The Girl with the Phony Name

The Girl with the Phony Name by Charles Mathes

Book: The Girl with the Phony Name by Charles Mathes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charles Mathes
mentioned any of this,” said Lucy.
    Mrs. Iatoni shrugged. “The charges were always dropped. When he was caught Alex would plead ‘simple misunderstanding’ and return the money. No tourist was going to wait around months for a jury trial when they could just take their money and run.”
    â€œSo you’re saying that my mother could have been a tourist. Your brother could have picked us up at the airport and been taking us practically anywhere.”
    â€œThat’s right. My guess would be that they were heading for Boston—the scenic route—but who knows?”
    Lucy’s heart sank. Boston, of course, was the first place she had looked for Trelaines, paging through the phone books at the orphanage when she was seven years old. If there was one thing in the world she was sure of, it was that there weren’t any Trelaines in Boston.
    Theresa Iatoni smiled sweetly, her conscience cleared at last. Lucy tried to smile back. She had come a long way to find such a dead end.
    â€œYou got some mail, Lucy,” said Tina as Lucy dragged herself through the front door feeling like a sack of overcooked pasta.

    â€œI did?” said Lucy absently, taking the large manila envelope with a New Hampshire postmark.
    â€œYou have fun crusin’ in the Neal-mobile?”
    â€œHuh? Oh, sure. Anybody asking for me?”
    â€œNope. Mr. Wing’s in the basement, inventing. Neal is out with Hewby.”
    â€œThanks, Tina,” said Lucy and headed for the back stairs, trying to fight the depression that had veiled her since her conversation with Theresa Iatoni. If her mother was just a tourist passing through, then searching for birth records in New York City was pointless. She could have been born anywhere.
    â€œAt least I won’t pass along the tacky furniture gene,” Lucy advised the door to the rear of the house as she opened it. Aunt Sally was in the kitchen.
    â€œI made you a sammich, Lucy,” said Aunt Sally in her frightened child’s voice. Lucy wasn’t really hungry but couldn’t bear to hurt the woman’s feelings.
    â€œThank you, Aunt Sally. I’ll take it upstairs with me.”
    â€œWould you like a glass of milk?”
    â€œNo, just the sandwich will be fine.”
    Aunt Sally padded over to the refrigerator and handed Lucy a plate draped in wax paper.
    â€œThanks very much,” said Lucy, bounding up the stairs, feeling guilty. Not only was she not helping Mr. Wing raise money, she was eating him out of house and home as well.
    Flopping listlessly on the bed, Lucy unwrapped the sandwich and took a bite. Tuna fish. Her least favorite. Chewing unhappily she tore open the manila envelope. It was her mail that Billy Rosenberg had forwarded, of course. Lucy had finally called to touch base with him last week.
    The envelope included the usual bank and credit-card statements, some junk mail, a tax form. One letter, however, caught her eye. The return address was from a Robert MacAlpin in New York City. Lucy liked to hear from MacAlpins,
but couldn’t place the name at first. Then she remembered. The insurance man. This really was her lucky day.
    She sighed and opened the letter. It contained a single sheet of Home Trust stationery and was dated three weeks ago.

    Dear Miss Trelaine,
    I’ve been doing some thinking since our conversation and realize now that I do know something about you. In fact I think I can clear up the whole mystery.
    I tried to reach you at the TownLodge, but you had already checked out. With your experience in hotels I would have thought you might have left a forwarding address, but I’m writing to the address in New Hampshire you gave me in the hopes that you will receive it before too long.
    Please call me at the telephone number above as soon as you receive this. I am very eager to meet with you and explain everything.
    Yours truly,
Robert MacAlpin

    Lucy had dropped the sandwich and was sitting

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