The Melody Lingers On

The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark

Book: The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Higgins Clark
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers
was a comfort to both of them.
    But being a comfort to them isn’t the same as helping them, he thought as he drove home in the gloomy, cloud-filled afternoon that was a reflection of his state of mind.

24

    A t 26 Federal Plaza Rudy Schell stared in frustration at the newspapers on his desk. Besides the ones from New York, there were the
Washington
Post
, the
Chicago Tribune
, the
Los Angeles Times
, and the
San Francisco Examiner
.
    On every front page there was a picture of Parker Bennett and Eleanor Becker.
    Rudy had interviewed Becker a half dozen times and had tried every trick in the book to trip her up on her story.
    Every instinct told him that she was not involved in the fraud. He had expressed his opinion to the prosecutor, who did not agree and had gone to the grand jury to get an indictment. She may be
dumb, he thought, but she’s not a crook.
    He corrected himself. She may not be dumb, but she sure is naïve if she never for one minute wondered about Bennett’s consistently high annual returns to the investors.
    The two people who might be in touch with Parker Bennett if he was still alive were his son, Eric, and his girlfriend, Sally Chico, alias Countess Sylvie de la Marco.
    They had been investigated up and down and no agency had been able to pin anything on them. Of course it was entirely possible, even probable, that they had unregistered prepaid phones that
could not be traced. Yesterday there had been an item in one of the gossip columns saying that famed interior decorator Glady Harper was redecorating the countess’s duplex.
    That meant she would be in and out of the apartment frequently. Would it work for him to ask Harper to keep her eyes and ears open when she was there? Would she cooperate with them, or have some
kind of loyalty to her client and tell her that she had been approached by the FBI to spy on her? He would have to weigh the decision.
    Now to figure out who could keep tabs on Eric Bennett.
    That would be harder. As far as any investigator could see, he had been something of a lone wolf since the scandal broke. Hard to tell if it was his choice to withdraw from the University Club
and the Racquet and Tennis Club, or if it had been suggested to him that it would be appropriate for him to withdraw. They had gotten permission to wire his mother’s town house in the hope
that she or Eric might say something that would help them find Parker Bennett.
    Rudy had Googled Glady Harper. There were volumes about her. She had redecorated the second floor of the White House, where the presidential family lived. Famously known for her blunt
appraisals, she had said of the painting of Dolley Madison’s sister on the wall of the Queen’s Bedroom, “That woman was so homely the queen must have turned it around on the wall
at night.”
    Schell noted that she had also redecorated Blair House, where visiting royalty now stayed during a state visit, and had won any number of awards in interior design.
    Ten years ago, Harper had decorated the baronial mansion of Parker Bennett in Greenwich. Now she was decorating the apartment of Countess Sylvie de la Marco in Manhattan. It was common knowledge
that the countess had had a long-running affair with Parker Bennett.
    Schell had to wonder: was she in touch with him now?

25

    C ountess Sylvie de la Marco had been born with the survival instinct of her hardscrabble background. That was what had transformed her from Sally
Chico of Staten Island to the holder of a title and a luxury apartment on Fifth Avenue. But now that background was giving her a warning, and it had to do with Parker.
    Of course people had guessed that for many years she and Parker had been an item even though they had been very discreet about their affair. In public they only went out in a group. From time to
time there had been blind items about it: “Which financier was holding hands under the table at Le Cirque with what titled socialite?”
    She had always made it her

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