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RAGE OF ANGELS

BY
SI DNEY SHELDON
Books by Si dney Shel don
*Rage of Angel s
*Bl oodl i ne
*A St r anger i n t he Mi r r or
The Ot her Si de of Mi dni ght
The Naked Face
A War ner Communi cat i ons Company
WARNER BOOKS EDI TI ON
Copyr i ght ( C 1980 by Si dney Shel don Al l r i ght s r eser ved.
Thi s Wanner Books Edi t i on i s publ i shed by ar r angement
wi t h Wi l l i amMor r ow
and Company, I nc. , 105 Madi son Avenue, New Yor k, N. Y.
10016
War ner Books, I nc. , 75 Rockef el l er Pl aza, New Yor k, N. Y.
10019
A War ner Communi cat i ons Company
Pr i nt ed i n t he Uni t ed St at es of Amer i ca Fi r st Pr i nt i ng:
J ul y, 1981 10 9 8
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Thi s book i s dedi cat ed wi t h l ove t o Mar y
The Ei ght h Wonder of t he Wor l d
f
The char act er s and event s i n t hi s novel ar e f i ct i onal .
The backgr ound,
however , i s r eal , and I ami ndebt ed t o t hose who
gener ousl y hel ped t o f i l l
i t i n f or me. I n a f ew i nst ances I have t aken what I
bel i eve t o be
necessar y dr amat i c l i cense. Any l egal or f act ual er r or s
ar e mi ne al one.
My deep gr at i t ude f or shar i ng wi t h me t hei r cour t r oom
l i ves and exper i ences
goes t o F. Lee Bai l ey, Mel vi n Bel l i , Paul Car uso,
Wi l l i amHundl ey, Luke
McKi ssack, Loui s Ni zer , J er ome Shest ack and Pet er Taf t .
I n Cal i f or ni a, t he Honor abl e Wm. Mat t hew Byr ne, of t he
Uni t ed St at es
Di st r i ct Cour t , was most hel pf ul .
I n New Yor k, I owe speci al t hanks t o Mar y de Bour bon of
t he New Yor k
Di st r i ct At t or ney' s of f i ce f or showi ng me t he i nner
wor ki ngs of t he cour t
syst em; t o Phi l Leshi n, f or mer Assi st ant Commi ssi oner
f or Publ i c Af f ai r s
of
t he New Yor k Ci t y Depar t ment of Cor r ect i on, f or
escor t i ng me t hr ough
hi ker ' s I sl and; and t o Pat Per r y, t he Assi st ant Deput y
War den at Ri ker ' s
I sl and.
Bar r y Dast i n' s l egal super vi si on and counsel have pr oved
i nval uabl e.
My appr eci at i on t o Al i ce Fi sher f or her assi st ance i n
r esear chi ng t hi s
book.
And f i nal l y, a t hank you t o Cat her i ne Munr o, who
pat i ent l y and cheer f ul l y
t r anscr i bed and t yped what began as a t housand- page
manuscr i pt , mor e t han
a dozen t i mes over a per i od of al most t hr ee year s.
- - SI bNEY SHBLDON
" . . . Tel l us of t he secr et host s of evi l , O Ci mon: '
" Thei r names may not be spake al oud l est t hey pr of ane
mor t al l i ps,
f or t hey came out of unhol y dar knesses and at t acked t he
heavens, but t hey
wer e dr i ven away by t he r age of angel s . . : ' - f r om
Di al ogues of Chi os
1
New Yor k: Sept ember 4, 1969
The hunt er s wer e cl osi ng i n f or t he ki l l .
Two t housand year s ago i n Rome, t he cont est woul d have
been st aged at t he
Ci r cus Ner oni s or t he Col osseum, wher e vor aci ous l i ons
woul d have been
st al ki ng t he vi ct i mi n an ar ena of bl ood and sand, eager
t o t ear hi mt o
pi eces. But t hi s was t he ci vi l i zed t went i et h cent ur y,
and t he ci r cus was
bei ng st aged i n t he Cr i mi nal Cour t s Bui l di ng of downt own
Manhat t an,
Cour t r oomNumber 16.
I n pl ace of Suet oni us was a cour t st enogr apher , t o
r ecor d t he event f or
post er i t y, and t her e wer e dozens of member s of t he pr ess
and vi si t or s
at t r act ed by t he dai l y headl i nes about t he mur der t r i al ,
who queued up
out si de t he cour t r oomat seven o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng t o
be assur ed of a
seat .
The quar r y, Mi chael Mor et t i , sat at t he def endant ' s
t abl e, a si l ent ,
handsome man i n hi s ear l y t hi r t i es. He was t al l and
l ean, wi t h a f ace
f or med of conver gi ng pl anes t hat gave hi ma r ugged,
f er al l ook. He had
f ashi onabl y st yl ed bl ack hai r , a pr omi nent chi n wi t h an
unexpect ed di mpl e
i n i t and deepl y
15
16 RAGE OF ANGELS
set ol i ve- bl ack eyes. He wor e a t ai l or ed gr ay sui t , a
l i ght bl ue shi r t wi t h
a dar ker bl ue si l k t i e, and pol i shed, cust ommade shoes.
Except f or hi s eyes,
whi ch const ant l y swept over t he cour t r oom, Mi chael
Mor et t i was st i l l .
The l i on at t acki ng hi mwas Rober t Di Si l va, t he f i er y
Di st r i ct At t or ney f or
t he Count y of New Yor k, r epr esent at i ve of The Peopl e. I f
Mi chael Mor et t i
r adi at ed st i l l ness, Rober t Di Si l va r adi at ed dynami c
movement ; he went
t hr ough l i f e as t hough he wer e f i ve mi nut es l at e f or an
appoi nt ment . He was
i n const ant mot i on, shadowboxi ng wi t h i nvi si bl e
opponent s. He was shor t and
power f ul l y bui l t , wi t h an unf ashi onabl e gr ayi ng cr ew
cut . Di Si l va had been
a boxer i n hi s yout h and hi s nose and f ace bor e t he
scar s of i t . He had
once ki l l ed a man i n t he r i ng and he had never r egr et t ed
i t . I n t he year s
si nce t hen, he had yet t o l ear n compassi on.
Rober t Di Si l va was a f i er cel y ambi t i ous man who had
f ought hi s way up t o
hi s pr esent posi t i on wi t h nei t her money nor connect i ons
t o hel p hi m. Dur i ng
hi s cl i mb, he had assumed t he veneer of a ci vi l i zed
ser vant of t he peopl e;
but under neat h, he was a gut t er f i ght er , a man who
nei t her f or got nor
f or gave.
Under or di nar y ci r cumst ances, Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va
woul d not have
been i n t hi s cour t r oomon t hi s day. He had a l ar ge
st af f , and any one of
hi s seni or assi st ant s was capabl e of pr osecut i ng t hi s
case. But Di Si l va
had known f r omt he begi nni ng t hat he was goi ng t o handl e
t he Mor et t i case
hi msel f .
Mi chael Mor et t i was f r ont - page news, t he son- i n- l aw of
Ant oni o Gr anel l i ,
capo di capi , head of t he l ar gest of t he f i ve east er n
Maf i a Fami l i es.
Ant oni o Gr anel l i was get t i ng ol d and t he st r eet wor d was
t hat Mi chael
Mor et t i was bei ng gr oomed t o t ake hi s f at her - i n- l aw' s
pl ace. Mor et t i had
been i nvol ved i n dozens of cr i mes r angi ng f r ommayhemt o
mur der , but no
di st r i ct at t or ney had ever been abl e t o pr ove anyt hi ng.
Ther e wer e t oo many
car ef ul l ayer s bet ween Mor et t i and t hose
SI DNEY SHELDON 17
who car r i ed out hi s or der s. Di Si l va hi msel f had spent
t hr ee f r ust r at i ng
year s t r yi ng t o get evi dence agai nst Mor et t i . Then,
suddenl y, Di Si l va had
got t en l ucky.
Cami l l o St el a, one of Mor et t i ' s sol dat i , had been. caught
i n a mur der
commi t t ed dur i ng a r obber y. I n exchange f or hi s l i f e,
St el a agr eed t o si ng.
I t was t he most beaut i f ul musi c Di Si l va had ever hear d,
a song t hat was
goi ng t o br i ng t he most power f ul Maf i a Fami l y i n t he
east t o i t s knees,
send Mi chael Mor et t i t o t he el ect r i c chai r , and el evat e
Rober t Di Si l va t o
t he gover nor ' s of f i ce i n Al bany. Ot her New Yor k
gover nor s had made i t t o
t he Whi t e House: Mar t i n Van Bur en, Gr over Cl evel and,
Teddy Roosevel t and
Fr ankl i n Roosevel t . Di Si l va i nt ended t o be t he next .
The t i mi ng was per f ect . The guber nat or i al el ect i ons wer e
comi ng up next
year .
Di Si l va had been appr oached by t he st at e' s most
power f ul pol i t i cal boss.
" Wi t h al l t he publ i ci t y you' r e get t i ng on t hi s case,
you' l l be a shoo- i n
t o
be nomi nat ed and t hen el ect ed gover nor , Bobby. Nai l
Mor et t i and you' r e our
candi dat e. "
Rober t Di Si l va had t aken no chances. He pr epar ed t he
case agai nst Mi chael
Mor et t i wi t h met i cul ous car e. He put hi s assi st ant s t o
wor k assembl i ng
evi dence, cl eani ng up ever y l oose end, cut t i ng of f each
l egal avenue of
escape t hat Mor et t i ' s at t or ney mi ght at t empt t o expl or e.
One by one, ever y
l oophol e had been cl osed.
I t had t aken al most t wo weeks t o sel ect t he j ur y, and
t he Di st r i ct At t or ney
had i nsi st ed upon sel ect i ng si x " spar e t i r es" - al t er nat e
j ur or s- - as a
pr ecaut i on agai nst a possi bl e mi st r i al . I n cases wher e
i mpor t ant Maf i a
f i gur es wer e i nvol ved, j ur or s had been known t o
di sappear or t o have
unexpl ai ned f at al acci dent s. Di Si l va had seen t o i t
t hat t hi s j ur y was
sequest er ed f r omt he begi nni ng, l ocked away ever y ni ght
wher e no one coul d
get t o i t .
The key t o t he case agai nst Mi chael Mor et t i was Cami l l o
18 RAGE OF ANGELS
St el a, and Di Si l va' s st ar wi t ness was heavi l y pr ot ect ed.
The Di st r i ct
At t or ney r emember ed onl y t oo vi vi dl y t he exampl e of Abe
" Ki d Twi st " Rel es,
t he gover nment wi t ness who had " f al l en" out of a
si xt h- f l oor wi ndow of t he
Hal f Moon Hot el i n Coney I sl and whi l e bei ng guar ded by
hal f a dozen pol i ce-
men. Rober t Di Si l va had sel ect ed Cami l l o St el a' s guar ds
per sonal l y, and
bef or e t he t r i al St el a had been secr et l y moved t o a
di f f er ent l ocat i on ever y
ni ght . Now, wi t h t he t r i al under way, St el a was kept i n
an i sol at ed hol di ng
cel l , guar ded by f our ar med deput i es. No one was al l owed
t o get near hi m,
f or St el a' s wi l l i ngness t o t est i f y r est ed on hi s bel i ef
t hat Di st r i ct
At t or ney Di . Si l va was capabl e of pr ot ect i ng hi mf r omt he
vengeance of
Mi chael Mor et t i .
I t was t he mor ni ng of t he f i f t h day of t he t r i al .
I t was J enni f er Par ker ' s f i r st day at t he t r i al . She was
seat ed at t he
pr osecut or ' s t abl e wi t h f i ve ot her young assi st ant
di st r i ct at t or neys who
had been swor n i n wi t h her t hat mor ni ng.
J enni f er Par ker was a sl ender , dar k- hai r ed gi r l of
t went yf our wi t h a pal e
ski n, an i nt el l i gent , mobi l e f ace, and gr een, t hought f ul
eyes. I t was a
f ace t hat was at t r act i ve r at her t han beaut i f ul , a f ace
t hat r ef l ect ed pr i de
and cour age and sensi t i vi t y, a f ace t hat woul d be har d
t o f or get . She sat
r amr od st r ai ght , as t hough br aci ng her sel f agai nst
unseen ghost s of t he
past .
J enni f er Par ker ' s day had st ar t ed di sast r ousl y. The
swear i ng- i n cer emony
at
t he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s of f i ce had been schedul ed f or
ei ght A. M. J enni f er
had car ef ul l y l ai d out her cl ot hes t he ni ght bef or e and
had set t he al ar m
f or si x so t hat she woul d have t i me t o wash her hai r .
The al ar mhad f ai l ed t o go of f . J enni f er had awakened at
seven- t hi r t y and
pani cked. She had got t en a r un i n her st ocki ng when she
br oke t he heel of
her shoe, and had had t o
SI DNEY SHELDON 19
change cl ot hes. She had sl ammed t he door of her t i ny
apar t ment at t he same
i nst ant she r emember ed she had l ef t her keys i nsi de. She
had pl anned t o t ake
a bus t o t he Cr i mi nal Cour t s Bui l di ng, but now t hat was
out of t he quest i on,
and she had r aced t o get a t axi she coul d not af f or d and
had been t r apped
wi t h a cab dr i ver who expl ai ned dur i ng t he ent i r e t r i p
why t he wor l d was
about t o come t o an end.
When J enni f er had f i nal l y ar r i ved, br eat hl ess, at t he
Cr i mi nal Cour t s
Bui l di ng at 155 Leonar d St r eet , she was f i f t een mi nut es
l at e.
Ther e wer e t went y- f i ve l awyer s gat her ed i n t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney' s of f i ce,
most of t hemnewl y out of l aw school , young and eager
and exci t ed about
goi ng t o wor k f or t he Di st r i ct At t or ney of t he Count y of
New Yor k.
The of f i ce was i mpr essi ve, panel ed and decor at ed i n
qui et good t ast e. Ther e
was a l ar ge desk wi t h t hr ee chai r s i n f r ont of i t and a
comf or t abl e l eat her
chai r behi nd i t , a conf er ence t abl e wi t h a dozen chai r s
ar ound i t , and wal l
cabi net s f i l l ed wi t h l aw books.
On t he wal l s wer e f r amed aut ogr aphed pi ct ur es of J .
Edgar Hoover , J ohn
Li ndsay, Ri char d Ni xon and J ack Dempsey.
When J enni f er hur r i ed i nt o t he of f i ce, f ul l of
apol ogi es, Di Si l va was i n
t he mi ddl e of a speech. He st opped, t ur ned hi s at t ent i on
on J enni f er and
sai d, " What t he hel l do you t hi nk t hi s i s- a t ea par t y?"
" r mt er r i bl y sor r y, I - "
" I don' t gi ve a damn whet her you' r e sor r y. Don' t you
ever be l at e agai n! "
The ot her s l ooked at J enni f er , car ef ul l y hi di ng t hei r
sympat hy.
Di Si l va t ur ned t o t he gr oup and snapped, " I know why
you' r e al l her e.
You' l l st i ck ar ound l ong enough t o pi ck my br ai ns and
l ear n a f ew cour t r oom
t r i cks, and t hen when you t hi nk you' r e r eady, you' l l
l eave t o become
hot shot cr i mi nal
20 RAGE OF ANGELS
l awyer s. But t her e may be one of you- maybe- who wi l l be
good enough t o t ake
my pl ace one day. " Di Si l va nodded t o hi s assi st ant .
" Swear t hemi n. "
They t ook t he oat h, t hei r voi ces subdued.
When i t was over , Di Si l va sai d, " Al l r i ght . You' r e
swor n of f i cer s of t he
cour t , God hel p us. Thi s of f i ce i s wher e t he act i on i s,
but don' t get your
hopes up. You' r e goi ng t o bur y your noses i n l egal
r esear ch, and dr af t
document s- subpoenas, war r ant s- - al l t hose wonder f ul
t hi ngs t hey t aught you
i n l aw school . You won' t get t o handl e a t r i al f or t he
next year or t wo. "
Di Si l va st opped t o l i ght a shor t , st ubby ci gar . " Pm
pr osecut i ng a case
now. Some of you may have r ead about i t . " Hi s voi ce was
edged wi t h sar casm.
" I can use hal f a dozen of you t o r un er r ands f or me. "
J enni f er ' s hand was
t he f i r st one up. Di Si l va hesi t at ed a moment , t hen
sel ect ed her and f i ve
ot her s.
" Get down t o Cour t r oomSi xt een: "
As t hey l ef t t he r oom, t hey wer e i ssued i dent i f i cat i on
car ds. J enni f er had
not been di scour aged by t he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s
at t i t ude. He has t o be
t ough, she t hought . He' s i n a t ough j ob. And she was
wor ki ng f or hi mnow.
She was a member of t he st af f of t he Di st r i ct At t or ney
of t he Count y of New
Yor k! The i nt er mi nabl e year s of l aw school dr udger y wer e
over . Somehow her
pr of essor s had managed t o make t he l aw seemabst r act and
anci ent , but
J enni f er had al ways managed t o gl i mpse t he Pr omi sed Land
beyond: t he r eal
l aw t hat deal t wi t h human bei ngs and t hei r f ol l i es.
J enni f er had been
gr aduat ed second i n her cl ass and had been on Law
Revi ew. She had passed
t he bar exami nat i on on t he f i r st t r y, whi l e a t hi r d of
t hose who had t aken
i t wi t h her had f ai l ed. She f el t t hat she under st ood
Rober t Di Si l va, and
she was sur e she woul d be abl e t o handl e any j ob he gave
her .
J enni f er had done her homewor k. She knew t her e wer e f our
di f f er ent bur eaus
under t he Di st r i ct At t or ney- Tr i al s,
SI DNEY SHELDON 21
Appeal s, Racket s and Fr auds- and she wonder ed t o whi ch one
she woul d be
assi gned. Ther e wer e over t wo hundr ed assi st ant di st r i ct
at t or neys i n New
Yor k Ci t y and f i ve di st r i ct at t or neys, one f or each
bor ough. But t he most
i mpor t ant bor ough, of cour se, was Manhat t an: Rober t Di
Si l va.
J enni f er sat i n t he cour t r oomnow, at t he pr osecut or ' s
t abl e, wat chi ng
Rober t Di Si l va at wor k, a power f ul , r el ent l ess
i nqui si t or .
J enni f er gl anced over at t he def endant , Mi chael Mor et t i .
Even wi t h
ever yt hi ng J enni f er had r ead about hi m, she coul d not
convi nce her sel f t hat
Mi chael Mor et t i was a mur der er . He l ooks l i ke a young
movi e st ar i n a
cour t r oomset , J enni f er t hought . He sat t her e
mot i onl ess, onl y hi s deep,
bl ack eyes gi vi ng away what ever i nner t ur moi l he mi ght
have f el t . They
moved ceasel essl y, exami ni ng ever y cor ner of t he r oomas
t hough t r yi ng t o
cal cul at e a means of escape. Ther e was no escape. Di
Si l va had seen t o
t hat .
Cami l l o St el a was on t he wi t ness st and. I f St el a had
been an ani mal , he
woul d have been a weasel . He had a nar r ow, pi nched f ace,
wi t h t hi n l i ps and
yel l ow buckt eet h. Hi s eyes wer e dar t i ng and f ur t i ve and
you di sbel i eved hi m
bef or e he even opened hi s mout h. Rober t Di Si l va was
awar e of hi s wi t ness' s
shor t comi ngs, but t hey di d not mat t er . What mat t er ed was
what St el a had t o
say. He had hor r or st or i es t o t el l t hat had never been
t ol d , bef or e, and
t hey had t he unmi st akabl e r i ng of t r ut h.
The Di st r i ct At t or ney wal ked over t o t he wi t ness box
wher e Cami l l o St el a
had been swor n i n.
" Mr . St el a, I want t hi s j ur y t o be awar e t hat you ar e a
r el uct ant wi t ness
and t hat i n or der t o per suade you t o t est i f y, t he St at e
has agr eed t o al l ow
you t o pl ead t o t he l esser char ge of i nvol unt ar y
mansl aught er i n t he mur der
you ar e char ged wi t h. I s t hat t r ue?"
22 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Yes, si r . " Hi s r i ght ar mwas t wi t chi ng.
" Mr . St el a, ar e you acquai nt ed wi t h t he def endant ,
Mi chael Mor et t i ?"
" Yes, si r . " He kept hi s eyes away f r omt he def endant ' s
t abl e wher e Mi chael
Mor et t i was si t t i ng.
" What was~t he nat ur e of your r el at i onshi p?"
" I wor ked f or Mi ke. "
" How l ong have you known Mi chael Mor et t i ?"
" About t en year s. " Hi s voi ce was al most i naudi bl e.
" Woul d you speak up, pl ease?"
" About t en year s. " Hi s neck was t wi t chi ng now.
" Woul d you say you wer e cl ose t o t he def endant ?"
" Obj ect i on! " Thomas Col f ax r ose t o hi s f eet . Mi chael
Mor et t i ' s at t or ney was
a t al l , si l ver - hai r ed man i n hi s f i f t i es, t he
consi gl i er e f or t he
Syndi cat e, and one of t he shr ewdest cr i mi nal l awyer s i n
t he count r y. " The
Di st r i ct At t or ney i s at t empt i ng t o l ead t he wi t ness: "
J udge Lawr ence Wal dman sai d, " Sust ai ned. "
" I ' l l r ephr ase t he quest i on. I n what capaci t y di d you
wor k f or Mr .
Mor et t i ?"
" I was ki nd of what you mi ght cal l a t r oubl eshoot er . "
" Woul d you be a l i t t l e mor e expl i ci t ?"
" Yeah. I f a pr obl emcomes up- - someone get s out of l i ne,
l i ke- Mi ke woul d
t el l me t o go st r ai ght en t hi s par t y out . "
" How woul d you do t hat ?"
" You know- muscl e. "
" Coul d you gi ve t he j ur y an exampl e?"
Thomas Col f ax was on hi s f eet . " Obj ect i on, Your Honor .
Thi s l i ne of
quest i oni ng i s i mmat er i al . "
" Over r ul ed. The wi t ness may answer . "
' Wel l , Mi ke' s i nt o l oan- shar ki n' , r i ght ? A coupl a year s
ago J i mmy Ser r ano
get s- behi nd i n hi s payment s, so Mi ke sends me over t o
t each J i mmy a
l esson. "
" What di d t hat l esson consi st of ?"
" I br oke hi s l egs. You see, " St el a expl ai ned ear nest l y,
" i f
SI DNEY SHELDON 23
you l et one guy get away wi t h i t , t hey' r e al l gonna t r y
i t . "
Fr omt he cor ner of hi s eye, Rober t Di Si l va coul d see
t he shocked r eact i ons
on t he f aces of t he j ur or s.
" What ot her busi ness was Mi chael Mor et t i i nvol ved i n
besi des
l oan- shar ki ng?"
" J esus! You name i t . "
" I woul d l i ke you t o name i t , Mr . St el a. "
" Yeah. Wel l , l i ke on t he wat er f r ont , Mi ke got a pr et t y
good f i x i n wi t h t he
uni on. Li kewi se t he gar ment i ndust r y. Mi ke' s i nt o
gambl i n' , j uke boxes,
gar bage col l ect i n' , l i nen suppl i es. Li ke t hat . "
" Mr . St el a, Mi chael Mor et t i i s on t r i al f or t he mur der s
of Eddi e and Al ber t
Ramos. Di d you know t hem?"
" Oh, sur e. "
" Wer e you pr esent when t hey wer e ki l l ed?"
" Yeah. " Hi s whol e body seemed t o t wi t ch.
" Who di d t he act ual ki l l i ng?"
" Mi ke. " For a second, hi s eyes caught Mi chael Mor et t i ' s
eyes and St el a
qui ckl y l ooked away.
" Mi chael Mor et t i ?"
" That ' s r i ght . "
" Why di d t he def endant t el l you he want ed t he Ramos
br ot her s ki l l ed?"
" Wel l , Eddi e and Al handl ed a book f or =
" That ' s a bookmaki ng oper at i on? I l l egal bet t i ng?"
" Yeah. Mi ke f ound out t hey was ski mmi n' . He had t o t each
' ema l esson
' cause t hey was hi s boys, you know? He t hought - - - - ! '
" Obj ect i on! "
" Sust ai ned. The wi t ness wi l l st i ck t o t he f act s. "
" The f act s was t hat Mi ke t el l s me t o i nvi t e t he boys- "
" Eddi e and Al ber t Ramos?"
" Yeah. To a l i t t l e par t y down at The Pel i can. That ' s a
pr i vat e beach cl ub. "
Hi s ar mst ar t ed t o t wi t ch agai n and St el a, suddenl y
awar e of i t , pr essed
agai nst i t wi t h hi s ot her hand.
24 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er Par ker t ur ned t o l ook at Mi chael Mor et t i . He
was wat chi ng
i mpassi vel y, hi s f ace and body i mmobi l e.
" What happened t hen, Mr . St el a?"
" I pi cked Eddi e and Al up and dr ove ' emt o t he par ki n'
l ot . Mi ke was t her e, wai t i n' . When t he boys got out t a t he
car ,
I moved out t a t he way and Mi ke st ar t ed bl ast i n : "
" Di d you see t he Ramos br ot her s f al l t o t he gr ound?"
" Yes, si r . "
" And t hey wer e dead?"
" They sur e bur i ed ' eml i ke t hey was dead: '
Ther e was a r i ppl e of sound t hr ough t he cour t r oom. Di
Si l va wai t ed unt i l
t her e was si l ence.
" Mr . St el a, you ar e awar e t hat t he t est i mony you have
gi ven i n t hi s
cour t r oomi s sel f - i ncr i mi nat i ng?"
" Yes, si r . "
" And t hat you ar e under oat h and t hat a man' s l i f e i s at
st ake?"
" Yes, si r . -
' YYou wi t nessed t he def endant , Mi chael Mor et t i ,
col dbl oodedl y shoot t o
deat h t wo men because t hey had wi t hhel d money f r omhi m?"
" Obj ect i on) He' s l eadi ng t he wi t ness: "
46sust ai ned. "
Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va l ooked at t he f aces of t he
j ur or s and what he
saw t her e t ol d hi mhe had won t he case. He t ur ned t o
Cami l l o St el a.
" Mr . St el a, I know t hat i t t ook a gr eat deal of cour age
f or you t o come
i nt o t hi s cour t r oomand t est i f y. On behal f of t he peopl e
of t hi s st at e, I
want t o t hank you. " Di Si l va t ur ned t o Thomas Col f ax.
" Your wi t ness f or
cr oss. "
Thomas Col f ax r ose gr acef ul l y t o hi s f eet . " Thank you,
Mr . Di Si l va. " He
gl anced at t he cl ock on t he wal l , t hen t ur ned t o t he
bench. " I f i t pl ease
Your Honor , i t i s now al most noon. I woul d pr ef er not t o
have my
cr oss- exami nat i on i nt er r upt ed.
SI DNEY SHELDON 25
Mi ght I r equest t hat t he cour t r ecess f or l unch now and
I ' i l cr oss- exami ne
t hi s af t er noon?"
" Ver y wel l . " J udge Lawr ence Wal dman r apped hi s gavel on
t he bench. " Thi s
cour t st ands adj our ned unt i l t wo o' cl ock. "
Ever yone i n t he cour t r oomr ose as t he j udge- st ood up and
wal ked t hr ough t he
si de door t o hi s chamber s. The j ur or s began t o f i l e out
of t he r oom. Four
ar med deput i es sur r ounded Cami l l o St el e and escor t ed hi m
t hr ough a door
near t he f r ont of t he cour t r oomt hat l ed t o t he wi t ness
r oom.
At once, Di Si l va was engul f ed by r epor t er s.
" Wi l l you gi ve us a st at ement ?"
" How do you t hi nk t he case i s goi ng so f ar , Mr . Di st r i ct
At t or ney?"
" How ar e you goi ng t o pr ot ect St el e when t hi s i s over ?"
Or di nar i l y Rober t Di Si l va woul d not have t ol er at ed such
an i nt r usi on i n
t he cour t r oom, but he needed now, wi t h hi s pol i t i cal
ambi t i ons, t o keep t he
pr ess on hi s si de, and so he went out of hi s way t o be
pol i t e t o t hem.
J enni f er Par ker sat t her e, wat chi ng t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney par r yi ng t he
r epor t er s' quest i ons.
" Ar e you goi ng t o get a convi ct i on?"
" r mnot a f or t une t el l er , " J enni f er hear d Di Si l va say
modest l y. " That ' s
what we have j ur i es f or , l adi es and gent l emen. The
j ur or s wi l l have t o
deci de whet her Mr . Mor et t i i s i nnocent or gui l t y. "
J enni f er wat ched as Mi chael Mor et t i r ose t o hi s f eet . He
l ooked cal mand
r el axed. Boyi sh was t he wor d t hat came t o J enni f er ' s
mi nd. I t was di f f i cul t
f or her t o bel i eve t hat he was gui l t y of al l t he
t er r i bl e t hi ngs of whi ch
he was accused. I f 1 had t o choose t he gui l t y one,
J enni f er t hought , I ' d
choose St el e, t he Twi t cher .
The r epor t er s had moved of f and Di Si l va was i n
conf er ence wi t h member s of
hi s st af f . J enni f er woul d have gi ven anyt hi ng t o hear
what t hey wer e
di scussi ng.
26 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er wat ched as a man sai d somet hi ng t o Di Si l va,
det ached hi msel f f r om
t he gr oup ar ound t he Di st r i ct At t or ney, and hur r i ed over
t owar d J enni f er .
He was car r yi ng a l ar ge mani l a envel ope. " Mi ss Par ker ?"
J enni f er l ooked up i n sur pr i se. " Yes. "
" The Chi ef want s you t o gi ve t hi s t o St el a. Tel l hi mt o
r ef r esh hi s memor y
about t hese dat es. Col f ax i s goi ng t o t r y t o t ear hi s
t est i mony apar t t hi s
af t er noon and t he Chi ef want s t o make sur e St el a doesn' t
f oul up. "
He handed t he envel ope t o J enni f er and she l ooked over
at Di Si l va. He
r emember ed my name, she t hought . I t ' s a good omen.
" Bet t er get movi ng. The D. A. doesn' t t hi nk St el a' s t hat
f ast ` a st udy. "
" Yes, si r . " J enni f er hur r i ed t o her f eet .
She wal ked over t o t he door she had seen St el a go
t hr ough. An ar med deput y
bl ocked her way.
" Can I hel p you, mi ss?"
" Di st r i ct At t or ney' s of f i ce, " J enni f er sai d cr i spl y. She
t ook out her
i dent i f i cat i on car d and showed i t . " I have an envel ope
t o del i ver t o Mr .
St el a f r omMr . Di Si l va. "
The guar d exami ned t he car d car ef ul l y, t hen opened t he
door , and J enni f er
f ound her sel f i nsi de t he wi t ness r oom. I t was a smal l ,
uncomf or t abl e- l ooki ng r oomcont ai ni ng a bat t er ed desk,
an ol d sof a and
wooden chai r s. St el a was seat ed i n one of t hem, hi s ar m
t wi t chi ng wi l dl y.
Ther e wer e f our ar med deput i es i n t he r oom.
As J enni f er ent er ed, one of t he guar ds sai d, " Hey!
Nobody' s al l owed i n
her e: "
The out si de guar d cal l ed, " I t ' s okay, Al . D. A. ' s
of f i ce. "
J enni f er handed St el a t he envel ope. " Mr . Di Suva want s
you t o r ef r esh your
r ecol l ect i on about t hese dat es. "
St el a bl i nked at her and kept t wi t chi ng.
2
As J enni f er was maki ng her way out of t he Cr i mi nal
Cour t s Bui l di ng on her
way t o l unch, she passed t he open door of a deser t ed
cour t r oom. She coul d
not r esi st st eppi ng i nsi de t he r oomf or a moment .
Ther e wer e f i f t een r ows of spect at or s' benches on each
si de of t he r ear
ar ea. Faci ng t he j udge' s bench wer e t wo l ong t abl es, t he
one on t he l ef t
mar ked Pl ai nt i $ and t he one on t he r i ght mar ked
Def endant . The j ur y box
cont ai ned t wo r ows of ei ght chai r s each. I t ' s an
or di nar y cour t r oom,
J enni f er t hought , pl ai n- even ugl y- but i t ' s t he hear t of
f r eedom. Thi s r oom
and al l t he cour t r ooms l i ke i t r epr esent ed t he
di f f er ence bet ween
ci vi l i zat i on and savager y. The r i ght t o a t r i al by a
j ur y of one' s peer s
was what l ay at t he hear t of ever y f r ee nat i on. J enni f er
t hought of al l t he
count r i es i n t he wor l d t hat di d not have t hi s l i t t l e
r oom, count r i es wher e
ci t i zens wer e t aken f r omt hei r beds i n t he mi ddl e of t he
ni ght and t or t ur ed
and mur der ed by anonymous enemi es f or undi scl osed
r easons: I r an,
27
28 RAGE OF ANGELS
Uganda, Ar gent i na, Per u, Br azi l , Romani a, Russi a,
Czechosl ovaki a . . . t he
l i st was depr essi ngl y l ong.
I f t he Amer i can cour t s wer e ever st r i pped of t hei r
power , J enni f er t hought ,
i f ci t i zens wer e ever deni ed t he r i ght t o a t r i al by
j ur y, t hen Amer i ca
woul d cease t o exi st as a f r ee nat i on. She was a par t of
t he syst emnow
and, st andi ng t her e, J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h an
over whel mi ng f eel i ng of
pr i de. She woul d do ever yt hi ng she coul d t o honor i t , t o
hel p pr eser ve i t .
She st ood t her e f or a l ong moment , t hen t ur ned t o l eave.
Fr omt he f ar end of t he hal l t her e was a di st ant hum
t hat got l ouder and
l ouder , and became pandemoni um. Al ar mbel l s began t o
r i ng. J enni f er hear d
t he sound of r unni ng f eet i n t he cor r i dor and saw
pol i cemen wi t h dr awn guns
r aci ng t owar d t he f r ont ent r ance of t he cour t house.
J enni f er ' s i nst ant
t hought was t hat Mi chael Mor et t i had escaped, had
somehow got t en past t he
bar r i er of guar ds. She hur r i ed out i nt o t he cor r i dor . I t
was bedl am. Peopl e
wer e r aci ng ar ound f r ant i cal l y, shout i ng or der s over t he
di n of t he
cl angi ng bel l s. Guar ds ar med wi t h r i ot guns had t aken up
posi t i ons at t he
exi t door s. Repor t er s who had been t el ephoni ng i n t hei r
st or i es wer e hur r y-
i ng i nt o t he cor r i dor t o f i nd out what was happeni ng.
Far down t he hal l ,
J enni f er saw Di st r i ct At t or ney Rober t Di Si l va wi l dl y
i ssui ng i nst r uct i ons
t o hal f a dozen pol i cemen, hi s f ace dr ai ned of col or .
My God! He' s goi ng t o have a hear t at t ack, J enni f er
t hought .
She pushed her way t hr ough t he cr owd and moved t owar d
hi m, t hi nki ng t hat
per haps she coul d be of some use. As she appr oached, one
of t he deput i es
who had been guar di ng Cami l l o St el a l ooked up and saw
J enni f er . He r ai sed
an ar mand poi nt ed t o her , and f i ve seconds l at er
J enni f er Par ker f ound
her sel f bei ng gr abbed, handcuf f ed and pl aced under
ar r est .
Ther e wer e f our peopl e i n J udge Lawr ence Wal dman' s
chamber s: J udge Wal dman,
Di st r i ct At t or ney Rober t Di Si l va, Thomas Col f ax, and
J enni f er .
SI DNEY SHELDON 29
" Yon have t he r i ght t o have an at t or ney pr esent bef or e
you make any
st at ement , " J udge Wal dman i nf or med J enni f er , " and you
have t he r i ght t o
r emai n si l ent . I f you- - - : '
" I don' t need an at t or ney, Your Honor ! I can expl ai n
what happened"
Rober t Di Si l va was l eani ng so cl ose t o her t hat
J enni f er coul d see t he
t hr obbi ng of a vei n i n hi s t empl e. " Who pai d you t o gi ve
t hat package t o
Cami l l o St el a?"
" Pai d me? Nobody pai d me! " J enni f er ' s voi ce was
quaver i ng wi t h i ndi gnat i on.
Di Si l va pi cked up a f ami l i ar l ooki ng mani l a envel ope
f r omJ udge Wal dman' s
desk. " No one pai d you? You j ust wal ked up t o my wi t ness
and del i ver ed
t hi s?" He shook t he envel ope and t he body of a yel l ow
canar y f l ut t er ed ont o
t he desk. I t s neck had been br oken.
J enni f er st ar ed at i t , hor r i f i ed. " I - - one of your
men- wave ma-
" Whi ch one of my men?"
" I - I don' t know. "
" But you know he was one of my men. " Hi s voi ce r ang wi t h
di sbel i ef .
" Yes. I saw hi mt al ki ng t o you and t hen he wal ked over
t o me and handed me
t he envel ope and sai d you want ed me t o gi ve i t t o Mr .
St el a. He- he even
knew my name. "
" r l l bet he di d. How much di d t hey pay you?"
I t ' s al l a ni ght mar e, J enni f er t hought . I ' mgoi ng t o
wake up any mi nut e and
i t ' s goi ng t o be si x o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng, and I ' m
goi ng t o get dr essed
and go t o be swor n i n on t he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s st af f .
" How much?" The anger i n hi mwas so vi ol ent t hat i t
f or ced J enni f er t o her
f eet .
" Ar e you accusi ng me of - ?"
" Accusi ng you! " Rober t Di Si l va cl enched hi s f i st s.
" Lady, I haven' t even
st ar t ed on you. By t he t i me you get out of pr i son you' l l
be t oo ol d t o
spend t hat money. "
30 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Ther e i s no money. " J enni f er st ar ed at hi mdef i ant l y.
Thomas Col f ax had been si t t i ng back, qui et l y l i st eni ng
t o t he conver sat i on.
He i nt er r upt ed now t o say, " Excuse me, Your Honor , but
I ' maf r ai d t hi s
i sn' t get t i ng us anywher e. "
" I agr ee, " J udge Wal dman r epl i ed. He t ur ned t o t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney.
" Wher e do you st and, Bobby? I s St el a st i l l wi l l i ng t o be
cr oss- exami ned?"
" Cr oss- exami ned? He' s a basket case! Scar ed out of hi s
wi t s. He won' t t ake
t he st and agai n. "
Thomas Col f ax sai d smoot hl y, " I f I can' t cr oss- exami ne
t he pr osecut i on' s
chi ef wi t ness, Your Honor , I ' mgoi ng t o have t o move f or
a mi st r i al . "
Ever yone i n t he r oomknew what t hat woul d mean: Mi chael
Mor et t i woul d wal k
out of t he cour t r ooma f r ee man.
J udge Wal dman l ooked over at t he Di st r i ct At t or ney. " Di d
you t el l your
wi t ness he can be hel d i n cont empt ?"
" Yes. St el a' s mor e scar ed of t hemt han he i s of us. " He
t ur ned t o di r ect
a
venomous l ook at J enni f er . " He doesn' t t hi nk we can
pr ot ect hi manymor e. "
J udge Wal dman sai d sl owl y, " Then I ' maf r ai d t hi s cour t
has no al t er nat i ve
but t o gr ant t he def ense' s r equest and decl ar e a
mi st r i al . "
Rober t Di Si l va st ood t her e, l i st eni ng t o hi s case bei ng
wi ped out . Wi t hout
St el a, he had no case. Mi chael Mor et t i was beyond hi s
r each now, but
J enni f er Par ker was not . He was goi ng t o make her pay
f or what she had done
t o hi m.
J udge Wal dman was sayi ng, " I ' l l gi ve i nst r uct i ons f or
t he def endant t o be
f r eed and t he j ur y di smi ssed. "
Thomas Col f ax sai d, " Thank you, Your Honor . " Ther e was
no si gn of t r i umph
i n hi s f ace.
" I f t her e' s not hi ng el se . . . " J udge Wal dman began.
" Ther e i s somet hi ng el se! " Rober t Di Si l va t ur ned t o
J enni f er Par ker . " I
want her hel d f or obst r uct i ng j ust i ce, f or t amper i ng
wi t h a wi t ness i n a
capi t al case, f or conspi r acy, f or . . . " He was
i ncoher ent wi t h r age.
SI DNEY SHELDON 31
I n her anger , J enni f er f ound her voi ce. " You can' t pr ove
a si ngl e one of t hose char ges because t hey' r e not t r ue. I
I
may be gui l t y of bei ng st upi d, but t hat ' s al l I ' mgui l t y
of . No
one br i bed me t o do anyt hi ng. I t hought I was del i ver i ng
a
package f or you. "
J udge Wal dman l ooked at J enni f er and sai d, " What ever t he
mot i vat i on, t he
consequences have been ext r emel y unf or t unat e. I amgoi ng
t o r equest t hat
t he Appel l at e Di vi si on under t ake an i nvest i gat i on and,
i f i t f eel s t he
ci r cumst ances war r ant i t , t o begi n di sbar ment
pr oceedi ngs agai nst you. "
J enni f er f el t suddenl y f ai nt . " Your Honor , I - "
" That i s al l f or now, Mi ss Par ker . "
J enni f er st ood t her e a moment , st ar i ng at t hei r host i l e
f aces. Ther e was
not hi ng mor e she coul d say.
The yel l ow canar y on t he desk had sai d i t al l .
3
J enni f er Par ker was not onl y on t he eveni ng news- she was
t he eveni ng news.
The st or y of her del i ver i ng a dead canar y t o t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney' s st ar
wi t ness was i r r esi st i bl e. Ever y t el evi si on channel had
pi ct ur es of J enni f er
l eavi ng J udge Wal dman' s chamber s, f i ght i ng her way out
of t he cour t house,
besi eged by t he pr ess and t he publ i c.
J enni f er coul d not bel i eve t he sudden hor r i f yi ng
publ i ci t y t hat was bei ng
shower ed on her . They wer e hammer i ng at her f r omal l
si des: t el evi si on
r epor t er s, r adi o r epor t er s and newspaper peopl e. She
want ed desper at el y t o
f l ee f r omt hem, but her pr i de woul d not l et her .
" Who gave you t he yel l ow canar y, Mi ss Par ker ?"
" Have you ever met Mi chael Mor et t i ?"
" Di d you know t hat Di Si l va was pl anni ng t o use- t hi s
case t o get i nt o t he
gover nor ' s of f i ce?"
" The Di st r i ct At t or ney says he' s goi ng t o have you
di sbar r ed. Ar e you goi ng
t o f i ght i t ?"
32
SI DNEY SHELDON 33
To each quest i on J enni f er had a t i ght - t i pped " No
comment . "
On t he CBS eveni ng news t hey cal l ed her " Wr ong- Way
Par ker , " t he gi r l who
had gone of f i n t he wr ong di r ect i on. An ABC newsman
r ef er r ed t o her as t he
" Yel l ow Canar y. " On NBC, a spor t s comment at or compar ed
her t o Roy Ri egel s,
t he f oot bal l pl ayer who had car r i ed t he bal l t o hi s own
t eam' s oneyar d
l i ne.
I n Tony' s Pl ace, a r est aur ant t hat Mi chael Mor et t i
owned, a cel ebr at i on was
t aki ng pl ace. Ther e wer e a dozen men i n t he r oom,
dr i nki ng and boi st er ous.
Mi chael Mor et t i sat al one at t he bar , i n an oasi s of
si l ence, wat chi ng
J enni f er Par ker on t el evi si on. He r ai sed hi s gl ass i n a
sal ut e t o her and
dr ank.
Lawyer s ever ywher e di scussed t he J enni f er Par ker
epi sode. Hal f of t hem
bel i eved she had been br i bed by t he Maf i a, and t he ot her
hal f t hat she had
been an i nnocent dupe. But no mat t er whi ch si de t hey
wer e on, t hey al l
concur r ed on one poi nt : J enni f er Par ker ' s shor t car eer
as an at t or ney was
f i ni shed.
She had l ast ed exact l y f our hour s.
She had been bor n i n Kel so, Washi ngt on, a smal l t i mber
t own f ounded i n 1847
by a homesi ck Scot t i sh sur veyor who named i t f or hi s
home t own i n Scot l and.
J enni f er ' s f at her was an at t or ney, f i r st f or t he l umber
compani es t hat
domi nat ed t he t own, t hen l at er f or t he wor ker s i n t he
sawmi l l s. J enni f er ' s
ear l i est memor i es of gr owi ng up wer e f i l l ed wi t h j oy.
The st at e of
Washi ngt on was a st or ybook pl ace f or a chi l d, f ul l of
spect acul ar mount ai ns
and gl aci er s and nat i onal par ks. Ther e wer e ski i ng and
canoei ng and, when
she was ol der , i ce cl i mbi ng on gl aci er s and pack t r i ps
t o pl aces wi t h
wonder f ul names: Ohanapecosh and Ni squal l y and Lake
34 RAGE OF ANGELS
Cl e El umand Chenui s Fal l s and Hor se Heaven and t he
Yaki ma Val l ey. J enni f er
l ear ned t o cl i mb on Mount Rai ni er and t o ski at
Ti mber l i ne wi t h her f at her .
Her f at her al ways had t i me f or her , , whi l e her mot her ,
beaut i f ul and
r est l ess, was myst er i ousl y busy and sel domat home.
J enni f er ador ed her
f at her . Abner Par ker was a mi xt ur e of Engl i sh and I r i sh
and Scot t i sh bl ood.
He was of medi umhei ght , wi t h bl ack hai r and gr een- bl ue
eyes. He was a com-
passi onat e man wi t h a deep- r oot ed sense of j ust i ce. He
was not i nt er est ed
i n money, he was i nt er est ed i n peopl e. He woul d si t and
t al k t o J enni f er
by
t he hour , t el l i ng her about t he cases he was handl i ng
and t he pr obl ems of
t he peopl e who came i nt o hi s unpr et ent i ous l i t t l e
of f i ce, and i t di d not
occur t o J enni f er unt i l year s l at er t hat he t al ked t o
her because he had
no
one el se wi t h whomt o shar e t hi ngs.
Af t er school J enni f er woul d hur r y over t o t he cour t house
t o wat ch her
f at her at wor k. I f cour t was not i n sessi on she woul d
hang ar ound hi s
of f i ce, l i st eni ng t o hi mdi scuss hi s cases and hi s
cl i ent s. They never
t al ked about her goi ng t o l aw school ; i t was si mpl y
t aken f or gr ant ed.
When J enni f er was f i f t een she began spendi ng her summer s
wor ki ng f or her
f at her . At an age when ot her gi r l s wer e dat i ng boys and
goi ng st eady,
J enni f er was absor bed i n l awsui t s and wi l l s.
Boys wer e i nt er est ed i n her , but she sel domwent out .
When her f at her woul d
ask her why, she woul d r epl y, " They' r e al l so young,
Papa. " She knew t hat
one day she woul d mar r y a l awyer l i ke her f at her .
On J enni f er ' s si xt eent h bi r t hday, her mot her l ef t t own
wi t h t he
ei ght een- year - ol d son of t hei r next - door nei ghbor , and
J enni f er ' s f at her
qui et l y di ed. I t t ook seven year s f or hi s hear t t o st op
beat i ng, but he was
dead f r omt he moment he hear d t he news about hi s wi f e.
The whol e t own knew
and was sympat het i c, and t hat , of cour se, made i t wor se,
f or Abner Par ker
was a pr oud man. That was when he began t o dr i nk.
J enni f er
SI DNEY SHELDON 35
di d ever yt hi ng she coul d t o comf or t hi mbut i t was no
use, and not hi ng was
ever t he same agai n.
The next year , when i t came t i me t o go t o col l ege,
J enni f er want ed t o st ay
home wi t h her f at her , but he woul d not hear of i t .
" We' r e goi ng i nt o par t ner shi p, J er mi e, " he t ol d her .
" You hur r y up and get
t hat l aw degr ee. "
When she was gr aduat ed she enr ol l ed at t he Uni ver si t y of
Washi ngt on i n
Seat t l e t o st udy l aw. Dur i ng t he f i r st year of school ,
whi l e J enni f er ' s
cl assmat es wer e f l ai l i ng about i n an i mpenet r abl e swamp
of cont r act s,
t or t s, pr oper t y, ci vi l pr ocedur e and cr i mi nal l aw,
J enni f er f el t as t hough
she had come home. She moved i nt o t he uni ver si t y
dor mi t or y and got a j ob
at
t he Law Li br ar y.
J enni f er l oved Seat t l e. On Sundays, she and an I ndi an
st udent named Ammi ni
Wi l l i ams and a bi g, r awboned I r i sh gi r l named J osephi ne
Col l i ns woul d go
r owi ng on Gr een Lake i n t he hear t of t he ci t y, or at t end
t he Gol d Cup r aces
on Lake Washi ngt on and wat ch t he br i ght l y col or ed
hydr opl anes f l ashi ng by.
Ther e wer e gr eat j azz cl ubs i n Seat t l e, and J enni f er ' s
f avor i t e was Pet er ' s
Poop Deck, wher e t hey had cr at es wi t h sl abs of wood on
t op i nst ead of
t abl es.
Af t er noons, J enni f er , Ammi ni and J osephi ne woul d meet at
The Hast y Tast y,
a hangout wher e t hey had t he best cot t agef r i ed pot at oes
i n t he wor l d.
Ther e wer e t wo boys who pur sued J enni f er : a young,
at t r act i ve medi cal
st udent named Noah Lar ki n and a l aw st udent named Ben
Munr o; and f r omt i me
t o t i me J enni f er woul d go out on dat es wi t h t hem, but
she was f ar t oo busy
t o t hi nk about a ser i ous r omance.
The seasons wer e cr i sp and wet and wi ndy and i t seemed
t o r ai n al l t he
t i me. J enni f er wor e a gr een- and- bl ue- pl ai d l um-
36 RAGE OF ANGELS
ber j acket t hat caught t he r ai ndr ops i n i t s shaggy wool
and made her eyes
f l ash l i ke emer al ds. She wal ked t hr ough t he r ai n, l ost i n
her own secr et
t hought s, never knowi ng t hat al l t hose she passed woul d
f i l e away t he
memor y.
I n spr i ng t he gi r l s bl ossomed out i n t hei r br i ght cot t on
dr esses. Ther e
wer e si x f r at er ni t i es i n a r ow at t he uni ver si t y, and
t he f r at er ni t y
br ot her s woul d gat her on t he l awn and wat ch t he gi r l s go
by, but t her e was
somet hi ng about J enni f er t hat made t hemf eel
unexpect edl y shy. Ther e was
a
speci al qual i t y about her t hat was di f f i cul t f or t hemt o
def i ne, a f eel i ng
t hat she had al r eady at t ai ned somet hi ng f or whi ch t hey
wer e st i l l
sear chi ng.
Ever y summer J enni f er went home t o vi si t her f at her . He
had changed so
much. He was never dr unk, but nei t her was he ever sober .
He had r et r eat ed
i nt o an emot i onal f or t r ess wher e not hi ng coul d t ouch hi m
agai n.
He di ed when J enni f er was i n her l ast t er mat l aw
school . The t own
r emember ed, and t her e wer e al most a hundr ed peopl e at
Abner Par ker ' s
f uner al , peopl e he had hel ped and advi sed and bef r i ended
over t he year s.
J enni f er di d her gr i evi ng i n pr i vat e. She had l ost mor e
t han a f at her . She
had l ost a t eacher and a ment or .
Af t er t he f uner al J enni f er r et ur ned t o Seat t l e t o f i ni sh
school Her f at her
had l ef t ' her l ess t han a t housand dol l ar s and she had
t o make a der i si on
about what t o do wi t h her l i f e. She knew t hat she coul d
not r et ur n t o Kel so
t o pr act i ce l aw, f or t her e she woul d al ways be t he
l i t t l e gi r l whose mot her
had r un of f wi t h a t een- ager .
Because of her hi gh schol ast i c aver age, J enni f er had
i nt er vi ews wi t h a
dozen t op l aw f i r ms ar ound t he count r y, and r ecei ved
sever al of f er s.
War r en Oakes, her cr i mi nal l aw pr of essor , t ol d her :
" That ' s a r eal t r i but e,
young l ady. I t ' s ver y di f f i cul t f or a woman t o get i nt o
a good l aw f i r m. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 37
J enni f er ' s di l emma was t hat she no l onger had a home or
r oot s. She was not
cer t ai n wher e she want ed t o l i ve.
Shor t l y bef or e gr aduat i on J enni f er s pr obl emwas sol ved
f or her . Pr of essor
Oakes asked her t o see hi maf t er cl ass.
" I have a l et t er f r omt he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s of f i ce i n
Manhat t an, aski ng
me t o r ecommend my br i ght est gr aduat e f or hi s st af f .
I nt er est ed?"
New Yor k. " Yes, si r . " J enni f er was so st unned t hat t he
answer j ust popped
out .
She f l ew t o New Yor k t o t ake t he bar exami nat i on, and
r et ur ned t o Kel so t o
cl ose her f at her ' s l aw of f i ce. I t was a bi t t er sweet
exper i ence, f i l l ed wi t h
memor i es of t he past and i t seemed t o J enni f er t hat she
had gr own up i n
t hat of f i ce.
She got a j ob as an assi st ant i n t he l aw l i br ar y of t he
uni ver si t y t o t i de
her over unt i l she hear d whet her she had passed t he New
Yor k bar
exami nat i on.
" I t ' s one of t he t oughest i n t he count r y, " Pr of essor
Oakes war ned her .
But J enni f er knew.
She r ecei ved her not i ce t hat she had passed and an of f er
f r omt he New Yor k
Di st r i ct At t or ney' s of f i ce on t he same day.
One week l at er , J enni f er was on her way east .
She f ound a t i ny apar t ment ( Spc W/ U f pl gd l oc nds sm
wk,
t he ad sai d) on l ower Thi r d Avenue, wi t h a f ake f i r epl ace
i n
a st eep f our t h- f l oor wal k- up. The exer ci se wi l l do me
good,
J enni f er t ol d her sel f . Ther e wer e no mount ai ns t o cl i mb
i n
Manhat t an, no r api ds t o r i de. The apar t ment consi st ed of
a
smal l l i vi ng r oomwi t h a couch t hat t ur ned i nt o a l umpy
bed,
and a t i ny bat hr oomwi t h a wi ndow t hat someone l ong ago
had pai nt ed over wi t h bl ack pai nt , seal i ng i t shut . The
f ur ni
t ur e l ooked l i ke somet hi ng t hat coul d have been donat ed
by
t he Sal vat i on Ar my. Oh, wel l , 1 won' t be l i vi ng i n t hi s
pl ace
l ong. J enni f er t hought . Thi s i s j ust t empor ar y unt i l 1
pr ove
mysel f as a l awyer .
38 RAGE OF ANGELS
That had been t he dr eam. The r eal i t y was t hat she had
been i n New Yor k l ess
t han sevent y- t wo hour s, had been t hr own of f t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney' s st af f
and was f aci ng di sbar ment .
J enni f er qui t r eadi ng newspaper s and magazi nes and
st opped wat chi ng
t el evi si on, because wher ever she t ur ned she saw her sel f .
She f el t t hat
peopl e wer e st ar i ng at her on t he st r eet , on t he bus,
and at t he mar ket .
She began t o hi de out i n her t i ny apar t ment , r ef usi ng t o
answer t he
t el ephone or t he door bel l . She t hought about packi ng her
sui t cases and
r et ur ni ng t o Washi ngt on. She t hought about get t i ng a j ob
i n some ot her
f i el d. She t hought about sui ci de. She spent l ong hour s
composi ng l et t er s
t o
Di st r i ct At t or ney Rober t Di Si l va. Hal f t he l et t er s wer e
scat hi ng
i ndi ct ment s of hi s i nsensi t i vi t y and l ack of
under st andi ng. The ot her hal f
wer e abj ect apol ogi es, wi t h a pl ea f or hi mt o gi ve her
anot her chance. None
of t he l et t er s was ever sent .
For t he f i r st t i me i n her l i f e J enni f er was over whel med
wi t h a sense of
desper at i on. She had no f r i ends i n New Yor k, no one t o
t al k t o. She st ayed
l ocked i n her apar t ment al l day, and l at e at ni ght she
woul d sl i p out t o
wal k t he deser t ed st r eet s of t he ci t y. The der el i ct s who
peopl ed t he ni ght
never accost ed her . Per haps t hey saw t hei r own
l onel i ness and despai r mi r -
r or ed i n her eyes.
Over and over , as she wal ked, J enni f er woul d envi si on
t he cour t r oomscene
i n her mi nd, al ways changi ng t he endi ng.
A man det ached hi msel f f r omt he gr oup ar ound Di Si l va
and hur r i ed t owar d
her . He was car r yi ng a mani l a envel ope.
Mi ss Par ker ?
Yes.
The Chi ef want s you t o gi ve t hi s t o St el a.
J enni f er l ooked at hi mcool l y. Let me see your
i dent i f i cat i on, pl ease.
The man pani cked and r an.
SI DNEY SHELDON 39
A man det ached hi msel f f r omt he gr oup ar ound Di Si l va
and hur r i ed t owar d
her . ' He was car r yi ng a mani l a envel ope.
Mi ss Par ker ?
Yes.
The Chi ef want s you t o gi ve t hi s t o St el a. He t hr ust t he
envel ope i nt o her
hands.
J enni f er opened t he envel ope and saw t he dead canar y
i nsi de. I ' mpl aci ng
you under ar r est .
A man det ached hi msel f f r omt he gr oup ar ound Di Si l va
and hur r i ed t owar d
her . He was car r yi ng a mani l a envel ope. He wal ked past
her t o anot her young
assi st ant di st r i ct at t or ney and handed hi mt he envel ope.
The Chi ef want s
you t o gi ve t hi s t o St el a.
She coul d r ewr i t e t he scene as many t i mes as she l i ked,
but not hi ng was
changed. One f ool i sh mi st ake had dest r oyed her . And
yet - who sai d she was
dest r oyed? The pr ess? Di Si l va? She had not hear d
anot her wor d about her
di sbar ment , and unt i l she di d she was st i l l an at t or ney.
Ther e ar e l aw
f i r ms t hat made me of f er s, J enni f er t ol d her sel f .
Fi l l ed wi t h a new sense of r esol ve, J enni f er pul l ed out
t he l i st of t he
f i r ms she had t al ked t o and began t o make a ser i es of
t el ephone cal l s. None
of t he men she asked t o speak t o was i n, and not one of
her cal l s was
r et ur ned. I t t ook her f our days t o r eal i ze t hat she was
t he par i ah of t he
l egal pr of essi on. The f ur or over t he case had di ed down,
but ever yone st i l l
r emember ed.
J enni f er kept t el ephoni ng pr ospect i ve empl oyer s, goi ng
f r omdespai r t o
i ndi gnat i on t o f r ust r at i on and back t o despai r agai n.
She wonder ed what she
was goi ng t o do wi t h t he r est of her l i f e, and each t i me
i t came back t o
t he same t hi ng: Al l she want ed t o do, t he one t hi ng she
r eal l y car ed about ,
was t o pr act i ce l aw. She was a l awyer and, by God, unt i l
t hey
40 RAGE OF ANGELS
st opped her she was goi ng t o f i nd a way t o pr act i ce her
pr of essi on. '
She began t o make t he r ounds of Manhat t an l aw of f i ces.
She woul d wal k i n
unannounced, gi ve her name t o t he r ecept i oni st and ask
t o see t he head of
per sonnel . Occasi onal l y she was gr ant ed an i nt er vi ew,
but when she was,
J enni f er had t he f eel i ng i t was . out of cur i osi t y. She
was a f r eak and t hey
want ed t o see what she l ooked l i ke i n per son. Most of
t he t i me she was
si mpl y i nf or med t her e wer e no openi ngs.
At t he end of si x weeks, J enni f er ' s money was r unni ng
out . She woul d have
moved t o a cheaper - apar t ment , but t her e wer e no cheaper
apar t ment s. She
began t o ski p br eakf ast and l unch, and t o have di nner at
one of t he l i t t l e
cor ner di net t es wher e t he f ood was bad but t he pr i ces
wer e good. She
di scover ed t he St eak & Br ew and Roast - and- Br ew, wher e
f or a modest sumshe
was abl e t o get a mai n cour se, al l t he sal ad she coul d
eat , and al l t he
beer she coul d dr i nk. J enni f er hat ed beer , but i t was
f i l l i ng.
When J enni f er had gone t hr ough her l i st of l ar ge l aw
f i r ms, she ar med
her sel f wi t h a l i st of smal l er f i r ms and began t o cal l
on t hem, but her
r eput at i on had pr eceded her even t her e. She r ecei ved a
l ot of pr oposi t i ons
f r omi nt er est ed mal es, but no j ob of f er s. She was
begi nni ng t o get
desper at e. Al l r i ght , she t hought def i ant l y, i f no one
want s t o hi r e me,
I ' l l open my own l aw once. The cat ch was t hat t hat t ook
money. Ten t housand
dol l ar s, at l east . She woul d need enough f or r ent ,
t el ephone, a secr et ar y,
l aw books, a desk and chai r s, st at i oner y . . . she coul d
not even af f or d
t he st amps.
J enni f er had count ed on her sal ar y f r omt he Di st r i ct
At t or ney' s of f i ce but
t hat , of cour se, was gone f or ever . She coul d f or get
about sever ance pay.
She had not been sever ed; she had been beheaded. No,
t her e was no way she
coul d af f or d t o open her own of f i ce, no mat t er how
smal l . The answer was
t o
f i nd someone wi t h whomt o shar e of f i ces.
SI DNEY SHELDON 41
J enni f er bought a copy of The New Yor k Ti mes and began
t o sear ch t hr ough
t he want ads. I t was not unt i l she was near t he bot t om
of t he page t hat she
came acr oss a smal l adver t i sement t hat r ead:
Want ed. / Pr of man sh smo$ w/ 2
ot h/ pr of men. Rs r ent .
The l ast t wo wor ds appeal ed t o J enni f er enor mousl y. She
was not a
pr of essi onal man, but her sex shoul d not mat t er . She
t or e out t he ad and
t ook t he subway down t o t he addr ess l i st ed.
I t was a di l api dat ed ol d bui l di ng on l ower Br oadway. The
of f i ce was on t he
t ent h f l oor and t he f l aki ng si gn on t he door r ead:
KENNETH BAI LEY
ACE I NVEST GA I ONS
Beneat h i t :
ROCKEFELLER C LLBCTI ON AG NCY
J enni f er t ook a deep br eat h, opened t he door and wal ked
i n. She was
st andi ng i n t he mi ddl e of a smal l , wi ndowl ess of f i ce.
Ther e wer e t hr ee
scar r ed desks and chai r s cr owded i nt o t he r oom, t wo of
t hemoccupi ed.
Seat ed at one of t he desks was a bal d, shabbi l y dr essed,
mi ddl e- aged man
wor ki ng on some paper s. Agai nst t he opposi t e wal l at
anot her desk was a man
i n hi s ear l y t hi r t i es. He had br i ck- r ed hai r and br i ght
bl ue eyes. Hi s ski n
was pal e and f r eckl ed. He was dr essed i n t i ght - f i t t i ng
j eans, a t ee shi r t ,
and whi t e canvas shoes wi t hout socks. He was t al ki ng
i nt o t he t el ephone.
" Don' t wor r y, Mr s. Desser , I have t wo of my best
oper at i ves wor ki ng on your
case. We shoul d have news of your husband any day now.
r maf r ai d I ' l l have
t o ask you f or a l i t t l e mor e expense money . . . No,
don' t bot her mai l i ng
i t . The mai l s ar e t er r i bl e, r l l be i n your nei ghbor hood
t hi s af t er noon. r l l
st op by and pi ck i t up. "
42 RAGE OF ANGELS
He r epl aced t he r ecei ver and l ooked up and saw J enni f er .
He r ose t o hi s
f eet , smi l ed and hel d out a st r ong, f i r mhand. " I ' m
Kennet h Bai l ey. And what
can I do f or you t hi s mor ni ng?. .
J enni f er l ooked . ar ound t he smal l , ai r l ess r oomand sai d
uncer t ai nl y, " I - I
came about your ad. "
" Oh. " Ther e was sur pr i se i n hi s bl ue eyes.
The bal d- headed man was st ar i ng at J enni f er .
Kennet h Bai l ey sai d, " Thi s i s Ot t o Wenzel . He' s t he
Rockef el l er Col l ect i on
Agency. "
J enni f er nodded. " Hel l o. " She t ur ned back t o Kennet h
Bai l ey. " And you' r e
Ace I nvest i gat i ons?"
" That ' s r i ght . What ' s your scam?"
" My- ?" Then, r eal i zi ng, " I ' man at t or ney. "
Kennet h Bai l ey st udi ed her skept i cal l y. " And you want t o
set up an of f i ce
her e?"
J enni f er l ooked ar ound t he dr ear y of f i ce agai n and
vi sual i zed her sel f at
t he empt y desk, bet ween t hese t wo men.
" Per haps I ' l l l ook a l i t t l e f ur t her , " she sai d. " I ' mnot
sur e- "
" Your r ent woul d onl y be ni net y dol l ar s a mont h. "
" I coul d buy t hi s bui l di ng f or ni net y dol l ar s a mont h, "
J enni f er r epl i ed.
She t ur ned t o l eave.
" Hey, wai t a mi nut e. "
J enni f er paused.
Kennet h Bai l ey r an a hand over hi s pal e chi n. " Pl l make
a deal wi t h you.
Si xt y. When your busi ness get s r ol l i ng we' l l t al k about
an i ncr ease. "
I t was a bar gai n. J enni f er knew t hat she coul d never
f i nd any space
el sewher e f or t hat amount . On t he ot her hand, t her e was
no way she coul d
ever at t r act cl i ent s t o t hi s hel l hol e. Ther e was one
ot her t hi ng she had
t o
consi der . She di d not have t he si xt y dol l ar s.
" I ' l l t ake i t , " J enni f er sai d.
SI DNEY SHELDON 43
" You won' t be sor r y, " Kennet h Bai l ey pr omi sed. " When do
you want t o move
your t hi ngs i n?"
" They' r e i n. "
Kennet h Bai l ey pai nt ed t he si gn on t he door hi msel f . I t
r ead:
J ENNI FER PARKER
ATTORNEY AT LAW
J enni f er st udi ed t he si gn wi t h mi xed f eel i ngs. I n her
deepest depr essi ons
i t had never occur r ed t o her t hat she woul d have her
name under t hat of a
pr i vat e i nvest i gat or and a bi l l col l ect or . Yet , as she
l ooked at t he
f ai nt l y cr ooked si gn, she coul d not hel p f eel i ng a sense
of pr i de. She was
an at t or ney. The si gn on t he door pr oved i t .
Now t hat J enni f er had of f i ce space, t he onl y t hi ng she
l acked was cl i ent s.
J enni f er coul d no l onger af f or d even t he St eak & Br ew.
She made her sel f a
br eakf ast of t oast and cof f ee on t he hot pl at e she had
set up over t he
r adi at or i n her t i ny bat hr oom. She at e no l unch and had
di nner at Chock
Ful l O' Nut s or ZumZum, wher e t hey ser ved l ar ge pi eces
of wor st , sl abs of
br ead and hot pot at o sal ad.
She ar r i ved at her desk pr ompt l y at ni ne o' cl ock ever y
mor ni ng, but t her e
was not hi ng f or her t o do except l i st en t o Ken Bai l ey
and Ot t o Wenzel
t al ki ng on t he t el ephone.
Ken Bai l ey' s cases seemed t o consi st most l y of f i ndi ng
r unaway spouses and
chi l dr en, and at f i r st J enni f er was convi nced t hat he
was a con man, maki ng
ext r avagant pr omi ses and col l ect i ng l ar ge advances. But
J enni f er qui ckl y
l ear ned t hat Ken Bai l ey wor ked har d and del i ver ed of t en.
He was br i ght and
he was cl ever .
44 RAGE OF ANGELS
Ot t o Wenzel was an eni gma. Hi s t el ephone r ang
const ant l y. He woul d pi ck i t
up, mut t er a f ew wor ds i nt o i t , wr i t e somet hi ng on a
pi ece of paper and
di sappear f or a f ew hour s.
" Oscar does r epo' s, " Ken Bai l ey expl ai ned t o J enni f er
one day.
" Repo' s?"
" Yeah. Col l ect i on compani es use hi mt o get back
aut omobi l es, t el evi si on
set s, washi ng machi nes- , - you name i t . " He l ooked at
J enni f er cur i ousl y.
" You got any cl i ent s?"
" I have some t hi ngs comi ng up, " J enni f er sai d
evasi vel y.
He nodded. " Don' t l et i t get you down. Anyone can make a
mi st ake. "
J enni f er f el t her sel f f l ushi ng. So he knew about her .
Ken Bai l ey was unwr appi ng a l ar ge, t hi ck r oast - beef
sandwi ch. " Li ke some?"
I t l ooked del i ci ous. " No, t hanks, " J enni f er sai d f i r ml y.
" I never eat
l unch. "
" Okay. "
She wat ched hi mbi t e i nt o t he j ui cy sandwi ch. He saw her
expr essi on and
sai d, " You sur e you- ?"
" No, t hank you. I - I have an appoi nt ment . "
Ken Bai l ey wat ched J enni f er wal k out of t he of f i ce and
hi s f ace was
t hought f ul . He pr i ded hi msel f on hi s abi l i t y t o r ead
char act er , but
J enni f er Par ker puzzl ed hi m. . Fr omt he t el evi si on and
newspaper account s he
had been sur e someone had pai d t hi s gi r l t o dest r oy t he
case agai nst
Mi chael Mor et t i . Af t er meet i ng J enni f er , Ken was l ess
cer t ai n. He had been
mar r i ed once and had gone t hr ough hel l , and he hel d
women i n l ow est eem.
But somet hi ng t ol d hi mt hat t hi s one was speci al . She
was beaut i f ul , br i ght
and ver y pr oud. J esus! be sai d t o hi msel f . Don' t be a
f ool ! One mur der on
your consci ence i s enough.
Emma Lazar us was a sent i ment al i di ot , J enni f er t hought .
SI DNEY SHELDON 45
" Gi ve me your t i r ed, your poor , your huddl ed masses
year ni ng t o br eat he f r ee
. . . Send t hese, t he homel ess, t empest t ossed, t o me. "
I ndeed! Anyone
manuf act ur i ng wel come mat s i n New Yor k woul d have gone
out of busi ness i n
an
hour . I n New Yor k no one car ed whet her you l i ved or di ed.
St op f eel i ng sor r y
f or your sel f ! J enni f er t ol d her sel f . But i t was
di f f i cul t . Her r esour ces had
dwi ndl ed t o ei ght een dol l ar s, t he r ent on her apar t ment
was over due, and her
shar e of t he of f i ce r ent was due i n t wo days. She di d not
have enough money
t o st ay i n New Yor k any l onger , and she di d not have
enough money t o l eave.
J enni f er had gone t hr ough t he Yel l ow Pages, cal l i ng l aw
of f i ces
al phabet i cal l y, t r yi ng t o get a j ob. She made t he cal l s
f r omt el ephone
boot hs because she was t oo embar r assed t o l et Ken Bai l ey
and Ot t o Wenzel
hear her conver sat i ons. The r esul t s wer e al ways t he
same. No one was
i nt er est ed i n hi r i ng her . She woul d have t o r et ur n t o
Kel so and get a j ob
as a l egal ai de or as a secr et ar y t o one of her f at her ' s
f r i ends. How he
woul d have hat ed t hat ! I t was a bi t t er def eat , but t her e
wer e no choi ces
l ef t . She woul d be r et ur ni ng home a f ai l ur e. The
i mmedi at e pr obl emf aci ng
her was t r anspor t at i on. She l ooked t hr ough t he af t er noon
New Yor k Post and
f ound an ad f or someone t o shar e dr i vi ng expenses t o
Seat t l e. Ther e was a
t el ephone number and J enni f er cal l ed i t . Ther e was no
answer . She deci ded
she woul d t r y agai n i n t he mor ni ng.
The f ol l owi ng day, J enni f er went t o her of f i ce f or t he
l ast t i me. Ot t o
Wenzel was out , but Ken Bai l ey was t her e, on t he
t el ephone, as usual . He
was wear i ng bl ue j eans and a veaneck cashmer e sweat er .
" I f ound your wi f e, " he was sayi ng. " The onl y pr obl em,
pal , i s t hat she
doesn' t want t o go home . . . . I know. Who can f i gur e
women out ? . . .
Okay. I ' l l t el l you wher e she' s st ayi ng and you can t r y
t o sweet - t al k her
i nt o comi ng back. "
46 RAGE OF ANGELS
He gave t he addr ess of a mi dt own hot el . " My pl easur e. " He
hung up and swung
ar ound t o f ace J enni f er . " You' r e l at e t hi s mor ni ng. "
" Mr . Bai l ey, I - r maf r ai d I ' mgoi ng t o have t o be
l eavi ng. I ' l l send you t he
r ent money I owe you as soon as I ' mabl e t o. "
Ken Bai l ey l eaned back i n hi s chai r and st udi ed her . Hi s
l ook made J enni f er
uncomf or t abl e.
" Wi l l t hat be al l r i ght ?" she asked.
" Goi ng back t o Washi ngt on?"
J enni f er nodded.
Ken Bai l ey sai d, " Bef or e you l eave, woul d you do me a
l i t t l e f avor ? A
l awyer f r i end' s been buggi ng me t o ser ve some subpoenas
f or hi m, and I
haven' t got t i me. He pays t wel vef i f t y f or each subpoena
pl us mi l eage. Woul d
you hel p me out ?"
One hour l at er J enni f er Par ker f ound her sel f i n t he
pl ush l aw of f i ces of
Peabody & Peabody. Thi s was t he ki nd of f i r mshe had
vi sual i zed wor ki ng i n
one day, a f ul l par t ner wi t h a beaut i f ul cor ner sui t e.
She was escor t ed t o
a smal l back r oomwher e a har assed secr et ar y handed her
a st ack of
subpoenas.
" Her e. Be sur e t o keep a r ecor d of your mi l eage. You do
have a car , don' t
you?"
" No, I ' maf r ai d I - : "
" Wel l , i f you use t he subway, keep t r ack of t he f ar es: "
. 411i ght
J enni f er spent t he r est of t he day del i ver i ng subpoenas
i n t he Br onx,
Br ookl yn and Queens i n a downpour . By ei ght o' cl ock t hat
eveni ng, she had
made f i f t y dol l ar s. She ar r i ved back at her t i ny
apar t ment chi l l ed and
exhaust ed. But at l east she had ear ned some money, her
f i r st si nce comi ng
t o New Yor k. And t he secr et ar y had t ol d her t her e wer e
pl ent y mor e
subpoenas t o ser ve. I t was har d wor k, r unni ng al l over
t own,
SI DNEY SHELDON 47
and i t was humi l i at i ng. She had had door s sl ammed i n her
f ace, had been
cur sed at , t hr eat ened, and pr oposi t i oned t wi ce. The
pr ospect of f aci ng
anot her day l i ke t hat was di smayi ng; and yet , as l ong as
she coul d r emai n
i n
New Yor k t her e was hope, no mat t er how f ai nt .
J enni f er r an a hot bat h and st epped i nt o i t , sl owl y
si nki ng down i nt o t he
t ub, f eel i ng t he l uxur y of t he wat er l appi ng over her
body. She had not
r eal i zed how exhaust ed she was. Ever y muscl e seemed t o
ache. She deci ded
t hat what she needed was a good di nner t o cheer her up.
She woul d spl ur ge.
I ' l l t r eat mysel f t o a r eal r est aur ant wi t h t abl ecl ot hs
and napki ns,
J enni f er t hought . Per haps t hey' l l have sof t musi c and
I ' l l have a gl ass of
whi t e wi ne and-
J enni f er ' s t hought s wer e i nt er r upt ed by t he r i ngi ng of
t he door bel l . I t was
an al i en sound. She had not had a si ngl e vi si t or si nce
she had moved i n t wo
mont hs ear l i er . I t coul d onl y be t he sur l y l andl ady
about t he over due r ent .
J enni f er l ay st i l l , hopi ng she woul d go away, t oo wear y
t o move.
The door bel l r ang agai n. Rel uct ant l y, J enni f er dr agged
her sel f f r omt he
war mt ub. She sl i pped on a t er r y- cl ot h r obe and went t o
t he door .
" Who i s i t ?"
A mascul i ne voi ce on t he ot her si de of t he door sai d,
" Mi ss J enni f er
Par ker ?"
" Yes. " " My name i s AdamWar ner . I ' man at t or ney. "
Puzzl ed, J enni f er put t he chai n on t he door and opened
i t a cr ack. The man
st andi ng i n t he hal l was i n hi s mi ddl e t hi r t i es, t al l
and bl ond and
br oad- shoul der ed, wi t h gr ay- bl ue i nqui si t i ve eyes behi nd
hor n- r i mmed
gl asses. He was dr essed i n a t ai l or ed sui t t hat must
have cost a f or t une.
" May I come i n?" he asked.
Mugger s di d not wear t ai l or ed sui t s, Gucci shoes and
si l k t i es. Nor di d
t hey have l ong, sensi t i ve hands wi t h car ef ul l y mani cur ed
nai l s.
48 RAGE OF ANGELS
" J ust a moment . "
J enni f er unf ast ened t he chai n and opened t he door . As
AdamWar ner wal ked
i n, J enni f er gl anced ar ound t he oner oomapar t ment ,
seei ng i t t hr ough hi s
eyes, and wi nced. He l ooked l i ke a man who was used t o
bet t er t hi ngs.
" What can I do f or you, Mr . War ner ?"
Even as she spoke, J enni f er suddenl y knew why he was
t her e, and she was
f i l l ed wi t h a qui ck sense of exci t ement . I t was about
one of t he j obs she
had appl i ed f or ! She wi shed t hat she had on a ni ce, dar k
bl ue t ai l or ed
r obe, t hat her hai r was combed, t hat
AdamWar ner sai d, , r ma member of t he Di sci pl i nar y
Commi t t ee of t he New
Yor k Bar Associ at i on, Mi ss Par ker . Di st r i ct At t or ney
Rober t Di Si l va and
J udge Lawr ence Wal dman have r equest ed t he Appel l at e
Di vi si on t o begi n
di sbar ment pr oceedi ngs agai nst you. "
4
The l aw of f i ces of Needham, Fi nch, Pi er ce and War ner
wer e l ocat ed at 30
Wal l St r eet , occupyi ng t he ent i r e t op f l oor of t he
bui l di ng. Ther e wer e a
hundr ed and t went y- f i ve l awyer s i n t he f i r m. The of f i ces
smel l ed of ol d
money and wer e done i n t he qui et el egance bef i t t i ng an
or gani zat i on t hat
r epr esent ed some of t he bi ggest names i n i ndust r y.
AdamWar ner and St ewar t Needhamwer e havi ng t hei r r i t ual
mor ni ng t ea.
St ewar t Needhamwas a dapper , t r i mman i n hi s l at e
si xt i es. He had a neat
Vandyke bear d and wor e a t weed sui t and vest . He l ooked
as t hough he
bel onged t o an ol der er a, but as hundr eds of opponent s
had l ear ned t o t hei r
sor r ow t hr ough t he year s, St ewar t Needham' s mi nd
bel onged ver y much t o t he
t went i et h cent ur y. He was a t i t an, but hi s name was
known onl y i n t he
ci r cl es wher e i t mat t er ed. He pr ef er r ed t o r emai n i n t he
backgr ound and use
hi s consi der abl e i nf l uence t o af f ect t he out come of
l egi sl at i on, hi gh
gover nment appoi nt ment s and nat i onal pol i t i cs. He was a
New Engl ander , bor n
and r ear ed t aci t ur n.
49
50 RAGE OF ANGELS
AdamWar ner was mar r i ed t o Needham' s ni ece Mar y Bet h,
and was Needhams
pr ot 6g6. Adam' s f at her had been a r espect ed senat or .
Adamhi msel f was a
br i l l i ant l awyer . When he had been gr aduat ed magna cum
l aude f r omHar var d
Law School , he had had of f er s f r ompr est i gi ous l aw f i r ms
al l over t he
count r y. He chose Needham, Fi nch and Pi er ce, and seven
year s l at er became
a par t ner . Adamwas physi cal l y at t r act i ve and char mi ng,
and hi s
i nt el l i gence seemed t o add an ext r a di mensi on t o hi m. He
had an easy
sur eness about hi msel f t hat women f ound chal l engi ng.
Adamhad l ong si nce
devel oped a syst emf or di ssuadi ng over amor ous f emal e
cl i ent s. He had been
mar r i ed t o Mar y Bet h f or f our t een year s and di d not
appr ove of ext r amar i t al
af f ai r s.
" Mor e t ea, Adam?" St ewar t Needhamasked.
" No, t hanks. " AdamWar ner hat ed t ea, and he had been
dr i nki ng i t ever y
mor ni ng f or t he l ast ei ght year s onl y because he di d not
want t o hur t hi s
par t ner ' s f eel i ngs. I t was a br ew t hat Needhamconcoct ed
hi msel f and i t was
dr eadf ul .
St ewar t Needhamhad t wo t hi ngs on hi s mi nd and,
t ypi cal l y, he began wi t h
t he pl easant news. " I had a meet i ng wi t h a f ew f r i ends
l ast ni ght , " Needham
sai d. A f ew f r i ends woul d be a gr oup of t he t op power
br oker s i n t he
count r y. " They' r e consi der i ng aski ng you t o r un f or
Uni t ed St at es senat or ,
Adam: '
Adamf el t a sense of el at i on. Knowi ng St ewar t Needhams
caut i ous nat ur e,
Adamwas cer t ai n t hat t he conver sat i on had been mor e
t han casual or Needham
woul d not have br ought i t up now.
" The bi g quest i on, of cour se, i s whet her you' r e
i nt er est ed. I t woul d mean
a l ot of changes i n your l i f e. "
AdamWar ner was awar e of t hat . I f he won t he el ect i on,
i t woul d mean movi ng
t o Washi ngt on, D. C. , gi vi ng up hi s l aw pr act i ce,
st ar t i ng a whol e new l i f e.
He was sur e t hat Mar y Bet h woul d enj oy i t ; Adamwas not
so sur e about
hi msel f . And yet , he had been r ear ed t o assume
r esponsi bi l i t y. Al so,
SI DNEY SHELDON 51
he had t o admi t t o hi msel f t hat t her e was a pl easur e i n
power .
" I ' d be ver y i nt er est ed, St ewar t . "
St ewar t Needhamnodded wi t h sat i sf act i on. " Good. They' l l
be pl eased. " He
pour ed hi msel f anot her cup of t he dr eadf ul br ew and
casual l y br oached t he
ot her subj ect t hat was on hi s mi nd. " Ther e' s a l i t t l e
j ob t he Di sci pl i nar y
Commi t t ee of t he Bar Associ at i on woul d l i ke you t o
handl e, Adam. Shoul dn' t
t ake you mor e t han an hour or t wo. "
" What i s i t ?"
" I t ' s t he Mi chael Mor et t i t r i al . Appar ent l y, someone got
t o one of Bobby
Di
Si l va' s young assi st ant s and pai d her of f . "
" I r ead about i t . The canar y. "
" Ri ght . J udge Wal dman and Bobby woul d l i ke her name
r emoved f r omt he r ost er
of our honor abl e pr of essi on. So woul d I . I t r eeks. "
" What do t hey want me t o do?"
" J ust make a qui ck check, ver i f y t hat t hi s Par ker gi r l
behaved i l l egal l y
or
unet hi cal l y, and t hen r ecommend di sbar ment pr oceedi ngs.
She' l l be ser ved
wi t h a not i ce t o show cause and t hey' l l handl e t he r est
of i t . I t ' s j ust
r out i ne. "
Adamwas puzzl ed by somet hi ng. " Why me, St ewar t ? We have
a coupl e of dozen
young l awyer s ar ound her e who coul d handl e t hi s. "
" Our r ever ed Di st r i ct At t or ney speci f i cal l y asked f or
you. He want s t o make
sur e not hi ng goes wr ong. As we' r e bot h awar e, " he added
dr yl y, " Bobby' s not
t he most f or gi vi ng man i n t he wor l d. He want s t he Par ker
woman' s hi de
nai l ed up on hi s wal l . "
AdamWar ner sat t her e, t hi nki ng about hi s busy
schedul e.
" You never know when we mi ght need a f avor f r omt he
D. A. ' s of f i ce, Adam.
Qui d pr o quo. I t ' s al l cut and dr i ed"
" Al l r i ght , St ewar t . " Adamr ose t o hi s f eet .
" Sur e you won' t have some mor e t ea?"
" No, t hanks. I t was as good as al ways. "
x . .
52 RAGE OF ANGELS
When AdamWar ner r et ur ned t o hi s of f i ce he r ang f or one
of hi s par al egal
assi st ant s, Luci nda, a br i ght , young Bl ack woman.
" Ci ndy, get me al l t he i nf or mat i on you can on an
at t or ney named J enni f er
Par ker . "
She gr i nned and sai d, " The yel l ow canar y. "
Ever ybody knew about her .
Lat e t hat af t er noon AdamWar ner was st udyi ng t he
t r anscr i pt of t he cour t
pr oceedi ngs i n t he case of The Peopl e of New Yor k v.
Mi chael Mor et t i .
Rober t Di Si l va had had i t del i ver ed by speci al
messenger . I t was l ong past
mi dni ght when Adamf i ni shed. He had asked Mar y Bet h t o
at t end a di nner
par t y wi t hout hi m, and had sent out f or sandwi ches. When
Adamwas t hr ough
r eadi ng t he t r anscr i pt , t her e was no doubt i n hi s mi nd
t hat Mi chael Mor et t i
woul d have been f ound gui l t y by t he j ur y i f f at e had not
i nt er vened i n t he
f or mof J enni f er Par ker . Di Si l va had pr osecut ed t he
case f l awl essl y.
Adamt ur ned t o t he t r anscr i pt of t he deposi t i on t hat had
been t aken i n
J udge Wal dman' s chamber s af t er war d.
DI SI LVA: You ar e a col l ege gr aduat e?
PARKER: Yes, si r .
DI SI LVA' And a l aw school gr aduat e?
PARKER: Yes, si r .
DI SI LVA: And a st r anger hands you a package, t el l s you t o
del i ver i t t o a
key
wi t ness i n a mur der t r i al and you j ust do i t ? Woul dn' t
you say t hat went
beyond t he bounds of st upi di t y?
PARKER: I t di dn' t happen t hat way.
DI SI LVA: You sai d i t di d.
PARKER: What 1 mean i s, l di dn' t t hi nk he was a st r anger .
1 t hought he was
on
your st af f .
DI SI LVA: What made you t hi nk t hat ?
SI DNEY SHELDON 53
PARKER: I ' ve t ol d you. I saw hi mt al ki ng t o you and t hen
he came over t o me
wi t h
t hi s envel ope and he cal l ed me by name, ar i d he sai d you
want ed me t o
del i ver i t t o t he wi t ness. I t al l happened so f ast t hat -
DI SI LVA: 1 don' t t hi nk i t happened t hat f ast . I t hi nk i t
t ook t i me t o set
f t
up. I t t ook t i me t o ar r ange f or someone t o pay you of f t o
del i ver i t .
PARKER: That ' s not t r ue. l -
DI SI LVA: What ' s not t r ue? That you di dn' t know you wer e
del i ver i ng t he
envel ope?
PARKER: I di dn' t know what was i n i t .
DI SI LVA: So i t ' s t r ue t hat someone pai d you.
PARKER: I ' mnot goi ng t o l et you t wi st my wor ds ar ound. No
one pai d me
anyt hi ng.
DI SI LVA: You di d i t as a f avor ?
PARKER: No. I t hought I was act i ng on your i nst r uct i ons.
DI SI LVA: You sai d t he man cal l ed you by name.
PARKER: YES.
DI SI LVA: How di d he know your name?
PARKER: I don' t know.
DI SI LVA: Oh, come on. You must have some i dea. Maybe i t
was a l ucky guess.
Maybe he j ust l ooked ar ound t hat cour t r oomand sai d,
Ther e' s someone who
l ooks l i ke her name coul d be J enni f er Par ker . Do you
t hi nk t hat was i t ?
PARKER: I ' ve t ol d you. I don' t know.
DI SI LVA: How l ong have you and Mi chael Mor et t i been
sweet hear t s?
PARKER: Mr . Di Si l va, we' ve gone al l over t hi s. You' ve
been quest i oni ng me
now
f or eve hour s. I ' mt i r ed. 1 have not hi ng mor e t o add. May
1 be excused?
DI SI LVA: I f you move out of t hat chai r I ' l l have you
pl aced under ar r est .
You' r e i n bi g t r oubl e, Mi ss Par ker . Ther e' s onl y one way
you' r e goi ng t o get
out
54 RAGE OF ANGELS
of i t . St op l yi ng and st ar t t el l i ng t he t r ut h.
PARKER: I ' ve t ol d you t he t r ut h. I ' ve t ol d you ever yt hi ng
1 know.
DI SI LVA: Except t he name of t he man who handed you t he
envel ope. 1 want hi s
name and I want t o know how much he pai d you.
Ther e wer e t hi r t y mor e pages of t r anscr i pt . Rober t Di
Si l va had done
ever yt hi ng but beat J enni f er Par ker wi t h a r ubber hose.
She had st uck t o
her st or y.
Adamcl osed t he t r anscr i pt and wear i l y r ubbed hi s eyes.
I t Was t wo A. M.
Tomor r ow he woul d di spose of t he J enni f er Par ker mat t er .
To AdamWar ner ' s sur pr i se, t he J enni f er Par ker case
woul d not be di sposed
of so easi l y. Because Adamwas a met hodi cal man he r an a
check on J enni f er
Par ker ' s backgr ound. As f ar as he coul d det er mi ne, she
had no cr i me
connect i ons, nor was t her e anyt hi ng t o l i nk her wi t h
Mi chael Mor et t i .
Ther e was somet hi ng about t he case t hat di st ur bed Adam.
J enni f er Par ker ' s
def ense was t oo f l i msy. I f she wer e wor ki ng f or Mor et t i ,
he woul d have
pr ot ect ed her wi t h a r easonabl y pl ausi bl e st or y. As i t
was, her st or y was
so t r anspar ent l y nai ve t hat i t had a r i ng of t r ut h about
i t .
At noon Adamr ecei ved a cal l f r omt he Di st r i ct At t or ney.
" How goes i t ,
Adam?"
" Fi ne, Rober t . "
" I under st and you' r e handl i ng t he hat chet - man j ob on t he
J enni f er Par ker
mat t er . "
AdamWar ner wi nced at t he phr ase. " I ' ve agr eed t o make a
r ecommendat i on,
yes. "
" I ' mgoi ng t o put her away f or a l ong t i me. " Adamwas
t aken aback by t he
hat r ed i n t he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s voi ce.
" Easy, Rober t . She' s not di sbar r ed yet . "
Di Si l va chuckl ed. " I ' l l l eave t hat t o you, my f r i end. "
Hi s
SI DNEY SHELDON 55
t one changed. " I hear on t he gr apevi ne t hat you may be
movi ng t o Washi ngt on
soon. I want you t o know t hat you can count on my f ul l
suppor t . "
Whi ch was consi der abl e, AdamWar ner knew. The Di st r i ct
At t or ney had been
ar ound a l ong r i me. He knew wher e t he bodi es wer e bur i ed
and he knew how
t o
squeeze t he most out of t hat i nf or mat i on.
" Thanks, Rober t . I appr eci at e t hat . "
" My pl easur e, Adam. I ' l l wai t t o hear f r omyou. "
Meani ng J enni f er Par ker . The qui d pr o quo St ewar t
Needhamhad ment i oned,
wi t h t he gi r l used as a pawn. AdamWar ner t hought about
Rober t Di Si l va' s
wor ds: I ' mgoi ng t o put her away f or a l ong t i me. Fr om
r eadi ng *t he
t r anscr i pt , Adamj udged t hat t her e was no r eal evi dence
agai nst J enni f er
Par ker . Unl ess she conf essed, or unl ess someone came
f or war d wi t h
i nf or mat i on t hat pr oved cr i mi nal compl i ci t y, Di Si l va
woul d not be abl e t o
t ouch t he gi r l . He was count i ng on Adamt o gi ve hi mhi s
vengeance.
The col d, har sh wor ds of t he t r anscr i pt wer e cl ear - cut ,
and yet Adamwi shed
he coul d have hear d t he t one of J enni f er Par ker ' s voi ce
when she deni ed her
gui l t .
Ther e wer e pr essi ng mat t er s cl ai mi ng Adam' s at t ent i on,
i mpor t ant cases
i nvol vi ng maj or cl i ent s. I t woul d have been easy t o go
ahead and car r y out
t he wi shes of St ewar t Needham, J udge Lawr ence Wal dman
and Rober t Di Si l va,
but some i nst i nct made AdamWar ner hesi t at e. He pi cked
up J enni f er Par ker ' s
f i l e agai n, scr i bbl ed some not es and began t o make some
l ong- di st ance
t el ephone cal l s.
Adamhad been gi ven a r esponsi bi l i t y and he i nt ended t o
car r y i t t hr ough
t o
t he best of hi s abi l i t y. He was al l t oo f ami l i ar wi t h
t he l ong,
back- br eaki ng hour s of st udy and har d wor k i t t ook t o
become an at t or ney
and t o pass t he bar . I t was a pr i ze t hat t ook year s t o
at t ai n, and he was
not about t o depr i ve someone of i t unl ess he was cer ai n
t her e was
j ust i f i cat i on.
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng AdamWar ner was on a pl ane t o
56 RAGE OF ANGELS
Seat t l e, Washi ngt on. He had meet i ngs wi t h J enni f er
Par ker ' s l aw pr of essor s,
wi t h t he head of a l aw f i r mwher e she had cl er ked f or t wo
summer s, and wi t h
some of J enni f er ' s f or mer cl assmat es.
St ewar t Needhamt el ephoned Adami n Seat t l e. " What ar e
you doi ng up t her e,
Adam? You' ve got a bi g case l oad wai t i ng f or you back
her e. That Par ker
t hi ng shoul d have been a snap. "
" A f ew quest i ons have ar i sen, " Adamsai d car ef ul l y. " TI l
be back i n a day
or so, St ewar t . "
Ther e was a pause. " I see. Let ' s not wast e any mor e t i me
on her t han we
have t o. "
By t he t i me AdamWar ner l ef t Seat t l e, he f el t he knew
J enni f er Par ker
al most as wel l as she knew her sel f . He had bui l t up a
por t r ai t of her i n
hi s mi nd, a ment al i dent i ki t , wi t h pi eces f i l l ed i n by
her l aw pr of essor s,
her l andl ady, member s of t he l aw f i r mwher e she had
ser ved as a cl er k, and
cl assmat es. The pi ct ur e t hat Adamhad acqui r ed bor e no
r esembl ance t o t he
pi ct ur e Rober t Di Si l va had gi ven hi m. Unl ess J enni f er
Par ker was t he most
consummat e act r ess who ever l i ved, t her e was no way she
coul d have been
i nvol ved i n a pl ot t o f r ee a man l i ke Mi chael Mor et t i .
Now, al most t wo weeks af t er he had had t hat mor ni ng
conver sat i on wi t h
St ewar t Needham, AdamWar ner f ound hi msel f f aci ng t he
gi r l whose past he
had been expl or i ng. Adamhad seen newspaper pi ct ur es of
J enni f er , but t hey
had not pr epar ed hi mf or t he i mpact she made i n per son.
Even i n an ol d
r obe, wi t hout makeup, and her dar k br own hai r bat h- damp,
she was
br eat ht aki ng. .
