . I wheel ed
hi mt o t he edge. . . . "
She st opped, and t her e was a br eat hl ess hush i n t he
r oom. The onl y sound was t he susur r at i on of t he r epor t er s'
pens as t hey f r ant i cal l y scr i bbl ed on t hei r shor t hand pads.
" I r eached down t o undo t he st r aps t hat hel d Toby i n
t he wheel chai r , and I f el t f ai nt agai n and st ar t ed t o f al l . I - -
I must have acci dent al l y r el eased t he br ake. The chai r st ar t ed
t o r ol l i nt o t he pool . I t r i ed t o gr ab i t , but i t - - i t went
i nt o t he pool wi t h - - wi t h Toby st r apped i nt o i t . " Her voi ce
was choked. " I j umped i nt o t he pool af t er hi mand f ougnf t o
f r ee hi m, but t he st r aps wer e t oo t i ght . I t r i ed t o l i f t t he chai r
out of t he wat er , but i t was - - i t was t oo heavy. - I t . . . was
. . . j ust . . . t oo. . . heavy. " She cl osed her eyes a moment t o
hi de her deep angui sh. Then, al most i n a whi sper , " I t r i ed
t o hel p Toby, and I ki l l ed hi m. "
I t t ook t he i nquest j ur y l ess t han t hr ee mi nut es t o r each
a ver di ct : Toby Templ e had di ed i n an acci dent .
Cl i f t on Lawr ence sat i n t he back of t he cour t r oomand
l i st ened t o t he ver di ct . He was cer t ai n t hat J i l l had mur der ed
Toby. But t her e was no way t o pr ove i t . She had got t en away
wi t h i t .
The case was cl osed.
273
36
The f uner al was st andi ng r oomonl y. I t was hel d at
For est Lawn on a sunny August mor ni ng, on t he day Toby
Templ e was t o have st ar t ed hi s new t el evi si on ser i es. Ther e
wer e t housands of peopl e mi l l i ng about t he l ovel y, r ol l i ng
gr ounds, t r yi ng t o get a l ook at al l t he cel ebr i t i es who wer e
t her e t o pay t hei r l ast r espect s. Tel evi si on camer amen phot ogr aphed
t he f uner al ser vi ces i n l ong shot s and zoomed i n f or
cl ose ups of t he st ar s and pr oducer s and di r ect or s who wer e
at t he gr avesi de. The Pr esi dent of t he " Uni t ed St at es had sent
an emi ssar y. Ther e wer e gover nor s pr esent , st udi o heads,
pr esi dent s of ' l ar ge cor por at i ons, and r epr esent at i ves f r om
ever y gui l d t hat Toby had bel onged t o: SAG and AFTRA
and ASCAP and AGVA. The pr esi dent of t he Bever i y Hi l l s
br anch of t he Vet er ans of For ei gn War s was t her e i n f ul l
uni f or m. Ther e wer e cont i ngent s f r omt he l ocal pol i ce and
f i r e depar t ment s.
And t he l i t t l e peopl e wer e t her e. The gr i ps and pr op
men and ext r as and st unt men who had wor ked wi t h Toby
Templ e. The war dr obe mi st r esses and t he best boys and t he
go- f er s and t he gaf f er s and t he assi st ant di r ect or s. And t her e
wer e ot her s, and al l of t hemhad come t o pay homage t o a
gr eat Amer i can. O' Hanl on and Rai nger wer e t her e, r emember i ng
t he ski nny l i t t l e ki d who had wal ked i nt o t hei r of f i ce
at Twent i et h Cent ur y- Fox. I under st and you f el l as ar e goi ng
t o wr i t e some j okes f or me. . . . He uses hi s hands l i ke he' s
choppi ng wood. Maybe we coul d wr i t e a woodchopper act
f or hi m. . . . He pushes t oo har d. . . . J esus, wi t h t hat mat er i al
274
- - woul dn' t you?. . . A comi c opens f unny door s. A comedi an
opens door s f unny. And Toby Templ e had wor ked and l ear ned
and gone t o t he t op. He was a pr i ck, Rai nger was t hi nki ng.
