The bourne supremacy, p.129
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.129

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 129


  That left the man in Aberdeen, and he was something of a puzzle to Lin. The agent was older than the others, a small man who always dressed impeccably, a logician and former accountant who professed such loyalty that Lin almost made him a confidant, but had pulled himself up short when he was close to revealing things he should not reveal. Perhaps because the man was nearer his own age he felt a stronger kinship . . . On the other hand what an extraordinary cover for a mole from Beijing! Married to an English woman, a member of the rich and social Yacht Club by way of marriage. Everything was in place for him; he was respectability itself. It seemed incredible to Lin, his closest colleague, that the irascible older man who imposed such order but still wanted to arrest an Australian brawler for causing Dragonfly to lose face, could have been reached by Sheng Chou Yang and corrupted . . . No, impossible* Perhaps, thought the major, he should go back and examine further a comical off-duty agent who wanted all clients to be told he was in the Antarctic, or the overworked father of triplets who was willing to answer phones to escape his domestic chores.

  These speculations were not in order! Lin Wenzu shook his head as if ridding his mind of such thoughts. Now. Here. Concentrate! His sudden decision to move came from the sight of a stairway. He walked over to it and climbed the steps to the balcony; the projection room was directly in front of him. He knocked once on the door and went inside, the weight of his body breaking the cheap, thin bolt on the door. 'Ting zhil yelled the projectionist; a woman was on his lap, his hand under her skirt. The young woman leaped away from her perch, turning to the wall.

  'Crown Police,' said the major, showing his identification. 'And I mean no harm to either of you, please believe that. ' 'You shouldn't!' replied the projectionist. This isn't exactly a place of worship. '

  'That might be disputed, but it certainly isn't a church. ' 'We operate with a fully paid licence-' 'You have no argument from me, sir,' interrupted Lin. The Crown simply needs a favour, and it could hardly be against your interests to provide it. '

  'What is it?' asked the man, getting up, angrily watching the woman slip through the door.

  'Stop the film for, say, thirty seconds and turn up the lights. Announce to the audience that there was a break and that it will be repaired quickly. ' The projectionist winced. 'It's almost over! There'll be screaming!'

  'As long as there are lights. Do it I' The projector ground down with a whir, the lights came up, and the announcement was made over the loudspeaker. Trie projectionist was right. Catcalls echoed throughout the motion picture house, accompanied by waving arms and numerous extended third fingers. Lin's eyes scanned the audience - back and forth, row by row.

  There was his man . . . Two men - the agent was leaning forward talking to someone Lin Wenzu had never seen before. The major looked at his watch, then turned to the projectionist. 'Is there a public phone downstairs?' 'When it works, there is. When it isn't broken. ' 'Is it working now?' 'I don't know. ' ' 'Where is it?' 'Below the staircase. ' Thank you. Start the film again in sixty seconds. '

  'You said thirty!'

  'I've changed my mind. And you do enjoy the privileges of a good job because of a licence, don't you?

  They're animals down there!'

  'Put a chair against the door,' said Lin, going outside. The lock's broken. '

  In the lobby beneath the staircase the major passed the exposed pay phone. Barely pausing, he yanked the spiral cord out of the box and proceeded outside to his car, stopping at the sight of a phone booth across the road. He raced over and read the number, instantly memorizing it and ran back to the car. He climbed into the seat and looked at his watch; he backed up the car, drove out into the street and double parked several hundred feet beyond the cinema's marquee. He turned his headlights off and watched the entrance.

  A minute and fifteen seconds later the defector from Beijing emerged, looking first to his right, then to his left, obviously agitated. He then looked straight ahead, seeing what he wanted to see, what Lin expected him to see, since the telephone in the theatre was not working. It was the phone booth on the other side of the road. Lin dialled as his subordinate ran over to it, spinning into the plastic shell that faced the street. It rang before the man could insert his coins.

  'Xun su! Xiao Xi!' Lin coughed as he whispered. 'I knew you would find the phone! Sheng! Contact instantly! Sapphire is gone!' He replaced the microphone, but left his hand on the instrument, expecting to remove it with the agent's incoming call on his private line.

  It did not come. He turned in his seat and looked back at the open, plastic shell of the pay phone across the road. The agent had dialled another number, but the defector was not speaking to him. There was no need to drive to Aberdeen.

  The major silently got out of the car, walked across the street into the shadows of the far pavement and started towards the pay phone. He stayed in the relative darkness, moving slowly, calling as little attention to his bulk as he could, cursing, as he often did, the genes that had produced his outsized figure. Remaining well back in the shadows he approached the phone. The defector was eight feet away, his back to Lin, talking excitedly, exasperation in every sentence.

  'Who is Sapphire! Why this telephone! Why would he reach me"!. . . No, I told you, he used the leader's name!. . . Yes, that's right, his name! No code, no symbol! It was insane?

  Lin Wenzu heard all he had to hear. He pulled out his service automatic and walked rapidly out of the darkness.

  'The film broke and they turned up the lights! My contact and I were-'

  'Hang up the phone!' ordered the major.

  The defector spun around. 'You!' he screamed.

  Lin rushed the man, his immense body crushing the double agent into the plastic shell as he grabbed the phone, smashing it into the metal box. 'Enough? he roared. Suddenly, he felt the blade slicing with ice-cold heat into his abdomen. The defector crouched, the knife in his left hand, and Lin squeezed the trigger. The explosion filled the quiet street as the traitor dropped to the pavement, his throat ripped open by the bullet, blood streaming down his clothes, staining the concrete below.

  'M made!'' screamed a voice on the major's left, cursing him. It was the second man, the contact who had been inside the theatre talking with the defector. He raised a gun and fired as the major lunged, his huge bleeding torso falling into the man like a wall. Flesh blew apart in Lin's upper right chest, but the killer's balance was shaken. The major fired his automatic; the man fell clutching his right eye. He was dead.

  Across the street, the pornographic film had ended and the crowd began to emerge on the street, sullen, angry, ungratified. And with what remained of his enormous strength, the badly wounded Lin picked up the bodies of the two dead conspirators and half dragged, half carried them back to his car. A number of people from the Pagoda's audience watched him with glazed or distinterested stares. What they saw was a reality they could not contend with or comprehend. It was, beyond the narrow confines of their fantasies.

  Alex Conklin rose from the chair and limped awkwardly, noisily to the darkened bay window. 'What the hell do you want me to say?' he asked, turning and looking at the ambassador.

  That given the circumstances, I took the only road open to me, the only one that would have recruited Jason Bourne. ' Havilland held up his hand. 'Before you answer, I should tell you in all fairness that Catherine Staples did not agree with me. She felt I should have appealed to David Webb directly. He was, after all, a Far East scholar, an expert who would understand the stakes, the tragedy that could follow. '

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