The bourne supremacy, p.124
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.124

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 124

 

  'But there are too many obstacles-'

  'Studied and considered!' shouted Sheng Chou Yang. 'Must I repeat myself? These people are survivors. They stayed alive in that criminal battalion called Medusa because they considered everything! They climbed out!'

  'Impossible,' protested the younger man. The top rail and the extended panel of barbed wire are electrified, sir. Any weight in excess of thirty pounds activates them. That way the birds and animals are not electrocuted. '

  Then they found the source of the current and shut it off!'

  The switches are inside, and at least seventy-five metres from the gate, concealed in the ground. Even I am not sure where they are. '

  'Send someone up,' ordered Sheng.

  The subordinate looked around. Twenty feet away two men were talking quietly, rapidly, to each other; it was unlikely either had heard the heated conversation. 'You!' said the young leader, pointing to the man on the left.

  'Sir?

  'Scale the fence!'

  'Yes, sir!' The lesser subordinate ran to the fence and leaped up, his hands gripping the open, crisscrossing squares of wire mesh as his feet worked furiously below. He reached the top and started over the angled panel of coiled barbed wire. 'Aiyaaa!'

  A shattering cascade of static was accompanied by blinding, blue-white bolts of fired electricity. His body rigid, his hair and eyebrows singed to their roots, the climber fell backward, hitting the earth with the impact of a heavy flat rock. Flashlight beams converged. The man was dead.

  The truck? screamed Sheng. This is idiocy! Bring out the truck and break through! Do as I say! Instantly?

  Two men raced into the parking lot and within seconds the roar of the truck's powerful engine filled the night. The gears whined as reverse was found. The heavy truck lurched backward, its whole chassis shaking violently until it came to a sudden, leaden stop. The deflated tyres spun, smoke curling up from the burning rubber. Sheng Chou Yang stared in growing apprehension and fury.

  The others? he shrieked. 'Start the others! All of them!'

  One by one the vehicles were started, and one after another each lurched in reverse only to rattle and groan, sinking into the soft gravel unable to move. In a frenzy, Sheng ran up to the gate, pulled out a gun and fired twice into the coiled chain. A man on his right screamed, holding his bleeding forehead as he fell to the ground. Sheng raised his face to the dark sky and screamed a primeval roar of protest. He yanked out his ceremonial sword and began crashing it repeatedly down on the chained lock of the gate. It was an exercise in futility. The blade broke.

  Chapter Twenty-eight

  There's the house, the one with the high stone wall,' said CIA Case Officer Matthew Richards as he drove the car up the hill in Victoria Peak. 'According to our information, there are marines all over the place, and it won't do me any goddamned good being seen with you. '

  'I gather you want to owe me a few more dollars,' said Alex Conklin, leaning forward and peering through the windshield. 'It's negotiable. '

  'I just don't want to be involved, for Christ's sake! And dollars I haven't got. '

  'Poor Matt, sad Matt. You take things too literally. '

  'I don't know what you're talking about. '

  'I'm not sure I do, either, but drive by the house as if you were going to somebody else's place. I'll tell you when to stop and let me out. '

  'You will?'

  'Under conditions. Those are the dollars. '

  'Oh, shit. '

  'They're not hard to take and I may not even call them in. The way I see it now, I'll want to stay on ice and out of sight. In other words, I want a man inside. I'll call you several times a day asking you if our lunch or dinner dates are still on, or whether I'll see you at the Happy Valley Race-'

  'Not there,' interrupted Richards.

  'All right, the Wax Museum - anything that comes to mind, except the track. If you say "No, I'm busy", I'll know I'm not being closed in on. If you say "Yes", I'll get out. '

  'I don't even know where the hell you're staying! You told me to pick you up on the corner of Granville and Carnarvon. '

  'My guess is that your unit will be called in to keep the lines straight, and the responsibility where it belongs. The British will insist on it. They're not going to take a solo fall if DC blows it. These are touchy times for the Brits over here so they'll cover their colonial asses. '

  They passed the gate. Conklin shifted his gaze and studied the large Victorian entrance.

  'I swear, Alex, I don't know what you're talking about. '

  'That's better yet. Do you agree? Are you my guru inside?'

  'Hell, yes. I can do without the marines. '

  'Fine. Stop here. I'll get out and walk back. As far as anyone's concerned I took the tram to the Peak, got a cab to the wrong house and made my way to the right address only a couple of hundred feet down the road. Are you happy, Matt?'

  'Ecstatic,' said the case officer, scowling as he braked the car.

  'Get a good night's sleep. It's been a long time since Saigon, and we all need more rest as we get older. '

  'I heard you were a lush. It's not true, is it?'

  'You heard what we wanted you to hear,' replied Conklin, flatly. This time, however, he was able to cross the fingers of both hands before he climbed awkwardly out of the car.

  A brief knock and the door was flung open. Startled, Havilland looked up as Edward McAllister, his face ashen, walked rapidly into the room. 'Conklin's at the gate,' said the undersecretary. 'He's demanding to see you and says he'll stay there all night if he has to. He also says if it gets chilly, he'll build a fire in the road to keep warm. '

  'Crippled or not, he hasn't lost his panache,' said the ambassador.

  This is totally . unexpected,' continued McAllister, massaging his right temple. 'We're not prepared for a confrontation. ' 'It seems we haven't a choice. That's a public road out there, and it's the province of the colony's Fire Department in the event our neighbours become alarmed. '

  'Surely, he wouldn't-'

  'Surely, he would,' broke in Havilland. 'Let him in. This isn't only unexpected, it's extraordinary. He hasn't had time to assemble his facts or organize an attack that would give him leverage. He's openly exposing his involvement, and given his background in covert to black operations, he wouldn't do that lightly. It's far too dangerous. He himself once gave the order for beyond-salvage. '

  'We can presume he's in touch with the woman,' protested the undersecretary, heading for the telephone on the ambassador's desk. That gives him all the facts he needs!'

  'No, it doesn't. She hasn't got them. '

  'And you,' said McAllister, his hand on the phone. 'How does he know to come to youT

  Havilland smiled grimly. 'All he'd have to hear is that I'm in Hong Kong. Besides, we spoke, and I'm sure he's put it all together. '

  'But this house?

  'He'll never tell us. Conklin's an old Far East hand, Mr Undersecretary, and he has contacts we can't presume to know about. And we won't know what brings him here unless he's admitted, will we?'

 
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