Crime Time (Chapter One, page 2 of 12)


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Betsy and I agreed as we were eager to share our news with someone. It would allow my future wife, who was from Iowa, to view a part of the country she'd never seen. It pleased me doubly; to show off my fiancée and escape the rush of August in New York.

Betsy and I met last fall while jogging in Central Park. Both of us were new to New York City, and had few or no friends. It began with a glance as we passed each other the first time, a smile the next two or three laps, and then a pretend rest stop. We chatted briefly, agreed to have coffee and have been nearly inseparable ever sense. Each of us maintains our own apartment, but when Betsy is in town, we spend most nights together.

For all you gadabouts and tourists used to driving hither and yon, a weekend trip to New England is a piece of cake. But picture Ben and Betsy, two city dwellers, neither owning a car. That's not uncommon for Big Apple young people, living on a modest income in a financially immodest city. So after a cab ride to the airport rental agency, we escaped the fumes of Manhattan on an August Friday noon and joined the city escapees heading north.

Betsy Morganthaw, my fiancée, was employed by a public relations firm at a wage half again as much as her future husband. I, Ben Gustefson, collated boring statistical figures while locked in a cramped cubical of a company that offered me no future potential. Betsy toured the country, staying in plush hotels and dining in fine restaurants, all paid for by a boss who thought she was God's eldest daughter. To this day I wonder why she took a step backwards on the alter steps by marrying me.

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