Книга: Deadly Honeymoon
Назад: Chapter 12
Дальше: Chapter 14

Chapter 13

The Royalton was probably safe but they didn’t go back there. Jill was afraid of the place, which was reason enough. Besides, it was vaguely possible that Ruger and Krause knew their names. The half hour after the murder of Corelli had been a time when everything happened too quickly, when everything was confused; even the memory of it was bright in some parts and hazy in others, and it was possible that the killers knew their names. They had registered under their right names at the Royalton, and if they ran a check from hotel to hotel—

But they had to get some rest. They walked half a block west on Thirty-fourth Street, and Dave went into a leather-goods store and bought a cheap suitcase. There was a haberdashery two doors down; he bought socks and underwear and two shirts there and packed them in the suitcase. Further down the same block they bought underwear and stockings for Jill.

They took a cab to a third-rate hotel on West Thirty-eighth between Eighth and Ninth, a place called the Moorehead. A sallow-faced clerk rented them a double room on the second floor, five-fifty a day, cash in advance. They registered as Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cassiday of Albany, Georgia. There was an elevator but no operator to run it. The desk clerk took them upstairs and unlocked the door for them. He didn’t wait for a tip.

The room held an old iron bedstead that had been repainted with white enamel long enough ago so that the paint had begun to flake away from the metal. The bed itself was a little smaller than a double, about three-quarter size. It sagged slightly in the middle. The bed linen was clean but old and worn. There was a dresser which had been repainted with brown enamel fairly recently. The painter had covered up the scars of neglected cigarettes without bothering to sand them down. Since then, three more burns had been added to the dresser top.

There was no rug. The floor was covered with brownish linoleum which was cracked in several places. The walls were a greenish gray, and very dirty. A fixture on the high ceiling held three unshaded light bulbs, one of which had burned out. A light cord hung down from the fixture over the center of the bed. The room had one window, which needed washing. It faced out upon a blank brick wall just a few feet away. The desk clerk had said that there was a bathroom down the hall.

He stood in the room, looking for some place to put the suitcase, finally setting it on top of the bed. She walked over to the window and opened it. “This is a dump,” he said.

“It’s all right.”

“We could get out of here and go someplace better. Will you be able to sleep here? It’s pretty bad.”

“I don’t mind. I think I could sleep anywhere, now.”

He went over to her and put his arm around her. “Poor kid. You must be dead.”

“Almost.” She yawned. “This place isn’t so bad. There’s a bed — that’s all I care about right now. What time is it?”


“I’m not hungry. Are you?”


“We’ll eat when we wake up. Right now I wouldn’t know whether to order breakfast or dinner, anyway, so let’s just get to sleep. We couldn’t stay at a better hotel anyway, honey. We’re such a mess they wouldn’t take us in. Don’t unpack the suitcase.”

“Why not?”

“Because I wouldn’t want to put any clothes in that dresser. None that I ever intended to wear. What are our names, incidentally? I didn’t see what you wrote.”

He told her.

“Cassiday,” she said. “So many different names lately. Did you ever use phony names when you took other girls to motels?”


“I bet you did. What names did you use?”

“Jesus,” he said.

She grinned suddenly, a quick and wicked grin. Then she stepped away from him and began to unbutton her blouse. She took it off and asked him to unhook her bra. He did this. She took the bra off and crossed the room to set it and the blouse on the room’s only chair, and he looked at her and was surprised when a sudden uncontrollable burst of desire shot through him. She began getting out of her skirt. He tried looking away from her but her body drew his eyes magnetically.

For God’s sake, he thought. He turned away, toward the door, and said that he had to go downstairs for a minute.

“What for?”

“There’s a drugstore on the corner,” he said. “A few things I wanted to pick up.”

“Just don’t pick up any girls.”

“Don’t be silly.”

She laughed happily at him. “First kiss me goodbye,” she said.

He turned again. She was wearing a slip and stockings, nothing else. Her face was drawn with exhaustion and her skin was pale but this only served to make her still more desirable. She held her arms out to him and he caught her and kissed her. She pressed herself tightly against him and held the kiss.

When he let go of her she said, “I’ll wait up for you.”



“I might be a while,” he said.

He wound up going to the drugstore after all. He bought a street guide there but it didn’t do him much good. It told him what streets Lorring Avenue crossed, but he had never heard of any of those streets and wasn’t even sure what borough East New York was in, or whether it was a separate suburb on Long Island. There was a West New York, he knew, and it was in New Jersey.

The drugstore had a pocket atlas of New York, with maps of the whole city, and he bought that. East New York turned out to be a part of Brooklyn. Brooklyn was a slightly lopsided diamond, and East New York was just above the eastern point of the diamond, north and west of Canarsie. He managed to find Lorring Avenue but couldn’t figure out how to get there.

He bought two packs of cigarettes at the drugstore. He ate a candy bar. He weighed himself on a penny scale. According to the scale, he was a full twelve pounds under his normal weight, but he wasn’t sure how accurate the scale might be.

He killed a few minutes that way to give Jill a chance to fall asleep. He could have made love to her, he thought. She would have let him, might even have been able to enjoy it, and God knew he wanted her, the passion no less strong because of its suddenness.

On the way back to the room he stopped at the floor’s communal bathroom. He thought of taking a shower but changed his mind when he saw what the tub looked like. He washed his hands and face at the sink and went to the room, let himself in with his key. She was asleep, lying on top of the bedclothes, naked. She slept on her side facing the door with her knees bent, one arm under her head, the other up in front of her face. He saw the curves of her breasts.

He got undressed and lay down beside her, facing away from her. The bed was too small. Their bodies touched. She made a small sound in her sleep. He moved a little away from her and closed his eyes, trying to relax. He lay there for quite a while, wide awake, and then sleep came all at once.

Назад: Chapter 12
Дальше: Chapter 14