But he was our pr i ck.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence was t her e. The l i t t l e agent had been
t o t he bar ber and hi s cl ot hes wer e f r eshl y pr essed, but hi s
eyes gave hi maway. They wer e t he eyes of a f ai l ur e among
hi s peer s. Cl i f t on was l ost i n memor i es, t oo. He was r emember i ng
t hat f i r st pr epost er ous phone cal l . Ther e' s a young
comi c SamGol dwyn want s you t o see. . . and Toby' s per f or mance
at t he school . You don' t have t o eat t he ent i r e j ar
of cosi er t o know i f i t ' s good, r i ght ?. . . I ' ve deci ded t o t ake
you on as a cl i ent , Toby. . . . I f you can put t he beer dr i nker s
i n your pocket , t he champagne cr owd wi l l be a push- over . . . .
I can make you t he bi ggest st ar i n t he busi ness. Ever yone
had want ed Toby Templ e: t he st udi os, t he net wor ks, t he
ni ght cl ubs. You' ve got so many cl i ent s t hat somet i mes I t hi nk
you don' t pay enough at t ent i on t o me. . . . I t ' s l i ke a gr oup
f uck. Cl i f f . Somebody al ways get s l ef t wi t h a har d- on. . . . I
need your advi ce. Cl i f f . . . . I t ' s t hi s gi r l . . .
Cl i f t on Lawr ence had a l ot t o r emember .
Next t o Cl i f t on st ood Al i ce Tanner .
She was absor bed i n t he memor y ' of Toby' s f i r st audi t i on
i n her of f i ce. Somewher e, hi dden under al l t hose movi e st ar s,
i s a young man wi t h a l ot of t al ent . . . . Af t er seei ng t hbse
pr os l ast ni ght , I - - I don' t t hi nk I have i t . And f al l i ng i n l ove
wi t h hi m. Oh, Toby, I l ove you so much. . . . I l ove you, t oo,
Al i ce. . . . Then he was gone. But she was gr at ef ul t hat she
had once had hi m.
Al Car uso had come t o pay t r i but e. He was st ooped and
gr ay and hi s br own Sant a Cl aus eyes wer e f i l l ed wi t h t ear s. He
was r emember i ng how wonder f ul Toby had been t o Mi l l i e.
SamWi nt er s was t her e. He was t hi nki ng of al l t he
pl easur e Toby Templ e had gi ven t o mi l l i ons of peopl e and he
wonder ed how one measur ed t hat agai nst t he pai n t hat Toby
had gi ven t o a f ew.
Someone nudged Samand he t ur ned t o see a pr et t y,
dar k- hai r ed gi r l , about ei ght een. " You don' t know me, Mr .
Wi nt er s" - - she smi l ed- - " but I hear d you' r e l ooki ng f or a
275
gi r l f or t he new Wi l l i amFor bes movi e. I ' mf r omOhi o, and. . . "
Davi d Kenyon was t her e, J i l l had asked hi mnot t o come,
but Davi d had i nsi st ed. He want ed t o be near her . J i l l supposed
t hat i t coul d do no har mnow. She was f i ni shed wi t h her
per f or mance.
The pl ay had cl osed and her par t was over . J i l l was so
gl ad and so dr ed. I t was as t hough t he f i er y or deal she had
gone t hr ough had bur ned away t he har d cor e of bi t t er ness
wi t hi n her , had caut er i zed al l t he hur t s and t he di sappoi nt ment s
and t he hat r eds. J i l l Cast l e had di ed i n t he hol ocaust
and J osephi ne Czi nski had been r ebor n i n t he ashes. She was
at peace agai n, f i l l ed wi t h a l ove f or ever yone and a cont ent ment
she had not known si nce she was a young gi r l . She had
never been so happy. She want ed t o shar e i t wi t h t he wor l d.
The f uner al r i t es wer e endi ng. Someone t ook J i l l ' s ar m,
and she al l owed her sel f t o be l ed t o t he l i mousi ne. When she
r eached t he car , Davi d was st andi ng t her e, a l ook of ador at i on
on hi s f ace. J i l l smi l ed at hi m. Davi d t ook her hands i n hi s
and t hey exchanged a f ew wor ds. A pr ess phot ogr apher
snapped a pi ct ur e of t hem.
J i l l and Davi d deci ded t o wai t f i ve mont hs bef or e t hey
got mar r i ed, , so t hat t he publ i c' s sense of pr opr i et y woul d be
sat i sf i ed. Davi d spent a gr eat par t of t hat t i me out of t he
count r y, but t hey t al ked t o each ot her ever y day. Four mont hs
af t er Toby' s f uner al , Davi d t el ephoned J i l l and sai d, " I had a
br ai nst or m. Let ' s not wai t any l onger . I have t o go t o Eur ope
next week f or a conf er ence. Let ' s sai l t o Fr ance on t he
Br et agne. The capt ai n can mar r y us. We' l l honeymoon i n
Par i s and f r omt her e we' l l go anywher e you l i ke f or as l ong
as you l i ke. What do you say?"