Adamsai d, `Tve been assi gned t o i nvest i gat e your par t
i n t he Mi chael
Mor et t i t r i al , Mi ss Par ker . "
" Have you now! " J enni f er coul d f eel an anger r i si ng i n
her . I t st ar t ed as
a spar k and became a f l ame t hat expl oded i nsi de
SI DNEY SHELDON 57
her . They st i l l wer e not t hr ough wi t h her . They wer e
goi ng t o make her pay
f or t he r est of her l i f e. Wel l , she had had enough.
When J enni f er spoke, her voi ce was t r embl i ng. " I have
not hi ng t o say t o you! You go back and t el l t hemwhat ever
you
pl ease. I di d somet hi ng st upi d, but as f ar as I know,
t her e' s no
l aw agai nst st upi di t y. The Di st r i ct At t or ney t hi nks
someone
pai d me of f . " She waved a scor nf ul hand i n t he ai r . " H I
had
any money, do you t hi nk I ' d be l i vi ng i n a pl ace l i ke
t hi s?" Her
voi ce was begi nni ng t o choke up. " I - I don' t car e what
you
do. Al l I want i s t o be l ef t al one. Now pl ease go away! "
J enni f er t ur ned and f l ed i nt o t he bat hr oom, sl ammi ng t he
door behi nd her .
She st ood agai nst t he si nk, t aki ng deep br eat hs, wi pi ng
t he t ear s f r omher
eyes. She knew she had behaved st upi dl y. That ' s t wi ce,
she t hought wr yl y.
She shoul d have handl ed AdamWar ner di f f er ent l y. She
shoul d have t r i ed t o
expl ai n, i nst ead of at t acki ng hi m. Maybe t hen she woul d
not be di sbar r ed.
But she knew t hat was wi shf ul t hi nki ng. Sendi ng someone
t o quest i on her was
a char ade. The next st ep woul d be t o ser ve her wi t h an
or der t o show cause,
and t he f or mal machi ner y woul d be set i n mot i on. Ther e
woul d be a t r i al
panel of t hr ee at t or neys who woul d make t hei r
r ecommendat i on t o t he Di sci -
pl i nar y Boar d whi ch woul d make i t s r epor t t o t he Boar d
of Gover nor s. The
r ecommendat i on was a f or egone concl usi on: di sbar ment .
She woul d be
f or bi dden t o pr act i ce l aw i n t he st at e of New Yor k.
J enni f er t hought
bi t t er l y, Ther e' s one br i ght si de t o t hi s. I can get
i nt o t he Gui nness Book
of Recor ds f or t he shor t est l aw car eer i n hi st or y.
She st epped i nt o t he bat h agai n and l ay back, l et t i ng
t he st i l l - war mwat er
l ap at her , soot hi ng away her t ensi on. At t hi s moment
she was t oo t i r ed t o
car e what happened t o her . She cl osed her eyes and l et
her mi nd dr i f t . She
was hal f asl eep when t he chi l l of t he wat er awakened
her . She had no i dea
how l ong she had l ai n i n t he t ub. Rel uct ant l y she
st epped out and began
t owel i ng her sel f dr y. She was no l onger hungr y. The
58 RAGE OF ANGELS
scene wi t h AdamWar ner had t aken her appet i t e away.
J enni f er combed her hai r and cr eamed her f ace and
deci ded she woul d go t o
bed wi t hout di nner . I n t he mor ni ng she woul d t el ephone
about t he r i de t o
Seat t l e. She opened t he bat hr oomdoor and wal ked i nt o
t he l i vi ng r oom.
AdamWar ner was seat ed i n a chai r , l eaf i ng t hr ough a
magazi ne. He l ooked
up
as J enni f er came i nt o t he r oom, naked.
" I ' msor r y, " Adamsai d. " I ='
J enni f er gave a smal l cr y of al ar mand f l ed t o t he
bat hr oom, wher e she put
on her r obe. When she st epped out t o conf r ont Adam
agai n, J enni f er was
f ur i ous.
" The i nqui si t i on i s over . I asked you t o l eave. "
Adamput t he magazi ne down and sai d qui et l y, " Mi ss
Par ker , do you t hi nk we
coul d di scuss t hi s cal ml y f or a moment ?"
" No! " Al l t he ol d r age boi l ed up i n J enni f er agai n. " I
have not hi ng mor e
t o
say t o you or your damned di sci pl i nar y commi t t ee. I ' m
t i r ed of bei ng
t r eat ed l i ke- l i ke I ' msome ki nd of cr i mi nal ! "
" Have I sai d you wer e a cr i mi nal ?" Adamasked qui et l y.
" You i sn' t t hat why you' r e her e?"
" I t ol d you why I ' mher e. I ' mempower ed t o i nvest i gat e
and r ecommend f or
or
agai nst di sbar ment pr oceedi ngs. I want t o get your si de
of t he st or y. "
" I see. And how do I buy you of f ?"
Adam' s f ace t i ght ened. " I ' msor r y, Mi ss Par ker : " He r ose
t o hi s- f eet and
st ar t ed f or t he door .
" J ust a mi nut e! " Adamt ur ned. " For gi ve me, " she sai d.
" I - ever ybody seems
t o
be t he enemy. I apol ogi ze. "
" Your apol ogy i s accept ed. "
J enni f er was suddenl y awar e of t he f l i msy r obe she was
wear i ng. " I f you
st i l l want t o ask me quest i ons, I ' l l put some cl ot hes on
and we can t al k. "
" Fai r enough. Have you had di nner ?"
She hesi t at ed. " I ~"
SI DNEY SHELDON 59
" I know a l i t t l e Fr ench r est aur ant t hat ' s j ust per f ect
f or i nqui si t i ons. "
I t was a qui et , char mi ng bi st r o on 56t h St r eet on t he
East Si de.
" Not t oo many peopl e know about t hi s pl ace, " AdamWar ner
sai d when t hey had
been seat ed. " I t ' s owned by a young Fr ench coupl e who
used t o wor k at Les
Pyr 6n6es. The f ood i s excel l ent . "
J enni f er had t o t ake Adam' s wor d f or i t . She was
i ncapabl e of t ast i ng
anyt hi ng. She had not eat en al l day, but she was so
ner vous t hat she was
unabl e t o f or ce any f ood down her t hr oat . She t r i ed t o
r el ax, but i t was
i mpossi bl e. No mat t er how much he pr et ended, t he
char mi ng man seat ed
opposi t e her was t he enemy. And he was char mi ng,
J enni f er had t o admi t . He
was amusi ng and at t r act i ve, and under ot her
ci r cumst ances J enni f er woul d
have enj oyed t he eveni ng enor mousl y; but t hese wer e not
ot her
ci r cumst ances. Her whol e f ut ur e was i n t he hands of t hi s
st r anger . The next
hour or t wo woul d det er mi ne i n whi ch di r ect i on t he r est
of her l i f e woul d
move.
Adamwas goi ng out of hi s way t o t r y t o r el ax her . He
had r ecent l y r et ur ned
f r oma t r i p t o J apan wher e he had met wi t h t op
gover nment of f i ci al s. A
speci al banquet had been pr epar ed i n hi s honor .
" Have you ever eat en chocol at e- cover ed ant s?" Adam
asked.
" No. "
He gr i nned. " They' r e bet t er t han t he chocol at e- cover ed
gr asshopper s. "
He t al ked about a hunt i ng t r i p he had t aken t he year
bef or e i n Al aska,
wher e he had been at t acked by a bear . He t al ked about
ever yt hi ng but why
t hey wer e t her e.
J enni f er had been st eel i ng her sel f f or t he moment when
60 RAGE OF ANGELS
Adamwoul d begi n t o i nt er r ogat e her , yet when he f i nal l y
br ought up t he
subj ect , her whol e body went r i gi d.
He had f i ni shed desser t and he sai d qui et l y, " I ' mgoi ng
t o ask you some
quest i ons, and I don' t want you t o get upset . Okay?"
Ther e was a sudden l ump i n J enni f er ' s t hr oat . She was
not sur e she woul d
be
abl e t o speak. She nodded.
" I want you t o t el l me exact l y what happened i n t he
cour t r oomt hat day.
Ever yt hi ng you r emember , ever yt hi ng you f el t . Take your
t i me. "
J enni f er had been pr epar ed t o def y hi m, t o t el l hi mt o
do what ever he
pl eased about her . But somehow, si t t i ng acr oss f r omAdam
War ner , l i st eni ng
t o hi s qui et voi ce, J enni f er ' s r esi st ance was gone. The
whol e exper i ence
was st i l l so vi vi d i n her mi nd t hat i t hur t j ust t o
t hi nk about i t . She had
spent mor e t han a mont h t r yi ng t o f or get i t . Now he was
aski ng her t o go
t hr ough i t agai n.
She t ook a deep, shaky br eat h and sai d, " Al l r i ght . "
Hal t i ngl y, J enni f er began t o r ecount t he event s i n t he
cour t r oom, gr adual l y
speaki ng mor e r api dl y as i t al l came t o l i f e agai n. Adam
sat t her e qui et l y
l i st eni ng, st udyi ng her , sayi ng not hi ng.
When J enni f er had f i ni shed, Adamsai d, " The man who gave
you t he
envel ope- was he i n t he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s of f i ce
ear l i er t hat mor ni ng when
you wer e swor n i n?"
" I ' ve t hought about t hat . I honest l y don' t r emember .
Ther e wer e so many
peopl e i n t he of f i ce t hat day and t hey wer e al l
st r anger s. "
" Had you ever seen t he man bef or e, anywher e?"
J enni f er shook her head hel pl essl y. " I can' t r ecal l . I
don' t t hi nk so. "
" You sai d you saw hi mt al ki ng t o t he Di st r i ct At t or ney
j ust bef or e he
wal ked over t o gi ve you t he envel ope. Di d you see t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney
hand hi mt he envel ope?"
" I - no. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 61
" Di d you act ual l y see t hi s man t al ki ng t o t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney, or was he
j ust i n t he gr oup ar ound hi m?"
J enni f er cl osed her eyes f or a second, t r yi ng t o br i ng
back
t hat moment . " I ' msor r y. Ever yt hi ng was so conf used. I - I
j ust don' t know. "
" Do you have any i dea how he coul d have known your
name?"
" No. "
" Or why he sel ect ed you?"
" That one' s easy. He pr obabl y knew an i di ot when he saw
one. " She shook her
head. " No. I ' msor r y, Mr . War ner , I have no i dea. "
Adamsai d, " A l ot of pr essur e i s bei ng br ought t o bear
on t hi s. Di st r i ct
At t or ney Di Si l va has been af t er Mi chael Mor et t i f or a
l ong t i me. Unt i l you
came al ong, he had an ai r t i ght case. The D. A. ' s not ver y
happy wi t h you. "
" r mnot ver y happy wi t h me, ei t her . " J enni f er coul d not
bl ame AdamWar ner
f or what he was about t o do. He was j ust car r yi ng out
hi s j ob. They wer e
out t o get her and t hey had succeeded. AdamWar ner was
not r esponsi bl e; he
was mer el y t he i nst r ument t hey wer e usi ng.
J enni f er f el t a sudden, over whel mi ng ur ge t o be al one.
She di d not want
anyone el se t o see her mi ser y.
" r msor r y, " she apol ogi zed. " I - I ' mnot f eel i ng ver y
wel l . I ' d l i ke t o go
home, pl ease. "
Adamst udi ed her a moment . " Woul d i t make you f eel any
bet t er i f I t ol d you
r mgoi ng t o r ecommend t hat di sbar ment pr oceedi ngs
agai nst you be dr opped?"
I t t ook sever al seconds f or Adam' s wor ds t o si nk i n.
J enni f er st ar ed at
hi m, speechl ess, sear chi ng hi s f ace, l ooki ng i nt o t hose
gr ay- bl ue eyes
behi nd t he hor n- r i mmed gl asses. " Dodo you r eal l y mean
t hat ?"
" Bei ng a l awyer i s ver y i mpor t ant t o you, i sn' t i t ?"
Adamasked
J enni f er t hought of her f at her and hi s comf or t abl e
l i t t l e l aw
62 RAGE OF ANGELS
of f i ce, and of t he conver sat i ons t hey used t o have, and
t he l ong year s of
l aw school , and t hei r hopes and dr eams. We' r e goi ng i nt o
par t ner shi p. You
hur r y up and get t hat l aw degr ee.
" Yes, " J enni f er whi sper ed.
" I f you can get over a r ough begi nni ng, I have a f eel i ng
you' l l be a ver y
good one: "
J enni f er gave hi ma gr at ef ul smi l e. " Thank you. r mgoi ng
t o t r y. "
She sai d t he wor ds over agai n i n her mi nd. I ' mgoi ng t o
t r y! I t di d not
mat t er t hat she shar ed a smal l and di ngy of f i ce wi t h a
seedy pr i vat e
det ect i ve and a man who r epossessed car s. I t was a l aw
of f i ce. She was a
member of t he l egal pr of essi on, and t hey wer e goi ng t o
al l ow her t o
pr act i ce l aw. She was f i l l ed wi t h a f eel i ng of
exul t at i on. She l ooked
acr oss at Adamand knew she woul d be f or ever gr at ef ul t o
t hi s man.
The wai t er had begun t o cl ear t he di shes f r omt he t abl e.
J enni f er t r i ed t o
speak, but i t came out a cr oss bet ween a l augh and a
sob. " Mr . War ner - "
He sai d gr avel y, " Af t er al l we' ve been t hr ough t oget her ,
I t hi nk i t shoul d
be Adam. "
" Adam- "
" Yes?"
" i hope i t won' t r ui n our r el at i onshi p, but - 2' J enni f er
moaned, " Pm
st ar vedt "
5
The next f ew weeks r aced by. J enni f er f ound her sel f busy
f r omear l y mor ni ng
unt i l l at e at ni ght , ser vi ng summonsescour t or der s t o
appear t o answer a
l egal act i on- and subpoenas- - cour t or der s t o appear as a
wi t ness. She knew
t hat her chances of get t i ng i nt o a l ar ge l aw f i r mwer e
nonexi st ent , f or
af t er t he f i asco she had been i nvol ved i n, no one woul d
dr eamof hi r i ng
her . She woul d j ust have t o f i nd some way t o make a
r eput at i on f or her sel f ,
t o begi n al l over .
I n t he meant i me, t her e was t he pi l e of summonses and
subpoenas on her desk
f r omPeabody & Peabody. Whi l e i t was not exact l y
pr act i ci ng l aw, i t was
t wel ve- f i f t y and expenses.
Occasi onal l y, when J enni f er wor ked l at e, Ken Bai l ey
woul d t ake her out t o
di nner . On t he sur f ace he was a cyni cal man, but
J enni f er f el t t hat i t was
a f acade. She sensed t hat he was l onel y. He had been
gr aduat ed f r omBr own
Uni ver si t y and was br i ght and wel l - r ead. She coul d not
i magi ne why he was
sat i sf i ed t o spend hi s l i f e wor ki ng out of a dr ear y
of f i ce, t r yi ng
63
64 RAGE OF ANGELS
t o l ocat e st r ay husbands and wi ves. I t was as t hough he
had r esi gned hi msel f
t o bei ng a f ai l ur e and was af r ai d t o t r y f or success.
Once, when J enni f er br ought up t he subj ect of hi s
mar r i age, he gr owl ed at
her , " I t ' s none of your busi ness, " and J enni f er had
never ment i oned i t
agai n.
Ot t o Wenzel was compl et el y di f f er ent . The shor t ,
pot bel l i ed l i t t l e man was
happi l y mar r i ed. He r egar ded J enni f er as a daught er and
he const ant l y
br ought her soups and cakes t hat hi s wi f e made.
Unf or t unat el y, hi s wi f e was
a t er r i bl e cook, but J enni f er f or ced her sel f t o eat
what ever Ot t o Wenzel
br ought i n, because she di d not want t o hur t hi s
f eel i ngs. One Fr i day
eveni ng J enni f er was i nvi t ed t o t he Wenzel home f or
di nner . Mr s. Wenzel had
pr epar ed st uf f ed cabbage, her speci al t y. The cabbage was
soggy, t he meat
i nsi de was har d, and t he r i ce hal f cooked. The whol e di sh
swami n a l ake of
chi cken f at . J enni f er at t acked i t br avel y, t aki ng smal l
bi t es and pushi ng
t he f ood ar ound on her pl at e t o make i t seemas t hough
she wer e eat i ng.
" How do you l i ke i t ?" Mr s. Wenzel beamed.
" I t - i t ' s one of my f avor i t es. "
Fr omt hat t i me on, J enni f er had di nner at t he Wenzel ' s
ever y Fr i day ni ght ,
and Mr s. Wenzel al ways pr epar ed J enni f er ' s f avor i t e
di sh.
Ear l y one mor ni ng, J enni f er r ecei ved a t el ephone cal l
f r omt he per sonal
secr et ar y of Mr . Peabody, 1r .
" Mr . Peabody woul d l i ke t o see you t hi s mor ni ng at
el even o' cl ock. Be
pr ompt , pl ease. "
" Yes, maam. "
I n t he past , J enni f er had onl y deal t wi t h secr et ar i es
and l aw cl er ks i n t he
Peabody of f i ce. I t was a l ar ge, pr est i gi ous f i r m, one
t hat young l awyer s
dr eamed of bei ng i nvi t ed t o j oi n. On t he way t o keep her
appoi nt ment ,
J enni f er began t o f ant asi ze. I f Mr . Peabody hi msel f
want ed t o see her , i t
had t o be about
SI DNEY SHELDON 65
somet hi ng i mpor t ant . He pr obabl y had seen t he l i ght and
was goi ng t o of f er
her a j ob as a l awyer wi t h hi s f i r m, t o gi ve her a chance
t o show what she
coul d do. She was goi ng t o sur pr i se al l of t hem. Some day
i t mi ght even be
Peabody, Peabody & Par ker .
J enni f er ki l l ed t hi r t y mi nut es i n t he cor r i dor out si de
t he of f i ce, and at
exact l y el even o' cl ock, she ent er ed t he r ecept i on r oom.
She di d not want
t o
seemt oo eager . She was kept wai t i ng f or t wo hour s, and
was f i nal l y usher ed
i nt o t he of f i ce of Mr . Peabody, J r . He was a t al l , t hi n
man wear i ng a
vest ed sui t and shoes t hat had been made f or hi mi n
London.
He di d not i nvi t e her t o si t down. " Mi ss Pot t er - " He had
an unpl easant ,
hi gh- pi t ched voi ce.
" Par ker . "
He pi cked up a pi ece of paper f r omhi s desk. " Thi s i s a
summons. I woul d
l i ke you t o ser ve i t . "
At t hat i nst ant , J enni f er sensed t hat she was not goi ng
t o become a member
of t he f i r m.
Mr . Peabody, J r . , handed J enni f er t he summons and sai d,
" Your f ee wi l l be
f i ve hundr ed dol l ar s. "
J enni f er was sur e she had mi sunder st ood hi m. " Di d you
say f i ve hundr ed
dol l ar s?"
" That i s cor r ect . I f you ar e successf ul , of cour se: "
" ' Ther e' s a pr obl em, " J enni f er guessed.
" Wel l , yes, " Mr . Peabody, J r . , admi t t ed " We' ve been
t r yi ng t o ser ve t hi s
man f or mor e t han a year . Hi s name i s Wi l l i amCar l i sl e.
He l i ves on an
est at e i n Long bl and and he never l eaves hi s house. To
be qui t e t r ut hf ul ,
a dozen peopl e have t r i ed t o ser ve hi m. He has a
bodyguar d- but l er who keeps
ever yone away. "
J enni f er sai d, " I don' t see how I "
Mr . Peabody, J r . l eaned f or war d. " Ther e' s a gr eat deal
of money at st ake
her e. But I can' t get Wi l l i amCar l i sl e i nt o cour t unl ess
I can ser ve hi m,
Mi ss Pot t er . " J enni f er di d not bot her t o cor r ect hi m.
" Do you t hi nk you can
handl e i t ?"
66 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er t hought about what she coul d do wi t h f i ve
hundr ed dol l ar s. " I ' l l
f i nd a vvay. "
At t wo o' cl ock t hat af t er noon, J enni f er was st andi ng
out si de t he i mposi ng
est at e of Wi l l i amCar l i sl e. The house i t sel f was
Geor gi an, set i n t he
mi ddl e of t en acr es of beaut i f ul , car ef ul l y t ended
gr ounds. A cur vi ng
dr i veway l ed t o t he f r ont of t he house, whi ch was f r amed
by gr acef ul f i r
t r ees. J enni f er had gi ven a l ot of t hought t o her
pr obl em. Si nce i t was
i mpossi bl e t o get i nt o t he house, t he onl y sol ut i on was
t o f i nd a way t o
get Mr : Wi l l i amCar l i sl e t o come out .
Hal f a bl ock down t he st r eet was a gar dener ' s t r uck.
J enni f er st udi ed t he
t r uck a moment , t hen wal ked over t o i t , l ooki ng f or t he
gar dener s. Ther e
wer e t hr ee of t hemat wor k, and t hey wer e J apanese.
J enni f er wal ked up t o t he men. " Who' s i n char ge her e?"
One of t hemst r ai ght ened up. " I am. "
" I have a l i t t l e j ob f or you . . " J enni f er began.
" Sor r y, mi ss. Too busy. "
" Thi s wi l l onl y t ake f i ve mi nut es. "
" No. I mpossi bl e t o- "
" I ' l l pay you one hundr ed dol l ar s. "
The t hr ee men st opped t o l ook at her . The chi ef gar dener
sai d, " You pay us
one hundr ed dol l ar s f or f i ve mi nut es' wor k?"
" That ' s r i ght . "
" What we have t o do . . . ?"
Fi ve mi nut es l at er , t he gar dener ' s t r uck pul l ed i nt o t he
dr i veway of
Wi l l i amCar l i sl e' s est at e and J enni f er and t he t hr ee
gar dener s got out .
J enni f er l ooked ar ound, sel ect ed a beaut i f ul t r ee next
t o t he f r ont door
and sai d t o t he gar dener s, " Di g i t up. "
They t ook t hei r spades f r omt he t r uck and began t o di g.
Bef or e a mi nut e had
gone by, t he f r ont door bur st open and an enor mous man
i n a but l er ' s
uni f or mcame st or mi ng out .
SI DNEY SHELDON 67
" What t he hel l do you t hi nk you' r e doi ng?"
" Long I sl and Nur ser y, " J enni f er sai d cr i spl y. " We' r e
t aki n' out al l t hese
t r ees. "
The but l er st ar ed at her . " You' r e what ?"
J enni f er hel d up a pi ece of paper . " I have an or der her e
t o di g up t hese
t r ees. "
" That ' s i mpossi bl e! Mr . Car l i sl e woul d have a f i t ! " He
t ur ned t o t he
gar dener s. " You st op t hat ! "
" Look, mi st er , " J enni f er sai d, " I ' mj ust J oi n' my j ob. "
She l ooked at t he
gar dener s. " Keep di ggi n' , f el l as: '
" No! " t he but l er shout ed. " I ' mt el l i ng you t her e' s been
a mi st ake! Mr .
Car l i sl e di dn' t or der any t r ees dug up. "
J enni f er shr ugged and sai d, " My boss says he di d. "
" Wher e can I get i n t ouch wi t h your boss?"
J enni f er l ooked at her wat ch. " He' s out on a j ob i n
Br ookl yn. He shoul d be
back i n t he of f i ce ar ound si x. "
The but l er gl ar ed at her , f ur i ous. " J ust a mi nut e! Don' t
do anyt hi ng unt i l
I r et ur n. "
" Keep di ggi n' , " J enni f er t ol d t he gar dener s.
The but l er t ur ned and hur r i ed i nt o t he house, sl ammi ng
t he door behi nd hi m.
A f ew moment s l at er t he door opened and t he but l er
r et ur ned, accompani ed
by
a t i ny mi ddl e- aged man.
" Woul d you mi nd t el l i ng me what t he devi l i s goi ng on
her e?"
" What busi ness i s i t of your s?" J enni f er demanded.
" r l l t el l you what busi ness i t i s of mi ne, " he snapped.
" I ' mWi l l i am
Car l i sl e and t hi s happens t o be my pr oper t y. "
" I n t hat case, Mr . Car l i sl e, " J enni f er sai d, " I have
somet hi ng f or you. "
She r eached i n her pocket and put t he summons i n hi s
hand. She t ur ned t o
t he gar dener s. " You can st op di ggi ng now. "
Ear l y t he next mor ni ng AdamWar ner t el ephoned. J enni f er
r ecogni zed hi s
voi ce i nst ant l y.
" I t hought you woul d l i ke t o know, " Adamsai d, " t hat
t he
68 RAGE OF ANGELS
di sbar ment pr oceedi ngs have been of f i ci al l y dr opped. You
have not hi ng mor e
t o wor r y about . "
J enni f er cl osed her eyes and sai d a si l ent pr ayer of
t hanks. " I - I can' t
t el l you how much I appr eci at e what you' ve done. "
" J ust i ce i sn' t al ways bl i nd. "
Adamdi d not ment i on t he scene he had had wi t h St ewar t
Needhamand Rober t
Di Si l va. Needhamhad been di sappoi nt ed, but
phi l osophi cal .
The Di st r i ct At t or ney had car r i ed on l i ke a r agi ng bul l .
" You l et t hat
bi t ch get away wi t h t hi s? J esus Chr i st , she' s Maf i a,
Adam! Coul dn' t you see
t hat ? She' s conni ng youl "
And on and on, unt i l Adamhad t i r ed of i t .
" Al l t he evi dence agai nst her was ci r cumst ant i al ,
Rober t . She was i n t he
wr ong pl ace at t he wr ong t i me and she got mouset r apped.
That doesn' t spel l
Maf i a t o me. "
Fi nal l y Rober t Di Si l va had sai d, " Okay, so she' s st i l l
_a
l awyer . I j ust hope t o God she pr act i ces i n New Yor k,
because
t he mi nut e she set s f oot i n any of my cour t r ooms, I ' m
goi ng
t o wi pe her out : "
Now, t al ki ng t o J enni f er , Adamsai d not hi ng of t hi s.
J enni f er had made a
deadl y enemy, but t her e was not hi ng t hat coul d be done
about i t . Rober t Di
Si l va was a vi ndi ct i ve man, and J enni f er was a
vul ner abl e t ar get . She was
br i ght and i deal i st i c and achi ngl y young and l ovel y.
Adamknew he must never see her agai n.
Ther e wer e days and weeks and mont hs when J enni f er was
r eady t o qui t . The
si gn on t he door st i l l r ead J enni f er Par ker , At t or ney at
Law, but i t di d
not decei ve anyone, l east of al l J enni f er . She was not
pr act i ci ng l aw: Her
days wer e spent r unni ng ar ound i n r ai n and sl eet and
snow, del i ver i ng sub-
poenas and summons t o peopl e who hat ed her f or i t . Now
and t hen she
accept ed a pr o bono case, hel pi ng t he el der l y get f ood
st amps, sol vi ng
var i ous l egal pr obl ems of ghet t o Bl acks and
SI DNEY SHELDON 69
Puer t o Ri cans and ot her under pr i vi l eged peopl e. But she
f el t t r apped.
The ni ght s wer e wor se t han t he days. They wer e endl ess,
f or J enni f er had
i nsomni a and when she di d sl eep, her dr eams wer e f i l l ed
wi t h demons. I t had
begun t he ni ght her mot her had deser t ed J enni f er and her
f at her , and she
had not been abl e t o exor ci se what ever i t was t hat was
causi ng her ni ght -
mar es.
She was consumed by l onel i ness. She went out on
occasi onal dat es wi t h young
l awyer s, but i nevi t abl y she f ound her sel f compar i ng t hem
t o AdamWar ner ,
and t hey al l f el l shor t . Ther e woul d be di nner and a
movi e or a pl ay,
f ol l owed by st st r uggl e at her f r ont door . J enni f er was
never sur e whet her
t hey expect ed her t o go t o bed wi t h t hembecause t hey
had bought her
di nner , or because t hey had had t o cl i mb up and down
f our st eep f l i ght s of
st ai r s. Ther e wer e t i mes when she was st r ongl y t empt ed
t o say Yes, j ust t o
have someone wi t h her f or t he ni ght , someone t o hol d,
someone t o shar e
her sel f wi t h. But she needed mor e i n her bed t han a war m
body t hat t al ked;
she needed someone who car ed, someone f or whomshe coul d
car e.
The most i nt er est i ng men who pr oposi t i oned J enni f er wer e
al l mar r i ed, and
she f l at l y r ef used t o go out wi t h any of t hem. She
r emember ed a l i ne f r om
Bi l l y Wi l der ' s wonder f ul f i l mThe Apar t ment : " When
you' r e i n l ove wi t h a
mar r i ed man you shoul dn' t wear mascar a. " J enni f er ' s
mot her had dest r oyed
a
mar r i age, had ki l l ed J enni f er ' s f at her . She coul d never
f or get t hat .
Chr i st mas came and New Year ' s Eve, and J enni f er spent
t hemal one. Ther e had
been a heavy snowf al l and t he ci t y l ooked l i ke a
gi gant i c Chr i st mas car d.
J enni f er wal ked t he st r eet s, wat chi ng pedest r i ans
hur r yi ng t o t he war mt h
of
t hei r homes and f ami l i es, and she ached wi t h a f eel i ng
of empt i ness.
70 RAGE OF ANGELS
She mi ssed her f at her t er r i bl y. She was gl ad when t he
hol i days wer e over .
Ni net een sevent y i s goi ng t o be a bet t er year , J enni f er
t ol d her sel f .
On J enni f er ' s wor st days, Ken Bai l ey woul d cheer her up.
He t ook her out
t o
Madi son Squar e Gar den t o wat ch t he Ranger s pl ay, t o a
di sco cl ub and t o an
occasi onal pl ay or movi e. J enni f er knew he was at t r act ed
t o her , and yet
he
kept a bar r i er bet ween t hem.
I n Mar ch, Ot t o Wenzel deci ded t o move t o Fl or i da wi t h
hi s wi f e.
" My bones ar e get t i ng t oo ol d f or t hese New Yor k
wi nt er s, " he t ol d
J enni f er .
" I ' l l mi ss you. " J enni f er meant i t . She had gr own
genui nel y f ond of hi m.
" Take car e of Ken. " ,
J enni f er l ooked at hi mqui zzi cal l y.
" He never t ol d you, di d he?"
" Tol d me what ?"
He hesi t at ed, t hen sai d, " I si s wi f e commi t t ed sui ci de.
He bl ames hi msel f . "
J enni f er was shocked. " How t er r i bl e! Why- why di d she do
i t ?"
" She caught Ken i n bed wi t h a young bl ond man. "
" Oh, my God! "
" She shot Ken and t hen t ur ned t he gun on her sel f . He
l i ved. She di dn' t . "
" How awf ul ! I had no i dea t hat . . . t hat - - - "
" I know. He smi l es a l ot ; but he car r i es hi s own hel l
wi t h
" Thanks f or t el l i ng me"
When J enni f er r et ur ned t o t he of f i ce, Ken sai d, " So ol d
Ot t o' s l eavi ng us. "
" Yes. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 71
Ken Bai l ey gr i nned. " I guess i t ' s you and me agai nst t he
wor l d. "
" I guess so. "
And i n a way, J enni f er t hought , i t i s t r ue.
J enni f er l ooked at Ken wi t h di f f er ent eyes now. They had
l unches and
di nner s t oget her , and J enni f er coul d det ect no si gns of
homosexual i t y about
hi mbut she knew t hat Ot t o Wenzel had t ol d her t he
t r ut h: Ken Bai l ey
car r i ed hi s own pr i vat e hel l wi t h hi m.
A f ew cl i ent s wal ked i n of f t he st r eet . They wer e
usual l y poor l y dr essed,
bewi l der ed and, i n some i nst ances, out - andout nut cases.
Pr ost i t ut es came i n t o ask J enni f er t o handl e t hei r
bai l , and J enni f er was
amazed at how young and l ovel y some of t hemwer e. They
became a smal l but
st eady sour ce of i ncome. She coul d not f i nd out who sent
t hemt o her . When
she ment i oned i t t o Ken Bai l ey, he shr ugged i n a gest ur e
of i gnor ance and
wal ked away.
Whenever a cl i ent came t o see J enni f er , Ken Bai l ey woul d
di scr eet l y l eave.
He was l i ke a pr oud f at her , encour agi ng J enni f er t o
succeed.
J enni f er was of f er ed sever al di vor ce cases and t ur ned
t hemdown. She coul d
not f or get what one of her l aw pr of essor s had once sai d:
Di vor ce i s t o t he
pr act i ce of l aw what pr oct or ogy i s t o t he pr act i ce of
medi ci ne. Most
di vor ce l awyer s had bad r eput at i ons. The maxi mwas t hat
when x mar r i ed
coupl e saw r ed, l awyer s saw gr een. A hi gh- pr i ced di vor ce
l awyer was known
as a bomber , f or he woul d use l egal hi gh expl osi ves t o
wi n a case f or a
cl i ent and, i n t he pr ocess, of t en dest r oyed t he husband,
t he wi f e and t he
chi l dr en.
A f ew of t he cl i ent s who came i nt o J enni f er ' s of f i ce
wer e di f f er ent i n a
way t hat puzzl ed her .
72 RAGE OF ANGELS
They wer e wel l dr essed, wi t h an ai r of af f l uence about
t hem, and t he cases
t hey br ought t o her wer e not t he ni ckel - anddi me cases
J enni f er had been
accust omed t o handl i ng. Ther e wer e est at es t o be set t l ed
t hat amount ed t o
subst ant i al sums of money, and l awsui t s t hat any l ar ge
f i r mwoul d have been
del i ght ed t o r epr esent .
" Wher e di d you hear about me?" J enni f er woul d ask.
The r epl i es she got wer e al ways evasi ve. Fr oma f r i end .
. . I r ead about
you . . . your name was ment i oned at a par t y . . . I t
was not unt i l one of
her cl i ent s, i n t he cour se of expl ai ni ng hi s pr obl ems,
ment i oned Adam
War ner t hat J enni f er suddenl y under st ood.
" Mr . War ner sent you t o me, di dn' t he?"
The cl i ent was embar r assed. " Wel l , as a mat t er of f act ,
he suggest ed i t
mi ght be bet t er i f I di dn' t ment i on hi s name. "
J enni f er deci ded t o t el ephone Adam. Af t er ah, she di d
owe hi ma debt of
t hanks. She woul d be pol i t e, but f or mal . Nat ur al l y, she
woul d not l et hi m
get t he i mpr essi on t hat she was cal l i ng hi mf or any
r eason ot her t han t o
expr ess her appr eci at i on. She r ehear sed t he conver sat i on
over and over i n
her mi nd. When J enni f er f i nal l y got up enough ner ve t o
t el ephone, a
secr et ar y i nf or med her t hat Mr . War ner was i n Eur ope and
was not expect ed
back f or sever al weeks. I t was an ant i cl i max t hat l ef t
J enni f er depr essed.
She f ound her sel f t hi nki ng of AdamWar ner mor e and mor e
of t en. She kept
r emember i ng t he eveni ng he had come t o her apar t ment and
how badl y she had
behaved. He had been wonder f ul t o put up wi t h her
chi l di sh behavi or when
she had t aken out her anger on hi m. Now, i n addi t i on t o
ever yt hi ng el se he
had done f or her , he was sendi ng her cl i ent s.
J enni f er wai t ed t hr ee weeks and t hen t el ephoned Adams
agai n. Thi s t i me he
was i n Sout h Amer i ca.
" I s t her e any message?" hi s secr et ar y asked.
J enni f er hesi t at ed. " No message. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 73
J enni f er t r i ed t o put Adamout of her mi nd, but i t was
i mpossi bl e. She
wonder ed whet her he was mar r i ed or engaged. She wonder ed
what i t woul d be
l i ke t o be Mr s. AdamWar ner . She wonder ed i f she wer e
i nsane.
Fr omt i me t o t i me J enni f er came acr oss t he name of
Mi chael Mor et t i i n t he
newspaper s or weekl y magazi nes. Ther e was an i n- dept h
st or y i n t he New
Yor ker magazi ne on Ant oni o Gr anel l i and t he east er n
Maf i a Fami l i es. Ant oni o
Gr anel l i was r epor t ed t o be i n f ai l i ng heal t h and
Mi chael Mor et t i , hi s
son- i n- l aw, was pr epar i ng t o t ake over hi s empi r e. Li f e
magazi ne r an a
st or y about Mi chael Mor et t i ' s l i f est yl e, and at t he end
of t he st or y i t
spoke of Mor et t i ' s t r i al . Cami l l o St el a was ser vi ng t i me
i n Leavenwor t h,
whi l e Mi chael Mor et t i was f r ee. I t r emi nded i t s r eader s
how J enni f er Par ker
had dest r oyed t he case t hat woul d have sent hi mt o
pr i son or t he el ect r i c
chai r . As J enni f er r ead t he ar t i cl e, her st omach
chur ned. The el ect r i c
chai r ? She coul d cheer f ul l y have pul l ed t he swi t ch on
Mi chael Mor et t i
her sel f .
Most of J enni f er ' s cl i ent s wer e uni mpor t ant , but t he
educat i on was
pr i cel ess. Over t he mont hs, J enni f er came t o know ever y
r oomi n t he
Cr i mi nal Cour t s Bui l di ng at 100 Cent r e St r eet and t he
peopl e who i nhabi t ed
t hem.
When one of her cl i ent s was ar r est ed f or shopl i f t i ng, .
muggi ng,
pr ost i t ut i on or dr ugs, J enni f er woul d head downt own t o
ar r ange bai l , and
bar gai ni ng was a way of l i f e.
" Bai l i s set at f i ve hundr ed dol l ar s. "
" Your Honor , t he def endant doesn' t have t hat much money.
I f t he cour t wi l l
r educe bai l t o t wo hundr ed dol l ar s, he can go back t o
wor k and keep
suppor t i ng hi s f ami l y. "
" Ver y wel l . Two hundr ed. "
" Thank you, Your Honor . "
J enni f er got t o know t he super vi sor of t he compl ai nt
r oom, wher e copi es of
t he ar r est r epor t s wer e sent .
74 RAGE OF ANGELS
" You agai n, Par ker ! For God' s sake, don' t you ever
sl eep?"
" Hi , Li eut enant . A cl i ent of mi ne was pi cked up on a
vagr ancy char ge. May
I see t he ar r est sheet ? The name i s Conner y. Cl ar ence
Conner y. "
" Tel l me somet hi ng, honey. Why woul d you come down her e
at t hr ee A. M. t o
def end a vagr ant ?"
J enni f er gr i nned. " I t keeps me of f t he st r eet s. "
She became f ami l i ar wi t h ni ght cour t , hel d i n Room218
of t he Cent r e St r eet
cour t house. I t was a smel l y, over cr owded wor l d, wi t h i t s
own ar cane j ar gon.
J enni f er was baf f l ed by i t at f i r st .
" Par ker , your cl i ent i s booked on bedpai n. "
" My cl i ent i s booked on what ?"
" Bedpai n. Bur gl ar y, wi t h a Br eak, Ent er , Dwel l i ng,
Per son, Ar med, I nt ent
t o
ki l l , at Ni ght . Get i t ?"
" Got i t . "
" I ' mher e t o r epr esent Mi ss Luna Tamer . "
" J esus H. Chr i st ! "
" Woul d you t el l me what t he char ges ar e?"
" Hol d on. I ' l l f i nd her t i cket . Luna Tamer . That ' s a hot
one . . , her e we
ar e. Pr oss. Pi cked up by CWAC, down bel ow. "
" Quack?"
" You' r e new ar ound her e, huh? CWAC i s t he Ci t y- Wi de
Ant i - Cr i me uni t . A
gr oss i s a hooker , and down bel ow i s sout h of
For t y- Second St r eet . Capi sh?"
" Capi sh. "
Ni ght cour t depr essed J enni f er . I t was f i l l ed wi t h a
human t i de t hat
ceasel essl y sur ged i n and out , washed up on t he shor es
of j ust i ce.
Ther e wer e mor e t han a hundr ed and f i f t y cases hear d
each ni ght . Ther e wer e
whor es and t r ansvest i t es, st i nki ng, bat t er ed
SI DNEY SHELDON 75
dr unks and dr ug addi ct s. Ther e wer e Puer t o Ri cans and
Mexi cans and J ews and
I r i sh and Gr eeks and I t al i ans, and t hey wer e accused of
r ape and t hef t and
possessi on of guns or dope or assaul t or pr ost i t ut i on.
And t hey al l had one
t hi ng i n common: They wer e poor . They wer e poor and
def eat ed and l ost . They
wer e t he dr egs, t he mi sf i t s whomt he af f l uent soci et y had
passed by. A l ar ge
pr opor t i on of t hemcame f r omCent r al Har l em, and because
t her e was no mor e
r oomi n t he pr i son syst em, al l but t he most ser i ous
of f ender s wer e di smi ssed
or f i ned. They r et ur ned home t o St . Ni chol as Avenue and
Mor ni ngsi de and
Manhat t an Avenues, wher e i n t hr ee and one- hal f squar e
mi l es t her e l i ved t wo
hundr ed and t hi r t y- t hr ee t housand Bl acks, ei ght t housand
Puer t o Ri cans, and
an est i mat ed one mi l l i on r at s.
The maj or i t y of cl i ent s who came t o J enni f er ' s of f i ce
wer e peopl e who had
been gr ound down by pover t y, t he syst em, t hemsel ves.
They wer e peopl e who
had l ong si nce sur r ender ed. J enni f er f ound t hat t hei r
f ear s f ed her
sel f - conf i dence. She di d not f eel super i or t o t hem. She
cer t ai nl y coul d not
hol d her sel f up as a shi ni ng exampl e of success, and yet
she knew t her e was
one bi g di f f er ence bet ween her and her cl i ent s: She
woul d never gi ve up.
Ken Bai l ey i nt r oduced J enni f er t o Fat her Fr anci s J oseph
Ryan. Fat her Ryan
was i n hi s l at e f i f t i es, a r adi ant , vi t al man wi t h cr i sp
gr ay- and- bl ack
hai r t hat cur l ed about hi s ear s. He was al ways i n
ser i ous need of a
hai r cut . J enni f er l i ked ' hi mat once.
Fr omt i me t o t i me, when one of hi s par i shi oner s woul d
di sappear , Fat her
Ryan woul d come t o Ken and enl i st hi s ser vi ces.
I nvar i abl y, Ken woul d f i nd
t he er r ant husband, wi f e, daught er or son. Ther e woul d
never be a char ge.
" I t ' s a down payment on heaven, " Ken woul d expl ai n.
One af t er noon when J enni f er was al one Fat her Ryan
dr opped by t he once.
76 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Ken' s out , Fat her Ryan. He won' t be back t oday. "
" I t ' s r eal l y you I want ed t o see, J enni f er , " Fat her Ryan
sai d. He sat down
i n t he uncomf or t abl e ol d wooden chai r i n f r ont of
J enni f er ' s desk. " I have
a f r i end who has a bi t of a pr obl em: '
That was t he way he al ways st ar t ed out wi t h Ken.
" Yes, Fat her ?"
" She' s an el der l y par i shi oner , and t he poor dear ' s
havi ng t r oubl e get t i ng
her Soci al Secur i t y payment s. She moved i nt o my
nei ghbor hood a f ew mont hs
ago and some damned comput er l ost al l her r ecor ds, may
i t r ust i n hel l . "
" I see. "
" I knew you woul d, " Fat her Ryan sai d, get t i ng t o hi s
f eet . " I ' maf r ai d
t her e won' t be any money i n i t f or you. "
J enni f er smi l ed. " Don' t wor r y about t hat . I ' l l t r y t o
st r ai ght en t hi ngs
out . "
She had t hought i t woul d be a si mpl e mat t er , but i t had
t aken her al most
t hr ee days t o get t he comput er r epr ogr ammed.
One mor ni ng a mont h l at er , Fat her Ryan wal ked i nt o
J enni f er ' s of f i ce and
sai d, " I hat e t o bot her you, my dear , but I have a
f r i end who has a bi t of
a pr obl em. I ' maf r ai d he has no- " He hesi t at ed.
" - Money, " J enni f er guessed.
" Ah! That ' s i t . Exact l y. But t he poor f el l ow needs hel p
badl y. "
" Al l r i ght . Tel l me about hi m. "
" Hi s name i s Abr aham. Abr ahamWi l son. He' s t he son of
one of my
par i shi oner s. Abr ahami s ser vi ng a l i f e sent ence i n Si ng
Si ng f or ki l l i ng
a l i quor st or e owner dur i ng a hol dup. "
" I f he was convi ct ed and i s ser vi ng hi s sent ence, I
don' t see how I can
hel p, Fat her "
Fat her Ryan l ooked at J enni f er and si ghed. " That ' s not
hi s pr obl em. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 77
" I t i sn' t ?"
" No. A f ew weeks ago Abr ahamki l l ed anot her man- - a
f el l ow pr i soner named
Raymond Thor pe. They' r e goi ng t o t r y hi mf or mur der , and
go f or t he deat h
penal t y. "
J enni f er had r ead somet hi ng about t he case. " I f I
r emember cor r ect l y, he
beat t he man t o deat h"
" So t hey say. "
J enni f er pi cked up a pad and a pen. " Do you know i f
t her e wer e any
wi t nesses?"
" r maf r ai d so. ' `
" How many?"
" Oh, a hundr ed or so. I t happened i n t he pr i son yar d,
you see. "
" Ter r i f i c. What i s i t you want me t o do?"
Fat her Ryan sai d si mpl y, " Hel p Abr aham. "
J enni f er put down her pen. " Fat her , i t ' s goi ng t o t ake
your Boss t o hel p
hi m. " She sat back i n her chai r . " He' s goi ng i n wi t h
t hr ee st r i kes agai nst
hi m. He' s Bl ack, he' s a convi ct ed mur der er , and he
ki l l ed anot her man i n
f r ont of a hundr ed wi t nesses. Assumi ng he di d i t , t her e
j ust ar en' t any
gr ounds f or def ense. I f anot her pr i soner was t hr eat eni ng
hi m, t her e wer e
guar ds he coul d have asked t o hel p hi m. I nst ead, he t ook
t he l aw i nt o hi s
own hands. Ther e i sn' t a j ur y i n t he wor l d t hat woul dn' t
convi ct hi m. "
" He' s st i l l a f el l ow human bei ng. Woul d you j ust t al k t o
hi m"
J enni f er si ghed. " I ' l l t al k t o hi mi f you want me t o;
but I won' t make any
commi t ment . "
Fat her Ryan nodded. " I under st and. I t woul d pr obabl y
mean a gr eat deal of
publ i ci t y. "
They wer e bot h t hi nki ng t he same t hi ng. Abr ahamWi l son
was not t he onl y one
who had st r i kes agai nst hi m.
Si ng Si ng Pr i son i s si t uat ed at t he t own of Ossi ni ng,
t hi r t y mi l es upst at e
of Manhat t an on t he east bank of t he Hudson
78 RAGE OF ANGELS
Ri ver , over l ooki ng t he Tappan Zee and Haver st r aw Bay.
J enni f er went up by
bus.
She had t el ephoned t he assi st ant war den and he had made
ar r angement s f or her
t o see Abr ahamWi l son, who was bei ng hel d i n sol i t ar y
conf i nement .
Dur i ng t he bus r i de, J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h a sense of
pur pose she had
not f el t i n a l ong t i me. She was on her way t o Si ng Si ng
t o meet a possi bl e
cl i ent char ged wi t h mur der . Thi s was t he ki nd of case
she had st udi ed f or ,
pr epar ed her sel f f or . She f el t l i ke a l awyer f or t he
f i r st t i me i n a year ,
and yet she knew she was bei ng unr eal i st i c. She was not
on her way t o see
a cl i ent . She was on her way t o t el l a man she coul d not
r epr esent hi m. She
coul d not af f or d t o become i nvol ved i n a hi ghl y
publ i ci zed case t hat she
had no chance of wi nni ng.
Abr ahamWi l son woul d have t o f i nd someone el se t o def end
hi m.
A di l api dat ed t axi t ook J enni f er f r omt he bus st at i on t o
t he peni t ent i ar y,
si t uat ed on sevent y acr es of l and near t he r i ver .
J enni f er r ang t he bel l
at
t he si de ent r ance and a guar d opened t he door , checked
of f her name agai nst
hi s l i st , and di r ect ed her t o t he assi st ant war den' s
of f i ce.
The assi st ant war den was a l ar ge, squar e man wi t h an
ol d- f ashi oned mi l i t ar y
hai r cut and an acne- pi t t ed f ace. Hi s name was Howar d
Pat t er son.
" I woul d appr eci at e anyt hi ng you can t el l me about
Abr ahamWi l son, "
J enni f er began.
" I f you' r e l ooki ng f or comf or t , you' r e not goi ng t o get
i t her e. " Pat t er son
gl anced at t he dossi er on t he desk i n f r ont of hi m.
" Wi l son' s been i n and
out of pr i sons al l hi s l i f e. He was caught st eal i ng car s
when he was
el even, ar r est ed on a muggi ng char ge when he was
t hi r t een, pi cked up f or
r ape when he was f i f t een, became a pi mp at ei ght een,
ser ved a sent ence f or
put t i ng one of hi s gi r l s i n t he hospi t al . . . "
SI DNEY SHELDON 79
He l eaf ed t hr ough t he dossi er . " You name i t - st abbi ngs,
ar med r obber y and
f i nal l y t he bi g t i me- mur der . "
I t was a depr essi ng r eci t al .
J enni f er asked, " I s t her e any chance t hat Abr ahamWi l son
di dn' t ki l l
Raymond Thor pe?"
" For get i t . Wi l son' s t he f i r st t o admi t i t , but i t
woul dn' t make any
di f f er ence even i f he deni ed i t . We' ve got a hundr ed and
t went y wi t nesses. "
" May I see Mr . Wi l son?"
Howar d Pat t er son r ose t o hi s f eet . " Sur e, but you' r e
wast i ng your t i me. "
Abr ahamWi l son was t he ugl i est human bei ng J enni f er
Par ker had ever seen.
He was coal - bl ack, wi t h a nose t hat had been br oken i n
sever al pl aces,
mi ssi ng f r ont t eet h and t i ny, shi f t y eyes set i n a
kni f e- scar r ed f ace. He
was about si x f eet f our i nches and power f ul l y bui l t . He
had huge f i at f eet
whi ch made hi ml umber . I f J enni f er had sear ched f or one
wor d t o descr i be
Abr ahamWi l son, i t woul d have been menaci ng. She coul d
i magi ne t he ef f ect
t hi s man woul d have on a j ur y.
Abr ahamWi l son and J enni f er wer e seat ed i n a
hi ghsecur i t y vi si t i ng r oom,
a
t hi ck wi r e mesh bet ween t hem, a guar d st andi ng at t he
door . Wi l son had j ust
been t aken out of sol i t ar y conf i nement and hi s beady
eyes kept bl i nki ng
agai nst t he l i ght . I f J enni f er had come t o t hi s meet i ng
f eel i ng she woul d
pr obabl y not want t o handl e t hi s case, af t er seei ng
Abr ahamWi l son she was
posi t i ve. Mer el y si t t i ng opposi t e hi mshe coul d f eel t he
hat r ed spewi ng out
of t he man.
J enni f er opened t he conver sat i on by sayi ng, " My name i s
J enni f er Par ker .
I ' man at t or ney. Fat her Ryan asked me t o see you. "
Abr ahamWi l son spat t hr ough t he scr een, spr ayi ng
J enni f er wi t h sal i va.
" That mot haf ucki n' . do- gooder . "
I t ' s a wonder f ul begi nni ng, J enni f er t hought . She
car ef ul l y
80 RAGE OF ANGELS
r ef r ai ned f r omwi pi ng t he sal i va f r omher f ace. " I s t her e
anyt hi ng you need
her e, Mr . Wi l son?"
He gave her a t oot hl ess smi l e. " A pi ece of ass, baby.
You i nner st ed?"
She i gnor ed t hat . " Do you want t o t el l me what
happened?"
" Hey, you l ooki n' f or my l i f e st or y, yon got t a pay me
f or i t . I gonna sel l
i t f or da movi e' pi t cher s. Maybe I ' l l st ar i n i t mysef . "
The anger comi ng out of hi mwas f r i ght eni ng. Al l
J enni f er want ed was t o get
out of t her e. The assi st ant war den had been r i ght . She
was wast i ng her
t i me.
" Tmaf r ai d t her e' s r eal l y not hi ng I can do t o hel p you
unl ess you hel p me,
Mr . Wi l son. I pr omi sed Fat her Ryan I woul d at l east come
and t al k t o you. "
Abr ahamWi l son gave her a t oot hl ess gr i n agai n. " Thaf s
mi ght y whi t e of ya,
sweet hear t . Ya sur e ya don' t wanna change your mi nd
' bout t hat pi ece of
ass?"
J enni f er r ose t o her f eet . She had had enough. " Do you
hat e ever ybody?"
" Tel l ya what , dol l , you cr awl i nt a my ski n and Pl l
cr awl i nt a your s, and
t hen you' n me' l l r ap ' bout hat e: '
J enni f er st ood t her e, l ooki ng i nt o t hat ugl y bl ack f ace,
di gest i ng what he
had sai d, and t hen she sl owl y sat down. " Do you want t o
t el l me your si de
of t he st or y, Abr aham?"
He st ar ed i nt o her eyes, sayi ng not hi ng. J enni f er
wai t ed, wat chi ng hi m,
wonder i ng what i t must be l i ke t o wear t hat scar r ed
bl ack ski n. She
wonder ed how many scar s wer e hi dden i nsi de t he man.
The t wo of t hemsat t her e i n a l ong si l ence. Fi nal l y,
Abr ahamWi l son sai d,
" I ki l l ed t he somabi t ch"
" Why di d you ki l l hi m?"
He shr ugged. " The mot hs' was coi n' at me wi t h t hi s gr eat
bi g but cher kni f e,
and- "
SI DNEY SHELDON 81
" Don' t con me. Pr i soner s don' t wal k ar ound car r yi ng
but cher kni ves. "
Wi l son' s f ace t i ght ened and he sai d, " Get t he f uck out s
her e, l ady. I di nt
sen' f or ya. " He r ose t o hi s f eet . " An' don' t come r ound
heah bot her i n' me
no mor e, you heah? I ' ma busy man. "
He t ur ned and wal ked over t o t he guar d. A moment l at er
t hey wer e bot h gone.
That was t hat . J enni f er coul d at l east t el l Fat her Ryan
t hat she had t al ked
t o t he man. Ther e was not hi ng f ur t her she coul d do.
A guar d l et J enni f er out of t he bui l di ng. She st ar t ed
acr oss t he cour t yar d
t owar d t he mai n gat e, t hi nki ng about Abr ahamWi l son and
her r eact i on t o
hi m. She di sl i ked t he man and, because of t hat , she was
doi ng somet hi ng she
had no r i ght t o do: She was j udgi ng hi m. She had al r eady
pr onounced hi m
gui l t y and he had not yet had a t r i al . Per haps someone
had at t acked hi m,
not wi t h a kni f e, of cour se, but wi t h a r ock or a br i ck.
J enni f er st opped
and st ood t her e i ndeci si vel y. Ever y i nst i nct t ol d her t o
go back t o
Manhat t an and f or get about Abr ahamWi l son.
J enni f er t ur ned and wal ked back t o t he assi st ant
war den' s of f i ce.
" He' s a har d case, " Howar d Pat t er son sai d. " When we can,
we t r y
r ehabi l i t at i on i nst ead of puni shment , but Abr aham
Wi l son' s t oo f ar gone.
The onl y t hi ng t hat wi l l cal mhi mdown i s t he el ect r i c
chai r . "
What a wei r d pi ece of l ogi c, J enni f er t hought , " He t ol d
me t he man he
ki l l ed at t acked hi mwi t h a but cher kni f e. "
" I guess t hat ' s possi bl e. "
The answer st ar t l ed her . " What do you mean, `t hat ' s
possi bl e' ? Ar e you
sayi ng a convi ct i n her e coul d get possessi on of a
kni f e? A but cher kni f e?"
Howar d Pat t er son shr ugged. " Mi ss Par ker , we have t wel ve
82 RAGE OF ANGELS
hundr ed and f or t y convi ct s i n t hi s pl ace, and some of
t hemar e men of
gr eat i ngenui t y. Come on. I ' l l show you somet hi ng. "
Pat t er son l ed J enni f er down a l ong cor r i dor t o a l ocked
door . He sel ect ed
a key f r oma l ar ge key r i ng, opened t he door and t ur ned
on t he l i ght .
J enni f er f ol l owed hi mi nt o a smal l , bar e r oomwi t h
bui l t - i n shel ves.
" Thi s i s wher e we keep t he pr i soner s' box of goodi es. "
He wal ked over t o
a l ar ge box and l i f t ed t he l i d.
J enni f er st ar ed down i nt o t he box unbel i evi ngl y.
She l ooked up at Howar d Pat t er son and sai d, " I want t o
see my cl i ent
agai n. "
6
J enni f er pr epar ed f or Abr ahamWi l son' s t r i al as she had
never pr epar ed f or
anyt hi ng bef or e i n her l i f e. She spent endl ess hour s i n
t he l aw l i br ar y
checki ng f or pr ocedur es and def enses, and wi t h her
cl i ent , dr awi ng f r omhi m
ever y scr ap of i nf or mat i on she coul d. I t was no easy
t ask. Fr omt he
begi nni ng, Wi l son was t r ucul ent and sar cast i c.
" You wanna know about me, honey? I got my f i r st f uck
when I was t en. How
ol e was you?"
J enni f er f or ced her sel f t o i gnor e hi s hat r ed and hi s
cont empt , f or she was
awar e t hat t hey cover ed up a deep f ear . And so J enni f er
per si st ed,
demandi ng t o know what Wi l son' s ear l y l i f e was l i ke,
what hi s par ent s wer e
l i ke, what had shaped t he boy i nt o t he man. Over a
per i od of weeks, Abr aham
Wi l son' s r el uct ance gave way t o i nt er est , and hi s
i nt er est f i nal l y gave way
t o f asci nat i on. He had never bef or e had r eason t o t hi nk
of hi msel f i n t er ms
of what ki nd of per son he was, or why.
J enni f er ' s pr oddi ng quest i ons began t o ar ouse memor i es,
83
84 RAGE OF ANGELS
some mer el y unpl easant , ot her s unbear abl y pai nf ul .
Sever al t i mes dur i ng t he
sessi ons when J enni f er was quest i oni ng Abr ahamWi l son
about hi s f at her , who
had r egul ar l y gi ven hi msavage beat i ngs, Wi l son woul d
or der J enni f er t o
l eave hi mal one. She l ef t , but she al ways r et ur ned.
I f J enni f er had had l i t t l e per sonal l i f e bef or e, she now
had none. When she
was not wi t h Abr ahamWi l son, she was at her of f i ce,
seven days a week, f r om
ear l y mor ni ng unt i l l ong af t er mi dni ght , r eadi ng
ever yt hi ng she coul d f i nd
about t he cr i mes of mur der and mansl aught er , vol unt ar y
and i nvol unt ar y. She
st udi ed hundr eds of appel l at e cour t deci si ons, br i ef s,
af f i davi t s,
exhi bi t s, mot i ons, t r anscr i pt s. She por ed over f i l es on
i nt ent and
pr emedi t at i on, sel f - def ense, doubl e j eopar dy, and
t empor ar y i nsani t y.
She st udi ed ways t o get t he char ge r educed t o
mansl aught er .
Abr ahamhad not pl anned t o ki l l t he man. But woul d a
j ur y bel i eve t hat ?
Par t i cul ar l y a l ocal j ur y. The t ownspeopl e hat ed t he
pr i soner s i n t hei r
mi dst . J enni f er moved f or a change of venue, and i t was
gr ant ed. The t r i al
woul d be hel d i n Manhat t an.
J enni f er had an i mpor t ant deci si on t o make: Shoul d she
al l ow Abr ahamWi l son
t o t est i f y? He pr esent ed a f or bi ddi ng f i gur e, but i f t he
j ur or s wer e abl e
t o hear hi s si de of t he st or y f r omhi s own l i ps, t hey
mi ght have some
sympat hy f or hi m. The pr obl emwas t hat put t i ng Abr aham
Wi l son on t he st and
woul d al l ow t he pr osecut i on t o r eveal Wi l son' s
backgr ound and past r ecor d,
i ncl udi ng t he pr evi ous mur der he had commi t t ed.
J enni f er wonder ed whi ch one of t he assi st ant di st r i ct
at = t or neys Di Si l va
woul d assi gn t o be her adver sar y. Ther e wer e hal f a
dozen ver y good ones
who pr osecut ed mur der t r i al s, and J enni f er f ami l i ar i zed
her sel f wi t h t hei r
t echni ques.
She spent as much t i me as possi bl e at Si ng Si ng, l ooki ng
over t he scene of
t he ki l l i ng i n t he r ecr eat i on yar d, t al ki ng
SI DNEY SHELDON 85
t o guar ds and Abr aham, and she i nt er vi ewed dozens of
convi ct s who had
wi t nessed t he ki l l i ng.
" Raymond Thor pe at t acked Abr ahamWi l son wi t h a kni f e, "
J enni f er sai d. " A
l ar ge but cher kni f e. You must have seen i t : "
" Me? I di dn' t see no kni f e. "
" You must have. You wer e r i ght t her e. "
" Lady, I di dn' t see not hi n' . "
Not one of t hemwas wi l l i ng t o get i nvol ved.
Occasi onal l y J enni f er woul d t ake t i me out t o have a
r egul ar meal , but
usual l y she gr abbed a qui ck sandwi ch at t he cof f ee shop
on t he mai n f l oor
of t he cour t house. She was begi nni ng t o l ose wei ght and
she had di zzy
spel l s.
Ken Bai l ey was becomi ng concer ned about her . He t ook her
t o For l i ni ' s
acr oss f r omt he cour t house, and or der ed a l ar ge l unch
f or her .
" Ar e you t r yi ng t o ki l l your sel f ?" he demanded.
" Of cour se not . "
" Have you l ooked i n a mi r r or l at el y?"
" No. "
He st udi ed her and sai d, " I f you have any sense, you' l l
dr op t hi s case. "
, . Why?. ,
" Because you' r e set t i ng your sel f up as a cl ay pi geon.
J enni f er , I hear
t hi ngs on t he st r eet . The pr ess i s peei ng i n i t s
col l ect i ve pant s, t hey' r e
so eager . t o st ar t t aki ng pot shot s at you agai n. "
" I ' man at t or ney, " J enni f er sai d st ubbor nl y. " Abr aham
Wi l son i s ent i t l ed
t o
a f ai r t r i al . I ' mgoi ng t o t r y t o see t hat he get s one. "
She saw t he l ook
of concer n on Ken Bai l ey' s f ace. " Don' t wor r y about i t .
The case i sn' t
goi ng t o get t hat much publ i ci t y. "
" I t i sn' t , huh? Do you know who' s pr osecut i ng?"
" No. "
" Rober t Di Si l va. "
86 RAGE OF ANGELS
~ s s
J enni f er ar r i ved at t he Leonar d St r eet ent r ance of t he
Cr i mi nal Cour t s
Bui l di ng and pushed her way past t he peopl e chur ni ng
t hr ough t he l obby,
past t he uni f or med pol i cemen, t he det ect i ves dr essed
l i ke hi ppi es, t he
l awyer s i dent i f i ed by t he br i ef cases t hey car r i ed.
J enni f er wal ked t owar d
t he l ar ge ci r cul ar i nf or mat i on desk, wher e no at t endant
had ever been
post ed, and t ook t he el evat or t o t he si xt h f l oor . She
was on her way t o see
t he Di st r i ct At t or ney. I t had been al most a year si nce
her l ast encount er
wi t h Rober t Di Si l va, and J enni f er was not l ooki ng
f or war d t o t hi s one. She
was goi ng t o i nf or mhi mt hat she was r esi gni ng f r om
Abr ahamWi l son' s
def ense.
I t had t aken J enni f er t hr ee sl eepl ess ni ght s t o make her
deci si on. What i t
came down t o f i nal l y was t hat t he pr i mar y consi der at i on
had t o be t he best
i nt er est s of her cl i ent . The Wi l son case was not
i mpor t ant enough f or Di
Si l va t o handl e hi msel f . The onl y r eason, t her ef or e, f or
t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney' s gi vi ng i t hi s per sonal at t ent i on was because
of J enni f er ' s i n-
vol vement . Di Si l va want ed vengeance. He was pl anni ng t o
t each J enni f er a
l esson. And so she had f i nal l y deci ded she had no choi ce
but t o wi t hdr aw
f r omWi l son' s def ense. She coul d not l et hi mbe execut ed
because of a
mi st ake she had once made. Wi t h her of f . t he case,
Rober t Di Si l va woul d
pr obabl y deal wi t h Wi l son mor e l eni ent l y. J enni f er was
an her way t o save
Abr ahamWi l son' s l i f e.
Ther e was an odd f eel i ng of r el i vi ng t he past as she got
of f at t he si xt h
f l oor and wal ked t owar d t he f ami l i ar door mar ked
Di st r i ct At t or ney, Count y
of New Yor k. I nsi de, t he same secr et ar y was seat ed at
t he same desk.
" I ' mJ enni f er Par ker . I have an appoi nt ment wi t h"
" Go r i ght i n, " t he secr et ar y sai d. " The Di st r i ct
At t or ney i s expect i ng
you. "
Rober t Di Si l va was st andi ng behi nd hi s desk, chewi ng
SI DNEY SHELDON 87
on a wet ci gar , gi vi ng or der s t o t wo assi st ant s. He
st opped as J enni f er
ent er ed.
" I was bet t i ng you woul dn' t show up. "
" I ' mher e. "
" I t hought you woul d have t ur ned t ai l and r un out of
t own by now. What do
you want ?"
Ther e wer e t wo chai r s opposi t e Rober t Di Si l va' s desk,
but he di d not
i nvi t e J enni f er t o si t .
" I came her e t o t al k about my cl i ent , Abr ahamWi l son. "
Rober t Di Si l va sat down, l eaned back i n hi s chai r and
pr et ended t o t hi nk.
" Abr ahamWi l son . . . oh, yes. That ' s t he ni gger
mur der er who beat a man
t o
deat h i n pr i son. You shoul dn' t have any t r oubl e
def endi ng hi m. " He gl anced
at hi s t wo assi st ant s and t hey l ef t t he r oom.
" Wel l , counsel or ?"
" I ' d l i ke t o t al k about a pl ea. "
Rober t Di Si l va l ooked at her wi t h exagger at ed sur pr i se.
" You mean you came
i n t o make a deal ? You amaze me. I woul d have t hought
t hat someone wi t h
your gr eat l egal t al ent woul d be abl e t o get hi mof f
scot - f r ee. "
" Mr . Di Si l va, I know t hi s l ooks l i ke an open- and- shut
case, " J enni f er
began, " but t her e ar e ext enuat i ng ci r cumst ances. Abr aham
Wi l son was- "
Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va i nt er r upt ed. " Let me put i t
i n l egal l anguage
you can under st and, counsel or . You can t ake your
ext enuat i ng ci r cumst ances
and shove t hemup your ass! " He got t o hi s f eet and when
he spoke hi s voi ce
was t r embl i ng wi t h r age. " Make a deal wi t h you, l ady?
You f ucked up my
l i f e! Ther e' s a dead body and your boy' s goi ng t o bur n
f or i t . Do you hear
me? I ' mmaki ng i t my per sonal busi ness t o see t hat he' s
sent t o t he chai r . "
" I came up her e t o wi t hdr aw f r omt he case. You coul d
r educe t hi s t o a
mansl aught er char ge. Wi l son' s al r eady i n f or l i f e. You
coul d- "
" No way! He' s gui l t y of mur der pl ai n and si mpl e! "
88 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er t r i ed t o cont r ol her anger . " I t hought t he j ur y
was supposed t o
deci de t hat . "
Rober t Di Si l va smi l ed at her wi t hout mi r t h. " You don' t
know how
hear t war mi ng i t i s t o have an exper t l i ke you wal k i nt o
my of f i ce and
expl ai n t he l aw t o me"
" Can' t we f or get our per sonal pr obl ems? I - "
" Not as l ong as I l i ve. Say hel l o t o your pal Mi chael
Mor et t i f or me. "
Hal f an hour l at er , J enni f er was havi ng cof f ee wi t h Ken
Bai l ey.
" I don' t know what t o do, " J enni f er conf essed. " I
t hought i f I got of f t he
case Abr ahamWi l son woul d st and a bet t er chance. Hut Di
Si l va won' t make
a
deal . He' s not af t er Wi l son- he' s af t er me. "
Ken Bai l ey l ooked at her t hought f ul l y. " Maybe he' s
t r yi ng t o psych you out .
He want s you r unni ng scar ed. "
" I amr unni ng scar ed: " She t ook a si p of her cof f ee. I t
t ast ed bi t t er .
" I t ' s a bad case. You shoul d see Abr ahamWi l son. Al l t he
j ur y wi l l have t o
do i s l ook at hi mand t hey' l l vot e t o convi ct . "
" When does t he t r i al come up?"
" I n f our weeks. "
" Anyt hi ng I can do t o hel p?"
" Uh- huh. Put out a cont r act on Di Si l va. "
" Do you t hi nk t her e' s any chance you can get Wi l son an
acqui t t al ?"
" Looki ng at i t f r omt he pessi mi st ' s poi nt of vi ew, I ' m
t r yi ng my f i r st case
agai nst t he smar t est Di st r i ct At t or ney i n t he count r y,
who has a vendet t a
agai nst me, and my cl i ent i s a convi ct ed Bl ack ki l l er
who ki l l ed agai n i n
f r ont of a hundr ed and t went y wi t nesses. "
" Ter r i f i c. What ' s t he opt i mi st ' s poi nt of vi ew?"
" I coul d get hi t by a t r uck t hi s af t er noon. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 89
The t r i al dat e was onl y t hr ee weeks away now. J enni f er
ar r anged f or Abr aham
Wi l son t o be t r ansf er r ed t o t he pr i son at Ri ker ' s
I sl and. He was put i n t he
House of Det ent i on f or Men, t he l ar gest and ol dest j ai l
on t he i sl and.
Ni net y- f i ve per cent of hi s pr i son mat es wer e t her e
awai t i ng t r i al f or
f el oni es: mur der , ar son, r ape, ar med r obber y and sodomy.
No pr i vat e car s wer e al l owed on t he i sl and, and J enni f er
was t r anspor t ed
i n
a smal l gr een bus t o t he gr ay br i ck cont r ol bui l di ng
wher e she showed her
i dent i f i cat i on. Ther e wer e t wo ar med guar ds i n a gr een
boot h t o t he l ef t
of
t he bui l di ng, and beyond t hat a gat e wher e al l
unaut hor i zed vi si t or s wer e
st opped. Fr omt he cont r ol bui l di ng, J enni f er was dr i ven
down Hazen St r eet ,
t he l i t t l e r oad t hat went t hr ough t he pr i son gr ounds, t o
t he Anna M. Kr oss
Cent er Bui l di ng, wher e Abr ahamWi l son was br ought t o see
her i n t he counsel
r oom, wi t h i t s ei ght cubi cl es r eser ved f or
at t or ney- cl i ent meet i ngs.
Wal ki ng down t he l ong cor r i dor on her way t o meet wi t h
Abr ahamWi l son,
J enni f er t hought : Thi s must be l i ke t he wai vi ng r oomt o
hel l . Ther e was an
i ncr edi bl e cacophony. The pr i son was made of br i ck and
st eel and st one and
t i l e. St eel gat es wer e const ant l y openi ng and cl angi ng
shut . Ther e wer e
mor e t han one hundr ed men i n each cel l bl ock, t al ki ng and
yel l i ng at t he
same t i me, wi t h t wo t el evi si on set s t uned t o di f f er ent
channel s and a musi c
syst empl ayi ng count r y r ock. Thr ee hundr ed guar ds wer e
assi gned t o t he
bui l di ng, and t hei r bel l owi ng coul d be hear d over t he
pr i son symphony.
A guar d had t ol d J enni f er , " Pr i son soci et y i s t he
pol i t est soci et y i n t he
wor l d. I f a pr i soner ever br ushes up agai nst anot her
one, he i mmedi at el y
says, ' Excuse me. ' Pr i soner s have a l ot on t hei r mi nds
and t he l east l i t t l e
t hi ng . . : '
J enni f er sat acr oss f r omAbr ahamWi l son and she t hought :
90 RAGE OF ANGELS
Thi s man' s l i f e i s i n my hands. I f he di es, i t wi l l be
because l f ai l ed hi m.
She l ooked i nt o hi s eyes and saw t he despai r t her e.
" Tmgoi ng t o do ever yt hi ng I can, " J enni f er pr omi sed.
Thr ee days bef or e t he Abr ahamWi l son t r i al was t o begi n,
J enni f er l ear ned
t hat t he pr esi di ng j udge was t o be t he Honor abl e
Lawr ence Wal dman, who had
pr esi ded over t he Mi chael Mor et t i t r i al and had t r i ed t o
get J enni f er
di sbar r ed.
Si dney Shel don 91
At f our o' cl ock on a Monday mor ni ng i n l at e Sept ember of
1970, t he day t he
t r i al of Abr ahamWi l son was t o begi n, J enni f er awakened
f eel i ng t i r ed and
heavy- eyed. She had sl ept badl y, her mi nd f i l l ed wi t h
dr eams of t he t r i al .
I n one of t he dr eams, Rober t Di Si l va had put her i n t he
wi t ness box and
asked her about Mi chael Mor et t i . Each t i me J enni f er
t r i ed t o answer t he
quest i ons, t he j ur or s i nt er r upt ed her wi t h a chant :
Li ar ! Li ar ! Li ar !
Each dr eamwas di f f er ent , but t hey wer e al l si mi l ar . I n
t he l ast one,
Abr ahamWi l son was st r apped i n t he el ect r i c chai r . As
J enni f er l eaned over
t o consol e hi m, he' spi t i n her f ace. J enni f er awoke
t r embl i ng, and i t was
i mpossi bl e f or her t o go back t o sl eep. She sat up i n a
chai r unt i l dawn
and wat ched t he sun come up. She was t oo ner vous t o eat .
She wi shed she
coul d have sl ept t he ni ght bef or e. She wi shed t hat she
wer e not so t ense.
She wi shed t hat t hi s day was over .
As she bat hed and dr essed she had a pr emoni t i on of doom.
91
92 RAGE OF ANGELS
She f el t l i ke wear i ng bl ack, but she chose a gr een Chanel
copy she had
bought on sal e at Loehmann' s.
At ei ght - t hi r t y, J enni f er Par ker ar r i ved at t he Cr i mi nal
Cour t s Bui l di ng
t o
begi n t he def ense i n t he case of The Peopl e of t he St at e
of New Yor k
agai nst Abr ahamWi l son. Ther e was a cr owd out si de t he
ent r ance and
J enni f er ' s f i r st t hought was t hat t her e had been an
acci dent . , She saw a
bat t er y of t el evi si on camer as and mi cr ophones, and
bef or e J enni f er r eal i zed
what was happeni ng, she was sur r ounded by r epor t er s.
A r epor t er sai d, " Mi ss Par ker , t hi s i s your f i r st t i me
i n cour t , i sn' t i t ,
si nce you f oul ed up t he Mi chael Mor et t i case f or t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney?"
Ken Bai l ey had war ned her . She was t he cent r al
at t r act i on, not her cl i ent .
The r epor t er s wer e not t her e as obj ect i ve obser ver s;
t hey wer e t her e as
bi r ds of pr ey and she was t o be t hei r car r i on.
A young woman i n j eans pushed a mi cr ophone up t o
J enni f er ' s f ace. " I s i t
t r ue t hat Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va i s out t o get you?"
" No comment . " J enni f er began t o f i ght her way t owar d t he
ent r ance of t he
bui l di ng.
" The Di st r i ct At t or ney i ssued a st at ement l ast ni ght
t hat he t hi nks you
shoul dn' t be al l owed t o pr act i ce l aw i n t he New Yor k
cour t s. Woul d you l i ke
t o say anyt hi ng about t hat ?"
" No comment . " J enni f er had al most r eached t he ent r ance.
" Last year J udge Wal dman t r i ed t o get you di sbar r ed. Ar e
you goi ng t o ask
hi mt o di squal i f y hi msel f f r om- ?"
J enni f er was i nsi de t he cour t house.
The t r i al was schedul ed t o t ake pl ace i n Room37. The
cor r i dor out si de was
cr owded wi t h peopl e t r yi ng t o get i n, but t he cour t r oom
was al r eady f ul l .
I t was buzzi ng wi t h noi se and t her e was a car ni val
at mospher e i n t he ai r .
Ther e wer e
SI DNEY SHELDON 93
ext r a r ows r eser ved f or member s of t he pr ess. Di Si l va
saw t o t hat , J enni f er
t hought .
Abr ahamWi l son was seat ed at t he def ense t abl e, t ower i ng
over ever yone
ar ound hi ml i ke an evi l mount ai n. He was dr essed i n a
dar k bl ue sui t t hat
was t oo smal l f or hi m, and a whi t e shi r t and bl ue t i e
t hat J enni f er had
bought hi m. They di d not hel p. Abr ahamWi l son l ooked
l i ke an ugl y ki l l er
i n
a dar k bl ue sui t . He mi ght j ust as wel l have wor n hi s
pr i son cl ot hes,
J enni f er t hought , di scour aged.
Wi l son was st ar i ng def i ant l y ar ound t he cour t r oom,
gl ower i ng at ever yone
who met hi s l ook. J enni f er knew her cl i ent wel l enough
now t o under st and
t hat hi s bel l i ger ence was a cover - up f or hi s f r i ght ; but
what woul d come
over t o ever yone - i ncl udi ng t he j udge and t he j ur y- was
an i mpr essi on of
host i l i t y and hat r ed. The huge man was a t hr eat . They
woul d r egar d hi mas
someone t o be f ear ed, t o be dest r oyed.
Ther e was not a t r ace i n Abr ahamWi l son' s per sonal i t y
t hat was l oveabl e.
Ther e was not hi ng about hi s appear ance t hat coul d evoke
sympat hy. Ther e was
onl y t hat ugl y, scar r ed f ace wi t h i t s br oken nose and
mi ssi ng t eet h, t hat
enor mous body t hat woul d i nspi r e f ear .
J enni f er wal ked over t o t he def ense t abl e wher e Abr aham
Wi l son was si t t i ng
and t ook t he seat next t o hi m. " Good mor ni ng, Abr aham. "
He gl anced over at her and sai d, " I di dn' t t hi nk you was
comi n' . "
J enni f er r emember ed her dr eam. She l ooked i nt o hi s
smal l , sl i t t ed eyes.
" You knew I ' d be her e. "
He shr ugged i ndi f f er ent l y. " I t don' t mat t er one way or
anot her . They' s
gonna get me, baby. They' s gonna convi ct me of mur der
and t hen t hey' s gonna
pass a l aw maki n' i t l egal t o boi l me i n oi l , t hen
t hey' s gonna boi l me i n
oi l . Thi s ai n' t gonna be no t r i al . Thi s i s gonna be a
show. I hope you
br ung your popcor n. "
94 RAGE OF ANGELS
Ther e was a st i r ar ound t he pr osecut or ' s t abl e and
J enni f er l ooked up t o
see Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va t aki ng hi s pl ace at t he
t abl e next t o a
bat t er y of assi st ant s. He l ooked at J enni f er and smi l ed.
J enni f er f el t a
gr owi ng sense of pani c.
A cour t of f i cer sai d, " Al l r i se, " and J udge Lawr ence
Wal dman ent er ed f r om
t he j udge' s r obi ng r oom.
" Hear ye, Hear ye. Al l peopl e havi ng busi ness wi t h Par t
Thi r t y- seven of
t hi s Cour t , dr aw near , gi ve your at t ent i on and you shal l
be hear d. The
Honor abl e J ust i ce Lawr ence Wal dman pr esi di ng. "
The onl y one who r ef used t o st and was Abr ahamWi l son.
J enni f er whi sper ed
out of t he cor ner of her mout h, " St and
Up! . ?
" Fuck ' em, baby. They gonna have t o come and dr ag me
up. "
J enni f er t ook hi s gi ant hand i n her s. " On your f eet ,
Abr aham. We' r e goi ng
t o beat t hem: "
He l ooked at her f or a l ong moment , t hen sl owl y got t o
hi s f eet , t ower i ng
over her .
J udge Wal dman t ook hi s pl ace on t he bench. The
spect at or s r esumed t hei r
seat s. The cour t cl er k handed a cour t cal endar t o t he
j udge.
" The Peopl e of t he St at e of New Yor k ver sus Abr aham
Wi l son, char ged wi t h
t he mur der of Raymond Thor pe. "
J enni f er ' s i nst i nct nor mal l y woul d have been t o f i l l t he
j ur y box wi t h
Bl acks, but because of Abr ahamWi l son she was not so
sur e. Wi l son was not
one of t hem. He was a r enegade, a ki l l er , " a di sgr ace t o
t hei r r ace. " They
mi ght convi ct hi mmor e r eadi l y t han woul d whi t es. Al l
J enni f er coul d do was
t r y t o keep t he mor e obvi ous bi got s of f t he j ur y. But
bi got s di d not go
ar ound adver t i si ng. They woul d keep qui et about t hei r
pr ej udi ces, wai t i ng
t o get t hei r vengeance. _
By l at e af t er noon of t he second day, J enni f er had used
up her t en
per empt or y chal l enges. She f el t t hat her voi r di r e-
SI DNEY SHELDON 95
t he quest i oni ng of t he j ur or s- was cl umsy and awkwar d,
whi l e Di Si l va' s was
smoot h and ski l l f ul . He had t he knack of put t i ng t he
j ur or s at ease, dr awi ng
t hemi nt o hi s conf i dence, maki ng f r i ends of t hem.
How coul d I have f or got t en what a good act or Di Si l va i s?
J enni f er wonder ed.
Di Si l va di d not exer ci se hi s per empt or y chal l enges anhl
J enni f er had
exhaust ed her s, and she coul d not under st and why. When
she di scover ed t he
r eason, i t was t oo l at e. Di Si l va had out smar t ed her .
Among t he f i nal
pr ospect i ve j ur or s quest i oned wer e a pr i vat e det ect i ve,
a bank manager and
t he mot her of a doct or - al l of t hemEst abl i shment - and
t her e was not hi ng now
t hat J enni f er coul d do t o keep t hemof f t he j ur y. The
Di st r i ct At t or ney had
sandbagged her .
Rober t Di Si l va r ose t o hi s f eet and began hi s openi ng
st at ement .
" I f i t pl ease t he cour t " - he t ur ned t o t he j ur y= `and you
l adi es and
gent l emen of t he j ur y, f i r st of al l I woul d l i ke t o
t hank you f or gi vi ng
up
your val uabl e t i me t o si t i n t hi s case. " He smi l ed
sympat het i cal l y. " I know
what a di sr upt i on j ur y ser vi ce can be. You al l have j obs
t o get . back t o,
f ami l i es needi ng your at t ent i on. "
' I t ' s as t hough he' s one of t hem, J enni f er t hought , t he
t hi r t eent h j ur or .
" I pr omi se t o t ake up as l i t t l e of your t i me as
possi bl e. Thi s i s r eal l y
a
ver y si mpl e case. That ' s t he def endant si t t i ng over
t her e- Abr ahamWi l son.
The def endant i s accused by t he St at e of New Yor k of
mur der i ng a f el l ow
i nmat e at Si ng Si ng Pr i son, Raymond Thor pe. Ther e' s no
doubt t hat he di d.
He' s admi t t ed i t . Mr . Wi l son' s at t or ney i s goi ng t o
pl ead sel f def ense. "
The Di st r i ct At t or ney t ur ned t o l ook at t he huge f i gur e
of Abr ahamWi l son,
and t he eyes of t he j ur or s aut omat i cal l y
96 RAGE OF ANGELS
f ol l owed hi m. J enni f er coul d see t he r eact i ons on t hei r
f aces. She f or ced
her sel f t o concent r at e on what Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va
was sayi ng.
" A number of year s ago t wel ve ci t i zens, ver y much l i ke
your sel ves, I am
sur e, vot ed t o put Abr ahamWi l son away i n a
peni t ent i ar y. Because of
cer t ai n l egal t echni cal i t i es, I amnot per mi t t ed t o
di scuss wi t h you t he
cr i me t hat Abr ahamWi l son commi t t ed. I can t el l you t hat
t hat j ur y
si ncer el y bel i eved t hat l ocki ng Abr ahamWi l son up woul d
pr event hi mf r om
commi t t i ng any f ur t her cr i mes. Tr agi cal l y, t hey wer e
wr ong. For even l ocked
away, Abr ahamWi l son was abl e t o st r i ke, t o ki l l , t o
sat i sf y t he bl ood l ust
i n hi m. We know now, f i nal l y, t hat t her e i s onl y one way
t o pr event Abr aham
Wi l son f r omki l l i ng agai n. And t hat i s t o execut e hi m.
I t won' t br i ng back
t he l i f e of Raymond Thor pe, but i t can save t he l i ves of
ot her men who
mi ght ot her wi se become t he def endant ' s next vi ct i ms. "
Di Si l va wal ked al ong t he j ur y boa, l ooki ng each j ur or
i n t he eye. " I t ol d
you t hat t hi s case won' t t ake up much of your t i me. I ' l l
t el l you why I
sai d t hat . The def endant si t t i ng over t her e- Abr aham
Wi l son- mur der ed a man
i n col d bl ood. He has conf essed t o t he ki l l i ng. But even
i f he had not
conf essed, we have wi t nesses who saw Abr ahamWi l son
commi t t hat mur der i n
col d bl ood. Mor e t han a hundr ed wi t nesses, i n f ai t .
" Let us exami ne t he phr ase, `i n col d bl ood. ' Mur der f or
any r eason i s as
di st ast ef ul t o me as I know i t i s t o you. But somet i mes
mur der s ar e
commi t t ed f or r easons we can at l east under st and. Let ' s
say t hat someone
wi t h a weapon i s t hr eat eni ng your l oved one- a chi l d, or
a husband or a
wi f e. Wel l , i f you had a gun you mi ght pul l t hat t r i gger
i n or der t o save
your l oved one' s l i f e. You and I mi ght not condone t hat
ki nd of t hi ng, but
I ' msur e we can at l east under st and i t . Or , l et ' s t ake
anot her exampl e. I f
you wer e suddenl y awakened i n t he mi ddl e of t he ni ght by
an i nt r uder
t hr eat eni ng your l i f e and you had a chance t o ki l l hi m
t o save your sel f ,
and you ki l l ed
SI DNEY SHELDON 97
hi m- wel l , I t hi nk we can al l under st and how t hat mi ght
happen. And t hat
woul dn' t make us desper at e cr i mi nal s or evi l peopl e,
woul d i t ? I t was
somet hi ng we di d i n t he heat of t he moment . " Di Si l va' s
voi ce har dened. " But
col d- bl ooded mur der i s somet hi ng el se agai n. To t ake t he
l i f e of anot her
human bei ng, wi t hout t he excuse of any f eel i ngs or
passi ons, t o do i t f or
money or dr ugs or t he sheer pl easur e of ki l l i ng- "
He was del i ber at el y pr ej udi ci ng t he j ur y, yet not
over st eppi ng t he bounds,
so t hat t her e coul d be no er r or cal l i ng f or mi st r i al or
r ever sal .
J enni f er wat ched t he f aces of t he j ur or s, and t her e was
no quest i on but
t hat Rober t Di Si l va had t hem. They wer e agr eei ng wi t h
ever y wor d he sai d.
They shook t hei r heads and nodded and f r owned. They di d
ever yt hi ng but
appl aud hi m. He was an or chest r a l eader and t he j ur y was
hi s or chest r a.
J enni f er had never seen anyt hi ng l i ke i t . Ever y t i me t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney
ment i oned Abr ahamWi l son' s name- and he ment i oned i t wi t h
al most ever y
sent ence- t he j ur y aut omat i cal l y l ooked over at t he
def endant . J enni f er had
caut i oned Wi l son not t o l ook at t he j ur y. She had
dr i l l ed i t i nt o hi mover
and over agai n t hat he was t o l ook anywher e i n t he
cour t r oomexcept at t he
j ur y box, because t he ai r of def i ance he exuded was
enr agi ng. To her hor r or
now, J enni f er f ound t hat Abr ahamWi l son' s eyes wer e
f ast ened on t he j ur y
box, l ocki ng eyes wi t h t he j ur or s. Aggr essi on seemed t o
be pour i ng out of
hi m.
J enni f er sai d i n a l ow voi ce, " Abr aham. . : '
He di d not t ur n.
The Di st r i ct At t or ney was f i ni shi ng hi s openi ng addr ess.
" ' The Bi bl e says,
`An eye f or an eye, a t oot h f or a t oot h. ' That i s
vengeance. The St at e i s
not aski ng f or vengeance. I t i s aski ng f or j ust i ce.
J ust i ce f or t he poor
man whomAbr ahamWi l son
col d- bl oodedl y- - col d- bl oodedt y- mur der ed. Thank
you. "
The Di st r i ct At t or ney t ook hi s seat .
As J enni f er r ose t o addr ess t he j ur y, she coul d f eel
t hei r host i l i t y and
i mpat i ence. She had r ead books about how l aw-
98 RAGE OF ANGELS
yer s wer e abl e t o r ead j ur i es' mi nds, and she had been
skept i cal . But no
l onger . The message f r omt he j ur y was comi ng at her
l oudl y and cl ear l y. They
had al r eady deci ded her cl i ent was gui l t y, and t hey wer e
i mpat i ent because
J enni f er was wast i ng t hei r t i me, keepi ng t hemi n cour t
when t hey coul d be
out doi ng mor e i mpor t ant t hi ngs, as t hei r f r i end t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney had
poi nt ed out . J enni f er and Abr ahamWi l son wer e t he enemy.
J enni f er t ook a deep br eat h and sai d, " I f Your Honor
pl ease, " and t hen she
t ur ned back t o t he j ur or s. " Ladi es and gent l emen, t he
r eason we have
cour t r ooms, t he r eason we ar e al l her e t oday, i s because
t he l aw, i n i t s
wi sdom, knows t hat t her e ar e al ways t wo si des t o ever y
case. Li st eni ng t o
t he Di st r i ct At t or ney' s at t ack on my cl i ent , l i st eni ng
t o hi mpr onounce
my- cl i ent gui l t y wi t hout benef i t of a j ur y' s ver di ct
your ver di ct - one woul d
not t hi nk so. "
She l ooked i nt o t hei r f aces f or a si gn of sympat hy or
suppor t . Ther e was
none. She f or ced her sel f t o go on. " Di st r i ct At t or ney Di
Si l va used t he
phr ase over and over , `Abr ahamWi l son i s gui l t y: That i s
a l i e. J udge
Wal dman wi l l t el l you t hat no def endant i s gui l t y unt i l
a j udge or j ur y
decl ar es t hat he i s gui l t y. That i s what we ar e al l her e
t o f i nd out , i sn' t
i t ? Abr ahamWi l son has been char ged wi t h mur der i ng a
f el l ow i nmat e at Si ng
Si ng. But Abr ahamWi l son di d not ki l l f or money or f or
dope. He ki l l ed t o
save hi s own l i f e. You r emember t hose cl ever exampl es
t hat t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney gave you when he expl ai ned t he di f f er ence
bet ween ki l l i ng i n col d
bl ood and i n hot bl ood. Ki l l i ng i n hot bl ood i s when
you' r e pr ot ect i ng
someone you l ove, or when you' r e def endi ng your sel f .
Abr ahamWi l son ki l l ed
i n sel f - def ense, and I t el l you now t hat any of us i n
t hi s cour t r oom, under
i dent i cal ci r cumst ances, woul d have done exact l y t he
same t hi ng.
" The Di st r i ct At t or ney and I agr ee on one poi nt : Ever y
man has t he r i ght
t o
pr ot ect hi s own l i f e. I f Abr ahamWi l son had not act ed
exact l y as he di d,
he
woul d be dead. " J enni f er ' s
SI DNEY SHELDON 99
voi ce was r i ngi ng wi t h si ncer i t y. She had f or got t en her
ner vousness i n t he
passi on of her convi ct i on. " I ask each of you t o r emember
one t hi ng: Under
t he l aw of t hi s st at e, t he pr osecut i on must pr ove beyond
any r easonabl e
doubt t hat t he act of ki l l i ng was not commi t t ed i n
sel f - def ense. And bef or e
t hi s t r i al i s over we wi l l pr esent sol i d evi dence t o show
you t hat Raymond
Thor pe was ki l l ed i n or der t o pr event hi s mur der i ng my
cl i ent . Thank you. "
The par ade of wi t nesses f or t he St at e began. Rober t Di
Si l va had not mi ssed
a si ngl e oppor t uni t y. Hi s char act er wi t nesses f or t he
deceased, Raymond
Thor pe, i ncl uded a mi ni st er , pr i son guar ds and f el l ow
convi ct s. One by one
t hey t ook t he st and and t est i f i ed t o t he st er l i ng
char act er and paci f i c
di sposi t i on of t he deceased.
Each t i me t he Di st r i ct At t or ney was f i ni shed wi t h a
wi t ness, he t ur ned t o
J enni f er and sai d, " Your wi t ness. "
And each t i me J enni f er r epl i ed, " No cr oss- exami nat i on. "
She knew t hat t her e was no poi nt i n t r yi ng t o di scr edi t
t he char act er
wi t nesses. By t he t i me t hey wer e f i ni shed, one woul d
have t hought t hat
Raymond Thor pe had been wr ongf ul l y depr i ved of
sai nt hood. The guar ds, who
had been car ef ul l y coached - by Rober t Di Si l va,
t est i f i ed t hat Thor pe had
been a model pr i soner who went ar ound Si ng Si ng doi ng
good wor ks, i nt ent
onl y on hel pi ng hi s f el l ow man. The f act t hat Raymond
Thor pe was a
convi ct ed bank r obber and r api st was a t i ny f l aw i n an
ot her wi se per f ect
char act er .
What badl y damaged J enni f er ' s al r eady weak def ense was
t he physi cal
descr i pt i on of Raymond Thor pe. He had been a sl i ght l y
bui l t man, onl y f i ve
f eet ni ne i nches t al l . Rober t Di Si l va dwel t on t hat ,
and he never l et t he
j ur or s f or get i t . He pai nt ed a gr aphi c pi ct ur e of how
Abr ahamWi l son had
vi ci ousl y at t acked t he smal l er man and had smashed
Thor pe' s head agai nst
a
concr et e bui l di ng i n t he exer ci se yar d, i nst ant l y
ki l l i ng hi m. As Di Si l va
spbke, t he j ur or s' eyes wer e f ast ened
100 RAGE OF ANGELS
on t he gi ant f i gur e of t he def endant si t t i ng at t he
t abl e, dwar f i ng ever yone
near hi m.
The Di st r i ct At t or ney was sayi ng, " We' l l pr obabl y never
know what caused
Abr ahamWi l son t o at t ack t hi s har ml ess, def ensel ess
l i t t l e man- " '
And J enni f er ' s hear t suddenl y l eaped. One wor d t hat Di
Si l va had sai d had
gi ven her t he chance she needed.
" - We may never know t he r eason f or t he def endant ' s
vi ci ous at t ack, but one
t hi ng we do know, l adi es and gent l emen - i t wasn' t
because t he mur der ed man
was a t hr eat t o Abr ahamWi l son.
" Sel f - def ense?" He t ur ned t o J udge Wal dman. " Your Honor ,
woul d you pl ease
di r ect t he def endant t o r i se?"
J udge Wal dman l ooked at J enni f er . " Does counsel f or t he
def ense have any
obj ect i on?"
J enni f er had an i dea what was comi ng, but she knew t hat
any obj ect i on on
her par t coul d onl y be damagi ng. " No, Your Honor . "
J udge Wal dman sai d, " Wi l l t he def endant r i se, pl ease?"
Abr ahamWi l son sat t her e a moment , hi s f ace def i ant ;
t hen he sl owl y r ose
t o
hi s f ul l hei ght of si x f eet f our i nches.
