Книга: Deadly Honeymoon
Назад: Chapter 6
Дальше: Chapter 8

Chapter 7

The desk clerk said, “Mrs. Wade left about a half hour ago, sir. Or maybe a little more than that. Let me see, I came on at midnight, and then I had a cup of coffee at two-thirty, and then your wife left the hotel just as I was finishing my coffee. It must have been a quarter to three, I would guess.” It was just three-thirty now. Forty-five minutes, he thought. Jill had been gone for forty-five minutes.

“Is anything wrong, Mr. Wade?”

“No,” he said. “Nothing’s wrong.” He forced a smile. “She probably couldn’t sleep,” he said. “Probably went out for coffee.”

He went back upstairs and sat in the room and smoked another cigarette. Jill was gone. Jill had gotten up in the middle of the night, alone, and had dressed and left. For coffee? It was possible, he guessed. But for three-quarters of an hour?

She had left the hotel by herself. The immediate fear, the automatic reaction once he realized she was gone, was the worry that someone had come to take her away. But that was senseless. No one knew about either of them, no one knew where they were staying. And no one had called their room, either. He would have heard the phone no matter how deeply he was sleeping, for one thing. And the desk clerk would probably have mentioned a call.

He checked the whiskey bottle. It was as full as it had been. If she wanted a drink, he thought, she would have had it there. She wouldn’t go barhopping by herself in the middle of the night. Coffee, then. Coffee and a sandwich, maybe.

Why hadn’t she come back?

He put on a coat and went down to the lobby and out into the night. It was still raining, but the rain had slowed to a drizzle. Most of the lights were out on Forty-fifth Street. He walked to the corner of Sixth. The Cobb’s Corner was open, and he went inside and looked around, but she wasn’t there. He went out again and stood on the corner in the rain, looking around, trying to figure out where she might be. There were three or four open restaurants that he could see and, along Sixth Avenue, more than a dozen bars. She could be anywhere. Or she could be somewhere else, and not in any of these places.

Check them all? It didn’t make any sense. And suppose she wanted to get in touch with him, and called him, and he wasn’t there. Or suppose she got back to the hotel while he was out looking for her.

He went back to the Royalton. He sat in a chair, and then he got up suddenly and looked for her purse. The large brown purse was on a chair. He opened it, and saw the gun; she had left it behind. But the purse was empty otherwise, and he guessed that she had transferred everything to the black-calf purse before leaving.

Where could she have gone? Just out for coffee, he told himself. Just out for coffee, and if he would just sit back and relax she would return to the room in no time at all. But he couldn’t make himself believe it She wouldn’t be gone this long.

He remembered again, unwillingly now, the sudden rush of reality that had come that night after the call to Lublin. The quick and certain proof that this was no game they were playing, no treasure hunt. That, and then the unsuccessful attempt to make love.

And he thought, We never should have come. We should have left that place and gone somewhere else until the honeymoon was over, and then we should have gone back to Binghamton. No pursuit, no chase, no revenge. We should have gone home.

Because he knew, now, what had happened. Jill had panicked. The initial shock of violation had steeled her, had made her determination for revenge equal to his own, but by now her reactions had cooled and jelled and had changed from determination to panic. He remembered the look in her eyes when he had taught her to use the gun, and he remembered the way she had wanted to wait a day before going after Lublin. Panic, panic. The hunt was wrong for a woman, for a girl; she was no huntress, no killer, and she had not been able to take it, and now she was gone.

Where? Back to Binghamton, he thought. Back to her home, where she knew everyone and where she would be safe. He had misjudged her and now she was running, and he paced the floor of their room and tried to figure out what to do next. At one point he started to pack their clothes into their suitcases, then suddenly changed his mind and put everything back where it had been. He took the gun from her purse and held it first in one hand and then in the other, switching it nervously back and forth, finally sighing and returning it to the large brown bag.

Twice he picked up the bottle of V.O. and each time he put it back without drinking. One time he uncapped it. The other time he just held it in both hands and looked at the amber whiskey.

At twenty minutes after four, the phone rang. He was sitting right next to it, sitting on the edge of the bed. When it rang he dropped a cigarette onto the rug. He didn’t bother to pick it up but ground it into the carpet while he reached for the phone.

“Dave? Did I wake you?”

“My God, where are you?”

“I’m calling from a drugstore. Relax, darling. I’m all right. I didn’t mean to frighten you, but—”

“Where are you?”

“Get a pencil.”

He started to say something, changed his mind and got up. His pen and his little notebook were on the top of the dresser. He got them and opened the notebook and said, “All right. Where are you?”

“A drugstore. It’s on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Ditmas Avenue — that’s in Brooklyn.”

“What are you—”

She cut in on him. “Get in a cab,” she said easily. “Come here as soon as you can. I’ll be waiting right here, in the store. And bring the thing in my brown purse. All right?”


“Flatbush and Ditmas,” she said. “I’m sorry if I worried you, darling. And hurry.”

Назад: Chapter 6
Дальше: Chapter 8