" Oh, yes, Davi d, yes! "
She t ook a l oag4ast l ook ar ound t he house, t hi nki ng of
al l t hat had happened her e. Remember i ng her f i r st di nner
par t y t her e and al l t he wonder f ul par t i es l at er and t hen Toby' s
si ckness and her f i ght t o br i ng hi mt o heal t h. And t hen. . .
t her e wer e t oo many memor i es.
She was gl ad t o be l eavi ng.
276
37
Davi d' s pr i vat e j et pl ane f l ew J i l l t o New Yor k, wher e
a l i mousi ne was wai t i ng t o dr i ve her t o t he Regency Hot el
on Par k Avenue. The manager hi msel f usher ed J i l l t o an
enor mous penAouse sui t e.
" The hot el i s compl et el y at your ser vi ce, Mr s. Templ e, "
he sai d. " Mr . Kenyon i nst r uct ed us t o see t hat you have
ever yt hi ng you need. "
Ten mi nut es af t er J i l l checked i n, Davi d t el ephoned- f r om
Texas. " Comf or t abl e?" he asked.
" I t ' s a l i t t l e cr owded. " J i l l l aughed. " I t has f i ve bedr ooms,
Davi d. What amI goi ng t o do wi t h t hemal l ?"
" I f I wer e t her e, I ' d show you, " he sai d.
" Pr omi ses, pr omi ses, " she t eased. " When amI goi ng t o
, see you?"
" The Br et agne sai l s at noon t omor r ow. I have some
busi ness t o wi nd up her e. I ' l l meet you aboar d t he shi p. I ' ve
r eser ved t he honeymoon sui t e. Happy, dar l i ng?"
" I ' ve never been happi er , " J i l l sai d. And i t was t r ue.
Ever yt hi ng t hat had gone bef or e, al l t he pai n and t he agony,
i t had al l been wor t h i t . I t seemed r emot e and di m, now, l i ke
a hal f - f or got t en dr eam.
" A car wi l l pi ck you up i n t he mor ni ng. The dr i ver wi l l
have your boat t i cket . "
" I ' l l be r eady, " J i l l sai d.
Tomor r ow.
I t coul d have st ar t ed wi t h t he phot ogr aph of J i l l and
277
Davi d Kenyon t hat had been t aken at Toby' s f uner al and
sol d t o a newspaper chai n. I t coul d have been a car el ess
r emar k dr opped by an empl oyee of t he hot el wher e J i l l was
st ayi ng or by a member of t he cr ew of t he Br et agne. I n any
case, t her e was no way t hat t he weddi ng pl ans of someone as
f amous as J i l l Templ e coul d have been kept secr et . The f i r st
i t emabout her i mpendi ng mar r i age appear ed i n an Associ at ed
Pr ess bul l et i n. Af t er t hat , i t was a f r ont - page st or y i n newspaper s
acr oss t he count r y and i n Eur ope.
The st or y was al so car r i ed i n t he Hol l ywood Repor t er
and Dai l y Var i et y.
The l i mousi ne ar r i ved at t he hot el pr eci sel y on t he dot
of t en o' cl ock. A door man and t hr ee bel l boys l oaded J i l l ' s
l uggage i nt o t he car . The mor ni ng t r af f i c was l i ght and t he
dr i ve t o Pi er 90 t ook l ess t han hal f an hour .
A seni or shi p' s of f i cer was wai t i ng f or J i l l at t he gangpl ank.
" We' r e honor ed t o have you aboar d, Mr s. Templ e, "
he sai d. " Ever yt hi ng' s r eady f or you. I f you woul d come t hi s
way, pl ease. "
He escor t ed J i l l t o t he Pr omenade Deck and usher ed her
i nt o a l ar ge, ai r y sui t e wi t h i t s own pr i vat e t er r ace. The r ooms
wer e f i l l ed wi t h f r esh f l ower s.
" The capt ai n asked me t o gi ve you hi s compl i ment s. He
wi l l see you at di nner t hi s eveni ng. He sai d t o t el l you how
much he' s l ooki ng f or war d t o per f or mi ng t he weddi ng- cer emony. "
" Thank you, " J i l l sai d. " Do you know whet her Mr .