Di Si l va sai d, " Ther e i s a cour t cl er k her e, Mr . Gal i n,
who i s f i ve f eet
ni ne i nches t al l , t he exact hei ght of t he mur der ed man,
Raymond Thor pe. Mr .
Gal i n, woul d you pl ease go over and st and next t o t he
def endant ?"
The cour t cl er k wal ked over t o Abr ahamWi l son and st ood
next t o hi m. The
cont r ast bet ween t he t wo men was l udi cr ous. J enni f er
knew she had been
out maneuver ed agai n, but t her e was not hi ng she coul d do
about i t . The
vi sual i mpr essi on coul d never be er ased. The Di st r i ct
At t or ney st ood t her e
l ooki ng at t he t wo men f or a moment , and t hen sai d t o
t he j ur y, hi s voi ce
al most a whi sper , " Sel f - def ense?"
The t r i al was goi ng wor se t han J enni f er had dr eamed i n
SI DNEY SHELDON 101
her wi l dest ni ght mar es. She coul d f eel t he j ur y' s
eager ness t o get t he t r i al
over wi t h so t hey coul d del i ver a ver di ct of gui l t y.
Ken Bai l ey was seat ed among t he spect at or s and, dur i ng a
r ecess, J enni f er
had a chance t o exchange a f ew wor ds wi t h hi m.
" I t ' s not an easy case, " Ken sai d sympat het i cal l y. " I
wi sh you di dn' t have
Ki ng Kong f or a cl i ent . Chr i st , j ust l ooki ng at hi mi s
enough t o scar e t he
hel l out of anybody. " -
" He can' t hel p t hat . "
" As t he ol d j oke goes, he coul d have st ayed home. How
ar e you and our
est eemed Di st r i ct At t or ney get t i ng al ong?"
J enni f er gave hi ma mi r t hl ess smi l e. " Mr . Di Si l va sent
me a message t hi s
mor ni ng. He i nt ends t o r emove me f r om- t he l aw busi ness. "
When t he par ade of pr osecut i on wi t nesses was over and Di
Si l va had r est ed
hi s case, J enni f er r ose and sai d, " I woul d l i ke t o cal l
Howar d Pat t er son
t o
t he st and. "
The assi st ant war den of Si ng Si ng Pr i son r el uct ant l y
r ose and moved t owar d
t he wi t ness box, al l eyes f i xed on hi m. Rober t Di Si l va
wat ched i nt ent l y
as
Pat t er son t ook t he oat h. Di Si l va' s mi nd was r aci ng,
comput i ng , al l t he
pr obabi l i t i es. He knew he had won t he case. He had hi s
vi ct or y speech al l
pr epar ed.
J enni f er was addr essi ng t he wi t ness. " Woul d you f i l l t he
j ur y i n on your
backgr ound, pl ease, Mr . Pat t er son?"
Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va was on hi s f eet . " The St at e
wi l l wai ve t he
wi t ness' s backgr ound i n or der t o save t i me, and we wi l l
st i pul at e t hat Mr .
Pat t er son i s t he assi st ant war den at Si ng Si ng Pr i son. "
" Thank you, " J enni f er sai d. " I t hi nk t he j ur y shoul d be
i nf or med t hat Mr .
Pat t er son had t o be subpoenaed t o come her e t oday. He i s
her e as a host i l e
wi t ness. " J enni f er t ur ned t o Pat t er son. " When I asked
you t o come her e
vol unt ar i l y and t est i f y on behal f of my cl i ent , you
r ef used. I s t hat t r ue?"
102 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Yes. "
" Woul d you t el l t he j ur y why you had t o be subpoenaed t o
get you her e?"
" I ' l l be gl ad t o. r ve been deal i ng wi t h men l i ke Abr aham
Wi l son al l my
l i f e. They' r e bor n t r oubl emaker s: "
Rober t Di Si l va was l eani ng f or war d i n hi s chai r ,
gr i nni ng, hi s eyes l ocked
on t he f aces of t he j ur or s. He whi sper ed t o an
assi st ant , " Wat ch her hang
her sel f . "
J enni f er sai d, " Mr . Pat t er son, Abr ahamWi l son i s not on
t r i al her e f or
bei ng a t r oubl emaker . He' s on t r i al f or hi s l i f e.
Woul dn' t you be wi l l i ng
t o hel p a f el l ow human bei ng who was unj ust l y accused of
a capi t al cr i me?"
" I f he wer e unj ust l y accused, yes. " The emphasi s on
unj ust l y br ought a
knowi ng l ook t o t he f aces of t he j ur or s.
" Ther e have been ki l l i ngs i n pr i son bef or e t hi s case,
have t her e not ?"
" When you l ock up hundr eds of vi ol ent men t oget her i n an
ar t i f i ci al
envi r onment , t hey' r e bound t o gener at e an enor mous
amount of host i l i t y, and
t her e' s- "
" J ust yes or no, pl ease, Mr . Pat t er son. "
. . Yes. "
" Of t hose ki l l i ngs t hat have occur r ed i n your
exper i ence, woul d you say
t hat t her e have been a var i et y of mot i ves?"
" Wel l , I suppose so. Somet i mes- "
" Yes or no, pl ease. "
" Yes. "
" Has sel f - def ense ever been a mot i ve i n any of t hose
pr i son ki l l i ngs?"
" Wel l , somet i mes- " He saw t he expr essi on on J enni f er ' s
f ace. " Yes. "
" So, based on your vast exper i ence, i t i s ent i r el y
possi bl e, i s i t not ,
t hat Abr ahamWi l son was act ual l y def endi ng hi s own l i f e
when he ki l l ed
Raymond Thor pe?"
" I don' t t hi nk i t - - 21
" I asked i f i t i s possi bl e. Yes or no. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 103
" I t i s hi ghl y unl i kel y, " Pat t er son sai d st ubbor nl y.
J enni f er t ur ned t o J udge Wal dman. " Your Honor , woul d you
pl ease di r ect t he
wi t ness t o answer t he quest i on?"
J udge Wal dman l ooked down at Howar d Pat t er son. " The
wi t ness wi l l answer t he
quest i on. "
" Yes. .
But t he f act t hat hi s whol e at t i t ude sai d no had
r egi st er ed on t he j ur y.
J enni f er sai d, " I f t he cour t pl ease, I have subpoenaed
f r omt he wi t ness
some mat er i al I woul d l i ke t o submi t now i n evi dence. "
Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va r ose. " What ki nd of
mat er i al ?"
" Evi dence t hat wi l l pr ove our cont ent i on of
sel f - def ense. "
" Obj ect i on, Your Honor . "
" What ar e you obj ect i ng t o?" J enni f er asked. " You
haven' t seen i t yet . "
J udge Wal dman sai d, " The cour t wi l l wi t hhol d a r ul i ng
unt i l i t sees t he
evi dence. A man' s l i f e i s at st ake her e. The def endant
i s ent i t l ed t o ever y
possi bl e consi der at i on. "
" Thank you, Your Honor . " J enni f er t ur ned t o Howar d
Pat t er son. " Di d you
br i ng i t wi t h you?" she asked.
He nodded, t i ght - Ti pped. " Yes. But r mdoi ng t hi s under
pr ot est . "
" I t hi nk you' ve al r eady made t hat ver y cl ear , Mr .
Pat t er son. May we have
i t , pl ease?"
Howar d Pat t er son l ooked over t o t he spect at or ar ea wher e
a man i n a pr i son
guar d uni f or mwas seat ed. Pat t er son nodded t o hi m. The
guar d r ose and came
f or war d, car r yi ng a cover ed wooden box.
J enni f er t ook i t f r omhi m. " The def ense woul d l i ke t o
pl ace t hi s i n
evi dence as Exhi bi t A, Your Honor . "
" What i s i t ?" Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va demanded.
" I t ' s cal l ed a goodi e box. "
Ther e was a t i t t er f r omt he spect at or s.
J udge Wal dman l ooked down at J enni f er and sai d sl owl y,
104 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Di d you say a goodi e box? What i s i n t he box, Mi ss
Par ker ?" " Weapons.
Weapons
t hat wer e made i n Si ng Si ng by t he pr i soner s f or t he
pur pose of - "
" Obj ect i on! " The Di st r i ct At t or ney was on hi s f eet , hi s
voi ce a r oar . He
hur r i ed t owar d t he bench. " I ' mwi l l i ng t o make
al l owances f or my
col l eague' s i nexper i ence, Your Honor , but i f she i nt ends
t o pr act i ce
cr i mi nal l aw, t hen I woul d suggest she st udy t he basi c
r ul es of evi dence.
Ther e i s no evi dence l i nki ng anyt hi ng i n t hi s so- cal l ed
goodi e box wi t h t he
case t hat i s bei ng t r i ed i n t hi s cour t . "
" Thi s box pr oves"
" Thi s box pr oves not hi ng. " The Di st r i ct At t or ney' s voi ce
was wi t her i ng. He
t ur ned t o J udge Wal dman. " The St at e obj ect s t o t he
i nt r oduct i on of t hi s
exhi bi t as bei ng i mmat er i al and i r r el evant . "
" Obj ect i on sust ai ned. "
And J enni f er st ood t her e, wat chi ng her case col l apse.
Ever yt hi ng was
agai nst her : t he j udge, t he j ur y, Di Si l va, t he
evi dence. Her cl i ent was
goi ng t o t he el ect r i c chai r unl ess . . .
J enni f er t ook a deep br eat h. " Your Honor , t hi s exhi bi t
i s absol ut el y vi t al
t o our def ense. I f eel - "
J udge Wal dman i nt er r upt ed. " Mi ss Par ker , t hi s cour t does
not have t he t i me
or t he i ncl i nat i on t o gi ve you i nst r uct i ons i n t he l aw,
but t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney i s qui t e r i ght . Bef or e comi ng i nt o t hi s
cour t r oomyou shoul d have
acquai nt ed your sel f wi t h t he basi c r ul es of evi dence.
The f i r st r ul e i s
t hat you cannot i nt r oduce evi dence t hat has not been
pr oper l y pr epar ed f or .
Not hi ng has been put i nt o t he r ecor d about t he deceased
bei ng ar med or not
ar med. Ther ef or e, t he quest i on of t hese weapons becomes
ext r aneous. You ar e
over r ul ed. "
J enni f er st ood t her e, t he bl ood r ushi ng t o her cheeks.
" I ' msor r y, " she
sai d st ubbor nl y, " but i t i s not ext r aneous. "
" That i s enough! You may f i l e an except i on. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 105
" I don' t want t o f i l e an except i on, Your Honor . You' r e
denyi ng my cl i ent
hi s r i ght s: "
" Mi ss Par ker , i f you go any f ur t her I wi l l hol d you i n
cont empt of cour t . "
" I don' t car e what you do t o me, " J enni f er sai d. " The
gr ound has been
pr epar ed f or i nt r oduci ng t hi s evi dence. The Di st r i ct
At t or ney pr epar ed i t
hi msel f . "
Di Si l va sai d, " What ? I never - "
J enni f er t ur ned t o t he cour t st enogr apher . " Woul d yon
pl ease r ead Mr . Di
Si l va' s st at ement , begi nni ng wi t h t he l i ne, `We' l l
pr obabl y never know what
caused Abr ahamWi l son t o at t ack . . . ' ?"
The Di st r i ct At t or ney l ooked up at J udge Wal dman. " Your
Honor , ar e you
goi ng t o al l ow- ?"
J udge Wal dman hel d up a hand. He t ur ned t o J enni f er .
" Thi s cour t does not
need you t o expl ai n t he l aw t o i t , Mi ss Par ker . When
t hi s t r i al i s ended,
you wi l l be hel d i n cont empt of cour t . Because t hi s i s a
capi t al case, I
am
goi ng t o hear you out . " He t ur ned t o t he cour t
st enogr apher . " You may pr o-
ceed. "
The cour t st enogr apher t ur ned some pages and began
r eadi ng. " We' l l pr obabl y
never know what caused Abr ahamWi l son t o at t ack t hi s
har ml ess, def ensel ess
l i t t l e man- "
" That ' s enough, " J enni f er i nt er r upt ed. " Thank you. " She
l ooked at Rober t
Di
Si l va and sai d sl owl y, " Those ar e your wor ds, Mr . Di
Si l va. We' l l pr obabl y
never know what caused Abr ahamWi l son t o at t ack t hi s
har ml ess, def ensel ess
l i t t l e man . . : " She t ur ned t o J udge Wal dman. " The key
wor d, Your Honor ,
i s def ensel ess. Si nce t he Di st r i ct At t or ney hi msel f t ol d
t hi s j ur y t hat t he
vi ct i mwas def ensel ess, he l ef t an open door f or us t o
pur sue t he f act t hat
t he vi ct i mmi ght not have been def ensel ess, t hat he
mi ght , i n f act , have
had a weapon. What ever i s br ought up i n t he di r ect i s
admi ssi bl e i n t he
cr oss. "
Ther e was a l ong si l ence.
106 RAGE OF ANGELS
J udge Wal dman t ur ned t o Rober t Di Si l va. " Mi ss Par ker
has a val i d poi nt .
You di d l eave t he door open. "
Rober t Di Si l va was l ooki ng at hi munbel i evi ngl y. " But I
onl y- "
" The cour t wi l l al l ow t he evi dence t o be ent er ed as
Exhi bi t A. "
J enni f er t ook a deep, gr at ef ul br eat h. " Thank you, Your
Honor . " She pi cked
up t he cover ed box, hel d i t up i n her hands and t ur ned
t o f ace t he j ur y.
" Ladi es and gent l emen, i n hi s f i nal summat i on t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney i s
goi ng t o t el l you t hat what you ar e about t o see i n t hi s
box i s . not di r ect
evi dence. He wi l l be cor r ect . He i s goi ng t o t el l you
t hat t her e i s not hi ng
t o l i nk any of t hese weapons t o t he deceased. He wi l l be
cor r ect . I am
i nt r oduci ng t hi s exhi bi t f or anot her r eason. For days
now, you have been
hear i ng how t he r ut hl ess, t r oubl e- maki ng def endant , who
st ands si x f eet
f our i nches t al l , want onl y at t acked Raymond Thor pe, who
st ood onl y f i ve
f eet ni ne i nches t al l . The pi ct ur e t hat has been so
car ef ul l y, and f al sel y,
pai nt ed f or you by t he pr osecut i on i s t hat of a
sadi st i c, mur der i ng bul l y
who ki l l ed anot her i nmat e f or no r eason. But ask
your sel ves t hi s: I sn' t
t her e al ways some mot i ve? Gr eed, hat e, . l ust , somet hi ng?
I bel i eve- and I ' m
st aki ng my cl i ent ' s l i f e on t hat bel i ef - t hat t her e was a
mot i ve f or t hat
ki l l i ng. The onl y mot i ve, as t he Di st r i ct At t or ney
hi msel f t ol d you, t hat
j ust i f i es ki l l i ng someone: sel f - def ense. A man f i ght i ng
t o pr ot ect hi s own
l i f e. You have hear d Howar d Pat t er son t est i f y t hat i n
hi s exper i ence
mur der s have occur r ed i n pr i son, t hat convi ct s do
f ashi on deadl y weapons.
What t hat means i s t hat i t was possi bl e t hat Raymond
Thor pe was ar med wi t h
such a weapon, t hat i ndeed i t was he who was at t acki ng
t he def endant , and
t he def endant , t r yi ng t o pr ot ect hi msel f , was f or ced t o
ki l l hi m- - i n
sel f - def ense. I f you deci de t hat Abr ahamWi l son
r ut hl essl y- and wi t hout any
mot i vat i on at aI l ki l l ed Raymond Thor pe, t hen you must
br i ng i n a ver di ct
of
gui l t y as char ged. I f , however , af t er seei ng t hi s
evi dence, you
SI DNEY SHELDON 107
have a r easonabl e doubt i n your mi nds, t hen i t i s your
dut y t o r et ur n a
ver di ct of not gui l t y. " The cover ed box was becomi ng
heavy i n her hands.
" When I f i r st l ooked i nt o t hi s box I coul d not bel i eve
what I saw. You, t oo,
may f i nd i t har d t o bel i evebut I ask you t o r emember t hat
i t was br ought
her e under pr ot est by t he assi st ant war den of Si ng Si ng
Pr i son. Thi s, l adi es
and gent l emen, i s a col l ect i on of conf i scat ed weapons
secr et l y made by t he
convi ct s at Si ng Si ng. "
As J enni f er moved t owar d t he j ur y box, she seemed t o
st umbl e and l ose her
bal ance. The box f el l out of her gr asp, t he t op f l ew
of f , and t he cont ent s
spi l l ed out over t he cour t r oomf l oor . Ther e was a gasp.
The j ur or s began
t o
get t o t hei r f eet so t hey coul d have a bet t er l ook. They
wer e st ar i ng at
t he hi deous col l ect i on of weapons t hat had t umbl ed f r om
t he box. Ther e wer e
al most one hundr ed of t hem, of ever y si ze, shape and
descr i pt i on. Homemade
hat chet s and but cher kni ves, st i l et t os and deadl y
l ooki ng sci ssor s wi t h t he
ends, honed, pel l et guns, and a l ar ge, vi ci ous- l ooki ng
cl eaver . Ther e wer e
t hi n wi r es wi t h wooden handl es, used f or st r angl i ng, a
l eat her sap, a
shar pened i ce pi ck, a machet e.
Spect at or s and r epor t er s wer e on t hei r f eet now, cr ani ng
t o get a bet t er
l ook at t he ar senal t hat l ay scat t er ed on t he f l oor .
J udge Wal dman was
angr i l y poundi ng hi s gavel f or or der .
J udge Wal dman l ooked at J enni f er wi t h an expr essi on she
coul d not f at hom.
A bai l i f f hur r i ed f or war d t o pi ck up t he spi l l ed
cont ent s of t he box.
J enni f er waved hi maway.
" Thank you, " she sai d, " I ' l l do i t . "
As t he j ur or s and spect at or s wat ched, J enni f er got down
on her knees and
began pi cki ng up t he weapons and put t i ng t hemback i n
t he box. She wor ked
sl owl y, handl i ng t he weapons gi nger l y, l ooki ng at each
one wi t hout
expr essi on bef or e she r epl aced i t . The j ur or s had t aken
t hei r seat s agai n,
but t hey wer e wat chi ng ever y move she made. I t t ook
J enni f er a f ul l f i ve
mi nut es t o r et ur n t he weapons t o t he box, whi l e Di st r i ct
At t or ney Di Si l va
sat t her e, f umi ng.
108 RAGE OF ANGELS
When J enni f er had put t he l ast weapon i n t he deadl y
ar senal back i n t he
box, she r ose, l ooked at Pat t er son, t hen t ur ned and sai d
t o Di Si l va,
" Your wi t ness. "
I t was t oo l at e t o r epai r t he damage t hat had been done.
" No cr oss, " t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney sai d.
' Then I woul d l i ke t o cal l Abr ahamWi l son t o t he st and. "
8
" Your name?"
" Abr ahamWi l son: '
" Woul d you speak up, pl ease?"
" Abr ahamWi l son. "
" Mr . Wi l son, di d you ki l l Raymond Thor pe?"
" Yes, ma' am. "
" Woul d you t el l t he cour t why?"
" He was gonna ki l l me. "
" Raymond Thor pe was a much smal l er man t han you. Di d you
r eal l y bel i eve
t hat he woul d be abl e t o ki l l you?"
" He was comi n' at me wi t h a kni f e t hat made hi mpuny
t al l . "
J enni f er had kept out t wo obj ect s f r omt he goodi e boa.
One was a f i nel y
honed but cher kni f e; t he ot her was a l ar ge pai r of met al
t ongs. She hel d
up
t he kni f e. " Was t hi s t he kni f e t hat Raymond Thor pe
t hr eat ened you wi t h?"
" Obj ect i on! The def endant has no way of knowi ng- "
109
110 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I ' l l r ephr ase t he quest i on. Was t hi s si mi l ar t o t he
kni f e t hat Raymond
Thor pe t hr eat ened you wi t h?"
" Yes, ma' am. "
" And t hese t ongs?"
" Yes, ma' am. "
" Had you had t r oubl e wi t h Thor pe bef or e?"
" Yes, ma' am. "
" And when he came at you ar med wi t h t hese t wo weapons,
you wer e f or ced t o
ki l l hi mi n or der t o save your own l i f e?"
" Yes, ma' am. "
" Thank you. "
J enni f er t ur ned t o Di Si l va. " Your wi t ness. "
Rober t Di Si l va r ose t o hi s f eet and moved sl owl y t owar d
t he wi t ness box.
" Mr . Wi l son, you' ve ki l l ed bef or e, haven' t you? I mean,
t hi s wasn' t your
f i r st mur der ?"
' I made a mi st ake and I ' mpayi n' f or i t . I - "
" Spar e us your ser mon. J ust answer yes or no. "
" Yes. "
" So a human l i f e doesn' t have much val ue t o you. "
" That ai n' t t r ue. I - "
" Do you cal l commi t t i ng t wo mur der s val ui ng human l i f e?
How many peopl e
woul d you have ki l l ed i f you di dn' t val ue human l i f e?
Fi ve? Ten? Twent y?"
He was bai t i ng Abr ahamWi l son and Wi l son was f al l i ng f or
i t . Hi s j aw was
cl enched and hi s f ace was f i l l i ng wi t h anger . Be
car ef ul !
" I onl y ki l t t wo peopl e. "
" Onl y! You onl y ki l l ed t wo peopl e! " The Di st r i ct
At t or ney shook hi s head
i n
mock di smay. He st epped cl ose t o t he wi t ness box and
l ooked up at t he
def endant . " I ' l l bet i t gi ves you a f eel i ng of power t o
be so bi g. I t must
make you f eel a l i t t l e bi t l i ke God. Any t i me you want
t o, you can t ake a
l i f e her e, t ake a l i f e t her e . . : "
SI DNEY SHELDON 111
Abr ahamWi l son was on hi s f eet , r i si ng t o hi s f ul l
hei ght . " You somabi t ch! "
No! J enni f er pr ayed. Don' t !
" Si t down! " Di Si l va t hunder ed. " I s t hat t he way you
l ost your t emper when
you ki l l ed Raymond Thor pe?"
" Thor pe was t r yi n' t o ki l l me. "
" Wi t h t hese?" Di Si l va hel d up t he but cher kni f e and t he
pai r of t ongs.
" I ' msur e you coul d have t aken t hat kni f e away f r om
hi m. " He waved t he
t ongs ar ound. " And you wer e af r ai d of t hi s?" He t ur ned
back t o t he j ur y and
hel d up t he t ongs depr ecat i ngl y. " Thi s doesn' t l ook so
t er r i bl y l et hal . I f
t he deceased had been abl e t o hi t you over t he head wi t h
i t , i t mi ght have
caused a smal l bump. What exact l y i s t hi s pai r of t ongs,
Mr . Wi l son?" .
Abr ahamWi l son sai d sof t l y, " They' r e t est i cl e
cr usher s: "
The j ur y was out f or ei ght hour s.
Rober t Di Si l va and hi s assi st ant s l ef t t he cour t r oomt o
t ake a br eak, but
J enni f er st ayed i n her seat , unabl e t o t ear her sel f
away.
When t he j ur y f i l ed out of t he r oom, Ken Bai l ey came up
t o J enni f er . " How
about a cup of cof f ee?"
" I coul dn' t swal l ow anyt hi ng. "
She sat i n t he cour t r oom, af r ai d t o move, onl y di ml y
awar e of t he peopl e
ar ound her . I t was over . She had done her best . She
cl osed her eyes and
t r i ed t o pr ay, but t he f ear i n her was t oo st r ong. She
f el t as t hough she,
al ong wi t h Abr ahamWi l son, was about t o be sent enced t o
deat h.
The j ur y was f i l i ng back i nt o t he r oom, t hei r f aces gr i m
and f or ebodi ng,
and J enni f er ' s hear t began t o beat f ast er . She coul d see
by t hei r f aces
t hat t hey wer e goi ng t o convi ct . She t hought she woul d
f ai nt . Because of
her , a man was goi ng t o be execut ed. She shoul d never
have t aken t he case
i n t he
112 RAGE OF ANGELS
f i r st pl ace. What r i ght had she t o put a man' s l i f e i n
her hands? She must
have been i nsane t o t hi nk she coul d wi n over someone as
exper i enced as
Rober t Di Si l va. She want ed t o r un up t o t he j ur or s
bef or e t hey coul d gi ve
t hei r ver di ct and say, Wai t ! Abr ahamWi l son hasn' t had a
f ai r t r i al . Pl ease
l et anot her at t or ney def end hi m. Someone bet t er t han 1
am.
But i t was t oo l at e. J enni f er st ol e a l ook at Abr aham
Wi l son' s f ace. He sat
t her e as i mmobi l e as a st at ue. She coul d f eel no hat r ed
comi ng f r omhi m
now, onl y a deep despai r . She want ed t o say somet hi ng t o
comf or t hi m, but
t her e wer e no wor ds.
J udge Wal dman was speaki ng. " Has t he j ur y r eached a
ver di ct ?"
" I t has, Your Honor . "
The j udge nodded and hi s cl er k wal ked over t o t he
f or eman of t he j ur y, t ook
a sl i p of paper f r omhi mand handed i t t o t he j udge.
J enni f er f el t as
t hough her hear t wer e goi ng t o come out of her chest .
She coul d not
br eat he. She want ed t o hol d back t hi s moment , t o f r eeze
i t f or ever bef or e
t he ver di ct was r ead.
J udge Wal dman st udi ed t he sl i p of paper i n hi s hands;
t hen he sl owl y l ooked
ar ound t he cour t r oom. Hi s eyes r est ed on t he member s of
t he j ur y, on Rober t
Di Si l va, on J enni f er and f i nal l y on Abr ahamWi l son.
" The def endant wi l l pl ease r i se"
Abr ahamWi l son got t o hi s f eet , hi s movement s sl ow and
t i r ed, as t hough al l
t he ener gy had been dr ai ned out of hi m.
J udge Wal dman r ead f r omt he sl i p of paper . " Thi s j ur y
f i nds t he def endant ,
Abr ahamWi l son, not gui l t y as char ged. "
Ther e was a moment ar y hush and t he j udge' s f ur t her wor ds
wer e dr owned out
i n a r oar f r omt he spect at or s. J enni f er st ood t her e,
st unned, unabl e t o
bel i eve what she was hear i ng. She t ur ned t owar d Abr aham
Wi l son, speechl ess.
He st ar ed at her f or an i nst ant wi t h t hose smal l , mean
eyes. And t hen t hat
ugl y f ace br oke i nt o t he br oadest gr i n t hat J enni f er had
ever seen.
SI DNEY SHELDON 113
He r eached dawn and hugged her and J enni f er t r i ed t o
f i ght back her t ear s.
The pr ess was cr owdi ng ar ound J enni f er , aski ng f or a
st at ement , bar r agi ng
her wi t h quest i ons.
" How does i t f eel t o beat t he Di st r i ct At t or ney?"
" Di d you t hi nk you wer e goi ng t o wi n t hi s case?"
" What woul d you have done i f t hey had sent Wi l son t o t he
el ect r i c chai r ?"
J enni f er shook her head. t o al l quest i ons. She coul d not
br i ng her sel f t o
t al k t o t hem. They had come her e t o wat ch a spect acl e,
t o see a man bei ng
hounded t o hi s deat h. I f t he ver di ct had gone t he ot her
way . . . she coul d
not bear t o t hi nk about i t . J enni f er began t o col l ect
her paper s and st uf f
t hemi nt o a br i ef case.
A bai l i f f appr oached her . " J udge Wal dman want s t o see
you i n hi s chamber s,
Mi ss Par ker . "
She had f or got t en t hat t her e was a cont empt of cour t
ci t at i on wai t i ng f or
her but i t no l onger seemed i mpor t ant . The onl y t hi ng
t hat mat t er ed was
t hat she had saved Abr ahamWi l son' s l i f e.
J enni f er gl anced over at t he pr osecut or ' s t abl e.
Di st r i ct At t or ney Si l va
was savagel y st uf f i ng paper s i nt o a br i ef case, ber at i ng
one of hi s
assi st ant s. He caught J enni f er ' s l ook. Hi s eyes met her s
and he needed no
wor ds.
J udge Lawr ence Wal dman was seat ed at hi s desk when
J enni f er wal ked i n. He
sai d cur t l y, " Si t down, Mi ss Par ker . " J enni f er t ook a
seat . " I wi l l not
al l ow you or anyone el se t o t ur n my cour t r oomi nt o a
si deshow: "
J enni f er f l ushed. " I t r i pped. I coul dn' t hel p what - - - ! '
J udge Wal dman r ai sed a hand. " Pl ease. Spar e me. "
J enni f er cl amped her l i ps
t i ght l y t oget her .
J udge Wal dman l eaned f or war d i n hi s chai r . " Anot her
t hi ng I wi l l not
t ol er at e i n my cour t i s i nsol ence. " J enni f er wat ched hi m
war i l y, sayi ng
not hi ng. " You over st epped t he
114 RAGE OF ANGELS
bounds- t hi s af t er noon. I r eal i ze t hat your excessi ve
zeal was i n def ense
of
a man' s l i f e. Because of t hat , I have deci ded not t o ci t e
you f or cont empt . "
" Thank you, Your Honor . " J enni f er had t o f or ce t he wor ds
out .
The j udge' s f ace was unr eadabl e as he cont i nued: " Al most
i nvar i abl y, when
a case i s f i ni shed I have a sense of whet her j ust i ce has
been ser ved or
not . I n t hi s i nst ance, qui t e f r ankl y, I ' mnot sur e. "
J enni f er wai t ed f or
hi mt o go on.
" That ' s al l , Mi ss Par ker . "
I n t he eveni ng edi t i ons of t he newspaper s and on t he
. t el evi si on news t hat
ni ght , J enni f er Par ker was back i n t he headl i nes, but
t hi s t i me she was t he
her oi ne. She was t he l egal Davi d who had sl ai n Gol i at h.
Pi ct ur es of her and
Abr ahamWi l son and Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va wer e
pl ast er ed al l over t he
f r ont pages. J enni f er hungr i l y devour ed ever y wor d of
t he st or i es, savor i ng
t hem. I t was such a sweet vi ct or y af t er al l t he di sgr ace
she had suf f er ed
ear l i er .
Ken Bai l ey t ook her t o di nner at Luchow' s t o cel ebr at e,
and J enni f er was
r ecogni zed by t he capt ai n and sever al of t he cust omer s.
St r anger s cal l ed
J enni f er by name and congr at ul at ed her . I t was a heady
exper i ence.
" How does i t f eel t o be a cel ebr i t y?" Ken gr i nned.
" r mnumb. "
Someone sent a bot t l e of wi ne t o t he t abl e.
" I don' t need anyt hi ng t o dr i nk, " J enni f er sai d. " I f eel
as t hough I ' m
al r eady dr unk. "
But she was t hi r st y and she dr ank t hr ee gl asses of wi ne
whi l e she r ehashed
t he t r i al wi t h Ken.
" I was scar ed. Do you know what i t ' s l i ke t o hol d
someone el se' s l i f e i n
your hands? I t ' s l i ke pl ayi ng God. Can you t hi nk of
anyt hi ng scar i er t han
t hat ? I mean, I come f r omKel so . . . coul d we have
anot her bot t l e of wi ne,
Ken?"
" Anyt hi ng you want . "
SI DNEY SHELDON 115
Ken or der ed a f east f or t hembot h, but J enni f er was t oo
exci t ed t o eat .
" Do you know what Abr ahamWi l son sai d t o me t he f i r st
t i me I met hi m? He
sai d, `You cr awl i nt o my ski n and I ' l l cr awl i nt o your s
and t hen you and
me
wi l l r ap about hat e. ' Ken, I was i n hi s ski n t oday, and
do you know
somet hi ng? I t hought t he j ur y was goi ng t o convi ct me. I
f el t as t hough I
was goi ng t o be execut ed. I l ove Abr ahamWi l son. Coul d
we have some mor e
wi ne?"
" You haven' t eat en a bi t e. "
" I ' mt hi r st y. "
Ken wat ched, concer ned, as J enni f er kept f i l l i ng and
empt yi ng her gl ass.
" Take i t easy. "
She waved a hand i n ai r y di smi ssal . " I t ' s Cal i f or ni a
wi ne. I t ' s t i ke
dr i nki ng wat er . " She t ook anot her swal l ow. " You' r e my
best f r i end. Do you
know who' s not my best f r i end? The gr eat Rober t Di
Sl i va. Di Si vl a. "
" Di Si l va. "
" Hi m, t oo. He hat es me. D' j a see hi s f ace t oday? O- o- oh,
he was mad! He
sai d he was gonna r un me out of cour t . But he di dn' t ,
di d he?"
. . No, he- - - '
" You know what I t hi nk? You know what I r eal l y t hi nk?"
I . .
" Di Si i va t hi nks r mAhab and he' s t he whi t e whal e. "
" I t hi nk you have t hat backwar ds. "
" Thank you, Ken. I can al ways count on you. Let ' s have
' not her bot t l e of
wi ne. "
" Don' t you t hi nk you' ve had. enough?"
" Whal es get t hi r st y. " J enni f er gi ggl ed. " Tha' s me. The
bi g ol d whi t e whal e.
Di d I t el l you I l ove Abr ahamWi l son? He' s t he most
beaut i f ul man I ever
met . I l ooked i n hi s eyes, Ken, my f r i en' , ' n' he' s
beaut i f ul ! Y' ever l ook
i n Di Si vl a' s eyes? O- o- oh! They' r e col d! I mean, he' s
' n i ceber g. But he' s
not a bad man. Di d I t el l you ' boor Ahab ' n' t he bi g
whi t e whal e?"
116 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I l ove ol d Ahab. I l ove ever ybody. ' N' you know why,
Ken? ' Cause Abr aham
Wi l son i s al i ve t oni ght . He' s al i ve. Les have ' not her
bot t l e a wi ne t o
cel ebr at e . . . "
I t was t wo A. M. when Ken Bai l ey t ook J enni f er home. He
hel ped her up t he
f our f l i ght s of st ai r s and i nt o her l i t t l e apar t ment . He
was br eat hi ng har d
f r omt he cl i mb.
" You know, " Ken sai d, " I can f eel t he ef f ect s of al l
t hat wi ne. " '
J enni f er l ooked at hi mpi t yi ngl y. " Peopl e who can' t
handl e i t shoudn'
dr i nk. "
And she passed out col d.
She was awakened by t he shr i l l scr eami ng of t he
t el ephone. She car ef ul l y
r eached f or t he i nst r ument , and t he sl i ght movement sent
r ocket s of pai n
t hr ough ever y ner ve endi ng i n her body.
" ' Lo . "
" J enni f er ? Thi s i s Ken. "
" To, Ken. "
" You sound t er r i bl e. Ar e you al l r i ght ?"
She t hought about i t . " I don' t t hi nk so. What t i me 3s
i t ?"
" I t ' s al most noon. You' d bet t er get down her e. Al l hel l
i s br eaki ng l oose. "
" Ken- I t hi nk Pmdyi ng. "
" Li st en t o me. Get out of bed- - sl owl y- - t ake t wo aspi r i n
and a col d shower ,
dr i nk a cup of hot bl ack cof f ee, and you' l l pr obabl y
l i ve. "
When J enni f er ar r i ved at t he of f i ce one hour l at er , she
was f eel i ng bet t er .
Not good, J enni f er t hought , but bet t er .
Bot h t el ephones wer e r i ngi ng when she wal ked i nt o t he
of f i ce.
SI DNEY SHELDON 117
" They' r e f or you. " Ken gr i nned. " They haven' t st opped!
You need a
swi t chboar d. "
Ther e wer e cal l s f r omnewspaper s and nat i onal magazi nes
and t el evi si on and
r adi o st at i ons want i ng t o do i n- dept h st or i es on
J enni f er . Over ni ght , she
had become bi g news. Ther e wer e ot her cal l s, t he ki nd of
whi ch she had
dr eamed. Law f i r ms t hat had snubbed her bef or e wer e
t el ephoni ng t o ask when
i t woul d be conveni ent f or her t o meet wi t h t hem.
I n hi s of f i ce downt own, Rober t Di Si l va was scr eami ng at
hi s f i r st
assi st ant . " I want you t o st ar t a conf i dent i al f i l e on
J enni f er Par ker . I
want t o be i nf or med of ever y cl i ent she t akes on. Got
i t ?"
" Yes, si r . "
" Move! "
9
" He ai n' t no but t on guy anymor e' n Tma f ucki n' vi r gi n.
He' s been wor ki n'
on t he ar mal l hi s l i f e. "
" The asshol e came sucki n' up t o me aski n' me t o put i n t he
wor d wi t h Mi ke.
I sai d, `Hey, paesano, I ' monl y a sol di er , ya know?' I f
Mi ke needs anot her
shoot er he don' t have t o go l ooki n' i n shi t al l ey. "
" He was t r yi n' t o r un a game on you, Sal . "
" Wel l , I cl ocked hi mpr et t y good. He ai n' t connect ed and
i n t hi s busi ness,
i f you ai n' t connect ed, you' r e not hi n' . "
They wer e t al ki ng i n t he ki t chen of a
t hr ee- hundr ed- year ol d Dut ch f ar mhouse
i n upst at e New J er sey.
Ther e wer e t hr ee of t hemi n t he r oom: Ni ck Vi t o, J oseph
Col el l a and
Sal vat or e " Li t t l e Fl ower " Fi or e.
Ni ck Vi t o was a cadaver ous- l ooki ng man wi t h t hi n l i ps t hat
wer e al most
i nvi si bl e, and deep gr een eyes t hat wer e dead. He wor e t wo
hundr ed dol l ar
shoes and whi t e socks.
J oseph " Bi g J oe" Col el l a was a huge sl ab of a man, a
gr ani t e monol i t h, and
when he wal ked he l ooked l i ke a bui l di ng mov-
118
SI DNEY SHELDON 119
i ng. Someone had once cal l ed hi ma veget abl e gar den.
" Col el l a' s got a pot at o
nose, caul i f l ower ear s and a pea br ai n. "
Col el l a had a sof t , hi gh- pi t ched voi ce and a decept i vel y
gent l e manner . He
owned a r ace hor se and had an uncanny knack f or pi cki ng
wi nner s. He was a
f ami l y man wi t h a wi f e and si x chi l dr en. Hi s speci al t i es
wer e guns, aci d
and chai ns. J oe' s wi f e, Car mel i na, was a st r i ct
Cat hol i c, and on Sundays
when Col el l a was not wor ki ng, he al ways t ook hi s f ami l y
t o chur ch.
The t hi r d man, Sal vat or e Fi or e, was al most a ' mi dget . He
st ood f i ve f eet
t hr ee i nches and wei ghed a hundr ed and f i f t een pounds.
He had t he i nnocent
f ace of a choi r boy and was equal l y adept wi t h a gun or a
kni f e. Women wer e
gr eat l y at t r act ed t o t he l i t t l e man, and he boast ed a
wi f e, hal f a dozen
gi r l f r i ends, and a beaut i f ul mi st r ess. Fi or e had once
been a j ockey,
wor ki ng t he t r acks f r omPi ml i co t o Ti j uana. When t he
r aci ng commi ssi oner at
Hol l ywood Par k banned Fi or e f or dopi ng a hor se, t he
commi ssi oner ' s body was
f ound f l oat i ng i n Lake Tahoe a week l at er .
The t hr ee men wer e sol dat i i n Ant oni o Gr anel l i ' s Fami l y,
but i t was Mi chael
Mor et t i who had br ought t hemi n, and t hey bel onged t o
hi m, body and soul .
I n t he di ni ng r oom, a Fami l y meet i ng was t aki ng pl ace.
Seat ed at t he head
of t he t abl e was Ant oni o Gr anel l i , capo of t he most
power f ul Maf i a Fami l y
on t he east coast . Sevent y- t wo year s ol d, he was st i l l a
power f ul - l ooki ng
man wi t h t he shoul der s and br oad chest of a l abor er , and
a shock of whi t e
hai r . Bor n i n Pal er mo, Si ci l y, Ant oni o Gr anel l i came t o
Amer i ca when he was
f i f t een and went t o wor k on t he wat er f r ont on t he west
si de of l ower
Manhat t an. By t he t i me he was t went y- one, he was
l i eut enant t o t he dock
boss. The t wo men had an ar gument , and when t he boss
myst er i ousl y
di sappear ed, Ant oni o Gr anel f i had t aken over . Anyone who
want ed t o wor k on
t he docks had t o pay hi m. He had used t he money t o begi n
hi s
120 RAGE OF ANGELS
cl i mb t o power , and had expanded r api dl y, br anchi ng out
i nt o l oan- shar ki ng. .
and t he number s r acket , pr ost i t ut i on and gambl i ng and
dr ugs and mur der . Over
t he year s he had been i ndi ct ed t hi r t y- t wo t i mes and had
onl y been convi ct ed
once, on a mi nor assaul t char ge. Gr anel l i was a r ut hl ess
man wi t h t he
down- t o- ear t h cunni ng of a peasant , and a t ot al
amor al i t y.
To Gr anel l i ' s l ef t sat Thomas Col f ax, t he Fami l y
consi gl i er e. Twent y- f i ve
year s ear l i er , Col f ax had had a br i l l i ant f ut ur e as a
cor por at i on l awyer ,
but he had def ended a smal l ol i ve- oi l company whi ch
t ur ned out t o be
Maf i a- cont r ol l ed and, st ep by st ep, had been l ur ed i nt o
handl i ng ot her
cases f or t he Maf i a unt i l f i nal l y, t hr ough t he year s,
t he Gr anel l i Fami l y
had become hi s sol e cl i ent . I t was a ver y l ucr at i ve
cl i ent and Thomas
Col f ax became a weal t hy man, wi t h ext ensi ve r eal est at e
hol di ngs and bank
account s al l over t he wor l d.
To t he r i ght of Ant oni o Gr anel l i sat Mi chael Mor et t i ,
hi s son- i n- l aw.
Mi chael was ambi t i ous, a t r ai t t hat made Gr anel l i
ner vous. Mi chael di d not
f i t i nt o t he pat t er n of t he Fami l y. Hi s f at her ,
Gi ovanni , a di st ant cousi n
of Ant oni o Gr anel l i , had been bor n not i n Si ci l y but i n
Fl or ence. That
al one made t he Mor et t i f ami l y suspect - ever ybody knew
t hat Fl or ent i nes wer e
not t o be t r ust ed.
Gi ovanni Mor et t i had come t o Amer i ca and opened a shop
as a shoemaker ,
r unni ng i t honest l y, wi t hout even a back r oomf or
gambl i ng or l oan- shar ki ng
or gi r l s. Whi ch made hi mst upi d.
Gi ovanni ' s son, Mi chael , was ent i r el y di f f er ent . He had
put hi msel f t hr ough
Yal e and t he Whar t on School of Busi ness. When Mi chael
had f i ni shed school ,
he had gone t o hi s f at her wi t h one r equest : He want ed t o
meet hi s di st ant
r el at i ve, Ant oni o Gr anel l i . The ol d shoemaker had gone
t o see hi s cousi n
and t he meet i ng had been ar r anged. Gr anel l i was sur e
t hat Mi chael was goi ng
t o ask f or a l oan so t hat he coul d go i nt o some ki nd of
busi ness, maybe
open a shoe shop l i ke hi s dumb f at her . But t he meet i ng
had been a sur pr i se.
" I know how t o make you r i ch, " Mi chael Mor et t i had
begun.
SI DNEY SHELDON 121
Ant oni o Gr anel l i had l ooked at t he i mpudent young man
and had smi l ed
t ol er ant l y. " I amr i ch. "
" No. You j ust t hi nk you' r e r i ch. "
The smi l e had di ed away. " What t he hel l you t al ki n'
about , ki d?"
And Mi chael Mor et t i had t ol d hi m.
Ant oni o Gr anel l i had moved caut i ousl y at f i r st , t est i ng
each pi ece of
Mi chael ' s advi ce. Ever yt hi ng had succeeded br i l l i ant l y.
Wher e bef or e, t he
Gr anel l i Fami l y had been i nvol ved i n pr of i t abl e i l l egal
act i vi t i es, under
Mi chael Mor et t i ' s super vi si on i t br anched out . Wi t hi n
f i ve year s t he Fami l y
was i nt o dozens of l egi t i mat e busi nesses, i ncl udi ng
meat - packi ng, l i nen
suppl i es, r est aur ant s, t r ucki ng compani es and
phar maceut i cal s. Mi chael
f ound ai l i ng compani es t hat needed f i nanci ng and t he
Fami l y went i n as a
mi nor par t ner and gr adual l y t ook over , st r i ppi ng away
what ever asset s t her e
wer e. Ol d compani es wi t h i mpeccabl e r eput at i ons suddenl y
f ound t hemsel ves
bankr upt . The busi nesses t hat showed a sat i sf act or y
pr of i t , Mi chael hung on
t o and he i ncr eased t he pr of i t s t r emendousl y, f or t he
wor ker s i n t hose
busi nesses wer e cont r ol l ed by hi s uni ons, and t he
company t ook t hei r
i nsur ance t hr ough one of t he Fami l y- owned i nsur ance
compani es, and t hey
bought t hei r aut omobi l es f r omone of t he Fami l y' s
aut omobi l e deal er s.
Mi chael cr eat ed a symbi ot i c gi ant , a ser i es of
busi nesses t hr ough whi ch t he
consumer was const ant l y bei ng mi l kedand t he mi l k f l owed
t o t he Fami l y.
I n spi t e of hi s successes, Mi chael Mor et t i was awar e
t hat he had a pr obl em.
Once he had shown Ant oni o Gr anel l i t he r i ch, r i pe
hor i zons of l egi t i mat e
ent er pr i se, Gr anel l i no l onger needed hi m. He was
expensi ve, because i n t he
begi nni ng he had per suaded Ant oni o Gr anel l i t o gi ve hi m
a per cent age of
what ever yone was sur e woul d be a smal l pot . But as
Mi chael ' s i deas began
t o bear f r ui t and t he pr of i t s pour ed i n, Gr anel l i had
second t hought s. By
chance, Mi chael l ear ned t hat Gr anel l i
122 RAGE OF ANGELS
had hel d a meet i ng t o di scuss what t he Fami l y shoul d do
wi t h hi m.
" I don' t l i ke t o see al l t hi s money goi n' t o t he ki d, "
Gr anel l i had sai d.
" We get r i d of hi m. "
Mi chael had ci r cumvent ed t hat scheme by mar r yi ng i nt o
t he Fami l y. Rosa,
Ant oni o Gr anel l i ' s onl y daught er , was ni net een year s
ol d. Her mot her had
di ed gi vi ng bi r t h t o her , and Rosa had been br ought up
i n a convent and was
al l owed t o come home onl y dur i ng t he hol i days. Her
f at her ador ed her , and
he saw t o i t t hat she was pr ot ect ed and shel t er ed. I t
was on a school
hol i day, an East er , t hat Rosa met Mi chael Mor et t i . By
t he t i me she r et ur ned
t o t he convent , she was madl y i n l ove wi t h hi m. The
memor y of hi s dar k good
l ooks dr ove her t o do t hi ngs when she was al one t hat t he
nuns t ol d her wer e
si ns agai nst God.
Ant oni o Gr anel l i was under t he del usi on t hat hi s
daught er t hought he was
mer el y a successf ul busi nessman, but over t he year s,
Rosa' s cl assmat es had
shown her newspaper and magazi ne ar t i cl es about her
f at her and hi s r eal
busi ness, and whenever t he gover nment made an at t empt t o
i ndi ct and convi ct
one of t he Gr anel l i Fami l y, Rosa was al ways awar e of i t .
She never
di scussed i t wi t h her f at her , and so he r emai ned happy
i n hi s bel i ef t hat
hi s daught er was an i nnocent and t hat she was spar ed t he
shock of knowi ng
t he t r ut h.
The t r ut h, i f he had know i t , woul d have sur pr i sed
Gr anel l i f or Rosa f ound
her f at her ' s busi ness t er r i bl y exci t i ng. She hat ed t he
di sci pl i ne of t he
nuns at t he convent and t hat , i n t ur n, l ed her t o hat e
al l aut hor i t y. She
daydr eamed about her f at her as a ki nd of Robi n Hood,
chal l engi ng aut hor i t y,
def yi ng t he gover nment . The f act t hat Mi chael Mor et t i
was an i mpor t ant man
i n her f at her ' s or gani zat i on made hi mt hat much mor e
exci t i ng t o her .
Fr omt he begi nni ng, Mi chael was ver y car ef ul how he
handl ed Rosa. When he
managed t o be al one wi t h her t hey
SI DNEY SHELDON 123
exchanged ar dent ki sses and embr aces, but Mi chael never
l et i t go t oo f ar .
Rosa was a vi r gi n and she was wi l l i ng- eager t o gi ve
her sel f t o t he man she
l oved. I t was Mi chael who hel d back.
" I r espect you t oo much, Rosa, t o go t o bed wi t h you
bef or e we' r e mar r i ed. "
I n r eal i t y, i t was Ant oni o Gr anel l i he r espect ed t oo
much. He' d chop my
bal l s of f , Mi chael t hought .
And so i t happened t hat at t he t i me Ant oni o Gr anel l i was
di scussi ng t he
best way t o get r i d of Mi chael Mor et t i , Mi chael and Rosa
came t o hi mand
announced t hat t hey wer e i n l ove and i nt ended t o get
mar r i ed. The ol d man
scr eamed and r aged and gave a hundr ed r easons why i t
woul d happen onl y over
someone' s dead body. But i n t he end, t r ue l ove pr evai l ed
and Mi chael and
Rosa wer e mar r i ed i n an el abor at e cer emony.
Af t er t he weddi ng t he ol d man had cal l ed Mi chael asi de.
" Rosa' s al l I got ,
Mi chael . You t ake good car e of her , huh?"
" I wi l l , Tony. "
" r mgonna be wat chi n' you. You bet t er make her happy.
You know what I mean,
Mi ke?"
" . `I know what you mean. "
" No whor es or chi ppi es. Under st and? Rosa l i kes t o cook.
You see t hat you' r e
home f or di nner ever y ni ght . You' r e gonna be a
son- i n- l aw t o be pr oud of . "
" I ' mgoi ng t o t r y ver y har d, Tony. "
Ant oni o Gr anel l i had sai d casual l y, " Oh, by t he way,
Mi ke, now t hat you' r e
a member of t he Fami l y, t hat r oyal t y deal I gave
you- maybe we ought a change
i t . "
Mi chael had cl apped hi mon t he ar m. " Thanks, Papa, but
i t ' s enough f or us,
r l l be abl e t o buy Rosa ever yt hi ng she want s. "
And he had wal ked away, l eavi ng t he ol d man st ar i ng
af t er hi m.
That had been seven year s ear l i er , and t he year s t hat
f ol -
124 RAGE OF ANGELS
l owed had been wonder f ul f or Mi chael . Rosa was pl easant
and easy t o l i ve
wi t h and she ador ed hi m, but Mi chael knew t hat i f she
di ed or went away, he
woul d get al ong wi t hout her . He woul d si mpl y f i nd someone
el se t o do t he
t hi ngs she di d f or hi m. He was not i n l ove wi t h Rosa.
Mi chael di d not t hi nk
he was capabl e of l ovi ng anot her human bei ng; i t was as
t hough somet hi ng was
mi ssi ng i n hi m.
He had no f eel i ngs f or peopl e, onl y f or ani mal s. Mi chael
had been gi ven a
col l i e puppy f or hi s t ent h bi r t hday. The t wo of t hem
wer e i nsepar abl e. Si x
weeks l at er t he dog had been ki l l ed i n a hi t - and- r un
acci dent , and when
Mi chael ' s f at her of f er ed t o buy hi manot her dog, Mi chael
had r ef used. He
had never owned anot her dog af t er t hat .
Mi chael had gr own up wat chi ng hi s f at her sl avi ng hi s
l i f e away f or penni es,
and Mi chael had r esol ved t hat woul d never happen t o hi m.
He had known what
he want ed f r omt he t i me he had f i r st hear d t al k about
hi s f amous di st ant
cousi n Ant oni o Gr anel l i . Ther e wer e t went y- si x Maf i a
Fami l i es i n t he Uni t ed
St at es, f i ve of t hemi n New Yor k Ci t y, and hi s cousi n
Ant oni o' s was t he
st r ongest . Fr omhi s ear l i est chi l dhood, Mi chael t hr i ved
on t al es of t he
Maf i a. Hi s f at her t ol d hi mabout t he ni ght of t he
Si ci l i an Vesper s,
Sept ember 10, 1931, when t he bal ance of power had
changed hands. I n t hat
si ngl e ni ght , t he Young Tur ks i n t he Maf i a st aged a
bl oody coup t hat wi ped
out mor e t han f or t y Must ache Pet es, t he ol d guar d who
had come over f r om
I t al y and Si ci l y.
Mi chael was of t he new gener at i on. He had got t en r i d of
t he ol d t hi nki ng
and had br ought i n f r esh i deas. A ni ne- man nat i onal
commi ssi on cont r ol l ed
al l t he Fami l i es now, and Mi chael knew t hat one day he
woul d r un t hat
commi ssi on.
Mi chael t ur ned now t o st udy t he t wo men seat ed at t he
di ni ng r oomt abl e of
t he New J er sey f ar mhouse. Ant oni o Gr anel l i st i l l had a
f ew year s l ef t but ,
wi t h l uck, not t oo many.
SI DNEY SHELDON 125
Thomas Col f ax was t he enemy. The l awyer had been agai nst
Mi chael f r omt he
begi nni ng. As Mi chael ' s i nf l uence wi t h t he ol d man had
i ncr eased, Col f ax' s
had decr eased.
Mi chael had br ought mor e and mor e of hi s own men i nt o
t he Or gani zat i on, men
l i ke Ni ck Vi t o and Sal vat or e Fi or e and J oseph Col el l a,
who wer e f i er cel y
l oyal t o hi m. Thomas Col f ax had not l i ked t hat .
When Mi chael had been i ndi ct ed f or t he mur der s of t he
Ramos br ot her s, and
Cami l l o St el a had agr eed t o t est i f y agai nst hi mi n
cour t , t he ol d l awyer
had bel i eved t hat he was f i nal l y goi ng t o be r i d of
Mi chael , f or t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney had an ai r t i ght case.
Mi chael had t hought of a way out i n t he mi ddl e of t he
ni ght . At f our i n t he
mor ni ng, he had gone out t o a t el ephone boot h and cal l ed
J oseph Col el l a.
" Next week some new l awyer s ar e goi ng t o be swor n i n on
t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney' s st af f . Can you get me t hei r names?"
" Sur e, Mi ke. Easy. "
" One mor e t hi ng. Cal l Det r oi t and have t hemf l y i n a
cher r y- one of t hei r boys who' s never been t agged: " And
Mi chael had hung up.
Two weeks l at er , Mi chael Mor et t i had sat i n t he
cour t r oomst udyi ng t he new
assi st ant di st r i ct at t or neys. He had l ooked t hemover
car ef ul l y, hi s eyes
t r avel i ng f r omf ace t o f ace, sear chi ng and j udgi ng. What
he pl anned t o do
was danger ous, but i t s ver y dar i ng coul d make i t wor k.
He was deal i ng wi t h
young begi nner s who woul d be t oo ner vous t o ask a l ot of
quest i ons, and
anxi ous t o be hel pf ul and make t hei r mar k. Wel l , someone
was cer t ai nl y
goi ng t o make hi s mar k.
Mi chael had f i nal l y sel ect ed J enni f er Par ker . He l i ked
t he f act t hat she
was i nexper i enced and t hat she was t ense and t r yi ng t o
hi de i t . He l i ked
t he f act t hat she was f emal e and woul d f eel under mor e
pr essur e t han t he
men. When Mi chael
126 RAGE OF ANGELS
was sat i sf i ed wi t h hi s deci si on, he t ur ned t o a man i n a
gr ay sui t si t t i ng
among t he spect at or s and nodded t owar d J enni f er . That was
al l .
Mi chael had wat ched as t he Di st r i ct At t or ney had
f i ni shed
hi s exami nat i on of t hat son- of - a- bi t ch, Cami l l o St el a. He
had
t ur ned t o Thomas Col f ax and sai d, Your wi t ness f or cr oss.
Thomas Col f ax had r i sen t o hi s f eet . 1 f i t pl ease Your
Honor ,
i t i s now al most noon. 1 woul d pr ef er not t o have my
cr oss
exami nat i on i nt er r upt ed. Mi ght 1 r equest t hat t he cour t
r ecess
f or l unch now and I ' l l cr oss- exami ne t hi s af t er noon?
And a r ecess had been decl ar ed. Now was t he moment !
Mi chael saw hi s man casual l y dr i f t up t o j oi n t he men
who wer e cr owded
ar ound t he Di st r i ct At t or ney. The man made hi msel f a
par t of t he gr oup. A
f ew moment s l at er , he wal ked over t o J enni f er and handed
her a l ar ge
envel ope. Mi chael sat t her e, hol di ng hi s br eat h, wi l l i ng
J enni f er t o t ake
t he envel ope and move t owar d t he wi t ness r oom. She di d.
I t was not unt i l he
saw her r et ur n wi t hout i t t hat Mi chael Mor et t i r el axed.
That had been a year ago. The newspaper s had cr uci f i ed
t he gi r l , but t hat
was her pr obl em. Mi chael had not gi ven any f ur t her
t hought t o J enni f er
Par ker unt i l t he newspaper s had begun r ecent l y t o
f eat ur e t he Abr aham
Wi l son t r i al . They had dr agged up t he ol d Mi chael
Mor et t i case and J enni f er
Par ker ' s par t i n i t . They had r un her pi ct ur e. She was a
st unni ng- l ooki ng
gi r l , but t her e was somet hi ng mor e- t her e was a sense of
i ndependence about
her t hat st i r r ed somet hi ng i n hi m. He st ar ed at t he
pi ct ur e f or a l ong
t i me.
Mi chael began t o f ol l ow t he Abr ahamWi l son t r i al wi t h
i ncr easi ng i nt er est .
When t he boys had cel ebr at ed wi t h a vi ct or y di nner af t er
Mi chael ' s mi st r i al
was decl ar ed, Sal vat or e Fi or e had pr oposed a t oast . " The
wor l d got r i d of
one mor e f ucki n' l awyer . "
But t he wor l d had not got t en r i d of her , Mi chael
t hought .
SI DNEY SHELDON 127
J enni f er Par ker had bounced back and was st i l l i n t her e,
f i ght i ng. Mi chael
l i ked t hat . '
He had seen her on t el evi si on t he ni ght bef or e,
di scussi ng her vi ct or y over
Rober t Di Si l va, and Mi chael had been oddl y pl eased.
Ant oni o Gr anel l i had asked, " Ai n' t she t he mout hpi ece
you set up, Mi ke?"
" Uh- huh. She' s got a br ai n, Tony. Maybe we can use her
one of t hese days. "
10
The day af t er t he Abr ahamWi l son ver di ct , AdamWar ner
t el ephoned. " I j ust
cal l ed t o congr at ul at e you. "
J enni f er r ecogni zed hi s voi ce i nst ant l y and i t af f ect ed
her mor e t han she
woul d have bel i eved possi bl e.
1`17hi s i s- 21
" I know. " Oh, God, J enni f er t hought . Why di d 1 say t hat ?
Ther e was no
r eason t o l et Adamknow how of t en she had t hought about
hi mi n t he past f ew
mont hs.
" I want ed t o t el l you I t hought you handl ed t he Abr aham
Wi l son case
br i l l i ant l y. You deser ved t o wi n i t . "
" Thank you" He' s goi ng t o hang up, J enni f er t hought .
I ' l l never see hi m
agai n. He' s pr obabl y t oo busy wi t h hi s har em.
And AdamWar ner was sayi ng, " I was wonder i ng i f you' d
car e t o have di nner
wi t h me one eveni ng?"
Men hat e over eager gi r l s. " What about t oni ght ?"
J enni f er hear d t he smi l e i n hi s voi ce. " r maf r ai d my
f i r st f r ee ni ght i s
Fr i day. Ar e you busy?"
128
SI DNEY SHELDON 129
" No. " She had al most sai d, Of cour se not .
" Shal l I pi ck you up at your pl ace?"
J enni f er t hought about her dr ear y l i t t l e apar t ment wi t h
i t s l umpy sof a, t he
i r oni ng boar d set up i n a cor ner . " I t mi ght be easi er i f
we met somewher e. "
" Do you l i ke t he f ood at Lut Bce?"
" May I t el l you af t er I ' ve eat en t her e?"
He l aughed. " How' s ei ght o' cl ock?"
" Ei ght o' cl ock i s l ovel y: "
Lovel y. J enni f er r epl aced t he r ecei ver and sat t her e i n
a gl ow of euphor i a.
Thi s i s r i di cul ous, she t hought . He' s pr obabl y mar r i ed
and has t wo dozen
chi l dr en. Al most t he f i r st t hi ng J enni f er had not i ced
about Adamwhen t hey
had had di nner was t hat he was not wear i ng a weddi ng
r i ng. I nconcl usi ve
evi dence, she t hought wr yl y. Ther e def i ni t el y shoul d be
a l aw f or ci ng al l
husbands t o wear weddi ng r i ngs.
Ken Bai l ey wal ked i nt o t he of f i ce. " How' s t he mast er
at t or ney?" He l ooked
at her mor e cl osel y. " You l ook l i ke you j ust swal l owed a
cl i ent . "
J enni f er hesi t at ed, t hen sai d, " Ken, woul d you r un a
check on someone f or
me?"
He wal ked over t o her desk, pi cked up a pad and penci l .
" Shoot . Who i s i t ?"
She st ar t ed t o say Adam' s name, t hen st opped, f eel i ng
l i ke a f ool . What
busi ness had she pr yi ng i nt o AdamWar ner ' s pr i vat e l i f e?
For Gods sake, she
t ol d her sel f , al l he di d i s ask you t o have di nner wi t h
hi m, not mar r y hi m.
" Never mi nd. "
Ken put t he penci l down. " What ever you say. "
" Ken- - - : '
" Yes?"
" AdamWar ner . Hi s name i s AdamWar ner . "
Ken l ooked at her i n sur pr i se. " Hel l , you don' t need me
t o r un a check on
hi m. J ust r ead t he newspaper s. "
" What do you know about hi m?"
130 RAGE OF ANGELS
Ken Bai l ey f l opped i nt o a chai r acr oss f r omJ enni f er and
st eepl ed hi s
f i nger s t oget her . " Let me see. He' s a par t ner i n
Needham, Fi nch, Pi er ce and
War ner ; Har var d Law School ; comes f r oma r i ch soci al i t e
f ami l y; i n hi s
mi ddl e t hi r t i es- "
J enni f er l ooked at hi mcur i ousl y. " How do you know so
much about hi m?"
He wi nked. " I have f r i ends i n hi gh pl aces. Ther e' s a
r umor t hey' r e goi ng t o
r un Mr . War ner f or t he Uni t ed St at es Senat e. Ther e' s
even a l i t t l e
pr esi dent i al gr ound swel l goi ng on. He' s got what t hey
cal l char i sma. "
He cer t ai nl y has, J enni f er t hought . She t r i ed t o make
her next quest i on
sound casual . " What about hi s per sonal l i f e?"
Ken Bai l ey l ooked at her oddl y. " He' s mar r i ed t o t he
daught er of an
ex- Secr et ar y of t he Navy. She' s t he ni ece of St ewar t
Needham, War ner ' s l aw
par t ner . "
J enni f er ' s hear t sank. So t hat was t hat .
Ken was wat chi ng her , puzzl ed. " Why t hi s sudden i nt er est
i n AdamWar ner ?"
" J ust cur i ous. "
Long af t er Ken Bai l ey had l ef t , J enni f er sat t her e
t hi nki ng about Adam. He
asked me t o di nner as a pr of essi onal cour t esy. He want s
t o congr at ul at e me.
But he' s al r eady done t hat over t he t el ephone. Who car es
why? I ' mgoi ng t o
see hi magai n. I wonder whet her he' l l r emember t o
ment i on he has a wi f e. Of
cour se not . Wel l , I ' l l have di nner wi t h Adamon Fr i day
ni ght and t hat wi l l
be t he end of t hat .
Lat e t hat af t er noon, J enni f er r ecei ved a t el ephone cal l
f r omPeabody &
Peabody. I t was f r omt he seni or par t ner hi msel f .
" I ' ve been meani ng t o get ar ound t o t hi s f or some t i me, "
he sai d. " I
wonder ed i f you and I mi ght have l unch soon: "
Hi s casual t one di d not decei ve J enni f er . She was sur e
t he i dea of havi ng
l unch wi t h her had not occur r ed t o hi munt i l af t er he
had r ead about t he
Abr ahamWi l son deci si on. He
SI DNEY SHELDON 131
cer t ai nl y di d not want t o meet wi t h her t o di scuss
ser vi ng subpoenas.
" What about t omor r ow?" he suggest ed. " My cl ub. "
They met f or l unch t he f ol l owi ng day. The seni or Peabody
was a pal e, pr i ssy
man, an ol der ver si on of hi s son. Hi s vest f ai l ed t o
conceal a sl i ght
paunch. J enni f er l i ked t he f at her j ust as l i t t l e as she
had l i ked t he son.
" We have an openi ng f or a br i ght young t r i al at t or ney i n
our f i r m, Mi ss
Par ker . We can of f er you f i f t een t housand dol l ar s a year
t o st ar t wi t h. "
J enni f er sat t her e l i st eni ng t o hi m, t hi nki ng how much
t hat of f er woul d
have meant t o her a year ear l i er when she had
desper at el y needed a j ob,
needed someone who bel i eved i n her .
He was sayi ng, " r msur e t hat wi t hi n a f ew year s t her e
woul d be r oomf or a
par t ner shi p f or you i n our f i r m. "
Fi f t een t housand dol l ar s a year and a par t ner shi p.
J enni f er t hought about
t he l i t t l e of f i ce she shar ed wi t h Ken, and her t i ny,
shabby f our - f l i ght
wal k- up apar t ment wi t h i t s f ake f i r epl ace.
Mr . Peabody was t aki ng her si l ence f or acqui escence.
" Good. We' d l i ke you
t o begi n as soon as possi bl e. Per haps you coul d st ar t
Monday. I - "
" No 9.
" Oh. Wel l , i f Monday' s not conveni ent f or you- "
" I mean, no, I can' t t ake your of f er , Mr . Peabody, "
J enni f er sai d, and
amazed her sel f .
" I see. " Ther e was a pause. " Per haps we coul d st ar t you
at t went y t housand
dol l ar s a year . " He saw t he expr essi on on her f ace. " Or
t went y- f i ve
t housand. Why don' t you t hi nk i t over ?"
" Pve t hought i t over . I ' mgoi ng t o st ay i n busi ness f or
mysel f . "
The cl i ent s wer e begi nni ng t o come. Not a gr eat many
and
132 RAGE OF ANGELS
not ver y af f l uent , but t hey wer e cl i ent s. The of f i ce was
becomi ng t oo smal l
f or her .
One mor ni ng af t er J enni f er had kept t wo cl i ent s wai t i ng
out si de i n t he
hal l way whi l e she was deal i ng wi t h a t hi r d, Ken sai d,
" Thi s i sn' t goi ng t o
wor k, You' r e goi ng t o have t o move out of her e and get
your sel f a decent
of f i ce upt own. "
J enni f er nodded. " I know. I ' ve been t hi nki ng about i t . "
Ken busi ed hi msel f wi t h some paper s so t hat he di d not
have t o meet her
eyes. " I ' l l mi ss you. "
" What ar e you t al ki ng about ? You have t o go wi t h me. "
I t t ook a moment f or t he wor ds t o si nk i n. He l ooked up
and a br oad gr i n
cr eased hi s f r eckl ed f ace.
" Go wi t h you?" He gl anced ar ound t he cr amped, wi ndowl ess
r oom. " And gi ve up
al l t hi s?"
The f ol l owi ng week, J enni f er and Ken Bai l ey moved i nt o
l ar ger of f i ces i n
t he f i ve hundr ed bl ock on Fi f t h Avenue. The new quar t er s
wer e si mpl y
f ur ni shed and consi st ed of t hr ee smal l r ooms: one f or
J enni f er , one f or Ken
and one f or a secr et ar y.
The secr et ar y t hey hi r ed was a young gi r l named Cynt hi a
El l man f r esh out of
New Yor k Uni ver si t y.
" Ther e won' t be a l ot f or you t o do f or a whi l e, "
J enni f er apol ogi zed, " but
t hi ngs wi l l pi ck up. "
" Oh, I know t hey wi l l , Mi ss Par ker . " Ther e was her oi ne
wor shi p i n t he
gi r l ' s voi ce.
She want s t o be l i ke me, J enni f er t hought . God f or bi d!
Ken Bai l ey wal ked i n and sai d, " Hey, I get l onel y i n
t hat bi g of f i ce al l by
mysel f . How about di nner and t he t heat er t oni ght ?"
" I ' maf r ai d I - " She was t i r ed and had some br i ef s t o
r ead, but Ken was her
best f r i end and she coul d not r ef use hi m.
" I ' d l ove t o go: "
SI DNEY SHELDON 133
They went t o see Appl ause, and J enni f er enj oyed i t
t r emendousl y. Laur en
Bacal l was t ot al l y capt i vat i ng. J enni f er and Ken had
supper af t er war d at
Sar di ' s.
When t hey had or der ed, Ken sai d, " I have t wo t i cket s f or
t he bal l et Fr i day
ni ght . I t hought we mi ght - - - "
J enni f er sai d, " I ' msor r y, Ken. I ' mbusy Fr i day ni ght . "
" Oh. " Hi s voi ce was cur i ousl y f l at .
Fr omt i me t o t i me, J enni f er woul d f i nd Ken st ar i ng at
her when he t hought
he was unobser ved, and t her e was an expr essi on on hi s
f ace t hat J enni f er
f ound har d t o def i ne. She knew Ken - was l onel y, al t hough
he never t al ked
about any of hi s f r i ends and never di scussed hi s
per sonal l i f e. She coul d
not f or get what Ot t o had t ol d her , and she wonder ed
whet her Ken hi msel f
knew what he want ed out of l i f e. She wi shed t hat t her e
wer e some way she
coul d hel p hi m.
I t seemed t o J enni f er t hat Fr i day was never goi ng t o
ar r i ve. As her di nner
dat e wi t h AdamWar ner dr ew cl oser , J enni f er f ound i t
mor e and mor e
di f f i cul t t o concent r at e on busi ness. She f ound her sel f
t hi nki ng about Adam
const ant l y. She knew she was bei ng r i di cul ous. She had
seen t he man onl y
once i n her l i f e, and yet she was unabl e t o get hi mout
of her mi nd. She
t r i ed t o r at i onal i ze by t el l i ng her sel f t hat i t was
because he had saved
her when she was f aci ng di sbar ment pr oceedi ngs, and t hen
had sent her
cl i ent s. That was t r ue, but J enni f er knew i t was mor e
t han t hat . I t was
somet hi ng she coul d not expl ai n, even t o her sel f . I t was
a f eel i ng she had
never had bef or e, an at t r act i on she had never f el t f or
any ot her man. She
wonder ed what AdamWar ner ' s wi f e was l i ke. She was
undoubt edl y one of t he
chosen women who, ever y Wednesday, wal ked t hr ough t he
r ed door at El i zabet h
Ar den' s f or a day of head- t o- t oe pamper i ng. She woul d be
sl eek and
sophi st i cat ed, wi t h t he pol i shed aur a of t he weal t hy
soci al i t e.
134 RAGE OF ANGELS
~e ~ s
On t he magi c Fr i day mor ni ng at t en o' cl ock, J enni f er
made an appoi nt ment
wi t h a new I t al i an hai r dr esser Cynt hi a had t ol d her al l
t he model s wer e
goi ng t o. At t en- t hi r t y, J enni f er cal l ed t o cancel i t .
At el even, she
r eschedul ed t he appoi nt ment .
Ken Bai l ey i nvi t ed J enni f er t o l unch, but she was t oo
ner vous t o eat
anyt hi ng. I nst ead, she went shoppi ng at Bendel ' s, wher e
she bought a shor t ,
dar k gr een chi f f on dr ess t hat mat ched her eyes, a pai r
of sl ender br own
pumps and a mat chi ng pur se. She knew she was f ar over
her budget , but she
coul d not seemt o st op her sel f .
She passed t he per f ume depar t ment on t he way out , and on
an i nsane i mpul se
bought a bot t l e of J oy per f ume. I t was i nsane because
t he man was mar r i ed.
J enni f er l ef t t he of f i ce at f i ve o' cl ock and went home
t o change. She spent
t wo hour s bat hi ng and dr essi ng f or Adam, and when she
was f i ni shed she
st udi ed her sel f cr i t i cal l y i n t he mi r r or . Then she
def i ant l y combed out her
car ef ul l y coi f f ur ed hai r and t i ed i t back wi t h a gr een
r i bbon. That ' s
bet t er , she t hought . I ' ma l awyer goi ng t o have di nner
wi t h anot her l awyer .
But when she cl osed t he door she l ef t behi nd a f ai nt
f r agr ance of r ose and
j asmi ne.
Lut Bce was not hi ng l i ke what J enni f er had expect ed. A
Fr ench t r i col or f l ew
above t he ent r ance of t he smal l t own house. I nsi de, a
nar r ow hal l l ed t o a
smal l bar and beyond was a sunr oom, br i ght and gay, wi t h
por ch wi cker and
pl ai d t abl ecl ot hs. J enni f er was met at t he door by t he
owner , Andr e
Sol t ner .
" May I hel p you?"
" I ' mmeet i ng Mr . AdamWar ner . I t hi nk I ' ma l i t t l e
ear l y. "
He waved J enni f er t owar d t he smal l bar . " Woul d you car e
f or a dr i nk whi l e
you ar e wai t i ng, Mi ss Par ker ?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 135
" That woul d be ni ce, " J enni f er sai d. " Thank you. "
" I ' l l send a wai t er over . "
J enni f er t ook a seat and amused her sel f wat chi ng t he
bej ewel ed and
mi nk- dr aped women ar r i vi ng wi t h t hei r escor t s. J enni f er
had r ead and hear d
about Lut 6ce. I t was r eput ed t o be J acquel i ne Kennedy' s
f avor i t e r est aur ant
and t o have excel l ent f ood.
A di st i ngui shed- l ooki ng gr ay- hai r ed man wal ked up t o
J enni f er and sai d,
" Mi nd i f I j oi n you f or a moment ?"
J enni f er st i f f ened. " I ' mwai t i ng f or someone, " she
began. " He shoul d be
her e- "
He smi l ed and sat down. " Thi s i sn' t a pi ckup, Mi ss
Par ker . " J enni f er l ooked
at hi mi n sur pr i se, unabl e t o pl ace hi m. " I ' mLee
Br owni ng, of Hol l and and
Br owni ng. " I t was one of t he most pr est i gi ous l aw f i r ms
i n New Yor k. " I
j ust want ed t o congr at ul at e you on t he way you handl ed
t he Wi l son t r i al . "
" Thank you, Mr . Br owni ng. "
" You t ook a bi g chance. I t was a no- wi n case. " He
st udi ed her a moment .
" The r ul e i s, when you' r e on t he wr ong si de of a no- wi n
case, make sur e
i t ' s one wher e t her e' s no publ i ci t y i nvol ved. The t r i ck
i s t o spot l i ght t he
wi nner s and ki ck t he l oser s under t he r ug. You f ool ed a
l ot of us. Have you
or der ed a dr i nk yet ?"
" May I - ?" He beckoned t o a wai t er . " Vi ct or , br i ng us a
bot t l e of champagne,
woul d you? DomPer i gnon. "
" Ri ght away, Mr . Br owni ng. "
J enni f er smi l ed. " Ar e you t r yi ng t o i mpr ess me?"
He l aughed al oud. " r mt r yi ng t o hi r e you. I i magi ne
you' ve been get t i ng a
l ot of of f er s. "
" A f ew. "
" Our f i r mdeal s most l y i n cor por at e wor k, Mi ss Par ker ,
but some of our mor e
af f l uent cl i ent s f r equent l y get car r i ed away and have
need of a cr i mi nal
def ense at t or ney. I t hi nk
136 RAGE OF ANGELS
we coul d make you a ver y at t r act i ve pr oposal . Woul d you
car e t o st op by my
of f i ce and di scuss i t ?"
" Thank you, Mr . Br owni ng. Tmr eady f l at t er ed, but I j ust
moved i nt o my own
of f i ces. I ' mhopi ng i t wi l l wor k out . "
He gave her a l ong l ook. " I t wi l l wor k out : " He r ai sed
hi s eyes as someone
appr oached and got t o hi s f eet and hel d out hi s hand.
" Adam, how ar e you?"
J enni f er l ooked up and AdamWar ner was st andi ng t her e
shaki ng hands wi t h
Lee Br owni ng. J enni f er ' s hear t began t o beat f ast er and
she coul d f eel her
f ace f l ush. I di ot school gi r l !
AdamWar ner l ooked at J enni f er and Br owni ng and sai d,
" You t wo know each
ot her ?"
" We wer e j ust begi nni ng t o get acquai nt ed, " Lee Br owni ng
sai d easi l y. " You
ar r i ved a l i t t l e t oo soon. "
" Or j ust i n t i me: " He t ook J enni f er ' s ar m. " Bet t er l uck
next t i me, Lee. "
The capt ai n came up t o Adam. " Woul d you l i ke your t abl e
now, Mr . War ner , or
woul d you l i ke t o have a dr i nk at t he bar f i r st ?"
" We' l l t ake a t abl e, Henr i . "
When t hey had been seat ed, J enni f er l ooked ar ound t he
r oomand r ecogni zed
hal f a dozen cel ebr i t i es.
" Thi s pl ace i s l i ke a Who' s Who, " she sai d.
Adaml ooked at her . " I t i s now: "
J enni f er f el t her sel f bl ush agai n. St op i t , you f ool .
She wonder ed how many
ot her gi r l s AdamWar ner had br ought her e whi l e hi s wi f e
was si t t i ng at
home, wai t i ng f or hi m. She wonder ed i f any of t hemever
l ear ned t hat he was
mar r i ed, or whet her he al ways managed t o keep t hat a
secr et f r omt hem.
Wel l , she had an advant age. You' r e goi ng t o be i n f or a
sur pr i se, Mr .
War ner , J enni f er t hought .
They or der ed dr i nks and di nner and busi ed t hemsel ves
maki ng smal l t al k.
J enni f er l et Adamdo most of t he t al ki ng.
SI DNEY SHELDON 137
He was wi t t y and char mi ng, but she was ar mor ed agai nst
hi s char m. I t was not
easy. She f ound her sel f smi l i ng at hi s anecdot es,
l aughi ng at hi s st or i es.
I t won' t do hi many good, J enni f er t ol d her sel f . She was
not l ooki ng f or a
f l i ng. The spect er of her mot her haunt ed her . Ther e was
a deep passi on
wi t hi n J enni f er t hat she was af r ai d t o expl or e, af r ai d
t o r el ease.
They wer e havi ng desser t and Adamst i l l had not sai d one
wor d t hat coul d be
mi sconst r ued. J enni f er had been bui l di ng up her def enses
f or not hi ng,
f endi ng of f an at t ack t hat had never mat er i al i zed, and
she f el t l i ke a
f ool . She wonder ed what Adamwoul d have sai d i f he had
known what she had
been t hi nki ng al l eveni ng. J enni f er smi l ed at her own
vani t y.
" I never got a chance t o t hank you f or t he cl i ent s you
sent me, " J enni f er
sai d. " I di d t el ephone you a f ew t i mes, but - - - - r
" I know. " Adamhesi t at ed, t hen added awkwar dl y, " I
di dn' t want t o r et ur n
your phone cal l s: " J enni f er l ooked at hi mi n sur pr i se.
" I was af r ai d t o, "
he sai d si mpl y.
And t her e i t was. He had t aken her by sur pr i se, caught
her of f guar d, but
hi s meani ng was unmi st akabl e. J enni f er knew what was
comi ng next . And she
di d not want hi mt o say i t . She di d not want hi mt o be
l i ke al l t he ot her s,
t he mar r i ed men who pr et ended t hey wer e si ngl e. She
despi sed t hemand she
di d not want t o despi se t hi s man.
Adamsai d qui et l y, " J enni f er , I want you t o know r m
mar r i ed. " She sat t her e
st ar i ng at hi m, her mout h open.
" I ' msor r y. I shoul d have t ol d you sooner . " He smi l ed
wr yl y. " Wel l , t her e
r eal l y was no sooner , was t her e?"
J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h a st r ange conf usi on. " Why- why
di d you ask me t o
di nner , Adam?"
" Because I had t o see you agai n"
Ever yt hi ng began t o seemunr eal t o J enni f er . I t was as
t hough she wer e
bei ng pul l ed under by some gi ant t i dal
138 RAGE OF ANGELS
wave. She sat t her e l i st eni ng t o Adamsayi ng al l t he
t hi ngs he f el t , and she
knew t hat ever y wor d was t r ue. She knew because she f el t
t he same way. She
want ed hi mt o st op bef or e he sai d t oo much. She want ed
hi mt o go on and say
mor e.
" I hope r mnot of f endi ng you, " Adamsai d.
Ther e was a sudden shyness about hi mt hat shook J enni f er .
" Adam, I - I - "
He l ooked at her and even t hough t hey had not t ouched,
i t was as i f she
wer e i n hi s ar ms.
J enni f er sai d shaki l y, " Tel l me about your wi f e. "
" Mar y Bet h and I have been mar r i ed f i f t een year s. We
have no chi l dr en. "
" I see. "
" She- we deci ded not t o have any. We wer e bot h ver y young
when we got
mar r i ed. I had known her a l ong t i me. Our f ami l i es wer e
nei ghbor s at a
summer pl ace we had i n Mai ne. When she was ei ght een, her
par ent s wer e
ki l l ed i n a pl ane cr ash. Mar y Bet h was al most i nsane
wi t h gr i ef . She was
al l al one. I - we got mar r i ed. "
He mar r i ed her out of pi t y and he' s t oo much of a gent l e-
man t o say so, J enni f er t hought .
" She' s a wonder f ul woman. We' ve al ways had a ver y good
r el at i onshi p. "
He was t el l i ng J enni f er mor e t han she want ed t o know,
mor e t han she coul d
handl e. Ever y i nst i nct i n her war ned her t o get away, t o
f l ee. I n t he past
she had easi l y been abl e t o cope wi t h t he mar r i ed men
who had t r i t e t o
become i nvol ved wi t h her , but J enni f er knew
i nst i nct i vel y t hat t hi s was
di f f er ent . I f she ever l et her sel f f al l i n l ove wi t h
t hi s man, t her e woul d
be no way out . She woul d have t o be i nsane ever t o begi n
anyt hi ng wi t h hi m.
J enni f er spoke car ef ul l y. " Adam, I l i ke you ver y much. I
don' t get i nvol ved
wi t h mar r i ed men. "
He smi l ed, and hi s eyes behi nd t he gl asses hel d honest y
and war mt h. , r mnot
l ooki ng f or a backst r eet af f ai r . I enj oy bei ng
SI DNEY SHELDON 139
wi t h you. r mver y pr oud of you. Td l i ke as t o see each
ot her once i n a
whi l e. "
J enni f er st ar t ed t o say, What good woul d t hat do? but
t he wor ds came out ,
" That woul d be good. "
So we' l l have l unch once a mont h, J enni f er t hought . I t
can' t hur t
anyt hi ng.
11
One of J enni f er ' s f i r st vi si t or s t o her new of f i ce was
Fat her Ryan. He
wander ed ar ound t he t hr ee smal l r ooms and sai d, " Ver y
ni ce, i ndeed. We' r e
get t i ng up i n t he wor l d, J enni f er . "
J enni f er l aughed. " Thi s i sn' t exact l y get t i ng up i n t he
wor l d, Fat her . I
have a l ong way t o go. "
He eyed her keenl y. " You' l l make i t . By t he way, I went t o
vi si t Abr aham
Wi l son l ast week: "
" How i s he get t i ng al ong?"
" Fi ne. They have hi mwor ki ng i n t he pr i son machi ne shop.
He asked me t o
gi ve you hi s r egar ds. "
" I ' l l have t o vi si t hi mmysel f one day soon. "
Fat her Ryan sat i n hi s chai r , st ar i ng at her , unt i l
J enni f er sai d, " I s
t her e somet hi ng I can do f or you, Fat her ?"
He br i ght ened. " Ah, wel l , I know you must be busy, but now
t hat you' ve
br ought i t up, a f r i end of mi ne has a bi t of a pr obl em.
She was i n an
acci dent . I t hi nk you' r e j ust t he one t o hel p her . "
140
SI DNEY SHELDON 141
Aut omat i cal l y J enni f er r epl i ed, " Have her come i n and
see me, Fat her . "
" I t hi nk you' l l have t o go t o her . She' s a quadr upl e
amput ee. "
Conni e Gar r et t l i ved i n a smal l , neat apar t ment on
Houst on St r eet . The door
was opened f or J enni f er by an el der l y whi t ehai r ed woman
wear i ng an apr on.
" I ' mMar t ha St eel e, Conni e' s aunt . I l i ve wi t h Conni e.
Pl ease come i n.
She' s expect i ng you. "
J enni f er wal ked i nt o a meager l y f ur ni shed l i vi ng r oom.
Conni e Gar r et t was
pr opped up wi t h pi l l ows i n a l ar ge ar mchai r . J enni f er
was shocked by her
yout h. For some r eason, she had expect ed an ol der woman.
Conni e Gar r et t was
about t went y- f our , J enni f er ' s age. Ther e was a wonder f ul
r adi ance i n her
f ace, and J enni f er f ound i t obscene t hat t her e was onl y
a t or so wi t h no
ar ms or l egs at t ached t o i t . She r epr essed a shudder .
Conni e Gar r et t gave her a war msmi l e and sai d, " Pl ease
si t down, J enni f er .
May I cal l you J enni f er ? Fat her Ryan has t ol d me so much
about you. And, of
cour se, r ve seen you on t el evi si on. I ' mso gl ad you
coul d come. "
J enni f er st ar t ed t o r epl y, " My pl easur e, " and r eal i zed
how i nane i t woul d
have sounded. She sat down i n a sof t comf or t abl e chai r
opposi t e t he young
woman.
" Fat her Ryan sai d you wer e i n an acci dent a f ew year s
ago, Do you want t o
t el l me what happened?"
" I t was my f aul t , r maf r ai d. I was cr ossi ng an
i nt er sect i on and I st epped
of f t he si dewal k and sl i pped and f el l i n f r ont of a
t r uck. "
" How l ong ago was t hi s?"
" Thr ee year s ago l ast December . I was on my way t o
Bl oomi ngdal e' s t o do
some Chr i st mas shoppi ng. "
" What happened af t er t he t r uck hi t you?"
" I don' t r emember anyt hi ng. I woke up i n t he hospi t al .
142 RAGE OF ANGELS
They t ol d me t hat an ambul ance br ought me t her e. Ther e
was an i nj ur y t o my
spi ne. Then t hey f ound bone damage and i t kept spr eadi ng
unt i l =' She st opped
and t r i ed t o shr ug. I t was a pi t i f ul gest ur e. " They t r i ed
t o f i t me wi t h
ar t i f i ci al l i mbs, but t hey don' t wor k on me. "
" Di d you br i ng sui t ?"
She l ooked at J enni f er , puzzl ed. " Fat her Ryan di dn' t
t el l your
" Tel l me what ?"
" My l awyer sued t he ut i l i t y company whose t r uck hi t me,
and we l ost t he
case. We appeal ed and l ost t he appeal : "
J enni f er sai d, " He shoul d have ment i oned t hat . I f t he
appel l at e cour t
t ur ned you down, I ' maf r ai d t her e' s not hi ng t hat can be
done. "
Conni e Gar r et t nodded. " I di dn' t r eal l y bel i eve t her e
was. I j ust
t hought - wel l , Fat her Ryan sai d you coul d wor k mi r acl es. "
" That ' s hi s t er r i t or y. I ' monl y a l awyer . "
She was angr y wi t h Fat her Ryan f or havi ng gi ven Conni e
Gar r et t f al se hope.
Gr i ml y, J enni f er deci ded she woul d have a t al k wi t h hi m.
The ol der woman was hover i ng i n t he backgr ound. " Can I
of f er you somet hi ng,
Mi ss Par ker ? Some t ea and cake, per haps?"
J enni f er suddenl y r eal i zed she was hungr y, f or she had
had no t i me f or
l unch. But she vi sual i zed si t t i ng opposi t e Conni e
Gar r et t whi l e she was
bei ng f ed by hand, and she coul d not bear t he t hought .
" No, t hanks, " J enni f er l i ed. " I j ust had l unch. "
Al l J enni f er want ed t o do was get out of t her e as
qui ckl y as possi bl e. She
t r i ed t o t hi nk of some cheer i ng not e she coul d l eave on,
but t her e was
not hi ng. Damn Fat her Ryan!
" I - r mr eal l y sor r y. I wi sh I ='
Conni e Gar r et t smi l ed and sai d, " Pl ease don' t wor r y
about i t . "
SI DNEY SHELDON 143
I t was t he smi l e t hat di d i t . J enni f er was sur e i f she
had been i n Conni e
Gar r et t ' s pl ace she woul d never have been abl e t o smi l e.
" Who was your l awyer ?" J enni f er hear d her sel f aski ng.
" Mel vi n Hut cher son. Do you know hi m?"
" No, but I ' l l l ook hi mup. " She went on, wi t hout meani ng
t o, " I ' l l have a
t al k wi t h hi m. "
" That woul d be so ni ce of you. " Ther e was war m
appr eci at i on i n Conni e
Gar r et t ' s voi ce.
J enni f er t hought of what t he gi r l ' s l i f e must be l i ke,
si t t i ng t her e
t ot al l y hel pl ess, day af t er day, mont h af t er mont h, year
af t er year , unabl e
t o do anyt hi ng f or her sel f .
" I can' t pr omi se anyt hi ng, I ' maf r ai d. "
" Of cour se not . But , do you know somet hi ng, J enni f er ? I
f eel bet t er j ust ,
because you came. "
J enni f er r ose t o her f eet . I t was a moment t o shake
hands, but t her e was no
hand t o shake.
She sai d awkwar dl y, " I t was ni ce meet i ng you, Conni e.
You' l l hear f r omme. "
On t he way back t o her of f i ce, J enni f er t hought about
Fat her Ryan and
r esol ved t hat she woul d never succumb t o hi s
bl andi shment s agai n. Ther e was
not hi ng anyone coul d do f or t hat poor cr i ppl ed gi r l , and
t o of f er her any
ki nd of hope was i ndecent . But she woul d keep her
pr omi se. She woul d t al k
t o Mel vi n Hut cher son.
When J enni f er r et ur ned t o her of f i ce t her e was a l ong
l i st of messages f or
her . She l ooked t hr ough t hemqui ckl y, l ooki ng f or a
message f r omAdam
War ner . Ther e was none.
12
Mel vi n Hut cher son was a shor t , bal di ng man wi t h a t i ny
but t on nose and
washed- out pal e bl ue eyes. He had a shabby sui t e of
of f i ces on t he West
Si de t hat r eeked of pover t y. The r ecept i oni st ' s desk was
empt y.
" Gone t o l unch, " Mel vi n Hut cher son expl ai ned.
J enni f er wonder ed i f he had a secr et ar y. He usher ed her
i nt o hi s pr i vat e
of f i ce, whi ch was no l ar ger t han t he r ecept i on of f i ce.
" You t ol d me over t he phone you want ed t o t al k about
Conni e Gar r et t . "
" That ' s r i ght . "
He shr ugged. " Ther e' s not t hat much t o t al k about . We
sued and we l ost .
Bel i eve me, I di d a bang- up j ob f or her . "
" Di d you handl e t he appeal ?"
" Yep. We l ost t hat , t oo. I ' maf r ai d you' r e spi nni ng your
wheel s. " He
r egar ded her a moment . " Why do you wane t o wast e your
t i me on somet hi ng
l i ke t hi s? You' r e hot . You coul d be wor ki ng on bi g money
cases. "
144
SI DNEY SHELDON 145
" I ' mdoi ng a f r i end a f avor . Woul d you mi nd i f I l ooked
at t he
t r anscr i pt s?"
" Hel p your sel f , " Hut cher son shr ugged. " They' r e publ i c
pr oper t y. "
J enni f er spent t he eveni ng goi ng over t he t r anscr i pt s of
Conni e Gar r et t ' s
l awsui t . To J enni f er ' s sur pr i se, Mel vi n Hut cher son had
t ol d t he t r ut h: He
had done a good j ob. He had named bot h t he ci t y and t he
Nat i onwi de Mot or s
Cor por at i on as co- def endant s, and had demanded a t r i al
by j ur y. The j ur y
had exoner at ed bot h def endant s.
The Depar t ment of Sani t at i on had done i t s best t o cope
wi t h t he snowst or m
t hat had swept t he ci t y t hat December ; al l i t s equi pment
had been i n use.
The ci t y had ar gued t hat t he st or mwas an act of God,
and t hat i f t her e was
any negl i gence, i t was on t he par t of Conni e Gar r et t .
J enni f er t ur ned t o t he char ges agai nst t he t r uck
company. Thr ee
eyewi t nesses had t est i f i ed t hat t he dr i ver had t r i ed t o
st op t he t r uck t o
avoi d hi t t i ng t he vi ct i m, but t hat he had been unabl e t o
br ake i n t i me, and
t he t r uck had gone i nt o an unavoi dabl e spi n and had hi t
her . The ver di ct i n
f avor of t he def endant had been uphel d by t he Appel l at e
Di vi si on and t he
case had been cl osed.
J enni f er f i ni shed r eadi ng t he t r anscr i pt s at t hr ee
o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng.
She t ur ned of f t he l i ght s, unabl e t o sl eep. On paper ,
j ust i ce had been
done. But t he i mage of Conni e Gar r et t kept comi ng i nt o
her mi nd. A gi r l i n
her t went i es, wi t hout ar ms or l egs. J enni f er vi sual i zed
t he t r uck hi t t i ng
t he young gi r l , t he awf ul agony she must have suf f er ed,
t he ser i es of
t er r i bl e oper at i ons t hat had been per f or med, each one
cut t i ng away par t s of
her l i mbs. J enni f er t ur ned on t he l i ght and sat up i n
bed. She di al ed
Mel vi n Hut cher son' s home number .
" ' her e' s not hi ng i n t he t r anscr i pt s about t he doct or s, "
J enni f er sai d i nt o
t he t el ephone. " Di d you l ook i nt o t he possi bi l i t y of
mal pr act i ce?"
146 RAGE OF ANGELS
A gr oggy voi ce sai d, " Who t he f uck i s t hi s?"
" J enni f er Par ker . Di d you='
" For Chr i st ' s sake! I t ' s- i t ' s f our o' cl ock i n t he
mor ni ng! Don' t you have
a wat ch?"
" Thi s i s i mpor t ant . The hospi t al wasn' t named i n t he
sui t . What about t hose
oper at i ons t hat wer e per f or med on Conni e Gar r et t ? Di d
you check i nt o t hem?"
Ther e was a pause whi l e Mel vi n Hut cher son t r i ed t o
gat her hi s t hought s. " I
t al ked t o t he heads of neur ol ogy and or t hopedi cs at t he
hospi t al t hat t ook
car e of her . The oper at i ons wer e necessar y t o save her
l i f e. They wer e
per f or med by t he t op men t her e and wer e done pr oper l y.
That ' s why t he hos-
pi t al wasn' t named i n t he sui t . "
J enni f er f el t a shar p sense of f r ust r at i on. " I see. "
" Look, I t ol d you bef or e, you' r e wast i ng your t i me on
t hi s one. Now why
don' t we bot h get some sl eep?"
And t he r ecei ver cl i cked i n J enni f er ' s ear . She t ur ned
out t he l i ght and
l ay back agai n. But sl eep was f ar t her away t han ever .
