The Memory of Eva Ryker

The Memory of Eva Ryker by Donald Stanwood Read Free Book Online

Book: The Memory of Eva Ryker by Donald Stanwood Read Free Book Online
Authors: Donald Stanwood
    â€œAn unusual choice of words, Norman.” Tom’s laugh was chill. “Were you speaking literally or figuratively?”
    What I had said came back to me and I flinched. I suddenly felt the blood slapping under my feet as I groped through the closet of Room 307.
    â€œLet’s drop it, Tom.” My fingers were tight around the receiver. “Would you like some searing psychological insight into my behavior? I’ve spent good money on analysis and I can offer you multiple choice between Freudian, Gestalt, and Behavioral versions.”
    â€œShut up, Norman. Please. I didn’t call to pass judgment. Maybe it was less painful for you to lie to me, but it wasn’t necessary. All right?”
    â€œOkay, Tom. Sorry.”
    He seemed relieved to hear the ragged edge leave my voice. “I don’t want you to be too disappointed over the file. There’s not much in it you don’t already know. Neither the police nor the FBI ever found any suspects. Their only lead was Catherine Maurois, the maid at the Moana who vanished. She must have left the islands, but no one ever caught up with her. By now she’s been declared legally dead.”
    â€œI know the case is unsolved. I’m more interested in the Klein background before they came to Hawaii. Martha Klein told me she and her husband lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. Any relatives? Neighbors? Friends?”
    â€œHang on.” Papers softly rustled. “Here’s something. After the murders, the FBI talked to the neighbors of the Kleins, a Fred and Mima Heinley.”
    â€œWait a minute.” I grabbed a pen and had Tom spell the names, jotting them on a back cover of Paris Match . “What did they have to say?”
    â€œIt couldn’t have been anything useful, Norman. The FBI agent on the case didn’t even quote them in his summary.”
    â€œDoes it give their address?”
    â€œTheir 1941 address. Not much use now, I wouldn’t think.”
    â€œTom, I know it’s a big favor to ask, but do you think you could trace their current address?”
    â€œNorman …”
    â€œYou’ve already got the file. A request for follow-up information wouldn’t be suspicious …”
    â€œNorman …”
    â€œGod knows you don’t want Hoover and the Yard on your tail, but …”
    â€œYes, Tom?”
    â€œDid it ever occur to you to try a phone book?”
    Tom’s idea was easier said than done.
    Jan and I spent most of the following morning combing through libraries. The Bibliothèque Nationale was the logical starting point.
    Phone directories? Yes, monsieur, this way. St. Petersburg, Florida? Silver pince-nez glinted blankly. A search and a shrug. Perhaps the Bibliothèque Mazarine, monsieur.
    The Mazarine was another dry well. But we finally hit pay-dirt at the Bibliothèque Forney. The phone book was dated 1959, but it would have to do.
    I spread the book flat on the table and scanned the H’s. There it was: H EINLEY, FRED 2121 Gulf Blvd. West KL5-9421.
    When we got home, Jan pointed at the phone. “You or me?”
    I pondered for a moment. “Go ahead.”
    â€œWhat exactly am I going to say, Norman?”
    â€œAsk them if they’ll consent to an interview.”
    â€œI know that. When?”
    â€œAs soon as I can hop a plane.”
    She shook her hands unhopefully. “We’ll give it a try. The poor people might be dead for all you know.”
    Jan is a pessimist. Mr. and Mrs. Heinley were alive and eager to meet a reporter from World magazine. Yes, Tuesday morning was fine. The Bahia-Belle Cabañas. Just check at the manager’s office.
    While Jan and I were pawing through phone books at the Bibliothèque Forney, the bathyscaph Marianas sighted the Titanic .
    The story filled the tube Sunday night. Blotchy photos showed a few patches of crumbly metal peering out of the gloom.

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