Kenyon i s on boar d yet ?"
" We j ust r ecei ved a t el ephone message. He' s on hi s way
f r omt he ai r por t . Hi s l uggage i s al r eady her e. I f t her e i s anyt hi ng
you need, pl ease l et we know. "
" Thank you, " J i l l r epl i ed. " Ther e' s not hi ng. " And i t
was t r ue. Ther e was not one si ngl e t hi ng t hat she needed t hat
she di d not have. She was t he happi est per son i n t he wor l d.
Ther e was a knock at t he cabi n `; / 91' door and a st ewar d
ent er ed, car r yi ng mor e f l ower s. J i l l l ooked at t he car d. They
wer e f r omt he Pr esi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es. Memor i es. She
278
pushed t hemout of her mi nd and began t o unpack.
He was st andi ng at t he r ai l i ng on t he Mai n Deck, st udyi ng
t he passenger s as Aey came aboar d. Ever yone was i n a
f est i ve mood, pr epar i ng f or a hol i day or j oi ni ng l oved ones
aboar d. A f ew of t hemsmi l ed at hi m, but t he man pai d no
at t ent i on t o t hem. He was wat chi ng t he gangpl ank.
At el even- f or t y a. m. , t went y mi nut es bef or e sai l i ng t i me,
a chauf f eur - dr i ven Si l ver Shadow r aced up t o Pi er 90 and
st opped. Davi d Kenyon j umped out of t he car , l ooked at hi s
wat ch and sai d t o t he chauf f eur , " Per f ect t i mi ng. Ot t o. "
" Thank you, si r . And may I wi sh you and Mr s. Kenyon
a ver y happy honeymoon. "
" Thanks, " Davi d Kenyon hur r i ed t owar d t he gangpl ank,
wher e he pr esent ed hi s t i cket . He was escor t ed, aboar d by t he
shi p' s of f i cer who had t aken car e of J i l l .
" Mr s. Templ e i s i n your cabi n, Mr . Kenyon. "
" Thank you. "
Davi d coul d vi sual i ze her i n t he br i dal sui t e, wai t i ng f or
hi m, and hi s hear t qui ckened. As Davi d st ar t ed t o move away,
a voi ce cal l ed, " Mr . Kenyon . . . "
Davi d t ur ned. The man who had been st andi ng near t he
r ai l i ng wal ked over t o hi m, a smi l e on hi s f ace. Davi d had
never seen hi mbef or e. Davi d had t he mi l l i onai r e' s i nst i nct i ve
di st r ust of f r i endl y st r anger s. Al most i nvar i abl y, t hey want ed
somet hi ng.
The man hel d out hi s hand, and Davi d shook i t caut i ousl y.
" Do we know each ot her ?" Davi d asked.
" I ' man ol d f r i end of J i l l ' s, " t he man sai d, and Davi d
r el axed. " My name i s Lawr ence. Cl i f t on Lawr ence. "
" How do you do, Mr . Lawr ence. " He was i mpat i ent t o
l eave.
" J i l l asked me t o come up and meet you, " Cl i f t on sai d.
" She' s pl anned a l i t t l e sur pr i se f or you. "
Davi d l ooked at hi m. " What ki nd of sur pr i se?"
" Come al ong, and I ' l l show you. "
Davi d hesi t at ed a moment . " Al l r i ght . Wi l l i t t ake
l ong?"
279
Cl i f t on Lawr ence l ooked up at hi mand smi l ed. " I don' t
t hi nk so. "
They t ook an el evat or down t o C deck, movi ng past t he
t hr ongs of embar ki ng passenger s and vi si t or s. They wal ked
down a cor r i dor t o a l ar ge set of doubl e door s. Cl i f t on opened
t hemand usher ed Davi d i n. Davi d f ound hi msel f i n a l ar ge,
et t pt y t heat er . He l ooked ar ound, puzzl ed. " I n her e?"
" I n her e. " Cl i f t on smi l ed.
He t ur ned and l ooked up at t he pr oj ect i oni st i n t he boot h
and nodded. The pr oj ect i oni st was gr eedy. Cl i f t on had had
t o gi ve hi mt wo hundr ed dol l ar s bef or e he woul d agr ee t o
assi st hi m. " I f t hey ever f ound out , I woul d l ose my j ob, " he
had gr umbl ed.