Af t er a whi l e,
J enni f er gave up t he st r uggl e, ar ose and made her sel f a
pot of cof f ee. She
sat on her sof a dr i nki ng i t , wat chi ng t he r i si ng sun
pai nt t he Manhat t an
skyl i ne, t he f ai nt pi nk gr adual l y t ur ni ng i nt o a br i ght ,
expl osi ve r ed.
J enni f er was di st ur bed. For ever y i nj ust i ce t her e was
supposed t o be a
r emedy at l aw. Had j ust i ce been done i n Conni e Gar r et t ' s
case? She gl anced
at t he cl ock on t he wal l . I t was si x- t hi r t y. J enni f er
pi cked up t he
t el ephone agai n and di al ed Mel vi n Hut cher son' s number .
" Di d you check out t he r ecor d of t he t r uck dr i ver ?"
J enni f er asked.
A sl eepy voi ce sai d, " J esus Chr i st ! Ar e you some ki nd of
cr azy? When do you
sl eep?"
" The dr i ver of t he ut i l i t y t r uck. Di d you check out hi s
r ecor d?"
" Lady, you' r e begi nni ng t o i nsul t me. "
" I ' msor r y, " J enni f er i nsi st ed, " but I have t o know. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 147
' The answer i s yes. He had a per f ect r ecor d. Thi s was
hi s f i r st
acci dent . "
So t hat avenue was cl osed. " I see. " J enni f er was
t hi nki ng har d.
" Mi ss Par ker , " Mel vi n Hut cher son sai d, " do me a bi g
f avor , wi l l you? I f
you have any mor e quest i ons, cal l me dur i ng of f i ce
hour s. "
" Sor r y, " J enni f er sai d absent l y. " Go back t o sl eep. "
" Thanks a l ot ! "
J enni f er r epl aced t he r ecei ver . I t was t i me t o get
dr essed and go t o
wor k.
13
I t had been t hr ee weeks si nce J enni f er had had di nner
wi t h Adamat Lut CCe.
She t r i ed t o put hi mout of her mi nd, but ever yt hi ng
r emi nded her of Adam:
A chance phr ase, t he back of a st r anger ' s head, a t i e
si mi l ar t o t he one he
had wor n. Ther e wer e many men who t r i ed t o dat e her . She
was pr oposi t i oned
by cl i ent s, by at t or neys she had opposed i n cour t and by
a ni ght - cour t
j udge, but J enni f er want ed none of t hem. Lawyer s i nvi t ed
her out f or what
was cyni cal l y r ef er r ed t o as " f unch, " but she was not
i nt er est ed. Ther e was
an i ndependence about her t hat was - a chal l enge t o men.
Ken Bai l ey was al ways t her e, but t hat f act di d not hi ng
t o assuage
J enni f er ' s l onel i ness. Ther e was onl y one per son who
coul d do t hat , damn
hi m!
He t el ephoned on a Monday mor ni ng. " I t hought I ' d t ake a
chance and see i f
you happened t o be f r ee f or l unch t oday. "
She was not . She sai d, " Of cour se I am. "
J enni f er had swor n t o her sel f t hat i f Adamever cal l ed
her
148
SI DNEY SHELDON 149
agai n she woul d be f r i endl y yet di st ant , and cour t eous
but def i ni t el y not
avai l abl e.
The moment she hear d Adam' s voi ce she f or got al l t hose
t hi ngs and sai d, Of
cour se 1 am.
The l ast t hi ng i n t he wor l d she shoul d have sai d.
They had l unch at a smal l , r est aur ant i n Chi nat own, and
t hey t al ked
st eadi l y f or t wo hour s t hat seemed l i ke t wo mi nut es.
They t al ked about l aw
and pol i t i cs and t he t heat er , and sol ved al l t he compl ex
pr obl ems of t he
wor l d. Adamwas br i l l i ant and i nci si ve and f asci nat i ng.
He was genui nel y
i nt er est ed i n what J enni f er was doi ng, and t ook a j oyous
pr i de i n her
successes. He has a r i ght t o, J enni f er t hought . I f not
f or hi m, 1' d be back
i n Kel so, Washi ngt on.
When J enni f er r et ur ned t o t he of f i ce, Ken Bai l ey was
wai t i ng f or her .
" Have a good l unch?"
" Yes, t hank you. "
" I s AdamWar ner goi ng t o become a cl i ent ?" Hi s t one was
t oo casual .
" No, Ken. We' r e j ust f r i ends. "
And i t was t r ue.
The f ol l owi ng week, Adami nvi t ed J enni f er t o have l unch
i n t he pr i vat e
di ni ng r oomof hi s l aw f i r m. J enni f er was i mpr essed wi t h
t he huge, moder n
compl ex of of f i ces. Adami nt r oduced her t o var i ous
member s of t he f i r m, and
J enni f er f el t l i ke a mi nor cel ebr i t y, f or t hey seemed t o
know al l about
her . She met St ewar t Needham, t he seni or par t ner . He was
di st ant l y pol i t e
t o J enni f er , and she r emember ed t hat Adamwas mar r i ed t o
hi s ni ece.
Adamand J enni f er had l unch i n t he wal nut - panel ed di ni ng
r oomr un by a chef
and t wo wai t er s.
" Thi s i s wher e t he par t ner s br i ng t hei r pr obl ems. "
150 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er wonder ed whet her he was r ef er r i ng t o her . .
I t was har d f or her t o concent r at e on t he meal .
J enni f er t hought about Adamal l t hat af t er noon. She knew
she had t o f or get
about hi m, had t o st op seei ng hi m. He bel onged t o
anot her woman.
That ni ght , J enni f er went wi t h Ken Bai l ey t o see Two by
Two, t he new
Ri char d Rodger s show.
As t hey st epped i nt o t he l obby t her e was an exci t ed buzz
f r omt he cr owd,
and J enni f er t ur ned t o see what was happeni ng. A l ong,
bl ack l i mousi ne had
pul l ed up t o t he cur b and a man and woman wer e st eppi ng
out of t he car .
" I t ' s hi ml " a woman excl ai med, and peopl e began t o
gat her ar ound t he car .
The bur l y chauf f eur st epped asi de and J enni f er saw
Mi chael Mor et t i and hi s
wi f e. I t was Mi chael t hat t he cr owd f ocused on. He was a
f ol k her o,
handsome enough t o be a movi e st ar , dar i ng enough t o
have capt ur ed
ever yone' s i magi nat i on. J enni f er st ood i n t he l obby
wat chi ng as Mi chael
Mor et t i and hi s wi f e made t hei r way t hr ough t he cr owd.
Mi chael passed
wi t hi n t hr ee f eet of J enni f er , and f or an i nst ant t hei r
eyes met . J enni f er
not i ced t hat hi s eyes wer e so bl ack t hat she coul d not
see hi s pupi l s. A
moment l at er he di sappear ed i nt o t he t heat er .
J enni f er was unabl e t o enj oy t he show. The si ght of
Mi chael Mor et t i had
br ought back a f l ood - of f i er cel y humi l i at i ng memor i es.
J enni f er asked Ken
t o t ake her home af t er t he f i r st act .
Adamt el ephoned J enni f er t he next day and J enni f er
st eel ed her sel f t o
r ef use hi s i nvi t at i on. Thank you, Adam, but I ' mr eal l y
ver y busy.
But al l Adamsai d was, " I have t o go out of t he count r y
f or a whi l e. "
I t was l i ke a bl ow t o t he st omach. " How- how l ong wi l l
you begone? 11
SI DNEY SHELDON 151
" J ust a f ew weeks. Pi gi ve you a cal l when I get back. "
" Fi ne, " J enni f er sai d br i ght l y. " Have a ni ce t r i p. "
She f el t as t hough someone had di ed. She vi sual i zed Adam
on a beach i n Ri o,
sur r ounded by hal f - naked gi r l s, or i n a pent house i n
Mexi co Ci t y, dr i nki ng
mar gar i t as wi t h a nubi l e, dar k- eyed beaut y, or i n a
Swi ss chal et maki ng
l ove t o- - St op i t ! J enni f er t ol d her sel f . She shoul d have
asked hi mwher e he
was goi ng. I t was pr obabl y a busi ness t r i p t o some
dr ear y pl ace wher e he
woul d have no t i me f or women, per haps t he mi ddl e of some
deser t wher e he
woul d be wor ki ng t went y- f our hour s a day.
She shoul d have br oached t he subj ect , ver y casual l y, of
cour se. Wi l l you be
t aki ng a l ong pl ane t r i p? Do you speak any f or ei gn
l anguages? I f you get t o
Par i s, br i ng me back some Ver vai ne t ea. I suppose t he
shot s must be
pai nf ul . Ar e you t aki ng your wi f e wi t h you? Am1 l osi ng
my mi nd?
Ken had come i nt o her of f i ce and was st ar i ng at her .
" You' r e t al ki ng t o
your sel f . Ar e you okay?"
No! J enni f er want ed t o shout . 1 need a doct or . I need a
col d shower . I need
AdamWar ner .
She sai d, " I ' mf i ne. J ust a l i t t l e t i r ed. "
" Why don' t you get t o bed ear l y t oni ght ?"
She wonder ed whet her Adamwoul d be goi ng t o bed ear l y.
Fat her Ryan cal l ed. " I went t o see Conni e Gar r et t . She
t ol d me you' ve
dr opped by a f ew t i mes. "
" Yes. " The vi si t s wer e t o assuage her f eel i ng of gui l t
because she was
unabl e t o be of any hel p. I t was f r ust r at i ng.
J enni f er pl unged her sel f i nt o wor k, and st i l l t he weeks
seemed t o dr ag by.
She was i n cour t near l y ever y day and wor ked on br i ef s
al most ever y ni ght .
" Sl ow down. You' r e goi ng t o ki l l your sel f , " Ken advi sed
her .
But J enni f er needed t o exhaust her sel f physi cal l y and
152 RAGE Of ANGELS
ment al l y. She di d not want t o have t i me t o t hi nk. Pma
f ool ,
she t hought . An unadul t er at ed f ool .
I t was f our weeks bef or e Adamcal l ed.
" I j ust got back, " he sai d. The sound of hi s voi ce
t hr i l l ed her . " Can we
meet f or l unch somewher e?"
" Yes. r d enj oy t hat , Adam: " She t hought she had car r i ed
t hat of f wel l . A
si mpl e Yes, I ' d enj oy t hat , Adam.
" The Oak Roomi n t he Pl aza?"
" Fi ne. "
I t was t he most busi nessl i ke, unr omant i c di ni ng r oomi n
t he wor l d, f i l l ed
wi t h af f l uent mi ddl e- aged wheel er s and deal er s,
st ockbr oker s and banker s.
I t had l ong been one of t he f ew r emai ni ng bast i ons of
pr i vacy f or men, and
i t s door s had onl y r ecent l y been opened t o women.
J enni f er ar r i ved ear l y and was seat ed. A f ew mi nut es
l at er , Adamappear ed.
J enni f er wat ched t he t al l , l ean f i gur e movi ng t owar d her
and her mout h
suddenl y went dr y. He l ooked t anned, and J enni f er
wonder ed i f her f ant asi es
about Adamon some gi r l - r i dden beach had been t r ue. He
smi l ed at her and
t ook her hand, and J enni f er knew i n t hat moment t hat i t
di d not mat t er what
l ogi c she used about AdamWar ner or mar r i ed men. She had
no cont r ol over
her sel f . I t was as t hough someone el se wer e gui di ng her ,
t el l i ng her what
she shoul d do, t el l i ng her what she must do. She coul d
not expl ai n what was
happeni ng t o her , f or she had never exper i enced anyt hi ng
l i ke i t . Cal l i t
chemi st r y, she t hought . Cal l i t kar ma, cal l i t heaven.
Al l J enni f er knew
was t hat she want ed t o be i n AdamWar ner ' s ar ms mor e
t han she had ever
want ed anyt hi ng i n her l i f e. Looki ng at hi m, she
vi sual i zed hi s maki ng l ove
t o her , hol di ng her , hi s har d body on t op of her , i nsi de
her , and she f el t
her f ace becomi ng r ed.
Adamsai d apol oget i cal l y, " Sor r y about t he shor t not i ce.
A cl i ent cancel ed
a l uncheon dat e. "
J enni f er si l ent l y bl essed t he cl i ent .
SI DNEY SHELDON 153
" I br ought you somet hi ng, " Adamsai d. I t was a l ovel y
gr een and gol d si l k
scar f . " I t ' s f r omMi l an. "
So t hat ' s wher e he had been. I t al i an gi r l s. " I t ' s
beaut i f ul , Adam. Thank
you. "
" Have you ever been t o Mi l an?"
" No. I ' ve seen pi ct ur es of t he cat hedr al t her e. I t ' s
l ovel y. "
" I ' mnot much of a si ght seer . My t heor y i s t hat i f
you- ' ve seen one chur ch,
you' ve seen t hemal l . "
Lat er , when J enni f er t hought about t hat l uncheon, she
t r i ed t o r emember
what t hey had t al ked about , what t hey had eat en, who had
st opped by t he
t abl e t o say hel l o t o Adam, but al l she coul d r emember
was t he near ness of
Adam, hi s t ouch, hi s l ooks. I t was as t hough he had her
i n some ki nd of
spel l and she was mesmer i zed, hel pl ess t o br eak i t .
At one poi nt J enni f er t hought , l know what t o do. I ' l l
make l ove wi t h hi m.
Once. I t can' t be as wonder f ul as my f ant asi es. Then
I ' l l be abl e t o get
over hi m.
When t hei r hands t ouched acci dent al l y, i t was l i ke an
el ect r i c char ge
bet ween t hem. They sat t her e t al ki ng of ever yt hi ng and
not hi ng, and t hei r
wor ds had no meani ng. They sat at t he t abl e, l ocked i n
an i nvi si bl e
embr ace, car essi ng each ot her , maki ng f i er ce l ove, naked
and want on.
Nei t her of t hemhad any i dea what t hey wer e eat i ng or
what t hey wer e
sayi ng. Ther e was a di f f er ent , mor e demandi ng hunger i n
t hemand i t kept
mount i ng and mount i ng, unt i l nei t her of t hemcoul d st and
i t any l onger .
I n t he mi ddl e of t hei r l uncheon, Adamput hi s hand over
J enni f er ' s and sai d
huski l y, " J enni f er -
She whi sper ed, " Yes. Let ' s get out of her e. "
J enni f er wai t ed i n t he busy, cr owded l obby whi l e Adam
r egi st er ed at t he
desk. They wer e gi ven a r oomi n t he ol d sect i on of t he
Pl aza Hot el ,
over l ooki ng 58t h St r eet . They used t he back bank of
el evat or s, and i t
seemed t o J enni f er t hat i t t ook f or ever t o r each t hei r
f l oor .
I f J enni f er was unabl e t o r emember anyt hi ng about t he
154 RAGE OF ANGELS
l uncheon, she r emember ed ever yt hi ng about t hei r r oom.
Year s l at er , she coul d
r ecal l t he vi ew, t he col or of t he dr apes and car pet s, and
each pi ct ur e and
pi ece of f ur ni t ur e. She coul d r emember t he sounds of t he
ci t y, f ar bel ow,
t hat dr i f t ed i nt o t he r oom. The i mages of t hat af t er noon
wer e t o st ay wi t h
her t he r est of her l i f e. I t was a magi c, mul t i col or ed
expl osi on i n sl ow
mot i on. I t was havi ng Adamundr ess her , i t was Adam' s
st r ong, l ean body i n
bed, hi s r oughness and hi s gent l eness. I t was l aught er
and passi on. Thei r
hunger had bui l t t o a gr eed t hat had t o be sat i sf i ed. The
moment Adambegan
t o make l ove t o her , t he wor ds t hat f l ashed i nt o
J enni f er ' s mi nd wer e, I ' m
l ost .
They made l ove agai n and agai n, and each t i me was an
ecst asy t hat was
al most unbear abl e.
Hour s l at er , as t hey l ay t her e qui et l y, Adamsai d, " I
f eel as t hough I ' m
al i ve f or t he f i r st t i me i n my l i f e. "
J enni f er gent l y st r oked hi s chest and l aughed al oud.
Adaml ooked at her qui zzi cal l y. " What ' s so f unny?"
" Do you know what I t ol d mysel f ? That i f I went t o bed
wi t h you once, I
coul d get you out of my syst em. "
He t wi st ed ar ound and l ooked down at her . " And- ?"
" I was wr ong. I f eel as t hough you' r e a par t of me. At
l east " - - she
hesi t at ed- " par t of you i s a par t of me. "
He knew what she was t hi nki ng.
" We' l l wor k somet hi ng out , " Adamsai d. " Mar y Bet h i s
l eavi ng Monday f or
Eur ope wi t h her aunt f or a mont h. "
14
J enni f er and AdamWar ner wer e t oget her al most ever y
ni ght .
He spent t he f i r st ni ght at her uncomf or t abl e l i t t l e
apar t ment and i n t he
mor ni ng he decl ar ed, " We' r e t aki ng t he day of f t o f i nd
you a decent pl ace
t o l i ve. "
They went apar t ment hunt i ng t oget her , and l at e t hat
af t er noon J enni f er
si gned a l ease i n a new hi gh- r i se bui l di ng of f Sut t on
Pl ace, cal l ed The
Bel mont Tower s. The si gn i n f r ont of t he bui l di ng had
r ead Sol d Out .
" Why ar e we goi ng i n?" J enni f er asked.
" You' l l see. "
The apar t ment t hey l ooked at was a l ovel y f i ve- r oom
dupl ex, beaut i f ul l y
f ur ni shed. I t was t he most l uxur i ous apar t ment J enni f er
had ever seen.
Ther e was a mast er bedr oomand bat h upst ai r s, and
downst ai r s a guest
bedr oomwi t h i t s own bat h and a l i vi ng r oomt hat had a
spect acul ar vi ew of
t he East Ri ver and t he ci t y. Ther e was a l ar ge t er r ace,
a ki t chen and a
di ni ng r oom.
155
156 RAGE OF ANGELS
" How do you l i ke i t ?" Adamasked.
" Li ke i t ? I l ove i t , " J enni f er excl ai med, " but t her e ar e
t wo pr obl ems,
dar l i ng. Fi r st of al l , I coul dn' t possi bl y af f or d i t .
And secondl y, even i f
I coul d, i t bel ongs t o someone el se. "
" I t bel ongs t o our l aw f i r m. We l eased i t f or vi si t i ng
VI P' s. 1711 have
t hemf i nd anot her pl ace. "
" What about t he r ent ?"
" I ' l l t ake car e of t hat . I - "
" No. "
" That ' s cr azy, dar l i ng. I can easi l y af f or d i t and="
She shook her head. " You don' t under st and, Adam. I have
not hi ng t o gi ve you
except me. I want t hat t o be a gi f t . "
He t ook her i n hi s ar ms and J enni f er snuggl ed agai nst
hi mand sai d, " I know
what - I ' l l wor k ni ght s. "
Sat ur day t hey went on a shoppi ng spr ee. Adambought
J enni f er a beaut i f ul
si l k ni ght gown and r obe at Bonwi t Tel l er , and J enni f er
bought Adama
Tur nbul l & Asser shi r t . They pur chased a chess game at
Gi mbel ' s and
cheesecake i n J uni or ' s near Abr aham& St r aus. They
bought a For t num& Mason
pl umpuddi ng at Al t man' s, and books at Doubl eday. They
vi si t ed t he Gammon
Shop and Caswel l - Massey, wher e Adambought J enni f er
enough pot pour r i t o
l ast f or t en year s. They had di nner ar ound t he cor ner
f r omt he apar t ment .
They woul d meet at t he apar t ment i n t he eveni ng af t er
wor k and di scuss t he
day' s event s, and J enni f er woul d cook di nner whi l e Adam
set t he t abl e,
Af t er war d, t hey r ead or wat ched t el evi si on or pl ayed gi n
r ummy or chess.
J enni f er pr epar ed Adam' s f avor i t e di shes.
" I ' mshamel ess, " she t ol d hi m. " I won' t st op at
anyt hi ng. "
He hel d her cl ose. " Pl ease don' t . "
I t was st r ange, J enni f er t hought . Bef or e t hey began
t hei r af f ai r t hey saw
each ot her openl y. But now t hat t hey wer e
SI DNEY SHELDON 157
l over s, t hey dar ed not appear i n publ i c t oget her , so t hey
went t o pl aces
wher e t hey wer e not apt t o r un i nt o f r i ends: smal l f ami l y
r est aur ant s
downt own, a chamber musi c concer t at t he Thi r d St r eet
Musi c School
Set t l ement . They went t o see a new pl ay at t he Omni
Theat r e Cl ub on 18t h
St r eet and had di nner at t he Gr ot t a Azzur r a on Br oome
St r eet , and at e so
much t hat t hey swor e of f I t al i an f ood f or a mont h. Onl y
we don' t have a
mont h, J enni f er t hought . Mar y Bet h was r et ur ni ng i n
f our t een days.
They went t o The Hal f Not e t o hear avant - gar de j azz i n
t he Vi l l age, and
peeked i nt o t he wi ndpws of t he smal l ar t gal l er i es.
Adaml oved spor t s. He t ook J enni f er t o wat ch t he Kni cks
pl ay, and J enni f er
got so caught up i n t he game she cheer ed unt i l she was
hoar se.
On Sunday t hey l azed ar ound, havi ng br eakf ast i n t hei r
r obes, t r adi ng
sect i ons of t he Ti mes, l i st eni ng t o t he chur ch bel l s
r i ng acr oss Manhat t an,
each of f er i ng up i t s own pr ayer .
J enni f er l ooked over at Adamabsor bed i n t he cr osswor d
puzzl e and t hought :
Say a pr ayer f or me. She knew t hat what she was doi ng
was wr ong. She knew
t hat i t coul d not l ast . And yet , she had never known
such happi ness, such
euphor i a. Lover s l i ved i n a speci al wor l d, wher e ever y
sense was hei ght -
ened, and t he j oy J enni f er f el t now wi t h Adamwas wor t h
any pr i ce she woul d
have t o pay l at er . And she knew she was goi ng t o have t o
pay.
Ti me t ook on a di f f er ent di mensi on. Bef or e, J enni f er ' s
l i f e had been
measur ed out i n hour s and meet i ngs wi t h cl i ent s. Now her
t i me was count ed
by t he mi nut es she coul d spend wi t h Adam. She t hought
about hi mwhen she
was wi t h hi m, and she t hought about hi mwhen she was
away f r omhi m.
J enni f er had r ead of men havi ng hear t at t acks i n t he
ar ms of t hei r
mi st r esses, and so she put t he number of Adam' s per sonal
physi ci an i n her
pr i vat e t el ephone book by her bedsi de
158 RAGE OF ANGELS
so t hat i f anyt hi ng ever happened i t coul d be handl ed
di scr eet l y and Adam
woul d not be embar r assed.
J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h emot i ons t hat she had not known
exi st ed i n her .
She had never t hought of her sel f as bei ng domest i c, but
she want ed t o do
ever yt hi ng f or Adam. She want ed t o cook f or hi m, t o
cl ean f or hi m, t o l ay
out hi s cl ot hes i n t he mor ni ng. To t ake car e of hi m.
Adamkept a set of cl ot hes at t he apar t ment , and he
woul d spend most ni ght s
wi t h J enni f er . She woul d l i e next t o hi m, wat chi ng hi m
f al l asl eep, and she
woul d t r y t o st ay awake as l ong as possi bl e, t er r i f i ed
of l osi ng a moment
of t hei r pr eci ous t i me t oget her . Fi nal l y, when J enni f er
coul d keep her eyes
open no l onger , she woul d snuggl e i n Adam' s ar ms and
f al l asl eep, cont ent ed
and saf e. The i nsomni a t hat had pl agued J enni f er f or so
l ong had vani shed.
What ever ni ght devi l s had t or ment ed her had di sappear ed.
When she cur l ed up
i n Adam' s ar ms, she was i nst ant l y at peace.
She enj oyed wal ki ng ar ound t he apar t ment i n Adam' s
shi r t s, and at ni ght she
woul d wear hi s paj ama t op. I f she was st i l l i n t i ed i n
t he mor ni ng when he
l ef t , J enni f er woul d r ol l over t o hi s si de of t he bed.
She l oved t he war m
smel l of hi m.
I t seemed t hat al l t he popul ar l ove songs she hear d had
been wr i t t en f or
Adamand her , and J enni f er t hought , Noel Cowar d was
r i ght . I t ' s amazi ng how
pot ent cheap musi c can be.
I n t he begi nni ng, J enni f er had t hought t hat t he
over whel mi ng physi cal
f eel i ng t hey had f or each ot her woul d di mi ni sh i n t i me,
but i nst ead i t gr ew
st r onger .
She t ol d Adamt hi ngs about her sel f t hat she had never
t ol d anot her human
bei ng. Wi t h Adam, t her e wer e no masks. She was J enni f er
Par ker , st r i pped
naked, and st i l l he l oved her . I t was a mi r acl e. And
t hey shar ed anot her
mi r acl e t oget her : l aught er .
I mpossi bl y, she l oved Adammor e each day. She wi shed
t hat what t hey had
woul d never end. But she knew i t woul d.
SI DNEY SHELDON 159
For t he f i r st t i me i n her l i f e, she became super st i t i ous.
Ther e was a
speci al bl end of Kenya cof f ee t hat Adaml i ked. J enni f er
bought some ever y
f ew days.
But she bought onl y one smal l can at a t i me.
One of J enni f er ' s t er r or s was t hat somet hi ng woul d
happen t o Adamwhen he
was away f r omher and t hat she woul d not know i t unt i l
she r ead about i t ,
or hear d about i t on a news pr ogr am. She never t ol d Adam
of her f ear s.
Whenever Adamwas goi ng t o be l at e he woul d l eave not es
f or J enni f er ar ound
t he apar t ment wher e she woul d come upon t hem
unexpect edl y. She woul d f i nd
t hemi n t he br eadbox or i n t he r ef r i ger at or , or i n her
shoe; t hey del i ght ed
her , and she saved each one.
Thei r l ast r emai ni ng days t oget her r aced by i n a bl ur of
j oyous act i vi t y.
Fi nal l y, i t was t he ni ght bef or e Mar y Bet h was t o
r et ur n. J enni f er and Adam
had di nner i n t he apar t ment , l i st ened t o musi c and made
l ove. J enni f er l ay
awake al l ni ght , hol di ng Adami n her ar ms. Her t hought s
wer e of t he happi -
ness t hey had shar ed.
The pai n woul d come l at er .
At br eakf ast , Adamsai d, " What ever happens, I want you
t o know t hi s- you' r e
t he onl y woman r ve ever t r ul y l oved. "
The pai n came t hen.
15
The anodyne was wor k, and J enni f er i mmer sed her sel f i n
i t t ot al l y so t hat
she had no t i me t o t hi nk.
She had become t he dar l i ng of t he pr ess, and her
cour t r oomsuccesses wer e
hi ghl y publ i ci zed. Mor e cl i ent s came t o her t han she
coul d handl e, and
whi l e J enni f er ' s chi ef i nt er est was i n cr i mi nal l aw, at
Ken' s ur gi ng she
began t o accept a var i et y of ot her cases.
Ken Bai l ey had become mor e i mpor t ant t han ever t o
J enni f er . He handl ed t he
i nvest i gat i ons on her cases, and he was br i l l i ant . She
was abl e t o di scuss
ot her pr obl ems wi t h hi mand she val ued hi s advi ce.
J enni f er and Ken moved agai n, t hi s t i me i nt o a l ar ge
sui t e of of f i ces on
Par k Avenue. J enni f er hi r ed t wo br i ght young at t or neys,
Dan Mar t i n and Ted
Har r i s, bot h f r omRober t Di Si l va' s st af f , and t wo mor e
secr et ar i es.
Dan Mar t i n was a f or mer f oot bal l pl ayer f r om
Nor t hwest er n Uni ver si t y and he
had t he appear ance of an at hl et e and t he mi nd of a
schol ar .
160
SI DNEY SHELDON 161
Ted Har r i s was a sl i ght , di f f i dent young man who wor e
t hi ck mi l k- bot t l e
spect acl es and was a geni us.
Mar t i n and Har r i s t ook car e of t he l egwor k and J enni f er
handl ed t he
appear ances at t r i al s.
The si gn on t he door r ead: J ENNI FER PARKER & ASSOCI ATES.
The cases t hat came i nt o t he of f i ce r anged f r om
def endi ng a l ar ge
i ndust r i al cor por at i on on a pol l ut i on char ge t o
r epr esent i ng a dr unk who
had suf f er ed whi pl ash when he was bounced f r oma t aver n.
The dr unk, of
cour se, was a gi f t f r omFat her Ryan.
" He has a bi t of a pr obl em, " Fat her Ryan t ol d J enni f er .
" He' s r eal l y a
decent f ami l y man, but t he poor f el l ow has such
pr essur es t hat he somet i mes
t akes a dr op t oo much. "
J enni f er coul d not hel p but smi l e. As f ar as Fat her Ryan
was concer ned,
none of hi s par i shi oner s was gui l t y and hi s onl y desi r e
was t o hel p t hem
get out of t he di f f i cul t y t hey had car el essl y got t en
t hemsel ves i nt o. One
r eason J enni f er under st ood t he pr i est so wel l was t hat
basi cal l y she f el t
t he same as he di d. They wer e deal i ng wi t h peopl e i n
t r oubl e who had no one
t o hel p t hem, wi t h nei t her t he money nor t he power t o
f i ght t he
Est abl i shment , and i n t he end t hey wer e cr ushed by i t .
The wor d j ust i ce was honor ed most l y i n t he br each. I n
t he cour t r oom,
nei t her t he pr osecut i ng at t or ney nor t he def ense
at t or ney sought j ust i ce:
The name of t he game was t o wi n.
Fr omt i me t o t i me, J enni f er and Fat her Ryan t al ked about
Conni e Gar r et t ,
but t he subj ect al ways l ef t J enni f er depr essed. Ther e
was an i nj ust i ce
t her e and i t r ankl ed her .
I n hi s of f i ce i n t he back r oomof Tony' s Pl ace, Mi chael
Mor et t i wat ched as
Ni ck Vi t o car ef ul l y swept t he of f i ce wi t h
162 RAGE OF ANGELS
an el ect r oni c devi ce, l ooki ng f or gypsy t aps. Thr ough hi s
pol i ce
connect i ons, Mi chael knew t hat no el ect r oni c sur vei l l ance
had been
aut hor i zed by t he aut hor i t i es, but once i n a whi l e an
over zeal ous t i n
hot dog, a young det ect i ve, woul d set up a gypsy- or
i l l egal - t ap, hopi ng t o
pi ck up i nf or mat i on. Mi chael was a car ef ul man. Hi s
of f i ce and home wer e
swept ever y mor ni ng and ever y eveni ng. He was awar e t hat
he was t he number
one t ar get f or hal f a dozen di f f er ent l aw agenci es, but
he was not
concer ned. He knew what t hey wer e doi ng, but t hey di d not
know what he was
doi ng; and i f t hey di d, t hey coul d not pr ove i t .
Somet i mes l at e at ni ght Mi chael woul d l ook t hr ough t he
peephol e of t he
r est aur ant ' s back door and wat ch t he FBI agent s pi ck up
hi s gar bage f or
anal ysi s, and subst i t ut e ot her gar bage f or i t .
One ni ght Ni ck Vi t o sai d, " J esus, boss, what i f t he
j oker s di g up
somet hi ng?"
Mi chael l aughed. " I hope t hey do. Bef or e t hey get her e
we swi t ch our
gar bage wi t h t he r est aur ant next door . "
No, t he f eder al agent s wer e not goi ng t o t ouch hi m. The
Fami l y' s act i vi t i es
wer e expandi ng, and Mi chael had pl ans t hat he had not
even r eveal ed yet .
The onl y st umbl i ng bl ock was Thomas Col f ax. Mi chael knew
he had t o get r i d
of t he ol d l awyer . He needed a f r esh young mi nd. And
agai n and agai n, hi s
t hought s t ur ned t o J enni f er Par ker .
Adamand J enni f er met f or l unch once a week, and i t was
t or t ur e f or bot h of
t hem, f or t hey had no t i me t o be al one t oget her , no
pr i vacy. They t al ked on
t he t el ephone ever y day, usi ng code names. He was Mr .
Adams and she was
Mr s. J ay.
" I hat e sneaki ng ar ound l i ke t hi s, " Adamsai d.
" I do t oo. " But t he t hought of l osi ng hi mt er r i f i ed
her .
' The cour t r oomwas wher e J enni f er escaped f r omher own
SI DNEY SHELDON 163
pr i vat e pai n. The cour t r oomwas a st age, an ar ea wher e
she mat ched wi t s
agai nst t he best t hat t he opposi t i on coul d of f er . Her
school was t he
cour t r oomand she l ear ned wi l l . A t r i al was a game pl ayed
wi t hi n cer t ai n
r i gi d r ul es, wher e t he bet t er pl ayer won, and J enni f er
was det er mi ned t o be
t he bet t er pl ayer .
J enni f er ' s cr oss- exami nat i ons became t heat r i cal event s,
wi t h a ski l l ed
speed and r hyt hmand t i mi ng. She l ear ned t o r ecogni ze
t he l eader of a j ur y
and t o concent r at e on hi m, knowi ng he coul d swi ng t he
ot her s i nt o l i ne.
A man' s shoes sai d somet hi ng about hi s char act er .
J enni f er l ooked f or
j ur or s who wor e comf or t abl e shoes, because t hey wer e
i ncl i ned t o be
easygoi ng.
She l ear ned about st r at egy, t he over al l pl an of a t r i al ,
and about t act i cs,
t he day- by- day maneuver s. She became an exper t at
shoppi ng f or f r i endl y
j udges.
J enni f er spent endl ess hour s pr epar i ng each case,
heedi ng t he adage, Most
cases ar e won or l ost bef or e t he t r i al begi ns. She
became adept at
mnemoni cs so t hat she coul d r emember j ur or s' names:
Smi t h- - a muscul ar man
who coul d handl e an anvi l ; Hel m- a man st eer i ng a boat ;
Newman- a newbor n
baby.
The cour t usual l y r ecessed at f our o' cl ock, and when
J enni f er was
cr oss- exami ni ng a wi t ness i n t he l at e af t er noon, she
woul d st al l unt i l a
f ew mi nut es bef or e f our and t hen hi t t he wi t ness wi t h a
ver bal bl ow t hat
woul d l eave a st r ong over ni ght i mpr essi on on t he j ur y.
She l ear ned t o r ead body l anguage. When a wi t ness on t he
st and was l yi ng,
t her e woul d be t el l t al e gest ur es: st r oki ng t he chi n,
pr essi ng t he l i ps
t oget her , cover i ng t he mout h, pul l i ng t he ear l obes or
gr oomi ng t he hai r .
J enni f er became an exper t at r eadi ng t hose si gns, and
she woul d zer o i n f or
t he ki l l .
J enni f er di scover ed t hat bei ng a woman was a
di sadvant age when i t came t o
pr act i ci ng cr i mi nal l aw. She was i n macho
164 RAGE OF ANGELS
t er r i t or y. Ther e wer e st i l l ver y f ew women cr i mi nal
at t or neys and some of
t he mal e l awyer s r esent ed J enni f er . On her br i ef case one
day J enni f er f ound
a st i cker t hat r ead: Women Lawyer s Make t he Best Mot i ons.
I n r et al i at i on,
Cynt hi a put a si gn on her desk t hat r ead: A Woman' s Pl ace
i s i n t he House .
. . and i n t he Senat e.
Most j ur i es st ar t ed out by bei ng pr ej udi ced agai nst
J enni f er , f or many of
t he cases she handl ed wer e sor di d, and t her e was a
t endency t o make an
associ at i on bet ween her and her cl i ent . She was expect ed
t o dr ess l i ke J ane
Eyr e and she r ef used, but she was car ef ul t o dr ess i n
such a f ashi on t hat
she woul d not ar ouse t he envy of t he women j ur or s, and
at t he same t i me
appear f emi ni ne enough so as not t o ant agoni ze t he men
who mi ght f eel she
was a l esbi an. At one t i me, J enni f er woul d have l aughed
at any of t hese
consi der at i ons. But i n t he cour t r oomshe f ound t hemt o
be st er n r eal i t i es.
Because she had ent er ed a man' s wor l d she had t o wor k
t wi ce as har d and be
t wi ce as good as t he compet i t i on. J enni f er l ear ned t o
pr epar e t hor oughl y
not onl y her own cases, but t he cases of her opposi t i on
as wel l . She woul d
l i e i n bed at ni ght or si t at t he desk i n her of f i ce and
pl ot her
opponent ' s st r at egy. What woul d she do i f she wer e on
t he ot her si de? What
sur pr i ses woul d she t r y t o pul l ? She was a gener al ,
pl anni ng bot h si des of
a l et hal bat t l e.
Cynt hi a buzzed on t he i nt er com. " Ther e' s a man on l i ne
t hr ee who want s t o
t al k t o you, but he won' t gi ve hi s name or t el l me what
i t ' s about . "
Si x mont hs ear l i er , Cynt hi a woul d si mpl y have hung up on
t he man. J enni f er
had t aught her never t o t ur n anyone away.
" Put hi mt hr ough, " J enni f er sai d.
A moment l at er she hear d a man' s voi ce ask caut i ousl y,
" I s t hi s J enni f er
Par ker ?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 165
" Yes. "
He hesi t at ed. " I s t hi s a saf e l i ne?"
" Yes. What can I do f or you?"
" I t ' s not f or me. I t ' s f or - f or a f r i end of mi ne. "
" I see. What ' s your f r i end' s pr obl em?"
" Thi s has t o be i n conf i dence, you under st and. "
" I under st and. "
Cynt hi a wal ked i n and handed J enni f er t he mai l . " Wai t , "
J enni f er mout hed.
" My f r i end' s f ami l y l ocked her up i n an i nsane asyl um.
She' s sane. I t ' s a
conspi r acy. The aut hor i t i es ar e i n on i t : "
J enni f er was onl y hal f - l i st eni ng now. She br aced t he
t el ephone agai nst her
shoul der whi l e she went t hr ough t he mor ni ng' s mai l .
The man was sayi ng, " She' s r i ch and her f ami l y' s af t er
her money. "
J enni f er sai d, " Go on, " and cont i nued exami ni ng t he
mai l .
" They' d pr obabl y have me put away, t oo, i f t hey f ound I
was t r yi ng t o hel p
her . I t coul d be danger ous f or me, Mi ss Par ker . "
A nut case, J enni f er deci ded. She sai d, " r maf r ai d I
can' t do anyt hi ng, but
I ' d suggest you get hol d of a good psychi at r i st t o hel p
your f r i end. "
" You don' t under st and. They' r e al l i n on i t . "
" I do under st and, " J enni f er sai d soot hi ngl y. " I - "
" Wi l l you hel p her ?"
" Ther e' s not hi ng I can- I ' l l t el l you what . Why don' t you
gi ve me your
f r i end' s name and addr ess and i f I get a chance, I ' l l
l ook i nt o i t . "
Ther e was a l ong si l ence. Fi nal l y t he man spoke. " Thi s
i s conf i dent i al ,
r emember . "
J enni f er wi shed he woul d get of f t he t el ephone. Her
f i r st appoi nt ment was
wai t i ng i n t he r ecept i on r oom. " I ' l l r emember . "
166 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Cooper . Hel en Cooper . She had a bi g est at e on Long
I sl and, but t hey t ook
i t away f r omher . "
Obedi ent l y, J enni f er made a not e on a pad i n f r ont of
her . " Fi ne. What
sanat or i umdi d you say she was i n?" Ther e was a cl i ck
and t he l i ne went
dead. J enni f er t hr ew t he not e i nt o t he wast e basket .
J enni f er and Cynt hi a exchanged a l ook. " I t ' s a wei r d
wor l d out t her e, "
Cynt hi a sai d. " Mi ss Mar shal l i s wai t i ng t o see you. "
J enni f er had t al ked t o Lor et t a Mar shal l on t he t el ephone
a week ear l i er .
Mi ss Mar shal l had asked J enni f er t o r epr esent her i n a
pat er ni t y sui t
agai nst Cur t i s Randal l I I I , a weal t hy soci al i t e.
J enni f er had spoken t o Ken Bai l ey. " We need i nf or mat i on
on Cur t i s Randal l
I I I . He l i ves i n New Yor k, but I under st and he spends a
l ot of t i me i n Pal m
Beach. I want t o know what hi s backgr ound i s, and i f
he' s been sl eepi ng
wi t h a gi r l named Lor et t a Mar shal l . "
She had t ol d Ken t he names of t he Pal mBeach hot el s t hat
t he woman had
gi ven her . Two days l at er , Ken Bai l ey had r epor t ed back.
" I t checks out . They spent t wo weeks t oget her at hot el s
i n Pal mBeach,
Mi ami and At l ant i c Ci t y. Lor et t a Mar shal l gave bi r t h t o
a daught er ei ght
mont hs ago. "
J enni f er sat back i n her chai r and l ooked at hi m
t hought f ul l y. " I t sounds
as t hough we mi ght have a case. "
" I don' t t hi nk so. "
" What ' s t he pr obl em?"
" The pr obl emi s our cl i ent . She' s sl ept wi t h ever ybody
i ncl udi ng t he
Yankees. "
" You' r e sayi ng t hat t he f at her of t he baby coul d be any
number of men"
" I ' msayi ng i t coul d be hal f t he wor l d: "
SI DNEY SHELDON 167
" Ar e any of t he ot her s weal t hy enough t o gi ve chi l d
suppor t ?"
" Wel l , t he Yankees ar e pr et t y r i ch, but t he bi g l eague
moneyman i s Cur t i s
Randal l I I L"
He handed her a l ong l i st of names.
Lor et t a Mar shal l wal ked i nt o t he of f i ce. J enni f er had
not been sur e what t o
expect . A pr et t y, empt y- headed pr ost i t ut e, i n al l
pr obabi l i t y. But Lor et t a
Mar shal l was a compl et e sur pr i se. Not onl y was she not
pr et t y, she was
al most homey. Her f i gur e was or di nar y. Fr omt he number
of Mi ss Mar shal l ' s
r omant i c conquest s, J enni f er had expect ed not hi ng l ess
t han a sexy r avi ng
beaut y. Lor et t a Mar shal l was t he st er eot ype of an
el ement ar y gr ade
school t eacher . She was cl ad i n a pl ai d wool ski r t , a
but t on- down- col l ar
shi r t , a dar k bl ue car di gan and sensi bl e shoes. At
f i r st , J enni f er had been
sur e t hat Lor et t a Mar shal l was pl anni ng t o use her t o
f or ce Cur t i s Randal l
t o pay f or t he pr i vi l ege of r ai si ng a baby t hat was not
hi s. Af t er an
hour ' s conver sat i on wi t h t he gi r l , J enni f er f ound t hat
her opi ni on had
changed. Lor et t a Mar shal l was t r anspar ent l y honest .
" Of cour se, I have no pr oof t hat Cur t i s i s Mel ani e' s
f at her , " she smi l ed
shyl y. " Cur t i s i sn' t t he onl y man Pve sl ept wi t h. "
" Then what makes you t hi nk he' s t he f at her of your
chi l d, Mi ss Mar shal l ?"
" I don' t t hi nk. I ' msur e of i t . I t ' s har d t o expl ai n,
but I even know t he
ni ght Mel ani e was concei ved. Somet i mes a woman can f eel
t hose t hi ngs. "
J enni f er st udi ed her , t r yi ng t o f i nd any si gn of gui l e
or decei t . Ther e was
none. The gi r l was t ot al l y wi t hout pr et ense. Per haps,
J enni f er t hought , men
f ound t hat par t of her char m.
" Ar e you i n l ove wi t h Cur t i s Randal l ?"
" Oh, yes. And Cur t i s sai d he l oved me. Of cour se, r mnot
sur e he st i l l
does, af t er what ' s happened. "
168 RAGE OF ANGELS
I f you l oved hi m, J enni f er wonder ed, how coul d you have
sl ept wi t h al l
t hose ot her men? The answer mi ght have l ai n i n t hat sad,
homel y f ace and
pl ai n f i gur e.
" Can you hel p me, Mi ss Par ker ?"
J enni f er sai d caut i ousl y, " Pat er ni t y cases ar e al ways
di f f i cul t . I have a
l i st of mor e t han a dozen men you' ve sl ept wi t h i n t he
past year . Ther e ar e
pr obabl y ot her s. I f I have such a l i st , you can be sur e
t hat Cur t i s
Randal l ' s at t or ney wi l l have one. "
Lor et t a Mar shal l f r owned. " What about bl ood sampl es,
t hat ki nd of t hi ng .
. . ?"
" Bl ood t est s ar e admi ssi bl e i n evi dence onl y i f t hey
pr ove t hat t he
def endant coul d not be t he f at her . They' r e l egal l y
i nconcl usi ve. "
" I don' t r eal l y car e about me. I t ' s Mel ani e I want
pr ot ect ed. I t ' s onl y
r i ght t hat Cur t i s shoul d t ake car e of hi s daught er . "
J enni f er hesi t at ed, wei ghi ng her deci si on. She had t ol d
Lor et t a Mar shal l
t he t r ut h. Pat er ni t y cases wer e di f f i cul t . To say
not hi ng about bei ng messy
and unpl easant . The at t or neys f or t he def ense woul d have
a f i el d day when
t hey got t hi s woman on t he st and. They woul d br i ng up a
par ade of her
l over s and, bef or e t hey wer e t hr ough, t hey woul d make
her l ook l i ke a
whor e. I t was not t he t ype of case t hat J enni f er want ed
t o become i nvol ved
i n. On t he ot her hand, she bel i eved Lor et t a Mar shal l .
Thi s was no or di nar y
gol d di gger out t o gouge an ex- l over . The gi r l was
convi nced t hat Cur t i s
Randal l was t he f at her of her chi l d. J enni f er made her
deci si on.
" Al l t i ght , " she sai d, " we' l l t ake a cr ack at i t . "
J enni f er set up a meet i ng wi t h Roger Davi s, t he l awyer
r epr esent i ng Cur t i s
Randal l . Davi s was a par t ner i n a l ar ge Wal l St r eet f i r m
and t he i mpor t ance
of hi s posi t i on was i ndi cat ed by t he spaci ous cor ner
sui t e he occupi ed. He
was pompous and ar r ogant , and J enni f er di sl i ked hi mon
si ght .
SI DNEY SHELDON 169
" What can I do f or you?" Roger Davi s asked.
" As I expl ai ned on t he t el ephone, I ' mher e on behal f of
Lor et t a Mar shal l : "
He l ooked at her and sai d i mpat i ent l y, " So?"
" She' s asked me t o i nst i t ut e a pat er ni t y sui t . agai nst
Mr . Cur bs Randal l
I I I . I woul d pr ef er not t o do t hat . "
" You' d be a damned f ool i f you di d. "
J enni f er hel d her t emper i n check. " We don' t wi sh t o
dr ag your cl i ent ' s
name t hr ough t he cour t s. As I ' msur e you know, t hi s ki nd
of case al ways
get s nast y. Ther ef or e, we' r e pr epar ed t o accept a
r easonabl e out - of - cour t
set t l ement . "
Roger Davi s gave J enni f er a wi nt r y smi l e. " I ' msur e you
ar e. Because you
have no case. None at al l . "
" I t hi nk we have. "
" Mi ss Par ker , I haven' t t i me t o mi nce wor ds. Your cl i ent
i s a whor e. She' l l
have i nt er cour se wi t h anyt hi ng t hat moves. I have a l i st
of men she' s sl ept
wi t h. I t ' s as l ong as my ar m. You t hi nk my cl i ent i s
goi ng t o get hur t ?
Your cl i ent wi l l be dest r oyed. She' s a school t eacher , I
bel i eve. Wel l , when
I get t hr ough wi t h her she' l l never t each anywher e agai n
as l ong as she
l i ves. And I ' l l t el l you somet hi ng el se. Randal l
bel i eves he' s t he f at her
of t hat baby. But you' l l never pr ove i t i n a mi l l i on
year s. "
J enni f er sat back, l i st eni ng, her f ace expr essi onl ess.
" Our posi t i on i s t hat your cl i ent coul d have become
i mpr egnat ed by anyone
i n t he Thi r d Ar my. You want t o make a deal ? Fi ne. r l l
t el l you what we' l l
do. We' l l buy your cl i ent bi r t h- cont r ol pi l l s so t hat i t
doesn' t happen
agai n. "
J enni f er st ood up, her cheeks bur ni ng. " Mr . Davi s, " she
sai d, " t hat l i t t l e
speech of your s i s goi ng t o cost your cl i ent hal f a
mi l l i on dol l ar s. "
And J enni f er was out t he door .
Ken Bai l ey and t hr ee assi st ant s coul d t ur n up not hi ng
agai nst Cur bs Randal l
I I I . He was a wi dower , a pi l l ar of
170 RAGE OF ANGELS
soci et y, and he had had ver y f ew sexual f l i ngs.
" The son of a bi t ch i s a bor n- agai n pur i t an, " Ken Bai l ey
compl ai ned.
They wer e seat ed i n t he conf er ence r oomat mi dni ght , t he
ni ght bef or e t he
pat er ni t y t r i al was t o begi n. " Tve t al ked t o one of t he
at t or neys i n
Davi s' s of f i ce, J enni f er . They' r e goi ng t o dest r oy our
cl i ent . They' r e not
bl uf f i ng. "
" Why ar e you st i cki ng your neck out f or t hi s gi r l ?" Dan
Mar t i n asked.
" I ' mnot her e t o j udge her sex l i f e, Dan. She bel i eves
t hat Cur t i s Randal l
i s t he f at her of her baby. I mean, she r eal l y bel i eves
i t . Al l she want s i s
money f or her daught er - not hi ng f or her sel f . I t hi nk she
deser ves her day i n
cour t . "
" We' r e not t hi nki ng about her , " Ken r epl i ed. " We' r e
t hi nki ng about you.
You' r e on a hot r ol l . Ever ybody' s wat chi ng you. I t hi nk
t hi s i s a no- wi n
case. I t ' s goi ng t o be a bl ack mar k agai nst you. "
" Let ' s al l get some sl eep, " J enni f er sai d. " I ' l l see you
i n cour t . "
The t r i al went even wor se t han Ken Bai l ey had pr edi ct ed.
J enni f er had had
Lor et t a Mar shal l br i ng her baby i nt o t he cour t r oom, but
now J enni f er
wonder ed i f she had not made a t act i cal er r or . She sat
t her e, hel pl ess, as
Roger Davi s br ought wi t ness af t er wi t ness t o t he st and
and f or ced each of
t hemt o admi t t hey had sl ept wi t h Lor et t a Mar shal l .
J enni f er di d not dar e
cr oss- exami ne t hem. They wer e vi ct i ms, and t hey wer e
t est i f yi ng i n publ i c
onl y because t hey had been f or ced t o. Al l J enni f er coul d
do was si t by
whi l e her cl i ent ' s name was besmi r ched. She wat ched t he
f aces of t he
j ur or s, and she coul d r ead t he gr owi ng host i l i t y t her e.
Roger Davi s was t oo
cl ever t o char act er i ze Lor et t a Mar shal l as a whor e. He
di d not have t o. The
peopl e on t he st and di d i t f or hi m.
J enni f er had br ought i n her own char act er wi t nesses t o
SI DNEY SHELDON 171
t est i f y t o t he good wor k t hat Lor et t a Mar shal l had done
as a t eacher , t o t he
f act t hat she at t ended chur ch r egul ar l y and was a good
mot her ; but al l t hi s
made no i mpr essi on i n t he f ace of t he hor r i f yi ng ar r ay of
Lor et t a Mar shal l ' s
l over s. J enni f er had hoped t o pl ay on t he sympat hy of t he
j ur y by
dr amat i zi ng t he pl i ght of a young woman who had been
bet r ayed by a weal t hy
pl ayboy and t hen abandoned when she had become pr egnant .
The t r i al was not
wor ki ng out t hat way.
Cur bs Randal l I I I was seat ed at t he def endant ' s t abl e.
He coul d have been
chosen by a cast i ng di r ect or . He was an el egant - l ooki ng
man i n hi s l at e
f i f t i es, wi t h st r i ki ng gr ay hai r and t anned, r egul ar
f eat ur es. He came f r om
a soci al backgr ound, bel onged t o al l t he r i ght cl ubs and
was weal t hy and
successf ul . J enni f er coul d f eel t he women on t he j ur y
ment al l y undr essi ng
hi m.
Sur e, J enni f er t hought . They' r e t hi nki ng t hat t hey' r e
wor t hy t o go t o bed
wi t h Mr . Char mi ng, but not t hat what - does- hesee- i n- her
sl ut si t t i ng i n t he
cour t r oomwi t h a t en- mont h ol d baby i n her ar ms.
Unf or t unat el y f or Lor et t a Mar shal l , t he chi l d l ooked
not hi ng l i ke i t s
f at her . Or i t s mot her , f or t hat mat t er . I t coul d have
bel onged t o anybody.
As t hough r eadi ng J enni f er ' s t hought s, Roger Davi s sai d
t o t he j ur y, " Ther e
t hey si t , l adi es and gent l emen, mot her and chi l d. Ah!
But whose chi l d?
You' ve seen t he def endant . I def y anyone i n t hi s
cour t r oomt o poi nt out one
si ngl e poi nt of r esembl ance bet ween t he def endant and
t hi s i nf ant . Sur el y,
i f my cl i ent wer e t he f at her of t hi s chi l d, t her e woul d
be some si gn of i t .
Somet hi ng i n t he eyes, t he nose, t he chi n. Wher e i s t hat
r esembl ance? I t
doesn' t exi st , and f or a ver y si mpl e r eason. The
def endant i s not t he
f at her of t hi s chi l d. No, I ' mver y much af r ai d t hat what
we have her e i s
t he cl assi c
172 RAGE OF ANGELS
exampl e of a l oose woman who was car el ess, got pr egnant ,
and t hen l ooked
ar ound t o see whi ch l over coul d best af f or d t o pay t he
bi l l s. "
Hi s voi ce sof t ened. " Now, none of us i s her e t o j udge
her . What Lor et t a
Mar shal l chooses t o do wi t h her per sonal l i f e i s her own
busi ness. The f act
t hat she i s a t eacher and can i nf l uence t he mi nds of
smal l chi l dr en, wel l ,
t hat i s not i n my pur vi ew, ei t her . I amnot her e t o
mor al i ze; I ' msi mpl y
her e t o pr ot ect t he i nt er est s of an i nnocent man. "
J enni f er st udi ed t he j ur y and she had t he si nki ng
f eel i ng t hat ever y one of
t hemwas on t he si de of Cur t i s Randal l . J enni f er st i l l
bel i eved Lor et t a
Mar shal l . I f onl y t he baby l ooked l i ke i t s f at her s Roger
Davi s was r i ght .
Ther e was no r esembl ance at al l . And he had made sur e
t he j ur y was awar e of
t hat .
J enni f er cal l ed Cur t i s Randal l t o t he st and. She knew
t hat t hi s was her
onl y chance t o t r y t o r epai r t he damage t hat had been
done, her f i nal
oppor t uni t y t o t ur n t he case ar ound. She st udi ed t he man
i n t he wi t ness
chai r f or a moment .
" Have you ever been mar r i ed, Mr . Randal l ?"
" Yes. My wi f e di ed i n a f i r e. " Ther e was an i nst i nct i ve
r eact i on of
sympat hy f r omt he j ur y.
Damn! J enni f er moved on qui ckl y. " Yon never r emar r i ed?"
" No. I l oved my wi f e ver y much, and I - "
" Di d you and your wi f e have any chi l dr en?"
" No. Unf or t unat el y, she was not abl e t o. "
J enni f er gest ur ed t owar d t he baby. " Then Mel ani e i s your
onl y- "
" Obj ect i on! "
" Sust ai ned. Counsel f or t he pl ai nt i f f knows bet t er t han
t hat . "
" I ' msor r y, Your Honor . I t sl i pped out . " J enni f er t ur ned
back t o Cur t i s
Randal l . " Do you l i ke chi l dr en?"
" Yes, ver y much. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 173
" You' r e t he chai r man of t he boar d of your own
cor por at i on, ar e you not , Mr .
Randal l ?"
" Yes. "
" Haven' t you ever wi shed f or a son t o car r y on your
name?"
" I suppose ever y man want s t hat . "
" So i f Mel ani e had been bor n a boy i nst ead of - "
" Obj ect i on! "
" Sust ai ned. " The j udge t ur ned t o J enni f er . " Mi ss Par ker ,
I wi l l ask you
agai n t o st op doi ng t hat . "
" Sor r y, Your Honor . " J enni f er t ur ned back t o Cur t i s
Randal l . " Mr . Randal l ,
ar e you i n t he habi t of pi cki ng up st r ange women and
t aki ng t hemt o
hot el s?"
Cur t i s Randal l r an hi s t ongue ner vousl y over hi s l ower
l i p. " No, I amnot . "
" I sn' t i t t r ue t hat you f i r st met Lor et t a Mar shal l i n a
bar and t ook her t o
a hot el r oom?"
Hi s t ongue was wor ki ng at hi s l i ps agai n. " Yes, ma' am,
but t hat was
j ust - t hat was j ust sex. "
J enni f er st ar ed at hi m. " You say `t hat was j ust sex' as
t hough you f eel sex
i s somet hi ng di r t y. "
" No, ma' am. " Hi s t ongue f l i cked out agai n.
J enni f er was wat chi ng i t , f asci nat ed, as i t moved acr oss
hi s l i ps. She was
f i l l ed wi t h a sudden, wi l d sense of hope. She knew now
what she had t o do.
She had t o keep pushi ng hi m. And yet she coul d not push
hi mso har d t hat
t he j ur y woul d become ant agoni st i c t owar d her .
" How many women have you pi cked up i n bar s?"
Roger Davi s was on hi s f eet . " I r r el evant , Your Honor .
And I obj ect t o t hi s
l i ne of quest i oni ng. The onl y woman i nvol ved i n t hi s
case i s Lor et t a
Mar shal l . We have al r eady st i pul at ed t hat t he def endant
had sexual
i nt er cour se wi t h her . Asi de f r omt hat , hi s per sonal l i f e
has no r el evance
i n t hi s cour t r oom. "
" I di sagr ee, Your Honor . I f t he def endant i s t he ki nd of
man who- "
174 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Sust ai ned. Pl ease di scont i nue t hat l i ne of quest i oni ng,
Mi ss Par ker . "
J enni f er shr ugged. " Yes, Your Honor . " She t ur ned back t o
Cur bs Randal l .
" Let ' s get back t o t he ni ght you pi cked up Lor et t a
Mar shal l i n a bar . What
ki nd of bar was i t ?"
" I - I r eal l y don' t know. I ' d never been t her e bef or e. "
" I t was a si ngl es bar , wasn' t i t ?"
" I have no i dea. "
" Wel l , f or your i nf or mat i on, t he Pl ay Pen was and i s a
si ngl es bar . I t has
t he r eput at i on of bei ng a pi ckup pl ace, a r endezvous
wher e men and women go
t o meet par t ner s t hey can t ake t o bed. I sn' t t hat why
you went t her e, Mr .
Randal l ?"
Cur t i s Randal l began t o l i ck hi s l i ps agai n. " I t - i t may
have been. I don' t
r emember . "
" You don' t r emember ?" J enni f er ' s voi ce was wei ght ed wi t h
sar casm. " Do you
happen t o r emember t he dat e on whi ch you f i r st met
Lor et t a Mar shal l i n t hat
bar ?"
" No, I don' t . Not exact l y. "
" Then l et me r ef r esh your memor y. "
J enni f er wal ked over t o t he pl ai nt i f f s t abl e and began
l ooki ng t hr ough some
paper s. She scr i bbl ed a not e as t hough she wer e copyi ng
a dat e and handed
i t t o Ken Bai l ey. He st udi ed i t , a puzzl ed expr essi on on
hi s f ace.
J enni f er moved back t owar d t he wi t ness box. " I t was on
J anuar y ei ght eent h,
Mr . Randal l . "
Out of t he cor ner of her eye, J enni f er saw Ken Bai l ey
l eavi ng t he
cour t r oom.
" I t coul d have been, I suppose. As I sai d, I don' t
r emember . "
For t he next f i f t een mi nut es, J enni f er went en
quest i oni ng Cur bs Randal l .
I t was a r ambl i ng, gent l e cr oss- exami nat i on, and Roger
Davi s di d not
i nt er r upt , because he saw t hat J enni f er was maki ng no
poi nt s wi t h t he
j ur or s, who wer e begi nni ng t o l ook bor ed.
J enni f er kept t al ki ng, keepi ng an eye out f or Ken
Bai l ey.
SI DNEY SHELDON 175
I n t he mi ddl e of a quest i on, J enni f er saw hi mhur r y i nt o
t he cour t r oom,
car r yi ng a smal l package.
J enni f er t ur ned t o t he j udge. " Your Honor , may I ask f or
a f i f t een- mi nut e
r ecess?"
The j udge l ooked at t he cl ock on t he wal l . " Si nce i t ' s
al most t i me f or
l unch, t he cour t wi l l adj our n unt i l one- t hi r t y. "
At one- t hi r t y t he cour t was i n sessi on agai n. J enni f er
had moved Lor et t a
Mar shal l t o a seat cl oser t o t he j ur y box, wi t h t he baby
on her l ap.
The j udge sai d, " Mr . Randal l , you ar e st i l l under oat h.
You wi l l not have
t o be swor n i n agai n. Take t he st and, pl ease. "
J enni f er wat ched as Cur t i s Randal l sat down i n t he
wi t ness box. She wal ked
up t o hi mand sai d, " Mr . Randal l , how many i l l egi t i mat e
chi l dr en have you
si r ed?"
Roger Davi s was on hi s f eet . " Obj ect i on! Thi s i s
out r ageous, Your Honor . I
wi l l not have my cl i ent subj ect ed t o t hi s ki nd of
humi l i at i on. "
The j udge sai d, " Obj ect i on sust ai ned. " He t ur ned t o
J en-
ni f er . " Mi ss Par ker , I have war ned you=' '
J enni f er sai d cont r i t el y, " I ' msor r y, Your Honor . "
She l ooked at Cur t i s Randal l and saw t hat she had
accompl i shed what she had
want ed. He was ner vousl y l i cki ng hi s l i ps. i J enni f er
t ur ned t owar d Lor et t a
Mar shal l and her baby. The baby was busi l y l i cki ng i t s
l i ps. J enni f er
sl owl y wal ked over t o t he baby and st ood i n f r ont of her
a l ong moment ,
f ocusi ng t he at t ent i on of t he j ur y.
" Look at t hat chi l d, " J enni f er sai d sof t l y.
They wer e al l st ar i ng at l i t t l e Mel ani e, her pi nk t ongue
l i cki ng her
under l i p.
J enni f er t ur ned and wal ked back t o t he wi t ness box. " And
l ook at t hi s man. "
Twel ve pai r s of eyes t ur ned t o f ocus on Cur t i s Randal l .
He sat t her e
ner vousl y l i cki ng hi s under l i p, and suddenl y t he
r esembl ance was
unmi st akabl e. For got t en was t he f act t hat
176 RAGE OF ANGELS
Lor et t a Mar shal l had sl ept wi t h dozens of ot her men.
For got t en was t he f act
t hat Cur bs Randal l was a pi l l ar of t he communi t y.
" Thi s i s a man, " J enni f er sai d mour nf ul l y, " of posi t i on
and means. A man
ever yone l ooks up t o. I want t o ask you onl y one
quest i on: What ki nd of man
i s i t who woul d deny hi s own chi l d?"
The j ur y was out l ess t han one hour , r et ur ni ng wi t h a
j udgment f or t he
pl ai nt i f f . Lor et t a Mar shal l woul d r ecei ve t wo hundr ed
t housand dol l ar s i n
cash and t wo t housand dol l ar s a mont h f or chi l d suppor t .
When t he ver di ct came i n, Roger Davi s st r ode up t o
J enni f er , hi s f ace
f l ushed wi t h anger . " Di d you do somet hi ng wi t h t hat
baby?"
" What do you mean?"
Roger Davi s hesi t at ed, unsur e of hi msel f . " That l i p
t hi ng. That ' s what won
t he j ur y over , t he baby l i cki ng her l i ps l i ke t hat . Can
you expl ai n i t ?"
" As a mat t er of f act , " J enni f er sai d l of t i l y, " I can.
I t ' s cal l ed
her edi t y. " And she wal ked away.
J enni f er and Ken Bai l ey di sposed of t he bot t l e of cor n
syr up on t he way
back t o t he of f i ce.
16
AdamWar ner had known f r omal most t he begi nni ng t hat hi s
mar r i age t o Mar y
Bet h had been a mi st ake. He had been i mpul si ve and
i deal i st i c, t r yi ng t o
pr ot ect a young gi r l who seemed l ost and vul ner abl e t o
t he wor l d.
He woul d gi ve anyt hi ng not t o hur t Mar y Bet h, but Adam
was deepl y i n l ove
wi t h J enni f er . He needed someone t o t al l y t o, and he
deci ded on St ewar t
Needham. St ewar t had al ways been sympat het i c. He woul d
under st and Adam' s
posi t i on.
The meet i ng t ur ned out t o be qui t e di f f er ent f r omwhat
Adamhad pl anned. As
Adamwal ked i nt o St ewar t Needham' s of f i ce, Needhamsai d,
" Per f ect t i mi ng.
r ve j ust been on t he phone wi t h t he el ect i on commi t t ee.
They' r e f or mal l y
aski ng you t o r un f or t he Uni t ed St at es Senat e. You' l l
have t he f ul l
backi ng of t he par t y. "
" I - t hat ' s wonder f ul , " Adamsai d.
" We have a l ot t o do, my boy. We have t o st ar t or gani zi ng
t hi ngs. I ' l l set up a f und- r ai si ng commi t t ee. Her e' s
wher e I
t hi nk we shoul d begi n . . : "
177
178 RAGE OF ANGELS
For t he next t wo hour s, t hey di scussed pl ans f or t he
campai gn.
When t hey had f i ni shed, Adamsai d, " St ewar t , t her e' s
somet hi ng per sonal r d
l i ke t o t al k t o you about . "
" I ' maf r ai d I ' ml at e f or a cl i ent now, Adam: "
And Adamhad t he sudden f eel i ng t hat St ewar t Needhamhad
known what was on
Adam' s mi nd al l t he whi l e.
Adamhad a dat e t o meet J enni f er f or l unch at a dai r y
r est aur ant on t he
West Si de. She was wai t i ng f or hi mi n a r ear boot h. '
Adamwal ked i n, char ged wi t h ener gy, and f r omhi s
expr essi on J enni f er knew
t hat somet hi ng had happened.
" I have some news f or you, " Adamt ol d her . " r ve been
asked t o r un f or t he
Uni t ed St at es Senat e. "
" Oh, Adam! " J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h a sudden
exci t ement . " That ' s
wonder f ul ! You' l l make such a gr eat senat or ! "
" The compet i t i on' s goi ng t o be f i er ce. New Yor k' s a
t ough st at e. "
" I t doesn' t mat t er . No one can st op you: " And J enni f er
knew i t was t r ue.
Adamwas i nt el l i gent and cour ageous, wi l l i ng t o f i ght
t he bat t l es he
bel i eved i n. As he had once f ought her bat t l e.
J enni f er t ook hi s hand and sai d war ml y, " I ' mso pr oud of
you, dar l i ng. "
" Easy, I haven' t been el ect ed yet . You' ve hear d about
cups, l i ps and
sl i ps. "
" That has not hi ng t o do wi t h my bei ng pr oud of you. I
l ove you so much,
Adam: "
" I l ove you, t oo. "
Adamt hought about t el l i ng J enni f er of t he di scussi on he
had al most had
wi t h St ewar t Needham, but he deci ded not t o. I t coul d
wai t unt i l he had
st r ai ght ened t hi ngs out .
" When wi l l you st ar t campai gni ng?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 179
" They want me t o announce t hat r mr unni ng r i ght away.
r l l have unani mous
par t y backi ng. "
" That ' s wonder f ul l "
Ther e was somet hi ng t hat was not wonder f ul t uggi ng at
t he back of
J enni f er ' s mi nd. I t was somet hi ng she di d not want t o
put i nt o wor ds, but
she knew t hat sooner or l at er she was goi ng t o have t o
f ace i t . She want ed
Adamt o wi n, but t he Senat e r ace woul d be a swor d of
Damocl es hangi ng over
her head. I f Adamwon, J enni f er woul d l ose hi m. He woul d
be r unni ng on a
r ef or mt i cket and t her e woul d be no mar gi n i n hi s l i f e
f or any scandal . He
was a mar r i ed man and i f i t was l ear ned he had a
mi st r ess, i t woul d be
pol i t i cal sui ci de.
That ni ght , f or t he f i r st t i me si nce she had f al l en i n
l ove wi t h Adam,
J enni f er had i nsomni a. She was awake unt i l dawn bat t l i ng
t he demons of t he
ni ght .
Cynt hi a sai d, " Ther e' s a cal l wai t i ng f or you. I t ' s t he
Mar t i an agai n. "
J enni f er l ooked at her bl ankl y.
" You know, t he one wi t h t he st or y about t he i nsane
asyl um. "
J enni f er had put t he man compl et el y out of her mi nd. He
obvi ousl y was
someone i n need of psychi at r i c hel p.
" Tel l hi mt o- " She si ghed. " Never mi nd. I ' l l t el l hi m
mysel f . "
She pi cked up t he t el ephone. " J enni f er Par ker . "
The f ami l i ar voi ce sai d, " Di d you check t he i nf or mat i on
I gave you?"
" I haven' t had a chance. " She r emember ed she had t hr own
away t he not es she
had made. " t d l i ke t o hel p you. Wi l l you gi ve me your
name?"
" I can' t , " he whi sper ed. " They' l l come af t er me, t oo.
You j ust check i t
out . Hel en Cooper . Long I sl and. "
180 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I can r ecommend a doct or who- " The l i ne went dead.
J enni f er sat t her e a moment , t hi nki ng, and t hen asked
Ken Bai l ey t o come
i nt o t he of f i ce.
" What ' s up, Chi ef ?"
" Not hi ng- I t hi nk. I ' ve had a coupl e of cr ank cal l s f r om
someone who won' t
l eave hi s name. Woul d you pl ease see i f you can f i nd out
anyt hi ng about a
woman named Hel en Cooper . She' s supposed t o have had a
l ar ge est at e on Long
I sl and. "
" Wher e i s she now?"
" Ei t her i n some i nsane asyl umor on Mar s. "
Two hour s l at er , Ken Bai l ey wal ked i n and sur pr i sed
J enni f er by sayi ng,
" Your Mar t i an has l anded. Ther e' s a Hel en Cooper
commi t t ed at The Heat hens
Asyl umi n West chest er . "
" Ar e you sur e?" Ken Bai l ey l ooked hur t . " I di dn' t mean
t hat , " J enni f er
sai d. Ken was t he best i nvest i gat or she had ever known.
He never sai d
anyt hi ng unl ess he was posi t i ve of i t , and he never got
hi s f act s wr ong.
" What ' s our i nt er est i n t he l ady?" Ken asked.
" Someone t hi nks she' s been f r amed i nt o t he asyl um. I ' d
l i ke you t o check
out her backgr ound. I want t o know about her f ami l y. "
The i nf or mat i on was on J enni f er ' s desk t he f ol l owi ng
mor ni ng. Hel en Cooper
was a dowager who had been l ef t a f or t une of f our
mi l l i on dol l ar s by her
l at e husband. Her daught er had mar r i ed t he
super i nt endent of t he bui l di ng
wher e t hey l i ved and, si x mont hs af t er t he mar r i age, t he
br i de and gr oom
had gone t o cour t t o ask t hat t he mot her be decl ar ed
i ncompet ent , and t hat
t he est at e be put under t hei r cont r ol . They had f ound
t hr ee psychi at r i st s
who had t est i f i ed t o Hel en Cooper ' s i ncompet ency and t he
cour t had
commi t t ed her t o t he asyl um.
J enni f er f i ni shed r eadi ng t he r epor t and l ooked up at
Ken
SI DNEY SHELDON 181
Bai l ey. " The whol e t hi ng sounds a l i t t l e f i shy, doesn' t
i t ?"
" Fi shy? You coul d wr ap i t up i n a newspaper and ser ve i t
wi t h chi ps. What
ar e you goi ng t o do about i t ?"
I t was a di f f i cul t quest i on. J enni f er had no cl i ent . I f
Mr s. Cooper ' s
f ami l y had had her l ocked away, t hey cer t ai nl y woul d not
wel come J enni f er ' s
i nt er f er ence, and si nce t he woman her sel f had been
decl ar ed i nsane, she was
not compet ent t o hi r e J enni f er . I t was an i nt er est i ng
pr obl em. One t hi ng
J enni f er knew: Cl i ent or not , she was not goi ng t o st and
by and see someone
r ai l r oaded i nt o an i nsane asyl um.
" I ' mgoi ng t o pay a vi si t t o Mr s. Cooper , " J enni f er
deci ded.
The Heat her s Asyl umwas l ocat ed i n West chest er i n a
l ar ge, wooded ar ea. The
gr ounds wer e f enced i n and t he onl y access was t hr ough a
guar ded gat e.
J enni f er was not yet r eady t o l et t he f ami l y know what
she was doi ng, so
she had t el ephoned ar ound unt i l she. had f ound an
acquai nt ance wi t h a
connect i on t o t he sanat or i um. He had made ar r angement s
f or her t o pay a
vi si t t o Mr s. Cooper .
The head of t he asyl um, Mr s. Fr ankl i n, was a dour ,
har df aced woman who
r emi nded J enni f er of Mr s. Danver s i n Rebecca.
" St r i ct l y speaki ng, " Mr s. Fr ankl i n sni f f ed, " I shoul d
not be l et t i ng you
t al k t o Mr s. Cooper . However , we' l l cal l t hi s an
unof f i ci al vi si t . I t won' t
go i n t he r ecor ds. "
" Thank you. "
" I ' l l have her br ought i n. "
Hel en Cooper was a sl i m, at t r act i ve- l ooki ng woman i n her
l at e si xt i es. She
had vi vi d bl ue eyes t hat bl azed wi t h i nt el l i gence, and
she was as gr aci ous
as t hough she wer e r ecei vi ng J enni f er i n her own home.
" I t was good of you t o come and vi si t me, " Mr s. Cooper
sai d, " but I ' m
af r ai d I ' mnot qui t e sur e why you' r e her e. "
182 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I ' man at t or ney, Mr s. Cooper . I r ecei ved t wo anonymous
t el ephone cal l s
t el l i ng me you wer e i n her e and t hat you di dn' t bel ong
her e. "
Mr s. Cooper smi l ed gent l y. " That must have been
Al ber t . "
" Al ber t ?"
" He was my but l er f or t went y- f i ve year s. When my
daught er , Dor ot hy,
mar r i ed, she f i r ed hi m. " She si ghed. " Poor Al ber t . He
r eal l y bel ongs t o t he
past , t o anot her wor l d. I suppose, i n a sense, I do t oo.
You' r e ver y young,
my dear , so per haps you' r e not awar e of how much t hi ngs
have changed. Do
you know what ' s mi ssi ng t oday? Gr aci ousness. I t ' s been
r epl aced, I ' m
af r ai d, by gr eed. "
J enni f er asked qui et l y, " Your daught er ?"
Mr s. Cooper ' s eyes saddened. " I don' t bl ame Dor ot hy.
I t ' s her husband. He' s
not a ver y at t r act i ve man, not mor al l y, at l east . I ' m
af r ai d my daught er i s
not ver y at t r act i ve physi cal l y. Her ber t mar r i ed Dor ot hy
f or her money and
f ound out t hat t he est at e was ent i r el y i n my hands. He
di dn' t l i ke t hat . "
" Di d he say t hat t o you?"
" Oh, yes i ndeed. My son- i n- l aw was qui t e open about i t .
He t hought I shoul d
gi ve my daught er t he est at e t hen, i nst ead of maki ng her
wai t unt i l I di ed.
I woul d have, except t hat I di dn' t t r ust hi m. I knew
what woul d happen i f
he ever got hi s hands on al l t hat money. "
" Have you ever had any hi st or y of ment al i l l ness, Mr s.
Cooper ?"
Hel en Cooper l ooked at J enni f er and sai d wr yl y,
" Accor di ng t o t he doct or s,
I ' msuf f er i ng f r omschi zophr eni a and par anoi a. "
J enni f er had t he f eel i ng t hat she had never spoken t o a
mor e sane per son i n
her l i f e.
" You ar e awar e t hat t hr ee doct or s t est i f i ed t hat you
wer e i ncompet ent ?"
" The Cooper est at e i s val ued at f our mi l l i on dol l ar s,
Mi ss Par ker . You can
i nf l uence a l ot of doct or s f or t hat ki nd of
SI DNEY SHELDON 183
money. r maf r ai d you' r e wast i ng your t i me. My son- i n- l aw
cont r ol s t he est at e
now. He' l l never l et me l eave her e. "
" t d l i ke t o meet your son- i n- l aw. "
The Pl aza Tower s was on East 72nd St r eet , i n one of t he
most beaut i f ul
r esi dent i al ar eas of New Yor k. Hel en Cooper had her own
pent house t her e.
Now t he name pl at e on t he door r ead Mr . and Mr s. Her ber t
Hawt hor ne.
J enni f er had t el ephoned ahead t o t he daught er , Dor ot hy,
and when J enni f er
ar r i ved at t he apar t ment , bot h Dor ot hy and her husband
wer e wai t i ng f or
her . Hel en Cooper had been r i ght about her daught er . She
was not
at t r act i ve. She was t hi n and mousy- l ooki ng, wi t h no
chi n, and her r i ght eye
had a cast i n i t . Her husband, Her ber t , l ooked l i ke a
cl one of Ar chi e
Bunker . He was at l east t went y year s ol der t han Dor ot hy.
" Come on i n, " he gr unt ed.
He escor t ed J enni f er f r omt he r ecept i on hal l i nt o an
enor mous l i vi ng r oom,
t he wal l s of whi ch wer e cover ed wi t h pai nt i ngs by Fr ench
and Dut ch mast er s.
Hawt hor ne sai d t o J enni f er bl unt l y, " Now, suppose you
t el l me what t he hel l
t hi s i s al l about . "
J enni f er t ur ned t o t he gi r l . " I t ' s about your mot her . "
" What about her ?"
" When di d she f i r st st ar t showi ng si gns of i nsani t y?"
" She- "
Her ber t Hawt hor ne i nt er r upt ed. " Ri ght af t er Dor ot hy and
me got mar r i ed. The
ol d l ady coul dn' t st and me. "
That ' s cer t ai nl y one pr oof of sani t y, J enni f er t hought .
" I r ead t he doct or s' r epor t s, " J enni f er sai d. " They
seemed bi ased. "
" What do you mean, bi ased?" Hi s t one was t r ucul ent .
" What I mean i s t hat t he r epor t s i ndi cat ed t hat t hey
wer e deal i ng i n gr ay
ar eas wher e t her e wer e no cl ear - cut cr i t er i a f or
est abl i shi ng what soci et y
cal l s sani t y. Thei r deci si on was
184 RAGE OF ANGELS
shaped, i n par t , by what you and your wi f e t ol d t hem
about Mr s. Cooper ' s
behavi or . "
" What ar e you t r yi n' t o say?"
" I ' msayi ng t hat t he evi dence i s not cl ear - cut . Thr ee
ot her doct or s coul d
have come up wi t h an ent i r el y di f f er ent concl usi on. "
" Hey, l ook, " Her ber t Hawt hor ne sai d, " I dunno what you
t hi nk you' r e t r yi n'
t o pul l , but t he ol d l ady' s a l ooney. The doct or s sai d
so and t he cour t
sai d so. "
" I r ead t he cour t t r anscr i pt , " J enni f er r epl i ed. " The
cour t al so suggest ed
t hat her case be per i odi cal l y r evi ewed. "
Ther e was const er nat i on on Her ber t Hawt hor ne' s f ace.
" You mean t hey mi ght
l et her out ?"
" They' r e goi ng t o l et her out , " J enni f er pr omi sed. " I ' m
goi ng t o see t o
i t . "
" Wai t a mi nut e! What t he hel l i s goi n' on her e?"
" That ' s what I i nt end t o f i nd out . " J enni f er t ur ned t o
t he gi r l . " I checked
out your mot her ' s pr evi ous medi cal hi st or y. Ther e has
never been anyt hi ng
wr ong wi t h her , ment al l y or emot i onal l y. She- "
Her ber t Hawt hor ne i nt er r upt ed. " That don' t mean a damn
t hi ng! These t hi ngs
can come on f ast . She- - 2'
" I n addi t i on, " J enni f er cont i nued t o Dor ot hy, " I checked
on your mot her ' s
soci al act i vi t i es bef or e you had her put away. She l i ved
a compl et el y
nor mal l i f e. "
" I don' t car e what you or anybody el se says. She' s
cr azy! " Her ber t
Hawt hor ne shout ed.
J enni f er t ur ned t o hi mand st udi ed hi ma moment . " Di d
you ask Mr s. Cooper
t o gi ve t he est at e t o you?"
" That ' s none of your goddamned busi ness! "
" I ' mmaki ng i t my busi ness. I t hi nk t hat ' s al l f or now. "
J enni f er moved
t owar d t he door .
Her ber t Hawt hor ne st epped i n f r ont of her , bl ocki ng her
way. " Wai t a
mi nut e. You' r e but t i n' i n wher e you' r e not
SI DNEY SHELDON 185
want ed. You' r e l ooki n' t o make a l i t t l e cash f or
your sel f , r i ght ? Okay, I
under st and t hat , honey. Tel l you what I ' l l do. Why don' t
I gi ve you a check
r i ght now f or a t housand dol l ar s f or ser vi ces r ender ed
and you j ust dr op
t hi s whol e t hi ng. Huh?"
" Sor r y, " J enni f er r epl i ed. " No deal . "
" You t hi nk you' r e gonna get mor e f r omt he ol d l ady?"
" No, " J enni f er sai d. She l ooked hi mi n t he eye. " Onl y
one of us i s i n t hi s
f or t he money. "
I t t ook si x weeks of hear i ngs and psychi at r i c
consul t at i ons and conf er ences
wi t h f our di f f er ent st at e agenci es. J enni f er br ought i n
her own
psychi at r i st s and when t hey wer e f i ni shed wi t h t hei r
exami nat i ons and
J enni f er had l ai d out al l t he f act s at her di sposal , t he
j udge r ever sed hi s
ear l i er deci si on and Hel en Cooper was r el eased and her
est at e r est or ed t o
her cont r ol .
The mor ni ng of Mr s. Cooper ' s r el ease she t el ephoned
J enni f er .
" I want t o t ake you t o l unch at Twent y- One. "
J enni f er l ooked at her cal endar . She had a cr owded
mor ni ng, a l uncheon dat e
and a busy af t er noon i n cour t , but she knew how much
t hi s meant t o t he
el der l y woman. , r U be t her e, " J enni f er sai d.
Hel en Cooper ' s voi ce was pl eased. " We' l l have a l i t t l e
cel ebr at i on. "
The l uncheon went beaut i f ul l y. Mr s. Cooper was a
t hought f ul host ess, and
obvi ousl y t hey knew her wel l at 21.
J er r y Ber ns escor t ed t hemt o a t abl e upst ai r s, wher e
t hey wer e sur r ounded
by beaut i f ul ant i ques and Geor gi an si l ver . The f ood and
ser vi ce wer e
super b.
Hel en Cooper wai t ed unt i l t hey wer e havi ng t hei r
cof f ee.
186 RAGE OF ANGELS
Then she sai d t o J enni f er , " I ' mver y gr at ef ul t o you, my
dear . I don' t
know how l ar ge a f ee you wer e pl anni ng t o char ge, but I
want t o gi ve you
somet hi ng mor e. "
" My f ees ar e hi gh enough. "
Mr s. Cooper shook her head. " I t doesn' t mat t er . " She
l eaned f or war d, t ook
J enni f er ' s hands i n her s and dr opped her voi ce t o a
whi sper .
" I ' mgoi ng t o gi ve you Wyomi ng. "
17
The f r ont page of The New Yor k Ti mes car r i ed t wo st or i es
of i nt er est , si de
by si de. One was an announcement t hat J enni f er Par ker
had obt ai ned an
acqui t t al f or a woman accused of sl ayi ng her husband.
The ot her was an
ar t i cl e about AdamWar ner r unni ng f or t he Uni t ed St at es
Senat e.
J enni f er r ead t he st or y about Adamagai n and agai n. I t
gave hi s backgr ound,
t ol d about hi s ser vi ce as a pi l ot i n t he Vi et NamWar ,
and gave an account
of hi s r ecei vi ng t he Di st i ngui shed Fl yi ng Cr oss f or
br aver y. I t was hi ghl y
l audat or y, and a number of pr omi nent peopl e wer e quot ed
as sayi ng t hat Adam
War ner woul d be a cr edi t t o t he Uni t ed St at es Senat e and
t o t he nat i on. At
t he end of t he ar t i cl e, t her e was a st r ong hi nt t hat i f
Adamwer e
successf ul i n hi s campai gn, i t coul d easi l y be a
st eppi ng- st one t o hi s
r unni ng f or t he pr esi dency of t he Uni t ed St at es.
I n New J er sey, at Ant oni o Gr anel l i ' s f ar mhouse, Mi chael
Mor et t i and Ant oni o
Gr anel l i wer e f i ni shi ng br eakf ast .
187
188 RAGE OF ANGELS
Mi chael was, r eadi ng t he ar t i cl e about J enni f er Par ker .
He l ooked up at hi s f at her - i n- l aw and sai d, " She' s done
i t agai n, Tony. "
Ant oni o Gr anel l i spooned up a pi ece of poached egg. " Who
done what agai n?"
" That l awyer . J enni f er Par ker . She' s a nat ur al . "
Ant oni o Gr anel l i gr unt ed. " I don' l i ke t he i dea of no
woman l awyer wor ki n'
f or us. Women ar e weak. You never know what t he hel l
t hey gonna do. "
Mi chael sai d caut i ousl y, " You' r e r i ght , a l ot of t hem
ar e, Tony. "
I t woul d not pay f or hi mt o ant agoni ze hi s
f at her - i n- l aw. As l ong as
Ant oni o Gr anel l i was al i ve, he was danger ous; but
wat chi ng hi mnow, Mi chael
knew he woul d not have t o wai t much l onger . The ol d man
had had a ser i es of
smal l st r okes and hi s hands t r embl ed. I t was di f f i cul t
f or hi mt o t al k, and
he wal ked wi t h a cane. Hi s ski n was l i ke dr y, yel l owed
par chment . Al l t he
j ui ces had been sucked out of hi m. Thi s man, who was at
t he head of t he
f eder al cr i me l i st , was a t oot hl ess t i ger . Hi s name had
st r uck t er r or i nt o
t he hear t s of count l ess maf i osi and hat r ed i n t he hear t s
of t hei r wi dows.
Now, ver y f ew peopl e got t o see Ant oni o Gr anel l i . He hi d
behi nd Mi chael ,
Thomas Col f ax, and a f ew ot her s he t r ust ed.
Mi chael had not been r ai sed- made t he head of t he
Fami l y- yet , but i i was
j ust a quest i on of t i me. " Thr ee- Fi nger Br own" Lucchese
had been t he
st r ongest of t he f i ve east er n Maf i a chi ef t ai ns, t hen
Ant oni o Gr anel l i , and
soon . . . Mi chael coul d af f or d t o be pat i ent . He had
come a l ong, l ong way
f r omt he t i me when, as a cocky, f r esh- f aced ki d, he had
st ood i n f r ont of
t he maj or dons i n New Yor k and hel d a f l ami ng scr ap of
paper i n hi s hand
and swor n: " Thi s i s t he way I wi l l bur n i f I bet r ay t he
secr et s of Cosa
Nost r a. "
Now, si t t i ng at br eakf ast wi t h t he ol d man, Mi chael
sai d, " Maybe we coul d
use t he Par ker woman f or smal l st uf f . J ust t o see how
she does. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 189
Gr anel l i shr ugged. " J ust be car ef ul , Mi ke. I don' wan'
no st r anger s i n on
Fami l y secr et s. "
" Let me handl e her . "
Mi chael made t he t el ephone cal l t hat af t er noon.
When Cynt hi a announced t hat Mi chael Mor et t i was cal l i ng,
i t br ought an
i nst ant spat e of memor i es, al l of t hemunpl easant .
J enni f er coul d not
i magi ne why Mi chael Mor et t i woul d be cal l i ng her .
Out of cur i osi t y, she pi cked up t he t el ephone. " What i s
i t you want ?"
The shar pness of her t one t ook Mi chael Mor et t i aback. " I
want t o see you.
I t hi nk you and I shoul d have a l i t t l e t al k. "
" What about , Mr . Mor et t i ?"
" I t ' s not hi ng I ' d car e t o di scuss on t he t el ephone. I
can t el l you t hi s,
Mi ss Par ker - i t ' s somet hi ng t hat woul d be ver y much i n
your i nt er est : '
J enni f er sai d evenl y, " I can t el l you t hi s, Mr . Mor et t i .
Not hi ng you coul d
ever do or say coul d be of t he sl i ght est i nt er est t o
me, " and she sl ammed
down t he r ecei ver .
Mi chael Mor et t i sat at hi s desk st ar i ng at t he dead
phone i n hi s hand. He
f el t a st i r r i ng wi t hi n hi m, but i t was not anger . He was
not sur e what i t
was, and he was not sur e he l i ked i t . He had used women
al l hi s l i f e and
hi s dar k good l ooks and i nnat e r ut hl essness had got t en
hi mmor e eager bed
par t ner s t han he coul d r emember .
Basi cal l y, Mi chael Mor et t i despi sed women. They wer e t oo
sof t . They had no
spi r i t . Rosa, f or exampl e. She' s l i ke a l i t t l e pet dog
who does ever yt hi ng
she' s t ol d, Mi chael t hought . She keeps my house, cooks
f or me, f ucks me
when I want t o be f ucked, shut s up when I t el l her t o
shut up.
Mi chael had never known a woman of spi r i t , a woman who
had t he cour age t o
def y hi m. J enni f er Par ker had had t he ner ve t o hang up
on hi m. What was i t
she had sai d? Not hi ng
e
190 RAGE OF ANGELS
you coul d ever do or say coul d be of t he sl i ght est
i nt er est t o
me. Mi chael Mor et t i t hought about t hat and smi l ed t o
hi msel f . She was wr ong.
He was goi ng t o show her how wr ong she was.
He sat back, r emember i ng what she had l ooked l i ke i n
cour t , r emember i ng her
f ace and her body. He suddenl y wonder ed what she woul d
be l i ke i n bed. A
wi l dcat , pr obabl y. He st ar t ed t hi nki ng about her nude
body under hi s,
f i ght i ng hi m. He pi cked up t he t el ephone and di al ed a
number .
When a gi r l ' s voi ce answer ed he sai d, " Get naked. I ' mon
my way over . "
On her way back t o t he of f i ce af t er l unch, as J enni f er
was cr ossi ng Thi r d
Avenue she was al most r un down by a t r uck. The dr i ver
sl ammed on hi s br akes
and t he r ear end of t he t r uck ski dded si deways, bar el y
mi ssi ng her .
" J esus Chr i st , l ady! " t he dr i ver yel l ed. " Why don' t you
wat ch wher e t he
hel l you' r e goi n' ! "
J enni f er was not l i st eni ng t o hi m. She was st ar i ng at
t he name on t he back
of t he t r uck. I t r ead Nat i onwi de Mot or s Cor por at i on. She
st ood t her e
wat chi ng, l ong af t er t he t r uck had di sappear ed f r om
si ght . Then she t ur ned
and hur r i ed back t o t he of f i ce.
" I s Ken her e?" she asked Cynt hi a.
" Yes. He' s i n hi s of f i ce. "
She went i n t o see hi m. " Ken, can you check out
Nat i onwi de Mot or s
Cor por at i on? We need a l i st of al l t he acci dent cases
t hei r t r ucks have
been i nvol ved i n f or t he past f i ve year s. "
" That ' s goi ng t o t ake a whi l e. "
" Use LEXI S. " That was t he nat i onal l egal comput er .
" You want t o t el l me what ' s goi ng on?"
" I ' mnot sur e yet , Ken. I t ' s j ust a hunch. I ' l l l et you
know i f anyt hi ng
comes of i t . "
SI DNEY SHELDON 191
She had over l ooked somet hi ng i n t he case of Conni e
Gar r et t , t hat l ovel y
quadr upl e amput ee who was dest i ned t o spend t he r est of
her l i f e as a
f r eak. The dr i ver may have had a good r ecor d, but what
about t he t r ucks?
Maybe somebody was l i abl e, af t er al l .
The next mor ni ng Ken Bai l ey l ai d a r epor t i n f r ont of
J enni f er . " What ever
t he hel l you' r e af t er , l ooks l i ke you' ve hi t t he
j ackpot . Nat i onwi de Mot or s
Cor por at i on has had f i f t een acci dent s i n t he l ast f i ve
year s, and some of
t hei r t r acks have been r ecal l ed. "
J enni f er f el t an exci t ement begi n t o bui l d i n her . " What
was t he pr obl em?"
" A def i ci ency i n t he br aki ng syst emt hat causes t he r ear
end of t he t r uck
t o swi ng ar ound when t he br akes ar e hi t har d. "
I t was t he r ear end of t he t r uck t hat had hi t Conni e
Gar r et t .
J enni f er cal l ed a st af f meet i ng wi t h Dan Mar t i n, Ted
Har r i s and Ken Bai l ey.
" We' r e goi ng i nt o cour t on t he Conni e Gar r et t case, "
J enni f er announced.
Ted Har r i s st ar ed at her t hr ough hi s mi l k- bot t l e
gl asses. " Wai t a mi nut e,
J enni f er , I checked t hat out . She l ost on appeal . We' r e
goi ng t o get hi t
wi t h r es j udi cat a. "
" What ' s r es f udi cat a?" Ken Bai l ey asked.
J enni f er expl ai ned, " I t means f or ci vi l cases what
doubl e j eopar dy means
f or cr i mi nal cases. `Ther e must be an end t o
l i t i gat i on. ' "
Ted Har r i s added, " Once a f i nal j udgment has been made
on t he mer i t s of a
case, i t can onl y be opened agai n under ver y speci al
ci r cumst ances. We have
no gr ounds t o r eopen. "
" Yes, we have. We' r e goi ng af t er t hemon di scover y. "
The pr i nci pl e of di scover y r ead: Mut ual knowl edge of al l
r el evant f act s
gat her ed by bot h par t i es i s essent i al t o pr oper
l i t i gat i on.
" The deep- pocket def endant i s Nat i onwi de Mot or s. They
192 RAGE OF ANGELS
hel d back i nf or mat i on f r omConni e Gar r et t ' s at t or ney.
Ther e' s a def i ci ency
i n t he br aki ng syst emof t hei r t r ucks and t hey kept i t
out of t he r ecor d. "
She l ooked at t he t wo l awyer s. " Her e' s what I t hi nk we
shoul d do . . : "
Two hour s l at er , J enni f er was seat ed i n Conni e Gar r et t ' s
l i vi ng r oom.
" I want t o move f or a new t r i al . I bel i eve we have a
case. "
" No. I coul dn' t go t hr ough anot her t r i al . "
" Conni e- "
" Look at me, J enni f er . I ' ma f r eak. Ever y t i me I l ook i n
t he mi r r or I want
t o ki l l mysel f . Do you know why I don' t ?" Her voi ce sank
t o a whi sper .
" Because I can' t . I can' t ! "
J enni f er sat t her e, shaken. How coul d she have been so
i nsensi t i ve?
