The bourne supremacy, p.37
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.37

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 37

 

  He removed six grenades and checked each battery charge. How could he do that? How did he know where to look, what to press? No matter. He knew. He looked at his watch.

  He set the timers of each and ran along the display cases, crashing the handle of his weapon into the glass tops and dropping into each a grenade. He had one left and two cases to go; he looked up at the tri-lingual No Smoking signs and made another decision. He ran to the panelled door, opened it, and saw what he thought he might see. He threw in the final grenade.

  Webb checked his watch, picked up the attache case and went outside, making a point of being very much in control. He approached the Daimler at the side of the warehouse where Pak-fei seemed to be apologizing to his prisoners, perspiring as he did so. The driver was being alternately berated and consoled by Wu Song, who wanted nothing more than to be spared any further violence.

  Take them over to the breakwater,' ordered David,

  pointing to the stone wall that rose above the waters of the harbour. Wu Song stared at Webb. 'Who are you? he asked.

  The moment had come. It was now.

  Webb again looked at his watch as he walked over to the arms merchant. He gripped Wu Song's elbow and shoved the frightened Chinese farther along the side of the building where soft-spoken words would not be overheard by the others. 'My name is Jason Bourne,' said David simply.

  'Jason Bou-!' The Oriental gasped, reacting as though a stiletto had punctured his throat, 'his own eyes witnessing the final, violent act of his own death.

  'And if you have any ideas about restoring a bruised ego by punishing someone, say my driver, get rid of them. I'll know where to find you. ' Webb paused for a single beat, then continued. 'You're a privileged man, Wu, but with that privilege goes a responsibility. For certain reasons you may be questioned, and I don't expect you to lie - I doubt that you're very good at lying anyway - so we met, I'll accept that. I even stole from you, if you like. But if you give an accurate description of me, you'd better be on the other side of the world - and dead. It would be less painful for you. '

  The Columbia graduate froze, his lower lip trembling as he stared at Webb, speechless. David returned the look in silence, nodding his head once. He released Wu Song's arm and walked back to Pak-fei and the two bound guards, leaving the panicked merchant to his racing thoughts.

  'Do as I told you, Pak-fei,' he said, once more looking at his watch. 'Get them over to the wall and tell them to lie down. Explain that I'm covering them with my gun, and will be covering them until we drive through the gate. I think their employer will attest to the fact that I'm a reasonably proficient marksman. '

  The driver reluctantly barked the orders in Chinese, bowing to the arms merchant as Wu Song started ahead of the others, awkwardly manoeuvring himself towards the breakwater some seventy- odd yards away. Webb looked inside the Daimler.

  Throw me the keys!' he shouted to Pak-fei. 'And hurry up!'

  David snatched the keys from the air and climbed into the driver's seat. He started the engine, slipped the Daimler into gear and followed the odd-looking parade across the asphalt directly behind the warehouse.

  Wu Song and his two guards lay prostrate on the ground. Webb leaped out of the car, the motor running, and raced around the back to the other side, his newly purchased weapon in his hand, the silencer fixed. 'Get in and drive!' he shouted to Pak-fei. 'Quickly!'

  The driver jumped in, bewildered. David fired three shots -spits that blew up the asphalt several feet in front of each captive's face. It was enough; all three rolled in panic into the wall. Webb got into the front seat of the car. 'Let's go!' he said, for a final time looking at his watch, his gun out of the window aimed in the vicinity of the three prostrate figures. 'Now!'

  The gate swung back for the august taipan in the august limousine. The Daimler raced through and turned right into the speeding traffic on the dual-lane highway to Mongkok.

  'Slow down!' ordered David. 'Pull over to the side, on the dirt. '

  These drivers are madmen, sir. They speed because they know that in minutes they will barely move. It will be difficult to get back on the road. '

  'Somehow I don't think so. '

  It happened. The explosions came one after another -three, four, five. . . six. The isolated one- storey warehouse blew to the skies, flames and deep black smoke filling the air above the land and the harbour, causing automobiles and trucks and buses to come to screeching stops on the highway.

  ' You? shrieked Pak-fei, his mouth gaping, his bulging eyes on Webb.

  'I was there. '

  'We were there, sir! I am dead! Aiya!' 'No, Pak-fei, you're not,' said David. 'You're protected, take my word for that. You'll never hear from Mr Wu Song again. I suspect he'll be on the other side of the world, probably in Iran, teaching marketing to the mullahs. I don't

  know who else would accept him. '

  'But why? How, sir?'

  'He's finished. He dealt in what's called "consignments", which means he pays as his merchandise is sold. Are you following me?'

  'I think so, sir. '

  'He has no more merchandise, but it wasn't sold. It just went away. '

  'Sir?'

  'He kept wired rolls of dynamite and cases of explosive plastic in the back room. They were too primitive to put in the display cases. Also too bulky. '

  'Sir?

  'I couldn't have a cigarette. . . Weave around the traffic, Pak-fei. I have to get back to Kowloon. '

  As they entered the Tsim Sha Tsui, the movements of Pak-fei's constantly turning head intruded on Webb's thoughts. The driver kept looking at him. 'What is it?" he asked.

  'I am not certain, sir. I am frightened, of course; '

  'You didn't believe what I told you? That you've got nothing to be afraid of?'

  That is not it, sir. I think I must believe you for I saw what you did, and I saw Wu Song's face when you spoke with him. I think it is you I am frightened of, but I also think this may be wrong for you did protect me. It was in Wu Song's eyes. I cannot explain. '

  'Don't bother,' said David, reaching into his pocket for money. 'Are you married, Pak-fei? Or have a girlfriend, or a boyfriend? It doesn't matter. '

  'Married, sir. I have two grown children who have not-bad jobs. They contribute; my joss is good. '

  'Now it'll be better. Go home and pick up your wife - and children, if you like - and drive, Pak- fei. Drive up into the New Territories for many miles. Stop and have a fine meal in Tuen Mun or Yuen Long and then drive some more. Let them enjoy this fine automobile. '

  'Sir?

  'A xiao xin,' went on Webb, the money in his hand. 'What we call in English a little white lie that doesn't hurt anybody.

  You see, I want the mileage on this car to approximate where you've driven me today - and tonight. '

  'Where is that?

  'You drove Mr Cruett first up to Lo Wu and then across the base of the mountain range to Lok Ma Chau. '

  'Those are checkpoints into the People's Republic. '

  'Yes, they are,' agreed David, removing two $100 bills, and then a third. 'Do you think you can remember that and make the mileage right?

  'Most certainly, sir. '

  'And do you think,' added Webb, his finger on a fourth $100 bill, 'that you could say I left the car at Lok Ma Chau and wandered up in the hills for an hour or so. '

 
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