" No one wi l l ever know, " Cl i f t on had assur ed hi m. " I t ' s
j ust a pr act i cal j oke. Al l you have t o do i s l ock t he door s when
I come i n wi t h my f r i end, and st ar t r unni ng t he f i l m. We' l l
be out of t her e i n t en mi nut es. "
I n t he end, t he pr oj ect i oni st had agr eed.
Now Davi d was l ooki ng at Cl i f t on, puzzl ed. " Movi es?"
Davi d asked.
" J ust si t down, Mr . Kenyon. "
Davi d t ook a seat on t he ai sl e, hi s l ong l egs st r et ched
out . Cl i f t on t ook a seat acr oss f r omhi m. He was wat chi ng
Davi d' s f ace as t he l i ght s went down and t he br i ght i mages
st ar t ed t o f l i cker on t he l ar ge scr een.
I t f el t as t hough someone was poundi ng hi mi n t he sol ar
pl exus wi t h i r on hammer s. Davi d st ar ed up at t he obscene
i mages on t he scr een and hi s br ai n r ef used t o accept what hi s
eyes wer e seei ng. J i l l , a young J i l l , t he way she had l ooked
when he had f i r st f al l en i n l ove wi t h her , was naked on a bed.
He coul d see ever y f eat ur e cl ear l y. He wat ched, mut e wi t h
di sbel i ef , as a man got ast r i de t he gi r l on t he scr een and
r ammed hi s peni s i nt o her mout h. She began sucki ng i t l ovi ngl y,
car essi ngl y, and anot her gi r l came i nt o t he scene and
spr ead J i l l ' s l egs apar t and put her t ongue deep i nsi de her .
Davi d t hought he was goi ng t o be si ck. For one wi l d, hopef ul
i nst ant , he t hought t hat t hi s mi ght be t r i ck phot ogr aphy, a f ake,
but t he camer a cover ed ever y movement t hat J i l l made. Then
280
t he Mexi can came i nt o t he scene and got on t op of J i l l , and a
hazy r ed cur t ai n descended i n f r ont of Davi d' s eyes. He was
f i f t een year s ol d agai n, and i t was hi s si st er Bet h he was wat chi ng
up t her e, hi s si st er si t t i ng on t op of t he naked Mexi can
gar dener i n her bed, sayi ng, Oh, God, I l ove you, f uan. Keep
f ucki ng me. Don' t st op! and Davi d st andi ng i n t he door way,
unbel i evi ngl y, wat chi ng hi s bel oved si st er . He had been sei zed
wi t h a bl i nd, over power i ng r age, and had snat ched l i p a st eel
l et t er opener f r omt he desk and had r un over t o t he bed and
knocked hi s si st er asi de and pl unged t he opener i nt o t he
gar dener ' s chest , agai n and agai n, unt i l t he wal l s wer e cover ed
wi t h bl ood, and Bet h was scr eami ng. Oh, God, no! St op i t ,
Davi d! I l ove hi m. We' r e goi ng t o be mar r i ed! Ther e was bl ood
ever ywher e. Davi d' s mot her had come ' r unni ng i nt o t he r oom
and had sent Davi d away. But he l ear ned l at er t hat hi s mot her
had t el ephoned t he di st r i ct at t or ney, a cl ose f r i end of t he
Kenyon f ami l y. They had had a l ong t al k i n t he st udy, and t he
Mexi can' s body had been t aken t o t he j ai l . The next mor ni ng,
i t was announced t hat he had commi t t ed sui ci de i n hi s cel l .
Thr ee weeks l at er , Bet h had been pl aced i n an i nst i t ut i on f or
t he i nsane. , '
I t al l f l ooded back i nt o Davi d now, t he unbear abl e gui l t
f or what he had done, and he went ber ser k. He pi cked up
t he man si t t i ng acr oss f r omhi mand smashed hi s f i st i nt o hi s
f ace, poundi ng at hi m, scr eami ng meani ngl ess, sensel ess wor ds,
at t acki ng hi mf or Bet f a and f or J i l l , and f or hi s own shame.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence t r i ed t o def end hi msel f , but t her e was no
way t hat he coul d st op t he bl ows. A f i st smashed i nt o hi s nose
and he f el t somet hi ng br eak. A f i st cannoned i nt o hi s mout h
and t he bl ood st ar t ed r unni ng l i ke a r i ver . He st ood t her e
hel pl essl y, wai t i ng f or t he next bl ow t o st r i ke hi m. But suddenl y
t her e wer e no mor e. Ther e was no sound i n t he r oom
but hi s t or t ur ed, st er t or ous br eat hi ng and t he sensuous sounds
comi ng f r omt he scr een.
