The bourne supremacy, p.18
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.18

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 18


  'Come on,' objected Teasdale quietly, suspiciously. That's crazy. It couldn't happen. '

  'It happened!' yelled Webb. 'My wife happened!'

  'What about your wife? What are you talking about?'

  'She's gone, you bastard - all of you, bastards! You let it happen!' Webb grabbed his wrist, gripping it with all his strength to stop the trembling. 'I want answers, Sam. 1 want to know who cleared the way, who turned] I've got an idea who it is but I need answers to nail him - nail all of you, if I have to. '

  'Hold it right there!' broke in Teasdale angrily. 'If you're trying to compromise me, you're doing a rotten fucking job of it! This boy's not for neutering. Get off. Go sing to your head doctors, not to me! I don't have to talk to you, all I have to do is report the fact that you called me, which I'll do the second I cut you loose. I'll also add that I got hit with a bucket of bullshit! Take care of that head of yours-'

  'Medusa!' cried Webb. 'No one wants to talk about codename Medusa, do they? Even today it's way down deep in the vaults, isn't it?'

  There was no click on the line this time. Teasdale did not hang up. Instead, he spoke flatly, no comment in his voice. 'Rumours,' he said. 'Like Hoover's raw files - raw meat -good for stories over a few belts, but not worth a hell of a lot. '

  'I'm not a rumour, Sam. I live, I breathe, I go to the toilet and I sweat - like I'm sweating now. That's not a rumour. '

  'You've had your problems, Davey. '

  '1 was there! I fought with Medusa! Some people said I was the best, or the worst. It's why I was chosen, why I became Jason Bourne. '

  'I wouldn't know about that. We never discussed it, so I wouldn't know. Did we ever discuss it, Davey?'

  'Stop using that goddamned name. I'm not Davey. "

  'We were "Sam" and "Davey" in Virginia, don't you remember?' '

  That doesn't matter! We all played games. Morris Panov was our referee, until one day you decided to get rough. '

  'I apologized,' said Teasdale gently. 'We all have bad days.

  I told you about my wife. '

  'I'm not interested in your wife! I'm interested in mine! And I'll rip open Medusa unless I get some answers, some help?

  'I'm sure you can get whatever help you think you need if you'll just call your contact at State. '

  'He's not there! He's gone!'

  Then ask for his back-up. You'll be processed. '

  "Processed] Jesus, what are you, a robot?'

  'Just a man trying to do his job, Mr Webb, and I'm afraid I can't do any more for you. Good night. ' The click came and Teasdale was off the phone.

  There was another man, thought David at fever pitch, as he stared at the list, squinting as the sweat filled his eye sockets. An easy going man, less abrasive than the others, a Southerner, whose slow drawl was either a cover for a quick mind or the halting resistance to a job in which he felt himself uncomfortable. There was no time for invention.

  'Is this the Babcock residence?'

  'Surely is,' replied a woman's voice imbued with magnolia. 'Not our home, of course, as I always point out, but we surely do reside here. '

  'May I speak with Harry Babcock, please?'

  'May Ah ask who's callin', please? He may be out in the garden with the kids, but on the other hand he may have taken them over to the park. It's so well lit these days - not like before - and you just don't fear for your life as long as you stay. . . '

  A cover for quick minds, both Mr and Mrs Harry Babcock.

  'My name is Reardon, State Department. There's an urgent message for Mr Babcock. My instructions are to reach him as soon as possible. It's an emergency. '

  There was the bouncing echo of a phone being covered, muffled sounds beyond. Harry Babcock got on the line, his speech slow and deliberate. 'I don't know a Mr Reardon, Mr Reardon. All mah relays come from a particular switchboard that identifies itself. Are you a switchboard, sir?'

  'Well, I don't know if I've ever heard of someone coming in from a garden, or from across the street in a park so quickly, Mr Babcock. '

  'Remarkable, isn't it? I should be runnin' in the Olympics, perhaps. However, I do know your voice. I just can't place the name. '

  'How about Jason Bourne?

  The pause was brief - a very quick mind. 'Now, that name goes back quite a while, doesn't it? Just about a year, I'd say. It is you, isn't it, David. ' There was no question implied.

  'Yes, Harry. I've got to talk to you. '

  'No, David, you should speak with others, not me. '

  'Are you telling me I'm cut off?'

  'Good heavens, that's so abrupt, so discourteous. I'd be more than delighted to hear how you and the lovely Mrs Webb are doing in your new life. Massachusetts, isn't it?'

  'Maine. '

  'Of course. Forgive me. Is everything well? As I'm sure you realize, my colleagues and I are involved with so many problems we haven't been able to stay in touch with your file. '

  'Someone else said you couldn't get your hands on it. '

  'Ah don't think anybody tried to. '

  'I want to talk, Babcock,' said David harshly.

  '1 don't,' replied Harry Babcock flatly, his voice nearly glacial. 'I follow regulations, and to be frank, you are cut off from men like me. I don't question why - things change, they always change. '

  'Medusa!' said David. 'We won't talk about me, let's talk about Medusa?

  The pause was longer than before. And when Babcock spoke, his words were now frozen. This phone is sterile, Webb, so I'll say what I want to say. You were nearly taken out a year ago, and it would have been a mistake. We would have sincerely mourned you. But if you break the threads, there'll be no mournin' tomorrow. Except, of course, your wife. '

  'You son of a bitch She's gone She was taken! You bastards let it happen?

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

  'My guards' They were pulled, every goddamned one of them, and she was taken! I want answers, Babcock, or I blow everything apart! Now, you do exactly as I tell you to do, or there'll be mournings you never dreamed of - all of you, your wives, orphaned children - try everything on for size! I'm Jason Bourne, remember!'

  'You're a maniac, that's what I remember. With threats like those we'll send a team to find you. Medusa style. Try that on for size, boy!'

  Suddenly a furious hum broke into the line; it was deafening, high-pitched, causing David to thrust the phone away from his ear. And then the calm voice of an operator was heard: 'We are breaking in for an emergency. Go ahead, Colorado. '

  Webb slowly brought the phone back to his ear.

  'Is this Jason Bourne?' asked a man in a mid-Atlantic accent, the voice refined, aristocratic.

  'I'm David Webb. '

  'Of course you are. But you are also Jason Bourne. '

  ' Was,' said David, mesmerized by something he could not define.

  'The conflicting lines of identity get blurred, Mr Webb. Especially for one who has been through so much. '

  'Who the hell are you?' 'A friend, be assured of that. And a friend cautions one he calls a friend. You've made outrageous accusations against some of our country's most dedicated servants - men who will never be permitted an unaccountable five million dollars - to this day unaccounted for. '

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