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.He still will; he’ll have no choice.No judge wants a lawyer from either side parading perjured testimony in front of a jury and getting away with it.De Freitas would have to discipline Lazarus, and if he does, there goes Lazarus’ political career.”Winthrop stood and gave a little bow, then walked with a heavy, old man’s tread toward the door of the coffeehouse.I watched him go, then ordered a second cappuccino.He’d left me with a great deal to think about.Underneath my ringing defense of Matt, there was an uneasy suspicion that Winthrop and Zebart might just be right about Matt.He’d wanted Lazarus destroyed; he had to feel the same way about Eddie Fitz.Had Matt gone from my bed to the stone steps of the courthouse instead of to St.Andrew’s Church? Had the man who’d held me in his arms, made hot, sweet love to me, gone from me to the killing ground where Eddie Fitz lay in his own blood?That would be worse than going to Taylor’s.Or would it?I needed to know.I needed to know whether he’d betrayed me with Taylor or with murder.Either way, it was betrayal, and I wasn’t sure which I hated more, but I had to know the truth.One way, of course, was to ask the lemon-haired lady in question.The doorman let me up without a second glance.Apparently I was dressed well enough for the Upper East Side; the designer briefcase didn’t hurt either.My low-heeled Ferragamos clicked on the tile floor.The lobby was decorated in black and white, with silver accents and not a speck of color.It was as cold and unwelcoming a place as I’d ever seen in the five boroughs.But it was chic as hell.Her apartment was directly under the penthouse, which meant she had almost the same million-dollar view for considerably less in monthly maintenance.Shrewd, but then I’d never thought Riordan was a man who liked dumb broads.She opened the door with a wide but puzzled smile.She invited me in with the same cool grace she’d probably used on the New York magazine people when they’d come to photograph her apartment.As I recalled, the theme of the article was “Country Life in the Heart of the City.”What people in the Midwest think of as country: mass-produced wooden doodads with little carved holes in the shape of hearts.Dried flower arrangements with the flowers dyed Federal-blue.Cute sayings in calligraphy with folk-art designs around the border.Anything with geese on it, especially if the geese are wearing ribbons around their necks.What Taylor Fredericks considered country: a Shaker chair, just one, against a white wall, an authentic shawl draped over the little rod on the back.A sampler, dated 1823, framed, next to a doll’s quilt with yellow and pink butterflies.A warming pan of highly polished brass, a hand-embroidered footstool next to a rocking chair hand-carved in mellow yellow wood.A dry sink with a painted china basin.In short, a very high-class antique shop—with modern touches: a print (or was it a print?) of a painting by Leonor Fini, a glass-and-brass coffee table with a big book on the Wyeths lying invitingly on top, a Noguchi lamp next to the rocking chair.I could live here.I could really live here.For the first time, I saw Taylor Fredericks as a person.If she lived in a place that appealed to me, a place I could see myself living in, then she had to be somebody I might actually like if I got to know her.I didn’t want to get to know her.I didn’t want to like her.All I wanted was to find out if Riordan had said anything important to her the night that Eddie Fitz had three bullets pumped into him.She asked if I wanted tea.Tea, yet.I withdrew the notion of liking her; this was all too civilized for me.I nodded; tea meant I’d be staying a while, and I wanted all the time I could get with her.I explored the bookshelves while she went into the kitchen.The kitchen I didn’t have to see; I remembered that very well from the magazine piece.Copper everywhere.A stripped pine table with turned legs.A pie safe.I’d always wanted a pie safe.Her books were hardcover, lots of modern fiction, mainly by women.A whole shelf of heavy picture books on American antiques.Some pop history, no pop psychology.No genre fiction.All hard-core quality.I thought of my prized collection of Dell mapbacks and wondered if she had a softcover in the place.Maybe the bedroom; I wondered how I could catch a glimpse of—The old bathroom dodge.I could peek in on the way to the powder room.And then I could sneak open the door to the medicine cabinet and wipe out my entire day’s stock of self-respect.The prescription bottles were in the name of Sarah T.Fredericks.The “T” had to be for Taylor, which she’d taken as her first name, dumping the too prosaic Sarah.Hah.I knew a name like Taylor Fredericks was too good to be true.What else about her was phony? Her ash-blond hair? I didn’t expect to find any telltale Clairol bottles; that kind of color you pay a fortune for on Fifty-seventh Street.There were no paperbacks in the bedroom.The book on her night table was the latest Alice Walker.And the quilt on the bed was to die for.A friendship quilt, with the names of all the ladies who’d worked on it sewn into the border.The design was log cabin, with rich colors and odd squares depicting buildings that seemed taken from life: a school-house, a church, a barn, a—“What are you doing in here?”“God, what a fantastic quilt!” This was not cleverness on my part; I coveted the quilt, and the fact that I’d originally opened the door to spy on her was wholly forgotten.Who cared what she read or what her real name was? She had wonderful taste and the luck and money to indulge it.“It’s from Pennsylvania,” Taylor said, a hint of pride creeping into her voice.“It’s called a friendship—”“I know,” I interrupted.“Because a group of women make it for a friend, usually someone who’s going away.They were often made for minister’s wives, when their husbands moved on to a new congregation.”She nodded agreement.“This one was made for a doctor’s wife,” she explained.“The buildings in the odd squares were real buildings in the town of—”“God, it’s gorgeous.How ever do you find a thing like that?”“I spend a lot of time antiquing,” she said.She turned toward the bedroom door, a subtle sign that I should follow.I did.“I apologize for going into your bedroom,” I said.“I just saw that quilt and I had to get a closer look.”“Matt didn’t say you were an antique buff,” Taylor remarked.“I’m not.Not like you.I have a few pieces given to me by clients on Atlantic Avenue, but nothing like this.”We talked antiques through the first cup of tea.Earl Grey, a little flowery for me [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]