Cl i f t on pul l ed out a handker chi ef t o t r y t o st emt he
bl eedi ng. He st umbl ed out of t he t heat er , cover i ng hi s nose
and mout h wi t h hi s handker chi ef , and st ar t ed t owar d J i l Ts
cabi n. As he passed t he di ni ng r oom, t he swi ngi ng ki t chen
door opened f or a moment , and he wal ked i nt o t he ki t chen,
281
past t he bust l i ng chef s and st ewar ds and wai t er s. He f ound
an i ce- maki ng machi ne and scooped up chunks of i ce i nt o a
cl ot h and put t hemover hi s nose and mout h. He st ar t ed out .
I n f r ont of h" n was an enor mous weddi ng cake wi t h l i t t l e
spun- sugar f i gur es of t he br i de and gr oomon t op. Cl i f t on
r eached out and t wi st ed of f t he br i de' s head and cr ushed i t i n
hi s f i nger s.
Then he went t o f i nd J i l l .
The shi p was under way. J i l l coul d f eel t he movement
as t he f i f t y- f i ve- t housand- t on l i ner began t o sl i de away f r om
t he pi er . She wonder ed what was keepi ng Davi d.
As J i l l was f i ni shi ng her unpacki ng, t her e was a knock
at t he cabi n door . J i l l hur r i ed over t o t he door and cal l ed
out , " Davi d! " She opened i t , her ar ms out st r et ched.
Cl i f t on Lawr ence st ood t her e, hi s f ace bat t er ed, and
bl oody. J i l l dr opped her ar ms and st ar ed at hi m. " What ar e
you doi ng her e? What - - what happened t o you?"
" I j ust dr opped by t o say hel l o, J i l l . "
She coul d har dl y under st and hi m.
" And t o gi ve you a message f r omDavi d. "
J i l l l ooked at hi m, uncompr ehendi ngl y. " Fr omDaddy
Cl i f t on wal ked i nt o t he cabi n.
He was maki ng J i l l ner vous. " Wher e i s Davi d?"
Cl i f t on t ur ned t o her and sai d, " Remember what movi es
used t o be l i ke i n t he ol d days? Ther e wer e t he good guys i n
t he whi t e hat s and t he bad guys i n t he bl ack hat s and i n t he
end you al ways knew t he bad guys wer e goi ng t o get t hei r
j ust deser t s. I gr ew up on t hose movi es, J i l l . I gr ew up bel i evi ng
t hat l i f e was r eal l y l i ke t hat , t hat t he boys i n t he whi t e
hat s al ways won. "
" I don' t know what you' r e t al ki ng about . " ,
" I t ' s ni ce t o know t hat once i n a whi l e l i f e wor ks out Kke
t hose ol d movi es. " He smi l ed at her t hr ough bat t er ed bl eedi ng
l i ps and sai d, " Davi d' s gone. For good. "
She st ar ed at hi mi n di sbel i ef .
And at t hat moment , t hey bot h f el t t he mot i on of t he
shi p come t o a st op; Cl i f t on wal ked out t o t he ver anda and
l ooked down over t he si de of t he shi p. " Come her e. "
282
J i l l hesi t at ed a moment , t hen f ol l owed hi m, f i l l ed wi t h
some namel ess, gr owi ng dr ead. She peer ed over t he r ai l i ng.
Far bel ow on t he wat er , she coul d see Davi d get t i ng on t i l e
pi l ot t ug, . l eavi ng t he Br et agne. She cl ut ched t he r ai l i ng
f or suppor t . " Why?" she demanded unbel i evi ngl y. " What
happened?"
Cl i f t on Lawr ence t ur ned t o her and sai d, " I r an your
pi ct ur e f or hi m. "
And she i nst ant l y knew what he meant and she moaned,
" Oh, my God. No! Pl ease, no! You' ve ki l l ed. mel "
" Then we' r e even. "
" Get out ! " she scr eamed. " Get out of her e! " She f l ung
her sel f at hi mand her nai l s caught hi s cheeks and r i pped
deep gashes down t he si de. Cl i f t on swung and hi t her har d
acr oss t he f ace. She f el l t o her knees, cl ut chi ng her head i n
agony.
Cl i f t on st ood l ooki ng at her f or a l ong moment . Thi s
was how he want ed t o r emember her . " So l ong, J osephi ne
Czi nski , " he sai d.