" Suppose I t r y f or an out - of - cour t set t l ement ? I t hi nk
t hat when t hey hear
t he evi dence t hey' l l be wi l l i ng t o set t l e wi t hout goi ng
t o t r i al . "
The of f i ces of Magui r e and Gut hr i e, t he . at t or neys who
r epr esent ed t he
Nat i onwi de Mot or s Cor por at i on, wer e l ocat ed on upper
Fi f t h Avenue i n a
moder n gl ass and chr ome bui l di ng wi t h a spl ashi ng
f ount ai n i n f r ont .
J enni f er announced her sel f at t he r ecept i on desk. The
r ecept i oni st asked
her t o be seat ed, and f i f t een mi nut es l at er J enni f er was
escor t ed i nt o t he
of f i ces of Pat r i ck Magui r e. He was t he seni or par t ner i n
t he f i r m, a t ough,
har d- bi t t en I r i shman wi t h shar p eyes t hat mi ssed
not hi ng.
He mot i oned J enni f er t o a chai r . " I t ' s ni ce t o meet you,
Mi ss Par ker .
You' ve got t en your sel f qui t e a r eput at i on ar ound t own. "
" Not al l bad, I hope. "
" They say you' r e t ough. You don' t l ook i t : "
" I hope not . "
SI DNEY SHELDON 193
" Cof f ee? Or some good I r i sh whi skey?"
" Cof f ee, pl ease. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e r ang and a secr et ar y br ought i n t wo cups
of cof f ee on a
st er l i ng si l ver t r ay.
Magui r e sai d, " Now what i s i t I can do f or you?"
" I t ' s about t he Code Gar r et t case. "
" Ah, yes. As I r ecal l , she l ost t he case and t he
appeal . "
As 1 r ecal l . J enni f er woul d have bet her l i f e t hat
Pat r i ck Magui r e coul d
have r eci t ed ever y st at i st i c i n t he case.
" I ' mgoi ng t o f i l e f or a new t r i al . "
" Real l y? On what gr ounds?" Magui r e asked pol i t el y.
J enni f er opened her at t ach case and t ook out t he br i ef
she had pr epar ed.
She handed i t t o hi m.
" I ' mr equest i ng a r eopeni ng on f ai l ur e t o di scl ose. "
Magui r e l eaf ed t hr ough t he paper s, unper t ur bed. " Oh,
yes, " he sai d. " That
br ake busi ness. "
" You knew about i t ?"
" Of cour se. " He t apped t he f i l e wi t h a st ubby f i nger .
" Mi ss Par ker , t hi s
won' t get you anywher e. You woul d have t o pr ove t hat t he
same t r uck
i nvol ved i n t he acci dent had a f aul t y br ake syst em. I t ' s
pr obabl y been
over haul ed a dozen t i mes si nce t he acci dent , so t her e
woul d be no way of
pr ovi ng what i t s condi t i on was t hen. " He pushed t he f i l e
back t owar d her .
" You have no case. "
J enni f er t ook a si p of her cof f ee. " Al l I have t o do i s
pr ove what a bad
saf et y r ecor d t hose t r ucks have. Or di nar y di l i gence
shoul d have made your
cl i ent know t hat t hey wer e def ect i ve. "
Magui r e sai d casual l y, " What i s i t you' r e pr oposi ng?"
" I have a cl i ent i n her ear l y t went i es who' s si t t i ng i n
a r oomshe' l l never
l eave f or t he r est of her l i f e because she has no ar ms
or l egs. I ' d l i ke t o
get a set t l ement t hat woul d make up a l i t t l e bi t f or t he
angui sh she' s
goi ng t hr ough. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e t ook a si p of hi s cof f ee. " What ki nd of
set t l ement di d you
have i n mi nd?"
194 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Two mi l l i on dol l ar s. "
He smi l ed. " That ' s a gr eat deal of money f or someone
wi t h no case. "
" I f I go t o cour t , Mr . Magui r e, I pr omi se you I ' l l have
a case. And I ' l l
wi n a l ot mor e t han t hat . I f you f or ce us t o sue, we' r e
goi ng t o sue f or
f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s. "
He smi l ed agai n. " You' r e scar i ng t he bej eezus out of me.
Mor e cof f ee?"
" No, t hanks. " J enni f er ar ose.
" Wai t a mi nut e! Si t down, pl ease. I haven' t sai d no. "
" You haven' t sai d yes. "
" Have some mor e cof f ee. We br ew i t our sel ves. "
J enni f er t hought of Adamand t he Kenya cof f ee.
" Two mi l l i on dol l ar s i s a l ot of money, Mi ss Par ker . "
J enni f er sai d not hi ng.
" Now, i f we wer e t al ki ng about a l esser amount , I mi ght
be abl e t o- " He
waved hi s hands expr essi vel y.
J enni f er r emai ned si l ent .
Fi nal l y Pat r i ck Magui r e sai d, " You r eal l y want t wo
mi l l i on, don' t you?"
' " I r eal l y want f i ve mi l l i on, _Mr . Magui r e. "
" Al l r i ght . I suppose we mi ght be abl e t o ar r ange
somet hi ng. "
I t had been easy!
" I have t o l eave f or London i n t he mor ni ng, but I ' l l be
back next week. "
" I want t o wr ap t hi s up. I ' d appr eci at e i t i f you woul d
t al k t o your cl i ent
as soon as possi bl e. I ' d l i ke t o gi ve my cl i ent a check
next week. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e nodded. " That can pr obabl y be wor ked
out . "
Al l t he way back t o t he of f i ce, J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h
a sense of unease.
I t had been t oo si mpl e.
That ni ght on her way home, J enni f er st opped at a
dr ugst or e. When she came
out and st ar t ed acr oss t he st r eet , she
SI DNEY SHELDON 195
saw Ken Bai l ey wal ki ng wi t h a handsome young bl ond man.
J enni f er hesi t at ed,
t hen t ur ned i nt o a si de st r eet so t hat she woul d not be
seen. Ken' s pr i vat e
l i f e was hi s own busi ness.
On t he day t hat J enni f er was schedul ed t o meet wi t h
Pat r i ck Magui r e, she
r ecei ved a cal l f r omhi s secr et ar y.
" Mr . Magui r e asked me t o gi ve you hi s apol ogi es, Mi ss
Par ker . He' s goi ng t o
be t i ed up i n meet i ngs al l day. He' l l be happy t o meet
wi t h you at your
conveni ence t omor r ow. "
" Fi ne, " J enni f er sai d. " Thank you. "
The cal l sounded an al ar mi n J enni f er ' s mi nd. Her
i nst i nct s had been r i ght .
Pat r i ck Magui r e was up t o somet hi ng.
" Hol d al l my cal l s, " she t ol d Cynt hi a.
She l ocked her sel f i n her of f i ce, paci ng back and f or t h,
t r yi ng t o t hi nk of
ever y possi bl e angl e. Pat r i ck Magui r e had f i r st t ol d
J enni f er she had no
case. Wi t h al most no per suasi on, he had t hen agr eed t o
pay Conni e Gar r et t
t wo mi l l i on dol l ar s. J enni f er r emember ed how uneasy she
had been at t he
t i me. Si nce t hen, Pat r i ck Magui r e had been unavai l abl e.
Fi r st London- i f he
had r eal l y gone t o London- and t hen t he conf er ences t hat
had kept hi mf r om
r et ur ni ng J enni f er ' s t el ephone cal l s al l week. And now
anot her del ay.
But why? The onl y r eason woul d be i f J enni f er st opped
paci ng and pi cked up
t he i nt er of f i ce t el ephone and cal l ed Dan Mar t i n.
" Check on t he dat e of Conni e Gar r et t ' s acci dent , woul d
you, Dan? I want t o
know when t he st at ut e of l i mi t at i ons i s up. "
Twent y mi nut es l at er , Dan Mar t i n wal ked i nt o J enni f er ' s
of f i ce, hi s f ace
whi t e.
" We bl ew i t , " he sai d. " Your hunch was r i ght . The
st at ut e of l i mi t at i ons
r an out t oday. "
She f el t suddenl y si ck. " Ther e' s no chance of a
mi st ake?"
" None. I ' msor r y, J enni f er . One of us shoul d have
checked i t out bef or e.
I t - i t j ust never occur r ed t o me. "
196 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Or me" J enni f er pi cked up t he t el ephone and di al ed a
number . " Pat r i ck
Magui r e, pl ease. J enni f er Par ker . "
She wai t ed f or what seemed an et er ni t y, and t hen she
sai d br i ght l y i nt o t he
t el ephone, " Hel l o t her e, Mr . Magui r e. How was London?"
She l i st ened. " No,
r ve never been t her e . . . Ah, wel l , one of t hese days .
. . The r eason I ' m
cal l i ng, " she sai d casual l y, " i s t hat I j ust t al ked t o
Conni e Gar r et t . As
I t ol d you bef or e, she r eal l y doesn' t want t o go t o
cour t unl ess she has
t o. So i f we coul d set t l e t hi s t oday='
Pat r i ck Magui r e' s l augh boomed t hr ough t he r ecei ver .
" Ni ce t r y, Mi ss
Par ker . The st at ut e of l i mi t at i ons i s up t oday. No one
i s goi ng t o sue
anybody. I f you' d l i ke t o set t l e f or a l unch somet i me we
can t al k about t he
f i ckl e f i nger of f at e. "
J enni f er t r i ed t o keep t he anger out of her voi ce.
" That ' s a pr et t y r ot t en
t r i ck, f r i end. "
" I t ' s a pr et t y r ot t en wor l d, f r i end, " Pat r i ck Magui r e
chuckl ed.
" I t ' s not how you pl ay t he game, i t ' s whet her you wi n or
not , r i ght ?"
" You' r e pr et t y good, honey, but I ve been at i t a l ot
l onger t han you. Tel l
your . cl i ent I sai d bet t er l uck neat t i me. "
And he r ang of f .
J enni f er sat t her e hol di ng t he t el ephone i n her hand.
She t hought of Conni e
Gar r et t si t t i ng at home, wai t i ng f or t he news.
J enni f er ' s head began t o
pound and a f i l mof per spi r at i on popped out on her
f or ehead. She r eached i n
her desk dr awer f or an aspi r i n and l ooked at t he cl ock
on t he wal l . I t was
f our o' cl ock. They had unt i l f i ve o' cl ock t o f i l e wi t h
t he Cl er k of t he
Super i or Cour t .
" How l ong woul d i t t ake you t o pr epar e t he f i l i ng?"
J enni f er asked Dan
Mar t i n, who st ood t her e suf f er i ng wi t h her .
He f ol l owed her gl ance. " At l east t hr ee hour s. Maybe
f our . Ther e' s no way: "
Ther e has t o be a way, J enni f er t hought .
SI DNEY SHELDON 197
J enni f er sai d, " Doesn' t Nat i onwi de have br anches al l
over t he Uni t ed
St at es?"
" Yes. "
" I t ' s onl y one o' cl ock i n San Fr anci sco. We' l l f i l e
agai nst t hemt her e and
ask f or a change of venue l at er . "
Dan Mar t i n shook hi s head. " J enni f er , al l t he paper s ar e
her e. I f we got a
f i r mi n San Fr anci sco and br i ef ed t hemon what we need
and t hey dr ew up new
paper s, t her e' s no way t hey coul d make t he f i ve o' cl ock
deadl i ne. "
Somet hi ng i n her r ef used t o gi ve up. " What t i me i s i t i n
Hawai i ?"
" El even i n t he mor ni ng. "
J enni f er ' s headache di sappear ed as i f by magi c, and she
l eapt f r omher
chai r i n exci t ement . " That ' s i t , t hen! Fi nd out i f
Nat i onwi de does busi ness
t her e. They must have a f act or y, sal es of f i ce,
gar age- anyt hi ng. I f t hey do,
we f i l e t her e. "
Dan Mar t i n st ar ed at her f or a moment and t hen hi s f ace
l i t up. " Got cha! "
He was al r eady hur r yi ng t owar d t he door .
J enni f er coul d st i l l hear Pat r i ck Magui r e' s smug t one on
t he t el ephone.
Tel l your cl i ent , bet t er l uck next t i me. Ther e woul d
never be a next t i me
f or Conni e Gar r et t . I t had t o be now.
Thi r t y mi nut es l at er J enni f er ' s i nt er combuzzed and Dan
Mar t i n sai d
exci t edl y, " Nat i onwi de Mot or s manuf act ur es t hei r dr i ve
shaf t s on t he i sl and
of Oahu. "
" We' ve got t hem! Get hol d of a l aw f i r mt her e and have
t hemf i l e t he paper s
i mmedi at el y. "
" Di d you have any speci al f i r mi n mi nd?"
" No. Pi ck someone out of Mar t i ndal e- Hubbel l . J ust make
sur e t hey ser ve t he
paper s on t he l ocal at t or ney f or Nat i onal . Have t hem
cal l us back t he
mi nut e t hose paper s ar e f i l ed. I ' l l be wai t i ng her e i n
t he of f i ce. "
" Anyt hi ng el se I can do?"
" Pr ay: '
s s
198 RAGE OF ANGELS
The cal l f r omHawai i came at t en o' cl ock t hat eveni ng.
J enni f er gr abbed t he
phone and a sof t voi ce sai d, " Mi ss J enni f er Par ker ,
pl ease. "
" Speaki ng. "
" Thi s i s Mi ss Sung of t he l aw f i r mof Gr egg and Hoy i n
Oahu. We want ed t o
l et you know t hat f i f t een. mi nut es ago we ser ved t he
paper s you r equest ed on
t he at t or ney f or Nat i onwi de Mot or s Cor por at i on: "
J enni f er exhal ed sl owl y. " Thank you. Thank you ver y
much. "
Cynt hi a sent i n J oey La Guar di a. J enni f er had never seen
t he man bef or e. He
had t el ephoned, aski ng her t o r epr esent hi mi n an
assaul t case. He was
shor t , compact l y bui l t and wor e an expensi ve sui t t hat
l ooked as t hough i t
had been car ef ul l y t ai l or ed f or someone el se. He had an
enor mous di amond
r i ng on hi s l i t t l e f i nger .
La Guar di a smi l ed wi t h yel l owed t eet h and sai d, " I come
t o you ' cause I
need some hel p. Anybody can make a mi st ake, r i ght , Mi ss
Par ker ? The cops
pi cked me up ' cause I di d a l i t t l e number on a coupl a
guys, but I t hought
t hey was out t o get me, you know? The al l ey was dar k and
when I seen t hem
comi n' at me- wel l , i t ' s a r ough nei ghbor hood down t her e.
I j umped t hem
bef or e t hey coul d j ump me. "
Ther e was somet hi ng about hi s manner t hat J enni f er f ound
di st ast ef ul and
f al se. He was t r yi ng t oo har d t o be i ngr at i at i ng.
He pul l ed out a l ar ge wad of money.
" Her e. A gr and down an' anot her gr and when we go t o
cour t . Okay?"
" My cal endar i s f ul l f or t he next f ew mont hs. Tl l be
gl ad t o r ecommend some
ot her at t or neys t o you. "
Hi s manner became i nsi st ent . " No. I don' t want nobody
el se. You' r e t he
best . "
" For a si mpl e assaul t char ge you don' t need t he best . "
" Hey, l i st en, " he sai d, " I ' l l gi ve you mor e money. "
Ther e
SI DNEY SHELDON 199
was a, , desper at i on i s hi s voi ce. " Two gr and down and- "
J enni f er pr essed t he buzzer under her desk and Cynt hi a
wal ked i n. " Mr . La
Guar di a' s l eavi ng, Cynt hi a. "
J oey La Guar di a gl ar ed at J enni f er f or a l ong moment ,
scooped up hi s money
and t hr ust i t back i n. hi s pocket . He wal ked out of t he
of f i ce wi t hout a
wor d. J enni f er pr essed t he i nt er combut t on.
" Ken, coul d you pl ease come i n her e a mi nut e?"
I t t ook Ken Bai l ey l ess t han t hi r t y mi nut es t o get a
compl et e r epor t on
J oey La Guar di a.
" He' s got a r ap sheet a mi l e l ong, " he t ol d J enni f er .
" He' s been i n and out
of t he pen si nce he was si xt een. " He gl anced at t he
pi ece of paper i n hi s
hand. " He' s out on bai l . He was pi cked up l ast week f or
assaul t and
bat t er y. He beat up t wo ol d men who owed t he
Or gani zat i on money. "
Ever yt hi ng suddenl y cl i cked i nt o pl ace. " J oey La Guar di a
wor ks f or t he
Or gani zat i on?"
" He' s one of Mi chael Mor et t i ' s enf or cer s. "
J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h a col d f ur y. " Can you get me
t he t el ephone number
of Mi chael Mor et t i ?"
Fi ve mi nut es l at er , J enni f er was speaki ng t o Mor et t i .
" Wel l , t hi s i s an unexpect ed pl easur e, Mi ss Par ker . I ='
" Mr . Mor et t i , I don' t l i ke bei ng set up. "
" What ar e you t al ki ng about ?"
" Li st en t o me. And l i st en wel l . I ' mnot f or sal e. Not
now, not ever . I
won' t r epr esent you or anyone who wor ks f or you. Al l I
want i s f or you t o
l eave me al one. I s t hat cl ear ?"
" Can I ask you a quest i on?"
" Go ahead. "
" Wi l l you have l unch wi t h me?"
J enni f er hung up on hi m.
Cynt hi a' s voi ce came over t he i nt er com. " A Mr . Pat r i ck
Magui r e i s her e t o
see you, Mi ss Par ker . He has no appoi nt ment , but he
sai d='
200 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er smi l ed t o her sel f . " Have Mr . Magui r e wai t . "
She r emember ed t hei r conver sat i on on t he t el ephone. I t ' s
not how you pl ay
t he game, i t ' s whet her you wi n or not , r i ght ? You' r e
pr et t y good, honey,
but I ' ve been at i t a t ot l onger t han you. Tel l your
cl i ent 1 sai d bet t er
l uck next t i me.
J enni f er kept Pat r i ck Magui r e wai t i ng f or f or t y- f i ve
mi nut es, and t hen
buzzed Cynt hi a.
" Send Mr . Magui r e i n, pl ease. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e' s geni al manner was gone. He had been
out wi t t ed, and he was
angr y and di d not bot her t o conceal i t .
He wal ked over t o J enni f er ' s desk and snapped, " You' r e
causi ng me a l ot of
pr obl ems, f r i end: "
" AmI , f r i end?"
He sat down, uni nvi t ed. " Let ' s st op pl ayi ng games. I had
a cal l f r omt he
gener al counsel of Nat i onwi de Mot or s. I under est i mat ed
you. My cl i ent i s
wi l l i ng t o make a set t l ement . " He r eached i nt o hi s
pocket , pul l ed out an
envel ope and handed i t t o J enni f er . She opened i t .
I nsi de was a cer t i f i ed
check made out t o Conni e Gar r et t . I t was f or one hundr ed
t housand dol l ar s.
J enni f er sl i pped t he check back i n t he envel ope and
r et ur ned i t t o Pat r i ck
Magui r e.
" I t ' s not enough. We' r e sui ng f or f i ve mi l l i on
dol l ar s: "
Magui r e gr i nned. " No, you' r e not . Because your cl i ent ' s
not goi ng i nt o
cour t . I j ust pai d her a vi si t . Ther e' s no way you can
ever get t hat gi r l
i nt o a cour t r oom. She' s t er r i f i ed and, wi t hout her , you
haven' t got a
chance. "
J enni f er sai d angr i l y, " You had no r i ght t o t al k t o
Conni e Gar r et t wi t hout
my bei ng pr esent . "
" I was onl y t r yi ng t o do ever ybody a f avor . Take t he
money and r un,
f r i end. "
J enni f er got t o her f eet . " Get out of her e. You t ur n my
st omach. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e r ose. " I di dn' t know your st omach coul d
be t ur ned. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 201
And he wal ked out , t aki ng t he check wi t h hi m.
Wat chi ng hi mgo, J enni f er wonder ed whet her she had made
a t er r i bl e mi st ake.
She t hought of what a hundr ed t housand dol l ar s coul d do
f or Conni e Gar r et t .
But i t was not enough. Not f or what t hat gi r l woul d have
t o endur e ever y
day f or t he r est of her l i f e.
J enni f er knew t hat Pat r i ck Magui r e was r i ght about one
t hi ng. Wi t hout
Conni e Gar r et t i n t he cour t r oom, t her e was no chance
t hat a j ur y woul d
r et ur n a ver di ct f or f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s. Wor ds coul d
never per suade t hem
of t he hor r or of her l i f e. J enni f er needed t he i mpact of
Conni e Gar r et t ' s
pr esence i n t he cour t r oom, wi t h t he j ur y l ooki ng at her
day af t er day; but
t her e was no way J enni f er coul d per suade t he young woman
t o go i nt o cour t .
She had t o f i nd anot her sol ut i on.
Adamt el ephoned.
" r msor r y I coul dn' t cal l you bef or e, " he apol ogi zed.
" r ve been havi ng
meet i ngs on t he Senat e r ace and- "
" I t ' s al l r i ght , dar l i ng. I under st and: " I ' ve got t o
under st and, she
t hought .
" I mi ss you so much. "
" I mi ss you, t oo, Adam. " You' l l never know how much.
" I want t o see you. "
J enni f er want ed t o say, When? but she wai t ed.
Adamwent on. " I have t o go t o Al bany t hi s af t er noon.
r l l cal l you when I
get back. "
" Al l r i ght . " Ther e was not hi ng el se she coul d say. Ther e
was not hi ng she
coul d do.
At f our o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng, J enni f er awakened f r oma
t er r i bl e dr eamand
knew how she was goi ng t o wi n f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s f or
Conni e Gar r et s
202 Rage of Angel s
" We' ve set up a ser i es of f und- r ai si ng di nner s acr oss
t he st at e. We' l l hi t
t he l ar ger t owns onl y. We' l l get t o t he whi st l est ops
t hr ough a f ew nat i onal
t el evi si on shows l i ke Face The Nat i on, t he Today show
and Meet t he Pr ess.
We f i gur e t hat we can pi ck up- Adam, ar e you l i st eni ng?"
Adamt ur ned t o St ewar t Needhamand t he ot her t hr ee men
i n t he conf er ence
r oom- t op medi a exper t s, Needhamhad assur ed hi m- and
sai d, " Yes, of cour se,
St ewar t . "
He had been t hi nki ng of somet hi ng el se ent i r el y.
J enni f er . He want ed her
her e at hi s si de, shar i ng t he exci t ement of t he
campai gn, shar i ng t hi s
moment , shar i ng hi s l i f e.
Adamhad t r i ed sever al t i mes t o di scuss hi s si t uat i on
wi t h St ewar t Needham,
but each t i me hi s par t ner had managed t o change t he
subj ect .
Adamsat t her e t hi nki ng about J enni f er and Mar y Bet h. He
knew t hat i t was
unf ai r t o compar e t hem, but i t was i mpossi bl e not t o.
J enni f er i s st i mul at i ng t o be wi t h. She' s i nt er est ed i n
ever y-
202
SI DNEY SHELDON 203
t hi ng and makes me f eel al i ve. Mar y Bet h l i ves i n her own
pr i vat e l i t t l e
wor l d . . .
J enni f er and 1 have a t housand t hi ngs i n common. Mar y
Bet h and 1 have
not hi ng i n common but our mar r i age . . .
1 l ove J enni f er ' s sense of humor . She knows how t o l augh
at her sel f . Mar y
Bet h t akes ever yt hi ng ser i ousl y . . .
J enni f er makes me f eel young. Mar y Bet h seems ol der t han
her year s . . .
J enni f er i s sel f - r el i ant . Mar y Bet h depends on me t o
t el l her what t o do .
. .
Fi ve i mpor t ant di f f er ences bet ween t he woman I ' mi n l ove
wi t h and my wi f e.
Fi ve r easons why I can never l eave Mar y Bet h.
19
On a Wednesday mor ni ng i n ear l y August t he t r i al of
Conni e Gar r et t v.
Nat i onwi de Mot or s Cor por at i on began. Or di nar i l y, t he
t r i al woul d onl y have
been wor t h a par agr aph or t wo i n t he newspaper s, but
because J enni f er
Par ker was r epr esent i ng t he pl ai nt i f f , t he medi a wer e
out i n f ul l f or ce.
Pat r i ck Magui r e sat at t he def ense t abl e, sur r ounded by
a bat t er y of
assi st ant s dr essed i n conser vat i ve gr ay sui t s.
The pr ocess of sel ect i ng a j ur y began. Magui r e was
casual , al most t o t he
poi nt of i ndi f f er ence, f or he knew t hat Conni e Gar r et t
was not goi ng t o
appear i n cour t . The si ght of a beaut i f ul young
quadr upl e amput ee woul d
have been a power f ul emot i onal l ever wi t h whi ch t o pr y a
l ar ge sumof money
out of a j ur y- but t her e woul d be no gi r l and no l ever .
Thi s t i me, Magui r e t hought , J enni f er Par ker has
out smar t ed her sel f .
The j ur y was i mpanel ed and t he t r i al got under way.
Pat r i ck Magui r e made hi s
openi ng st at ement and J enni f er had t o admi t t o her sel f
t hat he was ver y
good i ndeed. He
204
SI DNEY SHELDON 205
dwel t at l engt h on t he pl i ght of poor young Conni e
Gar r et t , sayi ng al l t he
t hi ngs t hat J enni f er had pl anned t o say, st eal i ng her
emot i onal t hunder . He
spoke of t he acci dent , st r essi ng t he f act t hat Conni e
Gar r et t had sl i pped on
i ce and t hat t he t r uck dr i ver had not been at f aul t .
" The pl ai nt i f f i s aski ng you l adi es and gent l emen t o
awar d her f i ve mi l l i on
dol l ar s. " Magui r e shook hi s head i ncr edul ousl y. " Fi ve
mi l l i on dol l ar s! Have
you ever seen t hat much money? I haven' t . My f i r m
handl es some af f l uent
cl i ent s, but I want t o t el l you t hat i n al l my year s of
pr act i ci ng l aw, I
have never even seen one mi l l i on dol l ar s- or hal f a
mi l l i on dol l ar s"
He coul d see by t he l ooks on t he f aces of t he j ur or s
t hat nei t her had t hey.
" The def ense i s goi ng t o br i ng wi t nesses i n her e who
wi l l t el l you how t he
acci dent happened. And i t was an acci dent . Bef or e we' r e
t hr ough, we' l l show
you t hat Nat i onwi de Mot or s had no cul pabi l i t y i n t hi s
mat t er . You wi l l have
not i ced t hat t he per son br i ngi ng t he sui t , Conni e
Gar r et t , i s not i n cour t
t oday. Her at t or ney has i nf or med J udge Si l ver man t hat
she wi l l not make an
appear ance at al l . Conni e Gar r et t i s not i n t hi s
cour t r oomt oday wher e she
bel ongs, but I can t el l you wher e she i s. Ri ght now, as
I ' mst andi ng her e
t al ki ng t o you, Conni e Gar r et t i s si t t i ng at home
count i ng t he money she
t hi nks you' r e goi ng t o gi ve her . She' s wai t i ng f or her
t el ephone t o r i ng
and f or her at t or ney t o t el l her how many mi l l i ons of
dol l ar s she sucker ed
out of you.
" You and I know t hat any t i me t her e' s an acci dent wher e
a bi g cor por at i on
i s i nvol ved- no mat t er how i ndi r ect l yt her e ar e peopl e who
ar e i mmedi at el y
goi ng t o say, `Why, t hat company i s r i ch. I t can af f or d
i t . Let ' s t ake i t
f or al l we can: '
Pat r i ck Magui r e paused.
" Conni e Gar r et t ' s not i n t hi s cour t r oomt oday because
she coul dn' t f ace
you. She knows t hat what she' s t r yi ng t o do i s i mmor al .
Wel l , we' r e goi ng
t o send her away empt y- handed
206 RAGE OF ANGELS
as a l esson t o ot her peopl e who mi ght be t empt ed t o t r y
t he same t hi ng i n
t he f ut ur e. A per son has t o t ake r esponsi bi l i t y f or hi s
or her own act i ons.
I f you sl i p on a pi ece of i ce on t he st r eet , you can' t
bl ame bi g br ot her f or
i t . And you shoul dn' t t r y t o swi ndl e f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s
out of hi m. Thank
you: '
He t ur ned t o bow t o J enni f er , and t hen wal ked over t o
t he def ense t abl e and
sat down.
J enni f er r ose t o her f eet and appr oached t he j ur y. She
st udi ed t hei r f aces,
t r yi ng t o eval uat e t he i mpr essi on t hat Pat r i ck Magui r e
had made.
" My est eemed col l eague has t ol d you t hat Conni e Gar r et t
wi l l not be i n t hi s
cour t r oomdur i ng t he t r i al . That i s cor r ect . " J enni f er
poi nt ed t o an empt y
space at t he pl ai nt i f f ' s t abl e. " That i s wher e Conni e
Gar r et t woul d be
si t t i ng i f she wer e her e. Not i n t hat chai r . I n a
speci al wheel chai r . The
chai r she l i ves i n. Conni e Gar r et t won' t be i n t hi s
cour t r oom, but bef or e
t hi s t r i al i s over you wi l l al l have an oppor t uni t y t o
meet her and get t o
know her as I have got t en t o know her . "
Ther e was a puzzl ed f r own on Pat r i ck Magui r e' s f ace. He
l eaned over and
whi sper ed t o one of hi s assi st ant s.
J enni f er was goi ng on. " i l i st ened as Mr . Magui r e spoke
so el oquent l y, and
I want t o t el l you I was t ouched. I f ound my hear t
bl eedi ng f or t hi s
mul t i bi l l i on- dol l ar cor por at i on t hat ' s bei ng mer ci l essl y
at t acked by t hi s
t went y- f our - year - ol d woman who has no ar ms or l egs. Thi s
woman who, at t hi s
ver y moment i s si t t i ng at home, gr eedi l y awai t i ng t hat
t el ephone cal l t hat
wi l l t el l her she' s r i ch. " J enni f er ' s voi ce dr opped.
" Ri ch t o do what ? Go out and buy di amonds f or t he hands
she doesn' t have?
Buy danci ng shoes f or t he f eet she doesn' t have? Buy
beaut i f ul dr esses t hat
she can never wear ? A Rol l s Royce t o t ake her t o par t i es
she' s not i nvi t ed
t o? J ust t hi nk of al l t he f un she' s goi ng t o have wi t h
t hat money. "
J enni f er spoke ver y qui et l y and si ncer el y as her eyes
moved sl owl y acr oss
t he f aces of t he j ur or s. " Mr . Magui r e has never seen
f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s
at one t i me. Nei t her have I . But I ' l l
SI DNEY SHELDON 207
t el l you t hi s. I f I wer e t o of f er any one of you f i ve
mi l l i on dol l ar s i n
cash r i ght now, and al l I want ed i n exchange was t o cut
of f bot h your ar ms
and bot h your l egs, I don' t t hi nk f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s
woul d seeml i ke ver y
much money . . . .
" The l aw i n t hi s case i s ver y cl ear , " J enni f er
expl ai ned. " I n an ear l i er
t r i al , whi ch t he pl ai nt i f f l ost , t he def endant s wer e
awar e of a def ect i n
t he br aki ng syst emi n t hei r t r ucks, and t hey wi t hhel d
t hat knowl edge f r om
t he def endant and f r omt he cour t . I n doi ng so, t hey
act ed i l l egal l y. That
i s t he basi s f or t hi s new t r i al . Accor di ng t o a r ecent
gover nment sur vey,
t he bi ggest cont r i but or s t o t r uck acci dent s i nvol ve
wheel s and t i r es,
br akes and st eer i ng syst ems. I f you wi l l j ust exami ne
t hese f i gur es f or a
moment . . . "
Pat r i ck Magui r e was appr ai si ng t he j ur y and he was an
exper t at i t . As
J enni f er dr oned on about t he st at i st i cs, Magui r e coul d
t el l t hat t he j ur or s
wer e get t i ng bor ed wi t h t hi s t r i al . I t was becomi ng t oo
t echni cal . The
t r i al was no l onger about a cr i ppl ed gi r l . I t was about
t r ucks and br aki ng
di st ances and f aul t y br ake dr ums. The j ur or s wer e l osi ng
i nt er est .
Magui r e gl anced over at J enni f er and t hought , She' s not
as cl ever as she' s
r eput ed t o be. Magui r e knew t hat i f be had been on t he
ot her si de def endi ng
Conni e Gar r et t , he woul d have i gnor ed t he st at i st i cs and
mechani cal
pr obl ems and pl ayed on t he j ur y' s emot i ons. J enni f er
Par ker had done ex-
act l y t he opposi t e.
Pat r i ck Magui r e l eaned back i n hi s chai r now and
r el axed.
J enni f er was appr oachi ng t he bench. " Your Honor , wi t h
t he cour t ' s
per mi ssi on, I have an exhi bi t I woul d l i ke t o
i nt r oduce. "
" What ki nd of . exhi bi t ?" J udge Si l ver man asked.
" When t hi s t r i al began I pr omi sed t he j ur y t hat t hey
woul d get t o know
Conni e Gar r et t . Si nce she i s unabl e t o be her e i n
per son, I woul d l i ke
per mi ssi on t o show some pi ct ur es of her . " .
J udge Si l ver man sai d, " I see no obj ect i on t o t hat . " He
208 RAGE OF ANGELS
t ur ned t o Pat r i ck Magui r e. " Does t he at t or ney f or t he
def ense have any
obj ect i on?"
Pat r i ck Magui r e got t o hi s f eet , movi ng sl owl y, t hi nki ng
f ast . " What ki nd
of pi ct ur es?"
J enni f er sai d, " A f ew pi ct ur es t aken of Conni e Gar r et t
at home. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e woul d have pr ef er r ed not t o have t he
pi ct ur es, but on t he
ot her hand, phot ogr aphs of a cr i ppl ed gi r l si t t i ng i n a
wheel chai r wer e
cer t ai nl y a l ot l ess dr amat i c t han t he act ual appear ance
of t he gi r l
her sel f woul d have been. And t her e was anot her f act or t o
consi der : I f he
obj ect ed, i t woul d make hi ml ook unsympat het i c i n t he
eyes of t he j ur y.
He sai d gener ousl y, " By al l means, show t he pi ct ur es. "
" Thank you: '
J enni f er t ur ned t o Dan Mar t i n and nodded. Two men i n t he
back r ow moved
f or war d wi t h a por t abl e scr een and a mot i on pi ct ur e
pr oj ect or and began t o
set t hemup.
Pat r i ck Magui r e st ood up, sur pr i sed. " Wai t a mi nut el
What i s t hi s?"
J enni f er r epl i ed i nnocent l y, " The pi ct ur es you j ust
agr eed t o l et me show. "
Pat r i ck Magui r e st ood t her e, si l ent l y f umi ng. J enni f er
had sai d not hi ng
about mot i on pi ct ur es. But i t was t oo l at e t o obj ect . He
nodded cur t l y and
sat down agai n.
J enni f er had t he scr een posi t i oned so t he j ur y and J udge
Si l ver man coul d
see i t cl ear l y.
" May we have t he r oomdar kened, Your Honor ?"
The j udge si gnal ed t he bai l i f f and t he shades wer e
l ower ed. J enni f er wal ked
over t o t he 16mmpr oj ect or and t ur ned i t on, and t he
scr een came t o l i f e.
For t he next t hi r t y mi nut es t her e was not a sound t o be
hear d i n t he
cour t r oom. J enni f er had hi r ed a pr of essi onal camer aman
and a young di r ect or
of commer ci al s t o make t he f i l m. They had phot ogr aphed a
day i n t he l i f e of
Conni e
SI DNEY SHELDON 209
Gar r et t , and i t was a st ar k, r eal i st i c hor r or st or y.
Not hi ng had been l ef t
t o t he i magi nat i on. The f i l mshowed t he beaut i f ul young
amput ee bei ng t aken
out of bed i n t he mor ni ng, bei ng ear ned t o t he t oi l et ,
bei ng cl ear ed l i ke a
smal l , hel pl ess baby . . . bei ng bat hed . . . bei ng f ed
and dr essed . . . .
J enni f er had seen t he f i l mover and over and now, as she
wat ched i t agai n,
she f el t t he same l ump i n her t hr oat and her eyes f i l l ed
wi t h t ear s, and she
knew t hat i t must be havi ng t he same ef f ect on t he j udge
and t he j ur y and
t he spect at or s i n t he cour t r oom.
When t he f i l mwas ended, J enni f er t ur ned t o J udge
Si l ver man. " The pl ai nt i f f
r est s. "
The j ur y had been out f or mor e t han t en hour s, and wi t h
each passi ng hour
J enni f er ' s spi r i t s sank l ower . She had been sur e of an
i mmedi at e ver di ct .
I f t hey had been as af f ect ed by t he f i l mas she had
been, a ver di ct shoul d
not have t aken mor e t han an hour or t wo.
When t he j ur y had f i l ed out , Pat r i ck Magui r e had been
f r ant i c, cer t ai n t hat
he had l ost hi s case, t hat he had under est i mat ed
J enni f er Par ker once
agai n. But as t he hour s passed and t he j ur y st i l l di d
not r et ur n, Magui r e' s
hopes began t o r i se. I t woul d not have t aken t he j ur y
t hi s l ong t o make an
emot i onal deci si on. " We' r e goi ng t o be al l r i ght . The
l onger t hey' r e i n
t her e ar gui ng, t he mor e t hei r emot i ons ar e goi ng t o cool
of f . "
A f ew mi nut es bef or e mi dni ght , t he f or eman sent a not e
t o J udge Si l ver man
f or a l egal r ul i ng. The j udge st udi ed t he r equest , t hen
l ooked up. " Wi l l
bot h at t or neys appr oach t he bench, pl ease?"
When J enni f er and Pat r i ck Magui r e wer e st andi ng i n f r ont
of hi m, J udge
Si l ver man sai d, " I want t o appr i se you of a not e I have
j ust r ecei ved f r om
t he f or eman. The j ur y i s ask-
210 RAGE OF ANGELS
i ng whet her t hey ar e l egal l y per mi t t ed t o awar d Conni e
Gar r et t mor e t han t he
f i ve mi l l i on dol l ar s her at t or ney i s sui ng f or . "
J enni f er f el t suddenl y gi ddy. Her hear t began t o soar .
She t ur ned t o l ook
at Pat r i ck Magui r e. Hi s f ace was dr ai ned of col or .
" I ' mi nf or mi ng t hem, " J udge Si l ver man sai d, " t hat i t i s
wi t hi n t hei r
pr ovi nce t o set any amount t hey f eel i s j ust i f i ed. "
Thi r t y mi nut es l at er t he j ur y f i l ed back i nt o t he
cour t r oom. The f or eman
announced t hey had f ound i n f avor of t he pl ai nt i f f . The
amount of damages
she was ent i t l ed t o was si x mi l l i on dol l ar s.
I t was t he l ar gest per sonal i nj ur y awar d i n t he hi st or y
of t he St at e of New
Yor k.
20
When J enni f er wal ked i nt o her of f i ce t he f ol l owi ng
mor ni ng she f ound an
ar r ay of newspaper s spr ead acr oss her desk. She was on
t he f r ont page of
ever y one of t hem. Ther e wer e f our dozen beaut i f ul r ed
r oses i n a vase.
J enni f er smi l ed. Adamhad f ound t i me t o send her
f l ower s.
She opened t he car d. I t r ead: Congr at ul at i ons. Mi chael
Mor et t i .
The i nt er combuzzed and Cynt hi a sai d, " Mr . Adams i s on
t he l i ne. "
J enni f er gr abbed t he t el ephone. She t r i ed t o keep her
voi ce cal m. " Hel l o,
dar l i ng. "
" You' ve done i t agai n. "
" I got l ucky. "
" Your cl i ent got l ucky. Lucky t o have you as an
at t or ney. You must be
f eel i ng wonder f ul . "
Wi nni ng cases made her f eel good. Bei ng wi t h Adammade
her f eel wonder f ul .
" Yes. "
" I have somet hi ng i mpor t ant t o t el l you, " Adamsai d.
" Can you meet me f or
a dr i nk t hi s af t er noon?"
211
212 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er ' s hear t sank. Ther e was onl y one t hi ng Adam
coul d have t o t el l
her : He was never goi ng t o see her agai n.
" Yes. Yes, of cour se . . : "
" Mar i o' s? Si x o' cl ock?"
" Fi ne. "
She gave t he r oses t o Cynt hi a.
Adamwas wai t i ng i n t he r est aur ant , seat ed at a back
t abl e. So he won' t be
embar r assed i f 1 get hyst er i cal , J enni f er t hought . Wel l ,
she was det er mi ned
not t o cr y. Not i n f r ont of Adam.
She coul d t el l f r omhi s gaunt , haggar d f ace what he had
been goi ng t hr ough,
and she i nt ended t o make t hi s as easy as possi bl e f or
hi m. J enni f er sat
down and Adamt ook her hand i n hi s.
" Mar y Bet h i s gi vi ng me a di vor ce, " Adamsai d, and
J enni f er st ar ed at hi m,
speechl ess.
I t was Mar y Bet h who had begun t he conver sat i on. They
had r et ur ned f r oma
f und- r ai si ng di nner wher e Adamhad been t he mai n
speaker . The eveni ng had
been an enor mous success. Mar y Bet h had been qui et
dur i ng t he r i de home, a
cur i ous t ensi on about her .
Adamsai d, " I t hought t he eveni ng went wel l , di dn' t you?"
" Yes, Adam. "
Not hi ng mor e was sai d unt i l t hey r eached t he house.
" Woul d you l i ke a ni ght cap?" Adamasked.
" No, t hank you. I t hi nk we shoul d have a t al k. "
" Oh? About what ?"
She l ooked at hi mand sai d, " About you and J enni f er
Par ker . "
I t was l i ke a physi cal bl ow. Adamhesi t at ed f or a
moment , wonder i ng whet her
t o deny i t or -
" I ' ve known i t f or some t i me. I haven' t sai d anyt hi ng
because I want ed t o
make up my mi nd about what t o do. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 213
" Mar y Bet h, I ='
" Pl ease l et me f i ni sh. I know t hat our r el at i onshi p
hasn' t been- - wel l - - al l
we hoped i t woul d be. I n some ways, per haps I haven' t
been as good a wi f e
as I shoul d have been. "
" Not hi ng t hat ' s happened i s your f aul t . I - "
" Pl ease, Adam. Thi s i s ver y di f f i cul t f or me. r ve made a
deci si on. I mnot
goi ng t o st and i n your way. "
He l ooked at her unbel i evi ngl y. " I don' t ='
" I l ove you t oo much t o hur t you. You have a br i l l i ant
pol i t i cal f ut ur e
ahead of you. I don' t want anyt hi ng t o spoi l t hat .
Obvi ousl y, I ' mnot
maki ng you compl et el y happy. I f J enni f er Par ker can make
you happy, I want
you t o have her . "
He had a f eel i ng of unr eal i t y, as t hough t he whol e
conver sat i on wer e t aki ng
pl ace under wat er . " What wi l l happen t o you?"
Mar y Bet h smi l ed. " r l l be f i ne, Adam. Don' t wor r y about
me. I have my own
pl ans. "
" I - I don' t know what t o say. "
" Ther e' s no need t o say anyt hi ng. r ve sai d i t al l f or
bot h of us. I f I hel d
on t o you and made you mi ser abl e, i t woul dn' t do ei t her
of us any good,
woul d i t ? I ' msur e J enni f er ' s l ovel y or you woul dn' t
f eel about her t he way
you do. " Mar y Bet h wal ked over t o hi mand t ook hi mi n
her ar ms. " Don' t l ook
so st r i cken, Adam. What I ' mdoi ng i s t he best t hi ng f or
ever yone. "
" You' r e r emar kabl e. "
" Thank you. " She gent l y t r aced hi s f ace wi t h her
f i nger t i ps and smi l ed. " My
dear est Adam. Pl l al ways be your best f r i end. Al ways. "
Then she came cl oser
and put her head on hi s shoul der . He coul d har dl y hear
her sof t voi ce.
" I t ' s been such a l ong t i me si nce you hel d me i n your
ar ms, Adam. You
woul dn' t have t o t el l me you l ove me, but woul d youwoul d
you l i ke t o- hol d
me i n your ar ms once mor e and make l ove t o me? Our l ast
t i me t oget her ?"
214 RAGE OF ANGELS
Adamwas t hi nki ng of t hi s now as he sai d t o J enni f er ,
" The di vor ce was Mar y
Bet h' s i dea. "
Adamwent on t al ki ng, but J enni f er was no l onger
l i st eni ng t o t he wor ds;
she was onl y hear i ng t he musi c. She f el t as t hough she
wer e f l oat i ng,
soar i ng. She had st eel ed her sel f f or Adamt o t el l her he
coul d never see
her agai n- and now t hi s! I t was t oo much t o absor b. She
knew how pai nf ul t he
scene wi t h Mar y Bet h must have been f or Adam, and
J enni f er had never l oved
Adammor e t han she di d at t hi s moment . She f el t as
t hough a cr ushi ng l oad
had been l i f t ed f r omher chest , as t hough she coul d
br eat he agai n.
Adamwas sayi ng, " Mar y Bet h was wonder f ul about i t .
She' s an i ncr edi bl e
woman. She' s genui nel y happy f or bot h of us. "
" That ' s har d t o bel i eve. "
" You don' t under st and. For some t i me now we' ve l i ved
mor e l i ke . . .
br ot her and si st er . I ' ve never di scussed i t wi t h you,
but - - - 2' he hesi t at ed
and sai d car ef ul l y, " Mar y Bet h doesn' t have st r ong . . .
dr i ves. "
" I see. "
" She' d l i ke t o meet you. "
The t hought of i t di st ur bed J enni f er . " I don' t t hi nk I
coul d, Adam. I ' d
f eel - uncomf or t abl e. "
" Tr ust me. "
" I f - i f you want me t o, Adam, of cour se. "
" Good, dar l i ng. We' l l go f or t ea. I ' l l dr i ve you out . "
J enni f er t hought f or a moment . " Woul dn' t i t be bet t er i f
I went al one?"
The f ol l owi ng mor ni ng, J enni f er dr ove out t he Saw Mi l l
Ri ver Par kway,
headed upst at e. I t was a cr i sp, cl ear mor ni ng, a l ovel y
day f or a dr i ve.
J enni f er t ur ned on t he car r adi o and t r i ed t o f or get her
ner vousness about
t he meet i ng f aci ng her .
The War ner house was a magni f i cent l y pr eser ved house of
Dut ch or i gi n,
over l ooki ng t he r i ver at Cr ot on- on- Hudson, set
SI DNEY SHELDON 215
on a l ar ge est at e of r ol l i ng gr een acr es. J enni f er dr ove
up t he dr i veway t o
t he i mposi ng f r ont ent r ance. She r ang t he bel l and a
moment l at er t he door
was opened by an at t r act i ve woman
i _n_ her mi ddl e l ast *t , : . . J enni f er v_d el P The l ast
t hi ng J enni f er had
expect ed
was t hi s shy sout her n woman who t ook her hand, gave her a
war msmi l e and sai d, " I ' mMar y Bet h. Adamdi dn' t do you
j ust i ce. Pl ease come i n. "
Adam' s wi f e was wear i ng a bei ge wool ski r t t hat was
sof t l y f ul l , and a si l k
bl ouse opened j ust enough t o r eveal a mat ur e but st i l l
l ovel y br east . Her
bei ge- bl ond hai r was wor n l ong and sl i ght l y cur l i ng
about her f ace, and was
f l at t er i ng t o her bl ue eyes. The pear l s ar ound her neck
coul d never be
mi st aken as cul t ur ed. Ther e was an ai r of ol d- wor l d
di gni t y about Mar y Bet h
War ner .
The i nt er i or of t he house was l ovel y, wi t h wi de,
spaci ous r ooms f i l l ed wi t h
ant i ques and beaut i f ul pai nt i ngs.
A but t er ser ved t ea i n t he dr awi ng r oomf r oma Geor gi an
si l ver t ea ser vi ce.
When he had l ef t t he r oom, Mar y Bet h sai d, " I ' msur e you
must l ove Adam
ver y much. "
J enni f er sai d awkwar dl y, " I want you t o know, Mr s.
War ner , t hat nei t her of
us pl anned- "
Mar y Bet h War ner put a hand on J enni f er ' s ar m. " You
don' t have t o t el l me
t hat . I don' t know whet her Adamt ol d you, but our
mar r i age has t ur ned i nt o
a mar r i age of pol i t eness. Adamand I have known each
ot her si nce we wer e
chi l dr en. I t hi nk I f el l i n l ove wi t h Adamt he f i r st
t i me I saw hi m. We
went t o t he same par t i es and had t he same f r i ends, and I
suppose i t was
i nevi t abl e t hat one day we woul d get mar r i ed. Don' t
mi sunder st and. I st i l l
ador e Adamand I ' msur e he ador es me. But peopl e do
change, don' t t hey?"
" Yes: '
J enni f er l ooked at Mar y Bet h and she was f i l l ed wi t h a
deep f eel i ng of
gr at i t ude. What coul d have been an ugl y and sor di d scene
had t ur ned i nt o
somet hi ng f r i endl y and wonder f ul .
216 RAGE OF ANGELS
Adamhad been r i ght . Mar y Bet h was a l ovel y l ady.
" I ' mver y gr at ef ul t o you, " J enni f er sai d.
" And I ' mgr at ef ul t o you, " Mar y Bet h conf i ded. She
smi l ed shyl y and sai d,
" You see, I ' mver y much i n l ove, t oo. I was goi ng t o get
t he di vor ce
i mmedi at el y but I t hought , f or Adam' s sake, we' d best
wai t unt i l af t er t he
el ect i on. "
J enni f er had been so busy wi t h her own emot i ons t hat she
had f or got t en
about t he el ect i on.
Mar y Bet h went on: " Ever yone seems sur e t hat Adami s
goi ng t o be our next
senat or , and a di vor ce now woul d gr avel y hur t hi s
chances. I t ' s onl y si x
mont hs away, so I deci ded i t woul d be bet t er f or hi mi f
I del ayed i t . " She
l ooked at J enni f er . " But f or gi ve me- i s t hat agr eeabl e
wi t h you?"
" Of cour se i t i s, " J enni f er sai d
She woul d have t o compl et el y r eadj ust her t hi nki ng. Her
f ut ur e woul d now be
t i ed t o Adam. I f he became senat or , she woul d l i ve wi t h
hi mi n Washi ngt on,
D. C. I t woul d mean gi vi ng up her l aw pr act i ce her e, but
t hat di d not
mat t er . Not hi ng mat t er ed except t hat t hey coul d be
t oget her .
J enni f er sai d, " Adamwi l l make a wonder f ul senat or . "
Mar y Bet h r ai sed her head and smi l ed. " My dear , one day
AdamWar ner i s
goi ng t o make a wonder f ul Pr esi dent . "
The t el ephone was r i ngi ng when J enni f er ar r i ved back at
t he apar t ment . I t
was Adam. " How di d you get al ong wi t h Mar y Bet h?"
" Adam, she was wonder f ul ! "
" She sai d t he same t hi ng about you. "
" You r ead about ol d sout her n char m, but you don' t come
acr oss i t ver y
of t en. Mar y Bet h has i t . She' s qui t e a l ady. "
" So ar e you, dar l i ng. Wher e woul d you l i ke t o be
mar r i ed?"
J enni f er sai d, " Ti mes Squar e, f or al l I car e. But I
t hi nk we shoul d wai t ,
Adam: "
" Wai t f or what ?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 217
" Unt i l af t er t he el ect i on. Your car eer i s i mpor t ant . A
di vor ce coul d hur t
you r i ght now. "
" My pr i vat e l i f e i s- "
" - goi ng t o become your publ i c l i f e. We must n' t do
anyt hi ng t hat mi ght
spoi l your chances. We can wai t si x mont hs. "
4' 1 don' t want t o wai t . " don' t ei t her , dar l i ng. " J enni f er
smi l ed. " We
won' t r eal l y be wai t i ng, wi l l we?"
21
J enni f er and Adamhad l unch t oget her al most ever y day,
and once or t wi ce a
week Adamspent t he ni ght at t hei r apar t ment . They had
t o be mor e di scr eet
t han ever , f or Adam' s campai gn had act i vel y begun, and
he was becomi ng a
nat i onal l y pr omi nent f i gur e. He gave speeches at
pol i t i cal r al l i es and
f und- r ai si ng di nner s, and hi s opi ni ons on nat i onal
i ssues wer e quot ed mor e
and mor e f r equent l y i n t he pr ess.
Adamand St ewar t Needhamwer e havi ng t hei r r i t ual
mor ni ng t ea.
" Saw you on t he Today show t hi s mor ni ng, " Needhamsai d.
" Fi ne j ob, Adam.
You got ever y si ngl e poi nt acr oss. I under st and t hey' ve
i nvi t ed you back
agai n. "
" St ewar t , I hat e doi ng t hose shows. I f eel l i ke some
goddamned act or up
t her e, per f or mi ng. "
St ewar t nodded, unper t ur bed. " That ' s what pol i t i ci ans
ar e, Adam- act or s.
Pl ayi ng a par t , bei ng what t he publ i c want s t hemt o be.
Hel l , i f
pol i t i ci ans act ed l i ke t hemsel ves i n publ i c
218
SI DNEY SHELDON 219
- what expr essi on do t he ki ds use? l et t i ng i t al l hang
out ?t hi s count r y' d be
a damned monar chy. "
" I don' t l i ke t he f act t hat r unni ng f or publ i c of f i ce
has become a
per sonal i t y cont est . "
St ewar t Needhamsmi l ed. " Be gr at ef ul you' ve got t he
per sonal i t y, my boy.
Your r at i ngs i n t he pol l s keep goi ng up ever y week. " He
st opped t o pour
mor e t ea. " Bel i eve me, t hi s i s onl y t he begi nni ng. Fi r st
t he Senat e, t hen
t he number one t ar get . Not hi ng can st op you. " He paused
t o t ake a si p of
hi s t ea. " Unl ess you do somet hi ng f ool i sh, t hat i s. "
Adaml ooked up at hi m. " What do you mean?"
St ewar t Needhamdel i cat el y wi ped hi s l i ps wi t h a damask
napki n.
" Your opponent i s a gut t er f i ght er . I ' l l bet you t hat
r i ght now he' s
exami ni ng your l i f e under a mi cr oscope. He won' t f i nd
any ammuni t i on, wi l l
he?"
" No. " The wor d came t o Adam' s l i ps aut omat i cal l y.
" Good, " St ewar t Needhamsai d. " How' s Mar y Bet h?"
J enni f er and Adamwer e spendi ng a l azy weekend at a
count r y house i n Ver mont t hat a f r i end of Adam' s had
l oaned
hi m. The ai r was cr i sp and f r esh, hi nt i ng at t he wi nt er
t o come.
I t was a per f ect weekend, comf or t abl e and r el axed, wi t h
l ong
hi kes dur i ng t he day and games and easy conver sat i on
bef or e
st bl azi ng f i r e at ni ght . `
They had car ef ul l y gone t hr ough al l t he Sunday paper s.
Adamwas movi ng up
i n ever y pol l . Wi t h a f ew except i ons, t he medi a wer e f or
Adam. They l i ked
hi s st yl e, hi s honest y, hi s i nt el l i gence and hi s
f r ankness. They kept
compar i ng hi mt o J ohn Kennedy.
Adamspr awl ed i n f r ont of t he f i r epl ace, wat chi ng f l ame
shadows danci ng
acr oss J enni f er ' s f ace. " How woul d you l i ke t o be t he
wi f e of t he
Pr esi dent ?"
" Sor r y. I ' mal r eady i n l ove wi t h a senat or . "
" Wi l l you be di sappoi nt ed i f I don' t wi n, J enni f er ?"
220 RAGE OF ANGELS
" No. The onl y r eason I want i t i s because you want i t ,
dar -
l i ng. " I f I do wi n, i t wi l l mean l i vi ng i n Washi ngt on. "
" I f we' r e t oget her , not hi ng el se mat t er s. "
" What about your l aw pr act i ce?"
J enni f er smi l ed. " The l ast t i me I hear d, t hey had
l awyer s i n Washi ngt on. "
" What i f I asked you t o gi ve i t up?"
" I ' d gi ve i t up. "
" I don' t want you t o. You' r e t oo damned good at i t . "
" Al l I car e about i s bei ng wi t h you. I l ove you so much,
Adam. "
He st r oked her sof t dar k br own hai r and sai d, " I l ove
yon, t oo. So much. "
They went t o bed, and l at er , t hey sl ept .
On Sunday ni ght t hey dr ove back t o New Yor k. They pi cked
up J enni f er ' s car
at t he gar age wher e she had par ked i t , and Adamr et ur ned
t o hi s home.
J enni f er went back t o t hei r apar t ment i n New Yor k.
J enni f er ' s days wer e unbel i evabl y f ul l . I f she had
t hought she was busy
bef or e, now she was besi eged. She was r epr esent i ng
i nt er nat i onal
cor por at i ons t hat had bent a f ew l aws and been caught ,
senat or s wi t h t hei r
f i nger s i n t he t i l l , movi e st ar s who had got t en i nt o
t r oubl e. She
r epr esent ed bank pr esi dent s and bank r obber s,
pol i t i ci ans and heads of
uni ons.
Money was pour i ng i n, but t hat was not i mpor t ant t o
J enni f er . She gave
l ar ge bonuses t o t he of f i ce st af f , and l avi sh gi f t s.
Cor por at i ons t hat came up agai nst J enni f er no l onger
sent i n t hei r second
st r i ng of l awyer s, so J enni f er f ound her sel f pi t t ed
agai nst some of t he t op
l egal t al ent of t he wor l d.
She was admi t t ed i nt o t he Amer i can Col l ege of Tr i al
Lawyer s, and even Ken
Bai l ey was i mpr essed.
SI DNEY SHELDON 221
" J esus, " he sai d, " you know, onl y one per cent of t he
l awyer s i n t hi s
count r y can get i n?"
" I ' mt hei r t oken woman, " J enni f er l aughed.
When J enni f er r epr esent ed a def endant i n Manhat t an, she
coul d be cer t ai n
t hat Rober t Di Si l va woul d ei t her pr osecut e t he case
per sonal l y or
mast er mi nd i t . Hi s hat r ed of J enni f er had gr own wi t h
ever y vi ct or y she had.
Dur i ng one t r i al i n whi ch J enni f er was pi t t ed agai nst
t he Di st r i ct
At t or ney, Di Si l va put a dozen t op exper t s on t he st and
as wi t nesses f or
t he pr osecut i on.
J enni f er cal l ed no exper t s. She sai d t o t he j ur y: " I f we
want a spaceshi p
bui l t or t he di st ance of a st ar measur ed, we cal l i n t he
exper t s. But when
we want somet hi ng r eal l y i mpor t ant done, we col l ect
t wel ve or di nar y f ol ks
t o do i t . As I r ecal l , t he f ounder of Chr i st i ani t y di d
t he same t hi ng. "
J enni f er won t he case.
One of t he t echni ques J enni f er f ound ef f ect i ve wi t h a
j ur y was t o say, " I
know t hat t he wor ds `l aw' and `cour t r oom' sound a l i t t l e
f r i ght eni ng and
r emot e f r omyour l i ves, but when you st op t o t hi nk about
i t , al l we' r e
doi ng her e i s deal i ng wi t h t he r i ght s and wr ongs done t o
human bei ngs l i ke
our sel ves. Let ' s f or get we' r e i n a cour t r oom, my
f r i ends. Let ' s j ust
i magi ne we' r e si t t i ng ar ound i n my l i vi ng r oom, t al ki ng
about what ' s
happened t o t hi s poor def endant , t hi s f el l ow human
bei ng. "
And, i n t hei r mi nds, t he j ur or s wer e si t t i ng i n
J enni f er ' s l i vi ng r oom,
car r i ed away by her spel l .
Thi s pl oy wor ked beaut i f ul l y f or J enni f er unt i l one day
when she was
def endi ng a cl i ent agai nst Rober t Di Si l va. The Di st r i ct
At t or ney r ose t o
hi s f eet and made t he openi ng addr ess t o t he j ur y.
" Ladi es and gent l emen, " Di Si l va sai d, " r d l i ke f or you
t o f or get you' r e i n
a cour t of l aw. I want you t o i magi ne t hat
222 RAGE OF ANGELS
you' r e si t t i ng at home i n my l i vi ng r oomand we' r e j ust
si t t i ng ar ound
i nf or mal l y chat t i ng about t he t er r i bl e t hi ngs t he
def endant has done. "
Ken Bai l ey l eaned over and whi sper ed t o J enni f er , . . " Do
you hear what t hat
bast ar d' s doi ng? He' s st eal i ng your st uf f ! "
" Don' t wor r y about i t , " J enni f er r epl i ed cool l y.
When J enni f er got up t o addr ess t he j ur y, she sai d:
" Ladi es and gent l emen, I ' ve never hear d anyt hi ng as
out r ageous as t he
r emar ks of t he Di st r i ct At t or ney. " Her voi ce r ang wi t h
r i ght eous
i ndi gnat i on. " For a mi nut e, I coul dn' t bel i eve I had
hear d hi mcor r ect l y.
How dar e he t el l you t o f or get you' r e si t t i ng i n a cour t
of l aw! Thi s
cour t r oomi s one of t he most pr eci ous possessi ons our
nat i on has! I t i s t he
f oundat i on of our f r eedom. Your s and mi ne and t he
def endant ' s. And f Qr t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney t o suggest t hat you f or get wher e you
ar e, t hat you f or get
your swor n dut y, I f i nd bot h shocki ng and cont empt i bl e.
I ' maski ng you,
l adi es and gent l emen, t o r emember wher e you ar e, t o
r emember t hat al l of us
ar e her e t o see t hat j ust i ce i s done and t hat t he
def endant i s vi ndi cat ed. "
The j ur or s wer e noddi ng appr ovi ngl y.
J enni f er gl anced t owar d t he t abl e wher e Rober t Di Si l va
was si t t i ng. He was
st ar i ng st r ai ght ahead, a gl azed l ook i n hi s eyes.
J enni f er ' s cl i ent was acqui t t ed.
Af t er each cour t vi ct or y, t her e woul d be f our dozen r ed
r oses on J enni f er ' s
desk, wi t h a car d f r omMi chael Mor et t i . Each t i me,
J enni f er woul d t ear up
t he car ds and have Cynt hi a t ake away t he f l ower s.
Somehow t hey seemed
obscene comi ng f r omhi m. Fi nal l y J enni f er sent Mi chael
Mor et t i a not e, ask-
i ng hi mt o st op sendi ng her f l ower s.
When J enni f er r et ur ned f r omt he cour t r oomaf t er wi nni ng
her next case,
t her e wer e f i ve dozen r ed r oses wai t i ng f or her .
22
The Rai ny Day Robber case br ought J enni f er new
headl i nes. The accused man
had been cal l ed t o her at t ent i on by Fat her Ryan.
" A f r i end of mi ne has a bi t of a pr obl em=' he began, and
t hey bot h bur st
out l aughi ng.
The f r i end t ur ned out t o be Paul Ri char ds, a t r ansi ent ,
accused of r obbi ng
a bank of a hundr ed and f i f t y t housand dol l ar s. A r obber
had wal ked i nt o
t he bank wear i ng a l ong bl ack r ai ncoat , under whi ch was
hi dden a sawed- of f
shot gun. The col l ar of t he r ai ncoat was r ai sed so t hat
hi s f ace was
par t i al l y hi dden. Once i nsi de t he bank, . t he man had
br andi shed t he
shot gun and f or ced a t el l er t o hand over al l hi s
avai l abl e cash- . The
r obber had t hen f l ed i n a wai t i ng aut omobi l e. Sever al
wi t nesses had seen
t he get away car , a gr een sedan, but t he l i cense number
had been cover ed
wi t h mud.
Si nce bank r obber i es wer e a f eder al of f ense, t he FBI had
ent er ed t he case.
They had put t he modus oper andi i nt o a
223
224 RAGE OF ANGELS
cent r al comput er and i t had come up wi t h t he name of Paul
Ri char ds.
J enni f er went t o vi si t hi mat Ri ker ' s I sl and.
" I swear t o God I di dn' t do i t , " Paul Ri char ds sai d. He
was i n hi s f i f t i es,
a r ed- f aced man wi t h cher ubi c bl ue eyes, t oo ol d t o be
r unni ng ar ound
pul l i ng bank r obber i es.
" I don' t car e whet her you' r e i nnocent or gui l t y, "
J enni f er expl ai ned, " but
I have one r ul e. I won' t r epr esent a cl i ent who l i es t o
me. "
" I swear on my mot her ' s l i f e I di dn' t do i t . "
Oat hs had ceased t o i mpr ess J enni f er l ong ago. Cl i ent s
had swor n t hei r
i nnocence t o her on t he l i ves of t hei r mot her s, wi ves,
sweet hear t s and
chi l dr en. I f God had t aken t hose oat hs ser i ousl y, t her e
woul d have been a
ser i ous decl i ne i n t he popul at i on.
J enni f er asked, " Why do you t hi nk t he FBI ar r est ed
you?"
Paul Ri char ds answer ed wi t hout hesi t at i on. " Because
about t en year s ago I
pul l ed a bank j ob and was dumb enough t o get caught . "
" You used a sawed- of f shot gun under a r ai ncoat ?"
" That ' s r i ght . I wai t ed unt i l i t was r ai ni ng, and t hen
hi t a bank. " '
" But you di dn' t do t hi s l ast j ob?"
" No. Some smar t bast ar d copi ed my act . "
The pr el i mi nar y hear i ng was bef or e J udge Fr ed St evens, a
st r i ct
di sci pl i nar i an. I t was r umor ed t hat he was i n f avor of
shi ppi ng al l
cr i mi nal s of f t o some i naccessi bl e i sl and wher e t hey
woul d st ay f or t he
r est of t hei r l i ves. J udge St evens bel i eved t hat anyone
caught st eal i ng f or
t he f i r st t i me shoul d have hi s r i ght hand chopped of f ,
and i f caught agai n,
shoul d have hi s l ef t hand chopped of f , i n anci ent
I sl ami c t r adi t i on. He was
t he wor st j udge J enni f er coul d have asked f or . She sent
f or Ken Bai l ey.
SI DNEY SHELDON 225
" Ken, I want you t o di g up ever yt hi ng you can on J udge
St evens. "
" J udge St evens? He' s as st r ai ght as an ar r ow. He~- - "
" I know he i s. Do i t , pl ease. "
The f eder al pr osecut or who was handl i ng t he case was an
ol d pr o named
Car t er Gi f f or d.
" How ar e you goi ng t o pl ead hi m?" Gi f f or d asked.
J enni f er gave hi ma l ook of i nnocent sur pr i se. " Not
gui l t y, of cour se. "
He l aughed sar doni cal l y. " J udge St evens wi l l get a ki ck
out of t hat . I
suppose you' r e goi ng t o move f or a j ur y t r i al . "
" No. "
Gi f f or d st udi ed J enni f er suspi ci ousl y. " You mean you' r e
goi ng t o put your
cl i ent i n t he hands of t he hangi ng j udge?"
" That ' s r i ght "
Gi f f or d gr i nned. " I knew you' d go ar ound t he bend one
day, J enni f er . I
can' t wai t t o see t hi s. "
" The Uni t ed St at es of Amer i ca ver sus Paul Ri char ds. I s
t he def endant
pr esent ?"
The cour t cl er k sai d, . " ' Yes, Your Honor . "
" Woul d t he at t or neys pl ease appr oach t he bench and
i dent i f y t hemsel ves?"
J enni f er and Car t er Gi f f or d moved t owar d J udge St evens.
" J enni f er Par ker r epr esent i ng t he def endant . "
" Car t er Gi f f or d r epr esent i ng t he Uni t ed St at es
Gover nment . "
J udge St evens t ur ned t o J enni f er and sai d br usquel y,
" I ' mawar e of your
r eput at i on, Mi ss Par ker . So r mgoi ng t o t el l you r i ght
now t hat I do not
i nt end t o wast e t hi s cour t ' s t i me. I wi l l br ook no
del ays i n t hi s case. I
want t o get on wi t h t hi s pr el i mi nar y hear i ng and get t he
ar r ai gnment over
wi t h. I i nt end t o set a t r i al dat e as speedi l y as
possi bl e. I pr esume you
wi l l want a j ur y t r i al and- "
226 RAGE OF ANGELS
" No, Your Honor . "
J udge St evens l ooked at her i n sur pr i se. " You' r e not
aski ng f or a j ur y
t r i al ?"
" I amnot . Because I don' t t hi nk t her e' s goi ng t o be an
ar r ai gnment . "
Car t er Gi f f or d was st ar i ng at her . " What ?"
" I n my opi ni on, you don' t have enough evi dence t o br i ng
my cl i ent t o
t r i al . "
Car t er Gi f f or d snapped, " You need anot her opi ni on! " He
t ur ned t o J udge
St evens. " Your Honor , t he gover nment has a ver y st r ong
case. The def endant
has al r eady been convi ct ed of commi t t i ng exact l y t he
same cr i me i n exact l y
t he same manner . Our comput er pi cked hi mout of over t wo
t housand possi bl e
suspect s. We have t he gui l t y man r i ght her e i n t hi s
cour t r oom, and t he
pr osecut i on has no i nt ent i on of dr oppi ng t he case
agai nst hi m. "
J udge St evens t ur ned t o J enni f er . " I t seems t o t he cour t
t hat t her e i s
enough pr i ma f aci e evi dence her e t o have an ar r ai gnment
and a t r i al . Do you
have anyt hi ng mor e t o say?"
" I do, Your Honor . Ther e i s not one si ngl e wi t ness who
can posi t i vel y
i dent i f y Paul Ri char ds. The FBI has been unabl e t o f i nd
any of t he st ol en
money. I n f act , t he onl y t hi ng t hat l i nks t he def endant
t o t hi s cr i me i s
t he i magi nat i on of t he pr osecut or . "
The j udge st ar ed down at J enni f er and sai d wi t h omi nous
sof t ness, " What
about t he comput er t hat pi cked hi mout ?"
J enni f er si ghed. " That br i ngs us t o a pr obl em, Your
Honor . "
J udge St evens sai d gr i ml y, " I i magi ne i t does. I t i s
easy t o conf use a l i ve
wi t ness, but i t i s di f f i cul t t o conf use a comput er . "
Car t er Gi f f or d nodded smugl y, " Exact l y, Your Honor . "
J enni f er t ur ned t o f ace Gi f f or d. " The FBI used t he I BM
370/ 168, di dn' t i t ?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 227
" That ' s r i ght . I t ' s t he most sophi st i cat ed equi pment i n
t he wor l d. "
J udge St evens asked J enni f er , " Does t he def ense i nt end
t o chal l enge t he
ef f i ci ency of t hat comput er ?"
" On t he cont r ar y, Your Honor . I have a comput er exper t
her e i n cour t t oday
who wor ks f or t he company t hat manuf act ur es t he 37Q/ 168.
He pr ogr ammed t he
i nf or mat i on t hat t ur ned up t he name of my cl i ent . "
" Wher e i s he?"
J enni f er t ur ned and mot i oned t o a t al l , t hi n man seat ed
on a bench. He
ner vousl y came f or war d.
J enni f er sai d, " Thi s i s Mr . Edw- r d Monr oe. "
" I f you' ve been t amper i ng wi t h my wi t ness, " t he
pr osecut i ng at t or ney
expl oded, " I ' l l - "
" Al l I di d was t o r equest Mr . Monr oe t o ask t he comput er
i f t her e wer e
ot her possi bl e suspect s. I sel ect ed t en peopl e who had
cer t ai n gener al
char act er i st i cs si mi l ar t o my cl i ent . For pur poses of
i dent i f i cat i on, Mr .
Monr oe pr ogr ammed i n st at i st i cs on age, hei ght , wei ght ,
col or of eyes,
bi r t hpl ace- t he same ki nd of dat a t hat pr oduced t he name
of my cl i ent : "
J udge St evens asked i mpat i ent l y, " What i s t he poi nt of
al l t hi s, Mi ss
Par ker ?"
" The poi nt i s t hat t he comput er i dent i f i ed one of t he
t en peopl e as a pr i me
suspect i n t he bank r obber y. "
J udge St evens t ur ned t o Edwar d Monr oe. " I s t hi s t r ue?"
" Yes, Your Honor . " Edwar d Monr oe opened hi s br i ef case
and pul l ed out a
comput er r eadout .
The bai l i f f t ook i t f r omMonr oe and handed i t t o t he
j udge. J udge St evens
gl anced at i t and hi s f ace became r ed.
He l ooked at Edwar d Monr oe. " I s t hi s some ki nd of j oke?"
" No, si r . "
" The comput er pi cked me as a possi bl e suspect ?" J udge
St evens asked.
" Yes, si r , i t di d. "
228 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er expl ai ned, " The comput er has no r easoni ng
power , Your Honor . I t
can onl y r espond t o t he i nf or mat i on i t i s gi ven. You and
my cl i ent happen
t o be t he same wei ght , hei ght and age. You bot h dr i ve
gr een sedans, and you
bot h come f r omt he same st at e. That ' s r eal l y as much
evi dence as t he
pr osecut i ng at t or ney has. The onl y ot her f act or i s t he
way i n whi ch t he
cr i me was done. When Paul Ri char ds commi t t ed t hat bank
r obber y t en year s
ago, mi l l i ons of peopl e r ead about i t . Any one of t hem
coul d have i mi t at ed
hi s modus oper andi . Someone di d. " J enni f er i ndi cat ed t he
pi ece of paper i n
J udge St evens' hand. " That shows you how f l i msy t he
St at e' s case r eal l y
i s. "
Car t er Gi f f or d sput t er ed, " Your Honor - " and st opped. He
di d not know what
t o say.
J udge St evens l ooked agai n at t he comput er r eadout i n
hi s hand and t hen at
J enni f er .
" What woul d you have done, " he asked, " i f t he cour t had
been a younger man,
t hi nner t han I , who dr ove a bl ue car ?"
" The comput er gave me t en ot her possi bl e suspect s, "
J enni f er sai d. " My next
choi ce woul d have been New Yor k Di st r i ct At t or ney Rober t
Di Si l va. "
J enni f er was si t t i ng i n her of f i ce, r eadi ng t he
headl i nes, when Cynt hi a
announced, " Mr . Paul Ri char ds i s her e. "
" Send hi mi n, Cynt hi a. "
He came i nt o t he of f i ce wear i ng a bl ack r ai ncoat and
car r yi ng a candy box
t i ed wi t h a r ed r i bbon.
" I j ust want ed t o t el l you t hanks. "
" You see? Somet i mes j ust i ce does t r i umph. "
" I ' ml eavi ng t uwn. I deci ded I need a l i t t l e vacat i on. "
He handed J enni f er
t he candy box. " A l i t t l e t oken of my appr eci at i on. "
" Thank you, Paul . "
He l ooked at her admi r i ngl y. " I t hi nk you' r e t er r i f i c. "
And he was gone.
SI DNEY SHELDON 229
J enni f er l ooked at t he box of candy on her desk and
smi l ed. She had
r ecei ved l ess f or handl i ng most of Fat her Ryan' s
f r i ends. I f she got f at ,
i t woul d be Fat her Ryan' s f aul t ,
J enni f er unt i ed t he r i bbon and opened t he box. I nsi de
was t en t housand
dol l ar s i n used cur r ency.
One af t er noon as J enni f er was l eavi ng t he cour t house,
she not i ced a l ar ge,
bl ack, chauf f eur ed Cadi l l ac l i mousi ne at t he cur b. As
she st ar t ed t o wal k
past i t , Mi chael Mor et t i st epped out . " I ' ve been wai t i ng
f or you. "
Cl ose up, t her e was an el ect r i c vi t al i t y t o t he man t hat
was al most
over power i ng.
" Get out of my way, " J enni f er sai d. Her f ace was f l ushed
and angr y, and she
was even mor e beaut i f ul t han Mi chael Mor et t i had
r emember ed.
" Hey, " he l aughed, " cool down. Al l I want t o do i s t al k
t o you. Al l you
have t o do i s l i st en. I ' l l pay you f or your t i me: "
" You' l l never have enough money: "
She st ar t ed t o move past hi m. Mi chael Mor et t i put a
conci l i at or y hand on
her ar m. J ust t ouchi ng her i ncr eased hi s exci t ement .
He t ur ned on al l of hi s char m. " Be r easonabl e. You won' t
know what you' r e
t ur ni ng down unt i l you hear what I have t o say. Ten
mi nut es. That ' s al l I
want . ] VI I dr op you of f at your of f i ce. We can t al k on
t he way. "
J enni f er st udi ed hi ma moment and sai d, " I ' l l go wi t h
you on one condi t i on.
I want t he answer t o a quest i on. "
Mi chael nodded. " Sur e. Go ahead. "
" Whose i dea was i t t o f r ame me wi t h t he dead canar y?"
He answer ed wi t hout hesi t at i on. " Mi ne. "
So now she knew. And she coul d have ki l l ed hi m. Gr i ml y
she st epped i nt o t he
l i mousi ne and Mi chael Mor et t i moved i n besi de her .
J enni f er not ed t hat he
gave t he dr i ver t he addr ess of her of f i ce bui l di ng
wi t hout aski ng.
As t he l i mousi ne dr ove of f , Mi chael Mor et t i sai d, " r m
gl ad
230 RAGE OF ANGELS
about al l t he gr eat t hi ngs t hat ar e happeni ng t o you. "
J enni f er di d not bot her t o r epl y.
" I r eal l y mean t hat : '
" You haven' t t ol d me what i t i s you want . "
" I want t o make you r i ch. "
" Thanks. I ' mr i ch enough. " Her voi ce was f i l l ed wi t ) 1
t he cont empt she f el t
t owar d hi m.
Mi chael Mor et t i ' s f ace f l ushed. " I ' mt r yi ng t o do you a
f avor and you keep
f i ght i ng me. "
J enni f er t ur ned t o l ook at hi m. " I don' t want any f avor s
f r omyou: "
He made hi s voi ce conci l i at or y. " Okay. Maybe I ' mt r yi ng
t o make up a l i t t l e
f or what I di d t o you. Look, I can send you a l ot of
cl i ent s. I mpor t ant
cl i ent s. Bi g money. You have no i dea- "
J enni f er i nt er r upt ed. " Mr . Mor et t i , do us bot h a f avor .
Don' t say anot her
wor d. "
" But I can- "
" I don' t want t o r epr esent you or any of your f r i ends: "
" Why not ?"
" Because i f I r epr esent ed one of you, f r omt hen on you' d
own me. "
" You' ve got i t al l wr ong, " Mi chael pr ot est ed. " My
f r i ends ar e i n l egi t i mat e
busi nesses. I mean banks, i nsur ance compani es- "
" Save your br eat h. My ser vi ces ar en' t avai l abl e t o t he
Maf i a. "
" Who sai d anyt hi ng about t he Maf i a?"
" Cal l i t what ever you l i ke. No one owns me but me. I
i nt end t o keep i t t hat
way. "
The l i mousi ne st opped f dr a r ed l i ght .
J enni f er sai d, " Thi s i s cl ose enough. Thank you f or t he
l i f t . " She opened
t he door and st epped out .
Mi chael sai d, " When can I see you agai n?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 231
" Not ever , Mr . Mor et t i . "
Mi chael wat ched her wal k away.
My God, he t hought , t hat ' s a woman! He suddenl y became
awar e t hat he had
an er ect i on and smi l ed, because he knew t hat one way or
anot her , he was
goi ng t o have her .
3
23
I t was t he end of Oct ober , t wo weeks bef or e t he
el ect i on, and t he
senat or i al r ace was i n f ul l swi ng. Adamwas r unni ng
agai nst t he i ncumbent .
Senat or J ohn Tr owbr i dge, a vet er an pol i t i ci an, and t he
exper t s agr eed i t
was goi ng t o be a cl ose bat t l e.
J enni f er sat at home one ni ght , wat chi ng Adamand hi s
opponent i n a
t el evi si on debat e. Mar y Bet h had been r i ght . A di vor ce
now coul d easi l y
have wr ecked Adam' s gr owi ng chances f or vi ct or y.
When J enni f er wal ked i nt o t he of f i ce af t er a l ong
busi ness l unch, t her e was
an ur gent message f or her t o cal l Ri ck Ar l en.
" He' s cal l ed t hr ee t i mes i n t he l ast hal f - hour , " Cynt hi a
sai d.
Ri ck Ar l en was a r ock st ar who had, al most over ni ght ,
become t he hot t est
si nger i n t he wor l d. J enni f er had hear d about t he
enor mous i ncomes of r ock
st ar s, but unt i l she got
232
SI DNEY SHELDON 233
i nvol ved wi t h Ri ck Aden' s af f ai r s, she had had no i dea
what t hat ' r eal l y
meant . Fr omr ecor ds, per sonal appear ances, mer chandi si ng
and now mot i on
pi ct ur es, Ri ck Aden' s i ncome was mor e t han f i f t een
mi l l i on dol l ar s a year .
Ri ck was t went y- f i ve year s ol d, an Al abama f ar mboy who
had been bor n wi t h
a gol d mi ne i n hi s t hr oat .
" Get hi mf or me, " J enni f er sai d.
Fi ve mi nut es l at er he was on t he l i ne. " Hey, man, r ve
been t r yi n' t o r each
you f or hour s. "
" Sor r y, Ri ck. I was i n a meet i ng. "
" Pr obl em. Got t a see you. "
" Can you come i n t o t he once t hi s af t er noon?"
' I don' t t hi nk so. I ' mi n Mont e Car l o, doi n' a benef i t
f or Gr ace and t he
Pr i nce. How soon can you get her e?"
" I coul dn' t possi bl y get away now, " J enni f er pr ot est ed.
" I have a desk
pi l ed up- "
" Baby, I need you. You' ve got t o get on a bi r d t hi s
af t er noon. "
And he hung up.
J enni f er t hought about t he phone cal l . Ri ck Ar l en had
not want ed t o di scuss
hi s pr obl emover t he t el ephone. I t coul d be anyt hi ng
f r omdr ugs t o gi r l s t o
boys. She t hought about sendi ng Ted Har r i s or Dan Mar t i n
t o sol ve what ever
t he pr obl emwas, but she l i ked Ri ck Ar l en. I n t he end,
J enni f er deci ded t o
go her sel f .
She t r i ed t o r each Adambef or e she l ef t , but he was out
of t he of f i ce.
She sai d t o Cynt hi a, " Get me r eser vat i ons on an Ai r
Fr ance f l i ght t o Ni ce.
I ' l l want a car t o meet me and dr i ve me t o Mont e Car l o. "
Twent y mi nut es l at er she had a r eser vat i on on a seen
o' cl ock f l i ght t hat
eveni ng.
" Ther e' s a hel i copt er ser vi ce f r omNi ce di r ect l y t o
Mont e Car l o, " Cynt hi a
sai d. " I ' ve booked you on t hat . "
" Wonder f ul . Thank you. " -
234 RAGE OF ANGELS
* ~e s
When Ken Bai l ey hear d why J enni f er was l eavi ng, he sai d,
" Who does t hat
punk t hi nk he i s?"
" He knows who he i s, Ken. He' s one of our bi ggest
cl i ent s. "
" When wi l l you be back?"
" I shoul dn' t be gone mor e t han t hr ee or f our days. "
" Thi ngs ar en' t t he same when you' r e not her e. I ' l l mi ss
you. "
J enni f er wonder ed whet her he was st i l l seei ng t he young
bl ond man.
" Hol d down t he f or t unt i l I get back. "
As a r ul e, J enni f er enj oyed f l yi ng. She r egar ded her
t i me i n t he ai r as
f r eedomf r ompr essur es, a t empor ar y escape f r omal l t he
pr obl ems t hat beset
her on t he gr ound, a qui et oasi s i n ' space away f r om
her endl essl y
demandi ng cl i ent s. Thi s f l i ght acr oss t he At l ant i c,
however , was
unpl easant . I t seemed unusual l y bumpy, and J enni f er ' s
st omach became queasy
and upset .
She was f eel i ng a bi t bet t er by t he t i me t he pl ane
l anded i n Ni ce t he next
mor ni ng. Ther e was a hel i copt er wai t i ng t o f l y her t o
Mont e Car l o. J enni f er
had never r i dden i n a hel i copt er bef or e and she had
l ooked f or war d t o i t .
But t he sudden l i f t and t he swoopi ng mot i ons made her
i l l agai n, and she
was unabl e t o enj oy t he maj est i c si ght s of t he Al ps
bel ow and t he Gr ande
Cor ni che, wi t h mi ni at ur e aut omobi l es wi ndi ng up t he
st eep mount ai nsi de.
The bui l di ngs of Mont e Car l o appear ed, and a f ew mi nut es
l at er t he
hel i copt er was l andi ng i n f r ont of t he moder n whi t e
summer casi no on t he
beach.
Cynt hi a had t el ephoned ahead and Ri ck Ar l en was t her e t o
meet J enni f er .
He gave her a bi g hug. " How was t he t r i p?"
" A l i t t l e r ough: "
SI DNEY SHELDON 235
He t ook a cl oser l ook at her and sai d, " You don' t l ook
so hot . I ' l l t ake
you up t o my pad and you can r est up f or t he bi g do
t oni ght . "
" What bi g do?"
" The gal a. That ' s why you' r e her e: "
" W) zat ?"
" Yeah. Gr ace asked me t o i nvi t e anyone I l i ked. I l i ke
you. "
" Oh, Ri ck! "
J enni f er coul d cheer f ul l y have st r angl ed hi m. He had no
i dea how much he
had di sr upt ed her l i f e. She was t hr ee t housand mi l es
away f r omAdam, she
had cl i ent s who needed her , cour t cases t o t r y- and she
had been l ur ed t o
Mont e Car l o t o at t end a par t y!
J enni f er sai d, " Ri ck, how coul d- ?"
She l ooked at hi s beami ng f ace and st ar t ed t o l augh.
Oh, wel l , she was her e. Besi des, t he gal a mi ght t ur n out
t o be f un.
The gal a was spect acul ar . I t was a mi l k f und concer t f or
or phans, sponsor ed
by Thei r Ser ene Hi ghnesses, Gr ace and Rai ni er Gr i mal di ,
and i t was hel d
out door s at t he summer casi no. I t was a l ovel y eveni ng.
The ni ght was bal my
and t he sl i ght br eeze comi ng of f t he Medi t er r anean
st i r r ed t he t al l pal m
t r ees. J enni f er wi shed Adamcoul d have been her e t o
shar e i t wi t h her .
Ther e wer e f i f t een hundr ed seat s occupi ed by a cheer i ng
audi ence.
Hal f a dozen i nt er nat i onal st ar s per f or med, but Ri ck
Ar l en was t he
headl i ner . He was backed up by a r aucous t hr eepi ece band
and f l ashi ng
psychedel i c l i ght s t hat st ai ned t he vel vet sky. When he
f i ni shed, he
r ecei ved a st andi ng ovat i on.
Ther e was a pr i vat e par t y af t er war d at t he pi sci ne,
bel ow t he Hot el de
Par i s. Cockt ai l s and a buf f et supper wer e ser ved
236 RAGE OF ANGELS
ar ound t he enor mous pool , i n whi ch dozens of l i ght ed
candl es f l oat ed on l i l y
pads.
J enni f er est i mat ed t hat t her e wer e mor e t han t hr ee
hundr ed peopl e t her e.
J enni f er had not br ought an eveni ng gown, and j ust
l ooki ng at t he
spl endi dl y dr essed women made her f eel l i ke t he poor
l i t t l e mat ch gi r l .
Ri ck i nt r oduced her t o dukes and duchesses and
pr i ncesses. I t seemed t o
J enni f er t hat hal f t he r oyal t y of Eur ope was t her e. She
met heads of
car t el s and f amous oper a si nger s. Ther e wer e f ashi on
desi gner s and
hei r esses and t he gr eat soccer pl ayer , Pel e. J enni f er
was i n t he mi dst of
a conver sat i on wi t h t wo Swi ss banker s when a wave of
di zzi ness engul f ed
her .
" Excuse me, " J enni f er sai d.
She went t o f i nd Ri ck Ar l en. " Ri ck, I - "
He t ook one l ook at her and sai d, " You' r e whi t e as a
sheet , baby. Let ' s
spl i t . "
Thi r t y mi nut es l at er , J enni f er was i n bed i n t he vi l l a
t hat Ri ck Ar l en had
r ent ed.
" A doct or ' s on hi s way, " Ri ck t ol d her .
" I don' t need a doct or . I t ' s j ust a vi r us or somet hi ng. "
" Ri ght . I t ' s t he `or somet hi ng' he' s gonna check out . "
Dr . Andr 6 Mont eux was an el der l y wi sp of a man somewher e
i n hi s ei ght i es.
He wor e a neat l y t r i mmed f ul l bear d and car r i ed a bl ack
medi cal case.
The doct or t ur ned t o Ri ck Ar l en. " I f you woul d l eave us
al one, pl ease. "
" Sur e. I ' l l wai t out si de. "
The doct or moved cl oser t o t he bed. " Al or s. What have we
her e?"
" I f I knew t hat , " J enni f er sai d weakl y, " I ' d be maki ng
t hi s house cal l and
you' d be l yi ng her e. "
He sat down on t he edge of t he bed. " How ar e you
f eel i ng?"
" Li ke I ' ve come down wi t h t he buboni c pl ague. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 237
" Put out your t ongue, pl ease"
J enni f er put out her t ongue and began t o gag. Dr .
Mont euz checked her pul se
and t ook her t emper at ur e.
When he had f i ni shed, J enni f er asked, " What do you t hi nk
i t i s, Doct or ?"
" I t coul d be any one of a number of t hi ngs, beaut i f ul
l ady. I f you ar e
f eel i ng wel l enough t omor r ow, I woul d l i ke you t o come
t o my of f i ce wher e
I can do a t hor ough exami nat i on. "
J enni f er f el t t oo i l l t o ar gue. " Al l r i ght , " she sai d.
" I ' l l be t her e. "
I n t he mor ni ng Ri ck Ar l en dr ove J enni f er i nt o Mont e
Car l o wher e Dr . Mont euz
gave her a compl et e exami nat i on.
" I t ' s a bug of some ki nd, i sn' t i t ?" J enni f er asked.
" I f you wi sh a pr edi ct i on, " t he el der l y doct or r epl i ed,
" I wi l l send out
f or f or t une cooki es. I f you wi sh t o know what i s wr ong
wi t h you, we wi l l
have t o be pat i ent unt i l t he l abor at or y r epor t s come
back. "
" When wi l l t hat be?"
" I t usual l y t akes t wo or t hr ee days. "
J enni f er knew t her e was no way she was goi ng t o st ay
t her e f or t wo or t hr ee
days. Adammi ght need her . She knew she needed hi m.
" I n t he meant i me, I woul d l i ke you t o st ay i n bed and
r est . " He handed her
a bot t l e of pi l l s. " These wi l l r el ax you. "
" Thank you. " J enni f er scr i bbl ed somet hi ng on a pi ece of
paper . " Yon can
cal l me her e. "
I t was not unt i l J enni f er had gone t hat Dr . Mont euz
l ooked at t he pi ece of
paper . On i t was wr i t t en a New Yor k t el ephone number .
At t he Char l es de Gaul l e Ai r por t i n Par i s, wher e she
changed pl anes,
J enni f er t ook t wo of t he pi l l s Dr . Mont eauz had gi ven
her and a sl eepi ng
pi l l . She sl ept f i t f ul l y dur i ng
238 RAGE OF ANGELS
most of t he t r i p back t o New Yor k, but when she
di sembar ked f r omt he pl ane
she was f eel i ng no bet t er . She had not ar r anged f or
anyone t o meet her and
she t ook a t axi t o her apar t ment .
I n t he l at e af t er noon, t he t el ephone r ang. I t was Adam.
" J enni f er ! Wher e have you- "
She t r i ed t o put ener gy i nt o her voi ce. " I ' msor r y,
dar l i ng. I had t o go t o
Mont e Car l o t o see a cl i ent and I coul dn' t r each you. "
" I ' ve been wor r i ed si ck. Ar e you al l r i ght ?"
" I ' mf i ne. I - I ' ve j ust been r unni ng ar ound a l ot . "
" My God! I was i magi ni ng al l ki nds of t er r i bl e t hi ngs. "
" Ther e' s not hi ng t o wor r y about , " J enni f er assur ed hi m.
" How' s ever yt hi ng
goi ng wi t h t he campai gn?"
" Fi ne. When amI goi ng t o see you? I was supposed t o
l eave f or Washi ngt on,
but I can post pone- - "
" No, you go ahead, " J enni f er sai d. She di d not want Adam
t o see her l i ke
t hi s. " I ' l l be busy. We' l l spend t he weekend t oget her . "
" Al l r i ght . " Hi s t one was r el uct ant . " I f you' r e not
doi ng anyt hi ng at
el even, I ' mon t he CBS news: "
" I ' l l wat ch, dar l i ng. "
J enni f er was asl eep f i ve mi nut es af t er she had r epl aced
t he r ecei ver .
I n t he mor ni ng J enni f er t el ephoned Cynt hi a t o t el l her
she was not comi ng
i nt o t he of f i ce. J enni f er had sl ept r est l essl y, and when
she awakened she
f el t no bet t er . She t r i ed t o eat br eakf ast but coul d not
keep anyt hi ng
down. She f el t weak and r eal i zed she had had not hi ng t o
eat f or al most
t hr ee days.
Her mi nd unwi l l i ngl y went over t he f r i ght eni ng l i t any of
t hi ngs t hat coul d
be wr ong wi t h her . Cancer f i r st , nat ur al l y. She f el t f or
l umps i n her
br east , but she coul d not f eel any-
SI DNEY SHELDON 239
t hi ng ami ss. Of cour se, cancer coul d st r i ke anywher e. I t
coul d be a vi r us of
some ki nd, but t he doct or sur el y woul d have known t hat
i mmedi at el y. The
t r oubl e was t hat i t coul d be al most anyt hi ng. J enni f er
f el t l ost and
hel pl ess. She was not a hypochondr i ac, she had al ways
been i n wonder f ul
heal t h, and now she f el t as t hough her body had somehow
bet r ayed her . She
coul d not bear i t i f anyt hi ng happened t o her . Not when
ever yt hi ng was so
wonder f ul .
She was goi ng t o be f i ne. Of cour se she was.
Anot her wave of nausea swept t hr ough her .
At el even o' cl ock t hat mor ni ng, Dr . Andr e Mont eui c
cal l ed f r omMont e Car l o.
A voi ce sai d, " J ust a moment . I ' l l put t he doct or on. "
The moment st r et ched i nt o a hundr ed year s, and J enni f er
cl ut ched t he
t el ephone t i ght l y, unabl e t o bear t he wai t i ng.
Fi nal l y, Dr . Mont eux' s voi ce came on and he sai d, " How
ar e you f eel i ng?"
" About t he same, " J enni f er r epl i ed ner vousl y. " Ar e t he
r esul t s of t he t est s
i n?"
" Good news, " Dr . Mont eux sai d. " I t i s not t he buboni c
pl ague. "
J enni f er coul d st and no mor e. " What i s i t ? What ' s t he
mat t er wi t h me?"
" You ar e goi ng t o have a baby, Mr s. Par ker . "
J enni f er sat t her e numbl y st ar i ng at t he t el ephone. When
she f ound her
voi ce agai n she asked, " Ar e- ar e you sur e?" '
" Rabbi t s never l i e. I t ake i t t hi s i s your f i r st baby. "
" Yes. "
" I woul d suggest you see an obst et r i ci an as soon as
possi bl e. Fr omt he
sever i t y of t he ear l y sympt oms, t her e may be some
di f f i cul t i es ahead f or
you. "
" I wi l l , " J enni f er r epl i ed. " Thank you f or cal l i ng, Dr .
Mont eux. "
240 RAGE OF ANGELS
She r epl aced t he r ecei ver and sat t her e, her mi nd i n a
t ur moi l . She was not
sur e when i t coul d have happened, or what her f eel i ngs
wer e. She coul d not
t hi nk st r ai ght .
