The Manhattan Hunt Club

The Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul Read Free Book Online

Book: The Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Saul
Eve Harris chatted amiably with Edna Fisk, who finished her bottle of wine during the course of the conversation, carefully recapped the empty bottle, and shoved it into her bag with her other belongings. “I’m not keeping it,” she said, even though Eve hadn’t questioned her. “I just hate litter. Soon’s I get off the train, I’ll put it in a trash barrel.”
    “I wish more people were like you,” Eve observed. A moment later both women glared balefully at a man who left a crushed and greasy paper bag on his seat when he left the train at the next stop. “Some people are just slobs,” Eve said, getting up to retrieve the bag, then sitting back down next to Edna. “You want to dump this, or shall I?”
    “I’ll take it,” Edna said, shoving the greasy bag in after her empty wine bottle. Then she smiled shyly, a black gap showing where one of her front teeth once had been. “And if I can still have that new luggage, I’d sure appreciate it.” By the time the train began slowing at Fifty-first Street, Eve had helped Edna Fisk get her worn bags inside the new one. “I guess what I heard was right,” she said as Eve stood up and moved toward the door. “You’re not much of a one for preaching.”
    Eve Harris’s brows arched. “Oh, I preach, all right. I just like to reserve my preaching for those who need it.” She hesitated, then said, “There are places you could go, you know. . . .” But when Edna Fisk’s eyes clouded and she shook her head, Eve let her voice trail off. The train squealed to a stop and the doors slid open. “It was nice talking to you,” she said as she stepped out. She headed toward the stairs, the doors of the car slid closed again and the train pulled away. But as it passed, Eve looked up and saw Edna Fisk looking at her.
    Looking at her, and smiling.
    Twenty minutes later, as Eve stood on the dais of the ballroom in which the benefit for the Montrose Shelter for the Homeless was being held, she didn’t need to even glance at the speech she’d written. “Tonight,” she began, “a woman smiled at me. A woman named Edna Fisk. Let me tell you about her.”
    Half an hour later, as her speech ended to a wave of applause—and a flurry of checkbooks—Monsignor Terrence McGuire leaned over to whisper in her ear. “I have to tell you, Eve—you’re full of more blarney than my father even thought of, and you’ve got more courage than anyone else I know. But all those people down in the subway aren’t like your Edna Fisk—a lot of them are dangerous, and if you get hurt down there, you aren’t going to be able to do Montrose House any good at all.”
    “I’m not going to get hurt,” Eve assured him. “I’ve been riding the subways since I was a little girl, and nothing’s ever happened.”
    “Well, you should consider yourself lucky,” the elderly priest went on. “Terrible things happen down there. There was the woman who almost got killed up on the West Side last fall—”
    “That wasn’t one of my people,” Eve Harris cut in. “As I recall, it was an architecture student at Columbia.”
    “It was not!” another voice cut in angrily. “Jeff didn’t do it!”
    The priest and the councilwoman turned to see a young woman standing behind them, next to Perry and Carolyn Randall.
    “Heather . . .” Eve heard the Assistant District Attorney say warningly, but the young woman ignored him.
    “It was someone else,” she said. “Jeff was trying to help Cynthia Allen. The man who attacked her disappeared into the subway tunnel. Jeff said he looked like one of the homeless.”
    Perry Randall’s hand tightened on the young woman’s arm. “My daughter,” he said to Eve, his lips forming a tight smile. “All she said was that she wanted to meet you.” He turned to Heather. “This is Councilwoman Harris, Heather.”
    Eve offered Heather Randall her hand. “You know the young man?”
    Heather nodded. “I’m going to marry him.”
    Eve’s eyes flicked

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