The bourne supremacy, p.50
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.50

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 50


  'Excuse me,' she said, speaking primarily to the girl. 'I overheard you talking-'

  'Wasn't I terrific?' broke in the young man.

  'Very agile,' replied Marie. 'But I suspect your friend has a point. Those T-shirts undoubtedly cost him less than twenty-five cents apiece.

  'Four hundred per cent,' said the girl, nodding. ' Keystone should be so lucky. '

  'Key who?'

  'A jeweller's term,' explained Marie. ' It's one hundred per cent. '

  'I'm surrounded by philistines!' cried the young man. 'I'm an Art History major. Someday I'll run the Metropolitan!'

  'Just don't try to buy it,' said the girl, turning to Marie. 'I'm

  sorry, we're not flakes, we're just having fun. We interrupted you. '

  'It's most embarrassing, really, but my plane was a day late and I missed my tour into China. The hotel is full and I wondered-'

  'You need a place to crash? interrupted the Art History student.

  'Yes, I do. Frankly my funds are adequate but limited. I'm a schoolteacher from Maine - economics, I'm afraid. '

  'Don't be,' said the girl, smiling.

  'I'm joining my tour tomorrow, but I'm afraid that's tomorrow, not tonight. '

  'We can help you, can't we, Lacy? 'I'm sure we can. Our college has an arrangement with the Chinese University of Hong Kong. '

  'It's not much on room service but the price is right,' said the young man. 'Three bucks, US, a night. But, holy roller, are they antediluvian!'

  'He means there's a certain puritan code over here. The sexes are separated. '

  '"Boys and girls together-'" sang the Art History major. 'Like hell they are!' he added.

  Marie sat on the campbed in the huge room under a 50-foot ceiling; she assumed it was a gymnasium. All around her young women were asleep and not asleep. Most were silent, but a few snored, others lighted cigarettes, and there were sporadic lurchings towards the bathroom, where the fluorescent lights remained on. She was among children, and she wished she were a child now, free of the terrors that were everywhere. David, I need you! You think I'm so strong, but, darling, I can't cope! What do I do? How do I do it!

  Study everything, you'll find something you can use. Jason Bourne.

  Chapter Thirteen

  The rain was torrential, pitting the sand, snapping into the floodlights that lit up the grotesque statuary of Repulse Bay -reproductions of enormous Chinese gods, angry myths of the Orient in furious poses, some rising as high as 30 feet. The dark beach was deserted, but there were crowds in the old hotel up by the road and the anachronistic hamburger shop across the way. They were strollers and drop-ins, tourists and islanders alike who had come down to the bay for a late-night drink or something to eat and to look out at the forbidding statues repelling whatever malign spirits might at any moment emerge from the sea. The sudden downpour had forced the strollers inside; others waited for the storm to let up before heading home.

  Drenched, Bourne crouched in the foliage 20 feet from the base of a fierce-looking idol halfway down the beach. He wiped the rain from his face as he stared at the concrete steps that led to the entrance of the old Colonial Hotel. He was waiting for the third name on the taipan's list.

  The first man had tried to trap him on the Star Ferry, the agreed-upon meeting ground, but Jason, wearing the same clothes he had worn at the Walled City, had spotted the man's two stalking patrols. It was not as easy as looking for men with radios but it had not been difficult either. By the third trip across the harbour, Bourne not having appeared at the

  appointed window on the starboard side, the same two men had passed by his contact twice, each speaking briefly and each going to opposite positions, their eyes fixed on their superior. Jason had waited until the ferry approached the pier and the passengers started en masse towards the exit ramp in the bow. He had taken out the Chinese on the right with a blow to the kidneys as he passed him in the crowd, then struck the back of the man's head with the heavy brass paperweight; the passengers rushed by in the dim light. Bourne then walked through the emptying benches to the other side; he faced the second man, jammed his gun into the patrol's stomach and marched him to the stern. He arched the man above the railing and shoved him overboard as the ship's whistle blew in the night and the ferry pulled into the Kowloon pier. He then returned to his contact by the deserted window at midship.

  'You kept your word,' Jason said. 'I'm afraid I'm late. '

  'You are the one who called?' The contact's eyes had roamed over Bourne's shabby clothes.

  'I'm the one. '

  'You don't look like a man with the money you spoke of on the telephone. '

  'You're entitled to that opinion. ' Bourne withdrew a folded stack of American bills, $1, 000 denominations visible when rolled open.

  'You are the man. ' The Chinese had glanced quickly over Jason's shoulders. 'What is it that you want?' the man asked anxiously.

  'Information about someone for hire who calls himself Jason Bourne. '

  'You have reached the wrong person. '

  'I'll pay generously. '

  'I have nothing to sell. '

  'I think you do. ' Bourne had put away the money and pulled out his weapon, moving closer to the man as the Kowloon passengers streamed on board. 'You'll either tell me what I want to know for a fee, or you'll be forced to tell me for your life. '

  'I know only this,' the Chinese had protested. 'My people will not touch him!'

  'Why not?

  'He's not the same man!'

  'What did you say? Jason held his breath, watching the man closely. 'He takes risks he would never have taken before. ' The Chinese again looked beyond Bourne, sweat breaking out on his hairline. 'He comes back after two years. Who knows what happened? Drink, narcotics, disease from whores, who knows?

  'What do you mean risks?

  'That is what I mean! He walks into a cabaret in the Tsim Sha Tsui - there was a riot, the police were on their way. Still, he enters and kills five men! He could have been caught, his clients traced! He would not have done such a thing two years ago. '

  'You may have your sequence backwards,' said Jason Bourne. 'He may have gone in - as one man - and started the riot. He kills as that man and leaves as another, escaping in the confusion. '

  The Oriental stared briefly into Jason's eyes, suddenly more frightened than before as he again looked at the shabby, ill-fitting clothes in front of him. 'Yes, I imagine that is possible,' he said tremulously, now whipping his head, first to one side, then the other.

  'How can this Bourne be reached?

  'I don't know, I swear on the spirits*. Why do you ask me these questions?'

  'How?' repeated Jason, leaning into the man, their foreheads touching, the gun shoved into the Oriental's lower abdomen. 'If you won't touch him, you know where he can be touched, where he can be reached! Now, where?

  'Oh, Christian Jesus. "

  'Goddamn it, not Him! Bourne!'

  'Macao! It is whispered he works out of Macao, that is all I know, I swear it!' The man looked in panic to his right and left.

  'If you're trying to find your two men, don't bother, I'll tell

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