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Authors: Ruthe Ogilvie

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BOOK: Cast An Evil Eye
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As if by cue the phone rang, and in a few moments the maid appeared at the door.

“A call for Miss Courtney,” she announced.

Courtney jumped up from the table. “Who is it?” she asked excitedly. “Is it a man?”

The maid smiled at her enthusiasm. “Yes, dear,” she told her, “it’s a man.”

“Manny!” she exclaimed. She almost tripped over herself rushing into the house. Although there was a phone on the patio, she elected not to use it. She wanted her privacy. She could feel instinctively the vibrations of disapproval from the others. She picked up the phone, breathless with anticipation. “Hello?” This has to be Manny! she muttered. Please—let it be Manny!

But it wasn’t Manny. It was the producer of “Déjà Vu.”

“Courtney! Glad I got you! This is Glen Macdonald. I called to invite you to a cast party tonight at Sardi’s right after the last curtain call. We want all of you to come. You, your parents, your grandparents—whoever is staying with you in Scarsdale. Can you make it?”

A mixture of emotions assailed Courtney. Excitement at hearing Glen’s voice. Her heart raced. This was quickly followed by disappointment that it wasn’t Manny. She found it totally confusing. For a moment she was silent. She was flattered and wanted to go, but she so much wanted Manny to be there with her. Why hasn’t he called?

“Courtney? Are you there?” she heard Glen say.

She was jolted out of her thoughts. “Yes—yes, I’m still here. I think we can make it. Wait a minute. I’ll ask my folks.”

She put the phone down and poked her head out the door. “It’s Glen Macdonald,” she told them. “He wants us all to attend a big bash at Sardi’s tonight after the last curtain call. Is that okay with you?”

“That’s fine,” Jay told her. “We have no other plans.”

Courtney went back and picked up the phone. “They said fine. We’ll be there.”

She hung up and walked back to the patio. Breakfast was served buffet style. The table was spread with all kinds of delicious food. Three large tureens stood over flames to keep their contents warm. One was filled with a huge cheese omelet enhanced with bacon bits, onion, and avocado. The one next to it held diced potatoes browned to perfection. And the third one was filled with sautéed mushrooms. The delicious odors filled the air every time one of them lifted the cover. There was also hot oatmeal for anyone who wanted it, and plenty of orange juice and coffee. And of course Danish pastries and Scotch Shortbreads, with Dundee Ginger Marmalade to top them off. The aroma was enough to tempt anyone—anyone, that is, who hadn’t lost her appetite.

Courtney picked at her food. She emitted a deep sigh filled with longing. If only Glen—uh—Manny were here everything would be perfect. Why do I keep getting them mixed up? she wondered. Again that feeling of confusion took over.


dejected Courtney rode in the limousine with the others that night. She still hadn’t heard from Manny. There were several calls during the day, but every time she asked if it was Manny she was told no, it was just a business call.

She tossed her head in defiance. I wonder if Manny called and nobody bothered to tell me? she thought. They dislike him so much I wouldn’t put it past them. She couldn’t accept the fact that maybe he just hadn’t called.

The limousine pulled up in front of Sardi’s Restaurant and they all got out.

With a whoop of unbridled joy Courtney spotted Manny standing outside.

He approached her, all smiles. “I couldn’t call you,” he explained. “I tried to get the number from information, but they told me it was unlisted, and they refused to give it to me. I had a feeling I might find you here. I saw a notice in the paper that a party would be given at Sardi’s tonight for the cast of ‘Déjà Vu.’”

Courtney grabbed his arm and steered him toward the door of the restaurant. “I’m so glad you came!” she exclaimed. “Come and join us!” She completely ignored the looks of disapproval from her folks.

There was a table reserved for them with eight seats. The waiter quickly retrieved another chair for Manny.

Glen Macdonald, standing across the room, spotted them and came over. He was much younger than one would expect a producer to be. About the age that Jay was when he started producing Broadway shows. Tall and handsome, with light brown, wavy hair and blue eyes, Glen caused quite a commotion among the ladies as they watched him make his way across the floor to the Stuart’s table.

“Courtney!” he greeted her. “I’m so glad you could make it.” He took her hand in his. He nodded to the others, but his full attention was focused on Courtney.

Manny, sitting beside Courtney, put his arm around her shoulder in a possessive manner.

Cammie bristled, remembering how Gregory Wilcox, Jr. had done the same thing when Jeremy was talking with her so many years ago as they sat at a table at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

Hildy, sitting opposite Cammie, was also remembering the phony charm that oozed from Gregory Wilcox, Sr. when he fooled her into believing he was something he wasn’t.