She was goi ng t o have Adam' s baby. And suddenl y J enni f er
knew how she f el t .
She f el t wonder f ul ; she f el t as t hough she had been
gi ven some
i ndescr i babl y pr eci ous gi f t .
The t i mi ng was per f ect , as t hough t he gods wer e on t hei r
si de. The el ect i on
woul d soon be over and she and Adamwoul d be mar r i ed as
qui ckl y as
possi bl e. I t woul d be a boy. J enni f er knew i t . She coul d
not wai t t o t el l
Adam.
She t el ephoned hi mat hi s of f i ce.
" Mr . War ner i s not i n, " hi s secr et ar y i nf or med her . " You
mi ght t r y hi s
home. "
J enni f er was r el uct ant t o cal l Adamat home, but she was
bur st i ng wi t h her
news. She di al ed hi s number . Mar y Bet h answer ed.
" I ' msor r y t o bot her you, " J enni f er apol ogi zed. " Ther e' s
somet hi ng I have
t o t al k t o Adamabout . Thi s i s J enni f er Par ker . "
" I ' mpl eased t hat you cal l ed, " Mar y Bet h sai d. The
war mt h i n her voi ce was
r eassur i ng. " Adamhad some speaki ng engagement s, but
he' s r et ur ni ng
t oni ght . Why don' t you come up t o t he house? We can al l
have di nner
t oget her . Say, seven o' cl ock?"
J enni f er hesi t at ed f or a moment . " That wi l l be l ovel y. "
I t was a mi r acl e t hat J enni f er di d not have an acci dent
dr i vi ng t o
Cr ot on- on- Hudson. Her mi nd was f ar away, dr eami ng of t he
f ut ur e. She and
Adamhad of t en di scussed havi ng chi l dr en. She coul d
r emember hi s wor ds. 1
want a coupl e t hat l ook exact l y l i ke you.
As J enni f er dr ove al ong t he hi ghway, she t hought she
coul d f eel a sl i ght
st i r r i ng i n her womb, but she t ol d her sel f t hat t hat was
nonsense. I t was
much t oo ear l y. But i t woul d not be l ong now. Adam' s
baby was i n her . I t
was al i ve and
SI DNEY SHELDON 241
woul d soon be ki cki ng. I t was awesome, over whel mi ng. She-
J enni f er hear d someone honki ng at her , and she l ooked up
and saw t hat she
had al most f or ced a t r uck dr i ver of f t he r oad. She gave
hi man apol oget i c
smi l e and dr ove on. Not hi ng coul d spoi l t hi s day.
I t was dusk when J enni f er pul l ed up i n f r ont of t he
War ner house. A f i ne
snow was begi nni ng t o f al l , l i ght l y powder i ng t he t r ees.
Mar y Bet h, wear i ng
a l ong bl ue br ocade gown, opened t he f r ont door t o gr eet
J enni f er , t aki ng
her ar mand war ml y wel comi ng her i nt o t he house,
r emi ndi ng J enni f er of t he
f i r st t i me t hey had met . '
Mar y Bet h l ooked r adi ant l y happy. She was f ul l of smal l
t al k, put t i ng her
vi si t or at ease. They went i nt o t he l i br ar y wher e t her e
was a cheer f ul f i r e
cr ackl i ng i n t he hear t h.
" I haven' t hear d f r omAdamyet , " Mar y Bet h sai d. " He' s
pr obabl y been
det ai ned. I n t he meant i me, you and I can have a ni ce
l ong chat . You sounded
exci t ed on t he t el ephone. " Mar y Bet h l eaned f or war d
conspi r at or i al l y.
" What ' s your bi g news?"
J enni f er l ooked at t he f r i endl y woman acr oss f r omher
and bl ur t ed out , " I ' m
goi ng t o have Adam' s baby. "
Mar y Bet h l eaned back i n her chai r and smi l ed. " Wel l !
Now i sn' t t hat
somet hi ng! So amI ! "
J enni f er st ar ed at her . " I - I don' t under st and. "
Mar y Bet h l aughed. " I t ' s r eal l y qui t e si mpl e, my dear .
Adamand I ar e
mar r i ed, you know. "
J enni f er sai d sl owl y, " But - but you and Adamar e get t i ng
a di vor ce. "
" My dear gi r l , why on ear t h woul d I di vor ce Adam? I
ador e hi m. "
J enni f er f el t her head begi nni ng t o spi n. The
conver sat i on was maki ng no
sense. " You' r e- - you' r e i n l ove wi t h someone el se. You
sai d you- "
242 RAGE OF ANGELS ,
" I sai d t hat r mi n l ave. And I am: r mi n l ove wi t h Adam.
I t ol d you, I ' ve
been i n l ove wi t h Adamsi nce t he f i r st t i me I saw hi m. "
She coul d not mean what she was sayi ng. She was t easi ng
J enni f er , pl ayi ng
some ki nd of si l l y, game.
" St op i t ! " J enni f er sai d. " You' r e l i ke a br ot her and
si st er t o each ot her .
Adamdoesn' t make l ove t o- "
Mar y Bet h' s voi ce t i nkl ed wi t h l aught er . " My poor dear !
I ' msur pr i sed t hat
someone as cl ever as you ar e coul d=' She l eaned f or war d
wi t h concer n. " You
bel i eved hi m! I ' mso sor r y. I am. I r eal l y am. "
J enni f er was f i ght i ng t o keep cont r ol of her sel f . " Adam
i s i n l ave wi t h me.
We' r e get t i ng mar r i ed. "
Mar y Bet h shook her head. Her bl ue eyes met J enni f er ' s
and t he naked hat r ed
i n t hemmade J enni f er ' s hear t st op f or an i nst ant .
" That woul d make Adama bi gami st . I ' l l never gi ve hi ma
di vor ce. I f I had
l et Adamdi vor ce me and mar r y you, he woul d l ose t he
el ect i on. As i t i s,
he' s goi ng t o wi n i t . Then we' l l go on t b t he Whi t e
House, Adamand I .
Ther e' s no r oomi n hi s l i f e f or anyone l i ke you. Ther e
never was. He onl y
t hi nks he' s i n l ove wi t h you. But he' l l ' get over t hat
when he f i nds out
I ' mcar r yi ng hi s baby. Adam' s al ways want ed a chi l d. "
J enni f er squeezed her eyes shut , t r yi ng t o st op t he
t er r i bl e pai n i n her
head.
" Can I get you somet hi ng?" Mar y Bet h was aski ng
sol i ci t ousl y.
J enni f er opened her eyes. " Have you t ol d hi myou' r e
havi ng a baby?"
" Not yet . " Mar y Bet h smi l ed. " I t hought I ' d t el l hi m
t oni ght when he get s
home and we' r e i n bed. "
J enni f er was f i l l ed wi t h l oat hi ng. " You' r e a monst er . .
: '
" I t ' s al l i n t he poi nt of vi ew, i sn' t i t , honey? I ' m
Adam' s wi f e. You' r e
hi s whor e. ' '
SI DNEY SHELDON 243
J enni f er r ose t o her f eet , f eel i ng di zzy. Her headache
had become an
unbear abl e poundi ng. Ther e was a r oar i ng i n her ear s and
she was af r ai d she
was goi ng t o f ai nt . She was movi ng t owar d t he ent r ance,
her l egs unst eady.
J enni f er st opped at t he door , pr essi ng her sel f agai nst
i t , t r yi ng t o t hi nk.
Adamhad sai d he l oved her , but he had sl ept wi t h t hi s
woman, had made her
pr egnant .
J enni f er t ur ned and wal ked out i nt o t he col d ni ght ai r .
24
Adamwas on a f i nal campai gn swi ng ar ound t he st at e. He
t el ephoned J enni f er
sever al t i mes, but he was al ways sur r ounded by hi s
ent our age and i t was
i mpossi bl e t o t al k, i mpossi bl e f or J enni f er t o t el l hi m
her news.
J enni f er knew t he expl anat i on f or Mar y Bet h' s pr egnancy:
She had t r i cked
Adami nt o sl eepi ng wi t h her . But J enni f er want ed t o hear
i t f r omAdam.
" I ' l l be back i n a f ew days and we' l l t al k t hen, " Adam
sai d.
The el ect i on was onl y f i ve days away now. Adamdeser ued
t o wi n i t ; he was
t he bet t er man. J enni f er f el t t hat Mar y Bet h was r i ght
when she sai d i t
coul d be t he st eppi ng- st one t o t he pr esi dency of t he
Uni t ed St at es. She
woul d f or ce her sel f t o wai t and see what happened.
I f Adamwas el ect ed senat or , J enni f er woul d l ose hi m.
Adamwoul d go t o
Washi ngt on wi t h Mar y Bet h. Ther e woul d be no way he
coul d get a di vor ce.
The scandal of a f r eshman senat or di vor ci ng a pr egnant
wi f e t o mar r y hi s
pr egnant mi st r ess woul d be t oo j ui cy a st or y f or hi m
ever t o l i ve down. But
244
SI DNEY SHELDON 245
i f Adamshoul d l ose t he r ace, he woul d, be f r ee. Fr ee t o
go back t o hi s l aw
pr act i ce, f r ee t o mar r y J enni f er and not wor r y or car e
about what anyone
el se t hought . They woul d be abl e t o l i ve t he r est of
t hei r l i ves t oget her .
Have t hei r chi l d.
El ect i on Day dawned col d and r ai ny. Because of t he
i nt er est i n t he senat e
r ace, a l ar ge vot er t ur nout was expect ed at t he pol l s
despi t e t he weat her .
I n t he mor ni ng, Ken Bai l ey asked, " Ar e you goi ng t o vot e
t oday?"
" Yes. 19
' Looks l i ke a cl ose r ace, doesn' t i t ?"
" Ver y cl ose. "
She went t o t he pol l s l at e t hat mor ni ng, and as - she
st epped i nt o t he
vot i ng boot h she t hought dul l y, A vot e f or AdamWar ner
i s a vot e agai nst
J enni f er Par ker . She vot ed f or Adamand l ef t t he boot h.
She coul d not bear
t o go back t o her of f i ce. She wal ked t he st r eet s al l
af t er noon, t r yi ng not
t o t hi nk, t r yi ng not t o f eel ; t hi nki ng and f eel i ng,
knowi ng t hat t he next
f ew hour s wer e goi ng t o det er mi ne t he r est of her l i f e.
25
" Thi s i s one of t he cl osest el ect i ons we have had i n
year s, " t he t el evi si on
announcer was sayi ng.
J enni f er was at home al one wat chi ng t he r et ur ns on NBC.
She had made
her sel f a l i ght di nner of scr ambl ed egg=s and t oast , and
t hen was t oo
ner vous t o eat anyt hi ng. She sat i n a r obe huddl ed up on
t he couch,
l i st eni ng t o her f at e bei ng br oadcast t o mi l l i ons of
peopl e. Each vi ewer
had hi s own r eason f or wat chi ng, f or want i ng one of t he
candi dat es t o wi n
. or t o l ose, but J enni f er was sur e t hat none of t hemwas
as deepl y i nvol ved
i n t he out come of t hi s el ect i on as she was. I f Adamwon,
i t woul d mean t he
end of t hei r r el at i onshi p . . . and t he end of t he baby
i n her womb.
Ther e was a qui ck shot of Adamon t he scr een, and by Li s
si de, Mar y Bet h.
J enni f er pr i ded her sel f on bei ng abl e t o r ead peopl e, t o
under st and t hei r
mot i ves, but she had been compl et el y t aken i n by t he
moonl i ght - and- magnol i as r out i ne of t he honey- voi ced
bi t ch. She kept pushi ng
back t he pi ct ur e of Adamgoi ng t o bed wi t h t hat woman,
maki ng her pr egnant .
246
SI DNEY SHELDON 247
Edwi n Newman was sayi ng, " Her e ar e t he l at est r et ur ns i n
t he senat e r ace
bet ween t he i ncumbent , J ohn Tr owbr i dge, and chal l enger
AdamWar ner . I n
Manhat t an, J ohn Tr owbr i dge has a t ot al of 221, 375 vot es.
AdamWar ner has a
t ot al of 214, 895.
" I n t he For t y- f i f t h El ect i on Di st r i ct of t he
Twent y- ni nt h Assembl y Di st r i ct
i n Queens, J ohn Tr owbr i dge i s t wo per cent age poi nt s
ahead. "
J enni f er ' s l i f e was bei ng measur ed i n per cent age
poi nt s.
" The t ot al s f r omThe Br onx, Br ookl yn, Queens, Ri chmond
and t he count i es of
Nassau, Rockl and, Suf f ol k and West chest er add up t o
2, 300, 000 f or J ohn
Tr owbr i dge, and 2, 120, 000 f or AdamWar ner , wi t h t he
vot es f r omupst at e New
Yor k j ust begi nni ng t o come i n. AdamWar ner has made a
sur pr i si ngl y st r ong
showi ng agai nst Senat or Tr owbr i dge, who i s ser vi ng hi s
t hi r d t er m. Fr omt he
begi nni ng, t he pol l s have been al most evenl y di vi ded i n
t hi s r ace.
Accor di ng t o t he l at est r et ur ns, wi t h si xt y- t wo per cent
of t he vot es.
count ed, Senat or Tr owbr i dge i s begi nni ng t o pul l ahead.
When we r ead t he
l ast r et ur ns one hour ago, Senat or Tr owbr i dge was t wo
per cent age poi nt s
ahead. The r et ur ns now i ndi cat e t hat he has i ncr eased
hi s l ead t o t wo and
a hal f per cent age poi nt s. I f t hi s t r end cont i nues, t he
NBC comput er wi l l
pr edi ct Senat or Tr owbr i dge t o be t he vi ct or i n t he
senat or i al r ace f or t he
Uni t ed St at es Senat e. Movi ng on t o t he cont est bet ween .
. . "
J enni f er sat t her e, l ooki ng at t he set , her hear t
poundi ng. I t was as
t hough mi l l i ons of peopl e wer e cast i ng a vot e t o deci de
whet her i t woul d be
Adamand J enni f er , or Adamand Mar y Bet h. J enni f er f el t
l i ght - headed and
gi ddy. She must r emember t o eat somet i me. But not now.
Not hi ng mat t er ed now
except what was happeni ng on t he scr een i n f r ont of her .
The suspense kept
bui l di ng, mi nut e by mi nut e, hour by hour .
At mi dni ght , Senat or J ohn Tr owbr i dge' s l ead was t hr ee
per cent age poi nt s. At
t wo i n t he mor ni ng, wi t h sevent y- one per cent of t he
vot es count ed, Senat or
Tt owbr i dge was l ead-
248 RAGE OF ANGELS
i ng by a mar gi n of t hr ee and a hal f per cent age poi nt s.
The comput er
decl ar ed. t hat Senat or J ohn Tr owbr i dge had won t he
el ect i on.
J enni f er sat t her e st ar i ng at t he t el evi si on set ,
dr ai ned of al l emot i on,
of al l f eel i ng. Adamhad l ost . J enni f er had won. She had
won Adamand t hei r
son. She was f r ee t o t el l Adamnow, t o t el l hi mabout
t hei r baby, t o pl an
f or t hei r f ut ur e t oget her .
J enni f er ' s hear t ached f or Adam, f or she knew how much
t he el ect i on had
meant t o hi m. And yet i n t i me, Adamwoul d get over hi s
def eat . One day he
woul d t r y agai n, and she woul d hel p hi m. He was st i l l
young. The wor l d l ay
bef or e bot h of t hem. Bef or e t he t hr ee of t hem.
J enni f er f el l asl eep on t he couch, dr eami ng about Adam
and t he el ect i on and
t he Whi t e House. She and Adamand t hei r son wer e i n t he
Oval Of f i ce. Adam
was maki ng hi s accept ance speech. Mar y Bet h wal ked i n
and began t o
i nt er r upt . Adamst ar t ed t o yel l at her and hi s voi ce got
l ouder and l ouder .
J enni f er woke up. The voi ce was t he voi ce of Edwi n
Newman. The t el evi si on
set was st i l l on. I t was dawn.
Edwi n Newman, l ooki ng exhaust ed, was r eadi ng t he f i nal
el ect i on r et ur ns.
J enni f er l i st ened t o hi m, her mi nd st i l l hal f asl eep.
As she st ar t ed t o r i se f r omt he couch she hear d hi msay,
" And her e ar e t he
f i nal r esul t s on t he New Yor k St at e senat or i al el ect i on.
I n one of t he most
st unni ng upset s i n year s, AdamWar ner has def eat ed t he
i ncumbent , Senat or
J ohn Tr owbr i dge, by a mar gi n of l ess t han one per cent . "
I t was over . J enni f er had l ost .
26
When J enni f er wal ked i nt o t he of f i ce l at e t hat mor ni ng,
Cynt hi a sai d, " Mr .
Adams i s on t he l i ne, Mi ss Par ker : He' s been cal l i ng al l
mor ni ng. "
J enni f er hesi t at ed, t hen sai d, " Al l r i ght , Cynt hi a, I ' l l
t ake i t . " She went
i nt o her of f i ce and pi cked up t he t el ephone. " Hel l o,
Adam.
Congr at ul at i ons. " .
" Thanks. We have t o t al k. Ar e you f r ee f or l unch?"
J enni f er hesi t at ed. " Yes. "
I t had t o be f aced somet i me.
I t was t he f i r st t i me J enni f er had seen Adami n t hr ee
weeks. She st udi ed
hi s- f ace. Adaml ooked haggar d and dr awn. He shoul d have
been f l ushed wi t h
vi ct or y, but i nst ead he seemed oddl y ner vous and
uncomf or t abl e. They
or der ed a l unch whi ch nei t her of t hemat e, and t hey
t al ked about t he
el ect i on, t hei r wor ds a camouf l age t o hi de t hei r
t hought s.
The char ade had become al most unbear abl e, when, f i nal l y,
Adamsai d,
" J enni f er . . : " He t ook a deep br eat h and pl unged
ahead. " Mar y Bet h i s
goi ng t o have a baby. "
249
250 RAGE OF ANGELS
Hear i ng t he wor ds f r omhi msomehow made i t an unbear abl e
r eal i t y. " I ' m
sor r y, dar l i ng. I t - i t j ust happened. I t ' s di f f i cul t t o
expl ai n. "
" You don' t have t o expl ai n. " J enni f er coul d see t he
scene cl ear l y. Mar y
Bet h i n a pr ovocat i ve negl i gee- or nakedand Adam-
" I f eel l i ke such a f ool , " Adamwas sayi ng. Ther e was an
uncomf or t abl e
si l ence and he went on. " I got a cal l t hi s mor ni ng f r om
t he chai r man of t he
Nat i onal Commi t t ee. Ther e' s t al k about gr oomi ng me as
t hei r next
pr esi dent i al candi dat e. " He hesi t at ed. " The pr obl emi s
t hat wi t h Mar y Bet h
pr egnant , t hi s woul d be an awkwar d t i me f or me t o get a
di vor ce. I don' t
know what t he hel l t o do. I haven' t sl ept i n t hr ee
ni ght s. " He l ooked at
J enni f er and sai d, " I hat e t o ask t hi s of you, but do you
t hi nk we coul d
wai t a l i t t l e whi l e unt i l t hi ngs sor t t hemsel ves out ?"
J enni f er l ooked acr oss t he t abl e at Adamand f el t such a
deep ache, such an
i nt ol er abl e l oss, t hat she di d not t hi nk she coul d st and
i t .
" We' l l see each ot her as of t en as possi bl e i n t he
meant i me, " Adamt ol d her .
" We- "
J enni f er f or ced her sel f t o speak. " No, Adam. I t ' s-
over . "
He st ar ed at her . " You don' t mean t hat . I l ove you,
dar l i ng. We' l l f i nd a
way t o- "
" Ther e i s no way. Your wi f e and baby ar en' t goi ng t o
di sappear . You and I
ar e f i ni shed. I ' ve l oved i t . Ever y moment of i t . "
She r ose t o her f eet , knowi ng t hat i f she di d not get
out of t he r est aur ant
she woul d st ar t scr eami ng. " We must never see each ot her
agai n. "
She coul d not bear t o l ook at hi s pai n- f i l l ed eyes.
" Oh, God, J enni f er ! . Don' t do t hi s. Pl ease don' t do
t hi s!
We- - - " _
She di d not hear t he r est . She was hur r yi ng t owar d t he
door , r unni ng out of
Adam' s l i f e.
27
Adam' s t el ephone cal l s wer e nei t her accept ed nor
r et ur ned. Hi s l et t er s wer e
sent back unopened. On t he l ast l et t er J enni f er
r ecei ved, she wr ot e t he
wor d " deceased" on t he envel ope and dr opped i t i n t he
mai l sl ot . I t ' s t r ue,
J enni f er t hought . I amdead.
She had never known t hat such pai n coul d exi st . She had
t o be al one, and
yet she was not al one. Ther e was anot her human bei ng
i nsi de her , a par t of
her and a par t of Adam. And she was goi ng t o dest r oy i t .
She f or ced her sel f t o t hi nk about wher e she was goi ng t o
have t he abor t i on.
A f ew year s ear l i er an abor t i on woul d have meant some
quack doct or i n a
di r t y, sl eazy back- al l ey r oom, but now t hat was no
l onger necessar y. She
coul d go t o a hospi t al and have t he oper at i on per f or med
by a r eput abl e
sur geon. Somewher e out si de of New Yor k Ci t y. J enni f er ' s
phot ogr aph had been
i n t he newspaper s t oo many t i mes, she had been on
t el evi si on t oo of t en. She
needed anonymi t y, somepl ace wher e no one woul d ask
quest i ons. Ther e must
never ,
251
252 RAGE OF ANGELS
never be a l i nk bet ween her and AdamWar ner . Uni t ed
St at es Senat or Adam
War ner . Thei r baby must di e anonymousl y.
J enni f er al l owed her sel f t o t hi nk of what t he baby woul d
have been l i ke,
and she began t o weep so har d t hat i t was di f f i cul t t o
br eat he.
I t had st ar t ed t o r ai n. J enni f er l ooked up at t he sky
and wonder ed whet her
God was cr yi ng f or her .
Ken Bai l ey was t he onl y per son J enni f er coul d t r ust t o
hel p her .
" I need an abor t i on, " J enni f er sai d wi t hout pr eambl e.
" Do yob know of a
good doct or ?"
He t r i ed t o mask hi s sur pr i se, but J enni f er coul d see
t he var i et y of
emot i ons t hat f l i cker ed acr oss hi s f ace.
" Somewher e out of t own, Ken. Somepl ace wher e t hey won' t
know me. "
" What about t he Fi j i I sl ands?" Ther e was an anger i n hi s
voi ce.
" I ' mser i ous. "
" Sor r y. I - you caught me of f guar d: " The news had t aken
hi mcompl et el y by
sur pr i se. He wor shi pped J enni f er . He knew t hat he l oved
her , and t her e wer e
t i mes when he t hought he was i n l ove wi t h her ; but he
coul d not be sur e,
and i t was t or t ur e. He coul d never do t o J enni f er what
he had done t o hi s
wi f e. God; Ken t hought , why t he hel l coul dn' t You make
up Your mi nd about
me?
He r an hi s hands t hr ough hi s r ed hai r and sai d, " I f you
don' t want t o have
i t i n New Yor k, I ' d suggest Nor t h Car ol i na. I t ' s not t oo
f ar away. "
" Can you check i t out f or me?"
" Yeah. F' me. I - "
" Yes?"
He l ooked away f r omher . " Not hi ng. "
s
SI DNEY SHELDON 253
Ken Bai l ey di sappear ed f or t he next t hr ee days. When he
wal ked i nt o
J enni f er ' s of f i ce on t he t hi r d day, he was unshaven and
hi s eyes wer e
hol l ow and r ed- r i mmed.
J enni f er t ook one l ook at hi mand asked, " Ar e you al l
r i ght ?"
" I guess so. "
" I s t her e anyt hi ng I can do t o hel p?"
" No. " I f God can' t hel p me, l ove, t her e' s not hi ng you
can do. .
He handed J enni f er a sl i p of paper . On i t was wr i t t en,
Dr . Er i c Li nden, Memor i al Hospi t al , Char l ot t e, Nor t h
Car ol i na.
" Thank you, Ken. "
" De nada. When ar e you goi ng t o do i t ?"
" I ' l l go down t her e t hi s weekend. "
He sai d awkwar dl y, " Woul d you l i ke me t o go wi t h you?"
" No, t hanks. I ' l l be f i ne. "
" What about t he r et ur n t r i p?"
" I ' l l be al l r i ght . "
He st ood t her e a moment , hesi t at i ng. " I t ' s none of my
busi ness, but ar e you
sur e t hi s i s what you want t p do?"
" I ' msur e: '
She had no choi ce. She want ed not hi ng mor e i n t he wor l d
t han t o keep Adam' s
baby, but she knew i t woul d be i nsane t o t r y t o br i ng
t he baby up by
her sel f .
She l ooked at Ken and sai d agai n, " I ' msur e. "
The hospi t al was a pl easant . ol d t wo- st or y br i ck
bui l di ng on t he out ski r t s
of Char l ot t e.
The woman behi nd t he r egi st r at i on desk was gr ay- hai r ed,
i n her l at e
si xt i es. " May I hel p you?"
" Yes, " J enni f er sai d. , r mMr s. Par ker . I have an
appoi nt ment wi t h Dr .
Li nden t o- t o- " She coul d not br i ng her sel f t o say t he
wor ds.
254 RAGE OF ANGELS
The r ecept i oni st nodded under st andi ngl y. " The doct or ' s
expect i ng you, Mr s.
Par ker . I ' l l have someone show you t he way. "
An ef f i ci ent young nur se l ed J enni f er t o an exami ni ng
r oomdown t he hal t
and sai d, " I ' l l t el l Dr . Li nden you' r e her e. Woul d you
l i ke t o get
undr essed? Ther e' s a hospi t al gown on t he hanger . "
Sl owl y, possessed by a f eel i ng of unr eal i t y, J enni f er
undr essed and put on
t he whi t e hospi t al gown. She f el t as t hough she wer e
put t i ng on a but cher ' s
apr on. She was about t o ki l l t he l i f e i nsi de her . I n her
mi nd, t he apr on
became spat t er ed wi t h bl ood, t he bl ood of her baby.
J enni f er f ound her sel f
t r embl i ng.
A voi ce sai d, " Her e, now. Rel ax. "
J enni f er l ooked up t o see a bur l y bal d- beaded man
wear i ng hor n- r i mmed
gl asses t hat gave hi s f ace an owl i sh appear ance.
" I ' mDr . Li nden. " He l ooked at t he char t i n hi s hand.
" You' r e Mr s. Par ker . "
J enni f er nodded.
The dqet or t ouched her ar mand sai d soot hi ngl y, " Si t
down. " He went t o t he
si nk and f i l l ed a paper cup wi t h wat er . " Dr i nk t hi s. "
J enni f er obeyed. Dr . Li nden sat i n a chai r , wat chi ng her
unt i l t he
t r embl i ng had subsi ded.
" So. You want t o have an abor t i on. "
" Yes. "
" Have you di scussed t hi s wi t h your husband, Mr s.
Par ker ?"
" Yes. We- we bot h want i t . "
He st udi ed her . " You appear t o be i n good heal t h. "
" I f eel - I f eel f i ne: "
" I s i t an economi c pr obl em?"
" No, " J enni f er sai d shar pl y. Why was he bot her i ng her
wi t h quest i ons?
" We- we j ust can' t have t he baby. "
Dr . Li nden t ook out a pi pe. " Thi s bot her you?"
" No. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 255
Dr . Li nden l i t t he pi pe and sai d, " Nast y habi t . " He
l eaned back and bl ew
out a puf f of smoke.
" Coul d we get t hi s over wi t h?" J enni f er asked.
Her ner ves wer e st r et ched t o t he br eaki ng poi nt . She
f el t t hat at any
moment she was goi ng t o scr eam.
Dr . Li nden t ook anot her l ong, sl ow puf f f r omhi s pi pe.
" I t hi nk we shoul d
t al k f or a f ew mi nut es. "
By an enor mous ef f or t of wi l l , J enni f er cont r ol l ed her
agi t at i on. " Al l
r i ght . "
" The t hi ng about abor t i ons, " Dr . Li nden sai d, " i s t hat
t hey' r e so f i nal .
You can change your mi nd now, but you can' t change i t
af t er t he baby' s
gone: "
" I ' mnot goi ng t o change my mi nd. "
He nodded and t ook anot her sl ow puf f of t he pi pe.
" That ' s good. " .
' The sweet smel l of t he t obacco was maki ng J enni f er
nauseous. She wi shed he
woul d put away hi s pi pe. " Doct or Li nden- "
He r ose t o hi s f eet r el uct ant l y and sai d, " Al l r i ght ,
young l ady, l et ' s
have a l ook at you. "
J enni f er l ay back on t he exami ni ng t abl e, her f eet i n
t he col d met al
st i r r ups. She f el t hi s f i nger s pr obi ng i nsi de her body.
They wer e. gent l e,
and ski l l ed, and she f el t no embar r assment , onl y an
i nef f abl e sense of
l oss, a deep sor r ow. Unbi dden vi si ons came i nt o her mi nd
of her young son,
because she knew wi t h cer t ai nt y i t woul d have been a
boy, r unni ng and
pl ayi ng and l aughi ng. Gr owi ng up i n t he i mage of hi s
f at her .
Dr . Li nden had f i ni shed hi s exami nat i on. " You can get
dr essed now, Mr s.
Par ker . You ma~ st ay her e over ni ght , i f you l i ke, and
we' l l per f or mt he
oper at i on i n t he mor ni ng. "
" No! " ' J enni f er ' s voi ce was shar per t han she had
i nt ended. " Pd l i ke i t done
now, pl ease. "
Dr . Li nden was st udyi ng her agai n, a qui zzi cal
expr essi on on hi s f ace.
256 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I have t wo pat i ent s ahead of you. I ' l l have t he nur se
come i n and get a
l ab wor k- up and t hen put you i n your r oom. We' l l go
ahead wi t h sur ger y i n
about f our hour s. Al l r i ght ?"
J enni f er whi sper ed, " Al l r i ght . "
She l ay on t he nar r ow hospi t al bed, her eyes cl osed,
wai t i ng f or Dr . Li nden
t o r et ur n. Ther e was an ol d- f ashi oned cl ock on t he wal l
and i t s t i cki ng
seemed t o f i l l t he r oom. The t i ckt ock became wor ds:
Young Adam, Young Adam,
Young Adam, our son, our son, our son.
J enni f er coul d not shut t he vi si on of t he baby out of
her mi nd. At t hi s
moment i t was i nsi de her body, comf or t abl e and war mand
al i ve, pr ot ect ed
agai nst t he wor l d i n i t s amni ot i c womb. She wonder ed
whet her i t had any
pr i meval f ear of what was about t o happen t o i t . She
wonder ed whet her . i t
woul d f eel pai n when t he kni f e ki l l ed i t . She put her
hands over her ear s
t o shut , out t he t i cki ng of t he cl ock. She f ound she was
begi nni ng t o
br eat he har d, and her body was cover ed wi t h
per spi r at i on. She hear d a sound
and opened her eyes.
Dr . Li nden was st andi ng over her , a l ook of concer n on
hi s f ace. " Ar e you
al l r i ght , Mr s. Par ker ?"
" Yes, " J enni f er whi sper ed. " I j ust want i t f i ni shed: "
Dr . Li nden nodded. " That ' s what we' r e goi ng t o do. " He
t ook a syr i nge f r om
t he t abl e next t o her bad and moved t owar d her .
" What ' s i n t hat ?"
" Demer ol and Phener gan t o r el ax you. We' l l be goi ng i nt o
t he oper at i ng r oom
i n a f ew mi nut es. " He gave J enni f er t he i nj ect i on. " I
t ake i t t hat t hi s i s
your f i r st abor t i on?"
" Yes, .
" Then l et me expl ai n t he pr ocedur e t o you. I t ' s pai nl ess
and r el at i vel y
si mpl e. I n t he oper at i ng r oomyou' l l be gi ven ni t r ous
oxi de, a gener al
anest hesi a, and oxygen by mask. When you' r e unconsci ous,
a specul umwi l l be
i nser t ed i nt o t he vagi na, so t hat we can see. what we' r e
doi ng. We wi l l
t hen begi n di l at i ng
SI DNEY SHELDON 257
t he cer vi x wi t h a ser i es of met al di l at or s, i n i ncr easi ng
si zes, and
scr api ng out t he ut er us wi t h a cur et t e. Any quest i ons so
f ar ?
" No. "
A war m, sl eepy f eel i ng was st eal i ng over her . She coul d
f eel her t ensi on
vani shi ng as t hough by magi c, and t he wal l s of t he r oom
began t o bl ur . She
want ed t o ask t he doct or somet hi ng, but she coul d not
r emember what i t was
. . . somet hi ng about t he baby . . . i t no l onger seemed
i mpor t ant . The
i mpor t ant t hi ng was t hat she was doi ng what she had t o
do. I t woul d ai l be
over i n a f ew mi nut es, and she coul d st ar t her l i f e
agai n.
She f ound her sel f dr i f t i ng of f i nt o a wonder f ul , dr eamy
st at e . . . she was
awar e of peopl e comi ng i nt o t he r oom, l i f t i ng her ont o a
met al t abl e wi t h
wheel s . . . she coul d f eel t he col dness of t he met al on
her back t hr ough
her t hi n hospi t al gown. She was bei ng r ol l ed down t he
hal l way and she
st ar t ed t o count t he l i ght s over head. I t seemed
i mpor t ant t o get t he number
r i ght , but she was not sur e why. She was bei ng wheel ed
i nt o a whi t e,
ant i sept i c oper at i ng r oomand J enni f er t hought , Thi s i s
wher e my baby i s
goi ng t o di e. Don' t wor r y, l i t t l e Adam. I won' t l et t hem
hur t you. And
wi t hout meani ng t o, she began t o cr y.
Dr . Li nden pat t ed her - ar m. " I t ' s al l r i ght . Thi s won' t
hur t . "
Deat h wi t hout pai n, J enni f er t hought . That was ni ce. She
l oved her baby.
She di d not want hi mt o be hur t .
Someone put a mask over her f ace and a voi ce sai d,
" Br eat he deepl y. "
J enni f er f el t hands r ai se t he hospi t al gown and spr ead
her l egs apar t .
I t was goi ng t o happen. I t vas goi ng t o happen now.
Young Adam. Young Adam,
Young Adam.
" I want you t o r el ax, " Dr . Li nden sai d.
J enni f er nodded. Good- bye, my baby. She f el t a col d,
st eel obj ect begi n t o
move bet ween her t hi ghs and sl owl y sl i de up
258 RAGE OF ANGELS
i nsi de her . I t was t he al i en i nst r ument of deat h t hat was
goi ng t o mur der
Adam' s baby.
She hear d a st r ange voi ce scr eamout , " St op i t ! St op i t !
St op i t ! "
And J enni f er l ooked up at t he sur pr i sed f aces st ar i ng
down at her and
r eal i zed t hat t he scr eams wer e comi ng f r omher . The mask
pr essed down
har der agai nst her f ace. She t r i ed t o si t up, but t her e
wer e st r aps hol di ng
her down. She was bei ng sucked i nt o a vor t ex t hat was
movi ng f ast er and
f ast er , dr owni ng her .
The l ast t hi ng she r emember ed was t he huge whi t e l i ght
i n t he cei l i ng
whi r l i ng above her , spi nni ng down and goi ng deep i nsi de
her skul l .
When J enni f er awakened, she was l yi ng i n t he hospi t al
bed i n her r oom.
Thr ough t he wi ndow she coul d see t hat i t was dar k
out si de. Her body f el t
sor e and bat t er ed, and she wonder ed how l ong she had
been unconsci ous. She
was al i ve, but her baby=?
She r eached f or t he bel l pi nned t o her bed and pr essed
i t . She kept
pr essi ng i t , f r ant i c, unabl e t o st op her sel f .
t 1 nur se appear ed i n t he door way, t hen qui ckl y l ef t . A
f ew moment s l at er
Dr . Li nden hur r i ed i n. He moved t o t he si de of t he bed
and gent l y pr i ed
J enni f er ' s f i nger s away f r omt he bel l .
J enni f er gr abbed hi s ar mf i er cel y and sai d i n a hoar se
voi ce, " My baby- he' s
dead! " - ! "
Dr . Li nden sai d, " No, Mr s. Par ker . He' s al i ve. I hope
i t ' s a boy. You kept
cal l i ng hi mAdam. "
28
Chr i st mas came and went , and i t was a new year , 1973.
The sn: dws of
Febr uar y gave way t o t he br i sk wi nds of Mar ch, and
J enni f er knew t hat i t
was t i me t o st op wor ki ng.
She cal l ed a meet i ng of t he of f i ce st af f .
" I ' mt aki ng a l eave of absence, " J enni f er announced.
" Tl l be gone f or t he
next f i ve mont hs. "
Ther e wer e mur mur s of sur pr i se.
Dan Mar t i n asked, " We' l l be abl e t o r each you, won' t
we?"
" No, Dan. I ' l l be out of t ouch. "
Ted Har r i s peer ed at her t hr ough hi s t hi ck spect acl es.
" J enni f er , you can' t j ust "
" I ' l l be l eavi ng at t he end of t hi s week. "
Ther e was a f i nal i t y - i n her t one t hat br ooked no
f ur t her quest i ons. The
r est of t he meet i ng vas t aken up wi t h a di scussi on of
per di ng cases.
When ever yone el se had l ef t , Ken Bai l ey asked, " Have you
r eal l y t hought
t hi s t hi ng t hr ough?"
" I have no choi ce, Ken. "
259
260 RAGE OF ANGELS
He l ooped at her . " I don' t know who t he son of a bi t ch
i s, but I hat e hi m. "
J enni f er put her hand on hi s ar m. " Thank you. I ' l l be
al l r i ght . "
" I t ' s goi ng t o get r ough, you know. Ki ds gr ow up. They
ask quest i ons. He' l l
want t o know who hi s f at her i s. "
" I ' l l handl e i t . "
" Okay. " Hi s t one sof t ened. " I f t her e' s anyt hi ng I can
doanyt hi ng- I ' l l
al ways be ar ound. "
She put her ar ms ar ound hi m. " Thank you, Ken. I - t hank
YOU. "
J enni f er st ayed i n her of f i ce l ong af t er ever yone el se
' had l ef t , si t t i ng
al one i n t he dar k; t hi nki ng. She woul d al ways l ove Adam.
Not hi ng coul d ever
change t hat , and she was sur e t hat he st i l l l oved her .
Somehow, J enni f er
t hought , i t woul d be easi er i / he di d not . I t was an
unbear abl e i r ony t hat
t hey l oved each ot her and coul d not be t oget her , t hat
t hei r l i ves wer e
goi ng t o move f ar t her and f ar t her apar t . Adam' s l i f e
woul d be i n Washi ngt on
now wi t h Mar y Bet h and t hei r chi l d. Per haps one day Adam
woul d be i n t he
Whi t e House. J enni f er t hought of her own son gr owi ng up,
want i ng t o know
who hi s f at her was. She coul d never t el l hi m, nor must
Adamever know t hat
she had bor ne hi ma chi l d, f or i t woul d dest r oy hi m.
And i f anyone el se ever l ear ned about i t , i t woul d
dest r oy Adami n a
di f f er ent way.
J enni f er had deci ded t o buy a house i n t he count r y,
somewher e out si de of
Manhat t an, wher e she and her son coul d l i ve t oget her i n
t hei r own l i t t l e
wor l d-
She f ound t he house by sheer acci dent . She had been on
her way t o see a
cl i ent on Long I sl and and had t ur ned of f t he Long I sl and
Expr essway at Exi t
36, t hen had t aken a wr ong t ur n and f ound her sel f i n
Sands Poi nt . The
st r eet s wer e qui et and shaded wi t h t al l , gr acef ul t r ees,
and t he houses
wer e set
SI DNEY SHELDON 261
back f i =omt he r oad, each i n i t s pr i vat e l i t t l e domai n.
Ther e was a For Sal e
si gn i n f r ont of a whi t e col oni al house on Sands Poi nt
Road. The gr ounds
wer e f enced i n and t her e was a l ovel y wr ought - i r on gat e
i n f r ont of a
sweepi ng dr i veway, ' wi t h l amp post s l i ght i ng t he way, and
a l ar ge f r ont l awn
wi t h a r ow of yews shel t er i ng t he house. Fr omt he out si de
i t l ooked
enchant i ng. J enni f er wr ot e down t he name of t he r eal t or
and made an
appoi nt ment t o see t he house t he f ol l owi ng af t er noon.
The r eal est at e agent was a hear t y, hi gh- pr essur e t ype,
t he ki nd of
sal esman J enni f er hat ed. But she was not buyi ng hi s
per sonal i t y, she was
buyi ng a house. .
He was sayi ng, " I t ' s a r eal beaut y. Yessi r , a r eal
beaut y. About a hundr ed
year s ol d. I t ' s i n t i p- t op condi t i on. Absol ut el y
t i p- t op. "
Ti p- t op was cer t ai nl y an exagger at i on. The r ooms wer e
ai r y and spaci ous,
but i n need of r epai r . I t woul d be f un, J enni f er
t hought , t o f i x up t hi s
house and decor at e i t .
Upst ai r s, acr oss f r omt he mast er sui t e, was a r oomt hat
coul d be conver t ed
i nt o a nur ser y. She woul d do i t , i n bl ue and-
" Li ke t o wal k ar ound t he gr ounds?"
I t was t he t r ee house t hat deci ded J enni f er . I t was
bui l t on a pl at f or m
hi gh up i n a st ur dy oak t r ee. Her son' s t r ee house.
Ther e wer e t hr ee acr es,
wi t h t he back l awn gent l y sl opi ng down t o t he sound,
wher e t her e was a
dock. I t woul d be a wonder f ul pl ace f or her son t o gr ow
up i n, wi t h pl ent y
of r oomf or hi mt o r un ar ound. ~ Lat er , he woul d have a
smal l boat . Ther e
woul d be al l t he pr i vacy her e t hat t hey woul d need, f or
J enni f er was
det er mi ned t hat t hi s was goi ng t o be a wor l d t hat
bel onged onl y t o her and
her chi l d.
She bought t he house t he f ol l owi ng day.
J enni f er had had no i dea how pai nf ul i t woul d be t o
l eave
262 RAGE OF ANGELS
t he Manhat t an apar t ment she and Adamhad shar ed. Hi s
bat hr obe and paj amas
wer e st i l l t her e, and hi s sl i pper s and shavi ng ki t . Ever y
r oomhel d hundr eds
of memor i es of Adam, memor i es of a l ovel y, dead past .
J enni f er packed her
t hi ngs as qui ckl y as possi bl e and got out of t her e.
At t he new house, J enni f er kept her sel f busy f r omear l y
mor ni ng unt i l l at e
at ni ght , so t hat t her e woul d be no t i me t o t hi nk about
Adam. She went i nt o
t he shops i n Sands Poi nt and Por t Washi ngt on t o or der
f ur ni t ur e and dr apes.
She bought Por t haul t l i nens, and si l ver and chi na. She
hi r ed l ocal wor kmen
t o come i n and r epai r t he f aul t y pl umbi ng and l eaky r oof
and wor n- out
el ect r i cal equi pment . Fr omear l y mor ni ng unt i l dusk, t he
house was f i l l ed
wi t h pai nt er s, car pent er s, el ect r i ci ans and wal l paper
hanger s. J enni f er was
ever ywher e, super vi si ng ever yt hi ng. She wor e her sel f out
dur i ng t he day,
hopi ng she woul d be abl e t o sl eep at ni ght , but t he
demons had r et ur ned,
t or t ur i ng her wi t h unspeakabl e ni ght mar es.
She haunt ed ant i que shops, buyi ng l amps and t abl es and
obj et s d' ar t . She
bought a f ount ai n and st at ues f or t he gar den, a
Li pschi t z, a Noguchi and a
Mi r b.
I nsi de t he house, ever yt hi ng was begi nni ng t o l ook
beaut i f ul .
Bob Cl ement was a Cal i f or ni a cl i ent of J enni f er ' s and
t he ar ea r ugs he had
desi gned f or t he l i vi ng r oomand t he nur ser y made t he
r ooms gl ow wi t h
subdued col or .
J enni f er ' s abdomen was get t i ng bi gger , and she went i nt o
t he vi l l age t o buy
mat er ni t y cl ot hes. She had an unl i st ed t el ephone
i nst al l ed. I t was t her e
onl y f or emer genci es, and she gave no one t he t el ephone
number and expect ed
no cal l s. The onl y per son i n t he of f i ce who knew wher e
she l i ved was Ken
Bai l ey, and he was swor n t o secr ecy.
He dr ove out t o see J enni f er one af t er noon, and she
showed hi mar ound t he
house and gr ounds and t ook enor mous pl easur e i n hi s
del i ght .
SI DNEY SHELDON 263
" I t ' s beaut i f ul , J enni f er . Real l y beaut i f ul . You' ve done
a hel l of a j ob. "
He l ooked at her swol l en abdomen. " How l ong i s i t goi ng
t o be?"
" Anot her t wo mont hs. " She put hi s hand agai nst her bel l y
and sai d, " Feel
t hi s. "
He f el t a ki ck.
" He' s get t i ng st r onger ever y day, " J enni f er sai d
pr oudl y.
She cooked di nner f or Ken. He wai t ed unt i l t hey wer e
havi ng desser t bef or e
he br ought up t he subj ect .
" I don' t want t o pr y, " he sai d, " but shoul dn' t whoever
t he pr oud papa i s be
doi ng somet hi ng- ?"
" Subj ect cl osed. "
" Okay. , Sor r y. The of f i ce mi sses you l i ke hel l . We have a
new cl i ent who- "
J enni f er hel d up a hand. " I don' t want t o hear about
i t . "
They t al ked unt i l i t was t i me f or Ken t o l eave, and
J enni f er hat ed t o see
hi mgo. He was a dear man and a good f r i end.
_J enni f er shut her sel f of f f r omt he wor l d i n ever y
possi bl e way. She
st opped r eadi ng t he newspaper s and woul d not wat ch
t el evi si on or l i st en t o
t he r adi o. Her uni ver se was her e wi t hi n t hese f our
wal l s. Thi s was her
nest , her womb, t he pl ace wher e she was goi ng t o br i ng
her son i nt o t he
wor l d.
She r ead ever y book she coul d get her hands on about
r ai si ng chi l dr en, f r om
Dr . Spock t o Ames and Gesel l and back agai n.
When J enni f er f i ni shed decor at i ng t he nur ser y, she
f i l l ed i t wi t h t oys. She
vi si t ed a spor t i ng goods shop and l ooked at f oot bal l s
and basebal l bat s and
a cat cher ' s mi t t . And she l aughed at her sel f . Thi s i s
r i di cul ous. Ht hasn' t
even been bor n yet . And she bought t he basebal l bat and
t he cat cher ' s mi t t .
The f oot bal l t empt ed her , but she t hought , That can
wai t .
I t was May, and t hen J une.
264 RAGE OF ANGELS
The wor kmen f i ni shed and t he house became qui et and
ser ene. Twi ce a week
J enni f er woul d . dr i ve i nt o t he vi l l age and shop at t he
super mar ket , and
ever y t wo weeks she woul d vi si t Dr . Har vey, her
obst et r i ci an. J enni f er
obedi ent l y dr ank mor e mi l k t han she want ed, t ook
vi t ami ns and at e al l t he
pr oper , heal t hy f oods. She was get t i ng l ar ge now and
cl umsy, and i t was
becomi ng di f f i cul t f or her t o move about .
She had al ways been act i ve, and she had t hought she
woul d l oat he get t i ng
heavy and awkwar d, havi ng t o move sl owl y; but somehow,
she di d not mi nd i t .
Ther e was no r eason t o hur r y anymor e. The days became
l ong and dr eamy and
peacef ul . Some di ur nal cl ock wi t hi n her had sl owed i t s
t empo. I t was as
t hough she wer e r eser vi ng her ener gy, pour i ng i t i nt o
t he ot her body l i vi ng
i nsi de her .
One mor ni ng, Dr . Har vey exami ned her and sai d, " Anot her
t wo weeks, Mr s.
Par ker . "
I t was so cl ose now. J enni f er had t hought she mi ght be
af r ai d. She had
hear d al l t he ol d wi ves' t al es of t he pai n, t he
acci dent s, t he mal f or med
babi es, but she f el t no f ear , onl y a l ongi ng t o see her
chi l d, an
i mpat i ence t o get hi s bi r t h over wi t h so she coul d hol d
hi mi n her ar ms.
Ken Bai l ey dr ove out t o t he house al most ever y day now,
br i ngi ng wi t h hi m
The Li t t l e Engi ne That Coul d, Li t t l e Red Hen, Pat t he
Bunny, and a dozen
Dr . Seuss books.
" He' l l l ove t hese, " Ken sai d.
And J enni f er smi l ed, because he had sai d " he. " An omen.
They st r ol l ed t hr ough t he gr ounds and had a pi cni c l unch
at t he wat er ' s
edge and sat i n t he sun. J enni f er was sel f consci ous
about her l ooks. She
t hought , Why woul d he want t o wast e hi s t i me wi t h t he
ugl y f at l ady f r om
t he ci r cus?
And Ken was l ooki ng at J enni f er and t hi nki ng: She' s t he
most beaut i f ul
woman I ' ve ever seen.
The f i r st pai ns came at t hr ee o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng.
They
SI DNEY SHELDON 265
wer e so shar p t hat J enni f er was l ef t br eat hl ess. A f ew
moment s l at er t hey
wer e r epeat ed and J enni f er t hought exul t ant l y, I t ' s
happeni ng!
She began t o count t he t i me bet ween t he pai ns, and when
t hey wer e t en
mi nut es apar t she t el ephoned her obst et r i ci an. J enni f er
dr ove t o t he
hospi t al , pul l i ng over t o t he si de of t he r oad ever y
t i me a cont r act i on
came. An at t endant was st andi ng out si de wai t i ng f or her
when she ar r i ved,
and a f ew mi nut es l at er Dr . Har vey was exami ni ng her .
When he f i ni shed, he sai d r eassur i ngl y, " Wel l , t hi s i s
goi ng t o be an easy
del i ver y, Mr s. Par ker . J ust r el ay and we' l l l et nat ur e
t ake i t s cour se. "
I t was not easy, but nei t her was i t unbear abl e. J enni f er
coul d st and t he
pai n because out of i t somet hi ng wonder f ul was
happeni ng. She was i n l abor
f or al most ei ght hour s, and at t he end of t hat t i me,
when her body was
wr acked and cont or t ed wi t h spasms and she t hought t hat
i t was never . goi ng
t o st op, she f el t a qui ck easi ng and t hen a r ushi ng
empt i ness, and a sudden
bl essed peace.
She hear d a t hi n squeal and Dr . Har vey was hol di ng up
her baby, sayi ng,
" Woul d you l i ke t o t ake a l ook at your son, Mr s.
Par ker ?"
J enni f er ' s smi l e l i t t he r oom.
29
Hi s name was J oshua AdamPar ker and he wei ghed i n at
ei ght pounds, si x
ounces, a per f ect l y f or med baby. J enni f er knew t hat
babi es wer e supposed t o
be ugl y at bi r t h, wr i nkl ed and r ed and r esembl i ng l i t t l e
apes. Not J oshua
Adam. He was beaut i f ul . The nur ses at t he hospi t al kept
t el l i ng J enni f er
what a handsome boy J oshua was, and J enni f er coul d not
hear i t of t en
enough. The r esembl ance t o Adamwas st r i ki ng. J oshua
Adamhad hi s f at her ' s
gr ay- bl ue eyes and beaut i f ul l y shaped head. When
J enni f er l ooked at hi m,
she was l ooki ng at Adam. I t was a st r ange f eel i ng, a
poi gnant mi xt ur e of
j oy and sadness. How Adamwoul d have l oved t o see hi s
handsome son!
When J oshua was t wo days ol d he smi l ed up at J enni f er
and she exci t edl y
r ang f or t he nur se.
" Look! He' s smi l i ng! "
" I t ' s gas, Mr s. Par ker . "
266
SI DNEY SHELDON 267
" Wi t h ot her babi es i t mi ght be gas, " J enni f er sai d
st ubbor nl y. " My son i s
smi l i ng. "
J enni f er had wonder ed how she woul d f eel about her baby,
had wor r i ed
whet her she woul d be a good mot her . Babi es wer e sur el y
bor i ng t o be ar ound.
They messed t hei r di aper s, demanded t o be f ed
const ant l y, cr i ed and sl ept .
Ther e was no communi cat i on wi t h t hem.
I won' t r eal l y f eel anyt hi ng about hi munt i l he' s f our or
eve
year s ol d, J enni f er had t hought . How wr ong, how wr ong.
Fr omt he moment of
J oshua' s bi r t h, J enni f er l oved her son wi t h a l ove she
had never known
exi st ed i n her . I t was a f i er cel y pr ot ect i ve l ove. J oshua
was so smal l , and
t he wor l d so l ar ge.
When J enni f er br ought J oshua home f r omt he hospi t al , she
was gi ven a l ong
l i st of i nst r uct i ons, but t hey onl y ser ved t o pani c her .
For t he f i r st t wo
weeks R pr act i cal nur se st ayed at t he house. Af t er t hat ,
J enni f er was on
her own, and she was t er r i f i ed she mi ght do somet hi ng
wr ong t hat woul d ki l l
t he baby. She was af r ai d he mi ght st op br eat hi ng at any
moment .
The f i r st t i me J enni f er made J oshua' s f or mul a, she
r eal i zed she had
f or got t en t o st er i l i ze t he ni ppl e. She t hr ew t he f or mul a
i n t he si nk and
st ar t ed al l aver agai n. When she had f i ni shed she
r emember ed she had
f or got t en t o st er i l i ze t he bot t l e. She began agai n. By
t he t i me J oshua' s
meal was r eady, he was scr eami ng wi t h r age.
Ther e wer e t i mes when J enni f er di d not t hi nk she woul d
be abl e t o cope. At
unexpect ed moment s she was over whel med wi t h f eel i ngs of
unexpl ai ned
depr essi on. She t ol d her sel f t hat i t was t he nor mal
post par t umbl ues, but
t he expl anat i on di d not make her f eel any bet t er . She
was const ant l y
exhaust ed. I t seemed t o her t hat she was up al l ni ght
gi vi ng J oshua hi s
f eedi ngs and when she di d f i nal l y manage t o dr op of f t o
sl eep, J oshua' s
cr i es woul d awaken her and J enni f er woul d st umbl e back
i nt o t he nur ser y.
268 RAGE OF ANGELS
She cal l ed t he doct or const ant l y, at al l hour s of t he day
and
ni ght .
" J oshua' s br eat hi ng t oo f ast " . . . " He' s br eat hi ng t oo
sl owl y" . . .
" J oshua' s coughi ng" . . . " He di dn' t eat hi s di nner " . .
" J oshua vomi t ed. "
I n sel f - def ense, t he doct or f i nal l y dr ove t o, t he house
and gave J enni f er
a l ect ur e.
" Mr s. Par ker , I ' ve never seen a heal t hi er baby t han your
son. He may l ook
f r agi l e, but he' s as st r ong as an oz. St op wor r yi ng
about hi mand enj oy
hi m. J ust r emember one t hi ng - he' s goi ng t o out l i ve bot h
of us! "
And so J enni f er began t o r el ax. She had decor at ed
J oshua' s bedr oomwi t h
pr i nt cur t ai ns and a bedspr ead wi t h a bl ue backgr ound
spr i gged wi t h whi t e
f l ower s and yel l ow but t er f l i es. Ther e was a cr i b, a pl ay
pen, a mi ni at ur e
mat chi ng chest and desk and chai r , a r ocki ng hor se, and
t he chest f ul l of
t oys.
J enni f er l oved hol di ng J oshua, bat hi ng and di aper i ng
hi m, t aki ng hi mf or
ai r i ngs i n hi s shi ny new per ambul at or . She t al ked t o hi m
const ant l y, and
when J oshua was f our weeks ol d he r ewar ded her wi t h a
smi l e. Not gas,
J enni f er t hought happi l y. A smi l e!
The f i r st t i me Ken Bai l ey saw t he baby, he st ar ed at i t
f or a l ong t i me.
Wi t h a f eel i ng of sudden pani c, J enni f er t hought , He' s
goi ng t o r ecogni ze
i t . He' s goi ng t o know i t ' s Adam' s - baby.
But al l Ken sai d was, " He' s a r eal beaut y. He t akes
af t er hi s mot her . "
She l et Ken hol d J oshua i n hi s ar ms and she l aughed at
Ken' s awkwar dness.
But she coul d not hel p t hi nki ng, J oshua wi l l never have
a f at her t o hol d
hi m.
Si x weeks had passed and i t was t i me t o go back t o
wor k.
SI DNEY SHELDON 269
J enni f er hat ed t he i dea of bei ng away f r omher son, even
f or a f ew hour s a
day, but t he t hought of r et ur ni ng t o t he of f i ce f i l l ed
her wi t h exci t ement .
She had compl et el y cut her sel f of f f r omever yt hi ng f or so
l ong. I t was t i me
t o r e- ent er her ot her wor l d.
She l ooked i n t he mi r r or and deci ded t he f i r st t hi ng she
had t o do was get
her body back i n shape. She had been di et i ng and
exer ci si ng si nce shor t l y
af t er J oshua' s bi r t h, but now she went at i t even mor e
st r enuousl y, and
noon she began t o l ook l i ke her ol d sel f .
J enni f er st ar t ed t o i nt er vi ew housekeeper s. She exami ned
t hemas t hough
each one was a j ur or : she pr obed, l ooki ng f or
weaknesses, l i es,
i ncompet ence. She i nt er vi ewed mor e t han t went y pot ent i al
candi dat es bef or e
she f ound one she l i ked and t r ust ed, a mi ddl e- aged
Scot swoman named Mr s.
Mackey, who had wor ked f or one f ami l y f or f i f t een year s
and had l ef t when
t he chi l dr en had gr own up and gone away t o school .
J enni f er had Ken check her out , and when Ken assur ed her
t hat Mr s. Mackey
was l egi t i mat e, J enni f er hi r ed her .
A week l at er J enni f er r et ur ned t o t he of f i ce.
30
J enni f er Par ker ' s sudden di sappear ance had cr eat ed a
spat e of r umor s ar ound
Manhat t an l aw of f i ces.
When wor d got out on t he gr apevi ne t hat J enni f er was
back, t he i nt er est was
enor mous. The r ecept i on t hat J enni f er r ecei ved on t he
mor ni ng she r et ur ned
kept swel l i ng, as at t or neys f r omot her of f i ces dr opped
by t o vi si t her .
Cynt hi a, Dan and Ted had hung st r eamer s acr oss t he r oom
and a huge Wel come
Back si gn. Ther e was champagne and cake.
" At ni ne o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng?" J enni f er pr ot est ed.
But t hey i nsi st ed.
" I t ' s been a madhouse her e wi t hout you, " Dan Mar t i n t ol d
her . " You' r e not
pl anni ng t o do t hi s agai n, ar e you?"
J enni f er l ooked at hi mand sai d, " No. I ' mnot pl anni ng
t o do t hi s agai n. "
Unexpect ed vi si t or s kept dr oppi ng i n t o make sur e
J enni f er was al l r i ght
and t o wi sh her wel l .
270
SI DNEY SHELDON 271
She par r i ed quest i ons about wher e she had been wi t h a
smi l e and " We' r e not
al l owed t o t el l . "
She hel d conf er ences al l day wi t h t he member s of her
st af f . Hundr eds of
t el ephone messages had accumul at ed.
When Ken Bai l ey was i n J enni f er ' s of f i ce al one wi t h her ,
he sai d, " You know
who' s been dr i vi ng us nut s t r yi ng t o r each you?"
J enni f er ' s hear t l eaped. " Who?"
" Mi chael Mor et t i . "
" Oh. "
" He' s wei r d. When we woul dn' t t el l hi mwher e you wer e,
he made us swear you
wer e al l r i ght . "
" For get about Mi chael Mor et t i . "
J enni f er went over al l t he cases t hat wer e bei ng handl ed
by t he of f i ce.
Busi ness was excel l ent . They had acqui r ed a l ot of
i mpor t ant new cl i ent s.
Some of t he ol der cl i ent s r ef used t odeal wi t h anyone but
J enni f er , and wer e
wai t i ng f or her r et ur n.
" I ' l l cal l t hemas soon as I can, " J enni f er pr omi sed.
She went t hr ough t he r est of t he t el ephone messages.
Ther e wer e a dozen
cal l s f r omMr . Adams. Per haps she shoul d have l et Adam
know t hat she was
al l r i ght , t hat not hi ng had happened t o her . But she
knew she coul d not
bear hear i ng hi s voi ce, knowi ng he was cl ose and t hat
she woul d not be abl e
t o see hi m, t ouch hi m, hol d hi m. Tel l hi mabout J oshua.
Cynt hi a had cl i pped news st or i es she t hought woul d be of
i nt er est t o
J enni f er . Ther e was a syndi cat ed ser i es on Mi chael
Mor et t i , cal l i ng hi mt he
most i mpor t ant Maf i a l eader i n t he count r y. Ther e was a
phot ogr aph of hi m
and under i t t he capt i on, I ' mj ust an i nsur ance
sal esman.
I t t ook J enni f er t hr ee mont hs t o cat ch up on her backl og
of cases. She
coul d have handl ed i t mor e r api dl y, but she i nsi st ed on
l eavi ng . t he of f i ce
at f our o' cl ock ever y day, no mat t er what she was
i nvol ved i n. J oshua was
wai t i ng.
272 RAGE OF ANGELS
Mor ni ngs, bef or e J enni f er went t o t he of f i ce, she made
J oshua' s br eakf ast
her sel f and spent as much t i me as possi bl e pl ayi ng wi t h
hi mbef or e she
l ef t .
When J enni f er came home i n t he af t er noon, she devot ed
al l - . of her t i me t o
J oshua. She f or ced her sel f t o l eave her busi ness
pr obl ems at t he of f i ce,
and t ur ned down any cases t hat woul d t ake her away f r om
her son. She
st opped wor ki ng weekends. She woul d l et not hi ng i nt r ude
on her pr i vat e
wor l d.
She l oved r eadi ng al oud t o J oshua.
Mr s. Mackey pr ot est ed, " He' s an i nf ant , Mr s. Par ker . He
doesn' t under st and
a wor d you' r e sayi ng. "
J enni f er woul d r epl y conf i dent l y, " J oshua under st ands. "
And she woul d go on r eadi ng.
J oshua was a ser i es of unendi ng mi r acl es. When he was
t hr ee mont hs ol d he
began cooi ng and t r yi ng t o t al k t o J enni f er . He amused
hi msel f i n hi s cr i b
wi t h a l ar ge, t i nkl i ng bal l and a t oy bunny t hat Ken had
br ought hi m. When
he was si x mont hs ol d, he was al r eady t r yi ng t o cl i mb
. out of hi s cr i b,
r est l ess t o expl or e t he wor l d. J enni f er hel d hi mi n her
ar ms and he gr abbed
her f i nger s wi t h hi s t i ny hands and t hey car r i ed on l ong
and ser i ous
conver sat i ons.
J enni f er ' s days at t he of f i ce wer e f ul l . One mor ni ng she
r ecei ved a cal l
f r omPhi l i p Reddi ng, pr esi dent of a l ar ge oi l
cor por at i on.
" I wonder i f we coul d meet , " he sai d. " I have a
pr obl em. "
J enni f er di d not have t o ask hi mwhat i t was. Hi s
company . had been accused
of payi ng br i bes i n or der t o do busi ness i n t he Mi ddl e
East . Ther e woul d be
a l ar ge f ee f or handl i ng t he case, but J enni f er si mpl y
di d not have t he
t i me.
" I ' msor r y, " she sai d. " I ' mnot avai l abl e, but I can
r ecommend someone
who' s ver y good. "
" I was t ol d not t o t ake no f or an answer , " Phi l i p
Reddi ng r epl i ed.
SI DNEY SHELDON 273
" By whom?"
" A f r i end of mi ne. J udge Lawr ence Wal dman. "
J enni f er hear d t he name wi t h di sbel i ef . " J udge Wal dman
asked you t o cal l
me?"
" He sai d you' r e t he best t her e i s, but I al r eady knew
t hat . "
J enni f er hel d t he r ecei ver i n her hand, t hi nki ng of her
pr evi ous
exper i ences wi t h J udge Wal dman, how sur e she had been
t hat he hat ed her and
was out t o dest r oy her .
" Al l r i ght . Let ' s have br eakf ast t omor r ow mor ni ng, "
J enni f er sai d.
When she had hung up, she pl aced a cal l t o J udge
Wal dman.
The f ami l i ar voi ce came on t he t el ephone. " Wel l . I
haven' t t al ked t o you i n
some t i me, young l ady. "
" I want ed t o t hank you f or havi ng Phi l i p Reddi ng cal l
me. "
" I want ed t o make cer t ai n he was i n good hands. "
" I appr eci at e t hat , Your Honor . "
" How woul d you l i ke t o have di nner wi t h an ol d man one
eveni ng?"
J enni f er was t aken by sur pr i se, " Td l ove havi ng di nner
wi t h you. "
" Fi ne. I ' l l t ake you t o my cl ub. They' r e a bunch of ol d
f ogi es and t hey' r e
not used t o beaut i f ul young women. I t 71 shake t hemup a
bi t . "
J udge Lawr ence Wal dman bel onged t o t he Cent ur y
Associ at i on on West 43r d
St r eet , and when he and J enni f er met t her e f or di nner
she saw t hat he had
been t easi ng about ol d f ogi es. The di ni ng r oomwas
f i l l ed wi t h aut hor s,
ar t i st s, l awyer s and act or s.
" I t i s t he cust omnot t o make i nt r oduct i ons her e, " J udge
Wal dman expl ai ned
t o J enni f er . " I t ' s assumed t hat ever y per son i s
i mmedi at el y r ecogni zabl e. "
Seat ed at var i ous t abl es, J enni f er r ecogni zed Loui s Au-
274 RAGE OF ANGELS
chi ncl oss, Geor ge Pl i mpt on and J ohn Li ndsay, among ot her s.
Soci al l y, Lawr ence
Wal dman was t ot al l y di f f er ent f r omwhat J enni f er had
expect ed. Over
cockt ai l s he sai d t o J enni f er , " I once want ed t o see you
di sbar r ed because
I t hought you had di sgr aced our pr of essi on. I ' mconvi nced
t hat I was wr ong.
I ' ve - been wat chi ng you cl osel y. I t hi nk you' r e a cr edi t
t o t he pr of essi on. "
J enni f er was pl eased. She had encount er ed j udges who
wer e venal , st upi d or
i ncompet ent . She r espect ed Lawr ence Wal dman. He was bot h
a br i l l i ant j ur i st
and a man of i nt egr i t y.
" Thank you, Your Honor . "
" Of f t he bench, why don' t we make i t Lawr ence and
J enni e?"
Her f at her was t he onl y one who had ever cal l ed her
J enni e.
" I ' d l i ke t hat , Lawr ence. "
The f ood was excel l ent and t hat di nner was t he begi nni ng
of a mont hl y
r i t ual t hey bot h enj oyed t r emendousl y.
31
I t was t he summer of 1974. I ncr edi bl y, a year had f l own by
si nce J oshua
AdamPar ker had been bor n. He had t aken hi s f i r st
t ot t er i ng st eps and he
under st ood t he wor ds f or nose and mout h and head.
" He' s a geni us, " J enni f er f l at l y i nf or med Mr s. Mackey.
J enni f er pl anned J oshua' s f i r st bi r t hday par t y as t hough
i t wer e bei ng
gi ven at t he Whi t e House. On Sat ur day she shopped f or
gi f t s. She bought
J oshua cl ot hes and books and t oys, and a t r i cycl e he woul d
not be abl e t o
use f or anot her year or t wo. She bought f avor s f or t he
nei ghbor s' - chi l dr en
she had i nvi t ed t o t he par t y, and she spent t he af t er noon
put t i ng up
st r ewner s and bal l oons. She baked t he bi r t hday cake
her sel f and l ef t i t on
t he ki t chen t abl e. Somehow, J oshua got hol d of t he cake
and gr abbed
handf ul s of i t and cr ammed i t i nt o hi s mout h, r ui ni ng i t
bef or e t he ot her
guest s ar r i ved.
J enni f er had i nvi t ed a dozen chi l dr en f r omt he
nei ghbor hood, and t hei r
mot her s. The onl y adul t mal e guest was Ken
275
276 RAGE OF ANGELS
Bai l ey. He br ought J oshua a t r i cycl e, a dupl i cat e of t he
one J enni f er had
bought .
J enni f er l aughed and sai d, " That ' s r i di cul ous, Ken.
J oshua' s not ol d enough
f or t hat . "
The par t y onl y l ast ed t wo hour s, but i t was spl endi d.
The chi l dr en at e t oo
much and wer e si ck on t he r ug, and f ought over t he t oys
and cr i ed when
t hei r bal l oons bur st , but al l i n al l , J enni f er deci ded,
i t was a t r i umph.
J oshua had been a per f ect host , handl i ng hi msel f , wi t h
t he except i on of a
f ew mi nor i nci dent s, wi t h di gni t y and apl omb.
That ni ght , af t er al l t he guest s had l ef t and J oshua had
been put t o bed,
J enni f er sat at hi s bedsi de wat chi ng her sl eepi ng son,
mar vel i ng at t hi s
wonder f ul cr eat ur e t hat had come f r omher body and t he
l oi ns of Adam
War ner . Adamwoul d have been so pr oud t o have seen how
J oshua had behaved.
Somehow, t he j oy was di mi ni shed because i t was her s
al one.
J enni f er t hought of al l t he bi r t hdays t o come. J oshua
woul d be t wo year s
ol d, t hen f i ve, t hen t en and t went y. And he woul d be a
man and he woul d
l eave her . He woul d make hi s own l i f e f or hi msel f .
St op i t ! J enni f er scol ded her sel f . You' r e f eel i ng sor r y
f or your sel f . She
l ay i n bed t hat ni ght , wi de awake, r el i vi ng ever y det ai l
of t he par t y,
r emember i ng i t al l .
One day, per haps, she coul d t el l Adamabout i t .
32
I n t he mont hs t hat f ol l owed, Senat or AdamWar ner was
becomi ng a househol d
wor d. Hi s backgr ound, abi l i t y and char i sma had made hi m
a pr esence i n t he
Senat e f r omt he begi nni ng. He won a pl ace on sever al
i mpor t ant commi t t ees
and he sponsor ed a pi ece of maj or l abor l egi sl at i on t hat
passed qui ckl y and
easi l y. AdamWar ner had power f ul f r i ends i n Congr ess.
Many had known and
r espect ed hi s f at her . The consensus was t hat Adamwas
goi ng t o be a
pr esi dent i al cont ender one day. J enni f er f el t a
bi t t er sweet pr i de.
J enni f er r ecei ved const ant i nvi t at i ons f r omcl i ent s,
associ at es and f r i ends
t o di nner and t he t heat er and var i ous char i t y af f ai r s,
but she r ef used
al most al l of t hem. Fr omt i me t o t i me she woul d spend an
eveni ng wi t h Ken.
She enj oyed hi s company i mmensel y. He was f unny and
sel f depr ecat i ng, but
beneat h t he f acade of l i ght ness, J enni f er knew, t her e
was a sensi t i ve,
t or ment ed man. He woul d somet i mes come t o t he house f or
l unch or di nner on
weekends,
277
278 RAGE OF ANGELS
and he woul d pl ay wi t h J oshua f or hour s. They l oved each
ot her .
Once, when J oshua had been put t o bed and J enni f er and
Ken wer e havi ng
di nner i n t he ki t chen, Ken kept st ar i ng at J enni f er
unt i l she asked, " I s
anyt hi ng wr ong?"
" Chr i st , yes, " Ken gr oaned. " Tmsor r y. What a bi t ch of a
wor l d t hi s i s. "
And he woul d say not hi ng f ur t her .
Adamhad not t r i ed t o get i n t ouch wi t h J enni f er i n
al most ni ne mont hs now,
but she avi dl y r ead ever y newspaper and magazi ne ar t i cl e
about hi m, and
wat ched hi mwhenever he appear ed on t el evi si on. She
t hought about hi m
const ant l y. How coul d she not ? Her son was a l i vi ng
r emi nder of Adam' s
pr esence. J oshua was t wo year s ol d now and i ncr edi bl y
l i ke hi s f at her . He
had t he same ser i ous bl ue eyes and t he i dent i cal
manner i sms. J oshua was a
t i ny; dear r epl i ca, war mand l ovi ng and f ul l of eager
quest i ons.
To J enni f er ' s sur pr i se, J oshua' s f i r st wor ds had been
car car , when she t ook
hi mf or a dr i ve one day.
He was speaki ng i n sent ences now and he sai d pl ease and
t hank you. Once,
when J enni f er was t r yi ng t o f eed hi mi n hi s hi gh chai r ,
he sai d
i mpat i ent l y, " Mama, go pl ay wi t h your t oys. "
Ken had bought J oshua a pai nt set , and J oshua
i ndust r i ousl y set about
pai nt i ng t he wal l s of t he l i vi ng r oom.
When Mr s. Mackey want ed t o spank hi m, J enni f er sai d,
" Don' t . I t wi l l wash
of f . J oshua' s j ust expr essi ng hi msel f . "
" That ' s al l I want ed t o do, " Mr s. Mackey sni f f ed.
" Expr ess mysel f . You' l l
spoi l t hat boy r ot t en. "
But J oshua was not spoi l ed. He was mi schi evous and
demandi ng, but t hat was
nor mal f or a t wo- year - ol d. He was af r ai d of t he vacuum
cl eaner , wi l d
ani mal s, t r ai ns and t he dar k.
J oshua was a nat ur al at hl et e. Once, wat chi ng hi mat f l ay
SI DNEY SHELDON 279
wi t h some of hi s f r i ends, J enni f er t ur ned t o Mr s. Mackey
and sai d, " Even
t hough I ' mJ oshua' s mot her , I ' mabl e t o l ook at hi m
obj ect i vel y, Mr s.
Mackey. I t hi nk he may be t he Second Comi ng. "
J enni f er had made i t a pol i cy t o avoi d any cases t hat
woul d t ake her out of
t own and away f r omJ oshua, but one mor ni ng she r ecei ved
an ur gent cal l f r om
Pet er Fent on, a cl i ent who owned a l ar ge manuf act ur i ng
f i r m.
" I ' mbuyi ng a f act or y i n Las Vegas and r d l i ke you t o
f l y down t her e and
meet wi t h t hei r l awyer s. "
" Let me send Dan Mar t i n, " J enni f er suggest ed. " You know
I don' t l i ke t o go
out of t own, Pet er . "
" J enni f er , you can wr ap t he whol e t hi ng up i n
t went y- f our hour s. I ' l l f l y
you down i n t he company pl ane and you' l l be back t he
next day. "
J enni f er hesi t at ed. " Al l r i ght : "
She had been t o Las Vegas and was i ndi f f er ent t o i t . I t
was i mpossi bl e t o
hat e Las Vegas or t o l i ke i t . One had t o l ook upon i t as
a phenomenon, an
al i en ci vi l i zat i on wi t h i t s own l anguage, l aws and
mor al s. I t was l i ke no
ot her ci t y i n t he wor l d. Huge neon l i ght s bl azed al l
ni ght l ong, pr o-
cl ai mi ng t he gl or i es of t he magni f i cent pal aces t hat had
been bui l t t o
depl et e t he pur ses of t our i st s who f l ocked i n l i ke
l emmi ngs and l i ned up t o
have t hei r car ef ul l y hoar ded savi ngs t aken away f r om
t hem.
J enni f er gave Mr s. Mackey a l ong and det ai l ed l i st of
i nst r uct i ons about
t aki ng car e of J oshua.
" How l ong ar e you goi ng t o be away, Mr s. Par ker ?"
" I ' l l be back t omor r ow. "
" Mot her s! "
Pet er Fent on' s Lear j et pi cked J enni f er up ear l y t he
next mor ni ng and f l ew
her t o Las Vegas. J enni f er spent t he af t er noon and
eveni ng wor ki ng out t he
det ai l s of t he cont r act .
280 RAGE OF ANGELS
When t hey f i ni shed, - Pet er Fent on asked J enni f er t o have
di nner wi t h hi m.
" Thank you, Pet er , but I t hi nk I ' l l st ay i n my r oomand
get t o bed ear l y.
I ' mr et ur ni ng t o New Yor k i n t he mor ni ng. "
J enni f er had t al ked t o Mr s. Mackey t hr ee t i mes dur i ng
t he day and had been
r eassur ed each t i me t hat l i t t l e J oshua was f i ne. He had
eat en hi s meal s, he
had no f ever and he seemed
happy.
" Does he mi ss me?" J enni f er asked.
" He di dn' t say, " Mr s. Mackey si ghed.
J enni f er knew t hat Mr s. Mackey t hought she was a f ool ,
but J enni f er di d not
car e.
" Tel l hi mI ' l l be home t omor r ow. "
" I 71 gi ve hi mt he message, Mr s. Par ker . "
J enni f er had i nt ended t o have a qui et di nner i n her
sui t e, but f or some
r eason, t he r ooms suddenl y became oppr essi ve, t he wal l s
seemed t o be
cl osi ng i n on her . She coul d not st op t hi nki ng about
Adam.
How coul d he have made l ove t o Mar y Bet h and made her ,
pr egnant when . .
.
The game J enni f er al ways pl ayed, t hat her Adamwas j ust
away on a busi ness
t r i p and woul d soon r et ur n t o her , di d not wor k t hi s
t i me. J enni f er ' s mi nd
kept r et ur ni ng t o a pi ct ur e of Mar y Bet h i n her l ace
negl i gee and Adam. .
.
She had t o get out , t o be somewher e wher e t her e wer e
noi sy cr owds of
peopl e. Per haps, J enni f er t hought , 1 mi ght even see a
show. She qui ckl y
shower ed, dr essed and went downst ai r s.
Many Al l en was st ar r i ng i n. t he mai n show r oom. Ther e
was a l ong l i ne at
t he ent r ance t o t he r oomf or t he l at e show, and J enni f er
r egr et t ed t hat she
had not asked Pet er Fent on t o make a r eser vat i on f or
her .
She went up t o t he capt ai n at t he head of t he l i ne and
sai d, " How l ong a
wai t wi l l t her e be f or a t abl e?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 281
" How many i n your par t y?"
" I ' mal one. "
" I ' msor r y, mi ss, but I ' maf r ai d "
A voi ce besi de her sai d, " My boot h, Abe. "
The capt ai n beamed and sai d, " Cer t ai nl y, Mr . Mor et t i .
Thi s way, pl ease. "
J enni f er t ur ned and f ound her sel f l ooki ng i nt o t he deep
bl ack eyes of
Mi chael Mor et t i .
" No, t hank you, " J enni f er sai d. " r maf r ai d I - "
" You have t o eat . " Mi chael Mor et t i t ook J enni f er ' s ar m
and she f ound
her sel f wal ki ng besi de hi m, f ol l owi ng t he capt ai n t o a
choi ce banquet t e i n
t he cent er of t he l ar ge r oom. J enni f er l oat hed t he i dea
of di ni ng wi t h
Mi chael Mor et t i , but she di d not know how t o get out of
i t now wi t hout
cr eat i ng a scene. She wi shed f er vent l y t hat she had
agr eed t o have di nner
wi t h Pet er Fent on.
They wer e seat ed at a banquet t e f aci ng t he st age and t he
capt ai n sai d,
" Enj oy your di nner , Mr . Mor et t i , mi ss, "
J enni f er coul d f eel Mi chael Mor et t i ' s eyes on her and i t
made her
uncomf or t abl e. He sat t her e, sayi ng not hi ng. Mi chael
Mor et t i was a man of
deep si l ences, a man who di st r ust ed wor ds, as t hough
t hey wer e a t r ap
r at her t han a f or mof communi cat i on. Ther e was somet hi ng
r i vet i ng about hi s
si l ence. Mi chael Mor et t i used si l ence t he way ot her men
used speech.
When he f i nal l y spoke, J enni f er was caught of f guar d.
" I hat e dogs, " Mi chael Mor et t i sai d. " They di e. "
And i t was as t hough he was r eveal i ng a pr i vat e par t of
hi msel f t hat came
f r omsome deep wel l spr i ng. J enni f er di d not know what t o
r epl y.
Thei r dr i nks ar r i ved and t hey sat t her e dr i nki ng
qui et l y, and J enni f er
l i st ened t o t he conver sat i on t hey wer e not havi ng.
She t hought about what he had sai d: 1 hat e dogs. They
di e.
282 RAGE OF ANGELS
She wonder ed what Mi chael Mor et t i ' s ear l y l i f e had been
l i ke. She f ound
her sel f st udyi ng hi m. He was at t r act i ve i n a danger ous,
exci t i ng way. Ther e
was a f eel i ng of vi ol ence about hi m, r eady t o expl ode.
J enni f er coul d not say why, but bei ng wi t h t hi s man made
her f eel l i ke a
woman. Per haps i t was t he way hi s ebony bl ack eyes
l ooked at her , t hen
l ooked away f r omher , as t hough f ear f ul of r eveal i ng t oo
. much. J enni f er
r eal i zed i t had been a l ong t i me si nce she had t hought
of her sel f as a
woman. Fr omt he day she had l ost Adam. I t t akes a man t o
make a woman f eel
f emal e, J enni f er t hought , t o make her f eel beaut i f ul , t o
make her f eel
want ed.
J enni f er was gr at ef ul he coul d not r ead her mi nd.
Var i ous peopl e appr oached t hei r boot h t o pay t hei r
r espect s t o Mi chael
Mor et t i : busi ness execut i ves, act or s, a j udge, a Uni t ed
St at es senat or . I t
was power payi ng t r i but e t o power , and J enni f er began t o
f eel a sense of
how much i nf l uence he wi el ded.
" I ' l l or der f or us, " Mi chael Mor et t i sai d. " They pr epar e
t hi s menu f or
ei ght hundr ed peopl e. I t ' s l i ke eat i ng on an ai r l i ne. "
He r ai sed hi s hand and t he capt ai n was at hi s si de
i nst ant l y. " Yes, Mr .
Mor et t i . What woul d you l i ke t oni ght , si r ?"
" We' l l have a Chat eaubr i and, pi nk and char r ed: "
" Of cour se, Mr . Mor et t i . "
" Pommes souf f l , 6es and an endi ve sal ad. "
" Cer t ai nl y, Mr . Mor et t i . "
" We' l l or der desser t l at er . "
A bot t l e of champagne was sent t o t he t abl e, compl i ment s
of t he management .
J enni f er f ound her sel f begi nni ng t o r el ax, enj oyi ng
her sel f al most agai nst
her wi l l . I t had been a l ong whi l e si nce she had spent
an eveni ng wi t h an
at t r act i ve. man. And even as t he phr ase came i nt o
J enni f er ' s mi nd, she
t hought , How can
SI DNEY SHELDON 283
I t hi nk of Mi chael Mor et t i as at t r act i ve? He' s a ki l l er ,
an amor al ani mal
wi t h no f eel i ngs.
J enni f er had known and def ended dozens of men who had
commi t t ed t er r i bl e
cr i mes, but she had t he f eel i ng t hat none of t hemwas as
danger ous as t hi s
man. He had r i sen t o t he t op of t he Syndi cat e and i t had
t aken mor e t han a
mar r i age t o Ant oni o Gr anel l i ' s daught er t o accompl i sh
t hat .
" I t el ephoned you once or t wi ce whi l e you wer e away, "
Mi chael sai d.
Accor di ng t o Ken Bai l ey, he had cal l ed al most ever y day.
" Wher e wer e you?"
He made t he quest i on sound casual .
" Away. "
A l ong si l ence. " Remember t hat of f er I made you?"
J enni f er t ook a si p of her champagne. " Don' t st ar t t hat
agai n, pl ease. "
" You can have any- "
" I t ol d you, I ' mnot i nt er est ed. Ther e' s no such t hi ng
as an of f er you
can' t r ef use. That ' s onl y i n books, Mr . Mor et t i . I ' m
r ef usi ng. "
Mi chael Mor et t i t hought of t he scene t hat had t aken
pl ace i n hi s
f at her - i n- l aw' s home a f ew weeks ear l i er . Ther e had been
a meet i ng of t he
Fami l y and i t had not gone wel l . Thomas Col f ax had
ar gued agai nst
ever yt hi ng t hat Mi chael had pr oposed.
When Col f ax had l ef t , Mi chael had sai d t o hi s
f at her - i nl aw, " Col f ax i s
t ur ni ng i nt o an ol d woman. I t hi nk i t ' s t i me t o put hi m
out t o past ur e,
Papa_. "
" Tommy' s a good man. He' s saved us a l ot of t r oubl e over
t he year s. "
" That ' s hi st or y. He doesn' t have i t anymor e: "
" Who woul d we get t o t ake hi s pl ace?"
" J enni f er Par ker . "
Ant oni o Gr anel l i had shaken hi s head. " I t ol d you,
Mi chael .
284 RAGE OF ANGELS
I t ai n' t good t o have a woman know our busi ness. "
" Thi s i sn' t j ust a woman. She' s t he best l awyer ar ound. "
" We' l l see, " Ant oni o Gr anel l i had sai d. " We' l l see. "
Mi chael Mor et t i was a man who was used t o get t i ng what
he want ed, and t he
mor e J enni f er st ood up t o hi m, t he mor e he was
det er mi ned t o have her . Now,
si t t i ng next t o her , Mi chael l ooked at J enni f er and
t hought , One day you' r e
goi ng t o bel ong t o me, baby- al ! t he way.
" What ar e you t hi nki ng about ?"
Mi chael Mor et t i gave J enni f er a sl ow, easy smi l e, and
she i nst ant l y
r egr et t ed t he quest i on. I t was t i me t o l eave.
" Thank you f or a wonder f ul di nner , Mr . Mor et t i . I have
t o get up ear l y,
so- "
The l i ght s began t o di mand t he or chest r a st ar t ed an
over t ur e.
" You can' t l eave now. The show i s st ar t i ng. You' l l l ove
Mar r y Al l en. "
I t was t he ki nd of ent er t ai nment t hat onl y Las Vegas
coul d af f or d t o put
on, and J enni f er t hor oughl y enj oyed i t . She t ol d her sel f
she woul d l eave
i mmedi at el y af t er t he show, but when i t was over and
Mi chael Mor et t i asked
J enni f er t o dance, she deci ded i t woul d be ungr aci ous t o
r ef use. Besi des,
she had t o admi t t o her sel f t hat she was havi ng a good
t i me. Mi chael
Mor et t i was a ski l l f ul dancer , and J enni f er f ound
her sel f r el axi ng i n hi s
ar ms. Once, when anot her coupl e col l i ded wi t h t hem,
Mi chael was pushed
agai nst J enni f er and f or an i nst ant she f el t hi s mal e
har dness, and t hen he
i mmedi at el y pul l ed away, car ef ul t o hol d her at a
di scr eet di st ance.
Af t er war d, t hey wal ked i nt o t he casi no, a vast t er r ai n
of br i ght l i ght s and
noi se, packed wi t h gambl er s engr ossed i n var i ous games
of chance, pl ayi ng
as t hough t hei r l i ves de-
SI DNEY SHELDON 285
pended on t hei r wi nni ng. Mi chael t ook J enni f er t o one of
t he di ce t abl es and
handed her a dozen chi ps.
" For l uck, " he sai d.
The pi t boss and deal er s t r eat ed Mi chael wi t h def er ence,
cal l i ng hi mMr . M.
and gi vi ng hi ml ar ge pi l es of hundr eddol l ar chi ps,
t aki ng hi s mar ker s
i nst ead of cash. Mi chael pl ayed f or l ar ge st akes and
l ost heavi l y, but he
seemed unper t ur bed. Usi ng Mi chael ' s chi ps, J enni f er won
t hr ee hundr ed
dol l ar s, whi ch she i nsi st ed on gi vi ng t o Mi chael . She
had no i nt ent i on of
bei ng under any obl i gat i on t o hi m.
Fr omt i me t o t i me dur i ng t he cour se of t he eveni ng,
var i ous women came up
t o gr eet Mi chael . Al l of t hemwer e young and at t r act i ve,
J enni f er not i ced.
Mi chael was pol i t e t o t hem, but i t was obvi ous t hat he
was onl y i nt er est ed
i n J enni f er . I n spi t e of her sel f , she coul d not hel p
f eel i ng f l at t er ed.
J enni f er had been t i r ed and depr essed at t he begi nni ng
of t he eveni ng, but
t her e was such a vi t al i t y about Mi chael Mor et t i t hat i t
seemed t o spi l l
over , char gi ng t he ai r , envel opi ng J enni f er .
Mi chael t ook her t o a smal l bar wher e a j azz gr oup was
pl ayi ng, and
af t er war d t hey went on t o t he l ounge of anot her hot el t o
hear a new si ngi ng
gr oup. Ever ywher e t hey went Mi chael was t r eat ed l i ke
r oyal t y. Ever yone
t r i ed t o get hi s at t ent i on, t o say hel l o t o hi m, t o
t ouch hi m, t o l et hi m
know t hey wer e t her e.
Dur i ng t he t i me t hey wer e t oget her , Mi chael di d not say
one wor d at whi ch
J enni f er coul d t ake of f ense. And yet , J enni f er f el t such
a st r ong sexual i t y
comi ng f r omhi mt hat i t was l i ke a ser i es of waves
beat i ng at her . Her body
f el t br ui sed, vi ol at ed. She had never exper i enced
anyt hi ng l i ke i t . I t was
a di squi et i ng f eel i ng and, at t he same t i me,
exhi l ar at i ng. Ther e was a
wi l d, ani mal vi t al i t y about hi mt hat J enni f er had never
encount er ed bef or e.
I t was f our o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng when Mi chael f i nal l y
286 RAGE OF ANGELS
wal ked J enni f er back t o her sui t e. When t hey r eached J en
ni f er ' s door , Mi chael t ook her hand and sai d, " Good
ni ght .
I j ust want you t o know t hi s has been t he gr eat est ni ght
of my
l i f e: "
Hi s wor ds f r i ght ened J enni f er .
33
I n Washi ngt on, AdamWar ner ' s popul ar i t y was gr owi ng. He
was wr i t t en up i n
t he newspaper s and magazi nes wi t h i ncr easi ng f r equency.
Adamst ar t ed an
i nvest i gat i on of ghet t o school s, and headed a Senat e
commi t t ee t hat went t o
Moscow t o meet wi t h di ssi dent s. Ther e wer e newspaper
phot ogr aphs of hi s
ar r i val at Sher emet yevo Ai r por t , bei ng gr eet ed by
unsmi l i ng Russi an
of f i ci al s. When Adamr et ur ned t en days l at er , t he
newspaper s gave war m
pr ai se t o t he r esul t s of hi s t r i p.
The cover age kept expandi ng: The publ i c want ed t o r ead
about AdamWar ner
and t he medi a f ed t hei r appet i t e. Adambecame t he
spear head f or r ef or mi n
t he Senat e. He headed a commi t t ee t o i nvest i gat e
condi t i ons i n f eder al
peni t ent i ar i es, and he vi si t ed pr i sons ar ound t he
count r y. He t al ked t o t he
i nmat es and guar ds and war dens, and when hi s commi t t ee' s
r epor t was t ur ned
i n, ext ensi ve r ef or ms wer e begun.
I n addi t i on t o t he news magazi nes, women' s magazi nes r an
ar t i cl es about
hi m. I n Cosmopol i t an, J enni f er saw a pi ct ur e of Adam,
Mar y Bet h and t hei r
t i t t l e daught er , Samant ha. J en-
287
288 RAGE OF ANGELS
ni t er sat by t he f i r epl ace i n her bedr oomand l ooked at
t he pi ct ur e f or a
l ong, l ong t i me. Mar y Bet h was smi l i ng i nt o t he camer a,
exudi ng sweet , war m
sout her n char m. The daught er was a mi ni at ur e of her
mot her . J enni f er t ur ned
t o t he pi ct ur e of Adam. He l ooked t i r ed. Ther e wer e smal l
l i nes ar ound hi s
eyes t hat had not been t her e bef or e, and hi s si debur ns
wer e begi nni ng t o be
t i nged wi t h gr ay. For a moment , J enni f er had t he i l l usi on
t hat she was
seei ng t he f ace of J oshua, gr own up. The r esembl ance was
uncanny. The
phot ogr apher had had Adamt ur n di r ect l y i nt o t he camer a,
and i t seemed t o
J enni f er t hat he was l ooki ng at her . She t r i ed t o r ead
t he expr essi on i n hi s
eyes, and she wonder ed whet her he ever t hought about her .
J enni f er t ur ned t o l ook agai n at t he phot ogr aph of Mar y
Bet h and her
daught er . Then she t hr ew t he magazi ne i nt o t he f i r epl ace
and wat ched i t
bur n.
AdamWar ner sat at t he head of hi s di nner t abl e,
ent er t ai ni ng St ewar t
Needhamand hal f a dozen ot her guest s. Mar y Bet h sat at
t he ot her end of
t he t abl e, maki ng smal l t al k wi t h a senat or f r om
Okl ahoma and hi s bej ewel ed
wi f e. Washi ngt on had been l i ke a st i mul ant t o Mar y Bet h.
She was i n her
el ement her e. Because of Adam' s i ncr easi ng i mpor t ance,
Mar y Bet h had become
one of Washi ngt on' s t op host esses and she r evel ed i n
t hat posi t i on. The
soci al si de of Washi ngt on bor ed Adam, and he was gl ad t o
l eave i t t o Mar y
Bet h. She handl ed i t wel l and he was gr at ef ul t o her .
" I n Washi ngt on, " St ewar t Needhamwas sayi ng, " mor e deal s
get made over
di nner t abl es t han i n t he hal l owed hal l s of Congr ess. "
Adaml ooked ar ound t he t abl e and wi shed t hat t hi s
eveni ng wer e over . On t he
sur f ace, ever yt hi ng was wonder f ul . I nsi de, ever yt hi ng
was wr ong. He was
mar r i ed t o one woman and i n l ove wi t h anot her . He was
l ocked i nt o a
mar r i age f r omwhi ch t her e was no escape. I f Mar y Bet h
had not become
pr egnant , Adamknew he woul d have gone ahead wi t h t he
di vor ce. I t
SI DNEY SHELDON 289
was t oo l at e now; he was commi t t ed. Mar y Bet h had gi ven
hi ma beaut i f ul
l i t t l e daught er and he l oved her , but i t was i mpossi bl e
t o get J enni f er
out of hi s mi nd.
The wi f e of t he gover nor was speaki ng t o hi m.
" You' r e so l ucky, Adam. You have ever yt hi ng i n t he wor l d
a man coul d
want , don' t you?"
Adamcoul d not br i ng hi msel f t o answer .
34
The seasons came and went and t hey r evol ved ar ound
J oshua. He was t he
cent er of J enni f er ' s wor l d. She wat ched hi mgr ow and
devel op, day by day,
and i t was a never - endi ng wonder as he began t o wal k and
t al k and r eason.
Hi s moods changed const ant l y and he was, i n t ur n, wi l d
and aggr essi ve and
shy and l ovi ng. He became upset when J enni f er had t o
l eave hi mat ni ght ,
and he was st i l l af r ai d of t he dar k, so J enni f er al ways
l ef t a ni ght l i ght
on f or hi m.
When J oshua was t wo year s ol d he was i mpossi bl e, a
t ypi cal " Ter r i bl e Two. "
He was dest r uct i ve and st ubbor n and vi ol ent . He l oved t o
" f i x" t hi ngs. He
br oke Mr s. Mackey' s sewi ng machi ne, r ui ned t he t wo
t el evi si on set s i n t he
house and t ook J enni f er ' s wr i st wat ch apar t . He mi xed t he
sal t wi t h t he
sugar and f ondl ed hi msel f when he t hought he was al one.
