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Evil Breeding

Evil Breeding

Titel: Evil Breeding
Autoren: Susan Conant
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Peter told Jocelyn, I gather that there was trouble from the beginning. Really, I think that B. Robert had the world’s worst case of sibling rivalry about the baby. He didn’t want to share Christina’s affection. Nothing Peter did was ever right. He got into trouble in school, kept flunking out of prep schools, and eventually got drafted and sent to Vietnam. When he got back, he moved into a cottage, a hovel, way at the back of his parents’ property, and just sort of stayed there, doing kennel work, yard work, odd jobs, drifting along. And assisting his father in other ways, too. Then he met Jocelyn, who didn’t know she was adopted until just before she got married. Her parents decided to tell her. And she stupidly told B. Robert, who threw a fit about having his family tainted with blood from God knows where. Can you believe it? Of all people?”
    “Oh yes,” said Althea. “I certainly can believe it.”
    “But strangely enough, when Christopher was born, his grandfather moved in and took over. It reminds me of what Marcellus Hartley did. He was M. Hartley Dodge’s grandfather. He basically was Remington Arms and a lot else. His daughter died in childbirth, and he raised the baby, Marcellus Hartley Dodge, who, of course, married Geraldine Rockefeller. So in sort of the same way, Christopher became his grandfather’s son. And B. Robert did everything he could to poison the relationship between Peter and Christopher. Christopher lived in the big house. Peter and Jocelyn were still stuck in a hovel.”
    “With expectations of inheritance.”
    “Yes. Justified expectations, too. They really were included in B. Robert’s will. Both of them. Separately. He wasn’t stupid. He knew how to use people. He knew how to keep Peter and Jocelyn where he wanted them. Obviously, the strategy was effective.”
    “And Gerhard?”
    “A German import, so to speak,” I said. “Mr. Motherway brought Gerhard here from Germany when Gerhard was ten. I have a hunch that the immediate use he had for Gerhard was to help him smuggle something from Germany. Just as his stepfather had used him, of course. Once they got here, he must have made plans for Gerhard. He really kept Gerhard in a kind of servitude. Christopher got the education B. Robert had wanted for himself. Gerhard’s job was to do what B. Robert said when he said it. Jocelyn says he was a docile boy, not very bright, pitifully eager for approval, very shy and very isolated, socially awkward. He had artistic ambitions, but no talent. He couldn’t even draw. He didn’t finish high school. He became B. Robert’s lackey and, to some extent, Christopher’s. He took care of the cars, drove for Mr. Motherway, did what he was told. As far as I can tell, it was all the same to him. Polishing the car, murdering Peter, following Jocelyn and reporting back to Mr. Motherway. He was at Mount Auburn when I gave her the envelope. He called Mr. Motherway to tell him. Once Mr. Motherway was sure she was on her way home, he waited for her there. He sent Gerhard back to Mount Auburn. They talked on Gerhard’s car phone. Mr. Motherway wanted Peter’s murder explained. Jocelyn’s suicide was supposed to do that. The police were supposed to decide that she drowned herself where she’d left her husband’s body.”
    “At the Gardner vault. Whence that eccentric interest in Isabella Stewart Gardner?”
    “What Gerhard tells the police, Althea, is that it began after the heist. He’s confessed to that. He says he was one of the actual robbers, the men disguised as Boston police officers. He says that Fenway Court was the most beautiful place he’d ever been. His words are, I’m told, that he was crazy about it the second he walked in. Of course, he’s also confessed to ten or twenty other art thefts and to assorted other crimes. For example, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby.”
    “He wasn’t born yet.”
    “He says he was. He also helped Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate John Kennedy, and that was before he was born, too. What’s not imaginary is his obsession with Isabella Stewart Gardner. He lived in a room in the basement of the Motherways’ house. Kevin Dennehy, my friend who’s with the Cambridge police, told me about it. He heard the place was a shrine to Mrs. Gardner. The walls were plastered with reproductions of works at Fenway Court, and there were tons of clippings about the robbery. What also seems to be true is that Gerhard cracked up about the time
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