The Ditto List

The Ditto List by Stephen Greenleaf Read Free Book Online

Book: The Ditto List by Stephen Greenleaf Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen Greenleaf
about Brownies, but it’s not the worst pack in the world to be in. I mean, some women watch Donahue every morning and others drink whiskey.”
    Mareth Stone only closed her eyes. “I do both,” she said. “What does that make me?”
    D.T. took a deep breath and looked at the woman for whom life was about to become a brawl. “Where are your children, Mrs. Stone?”
    â€œIn school. Why?”
    â€œWhich school?”
    â€œCountry Day. Why? ” Worry polished her forehead.
    D.T. pushed his telephone toward her. “Call them. Make sure your children are still there.”
    â€œWhat are you saying? Do you think Chas has done something? He wouldn’t .”
    D.T. held up a hand. “I have no idea whether he would or wouldn’t, I just know that divorce can get to be the stinkingest, slimiest thing you can imagine, and it can get there fast. I know that men whose wives have cooked their food and washed their socks and licked their cocks for twenty years will suddenly try to cut them off without a penny and see to it they spend the rest of their lives in a welfare line. And I know that a hundred thousand fathers kidnap their kids every year and a hundred thousand mothers spend the rest of their days looking for them. Or vice versa. Call the school.”
    She looked at him oddly. “You take all this personally, don’t you?”
    He met her eyes. “Do I?”
    â€œI think so. I’m surprised.”
    â€œSo am I. Call the school.”
    D.T. waited while she placed the call and enjoyed her relief when she learned that the children were there. D.T. whispered to her to instruct the school to keep them inside until she picked them up, which she did. When she hung up she looked at him fearfully. “Is there a place you can take them for a while?” he asked.
    â€œI don’t know. My parents aren’t good with them, not at all. My friends seem at odds with their own so much, I don’t know. I’ll have to think.”
    â€œAfter you pick them up you should go to your bank and take all the money out of all the accounts you can lay your hands on. I mean all . Plus you should empty all the safe deposit boxes and get a new one in a different bank and put the stuff in it. Okay?”
    â€œBut is that fair? I mean …”
    â€œIn this business fair is first, Mrs. Stone. Besides, my guess is you’re going to discover your husband has beat you to it and the accounts will be empty. So be prepared.”
    She lowered her head. “It’s like preparing for war, isn’t it, Mr. Jones?”
    â€œThat’s exactly what it’s like, Mrs. Stone. And your husband is already marching through Poland so we’ve got to get busy.”
    â€œI didn’t think it would be like this, somehow,” she said quietly. “Not us.”
    D.T. nodded. “The whole world thinks it’s an exception. I felt the same way when I was drafted. It lasted till I got shot. There’s one more thing.”
    â€œCall a locksmith and change the locks on your house. Then search it for any kind of business papers you can find. Deeds, stock certificates, anything having to do with property. Eventually I’ll want to know everything you own, you and your husband I mean, so start getting together anything that will help. Do you have a stock broker or does your husband handle it?”
    â€œMy husband.”
    â€œDo you own any real property besides your home?”
    â€œA cabin at the lake.”
    â€œCall your realtor and tell him your husband is not authorized to act for you in any way. How many cars do you have?”
    â€œTake the one you’re driving and park it in a long-term garage. Take a cab home and use the second one. I assume your husband drives the third.”
    â€œHow much do you need a month, Mrs. Stone? To support you in the manner to which you’ve

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