Ken Bai l ey br ought
J enni f er a Ger man shepher d puppy, Max, and J oshua bi t
i t .
When Ken came t o t he house t o vi si t , J oshua gr eet ed hi m
wi t h, " Hi ! Do you
have a di ng- dong? Can I see i t ?"
290
SI DNEY SHELDON 291
That year , J enni f er woul d gl adl y have gi ven J oshua away
t o t he f i r st
passi ng st r anger .
At t hr ee, J oshua suddenl y became an angel , gent l e,
af f ect i onat e and l ovi ng.
He had t he physi cal coor di nat i on of hi s f at her , and he
l oved doi ng t hi ngs
wi t h hi s hands. He no l onger br oke t hi ngs. He enj oyed
pl ayi ng out door s,
cl i mbi ng and r unni ng and r i di ng hi s t r i cycl e.
J enni f er t ook hi mt o t he Br onx Zoo and t o mar i onet t e
pl ays. They wal ked
al ong t he beach and saw a f est i val of Mar x Br ot her s
movi es i n Manhat t an,
and had i ce cr eamsodas af t er war d at Ol d Fashi oned Mr .
J enni ngs on t he
ni nt h f l oor of Bonwi t Tel l er .
J oshua had become a compani on. As a Mot her ' s Day gi f t ,
J oshua l ear ned a
f avor i t e song of J enni f er ' s f at her - , Shi ne On, Har vest
Moon- and sang i t t o
J enni f er . I t was t he most t ouchi ng moment of her l i f e.
I t ' s t r ue, J enni f er t hought , t hat we do not i nher i t t he
wor l d f r omour
par ent s; we bor r ow i t f r omour chi l dr en.
J oshua had st ar t ed nur ser y school and was enj oyi ng i t .
At ni ght when
J enni f er came home, t hey woul d si t i n f r ont of t he
f i r epl ace and r ead
t oget her . J enni f er woul d r ead Tr i al Magazi ne and The
Bar r i st er and J oshua
woul d r ead hi s pi ct ur e books. J enni f er woul d wat ch
J oshua as he spr awl ed
out on t he f l oor , hi s br ow kni t i n concent r at i on, and
she woul d suddenl y be
r emi nded of Adam. I t was st i l l l i ke an open wound. She
wonder ed wher e Adam
was and what he was doi ng.
What he and Mar y Bet h and Samant ha wer e doi ng.
J enni f er managed t o keep her pr i vat e and pr of essi onal
l i f e separ at e, and
t he onl y l i nk bet ween t he t wo was Ken Bai l ey.
He br ought J oshua t oys and books and pl ayed games wi t h
hi mand was, i n a
sense, a sur r ogat e f at her .
One Sunday af t er noon J enni f er and Ken st ood near t he
t r ee house, wat chi ng
J oshua cl i mb up t o i t .
292 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Do you know what he needs?" Ken asked.
" A f at her . " He t ur ned t o J enni f er . " Hi s r eal f at her must
be one pr i ze
shi t . "
" Pl ease don' t , Ken. "
" Sor r y. I t ' s none of my busi ness. That ' s t he past . I t ' s
t he f ut ur e I ' m
concer ned about . I t i sn' t nat ur al f or you t o be l i vi ng
al one l i ke- "
" I ' mnot al one. I have J oshua. "
" That ' s not what I ' mt al ki ng about . " He t ook J enni f er i n
hi s ar ms and
ki ssed her gent l y. " Oh, God damn i t ; J enni f er . I msor r y
. . : '
Mi chael Mor et t i had t el ephoned J enni f er a dozen t i mes.
She r et ur ned none of
hi s cal l s. Once she t hought she caught a gl i mpse of hi m
si t t i ng i n t he back
of a cour t r oomwher e she was def endi ng a case, but when
she l ooked agai n he
was gone.
35
Lat e one af t er noon as J enni f er was get t i ng r eady t o
l eave t he of f i ce,
Cynt hi a sai d, " Ther e' s a Mr . Cl ar k Hol man on t he phone. "
J enni f er hesi t at ed, t hen sai d, " r l l t ake i t . "
Cl ar k Hol man was an at t or ney wi t h t he Legal Ai d Soci et y.
" Sor r y t o bot her you, J enni f er , " he sai d, " but we have a
case downt own t hat
no one want s t o t ouch, and I ' d r eal l y appr eci at e i t i f
you coul d hel p us
out . I know how busy you ar e, but - - - : '
" Who' s t he def endant ?"
" J ack Scanl on. "
The name r egi st er ed i nst ant l y. I t had been on t he f r ont
pages of t he
newspaper s f or t he past t wo days. J ack Scanl on had bees
ar r est ed f or
ki dnappi ng a f our - year - ol d gi r l and hol di ng her f or
r ansom. He had bi n
i dent i f i ed f r oma composi t e dr awi ng t he pol i ce had
obt ai ned f r omwi t nesses
t o t he abduct i on.
" Why me, Cl ar k?"
293
294 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Scanl on asked f or you. "
J enni f er l ooked at t he cl ock on t he wal l . She was goi ng
t o be l at e f or
J oshua. " Wher e i s he now?"
" At t he Met r opol i t an Cor r ect i onal Cent er . "
J enni f er made a qui ck deci si on. " I ' l l go down and t al k
t o hi m. Make t he
ar r angement s, wi l l you?"
" Ri ght . Thanks a mi l l i on. I owe you one. "
J enni f er t el ephoned Mr s. Mackey. " r mgoi ng t o be a
l i t t l e l at e. Gi ve J oshua
hi s di nner and t el l hi mt o wai t up f or me. "
Ten mi nut es l at er , J enni f er was on her way downt own.
To J enni f er , ki dnappi ng was t he most vi ci ous of al l
cr i mes, par t i cul ar l y
t he ki dnappi ng of a hel pl ess young chi l d; but ever y
accused per son was
ent i t l ed t o a hear i ng no mat t er how t er r i bl e t he cr i me.
That was t he
f oundat i on of t he l aw: j ust i ce f or t he l owl i est as wel l
as t he hi ghest .
J enni f er i dent i f i ed her sel f t o t he guar d at t he
r ecept i on desk and was
t aken t o t he Lawyer s' Vi si t i ng Room.
. The guar d sai d, " I ' l l get Scanl on f or you. "
A f ew mi nut es l at er a t hi ng aest het i c- l ooki ng man i n hi s
l at e t hi r t i es,
wi t h a bl ond bear d and l i ght bl ond hai r was br ought i nt o
t he r oom. He
l ooked al most Chr i st l i ke.
He sai d, " . " Thank you f or comi ng, Mi ss Par ker . " Hi s
voi ce was sof t and
gent l e. " Thank you f or car i ng. "
" Si t down. "
He t ook a chai r opposi t e J enni f er .
" You asked t o see me?"
" Yes. Even t hough I t hi nk onl y God can hel p me. r ve done
a ver y f ool i sh
t hi ng. "
She r egar ded hi mdi st ast ef ul l y. " You cal l ki dnappi ng a
hel pl ess l i t t l e gi r l
f or r ansoma `f ool i sh t hi ng' ?"
" I di dn' t ki dnap Tammy f or r ansom. "
" Oh? Why di d you ki dnap her ?"
Ther e was a l ong si l ence bef or e J ack Scanl on spoke. " My
SI DNEY SHELDON 295
wi f e, Evel yn, di ed i n chi l dbi r t h. I l oved her mor e t han
any
t hi ng i n t he wor l d. I f ever t her e was a sai nt on ear t h,
i t was
t hat woman. Evel yn wasn' t a st r ong per son. Our doct or ad
vi sed her not t o have a baby, but she di dn' t l i st en. " He
l ooked
down at t he f l oor i n embar r assment . " I t i t may be har d
f or
you t o under st and, but she sai d she want ed i t anyway, be
cause i t woul d be l i ke havi ng anot her par t of me. "
How wel l J enni f er under st ood t hat .
J ack Scanl on had st opped speaki ng, hi s t hought s f ar away.
" So she had t he baby?"
J ack Scanl on nodded. " They bot h di ed. " I t was di f f i cul t
f or hi mt o go on.
" For a whi l e, I - I t hought I woul d . . . I di dn' t want t o
go on l i vi ng
wi t hout her . I kept wonder i ng what our chi l d woul d have
been l i ke. I kept
dr eami ng about how i t woul d have been i f t hey had l i ved.
I kept t r yi ng t o
t ur n t he cl ock back t o t he moment bef or e Evel yn- - - - ?' He
st opped, hi s voi ce
choked wi t h pai n. " I t ur ned t o t he Bi bl e and i t saved my
sani t y. Behol d. 1
have set bef or e you an open door whi ch no one i s abl e t o
shut . Then, a f ew
days ago, I saw a l i t t l e gi r l pl ayi ng on t he st r eet , and
i t was as t hough
Evel yn had been r ei ncar nat ed. She had her eyes, her
hai r . She l ooked up at
me and smi l ed and I - I know i t sounds cr azy, _but i t t eas
Evel yn smi l i ng at
me. I must have been out of my head. I t hought t o
mysel f , Thi s i s t he
daught er Evel yn woul d have had. Thi s i s our chi l d. "
J enni f er coul d see hi s f i nger nai l s di ggi ng i nt o hi s
f l esh.
" I know i t was wr ong, but I t ook her . " He l ooked up i nt o
J enni f er ' s eyes.
" I woul dn' t have har med t hat chi l d f or anyt hi ng i n t he
wor l d. "
J enni f er was st udyi ng hi mcl osel y, l i st eni ng f or a f al se
not e. Ther e was
none. He was a man i n agony.
" What about t he r ansom. not e?" J enni f er asked.
" I di dn' t send a r ansomnot e. The l ast t hi ng i n t he
wor l d I car ed about was
money. I j ust want ed l i t t l e Tammy. "
296 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Someone sent t he f ami l y a r ansomnot e. "
" The pol i ce keep sayi ng I sent i t , but I di dn' t . "
J enni f er sat t her e, t r yi ng t o f i t t he pi eces t oget her .
" Di d t he st or y of
t he ki dnappi ng appear i n t he newspaper s bef or e or af t er
you wer e pi cked up
by t he pol i ce?"
" Bef or e. I r emember wi shi ng t hey' d st op wr i t i ng about i t
i want ed t o go
away wi t h Tammy and I was af r ai d someone woul d st op us. "
" So anyone coul d have r ead about t he ki dnappi ng and
t r i ed t o col l ect a
r ansom?"
J ack Scanl on t wi st ed hi s hands hel pl essl y. " I don' t
know. Al l I know i s I
want t o di e. "
Hi s pai n was so obvi ous t hat J enni f er f ound her sel f
moved by i t . I f he was
t el l i ng t he t r ut h- and i t was naked i n hi s f ace - - - t hen
he di d not deser ve
t o di e f or what he had done. He shoul d be puni shed, yes,
but not execut ed.
J enni f er made her deci si on. " I ' mgoi ng t o t r y t o hel p
you. "
He sai d qui et l y, " Thank you. I r eal l y don' t car e anymor e
what happens t o
me. "
- " I do. "
J ack Scanl on sai d, " I ' maf r ai d I - I have no money t o
gi ve
you. "
" Don' t wor r y about i t . I want you t o t el l me about
your sel f . "
" What do you want t o know' ! "
" St ar t f r omt he begi nni ng. Whor e wer e you bor n?"
" I n Nor t h Dakot a, t hi r t y- f i ve year s ago. I was bor n on a
f ar m. I guess you
coul d cal l i t a f ar m. I t was a poor pi ece of l and t hat
not hi ng much want ed
t o gr ow on. We wer e poor . I l ef t home when I was
f i f t een. I l oved my
mot her , but I hat ed my f at her . I know t he Bi bl e says
i t ' s wr ong t o speak
evi l of your par ent s, but he was a wi cked man. He
enj oyed whi ppi ng me. "
J enni f er coul d see hi s body t i ght en as he went on.
SI DNEY SHELDON 297
" I mean, he r eal l y enj oyed i t . I f I di d t he smal l est
t hi ng he t hought was
wr ong, he woul d whi p me wi t h a l eat her bel t t hat had a
bi g br ass buckl e on
i t . Then he' d make me get down on my, knees and pr ay t o
God f or
f or gi veness. For a l ong t i me I hat ed God as much as I
hat ed my f at her . " He
st opped, t oo f i l l ed wi t h memor i es t o speak.
" So you r an away f r omhome?"
" Yes. I hi t chhi ked t o Chi cago. I di dn' t have much
school i ng, but at home I
used t o r ead a l ot . Whenever my f at her caught me, t hat
was an excuse f or
anot her whi ppi ng. I n Chi cago, I got a j ob wor ki ng i n a
f act or y. That ' s
wher e I met Evel yn. I cut my hand on a mi l l i ng machi ne
and t hey t ook me t o
t he di spensar y, and t her e she was. She was a pr act i cal
nur se. " He smi l ed at
J enni f er . " She was t he most beaut i f ul woman I ' d ever
seen. I t t ook about
t wo weeks bef or e my hand was heal ed, and I went t o her
f or a t r eat ment
ever y day. Af t er t hat , we j ust ki nd of st ar t ed goi ng
t oget her . We t al ked
about get t i ng mar r i ed, but t he company l ost a bi g or der
and I was l ai d of f
wi t h t he r est of t he peopl e i n my depar t ment . That
di dn' t mat t er t o Evel yn.
We got mar r i ed and, she t ook car e of me. That was t he
onl y t hi ng we ever
ar gued about . I was br ought up t o bel i eve t hat a man
shoul d t ake car e of a
woman. I got a j ob dr i vi ng a t r uck and t he money was
good. The onl y par t I
hat ed was t hat we wer e separ at ed, somet i mes f or a week
at a t i me. Out si de
of t hat , I was awf ul l y happy. We wer e bot h happy. And
t hen Evel yn got
pr egnant . "
A shudder r an t hr ough hi m. Hi s hands began t o t r embl e.
" Evel yn and our baby gi r l di ed. " Tear s wer e r unni ng down
hi s cheeks. - - " I
don' t know why God di d t hat . He must have had a r eason,
but I don' t know
why. " He was r ocki ng back and f or t h i n hi s chai r ,
unawar e of what he was
doi ng, hi s ar ms cl asped i n f r ont of hi s chest , hol di ng
i n hi s gr i ef . " 1
wi l t i nst r uct you and t each you t he way you shoul d go; I
wi l l counsel you. "
298 RAGE OF ANGELS
J enni f er t hought , Thi s one t he el ect r i c chai r i s not
goi ng t o get !
" I ' l l be back t o see you t omor r ow, " J enni f er pr omi sed
hi m.
Bai l had been set at t wo hundr ed t housand dol l ar s. J ack
Scanl on di d not
have t he bond money and J enni f er had i t put up f or hi m.
Scanl on was
r el eased f r omt he Cor r ect i onal Cent er and J enni f er f ound
a smal l mot el on
t he West Si de f or hi mt o move i nt o. She gave hi ma
hundr ed dol l ar s t o t i de
hi mover .
" I don' t know how, " J ack Scanl on sai d, " but I ' l l pay you
back ever y cent .
I ' l l st ar t l ooki ng f or a j ob. I don' t car e what i t i s.
I ' l l do anyt hi ng. "
When J enni f er l ef t hi m, he was sear chi ng t hr ough t he
want ads.
The f eder al pr osecut or , Ear l Osbor ne, was a l ar ge,
heavyset man wi t h a
smoot h r ound f ace and a decept i vel y bl and manner . To
J enni f er ' s sur pr i se,
Rober t Di Si l va was i n Osbor ne' s of f i ce.
" I hear d you wer e t aki ng on t hi s case, " Di Si l va sai d.
" Not hi ng' s t oo di r t y
f or you t o handl e, i s i t ?"
J enni f er t ur ned t o Ear l Osbor ne. " What ' s he doi ng her e?
Thi s i s a f eder al
case. "
Osbor ne r epl i ed, " J ack Scanl on t ook t he gi r l away i n her
f ami l y' s car . "
" Aut o t hef t , gr and l ar ceny, " Di Si l va sai d.
J enni f er wonder ed i f Di Si l va woul d have been t her e i f
she wer e not
i nvol ved. She t ur ned back t o Ear l Osbor ne.
" I ' d l i ke t o make a deal , " J enni f er sai d. " My cl i ent - - r
Ear l Osbor ne hel d up a hand. " Not a chance. We' r e goi ng
al l t he way on t hi s
one. "
" Ther e ar e ci r cumst ances- "
" You can t el l us al l about i t at t he pr el i mi nar y. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 299
Di Si l va was gr i nni ng at her .
" Al l r i ght , " J enni f er sai d. " I ' l l see you i n cour t . "
J ack Scanl on f ound a j ob wor ki ng at a ser vi ce st at i on on
t he West Si de near
hi s mot el , and J enni f er st opped by t o see hi m.
" The pr el i mi nar y hear i ng i s t he day af t er t omor r ow, "
J enni f er i nf or med hi m.
" I ' mgoi ng t o t r y t o get t he gover nment t o agr ee t o t
pl ea bar gai n and
pl ead you gui l t y t o a l esser char ge. You' l l have t o
ser ve some t i me, J ack,
but I ' l l t r y t o see t hat i t ' s as shor t as possi bl e. "
The gr at i t ude i n hi s f ace was r ewar d enough.
At J enni f er ' s suggest i on, J ack Scanl on had bought a
r espect abl e sui t t o
wear at t he pr el i mi nar y hear i ng. He had had hi s hai r cut
and hi s bear d
t r i mmed, and J enni f er was pl eased wi t h hi s appear ance.
They went t hr ough t he cour t f or mal i t i es. Di st r i ct
At t or ney Di Si l va was
pr esent . When Ear l Osbor ne had pr esent ed hi s evi dence
and asked f or an
i ndi ct ment , J udge Bar nar d t ur ned t o J enni f er .
" I s t her e anyt hi ng you woul d l i ke t o say, Mi ss Par ker ?"
" Ther e i s, Your Honor . I ' d l i ke t o save t he gover nment
t he cost of a t r i al .
Ther e ar e mi t i gat i ng ci r cumst ances her e t hat have not
been br ought out . I
woul d l i ke t o pl ead my cl i ent gui l t y t o a l esser
char ge: "
" No way, " Ear l Osbor ne sai d. " The gover nment wi l l not
agr ee t o i t . "
J enni f er t ur ned t o J udge Bar nar d. " Coul d we di scuss t hi s
i n Your Honor ' s
chamber s?"
" Ver y wel l . I ' l l set a dat e f or t he t r i al af t er I ' ve
hear d what counsel has
t o say. "
J enni f er t ur ned t o J ack Scanl on, who was st andi ng t her e,
bewi l der ed.
300 RAGE OF ANGELS
" You can go back t o wor k, " J enni f er t ol d hi m. " I ' l l dr op
by and l et you
know what happened. "
He nodded and sai d qui et l y, " Thank you, Mi ss Par ker . "
J enni f er wat ched hi mt ur n and l eave t he cour t r oom.
J enni f er , Ear l Osbor ne, Rober t Di Si l va and J udge
Bar nar d wer e seat ed i n
t he j udge' s chamber s.
Osbor ne was sayi ng t o J enni f er , " I don' t know how you
coul d even ask me t o
pl ea- bar gai n. Ki dnappi ng f or r ansomi s a capi t al
of f ense. Your cl i ent i s
gui l t y and he' s goi ng t o pay f or what he di d. "
" Don' t bel i eve ever yt hi ng you r ead i n t he newspaper s,
Ear l . J ack Scanl on
had not hi ng t o do wi t h t hat r ansomnot e. "
" Who you t r yi ng t o ki d? I f i t wasn' t f or r ansom, what
t he hel l was i t f or ?"
" r l l t el l you, " J enni f er sai d.
And she t ol d t hem. She t ol d t hemabout t he f ar mand t he
beat i ngs and about
J ack Scanl on f al l i ng i n l ove wi t h Evel yn ' and mar r yi ng
her , and l osi ng hi s
wi f e and daught er i n chi l dbi r t h.
They l i st ened i n si l ence, and when J enni f er was
f i ni shed, Rober t Di Si l va
sai d, " So J ack Scanl on ki dnapped t he gi r l because i t
r emi nded hi mof t he
ki d he woul d have had? And J ack Scanl on' s wi f e di ed i n
chi l dbi r t h?"
" That ' s r i ght . " J enni f er t ur ned t o J udge Bar nar d. " Your
Honor , I don' t
t hi nk t hat ' s t he ki nd of man you execut e. "
Di Si l va sai d unexpect edl y, " I agr ee wi t h- you. "
J enni f er l ooked at hi mi n sur pr i se.
Di Si l va was pul l i ng some paper s out of a br i ef case.
" Let me ask you
somet hi ng, " he sai d. " How woul d you f eel about execut i ng
t hi s ki nd of man?"
He began t o r ead f r oma dossi er . " Fr ank J ackson, age
t hi r t y- ei ght . Bor n i n
Nob Hi l l , San Fr anci sco. Fat her was a doct or , mot her a
pr omi nent soci al i t e.
At f our t een, J ackson got i nt o dr ugs, r an away f r omhome,
pi cked up i n
Hai ght - Ashbur y and r et ur ned t o hi s par ent s. Thr ee
SI DNEY SHELDON 301
mont hs l at er J ackson br oke i nt o hi s f at her ' s di spensar y,
st ol e al l t he dr ugs
he coul d get hi s hands on and r an away. Pi cked up i n
Seat t l e f or possessi on
and sel l i ng, sent t o a r ef or mat or y, r el eased when he was
ei ght een, pi cked up
one mont h l at er on a char ge of ar med r obber y wi t h i nt ent
t o ki l l . . . "
J enni f er coul d f eel her st omach t i ght eni ng. " What does
t hi s have t o do wi t h
J ack Scanl on?"
Ear l Osbor ne gave her a f r ost y smi l e. " J ack Scanl on i s
Fr ank J ackson. "
" I don' t bel i eve i t ! "
Di Si l va sai d, " Thi s yel l ow sheet came i n f r omt he FBI
an hour ago.
J ackson' s a con ar t i st and a psychopat hi c l i ar . Over t he
l ast t en year s
he' s been ar r est ed on char ges r angi ng f r ompi mpi ng t o
ar son t o ar med
r obber y. He di d a st r et ch i n J ol i et . He' s never hel d a
st eady j ob and he' s
never been mar r i ed. Fi ve year s ago he was pi cked up by
t he FBI on a
ki dnappi ng char ge. He ki dnapped a t hr ee- year - ol d gi r l
and sent a r ansom
not e. The body of t he l i t t l e gi r l was f ound i n a wooded
ar ea t wo mont hs
l at er . Accor di ng t o t he cor oner ' s r epor t , t he body was
par t i al l y
decomposed, but t her e wer e vi si bl e si gns of smal l kni f e
cut s al l over her
body. She had been r aped and sodomi zed. "
J enni f er f el t suddenl y i l l .
" J ackson was acqui t t ed on a t echni cal i t y t hat some
hot shot l awyer cooked
up. " When Di Si l va spoke agai n hi s voi ce was f i l l ed wi t h
cont empt . " That
t he man you want wal ki ng ar ound t he st r eet s?"
" May I see t hat dossi er , pl ease?"
Si l ent l y, Di Si l va handed i t t o J enni f er and she began
r eadi ng i t . I t was
J ack Scanl on. Ther e was no quest i on about i t . Ther e was
a pol i ce mug shot
of hi mst apl ed t o t he yel l ow sheet . He had l ooked
younger t hen and he had
Si dney Shel don 301
no bear d, but t her e was no mi st aki ng hi m. J ack
Scanl on- Fr ank J acksonr - had
l i ed t o her about ever yt hi ng. He had made up hi s l i f e
st or y and J enni f er had
bel i eved ever y wor d. He had been so
302 RAGE OF ANGELS
convi nci ng t hat she had not even t aken t he t r oubl e t o
have Ken Bai l ey check
hi mout . .
J udge Bar nar d sai d, " May I see t hat ?"
J enni f er handed t he dossi er t o hi m. The j udge gl anced
t hr ough i t and t hen
l ooked at J enni f er . " Wel l ?"
" I won' t r epr esent hi m"
Di Si l va r ai sed hi s eyebr ows i n mock sur pr i se. " You
shock me, Mi ss Par ker .
You' r e al ways sayi ng t hat ever yone i s ent i t l ed t o a
l awyer . "
" Ever yone i s, " J enni f er r epl i ed evenl y, " but I have a
har d and f ast r ul e:
I won' t r epr esent anyone who l i es t o me. Mr . J ackson
wi l l have t o get
hi msel f anot her l awyer . "
J udge Bar nar d nodded. " The cour t wi l l ar r ange t hat . "
Osbor ne sai d, " I ' d l i ke hi s bai l r evoked i mmedi at el y,
Your Honor . I t hi nk
he' s t oo danger ous t o be wal ki ng t he st r eet s. "
J udge Bar nar d t ur ned t o J enni f er . " As of t hi s moment
you' r e st i l l t he
at t or ney of r ecor d, Mi ss Par ker . Do you have any
obj ect i on t o t hat ?"
" No, " J enni f er sai d t i ght l y. " None. "
J udge Bar nar d sai d, " I ' l l or der hi s bai t r evoked. "
J udge Lawr ence Wal dman had i nvi t ed J enni f er t o a
- char i t y di nner t hat
eveni ng. She had f el t dr ai ned af t er t he event s of t he
af t er noon and woul d
have pr ef er r ed t o go home and have a qui et eveni ng wi t h
J oshua, but she di d
not want t o di sappoi nt t he j udge. She changed cl ot hes at
t he of f i ce and met
J udge Wal dman at t he Wal dor f - Ast or i a, wher e t he par t y
was t aki ng pl ace.
I t was a gal a event , wi t h hal f a dozen Hol l ywood st ar s
ent er t ai ni ng, but
J enni f er was unabl e t o enj oy i t . Her mi nd was el sewher e.
J udge Wal dman had
been wat chi ng her .
" I s anyt hi ng wr ong, J enni e?"
She managed a smi l e. `. `No, j ust a busi ness pr obl em,
Lawr ence. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 303
And what ki nd of busi ness amI r eal l y i n, J enni f er
wonder ed, deal i ng wi t h
t he dr egs of humani t y, t he r api st s and ki l l er s and
ki dnapper s? She deci ded
i t woul d be a wonder f ul ni ght t o get dr unk.
The capt ai n came over t o t he t abl e and whi sper ed i n
J enni f er ' s ear . " Excuse
me, Mi ss Par ker , t her e' s a t el ephone cal l f or you. "
J enni f er f el t an i nst ant sense of al ar m. The onl y one
who knew wher e t o
r each her was Mr s. Mackey. She coul d onl y be cal l i ng
because somet hi ng was
wr ong.
" Excuse me, " J enni f er sai d.
She f ol l owed t he capt ai n t o a smal l of f i ce of f t he
l obby.
J enni f er pi cked up t he r ecei ver and a man' s voi ce
whi sper ed, " You bi t ch!
You doubl e- cr ossed me. "
J enni f er f el t her body begi n t o t r embl e. " Who i s t hi s?"
she asked.
But she knew.
" You t ol d t he cops t o come and get me. "
" That ' s not t r ue! I - "
" You pr omi sed t o hel p me: "
" I wi l l hel p you. Wher e ar e- ?"
" You l yi ng cunt ! " Hi s voi ce dr opped so l ow she coul d
har dl y make out hi s
wor ds. " You' r e goi ng t o pay f or t hi s. Oh, you' r e goi ng
t o pay f or t hi s! "
" Wai t a mi n- "
The t el ephone was dead. J enni f er st ood t her e, chi l l ed.
Somet hi ng had gone
t er r i bl y wr ong. Fr ank J ackson, al i as l ack Scanl on, had
somehow escaped and
he was bl ami ng J enni f er f or what had happened. How had
he known wher e she
was? He must have f ol l owed her her e. He coul d. be wai t i ng
out si de f or her
now.
J enni f er was t r yi ng t o cont r ol t he t r embl i ng of , her
body, t r yi ng t o t hi nk,
t o r eason out what had happened. He had seen t he pol i ce
comi ng t o ar r est
hi m, or per haps t hey had
304 RAGE OF ANGELS
pi cked hi mup and he had got t en away f r omt hem. How di d
not mat t er . The
i mpor t ant t hi ng was t hat he was bl ami ng her f or what had
happened.
Fr ank J ackson had ki l l ed bef or e and he coul d ki l l agai n.
J enni f er went i nt o
t he l adi es' r oomand st ayed t her e unt i l she was cal m
agai n. When she had
r egai ned cont r ol of her sel f , she r et ur ned t o t he t abl e.
J udge Wal dman t ook one l ook at her f ace. " What on
ear t h' s happened?"
J enni f er t ol d hi mbr i ef l y. He was aghast .
" Good God! Woul d you l i ke me t o dr i ve you home?"
" Tl l be al l r i f t , Lawr ence. I f you coul d j ust make sur e
I get t o my car
saf el y, I ' l l be f i ne. "
They qui et l y sl i pped out of t he l ar ge bal l r oomand J udge
Wal dman st ayed
wi t h J enni f er unt i l t he at t endant br ought her
" You' r e cer t ai n you don' t want me t o come wi t h you?"
" Thanks. I ' msur e t he pol i ce wi l l pi ck hi mup bef or e
mor ni ng. Ther e ar en' t
many peopl e wal ki ng ar ound who l ook l i ke hi m. Good
ni ght . "
J enni f er dr ove of f , maki ng sur e' no one was f ol l owi ng
her . When she was
cer t ai n she was al one, she t ur ned ont o t he Long I sl and
Expr essway and
headed f or home.
She kept l ooki ng i n her r ear vi ew mi r r or , checki ng t he
car s behi nd her . Once
she pul l ed of f t he r oad t o l et al l t he t r af f i c pass her ,
and when t he r oad
behi nd her was cl ear , she dr ove on. She f el t saf er now.
I t coul d not be
many hour s bef or e t he pol i ce pi cked up Fr ank J ackson.
Ther e woul d be a
gener al al er t out f or hi mby t hi s t i me.
J enni f er t ur ned i nt o her dr i veway. The gr ounds and t he
house, whi ch shoul d
have been br i ght l y l i ght ed, wer e dar k. She sat i n t he
car st ar i ng at t he
house unbel i evi ngl y, her mi nd begi nni ng t o shr i ek wi t h
al ar m. Fr ant i cal l y,
she t or e t he car
SI DNEY SHELDON 305
door open and r aced t o t he f r ont door . I t was aj ar .
J enni f er st ood t her e f or
an i nst ant , f i l l ed wi t h t er r or , t hen st epped i nt o t he
r ecept i on hal l . Her
f oot ki cked somet hi ng war mand sof t and she l et out an
i nvol unt ar y gasp. She
t ur ned on t he l i ght s. Max l ay on t he bl ood- soaked r ug.
The dog' s t hr oat had
been cut f r omear t o ear .
" J oshua! " I t was a scr eam. " Mr s. Mackey! "
J enni f er r an f r omr oomt o r oom, swi t chi ng on al l t he
l i ght s and cal l i ng out
t hei r names, her hear t poundi ng so har d t hat i t was
di f f i cul t f or her t o
br eat he. She r aced up t he st ai r s t o J oshua' s bedr oom.
Hi s bed had been
sl ept i n, but i t was empt y.
J enni f er sear ched ever y r oomi n t he house, t hen r aced
downst ai r s, her mi nd
numb. Fr ank J ackson must have known al l al ong wher e she
l i ved. He had
f ol l owed her home one ni ght f r omher of f i ce or af t er she
l ef t t he ser vi ce
st at i on. He had t aken J oshua and he was goi ng t o ki l l
hi mt o puni sh her .
She was passi ng t he l aundr y r oomwhen she hear d a f ai nt
scr abbl i ng sound
comi ng f r omt he cl oset . J enni f er moved t owar d t he cl osed
door sl owl y and
pul l ed i t open. I t was bl ack i nsi de.
A voi ce whi mper ed, " Pl ease don' t hur t me any mor e. "
J enni f er t ur ned on t he l i ght . Mr s. Mackey was l yi ng on
t he f l oor , her hands
and f eet t i ght l y bound wi t h wi r e. She was onl y
hal f - consci ous.
J enni f er qui ckl y knel t besi de her . " Mr s. Mackey! "
The ol der woman l ooked up at J enni f er and her eyes began
t o f ocus.
" He t ook J oshua. " She began t o sob.
As gent l y as she coul d, J enni f er unt wi st ed t he wi r e t hat
was cut t i ng i nt o
Mr s. Mackey' s ar ms and l egs. They wer e r aw and bl eedi ng.
J enni f er hel ped
t he housekeeper t o her f eet .
Mr s. Mackey cr i ed hyst er i cal l y. " I c- coul dn' t st op hi m.
I t - t r i ed. I ="
The sound of t he t el ephone cut i nt o t he r oom. The t wo
306 RAGE OF ANGELS
women wer e i nst ant l y si l enced. The t el ephone r ang agai n
and agai n, and
somehow i t had an evi l sound. J enni f er wal ked over t o i t
and pi cked i t up.
The voi ce sai d, " I j ust want ed t o make sur e you got home
al l r i ght . "
" Wher e i s my son?"
" He i s a beaut i f ul boy, i sn' t he?" t he voi ce asked.
" Pl ease! I ' l l do anyt hi ng. Anyt hi ng you l i ke! "
" You' ve al r eady done ever yt hi ng, Mr s. Par ker . "
" No, pl ease! " She was sobbi ng hel pl essl y.
" I l i ke t o hear you cr y, " t he voi ce whi sper ed. " You' l l
get your son back,
Mr s. Par ker . Read t omor r ow' s paper s. "
And t he l i ne went dead.
J enni f er st ood t her e, f i ght i ng agai nst t he f ai nt ness,
t r yi ng t o t hi nk.
Fr ank J ackson had sai d, " He i s a beaut i f ul boy, i sn' t
he?" That coul d mean
J oshua was st i l l al i ve. Ot her wi se, woul dn' t he have sai d
was beaut i f ul ? She
knew she was si mpl y pl ayi ng games wi t h wor ds, t r yi ng t o
keep her sani t y.
She had t o do somet hi ng qui ckl y.
Her f i r st i mpul se was t o t el ephone Adam, ask hi mt o
hel p. I t was hi s i on
who had been ki dnapped, hi s son who was goi ng t o be
ki l l ed. But she knew
t her e was not hi ng Adamcoul d do. He was t wo hundr ed and
t hi r t y- f i ve mi l es
away. She had onl y t wo choi ces: One was t o cal l Rober t
Di Si l va, t el l hi m
what had happened and ask hi mt o t hr ow out a dr agnet t o
t r y t o cat ch Fr ank
J ackson. Oh, God, t hat wi l l t ake t oo l ong!
The second choi ce was t he FBI . They wer e t r ai ned t o
handl e ki dnappi ngs. The
pr obl emwas t hat t hi s was not l i ke ot her ki dnappi ng.
Ther e woul d be no
r ansomnot e f or t hemt o t r ace, no chancy t o t r y t o t r ap
Fr ank J ackson and
save J oshua' s l i f e. The FBI moved accor di ng t o i t s own
st r i ct r i t ual . I t
woul d not be of any hel p i n t hi s i nst ance. She had t o
deci de qui ckl y . . .
Whi l e J oshua was st i l l al i ve. Rober t Di Si l va or t he
FBI . I t was di f f i cul t
t o t hi nk.
SI DNEY SHELDON 307
She t ook a deep br eat h and made her deci si on. She l ooked
up a t el ephone
number . Her f i nger s wer e t r embl i ng so badl y, she had t o
di al t he number
t hr ee t i mes bef or e she got i t r i ght .
When a man answer ed, J enni f er sai d, " I want t o speak t o
Mi chael Mor et t i . "
36
" Sor r y, l ady. Thi s i s Tony' s Pl ace. I don' t know no Mi ke
Mor et t i . "
" Wai t ! " J enni f er scr eamed. " Don' t hang up! " She f or ced a
cal mness i nt o her
voi ce. " Thi s i s ur gent . I ' ma- a f r i end of hi s. My name
i s J enni f er Par ker .
I need t o t al k t o hi mr i ght away. "
" Look, l ady, I sai d- r
' Gi ve hi mmy name and t hi s t el ephone number . "
She gave hi mt he number . J enni f er was begi nni ng t o
st ut t er so badl y she
coul d har dl y speak. " T- t - t el l hi m- "
The l i ne went dead.
Numbl y, J enni f er r epl aced t he r ecei ver . She was back t o
one of her f i r st
t wo choi ces. Or bot h of t hem. Ther e was no r eason why
Rober t Di Si l va and
t he FBI coul d not j oi n f or ces t o t r y t o f i nd J oshua. The
t hi ng t hat was
dr i vi ng her mad was t hat she knew how l i t t l e chance t hey
woul d have of
f or di ng Fr ank J ackson. Ther e was no t i me. Read
t omor r ow' s paper s. Ther e was
a f i nal i t y about hi s l ast wor ds t hat made J enni f er
308
SI DNEY SHELDON 309
cer t ai n he woul d not t el ephone her agai n, woul d not gi ve
anyone a chance t o
t r ace hi m. But she had t o do somet hi ng. She woul d t r y Di
Si l va. She r eached
f or t he t el ephone agai n. I t r ang as she t ouched i t ,
st ar t l i ng her .
" Thi s- i s Mi chael Mor et t i . "
" Mi chael ! Oh, Mi chael , hel p me, pl ease! I - She began t o
sob
uncont r ol l abl y. She dr opped t he t el ephone, t hen pi cked
i t up agai n qui ckl y,
t er r i f i ed he had hung up. " Mi chael ?"
" I ' mher e: " Hi s voi ce was cal m. " Get hol d of your sel f
and t el l me what ' s
wr ong. "
" I - I ' l l - " She t ook i n qui ck, deep br eat hs, t r yi ng t o
st op t he t r embl i ng.
" I t ' s my son, J oshua. He' s- - he' s been ki dnapped. They' r e
goi ng t o- ki l l
hi m. "
" Do you know who t ook hi m?" .
" Y- yes. Hi s name i s F- Fr ank J ackson. " Her hear t was
poundi ng.
" Tel l me what happened. " Hi s voi ce was qui et and
conf i dent .
J enni f er f or ced her sel f t o t al k sl owl y, r ecount i ng t he
sequence of event s.
" Can you descr i be what J ackson l ooks l i ke?"
J enni f er conj ur ed up a pi ct ur e of hi mi n her mi nd. She
put t he pi ct ur e i nt o
wor ds, and Mi chael sai d, " You' r e doi ng f i ne. Do you know
wher e he ser ved
t i me?"
" At J ol i et . He t ol d me he' s goi ng t o ki l l - "
" Wher e was t he gas st at i on he wor ked at ?"
She gave Mi chael t he addr ess.
" Do you know t he name of t he mot el he was st ayi ng at ?"
" Yes. No. " She coul d not r emember . She dug her
f i nger nai l s i nt o her
f or ehead unt i l i t began t o bl eed, f or ci ng her sel f t o
t hi nk. He wai t ed
pat i ent l y.
I t came t o her suddenl y. " I t ' s t he Tr avel Wel l Mot el .
I t ' s on Tent h Avenue.
But I ' msur e he i sn' t t her e now. "
" We' l l see. "
" I want my son back al i ve. "
310 RAGE OF ANGELS
Mi chael Mor et t i di d not r epl y and J enni f er under st ood
why.
" I f we f i nd J ackson- ?"
J enni f er t ook a deep, shudder i ng br eat h. " Ki l l hi m! "
" St ay by your t el ephone. "
The connect i on was br oken. J enni f er r epl aced t he
r ecei ver . She f el t
st r angel y cal mer , as t hough somet hi ng had been
accompl i shed. Ther e was no
r eason t o f eel t he conf i dence she di d i n Mi chael
Mor et t i . Fr oma l ogi cal
poi nt of vi ew, i t was a wi l d, i nsane t hi ng t o have done;
but l ogi c had
not hi ng t o do wi t h t hi s. Her son' s l i f e was at st ake.
She had del i ber at el y
sent a ki l l er t o cat ch a ki l l er . I f i t di d not wor k . .
. She t hought of
t he l i t t l e gi r l whose body had been r aped and sodomi zed.
J enni f er went t o t end t o Mr s. Mackey. She t ook car e of
her cut s and br ui ses
and put her t o bed. J enni f er of f er ed her a sedat i ve, but
Mr s. Mackey pushed
i t away.
" I coul dn' t sl eep, " she cr i ed. " Oh, Mr s. Par ker l He gave
t hat baby sl eepi ng
pi l l s. "
J enni f er st ar ed at her i n hor r or .
Mi chael Mor et t i sat at hi s desk, f aci ng t he seven men he
had summoned. He
had al r eady gi ven i nst r uct i ons t o t he f i r st t hr ee.
He t ur ned t o Thomas Col f ax. " Tor o, I want you t o use
your connect i ons. Go
down and see Capt ai n Not ar as and have hi mpul l t he
package on Fr ank
J ackson. I want ever yt hi ng t hey' ve got on hi m. "
" We' r e wast i ng a good connect i on, Mi ke. I don' t t hi nk- "
" Don' t ar gue! J ust do i t . "
Col f ax sai d st i f f l y, " Ver y wel l . "
Mi chael t ur ned t o Ni ck Vi t o. " Check out t he gas st at i on
wher e J ackson
wor ked. Fi nd out i f he hung ar ound any of t he bar s
t her e, i f he had any
f r i ends. "
To Sal vat or e Fi or e and J oseph Col el l a: " Get over t o
J ackson' s mot el . He' s
pr obabl y gone by now, but f i nd out i f he
SI DNEY SHELDON 311
pal l ed ar ound wi t h anyone. I want t o know who hi s buddi es
wer e. " He l ooked
at hi s wat ch. " I t ' s mi dni ght . I ' mgi vi ng you ei ght hour s
t o f i nd J ackson. "
The men st ar t ed out t he door .
Mi chael cal l ed af t er t hem, " I don' t want anyt hi ng t o
happen t o t he ki d.
Keep cal l i ng i n. I ' l l be wai t i ng. "
Mi chael Mor et t i wat ched t heml eave, t hen pi cked up one
of t he t el ephones on
hi s desk and began t o di al .
1: 00 A. M.
The mot el r oomwas not l ar ge, but i t was ver y neat .
Fr ank J ackson l i ked
t hi ngs neat . He f el t i t was par t of bei ng br ought up
pr oper l y. The venet i an
bl i nds wer e r ol l ed down and sl ant ed so t hat no one coul d
see i nt o t he r oom.
The door was l ocked and chai ned, and he had pr essed a
chai r agai nst i t . He
wal ked over t o t he bed wher e J oshua l ay. Fr ank. J ackson
had f or ced t hr ee
sl eepi ng pi l l s down t he boy' s t hr oat , and he was st i l l
sl eepi ng soundl y.
St i l l , J ackson pr i ded hi msel f on bei ng a man who t ook no
chances, so
J oshua' s hands and f eet wer e t i ght l y bound t oget her wi t h
t he same ki nd of
wi r e t hat had been used t o t i e up t he ol d l ady i n t he
house. J ackson l ooked
down at t he sl eepi ng boy and he was f i l l ed wi t h a sense
of sadness.
Why i n God' s name di d peopl e keep f or ci ng hi mt o do
t hese t er r i bl e t hi ngs?
He was a gent l e, peacef ul man, but when ever yone was
agai nst - you, when
ever yone at t acked you, you had t o def end your sel f . The
t r oubl e wi t h
ever ybody was t hat t hey al ways under est i mat ed hi m. They
f ai l ed t o r eal i ze
unt i l t oo l at e t hat he was smar t er t han al l of t hem.
He had known t he pol i ce wer e comi ng f or hi mhal f an hour
bef or e t hey
ar r i ved. He had been f i l l i ng t he t ank of a Chevr ol et
Camar o and had seen
hi s boss go i nsi de t he of f i ce t o answer t he t el ephone.
J ackson had not been
abl e t o hear t he conver sat i on, but i t was not necessar y.
He saw t he cover t
l ooks hi s boss. gave hi mas he whi sper ed i nt o t he
t el ephone. Fr ank J ackson
312 RAGE OF ANGELS
knew i mmedi at el y what was happeni ng. The pol i ce wer e
comi ng f or hi m. The
Par ker bi t ch had doubl e- cr ossed hi m, had t ol d t he pol i ce
t o l ock hi mup. She
was l i ke al l t he r est of t hem. Hi s boss was st i l l t al ki ng
on t he t el ephone
when Fr ank J ackson gr abbed hi s j acket and di sappear ed. I t
had t aken hi ml ess
t han t hr ee mi nut es t o f i nd an unl ocked car on t he st r eet
and hot - wi r e i t ,
and moment s l at er he was headed f or J enni f er Par ker ' s
house.
J ackson r eal l y had t o admi r e hi s own i nt el l i gence. Who
el se woul d have
t hought of f ol l owi ng her t o f i nd out wher e she l i ved? He
had done t hat t he
day she had got t en hi mout on bai l . He had par ked acr oss
t he st r eet f r om
her house and had been sur pr i sed when J enni f er had been
met at t he gat e by
a l i t t l e boy. He had wat ched t hemt oget her and sensed
even t hen t hat t he
ki d mi ght come i n handy. He was an unexpect ed bonus,
what t he poet s cal l ed
a host age t o f at e.
J ackson smi l ed t o hi msel f at how t er r i f i ed t he ol d bi t ch
of a housekeeper
had been. He had enj oyed t wi st i ng t he wi r e i nt o her
wr i st s and ankl es. No,
not enj oyed, r eal l y. He was bei ng t oo har d on hi msel f .
I t had been
necessar y. The housekeeper had t hought he was goi ng t o
r ape her . She
di sgust ed hi m. Al l women di d, except f or hi s sai nt ed
mot her . Women wer e
di r t y, uncl ean, even hi s whor e of a si st er . I t was onl y
t he chi l dr en who
wer e pur e. He t hought of t he l ast l i t t l e gi r l he had
t aken. She had been
beaut i f ul , wi t h l ong bl ond cur l s, but she had had t o pay
f or her mot her ' s
si ns. Her mot her had had J ackson f i r ed f r omhi s j ob.
Peopl e t r i ed t o keep
you f r omear ni ng an honest l i vi ng and t hen puni shed you
when you br oke
t hei r st upi d l aws. The men wer e bad enough, but t he
women wer e wor se. Pi gs
who want ed t o soi l t he t empl e of your body. Li ke t he
wai t r ess, Cl ar a, he
was goi ng t o t ake t o Canada She was i n l ove wi t h hi m.
She t hought he was
such a gent l eman because he had never t ouched her . I f
she onl y knew! The
i dea of maki ng l ove t o her si ckened hi m. But he was
goi ng t o t ake her out
of t he count r y wi t h hi mbecause t he pol i ce woul d be
l ook-
SI DNEY SHELDON 313
i ng f or a man al one. He woul d shave of f hi s bear d and
t r i mhi s hai r , and
when he cr ossed t he bor der he woul d get r i d of Cl ar a.
That woul d gi ve hi m
gr eat pl easur e.
Fr ank J ackson wal ked over t o a bat t er ed car dboar d
sui t case on a l uggage
r ack, opened i t and t ook out a t ool ki t . Fr omi t he
r emoved nai l s and a
hammer . He l ai d t hemon t he bedsi de t abl e next t o t he
sl eepi ng boy. Then he
went i nt o t he bat hr oomand l i f t ed a t wo- gal l on gasol i ne
can f r omt he bat h-
t ub. He car r i ed i t i nt o t he bedr oomand set t he can on
t he f l oor . J oshua
was goi ng t o go up i n f l ames. But t hat woul d be af t er
t he cr uci f i xi on.
2: 00 A. M.
Thr oughout New Yor k and ar ound t he count r y, t he wor d was
spr eadi ng. I t
st ar t ed i n bar s and f l ophouses. A caut i ous wor d her e and
t her e, dr opped
i nt o a wi l l i ng ear . I t began as a t r i ckl e and spr ead t o
cheap r est aur ant s
and noi sy di scot heques and al l - ni ght newsst ands. I t was
pi cked up by t axi
dr i ver s and t r ucker s and gi r l s wor ki ng t he mi dni ght
st r eet s. I t was l i ke a
pebbl e dr opped i nt o a deep, dar k l ake, wi t h t he r i ppl es
begi nni ng t o wi den
and spr ead. Wi t hi n a coupl e of hour s ever yone on t he
st r eet knew t hat
Mi chael Mor et t i want ed some i nf or mat i on and want ed i t
f ast . Not many peopl e
wer e gi ven a chance t o do a f avor f or Mi chael Mor et t i .
Thi s was a gol den
oppor t uni t y f or somebody, because Mor et t i was a man who
knew how t o show
hi s appr eci at i on. The wor d was t hat he was l ooki ng f or a
t hi n bl ond guy who
l ooked l i ke J esus. Peopl e began sear chi ng t hei r
memor i es.
2: 15 A. M.
J oshua AdamPar ker st i r r ed i n hi s sl eep and Fr ank
J ackson moved t o hi s
si de. He had not yet r emoved t he boy' s paj amas. J ackson
checked t o make
sur e t hat t he hammer and nai l s wer e i n pl ace and r eady.
I t was i mpor t ant t o
be met i cul ous about t hese t hi ngs. He was goi ng t o nai l
t he boy' s hands and
f eet t o
314 RAGE OF ANGELS
t he f l oor bef or e he set t he r oomon f i r e. He coul d have
done i t whi l e ' t he
boy was asl eep, but t hat woul d have been wr ong. I t was
i mpor t ant t hat t he
boy be awake t o see what was happeni ng, t o know he was
bei ng puni shed f or
t he si ns of hi s mot her . Fr ank J ackson l ooked at hi s
wat ch. Cl ar a was comi ng
t o t he mot el t o pi ck hi mup at seven- t hi r t y. Fi ve hour s
and f i f t een mi nut es
l ef t . Pl ent y of t i me.
Fr ank J ackson sat down and st udi ed J oshua, and once he
t ender l y f ondl ed an
er r ant l ock of t he smal l boy' s hai r .
3: 00 A. M.
The f i r st of t he t el ephone cal l s began comi ng i n.
Ther e wer e t wo t el ephones on Mi chael Mor et t i ' s desk and
i t seemed t hat t he
moment he pi cked up one, t he ot her st ar t ed r i ngi ng.
" I got a l i ne on t he guy, Mi ke. A coupl e year s ago he
was wor ki n' a scami n
Kansas Ci t y wi t h Bi g J oe Zi egl er and Mel Cohen. "
" Fuck what he was doi ng a coupl e of year s ago. Wher e i s
he now?"
" Bi g J oe says he ai n' t hear d f r omhi mi n about si x
mont hs. I ' mt r yi n' t o
get hol d of Mel Cohen. "
" Do i t ! "
The next phone cal l was no mor e pr oduct i ve.
" I went over t o J ackson' s mot el r oom. He checked out . He
was car r yi n' a
br own sui t case and a t wo- gal l on can t hat coul da had
gasol i ne i n i t . The
cl er k has no i dea wher e he went . "
" What about t he nei ghbor hood bar s?"
" One of t he bar t ender s r ecogni zed hi s descr i pt i on, but
he says he wasn' t a
r egul ar . He went i n t wo or t hr ee t i mes af t er wor k. "
" Al one?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 315
" Accor di n' t o t he bar t ender , yeah. He di dn' t seem
i nt er est ed i n t he gi r l s
t her e. "
" Check out t he gay bar s. "
The t el ephone r ang agai n al most as soon as Mi chael had
hung up. I t was
Sal vat or e Fi or e.
" Col f ax t al ked t o Capt ai n Not ar as. The pol i ce pr oper t y
cl er k got a r ecor d
of a pawn t i cket i n Fr ank J ackson' s per sonal ef f ect s. I
got t he number of
t he t i cket and t he name of t he pawn shop. I t ' s owned by
a Gr eek, Gus
St avr os, who f ences hot r ocks. "
" Di d you check i t out ?"
" We can' t check i t out unt i l mor ni n' , Mi ke. The pl ace i s
cl osed. I - "
Mi chael Mor et t i expl oded. " We can' t wai t unt i l mor ni ng!
Get your ass down
t her e! "
Ther e was a t el ephone cal l f r omJ ol i et . I t was har d f or
Mi chael t o f ol l ow
t he conver sat i on because hi s cal l er had heed a
l ar yngect omy and hi s voi ce
sounded as i f i t was comi ng f r omt he bot t omof a boa:
" J ackson' s cel l mat e was a man named Mi ckey Ni col a. They
wer e pr et t y t i ght . "
" Any i dea wher e Ni col a i s now?"
" Last I hear d he was back east somewher e. He' s a f r i end
of J ackson' s
si st er . We have no addr ess on her . "
" What was Ni col a sent up f or ?"
" They nai l ed hi mon a j ewel r y hei st . "
3: 30 A. M.
The pawnshop was l ocat ed i n Spani sh Har l emat Second
Avenue and 124t h
St r eet . I t was i n an unl oved t wo- st or y bui l di ng, wi t h
t he shop downst ai r s
and l i vi ng quar t er s upst ai r s.
316 RAGE OF ANGELS
Gus St avr os was awakened by a f l ashl i ght shi ni ng i n hi s
f ace. He
i nst i nct i vel y st ar t ed t o r each f or t he al ar mbut t on at
t he si de of hi s bed.
" I woul dn' t , " a voi ce sai d.
The f l ashl i ght moved away and Gus St avr os sat up i n bed.
He l ooked at t he
t wo men st andi ng on ei t her si de of hi mand knew he had
been gi ven good
advi ce. A gi ant and a mi dget . St avr os coul d f eel an
ast hma at t ack comi ng
on.
" Go downst ai r s and t ake what ever you want , " be wheezed.
" I won' t make a
move"
The gi ant , J oseph Col el l a sai d, " Get up. Sl ow. "
Gus St avr os r ose f r omhi s bed, caut i ous not t o make any
sudden movement s.
The smal l man, Sal vat or e Fi or e, shoved a pi ece of paper
under hi s nose.
" Thi s i s t he number of a pawn t i cket . We want t o see t he
mer chandi se. "
" Yes, si r . "
Gus St avr os wal ked downst ai r s, f ol l owed by t he t wo men.
St avr os had
i nst al l ed an el abor at e al ar msyst emonl y si x mont hs
ear l i er . Ther e wer e
bel l s he coul d have pushed and secr et pl aces on t he
f l oor he coul d have
st epped on and hel p woul d be on i t s way. He di d none of
t hose t hi ngs
because hi s i nst i nct s t ol d hi mhe woul d be dead bef or e
anyone coul d r each
hi m. He knew t hat hi s onl y chance l ay i n gi vi ng t he t wo
men what t hey
want ed. He onl y pr ayed he woul d not di e f r oma goddamned
ast hma at t ack
bef or e he got r i d of t hem.
He t ur ned on t he downst ai r s l i ght s and t hey al l moved
t owar d t he f r ont of
t he shop. Gus St avr os had no i dea what was goi ng on, but
he knew i t coul d
have been a gr eat deal wor se. I f t hese men had come
mer el y t o r ob hi m, t hey
coul d have cl eaned out t he pawn shop and been gone by
now. I t seemed t hey
wer e onl y i nt er est ed i n one pi ece of mer chandi se. He
wonder ed how t hey had
ci r cumvent ed t he el abor at e new al ar ms on t he door s and
wi ndows, but he
deci ded not t o ask.
" Move your ass, " J oseph Col el l a sai d.
SI DNEY SHELDON 317
Gus l ooked at t he pawn t i cket number agai n and began t o
sor t t hr ough hi s
f i l es. He f ound what he was l ooki ng f or , nodded i n
sat i sf act i on, and went
t o t he l ar ge wal k- i n st r ong r oomand opened i t , t he t wo
men cl ose behi nd
hi m. St avr os sear ched al ong a shel f unt i l he f ound a
smal l envel ope. Tur n-
i ng t o t he t wo men, he opened t he envel ope and t ook out
a l ar ge di amond
r i ng t hat spar kl ed i n t he over head l i ght s.
" Thi s i s i t , " Gus St avr os sai d. " I gave hi mf i ve hundr ed
f or i t . " The r i ng
was wor t h at l east t went y t housand dol l ar s.
" You gave f i ve hundr ed t o who?" l i t t l e Sal vat or e Fi or e
asked.
Gus St avr os shr ugged. " A hundr ed cust omer s a day come i n
her e. The name on
t he envel ope i s J ohn Doe. "
Fi or e pul l ed a pi ece of l ead pi pe out of nowher e and
smashed i t savagel y
agai nst Gus St avr os' nose. He f el l t o t he f l oor
scr eami ng wi t h pai n,
dr owni ng i n hi s own bl ood.
Fi or e asked qui et l y, " Who di d you say br ought i t i n?"
Fi ght i ng f or br eat h, Gus St avr os gasped, " I don' t know
hi s name. He di dn' t
t el l me. I swear t o God! "
" What di d he l ook l i ke?"
The bl ood was f l owi ng i nt o Gus St avr os' t hr oat so f ast
he coul d har dl y
speak. He was begi nni ng t o f ai nt , but he knew i f he
passed out bef or e he
t al ked he woul d never wake up.
" Let me t hi nk, " he pl eaded.
St avr os t r i ed t o f ocus, but he was so di zzy f r omt he
pai n t hat i t was
di f f i cul t . He f or ced hi msel f t o r emember t he cust omer
wal ki ng i n, t aki ng
t he r i ng out of a box and showi ng i t t o hi m. I t was
comi ng back t o hi m.
" He- he was ki nd of bl ond and ski nny- - " He choked on some
bl ood. " Hel p me
up. "
Sal vat or e Fi or e ki cked hi mi n t he r i bs. " Keep t al ki e' : "
" He had a bear d, a bl ond bear d . . "
" Tel l us about t he r ock. Wher e di d i t come f r om?"
Even i n hi s ext r eme pai n, Gus St avr os hesi t at ed. I f he
t al ked, he woul d be
a dead man l at er . I f he di d not , he woul d
318 RAGE OF ANGELS
di e now. He deci ded t o post pone hi s deat h as l ong as
possi bl e. " I t came f r om
t he Ti f f any j ob. " " Who was i n on t he j ob wi t h t he bl ond
guy?" Gus St avr os
was f i ndi ng i t har der t o br eat he. " Mi ckey Ni col a. "
"
: Wher e can we f i nd Ni col a?"
" I don' t know. He- he shacks up wi t h some gi r l i n
Br ookl yn. "
Fi or e l i f t ed a f oot and nudged St avr os' nose. Gus
St avr os scr eamed wi t h
pai n.
J oseph Col el l a asked, " What ' s t he br oad' s name?"
" J ackson. Bl anche J ackson: "
4: 30 A. M.
The house was set back f r omt he st r eet , sur r ounded by a
smal l whi t e pi cket
f ence wi t h a car ef ul l y t ended gar den i n f r ont . Sal vat or e
Fi or e and J oseph
Col el l a t r amped t hr ough t he f l ower s and made t hei r way
t o t he back door . I t
t ook t heml ess t han f i ve seconds t o open i t . They
st epped i nsi de and moved
t owar d t he st ai r s. Fr oma bedr oomabove t hey coul d hear
t he sounds of a bed
cr eaki ng and t he voi ces of a man and a woman. The t wo
men pul l ed out t hei r
guns and st ar t ed t o move qui et l y up t he st ai r s.
The woman' s voi ce was sayi ng, " Oh, Chr i st ! You' r e
wonder f ul , Mi ckey! Gi ve
i t t o me har der , baby. "
" I t ' s al l f or you, honey, ever y bi t , of i t . Don' t come
yet "
" Oh, I won' t , " t he woman moaned. " Let ' s come t o- "
She l ooked up and scr eamed. The man whi r l ed ar ound. He
st ar t ed t o r each
under t he pi l l ow but deci ded agai nst i t .
" Okay, " he sai d. " My wal l et ' s i n my pant s on t he chai r .
Take i t and get t he
hel l out of her e. I ' mbusy. "
Sal vat or e Fi or e sai d, " We don' t want your wal l et ,
Mi ckey. "
The anger on Mi ckey Ni col a' s f ace t ur ned t o somet hi ng
el se. He sat up i n
bed, movi ng caut i ousl y, t r yi ng t o f i gur e out
SI DNEY SHELDON 319
t he si t uat i on. The woman had pul l ed t he sheet s up over
her br east s, her f ace
a combi nat i on of anger and f r i ght .
Ni col a car ef ul l y swung hi s f eet over t he si de of t he
bed, si t t i ng on t he
edge, r eady t o spr i ng. Hi s peni s had gone l i mp. He was
wat chi ng bot h men,
wai t i ng f or an oppor t uni t y.
" What do you want ?"
" Do you wor k wi t h Fr ank J ackson?"
" Go f uck your sel ves. "
J oseph Col el l a t ur ned t o hi s compani on. " Shoot hi s bal l s
of f . "
Sal vat or e Fi or e r ai sed hi s gun and ai med.
Mi ckey Ni col a scr eamed, " Wai t a mi nut e! You guys must be
cr azy! " He l ooked
i nt o t he l i t t l e man' s eyes and sai d qui ckl y, " Yeah. I ' ve
wor ked wi t h
J ackson. "
The woman cr i ed out angr i l y, " Mi ckey! "
He t ur ned on her savagel y. " Shut up! You t hi nk I want t o
be a f ucki n'
eunuch?"
Sal vat or e Fi or e t ur ned t o t he woman and sai d, " You' r e
J ackson' s si st er ,
ai n' t you?"
Her f ace was f i l l ed wi t h f ur y. " I never hear d of hi m"
Fi or e r ai sed hi s gun and moved cl oser t o t he bed. " You
got t wo seconds t o
t al k t o me or you t wo ar e gonna be spl ashed al l over t he
wal l . "
Ther e was somet hi ng i n hi s voi ce t hat chi l l ed her . He
r ai sed hi s gun and
t he bl ood began t o dr ai n f r omt he woman' s f ace.
" Tel l t hemwhat t hey want t o know, " Mi ckey Ni col a
cr i ed.
The gun moved up t o pr ess agai nst t he woman' s br east .
" Don' t ! Yes! Fr ank J ackson' s my br ot her . "
" Wher e can we f i nd hi m?"
" I don' t know. I don' t see hi m. I swear t o God I don' t
know! I - "
Hi s hand t i ght ened on t he t r i gger .
She scr eamed, " Cl ar a! Cl ar a woul d know! Ask Cl ar a! "
J oseph Col el l a sai d, " Who' s Cl ar a?"
320 RAGE OF ANGELS
" She' s- she' s a wai t r ess Fr ank knows. "
" Wher e can we f i nd her ?"
Thi s t i me t her e was no hesi t at i on. The wor ds spi l l ed
out . " She wor ks at a
bar cal l ed The Shaker s i n Queens. " Her body began t o
t r embl e.
. Sal vat or e Fi or e l ooked at t he t wo of t hemand sai d
pol i t el y, " You can go
back t o your f ucki n' now. Have a ni ce day. "
And t he t wo men depar t ed.
S: 3O A. M.
Cl ar a Thomas ( nee Thomachevsky) was about t o f ul f i l l her
l i f el ong dr eam.
She hummed happi l y t o her sel f as she packed her
car dboar d sui t case wi t h t he
cl ot hes she woul d need i n Canada. She had t aken t r i ps
wi t h gent l emen
f r i ends bef or e, but t hi s was di f f er ent . Thi s was goi ng
t o be her honeymoon
t r i p. Fr ank J ackson was l i ke no ot her man she had known.
The men who came
i nt o t he bar , pawi ng her and pi nchi ng her but t ocks, wer e
not hi ng but
ani mal s. Fr ank J ackson was di f f er ent . He was a r eal
gent l eman. Cl ar a paused
i n her packi ng t o t hi nk about t hat wor d: gent l e man. She
had never t hought
of i t t hat way bef or e, but t hat was Fr ank J ackson. She
had seen hi monl y
f our t i mes i n her l i f e, but she knew she was i n l ove
wi t h hi m. She coul d
t el l he had been at t r act ed t o her f r omt he ver y
begi nni ng, because he
al ways sat at her boot h. And af t er t he second t i me he
had wal ked her home
when t he bar had cl osed.
I must st i l l have i t , Cl ar a t hought smugl y, i f 1 can get
a handsome young
guy l i ke t hat . She st opped her packi ng t o wal k over t o
t he cl oset mi r r or t o
st udy her sel f . Maybe she was a l i t t l e t oo heavy and her
hai r was a coupl e
of shades t oo r ed, but di et i ng woul d t ake car e of t he
ext r a pounds and she
woul d be mor e car ef ul t he next t i me she dyed her hai r .
Al l i n al l , she
wasn' t t oo di ssat i sf i ed wi t h what she saw. The ol d
br oad' s st i l l pr et t y
good- l ooki n' , she t ol d her sel f . She knew t hat Fr ank
SI DNEY SHELDON 321
J ackson want ed t o t ake her t o bed, even t hough he had
never t ouched her . He
was r eal l y speci al . Ther e was an al most Cl ar a f ur r owed her
f or ehead, t r yi ng
t o t hi nk of t he wor dspi r i t ual qual i t y about hi m. Cl ar a
had been br ought up
a good Cat hol i c and she knew i t was sacr i l egi ous t o even
t hi nk such a
t hought , but Fr ank J ackson r emi nded her a l i t t l e bi t of
J esus. She wonder ed
what Fr ank woul d be l i ke i n bed. Wel l , i f he was shy, she
woul d show hi ma
t r i ck or t wo. He had t al ked about t hei r get t i ng mar r i ed
as soon as t hey got
t o Canada. Her dr eamcome t r ue. Cl ar a l ooked at her wat ch
and deci ded she
had bet t er hur r y. She had pr omi sed t o pi ck Fr ank up at
hi s mot el at
seven- t hi r t y.
She saw t hemi n t he mi r r or as t hey wal ked i nt o her
bedr oom. They had come
out of nowher e. A gi ant and a l i t t l e f el l ow. Cl ar a
wat ched as t he t wo of
t hemmoved t owar d her .
The smal l man l ooked at t he sui t case. " Wher e you goi n' ,
Cl ar a?"
" None of your busi ness. J ust t ake what you want and get
out of her e. I f
t her e' s anyt hi ng i n t hi s j oi nt wor t h mor e t han t en
bucks, I ' l l eat i t . "
" I got somet hi ng you can eat , " t he bi g man Col el l a
sai d.
" Up your s, bust er , " Cl ar a snapped. " I f t hi s i s gonna be
a r ape j ob, I want
you t o know t he doct or ' s t r eat i n' me f or gonor r hea. "
Sal vat or e Fi or e sai d, " We ai n' t gonna hur t you. We j ust
wanna know wher e
Fr ank J ackson i s. "
They coul d see t he change t hat came over her . Her body
suddenl y st i f f ened
and her f ace became a mask.
" Fr ank J ackson?" Ther e was a not e of deep puzzl ement i n
her voi ce. " I don' t
know any Fr ank J ackson. "
Sal vat or e Fi or e pul l ed a l ead pi pe out of hi s pocket and
t ook a st ep t owar d
her .
" You don' t scar e me, " Cl ar a sai d, " I - "
322 RAGE OF ANGELS
Hi s ar ml ashed out acr oss her f ace, and i n t he mi dst of
t he bl i ndi ng pai n
she coul d f eel her t eet h cr umbl i ng i nsi de her mout h l i ke
t i ny pi eces of
gr i t . She opened her mout h t o speak and bl ood began
pour i ng out . The bi g
man r ai sed hi s pi pe agai n.
" No, pl ease don' t ! " She gagged.
J oseph Col el l a sai d pol i t el y, " Wher e can we f i nd t hi s
Fr ank J ackson?"
" Fr ank i s- i s- "
Cl ar a t hought of her sweet , gent l e man i n t he hands of
t hese t wo monst er s.
They wer e goi ng t o hur t hi mand, i nst i nct i vel y, she knew
t hat Fr ank woul d
not be abl e t o st and t he pai n. He was t oo sensi t i ve. I f
she coul d onl y f i nd
a way t o save hi m, he woul d be gr at ef ul t o her f or ever .
" I don' t know. "
Sal vat or e Fi or e moved f or war d and Cl ar a hear d t he sound
of her l eg br eaki ng
at t he same i nst ant she f el t t he excr uci at i ng pai n. She
f el l t o t he f l oor ,
unabl e t o scr eambecause of al l t he bl ood i n her mout h.
J oseph Col el l a st ood over her and sai d pl easant l y,
" Maybe you don' t
unner st and. We ai n' t gonna ki l l you. We' r e j ust gonna
keep br eaki n' t hi ngs.
When we' r e t hr ough wi t h you, you' l l l ook l i ke a pi ece of
gar bage t he cat
t hr ew away. Do you bel i eve me?"
Cl ar a bel i eved hi m. Fr ank J ackson woul d never want t o
l ook at her agai n.
She had l ost hi mt o t hese t wo bast ar ds. No dr eamcome
t r ue, no mar r i age.
The l i t t l e man was movi ng f or war d wi t h t he l ead pi pe
agai n.
Cl ar a moaned, " Don' t . Pl ease don' t . Fr ank' s at t he- t he
Br ooksi de Mot el on
Pr ospect Avenue. He- "
She f ai nt ed.
J oseph Col el l a wal ked over t o t he t el ephone and di al ed a
number .
Mi chael Mor et t i answer ed. " Yes?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 323
" Br ooksi de Mot el on Pr ospect Avenue. Want us t o t ake
hi m?"
" No. I ' l l meet you t her e. Make sur e he doesn' t l eave. "
" He won' t go anywher e, "
6: 30 A. M.
The boy was begi nni ng t o st i r agai n. The man wat ched as
J oshua opened hi s
eyes. The boy l ooked down at t he wi r e on hi s wr i st s and
l egs, and t hen
l ooked up and saw Fr ank J ackson, and t he memor i es came
f l oodi ng back.
Thi s was t he man who had pushed t hose pi l l s down hi s
t hr oat and ki dnapped
hi m. J oshua knew al l about ki dnappi ngs f r omt el evi si on.
The pol i ce woul d
come and save hi mand put t he man i n j ai l . J oshua was
det er mi ned not t o
show hi s f ear , because he want ed t o be abl e t o t el l hi s
mot her how br ave he
had been.
" My mot her wi l l be her e wi t h t he money, " J oshua assur ed
t he man, ' " so you
don' t have t o hur t me. "
Fr ank J ackson wal ked over t o t he bed and smi l ed down at
t he boy. He r eal l y
was a beaut i f ul chi l d. He wi shed he coul d t ake t he boy
t o Canada i nst ead of
Cl ar a. Rel uct ant l y, Fr ank J ackson l ooked at hi s wat ch.
I t was t i me t o get
t hi ngs r eady.
The boy hel d up hi s bound wr i st s. The bl ood had caked
dr y.
" Woul d you mi nd t aki ng t hi s of f , pl ease?" he asked
pol i t el y. " I won' t r un
away. "
Fr ank J ackson l i ked i t t hat t he boy had sai d " pl ease. "
I t showed good
manner s. These days, most ki ds had no manner s at al l .
They r an ar ound t he
st r eet s l i ke wi l d ani mal s.
Fr ank J ackson went i nt o t he bat hr oomwher e he had put
t he can of gasol i ne
back i n t he t ub so t hat i t woul d not st ai n t he r ug i n
t he l i vi ng r oom. He
pr i ded hi msel f on det ai l s l i ke t hat . He car r i ed t he can
i nt o t he bedr oom
and set i t down. He moved t o t he boy' s si de, l i f t ed up
t he bound f i gur e and
324 RAGE OF ANGELS
pl aced hi mon t he f l oor . Then he pi cked up t he hammer and
t wo l ar ge nai l s
and knel t neat t o t he boy.
J oshua Par ker was wat chi ng hi m, wi de- eyed. " What ar e you
goi ng t o do wi t h
t hat ?"
" Somet hi ng t hat wi l l make you ver y happy. Have you ever
hear d of J esus
Chr i st ?" J oshua nodded. " Do you know how he di ed?"
" On t he cr oss. "
" That ' s ver y good. You' r e a br i ght boy. We don' t have a
cr oss her e, so
we' l l have t o do t he best we can. "
The boy' s eyes wer e begi nni ng t o f i l l wi t h f ear .
Fr ank J ackson sai d, " Ther e' s not hi ng t o be af r ai d of .
J esus wasn' t af r ai d.
You must n' t be af r ai d. "
" I don' t want t o be J esus, " J oshua whi sper ed. " I want t o
go home. "
" I ' mgoi ng t o send you home, " Fr ank J ackson pr omi sed.
" I ' mgoi ng t o send
you home t o J esus. "
Fr ank J ackson t ook a handker chi ef out of hi s back pocket
and moved i t
t owar d t he boy' s mout h. J oshua gr i t t ed hi s t eet h
t oget her .
" Don' t make me angr y. "
Fr ank J ackson pr essed hi s t humb and f or ef i nger agai nst
J oshua' s cheeks and
f or ced hi s mout h open. He shoved t he handker chi ef i nt o
J oshua' s mout h and
sl apped a pi ece of t ape acr oss i t t o hol d t he
handker chi ef i n pl ace. J oshua
was st r ai ni ng agai nst t he wi r es t hat bound hi s wr i st s
and hands, and t hey
began t o bl eed agai n. Fr ank J ackson r an hi s hands over
t he f r esh cut s.
" The bl ood of Chr i st , " he sai d sof t l y.
He pi cked up one of t he boy' s hands, t ur ned i t over and
hel d i t down
agai nst t he f l oor . Then he pi cked up a nai l . Hol di ng i t
agai nst J oshua' s
pal mwi t h one hand, Fr ank J ackson pi cked up t he hammer
wi t h hi s ot her . He
dr ove t he nai l t hr ough t he boy' s hand i nt o t he f l oor .
s
SI DNEY SHELDON 325
7: 15 A. M.
Mi chael Mor et t i ' s bl ack l i mousi ne was st al l ed on t he
Br ookl yn- Queens
Expr essway i n ear l y mor ni ng t r af f i c, hel d up by a
veget abl e t r uck t hat had
over t ur ned and spi l l ed i t s car go acr oss t he r oad.
Tr af f i c had come t o a
st andst i l l .
" Pul l over t o t he ot her si de of t he r oad and get past
hi m, " Mi chael Mor et t i
or der ed Ni ck- Vi t o.
" Ther e' s a pol i ce car up ahead, Mi ke"
" Go up and t el l whoever ' s i n char ge t hat I want t o t al k
t o hi m. "
" Ri ght , boss. " -
Ni ck Vi t o got out of t he car and hur r i ed t owar d t he
squad car . A f ew
moment s l at er he r et ur ned wi t h a pol i ce ser geant .
Mi chael Mor et t i opened
t he wi ndow of t he car and hel d out hi s hand. Ther e wer e
f i ve one hundr ed
dol l ar bi l l s i n i t .
" I ' mi n a hur r y, of f i cer . "
Two mi nut es l at er t he pol i ce car , r ed l i ght f l ashi ng,
was gui di ng t he
l i mousi ne past t he wr eckage on t he r oad. When t hey wer e
cl ear of t he
t r af f i c, t he ser geant got out of t he pol i ce car and
wal ked back t o t he
l i mousi ne.
" Can I gi ve you an escor t somewher e, Mr . Mor et t i ?"
" No, t hank you, " Mi chael sai d. " Come and see me Monday. "
To Ni ck Vi t o:
" Move i t ! "
7: 30 A. M.
The neon si gn i n f r ont r ead:
BROOKSI DE MOTEL
SI NGLES- DOUBLES
DAI LY AND WEEKLY RATES
I NDI VI DUALES- DOBLES
PRECI OS ESFECI ALES
J oseph Col el l a and Sal vat or e Fi or e sat i n t hei r car
acr oss f r omBungal ow 7.
A f ew mi nut es ear l i er t hey had hear d a
326 RAGE OF ANGELS
t hump f r omi nsi de, so t hey knew t hat Fr ank J ackson was
st i l l t her e. '
We ought a j ump i n and cool hi m, Fi or e t hought . But
Mi chael Mor et t i had
gi ven i nst r uct i ons.
They set t l ed back t o wai t .
7: 4$ A. M.
I nsi de Bungal ow 7, Fr ank J ackson was maki ng hi s f i nal
pr epar at i ons. The boy
was a di sappoi nt ment . He had f ai nt ed. J ackson had want ed
t o wai t unt i l
J oshua r egai ned consci ousness bef or e t he ot her nai l s
wer e dr i ven i n, but i t
was get t i ng l at e. He pi cked up t he can of gasol i ne and
spr i nkl ed i t acr oss
t he boy' s body, car ef ul not t o l et i t t ouch t hat
beaut i f ul f ace. He
vi sual i zed t he body under t he paj amas and wi shed t hat he
had t i me t o- but ,
no, t hat woul d be f ool i sh. Cl ar a woul d be her e any
moment . He must be r eady
t o l eave when she ar r i ved. He r eached i n hi s pocket s,
pul l ed out a box of
mat ches, and set t hemneat l y besi de t he can of gasol i ne,
t he hammer and t he
nai l s. Peopl e si mpl y di d not appr eci at e how i mpor t ant
neat ness was.
Fr ank J ackson l ooked at hi s wat ch agai n and wonder ed
what was keepi ng Cl ar a.
7: SO A. M.
Out si de Bungal ow 7, t he l i mousi ne ski dded t o a st ep and
Mi chael Mor et t i
j umped out of t he car . The t wo men i n t he sedan hur r i ed
over t o j oi n hi m.
J oseph Coi el l a poi nt ed t o Bungal ow 7. " He' s i n t her e. "
" What about t he ki d?"
The bi g man shr ugged. " Dunno. J ackson' s got t he cur t ai ns
dr awn. "
" Shoul d we go i n now and t ake hi m?" Sal vat or e Fi or e
asked.
" St ay her e. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 327
The t wo men l ooked at hi mi n sur pr i se. He was a
capor egi me. He had sol di er s
t o make hi t s f or hi mwhi l e he sat back i n saf et y. And
yet he was goi ng i n
hi msel f . I t was not r i ght .
J oseph Col el l a sai d, " Boss, Sal and I can- "
But Mi chael Mor et t i was al r eady movi ng t o t he door of
Bungal ow 7, a gun
f i t t ed wi t h a si l encer i n hi s hand. He paused f or a
second t o l i st en, t hen
st epped back and smashed t he door open wi t h one power f ul
ki ck.
Mor et t i t ook i n t he scene i n a si ngl e f r ozen moment : t he
bear ded man
kneel i ng on t he f l oor besi de t he smal l boy; t he boy' s
hand nai l ed t o t he
f l oor , t he r oomr eeki ng of gasol i ne.
The bear ded man had t ur ned t owar d t he door and was
st ar i ng at Mi chael . The
l ast sounds he ever ut t er ed wer e, " You' r e not Cl ='
Mi chael ' s f i r st bul l et t ook hi mi n t he cent er of hi s
f or ehead. The second
bul l et shat t er ed hi s phar ynx, and t he t hi r d bul l et t ook
hi mi n . t he hear t .
But by t hat - t i me he no l onger f el t anyt hi ng.
Mi chael Mor et t i st epped t o t he door and waved t o t he t wo
men out si de. They
hur r i ed . i nt o t he cabi n. Mi chael Mor et t i knel t besi de
t he boy and f el t hi s
pul se. I t was t hi n and t hr eady, but he was st i l l al i ve.
He t ur ned t o J oseph
Col el l a.
" Cal l Doc Pet r one. Tel l hi mwe' r e on our way over . "
9: 30 A. M.
The i nst ant t he t el ephone r ang, J enni f er snat ched i t up,
squeezi ng i t
t i ght l y. " Hel l o! "
Mi chael Mor et t i ' s voi ce sai d, " r mbr i ngi ng your son
home. "
J oshua was whi mper i ng i n hi s sl eep. J enni f er l eaned over
and put her ar ms
ar ound hi m, hol di ng hi mgent l y. He had been asl eep when
Mi chael had car r i ed
hi mi nt o t he house. When J enni f er had seen J oshua' s
unconsci ous body, hi s
wr i st s
328 RAGE OF ANGELS
and ankl es heavi l y bandaged, hi s body swat hed i n gauze,
she had near l y gone
out of her mi nd. Mi chael had br ought t he doct or wi t h hi m
and i t had t aken
hi mhal f an hour t o r eassur e J enni f er t hat J oshua was
goi ng t o be al l r i ght .
" Hi s hand wi l l heal , " t he doct or assur ed her . " Ther e
wi l l be a smal l scar
t her e, but f or t unat el y no ner ves or t endons wer e
damaged. The gasol i ne
bur ns ar e super f i ci al . I bat hed hi s body i n mi ner al oi l .
I ' l l l ook i n on
hi mf or t he next f ew days. Bel i eve me, he' s goi ng t o be
f i ne. "
Bef or e t he doct or l ef t , J enni f er had hi mat t end t o Mr s.
Mackey.
J oshua had been put t o bed and J enni f er st ayed at hi s
si de, wai t i ng t o
r eassur e hi mwhen he awakened. He st i r r ed now and hi s
eyes opened.
When he saw hi s mot her , he sai d t i r edl y, " I knew you' d
come, Mom. Di d you
gi ve t he man t he r ansommoney?"
J enni f er nodded, not t r ust i ng her voi ce.
J oshua smi l ed. " I hope he buys t oo much candy wi t h t he
money and get s a
st omachache. Woul dn' t t hat be f unny?"
She whi sper ed, " Ver y f unny, dar l i ng. Do you know what
you and I ar e goi ng
t o do neat week? I ' mgoi ng t o t ake you t o- "
J oshua was asl eep agai n.
I t was hour s l at er when J enni f er wal ked back i nt o t he
l i vi ng r oom. She was
sur pr i sed t o see t hat Mi chael Mor et t i was st i l l t her e.
Somehow i t r emi nded
her of t he f i r st t i me she had met AdamWar ner , when he
had wai t ed f or her
i n her l i t t l e apar t ment .
" Mi chael - " I t was i mpossi bl e t o f i nd t he wor ds. " I I
can' t
t el l you how- how gr at ef ul I am. "
He l ooked at her and nodded.
She f or ced her sel f t o ask t he quest i on. " And- and Fr ank
J ackson?"
SI DNEY SHELDON 329
" He won' t bot her anyone agai n. "
So i t was over . J oshua was saf e. Not hi ng el se mat t er ed.
J enni f er l ooked at Mi chael Mor et t i and t hought , I owe
hi mso much. How
can I ever r epay hi m?
Mi chael was wat chi ng her , wr apped i n si l ence.
BOOK
I I
37
J enni f er Par ker st ood naked, st ar i ng out of t he l ar ge
pi ct ur e wi ndow t hat
over l ooked t he Bay of Tangi er . I t was a beaut i f ul , cr i sp
aut umn day and t he
bay was f i l l ed wi t h ski mmi ng whi t e sai l s and
deep- t hr oat ed power boat s.
Hal f a dozen l ar ge yacht s bobbed at anchor i n t he
har bor . J enni f er f el t hi s
pr esence and t ur ned.
" Li ke t he vi ew?"
" Love i t . "
He l ooked at her naked body. " So do L" Hi s hands wer e on
her br east s,
car essi ng t hem. " Let ' s go back t o bed: "
Hi s t ouch made J enni f er shi ver . He demanded t hi ngs t hat
no man had ever
dar ed ask of her , and he di d t hi ngs t o her t hat had
never been done t o her
bef or e.
" Yes, Mi chael "
They wal ked back i nt o t he bedr oomand t her e, f or one
f l eet i ng moment ,
J enni f er t hought of AdamWar ner , and t hen she f or got
ever yt hi ng except what
was happeni ng t o her .
J enni f er had never known anyone l i ke Mi chael Mor et t i . He
was i nsat i abl e.
Hi s body was at hl et i c, l ean and har d, and i t became a
par t of J enni f er ' s
body, cat chi ng her up i n i t s own f r enzy, car r yi ng her
al ong on a r i si ng
wave of poundi ng ea-
333
334 RAGE OF ANGELS
ci t ement t hat went on and on unt i l she want ed t o scr eam
wi t h a wi l d j oy.
When t hey had f i ni shed maki ng l ove and J enni f er l ay
t her e, spent , Mi chael
began once mor e, and J enni f er was caught up wi t h hi m
agai n and agai n i n an
ecst asy t hat became al most t oo much t o bear .
Now he l ay on t op of her , st ar i ng i nt o her f l ushed,
happy f ace. " You l ove
i t , don' t you, baby?"
" Yes. "
Ther e was a shame i n i t , a shame at how much she needed
hi m, needed hi s
l ovemaki ng.
J enni f er r emember ed t he f i r st t i me.
I t was t he mor ni ng Mi chael Mor et t i had br ought J oshua
saf el y back home.
J enni f er had known t hat Fr ank J ackson was dead and t hat
Mi chael Mor et t i had
ki l l ed hi m. The man st andi ng i n f r ont of her had saved
her son f or her , had
ki l l ed f or her . I t f i l l ed J enni f er wi t h some deep,
pr i mor di al f eel i ng.
" How can I t hank you?" J enni f er had asked.
And Mi chael Mor et t i had wal ked over t o her , t aken her i n
hi s ar ms and
ki ssed her . Out of some ol d l oyal t y t o Adam, J enni f er
had pr et ended t o
her sel f t hat i t woul d end wi t h t hat ki ss; but i nst ead,
i t became a
begi nni ng. She knew what Mi chael Mor et t i was, and yet
al l t hat count ed as
not hi ng agai nst what he had done. She st opped t hi nki ng
and l et her emot i ons
t ake over .
They went upst ai r s t o her bedr oom, and J enni f er t ol d
her sel f t hat she was
r epayi ng Mi chael f or what he had done f or her , and t hen
t hey wer e i n bed
and i t was an exper i ence beyond anyt hi ng t hat J enni f er
had ever dr eamed.
AdamWar ner had made l ove t o her , but Mi chael Mor et t i
possessed her . He
f i l l ed ever y i nch of her body wi t h exqui si t e sensat i ons.
I t was as t hough
he wer e maki ng l ove i n br i ght , f l ashi ng col or s, and t he
col or s kept
changi ng f r omone moment t o t he next , l i ke some
wonder f ul kal ei doscope. One
moment he made l ove gent l y and sen. - t i vel y, and t he next
moment he
SI DNEY SHELDON 335
was cr uel and poundi ng and demandi ng, and t he changes
made J enni f er f r ant i c.
He wi t hdr ew f r omher , t easi ng . her , maki ng her want mor e,
and when she was
on t he ver ge of f ul f i l l ment he pul l ed away.
When she coul d st and i t no l onger , she begged, " Pl ease
t ake me! Take me! "
And hi s har d or gan began t o pound i nt o her agai n unt i l
she scr eamed wi t h
pl easur e. She was no l onger a woman payi ng back a debt .
She was a sl ave t o
somet hi ng she had never known bef or e. Mi chael st ayed
wi t h her f or f our
hour s, and when he l ef t , J enni f er knew t hat her l i f e had
changed.
She l ay i n her bed t hi nki ng about what had happened,
t r yi ng t o under st and
i t . How coul d she be so much i n l ove wi t h Adamand st i l l
have been so
over whel med by Mi chael Mor et t i ? Thomas Aqui nas had sai d
t hat when you got
t o t he hear t of evi l , t her e was not hi ng t her e. J enni f er
wonder ed i f i t was
al so t r ue of l ove. She was awar e t hat par t of what she
had done was out of
a deep l onel i ness. She had l i ved t oo l ong wi t h a
phant om, a man she coul d
nei t her see nor have, yet she knew she woul d al ways l ove
Adam. Or was i t
j ust a memor y of t hat l ove?
J enni f er was not sur e what she f el t about Mi chael .
Gr at i t ude, yes. But t hat
was a smal l par t of i t . I t was mor e. Much mor e. She knew
who and what
Mi chael Mor et t i was. He had ki l l ed f or her , but he had
ki l l ed f or ot her s,
t oo. He had mur der ed men f or money, f or power , f or
vengeance. How coul d she
f eel as she di d about a man l i ke t hat ? How coul d she
have l et hi mmake l ove
t o her and have been so exci t ed by hi m? She was f i l l ed
wi t h a sense of
shame and she t hought , What ki nd of per son am1?
She had no answer .
The af t er noon newspaper s r epor t ed t he st or y of a f i r e i n
a Queens mot el .
The r emai ns of an uni dent i f i ed man wer e f ound i n t he
r ui ns. Ar son was
suspect ed.
336 RAGE OF ANGELS
Af t er J oshua' s r et ur n, J enni f er had t r i ed t o make
ever yt hi ng as nor mal f or
hi mas possi bl e, f ear f ul of t he t r auma t he pr ecedi ng
ni ght mi ght have
i nf l i ct ed upon hi m. When J oshua woke up, J enni f er
pr epar ed a meal and
br ought i t t o' hi mi n bed. I t was a r i di cul ous meal ,
consi st i ng of al l t he
j unk f oods he l oved: a hot dog and a peanut but t er
sandwi ch and Fr i t os and
Host ess Twi nki es and r oot beer .
" You shoul d have seen hi m, Mom, " J oshua sai d bet ween
bi t es. " He was cr azy! "
He hel d up hi s bandaged hand. " Do you t hi nk he r eal l y
t hought I was J esus
Chr i st ?"
J enni f er r epr essed a shudder . " I - I don' t know, dar l i ng. "
" Why do peopl e want t o ki l l ot her peopl e?"
" Wel l - " and J enni f er ' s t hought s suddenl y went back t o
Mi chael Mor et t i . Di d
she have t he r i ght t o j udge hi m? She di d not know t he
t er r i bl e f or ces t hat
had shaped hi s l i f e, t hat had t ur ned hi mi nt o what he
had become. She had
t o l ear n mor e about hi m, t o get t o know and under st and
hi m.
J oshua was sayi ng, " Do I have t o go t o school
t omor r ow?"
J enni f er put her ar ms ar ound hi m. " No, dar l i ng. We' r e
bot h goi ng t o st ay
home and pl ay hooky al l week. We- "
The t el ephone r ang.
I t was Mi chael . " How' s J oshua?"
" He' s wonder f ul - t hank you. "
" And how ar e you f eel i ng?"
J enni f er f el t her t hr oat t hi ckeni ng wi t h embar r assment .
" Tm- I - I f eel f i ne. "
He chuckl ed. " Good. I ' 11 see you f or l unch t omor r ow.
Donat o' s on Mul ber r y
St r eet . Twel ve- t hi r t y. "
" Al l r i ght , Mi chael . Twel ve- t hi r t y. "
J enni f er spoke t hose wor ds and t her e was no t ur ni ng
back.
The capt ai n at Donat o' s knew Mi chael , and t he best t abl e
i n t he r est aur ant
had been r eser ved f or hi m. Peopl e kept st op-
SI DNEY SHELDON 337
pi ng by t o say hel l o, and J enni f er was agai n amazed at
t he way ever yone
kowt owed t o hi m. I t was st r ange how much Mi chael Mor et t i
r emi nded her of
AdamWar ner , f or each, i n hi s own way, was a man of
power .
J enni f er st ar t ed t o quest i on Mi chael about hi s
backgr ound, want i ng t o l ear n
how and why he had got t en t r apped i nt o t he l i f e he l ed.
He i nt er r upt ed her . " You t hi nk I ' mi n t hi s because of my
f ami l y or because
someone put pr essur e on me?"
" Wel l - yes, Mi chael . Of cour se. "
He l aughed. " I wor ked my but t of f t o get wher e I am. I
l ove i t . I l ove t he
money. I l ove t he power . I ' ma ki ng, baby, and I l ove
bei ng ki ng. "
J enni f er l ooked at hi m, t r yi ng t o under st and. " But you
can' t enj oy- "
" Li st en! " Hi s si l ence had suddenl y t ur ned i nt o wor ds and
sent ences and
conf i dences, pour i ng out as t hough t hey had been st or ed
i nsi de hi mf or
year s, wai t i ng f or someone t o come al ong t o shar e t hem
wi t h. " My ol d man
was a Coca- Col a bot t l e. "
" A Coca- Col a bot t l e?"
" Ri ght . Ther e ar e bi l l i ons of t hemi n t he wor l d and you
can' t t el l one f r om
anot her . He was a shoemaker . He wor ked hi s f i nger s t o
t he bone, t r yi ng t o
put f ood on t he t abl e. We had not hi ng. Bei ng poor i s
onl y r omant i c i n
books. I n r eal l i f e, i t ' s smel l y r ooms wi t h r at s and
cockr oaches and bad
f ood t hat you can never get enough of . When I was a
young punk, I di d
anyt hi ng I coul d t o make a buck. I r an er r ands f or t he
bi g shot s, I br ought
t hemcof f ee and ci gar s, I f ound t hemgi r l sanyt hi ng t o
st ay al i ve. Wel l , one
summer I went down t o Mexi co Ci t y. I had no money,
not hi ng. My ass was
hangi ng out . One ni ght a gi r l I met i nvi t ed me t o a
l ar ge di nner par t y at
a f ancy r est aur ant . For desser t t hey ser ved a speci al
Mexi can cake wi t h a
l i t t l e cl ay dol l baked i nsi de i t . Someone at t he
338 RAGE OF ANGELS
t abl e expl ai ned t hat t he cust omwas t hat whoever got t he
cl ay dol l had t o
pay f or t he di nner . I got t he cl ay dol l . " He paused. " I
swal l owed i t . "
J enni f er put her hand over hi s. " Mi chael , ot her peopl e
have gr own up poor
and- "
" Don' t conf use me wi t h ot her peopl e. " Hi s t one was har d
and uncompr omi si ng.
" I ' mme. I know who I am, baby. I wonder i f you know who
you ar e. "
" I t hi nk I do. "
" Why di d you go t o bed wi t h me?"
J enni f er hesi t at ed. " Wel l , I - I was gr at ef ul and='
" Bul l shi t ! You want ed me. "
" Mi chael , I - "
" I don' t have t o buy my women. Not wi t h money and not
wi t h gr at i t ude. "
J enni f er admi t t ed t o her sel f t hat he was r i ght . She had
want ed hi m, j ust as
he had want ed her . And yet , J enni f er t hought , t hi s man
del i ber at el y t r i ed
t o dest r oy me once. How can I f or get t hat ?
Mi chael l eaned f or war d and t ook J enni f er ' s hand, pal m
up. Sl owl y, he
car essed each f i nger , each mound, never t aki ng hi s eyes
f r omher .
" Don' t pl ay games wi t h me. Not ever , J enni f er . "
She f el t power l ess. What ever t her e was bet ween t hem
t r anscended t he past .
I t was when t hey wer e havi ng desser t t hat Mi chael sai d,
" By t he way, I have
a case f or you. "
I t was as t hough he had sl apped her i n t he f ace.
J enni f er st ar ed at hi m. " What ki nd of case?"
" One of my boys, Vasco Gambut t i , has been ar r est ed f or
ki l l i ng a cop. I
want you t o def end hi m. "
J enni f er sat t her e f i l l ed wi t h hur t and anger t hat he
was st i l l t r yi ng t o
use her .
SI DNEY SHELDON 339
She sai d evenl y, " I ' msor r y, Mi chael . I t ol d you bef or e.
I can' t get
i nvol ved wi t h- wi t h your . . . f r i ends. "
He gave her a l azy gr i n. " Di d you ever hear t he st or y
about t he l i t t l e l i on
cub i n Af r i ca? He l eaves hi s mot her f or t he f i r st t i me
t o go down t o t he
r i ver t o get a dr i nk, and a gor i l l a knocks hi mdown.
Whi l e he' s pi cki ng
hi msel f up, a bi g l eopar d shoves hi mout of t he way. A
her d of el ephant s
comes al ong and al most t r ampl es hi mt o deat h. The l i t t l e
cub r et ur ns home
al l shaken up and he says, `You know somet hi ng, Ma- i t ' s
a j ungl e out
t her e! ' "
Ther e was a l ong si l ence bet ween t hem. I t was a j ungl e
out t her e, J enni f er
t hought , but she had al ways st ood at t he edge of i t ,
out si de i t , f r ee t o
f l ee whenever she want ed t o. She had made t he r ul es and
her cl i ent s had had
t o l i ve by t hem. But now, Mi chael Mor et t i had changed
al l t hat . Thi s was
hi s j ungl e. J enni f er was af r ai d of i t , af r ai d t o get
caught up i n i t . Yet ,
when she t hought about what Mi chael had done f or her ,
she deci ded i t was a
smal l t hi ng he was aski ng.