Cl i f t on l ef t J i l l ' s cabi n and wal ked up t o t he boat deck,
keepi ng t he l ower hal f of hi s f ace cover ed wi t h t he handker chi ef .
He wal ked sl owl y, st udyi ng t he f aces of t he passenger s,
l ooki ng f or a f r esh f ace, an unusual t ype. You never knew
when you mi ght st umbl e acr oss new t al ent . He f el t r eady t o
go back t o wor k agai n.
Who coul d t el l ? Maybe he woul d get l ucky and di scover
anot her Toby Templ e.
Shor t l y af t er Cl i f t on l ef t , Cl aude Dessar d wal ked up t o
J i l l ' s cabi n and knocked at t he door . Ther e was no r esponse,
but t he chi ef pur ser coul d hear sounds i nsi de t he r oom. He
wai t ed a moment , t hen r ai sed hi s voi ce and sai d, " Mr s.
Templ e, t hi s i s Cl aude Dessar d, t he chi ef pur ser . I was wonder i ng
i f I mi ght be of ser vi ce?" ,
Ther e was no answer . By now Dessar d' s i nt er nal war ni ng
syst emwas scr eami ng. Hi s i nst i nct s t ol d hi mt hat t her e was
somet hi ng t er r i bl y wr ong, and he had a pr emoni t i on t hat i t
cent er ed, somehow, ar ound t hi s woman. A ser i es of wi l d, out r ageous
t hought s danced t hr ough hi s br ai n. She had been
283
ur der ed or ki dnapped or - - He t r i ed t he handl e of t he door .
was unl ocked. Sl owl y, Dessar d pushed di e door open, J i l l
anpl e was st andi ng at t he f ar end of t he cabi n, l ooki ng out
e por t hol e, her back t o hi m. Dessar d opened hi s mout h t o
eak, but somet hi ng i n t he f r ozen r i gi di t y of t he f i gur e st opped
m. He st ood t her e awkwar dl y f or a moment , debat i ng
i ct her t o qui et l y wi t hdr aw, when suddenl y t he cabi n was
l ed wi t h an unear t hl y, keeni ng sound, l i ke an ani mal i n pai n.
el pl ess bef or e such a deep pr i vat e agony, Dessar d wi t hdr ew,
r ef ul l y cl osi ng t he door behi nd hi m.
Dessar d st ood out si de t he cabi n a moment , l i st eni ng t o
e Wor dl ess cr y f r omwi t hi n, t hen, deepl y di st ur bed, t ur ned
i d headed f or t he t heat er on t he mai n deck.
At di nner t hat eveni ng, t her e wer e t wo empt y seat s at
e capt ai n' s t abl e. Hal f way t hr ough t he meal , t he capt ai n
yi al ed t o Dessar d, who was host i ng a par t y of l ess i mpor t ant
ssenger s t wo t abl es away. Dessar d excused hi msel f and
i r r i ed over t o t he capt ai n' s t abl e.
" Ah, Dessar d, " t he capt ai n sai d, geni al l y. He l ower ed hi s
i ce and hi s t one changed. " What happened wi t h Mr s.
anpl e and Mr . Kenyon?"
Dessar d l ooked ar ound at t he ot her guest s and whi sper ed,
}s you know, Mr . Kenyon l ef t wi t h t he pi l ot at t he Ambr ose
ght shi p. Mr s. Templ e i s i n her cabi n. "
The capt ai n swor e under hi s br eat h. He was a met hodi cal
an who di d not l i ke t o have hi s r out i ne i nt er f er ed wi t h.
^t er de! Al l t he weddi ng ar r angement s have been made, "
! sai d.
" I know, Capt ai n. " Dessar d shr ugged and r ol l ed hi s eyes
war d. " Amer i cans, " he sai d.
J i l l sat al one i n t he dar kened cabi n, huddl ed i n a chai r ,
r knees pul l ed up t o her chest , st ar i ng i nt o not hi ngness.
i e was . gaevi ng, but i t was not f or Davi d Kenyon or Toby
anpl e of ^ssea f or her sel f . She was gr i evi ng f or a l i t t l e gi r l
med J osephi ne Czi nsH. J i l l had want ed t o do so much f or
at l i t t l e gi r l , and now al l t he wonder f ul magi cal dr eams she
d had f or her wer e f i ni shed.
