The bourne supremacy, p.141
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.141

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 141

 

  The seconds were ticked off in milliseconds of premeditated violence, at once accepted and reviled. David Webb was silenced, as Jason Bourne again assumed complete command. Get away from me! This is all we've got left!

  The first man fell, his ribcage shattered, his voice stilled by the force of a blow to his throat. The second man was accorded preferential treatment. It was vital that he remain cognizant, even alert, for what followed. He dragged both men into the deepest shadows of the alley, ripping their clothes with his knife, binding their feet, their arms and their mouths with strips of their own clothing.

  His arms pinned beneath Jason's knees, the blade of the knife breaking the flesh around the socket of his left eye, the second man received Bourne's ultimatum. 'My wife] Where is she? Now] Or lose your eye, then the other one! I'll carve you up, junggwo, believe me!' He ripped the gag from the man's mouth.

  'We are not your enemy, Zhangfu!' cried the Oriental in English, using the Cantonese word for husband. 'We have been trying to find her! We hunt everywhere!'

  Jason stared down at the man, the knife trembling in his hand, his temples throbbing, his personal galaxy about to explode, the heavens to rain down fire and pain beyond his imagination. 'Marie!' he screamed in agony. 'What have you done with her? I was given a guarantee] I bring out the merchandise and my wife is returned to me! I was to hear her voice on the phone but the phone doesn't work! Instead, a trace is put on me and suddenly you're here but my wife isn't! Where is she?'

  'If we knew, she would be here with us. '

  'Liar!' cried Bourne, drawing out the word.

  'I'm not lying to you, sir, nor should I be killed for not lying to you. She escaped from the hospital-'

  "The hospital?

  'She was ill. The doctor insisted. I was there, outside her room, watching over her! She was weak but she got away-'

  'Oh, Christ! Sick? Weak! Alone in Hong Kong! My God, you've killed her. '

  'No, sir! Our orders were to see to her comfort-'

  'Your orders,' said Jason Bourne, his voice flat and cold. 'But not your taipan's. He followed other orders, orders given before in Zurich and Paris and on Seventy-first Street in New York. I've been there - we've been there. And now you've killed her. You used me, as you used me before and when you thought it was over you took her away from me. What's the "death of one more daughter"? Silence is everything. ' Jason suddenly gripped the man's face with his left hand, the knife poised in his right. 'Who's the fat man? Tell me, or the blade goes in! Who's the taipan?'

  'He's not a taipan! He is British schooled and trained, an officer much respected in the territory. He works with your countrymen, the Americans. He's with the intelligence service. '

  'I'm sure he is. . . From the beginning it was the same. Only this time it wasn't the Jackal but me. I was moved around the chessboard until I had no choice but to hunt myself - an extension of myself, a man called Bourne. When he brings him in, kill him. Kill her. They know too much. '

  'No!' cried the Oriental, perspiring, his eyes wide, staring at the blade pressing into his flesh. 'We are told very little but I have heard nothing like that!'

  'What are you doing here then? asked Jason harshly.

  'Surveillance, I swear it! That's all!'

  'Until the guns move in? said Bourne icily. 'So your three-piece suits can stay clean, no blood on your shirts, no traces back to those nameless, faceless people you work for. '

  'You're wrong! We are not like that, our superiors are not like that!'

  'I told you, I've been there. You're like that, believe me. . . Now you're going to tell me something. Whatever this is, it's down and dirty and totally secure. Nobody runs an operation like that without a camouflaged base. Where is it?'

  T don't understand you. '

  'Headquarters or Base Camp One, a sterile house or a coded Command Centre - whatever the hell you want to call it. Where is it?'

  'Please, I cannot-'

  'You can. You will. If you don't you're blind, your eyes cut out of your head. Now!'

  'I have a wife, children?

  'So did I. Both counts. I'm losing patience. ' Jason stopped, only slightly reducing the pressure of the blade. 'Besides, if you're so sure you're right - that your superiors aren't what I say they are, where's the harm? Accommodations can be reached. '

  'Fes!' yelled the frightened man. 'Accommodations! They are good men. They won't harm you!'

  They won't have a chance,' whispered Bourne.

  'What, sir?'

  'Nothing. Where is it? Where's this oh-so-quiet headquarters? Now!' 'Victoria Peak!' said the petrified intelligence subordinate. The twelfth house down on the right, with high walls. . . '

  Bourne listened to the description of a sterile house, a quiet, patrolled estate among other estates in a wealthy district. He heard what he had to hear; there was nothing else he needed. He smashed the heavy bone handle of the knife into the man's skull, replaced the gag and rose to his feet. He looked up at the fire escape, at the barely discernible outline of the impostor's body.

  They wanted Jason Bourne and were willing to kill for him. They would get two Jason Bournes and die for their lies.

  Chapter Thirty-one

  Ambassador Havilland confronted Conklin in the hospital corridor outside the police emergency room. The diplomat's decision to speak to the CIA man in the busy, white-walled hallway was predicated on the fact that it was busy - nurses and ancillaries, doctors and specialists, roamed the halls conferring and answering phones that seemed to ring continuously. Under the circumstances Conklin would be unlikely to indulge in a loud, heated argument. Their discussion might be charged, but it would be quiet; the ambassador could make his case better under those conditions.

  'Bourne's made contact,' said Havilland.

  'Let's go outside,' said Conklin.

  'We can't,' replied the diplomat. 'Lin is in grave danger but we may be able to see him any minute. We can't miss that opportunity and the doctor knows we're here. '

  'Then let's go back inside. '

  'There are five other people in the emergency room. You don't want them overhearing us any more than I do. '

  'Christ, you cover your ass, don't you?

  'I have to think of all of us. Not one or two or three of us, but all of us. '

  'What do you want from me?'

  The woman, of course. You know that. '

  'I know that - of course. What are you prepared to offer?

  'My God, Jason Bourne?

  'I want David Webb. I want Marie's husband. I want to know that he's alive and well in Hong Kong. I want to see him with my own eyes. ' 'That's impossible. ' 'Then you'd better tell me why. '

  'Before he shows himself he expects to speak with his wife within thirty seconds of contact. That's the agreement. ' 'But you just said he made contact!' 'He did. We didn't. We couldn't afford to without having Marie Webb near the phone. ' 'You've lost me!' said Conklin angrily. 'He had his own conditions, not unlike yours, which is certainly understandable. You were both-' 'What were they?' broke in the CIA man. 'If he made the call, it meant that he had the impostor - it was the bilateral agreement. ' 'Jesus! "Bilateral" 'Both sides agreed to it. ' 'I know what it means! You just send me into space, that's all. ' 'Keep your voice down . . . His condition was that if we did not produce his wife within thirty seconds, whoever was on the phone would hear a gunshot, meaning that the assassin was dead, that Bourne had killed him. '

 
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