The bourne supremacy, p.38
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.38

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 38

 

  'Ten hours, if you like, sir. I need no sleep. '

  'One hour is fine. ' David held out the $400 in front of the driver's startled eyes. 'And I'll know if you don't live up to our agreement. ' 'You have no concerns, sir!' cried Pak-fei, one hand on the wheel, the other grasping the bills. 'I shall pick up my wife, my children, her parents, and my own as well. This animal I drive is big enough for twelve. I thank you, sir! I thank you!'

  'Drop me off around ten streets from Salisbury Road and get out of the area. I don't want this car seen in Kowloon. '

  'No, sir, it is not possible. We will be in Lo Wu, in Lok Ma Chau!'

  'As far as tomorrow morning goes, say whatever you like. I won't be here, I'm leaving tonight. You won't see me again. '

  'Yes, sir. '

  'Our contract's concluded, Pak-fei,' said Jason Bourne, his thoughts returning to a strategy that became clearer with each move he made. And each move brought him closer to Marie. All was colder now. There was a certain freedom in being what he was not.

  Play the scenario as it was given to you. . . Be everywhere at once. Make them sweat.

  At 5: 02 an obviously disturbed Liang walked rapidly out of the glass doors of the Regent. He looked anxiously around at the arriving and departing guests, then turned to his left and

  hurried down the pavement towards the ramp leading to the street. David watched him through the spraying fountains on the opposite side of the courtyard. Using the fountains as his cover Webb ran across the busy area, dodging cars and taxis; he reached the ramp and followed Liang down towards Salisbury Road.

  He stopped midway to the street and turned, angling his body and his face to the left. The assistant manager had come to an abrupt halt, his body lurching forwards, as an anxious person in a hurry will do when he has suddenly remembered something or changes his mind. It had to be the latter, thought David, as he cautiously shifted his head and saw Liang rushing across the entrance drive towards the crowded pavement of the New World Shopping Centre. Webb knew he would lose him in the crowds if he did not hurry, so he held up both hands, stopping the traffic, and raced diagonally down the ramp as horns bellowed and angry shrieks came from drivers. He reached the pavement, sweating, anxious. He could not see Liang! Where was he? The sea of Oriental faces became a blur, so much the same, yet not the same. Where was he? David rushed ahead, muttering excuses as he collided with bodies and startled faces; he saw him! He was sure it was Liang - but not sure, not really. He had seen a dark-suited figure turn into the entrance of the harbour walkway, a long stretch of concrete above the water where people fished and strolled and performed their tai chi exercises in the early mornings. Yet he had seen only the back of a man; if it was not, Liang would leave the street and lose him completely. Instinct. Not yours but Bourne's - the eyes of Jason Bourne.

  Webb broke into a run, heading for the arched entrance of the walkway. The skyline of Hong Kong sparkled in the sunlit distance, the traffic in the harbour bobbing furiously, winding up the day's labours on the water. He slowed down as he passed under the arch; there was no way back to Salisbury Road but through the entrance. The walkway was a dead-end intrusion on the waterfront, and that raised a question, as well as supplying an answer to another. Why had Liang - if it was Liang - boxed himself into a dead end? What

  drew him to it? A contact, a drop, a relay? Whatever it was, it meant that the Chinese had not considered the possibility that he was being followed; that was the immediate answer David needed. It told him what he had to know. His prey was in panic; the unexpected could only propel him into further panic.

  Jason's Bourne's eyes had not lied. It was Liang, but the first question remained unanswered, even compounded by what Webb saw. Of the thousands upon thousands of public telephones in Kowloon - tucked away in crowded arcades and in recessed corners of darkened lobbies - Liang had chosen to use a pay phone on the inner wall of the walkway. It was exposed, in the open, in the centre of a wide thoroughfare that was in itself a dead end. It made no sense; even the rankest amateur had basic protective instincts. When in panic he sought cover.

  Liang reached into his pocket for change, and suddenly, as if commanded by an inner voice, David knew that he could not permit that call to be made. When it was made, he had to make it. It was part of his strategy, a part that would bring him closer to Marie! The control had to be in his hands, not others!

  He began running, heading straight towards the white plastic shell of the pay phone, wanting to shout but knowing he had to get closer to be heard over the sounds of the windblown waterfront. The assistant manager was dialling; his hand dropped to his side - he had finished. Somewhere a telephone was ringing.

  'Liang!' roared Webb. 'Get off that phone! If you want to live, hang up and get out of there!'

  The Chinese spun around, his face a rigid mask of terror. ' You!' he shouted hysterically, pressing his body back into the shell of white plastic. 'No. . . no! Not now! Not here]'

  Gunfire suddenly filled the winds off the water, staccato bursts that joined the myriad sounds of the harbour. Pandemonium swept over the walkway as people screamed and shrieked, dropping to the ground or racing in all directions away from the terror of instant death.

  Chapter Ten

  'Aiya!' roared Liang, diving to the side of the telephone shell as bullets ripped into the wall of the walkway and cracked in the air overhead. Webb lunged towards the Chinese, crawling beside the hotel man, his hunting knife out of its scabbard. 'Do not! What are you doing? Liang screamed as David, lying sideways, gripped him by the front of his shirt and shoved the blade up into the manager's chin, breaking the skin, drawing blood. 'Ahhee!' The hysterical cry was lost in the pandemonium of the walkway.

  'Give me the number! Now?

  'Don't do this to me! I swear to you I did not know it was a trap!'

  'It's not a trap for me, Liang,' said Webb breathlessly, the sweat rolling down his face. 'It's for you!'

  'Me? You're mad! Why me?

  'Because they know I'm here now, and you've seen me, you've talked to me. You made your phone call and they can't afford you any longer. '

  'But why?

  'You were given a telephone number. You did your job and they can't allow any traces. '

  That explains nothing!'

  'Maybe my name will. It's Jason Bourne. '

  'Oh, my God. . . !' whispered Liang, his face pale as he stared at David, his eyes opaque glass, his lips parted.

  'You're a trace,' said Webb. 'You're dead. '

  'No, no!' The Chinese shook his head. 'It can't be! I don't know anyone, only the number! It is a deserted office in the New World Centre, a temporary telephone installed. Please! The number is three-four, four, zero, one! Do not kill me, Mr Bourne! For the love of our Christian God, do not do it!'

  'If I thought the trap was for me, there'd be blood all over your throat, not your chin. . . Three- four, four, zero, one?'

  'Yes, exactly!'

  The gunfire stopped as suddenly and as startlingly as it had begun.

  The New World Centre's right above us, isn't it? One of those windows up there. '

  'Exactly!' Liang shuddered, unable to take his eyes off David's face. Then he shut them tight, tears dripping beneath his lids as he shook his head violently. 'I have never seen you! I swear on the cross of holy Jesus!'

 
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