I was strolling down 75th Street on the Upper East Side when I heard someone call my name.
It’s hard to stop and turn around on a sidewalk in New York when a gazillion people are tramping in the opposite direction. I thought I was imagining things, but then I heard it again.
“Josiah! JOSIAH REYNOLDS!!”
I ducked into a doorway and cautiously peered around a column. There did indeed appear to be a rotund lady wrapped in a beige cashmere coat with matching leopard printed hat and gloves, hoofing to where I was hiding–I mean waiting. Okay. I was hiding.
Out of breath, she started to go into the building under whose portico I had taken refuge, when she spied me behind the marble edifice. “Josiah Reynolds. I thought that was you. Then I thought, no, it couldn’t be. June told me you were visiting New York, and that I should call you, and that’s exactly what I was going to do this afternoon, but then poof–there you were, right in front of me. I never thought my luck could be that good.” She peered closely at me. “You are Josiah Reynolds, are you not, the woman who lives next door to Lady Elsmere? I was tempted to call you Josie. Josiah’s such an unusual name for a woman.”
“And you are?” I asked. Hey, I wasn’t going to admit who I was. This woman could be a bill collector or a hit man for all I knew.
Don’t jump to conclusions. I am not paranoid.
“I am Bunny Witt of the Philadelphia Witts, not to be confused with the Boston Whitts. They spell their name differently, with an h.”. . .
“The Carlyle Hotel is just around the corner. Let me buy you a drink at Bemelmans Bar and I can explain my predicament.” She gave my arm a little tug. “Just give me twenty minutes. Please.”
“In that case, you can have twenty-two minutes of my time.”. . .
“Please get to the point, Bunny.”
“Yes. Yes. To the point. Josiah,” she said, laying her hand on my arm, which kept me from taking a much-needed drink of my pink champagne. What was the point of getting a free cocktail if one couldn’t drink it? I wanted to shake her hand off, but she hung on to me like a tick on a hound. She looked around and then leaned toward me. “I think someone is stalking me.”
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