284
J i l l sat t her e, unseei ng, numbed by a def eat t hat was
beyond compr ehensi on. Onl y a f ew hour s ago she had owned
t he wor l d, she had ever yt hi ng she ever want ed, and now she
had not hi ng. She became sl owl y awar e t hat her headache had
r et ur ned. She had not not i ced i t bef or e because of t he o&er
pai n, t he agoni zi ng pai n t hat was t ear i ng deep i nt o her bowel s.
But now she coul d f eel t he band ar ound her f or ehead t i ght eni ng.
She pul l ed her knees up cl oser agai nst her chest , i n t he
f et al posi t i on, t r yi ng t o shut out ever yt hi ng. She was so t i r ed,
so t er r i bl y t i r ed. Al l she want ed t o do was t o si t her e f or ever
and not have t o t hi nk. Then maybe t he pai n woul d st op, at
l east f or a l i t t l e whi l e.
J i l l dr agged her sel f over t o t he bed and l ay down and
cl osed her eyes.
" Hen she f el t i t . A wave of col d, f oul - smel l i ng ai r movi ng
t owar d her , sur r oundi ng her , car essi ng her . And she hear d hi s
voi ce, cal l i ng her name. Yes, she t hought , yes. Sl owl y, al most
i n a t r ance, J i l l got t o her f eet and wal ked out of her cabi n,
f ol l owi ng t he beckoni ng voi ce i n her head.
I f was t wo o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng and t he decks wer e
deser t ed when J i l l emer ged f r omher cabi n. She st ar ed down
at t he sea, wat chi ng t he gent l e spl ashi ng of t he waves agai nst
t he shi p as i t cut t hr ough t he wat er , l i st eni ng t o t he voi ce.
J i l l ' s headache was wor se now, a t i ght vi se of agony. But t he
voi ce was t el l i ng her not t o wor r y, t el l i ng her t hat , ever yt hi ng
was goi ng t o be f i ne. Look down, t he voi ce sai d.
J i l l l ooked down i nt o t he wat er and saw somet hi ng f l oat i ng
t her e. I t was a f ace. Toby' s f ace, smi l i ng at her , t he
dr owned bl ue eyes l ooki ng up at her . The i cy br eeze began
t o bl ow, gent l y pushi ng her cl oser t o t he r ai l .
" I had t o do i t , Toby, " she whi sper ed. " You see t hat ,
don' t you?"
The head i n t he wat er was noddi ng, bobbi ng, i nvi t i ng her
t o come and j oi n i t . The wi nd gr ew col der and J i l l ' s body
began t r embl i ng. Don' t be af r ai d, t he voi ce t ol d her . The wat er
i s deep and war m. . . . You' l l be her e wi t h me. . . . For ever .
Come, J i l l .
She cl osed her eyes a moment , but when she opened
285
t han, . t he smi l i ng f ace was st i l l t her e, keepi ng pace wi t h t he
shi p, t he mut i l at ed l i mbs dangl i ng i n t he wat er . Come t o me,
t he voi ce sai d.
She l eaned over t o expl ai n t o Toby, so t hat he woul d
l eave her i n peace, and t he i cy wi nd pushed agai nst her , and
suddenl y she was f l oat i ng i n t he sof t vel vet ni ght ai r , pi r ouet t i ng
i nspace. Toby' s f ace was comi ng cl oser , comi ng t o meet
her , and she f el t t he par al yzed ar ms go ar ound her body, hol di ng
her . And t hey wer e t oget her , f or ever and ever .
Then t her e was onl y t he sof t ni ght wi nd and t he t i mel ess
sea.
And t he st ar s above, wher e i t had al l been wr i t t en.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wi sh t o expr ess my appr eci at i on f or t hei r gener ous
assi st ance t o t he f ol l owi ng mot i on pi ct ur e and t el evi si on
pr oducer s:
Seymour Bems
Lar r y Gdbar t
Ber t Gr anet
Har vey Or l dn
Mat t y Racl dn
Davi d Swi f t
Rober t Wei t man
And my deep gr at i t ude f or shar i ng wi t h me t hei r memor i es
and exper i ences goes t o:
Mar t y Al i en
Mi l t on Ber l e
Red But t ons
Geor ge Bur ns
J ack Car t er
Buddy Hacket t
Gr oucho Mar x
J an Mur r ay
. t he aut hor
I f you l i ked t hi s book vi si t ht t p: / / phoenixuser. bl ogspot . in t o l eave a r evi ew.

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