The bourne supremacy, p.36
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.36

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 36


  'Huanying!' cried a voice, followed by the appearance of a youngish looking man. He came out of a panelled door in one of those tightfitting European suits that exaggerate the shoulders and hug the waist, the rear panels of the jacket flowing like a peacock's tail - the product of designers determined to be chic at the price of neutering the male image.

  'This is Mr Wu Song, sir,' said Pak-fei, bowing first to the merchant and then to Webb. 'It is not necessary for you to give your name, sir, '

  'Bu!' spat out the young merchant, pointing at David's attache case. 'Bu jing ya!'

  'Your client, Mr Song, speaks fluent Chinese. ' The driver turned to David. 'As you heard, sir, Mr Song objects to the

  presence of your briefcase. '

  'It doesn't leave my hand,' said Webb.

  'Then there can be no serious discussion of business,' rejoined Wu Song in flawless English.

  'Why not? Your man checked it. There are no weapons inside, and even if there were and I tried to open it, I have an idea I'd be on the floor before the lid was up. '

  'Plastic?' said Wu Song, asking a question. 'Plastic microphones leading to recording devices where the metal content is so low as to be dismissed even by sophisticated machinery?'

  'You're paranoid. '

  'As they say in your country, it goes with the territory. '

  'Your idiom's as good as your English. '

  'Columbia University, seventy-three. '

  'Did you major in armaments?'

  'No, marketing. '

  'Aiya!' shrieked Pak-fei, but he was too late. The rapid colloquy had covered the movement of the guards; they had walked across the room, at the last instant lunging at Webb and the driver.

  Jason Bourne spun, dislodging his attacker's arm from around his shoulder, clamping it under his own and twisting it further in place, forcing the man down and smashing the attache case up into the Oriental's face. The moves were coming back to him. The violence was returning as it had returned to a bewildered amnesiac on a fishing boat beyond the shoals of a Mediterranean island. So much forgotten, so much unexplained, but remembered. The man fell to the floor, stunned, as his partner turned in fury to Webb after pummelling Pak-fei to the ground. He rushed forward, his hands held up in a diagonal thrust, his wide chest and shoulders the base of his dual battering rams. David dropped the attache case, lurched to his right, then spun again, again to his right, his left foot lashing up from the floor, catching the Chinese in the groin with such force that the man doubled over, screaming. Webb instantly kicked out with his right foot, his toe digging into the attacker's throat directly beneath his jaw; the man rolled on the floor, gasping for air,

  one hand on his groin, the other gripping his neck. The first guard started to rise; Bourne stepped forward and smashed his knee into the man's chest, sending him halfway across the room where he fell unconscious beneath a display case.

  The young arms merchant from Columbia University was stunned. His eyes explained: he was witnessing the unthinkable, expecting any moment that what he saw would be reversed, his guards the victors. Then suddenly, emphatically, he knew it was not going to happen; he ran in panic to the panelled door, reaching it as Webb reached him. David gripped the padded shoulders, spinning the merchant back across the floor. Wu Song tripped over his twisting feet and fell; he held up his hands, pleading.

  'No, please! Stop! I cannot stand physical confrontation! Take what you will!'

  'You can't stand what?'

  'You heard me, I get ill?

  'What the hell do you think all this is about?' yelled David, sweeping his arm around the room.

  'I service a demand, that is all. Take whatever you want, but don't touch me. Please?

  Disgusted, Webb crossed to the fallen driver, who was getting to his knees, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. 'What I take, I pay for,' he said to the arms merchant as he grabbed the driver's arm and helped him to his feet. 'Are you all right?'

  'You ask for great trouble, sir,' replied Pak-fei, his hands trembling, fear in his eyes.

  'It had nothing to do with you. Wu Song knows that, don't you, Wu?

  'I brought you here!' insisted the driver.

  To make a purchase,' added David quickly. 'So let's get it over with. But first tie up those two goons. Use the curtains. Rip them down. '

  Pak-fei looked imploringly at the young merchant.

  'Great Christian Jesus, do as he says? yelled Wu Song. 'He will strike me! Take the curtains! Tie them, you imbecile?

  Three minutes later Webb held in his hand an odd-looking gun, bulky but not large. It was an advanced weapon; the

  perforated cylinder that was the silencer was pneumatically snapped on, reducing the decibel count of a gunshot to a loud spit - but no more than a spit - the accuracy unaffected at close range. It held nine rounds, clips released and inserted at the base of the handle in a matter of seconds; there were three in reserve - thirty-six shells with the fire power of a. 357 Magnum available instantly in a gun half the size and weight of a Colt. 45.

  'Remarkable,' said Webb, glancing at the bound guards and a quaking Pak-fei. 'Who designed it? So much expertise was coming back to him. So much recognition. From where?

  'As an American, it may offend you,' answered Wu Song, 'but he is a man in Bristol, Connecticut, who realized that the company he works for - designs for - would never recompense him adequately for his invention. Through intermediaries he went on the closed international market and sold to the highest bidder. '


  'I do not invest. I market. '

  That's right, I forgot. You service a demand. '

  'Precisely. '

  'Whom do you pay?

  'A numbered account in Singapore, I know nothing else. I'm protected, of course. Everything's on consignment. '

  'I see. How much for this?

  Take it. My gift to you. '

  'You smell. I don't take gifts from people who smell. How much?

  Wu Song swallowed. The list price is eight hundred American dollars. '

  Webb reached into his left pocket and pulled out the denominations he had placed there. He counted out eight $100 bills and gave them to the arms merchant. 'Paid in full,' he said.

  'Paid,' agreed the Chinese.

  Tie him up,' said David, turning to the apprehensive Pak-fei. 'No, don't worry about it. Tie him up!'

  'Do as he says, you idiot?

  Then take the three of them outside. Along the side of the

  building by the car. And stay out of sight of the gate. '

  'Quickly? yelled Song. 'He is angry!'

  'You can count on it,' agreed Webb.

  Four minutes later the two guards and Wu Song walked awkwardly through the outside door into the blazing afternoon sunlight, made harsher by the dancing reflections off the waters of Victoria Harbour. Their knees and arms were tied in the ripped cloth of the curtains so their movements were hesitant and uncertain. Silence was guaranteed by wads of fabric in the mouths of the guards. No such precautions were needed for the young merchant; he was petrified.

  Alone, David put his retrieved attache case on the floor, and walked rapidly around the room studying the displays in the cases until he found what he wanted. He smashed the glass with the handle of his gun and picked around the shards for the weapons he would use - weapons coveted by terrorists everywhere - timer grenades, each with the impact of a 20-pound bomb. How did he know? Where did the knowledge come from!

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