by Marty Terwilliger, from Sheila Connolly's Fundraising the Dead
I don’t usually do stuff like this—I’m more a behind the scenes kind of person—but Nell Pratt asked me to, and I feel kind of responsible for her, since I more or less shoved her into the position of President of the Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiquities. The job isn’t as glamorous as it sounds, because the place is kind of shaky these days. But then, so are a lot of museums and libraries. Hard times for cultural institutions these days.
Oh, right, you don’t know me. I’m Martha Terwilliger, but I usually go by Marty. I’m on the board of directors for the Society, and I’m one of the only ones there with any sense—the others are mostly suits with checkbooks, who show up at meetings four times a year. My father was chairman of the board, and his father was before him. Peope around here don’t talk about things like money much. There are people would call the Terwilliger family “old Philadelphia.” Mostly that means we’ve been around here since William Penn laid out the place, and we sit on a lot of boards. And we know a lot of people, because we went to prep school and summer camp with them.
So when the last President made a fast and unwilling exit from the position, I convinced the rest of the board to appoint Nell as Interim President until things got sorted out. I know she can handle the job—if she’d just stop getting mixed up in murders. To be fair, she was the one who found the body at the Society the first time around, so that wasn’t her fault. But now she’s gotten herself entangled with Arabella Heffernan and that children’s museum across town. I should mention, I don’t have children, but I’ve had relatives who were on the board at Let’s Play, so I know a little about what goes on there. Who would have thought someone would get killed at a children’s museum? Trust Nell to be in the thick of it. I have to admire her for helping Arabella—it’s important that colleagues stick together. Arabella’s a good sort, not that I know her well, and it’s a nice little museum she runs. I can certainly see why finding bodies there could be bad for business.
Of course, Nell’s also got my cousin Jimmy to keep an eye on her. To the rest of the world that would be Special Agent James Morrison of the FBI—but I knew him when, and he was a pain in the, uh, posterior when he was a kid. Hard to believe he ended up in law enforcement. He won’t admit it, but sometimes he has to ask me who’s who and what’s what in Philadelphia society—I’m his secret weapon. I don’t mind—I’m glad he’s looking out for Nell, although sometimes she’s a little quicker than he is to figure out these murders. They make a good team—not that I’m matchmaking or anything. Nell’s got enough to do right now running the Society. With my help, of course.