The bourne supremacy, p.22
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       The Bourne Supremacy, p.22

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 22

  He opened the door and once again stood in the hallway, but his eyes did not see the wreckage. Instead, the logician in him ordered him to go back into his study and begin the procedures; there was nothing but confusion without imposed order, and confusion led to questions - he could not afford them. Everything had to be precise within the reality he was creating so as to divert the curious from the reality that was.

  He sat down at the desk and tried to focus his thoughts. There was the ever-present spiral notebook from the College Shop in front of him. He opened the thick cover to the first lined page and reached for a pencil. . . He could not pick it up! His hand shook so much that his whole body trembled. He held his breath and made a fist, clenching it until his fingernails cut into his flesh. He closed his eyes, then opened them, forcing his hand to return to the pencil, commanding it to do its job. Slowly, awkwardly, his fingers gripped the thin, yellow shaft and moved the pencil into position. The words were barely legible, but they were there.

  The university phone president and dean of studies. Family crisis, not Canada can he traced. Invent a brother in Europe, perhaps. Yes, Europe. Leave of absence brief leave of absence. Right away. Will stay in touch.

  House call rental agent, same story. Ask Jack to check periodically. He has key. Turn thermostat to 60�.

  Mail - fill out form at Post Office. Hold all mail.

  Newspapers - cancel.

  The little things, the goddamned little things - the unimportant daily trivia became so terribly important and had to be taken care of so that there would be no sign whatsoever of an abrupt departure without a planned return. That was vital; he had to remember it with every word he spoke. Questions had to be kept to a minimum, the inevitable speculations reduced to manageable proportions, which meant he had to confront the obvious conclusion that his recent bodyguards somehow led to his leave of absence. To defuse the connection, the most plausible way was to emphasize the short duration of that absence and to face the issue with a straightforward dismissal such as 'Incidentally, if you're wondering whether this has anything to do with. . . well, don't. That's a closed book; it didn't have much merit anyway. ' He would know better how to respond while talking to both the university's president and the dean; their own reactions would guide him. If anything could guide him. If he was capable of thinking! Don't slide back! Keep going. Move that pencil! Fill out the page with things to do - then another page, and another! Passports, initials on wallets or billfolds or shirts to correspond with the names being used; airline reservations - connecting flights, no direct routes - oh, God To where"] Marie! Where are you?

  Stop it! Control yourself. You are capable, you must be capable. You have no choice, so be what you once were. Feel ice. Be ice.

  Without warning, the shell he was building around himself was shattered by the ear-splitting sound of the telephone inches from his hand on the desk. He looked at it, swallowing, wondering if he were capable of sounding remotely normal. It rang again, a terrible insistence in its ring. You have no choice.

  He picked it up, gripping the receiver with such force that his knuckles turned white. He managed to get out the single word. 'Yes? ,

  This is the mobile-air operator, satellite transmission-'

  'Who? What did you say?"

  'I have a mid-flight radio call for a Mr Webb. Are you Mr Webb, sir?'

  'Yes. '

  And then the world he knew blew up in a thousand jagged mirrors, each an image of screaming torment.

  'David!'

  'Marie?'

  'Don't panic, darling! Do you hear me, don't panic!' Her voice came through the static; she was trying not to shout but could not help herself.

  'Are you all right? The note said you were hurt - wounded!'

  'I'm all right. A few scratches, that's all. '

  'Where are you?

  'Over the ocean, I'm sure they'll tell you that much. I don't know; I was sedated. '

  'Oh, Jesus! I can't stand it! They took you away!'

  'Pull yourself together, David. I know what this is doing to you, but they don't. Do you understand what I'm saying? They don't!'

  She was sending him a coded message; it was not hard to decipher. He had to be the man he hated. He had to be Jason Bourne, and the assassin was alive and well and residing in the body of David Webb.

  'All right. Yes, all right. I've been going out of my mind!'

  'Your voice is being amplified-'

  'Naturally. '

  They're letting me speak to you so you'll know I'm alive. '

  'Have they hurt you?"

  'Not intentionally. '

  'What the hell are "scratches"?1

  'I struggled. I fought. And I was brought up on a ranch. '

  'Oh, my God-"

  'David, please! Don't let them do this to you!'

  To me? It's you!'

  'I know, darling. I think they're testing you, can you understand that?'

  Again the message. Be Jason Bourne for both their sakes, for both their lives. 'All right. Yes, all right. ' He lessened the intensity of his voice, trying to control himself. 'When did it happen?' he asked. This morning, about an hour after you left. '

  This morning"? Christ, all day How?'

  They came to the door. Two men-'

  'Who?'

  'I'm permitted to say they're from the Far East. Actually, I don't know any more than that. They asked me to accompany them and I refused. 1 ran into the kitchen and saw a knife. 1 stabbed one of them in the hand. '

  The handprint on the door. . . '

  'I don't understand. '

  'It doesn't matter. '

  "A man wants to talk to you, David. Listen to him, but not in anger not in a rage - can you understand that?

  'All right Yes, all right. I understand. '

  The man's voice came on the line. It was hesitant but precise, almost British in its delivery, someone who had been taught English by an Englishman, or by someone who had lived in the UK. Nevertheless, it was identifiably Oriental; the accent was southern China, the pitch, the short vowels and sharp consonants sounding of Cantonese.

  'We do not care to harm your wife, Mr Webb but if it is necessary, it will be unavoidable. '

  'I wouldn't, if I were you,' said David coldly.

  'Jason Bourne speaks?'

  'He speaks. '

  The acknowledgement is the first step in our understanding. '

  'What understanding?

  'You took something of great value from a man. '

  'You've taken something of great value from me. '

  'She is alive. '

  'She'd better stay that way. '

  'Another is dead. You killed her. '

  'Are you sure about that?' Bourne would not agree readily unless it served his purpose to do so.

  'We are very sure. '

  'What's your proof?'

  'You were seen. A tall man who stayed in the shadows and raced through the hotel corridors and across fire escapes with the movements of a mountain cat. '

  'Then I wasn't really seen, was I? Nor could I have been. I was thousands of miles away. ' Bourne would always give himself an option.

  'In these times of fast aircraft, what is distance?' The Oriental paused, then added sharply. 'You cancelled your duties for a period of five days two and a half weeks ago. '

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll
Add comment

Add comment