The bourne supremacy, p.123
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.123

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 123


  'Find it,' commanded Jason.

  Suddenly, in the distance behind them they heard the hysterical shouts of men ordered by their maniacal leader back to the gate, told to find and kill an intruder so dangerous that their very lives and fortunes were in the balance. The jagged, paper remnants of fireworks had been found; a radio had been activated with no response from a gatehouse. Find him! Stop him! Kill him!

  'If you have any ideas, Major, forget them!' yelled Bourne.

  'Major?' said the commando, barely able to speak, as he kept running.

  'You're an open book to me, and what I've read makes me sick! You watched d'Anjou die like a slaughtered pig. You grinned, you bastard. ' 'He wanted to die! He wanted to kill me!'

  'I'll kill you, if you stop running. But before I do I'll slice you up from your balls to your throat so slowly you'll wish you'd gone with the man who created you. '

  'Where's my choice? You'll kill me anyway!'

  'Maybe I won't. Ponder it. Maybe I'm saving your life. Think about it!'

  The assassin ran faster. They raced through the final dark path, running into the open space of the floodlit gate.

  'The parking lot!' shouted Jason. 'The far right end!' Bourne stopped. 'Hold it!' The bewildered assassin stood still in his tracks. Jason took out his penlight, then aimed his automatic. As he walked up to the killer's back he fired five shots, missing with one. The floodlights exploded; the gate fell into darkness and Bourne rammed the gun into the base of the commando's skull. He turned on the penlight, shining it into the side of the assassin's face. 'The situation is in hand, Major,' he said. 'The operation proceeds. Move, you son of a bitch?

  Racing across the darkened parking lot, the killer stumbled, sprawling prone on the gravel. Jason fired twice in the glow of the penlight; the bullets ricocheted away from the commando's head. He got to his feet and continued running past the cars and the truck to the end of the lot.

  'The fence!' cried Bourne in a loud whisper. 'Head over to it. ' At the edge of the gravel he gave another order. 'Get on your hands and knees - look straight ahead] You turn around, I'm the last thing you'll see. Now, crawl!' The assassin reached the broken opening in the fence. 'Start through it,' said Jason, once more reaching into his pocket for shells and quietly removing the automatic's magazine. 'Stop!' he whispered when the psychotic former commando was halfway through. He replaced the expended bullets in the darkness and cracked the magazine into its chamber. 'Just in case you were counting,' he said. 'Now get through there and crawl two lengths away from the fence. Hurry up!'

  As the assassin scrambled under the bent wire, Bourne crouched and surged through the opening inches behind him. Expecting otherwise, the commando whipped around, rising to his knees. He was met by the beam of the penlight, the glow illuminating the weapon levelled at his head. I'd have done the same,' said Jason, getting to his feet. 'I'd have thought the same. Now go back to the fence, reach under, and yank that section back into place. Quickly!'

  The killer did as he was told, straining as he pulled the thick wire mesh down. At the three- quarter mark Bourne spoke. 'That's enough. Get up and walk past me with your hands behind your back. Go straight ahead, shouldering your way through the branches. My light's on your hands. If you unclasp them I'll kill you. Am I clear?'

  'You think I'd snap a limb back in your face?'

  I would. '

  'You're clear. '

  They reached the road in front of the eerily dark gate. The distant shouts were clearer now, the advance party nearer. 'Down the road,' said Jason. 'Run!' Three minutes later, he snapped on the penlight. 'Stop!' he shouted. That pile of green over there, can you see it?'

  'Where?' asked the breathless assassin.

  'My beams on it. '

  'They're branches, parts of the pine trees. '

  'Pull them away. Hurry up!'

  The commando began throwing the branches aside, in moments revealing the black Shanghai sedan. It was time for the knapsack. Bourne spoke. 'Follow my light, to the left of the bonnet. '

  To what? The tree with the white notch on the trunk. See it?'

  'Yes. '

  'Under it, about eighteen inches in front, there's loose dirt. Beneath there's a knapsack. Dig it out for me. '

  'Fucking technician, aren't you?'

  'Aren't you?'

  Without replying, the sullen killer dug through the dirt and pulled the knapsack out of the ground. With the straps in his right hand, he stepped forward as if to hand the bag to his captor. Then suddenly he swung the knapsack, sweeping it diagonally up towards Jason's weapon and the penlight as he lunged forward, the fingers of-his hands spread like the extended claws of a huge, furious cat.

  Bourne was prepared. It was the precise moment he would have used to gain the advantage, however transient, for it would have given him the seconds he needed to race away into the darkness. He stepped back, smashing the automatic into the assassin's head as the lunging figure passed him.

  He crashed his knee down into the back of the splayed-out commando, grabbing the man's right arm while clenching the penlight between his teeth.

  'I warned you,' said Jason, yanking the killer up by his right arm. 'But I also need you. So instead of your life, we'll do a little bullet-surgery. ' He put the barrel of his automatic laterally against the flesh of the assassin's arm muscle and pulled the trigger.

  'Jesus!' screamed the killer as the spit echoed and blood erupted.

  'No bone was broken,' said Delta. 'Only muscle tissue, and now you can forget about using your arm. You're fortunate that I'm a merciful man. In that knapsack is gauze and tape and disinfectant. You can repair yourself, Major. Then you're going to drive. You'll be my chauffeur in the People's Republic. You see, I'll be in the back seat with my gun at your head, and I have a map. If I were you, I wouldn't make a wrong turn. '

  Twelve of Sheng Chou Yang's men raced to the gate, only four flashlights among them. 'Wei shemme? Cuo wu!'

  'Mafan! Feng kuang. r

  'You mao bing!'


  A dozen screaming voices were raised against the unlit floodlights, blaming everything and everyone from inefficiency to treachery. The gatehouse was checked; the electric switches and the telephone were found to be inoperative, the guard nowhere in evidence. Several studied the coiled chain around the gate's lock and issued orders to the others. Since none could get out, they reasoned, the offenders had to be inside the sanctuary.

  'Biao? shouted the infiltrator who had been the false prisoner. 'Quart bu zai zheli? he shrieked, telling the others to share the lights and search the parking lot, the surrounding woods and the swamps beyond. The hunters spread out, guns extended, racing across the parking area in different directions. Seven additional men arrived, only one carrying a flashlight. The false prisoner demanded it and proceeded to explain the situation so to form another search party. He was countered by objections that one light among them was insufficient for the darkness. In frustration the organizer roared a series of profanities, ascribing incredible stupidity to everyone but himself.

  The dancing flames of torches grew brighter as the last of the conspirators arrived from the glen, led by the striding figure of Sheng Chou Yang, the ceremonial sword swinging at his side in its belted scabbard. The infiltrator showed him the coiled chain and repeated his argument. 'You're not thinking correctly,' said Sheng, exasperated. 'Your approach is wrong! That chain was not placed there by one of our people to keep the criminal or criminals inside. Instead, it was put there by the offender or the offenders to delay us, to keep us inside!'

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