Zack, sitting beside Jay, recalled how both Gregory, Sr. and Gregory, Jr. were finally exposed for what they really were, and wondered when Manny’s schemes would be revealed as to what he was after where Courtney was concerned. He also recalled how stubborn Cammie had been when they all tried to warn her about Greg, Jr. Although they had been able to rescue her from certain death at his hands, they had almost been too late. He shuddered just thinking about it. His intuition told him it could very easily happen again—this time to Courtney.

“Why don’t you join us?” Jay asked Glen. He motioned to the waiter. “Please bring another chair. I think there’s room enough here for ten people.” He emphasized the word “ten” hoping that Manny might bow out.

Manny, however, stuck to Courtney like a tube of fast sticking glue.

It would take a derrick to pull him away from her! Jay mused. He, too, felt that Manny was up to no good. He turned and glanced at Zack, who sat stone-faced, and Jay knew he wasn’t alone in his fears. Hildy, Cammie, and Jeremy weren’t very successful in hiding their feelings either, although he could see the effort they were making.

He noticed that Glen Macdonald was obviously attracted to Courtney, and found himself wishing that she were more interested in him. She seems almost in a trance where Manny is concerned, he surmised. She’s acting as though she’s under some kind of hypnotic spell. I’ll have to speak to Zack when I get the chance. Let’s hope Zack’s former partner, Gus Johnson, will come up with something soon.

The cast from the theatre was just arriving, and soon the place was brimming with excited voices. The waiters were beginning to serve the food and drinks.

Glen stood up with his glass of champagne. “A toast!” he declared. “To Courtney Dubonnet, who has blessed us with an outstanding musical which I know will be one of the longest running hits on Broadway! Thanks to her we all have jobs that will last a long, long time! To Courtney!” He took her hand and pulled her up. “Take a bow, Courtney! You’ve done a super job!” He put his arm around her shoulders and grinned at the patrons as he stood proudly by her side.

Jay saw the guarded look on Courtney’s face as she tried to hide how she felt. He could see that she was thrilled at Glen’s touch! She’s attracted to him!

Then he saw the expression on Manny’s face. He was positively irate. Especially when Courtney smiled up at Glen.

Jay had all he could do to remain in his seat. What is Manny afraid of? he wondered. How he wished he would just disappear.

It was two o’clock in the morning when the party finally broke up.

Manny accompanied them to the limousine. Courtney gazed at him with adoration. He put his arm around her and pressed his face against hers. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he promised. “I have the phone number now.”

“Why don’t you drive out to the house instead?” Jay heard her suggest.

He held his breath, hoping Manny would refuse, but he didn’t.

“I’ll do that!” he exclaimed. “What a great idea!”

Again, that look of triumph, as though he had planned it. Jay cringed, and was surprised when he heard Zack say—“Good! We’ll see you then. Call and tell us when to expect you.”

Zack has something in mind, Jay figured. I have to trust that.

A delighted Courtney sat in the limousine chatting like a magpie on the way home. Quite a different mood than when they drove into the city. Manny was coming tomorrow, and she didn’t try to hide her feelings.

What has gotten into her? Jay wondered again. I’ve never seen her act like this. She may be young, but she’s usually pretty clearheaded. Something is strange. She’s attracted to Glen, but she seems absolutely entranced with Manny. What is going on?


ater that night Hildy sat in front of the mirror in the bedroom brushing her hair.

Jay emerged from the bathroom in his pajamas and robe. He walked over to the window and looked out. The moon made a shimmering path across the ocean as the waves danced and sparkled, and he breathed deeply as he opened the window just a crack.

Without turning around he addressed Hildy. “Aren’t you coming to bed? You’ve been brushing your hair for the past ten minutes. If you keep on you won’t have any hair left,” he chided.

Reluctantly Hildy put the brush down on the vanity and walked over to him. Her voice trembled as she spoke. “I keep thinking how hard we tried to help Cammie when she was so taken in by Gregory Wilcox’s son, and how difficult it was to make her listen. Now we’re having the same trouble with Courtney.”

“Things turned out just fine for Cammie,” Jay reminded her. “She eventually came to her senses.”

Hildy snorted. “Almost too late! That’s what has me worried. The similarity between Cammie’s and my situation and Courtney’s is uncanny. Déjà vu!” She shook her head. “She’s so young.”

“The same age Cammie was when she met Greg, Jr.,” Jay reminded her.

Hildy looked pleadingly at Jay. “Courtney hasn’t learned the lessons that Cammie and I have. We both learned the hard way.”

“So did I,” Jay said. “And I was a few years older than you and Cammie when I had the wool pulled over my eyes by Gregory Wilcox. I was so fooled by him. I can’t believe I was so naive that I almost ruined our life together.”

BOOK: Cast An Evil Eye
7.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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