She woul d do Mi chael t hi s one f avor .
38
" We' r e goi ng t o handl e t he Vasco Gambut t i case, "
J enni f er i nf or med Ken
Bai l ey.
Ken l ooked at J enni f er i n di sbel i ef . " He' s Maf i a! One of
Mi chael Mor et t i ' s
hi t men. That ' s not t he ki nd of cl i ent we t ake. "
" We' r e t aki ng t hi s one. "
" J enni f er , we can' t af f or d t o get mi xed up wi t h t he
mob. "
" Gambut t i ' s ent i t l ed t o a f ai r t r i al , j ust l i ke anyone
el se. " The wor ds
sounded hol l ow, even t o her .
" I can' t l et you- "
" As l ong as t hi s i s my of f i ce, I ' l l make t he deci si ons. "
She coul d see t he
sur pr i se and hur t t hat came i nt o hi s eyes.
Ken nodded, t ur ned and wal ked out of t he of f i ce.
J enni f er was t empt ed t o
cal l hi mback and t r y t o expl ai n. But how coul d she? She
was not sur e she
coul d even expl ai n i t t o her sel f .
When J enni f er had her f i r st meet i ng wi t h Vasco Gambut t i ,
she t r i ed t o
r egar d hi mas j ust anot her cl i ent . She had handl ed
340
SI DNEY SHELDON 341
cl i ent s bef or e who wer e accused of mur der , but somehow,
t hi s was di f f er ent .
Thi s man was a member of a vast net wor k of or gani zed
cr i me, a gr oup t hat
bl ed t he count r y of unt ol d bi l l i ons of dol l ar s, an ar cane
cabal t hat woul d
ki l l when necessar y t o pr ot ect i t sel f .
The evi dence agai nst Gambut t i was over whel mi ng. He had
been caught dur i ng
t he hol dup of a f ur shop and had ki l l ed an of f - dut y
pol i ceman who had t r i ed
t o st op hi m. The mor ni ng newspaper s announced t hat
J enni f er Par ker was
goi ng t o be t he def ense at t or ney.
J udge Lawr ence Wal dman t el ephoned. " I s i t t r ue, J enni e?"
J enni f er knew i nst ant l y what he meant . " Yes, Lawr ence. "
A pause. " I ' msur pr i sed. You know who he i s, of cour se. "
" Yes, I know. "
" You' r e get t i ng i nt o danger ous t er r i t or y. "
" Not r eal l y. I ' mj ust doi ng a f r i end a f avor . "
" I see. Be car ef ul . "
" I wi l l , " J enni f er pr omi sed.
I t was onl y af t er war d t hat J enni f er r eal i zed he had sai d
not hi ng about
t hei r havi ng di nner t oget her .
Af t er l ooki ng over t he mat er i al her st af f had assembl ed,
J enni f er deci ded
t hat she had no case at al l .
Vasco Gambut t i had been caught r ed- handed i n a
r obber ymur der , and t her e
wer e no ext enuat i ng ci r cumst ances. Fur t her mor e, t her e
was al ways a st r ong
emot i onal pul l i n t he mi nds of t he j ur or s when t he
vi ct i mwas a pol i ceman.
She cal l ed Ken Bai l ey i n and gave hi mhi s i nst r uct i ons.
He sai d not hi ng, but J enni f er coul d f eel hi s di sappr oval
and was saddened.
She pr omi sed her sel f t hat t hi s was t he . l ast t i me she
woul d wor k f or
Mi chael .
Her pr i vat e phone r ang and she pi cked i t up. Mi chael
sai d, " Hel l o, baby.
I ' mhungr y f or you. Meet me i n hal f an hour . "
She sat t her e, l i st eni ng, al r eady f eel i ng hi s ar ms
ar ound her , hi s body
pr essi ng agai nst her s.
342 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I ' l l be t her e, " J enni f er sai d.
The pr omi se t o her sel f was f or got t en.
The Gambut t i t r i al l ast ed t en days. The pr ess was t her e
i n f ul l f or ce,
eager t o wat ch Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va and J enni f er
Par ker i n open
combat agai n. Di Si l va had done hi s homewor k t hor oughl y,
and he
del i ber at el y under st at ed hi s case, l et t i ng t he j ur or s
t ake t he suggest i ons
he dr opped and bui l d on t hem, cr eat i ng hor r or s i n t hei r
mi nds even gr eat er
t han t he ones he depi ct ed.
J enni f er sat qui et l y t hr ough t he t est i mony, sel dom
bot her i ng t o r ai se
obj ect i ons.
On t he l ast day of t he t r i al , she made her move.
Ther e i s an adage i n l aw t hat when you have a weak
def ense, you put your
opponent on t r i al . Because J enni f er had no def ense f or
Vasco Gambut t i , she
had made a deci si on t o put Scot t Nor man, t he sl ai n
pol i ceman, on t r i al . Ken
Bai l ey had dug up ever yt hi ng t her e was t o know about
Scot t Nor man. Hi s
r ecor d was not good, but bef or e J enni f er was t hr ough she
made i t seemt en
t i mes wor se t han i t was. Nor man had been on t he pol i ce
f or ce f or t went y
year s, and i n t hat per i od had been suspended t hr ee t i mes
on char ges of
unnecessar y vi ol ence. He had shot and al most ki l l ed an
unar med suspect , he
had beat en up a dr unk i n a bar and he had sent t o t he
hospi t al a man
i nvol ved i n a domest i c quar r el . Al t hough t hese i nci dent s
had t aken pl ace
over a per i od of t went y year s, J enni f er made i t seemas
t hough t he deceased
had commi t t ed an unbr oken ser i es of despi cabl e act s.
J enni f er had a par ade
of wi t nesses on t he st and gi vi ng t est i mony agai nst t he
dead pol i ce of f i cer ,
and t her e was not one t hi ng Rober t Di Si l va coul d do
about i t .
I n hi s summat i on, Di Si l va sai d, " Remember , l adi es and
gent l emen of t he
j ur y, t hat Of f i cer Scot t Nor man i s not t he one on t r i al
her e. Of f i cer Scot t
Nor man was t he vi ct i m. He was ki l l ed by' =poi nt i ng- " t he
def endant , Vasco
Gambut t i .
SI DNEY SHELDON 343
But even as t he Di st r i ct At t or ney spoke, he knew i t was
no use. J enni f er
had made Of f i cer Scot t Nor man appear t o be as wor t hl ess
a human bei ng as
Vasco Gambut t i . He was no l onger t he nobl e pol i ceman who
had gi ven hi s l i f e
t o appr ehend a cr i mi nal . J enni f er Par ker had di st or t ed
t he pi ct ur e so t hat
t he vi ct i mwas no bet t er t han t he accused sl ayer .
The j ur y r et ur ned a ver di ct of not gui l t y on t he char ge
of mur der i n t he
f i r st degr ee and convi ct ed Vasco Gambut t i of
mansl aught er . I t was a
st unni ng def eat f or Di st r i ct At t or ney Di Si l va, and t he
medi a wer e qui ck t o
announce anot her vi ct or y f or J enni f er Par ker .
" Wear your chi f f on. I t ' s a cel ebr at i on, " Mi chael t ol d
her .
They had di nner at a seaf ood r est aur ant i n t he Vi l l age.
The r est aur ant
owner sent over a bot t l e of r ar e champagne and Mi chael
and J enni f er dr ank
a t oast .
" I ' mver y pl eased. "
Comi ng f r omMi chael , i t was an accol ade.
He pl aced a smal l r ed- and- whi t e- wr apped box i n her
hands. " Open i t . "
He wat ched as she unt i ed t he gol d t hr ead and r emoved t he
l i d. I n t he box
l ay a l ar ge, squar e- cut emer al d, sur r ounded by di amonds.
J enni f er st ar ed at i t . She st ar t ed t o pr ot est . " Oh,
Mi chael ! " And she saw
t he l ook of pr i de and pl easur e on hi s f ace.
" Mi chael - what amI goi ng t o do wi t h you?"
And she t hought : Oh, J enni f er , what amI goi ng t o do
wi t h you?
" You need i t f or t hat dr ess. " He pl aced t he r i ng on t he
t hi r d f i nger of her
l ef t hand.
" I - I don' t know what t o say. I - t hank you. I t ' s r eal l y a
cel ebr at i on, i sn' t
i t l "
Mi chael gr i nned. " The cel ebr at i on hasn' t st ar t ed yet .
Thi s i s onl y t he
f or epl ay. "
s s s
344 RAGE OF ANGELS
They wer e r i di ng i n t he l i mousi ne on t hei r way t o an
apar t ment t hat Mi chael
kept upt own. Mi chael pr essed a but t on and r ai sed t he
gl ass t hat separ at ed
t he r ear of t he car f r omt he dr i ver .
We' r e l ocked away i n our own l i t t l e wor l d, J enni f er
t hought . Mi chael ' s
near ness exci t ed her .
She t ur ned t o l ook i nt o hi s bl ack eyes and he moved
t owar d her and sl i d hi s
hand al ong her t hi ghs, and J enni f er ' s body was i nst ant l y
on f i r e.
Mi chael ' s l i ps f ound her s and t hei r bodi es wer e pr essed
t oget her . J enni f er
f el t t he har d mal eness of hi mand she sl i d down t o t he
f l oor of t he car .
She began t o make l ove t o hi m, car essi ng hi mand ki ssi ng
hi munt i l Mi chael
began t o moan, and J enni f er moaned wi t h hi m, movi ng
f ast er and f ast er unt i l
she f el t t he spasms of hi s body.
The cel ebr at i on had begun.
J enni f er was t hi nki ng of t he past now as she l ay i n bed
i n t he hot el r oom
i n Tangi er , l i st eni ng t o t he sounds of Mi chael i n t he
shower . She f el t
sat i sf i ed and happy. The onl y t hi ng mi ssi ng was her
young son. She had
t hought of t aki ng J oshua wi t h her on some of her t r i ps,
but i nst i nct i vel y
she want ed t o keep hi mand Mi chael Mor et t i f ar away f r om
each ot her . J oshua
must never be t ouched by t hat par t of her l i f e. I t
seemed t o J enni f er t hat
her l i f e was a ser i es of compar t ment s: Ther e was Adam,
t her e was her son
and t her e was Mi chael Mor et t i . And each had t o be kept
separ at e f r omt he
ot her s.
Mi chael wal ked out of t he bat hr oomwear i ng onl y a t owel .
The hai r on hi s
body gl i st ened f r omt he dampness of t he shower . He was a
beaut i f ul ,
exci t i ng ani mal .
" Get dr essed. We have wor k t o do. "
39
I t happened so gr adual l y t hat i t di d not seemt o be
happeni ng at al l . I t
had begun wi t h Vasco Gambut t i , and shor t l y af t er war d
Mi chael asked J enni f er
t o handl e anot her case, t hen anot her , unt i l soon i t
became a st eady f l ow of
cases.
Mi chael woul d cal l J enni f er and say, " I need your hel p,
baby. One of my
boys i s havi ng a pr obl em. "
And J enni f er was r emi nded of Fat her Ryan' s wor ds, A
f r i end of mi ne has a
bi t of a pr obl em. Was t her e r eal l y any di f f er ence?
Amer i ca had come t o
accept t he Godf at her syndr ome. J enni f er t ol d her sel f
t hat what she was
doi ng now was t he same as what she had been doi ng al l
al ong. The t r ut h was
t hat t her e was a di f f er ence- a bi g di f f er ence.
She was at t he cent er of one of t he most power f ul
or gani zat i ons i n t he
wor l d.
Mi chael i nvi t ed J enni f er t o t he f ar mhouse i n New J er sey,
345
346 RAGE OF ANGELS
wher e she met Ant oni o Gr anel l i f or t he f i r st t i me, and
some of t he ot her men
i n t he Or gani zat i on.
At a l ar ge t abl e i n t he ol d- f ashi oned ki t chen wer e Ni ck
Vi t o, Ar t hur " Fat
Ar t i e" Scot t o, Sal vat or e Fi or e and J oseph Col el l a.
As J enni f er and Mi chael came i n and st ood i n t he
door way, l i st eni ng, Ni ck
Vi t o was sayi ng, " . . . l i ke t he t i me I di d a pound i n
At l ant a. I had a
heavy H book goi n' . Thi s popcor n pi mp comes up and t r i es
t o f uck me over
' cause he want s a pi ece of t he act i on. "
" Di d you know t he guy?" Fat Ar t i e Scot t o asked.
" What ' s t o know? He want s t o get hi s l i ght s t ur ned on.
He t r i ed t o put t he
ar mon me. "
410n YOU?"
" Yeah. Hi s head wasn' t wr apped t oo t i ght . "
" What ' d you do?"
" Eddi e Fr at el l i and me got hi mover i n- t he ghi nny cor ner
of t he yar d and
bur ned hi m. What t he hel l , he was doi n' bad t i me,
anyway. "
" Hey, what ever happened t o Li t t l e Eddi e?"
" He' s doi n' a di me at Lewi sbur g. "
" What about hi s bandi t ? She was some cl ass act . "
" Oh, yeah. Td l ove t o make her dr awer s. "
" She' s st i l l got t he hot s f or Eddi e. Onl y t he Pope knows
why. "
" I l i ked Eddi e. He used t o be an up- f r ont guy. "
" He went ape- shi t . Speaki n' of t hat , do you know who
t ur ned i nt o a candy
man . . . ?"
Shop t al k.
Mi chael gr i nned at J enni f er ' s puzzl ed r eact i on t o t he
conver sat i on and
sai d, " Come on- I ' l l i nt r oduce you t o Papa. "
Ant oni o Gr anel l i was a shock t o J enni f er . He was i n a
wheel chai r , a f eebl e
skel et on of a man, and i t was har d t o i magi ne hi mas he
once must have
been.
SI DNEY SHELDON 347
An at t r act i ve br unet t e wi t h a f ul l f i gur e wal ked i nt o
t he r oom, and Mi chael
sai d t o J enni f er , " Thi s i s Rosa, my wi f e. "
J enni f er had dr eaded t hi s moment . Some ni ght s af t er
Mi chael had l ef t
her - f ul f i l l ed i n ever y way a woman coul d be - she had
f ought wi t h a gui l t
t hat al most over power ed her . I don' t want t o hur t
anot her woman. I ' m
st eal i ng. I ' ve got t o st op t hi s! I must ! And, al ways,
she l ost t he. bat t l e.
Rosa l ooked at J enni f er wi t h eyes t hat wer e wi se. She
knows, J enni f er
t hought .
Ther e was a smal l awkwar dness, and t hen Rosa sai d
sof t l y, " I ' mpl eased t o
meet you, Mr s. Par ker . Mi chael t el l s me you' r e ver y
i nt el l i gent . "
Ant oni o Gr anel l i gr unt ed. " I t ' s not good f or a woman t o
be t oo smar t . I t ' s
bet t er t o l eave t he br ai ns t o t he men. "
Mi chael sai d wi t h a st r ai ght f ace, " I t hi nk of Mr s.
Par ker as a man, Papa. "
They had di nner i n t he l ar ge, ol d- f ashi oned di ni ng
r oom.
" You si t next t o me, " Ant oni o Gr anel l i commanded
J enni f er .
Mi chael sat next t o Rosa. Thomas Col f ax, t he
consi gl i er e, sat opposi t e
J enni f er and she coul d f eel hi s ani mosi t y.
The di nner was super b. An enor mous ant i past o was ser ved,
and t hen past a
f agi ol i . Ther e was a sal ad wi t h gar banzo beans, st uf f ed
mushr ooms, veal
pi ccat a, l i ngui ni and baked chi cken. I t seemed t hat t he
di shes never
st opped comi ng.
Ther e wer e no vi si bl e ser vant s i n t he house, and Rosa
was const ant l y
j umpi ng up and cl ear i ng t he t abl e t o br i ng i n new di shes
f r omt he ki t chen.
" My Rosa' s a gr eat cook, " Ant oni o Gr anel l i t ol d
J enni f er . " She' s al most as
good as her mot her was. Hey, Mi ke?"
" Yes, " Mi chael sai d pol i t el y.
" Hi s Rosa' s a wonder f ul wi f e, " Ant oni o Gr anel l i went on,
and J enni f er
wander ed whet her i t was a casual r emar k or a war ni ng.
348 RAGE Of ANGELS
Mi chael sai d, " You' r e not f i ni shi ng your veal . "
" I ' ve never eat en so much i n my l i f e, " J enni f er
pr ot est ed.
And i t was not over yet .
Ther e was a bowl of f r esh f r ui t and a pl at t er of cheese,
and i ce cr eamwi t h
a hot f udge sauce, and candy and mi nt s.
J enni f er mar vel ed at how Mi chael managed t o keep hi s
f i gur e.
The conver sat i on was easy and pl easant and coul d have
been t aki ng pl ace i n
any one of a t housand I t al i an homes, and i t was har d f or
J enni f er t o
bel i eve t hat t hi s f ami l y was di f f er ent f r omany ot her
f ami l y.
Unt i l Ant oni o Gr anel l i sai d, " You know anyt hi n' about
t he Uni one
Si ci l i ans?"
" No, " J enni f er sai d.
" Let me t el l you about i t , l ady. "
" Pop- her name i s J enni f er . "
" That ' s not no I t al i an name, Mi ke. I t ' s t oo har d f or me
t o r emember . I ' l l
cal l you l ady, l ady. Okay?"
" Okay, " J enni f er r epl i ed.
" The Uni one Si ci l i ans st ar t ed i n Si ci l y t o pr ot ect t he
poor agai nst
i nj ust i ces. See, t he peopl e i n power , t hey r obbed t he
poor . The poor had
not hi n' - no money, no j obs, no j ust i ce. So t he Uni one was
f or med. When t her e
was i nj ust i ce, peopl e came t o t he member s of t he secr et
br ot her hood and
t hey got vengeance. Pr et t y soon t he Uni one became
st r onger t han t he l aw,
because i t was t he peopl e' s l aw. We bel i eve i n what t he
Bi bl e says, l ady. "
He l ooked J enni f er i n t he eye. " I f anyone bet r ays us, we
get vengeance. "
The message was unmi st akabl e.
J enni f er had al ways known i nst i nct i vel y t hat i f she ever
wor ked f or t he
Or gani zat i on she' woul d be t aki ng a gi ant st ep, but l i ke
most out si der s,
she had a mi sconcept i on of what t he Or gani zat i on was
l i ke. The Maf i a was
gener al l y depi ct ed as a
SI DNEY SHELDON 349
bunch of mobst er s si t t i ng ar ound or der i ng peopl e mur der ed
and count i ng t he
money f r oml oan- shar ki ng and whor ehouses. That was onl y a
par t of t he
pi ct ur e. The meet i ngs J enni f er at t ended t aught her t he
r est of i t : These
wer e busi nessmen oper at i ng on a scal e t hat was
st agger i ng. They owned hot el s
and banks, r est aur ant s and casi nos, i nsur ance compani es
and f act or i es,
bui l di ng compani es and chai ns of hospi t al s. They
cont r ol l ed uni ons and
shi ppi ng. They wer e i n t he r ecor d busi ness and sol d
vendi ng machi nes. They
owned f uner al par l or s, baker i es and const r uct i on
compani es. Thei r year l y
i ncome was i n t he bi l l i ons. How t hey had acqui r ed t hose
i nt er est s was none
of J enni f er ' s concer n. I t was her j ob t o def end t hose of
t hemwho got i nt o
t r oubl e wi t h t he l aw.
Rober t Di Si l va had t hr ee of Mi chael Mor et t i ' s men
i ndi ct ed f or shaki ng
down a gr oup of l unch wagons. They wer e char ged wi t h
conspi r acy t o
i nt er f er e wi t h commer ce by ext or t i on and seven count s of
i nt er f er ence wi t h
commer ce. The onl y wi t ness wi l l i ng t o t est i f y agai nst
t he men was a woman
who owned one of t he st ands.
" She' s goi ng t o bl ow us away, " Mi chael t ol d J enni f er .
" She' s got t o be
handl ed. "
" You own a pi ece of a magazi ne publ i shi ng company, don' t
you?" J enni f er
asked.
" Yes. What does t hat have t o do wi t h l unch wagons?"
" You' l l see. "
J enni f er qui et l y ar r anged f or t he magazi ne t o of f er a
l ar ge sumof money
f or t he wi t ness' s st or y. The woman accept ed. I n cour t ,
J enni f er used t hat
t o di scr edi t t he woman' s mot i ves, and t he char ges wer e
di smi ssed.
J enni f er ' s r el at i onshi p wi t h her associ at es had changed.
When t he of f i ce
had begun t o t ake a successi on of Maf i a cases, Ken
Bai l ey had come i nt o
J enni f er ' s of f i ce and sai d, " What ' s
350 RAGE OF ANGELS
goi ng on? You can' t keep r epr esent i ng t hese hoodl ums.
They' l l r ui n us. "
" Don' t wor r y about i t , Ken. They' l l pay. "
" You can' t be t hat nai ve, J enni f er . You' r e t he one who' s
goi ng t o pay.
They' l l have you hooked. "
Because she had known he was r i ght , J enni f er sai d
angr i l y, " Dr op i t , Ken. "
He had l ooked at her f or a l ong moment , t hen sai d,
" Ri ght . You' r e t he
boss. "
The Cr i mi nal Cour t s was a smal l wor l d, and news t r avel ed
swi f t l y. When wor d
got out t hat J enni f er Par ker was def endi ng member s of
t he Or gani zat i on,
wel l - meani ng f r i ends went t o her and r ei t er at ed t he same
t hi ngs t hat J udge
Lawr ence Wal dman and Ken Bai l ey had t ol d her .
" I f you get i nvol ved wi t h t hese hoodl ums, you' l l be
t ar r ed wi t h t he same
br ush. "
J enni f er t ol d t hemal l : " Ever yone i s ent i t l ed t o be
def ended. "
She appr eci at ed t hei r war ni ngs, but she f el t t hat t hey
di d not appl y t o
her . She was not a par t of t he Or gani zat i on; she mer el y
r epr esent ed some of
i t s member s. She was a l awyer , l i ke her f at her , and she
woul d never do
anyt hi ng t hat woul d have made hi mashamed of her . The
j ungl e was t her e, but
she was st i l l out si de i t .
Fat her Ryan had come t o see her . Thi s t i me i t was not t o
ask her t o hel p
out a f r i end.
" r mconcer ned about you, J enni f er . I hear r epor t s t hat
you' r e
handl i ng- wel l - t he wr ong peopl e. "
" Who ar e t he wr ong peopl e? Do you j udge t he peopl e who
come t o you f or
hel p? Do you t ur n peopl e away f r omGod because t hey' ve
si nned?"
Fat her Ryan shook hi s head. " Of cour se not . But i t ' s one
t hi ng when an
i ndi vi dual makes a mi st ake. I t ' s somet hi ng el se
SI DNEY SHELDON 351
when cor r upt i on i s or gani zed. I f you hel p t hose peopl e,
you' r e condoni ng
what t hey do. You become a par t of i t . "
" No. I ma l awyer , Fat her . I hel p peopl e i n t r oubl e. "
J enni f er came t o know Mi chael Mor et t i bet t er t han anyone
had ever known
hi m. He exposed f eel i ngs t o her t hat he had never
r eveal ed t o anyone el se.
He was basi cal l y a l onel y, sol i t ar y man, and J enni f er
was t he f i r st per son
who had ever been abl e t o penet r at e hi s shel l .
J enni f er f el t t hat Mi chael needed her . She had never
f el t t hat wi t h Adam.
And Mi chael had f or ced her t o admi t how much she needed
hi m. He had br ought
out f eel i ngs i n her t hat she had kept suppr essed- wi l d,
at avi st i c passi ons
t hat she had been af r ai d t o l et l oose. Ther e wer e no
i nhi bi t i ons wi t h
Mi chael . When t hey wer e i n bed t oget her , t her e wer e no
l i mi t s, no bar r i er s.
Onl y pl easur e, a pl easur e J enni f er had never dr eamed
possi bl e.
Mi chael conf i ded t o J enni f er t hat he di d not l ove Rosa,
but i t was obvi ous
t hat Rosa wor shi ped Mi chael . She was al ways at hi s
ser vi ce, wai t i ng t o t ake
car e of hi s needs.
J enni f er met ot her Maf i a wi ves, and she f ound t hei r
l i ves f asci nat i ng.
Thei r husbands went out t o r est aur ant s and bar s and
r acet r acks wi t h t hei r
mi st r esses whi l e t hei r wi ves st ayed home and wai t ed f or
t hem.
A Maf i a wi f e al ways had a gener ous al l owance, but she
had t o be car ef ul how
she spent i t , l est she at t r act t he at t ent i on of t he
I nt er nal Revenue
Ser vi ce.
Ther e was a pecki ng or der r angi ng f r omt he l owl y sol dat o
t o t he capo di
t ut r i capi , and t he wi f e never owned a mor e expensi ve
coat or car t han t he
wi f e of her husband' s i mmedi at e super i or .
The wi ves gave di nner par t i es f or t hei r husbands'
associ at es, but t hey wer e
car ef ul not t o be mor e l avi sh t han t hei r posi t i on
per mi t t ed i n r el at i on t o
t he ot her s.
At cer emoni es such as weddi ngs or bapt i sms, wher e gi f t s
352 RAGE OF ANGELS
wer e cal l ed f or , a wi f e was never al l owed t o spend mor e
t han t he wi f e above
her st at i on i n t he hi er ar chy.
The pr ot ocol was as st r i ngent as t hat at U. S. St eel , or
any ot her l ar ge
busi ness cor por at i on.
The Maf i a was an i ncr edi bl e moneymaki ng machi ne, but
J enni f er became awar e
t hat t her e was anot her el ement i n i t t hat was equal l y
i mpor t ant : power .
" The Or gani zat i on i s bi gger t han t he gover nment of most
of t he count r i es of
t he wor l d, " Mi chael t ol d J enni f er . " We gr oss mor e t han a
hal f a dozen of
t he l ar gest compani es i n Amer i ca, put t oget her . "
" Ther e' s a di f f er ence, " J enni f er poi nt ed out . " They' r e
l egi t i mat e and- "
Mi chael l aughed. " You mean t he ones t hat haven' t been
caught . Dozens of t he
count r y' s bi ggest compani es have been i ndi ct ed f or
vi ol at i ng one l aw or
anot her . Don' t ki d your sel f about her oes, J enni f er . The
aver age Amer i can
t oday can' t name t wo ast r onaut s who have been up i n
space, but t hey know
t he names of Al Capone and Lucky Luci ano. "
J enni f er r eal i zed t hat i n hi s own way, Mi chael was
equal l y as dedi cat ed as
Adamwas. The di f f er ence was t hat t hei r l i ves had gone
i n opposi t e
di r ect i ons.
When i t came t o busi ness, Mi chael had a t ot al l ack of
empat hy. I t was hi s
st r ong poi nt . He made deci si ons based sol el y on what was
expedi ent f or t he
Or gani zat i on.
I n t he past , Mi chael had been compl et el y dedi cat ed t o
f ul f i l l i ng hi s
ambi t i ons. Ther e had been no emot i onal r oomf or a woman
i n hi s l i f e.
Nei t her Rosa nor Mi chael ' s gi r l f r i ends had ever been a
par t of hi s r eal
needs.
J enni f er was di f f er ent . He needed her as he had needed
no ot her woman. He
had never known anyone l i ke her . She exci t ed hi m
physi cal l y, but so had
dozens of ot her s. What made J enni f er speci al was her
i nt el l i gence, her
i ndependence. Rosa obeyed hi m; ot her women f ear ed hi m;
J enni f er chal l enged
SI DNEY SHELDON 353
hi m. She was hi s equal . He coul d t al k t o her , di scuss
t hi ngs wi t h her . She
was mor e t han i nt el l i gent . She was smar t .
He knew t hat he was never goi ng t o l et her go.
Occasi onal l y J enni f er t ook busi ness t r i ps wi t h Mi chael ,
but she t r i ed t o
avoi d t r avel i ng whenever she coul d because she want ed t o
spend as much t i me
as possi bl e wi t h J oshua. He was si x year s ol d now and
gr owi ng unbel i evabl y
f ast . J enni f er had enr ol l ed hi mi n a pr i vat e school
near by, and J oshua
l oved i t .
He r ode a t wo- wheel bi cycl e and had a f l eet . of t oy
r aci ng car s and car r i ed
on l ong and ear nest conver sat i ons wi t h J enni f er and Mr s.
Mackey.
Because J enni f er want ed J oshua t o gr ow up t o be st r ong
and i ndependent , she
t r i ed t o wal k a car ef ul l y bal anced l i ne, l et t i ng J oshua
know how much she
l oved hi m, maki ng hi mawar e t hat she was al ways t her e
when he needed her
and yet gi vi ng hi ma sense of hi s own i ndependence.
She t aught hi mt o l ove good books and t o enj oy musi c.
She t ook hi mt o t he
t heat er , avoi di ng openi ng ni ght s because t her e woul d be
t oo many peopl e
t her e who mi ght know her and ask quest i ons. On weekends
she and J oshua
woul d have a movi e bi nge. On Sat ur day t hey woul d see a
movi e i n t he
af t er noon, have di nner at a r est aur ant and t hen see a
second movi e. On
Sunday t hey woul d go sai l i ng or bi cycl i ng t oget her .
J enni f er gave her son
al l t he l ove t hat was st or ed i n her , but she was car ef ul
t o t r y not t o
spoi l hi m. She pl anned her st r at egy wi t h J oshua mor e
car ef ul l y t han she had
pl anned any cour t case, det er mi ned not t o f al l i nt o t he
t r aps of a
one- par ent home.
J enni f er f el t no sacr i f i ce i n spendi ng so much t i me wi t h
J oshua; he was
gr eat f un. They pl ayed wor d games and I mpr essi ons and
Twent y Quest i ons, and
J enni f er was del i ght ed by t he qui ckness of her son' s
mi nd. He was at t he
head of hi s
354 RAGE OF ANGELS
cl ass and an out st andi ng at hl et e, but he di d not t ake
hi msel f ser i ousl y. He
had a mar vel ous sense of humor .
When i t di d not i nt er f er e wi t h hi s school wor k, J enni f er
woul d t ake J oshua
on t r i ps. Dur i ng J oshua' s wi nt er vacat i on, J enni f er t ook
t i me of f t o go
ski i ng wi t h hi mi n t he Poconos. I n t he summer she t ook
hi mt o London on a
busi ness t r i p wi t h her , and t hey spent t wo weeks
expl or i ng t he count r ysi de.
J oshua ador ed Engl and.
" Coul d I go t o school her e?" he asked.
J enni f er f el t a pang. I t woul d not be l ong bef or e he
l ef t her t o go away t o
school , t o seek hi s f or t une, t o get mar r i ed and have hi s
own home and
f ami l y. Was t hat not what she want ed f or hi m? Of cour se
i t was. When J oshua
was r eady, she woul d l et hi mgo wi t h open ar ms, and yet
she knew how
di f f i cul t i t was goi ng t o be.
J oshua was l ooki ng at her , wai t i ng f or an answer . " Can
I , Mom?" he asked.
" Maybe Oxf or d?"
J enni f er hel d hi mcl ose. " Of cour se. They' l l be l ucky t o
get you. "
On a Sunday mor ni ng when Mr s. Mackey was of f , J enni f er
had t o go i nt o
Manhat t an t o pi ck up a t r anscr i pt of a deposi t i on.
J oshua was vi si t i ng some
f r i ends. When J enni f er r et ur ned home, she st ar t ed t o
pr epar e di nner f or t he
t wo of t hem. She opened t he r ef r i ger at or - and st opped
dead i n her t r acks.
Ther e was a not e i nsi de, pr opped up bet ween t wo bot t l es
of mi l k. Adamhad
l ef t her not es l i ke t hat . J enni f er st ar ed at i t ,
mesmer i zed, af r ai d t o
t ouch i t . Sl owl y, she r eached f or t he not e and unf ol ded
i t . I t sai d,
Sur pr i se! I s i t okay i f Al an has di nner wi t h us?
I t t ook hal f an hour f or J enni f er ' s pul se t o r et ur n t o
nor mal .
Fr omt i me t o t i me, J oshua asked J enni f er about hi s
f at her .
" He was ki l l ed i n Vi et Nam, J oshua. He was a ver y br ave
man. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 355
" Don' t we have a pi ct ur e of hi manywher e?"
" No, r msor r y, dar l i ng. We- we wer en' t mar r i ed ver y l ong
bef or e he di ed. "
She hat ed t he l i e, but she had no choi ce.
Mi chael Mor et t i had onl y asked once about J oshua' s
f at her .
" I don' t car e what happened bef or e you bel onged t o mer m
j ust cur i ous. "
J enni f er t hought about t he power t hat Mi chael woul d have
over Senat or Adam
War ner i f Mi chael ever l ear ned t he t r ut h.
" He was ki l l ed i n Vi et Nam. Hi s name' s not i mpor t ant . "
40
I n Washi ngt on, D. C. , a Senat e i nvest i gat i ng commi t t ee
headed by AdamWar ner
was i n i t s f i nal day of an i nt ensi ve i nqui r y i nt o t he
new XK- 1 bomber t hat
t he Ai r For ce was t r yi ng t o get t he Senat e t o appr ove.
For weeks, exper t
wi t nesses had par aded up t o Capi t ol Hi l l , hal f of t hem
t est i f yi ng t hat t he
new bomber woul d be an expensi ve al bat r oss t hat woul d
dest r oy t he def ense
budget and r ui n t he count r y, and t he ot her hal f
t est i f yi ng t hat unl ess t he
Ai r For ce coul d get t he bomber appr oved, Amer i ca' s
def enses woul d be so
weakened t hat t he Russi ans woul d i nvade t he Uni t ed
St at es t he f ol l owi ng
Sunday.
Adamhad vol unt eer ed t o t est - f l y a pr ot ot ype of t he new
bomber , and hi s
col l eagues had eager l y sei zed on hi s of f er . Adamwas one
of t hem, a member
of t he cl ub, and he woul d gi ve t hemt he t r ut h.
Adamhad t aken t he bomber up ear l y on a Sunday mor ni ng
wi t h a skel et on cr ew
and had put t he pl ane t hr ough a ser i es of r i gor ous
t est s. The f l i ght had
been an unqual i f i ed
356
SI DNEY SHELDON 357
success, and he had r epor t ed back t o t he Senat e commi t t ee
t hat t he new XK- i
bomber was an i mpor t ant advance i n avi at i on. He
r ecommended t hat t he
ai r pl ane go i nt o pr oduct i on i mmedi at el y. The Senat e
appr oved t he f unds. '
The pr ess ent husi ast i cal l y pl ayed up t he st or y. They
descr i bed Adamas one
of t he new br eed of i nvest i gat i ve senat or s, a l awmaker
who went out i nt o
t he f i el d t o st udy t he f act s f or hi msel f i nst ead of
t aki ng t he wor d of
l obbyi st s and ot her s who wer e concer ned wi t h pr ot ect i ng
t hei r own
i nt er est s.
Newsweek and Ti me bot h di d cover st or i es on Adam, and
t he Newsweek st or y
ended wi t h:
The Senat e has f ound an honest and capabl e new
guar di an t o i nvest i gat e
some of t he vi t al pr obl ems t hat pl ague t hi s count r y,
and t o br i ng t o t hem
l i ght i nst ead of heat . Ther e i s a gr owi ng f eel i ng
among t he ki ngmaker s
t hat AdamWar ner has t he qual i t i es t hat woul d gr ace
t he pr esi dency.
J enni f er devour ed t he st or i es about Adamand she was
f i l l ed wi t h pr i de. And
pai n. She st i l l l oved Adamand she l oved Mi chael
Mor et t i , and she di d not
under st and how i t was possi bl e, or what ki nd of woman
she had become. Adam
had cr eat ed t he l onel i ness i n her l i f e. Mi chael had
er ased i t .
The smuggl i ng of dr ugs f r omMexi co had i ncr eased
enor mousl y, and i t was
obvi ous t hat or gani zed cr i me was behi nd i t . Adamwas
asked t o head an
i nvest i gat i ng commi t t ee. He coor di nat ed t he ef f or t s of
hal f a dozen Uni t ed
St at es l aw enf or cement agenci es, and f l ew t o Mexi co and
obt ai ned t he co-
oper at i on of t he Mexi can gover nment . Wi t hi n t hr ee
mont hs, t he dr ug t r af f i c
had sl owed t o a t r i ckl e.
I n t he f ar mhouse i n New J er sey, Mi chael Mor et t i was
sayi ng, " We' ve got a
pr obl em. "
358 RAGE OF ANGELS
They wer e seat ed i n t he l ar ge, comf or t abl e st udy. I n t he
r oomwer e
J enni f er , Ant oni o Gr anel l i and Thomas Col f ax. Ant oni o
Gr anel l i had suf f er ed
a st r oke and i t had aged hi mt went y year s over ni ght . He
l ooked l i ke a
shr unken car i cat ur e of a man. The par al ysi s had af f ect ed
t he r i ght si de of
hi s f ace so t hat when he spoke, sal i va dr ool ed f r omt he
cor ner s of hi s
mout h. He was ol d and al most seni l e, and he l eaned mor e
and mor e on
Mi chael ' s j udgment . He had even r el uct ant l y come t o
accept J enni f er .
Not so Thomas Col f ax. The conf l i ct bet ween Mi chael and
Col f ax had gr own
st r onger . Col f ax knew i t was Mi chael ' s i nt ent i on t o
r epl ace hi mwi t h t hi s
woman. Col f ax admi t t ed t o hi msel f t hat J enni f er Par ker
was a cl ever l awyer ,
but what coul d she possi bl y know of t he t r adi t i ons of
t he bor gat a? Of what
had made t he br ot her hood wor k so smoot hl y al l t hese
year s? How coul d
Mi chael br i ng- i n a st r anger - wor se, a woman! - and t r ust
her wi t h t hei r
l i f e- and- deat h secr et s? I t was an unt enabl e si t uat i on. -
Col f ax had t al ked
t o t he capor egi mi - t he squad l i eut enant s- and t he
sol dat i - t he sol di er s - one
by one, voi ci ng hi s f ear s, t r yi ng t o wi n t hemover t o
hi s si de, but t hey
wer e af r ai d t o go agai nst Mi chael . I f he t r ust ed t hi s
woman, t hen t hey f el t
t hey must t r ust her al so.
Thomas Col f ax deci ded he woul d have t o bi de hi s t i me.
But he woul d f i nd a
way t o get r i d of her .
J enni f er was wel l awar e of hi s f eel i ngs. She had
r epl aced hi m, and hi s
pr i de woul d never l et hi mf or gi ve her f or t hat . Hi s
l oyal t y t o t he
Syndi cat e woul d keep hi mi n l i ne and pr ot ect her , but i f
hi s hat r ed f or her
shoul d become st r onger t han t hat l oyal t y . . .
Mi chael t ur ned t o J enni f er . " Have you ever hear d of Adam
War ner ?"
J enni f er ' s hear t st opped f or an i nst ant . I t was suddenl y
har d f or her t o
br eat he. Mi chael was wat chi ng her , wai t i ng f or an
answer .
SI DNEY SHELDON 359
" You- you mean t he senat or ?" J enni f er managed t o say.
" Uh- huh. We' r e goi ng
t o have t o cool t he son of a bi t ch. "
J enni f er coul d f eel t he bl ood dr ai n f r omher f ace. " Why,
Mi chael ?"
" He' s hur t i ng our oper at i on. Because of hi m, t he Mexi can
gover nment i s
cl osi ng down f act or i es bel ongi ng t o f r i ends of our s.
Ever yt hi ng' s st ar t i ng
t o come apar t . I want t he bast ar d out of our hai r . He' s
got t o go. "
J enni f er ' s mi nd was r aci ng. " I f you t ouch Senat or
War ner , " she sai d,
choosi ng, her wor ds car ef ul l y, " you' l l dest r oy your sel f . "
" r mnot goi ng t o l et - - 2'
" Li st en t o me, Mi chael . Get r i d of hi m, and t hey' l l send
t en men t o t ake
hi s pl ace. A hundr ed. Ever y newspaper i n t he count r y
wi l l be af t er you. The
i nvest i gat i on t hat ' s goi ng on now wi l l be not hi ng
compar ed t o what wi l l
happen i f Senat or War ner i s har med. "
Mi chael sai d angr i l y, " I ' mt el l i ng you we' r e hur t i ng! "
J enni f er changed her t one. " Mi chael , use your head.
You' ve seen t hese
i nvest i gat i ons bef or e. How l ong do t hey l ast ? Fi ve
mi nut es af t er t he
senat or i s f i ni shed, he' l l be i nvest i gat i ng somet hi ng
el se and al l t hi s
wi l l be over . The f act or i es t hat ar e cl osed down wi l l
open up agai n and
you71 be back i n busi ness. That way t her e won' t be any
r eper cussi ons. You
t r y t o do i t your way and you' l l never hear t he end of
i t . "
" I di sagr ee, " Thomas Col f ax sai d. " I n my opi ni on- "
Mi chael Mor et t i gr owl ed, " No one asked f or your
opi ni on. "
Thomas Col f ax j er ked as t hough he had been sl apped.
Mi chael pai d no
at t ent i on. Col f ax t ur ned t o Ant oni o Gr anel l i f or
suppor t . The ol d man was
asl eep.
Mi chael sai d t o J enni f er , " Okay, counsel or , we' l l l eave
War ner al one f or
now. "
J enni f er r eal i zed she had been hol di ng her br eat h. She
exhal ed sl owl y. " I s
t her e anyt hi ng el se?"
360 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Yeah. " Mi chael pi cked up a heavy gol d l i ght er and l i t a
ci gar et t e. " A
f r i end of our s, Mar co Lor enzo, has been convi ct ed of
ext or t i on and
r obber y. "
J enni f er had r ead about t he case. Accor di ng t o t he
newspaper s, Lor enzo was
a congeni t al cr i mi nal wi t h a l ong st r i ng of ar r est s f or
cr i mes of vi ol ence.
" Do you want me t o f i l e an appeal ?"
" No, I want you t o see t hat he goes t o j ai l . "
J enni f er l ooked at hi mi n sur pr i se.
Mi chael put t he ci gar et t e l i ght er back on hi s desk. " I
got wor d t hat Di
Si l va want s t o shi p hi mback t o Si ci l y. Mar co' s got
enemi es t her e. I f t hey
send hi mback he won' t l i ve t went yf our hour s. The saf est
pl ace f or hi mi s
Si ng Si ng. When t he heat ' s of f i n a year or t wo we' l l
get hi mout . Can you
swi ng i t ?"
J enni f er hesi t at ed. " I f we wer e i n anot her j ur i sdi ct i on
I coul d pr obabl y do
i t . But Di Si l va won' t pl ea- bar gai n wi t h me. "
Thomas Col f ax sai d qui ckl y, " Per haps we shoul d l et
someone el se t ake car e
of t hi s. "
" I f I had want ed someone el se t o t ake car e of i t , "
Mi chael snapped, " I
woul d have sai d so. " He t ur ned back t o J enni f er . " I want
you t o handl e i t . "
Mi chael Mor et t i and Ni ck Vi t o wat ched f r omt he wi ndow as
Thomas Col f ax
cl i mbed i nt o hi s sedan and dr ove of f .
Mi chael sai d, " Ni ck, I want you t o get r i d of hi m. "
" Col f ax?"
" I can' t t r ust hi manymor e. He' s l i vi ng i n t he past wi t h
t he ol d man. "
" What ever you say, Mi ke. When do you want me t o do i t T"
" Soon. r l l l et you know. "
J enni f er was seat ed i n J udge Lawr ence Wal dmans chamber s.
I t was t he f i r st
t i me she had seen hi mi n mor e t han a
SI DNEY SHELDON 361
year . The f r i endl y t el ephone cal l s and di nner i nvi t at i ons
had st opped. Wel l ,
t hat coul d not be hel ped, J enni f er t hought . She l i ked
Lawr ence Wal dman and
she r egr et t ed l osi ng hi s f r i endshi p, but she had made her
choi ce.
They wer e wai t i ng f or Rober t Di Si l va and t hey sat t her e
i n an
uncomf or t abl e si l ence, nei t her bot her i ng t o make smal l
t al k. When t he
Di st r i ct At t or ney wal ked i n and t ook a seat , t he meet i ng
began.
J udge Wal dman sai d t o J enni f er , " Bobby says t hat you
want t o di scuss a pl ea
bar gai n bef or e I pass sent ence on Lor enzo. "
" That ' s r i ght . " J enni f er t ur ned t o Di st r i ct At t or ney Di
Si l va. " I t hi nk i t
woul d be a mi st ake t o send Mar co Lor enzo t o Si ng Si ng.
He doesn' t bel ong
her e. He' s an i l l egal al i en. I f eel he shoul d be shi pped
back t o Si ci l y
wher e he came f r om. "
Di Si l va l ooked at her i n sur pr i se. He had been goi ng t o
r ecommend
depor t at i on, but i f t hat was what J enni f er Par ker
want ed, t hen he woul d
have t o r eeval uat e hi s deci si on.
" Why do you r ecommend t hat ?" Di Si l va asked.
" For sever al r easons. Fi r st of al l , i t wi l l keep hi m
f r omcommi t t i ng any
mor e cr i mes her e, and- "
" So wi l l bei ng i n a cel l i n Si ng Si ng. "
" Lor enzo i s an ol d man. He can' t st and bei ng conf i ned.
He' l l go cr azy i f
you put hi mi n j ai l . Al l hi s f r i ends ar e i n Si ci l y. He
can l i ve t her e i n
t he sun and di e i n peace wi t h hi s f ami l y. "
Di Si l va' s mout h t i ght ened wi t h anger . " We' r e t al ki ng
about a hoodl umwho' s
spent hi s l i f e r obbi ng and r api ng and ki l l i ng, and
you' r e wor r i ed about
whet her he' s wi t h hi s f r i ends i n t he sun?" He t ur ned t o
J udge Wal dman.
" She' s unr eal ! "
" Mar co Lor enzo has a r i ght t o- "
Di Si l va pounded hi s f i st on t he desk. " He has no r i ght s
at al l ! He' s been
convi ct ed of ext or t i on and ar med r obber y. "
" I n Si ci l y, when a man- "
" He' s not i n Si ci l y, goddamn i t ! " Di Si l va yel l ed. " He' s
362 RAGE OF ANGELS
her e! He commi t t ed t he cr i mes her e and he' s goi ng t o pay
f or t hemher e. " He
st ood up. " Your Honor , we' r e wast i ng your t i me. The st at e
r ef uses any pl ea
bar gai ni ng i n t hi s case. We' r e aski ng t hat Mar co Lor enzo
be sent enced t o
Si ng Si ng. "
J udge Wal dman t ur ned t o J enni f er . " Do you have anyt hi ng
mor e t o say?"
She l ooked at Rober t Di Si l va angr i l y. " No, Your Honor . "
J udge Wal dman sai d, " Sent enci ng wi l l be t omor r ow
mor ni ng. You ar e bot h
excused. "
Di Si l va and J enni f er r ose and l ef t t he of f i ce.
I n t he cor r i dor out si de, t he Di st r i ct At t or ney t ur ned t o
J enni f er and
smi l ed. " You' ve l ost your t ouch, counsel or . "
J enni f er shr ugged. " You can' t wi n t hemal l . "
Fi ve mi nut es l at er , J enni f er was i n a t el ephone boot h
t al ki ng t o Mi chael
Mor et t i .
" You can st op wor r yi ng. Mar co Lor enzo wi l l be goi ng t o
Si ng Si ng. "
41
Ti me was a swi f t l y f l owi ng r i ver t hat had no shor es, no
boundar i es. I t s
seasons wer e not wi nt er , spr i ng, f al l or summer , but
bi r t hdays and j oys and
t r oubl es and pai n. They wer e cour t bat t l es won, and
cases l ost ; t he r eal i t y
of Mi chael , t he memor i es of Adam. But mai nl y, i t was
J oshua who was t i me' s
cal endar , a r emi nder of how qui ckl y t he year s wer e
passi ng.
He was, i ncr edi bl y, seven year s ol d. Over ni ght , i t
seemed, he had gone f r om
cr ayons and pi ct ur e books t o ai r pl ane model s and spor t s.
J oshua had gr own
t al l and he r esembl ed hi s f at her mor e ever y day, and not
mer el y i n hi s
physi cal appear ance. He was sensi t i ve and pol i t e, and he
had a st r ong sense
of f ai r pl ay. When J enni f er puni shed hi mf or somet hi ng
he had done, J oshua
sai d st ubbor nl y, " I ' monl y f our f eet t al l , but I ' ve got
my r i ght s. "
He was a mi ni at ur e Adam. J oshua was at hl et i c, as Adam
was. Hi s her oes wer e
t he Bebbl e br ot her s and Car l St ot z.
" I never hear d of t hem, " J enni f er sai d.
363
364 RAGE OF ANGELS
" Wher e have you been, Mom? They i nvent ed Li t t l e League. "
" Oh. That Bebbl e br ot her s and Car l St ot z. "
On weekends, J oshua wat ched ever y spor t s event on
t el evi si on- f oot bal l ,
basebal l , basket bal l - i t di d not mat t er . I n t he
begi nni ng, J enni f er had l et
J oshua wat ch t he games al one, but when he t r i ed t o
di scuss t he pl ays wi t h
her af t er war d and J enni f er was compl et el y at sea, she
deci ded she had
bet t er wat ch wi t h hi m. And so t he t wo of t hemwoul d si t
i n f r ont of t he
t el evi si on set , munchi ng popcor n and cheer i ng t he
pl ayer s.
One day J oshua came i n f r ompl ayi ng bal l , a wor r i ed
expr essi on on hi s f act ,
and sai d, " Mom, can we have a mant o- man t al k?"
" Cer t ai nl y, J oshua. "
They sat down at t he ki t chen t abl e and J enni f er made hi m
a peanut but t er
sandwi ch and pour ed a gl ass of mi l k.
" What ' s t he pr obl em?"
Hi s voi ce was sober and f i l l ed wi t h concer n. " Wel l , I
hear d t he guys
t al ki n' and I was j ust wonder i n' - do you t hi nk t her e' l l
st i l l be sex when I
gr ow up?"
J enni f er had bought a smal l Newpor t sai l boat , and on
weekends she and
J oshua woul d go out on t he sound f or a sai l . J enni f er
l i ked t o wat ch hi s
f ace when he was at t he hel m. He wor e an exci t ed l i t t l e
smi l e, whi ch she
cal l ed hi s " Er i c t he Red" smi l e. J oshua was a nat ur al
sai l or , l i ke hi s
f at her . The t hought br ought J enni f er up shar pl y. She
wonder ed whet her she
was t r yi ng t o l i ve her l i f e wi t h Adamvi car i ousl y
t hr ough J oshua. Al l t he
t hi ngs she was doi ng wi t h her son- t he sai l i ng, t he
spor t i ng event s- wer e
t hi ngs she had done wi t h hi s f at her . J enni f er t ol d
her sel f she was doi ng
t hembecause J oshua l i ked doi ng t hem, but she was not
sur e she was bei ng
compl et el y honest . She wat ched J oshua sheet i n t he j i b,
hi s cheeks t anned
f r omt he wi nd and t he sun, hi s
SI DNEY SHELDON 365
f ace beami ng, and J enni f er r eal i zed t hat t he r easons di d
not mat t er . The
i mpor t ant t hi ng was t hat her son l oved hi s l i f e wi t h her .
He was not a
sur r ogat e f or hi s f at her . He was hi s own per son and
J enni f er l oved hi mmor e
t han anyone on ear t h.
42
Ant oni o Gr anel l i di ed and Mi chael t ook over f ul l cont r ol
of hi s empi r e. The
f uner al was l avi sh, as bef i t t ed a man of t he Godf at her ' s
st at ur e. The heads
and member s of Fami l i es f r omal l over t he count r y came
t o pay t hei r
r espect s t o t hei r depar t ed f r i end, and t o assur e t he new
capo of t hei r
l oyal t y and suppor t . The FBI was t her e, t aki ng
phot ogr aphs, as wel l as hal f
a dozen ot her gover nment agenci es.
Rosa was hear t br oken, because she had l oved her f at her
ver y much, but she
t ook consol at i on and pr i de i n t he f act t hat her husband
was t aki ng her
f at her ' s pl ace as head of t he Fami l y.
J enni f er was pr ovi ng mor e val uabl e t o Mi chael ever y day.
When t her e was a
pr obl em, i t was J enni f er whomMi chael consul t ed. Thomas
Col f ax was becomi ng
an i ncr easi ngl y bot her some appendage.
" Don' t wor r y about hi m, " Mi chael t ol d J enni f er . " He' s
goi ng t o r et i r e
soon. "
366
SI DNEY SHELDON 367
s s
The sof t chi mes of t he t el ephone awakened J enni f er . She
l ay i n bed,
l i st eni ng a moment , t hen sat up and l ooked at t he
di gi t al cl ock on t he
ni ght st and. I t was t hr ee o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng.
She l i f t ed t he r ecei ver . " Hel l o. "
I t was Mi chael . " Can you get dr essed r i ght away?"
J enni f er sat up st r ai ght er and t r i ed t o bl i nk t he sl eep
f r omher eyes.
" What ' s happened?"
" Eddi e Sant i ni was j ust pi cked up on an ar med r obber y
char ge. He' s a
t wo- t i me l oser . I f t hey convi ct hi m, t hey' l l t hr ow t he
key away. "
" Wer e t her e any wi t nesses?"
" Thr ee, and t hey al l got a good l ook at hi m. "
" Wher e i s he now?"
" The Sevent eent h Pr eci nct . "
" I ' mon my way, Mi chael . "
J enni f er put on a r obe and went down t o t he ki t chen and
made her sel f a
st eami ng pot of cof f ee. She sat dr i nki ng i t i n t he
br eakf ast r oom, st ar i ng
out at t he ni ght , t hi nki ng. Thr ee wi t nesses. And t hey
al l got a good l ook
at hi m.
She pi cked up t he t el ephone and di al ed. " Gi ve me t he
Ci t y Desk. "
J enni f er spoke r api dl y. " I got some i nf or mat i on f or you.
A guy named Eddi e
Sant i ni ' s j ust been pi cked up on an ar med r obber y
char ge. Hi s at t or ney' s
J enni f er Par ker . She' s gonna t r y t o spr i ng hi m. "
She hung up and r epeat ed t he cal l t o t wo ot her
newspaper s and a t el evi si on
st at i on. When J enni f er was t hr ough t el ephoni ng, she
l ooked at her wat ch and
had anot her l ei sur el y cup of cof f ee. She want ed t o make
cer t ai n t he
phot ogr apher s had t i me t o get t o t he pr eci nct on 51 st
St r eet . She went
upst ai r s and got dr essed.
Bef or e J enni f er l ef t , she went i nt o J oshua' s bedr oom.
Hi s ni ght - l i ght was
on. He was sound asl eep, t he bl anket s t wi st ed
368 RAGE 4F ANGELS
ar ound hi s r est l ess body. J enni f er gent l y st r ai ght ened
t he bl anket s, ki ssed
hi mon t he f or ehead and st ar t ed t o t i pt oe out of t he
r oom.
" Wher e you goi n' ?"
She t ur ned and sai d, " I ' mgoi ng t o wor k. Go back t o
sl eep. "
" What t i me i s i t ?"
" I t ' s f our o' cl ock i n t he mor ni ng. "
J oshua gi ggl ed. " You sur e wor k f unny hour s f or a l ady. "
She came back t o hi s bedsi de. " And you sur e sl eep f unny
hour s f or a man. "
" Ar e we goi ng t o wat ch t he Met s game t oni ght ?"
" You bet we ar e. Back t o Dr eaml and. "
" Okay, Mom. Have a good case: '
" Thanks, pal . "
A f ew mi nut es l at er , J enni f er was i n her car , on her way
i nt o Manhat t an.
When J enni f er ar r i ved, a l one phot ogr apher f r omt he
Dai l y News was wai t i ng.
He st ar ed at J enni f er and sai d, " I t ' s t r ue! You r eal l y
handl i ng t he Sant i ni
case?"
" How di d you know t hat ?" J enni f er demanded.
" A l i t t l e bi r di e, counsel or . "
" You' r e wast i ng your t i me. No pi ct ur es: "
She went i nsi de and ar r anged f or Eddi e Sant i ni ' s bai l ,
st al l i ng t he
pr oceedi ngs unt i l she was sur e t he t el evi si on camer aman
and a r epor t er and
phot ogr apher had ar r i ved f r omThe New Yor k Ti mes. She
deci ded she- coul d
not wai t f or t he Post .
The pol i ce capt ai n on dut y sai d, " Ther e' r e some
r epor t er s and t el evi si on
peopl e out f r ont , Mi ss Par ker . You can go out t he back
way i f you want . "
" I t ' s al l r i ght , " J enni f er sai d. " I ' l l handl e t hem. "
She l ed Eddi e Sant i ni t o t he f r ont cor r i dor wher e t he
, SI DNEY SHELDON 369
phot ogr apher s and r epor t er s wer e wai t i ng.
- She sai d, " Look,
gent l emen, no pi ct ur es,
pl ease. "
And J enni f er st epped asi de whi l e t he phot ogr apher and
t el evi si on camer aman
t ook pi ct ur es.
A r epor t er asked, " What makes. t hi s case bi g enough f or
you t o handl e?"
" You' l l f i nd out t omor r ow. Meanwhi l e, I woul d advi se you
not t o use t hose
pi ct ur es. "
One of t he r epor t er s cal l ed out , " Come on, J enni f er !
Haven' t you hear d of
f r eedomof t he pr ess?"
At noon J enni f er got a cal l f r omMi chael Mor et t i . Hi s
voi ce was angr y.
" Have you seen t he newspaper s?"
" No. "
" Wel l , Eddi e Sant i ni ' s pi ct ur e i s al l over t he f r ont
pages and on t he
t el evi si on news. I di dn' t t el l you t o t ur n t hi s
goddamned t hi ng i nt o a
ci r cus! "
" I know you di dn' t . I t was my own i dea. "
" J esus! What ' s t he poi nt ?"
" " The poi nt , Mi chael , i s t hose t hr ee wi t nesses. "
" What about t hem?"
" You sai d t hey got a good l ook at Eddi e Sant i ni . Wel l ,
when t hey get up i n
cour t t o i dent i f y hi m, t hey' r e goi ng t o have t o pr ove
t hey di dn' t i dent i f y
hi mbecause t hey saw hi s pi ct ur e al l over t he newspaper s
and t el evi si on. "
Ther e was a l ong si l ence, and t hen Mi chael ' s voi ce sai d
admi r i ngl y, " I ' ma
son of a bi t ch! "
J enni f er had t o l augh.
Ken Bai l ey was wai t i ng i s her of f i ce t hat af t er noon when
J enni f er wal ked
i n, and she knew i nst ant l y f r omt he l ook on hi s f ace
t hat somet hi ng was
wr ong.
" Why di dn' t you t el l me?" Ken demanded.
" Tel l you what ?"
370 RAGE OF ANGELS
" About you and Mi ke Mor et t i . "
J enni f er checked t he r et or t t hat r ose t o her l i ps.
Sayi ng I t ' s none of your
busi ness was t oo easy. Ken was her f r i end; he car ed. I n
a way, i t was hi s
busi ness. J enni f er r emember ed i t al l , t he t i ny of f i ce
t hey had shar ed, how
he had hel ped her . I ' ve got a l awyer f r i end who' s been
buggi ng me t o ser ve
some subpoenas f or hi m. I haven' t got t i me. He pays
t wel ve- f i f t y f or each
subpoena pl us mi l eage. Woul d you hel p me out ?
" Ken, l et ' s not di scuss t hi s. "
Hi s t one was f i l l ed wi t h col d f ur y. " Why not ? Ever ybody
el se i s di scussi ng
i t . The wor d i s t hat you' r e Mor et t i ' s gi r l . " Hi s f ace
was pal e. " J esus! "
" My per sonal l i f e- "
" He l i ves i n a sewer and you br ought t hat sewer i nt o t he
of f i ce! You' ve got
us al l wor ki ng f or Mor et t i and hi s hoodl ums. "
" St op i t ! "
" I am. That ' s what I came t o t el l you. r ml eavi ng. "
Hi s wor ds wer e a shock. " You can' t l eave. You' r e wr ong
about what you t hi nk
of Mi chael . I f you' l l j ust meet hi m, you' l l see- "
The moment t he wor ds wer e out , J enni f er knew she had
made a mi st ake.
He l ooked at her sadl y and sai d, " He' s r eal l y wr apped
you up, hasn' t he? I
r emember you when you knew who you wer e. That ' s t he gi r l
I want t o
r emember . Say good- bye t o J oshua f or me. "
And Ken Bai l ey was gone.
J enni f er f el t t he t ear s begi n t o come, and her t hr oat
const r i ct ed so
t i ght l y t hat she coul d har dl y br eat he. She put her head
down on t he desk
and cl osed her eyes, t r yi ng t o shut out t he hur t .
When she opened her eyes, ni ght had f al l en. The of f i ce
SI DNEY SHELDON 371
was i n dar kness except f or t he eer i e r ed gl ow cast by t he
ci t y l i ght s. She
wal ked over t o t he wi ndow and st ar ed out at t he ci t y
bel ow. I t l ooked l i ke
a j ungl e at ni ght , wi t h onl y a dyi ng campf i r e t o keep
away t he encr oachi ng
t er r or s.
I t was Mi chael ' s j ungl e. Ther e was no way out of i t .
43
The Cow Pal ace i n San Fr anci sco was a madhouse, f i l l ed
wi t h noi sy, chant i ng
del egat es f r omal l over t he count r y. Ther e wer e t hr ee
candi dat es vyi ng f or
t he pr esi dent i al nomi nat i on, and each had done wel l i n
t he pr i mar i es. But
t he st ar , t he one who out shone t hemal l , was Adam
War ner . The nomi nat i on
was hi s on t he f i f t h bal l ot , and i t was made unani mous.
Hi s par t y f i nal l y
had a candi dat e t hey coul d put f or war d wi t h pr i de. The
i ncumbent Pr esi dent ,
t he l eader of t he opposi t i on par t y, had a l ow
cr edi bi l i t y r at i ng and was
consi der ed by t he maj or i t y of peopl e t o be i nept .
" Unl ess you t ake your cock out and pee i n f r ont of a
camer a on t he si x
o' cl ock news, " St ewar t Needhamt ol d Adam, " you' r e goi ng
t o be t he next
Pr esi dent of t he Uni t ed St at es. "
Af t er hi s nomi nat i on, Adamf l ew t o New Yor k f or a
meet i ng at t he Regency
Hot el wi t h Needhamand sever al i nf l uent i al member s of
t he par t y. Pr esent i n
t he r oomwas Bl ai r
372
SI DNEY SHELDON 373
Roman, head of t he second l ar gest adver t i si ng agency i n
t he count r y.
St ewar t Needhamsai d, " Bl ai r wi l l be i n char ge of
r unni ng t he publ i ci t y end
of your campai gn, Adam. "
" Can' t t el l you how gl ad I amt o be aboar d: " Bl ai r Roman
gr i nned. " You' r e
goi ng t o be my t hi r d Pr esi dent . "
" Real l y?" Adamwas not i mpr essed wi t h t he man.
" Let me f i l l you i n on some of t he game pl an. " Bl ai r
Roman st ar t ed paci ng
t he r oom, swi ngi ng an i magi nar y gol f cl ub as he wal ked.
" We' r e goi ng t o
sat ur at e t he count r y wi t h t el evi si on commer ci al s, bui l d
an i mage of you as
t he man who can sol ve Amer i ca' s pr obl ems. Bi g Daddy- onl y
a young,
good- l ooki ng Bi g Daddy. You get i t , Mr . Pr esi dent ?"
" Mr . Roman . . . "
" Yes?"
" Woul d you mi nd not cal l i ng me `Mr . Pr esi dent ' ?"
Bl ai r Roman l aughed. " Sor r y. Sl i p of t he t ongue, A. W. I n
my mi nd you' r e
al r eady i n t he Whi t e House. Bel i eve me, I know you' r e
t he man f or t he j ob
or I woul dn' t be under t aki ng t hi s campai gn. I ' mt oo r i ch
t o have t o wor k
f or money. "
Bewar e of peopl e who say t hey' r e t oo r i ch t o have t o
wor k f or money, Adam
t hought .
" We know you' r e t he man f or t he j ob- now we have t o l et
t he peopl e know i t .
I f you' l l j ust t ake a l ook at t hese char t s I ' ve
pr epar ed, I ' ve br oken down
di f f er ent sect i ons of t he count r y i nt o var i ous et hni c
gr oups. We' r e goi ng
t o send you t o key pl aces wher e you can pr ess t he
f l esh. "
He l eaned f or war d i nt o Adam' s f ace and sai d ear nest l y,
" Your wi f e i s goi ng
t o be a bi g asset . Women' s magazi nes wi l l go cr azy f or
st uf f on your f ami l y
l i f e. We' r e goi ng t o mer chandi se you, A. W. "
Adamf ound hi msel f begi nni ng t o get i r r i t at ed. " J ust how
do you pl an t o do
t hat ?"
" I t ' s si mpl e. You' r e a pr oduct , A. W. We' r e goi ng t o sel l
you j ust l i ke we' d
sel l any ot her pr oduct . We- "
374 RAGE OF ANGELS
Adamt ur ned t o St ewar t Needham. " St ewar t , coul d I see
you al one?"
" Cer t ai nl y. " Needhamt ur ned t o t he ot her s and sai d,
" Let ' s br eak f or di nner
and meet back her e at ni ne o' cl ock. We' l l cont i nue t he
di scussi on t hen. "
When t he t wo men wer e al one, Adamsai d, " J esus, St ewar t !
He' s pl anni ng t o
t ur n t hi s t hi ng i nt o a ci r cus! `You' r e a pr oduct , A. W.
We' r e goi ng t o sel l
you j ust l i ke we' d sel l any ot her pr oduct . ' He' s
di sgust i ng! "
" I know how you f eel , Adam, " St ewar t Needhamsai d
soot hi ngl y, " but Bl ai r
get s r esul t s. When he sai d you' r e hi s t hi r d Pr esi dent ,
he wasn' t ki ddi ng.
Ever y Pr esi dent si nce Ei senhower has had an adver t i si ng
agency
mast er mi ndi ng hi s campai gn. Whet her you l i ke i t or not ,
a campai gn needs
sal esmanshi p. Bl ai r Roman knows t he psychol ogy of t he
publ i c. As
di st ast ef ul as i t may be, t he r eal i t y i s t hat i f you
want t o be el ect ed t o
any publ i c of f i ce, you have t o be sol d- you have t o be
mer chandi sed. "
" I hat e i t . "
" That ' s par t of t he pr i ce you' r e goi ng t o have t o pay. "
He wal ked over t o
Adamand put an ar macr oss hi s shoul der . " Al l you have
t o do i s keep t he
obj ect i ve i n mi nd. You want t he Whi t e House? Al l r i ght .
We' r e goi ng t o do
ever yt hi ng we can t o get you t her e. But you have t o do
your par t . I f bei ng
t he r i ngmast er i n a t hr ee- r i ng ci r cus i s par t of i t ,
bear wi t h i t . "
" Do we r eal l y need Bl ai r Roman?"
" We need a Bl ai r Roman. Bl ai r ' s as good as t her e i s. Let
me handl e hi m.
I ' l l keep hi maway f r omyou as much as possi bl e. "
" I ' d appr eci at e t hat . "
The campai gn began. I t st ar t ed wi t h a f ew t el evi si on
spot s and per sonal
appear ances and gr adual l y gr ew bi gger and bi gger unt i l
i t spanned t he
nat i on. Wher ever one went , t her e was Senat or AdamWar ner
i n l i vi ng col or .
I n ever y par t of t he
SI DNEY SHELDON 375
count r y he coul d be wat ched on t el evi si on, hear d on
r adi o, seen on
bi l l boar ds. Law and or der was one of t he key i ssues of
t he campai gn, and
Adam' s cr i me i nvest i gat i on commi t t ee was heavi l y
st r essed.
Adamt aped one- mi nut e t el evi si on spot s, t hr ee- mi nut e
t el evi si on spot s and
f i ve- mi nut e spot s, gear ed f or di f f er ent sect i ons of t he
count r y. The
t el evi si on spot s t hat went t o West Vi r gi ni a deal t wi t h
unempl oyment and t he
vast suppl y of under gr ound coal t hat coul d make t he ar ea
pr osper ous; t he
t el evi si on segment s f or Det r oi t t al ked about ur ban
bl i ght ; i n New Yor k
Ci t y, t he subj ect was t he r i si ng cr i me r at e.
Bl ai r Roman conf i ded t o Adam, " Al l you have t o do i s hi t
t he hi ghl i ght s,
A. W. You don' t have t o di scuss key i ssues i n dept h.
We' r e sel l i ng t he
pr oduct , and t hat ' s you. "
Adamsai d, " Mr . Roman, I don' t car e what your goddamned
st at i st i cs say. I ' m
not a br eakf ast f ood and I don' t i nt end t o be sol d l i ke
one. I wi l l t al k,
about i ssues i n dept h because I t hi nk t he Amer i can
peopl e ar e i nt el l i gent
enough t o want t o know about t hem. "
" I onl y='
" I want you t o t r y t o set up a debat e bet ween me and t he
Pr esi dent , t o
di scuss t he basi c i ssues. "
Bl ai r Roman sai d, " Ri ght . I ' l l t ake a meet i ng wi t h t he
Pr esi dent ' s boys
r i ght away, A. W. "
" One mor e t hi ng, " Adamsai d.
" Yes? What ' s t hat ?"
" St op cal l i ng me A. W. "
44
I n t he mai l was a not i ce f r omt he Amer i can Bar
Associ at i on announci ng i t s
annual convent i on i n Acapul co. J enni f er was i n t he mi dst
of handl i ng hal f
a dozen cases, and or di nar i l y she woul d have i gnor ed t he
i nvi t at i on, but
t he convent i on was goi ng t o t ake pl ace dur i ng J oshua' s
school vacat i on and
J enni f er t hought about how much J oshua woul d enj oy
Acapul co.
She sai d t o Cynt hi a, " Accept . I ' l l want t hr ee
r eser vat i ons. " She woul d t ake
Mr s. Mackey al ong.
At di nner t hat eveni ng, J enni f er br oke t he news t o
J oshua. " How woul d you
l i ke t o go t o Acapul co?"
" That ' s i n Mexi co, " he announced. " On t he west coast . "
" That ' s r i ght . "
" Can we go t o a t opl ess beach?"
" J oshua! "
" Wel l , t hey have t hemt her e. Bei ng naked i s onl y nat ur al "
" r l l t hi nk about i t . "
" And can we go deep- sea f i shi ng?"
376
SI DNEY SHELDON 377
J enni f er vi sual i zed J oshua t r yi ng t o pul l i n a l ar ge
mar l i n and she
cont ai ned her smi l e. " We' l l see. Some of t hose f i sh get
pr et t y bi g. "
" That ' s what makes i t exci t i ng, " J oshua expl ai ned
ser i ousl y. " I f i t ' s easy,
i t ' s no f un. Ther e' s no spor t t o i t . "
I t coul d have been Adamt al ki ng.
" I agr ee. "
" What el se can we do t her e?"
" Wel l , t her e' s hor seback r i di ng, hi ki ng, si ght seei ng- "
" Let ' s not go t o a bunch of ol d chur ches, okay? They al l
l ook al i ke. "
Adamsayi ng, I f you' ve seen one chur ch, you' ve seen t hem
al l .
The convent i on began on a Monday. J enni f er , J oshua and
Mr s. Mackey f l ew t o
Acapul co on Fr i day mor ni ng on a Br ani f f j et . J oshua had
f l own many t i mes
bef or e, but he was st i l l exci t ed by t he i dea of
ai r pl anes. Mr s. Mackey was
pet r i f i ed wi t h f ear .
J oshua consol ed her . " Look at i t t hi s way. Even i f we
cr ash, i t ' l l onl y
hur t f or a second. "
Mr s. Mackey t ur ned pal e.
The pl ane l anded at Beni t o J uar ez Ai r por t at f our
o' cl ock i n t he af t er noon,
and an hour l at er t he t hr ee of t hemar r i ved at Las
Br i sas. The hot el was
ei ght mi l es out si de of Acapul co, and consi st ed of a
ser i es of beaut i f ul
pi nk bungal ows bui l t on a hi l l , each wi t h i t s pr i vat e
pat i o. J enni f er ' s
bungal ow, l i ke sever al of t he ot her s, had i t s own
swi mmi ng pool . Reser va-
t i ons had been di f f i cul t t o get , f or t her e wer e hal f a
dozen ot her
convent i ons and Acapul co was over cr owded, but J enni f er
had made a t el ephone
cal l t o one of her cor por at e cl i ent s, and an hour l at er
she had been
i nf or med t hat Las Br i sas was eager l y expect i ng her .
4
378 RAGE OF ANGELS
When t hey had unpacked, J oshua sai d, " Can we go i nt o
t own and hear t hem
t al k? I ' ve never been t o a count r y wher e nobody speaks
Engl i sh. " He t hought
a moment and added, " Unl ess you count Engl and. "
They went i nt o t he ci t y and wander ed al ong t he Zocal o,
t he f r enet i c cent er
of downt own, but t o J oshua' s di sappoi nt ment t he onl y
l anguage t o be hear d
was Engl i sh. Acapul co was cr owded wi t h Amer i can
t our i st s.
They st r ol l ed al ong t he col or f ul mar ket on t he mai n pi er
opposi t e Sanbor n' s
i n t he ol d par t of t own, wher e t her e wer e hundr eds of
st al l s sel l i ng a
bewi l der i ng var i et y of mer chandi se.
I n t he l at e af t er noon, t hey t ook a cal andr i a, a
hor se- dr awn car r i age, t o
Pi e de l a Cuest a, t he sunset beach, and t hen r et ur ned t o
t own.
They had di nner at Ar mando' s Le Cl ub, and i t was
excel l ent .
" I l ove Mexi can f ood, " J oshua decl ar ed.
" I ' mgl ad, " J enni f er sai d. " Onl y t hi s i s Fr ench. "
" Wel l , i t has a Mexi can f l avor . "
Sat ur day was a f ul l day. They went shoppi ng i n t he
mor ni ng at t he Quebr ada,
wher e t he ni cer st or es wer e, and t hen st opped f or a
Mexi can l unch at Coyuca
22. J oshua sai d " I suppose you' r e goi ng t o t el l me t hi s
i s Fr ench, t oo. "
" No, t hi s i s t he r eal t hi ng, gr i ngo. "
" What ' s a gr i ngo?" .
" You ar e, ami go. "
They wal ked by t he f r ont on bui l di ng near t he Pl aza
Cal et a, and J oshua saw
t he bi l l boar ds adver t i si ng j ai al ai i nsi de.
He st ood t her e, wi de- eyed, and J enni f er asked, " Woul d
you l i ke t o see t he
j ai . al ai games?"
J oshua nodded. " I f i t ' s not t oo expensi ve. I f we r un out
of money we won' t
be abl e t o get home. "
" I t hi nk we can manage. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 379
They went i nsi de and wat ched t he f ur i ous pl ay of t he
t eams. J enni f er pl aced
a bet f or J oshua and hi s t eamwon.
When J enni f er suggest ed r et ur ni ng t o t he hot el , J oshua
sai d, " Gosh, Mom,
can' t we see t he di ver s f i r st ?"
The hot el manager had ment i oned t hemt hat mor ni ng.
" Ar e you sur e you woul dn' t l i ke t o r est , J oshua?"
" Oh, i f you' r e t oo t i r ed, sur e. I keep f or get t i n' about
your age. "
That di d i t . " Never mi nd my age. " J enni f er t ur ned t o
Mr s. Mackey. " Ar e you
up t o i t ?"
" Cer t ai nl y, " Mr s. Mackey gr oaned.
The di vi ng act was at La Quebr ada cl i f f s. J enni f er ,
J oshua and Mr s. Mackey
st ood on a publ i c vi ewi ng pl at f or mwhi l e di ver s car r yi ng
l i ght ed t or ches
pl unged one hundr ed and f i f t y f eet i nt o a nar r ow,
r ock- l i ned cove, t i mi ng
t hei r descent t o coi nci de wi t h t he ar r i val of i ncdmi ng
br eaker s. The
sl i ght est mi scal cul at i on woul d have meant i nst ant deat h.
When t he exhi bi t i on was over , a boy came ar ound t o
col l ect a donat i on f or
t he di ver s.
" Uno peso, por f avor . "
J enni f er gave hi mf i ve pesos.
She dr eamed about t he di ver s t hat ni ght .
Las Br i sas had i t s own beach, La Concha, and ear l y
Sunday mor ni ng J enni f er ,
J oshua and Mr s. Mackey dr ove down i n one of t he pi nk
canopi ed j eeps t hat
t he hot el suppl i ed t o i t s guest s. The weat her was
per f ect . The har bor was
a spar kl i ng bl ue canvas dot t ed wi t h speedboat s and
sai l boat s.
J oshua st ood at t he edge of t he t er r ace, wat chi ng t he
wat er ski er s r ace by.
" Di d you know wat er ski i ng was i nvent ed i n Acapul co,
Mom?"
" No. Wher e di d you hear t hat ?"
" I ei t her r ead i t i n a book or I made i t up. "
380 RAGE OF ANGELS
" I vot e f or ' made i t up. ' "
" Does t hat mean I can' t go wat er ski i ng?"
" Those speedboat s ar e pr et t y f ast . Ar en' t yon af r ai d?"
J oshua l ooked out at t he ski er s ski mmi ng over t he wat er .
" That man sai d,
`I ' mgoi ng t o send you home t o J esus. ' And t hen he put a
nai l i n my hand: '
I t was t he f i r st r ef er ence he had made t o t he t er r i bl e
or deal 6e had gone
t hr ough.
J enni f er knel t and put her ar ms ar ound her son. " What
made you t hi nk of
t hat , J oshua?"
He shr ugged. " I don' t know. I guess because J esus wal ked
on wat er and
ever yone out t her e i s wal ki ng on wat er . " He saw t he
st r i cken l ook on hi s
mot her ' s f ace. " I ' msor r y, Mom. I don' t t hi nk about i t
much, honest . "
She hugged hi mt i ght l y and sai d, " I t ' s al l r i ght ,
dar l i ng. Of cour se you
can go wat er ski i ng. Let ' s have l unch f i r st . "
The out door r est aur ant at La Concha had wr ought - i r on
t abl es set wi t h pi nk
l i nen, shaded by pi nk- and- whi t e- st r i ped umbr el l as. Lunch
was a buf f et and
t he l ong ser vi ng t abl e was cr owded wi t h an i ncr edi bl e
assor t ment of di shes.
Ther e wer e f r esh l obst er and cr ab and sal mon, sel ect i ons
of col d and hot
meat s, sal ads, a var i et y of r aw and cooked veget abl es,
cheeses and f r ui t s.
Ther e was a separ at e t abl e f or an ar r ay of f r eshl y baked
desser t s. The t wo
women wat ched J oshua f i l l and empt y hi s pl at e t hr ee
t i mes bef or e he sat
back, sat i sf i ed.
" I t ' s a ver y good r est aur ant , " he pr onounced. " I don' t
car e what ki nd of
f ood i t i s. " He st ood up. " I ' l l go check on t he wat er
ski i ng. "
Mr s. Mackey had bar el y pi cked at her f ood.
" Ar e you f eel i ng al l r i ght ?" J enni f er asked. " You
haven' t eat en anyt hi ng
si nce we ar r i ved. "
Mr s. Mackey l eaned f or war d and whi sper ed dar kl y, " 7
don' t want Mont ezuma' s
Revenge! "
SI DNEY SHELDON 381
" I don' t t hi nk you have t o wor r y about t hat i n a pl ace
l i ke t hi s. "
" I don' t hol d wi t h f or ei gn f ood, " Mr s. Mackey sni f f ed.
J oshua r an back t o t he t abl e and sai d, " I got a boat . 1s
i t okay i f I go
now, Mom?"
" Don' t you want t o wai t a whi l e?"
" What f or ?"
" J oshua, you' l l si nk wi t h al l you' ve eat en. "
" Test me! " he begged.
Whi l e Mr s. Mackey wat ched on shor e, J enni f er and J oshua
got i nt o t he
speedboat and J oshua had hi s f i r st wat er - ski i ng l esson.
He spent t he f i r st
f i ve mi nut es f al l i ng down, and af t er t hat , per f or med as
t hough bor n t o
wat er ski i ng. Bef or e t he af t er noon was over , J oshua was
doi ng t r i cks on one
ski , and f i nal l y ski i ng on hi s heel s wi t h no ski s.
They spent t he r est of t he af t er noon l azi ng on t he sand
and swi mmi ng.
On t he way back t o Las Br i sas i n t he j eep, J oshua
snuggl ed up agai nst
J enni f er and sai d, " You know somet hi ng, Mom? I t hi nk
t hi s was pr obabl y t he
best day of my whol e l i f e. "
Mi chael ' s wor ds f l ashed t hr ough her mi nd: 1 j ust want
you t o know t hi s has
been t he gr eat est ni ght of my l i f e.
Ear l y Monday mor ni ng J enni f er ar ose and got dr essed t o
at t end t he
convent i on. She put on a f ul l - f l owi ng dar k gr een ski r t
and an
of f - t he- shoul der bl ouse embr oi der ed i n gi ant r ed r oses,
t hat r eveal ed her
pat i na of sunt an. She st udi ed her sel f i n t he mi r r or and
was pl eased.
Despi t e t he f act t hat her son t hought she was over t he
hi l l , J enni f er was
awar e t hat she l ooked l i ke J oshua' s beaut i f ul
t hi r t y- f our - year - ol d si st er .
She l aughed t o her sel f and t hought t hat t hi s vacat i on
was one of her bet t er
i deas.
J enni f er sai d t o Mr s. Mackey, " I have t o go t o wor k now.
Take good car e of
J oshua. Don' t l et hi mget t oo much sun. "
382 RAGE OF ANGELS
* *
The huge convent i on cent er was a cl ust er of f i ve
bui l di ngs j oi ned by r oof ed
ci r cul at i on t er r ace , spr awl ed over t hi r t y- f i ve acr es of
l ush gr eener y. The
car ef ul l y t ended l awns wer e st udded wi t h pr e- Col umbi an
st at ues.
The Bay Associ at i on Convent i on was bei ng hel d i n
Teot i huacan, t he mai n
hal l , hol di ng an audi ence of sevent yf i ve hundr ed peopl e.
J enni f er went t o t he r egi st r at i on desk, si gned i n and
ent er ed t he l ar ge
hal l . I t was packed. I n t he cr owd she spot t ed dozens of
f r i ends and
acquai nt ances. Near l y al l of t hemhad changed f r om
conser vat i ve busi ness
sui t s and dr esses t o br i ght l y col or ed spor t shi r t s and
pant s. I t was as
t hough ever yone was on vacat i on. Ther e i s a good r eason,
J enni f er t hought ,
f or hol di ng t he convent i on i n a pl ace l i ke Acapul co
i nst ead of i n Chi cago
or Det r oi t . They coul d t ake of f t hei r st i f f col l ar s and
somber t i es and l et
t hemsel ves go under a t r opi cal sun.
J enni f er had been gi ven a pr ogr amat t he door but , deep
i n conver sat i on
wi t h some f r i ends, had pai d no at t ent i on t o i t .
A deep voi ce boomed over t he l oudspeaker , " At t ent i on,
pl ease! Woul d you al l
pl ease t ake your seat s? At t ent i on, pl ease! We woul d l i ke
t o get t he meet i ng
st ar t ed. Woul d you si t down, pl ease! "
Rel uct ant l y t he smal l gr oups began t o br eak up as peopl e
st ar t ed t o f i nd
seat s. J enni f er l ooked up t o see t hat hal f a dozen men
had mount ed t he
dai s.
I n t he cent er was AdamWar ner .
J enni f er st ood t her e, f r ozen, as Adamwal ked t o t he
chai r next t o t he
mi cr ophone and t ook a seat . She f el t her hear t begi n t o
pound. The l ast
t i me she had seen Adamhad been when t hey had had l unch
at t he l i t t l e
I t al i an r est aur ant , t he day he had t ol d her t hat Mar y
Bet h was pr egnant .
J enni f er ' s i mmedi at e i mpul se was t o f l ee. She had had
no
SI DNEY SHELDON 383
i dea Adamwoul d be t her e and she coul d not bear t he
t hought of f aci ng hi m.
Adamand hi s son bei ng i n t he same ci t y f i l l ed her wi t h
pani c. J enni f er knew
she had t o get out of t her e qui ckl y.
She t ur ned t o l eave as t he chai r man announced over t he
l oudspeaker , " I f t he
r est of you l adi es and gent l emen wi l l t ake your seat s,
we wi l l begi n. "
As peopl e ar ound her began si t t i ng down, J enni f er f ound
her sel f conspi cuous
by st andi ng. J enni f er sl i d i nt o a seat , det er mi ned t o
sl i p away at t he
f i r st oppor t uni t y.
The chai r man sai d, " We ar e honor ed t hi s mor ni ng t o have
as our guest
speaker a nomi nee f or t he pr esi dency of t he Uni t ed
St at es. He i s a member
of t he New Yor k Bar Associ at i on and one of t he most
di st i ngui shed member s
of t he Uni t ed St at es Senat e. I t i s wi t h gr eat pr i de t hat
I i nt r oduce
Senat or AdamWar ner . "
J enni f er wat ched as Adamr ose, accept i ng t he war m
appl ause. He st epped t o
t he mi cr ophone and l ooked out acr oss t he r oom. " Thank
you, Mr . Chai r man,
l adi es and gent l emen
Adam' s voi ce was r i ch and r esonant , and he had an ai r of
aut hor i t y t hat was
mesmer i zi ng. The si l ence i n t he r oomwas t ot al .
" Ther e ar e many r easons why we ar e gat her ed her e t oday. "
He paused. " Some
of us l i ke t o swi mand some of us l i ke t o snor kel . . .
. " Ther e was a
swel l of appr eci at i ve l aught er . " But t he mai n r eason we
ar e her e i s t o
exchange i deas and knowl edge and di scuss new concept s.
Today, l awyer s ar e
under gr eat er at t ack t han at any t i me i n my memor y. Even
t he Chi ef J ust i ce
of t he Supr eme Cour t has been shar pl y cr i t i cal of our
pr of essi on. "
J enni f er l oved t he way he used our , maki ng hi mone wi t h
t he r est of t hem.
She l et hi s wor ds wash over her , cont ent j ust t o l ook at
hi m, t o wat ch t he
way he moved, t o hear hi s voi ce. At one poi nt he st opped
t o r un hi s f i nger s
t hr ough hi s hai r ,
384 RAGE OF ANGELS
and i t gave J enni f er a shar p pang. I t was a gest ur e of
J oshua' s. Adam' s son
was onl y a f ew mi l es away and Adamwoul d never know.
Adam' s voi ce gr ew st r onger , mor e f or cef ul . " Some of you
i n t hi s r oomar e
cr i mi nal l awyer s. I must admi t I have al ways consi der ed
t hat t o be t he most
exci t i ng br anch of our pr of essi on. Cr i mi nal l awyer s
of t en deal i n l i f e and
deat h. I t i s a ver y honor abl e pr of essi on and one of
whi ch we can al l be
pr oud. However " - hi s voi ce gr ew har d- " t her e ar e some of
t hem" - and now
J enni f er not i ced t hat Adamwas di sassoci at i ng hi msel f by
hi s choi ce of t he
pr onoun- " who ar e a di sgr ace t o t he oat h t hey have t aken.
The Amer i can
syst emof j ur i spr udence i s based on t he i nal i enabl e
r i ght of ever y ci t i zen
t o have a f ai r t r i al . But when t he l aw i s made a mocker y
of , when l awyer s
spend t hei r t i me and ener gy, i magi nat i on and ski l l ,
f i ndi ng ways t o def y
t hat l aw, f i ndi ng ways t o subver t j ust i ce, t hen I t hi nk
i t i s t i me
somet hi ng must be done. " Ever y eye i n t he r oomwas
f ast ened on Adamas he
st ood t her e, eyes bl azi ng. " I amspeaki ng, l adi es and
gent l emen, out of
per sonal exper i ence and a deep anger f or some of t he
t hi ngs I see hap-
peni ng. I amcur r ent l y headi ng a Senat e commi t t ee
conduct i ng an
i nvest i gat i on of or gani zed cr i me i n t he Uni t ed St at es.
My commi t t ee has
f ound i t sel f t hwar t ed and f r ust r at ed t i me af t er t i me by
men who hol d
t hemsel ves t o be mor e power f ul t han t he hi ghest
enf or cement agenci es of our
nat i on. I have seen j udges subor ned, t he f ami l i es of
wi t nesses t hr eat ened,
key wi t nesses di sappear . Or gani zed cr i me i n our count r y
i s l i ke a deadl y
pyt hon t hat i s squeezi ng our economy, swal l owi ng up our
cour t s, t hr eat eni ng
our ver y l i ves. The gr eat maj or i t y of l awyer s ar e
honor abl e men and women
doi ng honor abl e j obs, but I want t o gi ve war ni ng t o t hat
smal l mi nor i t y who
t hi nk t hei r l aw i s above our l aw: You' r e maki ng a gr ave
mi st ake and you' r e
goi ng t o pay f or t hat mi st ake. Thank you. "
Adamsat down t o a t umul t uous bur st of appl ause t hat be-
SI DNEY SHELDON 385
came a st andi ng ovat i on. J enni f er f ound her sel f on her
f eet appl audi ng wi t h
t he ot her s, but her t hought s wer e on Adam' s l ast wor ds.
I t was as t hough he
had been speaki ng di r ect l y t o her . J enni f er t ur ned and
headed t owar d t he
exi t , pushi ng her way t hr ough t he cr owd.
As J enni f er appr oached t he door she was hai l ed by a
Mexi can l awyer wi t h
whomshe had wor ked a year ear l i er .
He ki ssed her hand gal l ant l y and sai d, " What an honor t o
have you i n our
count r y agai n, J enni f er . I i nsi st you have di nner wi t h
me t hi s eveni ng. "
J enni f er and J oshua had pl anned t o go t o The Mar i a El ena
t hat ni ght t o
wat ch t he nat i ve dancer s. " I ' msor r y, Lui s. I have an
engagement . "
Hi s l ar ge, l i qui d eyes showed hi s di sappoi nt ment .
" Tomor r ow t hen?"
Bef or e J enni f er coul d answer , an assi st ant di st r i ct
at t or ney f r omNew Yor k
was at her si de.
" Hel l o, t her e, " he sai d. " What ar e you doi ng sl ummi ng
wi t h t he common .
f ol k? How about havi ng di nner wi t h me t oni ght ? Ther e' s a
Mexi can di sco
cal l ed Nepent ha, wher e t hey have a gl ass f l oor l i t f r om
under neat h and a
mi r r or over head. "
" I t sounds f asci nat i ng, t hanks, but I ' mbusy t oni ght . "
A f ew moment s l at er J enni f er f ound her sel f sur r ounded by
l awyer s she had
wor ked f or and agai nst al l over t he count r y. She was a
cel ebr i t y and t hey
al l want ed t o t al k t o her . I t was hal f an hour bef or e
J enni f er coul d br eak
f r ee. She hur r i ed t owar d t he l obby, and as she moved t o
t he exi t , Adamwas
wal ki ng t owar d her , sur r ounded by t he pr ess and secr et
ser vi ce men.
J enni f er t r i ed t o r et r eat , but i t was t oo l at e. Adamhad
seen her .
" J enni f er ! "
For an i nst ant she t hought of pr et endi ng she had not
hear d hi m, but she
coul d not embar r ass hi mi n f r ont of t he ot her s. She
woul d say hel l o qui ckl y
and be on her way.
386 RAGE OF ANGELS
She wat ched as Adammoved t owar d her , sayi ng t o t he
pr ess, " I have no mor e
st at ement s t o make now, l adi es and gent l emen. "
A moment l at er Adamwas t ouchi ng her hand, l ooki ng i nt o
her eyes, and i t
was as t hough t hey had never been apar t . They st ood
t her e i n t he l obby,
sur r ounded by peopl e, and yet t hey mi ght have been
compl et el y al one.
J enni f er had no i dea how l ong t hey st ood t her e l ooki ng
at each ot her .
Fi nal l y, Adamsai d, " I - I t hi nk we' d bet t er have a
dr i nk. "
" I t woul d be wi ser i f we di dn' t . " She had t o get out of
t hi s pl ace.
Adamshook hi s head. " Over r ul ed. "
He t ook her ar mand l ed her i nt o t he cr owded bar . They
f ound a t abl e at t he
r ear of t he r oom.
" I ' ve cal l ed you and r ve wr i t t en t o you, " Adamsai d.
" You never cal l ed me
back and my l et t er s wer e r et ur ned. "
He was wat chi ng her , hi s eyes f i l l ed wi t h quest i ons.
" Ther e i sn' t a day
t hat ' s gone by t hat I haven' t t hought about you. Why di d
you di sappear ?"
" I t ' s par t of my magi c act , " J enni f er sai d l i ght l y.
A wai t er came t o t ake t hei r or der . Adamt ur ned t o
J enni f er . " What woul d you
l i ke?"
" Not hi ng. I r eal l y have t o l eave, Adam. "
" You can' t go now. Thi s i s a cel ebr at i on. The
anni ver sar y of t he
r evol ut i on. "
" Thei r s or our s?"
" What ' s t he di f f er ence?" He t ur ned t o t he wai t er . " Two
mar gar i t as. "
" No. I - " Al l r i ght , she t hought , one dr i nk. " Make mi ne a
doubl e, " J enni f er
sai d r eckl essl y.
The wai t er nodded and l ef t .
" I r ead about you al l t he t i me, " J enni f er sai d. " r mver y
pr oud of
you, - Adam. "
" Thank you. " Adamhesi t at ed. " I ' ve been r eadi ng about
you, t oo. "
SI DNEY SHELDON 387
She r esponded t o t he t one i n hi s voi ce. " But you' r e not
pr oud of me. "
" You seemt o have a l ot of Syndi cat e cl i ent s. "
J enni f er f ound her def enses goi ng up. " I t hought your
l ect ur e was over . "
" Thi s i sn' t a l ect ur e, J enni f er . r mconcer ned about you.
My commi t t ee i s
af t er Mi ke Mor et t i , and we' r e goi ng t o get hi m. "
J enni f er l ooked ar ound t he bar f i l l ed wi t h l awyer s. " For
God' s sake, Adam,
we shoul dn' t be havi ng t hi s di scussi on, especi al l y i n
her e. "
" Wher e, t hen?"
" Nowher e. Mi chael Mor et t i i s my cl i ent . I can' t di scuss
hi mwi t h you: "
" I want t o t al k t o you. Wher e?"
She shook her head. " I t ol d you I - "
" I have t o t al k about us. "
" Ther e i s no us. " J enni f er st ar t ed t o r i se.
Adamput hi s hand on her ar m. " Pl ease, don' t go. I can' t
l et you go. Not
yet . "
Rel uct ant l y, J enni f er sat down.
Adam' s eyes wer e f ast ened on her f ace. " Do you ever
t hi nk of me?"
J enni f er l ooked up at hi mand di d not know whet her t o
l augh or cr y. Di d she
ever t hi nk of hi m! He l i ved i n her house. She ki ssed hi m
good mor ni ng ever y
day, made hi s br eakf ast , went sai l i ng wi t h hi m, l oved
hi m. " Yes, " J enni f er
sai d